100 books like Eager

By Ben Goldfarb,

Here are 100 books that Eager fans have personally recommended if you like Eager. 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 The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

The Ghost Map is the fantastic story of an important Cholera epidemic in London in 1854.

The book swept me along with its narrative, plunging straight into the fetid world of Victorian London. Johnson weaves together the stories of the people affected, and the desperate hunt by Dr. John Snow to understand the cause of the disease. He also provides fascinating descriptions of the dangers to life in a time before sewers, and the evolution of such systems that ultimately transformed city life.

I definitely look at toilets, pipes, and sewer grates differently after reading this book.

By Steven Johnson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Ghost Map as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year

It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

In a triumph of…


Book cover of Fathoms: The World in the Whale

Christopher Preston Author Of Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals

From my list on opening your eyes to wildlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in England but living now in America’s mountain west, I am sucker for landscapes that dance with unusual plants and animals. I have been a commercial fisherman, a tool librarian, and a back-country park ranger. These days, I’m an award-winning public philosopher and author. I have written books and articles about powerful emerging technologies. However, I realized a few years ago that wild animals are an antidote to the technological and commercial forces that can flatten our world. From art painted on cave walls millennia ago to the toys we still give to our children, animals are an important part of human identity. I celebrate this in my work.  

Christopher's book list on opening your eyes to wildlife

Christopher Preston Why did Christopher love this book?

How can you not already love these underwater giants? But I didn’t know much about them before reading Gigg’s love letter to our undersea cousins. They live by breathing air and giving birth like we do, but most of their lives takes place in a hidden, watery world.

The horror our species inflicted on whales during commercial whaling became more repulsive as Giggs uncovered the layers of whales’ complexity and sociality. I learned that arthritis sufferers in the nineteenth century would bathe in holes cut into whale carcasses for their curative powers. I also tried to imagine an animal with blood vessels big enough for a child to crawl through and a heartbeat that can be heard through the water for over a mile. 

By Rebecca Giggs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION
WINNER OF THE NIB LITERARY AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR NONFICTION
HIGHLY COMMENDED IN THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING ON GLOBAL CONSERVATION

A SUNDAY INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR

'There is a kind of hauntedness in wild animals today: a spectre related to environmental change ... Our fear is that the unseen spirits that move in them are ours. Once more, animals are a moral force.'

When Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beach in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of…


Book cover of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

Sharon Levy Author Of The Marsh Builders: The Fight for Clean Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

From my list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary thirty years ago, when I first moved to town. At the time, I was working as a field biologist, and I loved to hang out at the marsh and birdwatch—I’d see everything from pelicans to peregrine falcons. Later I shifted from field biology to science writing, and some of my first articles were about how the Arcata Marsh serves both as a wildlife habitat and a means of treating the city’s sewage. I learned about the grassroots movement that created the marsh, and the global history of wetlands loss. I’ve been hooked on wetlands ever since.

Sharon's book list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands

Sharon Levy Why did Sharon love this book?

During research for my book, I visited manmade wetlands in south Florida, built to filter farm runoff from the water before it flows into Everglades National Park. These constructed wetlands are thick with alligators, spoonbills, storks, hawks, and other wildlife—but they’re just an echo of the surviving Glades. Now among the most cherished natural areas on Earth, in the settlement era the Everglades was written off as wasted space. Early in the 20th century the northern half of the Everglades was drained and turned into sugar fields. Today polluted runoff from those farms threatens the surviving remnants of the Everglades ecosystem. 

Grunwald’s book shows the human quirks and greed that drove the Everglades’ destruction, and that sometimes get in the way of its restoration.

By Michael Grunwald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Brilliant.” —The Washington Post Book World * “Magnificent.” —The Palm Beach Post * “Rich in history yet urgently relevant to current events.” —The New Republic

The Everglades in southern Florida were once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it.

