100 books like Care Across Distance

By Azra Hromadzic (editor), Monika Palmberger (editor),

Here are 100 books that Care Across Distance fans have personally recommended if you like Care Across Distance. 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 The New American Servitude: Political Belonging Among African Immigrant Home Care Workers

Michele Ruth Gamburd Author Of Linked Lives: Elder Care, Migration, and Kinship in Sri Lanka

From my list on migration and aging.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom was an anthropologist, and when I was two, she took me to Sri Lanka, the island off the tip of India. After years of insisting that I wanted nothing to do with any social science, let alone anthropology, I ended up in graduate school studying… anthropology. Long story. Having taken up the family mantel, I returned to the village where I lived as a child and asked what had changed in the intervening years. Since then, my Sri Lankan interlocutors have suggested book topics that include labor migration, the use and abuse of alcohol, the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the challenges of aging. 

Michele's book list on migration and aging

Michele Ruth Gamburd Why did Michele love this book?

When American families hire “market proxies” to do care work, it leads to all sorts of tangled relationships. In this book, Cati Coe explores the experiences of immigrant Ghanaian home health workers in the US. Care work, although often monotonous and difficult, is also incredibly intimate, meaningful, and personal. These migrants provide crucial services for American elders, but many of them feel so unwelcome that they return to Africa when they retire. I love the gritty details that this book provides as it explores the paradoxes of discrimination and exploitation that Black African women face in the care work industry. If you like this book as much as I do, consider reading Coe’s subsequent book, which follows retired Ghanaian care workers back to Africa.   

By Cati Coe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finalist, 2020 Elliott P. Skinner Award, given by the Association of Africanist Anthropology
Examines why African care workers feel politically excluded from the United States
Care for America's growing elderly population is increasingly provided by migrants, and the demand for health care labor is only expected to grow. Because of this health care crunch and the low barriers to entry, new African immigrants have adopted elder care as a niche employment sector, funneling their friends and relatives into this occupation. However, elder care puts care workers into racialized, gendered, and age hierarchies, making it difficult for them to achieve social…


Book cover of Gender, Migration and Social Transformation: Intersectionality in Bolivian Itinerant Migrations

Michele Ruth Gamburd Author Of Linked Lives: Elder Care, Migration, and Kinship in Sri Lanka

From my list on migration and aging.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom was an anthropologist, and when I was two, she took me to Sri Lanka, the island off the tip of India. After years of insisting that I wanted nothing to do with any social science, let alone anthropology, I ended up in graduate school studying… anthropology. Long story. Having taken up the family mantel, I returned to the village where I lived as a child and asked what had changed in the intervening years. Since then, my Sri Lankan interlocutors have suggested book topics that include labor migration, the use and abuse of alcohol, the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the challenges of aging. 

Michele's book list on migration and aging

Michele Ruth Gamburd Why did Michele love this book?

This book gets at questions near and dear to my own ethnographic explorations, namely how migration changes gender roles in households. Women don’t leave home without figuring out care for young children and frail elders. Tanja Bastia looks at how Bolivian families handle the challenge of transnational parenting. Grandmothers often fill in for their migrant daughters (there’s the aging connection!), and migrant women struggle to balance their financial opportunities with the social stigma of having ‘abandoned’ their children in search of wealth.  

By Tanja Bastia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gender, Migration and Social Transformation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Intersectionality can be used to analyse whether migration leads to changes in gender relations. This book finds out how migrants from a peri-urban neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia, make sense of the migration journeys they have undertaken.

Migration is intrinsically related to social transformation. Through life stories and community surveys, the author explores how gender, class, and ethnicity intersect in people's attempts to make the most of the opportunities presented to them in distant labour markets. While aiming to improve their economic and material conditions, migrants have created a new transnational community that has undergone significant changes in…


Book cover of Chinese Senior Migrants and the Globalization of Retirement

Michele Ruth Gamburd Author Of Linked Lives: Elder Care, Migration, and Kinship in Sri Lanka

From my list on migration and aging.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom was an anthropologist, and when I was two, she took me to Sri Lanka, the island off the tip of India. After years of insisting that I wanted nothing to do with any social science, let alone anthropology, I ended up in graduate school studying… anthropology. Long story. Having taken up the family mantel, I returned to the village where I lived as a child and asked what had changed in the intervening years. Since then, my Sri Lankan interlocutors have suggested book topics that include labor migration, the use and abuse of alcohol, the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the challenges of aging. 

