100 books like Three Junes

By Julia Glass,

Here are 100 books that Three Junes fans have personally recommended if you like Three Junes. 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 Atonement

Paul Tomkins Author Of London Skies

From my list on heroism and flaws of the English during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lover of fiction since my teens, I only really took an interest in history in my 20s. I’m fascinated with WWII and the 1950s due to family histories and having visited key sites, like Bletchley Park and the Command Bunker in Uxbridge, near where I grew up. I’m not especially patriotic, but I am proud of what Britain had to do in 1940, as well as the toll the war took and the years of recovery. But it’s also the time, albeit decreasingly so, when people still alive today can look back at their youth, and we can all have a nostalgia for that time in our lives.

Paul's book list on heroism and flaws of the English during WWII

Paul Tomkins Why did Paul love this book?

As a huge fan of Ian McEwan’s early novels with their dark drama, especially The Innocent, I initially gave up on this book after the first 70 pages—but then, thankfully, resumed a while later. 

What seemed a genteel novel about manners transforms into something much more sinister and dramatic. I loved the tense atmosphere of it, with much of the story condensed into one hot pre-war summer’s day and then the later serious repercussions from what, at the time, seem fairly harmless childish actions.

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a…

Book cover of Brideshead Revisited

Richard Vaughan Davies Author Of Fireweed

From my list on books from a pre-internet era, full of action, humour and social comment.

Why am I passionate about this?

The list reflects my interest in history and my own recollections of the days before the current era of mass tourism and online globalisation. I confess to a feeling of painful nostalgia for a time when we all had a very different worldview, and these books are all of that period. They feature temporal grief for an age that has passed. They are all highly readable books by writers at the top of their game.

Richard's book list on books from a pre-internet era, full of action, humour and social comment

Richard Vaughan Davies Why did Richard love this book?

A world that has gone forever, portrayed by one of our finest novelists.

Nostalgic bliss in the Oxford of the 1930s, with its dreaming spires and punts down the Isis in the sunshine. The scene shifts to the aristocratic world of the eponymous stately home in its heyday before the war and in the very different conditions of wartime. It was hard for me not to feel pangs of sadness at not being part of this world – I failed the entrance exam to Oxford in 1960.

A masterclass in how to create characters and settings.

By Evelyn Waugh,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Brideshead Revisited as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is WW2 and Captain Charles Ryder reflects on his time at Oxford during the twenties and a world now changed. As a lonely student Charles was captivated by the outrageous and decadent Sebastian Flyte and invited to spend time at the Flyte's family home - the magnificent Brideshead. Here Charles becomes infatuated by its eccentric, aristocratic inhabitants, and in particular with Julia, Sebastian's startling and remote sister. But as his own spiritual and social distance becomes marked, Charles discovers a crueller world, where duty and desire, faith and happiness can only ever conflict.

Book cover of I Capture the Castle

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta Author Of Ark

From my list on living big in small spaces.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American author who lived three years in a backyard tiny house with my family: husband, two young children, and a part-time dog. We wanted to live a bigger life, focused on our favorite activities and most important relationships. I wrote this book during the first spring of COVID-19, partly as a way to record my family’s experience weathering a pandemic in under 300 square feet, and partly as a way to explore the ways that children can be resourceful when life gives them a pinch. I've been a writer for most of my life, and I love to teach writing. Ark is my first middle-grade novel, and my lucky thirteenth book to publish!

Elisabeth's book list on living big in small spaces

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Granted, nobody would call a castle a small space, but the world of 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain—the narrator of this full-of-life novel-in-journal-form—is hemmed in by her father’s writer’s block and his innate dislike of neighbors, resulting in their family’s life of dwindling gentile poverty in a dilapidated rented castle.

Much of the novel’s long-lasting enchantment is how Cassandra makes the best of the stone walls that contain and border her life. Cassandra has a wonderful imagination and a knack for seeing her life as a story. A very funny and wise coming-of-age story about how our homes shape our world-views.

