100 books like The History of Love

By Nicole Krauss,

Here are 100 books that The History of Love fans have personally recommended if you like The History of Love. 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 Life After Life

Tessa Harris Author Of The Paris Notebook

From my list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a journalist for much of my life and have been passionate about history since I was a child. Ever since I visited a castle at age five, I’ve loved imagining the past and naturally ended up doing a History degree at Oxford. I love fact-based stories and am always meticulous in my research so that I can bring my readers with me on a journey of discovery. But what always brings history to life for me is focusing on the characters, real or imagined, who’ve made history themselves.

Tessa's book list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love

Tessa Harris Why did Tessa love this book?

Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite authors, with a voice that really resonates with me.

This is a ‘what if’ novel that really sets you thinking. It’s witty and stylish, and yet it also tugs at your heartstrings. A roller-coaster ride that had me on the edge of my seat.

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Life After Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula's apparently infinite number…

Book cover of The Last Train To London

Sophie Poldermans Author Of Seducing and Killing Nazis: Hannie, Truus and Freddie: Dutch Resistance Heroines of WWII

From my list on World War II heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Dutch author and lawyer specialized in international criminal law. My expertise is the role of women leaders in times of conflict, crisis, and change – especially during war and in post-conflict societies. Women are traditionally portrayed as victims, while it is precisely women who show genuine leadership skills in times of conflict, crisis, and change. I've done research on women’s armed resistance in the Netherlands in WWII, and am an expert on the lives and resistance work of Hannie Shaft and the sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen. In addition, I've done research in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and saw the same patterns in these conflicts and the impact on the generations after. 

Sophie's book list on World War II heroines

Sophie Poldermans Why did Sophie love this book?

A remarkable novel about Truus Wijsmuller, a very brave woman in the Netherlands, resisting the Nazis by smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to the nations that will take them. A very moving and true story. The role of women in the resistance movement in the Netherlands has been neglected or underrepresented for way too long, so this story helps to shed light on the active resistance women carried out in WWII. This is exactly what my platform ‘Sophie’s Women of War’ sheds light on. 

By Meg Waite Clayton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Last Train To London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National bestseller

A Historical Novels Review Editors' Choice

A Jewish Book Award Finalist

The New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Exiles conjures her best novel yet, a pre-World War II-era story with the emotional resonance of Orphan Train and All the Light We Cannot See, centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe-and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.

In 1936, the Nazi are little more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright whose playground extends from…

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Lori Duffy Foster Author Of Never Let Go

From my list on thrillers with twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my years on the crime beat, I often met good people who did bad things and criminals with good intentions and good hearts. We tend to draw a line between good and evil, putting ourselves on the good side. From that perspective, we sit in judgment, believing we are incapable of evil because it’s “over there.” Inaccessible. Unfathomable. But that line is fictional. We redraw it constantly to feel good about ourselves and avoid empathizing with the worst of human nature. What I love about these five novels is that they expose that truth. The twists remind me that even my own line is blurred and ever-shifting.

Lori's book list on thrillers with twists

Lori Duffy Foster Why did Lori love this book?

I love historical fiction, especially when authors throw in a touch of crime. So, that’s what first drew me to this book.

What kept me reading and what made me rank this novel so highly is the gradual unlayering of the main character as the story progresses. Sure, Kya is a victim and a survivor, but she is so much more, and she is capable of more than I could have anticipated. As in some of my other favorite novels, it’s that loyalty to human nature, the understanding that circumstances can make good choices wrong and poor choices right, that pulled me in.

If I had known the ending when I started the book, I might not have believed it possible, but Delia Owens made it work.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…

Book cover of Cat's Cradle

Maithreyi Karnoor Author Of Sylvia

From my list on striking while the ‘irony’ is hot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write fiction and poetry in English and translate literary works from Kannada, a South Indian language. I was shortlisted for the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, and twice in a row for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. I had the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship in writing and translation at LAF and UWTSD in 2022. As a reader, I admire original and clever use of language, writing that portrays with humour the profundity in the absurdity of life, that which makes the quotidian quotable – writing that strikes while the ‘irony’ is hot. These are qualities that I think are intuitive in my own writing. I've enjoyed the following books for these reasons. 

