29 books like The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding

By Holly Ringland,

Here are 29 books that The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding fans have personally recommended if you like The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Dinner with the Schnabels

Nicky Pellegrino Author Of P.S. Come to Italy

From my list on all the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written fourteen novels about family, friendship, food, and love; stories that I hope transport people so completely and utterly, that they almost forget they are reading and instead find themselves walking in the shoes of the characters. That’s what I’m aiming for anyway. As a reader it’s what I want also – to laugh and cry, and feel the characters are people that I know and feel sorry to leave them behind when I turn the last page. 

Nicky's book list on all the feels

Nicky Pellegrino Why did Nicky love this book?

This novel is elegantly written and emotionally authentic, and while it is a light and zippy read, the more you think about it, the more it seems to say. 

It is about a week in the life of Melbourne man Simon Larsen. Things are not going very well for Simon. He was a successful architect but during lockdown his business failed and his beautiful home had to be sold. Now Simon has moved his family to a tiny flat, and he is unemployed, broke, and can hardly get off the sofa. 

While Simon seems hopeless, the family he has married into are formidable, from his beautiful wife Tansy to his terrifying mother-in-law Gloria. I loved the Schnabels but still, I’m not sure I would want to be related.

By Toni Jordan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dinner with the Schnabels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I loved every page of this funny, warm, delightful novel!' LIANE MORIARTY

'A smart, funny novel about love, marriage and family.' Weekend Australian

'With sharply observed characters and comic set-pieces to make you laugh out loud, Dinner with the Schnabels is great fun to read and casts a more mature and acerbic eye on modern masculinity.' Sydney Morning Herald, Fiction Pick of the Week

You can marry into them, but can you ever really be one of them?

A novel about marriage, love and family.

Things haven't gone well for Simon Larsen lately. He adores his wife, Tansy, and his…


Book cover of Early Morning Riser

Daisy Buchanan Author Of Pity Party

From my list on break your heart, then put it back together again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that books have saved my life. When I was a child, I was often depressed and anxious, and I instinctively found refuge in reading. I sought books acknowledging that the world can be a painful and difficult place but showed that it was also filled with happiness, love, and joy as long as you knew where to look. My passion for reading has stayed with me, I host the You’re Booked podcast where I talk to iconic authors about the books that have brought them comfort and joy. And whenever I feel anxious, I still reach for a book–because reading heals my heart. 

Daisy's book list on break your heart, then put it back together again

Daisy Buchanan Why did Daisy love this book?

This book had me laughing from the first page. I could see the town immediately and hear every character’s voice clearly in my head. I found it incredibly easy to read. Before I knew it, I was halfway through the story and I loved Jane, Duncan and Jimmy as though they were members of my own family.

Because this book is so funny, I found that the sad, serious parts affected me deeply. But ultimately, I found it hugely uplifting. It reminded me that the worst events can bring out the best in me and the people I love. I can’t think of anyone I know who wouldn’t love this book. 

By Katherine Heiny,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Early Morning Riser as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, a wise, bighearted novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family—from the acclaimed author of Standard Deviation, who has been called the "literary descendant of Jane Austen, sharing Austen's essentially comic world view" (NPR).     

Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere—at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away.

While Jane may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes…


Book cover of We All Want Impossible Things

Daisy Buchanan Author Of Pity Party

From my list on break your heart, then put it back together again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that books have saved my life. When I was a child, I was often depressed and anxious, and I instinctively found refuge in reading. I sought books acknowledging that the world can be a painful and difficult place but showed that it was also filled with happiness, love, and joy as long as you knew where to look. My passion for reading has stayed with me, I host the You’re Booked podcast where I talk to iconic authors about the books that have brought them comfort and joy. And whenever I feel anxious, I still reach for a book–because reading heals my heart. 

Daisy's book list on break your heart, then put it back together again

Daisy Buchanan Why did Daisy love this book?

I fell in love with Ash and her best friend Edi before I was halfway down the first page. I can see why other readers have compared this book to Nora Ephron’s novels. It’s funny, heart-filled, sexy, and sweet, but never twee. I could totally relate to Ash, who grieves unconventionally and tries to be the best friend, mother, and human in the world while secretly rebelling and acting up.

Most of all, I adored how this book focuses on family and how we build our families through love. It’s a book I haven’t stopped talking about since I read it, and I think I will read it every year.

