100 books like Your House Will Pay

By Steph Cha,

Here are 100 books that Your House Will Pay fans have personally recommended if you like Your House Will Pay. 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 Rebecca

Raemi A. Ray Author Of A Chain of Pearls

From my list on unique, moody settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and became hooked on the Fear Street books by RL Stine. In college, I took a class on suspense and mystery and was introduced to the greats: Chandler, Hammett, Collins, Christie, Doyle… I could go on and on. As I consumed more, I became enamored with mysteries that were more than just stories about victims but also used crime as a vehicle to comment on the region’s social and economic issues. My favorite mysteries are more than the sum of its body parts. They also scrutinize the worlds where these heinous crimes were allowed to occur.   

Raemi's book list on unique, moody settings

Raemi A. Ray Why did Raemi love this book?

You can’t mention du Maurier’s Rebecca without mentioning Manderlay. The estate is essential to the entire spooky tale. I loved the way the house on a cliff feels sentient and antagonistic without the story ever venturing into the paranormal or supernatural. The reader is in the narrator’s head the entire time, and we’re left wondering what she’s imagining and what’s real. It’s such a well-crafted, haunting story. 

I also enjoyed the exploration of realistic morally gray characters: Maxim, Rebecca, Mrs. Danvers, and Jack. Everyone was at odds with the second Mrs. DeWinter, and their motivations were all complex and wonderfully twisted. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of Mexican Gothic

David Ferraro Author Of The Alchemy of Moonlight

From my list on Gothic with dark and haunting family secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror has had a place in my life since my parents let me watch horror movies at far too young an age. But horror comes in many forms, and I’ve found that my love for atmosphere supersedes that of cheap thrills. In Gothic literature, atmosphere is everything. Done right, it paints an unsettling picture that builds tension for readers hoping to get lost in a disquieting world. A lover of classics, I was drawn to Gothic texts, from Dracula to the works of Edgar Allen Poe, and my Gothic novel The Alchemy of Moonlight is a love letter to the pioneers who shaped these shadowy worlds for generation of readers.

David's book list on Gothic with dark and haunting family secrets

David Ferraro Why did David love this book?

Isolated locations are the cornerstone for building tension in a slow-burning mystery such as this.

With a strange family keeping secrets from our protagonist, to the quiet unease of something not quite right, the mounting dread of this Gothic tale takes readers on a journey both unique and unsettlingly familiar.

It crawls under your skin and remains, unbidden, like Noemi’s dreams of blood in a house that doesn’t want to let her go, just as the cousin she’s come to rescue seems destined to succumb under the rule of an oppressive family.

The resurgence of Gothic literature this new classic has inspired made it possible for my book to see the light of day.

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Mexican Gothic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but…


Book cover of Behind Her Eyes

Sylvie Perry Author Of The Hawthorne School

From my list on psychological manipulation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Psychological manipulation is a special interest of mine. In my “day job,” I am a psychotherapist with a focus on survivors of narcissistic abuse. I understand this dynamic well; I seek to understand it better; and I continue to be fascinated by it, both in my therapy practice and in my writing.

Sylvie's book list on psychological manipulation

Sylvie Perry Why did Sylvie love this book?

If, like me, and like the White Queen in Alice through the Looking Glass, you can believe six impossible things before breakfast, then you will certainly love this book. What you think is going on—is not. This is a book that turns all your assumptions upside down. You won’t be able to predict the ending: it’s beyond anything you could have guessed. And the characters are complex, enigmatic, yet real. You’re in for a wild journey. Highly recommend.

By Sarah Pinborough,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Behind Her Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't Trust This Book Don't Trust These People Don't Trust Yourself And whatever you do, DON'T give away that ending...

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets...

David

Young, successful and charming - Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife...

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet - Louise's new friend seems perfect in every way. As she…


Book cover of Becoming Los Angeles: Myth, Memory, and a Sense of Place

Mary Camarillo Author Of The Lockhart Women

From my list on life in the real Southern California.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was transferred to Southern California from Charlotte, North Carolina when I was fourteen years old. I was excited and my friends were jealous. At that point, all I knew about California was the music of the Beach Boys and the Gidget television series. I thought everyone lived on the beach and knew movie stars. I didn’t know there were neighborhoods like Reseda and Anaheim and Fountain Valley, places where people live lives that have nothing to do with the glamour and celebrity of Hollywood. California has been my home for more than fifty years. I still find it fascinating and puzzling, and I still feel like an outsider.

Mary's book list on life in the real Southern California

Mary Camarillo Why did Mary love this book?

