100 books like All Over But the Shoutin'

By Rick Bragg,

Here are 100 books that All Over But the Shoutin' fans have personally recommended if you like All Over But the Shoutin'. 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 Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Avalyn Hunter Author Of Dream Derby: The Myth and Legend of Black Gold

From my list on thoroughbred horses and horse racing.

Why am I passionate about this?

An old photograph shows a little blonde girl trying to climb a fence separating her from a pasture full of broodmares near Louisville, Kentucky. That was me, and I have never lost my fascination with these creatures of beauty, courage, and magic. Combine that with an equal passion for books, research, and writing, and you have the path leading to four books and hundreds of magazine articles on Thoroughbred horses over the last twenty years, with a fifth book due out next spring. The five books I’ve recommended are just a few of those that have provided touchstones and inspiration for my journey as a writer.

Avalyn's book list on thoroughbred horses and horse racing

Avalyn Hunter Why did Avalyn love this book?

When I first picked up Seabiscuit, I was dubious; I had already read too many stories of champion racehorses that were either dry histories or overblown hero-worship.

A hundred pages later (where did the time go?) I was completely engrossed and headed for an all-night read. In Hillenbrand’s hands, carefully researched history became the foundation for a sweeping story of a great horse, the incredible cast of people who gave him what he needed to become a legend, and the world of horses, horse racing, and American life in the 1930s.

If I ever write anything half as good, I will be well content.

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of the runaway phenomenon Unbroken comes a universal underdog story about the horse who came out of nowhere to become a legend.

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:

Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to…


Book cover of Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

Mark Steven Porro Author Of A Cup of Tea on the Commode: My Multi-Tasking Adventures of Caring for Mom. And How I Survived to Tell the Tale

From my list on books that do not flinch when dealing with difficult circumstances.

Why am I passionate about this?

Family history has always fascinated me. I didn’t want mine to be buried with my loved ones. So, out of curiosity, I asked relatives lots of questions. If unsatisfied, I sought answers elsewhere. I traveled as far as Celle San Vito, Italy, where my grandfather was born, to solve a one-hundred-year-old mystery, and I filmed it for others to enjoy. I’ve memorialized momentous family events in poems, handmade greeting cards, memory books, screenplays, a documentary, and now, in my memoir A Cup of Tea on the Commode. The books on my list are about “family.” I’ve been moved by each, and I hope they move you as well.

Mark's book list on books that do not flinch when dealing with difficult circumstances

Mark Steven Porro Why did Mark love this book?

Like many people, I first discovered Morrie on Nightline with Ted Koppel. Like many, I fell in love with his charm, courage, and determination to continue doing what was in his bones, teaching us what’s truly important in life.

Mitch Albom, his former student, shares many of Morrie’s lessons and his gift of uplifting others while facing his own death. I laughed, cried, and thanked Mitch and Morrie for sharing this gift with me.

By Mitch Albom,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Tuesdays with Morrie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON THAT HAS TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF OVER 9 MILLION READERS

'Mitch Albom sees the magical in the ordinary' Cecelia Ahern
__________

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague? Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it? For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to…


Book cover of The Prince of Tides

David Michael Dunaway Author Of Angry Heavens: Struggles of a Confederate Surgeon

From my list on celebrating an author’s literary style.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lifetime, passionate reader. During the summer vacations, my brother and I would often ride with our father to his job in downtown Mobile and walk to Mobile Public Library, where we would spend all day exploring and reading. Well-written novels with remarkable but believable characters—such as those I've noted here are my passion. I have included novels in my list where I can identify personally with the protagonist. My list of books is varied. They have one thing in common: believable characters who struggle with life—authored by legitimate wordsmiths. When I wrote Angry Heavens as a first-time novelist, it was my history as a reader that I used as a writer.

David's book list on celebrating an author’s literary style

David Michael Dunaway Why did David love this book?

When Pat Conroy died in 2016, I knew what the late Southern gentleman-writer, Lewis Grizzard, meant when he wrote, Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself.

