13 Captivating Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing to Read Now
There are so many aspects of this book that we absolutely love. Part murder mystery/ thriller and part historical fiction, we had a hard time narrowing down our choices for books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
We were lucky enough to read Where the Crawdads Sing before it was released in august 2018. We immediately fell in love with the book and told everyone to read this story about the Marsh Girl.
A month later, the book skyrocketed to success when Reese chose it for her books club in September of 2018. Now, four years and 12 million books later, Where the Crawdads Sing has hit the big screen and continues to be a New York Times Bestselling book.
If you saw the movie and loved it, or if you read the book and loved it, this list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing is perfect for your book hangover. Which book will you read next?
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Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing by Dehlia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing Deluxe Edition by Dehlia Owens
September 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
I will admit when I saw the description of this book, I was not sold. A trusted individual, who has never steered me wrong in the past, gave me an advanced copy so, I took the leap. And wow, am I glad I did. I read this book and then recommended it to everyone I knew. This book has that spark, that special something that makes it extra. It is no surprise that we chose this as our favorite of 2018.
Where the Crawdads Sing is set in North Carolina between 1952-1969. The book begins when a body is found in the marsh and is identified as Chase Andrews. The story moves between the past and the present to tell the story of Kya Clark.
When Kya was six years old, her mother left her with her older siblings and her abusive, neglectful father. Kya must learn to fend for herself and earns the nickname Marsh Girl. This book is part historical fiction, part murder mystery, and completely captivating.
We have an entire post dedicated to this book and how to host a book club around it!
Books Set in a Small Town Like Where the Crawdads Sing
If you loved the small town aspect of Where the Crawdads Sing, these are are perfect picks for your next read
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Another Kristin Hannah story, another NYT best seller – and for good reason! I liked this story about the Alaskan wilderness.
This book is so haunting. I could not get it out of my head. Kristin Hannah is an amazing writer with wonderful characters. Her stories feel realistic almost to a fault. They are heartbreaking and heartwarming and utterly unforgettable. I did not think that I would like a book about Alaska but, I could not put it down.
Ernt Allbright has come home from the Vietnam War traumatized and as his mental state deteriorates, his wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, must learn to navigate the Alaskan wilderness on their own. If you love family drama books set in the 70s, this one is not to be missed.
Beartown by Frederik Backman
This is a heavy story that also has a lot of heart. It’s about a small-town hockey team, and the fallout when the star player is accused of raping the GM’s daughter.
Frederik Backman is a master story weaver. He doesn’t just tell a story but, he submerges his reader deep in the lives of his characters. This town will follow me for a long time. It’s my favorite of all the Fredrik Backman books.
Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction Novels to Love in 2023
For more contemporary fiction books like these, check out our ultimate list for dozens of recommendations.
Books About Finding Yourself Like Crawdads
Kya has to find herself and trust in herself to find her way in the world. If you loved that aspect of the book, these are the perfect choices for your next read.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book initially. Eleanor bugged me in a way that I could not identify. She is not supposed to be likable initially which is why I persevered and I ended up liking the book.
As we get to know Eleanor and understand her profound loneliness, it made me think about what initial judgments I make in other areas. Both Eleanor and Kya experience profound loneliness and are able to find a way to be themselves despite the obstacles standing in their way. This book about finding yourself needed to be included in our list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
For more books like these, check out our list of Charming Books Like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
I loved Matt Haig’s Last Book (How to Stop Time) and I was so excited to read this book. I loved it even more- it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year. This is a library that has books filled with the infinite possibilities of the lives not lived. Have you ever wondered about a choice, or a path not taken?
When Nora finds herself in the library she is forced to face the choices that she made in her life- relationships, education, profession… She is forced to look at who she is and who she wants to be in this magical book and I loved every minute of it.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Bee is so excited that she has won a trip to Antarctica for her perfect grades. As she is preparing to go, her mother, Bernadette, disappears.
