100 books like The Stone Angel

By Margaret Laurence,

Here are 100 books that The Stone Angel fans have personally recommended if you like The Stone Angel. 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 Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Alice McIlroy Author Of The Glass Woman

From my list on books featuring unreliable narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved unreliable narrators and how they place us as readers into the role of detectives, piecing the "truth" of a story together. The narrators I’ve picked below vary in their intent: some deliberately deceive, and others do so unconsciously or through omission. In several, the twist hinges on the use of an unreliable narrator, while in others, narrative unreliability poses a moral dilemma for the reader. In a few, an added layer of unreliability emerges: the narrator’s perception is distorted by technology. In an age of AI, simulations, and deep fakes, the unreliable narrator is arguably more needed than ever, holding a mirror up to the unreliability of our own world. 

Alice's book list on books featuring unreliable narrators

Alice McIlroy Why did Alice love this book?

This book features a brilliant narrative voice. The title paraphrases William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. Protagonist Janina’s neighbour, nicknamed Big Foot, is found dead in the first of a number of local murders as hunters become the hunted. 65-year-old Janina has a greater affinity with the local deer than the victims and their love of hunting.

It is Janina’s perspective that makes the narrative so gripping. Set in a remote Polish village, it has the pace of a thriller, and her voice combines humour with deeply troubled questions about humanity’s place in the world. On watching a pregnant woman reading a newspaper, she wonders: "How could one possibly know all this and not miscarry?" Janina’s first-person narration enables us to see how far she is misjudged and overlooked by her community.

By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator),

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD, Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By…


Book cover of The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley

Cinda Gault Author Of This Godforsaken Place

From my list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just because you’re told something is true doesn’t make it the case. I have never accepted received ideas before subjecting them first to my own personal sniff test. Non-fiction is a wonderful way of acquiring knowledge, and stories open a door to the human soul to make possible living through someone else’s sensibility. Life becomes more vibrant and meaningful. My Ph.D. in English taught me to analyze the ways writers tell their stories. Add in my own life experience, and something magical happens during the creative process. Whether writing historical, literary, or popular fiction, I can’t help but reshape limitation into independence and personal freedom.

Cinda's book list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

While researching Annie Oakley as a character in my novel, I was amazed by what an exceptional icon she was. This non-fiction book gives sumptuous detail about a singular woman and the life she led. Oakley met Frank at a shooting competition, where she beat him by only one shot. Rather than becoming defensive, he married her and became her agent. Clearly, she didn't need his help to do what she did better than anyone else in the world, but he helped showcase her skills for adoring crowds in a rough and tumble business. My protagonist Abigail was inspired by her, and frankly so am I.

By Glenda Riley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a widowed mother and six siblings, Annie Oakley first became a trapper, hunter, and sharpshooter simply to put food on the table. Yet her genius with the gun eventually led to her stardom in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The archetypal western woman, Annie Oakley urged women to take up shooting to procure food, protect themselves, and enjoy healthy exercise, yet she was also the proper Victorian lady, demurely dressed and skeptical about the value of women's suffrage. Glenda Riley presents the first interpretive biography of the complex woman who was…


Book cover of Atlas Shrugged

Mark Burgess Author Of Slogans: The end of sympathy

From my list on a vision of a near future society in trouble.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scientist and technologist, trained in theoretical quantum physics, who became an Emeritus Professor of Network Technology from Oslo’s metropolitan university. I’ve strenuously tried to communicate the wonder of science to students and industry throughout my career. I’m also a long-standing fan of science fiction who grew up with heroes in both fact and fiction. The idea of future society has haunted me my whole life. I’m an optimist, who looks to the darker tales as warnings of futures we hope to avoid. Read these tales with a determination for us all to do better.

Mark's book list on a vision of a near future society in trouble

Mark Burgess Why did Mark love this book?

This book was a forerunner and inspiration to the big society science fiction of the John Brunner era, and (like much of her writing) should properly be understood as an alternative reality science fiction, imitated by many writers including Brunner and Robert Silverberg.

Rand became a controversial figure because of the cult that grew up around her, promoting elitist ideas, and driven mainly by her husband. Yet Rand herself was a brilliant writer and thinker who wanted to be a philosopher. The writing is not only deeply intellectual, it was deeply character driven.

As a non-native English speaker, her writing style is rich and could be the envy of native writers. Perhaps too long, this book is nevertheless a must read for any science fiction fan. 

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Atlas Shrugged as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy...to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction...to the philosopher who becomes a pirate...to the woman who…


Book cover of Lives of Girls and Women

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

Great adventure doesn’t always mean jungles, star-wastes, or derring-do. The human heart – what one poet called "the wilderness behind the eyes" – can be as electrifying as any firefight. In this tradition, Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. Lives of Girls and Women is her second novel, and like all great adventure stories will tell you more about yourself than you ever suspected. As Sir Walter Scott said of Jane Austen: "That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life."

