15 of the Best Books Like Lessons in Chemistry

Read the best books like Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus Books has spent over a year on the New York Times best-seller list. It was chosen as Amazon’s best book of 2022 and if you have read it, it’s likely you have loved this book. You are probably looking for more books like Lessons in Chemistry.

The story of a woman fighting for her place in the workplace is very relatable. The cast of characters are completely unique. These two aspects of the book combine to make a book-lover’s dream. We put together a list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry if you want more.

*Books similar to Lessons in Chemistry Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Books Like Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

April 2022 GMA Book Club Pick

I don’t even know where to begin with this unique contemporary fiction story. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 50s when women were expected to know their place in society — their place being the kitchen and the home.

Elizabeth struggles to be taken seriously in her field and as a single mother, in this amazing book. So when an offer to host a cooking show for women is put in her path, she reluctantly takes it.

She uses her no-nonsense attitude and chemistry principles to teach the women in America to not only cook but to follow their dreams outside of the home.

Zott is a quirky character with a charming daughter and a dog whose inner monologue is as quirky as hers. This is an absolutely wonderful book which is why we wanted to make a list of books like Lessons in Chemistry.

Books Similar to Lessons in Chemistry

Women in the Workplace// Fiction Books// Non-Fiction, Female Innovator Books // Celebrity Book Club Picks

Books Like Lessons in Chemistry: Women in the Workplace

The Other Einstein

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

The story of Mileva Maric is an absolutely fascinating one that has not been told. This book gives a glimpse into the life of Albert Einstein’s wife who was a brilliant physicist that contributed to the special theory of relativity. How much of a role she actually played has been debated for years.

It is clear from the letters that Albert Einstein wrote, he was a horrible husband and this book brings him into a new light. It is a shame that his first wife, Mileva, a brilliant scientist herself is a mere footnote in history. I like the way the story was written and it will certainly bring about a lively discussion as a book club book. If you are looking for books like Lessons in Chemistry, this one is a must-read.

Switchboard Soldiers

Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini

I’ve been reading WWI books non-stop because I’m fascinated by the way modern warfare met traditional tactics in the Great War. I’m particularly interested in the role women played in helping the Allies.

Chiaverini brought the Switchboard soldiers (the women who operated the telephone lines) to life in the most interesting way. I loved their bonds of sisterhood, how they stayed cool under pressure, and learning just how crucial they were to the war effort.

Find this book in Book Club Books / Historical Fiction Books / Books Like Lessons in Chemistry.

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

July 2019 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita have worked at Truviv, Inc. for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, swept under the rug, and hidden away by those in charge.

But the world has changed, and women are watching this promotion differently. This time, when they find out Ames is making an inappropriate move on a colleague, they aren’t willing to let it go. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.

This contemporary fiction pick is perfect for our list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry and is also on our list of best books for book clubs.

a woman of intelligence

A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe

I was interested to read this book about a housewife turned female informant for the FBI. I went in interested to learn about the government’s efforts to root out Communism in the 50s but stayed to understand Katharina’s story.

I can’t imagine being a wife in the 50s. The ideals that society put on women were just too much. Too many constraints, too many rules, and far too much judgement. If you are looking for books like Lessons in Chemistry, this is the choice for you.

I loved seeing Katharina find herself through her undercover work, but sometimes those scenes of her life at home were hard to read about because I came to despise her husband.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy. All opinions are my own.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

This book could be an amazing movie.  It is not the type of book that you “can’t put down” because it takes place on New Year’s Eve 1984 with flashbacks from the Jazz Age all the way to the AIDS epidemic. But, it is an incredibly interesting and very well-written New Year’s Eve book.

Lillian Boxfish takes the reader with her through a look at New York City through the ages. She starts off writing copy for R.H Macy’s and becomes one of the highest-paid advertising women in the country.

Now, at 85 years old, she is still as savvy as she ever was and is determined to make the most of her time. Breaking the boundaries of what was expected of a woman was Lillian’s thing and makes this book perfect for anyone looking for books like Lessons in Chemistry.

