100 books like Who Killed Jane Stanford?

By Richard White,

Here are 100 books that Who Killed Jane Stanford? fans have personally recommended if you like Who Killed Jane Stanford?. 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 In the Country of Women

William F. Deverell Author Of Kathy Fiscus: A Tragedy That Transfixed the Nation

From my list on family in California.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American West and a professor at the University of Southern California. I also direct the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. I love the way very smart and ambitious family histories illuminate the fascinating (or sometimes mundane) lives of people in the past and, at the same time, use those stories to help us understand bigger-picture issues, eras, and all the turbulence of American life. That little-girl-in-the-well book I wrote is the first time I’ve attempted family history. It was so hard to try to get it right but, at the same time, exhilarating to think that maybe I did.

William's book list on family in California

William F. Deverell Why did William love this book?

Novelist as genealogist, genealogist as novelist. A fiercely loyal portrait of a range of amazing women whose lives feel as if they were fictional, but they were and are not. A tender portrait of several generations of smart and loving mothers, wives, and daughters whose California is not the place of wealth and glamor but rather of making do, getting by, and loving your people and landscapes.

By Susan Straight,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Country of Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of NPR's Best Books of the Year

“Straight’s memoir is a lyric social history of her multiracial clan in Riverside that explores the bonds of love and survival that bind them, with a particular emphasis on the women’s stories . . . The aftereffect of all these disparate stories juxtaposed in a single epic is remarkable. Its resonance lingers for days after reading.” —San Francisco Chronicle

In the Country of Women is a valuable social history and a personal narrative that reads like a love song to America and indomitable women. In inland Southern California, near the desert and…


Book cover of The Browns of California

William F. Deverell Author Of Kathy Fiscus: A Tragedy That Transfixed the Nation

From my list on family in California.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American West and a professor at the University of Southern California. I also direct the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. I love the way very smart and ambitious family histories illuminate the fascinating (or sometimes mundane) lives of people in the past and, at the same time, use those stories to help us understand bigger-picture issues, eras, and all the turbulence of American life. That little-girl-in-the-well book I wrote is the first time I’ve attempted family history. It was so hard to try to get it right but, at the same time, exhilarating to think that maybe I did.

William's book list on family in California

William F. Deverell Why did William love this book?

A sprawling family story that, thanks to the sheer effort and skill of its author, tackles four generations of a political dynasty’s history and shapes it into a history of modern California at the same time. We see the Browns both shaping California and in turn being inexorably shaped by it, and we come away knowing them and knowing the Golden State all the better for this book’s depth and ambition.

By Miriam Pawel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Miriam Pawel's fascinating book . . . illuminates the sea change in the nation's politics in the last half of the 20th century."--New York Times Book Review

California Book Award Gold Medal Winner * Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize * A Los Angeles Times Bestseller * San Francisco Chronicle's "Best Books of the Year" List * Publishers Weekly Top Ten History Books for Fall * Berkeleyside Best Books of the Year * Shortlisted for NCIBA Golden Poppy Award

A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist's panoramic history of California and its impact on the nation, from the Gold Rush to…


Book cover of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir

Chris Lukather Author Of Homes by Byrd: The Art & Architecture of Robert Byrd and His Son, Gary

From my list on Southern California architecture history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in art and architecture. I studied Fine Arts at CalArts. I’ve written three books on Mid-century home builders and designers, William Mellenthin, Jean Vandruff, and Robert Byrd, whose life and work in Southern California had gone mostly unnoticed during their lifetimes—with very little information written about them in the press. I spent three years on each book working with the families to uncover their lives and place in local history. This is information that would have otherwise been lost. When you research the life of one person in this profession, you inevitably learn about the life and work of others—some famous, some not. 

Chris' book list on Southern California architecture history

Chris Lukather Why did Chris love this book?

D.J. Waldie’s writing reminds me of a Raymond Carver short story. His short, deliberate style draws the reader in immediately. You are hooked.