By Alice Munro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through the women and men she encounters, Del becomes aware of her own potential and the excitement of an unknown independence. Alice Munro's previous books include "Dance of the Happy Shades" and "The Beggar Maid", which was nominated for the 1980 Booker Prize.


Book cover of Pygmalion

Cinda Gault Author Of This Godforsaken Place

From my list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just because you’re told something is true doesn’t make it the case. I have never accepted received ideas before subjecting them first to my own personal sniff test. Non-fiction is a wonderful way of acquiring knowledge, and stories open a door to the human soul to make possible living through someone else’s sensibility. Life becomes more vibrant and meaningful. My Ph.D. in English taught me to analyze the ways writers tell their stories. Add in my own life experience, and something magical happens during the creative process. Whether writing historical, literary, or popular fiction, I can’t help but reshape limitation into independence and personal freedom.

Cinda's book list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

This play is perhaps better known to contemporary audiences by its movie title My Fair Lady. I loved this movie as a child and studied the play years later as a graduate student. I always admired Eliza Doolittle for having the gumption to act on whatever quirky opportunity life gave her for the mere sake of stretching herself. Henry Higgins’ self-serving wager that he could transform a Cockney flower girl into a duchess held out no tangible reward to the young woman who just wanted to better herself. While Eliza learned to transcend social class through her speech and deportment, the more valuable reward was an independent assessment of who she ultimately was despite the class context of her social world.

By George Bernard Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of George Bernard Shaw's best-known plays, Pygmalion was a rousing success on the London and New York stages, an entertaining motion picture and a great hit with its musical version, My Fair Lady. An updated and considerably revised version of the ancient Greek legend of Pygmalion and Galatea, the 20th-century story pokes fun at the antiquated British class system.
In Shaw's clever adaptation, Professor Henry Higgins, a linguistic expert, takes on a bet that he can transform an awkward cockney flower seller into a refined young lady simply by polishing her manners and changing the way she speaks. In…


Book cover of Stone in a Landslide

Jacqueline Yallop Author Of Obedience: A Novel

From my list on brilliant old women as heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sister Bernard, the main character in my novel Obedience, is ninety. I’ve always been fascinated – and afraid – of what it means to grow old, particularly as a woman, and I like exploring the perspectives that age can bring. I enjoy seeing older women given a voice, especially when they don’t turn out to be the easy, likeable characters we might expect. There aren’t that many books with really old women as the main characters, because age is not glamorous or comfortable, but that’s why it’s interesting. I hope the novels on this list go some way towards redressing the balance. 

Jacqueline's book list on brilliant old women as heroines

Jacqueline Yallop Why did Jacqueline love this book?

In this short beautiful novel, Conxa looks back on a life blasted apart by the Spanish Civil War. The Pyrenean setting of the story is as magnificent and brutal as the action here, but what I love most is the calm, timeless voice of Conxa as she tells her story of love and war and family. This is a brilliant book about what it means to live a long life and the lingering effects of the past.

By Maria Barbal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stone in a Landslide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beginning of the 20th century: 13-year-old Conxa has to leave her home village in the Pyrenees to work for her childless aunt. After years of hard labour, she finds love with Jaume - a love that will be thwarted by the Spanish Civil War. Approaching her own death, Conxa looks back on a life in which she has lost everything except her own indomitable spirit. ------- Why Peirene chose to publish this book: 'I fell in love with Conxa's narrative voice, its stoic calmness and the complete lack of anger and bitterness. It's a timeless voice, down to earth…


Book cover of Elizabeth Is Missing

Vered Neta Author Of Things We Do For Love

From my list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the Bach sisters in my novel Things We Do For Love, my sisters and I have cared for our mother, who battles Alzheimer's. Witnessing her transformation from a vibrant powerhouse to someone resembling the Walking Dead has been heart-wrenching. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, this journey has deeply connected us with our mother. Delving into the depths of her being has been a privilege, offering profound insights into her true essence. This challenging experience has unfolded as a disguised blessing. In this journey, we've discovered the beauty of unconditional love that binds our family together. It reflects the central question of my novel: What truly makes a happy family?

Vered's book list on the light side of Alzheimer’s

Vered Neta Why did Vered love this book?

This book inspired me to write my own account of dealing with my mum’s Alzheimer’s.

This darkly comic yet gripping novel reveals the humorous aspects of the disease. Maud, an eighty-year-old who grapples with forgetting even the cup of tea she just made or recognising her own daughter, surprisingly unravels a seventy-year-old mystery.

The story delicately weaves warm and uplifting moments with touches of comedy, anxiety, and sheer terror that arise when one realises the advancing years and the struggle to be heard in a society that often overlooks the elderly. The portrayal of dementia in this novel is both sympathetic and profoundly moving, capturing the emotional complexity of the experience.

Maud's character is both exasperating and compelling, embodying the kind of older protagonist I yearn to encounter more in literature.

By Emma Healey,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Elizabeth Is Missing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR BBC DRAMA
A SUNDAY TIMES TOP FIVE BESTSELLER

How do you solve a mystery when you can't remember the clues?

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable - or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.

