95 books like Alphamaniacs

By Paul Fleischman, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Here are 95 books that Alphamaniacs fans have personally recommended if you like Alphamaniacs. 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 Ounce Dice Trice

Julie Paschkis Author Of The Wordy Book

From my list on picture books that play with words.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been creating picture books for 30 years. Picture books are a combination of words and language - that’s what I am drawn to. I love vivid language and art that tells stories. I love wordplay and cornball puns. I savor a perfectly crafted sentence in proper English, but I am not a stickler for perfect grammar. I like slang, pig-latin, and mistakes. I enjoy the sound of languages that I know and that I don’t know. I hope that you enjoy all of these wordy books, including mine.

Julie's book list on picture books that play with words

Julie Paschkis Why did Julie love this book?

This book is an ode to the pleasures of words - their sound, look, and meaning. It consists of lists of words such as "words to read backward" including drows, mulp and gubdeb. Or "heavy words" such as duffle, blunderbuss, and galoshes. "Words for times of day" include dusk, owl cry, dewfall, and gloaming.

It is perfectly illustrated by Ben Shahn with black and white line drawings. The scratchy, uneven, expressive lines perfectly capture both the humor and gravity of the words. I have loved these books since I was a child and The Wordy Book sprang out of that love.

By Alastair Reid, Ben Shahn (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What can words be, or rather, what can’t they be? Poet Alastair Reid introduces children and adults to the wondrous waywardness of words in Ounce Dice Trice, a delicious confection and a wildly unexpected exploration of sound and sense and nonsense that is like nothing else. Reid offers light words (willow, whirr, spinnaker) and heavy words (galoshes, mugwump, crumb), words on the move and odd words, words that read both ways and words that read the wrong way around (rezagrats), along with much else. Accompanied by Ben Shahn’s glorious drawings, Ounce Dice Trice is a book of endless delights, not…


Book cover of CDB!

Julie Paschkis Author Of The Wordy Book

From my list on picture books that play with words.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been creating picture books for 30 years. Picture books are a combination of words and language - that’s what I am drawn to. I love vivid language and art that tells stories. I love wordplay and cornball puns. I savor a perfectly crafted sentence in proper English, but I am not a stickler for perfect grammar. I like slang, pig-latin, and mistakes. I enjoy the sound of languages that I know and that I don’t know. I hope that you enjoy all of these wordy books, including mine.

Julie's book list on picture books that play with words

Julie Paschkis Why did Julie love this book?

Another book by Steig! Yes! This book was written and illustrated by Wm. Steig. It does not contain CDB oils. It doesn’t actually contain words either. It only contains letters. When you read the letters out loud you hear words. Some of the sentences would be confusing, but Steig’s illustrations help you to figure out the meaning.

For example, C D B means See the Bee.
He talks about emotions: I N-V U
He describes situations: D N S 5 X. That one might be confusing if it didn’t have a picture of the hen and the x that she just laid.

This book makes you hear and see words differently, and it is funny. If you find this book X-L-R-8-N then you will be happy to know that there is a sequel - C D C! Dip your toes into the deep blue C of letters and sounds.

By William Steig,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Book cover of Martha Speaks

Elizabeth Suneby Author Of No Room for a Pup!

From my list on for dog lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, my brothers and I begged for a dog, but our parents never gave in. Fortunately, when my kids begged for a pup, my husband and I gave in. So, as a children’s book writer, I wanted to give kids a book to help them convince their parents that there’s always room for a pup in the family, and at the same time, subtly emphasize the importance of gratitude and inclusion.  

Elizabeth's book list on for dog lovers

Elizabeth Suneby Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Martha Speaks is a classic for good reason. How can you not get attached to a dog who is fed vegetable soup that goes to her brain, not her stomach, and then is able to speak--incessantly? This fun book is the basis for the Emmy-nominated PBS TV series of the same name. Read and watch away!

By Susan Meddaugh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Martha Speaks 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?

When Helen Finney feeds alphabet soup to her dog, Martha, it goes straight up to her brain, and Martha begins to speak! The basis for the Emmy-nominated PBS series.

Having a talking dog is a lot of fun--unless your dog never stops talking! When chatty Martha gives her family the silent treatment they're relieved at first, but then they get worried. Will Martha ever speak again?


Book cover of Alpha Beta Chowder

Julie Paschkis Author Of The Wordy Book

From my list on picture books that play with words.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been creating picture books for 30 years. Picture books are a combination of words and language - that’s what I am drawn to. I love vivid language and art that tells stories. I love wordplay and cornball puns. I savor a perfectly crafted sentence in proper English, but I am not a stickler for perfect grammar. I like slang, pig-latin, and mistakes. I enjoy the sound of languages that I know and that I don’t know. I hope that you enjoy all of these wordy books, including mine.

