10 books like The Poisonwood Bible

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Poisonwood Bible. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah,

Book cover of The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah is a favorite author of mine. She takes world events and brings them down to the human side of the story. With massive elements swirling around the story, it is real humans that must try to cope with the horror of war.

The Nightingale is the tale of two French sisters set against the Second World War. One sister only wants to survive and keep her child safe and tried to cooperate with the Nazi invaders. The other sister joins the underground resistance, determined that fighting the enemy will shorten the war.

The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture, The Nightingale is a multi-million copy bestseller across the world. It is a heart-breakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the endurance of women.

This story is about what it was like to be a woman during World War II when women's stories were all too often forgotten or overlooked . . . Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac are two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals and passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah's…


Cutting for Stone

By Abraham Verghese,

Book cover of Cutting for Stone

This sweeping historical novel took me from Addis Ababa to New York. It gave me insight to the missionary medics and the political landscape of Ethiopia. Marion and his conjoined twin brother Shavia are the central characters in this multigenerational saga. After their mother’s death and the father’s disappearance they were orphaned. Marion’s quest is to find the identity of his biological father which takes us to New York where Marion, like his father, is a renowned surgeon. The reason the novel remains one of favorites is that there are many levels to the story, historical and philosophical, it's also emotive and wise with a cast of unforgettable characters. 

Cutting for Stone

By Abraham Verghese,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Cutting for Stone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

My brother, Shiva, and I came into the world in the late afternoon of the twentieth of September in the year of grace 1954. We took our first breaths in the thick air of Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia. Bound by birth, we were driven apart by bitter betrayal. No surgeon can heal the would that divides two brothers. Where silk and steel fail, story must succeed. To begin at the beginning...


Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Book cover of Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel was not a historian. She was not a psychologist. She was an insightful and imaginative novelist who wrote in searing psychobiographical style. With Wolf Hall Mantel gave us an understanding of and sympathy for one of history’s most misunderstood and maligned men – Thomas Cromwell – and in the process she transformed historical fiction. When asked if she believed in an afterlife, Mantel answered. “Yes. I can’t imagine how it might work. However, the universe is not limited by what I can imagine.” And yet, I always believed Hilary Mantel’s imagination was limitless. Read Wolf Hall. I think you’ll agree.

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…


Sense and Sensibility

By Jane Austen,

Book cover of Sense and Sensibility

I almost chose Pride and Prejudice, but although the Bennet sisters are more numerous, the Dashwoods have a more interesting and complex family dynamic. Eleanor, the eldest, keeps her thoughts and feelings well hidden, while Marianne, the middle sister, is all surface—beautiful, emotional, unrestrained in her words and actions, she couldn’t be more different. In combination with the youngest, Margaret, they squabble and misunderstand and pull against each other on the way to their assorted happy endings, but they never stop deeply caring for one another.

Sense and Sensibility

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Sense and Sensibility as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste' Virginia Woolf

Jane Austen's subtle and witty novel of secrets and suppression, lies and seduction, brilliantly portrays a world where rigid social convention clashes with the impulses of the heart. It tells the story of two very different sisters who find themselves thrown into an unkind world when their father dies. Marianne, wild and impulsive, falls dangerously in love, while Elinor suffers her own private heartbreak but conceals her true feelings, even from those closest to her.

Edited with an Introduction by ROS BALLASTER


Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

This story is set in the 1950s along the marshy North Carolina coast. Kya’s mother deserts her first, then her older siblings, leaving Kya to bring herself up. Nature plays a huge role in Kya’s life, as the marsh creatures are her only friends. The people in the nearby town call her the Marsh Girl, and she’s happy with that--until she begins to feel something is missing. Where the Crawdads Sing is both an unusual coming-of-age novel and a murder mystery. And an excellent read.