The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald,…


Book cover of Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

Christopher Preston Author Of Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals

From my list on opening your eyes to wildlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in England but living now in America’s mountain west, I am sucker for landscapes that dance with unusual plants and animals. I have been a commercial fisherman, a tool librarian, and a back-country park ranger. These days, I’m an award-winning public philosopher and author. I have written books and articles about powerful emerging technologies. However, I realized a few years ago that wild animals are an antidote to the technological and commercial forces that can flatten our world. From art painted on cave walls millennia ago to the toys we still give to our children, animals are an important part of human identity. I celebrate this in my work.  

Christopher's book list on opening your eyes to wildlife

Christopher Preston Why did Christopher love this book?

We are such a visual species that it is easy to forget how the other senses contribute to the colorful world we share. Moore’s elegant account of the sounds that rumple the aether through which we move opened my eyes (and especially my ears).

Moore is known for her ability to wrap beautiful words around important concepts. Like me, she is trained as a philosopher. Her blend of poetry and insightfulness is fully displayed in this rare homily for nature’s sounds.

Moore worries about their loss as the noise of industry drowns out nature’s own voice. But I would read a chapter before bed each day and drift off to sleep accompanied by lullabies sung by the remarkable kin who share our world.   

By Kathleen Dean Moore,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Earth's Wild Music as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore's distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change.

In this meditation on the music of the natural world, Moore celebrates the call of loons, howl of wolves, bellow of whales, laughter of children, and shriek of frogs, even as she warns of the threats against them. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment and finally to the determination to act in defense of wild songs and…


Book cover of The Great Stink

Sharon Levy Author Of The Marsh Builders: The Fight for Clean Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

From my list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary thirty years ago, when I first moved to town. At the time, I was working as a field biologist, and I loved to hang out at the marsh and birdwatch—I’d see everything from pelicans to peregrine falcons. Later I shifted from field biology to science writing, and some of my first articles were about how the Arcata Marsh serves both as a wildlife habitat and a means of treating the city’s sewage. I learned about the grassroots movement that created the marsh, and the global history of wetlands loss. I’ve been hooked on wetlands ever since.

Sharon's book list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands

Sharon Levy Why did Sharon love this book?

While researching my book, I learned about the sewers of Victorian London. The hideous load of pollution they carried stank unbearably, caused epidemics, and later inspired the invention of modern sewage treatment. This mystery novel takes us into the dank hell of those sewers. A fictional war veteran named William May roams this subterranean world as a surveyor for engineer Joseph Bazalgette, a real-life figure responsible for redesigning London’s sewer system and saving thousands of lives. Reading this novel is as close as one can get to that time and place.

By Clare Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A mystery that offers “a gripping and richly atmospheric glimpse into the literal underworld of Victorian England—the labyrinthine London sewer system” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
 
Clare Clark’s critically acclaimed The Great Stink “reeks of talent” as it vividly brings to life the dark and mysterious underworld of Victorian London (The Washington Post Book World). Set in 1855, it tells the story of William May, an engineer who has returned home to London from the horrors of the Crimean War. When he secures a job trans­forming the city’s sewer system, he believes that he will be able to find salvation in…


Book cover of Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge

Kristin Ohlson Author Of Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World

From my list on interconnection in nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small agricultural town in California’s Sacramento Valley, and my parents didn’t even consider worrying if I was bored or lonely when I wasn’t at school. Consequently, I spent hours in a nearby vacant lot riddled with anthills watching the ants hustle back and forth and, occasionally, inserting myself in their lives with handfuls of sugar or sticks to block their paths. Pretty sure this is where my interest in science and nature began—and maybe even my interest in cooperation.

Kristin's book list on interconnection in nature

Kristin Ohlson Why did Kristin love this book?

Whenever I fly across country, I love looking out the window of the plane to watch how water has sculpted the landscape below—especially in undeveloped expanses, where I often see dozens of squiggles from rivers that have changed course.

Erica Gies’s fascinating book gave me an expanded view of the relationship between water and land, even in our modern cities, and introduced me to people who are figuring out new ways of living respectfully with this mighty and essential force.

