100 books like The Shore

By Sara Taylor,

Here are 100 books that The Shore fans have personally recommended if you like The Shore. 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 Wife

Virginia Pye Author Of The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann

From my list on a woman writer finding her own voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love novels that show female characters finding their way in life, and especially women who use writing to help themselves to grow and evolve. Finding my own voice through writing has been my way of staking my claim in the world. It hasn’t always been easy for us to tell our stories, but when we do, we’re made stronger and more complete. The protagonist of my novel The Literary Undoing of Victoria Swann fights hard to tell her own story. I know something about being held back by male-dominated expectations and Victoria’s situation could easily take place today. But when women writers finally find their voices, the works they create are of great value. 

Virginia's book list on a woman writer finding her own voice

Virginia Pye Why did Virginia love this book?

This novel, by Meg Wolitzer, offers such a twist at the end, I’m not sure how to write about it as an example of a woman writer finding her voice without giving too much away.
The Wife is the story of a Noble Prize-winning author, Joe Castelman, and his wife, Joan, who have kept a terrible secret for all the years of their marriage. Because you know the topic of my selections here, you can surmise that Joan is also a writer, though she hides that fact. Her character tells the story, and we only slowly see the facets of their strange and deceptive marriage. It becomes clear that Joan is a very good writer indeed, and she’s tired of keeping her secret.

This clever tale will make you think about what it means to invent a life both on and off the page. And that there’s no stopping a…

By Meg Wolitzer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE WIFE is the story of the long and stormy marriage between a world-famous novelist, Joe Castleman, and his wife Joan and the secret they've kept for decades. The novel opens just as Joe is about to receive a prestigious international award, The Helsinki Prize, to honour his career as one of America's preeminent novelists of the Mailer-Bellow-Updike school. But this isn't a book for writers; it's a book for readers, for people who are interested in questions such as: Is there a 'male' voice and a 'female' voice? Do men and women see the world differently, and how? THE…


Book cover of The Manningtree Witches

Winnie M. Li Author Of Complicit

From my list on stories to fuel your feminist fire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and activist, I use fiction as a way of exploring social issues which mean a lot to me. As a woman of color, that means writing protagonists who encounter sexism, racism, class, and geographic inequality—but who combat those injustices in inventive and heroic ways. For me, the story is always about being human: trying to understand why a character acts a certain way in a certain situation. After all, aren’t we all trying to pursue our own desires against a backdrop of societal expectations? A good storywhether fiction or non-fictionbrings these conflicts to emotional, vivid life, and roots them in a reality we can all relate to. 

Winnie's book list on stories to fuel your feminist fire

Winnie M. Li Why did Winnie love this book?

Based on the Essex witch hunts during the English Civil War in 1644, this is so much more than a historical novel. The writing is poetic and fierce, the emotions riveting and unexpectedly moving. And our heroine, clever Rebecca West faces the danger of simply being a low-born, impoverished woman when ‘The Witchfinder General’ (a real historical figure) launches a patriarchal inquisition to ‘clean up’ society. How will Rebecca learn to protect both herself and her cantankerous mother in a cruel world hungry to claim marginalized women as scapegoats? Betrayal and heartbreak, solidarity, and mercy are all brought to vivid, unforgettable life in this literary gem.  

By A. K. Blakemore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wolf Hall meets The Favourite in this beguiling debut novel that brilliantly brings to life the residents of a small English town in the grip of the seventeenth-century witch trials and the young woman tasked with saving them all from themselves.
 
"This is an intimate portrait of a clever if unworldly heroine who slides from amused observation of the 'moribund carnival atmosphere' in the household of a 'possessed' child to nervous uncertainty about the part in the proceedings played by her adored tutor to utter despair as a wagon carts her off to prison." —Alida Becker, The New York Times…


Book cover of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Leigh Gilmore Author Of The #MeToo Effect: What Happens When We Believe Women

From my list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I marvel at the resilience, tenacity, and optimism with which survivors and their advocates confront sexual violence. As a scholar of life writing, I find the “me too” movement to offer a fascinating case study of how survivors broke through default narratives of women’s unreliability and “he said/she said” to be heard by a massive global audience. By telling their own stories as “we said,” they tapped into a new collective credibility. Each of my recommended books helps us to understand “me too” as a powerful episode in a long struggle for survivor justice.

