79 books like The Henna Artist

By Alka Joshi,

Here are 79 books that The Henna Artist fans have personally recommended if you like The Henna Artist. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Kate Brody Author Of Rabbit Hole

From my list on books that capture the love/hate relationship of sisters.

Who am I?

Rabbit Hole is about Teddy’s obsession with her sister Angie’s cold-case disappearance. When Angie was alive, she was angry and difficult, but Teddy still misses her. While writing the book, I thought a lot about my relationships with my own sisters and how unique that particular bond is. I love books that capture the at-times-uncomfortable closeness of sisterhood and grapple with its power.

Kate's book list on books that capture the love/hate relationship of sisters

Kate Brody Why did Kate love this book?

This novel follows Ayoola, a beautiful murderer, and her put-upon sister, Korede, who helps clean up her crime scenes. Korede is loyal to a fault, willing to help cover up her sister’s crimes, but what makes the relationship feel authentic and lived-in is the way petty resentment boils around minor slights and the perpetual issue of the sisters’ disparate beauty. 7

The book is a slender, efficient, and funny look at the psychology of sisterhood that happens to take the form of a thriller.

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked My Sister, the Serial Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sunday Times bestseller and The Times #1 bestseller

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Winner of the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller
Capital Crime Debut Author of the Year 2019
__________

'A literary sensation'
Guardian

'A bombshell of a book... Sharp, explosive, hilarious'
New York Times

'Glittering and funny... A stiletto slipped between the ribs and through the left ventricle of the heart' Financial Times
__________

When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber…


Book cover of The Mountains Sing

Betty Bolte Author Of Becoming Lady Washington

From my list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women.

Who am I?

I “discovered” historical fiction when a teen and have devoured it ever since. When my parents took me to the Cowpens National Battlefield in South Carolina in 9th grade, I realized just how much I enjoyed learning about history in real life. I found that reading historical fiction breathed life into what can be a very dull read, so I wanted to bring history to life with my own words. Visiting historical properties has become a big passion of mine! Every trip I take includes a visit to some historical site or another. I’ve been writing historical fiction/romance/fantasy since the late 1990s.

Betty's book list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women

Betty Bolte Why did Betty love this book?

This story is set in Việt Nam and paints a clear picture of the people who lived there in the 1930-1980 timeframe of the story. The family faced hardships and tragedies, including being separated for several months when they were forced to flee for their lives. One thing I really appreciated was seeing the impact and impressions of the Việt Nam war on the people of that country. My brother fought over there—he was a Ranger in the Army—during that conflict and came home very different. In fact, he’s estranged himself from the family for the past 30+ years. Reading about the conflict from the other side gives me a clearer idea of what he might have seen or done that he never would tell me about.

By Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Mountains Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Years later in Ha Noi, her young granddaughter, Huong, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Viet Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai's first novel in English.


Book cover of The Stationery Shop

Betty Bolte Author Of Becoming Lady Washington

From my list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women.

Who am I?

I “discovered” historical fiction when a teen and have devoured it ever since. When my parents took me to the Cowpens National Battlefield in South Carolina in 9th grade, I realized just how much I enjoyed learning about history in real life. I found that reading historical fiction breathed life into what can be a very dull read, so I wanted to bring history to life with my own words. Visiting historical properties has become a big passion of mine! Every trip I take includes a visit to some historical site or another. I’ve been writing historical fiction/romance/fantasy since the late 1990s.

Betty's book list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women

Betty Bolte Why did Betty love this book?

This highly recommended story is a love story between two people who should have been together all along but obstacles prevented them from sharing a life. Those obstacles include political and personal forces, but I won’t elaborate as that would count as giving away the story. I was intrigued by life in Iran back in the 1950s and how girls/women were treated then. How they were expected to behave even as those expectations began to shift to be more Western in nature. Dealing with change is never easy, especially for those who resist new ideas. I haven’t studied this time period nor this country so experiencing Kamali’s story gave me a level of awareness of the culture and the politics of the time in an easy-to-understand form.

By Marjan Kamali,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Stationery Shop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A poignant, heartfelt new novel by the award-nominated author of Together Tea—extolled by the Wall Street Journal as a “moving tale of lost love” and by Shelf Awareness as “a powerful, heartbreaking story”—explores loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.

Roya, a dreamy, idealistic teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood stationery shop, stocked with books and pens and bottles of jewel-colored ink.

Then Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice…


Book cover of Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

Lisa Niver Author Of Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty

From my list on making flight time disappear because you feel in the story.

Who am I?

As both a lifelong traveler and reader, I cannot start an adventure without a great book. Having owned a Kindle since 2008, I consistently carry a virtual library, curating an assortment of captivating reads for every journey. As a travel journalist, I fly multiple times a month, which amplifies my need and understanding of the perfect in-flight companions; stories that transport and captivate. As an author with a memoir to my name, I appreciate the transformative power of storytelling. This blend of literary passion, frequent travel, and personal authorship has led me on my search for engaging, unforgettable books that mesmerize the reader.  

Lisa's book list on making flight time disappear because you feel in the story

Lisa Niver Why did Lisa love this book?

