100 books like The Stationery Shop

By Marjan Kamali,

Here are 100 books that The Stationery Shop fans have personally recommended if you like The Stationery Shop. 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 Mountains Sing

Betty Bolte Author Of Becoming Lady Washington

From my list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I “discovered” historical fiction when a teen and have devoured it ever since. When my parents took me to the Cowpens National Battlefield in South Carolina in 9th grade, I realized just how much I enjoyed learning about history in real life. I found that reading historical fiction breathed life into what can be a very dull read, so I wanted to bring history to life with my own words. Visiting historical properties has become a big passion of mine! Every trip I take includes a visit to some historical site or another. I’ve been writing historical fiction/romance/fantasy since the late 1990s.

Betty's book list on historical fiction about emotionally strong women

Betty Bolte Why did Betty love this book?

This story is set in Việt Nam and paints a clear picture of the people who lived there in the 1930-1980 timeframe of the story. The family faced hardships and tragedies, including being separated for several months when they were forced to flee for their lives. One thing I really appreciated was seeing the impact and impressions of the Việt Nam war on the people of that country. My brother fought over there—he was a Ranger in the Army—during that conflict and came home very different. In fact, he’s estranged himself from the family for the past 30+ years. Reading about the conflict from the other side gives me a clearer idea of what he might have seen or done that he never would tell me about.

By Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Mountains Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Years later in Ha Noi, her young granddaughter, Huong, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Viet Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai's first novel in English.


Book cover of Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran: The Outset of the Diaspora

Dora Levy Mossanen Author Of Love and War in the Jewish Quarter

From my list on captivating World War II love stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a novelist, whose Persian family is comprised of a colorful cast of characters, who supply me with invaluable fodder for my historical novels. Years ago, my grandfather, Dr. Habib Levy, recounted how, when he was the dentist of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the King of Iran, the king commanded him to convert to Islam. Aware he might be uttering his last words, my grandfather had replied, Your Majesty, a man who turns his back to his faith is a traitor, and his Majesty will not want a traitor for a dentist. Now, after decades, this long past scene became the inspiration for my fifth historical novel, Love and War in the Jewish Quarter.

Dora's book list on captivating World War II love stories

Dora Levy Mossanen Why did Dora love this book?

Dr. Habib Levy, the author of this book, is my grandfather, who spent half a century researching and writing the first comprehensive source on the history of the Jews of Iran. 

I have often referred to this wealth of information for my historical novels. But never has it been a more important source and inspiration than for my most recent novel.

By Habib Levy, Hooshang Ebrami, George W. Maschke (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran: The Outset of the Diaspora


Book cover of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran

Dora Levy Mossanen Author Of Harem

From my list on Persian history and its people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Israel, but spent my formative years in Iran, a country rich in culture, superstition, and a history that is nothing short of an author’s dream. I also joined a large, colorful family, whose members possessed their own quirks and habits, which my future fictional characters inherited in one or another of my novels. Although the Iran I knew during the reign of the Shah was quite different than the Iran I had to flee at the onset of the Islamic revolution and the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini, her history remains ever timely, and never ceases to captivate me.

Dora's book list on Persian history and its people

Dora Levy Mossanen Why did Dora love this book?

The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, Hooman Majd offers perspective on Iran's complex and misunderstood culture through an insightful tour of Iranian culture, introducing fascinating characters from all walks of life, including zealous government officials, tough female cab drivers, and open-minded, reformist ayatollahs. It's an Iran that will surprise readers and challenge Western stereotypes.

By Hooman Majd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hooman Majd, acclaimed journalist and New York-residing grandson of an Ayatollah, has a unique perspective on his Iranian homeland. In this vivid, warm and humorous insider's account, he opens our eyes to an Iran that few people see, meeting opium-smoking clerics, women cab drivers and sartorially challenged presidential officials, among others.

Revealing a country where both t-shirt wearing teenagers and religious martyrs express pride in their Persian origins, that is deeply religious yet highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet reformist, this is the one book you should read to understand Iran and Iranians today.


Book cover of The Persian Boy

Ruth Vanita Author Of Memory of Light

From my list on lesbian and gay literary fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Thanks to my mother, I grew up immersed in English literature. I was educated in Delhi and co-founded the first nationwide feminist magazine, but same-sex love was never mentioned either in the classroom or in the women’s movement. I educated myself in Indian literature and discovered that same-sex sexuality had been practiced and written about until the British criminalized it. I wrote several books about same-sex unions in Indian literature and history and translated poetry and fiction from Hindi and Urdu to English. My first novel, Memory of Light, is a love story between two courtesans, based in pre-colonial India, where poets freely wrote about same-sex, as well as cross-sex love. 

Ruth's book list on lesbian and gay literary fiction

Ruth Vanita Why did Ruth love this book?

