The best books about the upper class

Who picked these books? Meet our 121 experts.

121 authors created a book list connected to the upper class, and here are their favorite upper class books.
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Privileged Lives

By Edward Stewart,

Book cover of Privileged Lives

Michael Gross Author Of Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the list on American High Society.

Who am I?

I started my career writing about rock music. Rock stars dated models, and I soon started writing about them, too, which led me to cover the fashion world, where I was often seated near the rich and famous at runway shows in London, Paris, Milan, and New York, and began to study them. Thus began years of reading and writing about Society, first for The New York Times and New York magazine, and later in a series of books on the worlds of the rich and the famous. The latest, Flight of the WASP: The Rise, Fall, and Future of America's Original Ruling Class, will be published this fall.  

Michael's book list on American High Society

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

This one is a bit of an obscurity. Another roman a clef from the 1980s, it’s a murder mystery set in Manhattan Society, only this time, it’s about the ways the high and mighty get down and dirty—and at the time, it was said to be based on several very real Upper East Side New York gentleman whose behavior was anything but gentle. At the time, many knew but no one talked about the sleaze and moral corruption that lurked in the dark corners of the world of wealth. I heard enough and saw enough to think that Stewart knew a lot.  

By Edward Stewart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York, its wealth, decadence and crime levels are the subject of this novel which tells the intertwining tales of a rich society queen's sudden recovery from coma and the discovery of a mutiliated corpse. When Lieutenant Vince Cordoza begins to investigate, he gradually finds links between the two seemingly unconnected events. What he finds is dirty, explosive and gruesome and involves not only the society queen's family, but the whole fabric of New York, rich and poor alike.

The Darlings

By Cristina Alger,

Book cover of The Darlings

Jillian Medoff Author Of When We Were Bright and Beautiful

From the list on very rich families with very dark secrets.

Who am I?

According to Entertainment Weekly, I’m a “bestselling author who has made a name for [myself] with uncannily insightful takes on the dark side of family institutions.” But really, I’m just a novelist who has always been fascinated by the myriad ways we play out our unresolved issues from childhood, again and again, over the course of our lives. Although my books are very different from each other, they all focus on the interrelationships among family members (traditional families, work families, etc.). In my most recent novel, When We Were Bright and Beautiful, I look at how wealth, privilege, and power can corrupt even the most loving relationships.

Jillian's book list on very rich families with very dark secrets

Discover why each book is one of Jillian's favorite books.

Why did Jillian love this book?

From the first scene of The Darlings, Christina Alger plunges you into the lives of the fabulously wealthy. The daughter of a Wall Street financier, Alger grew up in this world, and her experience and insight make the book sing. The Darlings is fast-paced and compulsively readable, and the characters are well-drawn and authentic. This novel includes everything I love: financial crimes, shocking scandals, lots of details, and terrific storytelling. 

By Cristina Alger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Cristina Alger's debut novel offers a fresh and modern glimpse into New York's high society. I was hooked from page one' Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada

From the author of The Banker's Wife and Girls Like Us comes an explosive drama about family, greed and high society scandal.

The Darlings of New York are untouchable. But no one is safe from a scandal this big.

When Carter Darling's business partner commits suicide, it triggers a huge financial investigation.

The allegations are serious. The danger of it exposing their private lives is equally threatening.

In times of crisis,…

Silent in the Grave

By Deanna Raybourn,

Book cover of Silent in the Grave

Karen Hanson Stuyck Author Of Death of an Unfortunate Woman

From the list on strong women solving mysteries in Great Britain.

Who am I?

I grew up loving stories set in the 1800s. I read Little Women six times, determined to become a writer just like Jo March. Eventually, I became one, writing everything from newspaper articles to medical brochures, short stories, and nine mystery novels. I set my latest book in 1819 Regency England. The myriad rules governing every aspect of proper behavior for “gently bred women” meant that any female refusing to conform faced scandal and ostracism from society. Any woman who managed to forge a life of her own design had to be strong, determined, and feisty—just the kind of female I want to read and write about.

