100 books like A Short Guide to a Happy Life

By Anna Quindlen,

Here are 100 books that A Short Guide to a Happy Life fans have personally recommended if you like A Short Guide to a Happy Life. 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 Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

Since I write about artist entrepreneurs for my job, I wanted to learn about how an artist can go from creating art to creating art and selling it. So, I picked up this book.

I love how the author drew from her experiences as a Wall Street analyst and successful art business owner. Schulman provides an actionable guide for launching and maintaining a creative business.

This book inspired me to take action in my own business and made me believe that success is possible no matter the field.  

By Miriam Schulman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A step-by-step guide for creatives to transform your passion into a profitable business.

Whether you're a musician, photographer, painter, writer, dancer, singer, or any other creative with aspirations of making a living from your art, this is the perfect time to turn your creative ideas into a sustainable business. With gatekeepers no longer controlling the market, anyone with a laptop and a dream can make a thriving living from their creativity.

This is the definitive sales and marketing playbook for anyone looking to make a living from their art. Each page provides the inspiration and practical steps you need to…


Book cover of How Creativity Rules the World: The Art and Business of Turning Your Ideas into Gold

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

This book demonstrates that anyone can be creative, regardless of their background, profession, or society’s definition of a creative person.

Even though the examples in the book are largely artists’ stories, Brito presents them in a way that I can apply to my career. The book inspires me to explore new ways of thinking and problem-solving. What resonated with me the most were the examples of artists who faced setbacks but transformed their approaches, ultimately achieving success.

The book also delves into the stories of well-known entrepreneurs who pivoted, providing me with inspiration for sticking with an entrepreneurial project when it gets challenging.

By Maria Brito,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Creativity Rules the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Entrepreneurship Category

Learn to make creativity work for your career.

Anyone, regardless of who you are or what you do, can cultivate the habits, actions, and attitudes that inspire creativity and innovation.

There has never been a more crucial time than now to develop your creativity and your ability to innovate. Coming up with original ideas of value is today's most precious skill.

How Creativity Rules the World shows that, despite contrary beliefs, creativity can be taught and learned by anyone. Creativity is an inexhaustible resource that is the key to thriving in the…


Book cover of The Right-brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

Writing a business plan is a daunting task, no matter if you’re left or right-brain dominant. I needed a tool to kickstart the process.

Since I’m in a creative field, I decided to check out this book. I liked how the exercises in this book made writing a business plan more interesting and, dare I say, fun. The book helped me uncover my unique strengths, and I drew from them to write my business plan.

By Jennifer Lee, Kate Prentiss (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Turn Passionate Ideas into Profitable Enterprises

Do you dream of making a living doing what you love but find the process of creating a viable business plan like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? Jennifer Lee knows what it’s like to make the entrepreneurial leap — and how to do it successfully. The key is using, rather than stifling, imagination and intuition. Lee’s illustrated, colorful worksheets and step-by-step instructions are playful yet practical, transforming drudgery into joy. They’ll enable you to define your vision and nail down plans for funding, marketing, networking, and long-term strategy.

Discover…


The Pianist's Only Daughter: A Memoir

By Kathryn Betts Adams,

Book cover of The Pianist's Only Daughter: A Memoir

Kathryn Betts Adams

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The Pianist's Only Daughter is a frank, humorous, and heartbreaking exploration of aging in an aging expert's own family.

Social worker and gerontologist Kathryn Betts Adams spent decades negotiating evolving family dynamics with her colorful and talented parents: her mother, an English scholar and poet, and her father, a pianist and music professor. Their vivid emotional lives, marital instability, and eventual divorce provided the backdrop for her 1960s and ‘70s Midwestern youth.

Nearly thirty years after they divorce, Adams' newly single father flies in to woo his ex-wife, now retired and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Their daughter watches in disbelief as they reconcile and decide to live together again. She steps in to become her parents' eldercare manager when her mother’s condition worsens, facing old family dynamics and disappointing limitations to available services. Throughout, she attempts to help her parents maintain their humanity in their final years.

The Pianist's Only Daughter: A Memoir

By Kathryn Betts Adams,

What is this book about?

Grounded in insights about mental health, health and aging, The Pianist’s Only Daughter: A Memoir presents a frank and loving exploration of aging in an aging expert's own family.

Social worker and gerontologist Kathryn Betts Adams spent decades negotiating evolving family dynamics with her colorful and talented parents: her English scholar and poet mother and her pianist father. Their vivid emotional lives, marital instability, and eventual divorce provided the backdrop for her 1960s and ‘70s Midwestern youth.

Nearly thirty years after they divorce, Adams' father finds himself single and flies in to woo his ex-wife, now retired and diagnosed with…


Book cover of Launch: How to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

There are numerous books and websites on how to launch an online business. However, with any business, you need to learn how to get your very first customer, even without a ton of money to spend on customer acquisition. I haven't found that information in other places.

