100 books like A Place of My Own

By Michael Pollan,

Here are 100 books that A Place of My Own fans have personally recommended if you like A Place of My Own. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Susan C. Conley Author Of Landslide

From my list on boy moms and their connection to teenage boys.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a fourth-generation “Mainer” and the mother of two boy “wolves,” and I have a deep well of respect for boys and their imaginations in the masculinized culture we swim in. I've seen how much rich thinking is going on in the inner lives of boys. The teenage boy rendered in literature can be a stock character, and I was determined to give them more respect on the page and to explore what’s not said between boy moms and their sons that deeply connects them. I teach widely and write non-fiction as well as fiction and am a founder of a creative writing center in Portland, Maine for kids called the Telling Room. 

Susan's book list on boy moms and their connection to teenage boys

Susan C. Conley Why did Susan love this book?

This is the Mother of all boy mom books. It’s required reading for anyone learning to speak boy. Equal parts despair—Lamott is a single mom who sometimes wants to leave her crying boy outside on the stoop—and equal parts gut punches of hilarious wisdom and ardor about boy life and mom devotion.

By Anne Lamott,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Operating Instructions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the journal of the birth of Anne Lamott's son Sam, and their first year together. Coping with being a recovering alcoholic and a single mother, Anne had to face the fact that her best friend since childhood was dying of cancer.


Book cover of We Need to Hang Out: A Memoir of Making Friends

Kenneth R. Rosen Author Of Troubled: The Failed Promise of America's Behavioral Treatment Programs

From my list on to get you through troubling times.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist and author and a young father, I’ve come to seek more vigorously things that make me smile, things I can cherish and appreciate. My most recent book is dedicated to “the troubled, in trouble, and once troubled.” In promoting the book, I’ve often said I still feel fairly troubled—which is true. Demons never die, we just live to learn with them. So while reading the below books I’ve discovered hallowed moments which fill a person to the brim. After each of these reads I felt that I could surmount most anything.

Kenneth's book list on to get you through troubling times

Kenneth R. Rosen Why did Kenneth love this book?

When I first moved overseas, I hadn’t thought about leaving my friends behind, or what role they played in my life. We had largely spent our lives apart, ever-connected if remote, and that seemed to fit us just fine. Then something akin to culture shock took hold and I needed them more than ever. They were there, in their Zoom boxes, and on telephone calls. I was reminded to check in with them often—to keep the good thing we had going.

By Billy Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Need to Hang Out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this "entertaining mix of social science, memoir, and humor, as if a Daniel Goleman book were filtered through the lens of Will Ferrell" (The New York Times Book Review) a middle-aged man embarks on an entertaining and relatable quest to reprioritize his ties with his buddies and forge new friendships, all while balancing work, marriage, and kids.

At the age of forty, having settled into his busy career and active family life, Billy Baker discovers that he's lost something crucial along the way: his friends. Other priorities always seemed to come first, until all his close friendships became distant…


Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

By Jim Brown,

Book cover of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

Jim Brown Author Of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my entire professional life quietly patrolling the frontiers of understanding human consciousness. I was an early adopter in the burgeoning field of biofeedback, then neurofeedback and neuroscience, plus theory and practices of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, plus steeping myself in systems theory as a context for all these other fields of focus. I hold a MS in psychology from San Francisco State University and a PhD from Saybrook Institute. I live in Mount Shasta CA with Molly, my life partner for over 60 years. We have two sons and two grandchildren.

Jim's book list on brain, mind, and consciousness

What is my book about?

In this thoroughly researched and exquisitely crafted treatise, Jim Brown synthesizes the newest understandings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and dynamical systems theory for educators and others committed to nurturing human development.

He explains complex concepts in down-to-earth terms, suggesting how these understandings can transform education to engender optimal learning and intelligence. He explores the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and mind.

Brown then offers a model of optimal human learning through lifelong brain development within a supportive culture--drawing on the work of Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Steiner--and how that work is being vastly expanded by neuroscience and dynamical systems thinking.

Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

By Jim Brown,

What is this book about?

In this thoroughly-researched and exquisitely crafted treatise, Jim Brown synthesizes the newest understandings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and dynamical systems theory for educators and others committed to nurturing human development. He explains complex concepts in down-to-earth terms, suggesting how these understandings can transform education to truly engender optimal learning and intelligence. He explores the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and mind. Brown then offers a model of optimal human learning through life-long brain development within a supportive culture--drawing on the work of Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Steiner--and how that work is being vastly expanded by neuroscience and dynamical systems thinking.


Book cover of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Kenneth R. Rosen Author Of Troubled: The Failed Promise of America's Behavioral Treatment Programs

From my list on to get you through troubling times.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist and author and a young father, I’ve come to seek more vigorously things that make me smile, things I can cherish and appreciate. My most recent book is dedicated to “the troubled, in trouble, and once troubled.” In promoting the book, I’ve often said I still feel fairly troubled—which is true. Demons never die, we just live to learn with them. So while reading the below books I’ve discovered hallowed moments which fill a person to the brim. After each of these reads I felt that I could surmount most anything.

