100 books like The Miracle Game

By Josef Skvorecky,

Here are 100 books that The Miracle Game fans have personally recommended if you like The Miracle Game. 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 The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Merle Nygate Author Of The Righteous Spy

From my list on spy books that spies read and sometimes wrote themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written and script edited in a lot of different genres, from factual drama to sitcom, children’s TV to fantasy. I’ve always loved spy stories, and I’ve always wanted to write one. Recently, at the University of East Anglia I studied for an MA in Crime Fiction, and that’s where I finally got the chance to study espionage and write a spy novel myself. I hope you enjoy my selection of books if you haven’t already read them. Or even if you have. They’re all so good that I feel like re-reading them right now. 

Merle's book list on spy books that spies read and sometimes wrote themselves

Merle Nygate Why did Merle love this book?

A gem of a book and another one that I read again and again. It’s not just the wonderful writing and the moody atmosphere; I love the way that le Carré explores the moral ambiguity in spying during this early part of the Cold War.

I read an interview in which le Carré talked about the pleasure of secrecy and enjoying the feeling that you know something that others don’t. I get that "I’ve got a secret" idea and I’ve used that thought in my own work. Le Carré was also a spy.

By John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Spy Who Came in From the Cold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carre's career worldwide

In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse-a desk job-Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered…


Book cover of The Untouchable

Lee Polevoi Author Of The Confessions of Gabriel Ash

From my list on the Cold War told in the first person.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy for the first time many years ago, while traveling aboard a Canadian National Railway train from Montreal to British Columbia. Something about the contrast between the majestic Canadian Rockies and the dark alleys of John Le Carré’s Berlin brought the Cold War fully to life and set me on the path to writing a novel of my own set during that time. (Living through some of those tense years of superpower stand-offs didn’t hurt.) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is told in third-person, but many Cold War novels written in the first person do a masterful job of evoking that troubled era. 

Lee's book list on the Cold War told in the first person

Lee Polevoi Why did Lee love this book?

John Banville is a famously prolific author, but his 1997 novel, The Untouchable, is unique in that it’s based on a real-life figure.

Anthony Blunt—who would later be exposed as one of the notorious Cambridge spies—rose to become an art expert to the Queen, even as he funneled purloined secrets to the highest reaches of the Kremlin. 

In The Untouchable, we follow Blunt’s fictional counterpart, Victor Maskell, from his poor Irish upbringing and conversion to Marxism at Cambridge, to his efforts on behalf of the Soviet Union well into the Cold War.

Victor’s first-person account—a miracle of authorly ventriloquism for a character bordering on the sociopathic—is rendered in Banville’s silky prose, a pure delight to read. For me, The Untouchable is a novel for the ages.

By John Banville,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The Untouchable is an engrossing, exquisitely written and almost bewilderingly smart book . . . It's the fullest book I've read in a very long time, utterly accomplished, thoroughly readable, written by a novelist of vast talent' Richard Ford

Victor Maskell has been betrayed. After the announcement in the Commons and the hasty revelation of his double life of wartime espionage, his disgrace is public, his knighthood revoked, his position as curator of the Queen's pictures terminated. There are questions to be answered. For whom has he been sacrificed? To what has he sacrificed his life?

The Untouchable is beautifully…


Book cover of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Ling Ling Huang Author Of Natural Beauty

From my list on the power of music.

Why am I passionate about this?

For most of my life, I've been a professional classical violinist. I had my first performance on stage at the age of 4, went to a music conservatory at the age of 15, and have gone on to play on some of the best concert stages in the world, from the Elbphilharmonie to Carnegie Hall. My violin playing and writing inform each other, and I think of myself as a translator between the two. I love to do both, and I’m certain I couldn’t do one without the other. It's always a pleasure to see music in the books I read. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Ling's book list on the power of music

Ling Ling Huang Why did Ling love this book?

This was one of the first books I ever loved as a teenager and it has always stayed with me.

A professor recommended it to me, and I didn’t know that it would heavily reference Beethoven’s last string quartet, which I was working on at the time.

I love the way Kundera can weave so many disparate things together, including Beethoven’s fate motif and the fate of the character’s relationships. It’s something I find very inspiring and try to do in my own works.