D.J. Waldie elegantly captures the essence of the ordinary in this beautiful collection of essays. He has lived and worked in Lakewood, California his entire life and he doesn’t drive, which is remarkable in Southern California. Instead, he walks, he observes, and he writes about the kinds of Southern California neighborhoods that I know. I wish that I could describe the sky and the light as accurately and poetically as Waldie does. He has taught me to walk slower and pay attention. His stories of the history of Los Angeles are equally compelling. Waldie says he writes “about sacred and humanizing Los Angeles because I find myself there.” How fortunate for us all!

By D.J. Waldie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Los Angeles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Best-selling author and beloved chronicler of Los Angeles D.J. Waldie reconsiders the city in a collection of contemporary essays.

Nobody sees Los Angeles with more eloquence than D. J. Waldie.
– Susan Brenneman, Los Angeles Times Deputy Op-Ed Editor

Becoming Los Angeles, a new collection by the author of the acclaimed memoir Holy Land, blends history, memory, and critical analysis to illuminate how Angelenos have seen themselves and their city. Waldie’s particular concern is commonplace Los Angeles, whose rhythms of daily life are set against the gaudy backdrop of historical myth and Hollywood illusion. It’s through sacred ordinariness that Waldie…


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 Flower Grand First

Mary Camarillo Author Of The Lockhart Women

From my list on life in the real Southern California.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was transferred to Southern California from Charlotte, North Carolina when I was fourteen years old. I was excited and my friends were jealous. At that point, all I knew about California was the music of the Beach Boys and the Gidget television series. I thought everyone lived on the beach and knew movie stars. I didn’t know there were neighborhoods like Reseda and Anaheim and Fountain Valley, places where people live lives that have nothing to do with the glamour and celebrity of Hollywood. California has been my home for more than fifty years. I still find it fascinating and puzzling, and I still feel like an outsider.

Mary's book list on life in the real Southern California

Mary Camarillo Why did Mary love this book?

Flower, Grand, First is a collection of poems about Santa Ana, California and Jalisco, Mexico. The title comes from three streets in Santa Ana, where my husband’s family has lived for more than one hundred years. Hernandez’s poems are about place and displacement and examine what it feels like to be an outsider trying to make sense of life in a strange land, always searching for home. In the wonderful poem “My Father Shows Me Catalina” Hernandez writes: “Smile so you both know it’s okay that you are different. But once-in-a-while, the division is so clean it’ll cut into you.”

By Gustavo Hernandez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flower Grand First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gustavo Hernandez’s debut poetry collection, Flower Grand First, moves through the complex roads of immigration, sexuality, and loss. These poems are points plotted on maps both physical and emotional—the rural landscapes of Jalisco, the glimmering plains of memory, the busy cities of California, and the circular paths of grief. Hernandez’s stunning elegies float along a timeline spanning three decades, honoring family, recording a personal history, and revealing a vulnerable but resilient voice preoccupied with time, place, and what is left behind out of necessity.


Book cover of Stella Peabody's Wild Librarian Bakery and Bookstore: A Novel-in-Stories

Mary Camarillo Author Of The Lockhart Women

From my list on life in the real Southern California.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was transferred to Southern California from Charlotte, North Carolina when I was fourteen years old. I was excited and my friends were jealous. At that point, all I knew about California was the music of the Beach Boys and the Gidget television series. I thought everyone lived on the beach and knew movie stars. I didn’t know there were neighborhoods like Reseda and Anaheim and Fountain Valley, places where people live lives that have nothing to do with the glamour and celebrity of Hollywood. California has been my home for more than fifty years. I still find it fascinating and puzzling, and I still feel like an outsider.

Mary's book list on life in the real Southern California

Mary Camarillo Why did Mary love this book?

Stacy Russo is a librarian, professor, artist, poet, novelist, children’s book writer, vegan baker, punk rock historian, dog whisperer, and a friend. Her novel told in stories is a close observation of modern life in Santa Ana, California where her protagonist, Stella Peabody runs a bakery and bookstore. The lives of her customers intertwine and create an enviably close community. The sense of place is vivid, and the characters are finely drawn. I wish this bookstore was real and in my neighborhood. Recipes included. 

By Stacy Russo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stella Peabody's Wild Librarian Bakery and Bookstore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the magical world of Stella Peabody's Wild Librarian Bakery and Bookstore!

Stella Peabody, an independent and free-spirited "Wild Librarian," follows her dream and opens a vegan bakery/bookstore where she and her literary-inspired baked goods form the heart of a diverse community full of beloved characters, including Robert Gonzales, a romance novel devotee and loving husband, who finds solace in Stella's "Poet's Beer Bread" when his wife goes missing under mysterious circumstances; solitary psychologist Mary Chin who leans upon her experiences with Stella's "Women Who Run With the Wolves" Book Club to find comfort and meaning following a life-changing…


Book cover of Miracle Creek

Roxana Arama Author Of Extreme Vetting

From my list on voices of immigrants.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Romanian American author who arrived in the US with a job in software development. In more than twenty years as an immigrant, I’ve struggled with the same problems these novels explore: how to build a home in a new land, away from my family; how to fit in or make my peace with not belonging; how to be the parent of American-born children whose culture is different from my native one. I’m familiar with the US immigration system from my yearslong citizenship application, and I also interviewed an immigration lawyer extensively for my thriller.