Kenneth's book list on to get you through troubling times

Kenneth R. Rosen Why did Kenneth love this book?

I first heard Loory’s mirthful story “The Man and The Moose” while sitting in my car in my southern college town. He read it on an episode of This American LifeIt was a Wednesday ritual of mine, sitting in that car and listening to stories and giving my entire being to be within them, to be completely enraptured and emphatic for at least that one hour. After hearing the story, I told it to whoever would listen. I remember the story and his voice and the way in which the inanimate became animated, the unpersonafiable personified. That story was a treasure and lives with me. It will, as with the others in this collection, live with you, too.

By Ben Loory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people - and monsters and trees and jocular octopi - who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, "Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day" draws us into a world of delightfully wicked…


Book cover of No Beauties or Monsters

Candice Marley Conner Author Of The Existence of Bea Pearl

From my list on YA mysteries to channel your inner Nancy Drew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading Nancy Drew books creekside in an Alabama swamp and developed a deep adoration of mysteries with atmospheric, creepy settings. I love the idea of strong female protagonists who take matters into their own hands and don’t sit idly by, so not only do I read books that have them as main characters, but I write them too. In addition to writing, I’m lucky enough to be a kidlit haint at a haunted indie bookshop, so reading and recommending the books I enjoy is literally my job!

Candice's book list on YA mysteries to channel your inner Nancy Drew

Candice Marley Conner Why did Candice love this book?

Read this if you devour mysteries served with a side of science fiction. The main character, Rylie, moves back to Twentynine Palms in her grandfather’s old house in the Mojave Desert. Weird things are happening. Then Rylie finds out that her childhood best friend’s sister disappeared and her grandfather may be involved. Rylie keeps losing time. Who is the bad guy?? Nobody knows. Is it the grandfather? The guy on the news? The government Rylie’s mom works for? Her new stepbrother who may be too helpful? Her childhood bestie? Rylie herself? I couldn’t put this one down!

By Tara Goedjen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Beauties or Monsters 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?

“A desert full of mystery. A girl who sees things she shouldn’t. Desperate to unlock the secrets of Twentynine Palms, I raced through this book!” —Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows
 
For fans of Stranger Things and Veronica Mars comes a new YA mystery about a girl whose desperate search for her missing friend unearths dark secrets, preternatural threats, and a truth that could ultimately tear her family, friends, and town apart.

Welcome to Twentynine Palms, where nothing is what it seems.
 

Rylie hasn't been back to the military base in Twentynine…


Book cover of The Girl with No Reflection

Talia Tucker Author Of Rules for Rule Breaking

From my list on characters that break all the rules.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Jamaican and Korean American author of young adult romance, and when crafting my stories, I love to create characters who go against the expectations thrust upon them, whether they’re based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. As a woman, as someone with multiple ethnic identities, as someone who isn’t neurotypical, and someone who doesn’t subscribe to the norms of gender and sexuality, navigating intersectionality has been a large part of my life and, therefore, my work. Rules should be broken when they're the ones telling us we can’t do something based on who we are.

Talia's book list on characters that break all the rules

Talia Tucker Why did Talia love this book?

This book features Princess Ying Yue, a character who defies numerous conventions, including traditional gender norms and the expectation that royalty must prioritize duty over love. I adored the complex dynamic between Ying and her two princes; I really couldn’t predict which direction the love triangle would go from the outset. There were so many twists and turns, but everything came together in a satisfying end.

This book was so creepy, eerie, and unsettling, yet beautifully written and carefully crafted with a rare elegance. The worldbuilding completely enamored me, and the creepy Mirror World is something that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.

By Keshe Chow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl with No Reflection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.


Book cover of Time Out of Joint

Jesse Karp Author Of Those That Wake

From my list on a world under secret control.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the 1970s, still in contention for America’s most paranoid decade (thanks, Watergate). Practically everything I watched, listened to or read (right down to my beloved superhero comics) was asking, what’s hiding behind the world around you? I don’t think of myself as a paranoid guy – I don’t, for instance, believe in a real life Deep State – but these are the sorts of stories that resonate for me. Taken less literally, they do ask worthwhile and still disturbingly relevant questions: what is beneath the world you know and see every day? What is right in front of you, both good and bad, that you aren’t seeing?

Jesse's book list on a world under secret control

Jesse Karp Why did Jesse love this book?

Suburbanite Ragle Gumm is overcome with a sense of urgency to play a bizarre newspaper game every day. He’s so good at it, he makes a living from its cash prizes. But lately, his world seems to be fraying around him. Things he sees and knows are suddenly...not. And if you can’t trust the very ground you’re standing on, what’s left? This takes the whole “maybe my world isn’t what I think it is” idea about as far as it can go, and it was just about the first story to ever do that. The best, most satisfying book I ever read about a banal, mundane world that turns out to be anything but.

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ragle Gumm is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, except that he makes his living by entering a newspaper contest every day - and winning, every day.