By Milan Kundera,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Unbearable Lightness of Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A cult figure.' Guardian
'A dark and brilliant achievement.' Ian McEwan
'Shamelessly clever ... Exhilaratingly subversive and funny.' Independent
'A modern classic ... As relevant now as when it was first published. ' John Banville

A young woman is in love with a successful surgeon; a man torn between his love for her and his womanising. His mistress, a free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals; while her other lover stands to lose everything because of his noble qualities. In a world where lives are shaped by choices and events, and everything occurs but once, existence seems…


Book cover of Twenty Letters to a Friend: A Memoir

Simon Mawer Author Of Prague Spring

From my list on or around the Cold War from a child of the Cold War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a child of the Cold War. Until the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989 this strange standoff between the Soviet Union and the Western allies informed everyone’s life, but my own case was particular because my father served in the Royal Air Force. For three years he was even in command of three squadrons of nuclear bombers. With a background like that, how could I not be interested in the larger picture? Since then I have gone on to write novels with all kinds of settings but the other side of the now defunct Iron Curtain has always held a fascination... and has directly led to at least three of my own books.

Simon's book list on or around the Cold War from a child of the Cold War

Simon Mawer Why did Simon love this book?

Svetlana Alliluyeva was Josef Stalin’s daughter. In 1967 she fled to the West bringing this memoir with her. It was published to universal acclaim in the same year. An epistolary memoir it gives remarkable insight into her life growing up in the Kremlin. Haunting, at times lyrical, always affecting, she shows Stalin as something other than the monster we take him to be. She makes no excuses for him but it is salutary to see him portrayed as a father and a human being. An antidote to the all-too-easy dismissal of him as ‘a monster’.

By Svetlana Alliluyeva,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twenty Letters to a Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this riveting, New York Times-bestselling memoir—first published by Harper in 1967—Svetlana Alliluyeva, subject of Rosemary Sullivan’s critically acclaimed biography, Stalin’s Daughter, describes the surreal experience of growing up in the Kremlin in the shadow of her father, Joseph Stalin.

Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva, later known as Lana Peters, was the youngest child and only daughter of Joseph Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva, his second wife. In 1967, she fled the Soviet Union for India, where she approached the U.S. Embassy for asylum. Once there, she showed her CIA handler something remarkable: A personal memoir about growing up inside the Kremlin that…


Book cover of The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

Curt Brown Author Of Minnesota, 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State

From my list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter.

Why am I passionate about this?

After more than 30 years in daily journalism in Minnesota, I moved to a trout stream near Durango, Colo., to stage a second act. Editors at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where I worked for 26 years, gave me a freelance contract to write a Minnesota History column every Sunday. It’s morphed into a popular crowd-sourcing of history with readers feeding me delicious family stories. I’m the lucky one who gets to weave these stories—enriching my knowledge of what being Minnesotans is all about.

Curt's book list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter

Curt Brown Why did Curt love this book?

Picking out one of this master storyteller’s plethora of great reads is nearly impossible, but this 2002 novel features Father Damien Modeste, a woman who has lived as a man on the remote Ojibwe reservation of Little No Horse. The gripping plot takes a turn amid an investigation into a potentially phony saint named Sister Leopolda.

By Louise Erdrich,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerfully involving novel from one of America's finest writers, and winner of America's prestigious National Book Award for Fiction 2012

Sister Cecilia lives for music, for those hours when she can play her beloved Chopin on the piano. It isn't that she neglects her other duties, rather it is the playing itself - distilled of longing - that disturbs her sisters. The very air of the convent thickens with the passion of her music, and the young girl is asked to leave. And so it is that Sister Cecilia appears before Berndt Vogel on his farm, destitute, looking for…


Book cover of Beneath a Southern Sky

Cheri Swalwell Author Of Adventure's Invitation

From my list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles.

Why am I passionate about this?

I tell people when I meet them that when I married my husband, I got roots. I moved a lot as a child, living in small country towns to suburbs of big cities, and my favorite place by far is in the country, surrounded by nature, feeling that sense of belonging. My husband and I live in his great-grandparent's house in the country, next door to his mother, who still lives in the house where she grew up and raised my husband. There is nothing I love more than sharing my love for Jesus with readers through fictional situations that could really happen. 