Michele's book list on migration and aging

Michele Ruth Gamburd Why did Michele love this book?

Immigrants often try to reunite their families once they settle in their new home countries. This book looks at the experiences of elder Cantonese parents who have followed their children from China to the US. Newendorp’s sensitive ethnography reveals the joys, strains, and tensions as reunited families renegotiate the rules around family support, filial duty, and the rearing of Chinese-American grandkids. 

By Nicole Dejong Newendorp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chinese Senior Migrants and the Globalization of Retirement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 21st century has seen growing numbers of seniors turning to migration in response to newfound challenges to traditional forms of retirement and old-age support, such as increased longevity, demographically aging populations, and global neoliberal trends reducing state welfare. Chinese-born migrants to the U.S. serve as an exemplary case of this trend, with 30 percent of all migrants since 1990 being at least 60 years old. This book tells their story, arguing that they demonstrate the significance of age as a mediating factor that is fundamentally important for considering how migration is experienced. The subjects of this study are situated…


Book cover of Aging and the Indian Diaspora: Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad

Michele Ruth Gamburd Author Of Linked Lives: Elder Care, Migration, and Kinship in Sri Lanka

From my list on migration and aging.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mom was an anthropologist, and when I was two, she took me to Sri Lanka, the island off the tip of India. After years of insisting that I wanted nothing to do with any social science, let alone anthropology, I ended up in graduate school studying… anthropology. Long story. Having taken up the family mantel, I returned to the village where I lived as a child and asked what had changed in the intervening years. Since then, my Sri Lankan interlocutors have suggested book topics that include labor migration, the use and abuse of alcohol, the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and the challenges of aging. 

Michele's book list on migration and aging

Michele Ruth Gamburd Why did Michele love this book?

This ethnographic work delves into the lives of elders in Calcutta, India, including those who age in place with family nearby, those whose children have migrated abroad, and those who follow their family members to the US. I particularly love the way the author roots the work in traditional South Asian concepts of age and family relationships while dealing simultaneously with social changes such as India’s urbanization and economic liberalization, the out-migration of skilled tech workers, and the introduction of old folks’ homes in urban areas. The sensitive portrayal of life histories made me both laugh and cry. 

By Sarah E. Lamb (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aging and the Indian Diaspora as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The proliferation of old age homes and increasing numbers of elderly living alone are startling new phenomena in India. These trends are related to extensive overseas migration and the transnational dispersal of families. In this moving and insightful account, Sarah Lamb shows that older persons are innovative agents in the processes of social-cultural change. Lamb's study probes debates and cultural assumptions in both India and the United States regarding how best to age; the proper social-moral relationship among individuals, genders, families, the market, and the state; and ways of finding meaning in the human life course.


Book cover of Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island

Kathleen Boston McCune Author Of Assignment Love: The Writer and Her Agent

From my list on when needing excitement or the comfort of a caress.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a woman of four and seventy years who thankfully doesn’t yet resemble that person to those who haven’t met me. I'm a mother of two who both have their own businesses in the fields of their natural talents, I've been Deputy Treasurer to the State of Kansas, written 22 books but think younger than I did at 20, and am enjoying the best sex life to date! Life is precious and should not be limited to us based on our age, but on our interests, knowledge, and what we have to offer. Writing about that which I've experienced and the recorded history of family are my passions and hopefully for my readers as well.

Kathleen's book list on when needing excitement or the comfort of a caress

Kathleen Boston McCune Why did Kathleen love this book?

