The most recommended village books

Who picked these books? Meet our 144 experts.

144 authors created a book list connected to villages, and here are their favorite village books.
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What type of village book?


Book cover of Two Old Fools on a Camel

Nick Albert Author Of Living the Dream in Rural Ireland

From my list on dealing with unexpected events.

Who am I?

Nick Albert is British, but for close to 20-years, he has lived in a ramshackle farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland with his wife and several unruly but affectionate dogs. He's the author of the bestselling comedy memoir series, Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds, and the twisty thriller Hunting the Wrecking Crew. Nick's greatest pleasure in life has always been to make people laugh. Although outwardly capable and in control of his life, Nick considers himself to be the poster boy for the saying, "If it can go wrong, it will!" Therefore, he has a good eye for inspiring books about dealing with unexpected events.

Nick's book list on dealing with unexpected events

Nick Albert Why did Nick love this book?

The author and her husband are trapped in an almost untenable situation, but they pull together to see things through to a satisfactory conclusion. I thought it was a great example of that British philosophy to "Keep calm and carry on."

In this third memoir in her enjoyable Two Old Fools series, Victoria and her husband Joe find that rising costs and a shrinking bank balance are threatening their idyllic retirement. After applying online, they leave their beloved Spanish mountain village to teach for a year in Bahrain. But their timing couldn't have been worse. Just after they arrive, the Arab revolution erupts, throwing the country into violent events that would make world headlines. Suddenly they are trapped. Should they leave and risk losing their Spanish dream or stay and face a greater hazard?

By Victoria Twead,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Two Old Fools on a Camel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★ New York Times Bestselling author ★
"James Herriot meets Driving over Lemons"

Reluctantly, Vicky and Joe leave their Spanish mountain village to work for a year in the Middle East. How could they know that the Arab revolution was poised to erupt, throwing them into violent events that would make world headlines?

Teaching Arab kids, working with crazy teachers, forming life-long friendships and being placed under house arrest, Vicky and Joe laugh and lurch through their year in Bahrain.

Includes FREE photobook and Arabic recipes from Nadia Sawalha.

Book cover of The Lost Girls of Devon

Nanette Littlestone Author Of Bella Toscana

From my list on for women on a second chance at love and romance.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a huge believer of love and romance and happily ever after. I also know that real life and happily ever after aren’t always easy. It took me 45 years to find my Prince Charming (after kissing a lot of frogs). I love reading stories of hope, courage, and promise and strong women who pursue their dreams. They inspire me to keep going and to keep writing. Whether I’m creating women’s fiction, historical novels, fantasy, or romance, my books explore relationships and why people do what they do, and every story focuses on love (what we always strive for) and forgiveness (what we always need). 

Nanette's book list on for women on a second chance at love and romance

Nanette Littlestone Why did Nanette love this book?

A small village in Devon, England serves as the backdrop for the four generations of Fairchild women—Isabel (teenage daughter), Zoe (mother), Poppy (grandmother), and Lillian (great-grandmother). The story centers around their hopes and fears, their deep wounds and tattered emotions, their desires for peace and healing even as they fumble with how to mend themselves and each other. While the characters are physically beautiful, they’re also deeply flawed and engage in the fascinating pursuits of photography, painting, Tarot card reading, and writing novels. Each character offers a unique view of the countryside, her relationship to the others, and a key to healing the whole of the family. Find a cozy chair, brew a pot of tea, and get lost in this story.

By Barbara O'Neal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of Travel + Leisure's most anticipated books of summer 2020.

From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets.

It's been years since Zoe Fairchild has been to the small Devon village of her birth, but the wounds she suffered there still ache. When she learns that her old friend and grandmother's caretaker has gone missing, Zoe and her fifteen-year-old daughter return to England to help.

Zoe dreads seeing her estranged mother, who left when Zoe was seven…

Book cover of Giants Beware!

Mike Lawrence Author Of Star Scouts

From my list on to hear your kids laugh out loud.