By Dodie Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked I Capture the Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

A wonderfully quirky coming-of-age story, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians is an affectionately drawn portrait of one of the funniest families in literature.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Ruth Steed, and features an afterword by publisher Anna South.

The eccentric Mortmain family have been rattling around in a…

Book cover of The Dutch House

Joanne McLaughlin Author Of Chasing Ashes

From my list on digging out when life just buries you.

Why am I passionate about this?

That moment when you realize, whew, you’ve survived the catastrophe, but the greater challenge lies ahead? That intrigues me. Maybe that’s because my grandmother was struck by a Vespa in Italy when I was five years old, and we traveled home by ship through a hurricane that rocked much of the East Coast. Stories about “What’s next?” and “How do we push the rubble away?” are my go-to now, as they were during the years I worked as a journalist, first as a reporter, then for much longer as an editor. After my husband’s death in 2011, clearing the rubble yielded the first two installments of my vampire trilogy. 

Joanne's book list on digging out when life just buries you

Joanne McLaughlin Why did Joanne love this book?

Its setting in suburban Philadelphia (near my old house) drew me to this book. But I loved it for the way Patchett unwinds the event that upends everything two siblings understand about and expect from their lives.

I’ve experienced how a single accident or illness can change the course of the future. What I recognized and connected with was this book’s portrayal of what I call the Grief Cha-Cha, two steps forward, three steps backward, and how sometimes what you grieve isn’t so much the person you’ve lost as the person that loss makes you. 

By Ann Patchett,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Dutch House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lose yourself in the story of a lifetime - the unforgettable Sunday Times bestseller 'Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature' Guardian Nominated for the Women's Prize 2020 A STORY OF TWO SIBLINGS, THEIR CHILDHOOD HOME, AND A PAST THAT THEY CAN'T LET GO. Like swallows, like salmon, we were the helpless captives of our migratory patterns. We pretended that what we had lost was the house, not our mother, not our father. We pretended that what we had lost had been taken from us by the person who still lived inside. In the…

Book cover of The Cutting Room

Les Wood Author Of Dark Side of the Moon

From my list on diversity of Scottish crime writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a keen follower of Scottish crime fiction, a genre that has really come to the fore in recent years, spawning dedicated book festivals and many TV and film adaptations. The great thing about many of these books is that they don’t always follow the usual narrative of cops and baddies but have varied and diverse storylines, often concentrating on characters in unusual or extreme situations and not involving the police–something I attempted in my own book. My picks on this list hopefully illustrate just how diverse Scottish crime writing can be and encourage more readers to seek it out.

Les' book list on diversity of Scottish crime writing

Les Wood Why did Les love this book?

This book, by Louise Welsh, has an air of darkness and gloom that permeates the whole book from the very first page–something I find hugely compelling.

Although set in modern-day Glasgow, this story could be a gothic horror from the nineteenth century. Rilke, a thin, dark figure whose work as an auctioneer tasked with clearing the contents of the house of someone who has recently died, leads him to the discovery of a set of sadomasochistic torture photographs of a young woman that might, in fact, be actual snuff photos. His determination to discover what happened to the woman leads him into the city's dark, seedy underbelly that few of its inhabitants would be aware of.

I found this book to be incredibly unsettling, though the writing is beautifully constructed in a lyrical literary style, which drew me deeper and deeper into a world I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted…

By Louise Welsh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Cutting Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Unputdownable' Sunday Times
'I was hooked from page one' Guardian

When Rilke, a dissolute auctioneer, comes upon a hidden collection of violent and highly disturbing photographs, he feels compelled to discover more about the deceased owner who coveted them. Soon he finds himself sucked into an underworld of crime, depravity and secret desire, fighting for his life.

Book cover of Maggie & Me

Richard Glover Author Of Flesh Wounds

From my list on weird families and how to survive them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian writer and journalist. I’ve written several humour books, as well as a history of Australia in the 1960 and 1970s called The Land Before Avocado. I also write for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Washington Post and present a radio show on ABC Radio Sydney. Of the books I’ve written, the one that’s closest to my heart is my memoir Flesh Wounds.

