75 books like Bobos in Paradise

By David Brooks,

Here are 75 books that Bobos in Paradise fans have personally recommended if you like Bobos in Paradise. 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 Status Anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

It’s hilarious and cringey at the same time to read this honest look at status anxiety. It’s hilarious to watch others seek status. As for yourself, you hopefully relieve your cringing because you see how status has obsessed people throughout history. 

The author says we seek the love of the world as well as the love of a partner. The quest can ruin an otherwise good life, so he offers solutions. I love his explanation of the original “Bohemians.” They were the hipsters of the 19th century! They created those impressionist paintings we love because they were aching for status.

The author is a famous British philosopher who inherited a fortune. He sees that money does not relieve status anxiety. But he misses the real reason: because we’ve inherited the brain of status-seeking animals (as explained in all of my books). 

By Alain De Botton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

From one of our greatest voices in modern philosophy, author of The Course of Love, The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life - Alain de Botton sets out to understand our universal fear of failure - and how we might change it

'De Botton's gift is to prompt us to think about how we live and how we might change things' The Times

We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer - to a greater or lesser…


Book cover of Snobbery: The American Version

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

He sums it up in one brilliant sentence: 

“Envy is the only one of the 7 deadly sins that isn’t fun.”

The author is a great observer of the snobbery that surrounds you in daily life, from fashion snobs to intellectual snobs. He’s a “snobographer,” according to one reviewer.

This book invites you to laugh at the snobs, not to change your thinking. Pointing fingers feels good in the short run, but my books show that it hurts you in the long run. We all have the one-upping impulse because we’re all mammals. If you hate people who do this, you end up hating yourself. You may insist that you don’t care about status, but moral superiority is just more one-upping.

So enjoy with caution.

By Joseph Epstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Observations on the many ways we manage to look down on others, from “a writer who can make you laugh out loud on every third page” (The New York Times Book Review).

Snobs are everywhere. At the gym, at work, at school, and sometimes even lurking in your own home. But how did we, as a culture, get this way? With dishy detail, Joseph Epstein skewers all manner of elitism as he examines how snobbery works, where it thrives, and the pitfalls and perils in thinking you’re better than anyone else.
 
Offering arch observations on the new footholds of snobbery,…


Book cover of The Status Seekers

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

This 1950s view of status-seeking is fun because it’s far away yet eerily familiar. The small details that reveal a person’s social class are explored. Your sex life and social life are scrutinized, along with religion, education, politics, and “the totem poles of job prestige.”

Packard wrote many popular sociology books in the 1950s. I loved his book The Human Side of Animals. It shows how animals compete for social dominance because it helps their genes survive. So why does the author blame society for status-seeking in this book? He knows the truth: all societies have status-seeking because we’re all mammals. I think this book has a bitter tone because the author is appealing to bitter readers. Fortunately, we have a choice about playing the game.

By Vance Packard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"An explosive exploration of class behavior in America and the hidden barriers that affect you, your community, and your future."


Book cover of Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

A thick science book on envy is just what we need to help us release this feeling. The author looks at “Man the Envier” in an anthropological way. He shows how diverse cultures have struggled to manage this natural impulse, even using “black magic.” That may sound crazy, but my Italian ancestors did this. They believed that suffering is caused by malocchiothe evil eye from a person who envies you.

I like this book because it shows how humans create envy inside themselves. You may not want to see inside yourself. It’s easier to dream that the perfect society that will relieve your envy. But you make yourself powerless when you do that because you can’t control society. You are better off building your power over your emotions, as my books explain.

By Helmut Schoeck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This classic study is one of the few books to explore extensively the many facets of envy—“a drive which lies at the core of man’s life as a social being.” Ranging widely over literature, philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, Professor Schoeck— a distinguished sociologist and anthropologist—elucidates both the constructive and destructive consequences of envy in social life. Perhaps most important, he demonstrates that not only the impetus toward a totalitarian regime but also the egalitarian impulse in democratic societies are alike in being rooted in envy.