Karen's book list on strong women solving mysteries in Great Britain

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

The book begins with the death of Lady Julia’s husband at a dinner party at their house. Both Julia and the doctor believe he suffered a heart attack. Only an enigmatic private inquiry agent, hired by her husband, thinks Edward was murdered. When Julia discovers a threatening note to her husband, she determines to find his killer with the help of the inquiry agent. Over the course of their investigation, Julia changes from a naïve young wife to a mature woman, confident in her abilities. I loved the wonderfully eccentric characters in this book. After Edward’s death, Julia’s sister consoles her, “Don’t fret, dearest. You have always looked striking in black.” 

By Deanna Raybourn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Silent in the Grave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Go back to where it all began with the original Lady Julia Grey historical mystery series from New York Times bestselling author of Killers of a Certain Age, Deanna Raybourn.

“Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.”

These ominous words are the last threat that Sir Edward Grey receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, he collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

Prepared to accept…

Imperial Women of Rome

By Mary T. Boatwright,

Book cover of Imperial Women of Rome: Power, Gender, Context

Eve D'Ambra Author Of Roman Women

From the list on women in Ancient Rome that cut the clichés.

Who am I?

I am a professor of ancient art at Vassar College where I teach Roman art and archaeology. I have published widely in the field and traveled extensively in the Mediterranean. My first encounters with Roman art occurred as a child in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC where I would stand before Roman portrait heads because their faces seemed stern and grim, yet ordinary and matter-of-fact. I have continued to observe Roman portraits over the years, but admit that I still sometimes find them daunting.

Eve's book list on women in Ancient Rome that cut the clichés

Discover why each book is one of Eve's favorite books.

Why did Eve love this book?

It is a learned but lucid work that shows us why we don't know the names of many of the emperors' wives and female kin. Boatwright looks at a range of activities of the imperial women across Roman institutions (the imperial gov't and its laws, the military machine, and the family and the court). Important now to understand how power takes hold in conservative, entrenched societies, and how leading women are exploited in these regimes. 

By Mary T. Boatwright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Imperial Women of Rome explores the constraints and activities of the women who were part of Rome's imperial families from 35 BCE to 235 CE, the Roman principate. Boatwright uses coins, inscriptions, papyri, material culture, and archaeology, as well as the more familiar but biased ancient authors, to depict change and continuity in imperial women's pursuits and representations over time. Focused vignettes open each thematic chapter, emphasizing imperial
women as individuals and their central yet marginalized position in the principate. Evaluating historical contingency and personal agency, the book assesses its subjects in relation to distinct Roman structures rather than…

What a Carve Up!

By Jonathan Coe,

Book cover of What a Carve Up!

Devorah Blachor Author Of The Feminist's Guide to Raising a Little Princess: How to Raise a Girl Who's Authentic, Joyful, and Fearless--Even If She Refuses to Wear Anything but a Pink Tutu

From the list on satire that makes you laugh and cry.

Who am I?

I’m a writer, journalist, satirist, and novelist. I’ve written humor and satire for McSweeney’s, The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, The Belladonna, and other publications, often about subjects that make me angry, sad, or both. Sometimes I write as a way to process, to vent, and to make fun of myself. I wrote a humor piece called "Turn Your Princess Toddler Into a Feminist in 8 Easy Steps." The New York Times published it, and it went viral. There was so much interest in the piece it prompted me to start researching the topic of princess obsessed girls. That research became my nonfiction book – The Feminist’s Guide to Raising a Little Princess

Devorah's book list on satire that makes you laugh and cry

Discover why each book is one of Devorah's favorite books.

Why did Devorah love this book?