Christie Tate’s candid memoir made me feel like I was part of her therapeutic group experience. I could hear the dishes breaking when she took her anger out on them, and I jumped with joy at her successes.

With humor and vulnerability, she explores the complexities of relationships, mental health, and self-discovery. The book's engaging narrative and relatable insights make it a page-turner, providing a perfect distraction during a flight. Tate's wit and vivid writing create a sense of connection, making it an ideal companion for a solo journey.

Whether you're seeking introspection or simply a captivating story, this book offers a thought-provoking companion to your airborne adventure.

By Christie Tate,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Group as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

'Every page of this incredible memoir by Christie Tate had me thinking, "I wish I had read this book when I was 25. It would have helped me so much!"'
Reese Witherspoon

'This unrestrained memoir is a transporting experience and one of the most startlingly hopeful books I have ever read. It will make you want to get better, whatever better means for you.'
Lisa Taddeo, New York Times bestselling author of Three Women

For fans of Three Women and Everything I Know About Love comes a refreshingly original memoir about self-discovery, loneliness and love.…


Book cover of Kristin Lavransdatter

Bonnie Stanard Author Of Béjart's Caravan

From my list on the destructive power of blind obedience to religion.

Who am I?

"Write what you know" is worn-out advice you'll find on many a website, but I prefer to write what I want to know. Researching for background information is a far cry from studying the history of dates, places, and politics. For instance, you won't read in a history book that forks weren't used at the table in the Renaissance. That people didn't have zippers or right/left shoes, but they did have buttons. Noblemen wore high-heeled shoes. Women poisoned themselves with makeup of white lead (ceruse). Even with diaries, autobiographies, and social history books, trivial information of daily life is hard to find. 

Bonnie's book list on the destructive power of blind obedience to religion

Bonnie Stanard Why did Bonnie love this book?

When I discovered Kristin Lavransdatter was 1000 pages, I never expected to fininsh it (I'm a slow reader). However, about 50 pages into it, I was hooked and was at a loss when I read the final chapter. Religion is pervasive but delivered indirectly. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages was an absolute authority with an iron grip on the main character Kristin. Undset was not judgmental in the book, but I was in reading it. 

By Sigrid Undsett,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Kristin Lavransdatter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'[Sigrid Undset] should be the next Elena Ferrante' -Slate

The Nobel Prize-winning masterpiece by Norway's literary master

Kristin Lavransdatter is the epic story of one woman's life in fourteenth-century Norway, from childhood to death. Sensitive and rebellious Kristin is sent to a convent as a girl, where she meets the charming but irresponsible Erlend. Defying her parents' wishes to pursue her own desires, she marries and raises seven sons. However, her husband's political ambitions threaten catastrophe for the family, and the couple become increasingly estranged as the world around them tumbles into uncertainty.

With its captivating heroine and emotional potency,…


Book cover of Little Women

Virginia Pye Author Of The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann

From my list on a woman writer finding her own voice.

Who am I?

I love novels that show female characters finding their way in life, and especially women who use writing to help themselves to grow and evolve. Finding my own voice through writing has been my way of staking my claim in the world. It hasn’t always been easy for us to tell our stories, but when we do, we’re made stronger and more complete. The protagonist of my novel The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann fights hard to tell her own story. I know something about being held back by male-dominated expectations and Victoria’s situation could easily take place today. But when women writers finally find their voices, the works they create are of great value. 

Virginia's book list on a woman writer finding her own voice

Virginia Pye Why did Virginia love this book?

The much-loved American tale Little Women tells the story of four sisters in Civil War era Concord, Massachusetts, and their quests for love and happiness.

Based on author Louisa May Alcott herself, the character of Jo March, the second daughter, is headstrong, independent, and loves to read and write. Many young female readers have taken Jo as a role model because she speaks her mind and pursues her goals—writing first among them.

Much like my own character Victoria Swann, writing helps Jo forge her independence and it becomes clear as the story progresses that it’s her voice telling the family’s tale. Many bookish girls—me included—can thank Jo for encouraging the dream of becoming a writer.  

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Little Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Louisa May Alcott shares the innocence of girlhood in this classic coming of age story about four sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy are responsible for keeping a home while their father is off to war. At the same time, they must come to terms with their individual personalities-and make the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It can all be quite a challenge. But the March sisters, however different, are nurtured by their wise and beloved Marmee, bound by their love for each other and the feminine…


Book cover of In Her Shoes

Kelly McClymer Author Of The Fairy Tale Bride

From my list on celebrating sisterhood through time.

Who am I?

I’ve made a study of being the “big sister” since I was three. I remember standing up in the back seat (pre-seatbelt days), pelting my father with questions as he drove me to my Aunt Florence’s house. The memory is cloudy (maybe faulty, although I can smell that old car and feel the rattle of my dad’s nerves). My little sisters shaped me more than my parents (why did they demand I always be the teacher, no matter my protests of fairness?). Sisterhood was everywhere, from my mom and her twin sister to my dad’s two younger sisters. And so, my fiction often explores the sister bond.