Richard's book list on weird families and how to survive them

Richard Glover Why did Richard love this book?

A young boy, already knowing he’s gay, is growing up in a Scottish slum. The rest of the household consists of people who are drunk, violent, and unemployed. Then, watching the TV, tiny Damian sees Margaret Thatcher, the then British Prime Minister, emerging from the smoke and destruction caused by the IRA’s bombing of the 1984 Conservative Party Conference. Maggie doesn’t have a hair out of place. This little ill-treated boy, sitting on his filthy couch, thinks: “If only she could come here, she’d sort this lot out....” Maggie & Me is so fresh, unlikely, and hilarious, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be moved by the story.

By Damian Barr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A unique, tender and witty memoir of surviving the tough streets of small town Scotland during the Margaret Thatcher years ________________________ 'Shocking and funny in equal measure, and will have you weeping with laughter and sorrow' Independent on Sunday 'A work of stealthy genius' Maggie O'Farrell 'Certain memoirs catch a moment and seem to define it, bottle it ... hugely entertaining' Sunday Times It's 12 October 1984. An IRA bomb blows apart the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Miraculously, Margaret Thatcher survives. In small-town Scotland, eight-year-old Damian Barr watches in horror as his mum rips her wedding ring off and packs…

Book cover of To Paradise

Joan Silber Author Of Secrets of Happiness

From my list on linking characters who seem to be strangers.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite bits of praise for my books was Michael Silverblatt, of KCRW, saying, "There is no one else like her—she invents a new improvised form for her fiction." The last five books of fiction I’ve written (my total is nine) have been webs, spinning out from one character to another, across different times and places. It lets me be intimate and distant both at once. So I’ve naturally loved reading writers who’ve done this in various ways. People like to quote John Berger saying, “Never again shall a single story be told as though it were the only one,” and I’m in line with that. 

Joan's book list on linking characters who seem to be strangers

Joan Silber Why did Joan love this book?

The novel is set in three end-of-century time-frames—1893, 1993, and 2093. In the opening, set in a mansion on Washington Square in New York, we discover we’re in an America where same-sex marriage has been legal for a long time, and a young man is about to run off with a suitor his father distrusts (a new version of a Henry James plot). The next section is in Hawaii, the colonized Paradise, where descendant characters (with the same set of names, juggled) stumble and grab what they can of freedom and love. My favorite section is the last, where characters with those recurring names are in a New York of “cooling suits” and “decontamination chambers” and totalitarian rule. This is a wild and really quite brilliant book, whose sprawling parts are fueled by a searing vision.  

By Hanya Yanagihara,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2022

'This magisterial follow-up to A Little Life offers three books in one . . . Yanagihara weighs up damage and privilege - social, emotional, political, colonial in a gripping, immersive ride through alternative Americas.' - The Guardian 'Best Reads For Summer'

'After the painfully affecting [A Little Life] To Paradise gives us three stories far apart in space and time but each unique in their power to summon the joy and complexity of love, the pain of loss. I'm not sure I've ever missed the world…

Book cover of A Single Man

Arnold Miles Author Of Special Delivery

From my list on exploring sexuality and intimacy in and between men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for the themes and moods of this list because they explore so many parts of my emotions. They rile me, they work me up into a hot frenzy, they turn me on, they fascinate me, they bruise me, they heal me. I see myself in these books, and I feel that I understand other people. I’ve enjoyed (and still enjoy) reading these books published for free on blogs online, but now I want to write more and read more than I’ve done before. This list is a starting point, and I hope you enjoy them!

Arnold's book list on exploring sexuality and intimacy in and between men

Arnold Miles Why did Arnold love this book?

“Someone has to ask you a question before you can answer it. But it’s so seldom you find anyone who’ll ask the right questions. Most people aren’t that much interested.…”

I love this book because it shines a spotlight on loneliness and isolation in a way that most books really struggle to do. It provides you with a sense of what it is to be an outsider. I love this because it balances the melancholy with warmth and hope so so well.