Other guides lack practical information for finding customers on a budget. However, Jeff Walker’s book is truly a how-to guide in that regard.

By Jeff Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The only guide you'll ever need to achieve online marketing success. With new chapters offering fresh information, you'll find all the insider tips in one place.

The revised and updated edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller Launch will build your business - fast. Whether you've already got an online business or you're itching to start one, this is a recipe for getting more traction and a fast start.

Think about it: What if you could launch like Apple or the big Hollywood studios? What if your prospects eagerly counted down the days until they could buy your product?…


Book cover of Mitzvah Girls: Bringing Up the Next Generation of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn

Katie Gaddini Author Of The Struggle to Stay: Why Single Evangelical Women Are Leaving the Church

From my list on women’s voices.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading books that featured strong women, including Little Women and Anne of Green Gables so it only made sense that I would go on to write a book featuring four strong women. As much as I love reading fiction, since I am a professor, my writing is mainly academic and/or non-fiction and I aim to make research translatable and interesting to all – including mainstream audiences. Currently, I am working on a new book about evangelical Christian women and politics, which I started in 2020 right before the presidential election. No matter where I live or work, exploring the various facets of women’s lives will remain my driving pursuit. 

Katie's book list on women’s voices

Katie Gaddini Why did Katie love this book?

I read this book as a graduate student and found Fader’s ability to make academic research readable and interesting – yes, interesting! – hugely attractive. Ever since I’ve aimed to do the same in my own writing.

This book is a fascinating insight into a community many of us know nothing about, featuring young women’s voices, and relayed by Fader. 

By Ayala Fader,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mitzvah Girls is the first book about bringing up Hasidic Jewish girls in North America, providing an in-depth look into a closed community. Ayala Fader examines language, gender, and the body from infancy to adulthood, showing how Hasidic girls in Brooklyn become women responsible for rearing the next generation of nonliberal Jewish believers. To uncover how girls learn the practices of Hasidic Judaism, Fader looks beyond the synagogue to everyday talk in the context of homes, classrooms, and city streets. Hasidic women complicate stereotypes of nonliberal religious women by collapsing distinctions between the religious and the secular. In this innovative…


Book cover of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

Jen Sincero Author Of You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

From my list on adopt a mindset of wealth.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jen Sincero is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, success coach, and motivational cattle prod who’s helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives via her products, speaking engagements, newsletters, seminars and books. Her #1 New York Times bestseller, You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (2013), spent over 4 years on the NY Times bestseller list, has sold over 3 million copies, is available in over 35 languages, and continues to grow in popularity around the globe. Her follow-ups, You Are a Badass® at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth (2017), also a NY Times bestseller, You Are a Badass® Every Day (2018), and Badass Habits (2020) are written with the same signature sass, down-to-earth humor and blunt practicality that made You Are a Badass® an indomitable bestseller and Jen a celebrated voice in the world of self-development.

Jen's book list on adopt a mindset of wealth

Jen Sincero Why did Jen love this book?

Written by an extremely smart smartypants, activist, and fundraiser, Lynne Twist shares her fascinating take on money as gleaned from her decades working with everyone from top CEOs to tribal people who don’t even know what money is.

By Lynne Twist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money-earning it, spending it, and giving it away-offers surprising insight into our lives. Through personal stories and practical advice, Lynne Twist asks us to discover our relationship with money, understand how we use it, and by assessing our core human values, align our relationship with it to our desired goals. In doing so, we can transform our lives.

The Soul of Money now includes a foreword from Jack Canfield and a new introduction by Lynne Twist, in which she explores the effects of the Great Recession and environmental concerns about…


Book cover of Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Mimi Chao Author Of Let's Go Explore

From my list on picture books to inspire mindful curiosity in kids (and adults).

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that creativity and mindfulness are critical qualities for a well-lived life. This is something I learned through personal experience as a former lawyer who returned to my childhood dream of creating art and stories. Mindfulness—a kind, nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment in and around you—helps people of all ages practice self-compassion, appreciate the world and others, and see life as an adventure. I write and illustrate picture books to share these concepts through storytelling, teach mindful creative classes, and am a certified meditation teacher through The Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.   

Mimi's book list on picture books to inspire mindful curiosity in kids (and adults)

Mimi Chao Why did Mimi love this book?

This book introduces children to Earth and space and its inhabitants in a gentle way, with whimsical and detailed illustrations that elaborate on the simple text.

I appreciate the messages of compassion, curiosity, and appreciation for others that Oliver Jeffers was trying to share with his newborn son, who inspired this book. The detailed illustrations welcome kids to interact with them, mindfully observing the pages and pointing out little details.

By Oliver Jeffers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Here We Are as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 TIME Best Book of the Year for 2017!

The exquisite and thought-provoking new book from the multi award-winning, internationally best-selling picture book creator of Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers.