This is a masterclass in satirical writing but also just in novel writing. Coe manages to combine a gripping narrative and murder mystery with a scathing indictment of Great Britain in the 80s, when venal wealth was king and the country lost its soul. This was one of those books where I felt like I learned so much, about British culture, politics, corruption, and a 1961 comedy horror movie that shares its name with the book title, but I didn’t notice it because I was having such a good time. There are so many layers to the plot – and inventive dimensions to the way the story is told - and it’s one of my favorite books of all time.  

By Jonathan Coe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What a Carve Up! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Big, hilarious, intricate, furious, moving' - Guardian Telling the stories of the wealthy Winshaw family, WHAT A CARVE UP! is a riveting social satire on the chattering and all-powerful upper classes.

The Last Mrs. Parrish

By Liv Constantine,

Book cover of The Last Mrs. Parrish

CJ Vermote Author Of Do I Know You

From the list on suspense with a splash of paranormal.

Who am I?

My love for reading suspense helped me develop the desire to write novels. It is as if I always have a movie in my head, so why not write them out. I have dyslexia, and reading along with learning is a challenge, but both have become my escape. I’ve always been fascinated by how a good suspense plays out and the relief that comes with the resolution. I added the paranormal world because I had a NDE (near death experience) in the 80s and became open to the paranormal. I became unafraid and see the paranormal as good. 

CJ's book list on suspense with a splash of paranormal

Discover why each book is one of CJ's favorite books.

Why did CJ love this book?

I have been subjected to the control of a narcissist and reading this book was something I felt deep. 

Liv Constantine brought forth the reality of what the outside world sees in a marriage, compared to what goes on behind closed doors. The control a spouse can have on a loved one puts a different spin on love.

I couldn’t help but feel the love grow and wonder what could go wrong when two people are so happy together. Having another woman setting up a plan to steal a husband made her despicable, but in the end, it became an amazing escape for one Mrs. Parrish. 

I felt so connected to the character in this book, not as a victim but as a woman who regained her strength and escaped.

By Liv Constantine,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Last Mrs. Parrish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Deliciously duplicitous. . . . equally as twisty, spellbinding, and addictive as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl or Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train."-Library Journal (starred review)The mesmerizing debut about a coolly manipulative woman and a wealthy "golden couple," from a stunning new voice in psychological suspense.Some women get everything. Some women get everything they deserve.Amber Patterson is fed up. She's tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more-a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town…

House on Fire

By Joseph Finder,

Book cover of House on Fire

Kayla Perrin Author Of We'll Never Tell

From the list on surprise suspense twists.

Who am I?

I’m absolutely passionate about suspense stories, especially ones with killer twists. Maybe it’s all the crime shows I watch, but the motives for crimes are so wide and varied, and I love when the unexpected is explored in fiction. I’m also intrigued by stories about missing people and the myriad of reasons behind why they go missing–especially when things aren’t always what they seem. Whether it’s the missing who return years later or hints of them suddenly appear, I can’t help but get wrapped up in a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat guessing what might happen next! I try for great twists in my novels.

Kayla's book list on surprise suspense twists

Discover why each book is one of Kayla's favorite books.

Why did Kayla love this book?

All of the authors I love do twists really well, twists that make sense and blow you away–no matter how much you try to guess them. This story is set in the world of addictive pharmaceuticals and the desire to make a corrupt company that’s hiding secrets pay for the deaths of innocent patients. A whistleblower is killed early in this story, and this sets everything off. It’s fast-paced with so much action, including bullets flying in the Caribbean as the main characters risk their lives to get incriminating evidence. The ending…oooh, it doesn’t get better than a Joseph Finder twist!

By Joseph Finder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder's electrifying new thriller, private investigator Nick Heller infiltrates a powerful wealthy family hiding something sinister.

Nick Heller is at the top of his game when he receives some devastating news: his old army buddy Sean has died of an overdose. Sean, who once saved Nick’s life, got addicted to opioids after returning home wounded from war. 

Then at Sean’s funeral, a stranger approaches Nick with a job, and maybe also a way for Nick to hold someone accountable.