By Christopher Isherwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Isherwood's short, poignant novel is a tender and wistful love story

Celebrated as a masterpiece from its first publication, A Single Man is the story of George, an English professor in suburban California left heartbroken after the death of his lover, Jim. With devastating clarity and humour, Isherwood shows George's determination to carry on, evoking the unexpected pleasures of life as well as the soul's ability to triumph over loneliness and alienation.

'A virtuoso piece of work...courageous...powerful' Sunday Times

'This mix of humour and stoicism in the face of pent-up grief is essential Isherwood' Guardian

Book cover of I Think Our Son Is Gay 01

Emmarie Bee Author Of A Twist of Fate

From my list on LGBTQ+ manga/graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved cartoons and anime. I’m also bisexual and non-binary. Growing up, gay representation was hard to come by, so when we did get it, we were always super excited, whether it was good or not so good. Luckily, I’ve gotten to watch the world change and grow more accepting, but sometimes it’s still difficult to find good rep when you don’t know where to look. I try to fill my books with good representation so that my readers can feel seen in a way I didn’t, and I want to spread the word about some great LGBT manga that I love and made an impact on me.

Emmarie's book list on LGBTQ+ manga/graphic novels

Emmarie Bee Why did Emmarie love this book?

I’m always a sucker for something sweet, wholesome, and low-to-no stakes when it comes to my gay manga.

It’s a sweet and wholesome story about a mom who realizes her eldest son is gay, but gives him the space, respect, and privacy to come out in his own time. She also makes a point to defend her son’s sexuality without outing him to others. It made me crack up because I remember being that eldest son - thinking I was slick at hiding my sexuality, when I really wasn’t.

I also love how the mom gives her son the space he needs and respects his privacy. A super mom, for sure!

By Okura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Think Our Son Is Gay 01 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A doting mother and her two beloved sons, one of whom she thinks is probably gay, go about their daily lives in this hilarious and heartwarming LGBTQIA+-friendly family comedy!

Despite belonging to a family of four, the Aoyama residence is typically home to three, with Dad away for work. Mom Tomoko and her two darling sons, Hiroki and Yuri, go about their everyday lives with little to disturb their gentle routines.

But as Hiroki begins his first year of high school, Tomoko can’t help but wonder if her eldest has fallen for another boy. Though Tomoko is content to cheer…

Book cover of Hither, Page

E.H. Lupton Author Of Dionysus in Wisconsin

From my list on queer historical romances with way too much plot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a long-time writer who recently published my first two books in a genre I’ll call urban fantasy/queer historical romance. I also co-host a history podcast. It’s made me much more interested in how time and place figure into fiction! I also love a good love story, but after devouring a ton of romance novels, I realized I want a good plot to go along with the googly eyes and tender declarations of eternal devotion.

E.H.'s book list on queer historical romances with way too much plot

E.H. Lupton Why did E.H. love this book?

The tagline for this book is “Agatha Christie but make it gay.” But Cat Sebastian does something better than that; although like Christie, everyone is concealing a secret, in Hither, Page almost everyone’s secret is being kept for a good reason—to prevent hurting someone they care about. In this book, Leo, a jaded, world-weary spy, is sent to investigate a murder in a small village. It's just after the end of WWII, and everyone is exhausted and wishes life would just get back to normal already, none more so than James, a local doctor with a touch of PTSD who needs nothing less than to get involved with espionage and smuggling. And then he meets Leo. (Spoiler: things go better than you'd think for the two of them.)

Reading this book is like someone you care about bringing you a bowl of tomato soup on a rainy day.

By Cat Sebastian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A jaded spy and a shell-shocked country doctor team up to solve a murder in postwar England.

James Sommers returned from the war with his nerves in tatters. All he wants is to retreat to the quiet village of his childhood and enjoy the boring, predictable life of a country doctor. The last thing in the world he needs is a handsome stranger who seems to be mixed up with the first violent death the village has seen in years. It certainly doesn't help that this stranger is the first person James has wanted to touch since before the war.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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