100 books like The Nix

By Nathan Hill,

Here are 100 books that The Nix fans have personally recommended if you like The Nix. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Nix

Fran Hawthorne Author Of I Meant to Tell You

From my list on ordinary people drawn into social activism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Was it the environmental movement, which burgeoned as I was growing up? Or remnants of Sunday School teachings? For whatever reason, I deeply believe that I have a responsibility to give back to the world more than I take. There are many ways to give back, as my characters Miranda and Russ explore in my novel I Meant to Tell You. In my nonfiction, I’ve investigated the healthcare and financial industries, and also suggested steps we can take in our everyday lives as consumers, parents, and investors. When I’m not writing, I’m organizing environmental clean-ups, collecting supplies for refugees, and phoning public officials.

Fran's book list on ordinary people drawn into social activism

Fran Hawthorne Why did Fran love this book?

At 640 pages, this exuberant saga takes an original approach toward the Sixties. The protagonist’s mother, Faye, got swept into the demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago almost by accident, because it was part of the student scene. That’s only one of about six plotlines in this book, which focuses on Faye’s abandonment of her son, Samuel, when he was a boy; her arrest for throwing gravel at a right-wing presidential candidate decades later; and the paths propelling the potential mother-son reunion. I was captivated by the energy, richness, and plot twists of this novel, which somehow manages to keep all its balls spinning. (PS: The political protests aren’t what they seem.)  

By Nathan Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's #1 Book of the Year
A Washington Post 2016 Notable Book
A Slate Top Ten Book

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it’s also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America. . . .  Nathan Hill is a maestro.” —John Irving 

From the suburban Midwest to New York City to the 1968 riots that rocked Chicago and beyond, The Nix explores—with sharp humor and a fierce tenderness—the resilience of love and home,…


Book cover of Are We There Yet?

Rebecca Prenevost Author Of Starting in 5th

From my list on fiction portraying realistic parenting dilemmas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a mom of two daughters who is fascinated with reading nonfiction parenting books and listening to parenting-related podcasts. My absolute favorite, though, is when fiction authors take a dense parenting topic and turn it into a relatable and engaging story so that readers can explore the same important issues and challenges in a more enjoyable way.

Rebecca's book list on fiction portraying realistic parenting dilemmas

Rebecca Prenevost Why did Rebecca love this book?

West has authored three books that I’d consider parenting fiction, but this one is my favorite. The main storyline follows a mom as she struggles to parent her teenager through his impulsive decisions and public failures. It also explores how a child’s behaviors or actions can often feel like a reflection on their parents. West is an expert in writing multiple POV novels, so readers get to understand these issues from every angle. 

By Kathleen West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Are We There Yet? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A breezy yet affecting read filled with struggle and hope."—People
A Good Day LA Pick

Among fake Instagram pages, long-buried family secrets, and the horrors of middle school, one suburban mom searches to find herself.
 
Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.  

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a…


Book cover of Crossing Oceans

Sarah Hanks Author Of Mercy Will Follow Me

From my list on to give you all the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

The biggest compliment a reader can give me is to tell me my book made them cry. Yes, I love a great tear-jerker. I love writing them, and I love reading them. When we feel more deeply, we can live more fully. Books that evoke emotion can help us tune into our authentic selves and confront falsehoods that have held us back from full victory in our lives. Plus, reading is cheaper than therapy! I seek to bring hope, healing, and freedom through fiction. You have to feel to heal, so bring on all the feels.  

Sarah's book list on to give you all the feels

Sarah Hanks Why did Sarah love this book?

It’s been years since I first read Crossing Oceans and it has stuck with me, its message so moving, so challenging, so compelling, that I can’t forget it.

I read this book through tears, hating the choice that the character made because I doubted it was the one I would have made in her place. Yet, it was the Christ-like choice. This novel challenged me to be more like Jesus and to receive a love from Him that I didn’t have in and of myself. 

By Gina Holmes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jenny Lucas promised herself that the day she left home, pregnant and alone, she'd never look back. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, nearly six years later, she returns to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. While she still can, she's determined to have a say in who will raise her little girl when she's gone - the father she hasn't spoken to since she left or Isabella's dad, who doesn't yet know he has a daughter.


Book cover of Of Bees and Mist

Ruth Fox Author Of New Eden

From my list on fantasy that break the pattern.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading books, and when I was around 10 years old I discovered science fiction and fantasy. What hooked me about these genres was the imagination and skill that would go into building an entire world which only exists between the covers of that book. But I also found that there was an intense enjoyment to be had from books that sat within those categories, but which were more unusual; books that push the boundaries of their genre or introduce something new.

Ruth's book list on fantasy that break the pattern

Ruth Fox Why did Ruth love this book?

Of Bees and Mist is a mix between fable and fairy-tale. It tells the story of Meridia, whose home is infested with perpetual mist, and her marriage to a young man that puts her in the sights of Eva, her new mother-in-law, who whispers to bees and is quite evil.