The woman is the daughter of a pharmaceutical kingpin worth billions. Now she wants…

Great Hostesses

By Brian Masters,

Book cover of Great Hostesses

Laura Calder Author Of The Inviting Life: An Inspirational Guide to Homemaking, Hosting and Opening the Door to Happiness

From the list on making and running a welcoming home.

Who am I?

Laura Calder is a recognized advocate for living well at home. She is the author of four cookbooks and received a James Beard Award for her long-running television series, French Food at Home.

Laura's book list on making and running a welcoming home

Discover why each book is one of Laura's favorite books.

Why did Laura love this book?

Who are the great hosts and hostesses of our day? We don’t know; nobody ever talks about them. Celebrities and socialites, instead, have stolen the spotlight. But, great hostesses of the past were not only prominent, but powerfully influential, subtly steering the fate of society this way and that. Masters provides portraits here of some of the most celebrated hostesses of days gone by, including Emerald Cunard and Mrs. Vanderbilt. A book to inspire a new generation of “inviters.”

By Brian Masters,

Why should I read it?

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

Bobos in Paradise

By David Brooks,

Book cover of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From the list on status anxiety.

Who am I?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Discover why each book is one of Loretta's favorite books.

Why did Loretta love this book?

Bourgeois Bohemians sneer at expensive cars, but they spend much more renovating their bathrooms. They are eager to make a statement against consumerism, but they are also eager to let you know how successful they are. I grew up around this thinking, so I love to hear the forbidden thoughts expressed publicly.

Brooks explains the inner conflict of bobos. They feel guilty about their success, so they call attention to their solidarity with the common man. They want to keep achieving, but don’t want to appear that way.

Brooks misses the deeper engine of this inner conflict: all mammals seek status in their herd or pack or troop because it promotes “reproductive success.” Natural selection built a brain that rewards you with serotonin when you raise your status.

By David Brooks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore grey, and went to church. The bohemians were the artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the radical 1960's; bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980's. Now the 'bo's' are all mixed up and it is impossible to tell an expresso sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. In attitudes toward sex, morality, leisure time and work, it is hard to separate the renegade from the company man. The new establishment has combined the countercultural…

The Georgetown Set

By Gregg Herken,

Book cover of The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington

Hannah Gurman and Kaeten Mistry Author Of Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy

From the list on U.S. national security culture and the exposure of secrets.

Who are we?

We are historians of U.S. foreign relations who have written extensively on the Cold War and national security. Both of us were interested in whistleblowing yet knew relatively little about its history. Turns out, we were not alone. Despite lots of popular interest in the topic, we soon discovered that, beyond individual biographies, barely anything is known about the broader history of the phenomenon. With funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Council, we led a collaborative research project, which involved historians, literary scholars, and political theorists, as well as whistleblowers, journalists, and lawyers. One of the fruits of the project, Whistleblowing Nation, is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary history of U.S. national security whistleblowing.

Hannah's book list on U.S. national security culture and the exposure of secrets

Discover why each book is one of Hannah's favorite books.

Why did Hannah love this book?

Whistleblowers rely on the press to disseminate their disclosures. In matters of national security, however, the press has a long history of close personal and professional bonds with the government that has curbed revelations. The Georgetown Set offers a fascinating glimpse into the small circle of elite officials, journalists, publishers, and public intellectuals who gathered for cocktail and dinner parties in their high-end neighborhood of Washington, DC. In addition to giving a fly-on-the-wall sense of how Cold War policies and public opinion were made, Herken’s book illuminates the individual and cultural shifts that contributed to the rise of national security disclosures in the 1960s and 1970s. This history is essential for understanding how the evolving dynamics between elite politicians and the press continue to shape the culture of whistleblowing and accountability today.