Leigh's book list on to understand sexual violence, healing, and justice

Leigh Gilmore Why did Leigh love this book?

She Said takes readers behind the headlines of how Kantor and Twohey teamed up to break the Harvey Weinstein story. And what a story it is.

Despite being credibly accused of sexual abuse multiple times, Weinstein always managed to evade accountability. With the help of enablers at Miramax (and beyond), Weinstein preyed on women who worked for him or sought work from him for decades.

Until Kantor and Twohey persuaded several victims to go on the record at the same times and their New York Times front page article started a reckoning. This is a meticulous record of investigative reporting that contains many surprises even for those who believe they know the #MeToo story well.

By Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked She Said 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 STARRING CAREY MULLIGAN AND ZOE KAZAN* 'Explosive' Margaret Atwood 'Seismic' Observer 'Brilliant' Nigella Lawson 'Gripping' Jon Ronson A FINANCIAL TIMES, NEW STATESMAN, DAILY TELEGRAPH, METRO AND ELLE BOOK OF THE YEAR On 5 October 2017, the New York Times published an article by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey that helped change the world. Hollywood was talking as never before. Kantor and Twohey outmanoeuvred Harvey Weinstein, his team of defenders and private investigators, convincing some of the most famous women in the world - and some unknown ones - to go on the record.…


Book cover of The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home

Winnie M. Li Author Of Complicit

From my list on stories to fuel your feminist fire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and activist, I use fiction as a way of exploring social issues which mean a lot to me. As a woman of color, that means writing protagonists who encounter sexism, racism, class, and geographic inequality—but who combat those injustices in inventive and heroic ways. For me, the story is always about being human: trying to understand why a character acts a certain way in a certain situation. After all, aren’t we all trying to pursue our own desires against a backdrop of societal expectations? A good storywhether fiction or non-fictionbrings these conflicts to emotional, vivid life, and roots them in a reality we can all relate to. 

Winnie's book list on stories to fuel your feminist fire

Winnie M. Li Why did Winnie love this book?

Unrecognised female labor is also the subject of this captivating non-fiction book by Hochschild, a sociologist drawing upon decades of research with fifty heterosexual couples in the Bay area. Hochschild is well-known for identifying ‘the second shift’ of childcare and domestic chores that working women often perform at home, on top of their professional commitment. This results in a rampant inequality of leisure time, and compounded with unequal pay in the workplace, exacerbates gender injustice in contemporary American society. But Hochschild also provides powerful examples of couples who counter-act this norm, while showing how individual attitudes towards gender and domestic responsibilities are influenced by class, ethnicity, and upbringing. Fascinating and illuminating. 

By Arlie Russell Hochschild, Anne Machung,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An updated edition of a standard in its field that remains relevant more than thirty years after its original publication.

Over thirty years ago, sociologist and University of California, Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild set off a tidal wave of conversation and controversy with her bestselling book, The Second Shift. Hochschild's examination of life in dual-career housholds finds that, factoring in paid work, child care, and housework, working mothers put in one month of labor more than their spouses do every year. Updated for a workforce that is now half female, this edition cites a range of updated studies and statistics,…


Book cover of The Start of the End of it All: Short Fiction

Karen Haber Author Of That Unfortunate Problem with Grandmother's Head and Other Stories

From my list on science fiction and fantasy books that keep me reading.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began reading science fiction when I was 8 years old and "borrowed" my father’s library books until, in defense, he got me my own library card. Not only have I spent decades reading SF, I’ve written it as well. As a veteran reader and writer with plenty of kill marks on my fuselage, I'm literally married to the SF mob (Grandmaster Robert Silverberg, is my spouse). I can both walk the walk and talk the talk. And after writing 9 SF novels including a Star Trek Book and reading uncounted SF and F tales, I still think science fiction and fantasy can be a literature of ideas illuminating the human condition.

Karen's book list on science fiction and fantasy books that keep me reading

Karen Haber Why did Karen love this book?

The title story of this brilliant collection is a very funny alien invasion story told from the point of view of a woman who is convinced that the invasion is all about her. The other stories are similarly quirky and delightful.

The late Carol Emshwiller was a groundbreaking visionary writer who began publishing her funny, intriguing, unusual work after she was 30 and had to pry writing time away from the demands of her growing family.

