100 books like The Last Garden in England

By Julia Kelly,

Here are 100 books that The Last Garden in England fans have personally recommended if you like The Last Garden in England. 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 Three Daughters of Eve

Iulia Dobre-Trifan Author Of Forward

From my list on relationships that define us across time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up overcoming odds and choosing the road less traveled by, which I walked many times, on my own, and sometimes, accompanied by a few others. Having developed a successful career, working with people, as a coach, trainer, entrepreneur, I am fascinated by the multifaceted power relationships exert on us, ranging from keeping us locked into toxicity and hopelessness, up to healing and transforming us into bright, joyful people. I believe our relationships define us, when optimally fueled by the quintessential element of time. I’m writing about this wonderful effect of relationships, both through non-fiction and fiction books. I also like reading about it.

Iulia's book list on relationships that define us across time

Iulia Dobre-Trifan Why did Iulia love this book?

The individual conflicts described in this book stem from the reality of relationships that are supposed to be in a certain way, but somehow get twisted into something different, rather forbidden, or at least with blurred boundaries. I love the interweaving of spirituality, cultural diversity, and the parallel timelines, past and present. The characters are complex and represent different value systems. Swinging between their own personal struggles, trying to find suitable answers to the big questions of life, they get caught in a web of events that lead to surprising consequences. 

By Elif Shafak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Daughters of Eve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*As mentioned on BBC's Desert Island Discs*

'A fascinating exploration of faith and friendship, rich and poor, and the devastating clash of tradition and modernity' Independent

Set across Istanbul and Oxford, from the 1980s to the present day, Three Daughters of Eve is a sweeping tale of faith and friendship, tradition and modernity, love and an unexpected betrayal.

Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife and mother, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground - an…


Book cover of The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Iulia Dobre-Trifan Author Of Forward

From my list on relationships that define us across time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up overcoming odds and choosing the road less traveled by, which I walked many times, on my own, and sometimes, accompanied by a few others. Having developed a successful career, working with people, as a coach, trainer, entrepreneur, I am fascinated by the multifaceted power relationships exert on us, ranging from keeping us locked into toxicity and hopelessness, up to healing and transforming us into bright, joyful people. I believe our relationships define us, when optimally fueled by the quintessential element of time. I’m writing about this wonderful effect of relationships, both through non-fiction and fiction books. I also like reading about it.

Iulia's book list on relationships that define us across time

Iulia Dobre-Trifan Why did Iulia love this book?

Who would expect a stray cat to be such a fine philosopher and insightful observer of human nature? How deeply affectionate the relationship between a man and his cat could be? This book provides amazing perspectives. Not only is the feline companion of the main character a witty, funny, loving being, but he’s also a witness to what happens in his caretaker’s life, mirroring friendship, love, loss, and standing by his human’s side through unexpected trials. I like how the author personifies the cat and how he uses the travels of the surprising pair (cat-man) to metaphorically picture the main stages of human growth.  

By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Travelling Cat Chronicles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

STUNNING HARDBACK GIFTING EDITION, INCLUDES A RIBBON

RECOMMENDED BY THOUSANDS OF INTERNATIONAL READERS - the feelgood story of a journey around Japan with a cat by your side. Translated by Philip Gabriel, a translator of Murakami.

INCLUDES 6 BEAUTIFUL LINE-DRAWINGS

'Bewitching... as self-possessed and comforting as - well, a cat' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
_____________

It's not the journey that counts, but who's at your side.

Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van.…


Book cover of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Tanya E. Williams Author Of Welcome To The Hamilton: A Hotel Hamilton Novel

From my list on books that take place at a hotel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve admired old buildings, hotels in particular, for many years. When immersed in a historic building, I find myself leaning in to discover what the walls might tell me if only I could listen closely enough. When I began writing The Hotel Hamilton series, I scoured the archives for historic hotels, learning how they came to be and how they've evolved through the years. One of the most fascinating aspects of hotel life for me is the juxtaposition of experiences felt by the guests versus those of the hotel staff. The upstairs/downstairs vibe of hotel life is ripe for creating tension within a novel, and that always intrigues me.

Tanya's book list on books that take place at a hotel

Tanya E. Williams Why did Tanya love this book?

This deeply moving story took hold of my heart and didn’t let it go. Even years after having read this novel, I am still moved by the thought of it.

Struggle, war, injustice, and young love are carefully woven together in a gripping tale that speaks of truths and heartbreak we seldom examine. I can’t recommend Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet enough as it is as moving as it is important.

By Jamie Ford,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1986, The Panama Hotel The old Seattle landmark has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made a startling discovery in the basement: personal belongings stored away by Japanese families sent to interment camps during the Second World War. Among the fascinated crowd gathering outside the hotel, stands Henry Lee, and, as the owner unfurls a distinctive parasol, he is flooded by memories of his childhood. He wonders if by some miracle, in amongst the boxes of dusty treasures, lies a link to the Okabe family, and the girl he lost his young heart to, so…


Book cover of A Thousand Splendid Suns

David R. George III Author Of Crucible: McCoy - Provenance of Shadows

From my list on opening readers to new worlds without leaving Earth.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a frequent writer of science fiction, I focus not on real or imagined science, on aliens or other worlds, but on the impacts those things have on individuals, groups, and societies. Similarly, as a reader, I enjoy visiting places, cultures, and ideas with which I am unfamiliar, particularly when unveiled with elevated artistic expression. In my writing, often in the Star Trek universe, I attempt to avoid feeding the perception that media-tie-in writing is less-than, instead working to weave complex tales exploring the human condition. I don’t know if my reading tastes follow from my writing, or if the converse is true, but the two go hand in hand.

