The most recommended books about a widower

Who picked these books? Meet our 64 experts.

64 authors created a book list connected to widower, and here are their favorite widower books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of widower book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Courtney Angela Brkic Author Of The First Rule of Swimming

From the list on really complicated families.

Who am I?

My mother, father, and I were each born in different countries, and into different languages. In my childhood, we were a hybridized wonder—one part jetsam, one part flotsam—and a country unto ourselves. Our house was filled with all kinds of books, our dinnertimes with lively conversation (and occasional shouting), our plates with food cooked according to the recipes of family ghosts. I can honestly say that no other family was like ours, especially not in the American suburbs of the 1980s. As a writer, I have always been fascinated by the tug-and-pull of intergenerational trauma, and by the dislocation of immigration and exile.   

Courtney's book list on really complicated families

Why did Courtney love this book?

Vera and Nadezhda are sisters who must set aside their differences to ward off an interloper: a gold-digging “fluffy pink grenade” who gets her claws into their exceedingly difficult emigre father. The ensuing battle uncovers hidden chapters of a dark family history, and Lewycka is both masterful and unflinching in her treatment of traumatic history. I was expecting a light read from start to finish, and while the book is very funny, it is also disarmingly profound.   

By Marina Lewycka,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianis bestselling author Marina Lewycka's hilarious and award winning debut novel.

'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.'

Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin…


The Quiet Game

By Greg Iles,

Book cover of The Quiet Game

Neil Turner Author Of A House on Liberty Street

From the list on underdogs overcoming impossible odds.

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian thriller and suspense novelist with an abiding affinity for stories of good ultimately overcoming evil. I’m partial to reluctant heroes battling powerful entities that are inflicting injustice. If our protagonist is flawed and forced to overcome internal demons and/or challenges, so much the better! My Tony Valenti thrillers feature a mom-and-pop law firm known as Lawyers to Little People and Lost Causes, so I know a thing or two about this type of book. Characters using brains, integrity, and bravery—moral and/or physical—fascinate me every time.

Neil's book list on underdogs overcoming impossible odds

Why did Neil love this book?

The Quiet Game introduces a troubled Penn Cage, who returns with his daughter to his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi when his father lands in trouble. For Penn, family is sacrosanct. Iles uses Natchez brilliantly to support characterization, atmosphere, and plot. Events unfold quickly in a series of twists and turns that thrill the reader and severely test Penn as he struggles to unearth his father’s connection to a horrific Natchez mystery that the town is determined to keep buried. I admire how Penn battles relentlessly on behalf of his father, doggedly pursues a truth that frightens him, and protects his daughter in the face of growing condemnation and danger. He hews to his moral compass even when it would be expedient to abandon it.

By Greg Iles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first thriller in the New York Times No.1 bestselling series featuring Penn Cage: a prosecutor in a corrupt system, a husband whose wife has died, and a father who must protect his daughter. 'An engrossing, page-turning ride' (Jeffery Deaver).

Don't say a word...

Natchez, Mississippi. A city of old money and older sins. A place where a thirty-year-old crime lies buried, and everyone plays the quiet game. But on man cannot stay silent.

Returning to his home town, former prosecuting attorney Penn Cage is stunned to discover that his father is being blackmailed over a decades-old murder.

Negotiating the…


The Archivist

By Martha Cooley,

Book cover of The Archivist

Amy Tector Author Of The Foulest Things

From the list on quirky archivists.

Who am I?

I’ve been an archivist at Canada’s national archives for more than twenty years. I love my job. Archives are, by their very nature, a collection of miscellany that weren’t created to be preserved or remembered. They are the scraps of paper and hurriedly sent emails produced while the world is out making history. As a result, they offer unselfconscious glimpses into the past. Archives are poorly understood, which means that the folks who decide to devote their professional lives to them are often a little quirky and a bit odd. This makes books featuring archivists celebrations of the off-kilter, the overlooked, and the frankly strange. 

Amy's book list on quirky archivists

Why did Amy love this book?