Pat Conroy understood the Southern male in ways that only fellow Southerners can know in all its fullness. I felt less Southern at his passing than I had felt in a long time. Pat Conroy was my better self as a Southern male. He understood me without knowing me.

The Prince of Tides protagonist, Tom Wingo, is undoubtedly filled with the simplicity and complexity, goodness and evil, connection to history that describe the southern male who often will define being Southern as a fundamental personal value.

Want some insight into the Southern male, and who wouldn't? The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy is where one should start.

By Pat Conroy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Prince of Tides as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pat Conroy's inspired masterpiece relates the dark and violent chronicle of an astounding family: the Wingos of Colleton, South Carolina. No reader will forget them. And no reader can remain untouched by their story.

All Wingos share one heritage ... shrimp fishing, poverty and the searing memory of a single terrifying event - the source of Tom Wingo's self-hatred and of his sister Savannah's suicidal despair.

To save himself and Savannah, Tom confronts the past with the help of New York psychologist Susan Lowenstein.

As Tom and Susan unravel the bitter history of his troubled childhood, in episodes of grotesque…


Book cover of Peachtree Road

Claire Fullerton Author Of Mourning Dove

From my list on Southern books that touch upon culture, history, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the multiple, award-winning author of 4 novels and one novella, raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and now living in Southern California. The geographical distance gives me a laser-sharp, appreciative perspective of the South, and I celebrate the literary greats from the region. The South is known as the last romantic place in America, and I believe this to be true. The South’s culture, history, and social mores are part and parcel to its fascinating characters, and nothing is more important in the South than the telling of a good story. As a writer, I'm in love with language. I love Southern turns of phrase and applaud those writers who capture Southern nuance. It is well worth writing about Southern sensibilities.

Claire's book list on Southern books that touch upon culture, history, and society

Claire Fullerton Why did Claire love this book?

Peachtree Road is considered a modern-day Gone with The Wind, in that it is set in the pivotal, changing times of 1960’s Atlanta, and concerns the opulent area of Buckhead, where the privileged who built modern-day Atlanta live. The story is narrated in lyrical language by Shep Bondurant, an insightful young man born to privilege, who tells the coming-of-age story of Southern traditions and hypocrisy, and the impact of growing up alongside his troubled cousin, Lucy. A deeply probing story on multiple levels concerning society and the impact of family. 

By Anne Rivers Siddons,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A blockbuster of a novel. . . . Peachtree Road is the meaty and absorbing story of a city turned on to power and of the privileged inhabitants who led it to its current station as a mecca of business, culture, and progress. . . . To say this book is potent does not come close to doing it justice. More than merely powerful, it is mesmerizing, enthralling, and totally unforgettable.”  — Chattanooga Free Press

A masterful tale of love, hate, and rebellion set in an elite world of class and wealth, New York Times bestselling author Anne Rivers Siddons's…


Book cover of Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories

Claire Fullerton Author Of Mourning Dove

From my list on Southern books that touch upon culture, history, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the multiple, award-winning author of 4 novels and one novella, raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and now living in Southern California. The geographical distance gives me a laser-sharp, appreciative perspective of the South, and I celebrate the literary greats from the region. The South is known as the last romantic place in America, and I believe this to be true. The South’s culture, history, and social mores are part and parcel to its fascinating characters, and nothing is more important in the South than the telling of a good story. As a writer, I'm in love with language. I love Southern turns of phrase and applaud those writers who capture Southern nuance. It is well worth writing about Southern sensibilities.

Claire's book list on Southern books that touch upon culture, history, and society

Claire Fullerton Why did Claire love this book?

Ron Rash is a national, literary treasure. The author of multiple award-winning novels, this book is an assembly of 34 short stories, most set in Appalachia, and depicting the social nuances and landscape of the American rural South. I recommend this because it will provide a great introduction to the incomparable author known as The Appalachian Shakespeare. As a writer, Ron Rash epitomizes the idea of landscape as destiny, and his well-drawn characters come to life from his flawless use of regional language. 

