92 books like A Face for Picasso

By Ariel Henley,

Here are 92 books that A Face for Picasso fans have personally recommended if you like A Face for Picasso. 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 Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Zara Stone Author Of Killer Looks: The Forgotten History of Plastic Surgery in Prisons

From my list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the way people respond to physical beauty since childhood—my teachers heaped praise on the pretty kids, reserving hard words for the less genetically blessed. This experience drove me to explore the pervasive ways in which unconscious beauty bias perpetuates injustice, and how it intersects with racism and privilege. Prison plastic surgery might sound like a punchline but for many, it was a lifeline. UK-born, I now live in San Francisco and have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York. My work has been published by The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, and Fast Company, among others.

Zara's book list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America

Zara Stone Why did Zara love this book?

For months, Asian women in Oakland, CA, reported a nonstop stream of harassment and muggings by local youth. The problem: their harassers were Black. In a lineup, the women couldn't identify their attackers, and they walked free. To counter this, women in the community received cross-racial training...which failed. The robberies stopped when cameras were installed and the police didn't need a victim to ID anymore. Eberhardt’s book is full of gems like this, smart snippets of life, and the innate biases that run it. This smart examination of cognitive biases goes further than pointing out how racial biases influence criminal justice — it also offers some solutions, especially for unconscious prejudices. These take the form of unconscious bias training, and forcing people to deal with uncomfortable subjects.

By Jennifer L. Eberhardt,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Biased as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Poignant....important and illuminating."-The New York Times Book Review

"Groundbreaking."-Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy

From one of the world's leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time

How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we…


Book cover of The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I

Brandy Schillace Author Of Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey's Head, the Pope's Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul

From my list on peculiar nonfiction from an expert on weird history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am peculiar. Really. I’m an autistic, non-binary, PhD historian who writes weird non-fiction books—and I read them, too. Among my friends are folks like Mary Roach (Fuzz, Stiff, Bonk, Gulp), Deborah Blum (Poisoner’s Handbook), and Ed Yong (I contain Multitudes, An Immense World). Yet, despite there being so many amazing books about strange facts, it's still hard to find them in one place. Your average bookstore doesn’t have a “peculiar” section, for some reason. That’s why I started my Peculiar Book Club YouTube show: I wanted there to be a home for authors and readers of the quirky, quizzical, curious, and bizarre. And then I thought, hey, why not make a book list, too.

Brandy's book list on peculiar nonfiction from an expert on weird history

Brandy Schillace Why did Brandy love this book?

From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: mankind’s military technology had wildly surpassed its medical capabilities. Bodies were battered, gouged, hacked, and gassed. But we often forget to ask the most important questions: who put the soldiers back together? And how? I’m a medical and scientific historian, so these are often the queries that haunt me most. With powerful prose, Lindsey (a dear friend of mine and an incredible author) recounts the early days of plastic surgery, of men who needed their faces rebuilt, and the man who made it happen. This book reads like an adventure and an emotional roller-coaster in one, packed with gripping and unusual facts about a uniquely modern surgical specialty.

By Lindsey Fitzharris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Facemaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
Finalist for the 2022 Kirkus Prize

"Enthralling. Harrowing. Heartbreaking. And utterly redemptive. Lindsey Fitzharris hit this one out of the park." —Erik Larson, author of The Splendid and the Vile

Lindsey Fitzharris, the award-winning author of The Butchering Art, presents the compelling, true story of a visionary surgeon who rebuilt the faces of the First World War’s injured heroes, and in the process ushered in the modern era of plastic surgery.

From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: humankind’s military technology had wildly surpassed its…


Book cover of Hellhole

Zara Stone Author Of Killer Looks: The Forgotten History of Plastic Surgery in Prisons

From my list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the way people respond to physical beauty since childhood—my teachers heaped praise on the pretty kids, reserving hard words for the less genetically blessed. This experience drove me to explore the pervasive ways in which unconscious beauty bias perpetuates injustice, and how it intersects with racism and privilege. Prison plastic surgery might sound like a punchline but for many, it was a lifeline. UK-born, I now live in San Francisco and have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York. My work has been published by The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, and Fast Company, among others.