But he gradually begins to suspect that his life - indeed his whole world - is an illusion, constructed around him for the express purpose of keeping him docile and happy. But if that is the case, what is his real world like, and what is he actually doing every day when he thinks he is guessing 'Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next?'


Book cover of The Direction of Time

Craig Callender Author Of What Makes Time Special?

From my list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a philosopher of science who has an obsession with time. People think this interest is a case of patronymic destiny, that it’s due to my last name being Callender. But the origins of “Callender” have nothing to do with time. Instead, I’m fascinated by time because it is one of the last fundamental mysteries, right up there with consciousness. Like consciousness, time is connected to our place in the universe (our sense of freedom, identity, meaning). Yet we don’t really understand it because there remains a gulf between our experience of time and the science of time. Saint Augustine really put his finger on the problem in the fifth century when he pointed out that it is both the most familiar and unfamiliar thing.

Craig's book list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking

Craig Callender Why did Craig love this book?

Most academics have played the game David Lodge calls “Humiliations” in his novel Changing Places: you have to list books that you should have read but didn’t, the more scandalous the better. For a while, Reichenbach’s book was my go-to. I was writing my PhD on the direction of time but hadn’t read Reichenbach. Because it was old I figured I indirectly knew everything in it. Holy moly was I wrong! Not only is The Direction of Time the first serious blend of good philosophy and physics tackling the direction of time — plus a great example of the type of philosophy I deeply value — but it is still packed with insights. No question, I should have read it earlier in my life.  

By Hans Reichenbach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever a source of philosophical conjecture and debate, the concept of time represents the beating heart of physics. This final work by the distinguished physicist Hans Reichenbach represents the culmination and integration of a lifetime's philosophical contributions and inquiries into the analysis of time. The result is an outstanding overview of such qualitative, or topological, attributes of time as order and direction.
Beginning with a discussion of the emotive significance of time, Reichenbach turns to an examination of the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum…


Book cover of Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time

Craig Callender Author Of What Makes Time Special?

From my list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a philosopher of science who has an obsession with time. People think this interest is a case of patronymic destiny, that it’s due to my last name being Callender. But the origins of “Callender” have nothing to do with time. Instead, I’m fascinated by time because it is one of the last fundamental mysteries, right up there with consciousness. Like consciousness, time is connected to our place in the universe (our sense of freedom, identity, meaning). Yet we don’t really understand it because there remains a gulf between our experience of time and the science of time. Saint Augustine really put his finger on the problem in the fifth century when he pointed out that it is both the most familiar and unfamiliar thing.

Craig's book list on time for people who love physics and deep thinking

Craig Callender Why did Craig love this book?

Price is a philosopher and this book, along with Paul Horwich’s Asymmetries in Time and David Albert’s Time and Chance, are heirs of Reichenbach’s masterpiece. I select Price’s book here because it is more accessible than Horwich’s or Albert’s books. It is packed with fun and deep stuff: criticism of Hawking’s cosmology, exploration of the electromagnetic arrow of time, and serious discussion of wild ideas like causation going backward in time.

By Huw Price,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

`splendidly provocative ... enjoy it as a feast for the imagination.'
John Gribbin, Sunday Times

Why is the future so different from the past? Why does the past affect the future and not the other way round? The universe began with the Big Bang - will it end with a 'Big Crunch'? This exciting book presents an innovative and controversial view of time and contemporary physics. Price urges physicists, philosophers, and anyone who has ever pondered the paradoxes of time to look at the world from a fresh perspective and he throws fascinating new light on some of the great…


Book cover of The Collapsing Empire

Dan Moren Author Of The Nova Incident

From my list on sci-fi overflowing with intrigue and mystery.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up I devoured science-fiction and spy stories by the boatload—the only person I wanted to be more than James Bond was probably Han Solo. Of course, I couldn’t really become either of them, but I always knew the next best thing would be telling stories about those kinds of characters. Ultimately, I couldn’t decide whether to focus on space adventures or spies, so the only real answer was to smash those two genres together. Five years and four novels later, the world of the Galactic Cold War is humming along quite nicely. But I’m still always on the lookout for the next great sci-fi spy novel.

Dan's book list on sci-fi overflowing with intrigue and mystery

Dan Moren Why did Dan love this book?

I love a good space opera, and John Scalzi’s second to none in that department. In some ways, this book (and the two that follow it in The Interdependency series) remind me of the original Foundation, as an immense space empire under a new and untried leader struggles to come to terms with an imminent catastrophe that could bring it to its knees. I personally found the foul-mouthed and irreverent Lady Kiva Lagos a particular delight, as a force of nature that bulls her way through any obstacle. 

By John Scalzi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Collapsing Empire is an exciting space opera from John Scalzi, the first in the award-winning Interdependency series.

Does the biggest threat lie within?

In the far future, humanity has left Earth to create a glorious empire. Now this interstellar network of worlds faces disaster - but can three individuals save their people?

The empire's outposts are utterly dependent on each other for resources, a safeguard against war, and a way its rulers can exert control. This relies on extra-dimensional pathways between the stars, connecting worlds. But 'The Flow' is changing course, which could plunge every colony into fatal isolation.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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