Roxana's book list on voices of immigrants

Roxana Arama Why did Roxana love this book?

In this gripping courtroom drama, an explosion in Miracle Creek, Virginia, destroys the business of South Korean immigrants Pak and Young Yoo and puts their daughter Mary into a monthslong coma. As arguments mount against the woman accused of starting the fire, Young struggles with a question many immigrants must face. Maybe she shouldn’t have brought her child to the US, where Mary struggles as a teenager and where she was almost killed. The tension between the two generations resonated with me as a parent and immigrant. As Young hopes to discover who caused the explosion that killed two other people, she must also help Mary imagine a future in their adoptive country.

By Angie Kim,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'That wonderful, brilliant sort of book you want to shove at people as soon as you've finished so they can experience it for themselves' Erin Morgenstern

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng about how far we'll go to protect our families - and our deepest secrets.

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two…


Book cover of Country of Origin

Sung J. Woo Author Of Skin Deep

From my list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my high school days, when I encountered the mystery novels of Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker for the first time, I’ve been hooked on this genre. And yet it took me more than twenty years to finally write my first bona fide work of detective fiction. Why? Because I was chicken. Didn’t think I could cut it. After publishing two works of literary fiction, I figured I had enough practice to make an attempt.  Nope. Still wasn’t ready, writing myself into ugly, impossible corners. So I read Sue Grafton, John D. MacDonald, Dennis Lehane, and I kept failing better – until I failed best.

Sung's book list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin

Sung J. Woo Why did Sung love this book?

There are some writers I read purely for the pleasure of a well-written sentence. Don is one of those, because he is a Literary Writer™ – he edited one of the premier literary journals for many years. But here’s the thing – he is also one hell of a plotter. This first novel of his caught the letters community by surprise, but not me; the intricate construction of his short stories could only lead to a tale as labyrinthine as this one. Featuring classic mystery tropes, Country of Origin is a missing person case that leads our hero, an American Embassy officer in Tokyo, to seedy strip clubs, dangerous love affairs, and the CIA, all delivered with surgical prose that would make Raymond Chandler blush.

By Don Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this "poignant story of prejudice, betrayal and the search for identity" (Newsweek International), the trials and tribulations of these three remarkable characters are "at turns trenchantly funny and heartbreakingly sad" (Publishers Weekly). "[An] elegant and haunting debut" (Entertainment Weekly), Country of Origin is a "swirl of action, a whirl of love and sex and race and politics, local and international" (Chicago Tribune)-a "quiet literary triumph" (Booklist)

Lisa Countryman is a woman of complex origins. Half-Japanese, adopted by African American parents, she returns to Tokyo, ostensibly to research her thesis on Japan's "sad, brutal reign of conformity." When she vanishes,…


Book cover of A Person of Interest

Sung J. Woo Author Of Skin Deep

From my list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my high school days, when I encountered the mystery novels of Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker for the first time, I’ve been hooked on this genre. And yet it took me more than twenty years to finally write my first bona fide work of detective fiction. Why? Because I was chicken. Didn’t think I could cut it. After publishing two works of literary fiction, I figured I had enough practice to make an attempt.  Nope. Still wasn’t ready, writing myself into ugly, impossible corners. So I read Sue Grafton, John D. MacDonald, Dennis Lehane, and I kept failing better – until I failed best.

Sung's book list on mysteries/thrillers by writers of Korean origin

Sung J. Woo Why did Sung love this book?

For me, one of the greatest feats a writer can achieve is to make an unpleasant character eminently readable. Susan’s A Person of Interest is just that book – the lead here, an Asian math professor simply named Lee, is never exactly identified. We don’t know what country he comes from, and we don’t even learn his first name. A prickly sort, when a colleague of his gets blown to bits by a bomb (echoes of the Unabomber), it’s no wonder that he eventually becomes the title of the novel to the police. Also a literary writer like Don Lee, this novel is alive with character and brims with one dazzling line after another.

By Susan Choi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A compelling story of a mad bomber, a suspect scientist, and paranoia in the age of terror from the National Book Award-winning author of Trust Exercise and My Education

Professor Lee, an Asian-born mathematician near retirement age would seem the last person to attract the attention of FBI agents. Yet after a colleague becomes the latest victim of a serial bomber, Lee must endure the undermining power of suspicion and face the ghosts of his past.
With its propulsive drive, vividly realized characters, and profound observations about soul and society, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Susan Choi's third novel is as thrilling as…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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