David's book list on opening readers to new worlds without leaving Earth

David R. George III Why did David love this book?

Khaled Hosseini won acclaim for his debut novel, The Kite Runner, and with good reason. Opening up a place and culture I knew virtually nothing about, Mr. Hosseini’s story takes place almost entirely in Afghanistan. The same is true of this follow-up novel, which adds to the complexity by featuring a female protagonist, a significant complication in that part of the world. I was drawn in by the eloquence of his language and held fast by the compelling story.

By Khaled Hosseini,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Thousand Splendid Suns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE RICHARD & JUDY NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

'A suspenseful epic' Daily Telegraph

'A triumph' Financial Times

'Heartbreaking' Mail on Sunday

'Deeply moving' Sunday Times

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.


Book cover of The Garden of Evening Mists

David Joiner Author Of Kanazawa

From my list on Japanese settings not named Tokyo or Kyoto.

Why am I passionate about this?

My book recommendations reflect an abiding passion for Japanese literature, which has unquestionably influenced my own writing. My latest literary interest involves Japanese poetry—I’ve recently started a project that combines haiku and prose narration to describe my experiences as a part-time resident in a 1300-year-old Japanese hot spring town that Bashō helped make famous in The Narrow Road to the Deep North. But as a writer, my main focus remains novels. In late 2023 the second in a planned series of novels set in Ishikawa prefecture will be published. I currently live in Kanazawa, but have also been lucky to call Sapporo, Akita, Tokyo, and Fukui home at different times.

David's book list on Japanese settings not named Tokyo or Kyoto

David Joiner Why did David love this book?

This is a novel whose beautiful writing adds layers to this highly engaging story told from multiple time periods in a Malaysian woman’s life. Although the novel mostly plays out in Malaysia, it involves a Japanese character of great significance to the story and explores in engaging detail the art of Japanese gardening and the Malay experience of Japanese wartime colonialism. This is an important book, and while it won many awards, including the 2012 Man Booker Prize, I hope the book remains in the reading public’s eye for a long time. I greatly envy writing that can carry emotion this weighty while exhibiting such beauty and depth both in its character development and description of time and place.

By Tan Twan Eng,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Garden of Evening Mists as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes." Then she can design a garden for herself.…


Book cover of Queen Elizabeth in the Garden: A Story of Love, Rivalry, and Spectacular Gardens

Gerit Quealy Author Of Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World's Greatest Playwright

From my list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had myriad careers in my life but the through-line has always been Shakespeare. I became smitten with the “words, words, words” seeing a production of Twelfth Night in 3rd grade and it’s been a passion ever since. Acting led to being a “Journalist, Editor, Speaker, Spy” but everything I’ve done was to fund my secret joy of being in a dusty old archive, transcribing manuscripts. Even though my first favorite book was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (that was already taken here!), I wasn’t that ‘outdoorsy’, but when the wonderful Japanese artist Sumié Hasegawa showed me her Botanical Shakespeare drawings, I got excited about approaching Shakespeare in a totally new way.

Gerit's book list on Shakespeare's shelf to grow your mind and garden

Gerit Quealy Why did Gerit love this book?

A sizzling tale of competition, grandeur, and royal romance—and it’s true! Shakespeare loved writing about court intrigue and this story of Queen Elizabeth and the courtiers & ministers who created spectacular gardens for her has loads of it. People always focus on what was going on behind palace walls & inside castle corridors, but it turns out the real drama is down in the garden. Imagine gilding rosemary bushes so they glitter in the sun. I certainly think the theatricality of the landscape inspired Shakespeare’s work. In addition to being intricate and fascinating, this book impelled me to further investigate Queen Elizabeth’s effect on the green space of the country and seeding the prospect of garden competition. For me, it uncovered an amazing origin story of green desire and the intricate facets of female leadership.

By Trea Martyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Queen Elizabeth in the Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Taking a fresh and original approach to the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I, this book tells the incredible story of her great passion for gardens, and how the two most powerful men in England during her reign fought a decade-long duel for their queen's affections by creating lavish gardens for her. It chronicles how, in their quest to woo the queen and outdo each other, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and William Cecil, Baron of Burghley, competed for Elizabeth’s favor by laying out innovative and extravagant pleasure grounds at their palaces for when she came to visit. As…


Book cover of My Hair Is a Garden

Judy Carey Nevin Author Of All Kinds of Kindness

From my list on picture books featuring children of color.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love increasing the diversity seen on our family’s bookshelves but also on the TBR (to-be-read) piles of relatives, babysitters, educators—everyone who might come across my little list of five books. I’m a very visual person, which is why picture books have always been my thing, even back in college when my roommate and I used to spend our study breaks in the children’s area of the public library reading stacks and stacks of picture books. It’s only natural, then, that my list should mix books written and illustrated by people of color* with my love for picture books. *with the exception of Mary Jo Udry and Eleanor Mill

Judy's book list on picture books featuring children of color

Judy Carey Nevin Why did Judy love this book?