Who am I?

I’m a stay-at-home working dad, and have handed my boys countless books to keep them entertained so I could get some work done. There’s something magical about giving your kid a book that sparks their love of reading. In my own experience, adventure books that made my boys laugh out loud would captivate my kids for hours…and keep them out of my hair.

Mike's book list on to hear your kids laugh out loud

Mike Lawrence Why did Mike love this book?

Jorge and Rafael have created a lovable trio of heroes with Claudette, Marie, and (personal favorite) Gaston. These three friends go on an adventure to fight a dangerous giant while their entire town tries to stop them. The kids encounter all manner of magical foes who are more than meets the eye, adding up to an adventure that’s as surprising as it is hilarious. 

By Jorge Aguirre, Rafael Rosado (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Giants Beware! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Claudette's fondest wish is to slay a giant. But her village is so safe and quiet! What's a future giant slayer to do?

With her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess), and her brother Gaston (a pastry-chef-to-be), Claudette embarks on a super-secret quest to find a giant-without parental permission. Can they find and defeat the giant before their parents find them and drag them back home?

Giants Beware! offers up a wondrous, self-contained world in the tradition of the very best of Pixar. Claudette and her friends will have you laughing out loud from page one.

Book cover of Anita and the Dragons

Brigita Orel Author Of The Pirate Tree

From my list on new beginnings.

Who am I?

When I first started writing in English, which is my second language, I was reluctant to share my work with others. I was terrified they would find it lacking. It takes a lot of effort and research to write authentically for a foreign audience. I studied creative writing at different universities around the world to gain knowledge and experience. I published short stories and poems in online and print journals. Bit by bit, I gathered the courage to submit my first picture book manuscript.

Brigita's book list on new beginnings

Brigita Orel Why did Brigita love this book?

Moving to a new place can be daunting for adults and more so for children. Airplanes turn into dragons and the new home into a terrifying place. It takes courage to emigrate and imagination to adapt. Anita’s story stayed with me long after I finished it. And Anna Cunha’s illustrations are exquisite.

By Hannah Carmona, Anna Cunha (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A beautifully tender story touching on the range of emotions immigrants may feel when leaving their home countries – excitement and sorrow, fear and courage.

Anita watches the dragons high above her as she hops from one cement roof to another in her village in the Dominican Republic. But being the valiant princesa she is, she never lets them scare her. Will she be brave enough to enter the belly of the beast and take flight to new adventures?

A Barnes & Noble Bookseller Favorite. A BookTrust Book of the Month. A Love Reading For Schools Book of the Month.…

Book cover of Good Night, Mr. Tom

Sharon K. Mayhew Author Of Keep Calm and Carry On, Children

From my list on children persevering through WWII.

Who am I?

My life has been blessed by having British grandparents who lived very long lives. Grandad was in the RAF and Nanny sewed for the War Effort during WWII. They rarely spoke of their experiences until they reached their early 90s. Their memories, other family members, and friends inspired me to research the children who persevered through Operation Pied Piper. I also visited related locations in England gathering more information. The Greatest Generation had a huge impact on who I am as a person and how I treat others. My recommendation list is a sampling of some of my favorite books about perseverance. 

Sharon's book list on children persevering through WWII

Sharon K. Mayhew Why did Sharon love this book?

This is an exceptionally good middle grade book! It tells what really happened to British children who were evacuated from the cities to the countryside during WWII. It caused me to question my English grandparents about their experiences during WWII. Imagine how people would react today if the government ordered them to put their children on a train to go live with strangers in some other part of the country.

By Michelle Magorian,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Good Night, Mr. Tom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Puffin Classics: the definitive collection of timeless stories, for every child.

Tom tucked a blanket round him, drew up a chair by the fire and watched Willie fall asleep. The tales he had heard about evacuees didn't seem to fit Willie. 'Ungrateful' and 'wild' were the adjectives he had heard used, or just plain 'homesick'. He was quite unprepared for this timid, sickly little specimen.