By Ron Rash,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling award-winning author of Serena and The Cove, thirty of his finest short stories, collected in one volume.

No one captures the complexities of Appalachia—a rugged, brutal landscape of exquisite beauty—as evocatively and indelibly as author and poet Ron Rash. Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, two O Henry prizes, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Rash brilliantly illuminates the tensions between the traditional and the modern, the old and new south, tenderness and violence, man and nature. Though the focus is regional, the themes of Rash’s work are universal,…


Book cover of The Fighter

Claire Fullerton Author Of Mourning Dove

From my list on Southern books that touch upon culture, history, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the multiple, award-winning author of 4 novels and one novella, raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and now living in Southern California. The geographical distance gives me a laser-sharp, appreciative perspective of the South, and I celebrate the literary greats from the region. The South is known as the last romantic place in America, and I believe this to be true. The South’s culture, history, and social mores are part and parcel to its fascinating characters, and nothing is more important in the South than the telling of a good story. As a writer, I'm in love with language. I love Southern turns of phrase and applaud those writers who capture Southern nuance. It is well worth writing about Southern sensibilities.

Claire's book list on Southern books that touch upon culture, history, and society

Claire Fullerton Why did Claire love this book?

The Fighter is Southern noir at its best, and the spare, economic voice of the narrator adds to the guttural bleakness of a man down on his luck but willing to persevere against all odds. Set in the sultry Delta, Jack Boucher has put behind him 25 years of bare-knuckle fighting but is given cause to step into the ring one more time. A dark desperation colors this popular novel, and readers will be shown why Michael Farris Smith is considered one of the finest writers now on the American literary landscape.   

By Michael Farris Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The acres and acres of fertile soil, the two-hundred year old antebellum house, all gone.

And so is the woman who gave it to him. The foster mother who saved Jack Boucher from a childhood of abandonmnet now rests in a hospice. Her mind eroded by dementia, the family legacy she entrusted to Jack is now owned by banks and strangers. And Jack's mind is failing too, as concussion after concussion forces him to carry around a notebook of names that separate friend from foe.

In a single twisted night Jack is derailed. Losing the money that will clear his…


Book cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Lynn Alsup Author Of Tinderbox: One Family's Story of Adoption, Neurodiversity, and Fierce Love

From my list on memoirs that crack open a brutal and beautiful world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young social worker, I left the world I knew and moved into violent urban centers and traveled the developing world. The suffering and beauty entranced me. Questions reverberated in me: What does it mean to be part of the vast human community? How can I live most fully? When I adopted children, violence and difference confronted me not “out there” but at home. I wrestled, shocked by my own judgment and narrowness—until I accepted in my bones the myriad ways to live a remarkable life. Curiosity became my superpower. Tinderbox, my unflinching memoir, invites readers into my family’s brutal and beautiful transformation through embracing neurodiversity. 

Lynn's book list on memoirs that crack open a brutal and beautiful world

Lynn Alsup Why did Lynn love this book?

Angelou’s words sat me in a comfy chair as if in a favorite movie theater as the lights dimmed.

The world unrolling before me enveloped me from the red dirt of Arkansas in the 1930s all the way to the California sun. Her prose read like poetry and led me into each space she inhabited, including the ones in her mind. She slowed down the moment and let me ponder—no sideways judgments or explanations.

Her experience of childhood sexual assault ripped through me as my own had. She didn’t shy away from the horrors or beauty of life as a young Black woman finding her place in the world but projected them onto the screen in my mind. They’ve lingered there a long time.

By Maya Angelou,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maya Angelou's seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy,achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.


Book cover of Born to Run

Jim Wilson Author Of Tuned In: Memoirs of a Piano Man: Behind the Scenes with Music Legends and Finding the Artist Within

From my list on memoirs that deal with overcoming adversity to inspiring results.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a piano technician who’s had the incredible fortune of getting to know and work for just about all my childhood heroes. I’m also a recording artist who’s produced several recordings that have made it into the Billboard Top 20, had two PBS specials, and whose music has been streamed over 75 million times around the globe. At the beginning of the pandemic, I began putting pen to paper to share some of the extraordinary experiences I’ve had with music icons and how being in that jet stream helped me tune in to my mission as an artist. 