By Catherine Newman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked We All Want Impossible Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Catherine Newman sees the heartbreak and comedy of life with wisdom and unflinching compassion. The way she finds the extraordinary in the everyday is nothing short of poetry. She’s a writer’s writer—and a human’s human.”—New York Times bestselling author Katherine Center

“A riotously funny and fiercely loyal love letter to female friendship. The story of Edi and Ash proves that a best friend is a gift from the gods. Newman turns her prodigious talents toward finding joy even in the friendship’s final days. I laughed while crying, and was left revived. Newman is a comic masterhand and a dazzling philosopher…


Book cover of The Secret World of Connie Starr

Nicky Pellegrino Author Of P.S. Come to Italy

From my list on all the feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written fourteen novels about family, friendship, food, and love; stories that I hope transport people so completely and utterly, that they almost forget they are reading and instead find themselves walking in the shoes of the characters. That’s what I’m aiming for anyway. As a reader it’s what I want also – to laugh and cry, and feel the characters are people that I know and feel sorry to leave them behind when I turn the last page. 

Nicky's book list on all the feels

Nicky Pellegrino Why did Nicky love this book?

This novel totally swept me away.

Often while I was reading, it felt like I was right there, in the Australian town of Ballarat, a part of a small community as everyone’s lives are being reshaped by a war raging across the world.

Connie Starr is a watchful misfit of a child who lives in a dream world. But this is as much a story about the people who surround Connie – parents and siblings, neighbours and friends – and the way their lives intertwine. We rarely witness any violent acts of war in this novel.

Instead, it is focused mostly on the people left behind at home, on their heartbreak and loneliness, the friendships that sustain them, and the determination that gets them through the toughest times.

By Robbi Neal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A stunning evocation of Australian life through the war to the 1950s, this novel is intimate and sweeping, immediate and dreamlike - a magical rendering of darkness and joy, and the beauty inherent in difference. For readers of Sarah Winman's Still Life, Trent Dalton's All Our Shimmering Skies and Rosalie Ham's The Dressmaker.


Connie Starr was always a difficult child. Her mother knew as soon as Connie entered the world that day in Ballarat in 1934 and opened her lungs to scream, there was more chaos in the world than before and it wouldn't leave until Connie did. From the…


Book cover of Child of GONDWANA. The geological making of Tasmania

Frederick Lin Sutherland Author Of The Volcanic Earth: Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics : Past, Present & Future

From my list on the glories of global geology.

Why am I passionate about this?

My final high school year in Tasmania added a new topic, geology. I and my school friends knew little about it but signed up. In the first lesson, the teacher pointed at the adjacent sunlit river gorge saying “There is your laboratory.” We were hooked and most of us became professional geologists. I started off in museums where mineral, rock, and fossil collections were a font of knowledge and generated field collecting, research, and educational activities. This led to MSc and PhD degrees from universities at both ends of Australia. A base at the Australian Museum led to travel around Australia and visits to many overseas institutions and meetings.

Frederick's book list on the glories of global geology

Frederick Lin Sutherland Why did Frederick love this book?

This book dissects Tasmania, an island state of Australia, to reveal hybrid geology, diverse scenery, and exotic inherited origins. Its parental rocks once abutted North America and Antarctica in the Precambrian Super Continents Nuna and Rodinia. They split away and collided with the Paleozoic Super Continent, Gondwana. There they shared mountain building and mineralizing events with Australia. When Gondwana began to split, vast sheets of molten dolerite rock invaded across South Africa and Antarctica to enter Tasmania and buttress its highlands.

A remnant of Gondwana, carved by rivers, seas, and ice and host basaltic lavas, it is called a geological paradise. The author’s masterly explanations of its geology, superb photography of wilderness, highlands, coasts, rocks, and minerals, and clear diagrams, all combine in a mind-opening publication.  

Book cover of Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse

Samantha Battams Author Of The Secret Art of Poisoning: The True Crimes of Martha Needle, the Richmond Poisoner

From my list on Australian women in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Samantha Battams is an Associate Professor and has been a university lecturer, researcher, policy professional, community development worker, advocate, health service administrator, and management consultant. Samantha resides in Adelaide, South Australia, is widely travelled, and has lived and worked in Switzerland in global health. She has published academic articles and book chapters in the fields of public health and global health, social policy, and sociology. She has a passion for history and writing and has written a self-published family history and three non-fiction books.

