100 books like The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

By Rachel Joyce,

Here are 100 books that The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry fans have personally recommended if you like The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. 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 Pachinko

Kern Carter Author Of And Then There Was Us

From my list on family drama, sacrifice, and how beautifully messy a family can be.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a large family that initially didn’t include my mother or father. My mother made the sacrifice of leaving our island of Trinidad to make a home for us in Canada. She was separated from us for years while my grandparents raised me and my brothers. I think that type of upbringing triggered my curiosity about what a family can be. When I became a father at 18, the question of what kind of family I would build became the central theme of my life. It still is today, which is why stories that revolve around family are so captivating for me. 

Kern's book list on family drama, sacrifice, and how beautifully messy a family can be

Kern Carter Why did Kern love this book?

I loved this book because it shows generations of family sacrifice and how the decisions we make in our lifetime can live on for decades after we pass.

I rushed to read this book every evening and had to pull myself away. It was so amazing to me that this author could weave through years and years of family history in a clear, coherent, and powerful way. 

By Min Jin Lee,

Why should I read it?

11 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 A Gentleman in Moscow

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Russia is once again in the headlines, sparking a geopolitical contest between her and the West.

The period immediately following the Second World War can be viewed as a romantic era, marked by new hope for peace and the rebuilding of the world. The establishment of the UN aimed to resolve power struggles at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield. 

These elements are all found in this novel, which delves into the past to shed light on Russia's psyche and how it might shape the future. It effectively connects the past with the near future. House arrest is common in oppressive regimes across the developing world.

What intrigued me was that the protagonist was placed under hotel arrest and restricted, punished for a crime he didn't commit. It was a captivating read, especially given the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for…

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Meg Arroll Author Of Tiny Traumas: When You Don't Know What's Wrong, but Nothing Feels Quite Right

From my list on helping you understand why you feel the way you fee.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a psychologist, yet I am also a human being with real, complex, and, at times, disturbing thoughts and feelings. I would say I’ve learnt more from my own experiences and those shared by others than any training or qualifications. I never tire of listening to these real-life narratives, which are full of more color and depth than our rudimentary single-word emotion labels describe. I gather these stories up to feed my emotobiome (our microscopic inner world of feelings) along with the books and learnings from my list. I hope you’ll join me on this rollercoaster ride through human feelings–I wouldn’t miss it for the world. 

Meg's book list on helping you understand why you feel the way you fee

Meg Arroll Why did Meg love this book?

I’m not sure I could love this book anymore–I often speak about the importance of accepting and working through negative emotions and that there are no inherently “bad” feelings, but this book expresses the importance of the difficult seasons we experience in life in an utterly breathtaking and encompassing way.

This is more of a memoir than a scientific book that wraps you in a warm embrace of personal narrative, like talking to a dear friend after a heartbreak. With the inclusion of historical and anthropological examples of “wintering,” this book beautifully takes a stance against toxic positivity and why it’s ok not to be ok. 

By Katherine May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' RAYNOR WINN

'My favourite book of the last five years' CAITLIN MORAN

Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. Katherine May thoughtfully shows us how to come through these times with the wisdom of knowing that, like the seasons, our winters and summers are the ebb and flow of life.

'Every bit as beautiful…


Book cover of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Susan McCormick Author Of The Fog Ladies

From my list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a doctor, an award-winning writer, and lifelong lover of mysteries. Many mysteries feature smart characters. I prefer those with wise characters, who can teach me something about a life well-lived. Or not. Sometimes the mistakes are more instructive and more fun. Stories with older characters offer a plethora of life experience and wisdom, and usually poignancy and humor as well. From my life as a doctor and my daily visits to my mother’s retirement community dinner table, I see seniors who are strong, wise, vital, and often overlooked. I love stories that give voice to this robust and rich generation who have so much to offer.

Susan's book list on mysteries with senior sleuths and older characters

Susan McCormick Why did Susan love this book?