A dark meditation on guilt, love, and marriage, it intersperses the story of Matthias, the titular archivist with the life and work of T. S. Eliot, whose letters he’s charged with keeping. When a young scholar wants to read these letters ahead of their scheduled opening, Matthias must wrestle with his own repressed feelings about his past, with some incidents paralleling the poet’s. I enjoyed it for the meditation on how archives can bridge that gap between the past and the present.

By Martha Cooley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A battle of wills between Matt, a careful, orderly archivist for a private university, and Roberta, a determined young poet, over a collection of T.S. Eliot's letters, sealed by bequest until 2019, sparks an unusual friendship and reawakens painful memories of the past


Winter's Orbit

By Everina Maxwell,

Book cover of Winter's Orbit

Kellie Doherty Author Of Finding Hekate

From the list on science fiction featuring queer characters.

Who am I?

I’m a queer speculative fiction writer who gets giddy whenever I read about space and spaceships, aliens, and advanced technology. I get even more of a rush when I discover queer representation tucked around the tech. Why? Because queer people deserve positive representation in literature—everyone should see themselves in creative works. As a reader, I read and shout about as many queer books as I can; as a writer, I infuse my works with as many queer characters I can. 

Kellie's book list on science fiction featuring queer characters

Why did Kellie love this book?

Winter’s Orbit has one of the sweetest romances I’ve read thus far. The characters have trauma to work through and they do so beautifully. I love how broken Jainan is and how he discovers he’s worthy of love. The push and pull between him and Kiem was masterful! Raw. Compelling. And it’s set against a backdrop of a galactic-level political mystery! (But honestly, I read it for the romance.)

By Everina Maxwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winter's Orbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A chilling account of a dark past wrapped in the warm blanket of a promising future . . . A pleasure to read' Ann Leckie

'Sparks fly' NPR

'A stunning new space opera debut' K. B. Wagers

The Iskat Empire rules its vassal planets through a system of treaties - so when Prince Taam, key figure in a political alliance, is killed, a replacement must be found. His widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with the disreputable aristocrat Kiem, in a bid to keep rising hostilities between two worlds under control. But Prince Taam's death may not have…


The Whisper Man

By Alex North,

Book cover of The Whisper Man: A Novel

Matthew Farrell Author Of The Perfect Mother

From the list on thrillers that made me want to write thrillers.

Who am I?

My father was a police officer and my mother was an avid reader of anything horror or suspense, so I grew up in a cop family that was entertained by the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins Clark, etc. I’ve been reading thrillers since I could comprehend their meanings and I’ve been experiencing the life of a cop since the day I was born. The results have been four books written with over 400,000 copies sold in 14 countries. I couldn’t be prouder of my upbringing and the things (including these books) that have helped shape my writing. I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have!

Matthew's book list on thrillers that made me want to write thrillers

Why did Matthew love this book?

Much like Thomas Harris, I find Alex North’s writing to be intoxicating. The way he constructs sentences that can actually create a tangible mood through the page is a true gift. This book is a slow burn mystery and I loved every page. Although not a direct influence as our books came out around the same time, my third thriller reminds me of that same slow and methodical pace that sets the mood and draws the reader in. His writing is brilliant and creepy and all the things that make reading scary books fun. I can’t recommend this one enough.

By Alex North,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The biggest new thriller of the year - pre-order the paperback now

"The best crime novel of the decade" Steve Cavanagh

You'll hear the whispers. And then you'll hear the screams...

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as 'The Whisper Man'.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and…


A Cry in the Dark

By Jessica R. Patch,

Book cover of A Cry in the Dark

Cheri Swalwell Author Of Adventure's Invitation

From Cheri's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Christian Wife Reader Mother

Cheri's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Cheri love this book?

This was a new author for me, and she hooked me within the first few chapters. I didn't realize I was reading the second book in the series first, but it didn't matter.

She writes like a Criminal Minds episode. There were so many twists and turns. I kept trying to guess the bad guy and failed! It was downright psychologically scary. I loved the biblical elements woven throughout. It wasn't so gruesome that I wouldn't want to share this book with my daughter or other family members.

I love a great psychological thriller, and this had all the feels and checked all the boxes, even more boxes that I realized I enjoyed! Now, whenever I see Patch's name on a book, I know I'll have to read it! 

