100 books like This Burns My Heart

By Samuel Park,

Here are 100 books that This Burns My Heart fans have personally recommended if you like This Burns My Heart. 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

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 The Surrendered

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?

What happens after you survive the atrocities and randomness of war? Chang-rae Lee examines the deep intricacies of this question and its ramifications, portraying three survivors (Korean War, Sino-Japan War) whose lives mesh at an orphanage somewhere in South Korea after liberation. From that common crossroad, the lives of Sylvie, a missionary wife, Hector, a G.I., and June, a Korean orphan, are forever intertwined, shadowed by pervasive doom pitted against the human need to endure. Lee’s intense focus on physicality seems to reflect the characters’ bodily will to continue life, even as their hearts are blackened by tragedy. It is an intense and absorbing read, frightening for what we do to ourselves and how, despite all the darkness and violence we create in the name of war, some continue to persist in a semblance of life, and helplessly pass along the damage of war to those they touch as they…

By Chang-Rae Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

June Han has forged a life thousands of miles from her birthplace: she has built a business in New York, survived a husband, borne a child. But her past holds more secrets than she has ever been able to tell, and thirty years after her escape from war-ravaged Korea, the time has come for her to confront them.

Hector Brennan, fighter, drinker and 'failure grand and total', is the man who long ago saved June's life. And between them lies the story of the beautiful, damaged Sylvie Tanner, whose elusive love they both once sought. On a journey that takes…


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 Choosing ME Before WE: Every Woman's Guide to Life and Love

Marcia Naomi Berger Author Of Marriage Minded: An A to Z Dating Guide for Lasting Love

From my list on dating toward marriage.

Why am I passionate about this?

Marcia Naomi Berger's passion is to help people create lasting, fulfilling marriages. An experienced clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and medical school clinical faculty member, Berger has held senior-level positions in child welfare, alcoholism treatment, and psychiatry. She says, "I stayed single for a long time because of my parent's divorce. Now happily married for over thirty-four years, I fill my books with the hard-earned wisdom I've gained professionally and personally."  

Marcia's book list on dating toward marriage

Marcia Naomi Berger Why did Marcia love this book?

I like this book because the author shares her story of transforming a heartbreaking broken engagement into enhanced self-understanding and a happy marriage. The book is easy to read. As the title suggests, if a woman loves herself before entering a relationship, she'll choose wisely instead of marrying someone who's not right for her to prove she deserves love.

I'm impressed by the author's affirmation of serendipity, willingness to be open to the unexpected. Christine used to think her future marriage partner should have traits like her ex-fiancé had: average height, a full head of hair, and professional occupation.

Before she felt ready for another serious relationship, Christine writes that she started dating a man who was bald, very tall, and seemed to lack ambition. She found him fun, comfortable, and with excellent character traits. Christine married him.

By Christine Arylo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Choosing ME Before WE as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Full of sass, soul, and the type of empowering wisdom that no woman should live without, Choosing ME before WE is like a heart-to-heart with your closest girlfriend. And best of all, you’ll discover that your closest girlfriend is your own truest self, inside you, always ready to offer wise, loving advice about what is best for you.

Designed to challenge and guide women to create the relationships they want instead of the ones they often find themselves stuck in, this book is packed with stimulating questions to uncover what’s true for you, powerful techniques to change old habits that…


Book cover of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Author Of Can We Talk?: Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work

From my list on maximizing your talent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m one of the world’s leading experts on the maximization of talent, who is the author of six books on leadership and talent. I’m also a LinkedIn Top Voice in Leadership and Workplace, and one of the few people who was a guest on The O’Reilly Factor, with Bill O’Reilly, who left the show unscathed.

Roberta's book list on maximizing your talent

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did Roberta love this book?

This book is another top pick of mine. Helgesen and Goldsmith provide advice for leaders who are ready to move forward, but are confused by what is holding them back. The book breaks down the 12 habits that hold women back (and some men) and prevents them from taking their careers to new heights. I love their direct no nonsense approach and pragmatic suggestions. A must read for women who are ready to break through and achieve greatness.

By Sally Helgesen, Marshall Goldsmith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

_________________________________
By the bestselling author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There

Do you hesitate about putting forward ideas? Are you reluctant to claim credit for your achievements? Do you find it difficult to get the support you need from your boss or the recognition you deserve from your colleagues?

If your answer to any of these is 'Yes', How Women Rise will help get you back on track. Inspiring and practical by turns, it identifies 12 common habits that can prove an obstacle to future success and tells you how to overcome them. In the process, it…


Book cover of Queenie

Nichola K. Johnson Author Of Sounds of Diamonds

From my list on real-life stories about struggles in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a quiet and very shy child, I found myself sitting alone reading books rather than playing with other kids. My love for reading at the time was restricted to children’s books like The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe or Roald Dhal stories until I upgraded to Enid Blyton Books and Mills & Boon romances as a teen. It wasn’t until I reached my twenties when I actually found the genre I loved. It was through my love of these stories I came to realise I didn’t have to hide anymore, and my love for these stories planted a small seed in my mind that I would have the courage to write my own.

Nichola's book list on real-life stories about struggles in life

Nichola K. Johnson Why did Nichola love this book?