By Gregg Herken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the years after World War II, Georgetown’s leafy streets were home to an unlikely group of Cold Warriors who helped shape American strategy. This coterie of affluent, well-educated, and connected civilians guided the country, for better and worse, from the Marshall Plan through McCarthyism, Watergate, and Vietnam. The Georgetown set included Phil and Kay Graham, husband-and-wife publishers of The Washington Post; Joe and Stewart Alsop, odd-couple brothers who were among the country’s premier political pundits; Frank Wisner, a driven, manic-depressive lawyer in charge of CIA covert operations; and a host of other diplomats, spies, and scholars. Gregg Herken gives…

The House at Riverton

By Kate Morton,

Book cover of The House at Riverton

Michelle Cox Author Of A Girl Like You

From the list on upstairs/downstairs historical sagas with mystery.

Who am I?

As the author of a historical/mystery/romance series that has won over sixty international awards in multiple categories, I’m attracted to books that cannot be pinned to one genre. I love sweeping sagas with elements of all three, perhaps because I was so immersed in classic literature as a kid and fascinated by stories of the past. I suspect I may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, I have resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting myself back there. I am, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. 

Michelle's book list on upstairs/downstairs historical sagas with mystery

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

Kate Morton is the penultimate professional at combining sweeping historical fiction and a mystery element. Any of her books are a delight, but I chose to showcase The House at Riverton because of its English aristocratic setting and the heavy mystery element. I adore Morton’s almost magical ability to successfully weave two or even three plotlines, all in different eras, into one tight story.  

By Kate Morton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time house-maid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.Set as the war-shattered Edwardian…

The Pickup

By Nadine Gordimer,

Book cover of The Pickup

Sue Williams Author Of Healing Lives

From the list on to inspire and make you feel good about the world.

Who am I?

I am a journalist, travel writer, and author based in Australia, writing about all sorts of people and on topics that I find personally inspiring and thrilling, and which are guaranteed to raise the spirits of readers. I was born in England but travelled the world for 10 years before ending up in Australia in 1989. I also lecture in travel writing at Boston University’s Sydney campus.

Sue's book list on to inspire and make you feel good about the world

Discover why each book is one of Sue's favorite books.

Why did Sue love this book?

South African writer Nadine Gordimer, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, commands enormous power with her words. While they have a deceptively poetic lilting beauty, they also deal incisively with epic issues. The Pickup is one of my favourites, an ultimately lifting tale about a white woman and an illegal Arab immigrant, which portrays the power of love and understanding to cross great divides in class and wealth and outlook.

By Nadine Gordimer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Julie Summers' car breaks down in a sleazy street, a young Arab garage mechanic comes to her rescue. Out of this meeting develops a friendship that turns to love. But soon, despite his attempts to make the most of Julie's wealthy connections, Abdu is deported from South Africa and Julie insists on going too - but the couple must marry to make the relationship legitimate in the traditional village which is to be their home. Here, whilst Abdu is dedicated to escaping back to the life he has discovered, Julie finds herself slowly drawn in by the charm of…

The Guest

By Emma Cline,

Book cover of The Guest

Michael Kiggins Author Of And the Train Kept Moving

From the list on unreliable and morally compromised characters.

Who am I?

Since I was introduced to many authors published by Grove Press, I have been intrigued by transgressive literary fiction, especially stories and novels that feature narrators and protagonists whose unreliability and moral culpability fuel plots to surprising yet inevitable climaxes. Lesser writers of such works use the shocking and revolting as crutches for vapid prose, failing to lead readers to revelations that can be found in the darkest places and in the unlikeliest of people. What better accomplishment can any writer ask for except getting readers, in some way, to identify with characters whom they would avoid in real life?

Michael's book list on unreliable and morally compromised characters

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

Cline’s novel is one of the most unsettling books I read this summer.

Readers follow the protagonist as she slowly and inescapably sinks lower and lower, all while losing her grip on reality. In almost every chapter, she disrupts, if not ruins, the lives of the people she uses in various schemes in the hopes of convincing the older rich man whom she had been sleeping with to take her back.