This is one of the first books I found when I was scrounging around for gay literature in Indian bookshops in the early 1980s. I re-read it every few years; as one of Oscar Wilde’s characters remarks, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

Renault brings the ancient Greek world to life as no other novelist has. She delineates the wonderfully erotic and moving relationship between Alexander the Great and his Persian lover, Bagoas, who narrates the story.

By Mary Renault,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Persian Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander's life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas is sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but finds freedom with Alexander the Great after the Macedon army conquers his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander's mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.


Book cover of Americanah

Nell Freudenberger Author Of The Limits

From my list on what it’s really like to be a teenage girl.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s. I was a shy teenager, an obsessive reader, and a secret writer.  I went to an all-girls high school where we wore uniforms, did a lot of homework, and mostly had no idea how to meet boys. The teen girls I encountered in movies, TV shows, and even literature were sexualized to the point of being unrecognizable to me. Now that I work with teenagers (and am a mom to one), I’m fascinated by the variability of girls this age, their wide-ranging intelligence, passions, and ways of being in the world. I love novels that reflect that complexity.

Nell's book list on what it’s really like to be a teenage girl

Nell Freudenberger Why did Nell love this book?

This book is the best love story I’ve read, full stop. There’s nothing like the first time you fall in love, and Ifemelu and Obinze’s relationship reminded me of that feeling—its paralyzing awkwardness and overwhelming joy.

Before I read this book, I’d never thought about what it must be like for immigrants from Africa to encounter (and enter) the long and tortured story of race in America for the first time, and the novel gave me a lot to think about on that score. I also love a novel that takes me somewhere I’ve never been, and the scenes of contemporary Lagos, where Ifemelu and Obinze are reunited, come alive in Adichie’s precise and brilliant description. 

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Introducing the Collins Modern Classics, a series featuring some of the most significant books of recent times, books that shed light on the human experience - classics which will endure for generations to come.

How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives we imagined.

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria. Self-assured Ifemelu heads for America. But quiet, thoughtful Obinze finds post-9/11 America closed to him, and plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London.

Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria,…


Book cover of The History of Love

Maithreyi Karnoor Author Of Sylvia

From my list on striking while the ‘irony’ is hot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write fiction and poetry in English and translate literary works from Kannada, a South Indian language. I was shortlisted for the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, and twice in a row for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. I had the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship in writing and translation at LAF and UWTSD in 2022. As a reader, I admire original and clever use of language, writing that portrays with humour the profundity in the absurdity of life, that which makes the quotidian quotable – writing that strikes while the ‘irony’ is hot. These are qualities that I think are intuitive in my own writing. I've enjoyed the following books for these reasons. 

Maithreyi's book list on striking while the ‘irony’ is hot

Maithreyi Karnoor Why did Maithreyi love this book?

This book was a present from a friend and I dove into it with no information about the novel or the author.

Many histories come together in it in an unhurried pace, present dots, and let the characters join them. The various perspectives weave and interweave stories and the warps and wefts bring them closer and closer into forming a bigger whole – only to see the knitting is too late by very little.

There are unrecognised talents and relationships, and accidents and serendipity direct the needles. And when the revelation comes, it is to a person bent heavy under a lifetime of acceptance. It is not often that pathos is so poetic.

By Nicole Krauss,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The History of Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But it wasn't always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book...Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of "extraordinary depth and beauty" (Newsday).


Book cover of The Time Traveler's Wife

Paul Carnahan Author Of How Soon Is Now?

From my list on time as the lead character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an incurable nostalgist and, thanks to early exposure to a curly-haired, scarf-wearing eccentric who travels the universe in a battered old police box, gained an early and ongoing obsession with time travel stories, whether intricately-plotted and filled with brain-tangling paradoxes, or steeped in wistful yearning for days gone by. Young me would, I like to think, be delighted to learn that he would, one day, write a book bursting with both paradoxes AND yearning.

Paul's book list on time as the lead character

Paul Carnahan Why did Paul love this book?

Time travel books aren’t uncommon, but it’s rare to find one that uses time as the hook for an emotional story rather than the more familiar sci-fi/adventure tropes. I love that Niffenegger sidesteps story-sapping technobabble, making this a story about people, not sci-fi hardware.

I’m a sucker for a time travel story that’s intricately but logically constructed, and this book certainly falls into that category, but it’s about much more than plot mechanics. Instead, it focuses firmly on the emotional toll time travel places on Henry, our titular temporal voyager, and his eventual wife, Clare. The book struck a chord with me–and several million other readers–with its strong emotional core and deep philosophical underpinnings.

By Audrey Niffenegger,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked The Time Traveler's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a series on HBO starring Rose Leslie and Theo James!

The iconic time travel love story and mega-bestselling first novel from Audrey Niffenegger is "a soaring celebration of the victory of love over time" (Chicago Tribune).