By Jessica R. Patch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Cry in the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deep in the Kentucky hills, three women have been found brutalized and murdered.
But the folks in Night Holler have their own ways and their own laws.
And they’re not talking…

Led to an isolated Appalachian Mountain town by a trail of disturbing murders, FBI special agent Violet Rainwater’s determined to catch a serial killer with a twisted agenda. With locals refusing to reveal their secrets, Violet’s only ally is Detective John Orlando. But even John has an ulterior motive—he’s convinced this case is connected to his wife’s murder.

As they dig deeper, Violet uncovers a link to her own…


To The Lighthouse

By Virginia Woolf,

Book cover of To The Lighthouse

Maggie Humm Author Of Radical Woman: Gwen John & Rodin

From the list on why art matters (in our lives).

Who am I?

Like many readers, I am fascinated by strong creative women in the past and how their lives can inspire women today. As an academic, before my Creative Writing Diploma and transformation into a creative writer, I taught historical novels of many kinds. I now enjoy devising fascinating women whose lives have significance for today’s issues. To talk about my favourite writer Virginia Woolf and favourite artist Gwen John, I have enjoyed invitations from book festivals, galleries, and universities from around the world, including several in the US and Europe as well as Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, and Norway. BBC Radio, France Culture, and Turkey TRT television also featured my writing.

Maggie's book list on why art matters (in our lives)

Why did Maggie love this book?

To the Lighthouse is Virginia Woolf’s most autobiographical novel.

Ostensibly set in Scotland, Woolf is describing her own childhood holidays in Talland House, St Ives Cornwall which gave her intense happiness. The story is of the Ramsay family and their friends (who stand in for Woolf’s family) on vacation.

Lily Briscoe, an artist is painting Mrs Ramsay’s portrait which Lily completes after Mrs Ramsay’s sudden death; and Lily has her ‘vision’. Beautifully evocative of Cornish landscape, Woolf captures the inner feelings of characters impressionistically and movingly.

I took Woolf’s Lily Briscoe as my heroine in my novel and depict her emotional journey in becoming a professional artist and solving the mystery of Mrs. Ramsay’s suspicious death. In 2022, after my four-year campaign, I unveiled a plaque to Woolf on Talland House, St Ives. Like Lily, I had my vision.

By Virginia Woolf,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Radiant as [To the Lighthouse] is in its beauty, there could never be a mistake about it: here is a novel to the last degree severe and uncompromising. I think that beyond being about the very nature of reality, it is itself a vision of reality.”—Eudora Welty, from the Introduction.The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of…


News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Book cover of News of the World

John D. Nesbitt Author Of Lonesome Range

From John's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Westerner Outdoorsman Translator

John's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did John love this book?

I read this book because I wanted to read an acclaimed recent novel that would show the best of current Western fiction by a female author. This novel has a compelling storyline with the Captain’s mission to deliver the girl and fulfill his responsibility. It also has a great sense of time and place and is not ponderous to read.

This book contributed to my understanding of the potential of Western fiction.

By Paulette Jiles,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked News of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his…


American Gods

By Neil Gaiman,

Book cover of American Gods

Tyler Krings Author Of War and the Wind

From the list on humor, romance, and a dash of fantasy.

Who am I?

I am an American-born writer and I have been writing fantasy and science fiction since I was just out of elementary school. I have been obsessed with Star Wars (and later Trek) since I was able to watch television, and I believe I was twelve when Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters…needless to say, I have not stopped reading and writing fantasy since. The books on my list are some (but not all) of my very favorites and many of them have gone on to heavily inspire my own style when writing my own works.

Tyler's book list on humor, romance, and a dash of fantasy

Why did Tyler love this book?

American Gods was my first foray into the world of Neil Gaiman and has not been the last.

Dark and gritty, American Gods is the story of Shadow, a man released from prison early following the tragic death of his wife. We follow his existential struggle as he experiences such profane trauma and sorrow while simultaneously wading into a war between gods both old and new fighting to stay relevant in a world of people that care less about ancient religions.  

But, for me at least, the story about the gods struggling to stay relevant was overshadowed (pun intended) by Shadow’s own traumatic dealings with not only the ghost of his deceased wife, but his own mysterious origins as well. In the end, there is a victory. Not complete, mind you, but a significant step in the overcoming of overwhelming trauma that casts a hopeful view for Shadow’s future.

