100 books like Flyover Lives

By Diane Johnson,

Here are 100 books that Flyover Lives fans have personally recommended if you like Flyover Lives. 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 A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

Yuval Levin is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and is a nationally recognized commentator on culture and society. 

He has written about gratitude as a foundation for our political agendas and cultural values. In A Time to Build, Levin shows how gratitude might be an essential starting point for reinvigorating all aspects of our society and culture.

By Yuval Levin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Time to Build as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Americans are living through a social crisis. Populist firebrands - on left and right alike - propose to address the crisis through acts of tearing down. They describe themselves as destroying oppressive establishments, clearing weeds, draining swamps. But, as acclaimed conservative intellectual Yuval Levin argues, this is a misguided prescription, rooted in a defective diagnosis. The social crisis we confront is defined not by an oppressive presence but by a debilitating absence of forces that unite us and militate against alienation.

Both Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly respond to crisis by threatening to dismantle institutions that they perceive as belonging to…


Book cover of The Psychology of Gratitude

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

While we sometimes might think of gratitude as just a simple emotion or reaction, Emmons and McCullough show a much more complex side to gratitude. 

In this book, Emmons and McCullough explore the scientific and medical aspects of gratitude. The book helps the reader understand all the psychological and medical benefits produced by a life lived with gratitude.

By Robert A. Emmons (editor), Michael E. McCullough (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gratitude, like other positive emotions, has inspired many theological and philosophical writings, but it has inspired very little vigorous, empirical research. In an effort to remedy this oversight, this volume brings together prominent scientists from various disciplines to examine what has become known as the most-neglected emotion. The volume begins with the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of gratitude, then presents the current research
perspectives from social, personality, and developmental psychology, as well as from primatology, anthropology, and biology. The volume also includes a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of research on gratitude. This work contributes a great deal to the growing…


Book cover of The Way of Gratitude: Readings for a Joyful Life

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

This edited book contains readings that address a wide range of topics related to the power of gratitude. 

The readings are authored by some of our most recognized and accomplished writers, such as Wendell Berry, David Brooks, Anne Lamott, Thomas Merton, J.K. Rawlings, Jim Wallis, Henri Nouwen, and Mary Oliver. These writers, in captivating and insightful essays, share their experiences and thoughts on the joys of being grateful.

By Michael Leach (editor), James Keane (editor), Doris Goodnough (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A hundred famous writers share their experiences, essays, fiction, poems, meditations, and inspired ideas on the joy of being thankful. These honest and heartfelt writings will add gladness to your days. Contributors include Wendell Berry, David Brooks, Joan Chittister, James Martin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Henri Nouwen, Mary Oliver, Richard Rohr, Joyce Rupp, David Steindl-Rast, Rowan Williams, and many others whose spiritual perceptions already bring joy and faith to millions.


Book cover of Growing Up with the Town: Family and Community on the Great Plains

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

This book is likewise a memoir that reveals the deeply engrained gratitude felt by the author. 

This gratitude is not a passing nostalgia but a fundamental pillar of the author’s life—a pillar that defines her entire life and injects it with an unchanging joy. Schwielder is an engaging writer who draws the reader into the circle of gratitude that encompasses Schwielder’s memories of her childhood in a small South Dakota town. 

Schwielder, along with Johnson, gives us tangible proof of the joys of gratitude.

By Dorothy Schwieder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Growing Up with the Town as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this unusual blend of chronological and personal history. Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder combines scholarly sources with family memories to create a loving and informed history of Presho, South Dakota, and her family's life there from the time of settlement in 1905 to the mid 1950s. Schwieder tells the story of this small town in the West River country, with its harsh and unpredictable physical environment, through the activities of her father, Walter Hubbard, and his family of ten children. Walter Hubbard's experiences as a business owner and town builder and his attitudes toward work, education, and family both reflected and…


Book cover of The Last Garden in England

Iulia Dobre-Trifan Author Of Forward

From my list on relationships that define us across time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up overcoming odds and choosing the road less traveled by, which I walked many times, on my own, and sometimes, accompanied by a few others. Having developed a successful career, working with people, as a coach, trainer, entrepreneur, I am fascinated by the multifaceted power relationships exert on us, ranging from keeping us locked into toxicity and hopelessness, up to healing and transforming us into bright, joyful people. I believe our relationships define us, when optimally fueled by the quintessential element of time. I’m writing about this wonderful effect of relationships, both through non-fiction and fiction books. I also like reading about it.