Julie's book list on picture books that play with words

Julie Paschkis Why did Julie love this book?

Jeanne Steig wrote a giddy delightful poem for each letter of the alphabet. The poems are replete with weird and wonderful words. The goofy illustrations by William Steig tickle your eyes. One of my favorite poems is "Mishmash". Notice all of the many M words in Mishmash: mallet, misguided, minimize, mix, milk. Could Myron majestically mash potatoes? Mmmm, no.

Mishmash
Making mashed potatoes, Myron?
Must you mix them with the hammer?
This bizarre, misguided method
Causes quite a katzenjammer.

Might you add the milk and butter
In a more majestic manner?
Might a mallet not be better?
That would minimize the clamor.

By Jeanne Steig, William Steig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alpha Beta Chowder 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?

Presents an alliterative humorous verse for each letter of the alphabet, including "The Enigmatic Egg," "Mishmash," and "Worrywart.".


Book cover of Walking on Water

Mark Chisnell Author Of Powder Burn

From my list on the thrills and dangers of extreme sports.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started climbing and running around the hills in my teens, got into boats, became a professional sailor for twenty years, then took up surfing at thirty and snowboarding at forty. There’s something special about playing with gravity, whether it’s sliding down hills or waves, or defying it on a mountain face. All these books capture the thrill and the dangers.

Mark's book list on the thrills and dangers of extreme sports

Mark Chisnell Why did Mark love this book?

I loved the book because the author’s love for the sport comes across so plainly. The stories from the spiritual home of surfing, Oahu’s North Shore, are wonderful. It’s an essential text for anyone getting into the sport, capturing its soul better than anything else I have read.

By Andy Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of an obsession, this book is about surfing in Hawaii. It is also the tale of the author's clumsy initiation into the surfing cult and culture.


Book cover of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Author Of Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player

From my list on improving performance and growth.

Why we are passionate about this?

We have been coaching and learning about peak performance for four decades. To learn from playing golf ourselves, coaching others to play better, and continuously staying curious and learning from others is a mix that we want to keep alive. It’s not only to perform well that matters to us, but that we also grow as a human being. It’s about excellence and wellbeing. What skills, what culture, and what foundation can make that a possibility? Our deepest wish is for all of us to access our own unique possibilities to be good and happy. 

Pia and Lynn's book list on improving performance and growth

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Why did Pia and Lynn love this book?

As coaches, we are always interested in peak performance. This book really gave us the courage to speak up about separating skill training from performance training.

This book provides fascinating real-life examples from extreme sports, giving readers a great insight into peak performance. It emphasizes the important distinction between learning how to do things technically correctly and performing when it matters.

“We’ll need to be better, faster, stronger, smarter. We’ll need intrinsic motivation and incredible cooperation. Our imaginations will have to be deeply engaged; our creative selves operating at their full Picasso.”

By Steven Kotler,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Extreme Danger

Ron Base Author Of Scandal at the Savoy: A Priscilla Tempest Mystery, Book 2

From my list on combining mystery and suspense into something magical.

Why am I passionate about this?

As readers may have gathered from the five books I’ve chosen, my childhood obsessions and passions have had an immense influence on my later writing life. Somewhat to my surprise, I must say. I’ve been a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, movie critic, and have written screenplays. But returning to novels, first with the Sanibel Sunset Detective series and lately with Death at the Savoy and Scandal at the Savoy, I am, in effect, reliving my childhood, using it to write these books. What a joy to be looking back as I move forward—and you always keep the plot moving forward!

Ron's book list on combining mystery and suspense into something magical

Ron Base Why did Ron love this book?

Torn between the Hardy Boys novels and Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer mysteries, I’ve reluctantly gone with the Hardy Boys.

Both authors (although there were many pseudonymous writers of the Hardy Boys series) taught a fledging writer invaluable lessons about keeping the story moving forward while leaving the reader hanging from the edge of a cliff at the end of each chapter.

What I adored about Joe and Frank Hardy was the freedom they had as teenagers. They never seemed to have to go to high school, they drove their own car, they were never short of money, and they solved mysteries that their detective father never could.

My kind of guys!

By Franklin W. Dixon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Extreme Danger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

ATAC BRIEFING FOR AGENTS FRANK AND JOE HARDY

MISSION: To find the mastermind behind a possible attack at the Big Air Games.
LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA.
POTENTIAL VICTIMS: Top extreme athletes in the country. Thousands of spectators.
SUSPECTS: There may be a group of extremists working together. There may be just one.


Book cover of Rush

Robin Hill Author Of Waiting for the Sun

From my list on romance for lovers of broken book boyfriends.

Why am I passionate about this?