Zara's book list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America

Zara Stone Why did Zara love this book?

This book spares no punches, diving straight into the chaos that was the Women’s House of Detention in NYC’s Greenwich Village, aka The Hellhole in the 60s and 70s. First-person narratives and choice juicy details make the lives of the women come alive, from their annual fashion show to their cellblock politics and pink-painted bars. All too often, dispatches like this lack color and clarity, but this unfiltered take is far more gripping, and avoids stereotypes. We meet a wide range of people, scarred sex workers who refuse plastic surgery as “it’s too late for them,” pregnant teens who dreamt of hair salon careers, and substance abusers who cycled in and out, multiple times.

Despite being forced to live in rat-infested slum-like conditions, with shoddy medical care, many of the women remained spirited, even upbeat. But their continued struggle to maintain their sense of identity and femininity, despite minimal resources,…

By Sara Harris,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law

Zara Stone Author Of Killer Looks: The Forgotten History of Plastic Surgery in Prisons

From my list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by the way people respond to physical beauty since childhood—my teachers heaped praise on the pretty kids, reserving hard words for the less genetically blessed. This experience drove me to explore the pervasive ways in which unconscious beauty bias perpetuates injustice, and how it intersects with racism and privilege. Prison plastic surgery might sound like a punchline but for many, it was a lifeline. UK-born, I now live in San Francisco and have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York. My work has been published by The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, and Fast Company, among others.

Zara's book list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America

Zara Stone Why did Zara love this book?

This book is an eye-opening, mind-boggling, data-driven analysis of just how skewed society is against those who don’t conform to the standard of pretty. The author, a Stanford law professor, takes a deep dive into how legally ingrained physical discrimination has become, drawing on pertinent examples to illustrate what could, in other hands, be dry reading.

The examples will fire you up – a Reno bartender fired for not wearing makeup, a New Jersey cocktail waitress fired for gaining a dress size, a straight-A student expelled due to a high BMI…none of whom had any legal recourse, as it stands today. The lack of legal protection for appearance bias has clear social and psychological costs, and this book is a great call to arms for change.

By Deborah L. Rhode,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"It hurts to be beautiful" has been a cliche for centuries. What has been far less appreciated is how much it hurts not to be beautiful. The Beauty Bias explores our cultural preoccupation with attractiveness, the costs it imposes, and the responses it demands.

Beauty may be only skin deep, but the damages associated with its absence go much deeper. Unattractive individuals are less likely to be hired and promoted, and are assumed less likely to have desirable traits, such as goodness, kindness, and honesty. Three quarters of women consider appearance important to their self image and over a third…


Book cover of My Sister's Keeper

Staci Troilo Author Of Type and Cross

From my list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

Misery loves company, right? While I never wish ill on someone, I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one going through a loss, slight, or rejection. Family dysfunction novels remind me that the petty problems I get caught up in are nothing compared to what they could be. Sure, fiction frequently elevates these troubles from drama to melodrama, but I still experience relief—even though it may only be in the smallest way—focusing on someone else’s struggles. Sometimes I even find a solution to my own paltry issues. Who wouldn’t want that? And what writer wouldn’t want to help readers in that way?

Staci's book list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better

Staci Troilo Why did Staci love this book?

The sickness or death of a child is a particularly sharp arrow to the average person’s heart.

But I think anyone who’s suffered the loss of a child, seen their child’s life in jeopardy, or is close to someone who’s been through one of those situations is even more sensitive to the topic. My heart and soul were battered from word one, but I had to read this book.

How far would a parent go to save her child? This story explored the question from many angles in a poignant way and left me in tears. I dare people to read it and not ask themselves the same questions.