This is a hilarious satire that is about finding yourself, coming to terms with who you are, and the power of the bond between a mother and daughter.
Coming of Age Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel by Ruth Emmie Lang
This book is a magical love story that is reminiscent of Charlotte’s Web for grown-ups. I could not put it down.
Weylyn Grey was orphaned and raised by wolves and this is not the only way that he is not like other people. He has a connection to animals and nature that manifests when he least expects it. Unlike any book that I have read, this book with a touch of magical realism makes it all the more special.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
This highly controversial book was awarded Book of the Month Club book of the year 2016 and Second Place in Goodreads Best Fiction of 2016.
This is an unlikely love story between the daughter of a drug dealer and one of her father’s thugs. I found it a disturbing, extremely well-written, and thought-provoking novel.
People either love or hate this book because of the difficult subject matter. either way, you are sure to feel something when you are done reading it. There are so many similarities between Wavy and Kya in their upbringing. These coming-of-age novels are both must-reads.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Victoria Jones has studied the language of flowers and uses it to communicate. After growing up in the foster care system, she is hesitant to let anyone get close to her. When she meets a mysterious stranger, she has to decide if she can let someone in and let go of her past.
Kirsten and I both absolutely loved this contemporary fiction book and read it before we even knew each other. The Victorian language of flowers is fascinating. This book incorporates this language into a story that will leave you wanting more.
We named this the best book of 2011 in our best of the decade post.
Thriller Like Where the Crawdads Sing
Reputation by Sarah Vaughan
Sarah Vaughan, of Anatomy of a Scandal fame, is a killer when it comes to legal thrillers with a one-two punch. This particular story revolves around Emma, a British MP on trial for murder charges.
The victim? A tabloid reporter with a scoop on an inflammatory story revolving around the MP’s daughter. But it’s so much more complicated than that and secrets unravel at every turn.
The question of did she/ didn’t she runs throughout this book. We know that she had a motive but did she commit the crime? The thrilling aspect of this book reminded me of Crawdads and needed to be included on this list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing
The Change by Kirsten Miller
May 2022 Good Morning America Book Club Pick
Kirsten Miller delivers a killer magical realism novel about a trio of women who receive powers after going through menopause. The point of their powers is to bring to justice men who rape and kill women.
I was thoroughly entertained by this beach town mystery that pit the women against billionaire men around them. As usual, GMA delivers with its latest pick. Other than the fantasy element of this book, it definitely needed to be included on this list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
Love Thrillers? We created The Ultimate List of Best Thriller Books carefully divided by sub-genre. These will definitely keep you on your toes.
Non-Fiction Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
This book had me thinking about it for DAYS. I mean truly, DAYS. If you liked Hillbilly Elegy, this is a great book for you.
Tara’s journey was inspiring, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking all in one. A great insight into more extremist religions and survivalists.
Tara overcame the obstacles in her past to create the life she wanted for herself. This reminded me of Crawdads in more ways than I could count and is a must-read from this list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls
This is an amazing recount of Jeanette Walls’s upbringing and childhood. She is a successful journalist and writer living in New York City.
Her parents also live in New York; however, they choose to be homeless. Jeanette Wells’s upbringing was unconventional and her parents did not offer her a structured childhood. This is a fantastic pick from books about mothers and as non-fiction books go, this one reads like fiction. It is so readable.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I read this book and really enjoyed it. I loved the movie even more (and that rarely happens). At the age of 26, Cheryl Strayed made a decision that would change her life forever. She decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. She was alone and completely inexperienced when she headed out on this journey.
There is something about the author’s need to retreat to nature that made me think it belonged on this list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
Funny, the first two books I would come to mention would be “Under the magnolias” by T. I. Lowe and “We begin at the end” by Chris Whitaker and none of them are on the list? If you haven’t read them yet, you definitely should 🙂
I haven’t read either! I will add them to the list!