39 books like 633 Days Inside

By Greg Lindberg,

Here are 39 books that 633 Days Inside fans have personally recommended if you like 633 Days Inside. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

Paul Lamb Author Of One-Match Fire

From my list on understand the joys and sorrows of being a father.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the natural course as a young man, I became a husband and a father. I have four children and eleven grandchildren. Fatherhood has been the most difficult yet rewarding job of my life. You never stop being a parent. So, it was inevitable that this would become a subject of my writing. I have tried to be a compassionate caregiver and a positive role model to my children; you’ll have to ask them if I’ve succeeded. In my novel, I try to depict two fathers (and their two sons) as good yet flawed men, doing their best and finding their way. Just as all fathers do.

Paul's book list on understand the joys and sorrows of being a father

Paul Lamb Why did Paul love this book?

I think Atticus Finch represents the best qualities in a father and a man. If he is idealized, as many have said, it is an ideal all fathers can aspire to.

I first read this in high school, and I’m not sure I was mature enough to appreciate it. Later, it was a selection in the book discussion group I was in, where we focused less on the characters and more on the themes. When I read it a third time on my own, as an adult and father, I came to appreciate how Atticus Finch models the behavior he wants to see in the world, and that, I think, is the most effective form of fathering.

By Harper Lee,

Why should I read it?

32 authors picked To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'

Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped…


Book cover of The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose

Skip Press

From my list on finding justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for people who do whatever it takes to improve themselves and their circumstances under the worst of conditions. I grew up very poor in north Texas country towns and knew I’d be a successful writer while in the second grade, only hardly anyone encouraged me. The most inspiring movie I saw growing up was To Kill A Mockingbird and it got me orientated toward helping people find justice. I was only in jail once, overnight on a driving while intoxicated charge, and that was enough. I saw the error of my ways, and I appreciate other writers who not only do the same but inspire others to improve no matter what.

Skip's book list on finding justice

Skip Press Why did Skip love this book?

Author Wes Moore wrote the Foreword to this book he called “a philosophy that we should all take to heart” and suggested we “honor the redemptive possibilities inherent in every person.” This was reminiscent to me of Greg Lindberg’s interaction with convicted cocaine dealer Willie Colon who, like Chris Wilson, grew in in a very rough neighborhood. 

Wilson’s crime was even more serious, as he killed a man at age 17. His plea of self-defense didn’t work; he was sentenced to life in prison. Not giving up, he came up with a list of things he wanted to do – his Master Plan – and 16 years later, he was triumphant. It’s a memoir that can inspire anyone to accomplish greater things.

By Chris Wilson, Bret Witter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Master Plan is less of a road map and more of a philosophy that we should all take to heart: We are all better than our worst decision, our sense of justice should honor the redemptive possibilities inherent in every person, and our destinies are truly intertwined."--Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore

Growing up in Washington, DC, Chris Wilson was surrounded by violence and despair. He watched his family and neighborhood shattered by trauma, and he lost his faith. One night when he was seventeen, defending himself, he killed a man. He was sentenced to life in…


Book cover of Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

Skip Press

From my list on finding justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for people who do whatever it takes to improve themselves and their circumstances under the worst of conditions. I grew up very poor in north Texas country towns and knew I’d be a successful writer while in the second grade, only hardly anyone encouraged me. The most inspiring movie I saw growing up was To Kill A Mockingbird and it got me orientated toward helping people find justice. I was only in jail once, overnight on a driving while intoxicated charge, and that was enough. I saw the error of my ways, and I appreciate other writers who not only do the same but inspire others to improve no matter what.

Skip's book list on finding justice

Skip Press Why did Skip love this book?

Most people don’t realize that modern federal criminal laws are often so broad and vague that prosecutors can find a way to convict just about anyone if given enough time. Once indicted, all too often, both defense attorneys and prosecutors will look for a plea deal in doing their jobs. The situation has worsened in recent decades, and most indictees simply don’t have the financial wherewithal to fight the accusation. Silvergate explains how much the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance and makes very convincing arguments about how things must change. 

By Harvey A. Silverglate,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Felonies A Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the…


Book cover of Amnesia

Skip Press

From my list on finding justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for people who do whatever it takes to improve themselves and their circumstances under the worst of conditions. I grew up very poor in north Texas country towns and knew I’d be a successful writer while in the second grade, only hardly anyone encouraged me. The most inspiring movie I saw growing up was To Kill A Mockingbird and it got me orientated toward helping people find justice. I was only in jail once, overnight on a driving while intoxicated charge, and that was enough. I saw the error of my ways, and I appreciate other writers who not only do the same but inspire others to improve no matter what.

Skip's book list on finding justice

Skip Press Why did Skip love this book?

This is a horror novel about waking up in a hospital with no memory of who you are. What makes it unique is that Ingman started writing as a prisoner. “With nothing but pen, paper, and my own mind and memory of inspiration from my favorite books by Stephen King to my favorite episodes of Twilight Zone,” he says. His incarceration “spanned over 3 prisons and over the course of 5 years 1 month and 5 days,” he says on his Amazon page. I admire his determination and ambition. 