The novel has a languid pace, but there are so many exquisite passages peppered throughout the creeping dread as you watch the protagonist’s increasingly destructive choices play out.

By Emma Cline,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* A TIMES 'Book of 2023' * 'Addictive' STYLIST Books to Look Out For 2023 * 'Destined to be the status read of 2023' HARPER'S BAZAAR BEST NEW FICTION * 'The perfect summer read' CULTURE WHISPER * An EVENING STANDARD 'Best New Books for Spring' * A Financial Times Best Summer Read 2023 *

Summer is coming to a close on Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome...

One misstep at a dinner party and the older man she's been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city. With…

The Club

By Ellery Lloyd,

Book cover of The Club

Karen Osman Author Of The Perfect Lie

From the list on thrillers that keep your heart pumping with action.

Who am I?

Like most writers, I read a lot, and throughout my life, reading has gotten me through the highs and lows, providing a much-needed break! As an award-winning novelist, I’ve written three psychological thrillers, two of which were number 1 bestsellers, and my mission is to write gripping thriller novels that entertain my readers, allowing them a little time each day to relax and escape to another world. My love of writing thrillers stems from a love of reading them. As a writer, this genre is exciting but also challenging to write, which I love. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Karen's book list on thrillers that keep your heart pumping with action

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

I enjoyed this book because it was full of drama, glamour, and a world full of people I wouldn’t usually socialise with. It gave a glimpse into the lives of the super-wealthy as they gathered on a private island at The Club. The novel was told from various viewpoints which kept it interesting and the reader guessing as to who committed the crime. Overall, it was an intriguing, entertaining read – great for a holiday.  

By Ellery Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*** A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and an instant New York Times bestseller ***

'One of the most riveting books I've read in a long time' - Louise Candlish, author of Our House

'Smart, topical and immensely entertaining' - T.M. Logan, author of The Holiday

'Marple meets Succession' - Sunday Times Style

'Glitzy and twisty and tons of fun' - Observer


There's no place like Home . . .

The Home Group is a collection of ultra-exclusive private members' clubs and a global phenomenon, and the opening of its most ambitious project yet - Island Home, a forgotten…

The Millionaire Next Door

By Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko,

Book cover of The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

Kerri Kochanski Author Of 1,001 People That Suck

From the list on stocking stuffers that’ll lead ‘em to success.

Who am I?

I grew up with a lot of misconceptions. It wasn’t until I got out in the world and experienced life for myself that I began to see that I didn’t necessarily agree with what I’d been taught (or conditioned to believe). I learned that if I wanted to know the truth, I’d have to learn it for myself… These 5 books offered me a different perspective, and made me see things in a new light. They helped me succeed as a person, an artist, and as a human being… I hope they will help you and your loved ones, too. 

Kerri's book list on stocking stuffers that’ll lead ‘em to success

Discover why each book is one of Kerri's favorite books.

Why did Kerri love this book?

This book breaks down illusions about wealth and gives it to ‘em straight.

Just because you think a person has money, it doesn’t mean that they have money. In fact, those who flaunt their wealth could actually be headed for disaster, as they spend their dollars on an endless effort to impress, one-up, and reward themselves. And because they are spending money they are not saving money. So while their bank account plateaus (or worse, depletes), the account of the unassuming, unflashy neighbor next-door flourishes, as he invests, saves, and plans—placing the max amount of $ into his 401K—until he eventually becomes, the “millionaire next door”… The save vs. spend principle seems obvious here, but the psychology of spending is not. It is curious and complicated, fascinating and (sometimes) hard to fathom… So it's good there is a book out there that examines wealth and de-bunks perception, so that people…

By Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door. This new edition, the first since 1998, includes a new foreword for the twenty-first century by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley.