The juxtaposition between the two women is what makes this book so fascinating. I love books about family secrets, and the setting of crumbling houses and collapsing dynasties is what drew me into this story, but what kept me reading was the delicious conflict between Meridia and Eva. I had no idea where this story was going to take me, but I loved every second of it.

By Erick Setiawan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Erick Setiawan's richly atmospheric debut is a beautiful, engrossing fable of three generations of women in two families; their destructive jealousies, their loves and losses, their sacrifices and deeply rooted deceptions, and their triumphs.

Of Bees and Mist is a fable of one woman's determination to overcome the haunting magic that is created by the people she loves and the oppressive secrets behind their broken lives. Raised in a sepulchral house where ghosts dwell in mirrors, Meridia spends her childhood feeling neglected and invisible. Every evening her father vanishes inside a blue mist without so much as an explanation, and…


Book cover of The Faraday Girls

Helen McKenna Author Of The Beach House

From my list on an ensemble cast of characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong bookworm, I have always loved curling up with a book, especially one that takes me on an emotional journey through the characters within. I especially love stories with an ensemble cast of characters linked through one common thread and always knew my first novel would be of this format. A fascination with the stories that lie beneath the surface of everyday life keeps me constantly inspired to create new characters that can bring comfort and familiarity to readers but still explore important life lessons in a gentle way.

Helen's book list on an ensemble cast of characters

Helen McKenna Why did Helen love this book?

I love how perfectly The Faraday Girls captures the dynamics of being part of a big family, in all its messy glory. It is a story that is hilariously funny in some parts and quite dark in others, but ultimately the strength of family ties is what shines through. Being part of a big family myself, there is a wonderful familiarity about The Faraday Girls that kept me engaged right until the last page.

By Monica McInerney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Monica McInerney's Lola's Secret, At Home with the Templetons, Family Baggage, The Alphabet Sisters, Greetings from Somewhere Else, and Upside Down Inside Out.

From internationally bestselling author Monica McInerney comes a captivating and charming new novel of family secrets, the loyalty of sisters, and the power of redemption.

As a child, Maggie Faraday grew up in a lively, unconventional household with her young mother, four very different aunts, and eccentric grandfather. With her mother often away, her aunts took turns looking after her–until, just weeks before Maggie’s sixth birthday, a shocking event changed everything.…


Book cover of Revelator

Devri Walls Author Of Magic Unleashed

From my list on not requiring a genealogy chart to track the story.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a bullied teenager I wanted to escape and fantasy was my drug of choice. (My parents may have grounded me from the library, which by the way—not cool.) I love working within fantasy worlds and magic systems but my true passion lies in the story itself. I write character based books focusing on the inner workings of all of us. Occasionally when writing a battle scene in a gladiator arena with three levels, multiple characters with magical abilitiesm and a secondary magical system in the background, I wonder why I can’t just tell a story in freaking Chicago for goodness sake! But fantasy is where it's at for this girl! 

Devri's book list on not requiring a genealogy chart to track the story

Devri Walls Why did Devri love this book?

This book took me by surprise. I thought I might like it—thus why I bought it—but from the first sentence I was hooked and in awe of the writing. Revelator is rich and dark and feels so real you can almost taste the food they're eating. But then, just when you’re feeling comfortable, you realize what this story is actually about. Revelator will blow your mind in the best way possible. 

By Daryl Gregory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR • The dark, gripping tale of a 1930’s family in the remote hills of the Smoky Mountains, their secret religion, and the daughter who turns her back on their mysterious god—from the acclaimed author of Spoonbenders.
 
“Gods and moonshine in the Great Depression, written with a tenderness and brutality … this is as good as novels get.” —Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

In 1933, nine-year-old Stella is left in the care of her grandmother, Motty, in the backwoods of Tennessee. The mountains are home to dangerous…


Book cover of Oh William!

Joan D. Heiman Author Of Life with an Impossible Person: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Transformation

From my list on by women grieving the loss of a quirky partner.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom handed me one of those little girl diaries with a lock and key when I was in third grade. I wrote my heart into those diaries until I needed more space and shifted to regular-sized notebooks. Writing is my way to know myself and make sense of my life. The journal I kept in the last months of my husband’s life helped me reassemble the trauma-blurred memories of his dying, and then, it supported my emotional rebirth during the year of intense grieving. It is with surprise and delight that I hear from readers who say I articulate their innermost emotions related to love and loss.

Joan's book list on by women grieving the loss of a quirky partner

Joan D. Heiman Why did Joan love this book?

Even though the marriage in Oh William! ends in divorce while my marriage ended (without my consent) in my husband’s untimely death, the book brought me back to the unconventional nature of my marriage. Elizabeth Strout’s uncanny ability to say much in a single sentence had me traveling back in time and heart to the many moments that made our marriage. The tendernesses and fears, the deep trust and insecurities that quietly but forcefully bound us together made up the subtle mysteries of our uncommon relationship. What makes people move apart yet remain forever close, as in Lucy Barton and her ex-husband, William, or what holds two people together when there are many factors that might drive them apart, as in my marriage? These questions made reading this book a thought-provoking and enriching experience.