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked My Sister's Keeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sara and Brian Fitzgerald's life with their young son and their two-year-old daughter, Kate, is forever altered when they learn that Kate has leukemia. The parents' only hope is to conceive another child, specifically intended to save Kate's life. For some, such genetic engineering would raise both moral and ethical questions; for the Fitzgeralds, Sara in particular, there is no choice but to do whatever it takes to keep Kate alive. And what it takes is Anna. Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) and Anna (Abigail Breslin) share a bond closer than most sisters: though Kate is older, she relies on her little…


Book cover of The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

For Morris, war was a siren call, “exalting” work that allowed him to “challenge death.” But once redeployed to the safety of America, he realized that months and years of waiting for the next bomb to explode had taught his body to react to potential threats in the environment that his mind rightfully ignored. A sack of trash at the side of the road. A car backfiring. A restless crowd. For the combat veteran, these everyday triggers can generate a crippling flashback or a spiraling panic, the body shooting up flares of alarm before the mind has time to recognize that in America, a bag of trash is just trash. The Evil Hours is a brilliant, evocative, and often poetic portrayal of one man’s quest to leave the war behind.

By David J. Morris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Evil Hours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An essential book” on PTSD, an all-too-common condition in both military veterans and civilians (The New York Times Book Review).
 
Post-traumatic stress disorder afflicts as many as 30 percent of those who have experienced twenty-first-century combat—but it is not confined to soldiers. Countless ordinary Americans also suffer from PTSD, following incidences of abuse, crime, natural disasters, accidents, or other trauma—yet in many cases their symptoms are still shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.
 
This “compulsively readable” study takes an in-depth look at the subject (Los Angeles Times). Written by a war correspondent and former Marine with firsthand experience of this…


Book cover of What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma

Mariel Buqué Author Of Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma

From my list on cycle breakers who broke the cycle of trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a trauma psychologist and intergenerational trauma expert who’s listened to countless client stories of generational pain and healing. I also write a weekly newsletter, called Break the Cycle, where I offer coping skills to cycle breakers and have the opportunity to read about the multitude of ways in which they are breaking away from trauma and creating legacies of abundance. It is in these stories, I believe, that we're able to see all the possibilities of how we may heal. I hope you enjoy these multilayered stories as much as I did! 

Mariel's book list on cycle breakers who broke the cycle of trauma

Mariel Buqué Why did Mariel love this book?

Our bodies tell stories of remnants of the past and in this memoir, Stephanie Foo proved to us that the body will indeed keep traces of unmetabolized pain that runs through our families.

This book reflects the spirit of intergenerational trauma, but also of intergenerational healing and the ways in which cycle breakers, and particularly those who are immigrants, have to build from the ashes of burned-down dreams and broken hearts. It is a reflection of how generational resilience comes to life, even in the darkest of moments.

By Stephanie Foo,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked What My Bones Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A searing memoir of reckoning and healing by acclaimed journalist Stephanie Foo, investigating the little-understood science behind complex PTSD and how it has shaped her life

“Achingly exquisite . . . providing real hope for those who long to heal.”—Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, NPR, Mashable, She Reads, Publishers Weekly

By age thirty, Stephanie Foo was successful on paper: She had her dream job as an award-winning radio producer at This American Life and…


Book cover of The Corrections

Janice Weizman Author Of Our Little Histories

From my list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing fiction is a way of tackling issues of fate and identity through storytelling. I believe we’re each the result of an intersection between personality and history and I’m interested in the way our time and place impacts us and creates a backdrop for our lives. My first novel, The Wayward Moon, is historical fiction set in the 9th-century Middle East. My second novel follows a Jewish family back six generations to Belarus. But no matter what period I’m writing about, the most important thing is always to tell a good story.

Janice's book list on family dramas in a multi-generational perspective

Janice Weizman Why did Janice love this book?

