10 books like True Grit

By Charles Portis,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like True Grit. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Never Cry Wolf

By Farley Mowat,

Book cover of Never Cry Wolf

Farley Mowat once declared: “I never let facts get in the way of a good story.” I have read Never Cry Wolf as fiction many times, even though its author pretended it was factual. As a writer interested in Canada’s north, Mowat’s universe is an obvious choice for me. The inclusion of Inuit characters is also quite appealing. In this book, a naturalist studies Arctic wolves in a makeshift camp in northern Manitoba and deals with the ridiculous expectations of the bureaucrats who sent him out there to fend for himself. He discovers that contrary to public opinion, wolves are not responsible for the decimation of caribou herds, humans are. Some elements are exaggerated for comic effect, and as one of Canada’s best storytellers, Mowat delivers on laughs. 

Never Cry Wolf

By Farley Mowat,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Never Cry Wolf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maxim Gorky, born Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov in 1868 to the low stratum of Russian society, rose to prominence early in life as a writer and publicist. Gorky, who did not have a formal education, became famous in his country and abroad. Writing could not satisfy the rebellious Gorky who soon became involved in revolutionary movements. After a short period with the populist/narodnik movement, Gorky became disillusioned with the peasant class, and, instead, he chose the nascent class of workers as the vehicle for change. It is as if Gorky and capitalism arrived in Russia together. In his view the intelligentsia…


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

By John Le Carré,

Book cover of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

John Le Carré is one of the reasons I became a spy thriller writer. Like Joseph Conrad who wrote great novels that happened to be set at sea, Le Carré writes literary novels set in the world of spies. Spare, authentic, intensely realistic, this book plunges you deep into the duplicitous world of spy tradecraft, reeling you in with a brilliant plot, spot-on characterizations and line after line of dialogue you’ll want to quote. The story depicts Alex Leamas, a burnt-out British agent who defects in a scheme to eliminate a powerful East German spymaster, but what it's really about are the choices we make—and the costs. This book made me realize that genre could be a tool and not a walled-in garden.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

By John Le Carré,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Spy Who Came in from the Cold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carre's career worldwide

In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse-a desk job-Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered…

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Book cover of News of the World

This is one of those stories about a career I would have never considered. After the Civil War, Captain Kidd travels to Texas doing live readings of newspapers. He is tasked with caring for an orphan who is reluctantly being transported to a family she does not remember. This tells a story of an individual, Joanne, lost between two cultures as a bond is created with the elderly and honorable Kidd. This holds a vivid description of the place and time.

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked News of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his…

Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein,

Book cover of Code Name Verity

I was recently drawn to this book because of its unusual central characters—two young women, Julie and Maddie, from very different backgrounds, who become friends during WW2. Both women are doing crucial work, not being the object of desire for a man, not competing with one another. I read it in one sitting. The ingenious structure starts with a ‘confession’ by SOE recruit Julie, written under torture by the Nazis in France, which reveals the depth of her friendship with Maddie, a pilot, supposedly just transporting planes for the RAF, who ends up hiding in occupied France trying to free her friend from the most appalling fate. I found it clever, moving, and unputdownable. Code Name Verity is marketed as YA but was quite graphic enough for this adult!

Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Code Name Verity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.'

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. When a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France, she is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in…


Circe

By Madeline Miller,

Book cover of Circe

Set in the ancient realm of Greek mythology, Madeline Miller gives her novel a surprisingly contemporary feeling. By recounting the tales of the witch Circe, daughter of the titan Helios, this book celebrates the strength of a woman who stands against the anger and vengefulness of mortals and Olympian gods, drawing strength from the nature of the island of Aiaia where she has been banished. While becoming skilled in Pharmaka, the art of doing witchcraft with herbs grown where gods have died, Circe meets legendary figures like Daedalus, Odysseus, Jason, and famed gods like Apollo and Athena. Circe is an ode to ancient myths and teaches us to break free from conformity, fight for what we love, and use nature to heal ourselves and the rest of the world. 