But there's one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to…


Book cover of Florence Gordon

Jacqueline Yallop Author Of Obedience: A Novel

From my list on brilliant old women as heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sister Bernard, the main character in my novel Obedience, is ninety. I’ve always been fascinated – and afraid – of what it means to grow old, particularly as a woman, and I like exploring the perspectives that age can bring. I enjoy seeing older women given a voice, especially when they don’t turn out to be the easy, likeable characters we might expect. There aren’t that many books with really old women as the main characters, because age is not glamorous or comfortable, but that’s why it’s interesting. I hope the novels on this list go some way towards redressing the balance. 

Jacqueline's book list on brilliant old women as heroines

Jacqueline Yallop Why did Jacqueline love this book?

Seventy-five-year-old Florence is clever, outspoken and belligerent, sharp-witted, and sharp-tongued. Reliving memories of the American Feminist Movement at its height, she’s a great character forced to confront her own aging and the difficult dynamics of her family life. Crackling dialogue makes this book a slick and entertaining read.

By Brian Morton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this award-winning novel that Maureen Corrigan of NPR’s "Fresh Air" deems “exquisitely crafted...witty, nuanced, and ultimately moving,” a wise, septuagenarian woman who has lived life on her own terms finds herself thrust into the center of her family’s various catastrophes. ¶ A Best Book of the Year by NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, The Millions, the Christian Science Monitor · Finalist for the Kirkus Prize · A Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice · An Indie Next Pick ¶ Meet Florence Gordon, a blunt, brilliant feminist. At seventy-five, Florence wants to be left alone to write her memoir and shape…


Book cover of The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia

Lynne Bowen Author Of Whoever Gives Us Bread: The Story of Italians in British Columbia

From my list on revealing the hidden history of Western Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young person I loved to read history novels, but each book had to be about either British monarchs or American generals. Then I watched the movie Bye Bye Blues, a Canadian prairie story by Anne Wheeler, and realized for the first time that the story was about me, about us. It was such a heady feeling that I decided to study Western Canadian history at university. Three weeks after I got my M.A. from the University of Victoria I was offered the chance to write about Vancouver Island coal miners and the rest, as they say, is quite literally history.

Lynne's book list on revealing the hidden history of Western Canada

Lynne Bowen Why did Lynne love this book?

A mule-drawn wagon train moves precariously along a narrow road carved out of a steep rock wall—this book lives up to the promise of its cover. The book jacket blurb entices lovers of history like me: “British Columbia is regularly described in superlatives both positive and negative—the most spectacular scenery, the strangest political campaigns, the mildest winters, the most rain, the most aggressive resource developers, the biggest peace and environmental movements, the closest Canadian ties to Japan and China, and the richest native culture.” The author, Jean Barman, is one of my mentors and an inspiration to everyone who is interested in British Columbia history.

By Jean Barman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

British Columbia is regularly described in superlatives both positive and negative - most spectacular scenery, strangest politics, greatest environmental sensitivity, richest Aboriginal cultures, most aggressive resource exploitation, closest ties to Asia. Jean Barman's The West beyond the West presents the history of the province in all its diversity and apparent contradictions. This critically acclaimed work is the premiere book on British Columbian history, with a narrative beginning at the point of contact between Native peoples and Europeans and continuing into the twenty-first century. Barman tells the story by focusing not only on the history made by leaders in government but…


Book cover of The Englishman's Boy: A Novel

Lynne Bowen Author Of Whoever Gives Us Bread: The Story of Italians in British Columbia

From my list on revealing the hidden history of Western Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young person I loved to read history novels, but each book had to be about either British monarchs or American generals. Then I watched the movie Bye Bye Blues, a Canadian prairie story by Anne Wheeler, and realized for the first time that the story was about me, about us. It was such a heady feeling that I decided to study Western Canadian history at university. Three weeks after I got my M.A. from the University of Victoria I was offered the chance to write about Vancouver Island coal miners and the rest, as they say, is quite literally history.

Lynne's book list on revealing the hidden history of Western Canada

Lynne Bowen Why did Lynne love this book?

I love a book that weaves fiction into historical events. The Cypress Hills are on the Canadian side of the international border where it cuts through the North American central plain. This was a gathering place for First Nations and Metis people, but the area also attracted American whisky traders and wolf hunters. The reasons for the massacre that occurred in 1873 are disputed, but fifty years later, the last living survivor, by then a grizzled bit player in Hollywood, tells his story to a young screenwriter.

By Guy Vanderhaeghe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Governor General's Award

Counterpointing the stories of the legendary Western cowboy Shorty McAdoo and Harry Vincent, the ambitious young screenwriter commissioned to retell his story in 1920s Hollywood, this novel reconstructs an epic journey through Montana into the Canadian plains, by a group of men pursuing their stolen horses.

The Englishman's Boy intelligently and creatively depicts an American West where greed and deception are tempered by honor and strength. As Richard Ford has noted, "Vanderhaeghe is simply a wonderful writer. The Englishman's Boy, spanning as it does two countries, two centuries, two views of history―the Canadian Wild…


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