100 books like The Rachel Incident

By Caroline O'Donoghue,

Here are 100 books that The Rachel Incident fans have personally recommended if you like The Rachel Incident. 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 A Gentleman in Moscow

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Russia is once again in the headlines, sparking a geopolitical contest between her and the West.

The period immediately following the Second World War can be viewed as a romantic era, marked by new hope for peace and the rebuilding of the world. The establishment of the UN aimed to resolve power struggles at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield. 

These elements are all found in this novel, which delves into the past to shed light on Russia's psyche and how it might shape the future. It effectively connects the past with the near future. House arrest is common in oppressive regimes across the developing world.

What intrigued me was that the protagonist was placed under hotel arrest and restricted, punished for a crime he didn't commit. It was a captivating read, especially given the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for…

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of You and Me on Vacation

Genevieve Novak Author Of Crushing

From my list on to break you out of a reading slump.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a contemporary romance writer with two novels: No Hard Feelings and Crushing, stories about complex, messy women making mistakes and learning from them. As I work on my third novel, I'm remembering how hard it is to write when you're in a reading rut. Sometimes every book I pick up is disappointing, and reading feels like a chore, and I risk losing momentum. Sometimes I need something familiar to get back on track and remember why I love my job. These books feel like a long exhale. I can come to them with an overloaded brain, bad moods and doubt and discontent, and turn the last page restored.

Genevieve's book list on to break you out of a reading slump

Genevieve Novak Why did Genevieve love this book?

What comfort library would be complete without Emily Henry?

I’ll read anything she writes, but Poppy and Alex’s love story is the stuff of my dreams. Friends to lovers, split timelines, and more yearning than I know what to do with Seamlessly blending humour and heart and set between Palm Springs, New York, Italy, and somewhere in the sedate American midwest, You and Me on Vacation was the antidote to my mid-lockdown claustrophobia.

I like to read my fluff on the treadmill – it keeps my brain more occupied than music or podcasts, so I’m less likely to remember how much I hate working out – and it was so delicious I found myself looking forward to time at the gym. A true feat.

By Emily Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You and Me on Vacation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two friends. Ten trips. Their last chance to fall in love...

------

'One of my favourite authors' Colleen Hoover, It Ends With Us
'A gorgeous romance' Beth O'Leary, The No-Show
'Loveable characters, hilarious wit and steamy sexual chemistry' Laura Jane Williams, Our Stop

*Also known as People We Meet On Vacation*

12 YEARS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they'll never speak again.

11 YEARS AGO: They're forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.…


Book cover of The Lessons

Genevieve Novak Author Of Crushing

From my list on to break you out of a reading slump.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a contemporary romance writer with two novels: No Hard Feelings and Crushing, stories about complex, messy women making mistakes and learning from them. As I work on my third novel, I'm remembering how hard it is to write when you're in a reading rut. Sometimes every book I pick up is disappointing, and reading feels like a chore, and I risk losing momentum. Sometimes I need something familiar to get back on track and remember why I love my job. These books feel like a long exhale. I can come to them with an overloaded brain, bad moods and doubt and discontent, and turn the last page restored.

Genevieve's book list on to break you out of a reading slump

Genevieve Novak Why did Genevieve love this book?

While not exactly a light read – it contains adult explorations of trauma and violence – Purcell’s writing is drum-tight and entirely absorbing.

This book broke my months-long reading slump and writer's block, reminding me that all it takes to fall in love with stories again is one really, really good one. I’m not much of an annotator, but the pages of my copy are splattered with pen, most often exclamation marks and underlines and obscene exclamations of enthusiasm and grief.

Split between multiple perspectives, locations, and decades, The Lessons is a heart-wrenching romance without fluff, tropes, and suspended disbeliefs. A story of expectations and disappointments, promises and betrayals, it’s full of sharp observations about writing and writers, social constructs, and human behaviour.

I devoured it in days, and can’t wait to forget all the details so I can come back to it and fall in love all over…

By John Purcell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What if your first love was your one and only chance of happiness? In our lives, some promises are easily forgotten, while others come to haunt us with tragic results. From the bestselling author of The Girl on the Page comes The Lessons, a compelling novel about love and betrayal.


1961: When teens Daisy and Harry meet, it feels so right they promise to love each other forever, but in 1960s England everything is stacked against them: class, education, expectations. When Daisy is sent by her parents to live with her glamorous, bohemian Aunt Jane, a novelist working on her…


Book cover of Really Good, Actually

Mo Fanning Author Of Husbands: Love and Lies in La-La Land

From my list on reminding you that life isn’t a rose garden.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can't be the only one to see men with power manipulate their status to hold back others. This isn’t just a Hollywood thing. A Sunday supplement piece by a young gay actor about his troubled life with a leading director struck a chord. Fate led me to him, and he connected me with others who shared off-the-record stories of exploitation and ambition. I wanted to tell these tales but not launch yet another bad news book into an already battered world. I aimed to create something accessible and engaging, darkly funny while shining a light on Hollywood's underbelly.

