100 books like Affliction

By Russell Banks,

Here are 100 books that Affliction fans have personally recommended if you like Affliction. 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 China Boy

Michael Kimmel Author Of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

From my list on explore masculinity in some way.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. He was the SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society, and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013.

Michael's book list on explore masculinity in some way

Michael Kimmel Why did Michael love this book?

Lee depicts the world of San Francisco through the eyes of a young Chinese-American boy, navigating the grownup world of race, class, and urban life, and trying to find the place where he fits, in between his family and ethnicity, and his modern American sensibility.  Also worth noting, Kai-Ting’s encounters with African-Americans, Chicanos and other Chinese people, in a novel that has nary a white person in it. 

By Gus Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"What a knockout. An incredibly rich and new voice for American literature...China Boy grabs the reader's heart and won't let go."-Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club

"A fascinating, evocative portrait of the Chinese community in California in the 1950s, caught between two complex, demanding cultures."-The New York Times Book Review

Kai Ting is the only American-born son of a Shanghai family that fled China during Mao's revolution. Growing up in a San Francisco multicultural, low-income neighborhood, Kai is caught between two worlds-embracing neither the Chinese nor the American way of life. After his mother's death, Kai is…


Book cover of Recent History

Michael Kimmel Author Of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

From my list on explore masculinity in some way.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. He was the SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society, and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013.

Michael's book list on explore masculinity in some way

Michael Kimmel Why did Michael love this book?

The novel has a remarkable twist on the traditional coming of age story; it’s also a novel about a straight guy coming to terms with his own homophobia.  It’s not a novel about a gay boy, but more a novel about a sraight boy’s understanding of how deeply homophobia has infected his life. 

By Anthony Giardina,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The new novel from an acclaimed short story writer - a brilliantly observed portrait of a man teetering on the edge of abandoning his marriage for a homosexual affair

As a husband, Luca Carcera hides his emotions behind the safety of routine domesticity. With his spice jars and cookbooks stacked perfectly in the kitchen, he feels in some measure of control. He loves his wife, but is struggling to come to terms with the secret desires which lie beneath his role as a steady, suburban, middle-class husband. His parents, Lou and Dorothy, spent 14 years together before Lou abandoned his…


Book cover of Death of a Salesman

Michael Kimmel Author Of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

From my list on explore masculinity in some way.

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s leading experts on men and masculinities. He was the SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Among his many books are Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society, and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook in 2013.

Michael's book list on explore masculinity in some way

Michael Kimmel Why did Michael love this book?

This play has so many layers: men’s relationship to work, marriage, fatherhood, unrealized ambitions, and the costs of buying your own bullshit.  See it with Dustin Hoffman or Philip Seymour Hoffman.

By Arthur Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Pulitzer Prize-winning tragedy of a salesman's deferred American dream

Ever since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a milestone of the American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol for a kind of majestic grandiosity-and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish,…


Book cover of Moby-Dick

Jonathan Howland Author Of Native Air

From my list on books about men in love (who aren’t lovers).

Why am I passionate about this?

During a lonely stretch of primary school, I recall discussing my predicament with my mother. “You only need one friend,” she said by way of encouragement. Some part of me agreed. I’ve been fortunate to have had (and to have) several friends in my life, never more than a few at a time, more men than women, and each has prompted me to be and become more vital and spacious than I was prior to knowing them. The books I’m recommending—and the one I wrote—feature these types of catalyzing, life-changing relationships. Each involves some kind of adventure. Each evokes male friendship that is gravitational, not merely influential, but life-defining.

Jonathan's book list on books about men in love (who aren’t lovers)

Jonathan Howland Why did Jonathan love this book?

It centers on and celebrates becoming—molting from one skin to another. For Ishmael this is a transition from a tired and limiting worldview to something fresh and alive.

The “bosom buddies” at the heart of the novel, Ishmael and Queequeg, seem comprised of opposites, but Ishmael’s etherealizing is grounded by Queequeg’s pragmatic ingenuity in ways that quiet and expand the young pagan-Presbyterian’s buzzing, anxious mind. Theirs is a friendship of succor, probably sex, and survival—all of it shadowed by the delusional obsessions of their mad captain.

By Herman Melville,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Moby-Dick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Melville's tale of the whaling industry, and one captain's obsession with revenge against the Great White Whale that took his leg. Classics Illustrated tells this wonderful tale in colourful comic strip form, offering an excellent introduction for younger readers. This edition also includes a biography of Herman Melville and study questions, which can be used both in the classroom or at home to further engage the reader in the work at hand.


Book cover of Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico

Natalia Milanesio Author Of Destape: Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina

From my list on the history of sexuality in modern Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of twentieth-century Argentina and a professor of modern Latin American history currently teaching at the University of Houston. Born and raised in Argentina, I completed my undergraduate studies at the National University of Rosario and moved to the United States in 2000 to continue my education. I received my M.A. in history from New York University and my Ph.D. in history from Indiana University, Bloomington. I have written extensively about gender, working-class history, consumer culture, and sexuality in Argentina. I am the author of Workers Go Shopping in Argentina: The Rise of Popular Consumer Culture and Destape! Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina.

