97 books like The Surrendered

By Chang-Rae Lee,

Here are 97 books that The Surrendered fans have personally recommended if you like The Surrendered. 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 Pachinko

C.C. Avram Author Of The Pianist and Min Jade

From my list on World books that introduce different cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an intrepid traveler and appreciate the perspective that traveling affords and the humanity it can engender. I have had the good fortune of traveling to over 60 countries, and for all my books, I have not only traveled to the country or place where they have been set but spent time learning and living the culture. I am a book and world lover, and if I can’t physically go there, I can be transported there through books.

C.C.'s book list on World books that introduce different cultures

C.C. Avram Why did C.C. love this book?

Well, apart from the fact that she lives in Harlem, where I spent many years, I am obsessively enthralled with South Korean History…always marveling at its meteoric rise from being one of the poorest countries in 1953 to today being a super economy. I believe they have some of the best writers I have ever read.

By Min Jin Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* The million-copy bestseller*
* National Book Award finalist *
* One of the New York Times's 10 Best Books of 2017 *
* Selected for Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club *

'This is a captivating book... Min Jin Lee's novel takes us through four generations and each character's search for identity and success. It's a powerful story about resilience and compassion' BARACK OBAMA.

Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja…


Book cover of This Burns My Heart

Eugenia Kim Author Of The Kinship of Secrets

From my list on historical fiction set in Korea.

Why am I passionate about this?

Eugenia Kim’s debut novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, won the 2009 Borders Original Voices Award, was shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a critic’s pick by the Washington Post. For that novel, which is set during the Japanese Colonial Period in Korea, 1910-1945, and for her second novel (below), whose first half is set during the Korean War, 1950-1953, she read more than 500 books and twice traveled to Korea in order to accurately depict these little-known slices of history.

Eugenia's book list on historical fiction set in Korea

Eugenia Kim Why did Eugenia love this book?

This book will capture you with a heroine who is both irresistible and flawed, and will engross you with increasing twists in a triangle of love and sacrifice. The story explores how a fateful choice colors a decade of marriage, and challenges a young woman’s ambition already constrained by traditional Korean culture. Sam Park paints all the flavors of post-war Korea in this vivid debut, and his understanding and expression of the human heart is universal.

By Samuel Park,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Burns My Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chamara is difficult to translate from Korean to English: To stand it, to bear it, to grit your teeth and not cry out? To hold on, to wait until the worst is over? Such is the burden Samuel Park's audacious, beautiful, and strong heroine, Soo-Ja Choi, faces in This Burns My Heart, an epic love story set in the intriguing landscape of postwar South Korea. On the eve of marriage to her weak, timid fiance, Soo-Ja falls in love with a young medical student. But out of duty to her family and her culture she turns him away, choosing instead…


Book cover of The Grass Roof

Eugenia Kim Author Of The Kinship of Secrets

From my list on historical fiction set in Korea.

Why am I passionate about this?

Eugenia Kim’s debut novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, won the 2009 Borders Original Voices Award, was shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was a critic’s pick by the Washington Post. For that novel, which is set during the Japanese Colonial Period in Korea, 1910-1945, and for her second novel (below), whose first half is set during the Korean War, 1950-1953, she read more than 500 books and twice traveled to Korea in order to accurately depict these little-known slices of history.

Eugenia's book list on historical fiction set in Korea

Eugenia Kim Why did Eugenia love this book?

This is an autobiographical novel of a scholar’s son’s coming of age in a small village during the Japanese occupation, though that is felt with some distance. Kang focuses on classical education in that era, traditions for holidays and ceremonies, schooling, friends, family dynamic, a detailed account of the March First Independence Movement Day, and finally emigration to America as a young man. It is a little-known prequel to Kang's book, East Goes West, a seminal work in Korean American literature, which covers his immigration to New York in the 1920s through the war years.

By Younghill Kang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Text: English, German (translation)


Book cover of The Mouse That Roared

Eric Sporer Author Of A Man Eating Chicken

From my list on to laugh in the face of insanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a joker at heart and was always the class clown. I currently write on my own humor website, A Man Eating Chicken. I started drawing comics in grade school and grew into writing comedic prose in high school. There was never a goal for any of this; it was all pre-internet, so I didn’t realize that humor could be published anywhere. As I got older, I was able to find some books that really spoke to my sensibilities. The books on this list really showed me the power and possibilities of humor and influenced my own writing.

