The most recommended housekeeping books

Who picked these books? Meet our 20 experts.

20 authors created a book list connected to housekeeping, and here are their favorite housekeeping books.
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Book cover of The Housekeepers

Krista Van Dolzer Author Of The Multiplying Mysteries of Mount Ten

From Krista's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Writer Genealogist Eggplant parmigiana aficionado Suffering BYU football fan

Krista's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Krista Van Dolzer Why did Krista love this book?

I'm a sucker for a good historical, so The Housekeepers immediately caught my eye—and when the MC was dismissed from her post as a housekeeper in a palatial London townhome in the very first chapter, I was immediately hooked.

The less you know about this one, the better, so I'll just say that if you love Downton Abbey or Ocean's Eleven, read this book because it's both.

By Alex Hay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The night of London's grandest ball, a bold group of women downstairs plot a daring revenge heist against Mayfair society in this dazzling historical novel about power, gender, and class

Named a Best Book of Summer by The Washington Post * Good Housekeeping * Harper's Bazaar * Reader's Digest

“Rollicking fun and entirely original... Anyone who relishes a good party gone wrong will devour this.”
—Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in…


Book cover of Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism

Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter Author Of Green Interior Design

From my list on the future of design and sustainable living.

Who are we?

After specializing in minimalism and zero/low-waste in luxury residential design, Lori Dennis Inc. was tapped to author two books on Green Interior Design. The mission is to make sustainable design and living fun and accessible. Both Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter discovered their passions for design at an early age, spawned from resourcefulness and creative resstaint. Having lived in NYC and LA, Lori and Courtney have a love of cities, community, and the great outdoors.

Lori's book list on the future of design and sustainable living

Lori Dennis and Courtney Porter Why did Lori love this book?

From the cover to its contents, Rachel Aust’s beautifully illustrated book, Less, lives up to its promise of minimalism. It is an excellent introduction to dive into living with less. She is fun and quirky and with her book’s guidance, you’ll be organized and decluttered, physically and mentally, in no time! 

By Rachel Aust,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Simplify life and amplify living by mastering the fundamentals of minimalism through this visual guide to embracing a minimalist lifestyle.

How can living with less contribute to a greater sense of fulfillment? It seems contradictory, yet the minimalist lifestyle, which focuses on scaling back your possessions and simplifying your life to just the essentials, achieves just that. Adopt minimal living, and you'll find that less is more:

More time because you don't waste it caring for and organizing stuff.
More space because you don't fill it with objects of marginal value.
More money because you don't spend it on unnecessary…


Book cover of It Started with a Scandal

Clyve Rose Author Of The King's Mistress

From my list on historical romance reads with lessons in love.

Who am I?

I’ve been a romance author for two decades now, and a romance reader for decades before that. It’s my favourite genre to read, critique, and write, closely followed by paranormal reads and mysteries. I’ve had the good fortune to win several awards for my romance novels, including a Gold Medal and an Irwin. My limited-release novellas have also been long-listed for ‘Best Romance’ and ‘Best Historical Romance’ many times. I’m a compulsive researcher too! I spend hours poring over old maps and out-of-print glossaries. I also visit graveyards quite a lot to learn names and life spans, and the how so many stories end.

Clyve's book list on historical romance reads with lessons in love

Clyve Rose Why did Clyve love this book?

Lord Lavay is determined to recapture his family’s fortune. His housekeeper is just as determined not to fail her fatherless son. Drama and growth – the best ingredients of the most moving stories.

This novel was the first one I read in the Pennyroyal Green series from this author. I almost gave up writing then and there because she wrote so well, so powerfully that I doubted my ability to become as good as her. This novel now serves as my measure, against which every romance novel is placed – including my own.

The way her characters are drawn on the page, the way they move through their own journeys, and still come together at the end, is seamless. Great characters, flawed and relatable. Excellent plot and pacing, including the world building.

By Julie Anne Long,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Started with a Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword, and a stone-cold conviction: he'll restore his family's fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach-when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green. An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. She is shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, and her survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to…


Book cover of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Shannon Hayes Author Of Redefining Rich: Achieving True Wealth with Small Business, Side Hustles, and Smart Living

From my list on minimalism, materialism, and getting by with less.

Who am I?

I’m an entrepreneur, chef, homeschooler, and third-generation farmer living in the northern Catskill mountains. With that many passions, I had to remove all other distractions from my life so that I could put my attention on what mattered most. My writing has been featured in The New York Times, National Public Radio, and national television. During the growing season, I broadcast The Hearth of Sap Bush Hollow podcast, chronicles and lessons from a life tied to family, community, and the land. You can also taste my cooking by coming to my restaurant, Sap Bush Cafe, on Saturdays, 9-2 (I’m too busy living the good life to be open the other days).

Shannon's book list on minimalism, materialism, and getting by with less

Shannon Hayes Why did Shannon love this book?