Natalia's book list on the history of sexuality in modern Latin America

Natalia Milanesio Why did Natalia love this book?

This is a solid edited volume that has contributions from leading scholars of Mexican history exploring straight and gay sexualities from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century in different parts of the country. The chapters examine a wide range of interesting topics including cinema and movie going, public bathhouses, prostitution, elopement, and mariachi culture to untangle how masculinities are historically constructed and to interrogate the concepts of macho and machismo.

By Víctor M. Macías-González (editor), Anne Rubenstein (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Masculinity and Sexuality in Modern Mexico, historians and anthropologists explain how evolving notions of the meaning and practice of manhood have shaped Mexican history. In essays that range from Texas to Oaxaca and from the 1880s to the present, contributors write about file clerks and movie stars, wealthy world travelers and ordinary people whose adventures were confined to a bar in the middle of town. The Mexicans we meet in these essays lived out their identities through extraordinary events--committing terrible crimes, writing world-famous songs, and ruling the nation--but also in everyday activities like falling in love, raising families, getting…


Book cover of The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire

Daniel Mangena Author Of Stepping Beyond Intention

From my list on to break through your blocks.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having brought myself back from the brink more than once, finally building a lasting, abundant life for myself; I know what it takes and I know how easy it is to lose your way. I am extremely passionate about helping others avoid the pitfalls, break through the self-imposed barriers and find their own version of abundance. It’s not just about money, though that’s certainly a component for a lot of people. It’s about bringing awareness to what your dream life actually looks like, getting precise about it, and then clearing you a path that leads inexorably towards it. I have walked that path myself and now, I want to help you do the same. 

Daniel's book list on to break through your blocks

Daniel Mangena Why did Daniel love this book?

What I love about The Way of the Superior Man is that it frames the traditional, ancient ways of looking at masculine energy in a way that those of us in the modern, 21st-century western world can relate to. 

This is not a book about being a man, or in any way exclusively for men. It’s about how we relate to the masculine energy that is inside of all of us. This is an important component of what I teach in Stepping Beyond Intention as well because it shows us how we relate to others and the world around us. 

It’s about getting you to see the interplay and polarity of energies that exist within you. Armed with that awareness, you’ll be able to better direct yourself at achieving your goals. 

By David Deida,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Way of the Superior Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Though much has changed in society since the first publication of The Way of the Superior Man, men of all ages still "tussle with the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire." Including an all-new preface by author David Deida, this 20th-anniversary edition of the classic guide to male spirituality offers the next generation the opportunity to cultivate trust in the moment and put forth the best versions of themselves in an ever-changing world.

In The Way of the Superior Man, Deida explores the most important issues in men's lives-from career and family to women and intimacy to love and…


Book cover of Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era

Michael Kaufman Author Of The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution

From my list on the lives of men in the era of feminism.

Why am I passionate about this?

My work over the past four decades has been to promote women’s rights, end violence against women, promote social justice, and positively transform the lives of men. I’ve worked extensively with the United Nations; presidents, prime ministers, and governments; companies and unions; NGOs and educators in fifty countries. I continue to be inspired by the many incredible people I get to meet. In addition to my talks to communities, companies, and universities, my activism, and my books on this subject, I also write fiction, most recently my mystery The Last Exit.  

Michael's book list on the lives of men in the era of feminism

Michael Kaufman Why did Michael love this book?

The rise of far-right movements and the attempts to roll back the rights of all women and the basic civil rights of Black people have been fueled by angry white men. Michael Kimmel’s brilliant book is a powerful critique of the hateful beliefs and actions of these men, but manages to speak about them with empathy. Because he also interviews men who have left neo-Nazi organizations, he leaves us with a very hopeful message.

By Michael Kimmel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We hear them on talk radio airwaves bellowing about minorities. We watch them organize anti-immigration demonstrations on the border. We read their opinions regarding the demise of white male privilege. And sometimes, tragically, we witness their aggression through vigilante violence, as in the cases of Wade Michael Page, James Eagan Holmes, Elliot Rodger, George Zimmerman, and many more. They are America's angry white men, including "men's rights" activists who think white men are the victims of discrimination, as well as members of the "white wing" of the rightward fringes of the American political spectrum. Why are they so angry?

Sociologist…


Book cover of Can I Have My Ball Back? A memoir of masculinity, mortality and my right testicle

Evie King Author Of Ashes To Admin: Tales from the Caseload of a Council Funeral Officer

From my list on help you accept, embrace, and laugh at mortality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a death professional who lives in a world where nobody wants to talk about my specialist subject, so I hoover up any books that discuss mortality and our relationship to it. To do my job well, I need to face death on a daily basis in a matter-of-fact way, without losing that reverence, but equally not getting lost in the reverence because there is plenty to smile at, laugh at and be brutally honest about. These things make me the rounded human that is needed to perform the task well and the kind of people who write these books typically embody those qualities and inspire me. I hope they can inspire you too.