When necessary, she would empty out the playpen in her living room, get into it with her typewriter, and work on her fiction while her preschool children enjoyed the freedom of the apartment. She was known for avant-garde approach, unreliable narrators, quirky humor, and a liberal, feminist outlook. 

Recipient of the Nebula and the  Philip K. Dick Award. The late Ursula K. LeGuin called her "a major fabulist, a marvelous magical realist, one of…

By Carol Emshwiller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eighteen stories deal with alien worlds, extraterrestrial invaders, crossbreeds, animals, and lonely city-dwellers


Book cover of Jaguar Paloma and the Caketown Bar

Seymour Hamilton Author Of The Laughing Princess

From my list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was six, my father, a tall, bearded naval officer, read me Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I thought it might be autobiography. Ever since, I've been fascinated by stories where fantasy and reality meet and blend. I studied English literature, taught Dead English Poets to undergraduates, became an editor/writer for hire. Along the way, I canoed, hiked the Rockies, and learned to sail a traditional Nova Scotian schooner. I have two sons, to whom I read stories night after night when they were much younger than they are now. Since retiring, I write fantasy adventure novels set aboard real sailing ships and stories about dragons who talk to exceptional people.

Seymour's book list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld

Seymour Hamilton Why did Seymour love this book?

I love Jaguar Paloma and the Caketown Bar for its magic realism. For me, the story reads as real, even when it travels into the fantastic. Jess Wells’ writing is like music: it goes on singing in the back of my mind long after I’ve closed the book.

Jaguar Paloma is a larger than life woman in a setting that is more intense than everyday reality. Strong and vulnerable, audacious and cunning, Jaguar’s compassion inspires a splendid collection of men and women.

By Jess Wells,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jaguar Paloma and the Caketown Bar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1865 in the shanty town of Tartatenango, the Caketown Bar is owned by the extraordinary Jaguar Paloma, matriarch of a village that is home to raucous miscreants, cast-off mothers, muleteers, and forgers. Amid drunken monks, a roaring trade in faked marriages just for fun, and the Romani, all balance on the knife-edge between legality and the illicit. Paloma’s life is honed by this community, as their lives are affected by her mystery and magic.

Co-founder of this extraordinary gathering is Orietta Becerra. Breathtakingly beautiful and ambitious, her distillery builds the success of Caketown. But when she crosses the tracks…


Book cover of Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism

Lenart Škof Author Of Antigone's Sisters

From my list on Antigone and feminist ethics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always searched for personalities – mythological, literary, or real – affirming the highest ethical claims for justice. Sophocles’s Antigone is, without doubt, the preeminent example of this ethical demand, based on ancient unwritten laws and related demands for human dignity. As a woman, Antigone also presents the forgotten and suppressed orders of femininity, which were present in all archaic religions and mythologies, but later repressed and fully replaced with exclusively male Gods. I’m therefore interested in books that guide us in this search for the power of ethics and femininity and hope this list will give you an idea of the rich ethical potentials that we possess.  

Lenart's book list on Antigone and feminist ethics

Lenart Škof Why did Lenart love this book?

This excellent collection of essays brings some of the key readings of Sophocles’ Antigone in an ethical and feminist key. It includes, among others, interpretations by Tina Chanter, Luce Irigaray, and Bracha L. Ettinger. In the fascinating lineup of chapters, the book guides us through political, psychoanalytical, and sexual genealogies and classical interpretations of this Greek myth, thus providing the authoritative scholarship on a female figure of Antigone.  

By S.E. Wilmer (editor), Audrone Zukauskaite (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Antigone has become a major figure in current cultural discourse thanks to the late twentieth-century interpretations by such controversial theorists as Lacan, Derrida, Irigaray, Zizek, and Judith Butler. This collection of articles by distinguished scholars from a variety of intellectual disciplines (including philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism, theatre, and the classics) provides a postmodern perspective on the ethical and political issues raised by this ancient
text and recent theatrical productions. The contributors provide an array of perspectives on a female figure who questions the role of the patriarchal state.


Book cover of Light on the Sound

Mike Cooley Author Of Crystal Warrior

From my list on fantasy and science fiction with feminist themes.

Why am I passionate about this?

When writing fantasy and science fiction, I enjoy writing about strong female characters and strong female leads. I also like exploring fundamental questions such as what it means to be human. I grew up reading all the science fiction and fantasy I could get my hands on, and that vast landscape of stories has influenced my writing in many ways. I love to explore the limits of consciousness and darkness. I hope the books on this list inspire you and make you think. They have all influenced me in one way or another and made me a better writer.    