Every child should grow up with a neighbor like Miss Tillie to run to for support. She’s just the right mix of confidante and responsible adult. Starting with the art on the endpapers—nine gorgeous children, each with a different hairstyle, alternating with images of different plants—and ending with vibrant colors in the garden when the little girl sees the beauty in both short and long hair, this book reminds us to take a look inside & be happy with what we’ve got—and to take care of it along the way.

By Cozbi A. Cabrera,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Hair Is a Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEA'S READ ACROSS AMERICA 2019-2020 CALENDAR

After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can't take any more and she seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful.


Book cover of Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Author Of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

From my list on design on inspired living on the West Coast.

Why are we passionate about this?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.

Chase's book list on design on inspired living on the West Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did Chase love this book?

Under Western Skies celebrates the best in landscape design throughout many western climates, from mountains to desert to rainforest, from wine country to urban oasis. 36 harmonious designs prove that glorifying nature rather than work against it results in landscapes that belong. The book is full of ideas and inspiration, as well as practical information for the home gardener or the armchair traveler. One reader called it 'an homage to the horticultural arts.'

By Jennifer Jewell, Caitlin Atkinson (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under Western Skies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This photo-driven book explores how the rugged landscape of the American West deeply influences the way people garden. It profiles 35 of the most groundbreaking gardens in the region. From desert perch to seaside oasis, gardens in the American West are on the frontier of garden design. Under Western Skies proves this, with profiles of 35 of the West's most innovative gardens - places that truly capture the wild spirit of the region. Under Western Skies reveals how the grandeur and rugged beauty of the region's landscapes set the stage for stunning and innovative design, while the various climates allow…


Book cover of Plotting the Stars 1: Moongarden

Maura Jortner Author Of 102 Days of Lying About Lauren

From my list on kids who make it through tough times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went through major surgery when I was in eighth grade. The physical pain was bad, but what hurt more was the emotional side. When I returned to school, the friend groups had shifted, shutting me out because of my extended absence. I had to face that time in life alone. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to works about kids who have to face challenges on their own. When we go through hard times, our true selves come out. They have to; we have no one else. We can’t pretend. We can only try to make it. The books I like show characters that shine through their hardships.

Maura's book list on kids who make it through tough times

Maura Jortner Why did Maura love this book?

First off, this book was written by a good friend of mine and I got to read early, early drafts of it. But more importantly, Myra, the main character, is in a special school on the Moon for kids with magic. Only, she doesn’t have magic. She has to try to fake her way through it.

That is, until she develops the wrong kind of magic. When she discovers she’s a Boton, all is lost. She could be put in jail for having plant magic–or worse. Myra isn’t very good at making friends, but she learns through this tough situation how to trust other people.

By Michelle A. Barry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Plotting the Stars 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"Moongarden blooms with heart and adventure. A stellar update of The Secret Garden, woven with a little science fiction, a lot of magic, a vibrant heroine, and a plucky robot sidekick to rival R2-D2." —Victoria Aveyard, New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

The Secret Garden meets The City of Ember. Failed climate change policy, an intergalactic conspiracy, and the magical, unlikely heroine who could unearth it all. An explosive STEAM-inspired series starter perfect for young change makers.

Centuries ago, Earth’s plants turned deadly, and humanity took to space to cultivate new homes. Myra Hodger is in her first…


Book cover of Grandpa Green

Jo Empson Author Of Tiny Blue, I Love You

From my list on celebrating the love between a parent and child.

Why am I passionate about this?

As we grow up, the special relationships with family, friends, and caregivers are what give us our sense of place in the world, make us feel loved, teach us the important things in life, and give us the courage to face each step from childhood to adulthood and beyond. Therefore I love books that celebrate these very special people in our lives.

Jo's book list on celebrating the love between a parent and child

Jo Empson Why did Jo love this book?

This is one of my all-time favourite books. I’m a big fan of Lane Smith, I love his books and his illustrations are gorgeous – he has a wonderful ability to tweak his style to fit the specific book and storyline perfectly. Visually an intriguing delight, and a deeply touching narrative about shared time, memories, and love between Grandpa and Grandchild.

Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a boy who lived on a farm and a child who had chickenpox. He was a soldier, a husband, and, most of all, an artist.

By Lane Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grandpa Green as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a boy who lived on a farm and a child who had chickenpox. He was a soldier, a husband and, most of all, an artist.

Follow his grandson through a garden where memories are handed down through the shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten. Grandpa Green opens the door to a garden of wonder which parents and grandparents will be able to share with children for generations to come. An ode to the joys of a full life well lived as well as exploring some of the sorrow life…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in gardens, secrets, and women?

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