Evie's book list on help you accept, embrace, and laugh at mortality

Evie King Why did Evie love this book?

This will look like nepotism because Richard is a dear friend who provided a quote for my book cover, however I am mainly friends with him because we are of the same mind about most things, including death.

We both deal with it using a good dose of sarcasm and humour whilst also being big old existential softies who have our moments.

His book about his cancer diagnosis sees his coping mechanism of humour balanced with the honest sadnesses of potentially leaving behind young children who might forget him, before returning to humourous disapproval at his wife's imagined new man.

My own firmly held belief that you can't live well without the shadow of death also comes through as he starts to live better and healthier in recovery, thanks to his brush with the reaper. 

By Richard Herring,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can I Have My Ball Back? A memoir of masculinity, mortality and my right testicle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Very funny, moving and heartwarming' BOB MORTIMER

'A bollockbuster!' ADAM BUXTON

If we are cowardly, we are told to grow some
If we're brave, we're said to have huge ones
If it's cold, they are liable to fall off - even if you're a brass monkey
If we're in trouble, someone will threaten to break them
If we have to work hard, we might very well bust them
If we're in somebody's thrall, then they've got us by them

About fifteen years ago, Richard Herring first took part in a campaign to encourage men to have a little (non-sexual) feel…


Book cover of Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era

Doug Bradley Author Of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War

From my list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note.

Why am I passionate about this?

Until today’s multiple catastrophes, the Vietnam War was the most harrowing moment in the lives of my fellow baby boomers and me. Drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1970, I spent 365 days in Vietnam as a combat correspondent. That experience changed my life, because as the Argentinian writer Jose Narosky has pointed out, “in war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” I have spent the past five decades trying to heal those wounds, writing three books grounded in my Vietnam experience, and have devoted my life to listening to the voices of our veterans, distilling their memories (often music-based), and sharing their words. 

Doug's book list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note

Doug Bradley Why did Doug love this book?

(Spoiler alert: I appear in Ms. Stur’s book, albeit briefly)

Beyond Combat is one of the few books that examines the role of the more than 60,000 women who served in military and civilian capacities in Vietnam and the gender stereotypes that accompanied them. In addition to nurses, who formed the largest group of U.S. military women in Vietnam, Stur highlights those who served under the auspices of the Red Cross Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas program. These young college graduates were commonly known as “donut dollies” because of their girl-next-door appeal. “Our job was to lift the guys’ spirits,” recalls donut dollie Jeanne Christie. Music was one way the donut dollies did that. “Some of us DJ’d at various bases during our time in-country,” adds Bobbi McDaniel Stephens. “I took dedications from the guys,” a playlist she says included “Get Back,” “My Girl,” and “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother,”…

By Heather Marie Stur,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Beyond Combat investigates how the Vietnam War both reinforced and challenged the gender roles that were key components of American Cold War ideology. Refocusing attention onto women and gender paints a more complex and accurate picture of the war's far-reaching impact beyond the battlefields. Encounters between Americans and Vietnamese were shaped by a cluster of intertwined images used to make sense of and justify American intervention and use of force in Vietnam. These images included the girl next door, a wholesome reminder of why the United States was committed to defeating Communism, and the treacherous and mysterious 'dragon lady', who…


Book cover of Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

Brittany Coburn Author Of Pray Together: A 6 Week Couples Prayer Guide

From my list on how to build a strong Christian relationship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Christian author who loves to see when relationships, rooted in Christ, succeed. I have been married for 13 years and during that time we have had ups and downs and have found that our relationship would have never succeeded if it wasn’t for Christ and being grounded in his truths. I have sought out ways to cultivate healthy a marriage and often find myself studying and reading on how to best have our relationship reflect Christ and his love for the church. 

Brittany's book list on how to build a strong Christian relationship

Brittany Coburn Why did Brittany love this book?

Even though this book was written for men, a group of ladies and I read through this book together. It gave us all so much insight into why our husbands make the choices they make or do what they do.

Many times, I would be reading and would stop to ask my husband “Is this true?” He always answered ‘Yes!’ It sparked many good conversations between us and helped me to understand and appreciate him so much more. 

By John Eldredge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

God designed men to seek out adventure. But, somewhere between childhood and the struggles of yesterday, most men lose sight of those dreams. Fear not: bestselling author and counselor John Eldredge is here to teach men that there's a better way to live.

In this updated and expanded edition of the timeless bestseller Wild at Heart, Eldredge unpacks man's search for validation, the need for the development of courage in his soul, and the call to live a life of adventure.

Using discoveries from his own life and backing them with scripture, Eldredge reminds men that although their childhood passions,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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