By Tom Ingman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The scariest thing about waking up in a place you've never been is, not that fact that it's a hospital. It's that you can't recognize that it's a hospital, even worse you don't know who you are. It can by far, fill your body with complete unadulterated terror and fill your mind with ludicrous ideas that can be so outrageous that you could lose your mind before you even find it...


Book cover of American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment

Mneesha Gellman Author Of Education Behind the Wall: Why and How We Teach College in Prison

From my list on college in US prisons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been involved with teaching in prison for the last 22 years, and have taught everything from creative writing to meditation to college classes across carceral facilities in New York, California, and Massachusetts. As the founder and director of the Emerson Prison Initiative at Emerson College’s campus at Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Concord, I constantly work with faculty and students who are navigating the teaching and learning environment under some of the most adverse circumstances. These books have helped me feel less alone in this work.

Mneesha's book list on college in US prisons

Mneesha Gellman Why did Mneesha love this book?

I could not stop reading this book once I started, and I stayed up late into the night glued to its pages. Bauer, a journalist, takes us inside the prison where he got a job as a correctional officer. Through engrossing prose that pairs his daily experiences with carefully researched historical context about incarceration in the United States, Bauer shows what prisons represent in real time. 

By Shane Bauer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” —NPR.org

New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018 * One of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018 * Winner of the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism * Winner of the 2019 RFK Book and Journalism Award * A New York Times Notable Book 

A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course…


Book cover of Lockdown

Christopher Joubert Author Of Briskwood Blood Rain

From my list on apocalyptic events and surviving in confinement.

Why am I passionate about this?

Apocalyptic novels have always been a favorite genre of mine. It’s interesting seeing the lengths that people will go through to survive when all factors are stacked against them. The list of novels below is some of the many great reads that opened my eyes to this genre. The characters in these novels are oftentimes faced with challenges that seem impossible to the reader but are left feeling so fulfilled after seeing a character complete the difficult tasks. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Christopher's book list on apocalyptic events and surviving in confinement

Christopher Joubert Why did Christopher love this book?

Although this novel is not necessarily ‘apocalyptic,’ I couldn’t help but include it. Alexander Gordon Smith’s Lockdown is a high-stakes novel that follows Alex, a teenager who is wrongly accused of murder and sentenced to an underground prison. The Furnace Penitentiary is not a normal prison, but is a building where inhumane experiments take place. I’ve always been fascinated by characters who have to survive in an environment they cannot physically leave, and the Escape from Furnace series does this beautifully.

By Alexander Gordon Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lockdown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Prison Break meets Darren Shan in an unforgettable story of terror, evil and intrigue. Alexander Gordon Smith's cult teen series has been reissued with the bestselling US covers.

Beneath heaven is hell.
Beneath hell is Furnace.

When thirteen-year-old Alex is framed for murder, his life changes forever. Now he is an inmate in the Furnace Penitentiary - the toughest prison in the world for young offenders. A vast building sunk deep into the ground, there's one way in and no way out.

But rowdy inmates and sadistic guards are the least of Alex's problems. Every night an inmate is taken…


Book cover of Partial Justice: Women, Prisons and Social Control

Ashley Rubin Author Of The Deviant Prison: Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary and the Origins of America's Modern Penal System, 1829-1913

From my list on the origins of American prisons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been captivated by the study of prisons since my early college years. The fact that prisons are so new in human history still feels mind-blowing to me. I used to think that prisons have just always been around, but when you realize they are actually new, that has major implications. This is nowhere more clear than at the beginning: how hard it was to get to the point where prisons made sense to people, to agree on how prisons should be designed and managed, and to keep on the same path when prisons very quickly started to fail. It’s still puzzling to me.

Ashley's book list on the origins of American prisons

Ashley Rubin Why did Ashley love this book?

Prisons were originally built for men (really, white men), not for women. But women were sent to prison, just not in big enough numbers to merit their own facilities until much later. Women were also viewed as a difficult population by reformers and prison administrators alike: Women who committed crimes were deemed so morally repugnant that they could not be rehabilitated, so the routines and purposes of prisons seemed not to apply to them (prisons were originally supposed to rehabilitate their prisoners).

As a small and unprofitable population (because they were assigned unprofitable labor like sewing and laundry), women prisoners were considered especially burdensome. Using the prison histories of three differently situated states, Rafter describes the experiences of incarcerated women and how those experiences were shaped by their unique position and the biases about women criminals.