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked American Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a STARZ® Original Series – Season 3 premiere in January 2021

“Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative….American Gods is strewn with secrets and magical visions.”—USA Today

Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text. A modern masterpiece from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman.

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Washington Post) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is the story of Shadow—released from prison just days after…


The Missing American

By Kwei Quartey,

Book cover of The Missing American

Michael Stanley Author Of A Deadly Covenant

From the list on African noir thrillers.

Who are we?

Michael Stanley is actually two people—Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip both South Africans, passionate about Africa and its cultures. We read a lot of books set in or concerning Africa. We think of African thrillers as Sunshine Noir—things are always at their most deadly in the glare of the sun! The diverse cultures generate complex character clashes and intriguingly original plots. We believe some of the best thrillers anywhere are set in Africa and written by African writers. Michael writes an article every month titled Africa Scene for the International Thrillers Writers magazine (The Big Thrill) where he interviews an author about a new thriller set in Africa.

Michael's book list on African noir thrillers

Why did Michael love this book?

Emma Djan is a policewoman turned private investigator in Ghana. Her assignment is to track down the missing American who came out to Ghana to meet a woman who is almost certainly the fictional creation of internet scammers—the sakawa boys. We love Emma Djan’s combination of commitment and naiveté as she takes on the scammers, and the way Quartey weaves the local culture—complete with fetish priests and celebrities—into an intriguing plot. If you like to travel, visit Ghana. Great lead character, great plot, great sense of place. What’s not to like? A worthy Shamus Award winner.

By Kwei Quartey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Gordon Tilson falls victim to an online scam, he finds himself alone in the whirlwind city of Accra. But his decision to confront those responsible leads him into unimaginable danger. Now his son Derek has lost all contact with him and has no choice but to travel into the heart of Ghana to begin a near impossible search for his father.

Frustrated by the inadequate local police, Derek turns to Emma Djan, a young private detective desperate to prove her worth. In a heart-stopping race against time, they must expose those at the very centre of Accra's power who…


Book cover of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Irene Wittig Author Of The Best Thing About Bennett

From the list on uplifting contemporary novels.

Who am I?

I have always found that uplifting stories—in which kindness is more powerful than cruelty, and love and friendship blossom in unexpected and even tragic circumstances—give one hope, and hope is the foundation of resilience. Such stories can be set in familiar, comforting places, or new adventurous locales. My own experiences in Uganda, and my husband’s anti-corruption work were the inspiration for one of the locales of my novel about Bennett.

Irene's book list on uplifting contemporary novels

Why did Irene love this book?

Major Pettigrew, a staunchly traditional Englishman struggling with an ungrateful son and the changes caused by the death of his brother, is unexpectedly drawn to the intelligent and cultured shopkeeper, Mrs. Jasmina Ali. Their friendship grows as they share their love of literature and the loss of their spouses, but rattles family and villagers' sense of what is proper and acceptable. This charming and witty love story is set in a small English village, where obligations, societal pressure, and cultural differences challenge but fail to defeat their budding romance.

By Helen Simonson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Major Pettigrew's Last Stand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love?

Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew's Last…


Bewilderment

By Richard Powers,

Book cover of Bewilderment

Jan Krause Greene Author Of I Call Myself Earth Girl

From the list on the world we're leaving to future generations.

Who am I?

When I began writing my first novel, the words “what happens next is up to all of us” became my guiding mantra. I have just completed my second novel with the same theme, The Space Between Dark and Light. It will be released early in 2023. During the years between the two books, I have become a speaker on topics related to the environment and peace. In 2020, I received an award as a Creative Environmental and Peace Activist from Visioneers International Network. It is the thought of the world our grandchildren (and generations after them) will inherit from us that makes me care passionately about the future.

Jan's book list on the world we're leaving to future generations

Why did Jan love this book?

This novel intrigued me because of Robin, a young boy who cares deeply about endangered animals. Powers uses the child as a device to make readers think about our earth and its inhabitants. I did the same with the character in my novel. Both children agonize over how to make adults pay attention to the crisis we face.