Mo's book list on reminding you that life isn’t a rose garden

Mo Fanning Why did Mo love this book?

After 608 days, Maggie is single again and almost 30–two things that give cause for concern and reflection. Thankfully, Maggie takes no blame for either thing happening and plows on, determined to find the pearl in the gritty oyster her life has become.

I laughed, but I also found myself filled with sad recognition of how we all too often set goals we’ll never score, only to find that halfway home is where the heart is.

By Monica Heisey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Really Good, Actually as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The No. 2 SUNDAY TIMES Bestseller An Observer Best Debut of the Year 'Intoxicating ... heralds a really good author to watch' The Times 'Hilarious and profound' Dolly Alderton, author of Everything I Know About Love 'Wildly funny and almost alarmingly relatable' Marian Keyes, author of Again, Rachel 'Monica Heisey is a genius' Nina Stibbe, author of Reasons to be Cheerful

One of the most hotly anticipated, hilarious and addictive debut novels of 2023, from Schitt's Creek and Workin' Moms screenwriter and electric new voice in fiction, Monica Heisey.

I feel like when you get a divorce everyone's wondering how…


Book cover of Heft

Barbara Boehm Miller Author Of When You See Her

From my list on plus-sized protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being overweight presents an intriguing paradox: being physically large and hard to miss, but also being essentially invisible and easy to ignore. Having struggled with weight for my entire life, I’m very familiar with this juxtaposition of opposites. I wanted to write a novel with a plus-sized protagonist set in a different time, the late 1970s in this case, before the notions of size positivity and body diversity had come to life in society’s collective imagination. For me, this was a way of making fat people more visible in books, especially as main characters. I put together this list of books for the same reason. 

Barbara's book list on plus-sized protagonists

Barbara Boehm Miller Why did Barbara love this book?

Unlike the other recommendations, the plus-sized protagonist in this book is a man. Arthur Opp is a lonely shut-in who has lost his career, his friend, and his family of origin. His main solace is his correspondence with a former student, who, one day, asks him for help in guiding her son, Kel. 

From that point forward, the story is told from the alternating perspectives of Arthur and Kel. Both are plagued by isolation and tragedy. Though Arthur views himself as part of the shared soul of the lonely, he nonetheless begins to welcome people back into his life again and extols the virtues of found family to Kel.

This is a haunting, yet hopeful, book that stays with the reader for a very long time.

By Liz Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career-if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel's mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur's. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene's unexpected phone call to Arthur-a plea for help-that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel's own quirky and lovable voices,…


Book cover of The Real Riley Mayes

Brandon T. Snider Author Of Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines

From my list on middle-grade reads full of humor & heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who was both a funny kid and a lover of superheroes, it was always exciting to find a book where those two things crossed paths. In the young readers' books I’ve written for Marvel and DC Comics, I always try to inject humor where I can. Humor can be healing. If I couldn’t laugh, especially about things that have caused me pain, I don’t know that I would be around today. I love books about funny, sensitive kids with big hearts. The world is a cold place sometimes, but whenever I see a young person making positive change and having fun along the way, it reminds me that anything is possible.

Brandon's book list on middle-grade reads full of humor & heart

Brandon T. Snider Why did Brandon love this book?

Riley Mays is a little weirdo. I say that with love! I was also a little weirdo when I was her age. And, just like a lot of little weirdos around the world, her peers don’t always “get her,” which can be tough since she’s desperate to fit in. Been there too, girl.

What I admire about Riley is that, after some consternation, she slowly sheds her insecurities and dives head-first into being her truest self. It’s terrifying, exhilarating, and not without complications! But Riley’s sense of humor keeps her afloat, which, as any fan of comedy will tell you, is the key to survival.

It’s the sweetest feeling in the world to find your people. Author Rachel Elliot shows us how to do it.

By Rachel Elliott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Real Riley Mayes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A Stonewall Book Award Honor * A Sid Fleishman Humor Award Honor

Funny and full of heart, this debut graphic novel is a story about friendship, identity, and embracing all the parts of yourself that make you special.

Fifth grade is just not Riley's vibe. Everyone else is squaded up-except Riley. Her best friend moved away. All she wants to do is draw, and her grades show it.

One thing that makes her happy is her favorite comedian, Joy Powers. Riley loves to watch her old shows and has memorized her best jokes. So when the class is assigned to…


Book cover of The Heart's Invisible Furies

Bart Yates Author Of The Language of Love and Loss

From my list on wiseass narrators and dysfunctional families.

Why am I passionate about this?

The stories I’ve loved the most in my life have all been about the richness of human relationships, told by a memorable narrator who can find humor and hope in almost everything, no matter how screwed up. Whether it’s Charles Dickens poking fun at his contemporaries in Victorian England or Armistead Maupin sending up friendship and love in San Francisco in the 1980s, I’m a sucker for well-told, convoluted, and funny tales about people who find life with other human beings difficult, but still somehow manage to laugh about it and keep on going. As the author of six novels myself, these are the kinds of stories I always try to tell.  

