100 books like Creative Resilience and COVID-19

By Irene Gammel (editor), Jason Wang (editor),

Here are 100 books that Creative Resilience and COVID-19 fans have personally recommended if you like Creative Resilience and COVID-19. 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 Fell: A Novel

Deborah Lupton Author Of COVID Societies: Theorising the Coronavirus Crisis

From my list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a sociologist with a longstanding interest in the social aspects of medicine and public health. I started with research on HIV/AIDS. Since then, I have written many books and conducted a multitude of studies on how people understand and experience health and illness and how they seek help when they are sick or feel at risk from disease. When COVID-19 hit the world in early 2020, it was not long before I started to think about what my research training and expertise could offer to understanding the social impacts of this new pandemic. I started to write about COVID and research on people’s everyday experiences.

Deborah's book list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic

Deborah Lupton Why did Deborah love this book?

One of the first novels set in COVID times, The Fell, by British author Sarah Moss, is presented from the perspective of four neighbours living in an English village over the timespan of a single night in the winter of 2020. The narrative charts their experiences and reflections on life as they struggle with boredom, loss of employment, having to work and learn from home, and feelings of isolation and claustrophobia. One of the characters simply can’t take it anymore and leaves her home during a period of mandated quarantine. These people care about and watch over each other as best they can, but the feelings of being under surveillance are strong. A dark but compelling read, masterfully written.

By Sarah Moss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A slim, tense page-turner . . . I gulped The Fell down in one sitting.”
—Emma Donoghue, author of The Pull of the Stars

From the award-winning author of Ghost Wall and Summerwater, Sarah Moss's The Fell is a riveting novel of mutual responsibility, personal freedom, and the ever-nearness of disaster.

At dusk on a November evening, a woman slips through her garden gate and turns up the hill. Kate is in the middle of a two-week mandatory quarantine period, a true lockdown, but she can’t take it anymore—the closeness of the air in her small house, the confinement. And…


Book cover of Life Without Children: Stories

Deborah Lupton Author Of COVID Societies: Theorising the Coronavirus Crisis

From my list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a sociologist with a longstanding interest in the social aspects of medicine and public health. I started with research on HIV/AIDS. Since then, I have written many books and conducted a multitude of studies on how people understand and experience health and illness and how they seek help when they are sick or feel at risk from disease. When COVID-19 hit the world in early 2020, it was not long before I started to think about what my research training and expertise could offer to understanding the social impacts of this new pandemic. I started to write about COVID and research on people’s everyday experiences.

Deborah's book list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic

Deborah Lupton Why did Deborah love this book?

Life Without Children is a collection of ten short stories by Irish author Roddy Doyle. Nearly all the stories are set in Dublin and feature characters who are middle-aged or older men who are struggling to find a sense of purpose in their lives while confined to their homes during lockdowns. Some men lash out in anger at their partners. Others make the best of things, finding moments of intimacy and connection and forging stronger relationships with their adult children and wives. One of the few stories to be written from the perspective of a woman features a nurse who is shattered by the deaths from COVID of her patients. The stories in this collection are often bleak, but there are many poignant and even droll moments.

By Roddy Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Without Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"[Doyle] imparts a sense of poignancy and glimpses of happiness, of grief and loss and small moments of connection . . . you're left feeling close to dazzled." -Daphne Merkin, New York Times Book Review

A brilliantly warm and witty portrait of our pandemic lives, told in ten heartrending short stories, from the Booker Prize-winning author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Love and marriage. Children and family. Death and grief. Life touches everyone the same. But living under lockdown, it changes us alone.

In these ten beautifully moving short stories written mostly over the last year, Booker Prize winner…


Book cover of Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology

Deborah Lupton Author Of COVID Societies: Theorising the Coronavirus Crisis

From my list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a sociologist with a longstanding interest in the social aspects of medicine and public health. I started with research on HIV/AIDS. Since then, I have written many books and conducted a multitude of studies on how people understand and experience health and illness and how they seek help when they are sick or feel at risk from disease. When COVID-19 hit the world in early 2020, it was not long before I started to think about what my research training and expertise could offer to understanding the social impacts of this new pandemic. I started to write about COVID and research on people’s everyday experiences.

