10 books like American Daughter

By Stephanie Thornton Plymale, Elissa Wald,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like American Daughter. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Wild Game

By Adrienne Brodeur,

Book cover of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Secret, and Me

I read Wild Game in a weekend—and that’s unusual for me, but I just couldn’t put the book down. Brodeur brought me into a world of treachery, lies, and mother-daughter entanglement that I found absolutely compelling. The mother in this book, Malabar, is a larger-than-life character whose willingness to sacrifice her daughter’s well-being for her own ends was horrifying and believable. I rooted for the daughter all the way through this beautifully crafted book, but it was the mother I found unforgettable.

Wild Game

By Adrienne Brodeur,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER. A daughter’s tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity.

NAMED A BEST FALL BOOK BY People * Refinery29 * Entertainment Weekly * BuzzFeed * NPR’s On Point * Town & Country * Real Simple * New York Post * Palm Beach Post * Toronto Star * Orange Country Register * Bustle * Bookish * BookPage * Kirkus* BBC Culture* Debutiful

On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set…


Motherland

By Elissa Altman,

Book cover of Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing

There are so many things I loved about Motherland, it’s hard to know where to begin. For starters, Elissa Altman is a brilliant writer and a great storyteller. Her portrayal of her dramatic, narcissistic mother created a flawed, human, larger-than-life character I will never forget. Elissa moves us through time effortlessly, at one moment vividly portraying herself as a child and in the next, seamlessly bringing in the voice of wisdom—her adult voice now—as we watch her struggle to make peace with the past. I deeply resonated with the love and hate, attachment and resentment that ricocheted between this unforgettable mother-daughter pair. I love books that grab me and don’t let me go. Motherland definitely had me hooked all the way from beginning to end. I hated leaving Altman’s world behind. I didn’t want the book to end.

Motherland

By Elissa Altman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“I’m reading this book right now and loving it!”—Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild

How can a mother and daughter who love (but don’t always like) each other coexist without driving each other crazy? 

“Vibrating with emotion, this deeply honest account strikes a chord.”—People
“A wry and moving meditation on aging and the different kinds of love between women.”—O: The Oprah Magazine 

After surviving a traumatic childhood in nineteen-seventies New York and young adulthood living in the shadow of her flamboyant mother, Rita, a makeup-addicted former television singer, Elissa Altman has managed to build a very…


The Glimpse

By Lis Bensley,

Book cover of The Glimpse

I loved diving into this novel about mother-daughter artists and the devotion, love, and competition that binds them together. Personally, I have no skill or passion for painting or photography—the gifts granted the characters in this book—but as I immersed myself in Bensley’s world, I began seeing the world as visual artists do. That was an unexpected bonus to an already compelling intergenerational story. As I hungrily turned pages, eager to discover what would happen to the characters next, I loved learning about art, the sexism of the art world, and the compelling need to create regardless of external validation.

The Glimpse

By Lis Bensley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Liza Baker, a rising star in the burgeoning Abstract Expressionist era, finds herself sidelined when she gets pregnant, and decides to have the child. Yet, against conventional wisdom, she's convinced she can have a successful career and be a good mother to her daughter, Rouge.
She takes a job teaching at a college and comes up against the harsh realities of the male-dominated art world. Unable to build a successful career, she watches as her former lover, whose work resembles hers, skyrocket to fame. Liza develops a drinking problem and often brings home artist lovers she's met in the city.…


Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama

By Alison Bechdel,

Book cover of Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama

Alison Bechdel (best known for Fun Home, a graphic memoir about her bisexual teacher-cum-funeral-parlor-owner father) also wrote this graphic memoir about her actor-writer-teacher mother. It largely takes place in the 1990s, when being boldly “out” was just becoming possible—and Bechdel joyfully and graphically reveals herself as such to her readers. With her mother, however… maybe not so much. When told that Alison is publishing a book of lesbian cartoons, the mother asks: “Isn’t that rather a narrow scope?” before landing the zinger: “You’re not going to use your own name, are you?” Still, the book’s power derives from showing that sexual identity is only a small part of what divides, enrages, and ultimately re-connects this vivid mother-daughter duo. There’s also fierce creative competitiveness. Deeply shared sorrow. And love.           

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama

By Alison Bechdel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An expansive, moving and captivating graphic memoir from the author of Fun Home.

Alison Bechdel's Fun Home was a literary phenomenon. While Fun Home explored Bechdel's relationship with her father, a closeted homosexual, this memoir is about her mother - a voracious reader, a music lover, a passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood... and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter goodnight, for ever, when she was seven.

Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf.

'As absorbing as…


It Didn't Start With You

By Mark Wolynn,

Book cover of It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Looks further back than the previous book and how the trauma of previous generations can be passed down the line. The first half is full of examples of how even unknown incidents are reflected in the problems of Wolynn’s patients today. The second half is about how to use these insights to heal. I use it a lot with my clients and they are full of praise for the book. It is particularly helpful to understand how your grandparents impacted your parents. I used this book to throw light onto how the First World War and my Great Uncle’s death on the Somme still affects my family one hundred years later.