While the plot centers on a father’s intense devotion to his struggling son, Powers succeeds in portraying nature’s magnificence and its increasing fragility. I am in awe of his ability to create such a page-turning plot in a message-driven book.

By Richard Powers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He's also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin's emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother's brain...

With its soaring descriptions of the…


The Shadow of the Wind

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (translator),

Book cover of The Shadow of the Wind

D.J. Adamson Author Of Admit to Mayhem

From D.J.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why did D.J. love this book?

This book is set in Barcelona in 1945. Daniel, the son of an antiquarian bookseller, becomes entranced with an author's work—only to discover someone is destroying every copy written.

This excellent read offers a story of murder, mystery, and a secret. Are you a devoted enough reader of literary excellence to go on such a dangerous journey to save another author's work?

I immediately purchased book 2, don't miss this one!

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Shadow of the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller

"The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." -Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." -Stephen King

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been…


Grief

By Andrew Holleran,

Book cover of Grief

C.D. Loza Author Of Life, Everlasting

From the list on life after the sudden death of a loved one.

Who am I?

I wanted to make sense of death when my brother suddenly died. I wanted an outlet for my grief and I wanted my brother to live on in my story when he couldn’t in reality. I also want to think that there’s life beyond death. I want to believe in it so much because it’s hard to fathom someone being ripped out of your life all of a sudden. I know death. I know grief. I have faced them. I don’t understand why it had to happen, but I could imagine that there’s an extension of life beyond this realm. If I couldn’t find closure in real life, I may as well find closure in my imagination. This story is my imagination writing its own happy ending.

C.D.'s book list on life after the sudden death of a loved one

Why did C.D. love this book?

This is a short novel, a slim book that packs a lot in its pages. A fictional work about the loss of a loved one and the emptiness of one’s life. How do you fill your days? How do you go on with your life when every street, every building holds a memory of the one you lost?

This was a deeply emotional work of fiction that speaks to my own empty days after the loss. It felt as if I was walking with the main character as he went through his days trying to find purpose and meaning. It speaks to my own guilt, my own survivor’s guilt. Why am I alive when someone isn’t? How do I rediscover the colors of the world when all I see is black? What does my life, my future hold when every waking day feels like a struggle to get out of…

By Andrew Holleran,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Michael Cunningham's The Hours, a beautiful novel destined to become a classic

Reeling from the recent death of his invalid mother, a worn, jaded professor comes to our nation's capital to recuperate from his loss. What he finds there--in his repressed, lonely landlord, in the city's mood and architecture, and in the letters and journals of Mary Todd Lincoln--shows him new, poignant truths about America, yearning, loneliness, and mourning itself.

Since Andrew Holleran first burst onto the scene with 1978's groundbreaking Dancer from the Dance, which has been continuously in print, he has been dazzling readers…


Up All Night with a Good Duke

By Amy Rose Bennett,

Book cover of Up All Night with a Good Duke

Emily E K Murdoch Author Of A Governess of Great Talents

From the list on unexpected love stories in historical romance.

Who am I?

I’ve written almost one hundred historical romances, so when it comes to making a marriage in a book swoonworthy, I know the hard work that an author has to put in. Whether it’s enemies to lovers, instalove, grumpy/sunshine, whatever it is: I have a huge amount of respect for authors who spend the time crafting a love story that makes me absolutely desperate for the wedding. 

Emily's book list on unexpected love stories in historical romance

Why did Emily love this book?

Any historical romance that takes place in a library is good with me, but Amy Rose Bennett takes this to the next level in this gorgeous book.

With a heroine attempting to avoid marriage, and a widowed duke desperate for a wife, any wife, you can imagine the sizzle in this gorgeous book.

By Amy Rose Bennett,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Up All Night with a Good Duke as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I can think of the perfect way to keep you occupied and your mind diverted," she murmured. "Come to my room. If you're not too tired..."

Lust flashed in his gaze and then he caught her face between his hands and kissed her. "For you, my beautiful Artemis, I'd stay up all night."