Book cover of The Hanover Square Affair

Grace Burrowes Author Of A Gentleman Fallen on Hard Times

From my list on mysteries with gorgeous prose and delightful sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

History has always interested me, in part because it helps explain how we got where we are. I have a bachelor of music in music history, which is where I first became aware of how small things—the invention of the quill pen—can ripple into huge consequences. Tack onto that an inclination toward political science and law, plus a family full of bench scientists, and it’s easy to see how stories set in the past that focus on whodunit, how, and why fascinate me. Both reading and writing against that tapestry educates me, entertains me, and gives me a glimpse of our capacity to transcend all difficulties for the sake of truth and justice.

Grace's book list on mysteries with gorgeous prose and delightful sleuths

Grace Burrowes Why did Grace love this book?

I find the Georgian era fascinating (kinda shows, right?) particularly in the years immediately after Waterloo.

Gardner (a pseudonym for prolific author Jennifer Ashley) presents us with a sleuth who is a former officer recently returned from the war. He’s limping in body and spirit, and the puzzles he solves take us from the slums and alleys to high society, and a lot of interesting places in between.

Lacey is grouchy, astute, sweet, and tenacious, I doubt I will ever tire of reading of his exploits. (And if he’s your jam too, you will doubtless enjoy Gardner’s Gladiator Mysteries, and her Belowstairs Mysteries.) 

By Ashley Gardner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hanover Square Affair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

London, 1816
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is piqued when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the young woman leads to murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. At the same time, he struggles with his transition from a soldier's life to the civilian world, redefining his role with his former commanding officer, and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.

Book 1…


Book cover of Good Girl Complex

Lexi Kingston Author Of Forever June

From my list on vacation romance to get you into a summer state of mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a contemporary romance author who writes in paranormal romance on the side, but everything I write always comes down to one thing, and that’s the romance between characters. I love books that make me connect to and root for the main protagonists, no matter their flaws or situation. I specifically love romance novels that take place during the summer or in places that are warm year-round because no matter what season it is when you read them, you’re immediately transported to a warm, sunny, swoon-worthy world.

Lexi's book list on vacation romance to get you into a summer state of mind

Lexi Kingston Why did Lexi love this book?

This beachside romance features a female entrepreneur who started her business at a young age, which I related to immediately, having started self-publishing books as a freshman in college.

She’s a go-getter with a knack for business and fights for her passions despite the people in her life telling her she shouldn’t. I adored the enemies-to-lovers romance between Cooper and Mac, as well as the message that not everyone is what they initially seem. 

Book cover of Mansfield Park

Eleanor Bourg Nicholson Author Of Brother Wolf

From my list on good and evil without being cloying or preachy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an omnivorous reader, a literature teacher, a novelist, and a homeschooling mother of five. I’m a firm believer that literature should be delightful and instructive, and that reading wonderful books should inspire a growth in virtue. At the same time, I loathe cloying, proselytizing presentations of goodness. This is one of the many reasons I love the Gothic; the genre permits me to play around with good and evil, virtue and vice—without preachiness. I am also absolutely terrified of the task of writing a book list and am now going to bury my face in a book before I have time to second-guess any of my own choices.

Eleanor's book list on good and evil without being cloying or preachy

Eleanor Bourg Nicholson Why did Eleanor love this book?

Jane Austen is unparalleled in her depiction of good and evil on a domestic level. While the situations are slightly less dramatic than in the other books I have selected, Mansfield Park compellingly presents the consequences of habituated action. Fanny Price is not perfect and certainly not most people’s cup of tea, but, like all Austen heroines, represents virtue and a growing self-knowledge over the course of the novel. The Crawford siblings are vivid examples of dulled moral vision. Without committing the literary sin of giving away the end, I will say that the “anti-romance” trajectory of the plot is wonderfully satisfying. Further, Sir Thomas Bertram may be my favorite male Austen character of all.

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Full of the energies of discord - sibling rivalry, greed, ambition, illicit sexual passion and vanity' Margaret Drabble

Jane Austen's profound, ambiguous third novel is the story of Fanny Price, who is accustomed to being the poor relation at Mansfield Park, the home of her wealthy plantation-owning uncle. She finds comfort in her love for her cousin Edmund, until the arrival of charismatic outsiders from London throws life at the house into disarray and brings dangerous desires to the surface. Mansfield Park is Austen's most complex work; a powerful portrayal of change and continuity, scandalous misdemeanours and true integrity.