I personally enjoyed this book for the courage found by the Heroine in a world where women were considered 2nd class citizens, but she, through strength of character and love of a sister she loses due to illness and no monies to save her, gives her that impetus to forge ahead through unconventional, but effective ways and new friends of wealth in America. It could be called a Cinderella story with illegal immigrants as heroines.

A book of 1902, about a young woman who had been abused by her father to the point that a nun suggested she find refuge elsewhere. From Italy, she proceeds to save enough money to book passage with a ship for both herself and her younger sister who is already ill from similar abuse. She looks forward to Ellis Island, knowing she then will be on the safe harbor of America, until she learns that…

By Heather Webb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: "Give me your tired, your poor ... your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."
A young Italian woman arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life. That same day, a young American woman reports to her first day of work at the immigration center. But Ellis Island isn't a refuge for Francesca or Alma, not when ships depart every day with those who are refused entry to the country and when corruption ripples through every corridor. While Francesca resorts to desperate measures…


Book cover of Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing

Seth Mallios Author Of The Deadly Politics of Giving: Exchange and Violence at Ajacan, Roanoke, and Jamestown

From my list on alternate perspectives on Jamestown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was Site Supervisor at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project in the late 1990s and early 2000s. My fondness for the people involved with the archaeological excavations is only rivaled by my love for the subject matter that involves the collision of cultures as Chesapeake Algonquians, Spanish Jesuits, and English colonists first encountered one another during the 16th and 17th centuries. Though I have been fortunate to write many books, my first book was on Jamestown, and this topic will always hold a special place in my scholarly heart (there is such a thing, I swear!).

Seth's book list on alternate perspectives on Jamestown

Seth Mallios Why did Seth love this book?

Ilan Stavans’s edited volume, Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing demonstrates how immigration is central to the origin story of the United States. In compiling selections from over 400 years of first-generation immigrant accounts, Stavans is able to shed light on the immigration experience—starting at Jamestown—from the perspective of the immigrant, as opposed to those already living in the destination country.

By Ilan Stavans (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Immigration is the essential American story. From London or Lvov, Bombay or Beijing, Dublin or Dusseldorf, people have come to America to remake themselves, their lives, and their identities. Despite political obstacles, popular indifference, or hostility, they put down roots here, and their social, cultural, and entrepreneurial energies helped forge the open and diverse society we live in. The history of American immigration has often been told by those already here. Becoming Americans tells this epic story from the inside, gathering for the first time over 400 years of writing—from seventeenth-century Jamestown to contemporary Brooklyn and Los Angeles—by first-generation immigrants…


Book cover of Wretched Refuse?: The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions

Ilya Somin Author Of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom

From my list on migration rights and democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at George Mason University. He is the author of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom, Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter, and The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London, and the Limits of Eminent Domain. Somin has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Atlantic, and USA Today. He is a regular contributor to the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, affiliated with Reason.

Ilya's book list on migration rights and democracy

Ilya Somin Why did Ilya love this book?

Perhaps the strongest argument against expanded migration rights is the fear that too many of the “wrong” kind of immigrants might kill the goose the laid the golden egg that makes a country attractive to migrants in the first place. If immigrants have harmful cultural values, vote for dangerous political leaders, or otherwise undermine the political and economic system, they could degrade the host nation’s institutions. In the extreme case, they might even replicate the same awful conditions that led them to flee their country of origin. Wretched Refuse is the most thorough analysis and refutation of such concerns. Nowrasteh and Powell use both historical and modern evidence to show that institutional concerns about immigration are largely misplaced and that migrants strengthen liberal democracy far more than they undermine it.

By Alex Nowrasteh, Benjamin Powell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Economic arguments favoring increased immigration restrictions suggest that immigrants undermine the culture, institutions, and productivity of destination countries. But is this actually true? Nowrasteh and Powell systematically analyze cross-country evidence of potential negative effects caused by immigration relating to economic freedom, corruption, culture, and terrorism. They analyze case studies of mass immigration to the United States, Israel, and Jordan. Their evidence does not support the idea that immigration destroys the institutions responsible for prosperity in the modern world. This nonideological volume makes a qualified case for free immigration and the accompanying prosperity.