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Fiction Books Similar to Lessons in Chemistry

Eleanor Oliphant

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this contemporary fiction 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 loving the book and Eleanor. 

As we get to know Eleanor and understand her profound loneliness, it made me think about what initial judgments I make in other areas. Eleanor is able to find herself and understand herself in this wonderful, feel-good book. If you are looking for books similar to lessons in chemistry, this book is a 5-star pick.

Eleanor has difficulty with social skills and is used to being alone until one day, she saves an elderly man who has fallen with the help of Raymond from her work. The three develop a friendship that is able to help heal Eleanor.

Find This Book In: Books Like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine / Books Like A Man Called Ove/ Books about Scotland.

the helpline

The Helpline by Katherine Collette

I started reading this book and found that I had a really hard time putting it down.  It is one of those books where the main character is completely imperfect and often infuriating but, will grow on you!

This book is perfect for a list of books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. If you loved Eleanor, then you will love this book.

Germaine has lost her job at an insurance company and begins working at a helpline for senior citizens.  The mayor has a side project for Germaine.  She wants Germaine to help her in the feud between the golf club and the senior citizen center.  Sometimes, as Germaine will find out, things are not always what they seem.

This pick from feel-good novels was an unexpected joy! And as books for book clubs go, this is such a great choice. Her quirky personality also makes this book perfect for books like Lessons in Chemistry.

The Maid

The Maid by Nita Prose

January 2022 Good Morning America Pick

Molly Gray works as a maid in a grand hotel and gets joy from leaving things orderly and pristine. Molly struggles with reading social cues and has had even more trouble since her gran can no longer help.

When Molly finds a dead body in a room at the hotel, she becomes a prime suspect and will need all her friends to help her.

Why We Loved it: I loved the description of this book and I hoped it would live up to my expectations. It did that and more. I adored every minute of this story and closed the last page smiling.

Find This Book in: The Maid Book Club Questions / Books like Lessons in Chemistry / Best Mystery Books / Feel-Good Book / Books for Book Clubs

With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

After hearing a lot about this particular coming-of-age story, I quickly snatched it up, and let me tell you, the hype is real. This story is set in Philly (which I love) and features a Black woman of Caribbean descent who is entering her senior year of college. 

Emoni wants to be a world-class chef but struggles with pursuing her passions in the kitchen while balancing the responsibilities of having a toddler. It’s a true coming-of-age story that is as delicious to devour as the many recipes described in the book.

This book is perfect for a list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry because the two main characters have so much in common. Both are trying to balance career and parenthood and both are chefs! And as books set in high school go, this one is five-stars.

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Non-Fiction Books Similar to Lessons in Chemistry

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Woman Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This true and amazing story of the Black female mathematicians and their role in the space race is one of the nonfiction books that read like fiction. If you are looking for the best nonfiction books for beginners, this should be at the top of your list.

So many people know this story because of the movie but, the book gives so many more details- as is usually the case with adaptations. These women, who were originally sent to teach math in the South’s segregated schools, were called into service during WWII.

They were some of the most brilliant minds of their generation. They eventually helped in the race to space during the Cold War. This non-fiction pick from books like Lessons in Chemistry was captivating from start to finish.

Code Girls 1

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

I’m not generally a huge non-fiction reader unless the topic is of particular interest to me. Having seen the Imitation Game and read quite a few non-fiction books about coding in war times, I thought this one would be interesting and it did not disappoint.

This is such an amazing feel-good nonfiction book. It was a truly fascinating read of all the books about WWII! I loved finding out about the trials and tribulations of the real-life heroes of the war that we rarely hear about. This is a perfect non-fiction pick in books like Lessons in Chemistry.

queens of animation

The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt

This nonfiction old Hollywood book sheds light on the talent of Disney’s pioneering female animators and the struggles they faced in a male-dominated field. I loved learning about these incredible women – like Mary Blair who created the art for the “It’s a Small World” ride. ⁣

I was appalled by the disparate treatment female in the animation field received, but I was also impressed by their gumption. The author does a tremendous job of showing their struggles but also how these women shaped animation as we know it. If you are looking for non-fiction books like Lessons in Chemistry, this is a fantastic pick.