Deborah's book list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic

Deborah Lupton Why did Deborah love this book?

The COVID Chronicles is an anthology of graphic fiction about COVID life. The dozens of contributors are mostly based in the US but also come from Australia, Canada, the UK, Europe, and Asia. There are a dizzying array of art styles and tones across the collection, from humorous to darkly grim. Together, all the graphic narratives reveal the ups and downs of pandemic life in the early months of COVID: from dealing with loneliness, unemployment, illness, and death, transitioning to working from home, racism, and the Black Lives Matter protests to seeking opportunities to show love, care, connection, and hope.

By Kendra Boileau (editor), Rich Johnson (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. When we weren't sheltering in place, we were advised to wear masks, wash our hands, and practice social distancing. We watched in horror as medical personnel worked around the clock to care for the sick and dying. Businesses were shuttered, travel stopped, workers were furloughed, and markets dropped. And people continued to die.

Amid all this uncertainty, writers and artists from around the world continued to create comics, commenting directly on how individuals, societies, governments, and markets reacted to the worldwide crisis. COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology collects more…


Book cover of The Year That Changed Our World: A Photographic History of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Deborah Lupton Author Of COVID Societies: Theorising the Coronavirus Crisis

From my list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a sociologist with a longstanding interest in the social aspects of medicine and public health. I started with research on HIV/AIDS. Since then, I have written many books and conducted a multitude of studies on how people understand and experience health and illness and how they seek help when they are sick or feel at risk from disease. When COVID-19 hit the world in early 2020, it was not long before I started to think about what my research training and expertise could offer to understanding the social impacts of this new pandemic. I started to write about COVID and research on people’s everyday experiences.

Deborah's book list on everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic

Deborah Lupton Why did Deborah love this book?

This book presents hundreds of photographs taken by Agence France Presse around the world in the first 18 months of the COVID pandemic. The images span the full range from the mundane (people exercising at home) to the bizarre (weird home-made face masks) to those that are frightening and tragic (mass coffins and graves). Over 150 countries are represented in these images, which are arranged chronologically, thereby presenting a visual global timeline of the major events occurring during this crucial early period of the continuing pandemic, when this disease was still a mysterious threat. This book helps us to remember the feelings of urgency, confusion, panic, and fear that were part of this period, as people came to terms with the upheavals wrought by the pandemic.

By Agence France Presse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Year That Changed Our World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Year That Changed Our World is the definitive, visual history of the Covid-19 Pandemic. With more than 400 photographs, this ambitious publication traces the arc of the Pandemic from China in early 2020 through to the vaccine breakthroughs of Spring 2021.

Behind the relentless nature of the daily news since the events on Wuhan in early 2020 first broke, and the sense of fear and trepidation that the rapidly developing events provoked, what have we seen of the real stories of the world during the Pandemic? What can be told of how we lived through the pandemic and of…


Book cover of Awkward

Steph Mided Author Of Club Kick Out! Into the Ring

From my list on middle grade inspiring creativity in their readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been drawing and writing ever since I could hold a pencil, and a big inspiration for me to start my lifelong creative journey were graphic novels. So even as an adult, I love to read work from a wide range of genres and age ranges to see what my fellow authors and artists are up to. Especially making my own middle grade graphic novel series, I look up to so many of the authors and artists on this list and chances are you and your kids will too if you pick one of these up!

Steph's book list on middle grade inspiring creativity in their readers

Steph Mided Why did Steph love this book?

I grew up reading Svetlana Chmakova’s work back when she was releasing the manga series Dramacon and I am beyond thrilled that kids and teens today still get to read her work!

Awkward is all about kids exploring their differences in the arts and sciences and it feels like a page ripped out of my childhood. It is so relatable, so charming, and full of emotion and wit to boot. Her work inspired me when I was drawing comics in my sketchbook for fun all the way until today, when I do it for a living. I think her work will go on to inspire many generations to come!