Samantha's book list on Australian women in history

Samantha Battams Why did Samantha love this book?

I have been intrigued by the story of Truganini since living in Tasmania. There are many myths about Truganini, including that she was the last Aboriginal Tasmanian. This is her full story, based on eyewitness accounts researched by a writer whose ancestors had a connection to her subject. It depicts a devastating time for Aboriginal Tasmanians, including the Nuenonne clan of Bruny Island which Truganini was from. Truganini was a survivor who experienced profound upheavals and many personal tragedies. She was part of the team of guides for missionary George Augustus Robinson’s trip around Tasmania and with other Aboriginal survivors was exiled to a Christian settlement on Flinders Island for a time. This was part of a broken agreement with surviving Tasmanian Aboriginal people removed from their homelands. Returning to Oyster Cove and dying in 1876, Truganini was not put to rest until 1976 when her ashes were scattered in…

By Cassandra Pybus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*Winner of the 2021 National Biography Award and shortlisted for the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards*

Cassandra Pybus's ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn't know this woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.

For nearly seven decades, Truganini lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than we can imagine. But her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy. Now Cassandra has examined the original…


Book cover of Flames

Danielle Clode Author Of Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

From my list on Australian animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was nine years old and wrote my first ‘book’ on animals for a school library competition. I went on to study animal behavior at university and complete a doctorate in conservation biology and seabirds in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. I’ve worked in zoos and museums, written twelve books on animals as various as killer whales and koalas, extinct megafauna, and marine reptiles. Learning more about the natural world, the people who study it, and the importance of protecting it, has been the driving force behind all of my books and a joy to share with readers. 

Danielle's book list on Australian animals

Danielle Clode Why did Danielle love this book?

This genre-busting debut novel by Tasmanian writer Robbie Arnott defies all attempts to describe or classify it. The writing is vibrant and beautiful. It’s a book that fills your lungs with a blast of fresh air, the scents of the cool southern rainforests and dazzles you with clouds and sun and rain and fire. It seamlessly blends realism with a spirit world, binding the human to the animal in an evocatively magical and disturbing story that brings Australian nature and animals into focus in an entirely new literary landscape. I defy anyone to read this book and not fall in love with the Rakali and weep a little the next time it rains. Quite the most remarkable book I’ve read.

By Robbie Arnott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A strange and joyous marvel" Richard Flanagan

Robbie Arnott's mad, wild debut novel is rough-hewn from the Tasmanian landscape and imbued with the folkloric magic of the oldest fireside storytellers.

A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte-who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds…


Book cover of The Vandemonian War

Kristyn Harman Author Of Aboriginal Convicts: Australian, Khoisan and Maori Exiles

From my list on the Frontier Wars fought downunder.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kristyn Harman is an award-winning researcher who successfully completed doctoral research investigating the circumstances in which at least ninety Australian Aboriginal men were transported as convicts within the Australian colonies following their involvement in Australia’s frontier wars. She has published extensively on historical topics, and currently lectures in History at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia. Having lived in both countries, Kristyn is fascinated by the different understandings that New Zealanders and Australians have of their nation’s respective pasts. She is particularly intrigued, if not perturbed, by the way in which most New Zealanders acknowledge their nation’s frontier wars, while many Australians choose to deny the wars fought on their country’s soil.

Kristyn's book list on the Frontier Wars fought downunder

Kristyn Harman Why did Kristyn love this book?

Van Diemen’s Land is the former name for the island at the bottom of Australia now called Tasmania. The British who invaded the island changed the colony’s name after the place became infamous. Not only was it home to the British Empire’s most feared convict stations, but it also had a fearsome reputation as the location of one of the most brutal genocides in the Empire’s history. Nick Brodie draws on extensive, yet previously ignored, archival documents to refute the long-standing myth that the Vandemonian War was fought between hapless convict shepherds at the far reaches of the island colony and the island’s Aboriginal inhabitants. He demonstrates instead how this significant conflict was an orchestrated campaign in which the Lieutenant-Governor of the colony used military and para-military forces to prosecute his war against Aboriginal people. Ultimately, the British won the Vandemonian War and then purposefully covered up the military nature…

By Nick Brodie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Britain formally colonised Van Diemen's Land in the early years of the nineteenth century. Small convict stations grew into towns. Pastoralists moved in to the aboriginal hunting grounds. There was conflict, there was violence. But, governments and gentlemen succeeded in burying the real story of the Vandemonian War for nearly two centuries. The Vandemonian War had many sides and shades, but it was fundamentally a war between the British colony of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and those Tribespeople who lived in political and social contradiction to that colony. In The Vandemonian War acclaimed history author Nick Brodie now exposes the…


Book cover of Imago

Pat Henshaw Author Of What's in a Name?