It Didn't Start With You

By Mark Wolynn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Didn't Start With You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inherited family trauma is currently an area of growing interest, as science increasingly explores what we know intuitively: that the effects of trauma can pass from one generation to the next, and that the answers to some of our greatest life problems often lie not within our own story, but in the experiences of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and extended family. Here, pioneer Mark Wolyn shows readers how they can overcome inherited trauma and reclaim their lives.


Just Listen

By Sarah Dessen,

Book cover of Just Listen

Just Listen has one of my favorite male protagonists of all time, the guy I wish I would have met in high school. As a music-head, I also love the way Annabel and Owen bond over their favorite songs. Getting over an assault requires support. On one hand, you have to be incredibly strong to tell the truth about what happened. But once you tell your people, they hold you up as you walk through healing. Telling is so hard, but support is key.

Just Listen

By Sarah Dessen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Once and for All

To find the truth you’ve got to be willing to hear it.
 
When she’s modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection.
 
But her real life is far from perfect.
 
Fortunately, she’s got Owen. He’s intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.
 
And most of all, he’s determined to make Annabel happy. . .
 
“This is young adult fiction at its best.” —School Library Journal
 
Sarah Dessen is the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her contributions to YA literature, as well as…


Mentalligence

By Dr. Kristen Lee PhD,

Book cover of Mentalligence

Mentaligence takes conscious mind development one step further. It suggests that we are burdened with an indoctrination dictating how to behave and meet preordained goals pressed upon us by parents, teachers, religious leaders, and society in general. Its premise is that we must recognize these factors and any negative effect on our well-being; learn how to throw off their shackles; and develop a new attitude of thinking. In short, acquire what Dr. Lee calls mental agility.

Indoctrination, group-think, and social brain-washing are related terms for the negative force. While some indoctrination may be considered beneficial, few would disagree with the negative effect of Nazi group-think or that leading to mass suicides in Jamestown. They illustrate the need for objective thinking to all manifestations of indoctrination.

Mentalligence

By Dr. Kristen Lee PhD,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is rethinking what we've been taught, because thoughts become behaviors. The same mind that gets us stuck is the same one that can set us free. It's time to rip up the script society hands us, breathe deep, and reclaim a healthy definition of success that doesn't compartmentalize your mind, body and soul. We need a new organizing framework that allows more flexibility and moral grounding one that lets science, emotion and spirit to fuse. Too often, life's disorienting moments can leave us tumbling into messy, downward spirals. We lose…


Unfollow Your Passion

By Terri Trespicio,

Book cover of Unfollow Your Passion: How to Create a Life That Matters to You

Essential Skill #2 for Creatives: Practicality, not Passion

Creative professionals tend to be “passionate practitioners” but if you need to “love” every single aspect of your business, you won’t get very far. That’s why I love Terri’s book. It’s the funniest business book I’ve read! Part comic autobiography, part business handbook, Unfollow Your Passion provides practical, clear, and excellent advice. It also happens to be beautifully written, the stories so compelling and hysterical that you’ll learn the practical skills in spite of yourself. The message of this book – forget about passion – is so important, something I’ve espoused for years, but not nearly as eloquently and clearly as Terri has.

Unfollow Your Passion

By Terri Trespicio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the Best Feel-Good Books of 2021 by The Washington Post

A hilarious and honest not-quite-self-help book in the vein of Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies and I Used to Have a Plan.

Every person on the planet wants their life to mean something. The problem is that you've been told there's only one way to find that meaning.

In Unfollow Your Passion, Terri Trespicio-whose TEDx talk has more than six million views-questions everything you think you need: passion (fun, but fleeting), plans (flimsy at best), and a bucket list (eye roll), to name a few.

Instead, she shows…


Finding Your Own North Star

By Martha Beck,

Book cover of Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live

First, I love how Martha Beck writes. She’s funny! Also wise and candid. I would happily recommend any of her books. This particular one is helpful in treating yourself better because it guides you through specific exercises to evaluate your essential self, to appreciate it, and to pursue your unique, authentic path. 

Finding Your Own North Star

By Martha Beck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding Your Own North Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author and Life Designs, Inc. creator Martha Beck shares her step-by-step program that will guide you to fulfill your own potential and create a joyful life.

In this book, you'll start by learning how to read the internal compasses already built into your brain and body--and why you may have spent your life ignoring their signals. As you become reacquainted with your own deepest desires, you'll identify and repair any unconscious beliefs or unhealed emotional wounds that may be blocking your progress.

This will change your life, but don't worry--although every life is unique, major transformations…


The Empath's Survival Guide

By Judith Orloff,

Book cover of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

Highly sensitive people (HSPs) have more active mirror neurons, which means they can more acutely sense other people’s emotions. I have found that my empathy can be a tremendous gift, but without the right tools, feeling others’ energy can be draining. I enjoyed that Dr. Orloff’s presented a comprehensive toolkit, particularly for navigating relationships at home and work. This book isn’t a one-time read. It’s the type of book you reference and revisit over time. 

The Empath's Survival Guide

By Judith Orloff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Empath's Survival Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is the difference between having empathy and being an empath? "Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain," says Judith Orloff, MD. "But for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others' emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have." With The Empath's Survival Guide, Dr. Orloff offers a practical tool set to help sensitive people develop healthy coping mechanisms in our high-stimulus world-while fully embracing the empath's gifts of intuition, compassion, creativity, and spiritual connection.

This practical, empowering, and loving book was…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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