The Pursuit of Love

By Nancy Mitford,

Book cover of The Pursuit of Love

Ursula DeYoung Author Of Shorecliff

From the list on families from the mid-twentieth century.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small seaside town north of Boston. I have three siblings, and we always spent a few weeks every summer with our cousins in a rented house somewhere in New England—a new place each year. I became a bookworm at a young age, and I’ve always loved reading novels about big families that capture both the magic and the conflicts inevitable with many siblings and relatives. I was also an anglophile, and I tended to gravitate toward books written in earlier decades, particularly those of the mid 20th century. When I began writing my own novels, it seemed natural to set them in those fascinating earlier times.

Ursula's book list on families from the mid-twentieth century

Discover why each book is one of Ursula's favorite books.

Why did Ursula love this book?

Fictionalizing her large and extremely eccentric family—shabby members of the British gentry in the 1930s, lacking the wealth of earlier times—Nancy Mitford managed to create a novel that is both hilarious and poignant, with a style uniquely her own. Her characters seem almost too bizarre to be real, yet if you read about the real Mitfords, you discover that, if anything, this novel (published in 1945) softened their edges! She writes brilliantly not only about the fun and tensions among an array of strongminded siblings but also about her domineering father and, later, about the blissful madness of falling in love after an isolated childhood.

By Nancy Mitford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the funniest, sharpest novels about love and growing up ever written, Nancy Mitford's classic is now a major BBC and Prime Video series directed by Emily Mortimer and starring Lily James, Andrew Scott and Dominic West

'He was the great love of her life you know.'
'Oh, dulling,' said my mother, sadly, 'One always thinks that. Every, every time.'

Oh, the tedium of waiting to grow up! Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and sex, Linda and her sisters and cousin Fanny are on the lookout for the perfect lover.

But finding Mr Right is much harder than…

Book cover of The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry

Claire Suzanne Elizabeth Cooney Author Of Saint Death's Daughter: Volume 1

From the list on I want to be when I grow up.

Who am I?

With every book we read, we engage in a complex act of telepathy and empathy. We are entering another human’s thoughts, interpreting them with our own, and come out changed from this colossal encounter. These five books I mentioned, with their extraordinary kindness, insight, humor, wisdom, warmth, compassion, and wholeness—many of them fantasies, many of them focusing on communities—have informed the writer I am today: a World Fantasy Award Winner. But I wouldn’t be without all the books that helped make me. These books are some of the best that built me, and keep building in me: the kind of books I try to write myself.

Claire's book list on I want to be when I grow up

Discover why each book is one of Claire's favorite books.

Why did Claire love this book?

Ah, The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry delighted me and made me laugh from the first page. It’s radically funny and inexorably inventive. Best of all, it follows a protagonist who doesn’t know how great she is—who thinks she’s kind of terrible, really—and it takes a newfound community of friends and fellow wizard ladies to reflect back to her a new opinion of herself. The language is Dickensian (only better!) in its wit and flexibility. It abounds in amazing female characters. And while there’s a fun romance, it’s the friendships that get me in my sticking place. I just wanted to hug this book when I finished. I wanted to have written it. I’m glad Waggoner did instead.

By C. M. Waggoner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Reviewers' Choice Best Book of the Year

Sparks fly in this enchanting fantasy novel from the author of Unnatural Magic when a down-and-out fire witch and a young gentlewoman join forces against a deadly conspiracy.

Dellaria Wells, petty con artist, occasional thief, and partly educated fire witch, is behind on her rent in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees the “wanted” sign, seeking Female Persons, of Martial or Magical ability, to guard a Lady of some Importance, prior to the celebration of her Marriage. Delly fast-talks her way into the job and joins a team of highly…

White Ivy

By Susie Yang,

Book cover of White Ivy

Michelle Quach Author Of Not Here to Be Liked

From the list on coming-of-age about smart but flawed Asian girls.

Who am I?