He walks to work. He lives in his parent’s original tract home, part of a planned development built in the 1950s in Lakewood, CA. It was the first one on the west coast. Waldie observes his friends and neighbors, the neighborhood, and its unique place in Southern California history.

After my parent’s divorce, my father lived in Lakewood and Long Beach, so I spent a lot of time down there when I was a kid. Does anyone remember Buffums department store?

By D.J. Waldie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since its publication in 1996, Holy Land has become an American classic. In "quick, translucent prose" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) that is at once lyrical and unsentimental, D. J. Waldie recounts growing up in Lakewood, California, a prototypical post-World War II suburb. Laid out in 316 sections as carefully measured as a grid of tract houses, Holy Land is by turns touching, eerie, funny, and encyclopedic in its handling of what was gained and lost when thousands of blue-collar families were thrown together in the suburbs of the 1950s. An intensely realized and wholly original memoir about the way…


Book cover of On Gold Mountain: The 100-Year Odyssey of a Chinese-American Family

William F. Deverell Author Of Kathy Fiscus: A Tragedy That Transfixed the Nation

From my list on family in California.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the American West and a professor at the University of Southern California. I also direct the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. I love the way very smart and ambitious family histories illuminate the fascinating (or sometimes mundane) lives of people in the past and, at the same time, use those stories to help us understand bigger-picture issues, eras, and all the turbulence of American life. That little-girl-in-the-well book I wrote is the first time I’ve attempted family history. It was so hard to try to get it right but, at the same time, exhilarating to think that maybe I did.

William's book list on family in California

William F. Deverell Why did William love this book?

Richly woven history of immigration, family, and the California Dream as refracted through Chinese newcomers and their Chinese American descendants. The author has two very powerful tools at her disposal – penetrating historical sensibility and a great novelist’s ear for language. Across time and space, family stories, and passed-down memories endure. They all come together in this wonderful book in which California alternates between background and foreground through both hope and disappointment.

By Lisa See,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Gold Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Out of the stories heard in her childhood in Los Angeles's Chinatown and years of research, See has constructed this sweeping chronicle of her Chinese-American family, a work that takes in stories of racism and romance, entrepreneurial genius and domestic heartache, secret marriages and sibling rivalries, in a powerful history of two cultures meeting in a new world. 82 photos.


Book cover of Five Decembers

Ward Howarth Author Of River City Blues

From my list on WWII era reads no crime fiction fan should miss.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author, reader, and cinephile with a real appetite for all things crime. If it’s a mystery, if it’s a detective story, if there are questionable morals at play in a story with no easy answers and no clear way out, then count me in. I’m also fascinated by the WWII era and was spellbound by the stories my maternal grandfather told me about his time as an infantry soldier in Italy during the war. These passions moved me to write my own novels and continue to inspire me in my embrace of art. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I do!

Ward's book list on WWII era reads no crime fiction fan should miss

Ward Howarth Why did Ward love this book?

Winner of the 2022 Edgar Award for Best Novel, James Kestrel’s Five Decembers tells a gripping story of survival that spans the entirety of World War II.

It’s got it all, man, and it is a helluva fantastic read. The story begins in Honolulu, Hawaii, and follows detective Joe McGrady on the trail of a murder that takes him far from home and far from the woman he loves.

Before he knows it, he’s in the middle of the war, in Japan, no less, and nothing for him will ever be the same.

Don’t walk for this one, run, and keep a copy on your shelf. You’re sure to reread it a few times and the cover’s a true beaut.

By James Kestrel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2022 Edgar Award for Best Novel

"War, imprisonment, torture, romance...The novel has an almost operatic symmetry, and Kestrel turns a beautiful phrase."
-New York Times

Five Decembers is a gripping thriller, a staggering portrait of war, and a heartbreaking love story, as unforgettable as All the Light We Cannot See.