The tortured hero was my first love, and I’ve never been able to shake him. He never fails to crush me, and there’s nothing more rewarding to a masochistic reader than being completely annihilated, then put back together again. These heartbroken heartbreakers are easy to love (usually), easy to forgive (hopefully), and always keep you coming back for more (definitely). My character, Darian, was born of my search for the perfect tortured hero, and although I’ve moved on to a different kind of hero for my follow-up novel, Magnolia May, he’ll forever own my heart.  

Robin's book list on romance for lovers of broken book boyfriends

Robin Hill Why did Robin love this book?

Oh, Noah. Noah, Noah, Noah. Ask any old-school Emma Scott fan their favorite tortured hero of hers, and their answer will likely be Noah Lake. This one is broken emotionally and physically, which makes it hard to hold a grudge when he lashes out. Not that I even had a grudge to begin with. I mean, think of what he’s suffered! One of the best parts of the angry tortured hero trope is all that delicious groveling, but with Noah, I didn’t need much. (Alright, fine. I didn’t need any.) FYI, Rush is a standalone that’s only connected to the other books in the series by its city setting.

By Emma Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable. --John Milton

Charlotte Conroy, Juilliard-trained violinist, was on the cusp of greatness when tragedy swooped down on dark wings, crushing her hopes and breaking her heart. The music that used to sing in her soul has grown quiet, and she feels on the verge of setting down her violin for good. To pay the bills, she accepts a job as a personal assistant to a bitter, angry young man who’s been disabled by a horrific accident…

Noah Lake was an extreme sport athlete, journalist…


Book cover of Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks Inspired by the Seasons from the Bar at Cyrus

Lou Bustamante Author Of The Complete Cocktail Manual: Recipes and Tricks of the Trade for Modern Mixologists

From my list on the future of cocktails by SF Bay Area writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

While the Bay Area’s impact on the way we eat as a country, being at the forefront of the farm-to-table and seasonal produce movement, cocktails are being equal consideration. Why not? Distilled spirits are agricultural products, the same way wine and beer are, and so it reasons that we would worry about how they are made, their history, and the future. Can cocktails be made in a more sustainable way? Can I use beets in my cocktail? Do spirits have a sense of place? And will applying beer to a wound help it heal (note: it won’t)? Here’s a selection of books that explore the past, present, and possible future of how you drink.

Lou's book list on the future of cocktails by SF Bay Area writers

Lou Bustamante Why did Lou love this book?

This book was published at the beginning of the cocktail revolution and was instrumental to creating the idea that cocktails could be based on peak season produce in the same way that food is.

Everything from herbs, fruits, and vegetables get featured in a drink. While the book is historically important, it still feels modern, packed with techniques to make the best of the season’s bounty. 

By Scott Beattie, Sara Remington (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A lush, full-color collection of 50 cocktail recipes using organic, sustainable produce, handcrafted ingredients, and local artisanal spirits, from the bar manager at the award-winning Cyrus restaurant.

Inspired by the bounty of Sonoma County's organic farms and local distilleries, Scott Beattie shakes up the cocktail world with his extreme twists on classic bar fare. In ARTISANAL COCKTAILS, Beattie reveals his intense attention to detail and technique with a collection of visually stunning and astonishingly tasty drinks made with top-shelf spirits, fresh-squeezed juices, and just-picked herbs and flowers. In creatively named recipes such as Meyer Beautiful (My, You're Beautiful), Hot Indian…


Book cover of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Dillon Seitchik-Reardon Author Of Places We Swim California: A Guide to the Best Rivers, Lakes, Waterfalls, Beaches, Gorges, and Hot Springs

From my list on inspire you to explore the natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a travel writer, photographer, and lover of wilderness. I am the co-author of three travel guides about swimming: Places We Swim Australia, Places We Swim Sydney, and my new book, listed below. Together with my wife, we write about the connection between water, wilderness, and culture. I am fascinated with how people and nature interact and change one another. All of these books and authors on my list reveal how their experiences in nature have fuelled, anchored them, and inspired their craft. 

Dillon's book list on inspire you to explore the natural world

Dillon Seitchik-Reardon Why did Dillon love this book?

This is the ultimate travel memoir. I read this on a surf trip to Indonesia with my wife and brother a few years ago. It’s got this Forest Gump-like quality of a person who managed to be in the right place at the right time through all these key progressions and periods of surfing.

To experience the world of surfing through his eyes, hearing about these world-famous waves before they were popular, is the ultimate surfer’s fantasy. His storytelling is so incredible that you do not have to be a surfer to enjoy this book. Like others on this list, William Finnigan’s passion for surfing has often been separated from his writing for most of his career.

In this book, he perfectly captures the obsessiveness, futility, enduring search, and inherent uselessness of pursuing something like surfing. It is probably my most recommended travel book to date.

By William Finnegan,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Barbarian Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**

Included in President Obama's 2016 Summer Reading List

"Without a doubt, the finest surf book I've ever read . . . " -The New York Times Magazine

Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South…


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