- Mary Buck
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
The Shack by William P. Young: "Mackenzie Allen Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever." (Book Description)
If you enjoyed "The Shack" by William Paul Young, you may enjoy these titles:
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger: an Invitation Worth Considering by David Gregory
The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky's desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can't pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched. The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick's personal life.--catalog summary
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true? Life of Pi is at once a realistic, rousing adventure and a meta-tale of survival that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It's a story, as one character puts it, to make you believe in God.--catalog summary
The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy
Louise Kirk learns about love and loss at an early age. When she is nine years old, her former beauty queen mother disappears, leaving a note that reads only--and incorrectly--"Louise knows how to work the washing machine." Soon after, the Richters and their adopted son, Abel, move in across the street. Louise's immediate devotion to the exotic, motherly Mrs. Richter is quickly transferred to her nature-loving, precociously intelligent son. From this childhood friendship evolves a love that will bind Louise and Abel forever. Though Abel moves away, Louise's attachment becomes ever more fixed as she grows up. Separations are followed by reunions, but with every turn of their fractured relationship, Louise discovers that Abel cannot love her as fiercely and exclusively as she loves him. Only when she faces another great loss is Louise finally forced to confront the costs of abandoning herself to another.--catalog summary
A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
This multilayered novel focuses on Sylvia, a reclusive woman who suffers from a condition affecting her ability to relate to others. When a young artist named Jerome discovers the frozen body of Sylvia's lover, Andrew, on a remote island at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, Sylvia conquers her affliction and travels to Toronto to meet Jerome, feeling compelled to speak to him of her life and her relationship with Andrew.
The middle third of the novel is Andrew's reconstruction of the history of his timber-merchant family. The book starts slowly and quietly but rewards patient reading; at play here are big themes about the impermanence of everything: relationships, memory, possessions, civilizations, and even the landscape. --Library Journal review
Catherine Wheels by Leif Peterson
For Thomas, life's blows have left him stumbling toward an uncertain future. When his reclusive Montana retreat is shattered by yet another loss, he wonders if recovery is even possible. But his brother's death brings an unexpected consequence his nine-year-old niece Catherine comes to live with him and he's forced to focus on her needs instead of being swallowed by his own.--catalog summary
Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz
At the close of a beautiful summer day near the quiet Connecticut town where they live, the Learner family--Ethan and Grace, their children, Josh and Emma--stop at a gas station on their way home from a concert.
Josh Learner, lost in a ten-year-old's private world, is standing at the edge of the road when a car comes racing around the bend. He is hit and instantly killed. The car speeds away. From this moment forward, Reservation Road becomes a harrowing countdown to the confrontation between two very different men. The hit-and-run driver is a small-town lawyer named Dwight Arno, a man in desperate need of a second chance.
Dwight is also the father of a ten-year-old boy, who was asleep in the car the night Josh Learner was killed. Now Dwight must decide whether to run from his crime or to pay the price for what he did. Ethan Learner, a respected professor of literature at a small New England college, has seen his orderly world shattered in a single moment, yet persists in the belief that he can find the unknown man who killed his son. --catalog summary