100 books like God and Jetfire

By Amy Seek,

Here are 100 books that God and Jetfire fans have personally recommended if you like God and Jetfire. 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 Unnatural Selection: A Memoir of Adoption and Wilderness

Vanessa McGrady Author Of Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

From my list on adoption and what it means to be a family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t just write stories, I study them. I’ve noticed that nearly every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: “Where do I come from?” and “Where do I belong?” are questions that confound and comfort us from the time we are tiny until we take our final breath. As an adoptive mother and advocate for continuing contact with birth families, I love stories about adoption, because no two are alike. They give us light and insight into how families are created and what it means to be a family—by blood, by love, and sometimes, the combination of the two.

Vanessa's book list on adoption and what it means to be a family

Vanessa McGrady Why did Vanessa love this book?

This beautifully told tale of an adoptee searching for her original family is set against her ongoing relationship to the Southwest’s most awe-inspiring terrain, and the people who bring her there. I loved this book because it showed her evolution as a wilderness lover, romantic partner, and mother as she navigated fitting into various incarnations of family, which felt just as perilous, frustrating, and rewarding as finding the right footholds in the natural world. While we are all from Mother Earth, our earthly parents can be critical to a deeper understanding of who we are as people.

By Andrea Ross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Adopted at birth, Andrea Ross grew up inhabiting two ecosystems: one was her tangible, adoptive family, the other her birth family, whose mysterious landscape was hidden from her. In this coming-of-age memoir, Ross narrates how in her early twenties, while working as a ranger in Grand Canyon National Park, she embarked on a journey to discover where she came from and, ultimately, who she was. After many missteps and dead ends, Ross uncovered her heartbreaking and inspiring origin story and began navigating the complicated turns of reuniting with her birth parents and their new families. Through backcountry travel in the…


Book cover of Dear Birthmother: Thank You for Our Baby

Vanessa McGrady Author Of Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

From my list on adoption and what it means to be a family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t just write stories, I study them. I’ve noticed that nearly every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: “Where do I come from?” and “Where do I belong?” are questions that confound and comfort us from the time we are tiny until we take our final breath. As an adoptive mother and advocate for continuing contact with birth families, I love stories about adoption, because no two are alike. They give us light and insight into how families are created and what it means to be a family—by blood, by love, and sometimes, the combination of the two.

Vanessa's book list on adoption and what it means to be a family

Vanessa McGrady Why did Vanessa love this book?

The pioneering godmother of the open-adoption movement in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, Silber did ground-shaking work to bring transparency to the adoption process, which ultimately, is better for the mental health of all parties involved. In Dear Birthmother, a primer of sorts, she helps adoptive parents understand the love, humanity, and loss intrinsic to placing a child for adoption. I love this book because it shines a light on the much-deserved compassion to these women who give up so much in search of a better life for themselves and their children.

By Kathleen Silber, Phyllis Speedlin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the third revised edition of the open adoption classic recommended by the Child Welfare League of America. Gently provocative, warm and convincing, this open adoption guide includes actual letters between adoptive parents and birthparents, and between the latter and the children they have


Book cover of Instant Mom

Vanessa McGrady Author Of Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

From my list on adoption and what it means to be a family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t just write stories, I study them. I’ve noticed that nearly every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: “Where do I come from?” and “Where do I belong?” are questions that confound and comfort us from the time we are tiny until we take our final breath. As an adoptive mother and advocate for continuing contact with birth families, I love stories about adoption, because no two are alike. They give us light and insight into how families are created and what it means to be a family—by blood, by love, and sometimes, the combination of the two.

Vanessa's book list on adoption and what it means to be a family

Vanessa McGrady Why did Vanessa love this book?