Kelly's book list on celebrating sisterhood through time

Kelly McClymer Why did Kelly love this book?

Rose and Maggie Feller are so different I immediately related. And yet, beneath it all these two flawed and magnificent sisters are shaped and bonded by the childhood tragedy they experienced. This book is a reminder that a strong shared sense of humor mixed with a genuine desire that the other succeed can help mend any sisterly rift caused by rivalry, betrayal, or a good old-fashioned calling out. Humor is one way my sisters and I always bridged the gap of our differences and learned to walk in each other's shoes, even if only briefly before they pinched.

By Jennifer Weiner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In Her Shoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rose Feller is thirty years old, a high-powered attorney, with a secret passion for romance novels, an exercise regime she's going to start next week, and dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her that she's beautiful.

Meet Rose's sister Maggie. Twenty-eight years old, drop-dead gorgeous and only occasionally employed, Maggie is a backing singer in a band called. She dreams of fame and fortune -- and of getting her dowdy big sister to stick to a skin-care regime.

These two women with nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared…


Book cover of The Alice Network

Annie Lyons Author Of The Air Raid Book Club

From my list on WW1 and 2 fiction featuring brilliant female characters.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved history. When I wrote The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett in 2019, I particularly enjoyed writing Eudora’s flashback scenes set during the Second World War and decided, in my wisdom, to write a novel entirely set during that time. After a lot of research (disappearing down the occasional rabbit hole), I began to write The Air Raid Book Club, creating a cast of female characters who show quiet courage and incredible resilience as they support their community by forming a book club during the course of the war. It was a joy to write and I hope readers derive similar joy from reading it and the books I’ve recommended!

Annie's book list on WW1 and 2 fiction featuring brilliant female characters

Annie Lyons Why did Annie love this book?

This book has everything you want from a gripping historical novel – a pacy dual timeline plot which races along at breakneck speed featuring badass female spies, despicable villains, and moments of pure heartbreak, and it’s based on a true story.

I’m a sucker for an unlikely friendship and the one which develops between veteran spy Eve and young Charlie as they embark on a mission to find Charlie’s missing cousin, is a particularly special one. There’s a reason why Kate Quinn is one of the queens of this genre.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Alice Network as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women-a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947-are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption. 1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might…


Book cover of Sea of Poppies

Kendall A. Johnson Author Of The New Middle Kingdom: China and the Early American Romance of Free Trade

From my list on the fog of Opium Wars in US-China relations.

Who am I?

I am a scholar of literature, literary history, and American Studies based at the University of Hong Kong where I landed thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship in 2008. Prior to this I was very happily in Philadelphia, researching authors and artists who alluded to lucrative trade in the Far East when rendering scenes of the Far West premised on the promotion or the protest of continental Manifest Destiny. Archival materials at the Library Company and Swarthmore College inspired me to visit the places about which I was writing. Travelling to places that feature in my scholarly projects keeps me busy studying languages and humbly amazed by the enduring cultural varieties of our shared humanity.

Kendall's book list on the fog of Opium Wars in US-China relations

Kendall A. Johnson Why did Kendall love this book?

Sea of Poppies is the first of Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy—an epic of global opium trade that features Zachary Reid, a mixed-race American whose story unfolds as it connects Baltimore to Bengal to Canton across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.  

Filled with heartbreak and humor the trilogy invokes Herman Melville’s Moby Dick as Ghosh revives the primary sources of the Old China Trade and brings them into refreshing literary life. 

Ghosh’s novel complements another (very different) gem of historically based literary fiction featuring American involvement in opium smuggling and the ensuing First Opium War: Timothy Mo’s Insular Possession

By Amitav Ghosh,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Sea of Poppies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the heart of this epic saga, set just before the Opium Wars, is an old slaving-ship, The Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its crew a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An…


Book cover of A Passage to India

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Author Of Independence

From my list on the many mysteries of India.

Who am I?

As a writer and a professor, I love sharing knowledge of my birth country (India) and the experiences of Indian immigrants in America. My first book, Arranged Marriage, is about the transformed lives of immigrant women and won an American Book Award. Mistress of Spices is about a spice-shop owner who knows magic, was a national bestseller, and became a film. One Amazing Thing is a multicultural novel about nine people trapped by an earthquake, was a Citywide Read in over 25 US cities. Recently, fascinated by the richness of Indian history, I have delved into it in novels like The Last Queen, set in the 1800s, and Independence, set in the 1940s. 

Chitra's book list on the many mysteries of India

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Why did Chitra love this book?

Forster’s novel showed me the majesty and mystery of India at the height of British occupation. In delineating a complex friendship between an Englishman (Fielding) and an Indian (Aziz), it illustrated for me the difficulties of interracial relations at that time, even with the best of intentions. I love that the novel centers around a dramatic event in the Malabar Hills, a mystery that kept me guessing as to what really happened.

By E.M. Forster,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Passage to India as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in British India in the 1920s, this book looks at racial conflict. The characters struggle to overcome their own differences and prejudices, but when the Indian Dr Aziz is tried for the alleged assault of Adela Quested even the strongest inter-racial friendships come under pressure.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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