Artemis Jones-"respectable" finishing-school teacher by day and Gothic romance writer by night-has never lost sight of her real dream: to open her own academic ladies' college. When Artemis is unexpectedly called upon by a dear friend, a fellow Byronic Book Club member, to navigate her first London…


The Cold Blue Blood

By David Handler,

Book cover of The Cold Blue Blood

Jill Brock Author Of Pennywise

From the list on humorous mysteries to make you smile.

Who am I?

Born and raised in New York City, my plans to become an artist got sidetracked by an interest in psychology. While in school, I graduated college, majoring in Fine Arts and Psychology, combining my two interests. I continued my education as a Graphic Designer at The School of Visual Arts. I worked as a freelance graphic artist for a while before starting a career in the creative arts therapies. While I enjoy a dark, brooding, suspenseful mystery, sometimes I need a little humor to round out those dark edges. Despite some bad things happening in the world, most people do silly, goofy, and often stupid things and you have to laugh.

Jill's book list on humorous mysteries to make you smile

Why did Jill love this book?

Though David Handler’s The Cold Blue Blood plays out much like a traditional whodunit, it has a dash of East Coast humor. The Berger and Mitry Mysteries have been one of my favorites for years. Handler’s strong descriptive style, unique characters, and colorful book titles always had me searching for the next installment. Handler’s main character, Mitch Berger, a New York City film critic, plays the perfect fish out of water, now living on a wealthy private island called Big Sister. A dead body in his garden introduces him to his other partner in crime, Lieutenant Desiree Mitry. This odd couple is both charming and disarming as they sleuth through the snobs of Big Sister.

By David Handler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mitch Berger, a top film critic with a major New York newspaper at a surprisingly young age, has become almost a recluse since his wife died one year ago. He spends his time secluded in his apartment or in the dark recesses of a screening room. Although he continues to dazzle moviegoers and the film elite with his criticisms, his editor and good friend is alarmed about him. As a scheme to pull him out of the doldrums of his grief, she gives him a non-film assignment - to do a color story on the wealthy and social homeowners on…


Book cover of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Marcia Strykowski Author Of Call Me Amy

From Marcia's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Children’s author Former librarian Wannabe musician Sporadic artist

Marcia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Marcia love this book?

This well-written book takes place in Seattle during the 1940s with a Chinese-American boy as the main character.

Henry Lee is best friends with a Japanese-American girl. They face much racism and prejudice, especially from Henry’s father, who disapproves of their friendship. After Pearl Harbor, the government sent all Japanese to live in internment camps, which separated Henry and Keiko for many years.

Throughout the book, we also see Henry, older, as a widower in 1986, still missing Keiko and wondering if it’s too late to reconnect.

Lots to learn from this lovely story of a turbulent time.

By Jamie Ford,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1986, The Panama Hotel The old Seattle landmark has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made a startling discovery in the basement: personal belongings stored away by Japanese families sent to interment camps during the Second World War. Among the fascinated crowd gathering outside the hotel, stands Henry Lee, and, as the owner unfurls a distinctive parasol, he is flooded by memories of his childhood. He wonders if by some miracle, in amongst the boxes of dusty treasures, lies a link to the Okabe family, and the girl he lost his young heart to, so…


Extinctions

By Josephine Wilson,

Book cover of Extinctions

Julia Glass Author Of Three Junes

From the list on surviving inconsolable heartbreak.

Who am I?

I grew up in a woodsy Massachusetts town, then spent the first decade of my adult life striving to succeed as a painter in New York--while reading fiction as if inhaling another form of oxygen. In my thirties I traded paintbrush for pencil, persevering until I published my first novel at 46. I've now written six novels and a story collection about the volatile bonds of modern families, through marriages, births, betrayals, illnesses, deaths, and shifting loyalties. I love to tell a single story from multiple perspectives, ages, and genders; to inhabit a different vocation in each new character: bookseller, biologist, pastry chef, teacher. Like actors, fiction writers love slipping into countless other lives.

Julia's book list on surviving inconsolable heartbreak

Why did Julia love this book?

Confession: I bought this novel partly for its gorgeous floral jacket...a bait-and-switch for the emotional claustrophobia in which it begins. I fell in love with it because of how deep I was drawn into lives I didn't think I could care about. Fred, a retired engineering professor--wife deceased, son severely disabled, adoptive daughter estranged--has banished himself to wither self-righteously away in a retirement village. But circumstances force him to let someone in: his neighbor, Jan, who's suffered her own misfortunes yet leads the most engaged life she can.