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Oh William! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

The Pulitzer Prize-winning, Booker-longlisted, bestselling author returns to her beloved heroine Lucy Barton in a luminous novel about love, loss, and the family secrets that can erupt and bewilder us at any point in life

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of…


Book cover of The Children's Crusade

Katie O'Rourke Author Of Finding Charlie

From my list on deeply lovable dysfunctional families.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised in New England, growing up along the seacoast of New Hampshire. I went to college in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in gender and sexuality. I live in Tucson, Arizona with my sweet yellow lab and even sweeter boyfriend. I’m a hybrid author. My debut novel, Monsoon Season, was traditionally published along with A Long Thaw, which I later rereleased on my own. Finding Charlie was chosen for publication by KindleScout in 2015. My fourth book, Blood & Water launched in 2017. I write the kind of fiction I like to read: character-driven, relationship-focused, and emotionally complex.

Katie's book list on deeply lovable dysfunctional families

Katie O'Rourke Why did Katie love this book?

The major drama in The Children's Crusade revolves around four adult children deciding whether it's time to sell their childhood home. Each sibling tells their own story in first-person narratives and these chapters are interwoven with omniscient narratives that describe their earlier lives. Each character is such a fascinating individual and while their adult voices are distinct from each other, they're also completely recognizable in their portrayal as children. This book explores the unique bond between people you’ve known your whole life.

By Ann Packer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Children's Crusade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling, award-winning author Ann Packer, a “tour de force family drama” (Elle) that explores the secrets and desires, the remnant wounds and saving graces of one California family, over the course of five decades.

Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of his future family, Bill buys the property and proposes to Penny Greenway, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life appeals to him. In less than a…


Book cover of Only a Monster

Elisa A. Bonnin Author Of Dauntless

From my list on protagonists that are part of two worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m half-Filipino and half-Spanish. Growing up in the Philippines, I had to deal with many of the same emotions that the characters on this list go through. My identity made sense to me, but I found that I often had to explain it to other people, and I also found that outside my own house, people made their own opinions about whether I was more Filipino, more Spanish, or something else entirely. I’ve always been fascinated by how characters in fiction deal with this struggle, and I’ve always related more to characters who feel out of place.

Elisa's book list on protagonists that are part of two worlds

Elisa A. Bonnin Why did Elisa love this book?

The protagonist of Only a Monster, Joan Hunt-Chang, also feels like someone caught between two worlds. Joan isn’t just half Chinese-Malaysian and half-British, she’s also half-monster and half-human, something that she learns at the beginning of the book. The rest of the book follows Joan as she tries to save her monster family, striking a balance between doing the right thing and embracing her monstrous heritage. Joan grapples with questions of identity, heritage and morality in this gripping fantasy novel, which also features time travel and a twist I honestly did not see coming. 

By Vanessa Len,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In every story there is a hero and a monster.

'Mind-bending, heart wrenching, and unputdownable!' Stephanie Garber, Sunday Times bestselling author of the Caraval series and Once Upon a Broken Heart

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother's eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

Then a Good Samaritan attempt gone wrong sends Joan spinning through time, and her…


Book cover of The Housemaid

K.T. Carlisle Author Of Reasonable

From my list on murder mysteries and psychological thrillers that will keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with murder mysteries and psychological thrillers for as long as I can remember. My father’s bookshelves were full of anthologies on serial killers, which piqued my curiosity at a very early age (probably too early, but we’re not here to judge my dad’s parenting skills, okay?). As I familiarized myself with the likes of Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, and John Wayne Gacy, I became enthralled by the psychology behind what makes people commit heinous acts. Now as an author myself, these same stories fuel my inspiration and keep me motivated to write books that further explore the darker side of human nature. 

K.T.'s book list on murder mysteries and psychological thrillers that will keep you up at night

K.T. Carlisle Why did K.T. love this book?

 One of the most gripping stories I’ve read in a long time, this book sticks with you long after you put it down. I raced through it in less than six hours, unable to put it down until I reached the end, which, of course, I never saw coming.

From the vivid descriptions to the expertly crafted characters to the unrelenting suspense, I was blown away by this book and absolutely cannot wait to read more work by this author. What surprised me the most were the moments of comic relief which at times were enough to get me to laugh right out loud, even with all the dark drama going on. I can’t wait to dive into another of Freida’s fabulous stories! 

By Freida McFadden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don't miss the New York Times and USA Today bestseller and addictive psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist that’s burning up Instagram and TikTok--Freida McFadden’s The Housemaid is perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Lisa Jewell, and Verity.

Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor.

I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies…


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