Cheri's book list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles

Cheri Swalwell Why did Cheri love this book?

When I first began reading Christian fiction, my husband posed a question to me. To my surprise, when wandering the library that week, the exact scenario was the plot for this book! I got the book, read it cover to cover and fell in love with this author’s storytelling. The way she explores the characters' emotions put me right in the story. I went on to read the second book immediately and waited (albeit, not very patiently LOL) for the third in the series, pre-ordering it as soon as possible. Deborah Raney has become one of my favorite authors. She is one of the first Christian authors I ever read and she made me fall in love with the whole genre.

By Deborah Raney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beneath a Southern Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Her Second Husband Healed the Sorrow of a Tragic Loss.
Her First Has Just Returned from the Dead.
Which Man Has the Right to Claim Daria’s Heart?

After two years of serving as a missionary in a remote area of South America, Daria Camfield has returned to the States to mourn her husband, reportedly killed while providing medical aid to a neighboring Colombian village.

One family discovers how God can redeem any tragedy.

At first, Daria finds comfort only in the daughter born to her after Nate’s tragic death. As she begins to heal, she also finds a listening ear…


Book cover of Planting Hope

Cheri Swalwell Author Of Adventure's Invitation

From my list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles.

Why am I passionate about this?

I tell people when I meet them that when I married my husband, I got roots. I moved a lot as a child, living in small country towns to suburbs of big cities, and my favorite place by far is in the country, surrounded by nature, feeling that sense of belonging. My husband and I live in his great-grandparent's house in the country, next door to his mother, who still lives in the house where she grew up and raised my husband. There is nothing I love more than sharing my love for Jesus with readers through fictional situations that could really happen. 

Cheri's book list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles

Cheri Swalwell Why did Cheri love this book?

This pick was a hard one, to decide which series of this author was my favorite. I picked this one because I absolutely love Jess. She is written in such a realistic and beautiful way. I couldn’t help but see some of myself in her. While this is the third book in this series (I highly recommend you read all three, in order) it was probably the one that stuck with me the longest. Brenda Anderson writes realistic, emotionally filled pages, drawing the reader in as though we belong. The storylines are all different and genuine and the characters all have their own personalities and quirks. There isn’t a book from this author that I don’t love and I highly recommend them all. 

By Brenda S. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When flowers and chocolate collide, romance is sure to bloom.

Family has always been the one constant in Jess Beaumont’s messy life, so when her parents separate, she puts “Operation: Planting Hope” into action. All she has to do is recreate the circumstances that helped her parents fall in love. Unfortunately, that includes the daunting task of restoring the family cabin’s gardens. When the handsome candy store owner shows up to help, she’s certain she has all the elements required for her parents’ love to bloom again. After all, flowers and chocolate are the perfect ingredients for romance.


Luke Harrison…


Book cover of Paper Dolls

Cheri Swalwell Author Of Adventure's Invitation

From my list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles.

Why am I passionate about this?

I tell people when I meet them that when I married my husband, I got roots. I moved a lot as a child, living in small country towns to suburbs of big cities, and my favorite place by far is in the country, surrounded by nature, feeling that sense of belonging. My husband and I live in his great-grandparent's house in the country, next door to his mother, who still lives in the house where she grew up and raised my husband. There is nothing I love more than sharing my love for Jesus with readers through fictional situations that could really happen. 

Cheri's book list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles

Cheri Swalwell Why did Cheri love this book?

Paper Dolls takes place in the fictitious town of Habakkuk, where everyone knows everyone else. Besides feeling as though I’m part of this sisterhood of women, I love how the author’s focus of this book is to allow me to get to know all of the women equally. Most books will start out with one main character, then the next in the series shares about another, and so forth. Kara Hunt steps outside the box and introduces all the women equally in the first book, making me want to read about each one of them more in-depth in the subsequent books. This series is full of humor, romance, suspense, mystery, and a lot of sisterhood love. 

By Kara R. Hunt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paper can be torn and dolls can break.

So can humans.

Kite Tanner, a widow, struggles with the sudden loss of her husband.

Priscilla Martin, the minister’s daughter, pursues money and men with passion.