I was heartened to see just how far they have come. The book ends with Frozen and you can clearly see the studio’s growth.⁣ This is an amazing, feel-good nonfiction book about art.

Her Honor

Her Honor by LaDoris Hazzard Cordell

While I’m always interested in the justice system, I often find non-fiction books about the topic to be dry, too technical, or just plain confusing.

But not Judge Cordell’s book which has a perfect balance of example-based stories and explanations of legal issues without the legalese that can be confusing to those outside the justice system.

Her detailed antidotes about her life on the bench were compelling and troubling, drawing me in, and forcing me to see that our legal system needs work across ALL divisions.

I spent most of my time listening to this book, which is narrated by Judge Cordell, and I couldn’t pause it. I finished it in one day while ignoring life around me.

Judge Cordell is the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court of northern California and is the definition of female innovator. We could not leave this pick off of our list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry.

Finding Freedom and other quick reviews in February 2021 Novel Ideas

Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story by Erin French

My first celebrity chef memoir was not at all what I was expecting and I loved it! ⁣I found myself thinking of Erin as a friend while reading this story. I rooted for her, cried with her, and had so many food cravings it bordered on ridiculous. How can you not want to eat the delicious concoctions described on the page?⁣

I was not anticipating that this would be a story about redemption, finding inner strength, and perseverance, but that’s what it was. Erin clawed her way to the top of the restaurant game only to find herself at rock bottom. Then, she did it again. ⁣

It’s a story of a mother’s love, a woman overcoming addiction, and a damn good cook who finds herself planting roots where she least expected it.⁣

I hope someday that I will be able to eat in her famed kitchen if just to have wine recommended by her mom and see her surrounded by the love of her kitchen family. I could not think of a better book for our list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry.⁣

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Celebrity Books Club Books Like Lessons in Chemistry

Remarkably Bright Creatures and more family drama books

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

May 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

I haven’t read a novel with as much heart as this one in quite some time. If you are looking for books like Lessons in Chemistry, this is a five-star pick.

Elderly, recently widowed Tova loves her job cleaning the aquarium in town in the quiet of the night, especially because of her fondness for Marcellus, the octopus. She finds solace in the aquarium as it makes her feel closer to her son, Erik – a marine life lover – who disappeared on a boat when he was 18.

But when she hurts herself and is unable to return to work at full capacity, she grows close with her replacement, Cameron, a young man who newly arrived in town looking for his birth mother.

Meanwhile, Marcellus knows what happened to Erik and he wants to help Tova find the closure she needs. His narration is interspersed with Tova and Cameron’s for a story that is compelling, heartwarming, and utterly unique.

Daisy Jones and the 6

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

March 2019 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I read and absolutely loved this pick from books like Lessons in Chemistry. I expect it to sweep the Audies this year for sure because full-cast audiobooks can really take the story to the next level. The book is laid out in chronological order about the making of a band in the 70s, but the story is told in interview style from a dozen sources.

The audio version has a different narrator for each character and the performances the actors give are stupendous. I was overcome with emotion numerous times while I was listening.

This celebrity fiction story about the rise and fall of one of the hottest bands was so utterly fabulous – it’s pure sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll in all the best ways. Like Elizabeth Zott, Daisy did not allow others to dictate her life which is why we wanted to include it in our list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry.

contemporary fiction header

Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction

If you are looking for books like Lessons in Chemistry and are looking for more books like it, this list is divided by genre, including women in the workplace.

love hypothesis

16 Books Like the Love Hypothesis to Obsess Over

If you are looking for steamy romances similar to Lessons in Chemistry, check out this list.

What Books Like Lessons in Chemistry Should I Read Next?

If you are looking for books similar to Lessons in Chemistry, these are our top 5 picks
1. The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
2. The Maid by Nita Prose
3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
4. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
5. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Which books like Lessons in Chemistry will you read?

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