100 books like Boyd

By Robert Coram,

Here are 100 books that Boyd fans have personally recommended if you like Boyd. 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 Tao Te Ching

Neal Allen Author Of Better Days: Tame Your Inner Critic

From my list on books on spirituality for people who hate books on spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Until my early 50s, I detested all things spiritual. These books showed up practically on their own, without dogma or jargon, mainly to convince me that the divine existed. They’re easy to read and open to interpretation. They tricked me into a spiritual life by making it seem logical and simply a place to explore at my leisure. I try to write things that are clear and simple, and these books persuaded me that the ineffable isn’t so hard to write about. Also, I could return to these books years later, and they still speak to me. Each is capable of opening something new to me later in life.

Neal's book list on books on spirituality for people who hate books on spirituality

Neal Allen Why did Neal love this book?

Most ancient wisdom texts require a lot of effort. I love the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhist Discourses, Dogen, Plato, Krishnamurti, and so on. But to read them, I have to take some time out of my day.

This book is a scroll of 81 aphorisms. I can pick any one, spend a little time with it, and get on with my day.

Plus, it starts with a bang: “The Way that you hear about is not the real Way.” I am invited to be confused! That takes all the pressure off me to figure it out. 

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator) , Toinette Lippe (translator)

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known…


Book cover of I Could Never Be So Lucky Again

Robert O. Harder Author Of First Crossing: The 1919 Trans-Atlantic Flight of Alcock and Brown

From my list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was old enough to get around under my own power, I wanted to be a pilot, a result of idol-worshiping my mother’s brother, Orvis M. Nelson, president of Transocean Airlines. His influence led to my being named a Distinguished Military Graduate in Air Force ROTC, navigator school (sadly, my eyes were slightly myopic), bombardier school (145 Vietnam War combat missions); then later a civilian private & commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). After settling for a business career rather than airline pilot, I now vicariously pursue my first love through writing.

Robert's book list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

I doubt there is a flyer anywhere in the world who doesn’t know of Jimmy Doolittle. He did it all: stunt pilot, scientist, pioneer “blind-flyer,” Schneider Cup and Mackay trophy winner, first to perform an outside loop, Medal of Honor winner for the 1942 Tokyo Raid, and three-star general leading the Eighth Air Force against the Axis.

The writing is remarkably fluid (ably assisted by aviation writer C.V. Glines); Doolittle’s humility is always on display. We also learn of how critical his loving, understanding wife of seventy years, “Joe,” was to his success. In particular, she was instrumental in Jimmy earning his Ph.D in Aeronautical Engineering at M.I.T. One wonders how it all would have worked out without her!

By James H. Doolittle, Carroll V. Glines,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Could Never Be So Lucky Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pilot, scholar, daredevil, general . . . James "Jimmy" Doolittle was one of America\s greatest heroes. In a life filled with adventure and achievement, Doolittle did it all. As a stunt pilot, he thrilled the world with his aerial acrobatics. As a scientist, he pioneered the development of modern aviation technology. During World War II, he served his country as a fearless and innovative air warrior, organizing and leading the devastating raid against Japan. Now, for the first time, here is his life story - modest, revealing, and candid as only Doolittle himself can tell it. Doolittle tells a story…


Book cover of Light in August

Angela C. Halfacre Author Of A Delicate Balance: Constructing a Conservation Culture in the South Carolina Lowcountry

From my list on southern stories of nature and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an American Southerner, I know things that can be the most nurturing ever, but there's always a cost—emotional, physical, or other. The landscape and nature are where I can always go when I feel heartbroken. And my heart is renewed. Always. Being in tandem with nature calls me. It might be time to look a little closer. If we don't, we might lose more habitat and humanity. This topic or theme haunts me every day. This won't be all I write about, and I hope to have at least another five decades to see more. How amazing to have a sense of history while looking to the future? That walkabout is such a blessing.

Angela's book list on southern stories of nature and society

Angela C. Halfacre Why did Angela love this book?

Dark—ironic with the title—tale of what it means to be authentic while coming to terms with Southern heritage. There is much to understand when you see that light—the American South in its glory and graphic tumble. Christian allegory and gothic narrative drive this book. The characters are iconic and honest—largely marginalized. Written in 1932, this novel set in that time, has several insights for present day and how to tell stories and learn from the South.