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

26 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?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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…


Once There Were Wolves

By Charlotte McConaghy,

Book cover of Once There Were Wolves

My final selection was surprising in all the best ways. It is the story of conservationist Inti Flynn and her quest to reintroduce wolves to the Scottish Highlands, hoping to save the crumbling ecosystem while she struggles with the collapse of her own life. What makes this story special is that it not only evokes empathy for the wolves, it also emphasizes the connections we have to the earth and to each other, and how our individual, often trauma-informed decisions have cascading and unintended effects. The whole story is an allegory for the environmental balance that is essential for survival, but it is also a love letter to human-animal-earth connectedness. It is a reminder that we are more than individuals in a way that inspires hope and passion for change.

Once There Were Wolves

By Charlotte McConaghy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Once There Were Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A wild and gripping novel about one woman's quest to reintroduce wolves to the Scottish Highlands at any cost.

Inti Flynn arrives in the Scottish Highlands with fourteen grey wolves, a traumatised sister and fierce tenacity.

As a biologist, she knows the animals are the best hope for rewilding the ruined landscape and she cares little for local opposition. As a sister, she hopes the remote project will offer her twin, Aggie, a chance to heal after the horrific events that drove them both out of Alaska.

But violence dogs their footsteps and one night Inti stumbles over the body…


The Bone Clocks

By David Mitchell,

Book cover of The Bone Clocks

It’s difficult to choose a single book by David Mitchell, since everything he writes is painfully poetic, but The Bone Clocks is a favorite. The title is a derogatory term immortals in the story use for humans flawed with mortality because of natural aging. Six unique first-person perspectives; six timelines spanning past, present, and future. If underlining inspiring passages, in awe of their creation, most of the book would need underlining. Nearly every sentence is breathtaking for readers and writers alike. Mitchell is as literary as they get, but this novel dips into science fiction the way his novel Slade House dips into horror. All his works are connected by threads, including Ghostwritten, his debut that first made me want to become a writer.

The Bone Clocks

By David Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The dazzling novel from the bestselling author of CLOUD ATLAS.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014

Run away, one drowsy summer's afternoon, with Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel and unwitting pawn in a titanic, hidden conflict.

Over six decades, the consequences of a moment's impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge she made to a stranger may become the key to her family's survival . . .


The Art of Racing in the Rain

By Garth Stein,

Book cover of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Why must we tell a story from a person’s point of view? Done effectively, an animal’s view is refreshing and even innocent in the telling. Stein does a beautiful job of speaking as a dog without falling into a child’s book. Enzo the dog takes us into a philosophic realm of existence that manages to open the reader’s mind. 

The Art of Racing in the Rain

By Garth Stein,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Art of Racing in the Rain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture, this heart-warming and inspirational tale follows Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: he thinks and feels in nearly human ways. He has educated himself by watching extensive television, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo realizes that racing is a metaphor: that by applying the techniques a driver would apply on…


To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee,

Book cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

Told from the point-of-view of a young girl, Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird masterfully immerses us in fictional Maycomb, Alabama, where racial prejudice and inequities are part of the fabric of the town. Against that backdrop, the precocious Scout, gently guided by Atticus Finch, her father, learns the roots and consequences of racism and otherness. Scout is every outsider child of the South who has questioned norms and stood up against fear-based hatred. This book got deeply under my skin, in my cells, when I read it in high school. I understood Scout and cheered her on from the sidelines.

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'

Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped…


The Great Alone

By Kristin Hannah,

Book cover of The Great Alone

With the stark backdrop of the wilds of Alaska, one might be lured into thinking the desolate yet stunning landscape with danger at every turn is at the heart of The Great Alone. It is however, the story of domestic abuse, trauma, and a father suffering from PTSD that captivated my attention into the wee hours of the night. I found the thread of the human spirit, not only desperate to survive, but to thrive, to be one of the most enduring and poignant themes of the novel. Happily-ever-after isn’t a requirement of the books I enjoy. It is however, a satisfying and realistic ending that makes a book stand out for me. This was definitely one of those reads.

The Great Alone

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Great Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.

#1 New York Times Instant Bestseller (February 2018)
A People “Book of the Week”
Buzzfeed’s “Most Anticipated Women’s Fiction Reads of 2018”
Seattle Times’s “Books to Look Forward to in 2018”

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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