Franzen is at his best when depicting character, and The Corrections goes deep, creating a family drama that is rooted in detailed psychological portraits of his subjects.

In doing so, he meticulously builds their worlds, motivations, and fears, creating nuanced portrayals that not only reveal individual personality, but also the texture and color of life in America in the late 20th century.

Yet the true theme of the book is family dynamics: what does it mean when your mother insists that you come home for Christmas, and what does it mean when you don’t really want to go?

By Jonathan Franzen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER

“A spellbinding novel” (People) from the New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Franzen, the author of Crossroads, The Corrections is a comic, tragic epic of worlds colliding: an old-fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions, a new world of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care, and globalized greed.

After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson’s disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the…


Book cover of Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within

Carl F. Nathan Author Of An Arrow's ARC: Journey of a Physician-Scientist

From my list on a life in science or medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I experienced “otherness.” My family was hard up amidst affluence. Typecast as Jewish, where that was a rarity, we were met with suspicion and unease. Being a woman held my mother back from her preferred profession. Racism was rampant; my growing appreciation of it and efforts to intervene added to “otherness.”  My childhood was shadowed by illness, including my mother’s cancer. These influences drew me to medicine and science. Both are a way to overcome “otherness” and to protect one’s family, even as my sense of family expanded. Medicine forges extraordinary bonds between doctor and patient. Science brings people together from diverse backgrounds to share goals. These connections make meaningful stories. 

Carl's book list on a life in science or medicine

Carl F. Nathan Why did Carl love this book?

What is it like to be a doctor failing to save your patients, then turning to the lab to understand why, then bringing that learning back to improve outcomes, not just for your patients but for patients you will never see who have diseases you will never treat?

Kevin Tracey is a brilliant neurosurgeon and innovative scientist who not only did all that but also went one step further—he wrote a book that answers those questions and reads like a thriller. He takes the concept of “lab bench to bedside” from platitude to paradigm. 

By Kevin J. Tracey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Severe sepsis, a critical illness that most often afflicts victims of initially non-fatal illnesses or injuries, is the third-most common killer in the United States. In "Fatal Sequence", neurosurgeon, immunologist, and clinical investigator, Kevin J. Tracey offers a chronicle, both scientific and human, using cases he personally experienced to illustrate the clinical nightmare of organ failure that typifies the disease. In clear, accessible language, Tracey explains how the brain, which normally restrains the immune system and protects the patient, can fail during severe sepsis - allowing the immune system to indiscriminately kill normal cells along with foreign microbes. "Fatal Sequence"…


Book cover of Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl

Sarah Hendrickx Author Of Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Understanding Life Experiences from Early Childhood to Old Age

From my list on autistic women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an autistic female myself and have worked in the field of autism for 20 years. I’ve written several books on the subject of autism, have an MA in Autism and delivered many hundreds of conference presentations (several of which can be found on Youtube). Frankly, I know my stuff as I live and breathe the world of autistic women. I have an autistic daughter, all of my female friends are autistic and I have diagnosed hundreds of females as autistic.

Sarah's book list on autistic women

Sarah Hendrickx Why did Sarah love this book?

An extraordinary book written by an extraordinary woman.

Donna’s autobiography shares her often difficult childhood story and her ‘discovery’ that she was autistic at a time when diagnosis for women was uncommon. Her tale is harrowing at times, yet inspiring and so fascinating to learn of her life. A real classic of a book written by an autistic woman.

By Donna Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nobody Nowhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Donna Williams was a child with more labels than a jam-jar: deaf, wild disturbed, stupid insane... She lived within herself, her own world her foreground, ours a background she only visited. Isolated from her self and from the outside world, Donna was, in her words, a Nobody Nowhere. She swung violently between these two worlds, battling to join our world and, simultaneously, to keep it out. Abandoned from all connection to the self within her, she lived as a ghost with a body, a patchwork of the images which bombarded her. Intact but detached from the seemingly incomprehensible world around…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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