By William Faulkner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Light in August as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A landmark in American fiction, Light in August explores Faulkner's central theme: the nature of evil. Joe Christmas - a man doomed, deracinated and alone - wanders the Deep South in search of an identity, and a place in society. After killing his perverted God-fearing lover, it becomes inevitable that he is pursued by a lynch-hungry mob. Yet after the sacrifice, there is new life, a determined ray of light in Faulkner's complex and tragic world.


Book cover of Essentials of Statistics for Business & Economics

Chet Richards Author Of Certain to Win

From my list on upsetting your orientation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never had a real career. Closest I came was the Air Force Reserve for 27 years. Along the way, I built fighter-vs-fighter computer models for the Defense Department, served as an advisor to a Saudi Air Force prince, led a team that designed a replacement for the Air Force’s A-10 tankbuster (which was never built, unfortunately), sold C-130 transport aircraft in Saudi Arabia, taught statistics in business school, became a yoga instructor, and did PR work in Atlanta. Starting in 1975, I collaborated a little with a retired Air Force colonel, John Boyd, creator of the infamous “OODA loop.” I was never a published author in the US, although I am in India, Portugal, and Japan. 

Chet's book list on upsetting your orientation

Chet Richards Why did Chet love this book?

Here’s some bad news for non-STEM people: You’re going to have to learn a little about statistics. Otherwise, at some point, you going to get, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb puts it, “fooled by randomness.” An example: Suppose you’ve been a sales manager for a long time but recently you failed to close a string of prospects. How unusual is this? It could be just a run of bad luck, or is it time to make some significant personnel moves? Basic knowledge of statistics can help. If your math is rusty, you might want to take a stat course for non-math majors. Otherwise, here’s a book that I used with my MBA students that features scenarios from businesses.  

By David R. Anderson, Dennis J. Sweeney, Thomas A. Williams , Jeffrey D. Camm , James J. Cochran

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Essentials of Statistics for Business & Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover how statistical information impacts decisions in today's business world as Anderson/Sweeney/Williams/Camm/Cochran/Fry/Ohlmann's leading ESSENTIALS OF STATISTICS FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS, 9E connects concepts in each chapter to real-world practice. This edition delivers sound statistical methodology, a proven problem-scenario approach and meaningful applications that reflect the latest developments in business and statistics today. More than 350 new and proven real business examples, a wealth of practical cases and meaningful hands-on exercises highlight statistics in action. You gain practice using leading professional statistical software with exercises and appendices that walk you through using JMP (R) Student Edition 14 and Excel (R) 2016.…


Book cover of Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology

Chet Richards Author Of Certain to Win

From my list on upsetting your orientation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never had a real career. Closest I came was the Air Force Reserve for 27 years. Along the way, I built fighter-vs-fighter computer models for the Defense Department, served as an advisor to a Saudi Air Force prince, led a team that designed a replacement for the Air Force’s A-10 tankbuster (which was never built, unfortunately), sold C-130 transport aircraft in Saudi Arabia, taught statistics in business school, became a yoga instructor, and did PR work in Atlanta. Starting in 1975, I collaborated a little with a retired Air Force colonel, John Boyd, creator of the infamous “OODA loop.” I was never a published author in the US, although I am in India, Portugal, and Japan. 

Chet's book list on upsetting your orientation

Chet Richards Why did Chet love this book?

Your parents always told you to “Sit up straight and don’t slouch when you walk.” Why is this good advice? What are all those bumps along your back and what does it mean if they start to hurt? What is “aerobic exercise” and is it better for you than weight lifting? How do cuts heal, and how does the body fight infections (and pandemics)? What does our brain do while we’re asleep? An anatomy & physiology text can provide the answers to those and thousands of other questions about something we inhabit 24 hours of every day. Here’s one I used in my yoga training. Textbooks tend to be expensive, however, so you may want to look around — there’s even a “For Dummies” book on A&P, which looks pretty good, especially at one-tenth the price of a textbook. 

By Frederic Martini, Judi Nath, Edwin Bartholomew

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For courses in two-semester A&P.