Eric's book list on to laugh in the face of insanity

Eric Sporer Why did Eric love this book?

While I grew up at the tail end of the Cold War, there was something in The Mouse that Roared that really spoke to me. The way that it takes an already absurd reality to an extreme really spoke to my own sensibilities and humor. History books tell the facts, but stories like this reflect how absurd the geopolitical culture must have felt to most people. It’s akin to Dr. Strangelove, not only in being a Cold War satire, but in the absurd and extreme nature of the farce. It influenced my own political satire heavily.

By Leonard Wibberley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Leonard Wibberley's classic political satire, a tiny backwards country decides the only way to survive a sudden economic downturn is to declare war on the United States and lose to get foreign aid - but things don't go according to plan.

The Mouse That Roared was made into a successful feature film starring Peter Sellers.

Books in The Grand Fenwick Series:

Books 2 through 5 are best read after The Mouse That Roared, but all of the books can be read and enjoyed at any point in the series.

Book 1: The Mouse That Roared
Book 2: The Mouse…


Book cover of The Gem Thief

Linda Shenton Matchett Author Of Spies & Sweethearts

From my list on historical female protagonists in unusual jobs.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former Human Resources executive I’m fascinated by the history of women in the workforce, especially in jobs that have traditionally been held by men. I was first drawn into the topic as a writer of WWII novels. Through memoirs, autobiographies, and oral history interviews I learned firsthand about women who entered the workforce to take the place of men who were serving in combat or the defense industry. In an effort to spotlight the women of this era as well as those who have gone before, many of my protagonists hold unusual jobs such as spy, war correspondent, pilot, doctor, restaurant owner, and gold miner. 

Linda's book list on historical female protagonists in unusual jobs

Linda Shenton Matchett Why did Linda love this book?

Having worked for a jewelry designer in the Washington, DC area, The Gem Thief caught my eye. The story took me back to my days in the shop (good memories!), and the author has obviously done her research, because her accuracy is impeccable. I liked all of the characters, but I bonded with one of the secondary characters so much that I felt we could be friends in “real life.” I’ve been to New York City often, so I also enjoyed revisiting the city. The book was both comfortable because of all the associations to “past lives,” and exciting as I turned pages wondering what would happen next.

By Sian Ann Bessey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2018 HONORABLE Mention for Romance Forward INDIES Winners Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large pink diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to repair a minor issue with the setting, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.

Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to…


Book cover of Small Admissions

Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman Author Of Girls with Bright Futures

From my list on college admissions mania.

Why are we passionate about this?

When each of our older boys were in the midst of the college admissions process, our husbands suffered life-threatening health crises. It was such a bizarre coincidence that we both experienced intense brushes with mortality during this time of high anxiety. The juxtaposition between health and college admissions gave us a unique perspective and led us to explore the impacts of college admissions anxiety on families, friendships, students, and school communities. We had entirely plotted Girls With Bright Futures and were nearly through the first draft when the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scandal broke in March 2019. We felt like the headlines had been ripped from our manuscript!

Tracy's book list on college admissions mania

Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman Why did Tracy love this book?

We read several popular novels that explore competitive school environments. One of the best in this sub-genre is Small Admissions, by Amy Poeppel, which provides a fictional glimpse into the cut-throat world of Manhattan prep school admissions and ultra-competitive parents. Poeppel crafts a fun, wicked read with sharp dialogue. We could easily imagine what would happen when the children in Small Admissions apply to college…their parents would fit in well with the characters in our book.

By Amy Poeppel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

People's Book of the Week

"The Devil Wears Prada meets Primates of Park Avenue." -The New York Times

"Perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep."-Booklist

Top 6 Books You Need to Read-BuzzFeed

Best Books to Give Every Book Lover on Your List-Town and Country

One admission can change your life...forever.

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson's handsome French "almost fiance" ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world.

Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to…


Book cover of Zabar's: A Family Story, with Recipes

Kathleen Stone Author Of They Called Us Girls: Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men

From my list on family biographies with regional history as a role.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read (and write) biography as much for history as for an individual life story. It’s a way of getting a personalized look at an historical period. When the book is a family biography, the history is amplified by different family members' perspectives, almost like a kaleidoscope, and it stretches over generations, allowing the historical story to blossom over time. The genre also opens a window into the ethos that animated this unique group of individuals who are bound together by blood. Whether it's a desire for wealth or power, the zeal for a cause, or the need to survive adversity, I found it in these family stories.  