Maithreyi's book list on striking while the ‘irony’ is hot

Maithreyi Karnoor Why did Maithreyi love this book?

This book was my introduction to Kurt Vonnegut. I marvel at the author’s genius in bringing together science and religion, two of the most profound subjects known to mankind, in such a playful way.

The unsentimental objectivity of science (and scientists) and a ‘perfect’ religion, whose greatest act of faith is to look at itself with a rather jaundiced eye, join hands to expertly manoeuvre, explain and let chaos be. It is the kind of hilariousness that makes you gaze into space rather than fall out of your chair.

I have always thought that poetry is important to allow prose to not take itself too seriously. Vonnegut has demonstrated how to do this.

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Cat's Cradle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of America's greatest writers gives us his unique perspective on our fears of nuclear annihilation


Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it.


Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to…

Book cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

M. R. Reed Author Of Enthrall

From my list on doing what is right when others are against you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m drawn to the idea of doing what you think is right when others are against you because I’ve always felt the desire to row against the current and just do my own thing. I tend to avoid following the crowd because oftentimes I simply don’t agree with them. Am I being purposely difficult? Maybe. But I fear a society that goes with the flow simply because it’s easier and it doesn’t require them to think for themselves. It’s okay to listen to other people, but before you make any major decisions, ask yourself a question: Is this right for me?

M. R.'s book list on doing what is right when others are against you

M. R. Reed Why did M. R. love this book?

Let’s just be honest here: We know we all love this book because of the feels that we experience once that twist hits us, right?

I don’t want to ruin it if you’re not familiar, but once Charlie comes to terms with this very important moment, we empathize with his complicated feelings and we support his recovery, even if it means that certain people in his life will be looked at in a very negative way.

This book reminds us of how important it is to heal, even if the things we have to do to get there may not be something that others (or even we) want to face. 

By Stephen Chbosky,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Perks of Being a Wallflower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A modern cult classic, a major motion picture and a timeless bestseller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story.

Charlie is not the biggest geek in high school, but he's by no means popular.

Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is attempting to navigate through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and music - when all one requires to feel infinite is that…

Book cover of The Weight of Ink

Cathy Tsang-Feign Author Of Keep Your Life, Family and Career Intact While Living Abroad: What Every Expat Needs to Know

From my list on to equip yourself for living abroad.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a psychologist, I've worked with countless emigrants and international expatriates. People relocate to various parts of the world for different reasons. However, each person’s life struggles, cultural background, experiences, and knowledge help make the world more colorful and richer in so many ways. I encourage people to open themselves to see the world and be receptive and tolerant to those who are different from them. It teaches us to be humbler and more respectful, and to enrich our life in general. My choices are about preparing your mind and your heart for life in another culture. Sometimes a well-crafted novel can offer insights that other media can’t express.

Cathy's book list on to equip yourself for living abroad

Cathy Tsang-Feign Why did Cathy love this book?

This beautiful and skillfully written novel transports the reader into the world of a remarkable female emigrant in the 1660s who, along with her entire Jewish community, fled Inquisition-era Lisbon to Amsterdam and finally to London.

But her real journey is inward, a quest for knowledge and freedom while conforming to strict rules of both her own community and the surrounding society. The story is about a young Jewish woman, uprooted from her land of birth and clandestinely learning to read and write, skills forbidden to women. She pushes against many boundaries to embark on a passage of learning and knowledge.

Besides being in many ways an immigrant story, it also echoes my own journey of creating my own opportunities for education and breaking away from the traditional confinements of my Chinese roots. I think this novel will be relatable to many emigrants, exiles, and expatriates who don’t necessarily share…

By Rachel Kadish,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Weight of Ink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF A NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD A USA TODAY BESTSELLER "A gifted writer, astonishingly adept at nuance, narration, and the politics of passion."-Toni Morrison Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a…

Book cover of No One Is Here Except All of Us

Jennifer Rosner Author Of The Yellow Bird Sings

From my list on Jewish-themed imaginative female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love stories about human connection and creativity. I came to writing later in life; I was moved to research and write a memoir about raising our two daughters, both of whom were born deaf. I discovered in my Jewish ancestry two deaf great-great aunts who tied strings to their babies’ wrists at night so that when their babies cried, they would feel the tug in the darkness and wake to care for them. This innovation of connection has shaped me as a mother, a writer, and a reader. In my novel, The Yellow Bird Sings, a mother and daughter stay connected through music and the power of imagination.