Using Art Effectively to Teach the Toughest Topics in A&P

Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology helps students succeed in the challenging A&P course with an easy-to-understand narrative, precise visuals, and steadfast accuracy. With the 11th Edition, the author team draws from recent research exploring how students use and digest visual information to help students use art more effectively to learn A&P. New book features encourage students to view and consider figures in the textbook, and new narrated videos guide students through complex physiology figures to help them deconstruct and better understand complicated processes. Instructors can…


Book cover of Bernt Balchen: Polar Aviator

Robert O. Harder Author Of First Crossing: The 1919 Trans-Atlantic Flight of Alcock and Brown

From my list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was old enough to get around under my own power, I wanted to be a pilot, a result of idol-worshiping my mother’s brother, Orvis M. Nelson, president of Transocean Airlines. His influence led to my being named a Distinguished Military Graduate in Air Force ROTC, navigator school (sadly, my eyes were slightly myopic), bombardier school (145 Vietnam War combat missions); then later a civilian private & commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). After settling for a business career rather than airline pilot, I now vicariously pursue my first love through writing.

Robert's book list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

My grandfather was born in Norway and growing up I identified with that heritage. Bernt Balchen was the greatest of all of Norway’s pioneering flyers. A stunningly handsome Viking, there was little he couldn’t do; a consummate “blind-flying” pilot, navigator, engineer, polar explorer, World War Two military leader, and, amazingly, a fine watercolor artist.

His critical contributions to Admiral Richard Byrd’s famous trans-Atlantic and Pole flights made Byrd very jealous. An adroit swindler, Byrd (Balchen proved he lied about being the first man to reach the North Pole) determined to ruin Balchen’s reputation (mostly successfully) because the Norwegian could prove Byrd faked the navigation records. Author Glines’ work is masterful; he roots out all these intrigues, while simultaneously recording all the incredible accomplishments of a great flyer.

By Carroll V. Glines,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He set polar flight records, organized a series of daring wartime air operations, and became a leader in Arctic aviation. But despite these achievements, Norwegian-American aviator Bernt Balchen saw his public image and military career repeatedly undermined by his one-time mentor, the famous and influential Admiral Richard Byrd. In this new biography, Carroll Glines describes how Byrd's respect for Balchen's talents gradually eroded even as Balchen steadily gained a wider reputation for courage and technical skill. Glines contends that Byrd derailed Balchen's postwar promotion to brigadier general, forcing his retirement from the military in 1956. He also documents how Balchen's…


Book cover of Rickenbacker an Autobiography

Robert O. Harder Author Of First Crossing: The 1919 Trans-Atlantic Flight of Alcock and Brown

From my list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was old enough to get around under my own power, I wanted to be a pilot, a result of idol-worshiping my mother’s brother, Orvis M. Nelson, president of Transocean Airlines. His influence led to my being named a Distinguished Military Graduate in Air Force ROTC, navigator school (sadly, my eyes were slightly myopic), bombardier school (145 Vietnam War combat missions); then later a civilian private & commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). After settling for a business career rather than airline pilot, I now vicariously pursue my first love through writing.

Robert's book list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

My Uncle Orvis Nelson founded Transocean Airlines in 1946 (during the Korean War; the world’s largest non-scheduled carrier) and ever since I have been fascinated by airline pioneers. Rickenbacker was a celebrated race car driver, 26-victory World War One fighter pilot, Medal of Honor winner, Rickenbacker Cars automotive designer, owner/operator of the Indianapolis Speedway, and long-time president of Eastern Airlines.

"My life has been filled with adventures that have brought me face to face with death." So begins his book; no idle boast, including 24 days stranded on a flimsy Pacific raft and a terrible, disfiguring airline crash. Rickenbacker tells his story in a pleasing, readable style, though seldom missing an opportunity to toot his own horn. No matter—if ever a flyer earned that right, it was Captain Eddie.

By Edward V. Rickenbacker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Signed By Rickenbacker on Endpaper..458 Pages


Book cover of Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway

Robert O. Harder Author Of First Crossing: The 1919 Trans-Atlantic Flight of Alcock and Brown

From my list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was old enough to get around under my own power, I wanted to be a pilot, a result of idol-worshiping my mother’s brother, Orvis M. Nelson, president of Transocean Airlines. His influence led to my being named a Distinguished Military Graduate in Air Force ROTC, navigator school (sadly, my eyes were slightly myopic), bombardier school (145 Vietnam War combat missions); then later a civilian private & commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). After settling for a business career rather than airline pilot, I now vicariously pursue my first love through writing.

Robert's book list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

I was so taken by this book, I re-read it two weeks later. Dusty’s story (you’ll love how he got the nickname!) is ably guided by Naval historians Timothy and Laura Orr. The result is as smooth and intimate an aviator autobiography as you’re likely to read. 