Lydia Dooley, a prayer-warrior, battles a brain tumor and a daughter who can’t forget the sins of her mother’s past.

Eve Stanton, a talented Christian singer and songwriter, is brought to her knees when the truth about her marriage is revealed.

Mary Rabin, kidnapped from her front yard at the age of eight, returns forty years later to reunite with the family and friends she’d fought…


Book cover of Shrine

Sarah E. England Author Of Father of Lies

From my list on supernatural thrillers to scare and thrill.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an English author and an ex-nurse (psychiatry). Many years ago, when I was writing for magazines and floundering for direction, I met a woman who’d been hurt by ritual satanic abuse. She disturbed me badly, and I began to research the subject, becoming passionate about showing how evil affects people, and how fear and mind games are woven into the fabric of life, carrying on through families. I’ve also loved discovering beautiful prose and how to express the complexities of the human condition. I was reading my mum’s cast-off Victoria Holt novels at age seven, so perhaps I should add my other passion—simply books.      

Sarah's book list on supernatural thrillers to scare and thrill

Sarah E. England Why did Sarah love this book?

The late, great James Herbert is still, in my opinion, incomparable in the genre of British horror. I devoured most of his books as a teen, but stumbled on Shrine only a few years ago. This, and so relevant today, is a study on mass hysteriaa frightening enough conceptbut it isn’t that which lingered. For me it was one particular scene. The story centres around a church, and the protagonist, an investigative journalist, decides to look into how the entire village became a shrine to what was basically a vision. This leads him to a small privately owned ancestral estate, and it is here, in this small dark church with high wooden pews, where the bone-chilling encounter takes place. I have to say I’ve never read a more visual description of encroaching dread than this. Brilliantly executed. Second to none.       

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major film called The Unholy starring The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

In James Herbert's horror novel Shrine, innocence and evil have become one . . .

A little girl called Alice. A deaf-mute. A vision. A lady in shimmering white who says she is the immaculate conception. And Alice can suddenly hear and speak, and she can perform miracles.

Soon the site of the visitation, beneath an ancient oak tree, has become a shrine, a holy place for thousands of pilgrims. But Alice is no longer the guileless child overwhelmed by her new saintliness.

She has become…


Book cover of Callie

Cheri Swalwell Author Of Adventure's Invitation

From my list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles.

Why am I passionate about this?

I tell people when I meet them that when I married my husband, I got roots. I moved a lot as a child, living in small country towns to suburbs of big cities, and my favorite place by far is in the country, surrounded by nature, feeling that sense of belonging. My husband and I live in his great-grandparent's house in the country, next door to his mother, who still lives in the house where she grew up and raised my husband. There is nothing I love more than sharing my love for Jesus with readers through fictional situations that could really happen. 

Cheri's book list on small towns where God turns messes into miracles

Cheri Swalwell Why did Cheri love this book?

Sharon Srock introduces us to Garfield, a small town in Oklahoma. Callie is the first woman we meet, along with her friends who have a Bible study with a different variety of cheesecake every week. While Srock may not be as well-known as Karen Kingsbury, she writes such emotion in her pages that I cannot put the books down once I pick them up. This author is amazing as she has created twenty books (and counting) from this one small town, with the characters intertwining with each other’s lives. Each with their own storylines (nothing cookie cutter about her) and each their own voice. Truly remarkable and definitely a favorite of mine.  

By Sharon Srock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She can’t escape the mistakes of her past

A baby is dead and Callie Stillman blames herself. Haunted by memories of a tiny coffin, Callie can't understand how God could expect her to put her heart on the line a second time. But the evasive little girl in her Sunday school class is so obviously in trouble that Callie finds her resolve cracking.

They can’t trust anyone

Iris and Samantha Evans are living on borrowed time. Deserted, orphaned, betrayed, and deceived, they need rescuing in the worst way.

He’s praying for a miracle

Steve Evans had his life changed by…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in miracles, Czechoslovakia, and the Cold War?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about miracles, Czechoslovakia, and the Cold War.

Miracles Explore 22 books about miracles
Czechoslovakia Explore 26 books about Czechoslovakia
The Cold War Explore 232 books about the Cold War