Some might consider this cheating, as Mma Ramotswe’s age is not obvious as the books progress, but after 23 adventures, I will count her tending toward middle if not old age.

If she is not, the gentle mannerisms and thoughtful concerns of her and her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, definitely put the books into this category of wise and poignant characters.

There may still be a mystery to each book, but these stories offer marriage advice, friendship advice, life advice in as joyful and tranquil a way possible.

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of Botswana's first and only ladies' detective agency. Here is a gentle interpretation of the detective role: solving her cases through her innate wisdom and understanding of human nature, she 'helps people with problems in their lives'. With a tone that is as elegant as that which is unfailingly used by his protagonist, Alexander McCall Smith tenderly unfolds a picture of life in Gaborone with a mastery of comic understatement and an evident sympathy for his subjects and their milieu. In the background of all this is Botswana, a…


Book cover of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Rhys Bowen Author Of The Paris Assignment

From my list on brave women in WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Rhys Bowen, New York Times best selling author of two historical mystery series and several Internationally best selling historical novels. Many of these take place in and around World War II. I have particularly focused on the bravery of ordinary women, the unsung heroines who risked their lives against impossible odds. My stories take place in France, Italy, as well as, England so these books resonated with me.

Rhys' book list on brave women in WWII

Rhys Bowen Why did Rhys love this book?

This book is perhaps my favorite of all the WWII novels.

Full of warm, eccentric characters and so true to what happened on the Channel Islands (where I have been conducting my own research!) Again it is set in the present and the past, with a present-day heroine going to Guernsey to meet with survivors of the Nazi occupation.

What starts off as a light-hearted mission gradually peels back layers of brutality and betrayal.

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved, life-affirming international bestseller which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide - now a major film starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton 'I can't remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one ... Treat yourself to this book, please - I can't recommend it highly enough' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love To give them hope she must tell their story It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of…


Book cover of Somebody I Used to Know: A Memoir

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?

Receiving a dementia diagnosis at just 58 years old can be paralysing, but Wendy Mitchell chose a different path. Instead of preparing for the end, she embraced life with newfound determination.

Wendy became a passionate advocate and speaker for dementia awareness. Her remarkable journey includes earning two honorary doctorates and achieving many of her life's dreams, including becoming a published author to share her deeply personal story.

With engaging wit and unwavering courage, Wendy candidly narrates her daily battle with the illness. Her story is both heartwarming and inspirational, as she shows us that despite the challenges, dementia can also bring unexpected gifts alongside sorrow.

Wendy's character is endearing, and her resilience shines through, leaving readers with a profound sense of hope and a deeper understanding of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

By Wendy Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Somebody I Used to Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK CHOSEN AS A 2018 SUMMER READ BY THE SUNDAY TIMES, FINANCIAL TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE TIMES AND THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Revelatory' Guardian 'A miracle' Telegraph 'A landmark book' Financial Times Brave, illuminating and inspiring, Somebody I Used to Know gets to the very heart of what it means to be human. What do you lose when you lose your memories? What do you value when this loss reframes how you've lived, and how you will live in the future? How…


Book cover of Still Alice

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?

Still Alice is an unforgettable emotional journey that defies stereotypes and touches the hearts of all. Alice, a vibrant fifty-year-old lecturer at the height of her career, challenges the frumpy old lady image associated with dementia.

The compelling first-person narration in Still Alice immerses readers in her emotional odyssey, allowing them to share her confusion and the poignant loss of memories. With sensitivity and accuracy, the narrative mirrors Alice's cognitive decline, tracing her transition from a sharp Psychology Professor to a fading mind.

The movie adaptation of Still Alice holds a special place in my heart. Taking my mother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had begun to show signs of decline two years prior, created a profoundly touching and memorable experience. The film resonated with our emotions and experiences, making it a truly heartfelt watch.

By Lisa Genova,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Still Alice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A moving story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease, now a major Academy Award-winning film starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.