The surest way I’ve found to break the cycle of materialism is to develop an aesthetic for less, then face head-on the results of past consumptive behaviors. Marie Kondo’s book is the best there is on this subject. When stepping out of the rat race, many folks have a tendency to hoard as a fear reflex. Kondo’s words and wisdom, even if you can’t bring yourself to follow every last dictum, will help you see and feel the effects of materialism, and naturally shed that compulsion to “have more.”  I was always an “anti-consumer.” But it felt like a strict diet — I was resisting a compulsion to acquire more. 

After this book, then following her recommendations, that compulsion went away for good. I didn’t just think less was better. I felt it down to my core. My savings grew, my house got cleaner (relatively speaking), and I became far…

By Marie Kondo,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Marie Kondo will help you declutter your life with her new major Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space with the incredible KonMari Method. Japan's expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo will help you tidy your rooms once and for all with her inspirational step-by-step method.

The key to successful tidying is to tackle your home in the correct order, to keep only the things you really love and to do it all at once - and quickly. After that for the rest of your life you only need…


Book cover of The Housekeeper and the Professor

Mark Hummel Author Of Man, Underground

From my list on unlikely friendships or unexpected pairings.

Who am I?

Two instincts drive this list, one “writerly” and one about being human: 1) all good fiction maximizes various kinds of tension, particularly between people, and unusual or unexpected character pairings offer rich tensions; 2) I think we live in times when we are in desperate need of human kindness and must recognize that people from very different backgrounds can come together in their humanity. I love novels with complex characters and in books, as in life, I like to see people grow and change, and a big part of change is letting other people into your life.

Mark's book list on unlikely friendships or unexpected pairings

Mark Hummel Why did Mark love this book?

I am fascinated with “made families,” those connections of strangers who pass into such intimate friendships that they become de facto, chosen families.

While the core premise of The Housekeeper and the Professor will seize your imagination—the “professor” has suffered a traumatic brain injury that leaves him with only 8 minutes of short-term memory—it is the beauty of the friendship that emerges between him, the “housekeeper” hired to care for him, and her ten-year-old son that will stay with you.

In the present-tense living of having to reintroduce themselves anew to this math genius every morning, all the characters learn the value of a moment, and together they experience the “curious equations that can create a family.”

This thin, lovely, uplifting novel helped me re-learn the potency of fleeting moments and the enduring lessons of unexpected love.

By Yoko Ogawa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is one of those books written in such lucid, unpretentious language that reading it is like looking into a deep pool of clear water...Dive into Yoko Ogawa's world and you find yourself tugged by forces more felt than seen' New York Times

Each morning, the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to one another. The Professor may not remember what he had for breakfast, but his mind is still alive with elegant mathematical equations from the past. He devises clever maths riddles - based on her shoe size or her birthday - and the numbers reveal a sheltering and…


Book cover of Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear

Sanae Ishida Author Of Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl

From my list on Japan.

Who am I?

My parents were both born and raised in Japan but met in New York and eventually settled in Los Angeles, where I grew up. My first language was Japanese and as a nisei (second generation), I am deeply steeped in my Asian heritage. I am continually inspired by the art and storytelling that originates from Japanese culture and love to incorporate them into my own work.

Sanae's book list on Japan

Sanae Ishida Why did Sanae love this book?

These small, sparsely illustrated books are so charming and quirky! At the surface, there seems to be very little going on, but there is a soothing quality to the simple text that allows you to contemplate the little wonders of life. The naïve artwork works so well with the quiet, short musings by Kuma-Kuma chan and the narrator.

By Kazue Takahashi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lovingly rendered, meditative book on friendship is sure to find a permanent place on the bedside table

With sparse text and a deceptively simple, beautiful design, Japanese author/illustrator Kazue Takahashi brings to life the world of Kuma-Kuma Chan, which loosely translates from the Japanese as “cute little bear.” Making its first appearance in English, this charming book for preschoolers and readers of all ages poses the question, “How might my friend, a solitary bear, choose to spend his days?” The soft, almost dreamlike illustrations are accompanied by single sentences making it easy for emerging readers to follow along. Daily…


Book cover of The Door

Nina Schuyler Author Of The Translator

From my list on iconoclastic women.

Who am I?

When I was 12, I was given The Book of Questions by Neruda Pablo. “Tell me, is the rose naked or is that her only dress?” It was the perfect book for me, with an abundance of questions. As I got older, the questions turned more serious: what are these forces restricting women to a narrow strip of being? To a slim wedge of psychological existence? How did the definition of female pare down to only a fistful of traits—nurturing, accommodating, object of desire, etc.? I’ve found solace in books, with fully dimensional female characters who refuse society’s common assumptions. It’s these females I try to create in my work. 

Nina's book list on iconoclastic women

Nina Schuyler Why did Nina love this book?