By Erica Gies,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A hopeful journey around the world and across time, illuminating better ways to live with water. 

Nearly every human endeavor on the planet was conceived and constructed with a relatively stable climate in mind. But as new climate disasters remind us every day, our world is not stable—and it is changing in ways that expose the deep dysfunction of our relationship with water. Increasingly severe and frequent floods and droughts inevitably spur calls for higher levees, bigger drains, and longer aqueducts. But as we grapple with extreme weather, a hard truth is emerging: our development, including concrete infrastructure designed to…


Book cover of Groundbreakers: The Return of Britain's Wild Boar

Christopher Preston Author Of Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals

From my list on opening your eyes to wildlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in England but living now in America’s mountain west, I am sucker for landscapes that dance with unusual plants and animals. I have been a commercial fisherman, a tool librarian, and a back-country park ranger. These days, I’m an award-winning public philosopher and author. I have written books and articles about powerful emerging technologies. However, I realized a few years ago that wild animals are an antidote to the technological and commercial forces that can flatten our world. From art painted on cave walls millennia ago to the toys we still give to our children, animals are an important part of human identity. I celebrate this in my work.  

Christopher's book list on opening your eyes to wildlife

Christopher Preston Why did Christopher love this book?

Wildlife recoveries in my native Britain are rare. It’s one of the most nature-depleted countries in Europe. But boar are back, tearing up the forest floor, spooking dog walkers, and adding the sort of vibrancy to a landscape that only a wild mammal can provide.

I loved hearing how the English have been shaken from their cultural slumbers by a smart, social, and tough animal. This book makes you think about the barriers to change and the pioneers leading the way. The writing is beautiful. I turned down dozens of pages to return later to replay the music of Lyons’ sentences.

Every book should teach you a few new words. This one certainly did. “Wild boar,” says Lyons, “seem to move through the forest with the force of a river in constant spate.” 

By Chantal Lyons,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Full of joy, pathos, warmth, integrity and intrigue.' AMY-JANE BEER 'One of the most notable works of recent nature writing.' HELEN MACDONALD 'A thrilling expedition into a wild, unruly world.' LEE SCHOFIELD 'Gently thought-provoking and beautifully written.' LEIF BERSWEDEN 'The remarkable story of Britain's wild boar.' THE GUARDIAN 'A real page-turner.' STEPHEN MOSS After centuries of absence, wild boar are back in Britain. What does this mean for us - and them? Big, messy and mysterious - crossing paths with a wild boar can conjure fear and joy in equal measure. Driven to extinction seven hundred years ago, a combination…


A Wolf Called Romeo

By Nick Jans,

Book cover of A Wolf Called Romeo

Christopher Preston Author Of Tenacious Beasts: Wildlife Recoveries That Change How We Think about Animals

From my list on opening your eyes to wildlife.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born in England but living now in America’s mountain west, I am sucker for landscapes that dance with unusual plants and animals. I have been a commercial fisherman, a tool librarian, and a back-country park ranger. These days, I’m an award-winning public philosopher and author. I have written books and articles about powerful emerging technologies. However, I realized a few years ago that wild animals are an antidote to the technological and commercial forces that can flatten our world. From art painted on cave walls millennia ago to the toys we still give to our children, animals are an important part of human identity. I celebrate this in my work.  

Christopher's book list on opening your eyes to wildlife

Christopher Preston Why did Christopher love this book?

I knew, like most people, that pet dogs are descended from wild wolves. But when do you get to see this natural history play out in front of your eyes?

Romeo, a wild wolf that spent winters on a frozen lake at the foot of the Mendenhall Glacier, gave the skiers and dog-walkers of Juneau, Alaska, a lesson in the intelligence of our wild brethren. I marveled at Romeo’s gentle playfulness. I admired the wisdom that prevented him from getting too close to people, preferring to play with the pooches that people let off their leashes.

Jans’ book reveals how authorities struggled to know what to do with this animal that moved so easily back and forth between the wild and the civilized. Romeo’s end provides plenty of reason for reflection.