Although humble and deeply religious, retired U.S. Navy Captain and Navy Cross winner Jack Kleiss was daring even as a boy, seldom turning down a dare. Which explains a lot as to his willingness to push over a SBD Dauntless dive-bomber into a terrifying vertical dive from 20,000 feet, before pulling at near wave-top level. During the 1942 Battle of Midway, Dusty scored massive hits on three enemy ships (two of them aircraft carriers), the only man to do so. Despite the title’s disclaimer, Captain Kleiss was indeed a hero.

By N. Jack "Dusty" Kleiss, Timothy Orr, Laura Orr

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Call Me a Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as "the single most effective pilot at Midway" (World War II magazine), Dusty Kleiss struck and sank three Japanese warships at the Battle of Midway, including two aircraft carriers, helping turn the tide of the Second World War. This is his extraordinary memoir.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * "AN INSTANT CLASSIC" -Dallas Morning News

On the morning of June 4, 1942, high above the tiny Pacific atoll of Midway, Lt. (j.g.) "Dusty" Kleiss burst out of the clouds and piloted his SBD Dauntless into a near-vertical dive aimed at the heart of Japan's Imperial Navy, which six months earlier had ruthlessly…


Book cover of Western Sufism: From the Abbasids to the New Age

Alexander Knysh Author Of Sufism: A New History of Islamic Mysticism

From my list on teaching you how to be a Sufi.

Why am I passionate about this?

My exploration of Sufism began in the unlikely environment of the Soviet Union where Sufism was considered a relic of the past to be replaced by the atheist, world-asserting ideology. The fact that my Muslim academic advisor assigned this topic to me, an active customs officer, was nothing short of a miracle. It was the beginning of a chain of miracles that punctuated my teaching and research career in the USSR, UK, US, EU, and the post-Soviet republics of Eurasia, especially Tatarstan and Kazakhstan. Having observed Sufism in various shapes and forms for over thirty years, my knowledge of its precepts and rituals is of great help to me in everyday life.  

Alexander's book list on teaching you how to be a Sufi

Alexander Knysh Why did Alexander love this book?

While the author of my second recommended book sought Sufi wisdom in the “Muslim Orient,” this wisdom has become an integral part of intellectual, cultural, and spiritual life in “Occidental”  societies. A peculiar mixture of Neoplatonic emanationism, Sufi poetry, music and rituals, perennialism, pantheism, esotericism, and New Age religiosity, it has captivated the minds and souls of Western academics, anarchists, artists, architects, faith healers, physicians, and psychiatrists, who rearranged these diverse elements to create their own distinctive versions of Sufi spirituality and lifestyle. Lively and witty, the author’s narrative guides us through several “cultural transfers”—premodern, modern, and New Age—from the Muslim world to the West,  culminating in the emergence of “Western Sufism” represented by the major public figures, celebrities, and charismatic teachers.       

By Mark Sedgwick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Western Sufism is sometimes dismissed as a relatively recent "new age" phenomenon, but in this book, Mark Sedgwick argues that it actually has very deep roots, both in the Muslim world and in the West. In fact, although the first significant Western Sufi organization was not established until 1915, the first Western discussion of Sufism was printed in 1480, and Western interest in some of the ideas that are central to Sufi thought goes back to the thirteenth century.
Sedgwick starts with the earliest origins of Western Sufism in late antique Neoplatonism and early Arab philosophy, and traces later origins…


Book cover of The Books of Jacob

Michael David Lukas Author Of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

From my list on magical historical.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by history, by the way that the past informs the present, how it makes us who we are. And I’ve found myself drawn, as a reader and as a writer, towards those stories that incorporate some element of magic into the past. I’ve written two magical historical novels. And my third book, which I hope to be finished with soon, is a fabulist tale set in the future, which I like to say is history that hasn’t happened yet. 

Michael's book list on magical historical

Michael David Lukas Why did Michael love this book?

Yes, it’s almost a thousand pages long. But this sprawling magical historical novel by the Nobel Prize winner is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Following the rise and fall of the 18th-century Jewish mystic and would-be messiah, Jacob Frank, the novel paints a vivid picture of a vibrant multicultural society in Poland and beyond.

By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas begin to sweep the continent, a young Jew of mysterious origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following. In the decade to come, Frank will traverse the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism, is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah, and wreaks…


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