Iulia's book list on relationships that define us across time

Iulia Dobre-Trifan Why did Iulia love this book?

A delightful blending of strong female characters, lyrism of nature and gardens, historical background of the second world war, and five parallel perspectives over the fate and purpose of a beautiful place, going around a century of transitions. I enjoyed the author’s way of symbolically mirroring the lives of the characters into the garden that connects them unexpectedly and mysteriously, over time. This book is a gentle reminder of how our own destiny may be influenced by total strangers, who are neither aware, nor intentional, about the lasting effects of their actions.

By Julia Kelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of the international bestsellers The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes "a compelling read, filled with lovable characters and an alluring twist of fates" (Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife) about five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special garden.

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as…


Book cover of Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm

JQ Rose Author Of Arranging A Dream

From my list on extraordinary life stories about ordinary people.

Why am I passionate about this?

My author friend, Mary, brought her great, great, great + grandfather’s journal to our writers' group and shared excerpts from the pages written in the 1800s. When her grandfather was window shopping in downtown London, he peered into the bookstore window. He yearned to own the books on display, but he couldn’t afford them on a minister’s income. Only the rich could purchase books. The journal excerpts brought the 1800s to life. I decided then to begin recording my life experiences to make our lives today real for the generations of tomorrow. I share my enthusiasm for telling life stories by presenting workshops on how to write life stories. 

JQ's book list on extraordinary life stories about ordinary people

JQ Rose Why did JQ love this book?

When my friend recommended Bootstrapper, I wanted to read it because the author’s life paralleled the struggles my daughter experienced with the mean divorce from her husband. Divorce can bring you to your knees or build your strength and character. Divorce developed strength in my daughter and in Mardi. Mardi found a way to save her farm, deal with her young sons and begin a new chapter in her life filled with love and meaning. I recommend this feel-good story to inspire hope when one is completely lost.

By Mardi Jo Link,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Poignant, irreverent, and hilarious: a memoir about survival and self-discovery, by an indomitable woman who never loses sight of what matters most. 

It’s the summer of 2005, and Mardi Jo Link’s dream of living the simple life has unraveled into debt, heartbreak, and perpetually ragged cuticles. She and her husband of nineteen years have just called it quits, leaving her with serious cash-flow problems and a looming divorce. More broke than ever, Link makes a seemingly impossible resolution: to hang on to her century-old farmhouse in northern Michigan and continue to raise her three boys on well water and wood…


Book cover of Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan

Bret Hinsch Author Of The Rise of Tea Culture in China: The Invention of the Individual

From my list on Chinese history that will surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my life to the study of Chinese history. I received a Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard and have spent my career teaching Chinese history at universities in Taiwan. I am the author of eleven books and many academic articles and book reviews about Chinese history. As an American who has spent decades lecturing about Chinese history in Mandarin to Taiwanese students, I have an uncommon perspective on the subject.  

Bret's book list on Chinese history that will surprise you

Bret Hinsch Why did Bret love this book?

Even though this is a work of anthropology, it also provides unique insights into rural history. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Margery Wolf did fieldwork in a poor village in rural Taiwan. At that time, modernization was just beginning to affect the countryside, so most aspects of village life were still traditional. Although Taiwanese society differed from the mainland in certain ways, in most aspects of life there carried on the traditions of Chinese village life. This book looks at rural society from a female perspective. Due to poverty, both women and men had few options. They did whatever it took to survive. Many of the people the author interviewed seem very discontent with their lives, but they usually had no other choice.

By Margery Wolf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Studies of Chinese society commonly emphasizze men's roles and functions, a not unreasonable approach to a society with patrilineal kinship structure. But this emphasis has left many important gaps in our knowledge of Chinese life.

This study seeks to fill some of these gaps by examining the ways rural Taiwanese women manipulate men and each other in the pursuit of their personal goals. The source of a woman's power, her home in a social structure dominated by men, is what the author calls the uterine family, a de facto social unity consisting of a mother and her children.