By Svetlana Chmakova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Awkward as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope--Peppi--Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi…


Book cover of Lady Oracle

Karla Huebner Author Of In Search of the Magic Theater

From my list on creativity, self-discovery, and (re)invention.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by our creative urges and ambitions, and by what makes us who we are and why we make the choices we do. While I’m interested in many aspects of human experience and psychology, from the mundane to the murderous, I’m especially drawn to narratives that probe our deeper psyches and look, particularly with a grain of humor, at our efforts to expand our understanding and create great works—or simply to become wiser and more enlightened beings. What is our place in the universe? Why are we here? Who are we? The books I’ve listed explore some of these matters in ways both heartfelt and humorous.

Karla's book list on creativity, self-discovery, and (re)invention

Karla Huebner Why did Karla love this book?

Lady Oracle was one of the novels I read in the several years after first having the vague notion that I might like to write a novel akin to Steppenwolf but that would be set in the approximate present day and have a female protagonist. As Lady Oracle’s main character is a writer who, after periodically reinventing herself, now fakes her own death, flees her intellectual, non-dancing husband, and holes up in an Italian village, I saw possible avenues for my own husband-leaving Kari. Would Kari flee to another country? Would she have secret lovers or a history of being fat? Would she, too, fake her own death? Kari ultimately didn’t follow many of Joan Foster’s paths, but she might have.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace

*

The trick was to disappear without a trace, leaving behind me the shadow of a corpse, a shadow everyone would mistake for solid reality. At first I thought I'd managed it.

Fat girl, thin girl. Red hair, brown hair. Polish aristocrat, radical husband. Joan Foster has dozens of different identities, and she's utterly confused by them all. After a life spent running away from difficult situations, she decides to escape to a hill town in Italy to take stock of her life.

But first she must carefully arrange her…


Book cover of Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity

Carl Nordgren Author Of Becoming A Creative Genius (again)

From my list on appreciating your natural entrepreneurial genius.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never believed the idea that creativity was for a gifted few. Throughout my life, as a teenage fishing guide, an entrepreneur and college professor, novelist, and creativity guide, the folks I’ve met are rich with creative and entrepreneurial qualities. My calling is to help you appreciate your creative genius so that it appreciates in value for you. Growing your creatively entrepreneurial genius is the best way to prepare for a future of unknowable unknowns, the best way to build careers we desire, the best way to fully appreciate life. I offer various perspectiveS on core creative and entrepreneurial concepts so you can construct the best path to your personal renewal and growth.

Carl's book list on appreciating your natural entrepreneurial genius

Carl Nordgren Why did Carl love this book?

How do creative people produce their best work? That’s the question Galenson researched as an economics professor leading to this book comparing the two major creative approaches he’s identified: Do they create by just getting started and through incremental efforts and continuous testing they feel their way until they discover what they will create? Or do they begin with careful and comprehensive plans of what they will create, beginning only when they are confident they have a full vision of what the end looks like? He studied artists—painters and poets, novelists and sculptors—but the questions he asks and the answers he frames are relevant to all creatively entrepreneurial work and he shares his thoughts about that as well. I love Cezanne’s paintings and was delighted to learn my creative process is similar to his. 

By David W. Galenson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Old Masters and Young Geniuses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When in their lives do great artists produce their greatest art? Do they strive for creative perfection throughout decades of painstaking and frustrating experimentation, or do they achieve it confidently and decisively, through meticulous planning that yields masterpieces early in their lives? By examining the careers not only of great painters but also of important sculptors, poets, novelists, and movie directors, Old Masters and Young Geniuses offers a profound new understanding of artistic creativity. Using a wide range of evidence, David Galenson demonstrates that there are two fundamentally different approaches to innovation, and that each is associated with a distinct…


Book cover of Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention

Claudia Kalb Author Of Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities

From my list on how our chaotic, imperfect minds crackle with genius.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I read the New Yorker—first, just the cartoons; later, the articles—and dreamed about becoming a writer. Sentences danced in my head as I fell asleep. I’ve always been especially interested in human behavior and the match-up between our insides and outsides. How do the roadmaps in our brains inform the way we act around others? Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of studies and interviewed countless experts to inform my writing about well-known figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, and Maya Angelou. But I’m just as captivated by everyone outside the spotlight. We all have stories to tell.