NOMINATED FOR BEST THRILLER IN THE 2022 BARRY AWARDS

FINALIST FOR THE HAMMETT PRIZE 2021

"Read this book for its palpitating story, its perfect emotional and physical detailing and, most of all, for its unforgettable conjuring of a steamy quicksilver world that will be new to almost…


Book cover of City of Stairs

Scott A. Bollens Author Of ReStart: Stories of the Cairn Age

From my list on dystopia where cities pulsate with life and death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic in rebellion. I have interviewed hundreds of urban leaders and professionals in nine divided urban areas throughout the world. I have written much on this subject, replete with footnotes and sophisticated writing. I am weary of writing more about this important topic—how people do or do not get along in urban settings—from an academic distance. I find the scholarly posture sterilized and insufficiently provocative. I entered into the fictional genre in order to reach a broader audience. I think that fictional futurist writing has the unique ability to portray extraordinary new worlds while at the same time addressing fundamental issues that we face now.

Scott's book list on dystopia where cities pulsate with life and death

Scott A. Bollens Why did Scott love this book?

What could be more fun than Gods getting involved in city planning? Spy story wrapped inside a grand and mysterious history of once-supreme Gods now dormant (or not). Memorable characters. Don’t mess with the giant grunt Sigrud. Divine power with 6 Gods (light bearer, judge, warrior, seed-sower, trickster, and builder). Imagine holding a committee meeting with this group. Magical portals that enable back-and-forth between current gritty and past majestic city. A thought-provoking conclusion that speaks to worldwide conflict in real life today. 

By Robert Jackson Bennett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Robert Jackson Bennett deserves a huge audience' - Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Prism

In the city of stairs, nothing is as it seems.

You've got to be careful when you're chasing a murderer through Bulikov, for the world is not as it should be in that city. When the gods were destroyed and all worship of them banned by the Polis, reality folded; now stairs lead to nowhere, alleyways have become portals to the past, and criminals disappear into thin air.

The murder of Dr Efrem Pangyui, the Polis diplomat researching the Continent's past,…


Book cover of One for All

Allyson Dahlin Author Of Cake Eater

From my list on YA that put a fictional twist on real history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by Marie Antoinette since I watched Sofia Coppola’s film about her as a teenager. Pair that with a Les Miserables musical obsession and a Francophile dad that loved history, and I became fascinated with the French Revolution. My interest was re-ignited years later after I visited Versailles and wandered the foggy gardens where I must have gotten haunted by a French ghost because the idea for Cake Eater struck me after I returned home. I was in a bit of a writing slump at the time, but the idea took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I drafted Cake Eater for Nanowrimo and it became my debut novel.

Allyson's book list on YA that put a fictional twist on real history

Allyson Dahlin Why did Allyson love this book?

Ballgowns, swords, and secrets abound in One for All, a fresh retelling of The Three Musketeers. As the daughter of one of the original Musketeers, the main character Tania is an expert sword fighter who also struggles will the chronic illness, POTS.

There is so much action, intrigue, and mystery in this book while adding fresh and needed representation to the genre. Even though this isn’t strictly a historical event, a lot of us associate The Three Musketeers with the time of Louis XIV, and it’s fantastic to see that time period in a new light from a fresh perspective.

By Lillie Lainoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One for All 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?

"There are no limits to the will-and the strength-of this unique female hero." -Tamora Pierce, writer of the Song of the Lioness and the Protector of the Small quartets

One for All is a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but "a sick girl." But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father-a former Musketeer and her greatest…


Book cover of A Master of Djinn

Caroline Stevermer Author Of The Glass Magician

From my list on historical fantasy for armchair travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write fantasy novels, including A College of Magics, River Rats, and When the King Comes Home. With Patricia C. Wrede, I wrote half of the Kate and Cecy series: Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician.

Caroline's book list on historical fantasy for armchair travel

Caroline Stevermer Why did Caroline love this book?