A Wolf Called Romeo

By Nick Jans,

What is this book about?

A Wolf Called Romeo is the remarkable story of a wolf who returned again and again to interact with the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska, living on the edges of their community, engaging in an improbable, awe-inspiring inter-species dance and bringing the wild into sharp focus.

At first the people of Juneau were guarded, torn between caution and curiosity. But as Romeo began to tag along with cross-country skiers on their daily jaunts, play fetch with local dogs, or simply lie near author Nick Jans and nap under the sun, they came to accept Romeo, and he them. For…


Book cover of Rescue at Lake Wild

Diana Renn Author Of Trouble at Turtle Pond

From my list on young environmentalists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I live in a town near a wildlife refuge. I frequently encounter wildlife, including turtles, in my neighborhood. Trouble at Turtle Pond was inspired by volunteer work my son and I did with a local conservation group, fostering endangered Blanding’s turtles. Although my previous books were mysteries set in other countries, I have become interested in the mysteries we can find in our own back yards and in other community spaces we share with nature. I love eco-fiction about kids who love animals, who are “nature detectives,” who have strong opinions, and who are working for the environment, recognizing that every small step makes a difference.

Diana's book list on young environmentalists

Diana Renn Why did Diana love this book?

When I was a kid, I wanted to rescue animals. I remember taking crabs home from the beach in milk cartons. Sadly, they didn’t make it – nor did they need rescuing in the first place. 12-year-old Madi Lewis is a savvier rescuer, an “animal whisperer” trained by her late grandmother, an animal rehabber, to keep careful records and do basic caretaking. But Madi’s parents have made it clear: no more foster animals. When Madi and her friends find two orphaned beaver kits in a dam, she has to keep it a secret – hard to do as they uncover a local conspiracy to eliminate beavers at Lake Wild. This fast-paced eco-mystery teaches a lot about conservation, ethics, and, of course, beavers! I love Madi as a young Jane Goodall type, too. 

By Terry Lynn Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rescue at Lake Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

In this funny and moving animals-in-peril adventure, a twelve-year-old girl and her two best friends determine to rescue two orphaned beaver kits - and soon find themselves trying to solve a local environmental crisis. Perfect for fans of Pax and A Boy Called Bat. Everyone knows that twelve-year-old Madison "Madi" Lewis is not allowed to bring home any more animals. After she's saved hairless mice, two birds, a rabbit, and a stray tom cat that ended up destroying the front porch, Madi's parents decide that if they find one more stray animal in the house, she won't be allowed to…


Book cover of Building Beavers

Laura Hulbert Author Of Who Has These Feet?

From my list on animal adaptations for young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a child, I saw a grasshopper doing the sidestroke in the ocean and it sparked my interest in animal behavior. Though I still don’t know if all grasshoppers do the sidestroke, I’ve learned a lot about animal adaptations since then. And I’ve learned a lot about what motivates young readers from my years as a reading specialist and a classroom teacher. I’ve put that knowledge to work in my two popular books: Who Has These Feet? and Who Has This Tail?

Laura's book list on animal adaptations for young readers

Laura Hulbert Why did Laura love this book?

What I love about the books in the Lerner’s Pull Ahead series is the natural language that’s used and the depth of information that’s provided. In an effort to be readable, many non-fiction books aimed at young elementary students are so concise as to wind up being superficial. But this series explores concepts in depth. In Building Beavers, 12 sentences are devoted to the construction of a beaver lodge. The books include 27 pages of text (two to three sentences per page.) At the end of the book, there is a map showing where in the world the animal is found and a diagram of the animal’s body parts as well as a glossary and an index. There are no headings or chapter titles, however. The detailed photographs provide an excellent complement to the text.

By Kathleen Martin-James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building Beavers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Who built the first dam in North America? A beaver! Learn how beavers--much like humans--change the landscape to suit their needs. Stunning photos and engaging text show beavers eating, swimming, escaping from predators, and growing from playful kits into industrious adults.


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