Claudia's book list on how our chaotic, imperfect minds crackle with genius

Claudia Kalb Why did Claudia love this book?

Hungarian-American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi tackles a colossal question in Creativity: how do people come up with new ideas?

I love the scope of this book, which journeys from breakthroughs in science to experimentation in jazz. I love the myths the author debunks, including the out-of-nowhere “aha” moment: Ideas don’t just burst into consciousness, they emerge from a lifetime of knowledge and experience that comes before them.

And I love that Csikszentmihalyi concludes his book with a chapter about how we, his readers, can enhance our own creativity. Key takeaways: cultivate curiosity; look for surprises in the ordinary; allow yourself to sit still and reflect; create a space that nurtures your soul. 

By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Although the benefits of this study to scholars are obvious, this thought-provoking mixture of scholarly and colloquial will enlighten inquisitive general readers, too.” —  Library Journal (starred review)

The classic study of the creative process from the bestselling author of Flow.

Creativity is about capturing those moments that make life worth living. Legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (“The leading researcher into ‘flow states.’”  — Newsweek) reveals what leads to these moments—be it the excitement of the artist at the easel or the scientist in the lab—so that this knowledge can be used to enrich people's lives. Drawing on nearly one hundred…


Book cover of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

Emma Loewe Author Of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us

From my list on connecting to nature no matter where you live.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist who explores the intersection of human health and planet health, I've long been fascinated by how stepping outside into a healthy environment can boost our well-being. I also believe that we are more likely to take positive climate actions when we have a rich connection to the natural world around us, so a lot of my work focuses on helping people get out into nature—whatever that looks like for them.

Emma's book list on connecting to nature no matter where you live

Emma Loewe Why did Emma love this book?

In this engaging read, science journalist Florence Williams travels the world to cover the research on the health benefits of exploring the outdoors. What I love about Florence’s writing is her ability to play the guinea pig so that readers can put themselves in her shoes—in this case, hiking boots.

By Florence Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while walking over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park.

From forest paths in Korea to islands in Finland to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health and creativity. Delving into new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships. As our lives shift indoors, these ideas-and the answers they yield-are…


Book cover of Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential

Rob Conery Author Of The Imposter's Handbook: A CS Primer for Self-taught Developers

From my list on self-taught programmers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught myself to code back in 1994 while working the graveyard shift as a geologist in the environmental industry. My job consisted of sitting in a chair during the dark hours of the night in a shopping center in Stockton, CA, watching another geologist take samples from wells in the parking lot. A friend of mine suggested I learn to code because I liked computers. I don’t mean to make this out to be a “it’s so simple anyone can do it!” You need to have a relentless drive to learn, which is why I wrote my book, The Imposter’s Handbook - as an active step to learning what I didn’t know I didn’t know.

Rob's book list on self-taught programmers

Rob Conery Why did Rob love this book?

There’s a section right at the start of this book where the author tries to quantify the value of things he’s learned over the years, and the result is startling.

Think about this for yourself, just in terms of the code you’ve written - how much do you think that’s worth? Your ability to learn things is your key to thriving in this industry, but how well can you recall those things when you need to?

That’s the point of this whole book: learning to take notes and assemble them into your own personal database. This book led me to Obsidian, which I use relentlessly, and also to Notion, which I also use relentlessly. Writing things down gives me peace of mind and helps me focus and I highly recommend you do the same.

By Tiago Forte,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Building a Second Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One of my favorite books of the year. It completely reshaped how I think about information and how and why I take notes.” —Daniel Pink, bestselling author of Drive

A revolutionary approach to enhancing productivity, creating flow, and vastly increasing your ability to capture, remember, and benefit from the unprecedented amount of information all around us.

For the first time in history, we have instantaneous access to the world’s knowledge. There has never been a better time to learn, to contribute, and to improve ourselves. Yet, rather than feeling empowered, we are often left feeling overwhelmed by this constant influx…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in creativity, Canada, and presidential biography?

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