By Nicole Hahn Rafter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Contemporary Research on crime, prisons, and social control has largely ignored women. Partial Justice, the only full-scale study of the origins and development of women's prisons in the United States, traces their evolution from the late eighteenth century to the present day. It shows that the character of penal treatment was involved in the very definition of womanhood for incarcerated women, a definition that varied by race and social class.Rafter traces the evolution of women's prisons, showing that it followed two markedly different models. Custodial institutions for women literally grew out of men's penitentiaries, starting from a separate room for…


Book cover of Star Wars: Maul - Lockdown

K.A. Finn Author Of Ares

From my list on kick-ass heroes you don’t mess with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Irish writer who is completely hooked on anything sci-fi related. I used to race home from school to do my homework as fast as possible so I could watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. The first character I ever wrote about began his life in my head as part of the Star Trek: TNG world before deciding he was too big and created his own. It’s still an area I am passionate about. Shows like Firefly, Dark Matter, Picard, etc are on my favourites list. I just love the endless possibilities with the genre. Endless exploration, hi or low tech, and incredible ships. What’s not to love?

K.A.'s book list on kick-ass heroes you don’t mess with

K.A. Finn Why did K.A. love this book?

Reading this book was a no-brainer for me. First – it has Maul in it. Actually, that’s enough of a reason. Who doesn’t love Maul? 

As far as I’m concerned he’s the ultimate bad guy. You don’t mess with him, he kicks serious ass, and he looks wow! My kind of hero/anti-hero. Dark, brooding, commanding, and can stop a conversation with just one look.

He’s the type of anti-hero you can’t help but root for and this book didn’t let me (or Maul) down. Imprisoned in hell, he has to complete his mission while staying alive against seemingly insurmountable odds. Plenty of deep stares, lots of kicking-ass, and a great plot that kept me up early into the morning.

By Joe Schreiber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the mind of Joe Schreiber, New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars:
Death Troopers, comes the delirious follow-up to last year's Darth Plagueis. In a tale of
retribution and survival set before the events of The Phantom Menace, Darth Plagueis
and Darth Sidious dispatch Sith apprentice Darth Maul on a secret mission to infiltrate a
criminal empire operating from inside Cog Hive Seven--a hidden prison teeming with the
galaxy's most savage criminals. There, he must contend against the scummiest and
most villainous in gladiatorial death matches while carrying out his masters' clandestine
commands. Failure is not an option;…


Book cover of Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

Nicholas Hudson Author Of A Political Biography of Samuel Johnson

From my list on why the Enlightenment is the beginning of the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and writer, I am a passionate believer in the ideals of the Enlightenment. In my understanding of these ideals, they include a belief in reason and honest inquiry in the service of humanity. More and more we need these ideals against bigotry, self-delusion, greed, and cruelty. The books recommended here are among those that helped to inspire me with continued faith in the progress of the human species and our responsibility to help each other and the world we live in.

Nicholas' book list on why the Enlightenment is the beginning of the modern world

Nicholas Hudson Why did Nicholas love this book?

This book has perhaps the best opening of any history book ever written. This is a detailed and gruesome description of the public torture and mutilation of Robert-François Damien in 1757.

The description is meant to shock, for it illustrates the difference between a modern attitude towards punishment and the idea of punishment that prevailed in the French ancien régime before the Revolution of 1789. Today we generally see punishment not as a means to display the state’s anger against those who defy its authority but rather as a means to improve society and even rehabilitate the offender.

This book opened my eyes to the modern world very much. It shows how political and social power transformed during the eighteenth century into the forms of discipline and surveillance that govern our lives today. We may not be threatened with public torture but every aspect of our behavior is shaped to…

By Michel Foucault,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A brilliant work from the most influential philosopher since Sartre.

In this indispensable work, a brilliant thinker suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner's body to his soul.


Book cover of Monster

Wayne Harrison Author Of Spark and the Drive

From my list on coming of age unstoppable, underdog protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I began reading seriously (albeit late in life!), I’ve been seduced by the travails of underdog protagonists trying to save their own lives through transformation. If you had told me when I was a teenager—drinking too much, racing muscle cars, and scraping by with Ds and Cs in a vocational high school—that I would end up teaching writing at a university, I would’ve said you were nuts. It wasn’t until I started college in my mid-twenties that I actually read a novel for the pleasure of it. My novel and short story collection are expressions of my cheering on the young underdogs who bravely fight to change their worlds despite all odds.  

Wayne's book list on coming of age unstoppable, underdog protagonists

Wayne Harrison Why did Wayne love this book?

This one’s the fastest read of the bunch; in fact, you may find yourself rebooting for a second savory read without putting it down. Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon faces a life sentence for his alleged participation in a robbery that killed a convenience store owner. To cope with the horrors of his cell block, where the spirited African American teen is housed until his trial ends, Steve recounts events before and after the crime in the form of a screenplay; this enthralling courtroom drama deep-dives into the racial and economic forces responsible for overcrowding our flawed criminal justice system. Steve’s perseverance against odds is truly inspiring.  

By Walter Dean Myers,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Monster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

This New York Times bestselling novel from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial.

Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story that was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist.

Monster is now a major motion picture called All Rise and starring Jennifer Hudson, Kelvin Harrison,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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