The first…


Book cover of When Women Were Dragons

Linda Kay Silva Author Of Nothing Fair About It

From my list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of creative writing who knows when readers stop feeling, they stop reading. We all want to feel, to live vicariously. To experience the unimaginable. I’ve lived large. I’ve raced on the back of an ostrich, rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, raced catamarans in the Caribbean, and danced with the Shaka Zulu in Africa. The best books are those that feel like memories…that touch us…that make us feel.

Linda's book list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures

Linda Kay Silva Why did Linda love this book?

I think every woman should read this book. In a time when we need a “movement” to be seen or heard, Dragons reminded me of our strength, of how often the world has its boot on the back of our necks.

I loved the story of 2 sisters-one who desperately wants to be a dragon and the other, who does not. It was my first audiobook and I finished it in 2 days.

By Kelly Barnhill,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked When Women Were Dragons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2022 • A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. • The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a…


Book cover of When the Apricots Bloom

Catherine A. Hamilton Author Of Victoria's War

From my list on inspired by heroic women from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a native Oregonian of Polish descent, I was born in the small town of Sweet Home, Oregon. After finishing high school, I moved to Portland where I graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a Master’s degree in psychology. I spent twelve years as a psychotherapist, publishing over a dozen articles. After joining a writing group and trying my hand at fiction, my stories, articles, and poems have been published in magazines and newspapers—including Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Oregonian, Catholic Sentinel, Dziennik Związkowy, and The Polish American Journal. My debut novel, Victoria’s War, won CIBA’s Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction and was #1 Best Seller on Amazon Kindle Unlimited in German Historical Fiction.

Catherine's book list on inspired by heroic women from around the world

Catherine A. Hamilton Why did Catherine love this book?

Inspired by her personal experience living in Baghdad, Wilkinson writes a fascinating book that is breathtakingly beautiful and powerfully true! I chose this debut novel because it is about three courageous women who risk it all to help the next generation of Iraqis—Huda, Rania, and Australian journalist Ally.

The story carried me away to Baghdad, and I willingly went on an exotic adventure with these fierce females, where mud-brick huts dot the landscape. The suspense unwinds along the Tigris in the undying gritty winds, during a time when Iraq was cut off from the world by Saddam Hussein.

Can Huda, Ally, and Rania, help two teenagers whose lives are endangered by the regime? Read Wilkinson’s enchanting When the Apricots Bloom and find out for yourself.

By Gina Wilkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Apricots Bloom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Breathtaking…Riveting and profound! I adored this book!” —Ellen Marie Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Collector
 
“A deeply involving and important novel by a master storyteller.” —Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

In this moving, suspenseful debut novel, three courageous women confront the complexities of trust, friendship, motherhood, and betrayal under the rule of a ruthless dictator and his brutal secret police. Former foreign correspondent Gina Wilkinson draws on her own experiences to take readers inside a haunting story of Iraq at the turn of the millennium and the impossible choices faced…


Book cover of The Latecomer

Shawn Nocher Author Of The Precious Jules

From my list on families and the secrets we keep from one another.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about family, inspired by the exquisitely flawed one I dwell within. Loving my children is the easiest and hardest thing I have ever done in that it was easy to fall in love with them the moment they came into this world but the accountability to that love can be staggering. The same can be said for my siblings. I hope my novels and stories help readers examine the ways we are all tethered to one another. My writing is where I try to untangle all of that. It’s about the ties that bind and how we choose to wear those bindings, especially in times of crisis. 

Shawn's book list on families and the secrets we keep from one another

Shawn Nocher Why did Shawn love this book?

It’s hard for me to imagine a family where the siblings are more uninterested in one another than the Oppenheimer triplets in this novel. But I do love a twin story (am, in fact, fascinated by the twin thing) so triplets really intrigued me. These siblings, however, are determined to disengage from one another and stalk off into their solo adulthood. And they manage to do so with just enough hubris to make a mess of it. But can we ever really cut the ties that bind? Thankfully—probably not. 

By Jean Hanff Korelitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*A New York Times Notable Book of 2022*
*A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction*
*An NPR Best Book of the Year*

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth.

The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF.…


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