Book cover of Comrades and Chicken Ranchers

Stuart Rojstaczer Author Of The Mathematician's Shiva

From my list on the immigrant experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the child of immigrants and my role in the family was to be my parents’ American expert and translator. I learned my expertise by living, of course, but my understanding of the interior life and thoughts of Americans often came from reading American novels. Immigration-themed novels are catnip to me because they remind me, often with warmth, of my own childhood and parents. 

Stuart's book list on the immigrant experience

Stuart Rojstaczer Why did Stuart love this book?

This book is a true labor of love, an oral history about a community of Eastern European Jewish chicken ranchers that lived in Petaluma, California for decades. The voices ring with the cadence and language of my own childhood although the era is older and the political leanings of those interviewed are different than those in my own neighborhood. What distinguishes this book from many is that the community has no wish to assimilate.

By Kenneth L. Kann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Given its tumultuous history, one would hardly have expected Petaluma, California, to become transformed into the San Francisco bedroom suburb that it is today. It had been a small-town agricultural community, where Jewish chicken ranchers and radicals enjoyed a vigorous Yiddish cultural life, maintained intense political commitments, and took part in sharp conflicts among themselves and with the society beyond.

In this unique work of oral history, Kenneth Kann has ingeniously arranged and edited interviews with more than two hundred people, some of them telling their life stories in their own Yiddishized English. We meet an array of striking characters…


Book cover of La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa / My Journey with Papa

Nicki Cornwell Author Of Christophe's Story

From my list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two books that I read as a young child were very important to me. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss made me think about riches, poverty, and the power that rich people have to make stupid rules; and poor people have no choice but to obey them. The Japanese Twins from Lucy Fitch Perkins' series on twins from different cultures gave me a life-long interest in cultural differences. Not only did they think differently, depending on their culture, they also had different skin colours. Later I learned about racism when I worked with unhappy displaced children and interpreted for asylum-seekers. I write from a child's perspective, making books accessible to all ages.

Nicki's book list on asylum-seeking and displaced children and war

Nicki Cornwell Why did Nicki love this book?

I learned from this story why families make the difficult decision to split up and send a father and a child on a dangerous journey for a better life. This family lives in Mexico, facing hunger and destitution. The father and his son became migrants. They walked to America, knowing that they could be split up or one of them die.

In this book, I learned about the Mexican-American War, and the atrocious US policy of splitting migrant children from their parents.

By Deborah Mills,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Join a young boy and his father on a daring journey from Mexico to Texas to find a new life. They'll need all the resilience and courage they can muster to safely cross the border - la frontera - and to make a home for themselves in a new land. AGES: 8 to 10 AUTHORS: Alfredo Alva is a stonemason from La Ceja, Mexico. He and his family live in Texas, where he designs architectural details from stone for local architects. He met Deborah Mills while working on a local architecture project, and they worked together to write his story…


Book cover of The Arrival

Barbara Lehman Author Of The Red Book

From my list on wordless with surreal or magical realism elements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love wordless books immoderately, and I also love books that have meta, surreal, or magical realism elements. This list combines these two features! I was personally so happy that The Red Book was described in a review as “a wordless mind trip for tots,” and I think all the books on this list would perfectly fit that description (and much, much more!) too.

Barbara's book list on wordless with surreal or magical realism elements

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

I will remain forever astonished at the epic feat of world-building in The Arrival. It thoroughly pulls me into an immersive experience where I am learning along with the main character how to navigate the new world into which he has immigrated. As he learns, we learn. I find myself so emotionally involved with his success in his hopeful new reality. The art is amazingly detailed and conveys the complex and richly visual world, yet also sets a strong emotional tone that brings us into the action.

By Shaun Tan,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Arrival as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown. This silent graphic novel is the story of every migrant, every refugee, every displaced person, and a tribute to all those who have made the journey.

THE ARRIVAL has become one of the most critically acclaimed books of recent years, a wordless masterpiece that describes a world beyond any familiar time or place.

Sited as No 35 in The Times 100 Best Books of all time. It has sold over…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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