Unable to…


Book cover of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

Irene Wittig Author Of The Best Thing About Bennett

From my list on uplifting contemporary novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always found that uplifting stories—in which kindness is more powerful than cruelty, and love and friendship blossom in unexpected and even tragic circumstances—give one hope, and hope is the foundation of resilience. Such stories can be set in familiar, comforting places, or new adventurous locales. My own experiences in Uganda, and my husband’s anti-corruption work were the inspiration for one of the locales of my novel about Bennett.

Irene's book list on uplifting contemporary novels

Irene Wittig Why did Irene love this book?

Set in hospice as Queenie awaits Harold’s arrival, her story is one of love, kindness, and acceptance, and fills in details not fully covered in Harold’s story. Though the books can be read independently, I would recommend reading Harold’s story first and then Queenie’s. When you finish you will be in love with Rachel Joyce.

By Rachel Joyce,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, 'Even though you've done your travelling, you're starting a new journey too.' Queenie thought her first letter would be the…


Book cover of The Accidental Tourist

MJ Werthman White Author Of An Invitation to the Party

From my list on aging, family, and relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, our public library in the basement of the Methodist church became my second home. However, I considered any visit a bitter disappointment that didn’t result in one or two dog stories in the stack I signed out. Big Red, Old Yeller, Lassie, Lad a Dog, Call of the Wild, White Fang (the occasional wolf was also okay), I loved them all. That experience has continued to affect the adult I’ve become. As I’ve turned to reading, and writing, stories of family, relationships, and, lately, of aging, it’s become clear to me that I’ve never found a story that wasn’t improved by the appearance of a good dog.

MJ's book list on aging, family, and relationships

MJ Werthman White Why did MJ love this book?

I read Ann Tyler for her unrivaled ability to create heartfelt stories illuminated by humor about family in all its broken splendor.

The trepidatious Macon Leary is our accidental tourist, writer of an advice column full of tips for making travel feel like staying home. He’s lost his son; his wife has left him. He’s back living with his two brothers and sister when Edward, his choleric Welsh Corgi, starts biting people. This bit of bad luck pulls him into the orbit of the irritating, opinionated, big-hearted dog trainer, Muriel, and on a journey back to a life worth living for both Macon and his dog.

Read The Accidental Tourist if your family (or certain members thereof) make you crazy. You will feel seen. (It’s also a terrific movie.)

By Anne Tyler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover a beautiful story of what it is to be human from Pulitzer prize-winning Sunday Times bestselling Anne Tyler

How does a man addicted to routine - a man who flosses his teeth before love-making - cope with the chaos of everyday life?

With the loss of his son, the departure of his wife and the arrival of Muriel, a dog trainer from the Meow-Bow dog clinic, Macon's attempts at ordinary life are tragically and comically undone.

**ANNE TYLER HAS SOLD OVER 1 MILLION BOOKS WORLDWIDE**

'One of my favourite authors ' Liane Moriarty

'She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

'Anne…


Book cover of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Irene Wittig Author Of The Best Thing About Bennett

From my list on uplifting contemporary novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always found that uplifting stories—in which kindness is more powerful than cruelty, and love and friendship blossom in unexpected and even tragic circumstances—give one hope, and hope is the foundation of resilience. Such stories can be set in familiar, comforting places, or new adventurous locales. My own experiences in Uganda, and my husband’s anti-corruption work were the inspiration for one of the locales of my novel about Bennett.

Irene's book list on uplifting contemporary novels

Irene Wittig Why did Irene love this book?

Major Pettigrew, a staunchly traditional Englishman struggling with an ungrateful son and the changes caused by the death of his brother, is unexpectedly drawn to the intelligent and cultured shopkeeper, Mrs. Jasmina Ali. Their friendship grows as they share their love of literature and the loss of their spouses, but rattles family and villagers' sense of what is proper and acceptable. This charming and witty love story is set in a small English village, where obligations, societal pressure, and cultural differences challenge but fail to defeat their budding romance.

By Helen Simonson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love?

Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew's Last…


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