Bart's book list on wiseass narrators and dysfunctional families

Bart Yates Why did Bart love this book?

This is a peculiar and marvelous book about birth families, adopted families, and “found” families, and how each of these can be equally screwed up.

Starting in Ireland in the 1940s, the story is peppered with sharp, clever dialog and vivid, fully-human characters. I love how the narrator struggles with his own heart for decades, unable to decide what he wants, who he loves, what’s right, what’s wrong, etc.—in other words, all the stuff I haven’t figured out yet myself. 

Coincidence also plays a huge role in this book, basically making an ass of everyone, which I find oddly comforting since it reminds me that part of being human is having very little control over my own life. Painfully funny and brilliant from cover to cover. 

By John Boyne,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Heart's Invisible Furies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Compelling and satisfying... At times, incredibly funny, at others, heartrending' Sarah Winman, author of When God Was a Rabbit

Forced to flee the scandal brewing in her hometown, Catherine Goggin finds herself pregnant and alone, in search of a new life at just sixteen. She knows she has no choice but to believe that the nun she entrusts her child to will find him a better life.

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or so his parents are constantly reminding him. Adopted as a baby, he's never quite felt at home with the family that treats him more as…


Book cover of Story Driven: You don't need to compete when you know who you are

Anne H. Janzer Author Of Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

From my list on rethinking marketing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, nonfiction writing geek, and marketing practitioner on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their writing. Before setting out on this path, I spent many years as a marketing consultant, working with over 100 technology companies to articulate their messaging and value to customers and prospects. My first book, Subscription Marketing, was my manifesto about the changes needed in marketing to thrive in the emerging, subscription-based world. It’s now in its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages.

Anne's book list on rethinking marketing

Anne H. Janzer Why did Anne love this book?

Bernadette Jiwa’s short, pithy books make an outsized impact. This one is about applying the power of authentic stories to business and marketing. What if you can differentiate yourself, and your business, through meaning? Jiwa outlines what it means to be a story-driven business and provides a clear path to getting there.

By Bernadette Jiwa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"When you have something to say, you don't need to shout. Bernadette Jiwa helps us learn how to create the change we seek to make in the world."

SETH GODIN

Every one of us—regardless of where we were born, how we were brought up, how many setbacks we’ve endured or privileges we’ve been afforded—has been conditioned to compete to win. Ironically, the people who create fulfilling lives and careers—the ones we respect, admire and try to emulate—choose an alternative path to success. They have a powerful sense of identity. They don’t worry about differentiating themselves from the competition or obsess…


Book cover of Their Eyes Were Watching God

Kai Storm Author Of That One Voice

From my list on fiction novels that will make you believe they’re real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Kai Storm, author of reality-based urban fiction and erotica, erotica blogger, YouTuber, and Podcaster. I love reading books that feel real, that make you feel, and that teach you something as they entertain you.

Kai's book list on fiction novels that will make you believe they’re real

Kai Storm Why did Kai love this book?

This book scared the hell out of me when I was a teenager because its vivid descriptions stayed in my dreams yet it never stopped me from reading and loving the entire book.

It taught me a lot about following your intuition and/or gut feelings. Although it has been a long time since I read it, the main thing I remember is that your intuition is your protector, and listening to that inner voice helps a lot along the way.

By Zora Neale Hurston,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Their Eyes Were Watching God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cover design by Harlem renaissance artist Lois Mailou Jones

When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds ...

'For me, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD is one of the very greatest American novels of the 20th century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought, but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece…


Book cover of There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job

Alison B. Hart Author Of The Work Wife

From my list on women’s ambition and battle for our souls at work.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ll tell you a secret. I’m obsessed with money—not fast cars, designer labels, and McMansions, but the accumulation of capital: who has it, how they got it, and what lengths they’re willing to go to to keep it. So I’ve always loved novels about work. They cut right to the heart of a character’s true motivations, revealing what they’ll fight for and who they’ll love. Don’t show me what a person looks like, show me how they earn (or don’t earn) their living, and I’ll remember them forever.

Alison's book list on women’s ambition and battle for our souls at work

Alison B. Hart Why did Alison love this book?

When I picked up Tsumura’s first novel to be translated into English, I’d just given notice at my hectic corporate job. So when the burned-out narrator tells her employment agency she’s looking for an easy job that’s “ideally, something along the lines of sitting all day in a chair,” I could relate.

She searches for that elusive work-life balance at a series of strange positions, but when she lands a plum gig working in a small hut in a forest, the story’s disparate strands weave together into an emotionally satisfying whole.

By Kikuko Tsumura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"[A] 21st-century response to Herman Melville's 'Bartleby, the Scrivener.'"―NPR

"A revelation."―Time

A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing, and ideally, very little thinking.

Her first gig--watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods--turns out to be inconvenient. (When can she go to the bathroom?) Her next gives way to the supernatural: announcing advertisements for shops that mysteriously disappear. As she moves from job to job--writing trivia for rice cracker packages; punching entry tickets…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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