Jim's book list on memoirs that deal with overcoming adversity to inspiring results

Jim Wilson Why did Jim love this book?

Right off the bat, I was gripped by Bruce’s vulnerability. In the opening pages, he intimately shares his early struggle with “impostor syndrome.” His willingness to reveal his humanity encouraged me as an author to dig deeper and “leave blood on the page.”

Bruce relates in great detail his countless early struggles in trying to get his music heard. I was deeply inspired by his candor and his “never take no for an answer” attitude. In the panoply of books about overcoming adversity to achieve a dream, this book is a stand-out.

By Bruce Springsteen,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Born to Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Writing about yourself is a funny business...But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I've tried to do this." -Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl's halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That's how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty,…


Book cover of In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss

Mark Steven Porro Author Of A Cup of Tea on the Commode: My Multi-Tasking Adventures of Caring for Mom. And How I Survived to Tell the Tale

From my list on books that do not flinch when dealing with difficult circumstances.

Why am I passionate about this?

Family history has always fascinated me. I didn’t want mine to be buried with my loved ones. So, out of curiosity, I asked relatives lots of questions. If unsatisfied, I sought answers elsewhere. I traveled as far as Celle San Vito, Italy, where my grandfather was born, to solve a one-hundred-year-old mystery, and I filmed it for others to enjoy. I’ve memorialized momentous family events in poems, handmade greeting cards, memory books, screenplays, a documentary, and now, in my memoir A Cup of Tea on the Commode. The books on my list are about “family.” I’ve been moved by each, and I hope they move you as well.

Mark's book list on books that do not flinch when dealing with difficult circumstances

Mark Steven Porro Why did Mark love this book?

Amy’s story is filled with many welcome laughs to break up the many dramatic moments. And I thank her for that.

It’s a beautiful yet tragic love story. After a terminal diagnosis, her husband chose to leave this world with dignity. Amy supports his decision, knowing she’ll spend the rest of her days alone. It raises many questions. “What would I do in this situation?” Could I make the same sacrifice? Could I support my spouse if she chose the same?

I love that we are with them every step of the way. In our country, why can’t we decide how and when to leave this world when faced with a terminal diagnosis? We do this with our pets. I don’t know why we can’t do this for our loved ones instead of draining them of their dignity and the family of their finances. 

By Amy Bloom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller

A poignant love letter to Bloom's husband and a passionate outpouring of grief, In Love reaffirms the power and value of human relationships.

In January 2020, Amy Bloom travelled with her husband Brian to Switzerland, where he was helped by Dignitas to end his life while Amy sat with him and held his hand. Brian was terminally ill and for the last year of his life Amy had struggled to find a way to support his wish to take control of his death, to not submerge 'into the darkness of an expiring existence'.

Written with piercing…


Book cover of Black Boy

Marita Golden Author Of Migrations of the Heart

From my list on why memoir can be both literature and art.

Why am I passionate about this?

Marita Golden is an award-winning author of over twenty works of fiction and nonfiction. Her books include the novel The Wide Circumference of Love and the memoirs Migrations of the Heart, Saving Our Sons, and Don’t Play in the Sun One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex. She is the recipient of many awards including the Writers for Writers Award from Barnes & Noble and Poets and Writers, an award from the Authors Guild, and the Fiction Award for her novel After, from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, been featured as a question on Jeopardy!, and is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee. 

Marita's book list on why memoir can be both literature and art

Marita Golden Why did Marita love this book?

In the introduction to the first edition of Black Boy, Richard Wright acknowledges that while inspired by his life the book is both a record of his life and an imagined autobiography of all the “black boys” he knew who like him came of age in the segregated south.

Wright’s book is an early example of the use of creative nonfiction techniques that make this memoir gripping, suspenseful, deeply psychological, and a testimony to the power of dreams and the will to prevail against adversity.

By Richard Wright,

Why should I read it?

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


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