Britain, 1940. With World War Two raging all around, young children are being sent from their homes in the city to the countryside for safety. When eight-year-old Willie Beech first arrives on Tom Oakley's doorstep,…

Book cover of Deven and the Dragon

Jane Buehler Author Of The Forest Bride

From my list on romance set in a lighthearted, cozy fantasy world.

Who am I?

I have always loved fantasy worlds and romantic stories, but in recent years I’ve found it harder to read stories with extreme violence or trauma. When I started writing fiction, I planned to write a fantasy romance with a kingdom and a battle, but I couldn’t do it—my characters organized a nonviolent revolution and formed a democratic system of governance instead. I reconsidered and decided to write what I call cozy fantasy romances. So many types of romance novels could be set in a fantasy world, such as an office romance or road trip comedy. I’ve been searching for these types of romance novels—fun, lighthearted romances set in a fantasy world—and am slowly finding them.

Jane's book list on romance set in a lighthearted, cozy fantasy world

Jane Buehler Why did Jane love this book?

Deven is a super nice and laid-back guy who is sent by his village leaders to seduce the dragon who lives up on the hill, in order to get one of the dragon’s scales. The dragon has never hurt anyone (it turns out he supports the local businesses), and when he takes his human form, he’s awkward and bumbling, while trying to be commanding and scary. It’s the perfect setup for a sweet love story with some high-stakes background drama (for example, Deven has to meet the parent dragons) without a lot of stress. And, like all romance novels, it has a guaranteed happy ending.

Book cover of The Belt

Kim Barnes Author Of In the Kingdom of Men

From my list on Arabic writers on the destruction of colonization.

Who am I?

In the 1950s, my mother and father left the red dirt of Oklahoma for the forests of Idaho to escape their families’ poverty. Instead of sharecropping, my father became a logger, but my aunt and her husband, a drilling rig roughneck, moved to the deserts of Saudi Arabia to work for Aramco and live in the American compound of Abqaiq. I remember the gifts they brought me: camel hide purses, Aladdin slippers. The Saudis, too, were experiencing rapid modernization and expanding wealth. I became fascinated by the conflict inherent in the sudden enmeshing of cultures and meteoric shift in power and privilege.

Kim's book list on Arabic writers on the destruction of colonization

Kim Barnes Why did Kim love this book?

Of all the histories, journals, diaries, novels, and memoirs I read while doing research for ITKOM, Ahmed Abodehman’s slim book has lodged itself deepest in my heart. Sometimes referred to as a memoir and at other times as an autobiographical novel, The Belt is less about the changes brought on by the petroleum industry in particular than it is about the dislocation brought on by modernization (much of it driven by the quest for control of the vast oil reserves). The story begins with a tribal elder “examining young Ahmed's knife to determine the boy's masculinity.” With the coming of a government school to the village, such ancient tribal customs are challenged by more urban ideologies and orthodox Islam as the speaker struggles to retain the tribal songs he carries inside himself “like an inexhaustive fire.” With a poet’s sense of image and language, Ahmed Abodehman weaves a gorgeous coming-of-age…

By Ahmed Abodehman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ahmed grows up in a small Saudi village steeped in traditional tribal culture, local legends, family ties, history, and tribal songs. As he becomes a man, the cataclysmic changes of modernity spring up around him. Islam is imposing itself more and more strongly on tribal beliefs; moreover, the city begins to seem strangely attractive to his young mind. Ahmed struggles to come to terms with this newly unfolding world without forsaking his village, family or Hizam, the old man who comes to epitomise the traditional life itself.

Book cover of Saving the Dead

Sally Altass Author Of The Witch Laws: Book One of The Moon Magic Chronicles

From Sally's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Writer Film Lover Quizzer Crafter

Sally's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Sally Altass Why did Sally love this book?