Edited…


Book cover of I Can Make You Rich

Sandi Holst Author Of Breathe! You Got This!: Fortunes Favor The Inspired

From my list on getting what you want in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the first in my family to go into business for myself. Now, it took me years of thinking about it before I made the jump. I was scared to take that step, but I did it. My expertise came from 25 years of managing hundreds of clients in numerous industries. I loved how successful people can be with the craziest of ideas. How can you find your passion so you are happy and loving what you are doing in life? How do you overcome the fear of failure, move forward with your desires, and become abundant in doing it? 

Sandi's book list on getting what you want in life

Sandi Holst Why did Sandi love this book?

Well, that’s a title we are all interested in, isn’t it? I don’t think I hesitated for more than a minute to order it. This changed my mindset about money.  

As children, most of us heard, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” But if you think about it, where does paper money come from? “Trees.” Paul simply helps us change our mindset about money, and I have learned to think about money positively and abundantly. Once I did this, money came from all directions, expected and unexpected.

By Paul McKenna,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Can Make You Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you ready to become rich?

If you've ever wondered why it is that some people find it easy to make money while others struggle, it's not because they are more intelligent, work harder or have better luck - it's simply because they think and act differently.

Do you want to make more money? Do you want to improve the quality of your life? Do you believe you can be rich? What if it was easier than you think?
Over the past decade, Paul McKenna PhD has made a unique study of the mindset of people rich not only in…


Book cover of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

Doug White Author Of Wounded Charity: Lessons Learned from the Wounded Warrior Project Crisis

From my list on the complex worlds of philanthropy and nonprofits.

Why am I passionate about this?

The nonprofit sector is important to society and I often marvel at how many of us – which is to say all of us – have been touched by the generosity of others. With few exceptions, anyone who has graduated from college, who has been admitted to a hospital, who has attended a faith-based service, who has examined art at a gallery, who – literally, and there are no exceptions here – breathes air has benefited from the work of nonprofit organizations and the philanthropists who support them. It is therefore important to me to understand how the system works and how important charities are to society and a functioning democracy. 

Doug's book list on the complex worlds of philanthropy and nonprofits

Doug White Why did Doug love this book?

In The Givers David Callahan asks questions – and answers them – about the power philanthropists possess to influence public policy in America. 

He wonders how much influence donors have and what their goals are. He says that some of us are happy about the causes the wealthy promote, but are terrified about others. 

As well, he contends, the process is undemocratic. Philanthropy, he says, is a strong power center in its own right, and “is set to surpass government to shape society’s agenda.” He points out that private donors, who are accountable to no one, have more influence than the public officials who are accountable to the voters. 

Callahan is unafraid to question how much good philanthropists actually do.

By David Callahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists—and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad.

While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other…


Book cover of The Island of Lost Girls

Karen E. Olson Author Of An Inconvenient Wife: A Modern Tudor Mystery

From my list on mysteries told from more than one point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former journalist, I was trained to look at all sides of a story. When I read, I am drawn to books that have multiple characters with their own narratives. Sometimes the stories intersect with an “aha!” moment, and sometimes they’re told side-by-side inside each character’s head. Either way, it’s intriguing to have different perspectives—especially in a mystery or thriller. That’s why I use the points of view of three wives in An Inconvenient Wife to give my readers insight into each of these fascinating women.

Karen's book list on mysteries told from more than one point of view

Karen E. Olson Why did Karen love this book?

I have always been drawn to stories that are ripped from the headlines but are still so entirely their own.

When I first got the book, I was a little daunted by the length but as I read, I discovered I couldn’t put it down and was so sorry when it was over. A missing girl, a desperate mother—all set against the backdrop of an island that’s the playground of the ultra-wealthy. What’s not to love?

By Alex Marwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Gripping, stomach-churning . . . Marwood is in a class of her own' LISA JEWELL

'Heart stopping' SUNDAY TIMES, CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH

'A ripped-from-the-headlines thriller . . . I couldn't put it down' MARK EDWARDS
________________

Sun-drenched glamour and obscene wealth hide the darkest of secrets and lost girls in this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller.

1985
For twelve-year-old Mercedes, La Kastellana is the place she calls home. It is an island untouched by the modern world, with deep-rooted traditions - though that is all about to change with the arrival of multimillionaire Matthew Meade and his spoiled young daughter, Tatiana.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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