Agent of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, Fatma el-Sha'arawi is the spectacularly well-dressed protagonist tasked with saving the world (again) in an alternate 1912 Cairo. This award-winning novel awed me with its detail and invention. What I loved most was the way the world building relegated the British Empire to relative unimportance. Come to think of it, I loved the Ministry library almost as much.

By P. Djèlí Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Included in NPR’s Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books Of The Past Decade (2011-2021)
A Nebula Award Winner
A Ignyte Award Winner
A Compton Crook Award for Best New Novel Winner
A Locus First Novel Award Winner
A RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner
A Hugo Award Finalist
A World Fantasy Award Finalist
A NEIBA Book Award Finalist
A Mythopoeic Award Finalist
A Dragon Award Finalist
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Amazon
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Kobo

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark goes full-length for the first time in his dazzling debut…


Book cover of He Do the Time Police in Different Voices

Kate Darroch Author Of Death in Paris

From my list on humorous murder mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Living on Devon's gorgeous coast, I'm melding my lifelong love of reading Cozy Sleuths with my love of writing and years of living in foreign climes to write Travel Cozies. I also have a Vella Heist serial Found Money starting on Vella soon, and a Cozy Spy series They Call Him Gimlet coming out in the Autumn.

Kate's book list on humorous murder mysteries

Kate Darroch Why did Kate love this book?

My all time fav Humorous Murder Mystery (now out of print but still available currently in the anthology He Do The Time Police In Different Voices) British author David Langford's The Spear of he Sun is set on a spaceship. This gem is simultaneously a terrific Locked Room murder mystery; the best Father Brown story I have ever read (and I've been a Father Brown fan for decades); a wonderful cozy mystery; and a fantastic parody-pastiche of GK Chesterton, The Roman Catholic Church imprints, and Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine, all three at the same time. It's tears-of-laughter-pouring-down-your-cheeks funny, and a Hall-of-Fame-Quality of murder mystery if read straight. Don't miss it.

By David Langford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked He Do the Time Police in Different Voices as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A collection of Langford parodies and pastiches incorporating the whole of The Dragonhiker's Guide to Battlefield Covenant at Dune's Edge: Odyssey Two (1988, long out of print) plus some 40,000 words of additional material.


Book cover of Burden Falls

Dawn Kurtagich Author Of And the Trees Crept In

From my list on ghost books for teen readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I often refer to myself as a haunted body. Death is something that has fascinated and alarmed me since I can remember. I’ve even had a spooky experience or five that I can’t explain. But to write a ghost story is akin to making someone fall in love with you, or lean in close to hear a secret. I love the intrigue and power of that kind of tale. Our oldest stories are ghost stories and the biggest and most enduring mystery for the entirety of humanity is: Is there life after death? 

Dawn's book list on ghost books for teen readers

Dawn Kurtagich Why did Dawn love this book?

I love a vengeful ghost. And Dead-Eyed Sadie, who haunts the little town of Burden Falls, is like an eyeless grudge’s Kayako Saeki. I almost expected to hear that horrible death rattle while flipping the pages. After a series of nightmares and a vision of Sadie, and the appearance of a dead body, teen sleuth, Ava Thorne is determined to solve the town’s murder problem before she becomes the main suspect. With a cursed waterfall and a vengeful ghost to contend with, it should be simple… right? Not when the murderer seems to have a vendetta against the Thornes and there’s a ghost on the loose.

By Kat Ellis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Burden Falls 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?

Riverdale meets The Haunting of Hill House in the unmissable next novel from the author of Harrow Lake.

"Cinematic, clever, and creepy, with a main charactger that leaps off the page, Burden Falls ticks off all my moody thriller boxes." —Goldy Moldavsky, New York Times bestselling author of The Mary Shelley Club and Kill the Boy Band

The town of Burden Falls drips with superstition, from rumors of its cursed waterfall to Dead-Eyed Sadie, the disturbing specter who haunts it. Ava Thorn grew up right beside the falls, and since a horrific accident killed her parents a year ago, she's…


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