Henry DeTamble is a dashing, adventurous librarian who is at the mercy of his random time time-traveling abilities. Clare Abshire is an artist whose life moves through a natural sequential course. This is the celebrated and timeless tale of their love. Henry and Clare's passionate affair is built and endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap…


Book cover of The Alice Network

Ann O’Loughlin Author Of Escape to the Irish Village

From my list on strong women and female friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by the extraordinary things ordinary people do, particularly women. Women show such strength; they juggle so many things every day, and they can draw on huge reserves of power in a crisis. Time and time again, I see how when women pull together, they can conquer anything. A woman on her own can do many things, but when we band together, nothing can stop us. So often, others concentrate on the negative aspects of a group of women together, but I have seen the power of female friendship and how we can reach the stars when we hold each other up. 

Ann's book list on strong women and female friendship

Ann O’Loughlin Why did Ann love this book?

This book, a novel that spans two world wars, gripped my heart and made me fully realise how strong women can be in the face of adversity.

I was completely drawn in, and there were plenty of moments to cry, laugh, or gasp at the courage displayed. So often, the contribution of women gets pushed aside, but I felt here it was brought to life in the sacrifices and true grit displayed by the women as we made our way through WW1 and WW2. 

There is a vitality and optimism in this book, which shines through. I loved this story and how it showed that women when they band together can do anything.   These women are definitely on my party invitation list. 

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Alice Network as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women-a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947-are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption. 1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might…


Book cover of Call Me by Your Name

John Glynn Author Of Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer

From my list on books that feel like Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi! I'm John Glynn, and I'm excited to share some book recommendations inspired by one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs, "Cruel Summer."  To me, this song perfectly encapsulates the heightened emotions of summer love—a theme at the heart of my memoir Out East. I chose books that capture the "fever dream highs" of the season. But at the same time, as Taylor sings, "Summer's a knife," filled with longing and heartache, primed for nostalgia. All of these books carry the kind of moonlit shimmer I crave in a smart beach read. As a Swiftie, a beach lover, an avid reader, and a hopeless romantic, I hope you enjoy.

John's book list on books that feel like Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer”

John Glynn Why did John love this book?

Like pretty much every Taylor Swift song, this book made me feel big emotions.

Over the course of one summer in Italy, the main character, Elio, falls in love with a visiting scholar named Oliver. It’s a gay love story filled with all the tension, heat, and anguish that accompanies first love.

It brought me back to my own experiences of falling in love for the first time when every exchange and every gesture felt latent with meaning. 

By André Aciman,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Call Me by Your Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a Major Motion Picture from Director Luca Guadagnino, Starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet, and Written by James Ivory

WINNER BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY ACADEMY AWARD
Nominated for Four Oscars

A New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
A Vulture Book Club Pick

An Instant Classic and One of the Great Love Stories of Our Time

Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared…


Book cover of The Henna Artist

Lisa Niver Author Of Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty

From my list on making flight time disappear because you feel in the story.

Why am I passionate about this?

As both a lifelong traveler and reader, I cannot start an adventure without a great book. Having owned a Kindle since 2008, I consistently carry a virtual library, curating an assortment of captivating reads for every journey. As a travel journalist, I fly multiple times a month, which amplifies my need and understanding of the perfect in-flight companions; stories that transport and captivate. As an author with a memoir to my name, I appreciate the transformative power of storytelling. This blend of literary passion, frequent travel, and personal authorship has led me on my search for engaging, unforgettable books that mesmerize the reader.  

Lisa's book list on making flight time disappear because you feel in the story

Lisa Niver Why did Lisa love this book?

When I read this book, I felt like I was back walking on the streets of India. Alka Joshi's vivid storytelling will transport you to a world of vibrant colors, rich traditions, and compelling characters.

In this first book of the Jaipur Trilogy, Lakshmi, a skilled henna artist, navigates a complex society, unraveling secrets and defying societal norms. Joshi's exquisite prose and the book's engrossing plot offer the perfect blend of escapism and depth, making it an ideal companion for a journey.

As you soar through the skies, it promises to transport you to another time and place, making the flight feel like a brief detour into an enchanting literary world. 

By Alka Joshi,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Henna Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and Thrity Umrigar's The Space Between Us, Alka Josh's The Henna Artist by is lushly-rendered, emotional book club fiction set in post-Raj 1950s Jaipur about a young woman struggling to shape her own destiny in a world pivoting between the traditional and the modern.

After fleeing an arranged marriage as a fifteen year old to an abusive older man, Lakshmi Shastri steals away alone from her rural village to Jaipur. Here, against odds, she carves out a living for herself as a henna artist, and friend and confidante to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cultural heritage, couples, and Iran?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cultural heritage, couples, and Iran.

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Iran Explore 126 books about Iran