Kathleen's book list on family biographies with regional history as a role

Kathleen Stone Why did Kathleen love this book?

Zabar's, New York's world-famous food emporium, is the achievement of another Jewish immigrant family.

Author Lori Zabar's grandparents, before they were a couple, fled pogroms in Russia (now Ukraine) and made their way to New York. Together they worked at a variety of small food stores before starting their own in 1934. From then on, Zabar's helped define the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

The story here is one of hard work and eventual success in a family-run business, expanded to include dedicated non-family employees. The book also contains recipes, including two of my personal favorites - latkes and kugel. 

By Lori Zabar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fascinating, mouthwatering story (with ten recipes!) of the immigrant family that created a New York gastronomic legend: “The most rambunctious and chaotic of all delicatessens, with one foot in the Old World and the other in the vanguard of every fast-breaking food move in the city" (Nora Ephron, best-selling author and award-winning screenwriter).

When Louis and Lilly Zabar rented a counter in a dairy store on 80th Street and Broadway in 1934 to sell smoked fish, they could not have imagined that their store would eventually occupy half a city block and become a beloved mecca for quality food…


Book cover of Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion

Lamya H Author Of Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir

From my list on queer and trans Muslim experiences.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a queer, nonbinary, Muslim, immigrant writer who has been reading their whole life and writing for part of it. I learned to write by reading–by devouring all kinds of books across different genres and paying attention to how words create feelings, worlds, and chronologies. I also learned to live by reading–I didn’t grow up with models of how to live a life that was true to my identities and so I read everything I could find about experiences that were adjacent to my own. The emergence of queer Muslim literature has been exciting to follow, and I try to read everything in the field.  

Lamya's book list on queer and trans Muslim experiences

Lamya H Why did Lamya love this book?

I love the way Bushra Rehman writes about immigrant New York in the 80s – in vignettes that thread together to convey a sense of time, place, and geography.

All her characters are portrayed sensitively and complexly: from the main protagonist Razia coming into her queerness, to Pakistani aunties with their own histories and trauma, to friends who grow further apart.

I love how much this story is about women as the cornerstones of community. 

By Bushra Rehman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Razia Mirza grows up amid the wild grape vines and backyard sunflowers of Corona, Queens, with her best friend, Saima, by her side. When a family rift drives the girls apart, Razia's heart is broken. She finds solace in Taslima, a new girl in her close knit Pakistani-American community. They embark on a series of small rebellions: listening to scandalous music, wearing mini skirts, and cutting school to explore the city.

When Razia is accepted to Stuyvesant, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, the gulf between the person she is and the daughter her parents want her to be, widens.…


Book cover of Up in the Old Hotel

Jonathan H. Rees Author Of The Fulton Fish Market: A History

From my list on the history of New York City.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Professor of History at Colorado State University Pueblo and have published eight books, mostly about the history of food. After encountering Up in the Old Hotel for the first time during the early 1990s, I started reading New York City history in my spare time. The Fulton Fish Market: A History is my way to blend my expertise with my hobby. Each of these books are beautifully written, informative, and fun. If you’re interested in the history of New York City and you’re looking for something else to read, I hope you’ll find my book to be the same.

Jonathan's book list on the history of New York City

Jonathan H. Rees Why did Jonathan love this book?

Joseph Mitchell was the city reporter for the New Yorker for about half a century. This is a collection of his magazine stories. Many of them involve the old Fulton Fish Market, but he also wrote about weird things like dime museums, gypsies, and stag banquets. 

To me, every story in this collection is like a time capsule. This is the book that made me want to write about New York City because it suggests there is a history on every block there worth recording. If you don’t like a chapter or two, then skip to the next one, but I’ll vouch for 80% of this book being the best non-fiction writing that I have ever read (and I practically read for a living).

By Joseph Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Up in the Old Hotel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a 93-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for The New Yorker and in four books—McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbor, and Joe Gould's Secret—that are still renowned for their precise, respectful observation, their graveyard humor, and their offhand perfection of style.

 

These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in one volume, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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