Jennifer's book list on Jewish-themed imaginative female characters

Jennifer Rosner Why did Jennifer love this book?

I read this magical, mystical novel on an airplane, and had to retrieve a spare t-shirt from my suitcase to sob into! A beautiful, heart-wrenching work about family history, memory, and the power of imagination, the story is narrated by a girl, Lena, who leads her village to imagining their way out of the reality of the Holocaust's horrors. For a time, the villagers are spared, even repaired, until the outside world presses its way in and the myths crack, then shatter.  

By Ramona Ausubel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No One Is Here Except All of Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and the new story collection, Awayland.

In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years- across oceans, deserts, and mountains-but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world:…

Book cover of The World That We Knew

Maureen McQuerry Author Of Between Before and After

From my list on family secrets with a literary voice and a touch of wonder.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always believed in magic, the kind that’s just around the corner, out of view. I loved books and libraries. So, it was no surprise that I became a teacher, and later, a poet and novelist. Now, as the author of four novels, I want my books to capture what I love best from poetry and teaching: beautiful, unexpected language, a touch of wonder, and themes that probe the big questions of life. A library shows up in most of my novels along with a bit of the fantastic.

Maureen's book list on family secrets with a literary voice and a touch of wonder

Maureen McQuerry Why did Maureen love this book?

What’s a better family secret than a golem tasked with protecting the main character?

Set against World War II in France, remarkable characters that I rooted for faced unspeakable odds. The book is a testament to what makes us human: The power of love and redemption. The golem, Ava, is a fully fleshed character with her own character arc. 

By Alice Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The World That We Knew as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Oh, what a book this is! Hoffman's exploration of the world of good and evil, and the constant contest between them, is unflinching; and the humanity she brings to us - it is a glorious experience. The book builds and builds, as she weaves together, seamlessly, the stories of people in the most desperate of circumstances - and then it delivers with a tremendous punch. It opens up the world ... in a way that is absolutely unique. By the end you may be weeping' Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive…

Book cover of Midnight's Children

S.G. Slade Author Of Touch of a Witch

From my list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British writer with a passion for the stories of history, both real and imagined. I have always been fascinated by tales and relics of the past, old ruins, ancient buildings, mythology, and the uncanny power of the natural world. All these things connect us to the ghosts of the past. So, I write historical fantasy novels based in the England I explored growing up, but brushed with the shadow of the supernatural, magic, witchcraft, and seductive illusion. I also write straight historical fiction under the name Samantha Grosser.

S.G.'s book list on spellbinding novels with threads of magic woven in their core

S.G. Slade Why did S.G. love this book?

This book was my introduction to magical realism when I studied it as part of my English Literature Degree (more years ago than I care to admit). Salman Rushdie wasn’t so well known in those days, but I fell in love with his trademark wry, dark humour straight away and ended up writing my Honours thesis about it. 

It's a stunning take on the partition of India in 1947. The novel explores those themes that always speak to me: the wielding of power, oppression, justice, and the role of the individual caught in historical forces over which they have no control. 

By Salman Rushdie,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Midnight's Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



'A wonderful, rich and humane novel... a classic' Guardian

Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India's independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other 'midnight's children' all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem's story is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirrors the course of modern India at its most…

Book cover of The God of Small Things

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

As a sucker for beautiful writing, this book had me from the first page, and I couldn’t put it down. So many issues that had been part of my childhood culture resonated with me while it also showed me many others from a part of India that I had never even visited. 

Though sweeping in its scope, it drills down into a very human story with all its pain and love. It weaves myth, story, real life, love, loss, and the meaning of family. It was one of the first novels by an Indian woman that transcended cultures, gender, and any preconceived notions.

By Arundhati Roy,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The God of Small Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.'

This is the story of Rahel and Estha, twins growing up among the banana vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother's factory, and amid scenes of political turbulence in Kerala. Armed only with the innocence of youth, they fashion a childhood in the shade of the wreck that is their family: their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher) and their sworn enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun,…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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