Set in a city in Scotland, this paranormal mystery brings a lot to the table. We have Cassie, a woman escaping her village life to rebuild her life and to try to find the real culprit behind the murder of her best friend. Who she still sees regularly. Because Cassie can see ghosts….

But rather than just being about a girl who can see ghosts, Saving the Dead is a story about friendship and bonds that survive everything. It will make you cry and then laugh in the same breath.

By Rebecca Allan,

Why should I read it?

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

Book cover of A Village Fete Murder

Vickie Carroll Author Of It's Only Murder

From my list on cozy mysteries about women at work.

Who am I?

As a cozy-style mystery writer, I get to live in a world where I know that everything will work out as it should in the end. I look for this in the books that I read and recommend. Do they give the reader something interesting to ponder as they go along with the sleuth (amateur or “real detective)? My father was a police captain, and I grew up looking at things through the eyes of “the law”, I admit. Most people find comfort reading about a small town where nothing will go too wrong. The bad stuff and the bad people are kept at arm’s length, and all is well.

Vickie's book list on cozy mysteries about women at work

Vickie Carroll Why did Vickie love this book?

Written in the style of M.C. Beaton, this book is a perfect English murder mystery.

The idea of a village fete itself has always been alluring to me. I put myself in the story and I’m right at home in the village and celebration at Berrywick House. I blame my British DNA. As in any good cozy, the most irritating member of the community ends up dead, and no exception here.

The main character, Julia, is not only concerned with a murder—or two, but she’s also afraid their peaceful village will be forever ruined. Like all great amateur sleuths, she gets involved. Bird paints a picture of a perfect English village. Add a dog, her Labrador, Jake, and well, sign me up.

By Katie Gayle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Julia Bird can’t wait to attend the annual village party at the local stately home, with its tea tents, cake stalls, and… dead body in the maze?

The annual village celebration at Berrywick House is underway, complete with over-decorated cake stalls, fiercely contested flower competitions, and even a maze for the disappointed losers to hide in. Julia Bird, now a well-known – even notorious – member of the community, with her trusty Labrador Jake, has thrown herself headlong into the festivities. But her reputation for adding drama to any event stands up yet again when she discovers a dead body…

Book cover of The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

Christy Mihaly Author Of Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means

From my list on children's books for human rights and civic engagement.

Who am I?

I practiced law for more than twenty years before becoming an author. After writing several children's science books, in 2016 I turned to writing about civics and government. The internet was overflowing with politicians' misstatements about the Constitution, and I realized many Americans didn't understand fundamental democratic principles. I decided to write a book addressing kids, to help them appreciate their rights, obligations, and powers under the Constitution. In Free for You and Me, I focused on the First Amendment. I believe that talking with young people about the issues raised in all the books listed here will help us raise our kids to be informed and engaged community members.

Christy's book list on children's books for human rights and civic engagement

Christy Mihaly Why did Christy love this book?

While I'm a big fan of nonfiction, I had to include this fabulous tale. With its folktale-style illustrations, the book recounts how the joyful and very noisy village of La Paz decides there's too much commotion. The villagers elect Don Pepe as mayor when he pledges to bring peace and quiet. Then new edicts go out: "No Singing."

When Rooster moves into the silent village and starts his song, things get interesting. Children will appreciate the courage and commitment of the obstinate rooster who remains faithful to his song in the face of Don Pepe's escalating threats and punishments. And ultimately the villagers come out in support of the rooster. Because, as he says, a song never dies as long as there's someone to sing it. This is a delightful fable about freedom of expression, the perils of authoritarianism, and using your voice against mean and bossy people.

By Carmen Agra Deedy, Eugene Yelchin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Pura Belpre Honoree Carmen Agra Deedy and Newbery Honor-book author/illustrator Eugene Yelchin have created a powerful tale that celebrates the spirit of freedom.

La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right. So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. Even the teakettle is afraid to whistle!But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do.He sings: "Kee-kee-ree-KEE!" Carmen Deedy's masterfully crafted allegory and Eugene…