Circe

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Another common favourite amongst many, but its popularity, in my opinion, is wholly justified. The world of these books is extremely deep, which I love most of all. Its cultures, languages, and relationships between peoples and nations provide a world that is nothing short of immersive and utterly believable. Ironically, these books taught me an extremely important lesson: loyalty should never be given blindly through obligation, tradition, or dictatorship. The second lesson I took from these books was also extremely important: if the game involves gambling, don’t play it.

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


Bloody Jack

By L.A. Meyer,

Book cover of Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy

Mary "Jacky" Faber, an orphaned street kid in early 19th century London, begins her adventures across the seven seas by dressing up as a ship's boy. Throughout the series she builds up quite the amazing resume that would put a Navy Seal to shame. And of course, there is a bit of romance here and there but the focus lies on Jacky sailing the world and kicking butt!

Bloody Jack

By L.A. Meyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .

Sabriel

By Garth Nix,

Book cover of Sabriel

Sabriel was one of the first fantasy novels I picked up and read. In my early search, I found it difficult to find good fantasy stories that featured female heroines both realistically and respectfully. That’s why I was so delighted when I found this book.

Sabriel is the 18-year-old daughter of the Abhorsen, and she’s called to an epic quest filled with strange magics and deathly dangers. I like that she has lots of help along the way, besides being a necromancer herself who’s following in her father’s footsteps.

Personally, I don’t like my book heroes to come pre-packaged and the best at all the things without having to work for it. Sabriel must work hard, overcome considerable odds, and lean on her companions to win the day. Good stuff!

Sabriel

By Garth Nix,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A stunning anniversary gift edition of the second in the bestselling Old Kingdom fantasy series.

Sabriel has spent most of her young life far away from the magical realm of the Old Kingdom, and the Dead that roam it. But then a creature from across the Wall arrives at her all-girls boarding school with a message from her father, the Abhorsen - the magical protector of the realm whose task it is to bind and send back to Death those that won't stay Dead. Sabriel's father has been trapped in Death by a dangerous Free Magic creature.

Armed with her…

Lonesome Dove

By Larry McMurtry,

Book cover of Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and it is a well-deserved honor. In a genre where most authors pass off gamblers, outlaws, lawmen, gunfighters, and other characters as “cowboys” even though there is seldom a cow in sight, McMurtry’s characters in Lonesome Dove are the real thing. He captures the essence of the historic cattle-drive era in powerful prose, and Gus McRae and Woodrow Call are timeless characters who ride an unforgettable trail. 

Lonesome Dove

By Larry McMurtry,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Lonesome Dove as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize winning novel is a powerful, triumphant portrayal of the American West as it really was. From Texas to Montana, it follows cowboys on a grueling cattle drive through the wilderness.

It begins in the office of The Hat Creek Cattle Company of the Rio Grande.
It ends as a journey into the heart of every adventurer who ever lived . . .

More than a love story, more than an adventure, Lonesome Dove is an epic: a monumental novel which embraces the spirit of the last defiant wilderness of America.

Legend and fact, heroes and outlaws,…


The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Book cover of The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley is Highsmith’s masterpiece. Tom Ripley is a deeply disturbed young man who operates in the world by imitating the people around him, but is missing any sense of moral responsibility for his actions. Somehow, Highsmith makes her readers care about him and hold their breath when circumstances close in on him. I recommend this book to any reader who wants an engrossing story that leaves her thinking about the mysteries of human nature, good and evil, playing out in quiet ways. 

The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Talented Mr. Ripley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's here, in the first volume of Patricia Highsmith's five-book Ripley series, that we are introduced to the suave Tom Ripley, a young striver seeking to leave behind his past as an orphan bullied for being a "sissy." Newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante, and Ripley begins a deadly game. "Sinister and strangely alluring"…


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