It’s mid-20th century, Budapest, and the narrator, a Hungarian writer named Magda, interviews Emerence about cleaning her house. I fell in love with this book early on, when Emerence makes it clear that she, not Magda, will decide whether she’ll take the job. To this day, Emerence haunts me. She’s a peasant, illiterate, an anti-intellectual, tall, and powerfully built. And she’s a relentless gift giver, a caretaker of the sick, and a tireless worker, sweeping the snowy or leaf-stricken street for the 11 buildings on the block. The contradictions and inconsistencies pile up, which is why she continues to roam around in my brain. And there’s the lovely mystery, which only reveals itself toward the end, as to why she’s never allowed anyone into her house. 

By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This 1987 Hungarian novel in the modernist tradition combines emotionality and literary quality in the story of two women, a writer and her housekeeper.


Book cover of Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong

Terrie Farley Moran Author Of Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court

From my list on cozy mysteries featuring sleuths of a certain age.

Who am I?

My parents were avid readers and mysteries were a perennial favorite for all of us. By my early teens I moved from Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew to the Golden Age of mystery writers such as Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. Clearly addicted to mysteries without undue violence or gore, I discovered some wonderful television series as well. It won’t surprise you to learn that my favorite is Murder, She Wrote. 

Terrie's book list on cozy mysteries featuring sleuths of a certain age

Terrie Farley Moran Why did Terrie love this book?

Many of the women in my family worked in domestic service. I do know that their work lives were not easy and their employers were often quite demanding. Still, each time I wander into the Victorian era where Mrs. Jeffries is housekeeper to Inspector Witherspoon of the Metropolitan Police, I imagine that my grandmother or my aunt is one of the household staff who Mrs. Jeffries organizes to do a “behind the scenes” investigation and provide the Inspector with the right clues to solve his cases.

By Emily Brightwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mrs. Jeffries is back in the New York Times bestselling Victorian Mytery series, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey.

Thomas Mundy checks in to London’s Wrexley Hotel, but he never checks out. The maid finds him on the floor of his room, bludgeoned to death by his own walking stick. Inspector Witherspoon is soon on the case and learns Mundy had a reputation for being polite, charming, and diligent—an unlikely victim for such a violent crime.
 
But Mrs. Jeffries and the household staff uncover that Mundy was less an amiable businessman and more a duplicitous con man with enemies on…


Book cover of Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)

Jill Stoddard Author Of Imposter No More: Overcome Self-Doubt and Imposterism to Cultivate a Successful Career

From my list on personal development for kicking a$$ at life.

Who am I?

Growing up I never felt good enough. I was called ‘tubby’ and ‘little tubette.’ I tried to people-please my way to love and acceptance, being who I thought others wanted and needed me to be. I achieved. I followed (most of) the rules and was nice and polite. But none of that worked to cultivate a balanced or meaningful life. Not surprisingly, this led me to a career in psychology and a love of learning about how to help others with similar struggles. Reading and writing self-development books has completely changed my life for the better. I hope this list will help you do the same!

Jill's book list on personal development for kicking a$$ at life

Jill Stoddard Why did Jill love this book?

This book literally saved my marriage and allowed me to take my career to the next level.

Like many women, I was working full time (and was the primary earner) yet was still responsible for the great majority of household and childcare tasks. I was burnt out and resentful. This book gave me a system for getting my time, my life, and my marriage back on track.

Now my relationship is stronger than ever and the reclamation of my time has opened doors to all sorts of personal and professional opportunities I had been missing out on.

By Eve Rodsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK 

"A hands-on, real talk guide for navigating the hot-button issues that so many families struggle with."--Reese Witherspoon

Tired, stressed, and in need of more help from your partner? Imagine running your household (and life!) in a new way...

It started with the Sh*t I Do List. Tired of being the "shefault" parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family -- and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was... underwhelming. Rodsky realized…


Book cover of Swordheart

D. H. Willison Author Of Harpyness is Only Skin Deep

From my list on warm and witty fantasy adventures.

Who am I?

I’ve adored fantasy adventures for as long as I could read. A good story is a mirror of life, and sometimes life can feel hard, cold, and impersonal. Yet life can also be an adventure, and like fictional heroes, the way in which we overcome our challenges is what makes us truly human. And sometimes it’s the actions of fantastical or inhuman creatures that show us true humanity. When a hero overcomes their challenges in a way that shows humanity, I stand up and cheer. When they do it in a way that’s creative or funny, I laugh. When an author can do both, I treasure it.

D. H.'s book list on warm and witty fantasy adventures

D. H. Willison Why did D. H. love this book?

With its combination of mature, flawed characters, slow-burn romance, and just the right amount of magic and wonder in the world, Swordheart is one of my favorite fantasy romances.

It’s an odd couple: a quirky widow for whom life on the road, and certainly pursuit by all manner of bandits is unfamiliar territory, together with a grumpy warrior imprisoned in an enchanted sword. Yet the two draw closer as they overcome countless obstacles together. 

By T. Kingfisher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle's estate… and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws… and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all.