the shore recommendations

Recommendation Breakdown: The Shore

the shore recommendations

We all love books for different reasons, so I always try to feel out why someone loved a book when I give a recommendation. If you loved Sara Taylor’s The Shore, here are four more titles based on some of the book’s unique traits.

Sense of Place: Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky

It wasn’t quite clear to me how much Sara Taylor really captured the feeling of Virginia’s Eastern Shore until I vacationed there a few weeks ago. If you want another book with a strong sense of place, Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm is it—you will feel absolutely transported to childhood summers in rural Kentucky.

Deeply Linked Stories: Country Hardball

Though it’s technically a novel, each chapter of The Shore can easily stand on its own as a short story. Country Hardball by Steve Weddle straddles that same line between short stories and a novel, with a dark setting and gritty characters to boot.

Connected Through Time: Cloud Atlas

The Shore spans over two hundred years, from the Eastern Shore’s early inhabitants well into the future. Though its structure and stories are much different, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell follows linked characters over a similar span of time, including the post-apocalyptic future.

Rural Poverty: The Working Poor

Though its central to nearly every story in The Shore, I didn’t expect the poverty on the Eastern Shore to be as widespread as it is. If you’re interested in reading more in nonfiction form, The Working Poor by David K. Shipler is a great place to start. It is about ten years old, though, so I also have my eye on $2.00 a Day by Kathryn J. Edin, which comes out in September.


  • Just by looking at those themes, I think I would really like The Shore!

  • Great recommendations, Shannon! I have yet to read The Shore, but I’d really like to; I love the idea the way its format sounds and I’ve heard so many great things from you and other book bloggers. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  • Cloud Atlas is my Everest.

  • Malcolm Avenue Review

    Sigh. The Shore still sits unread on my shelf. As does Ancient Oceans. This is one reason I want to quite ARCs. (Also: I do love me some Weddle.)

    Great post!

    • I can’t wait to hear what you think of both, but I totally understand the struggle (as I sit beside a stack of 8 ARC’s/library books).

      • Malcolm Avenue Review

        Totally something I shouldn’t be whining about, but whine I do. I’m trying out saying “no.” We’ll see how long it lasts. Library books are a whole other problematic ball of wax. It’s a sickness, I tell you! :)

  • Oooh – I love how you did this post! New recurring feature?! I’ve been considering giving David Mitchell a shot at some point, but I’m kind of scared!
    I remember when my husband first took me to the shore, he told me that Northampton County (where Cape Charles is) is the poorest county in Virginia. But also, the Cape Charles public housing is beachfront.

    • Yes, I think it’s going to be a new feature!
      I don’t know why the poverty was such a surprise for me, maybe because I connect that type of location with wealth, but Taylor really did a great job getting it across.

  • Love this post! I really liked the format of The Shore so I’ve added Country Hardball to my tbr list. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • I haven’t found many books that seem to fall in that border between short stories and a novel, but Country Hardball and The Shore are very similar in that aspect. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Amanda

    I love this Shannon! Will definitely check out your recommendations. Like Sarah I have been considering David Mitchell -but am also scared!!

    • I think if you know what you’re getting into with a book like Cloud Atlas it makes it much easier – you can probably read an outline or a wiki about the nested structure without any spoilers and it would make reading it much less scary.

  • I keep saying that I’m going to pull The Shore off my shelf and read it, but I honestly don’t know when. I want so badly to get to it, and now you’ve added more to my shelf. :P I really love how you did this post, though because when a good book comes my way, I tend to want so much more of that same type of book or feel.

  • Oh, wow. Like a bunch of folks have already said, I really love how you structured this post! I’ve never thought about doing recommendations like this, but it makes perfect sense! Plus, you picked a good jumping-off point. There are so many different subjects to chew on in The Shore.

    I *will* retackle Cloud Atlas. I will.

  • Oh this is a fun idea! Love it!

  • This is a great way to introduce people to books they probably would have never read otherwise. I personally haven’t read The Shore, but I really want to do so!

  • I haven’t read The Shore but I love how you’ve linked all of these books based on some aspect or another. Cloud Atlas was a beast for me, but I did love how it was all interconnected.

    • Cloud Atlas can be a tough one, for sure, but it’s definitely rewarding when you realize how everything comes together.

  • I’m interested in The Working Poor but, 10 years old… I think I’m going to wait for $2.00 a Day to come out. Thanks for mentioning it!

    • Yeah, The Working Poor is kind of a “classic” in that area and has been updated several times, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how $2.00 a Day approaches it.

  • I’m stilllll struggling with Cloud Atlas. :)

  • I’m always looking for new ways to do readalikes at work. This is great!

  • NancyS

    Very interesting post! I think I still need a little time before tackling another book like The Shore, but appreciate the recommendations.

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