Set in Australia, this increasingly exhilarating and witty novel shows how it's never too late to face down eviscerating truths, make amends, and flout conventions; also, how friendships can save us (as I learned during my year of heartbreak). As a writer, I was stunned by an extended real-time scene in which an automotive mishap lands Jan and Fred in a glamorous…

By Josephine Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the prestigious Miles Franklin Award

Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life, he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen.

When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime's secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the…


Book cover of This Thing Between Us

Andy Davidson Author Of The Hollow Kind

From the list on horror writers who aren’t Stephen King.

Who am I?

As a writer who grew up on a steady diet of horror—from Dean Koontz to Peter Straub to Stephen King—I never knew what amazing diversity there actually was in the genre, until I became a horror writer myself! In the last few years, I’ve met an incredible range of talented writers whose books are sometimes overshadowed on the horror shelves by a certain King, and I think it’s high time we all knew more about these hardworking, creative, and gifted authors. So if you read horror and are hungry for new books by writers whose work you may not know, here are five incredible voices to whisper tales of terror in your ear.

Andy's book list on horror writers who aren’t Stephen King

Why did Andy love this book?

This Thing Between Us is a strange, mesmerizing, and oddly funny story about one man’s grief and how it leads to an invasive, evil force penetrating our world from the beyond. In part, it’s a haunted house story, but the ghost is in the machine—specifically a smart speaker named “Itza,” which is Moreno’s version of Alexa. I had the idea to a write a haunted house novel in which the house is haunted by a computer, but Gus beat me to it, and did it ten times better than I could have. You won’t read anything like this one, I promise. 

By Gus Moreno,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Thing Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"As original as it is affecting . . . left me genuinely creeped out, unsettled, and shaken. An existentially frightening book."
-Paul Tremblay, author of Survivor Song

"Hold on, this isn't a ride, it's a slide, and it doesn't care whether you're ready or not."
-Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians

A widower battles his grief, rage, and the mysterious evil inhabiting his home smart speaker, in this mesmerizing horror thriller from Gus Moreno.

It was Vera's idea to buy the Itza. The "world's most advanced smart speaker!" didn't interest Thiago, but Vera thought it would be…


The Reading List

By Sara Nisha Adams,

Book cover of The Reading List

Darlene Jones Author Of When the Sun was Mine

From the list on friendship between young people and seniors.

Who am I?

When I was a kid on the farm in Saskatchewan, I had a handful of books to read and re-read and read yet again. No television, no radio—just books. Then we moved to the city and I discovered the bookmobile, but I could only take out three books at a time. Deciding was torture. From bookmobile to library to bookstore to e-reader. Life is good. With all that reading, I knew I had to write a novel. I finally did. One became seven. How on earth did that happen? Re-reding my books I realized that teens play significant roles in all my novels. I’m a retired teacher—go figure!

Darlene's book list on friendship between young people and seniors

Why did Darlene love this book?

Working at the local, almost defunct library, Aleisha comes across a reading list in one of the returned books. Bored, with little to do, she begins to read the books. When an old man wanders in one day, she shares the list with him. Reading and discussing the books leads them out of their shells and into new understandings of their worlds and to friendship. Reading this made me reflect on books that impacted me and on my friendships over the years with people much younger or much older and I realized that all of them had such value—value that I did not always recognize at the time 

By Sara Nisha Adams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*A finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards for Fiction, discover this year's most uplifting and heart-warming debut*

'Absolutely gorgeous' RUTH WARE
'The most heartfelt read of the summer' SHONDALAND
'A joyful, uplifting read!' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
'A captivating debut' HEIDI SWAIN

_________________________________________________________________

A faded list.
Nine favourite stories.
For two strangers, friendship is only a page away . . .

When Mukesh Patel pops to the local library, forgoing his routine of grocery shopping and David Attenborough documentaries, he has no idea his life's about to change.

He meets Aleisha, a reluctant librarian and the keeper of a curious reading list…