I’m a Chinese Vietnamese American author who writes about the Asian girls I never saw in books as a kid. Growing up in Southern California, I was part of an Asian community that was extremely diverse—a reality that was rarely reflected in American pop culture. For years, I longed to see messy, flawed, fully humanized Asian characters in all different kinds of stories, not just the typical child-of-immigrant narratives. As a result, I now spend a lot of time thinking about representation (whether I want to or not!), and I’m always looking for writers who pull it off with nuance and realism. I hope you’ll find these books are great examples of that.

Michelle's book list on coming-of-age about smart but flawed Asian girls

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

White Ivy is such a zippy, delicious read. I don’t even normally like thrillers, but I loved this one. 

Part romance, part coming-of-age-story, and part social-climbing satire, this book had an absolutely magnetic protagonist in Ivy, who is the kind of terrible person you can’t look away from. Susie Yang’s writing is both astute and eviscerating, with plenty of memorable lines.

Plus it’s got the most spot-on description of WASP interior design I’ve ever read.

By Susie Yang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestseller, November 2020

'White Ivy is magic . . . and not soon to be forgotten' JOSHUA FERRIS, author of Then We Came to the End

'Totally addictive, twisting and twisted: Ivy Lin will get under your skin' ERIN KELLY, author of He Said/She Said

'This is Austen mixed with the hyperreal sharpness of Donna Tartt' Irish Times

Ivy Lin was a thief. But you'd never know it to look at her...

Ivy Lin, a Chinese immigrant growing up in a low-income apartment complex outside Boston, is desperate to assimilate with her American peers. Her parents…

Good Girl Complex

By Elle Kennedy,

Book cover of Good Girl Complex

Lexi Kingston Author Of Forever June

From the list on vacation romance to get you into a summer state of mind.

Who am I?

I’m a contemporary romance author who writes in paranormal romance on the side, but everything I write always comes down to one thing, and that’s the romance between characters. I love books that make me connect to and root for the main protagonists, no matter their flaws or situation. I specifically love romance novels that take place during the summer or in places that are warm year-round because no matter what season it is when you read them, you’re immediately transported to a warm, sunny, swoon-worthy world.

Lexi's book list on vacation romance to get you into a summer state of mind

Discover why each book is one of Lexi's favorite books.

Why did Lexi love this book?

This beachside romance features a female entrepreneur who started her business at a young age, which I related to immediately, having started self-publishing books as a freshman in college.

She’s a go-getter with a knack for business and fights for her passions despite the people in her life telling her she shouldn’t. I adored the enemies-to-lovers romance between Cooper and Mac, as well as the message that not everyone is what they initially seem. 

The White Forest

By Adam McOmber,

Book cover of The White Forest

Clare Langley-Hawthorne Author Of Consequences of Sin

From the list on historical books to incorporate magic.

Who am I?

As a history buff I am also fascinated by folklore and magic, and how it has influenced society during various time periods. I love discovering writers who seamlessly manage to present a parallel magical universe grounded in actual history or who manage to incorporate fantastical or magical elements into a historical novel. Over the last few years I’ve been increasingly drawn to exploring the philosophical, magical, and spiritual underpinnings of society as part of my historical research. Although my own published works to date have been straight historical fiction, my current work in progress is definitely veering into the speculative, alternative history realm. 

Clare's book list on historical books to incorporate magic

Discover why each book is one of Clare's favorite books.

Why did Clare love this book?

Set in Victorian England, this novel is a sinister, gothic tale based on the ability of a young woman to read the souls of man-made objects and the disappearance of a young man drawn to the occult. I loved how this book was grounded in the real Victorian London and yet managed to incorporate gorgeously gothic supernatural elements as well as a love triangle involving well-drawn and believable characters. For me, the writing was what really drew me in and I have to admire anyone who can weave historical and fantastical elements as beautifully as this author. 

By Adam McOmber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this hauntingly original debut novel about a young woman whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society, Adam McOmber uses fantastical twists and dark turns to create a fast-paced, unforgettable story.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is…