Carty-Williams tells a very clever and witty story of Queenie’s struggles navigating life as a young black woman in South East London, right where I grew up. I can relate to her work life, friendships, and love life so much it’s unreal. Whilst reading this book I could really feel myself within the plot as I’ve walked on some of the streets she talks about, been to places she talks about and of course, we all have a past and a story about our childhoods that make us who we are today, especially when they have been challenging. 

By Candice Carty-Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE OF TIME’S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF 2019

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019 BY WOMAN’S DAY, NEWSDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, BUSTLE, AND BOOK RIOT!

“[B]rilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking.” —Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

For fans ofLusterandI May Destroy You,a disarmingly honest,unapologetically black, and undeniably witty debut novel that will speak to those who have gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.

Queenie Jenkins is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting…


Book cover of There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job

Alison B. Hart Author Of The Work Wife

From my list on women’s ambition and battle for our souls at work.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ll tell you a secret. I’m obsessed with money—not fast cars, designer labels, and McMansions, but the accumulation of capital: who has it, how they got it, and what lengths they’re willing to go to to keep it. So I’ve always loved novels about work. They cut right to the heart of a character’s true motivations, revealing what they’ll fight for and who they’ll love. Don’t show me what a person looks like, show me how they earn (or don’t earn) their living, and I’ll remember them forever.

Alison's book list on women’s ambition and battle for our souls at work

Alison B. Hart Why did Alison love this book?

When I picked up Tsumura’s first novel to be translated into English, I’d just given notice at my hectic corporate job. So when the burned-out narrator tells her employment agency she’s looking for an easy job that’s “ideally, something along the lines of sitting all day in a chair,” I could relate.

She searches for that elusive work-life balance at a series of strange positions, but when she lands a plum gig working in a small hut in a forest, the story’s disparate strands weave together into an emotionally satisfying whole.

By Kikuko Tsumura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"[A] 21st-century response to Herman Melville's 'Bartleby, the Scrivener.'"―NPR

"A revelation."―Time

A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing, and ideally, very little thinking.

Her first gig--watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods--turns out to be inconvenient. (When can she go to the bathroom?) Her next gives way to the supernatural: announcing advertisements for shops that mysteriously disappear. As she moves from job to job--writing trivia for rice cracker packages; punching entry tickets…


Book cover of Still Missing

Rachael Tamayo Author Of Crazy Love

From my list on psychological thrillers to turn your head inside out.

Why am I passionate about this?

When it comes to dark and twisted books with jaw dropping twists, I can’t get enough. I love them. I crave darkly creative books that make you think. Anything but your standard, everyday domestic thriller with the traumatized alcoholic main character. As a child I watched Law and Order and Masterpiece Theater mysteries with my mother. I loved a good British thriller. I suppose I got it from her, it was always something we shared. I veered clear of darker reading growing up, you don’t want to freak your parents out, of course. But now as an adult, I love it. No gore, no graphic shock horror for me. Psychological thrillers all the way. 

Rachael's book list on psychological thrillers to turn your head inside out

Rachael Tamayo Why did Rachael love this book?

This is the first book that I grabbed after seeing a BookTok recommendation for it. The premise was intriguing and what the reviewer said about it left me searching to see if there was an audiobook version. 

The only thing that stopped me from listening to this book in one sitting was life. Talk about a book that will leave you aching with the character, angry, and desperate for answers. Holy hot damn! I was in tears, I was gasping, I was listening with my mouth hanging open, grimacing in horror and I loved every bit of it. 

Trigger warnings throughout this book. I won't lie, this book is dark and horrible (in a good way) but it also left me feeling down. It's haunting and the narrative pulls you so far in you feel like you are there with her, held captive right by her side. Not to mention…

By Chevy Stevens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two year old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend.

The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events…


Book cover of Three Strong Women

Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau Author Of Memento: A Novel in Dreams, Thoughts, and Images

From my list on literary fiction about what goes on in a person's mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a psychoanalyst and a writer. I'm fascinated with the thoughts, feelings, dreams, and fantasies that make up our inner worlds, and I love how the beauty of language can reach beyond what ordinary experience seems to suggest. My novels take place in the minds of their protagonists; I look through their eyes and follow the ideas, memories, and hopes that guide their lives. I enjoy their idiosyncrasies, allow them to be weird, vulnerable, and volatile, and I think of them as lovable and in times of adversity as brave as any human being can be.

Cordelia's book list on literary fiction about what goes on in a person's mind

Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau Why did Cordelia love this book?

This is one of the most fascinating and beautiful books I've read.

It gently leads the reader into the lives of three protagonists (told in loosely connected stories), whose relationships start seemingly real but get increasingly confusing, enigmatic, and almost psychotic. After I read this book, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, I read all books by Marie NDiaye, and I loved them all.

Her language is original and amazing, and her characters are presented in such a caring and dignified way that the reader can empathize with and appreciate the difficult struggles of these women's disturbed and endlessly searching minds. Reading N'Diaye is an extraordinary experience. I am always waiting for her next publication.

By Marie NDiaye, John Fletcher (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Forty-year-old Norah leaves Paris, her family and her career as a lawyer to visit her father in Dakar. It is an uncomfortable reunion - she is asked to use her skills as a lawyer to get her brother out of prison - and ultimately the trip endangers her marriage and her relationship with her own daughter, and drives her to the very edge of madness.

Fanta, on the other hand, leaves Dakar to follow her husband Rudy to rural France. And it is through Rudy's bitter and guilt-ridden perspective that we see Fanta stagnate with boredom in this alien, narrow…


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