Well, hello.
And welcome to this Planet.
We call it Earth.

Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you've only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let's explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your…


Book cover of Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice from Dear Sugar

Anna Pasternak Author Of The American Duchess: The Real Wallis Simpson

From my list on books to touch your heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a nonfiction writer who aims to bring heart to my writing. If I can move the reader and enable them to connect to their inner world, then I consider that I have been successful. As I consider my purpose is rehabilitating women whom history has mistreated, my way into these misunderstood women is to examine their inner lives. What moves them and how they manage to survive and surmount their own heartbreak is the question that I am most interested in.

Anna's book list on books to touch your heart

Anna Pasternak Why did Anna love this book?

I love this book because Cheryl Strayed loved and was loved by her mother in exactly the same way that I loved and was loved by my mother. Although Cheryl was in her twenties when her mother died, and I was in my forties, I relate to her experience of grief and the endless longing of missing on a visceral level.

Strayed understands emotional pain and is able to relate to it in a way that brought tears to my eyes. I regularly wept while reading this book, yet she made me feel less alone. I love this book because it allows us more access to our broken hearts, while Strayed shines a guiding light toward healing and redemption.

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tiny Beautiful Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES •NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK • An anniversary edition of the bestselling collection of "Dear Sugar" advice columns written by the author of #1 bestseller Wild—featuring a new preface and six additional columns.

For more than a decade, thousands of people have sought advice from Dear Sugar—the pseudonym of bestselling author Cheryl Strayed—first through her online column at The Rumpus, later through her hit podcast, Dear Sugars, and now through her popular Substack newsletter. Tiny Beautiful Things collects the best of Dear Sugar in one volume, bringing her wisdom to many…


Book cover of Too Many Jacks

Jamie Michalak Author Of Frank and Bean

From my list on early readers that are funny.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve never forgotten how thrilling it felt to read a book on my own for the first time. Mouse Soup, Frog and Toad, and Amelia Bedelia are still among my most-loved books to this day. I particularly adore early readers created by authors and illustrators who aren’t afraid to get silly (James Marshall forever!). Stories for beginning readers are my favorite kinds of stories to write, and I always aim to write books that make kids laugh. What better way for them to discover that reading can be fun?

Jamie's book list on early readers that are funny

Jamie Michalak Why did Jamie love this book?

Is there such a thing as too silly in children’s books? No way, I say! This book is book 6 in the side-splitting A Jack Book series. It’s super silly and a little weird—just the way I like my books.

The mischievous Jack has a habit of swiping snacks and ladies' lipsticks (great for writing on walls). So when Jack figures out how to clone himself, watch out! This book is a storytime hit with dry humor and escalating chaos… until the super silly and a little weird ending.

By Mac Barnett, Greg Pizzoli (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Too Many Jacks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author Mac Barnett and Geisel Award-winning illustrator Greg Pizzoli, an uproarious early reader series about a mischievous rabbit, a cranky old lady, and a lovable dog.

The Lady gives Jack a gift. It's a lab kit! Jack goes into the shed to experiment and doesn't come out until he's made another Jack and another Jack and another. But one Jack was already too many. Can Jack stop his naughty robot clones before they destroy the town?

Welcome to the laugh-out-loud and irreverent world of Jack, a new early reader series by the New York Times…


Book cover of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives

Chad LeJeune Author Of "Pure O" OCD: Letting Go of Obsessive Thoughts with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

From my list on thoughts, and our relationship with them.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a clinical psychologist, I listen to thoughts all the time. I’m also having my own, constantly. We rely on our thoughts to help us navigate the world. However, our thoughts can also be a source of suffering. At times, they're not such reliable guides or helpers. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a way of thinking about thinking. ACT captured my imagination early in my clinical career. I trained with ACT’s originator, Steven Hayes, in the early 1990’s. I’ve come to believe that being more aware of our own thoughts, and our relationship to them is key to creating positive change and living a life grounded in our values.

Chad's book list on thoughts, and our relationship with them

Chad LeJeune Why did Chad love this book?

This poetic book by a literary scholar looks at the way we think about and experience not only the lives we lead, but those alternative lives that we do not lead. 

Our thoughts can lead us to obsessively regret our choices or focus on “the road not taken.” Miller looks at the sense of loss that can accrue as the potential transitions to the actual. 

He describes our unled lives as “part of this world as shadows are part of things…”    

By Andrew H. Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Not Being Someone Else as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A captivating book about the emotional and literary power of the lives we might have lived had our chances or choices been different.

We each live one life, formed by paths taken and untaken. Choosing a job, getting married, deciding on a place to live or whether to have children-every decision precludes another. But what if you'd gone the other way? It can be a seductive thought, even a haunting one.

Andrew H. Miller illuminates this theme of modern culture: the allure of the alternate self. From Robert Frost to Sharon Olds, Virginia Woolf to Ian McEwan, Jane Hirshfield to…


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