Mike's book list on fantasy and science fiction with feminist themes

Mike Cooley Why did Mike love this book?

Light on the Sound is a fascinating story and was a big inspiration for me. From the teenage, female protagonist who resists her oppression, to the fantastic creatures and imaginative ideas, this story has everything. Somtow writes with a vivid style that works well for the story, and he weaves everything together in unexpected ways.  

By S.P. Somtow, Mikey Jiraros (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Light on the Sound as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Inquestor Series was a classic science fiction series of the 1980s — and has now been reincarnated for the 21st century, with more adventures, more spectacle, and more extras.  Tachyon bubbles, people bins and galactic empires — and profound family conflicts — Greek tragedy writ large.  Light on the Sound, the book that started it all, begins with one lonely planet and three lost souls, and ends with galactic revolution.

For twenty thousand years, the godlike Inquestors have held sway over the one million worlds of the Dispersal of Man.  S.P. Somtow’s limitless imagination has created a universe of…


Book cover of The Odd Women

Katie Lumsden Author Of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall

From my list on surprisingly feminist Victorian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Victorian literature after reading Jane Eyre when I was thirteen years old. Since then, I’ve worked my way through Victorian book after Victorian book, and my own novel, The Secrets of Hartwood Hall, is a love letter to Victorian fiction. One of my key interests within Victorian literature has always been its exploration of gender and gender roles. There are so many fantastic Victorian proto-feminist novels, and while some are still remembered and read, many more have been largely forgotten. These are just a few of my favourite proto-feminist Victorian novels, all of which are very underrated and very much worth a read!

Katie's book list on surprisingly feminist Victorian

Katie Lumsden Why did Katie love this book?

Published in 1893, The Odd Women focuses on women’s rights in the late Victorian period.

The odd in the title doesn’t mean strange but left out – not part of a pair. There were more women than men in late Victorian Britain, meaning that many women didn’t marry – which was a big deal in a society that saw marriage and childbearing as the end goal in life for women.

At the heart of The Odd Women are Rhoda Nunn and Mary Barfoot, both passionately dedicated to the cause of women’s rights; they run a typewriting school, offering women new career prospects and fulfilling single lives.

The novel has its limitations – Rhoda and Mary are only really concerned with the plight of middle-class women – but it is nonetheless a powerful criticism of injustice and patriarchy. 

By George Gissing, Patricia Ingham (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

`there are half a million more women than men in this unhappy country of ours . . . So many odd women - no making a pair with them.'

The idea of the superfluity of unmarried women was one the `New Woman' novels of the 1890s sought to challenge. But in The Odd Women (1893) Gissing satirizes the prevailing literary image of the `New Woman' and makes the point that unmarried women were generally viewed less as noble and romantic figures than as `odd' and marginal in relation to the ideal of womanhood itself. Set in grimy, fog-ridden London, these…


Book cover of A Room Of One's Own

Ben Hutchinson Author Of On Purpose: Ten Lessons on the Meaning of Life

From my list on essays to help us think for ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an essayist, literary critic, and professor of literature, books are what John Milton calls my ‘pretious life-blood.’ As a writer, teacher, and editor, I spend my days trying to make meaning out of reading. This is the idea behind my most recent book, On Purpose: it’s easy to make vague claims about the edifying powers of ‘great writing,’ but what does this actually mean? How can literature help us live? My five recommendations all help us reflect on the power of books to help us think for ourselves, as I hope do my own books, including The Midlife Mind (2020) and Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2018).

Ben's book list on essays to help us think for ourselves

Ben Hutchinson Why did Ben love this book?

I love this book not just because of its enduring importance - Woolf remains a towering feminist figure - but because of its vivid, imaginative writing.

Based on lectures given to female students at Cambridge, Woolf’s essay argues powerfully for the intellectual independence of women. Such independence, she reasons, must first be materially possible, hence the female writer’s need for that famous "room of one’s own."

To exemplify this, Woolf imagines a certain Judith Shakespeare, the playwright’s equally talented sister: would she not be incapable of achieving the same success as her brother owing to the patriarchal structures of society? In our post-Me Too world a century later, the question remains vital.

By Virginia Woolf,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Room Of One's Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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