From my list on gay relationships that shouldn’t work.

Why am I passionate about this?

For some reason, many gay men like to talk to me about what they find important. For my part, I love to listen. The subject often turns to couples they know and how they got together. The most interesting conversations center around how two unlikely men meet, fall in love, and marry. Because my first husband was a closeted gay man, I am interested in how gay men view love and how they decide whether to get married. I myself am neither gay nor male. I pass along what I’ve heard and learned in order to open readers’ hearts and minds. Peace.

Pat's book list on gay relationships that shouldn’t work

Pat Henshaw Why did Pat love this book?

My husband and I met in the newsroom at the Houston Post newspaper. On paper, I guess you could say we had the same job: writing for the newspaper.

But like Lawson Gale and Jack Brighton in this book, both of whom work to preserve the environment, our jobs weren’t the same at all. He was a political reporter while I was an arts reviewer. We have completely different passions.

When lepidopterist Lawson travels to Tasmania to find and protect an endangered butterfly, he’s escorted by Parks and Wildlife officer Jack and his Border collie. I’ll admit I wasn’t very excited to read this book, but did because a friend said it was “good”.

Since I have almost no interest in endangered butterflies and environmental problems, I was hoping for “goodish mediocre”. What I got was brilliance. The book is funny, suspenseful, playful, and romantic.

The bottom line is even…

By N. R. Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he's met someone special. There's more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes…


Book cover of Van Diemen's Women: A History of Transportation to Tasmania

Chris Lawlor Author Of An Irish Village: Dunlavin, County Wicklow

From my list on lesser-known aspects of Irish history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Irish writer and historian. I always enjoyed history, even in school, and I went on to study it at Maynooth University, receiving a BA. I became a history teacher and eventually head of the history department in Méanscoil Iognáid Rís. I began writing local history articles for the Dunlavin arts festival and the parish magazine. I went back to university and got a first-class honours MA from Maynooth, before being awarded a PhD from DCU. I’ve won the Lord Walter Fitzgerald prize and the Irish Chiefs’ Prize, and my students were winners in the Decade of Centenaries competition. Now retired, I continue to write and lecture about history!

Chris' book list on lesser-known aspects of Irish history

Chris Lawlor Why did Chris love this book?

Many Irish history books mention the fate of prisoners, often involving transportation to Australia. This book picks up the narrative where they left off. The authors have meticulously pieced together the story of those on board the convict ship Tasmania, which left Ireland for Van Dieman’s Land in 1845, carrying 138 female convicts. The book tells the stories of voiceless people at the bottom of the social scale (being both convicted and female). The process of transportation is explored in detail and the women’s new lives in Tasmania are examined. Two women, Eliza Davis (infanticide) and Margaret Butler (stealing potatoes) form the centre-piece of the study. Both later married and had families and descendants, leaving a legacy in their new home. A sad, informative but ultimately hopeful read.

By Joan Kavanagh, Dianne Snowden (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Van Diemen's Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On 2 September 1845, the convict ship Tasmania left Kingstown Harbour for Van Diemen's Land with 138 female convicts and their 35 children. On 3 December, the ship arrived into Hobart Town. While this book looks at the lives of all the women aboard, it focuses on two women in particular: Eliza Davis, who was transported from Wicklow Gaol for life for infanticide, having had her sentence commuted from death, and Margaret Butler, sentenced to seven years' transportation for stealing potatoes in Carlow. Using original records, this study reveals the reality of transportation, together with the legacy left by these…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Tasmania, selkie, and Australia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Tasmania, selkie, and Australia.

Tasmania Explore 11 books about Tasmania
Selkie Explore 13 books about selkie
Australia Explore 319 books about Australia