First of all, Nia Vardalos is just hilarious. She could write an Ikea assembly brochure and it would probably be side-splitting. But in the book, she tells about being a rising star (a great story on its own) who had it all – except a baby. After a grueling battle with infertility, she eventually came around to the idea of adoption, and started to learn more about the fost-adopt process of taking an older child who is unlikely to reunite with their original family. With great heart, she tells the roller-coaster story of bringing a 3-year-old with attachment challenges into her life—and the inevitable universality of motherhood. “Nothing prepared me for the life I would feel for my child. Nothing prepared me for how quickly it happened for me. And here’s what I just figure out now: no one is ever prepared. In a way, we’re all instant moms.” She’s…

By Nia Vardalos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Instant Mom, Nia Vardalos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, tells her hilarious and poignant road-to-parenting story that eventually leads to her daughter and prompts her to become a major advocate for adoption. Moments after Nia Vardalos finds out she has been nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, she is alone and en route to a fertility clinic, trying yet again for a chance at motherhood. Vardalos chronicles her attempts to have a baby, and how she tries everything-from drinking jugs of green mud tea, to acupuncture, to working…


Book cover of Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir

Vanessa McGrady Author Of Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

From my list on adoption and what it means to be a family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t just write stories, I study them. I’ve noticed that nearly every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: “Where do I come from?” and “Where do I belong?” are questions that confound and comfort us from the time we are tiny until we take our final breath. As an adoptive mother and advocate for continuing contact with birth families, I love stories about adoption, because no two are alike. They give us light and insight into how families are created and what it means to be a family—by blood, by love, and sometimes, the combination of the two.

Vanessa's book list on adoption and what it means to be a family

Vanessa McGrady Why did Vanessa love this book?

In this exquisitely written poem of a memoir, Jillian Lauren splays her heart wide open, on every page as she transforms from an addict whose used up most of her luck to a mother whose role requires great stores of grit, determination, and love. We’re right there with her as she and her husband decide to adopt a boy from Ethiopia, and we’re along for the bumpy, often painful, occasionally joyful, ride through the challenges of parenting this tiny person who has already lost so much, but has so much to give. Outside of motherhood, she’s so funny and interesting I kind of want to be best friends with her. Not in a weirdo-stalker way, though.

By Jillian Lauren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everything You Ever Wanted as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Best Memoir of 2015, "This memoir is compulsively readable and full of humor and heart."-AdoptiveFamilies.com

"A punk rock Scheherazade" (Margaret Cho) shares the zigzagging path that took her from harem member to PTA member...

In her younger years, Jillian Lauren was a college dropout, a drug addict, and an international concubine in the Prince of Brunei's harem, an experience she immortalized in in her bestselling memoir, SOME GIRLS. In her thirties, Jillian's most radical act was learning the steadying power of love when she and her rock star husband adopt an Ethiopian child with special needs. After Jillian loses…


Book cover of Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

Jennifer Banks Author Of Natality: Toward a Philosophy of Birth

From my list on birth, one of our greatest underexplored subjects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family that was focused on people, poetry, and politics. My parents both worked with children with disabilities in Massachusetts and my mother ran a daycare center in our house. As a reader, student, poet, and then editor, I’ve drawn on those experiences and expectations, and have searched through books looking for their echoes. Since 2007, I've edited books at Yale University Press where I'm currently Senior Executive Editor. I have a BA from Cornell University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I've also worked in various publishing roles at ICM, Continuum, and Harvard University Press.

Jennifer's book list on birth, one of our greatest underexplored subjects

Jennifer Banks Why did Jennifer love this book?

This remarkable book is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious and omnivorous prose accounts of birth in the English language.

I encountered it early in my research on birth, when I was hungering for books that explored it as a topic of broad human concern and that went beyond the strictly personal. In critiquing the “institution” of motherhood, and the exploitation that has accompanied it for many women, Rich simultaneously unearths the power within birth – its fertile creativity – and imagines new ways of understanding it.

Rich is a wonderful stylist who uses what she calls an “odd-fangled” approach. I’ve loved this book for its “odd-fangledness” but also for how Rich combines critique with love, anger with reverence.

By Adrienne Rich,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Of Woman Born as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Of Woman Born, originally published in 1976, influential poet and feminist Adrienne Rich examines the patriarchic systems and political institutions that define motherhood. Exploring her own experience-as a woman, a poet, a feminist and a mother-she finds the act of mothering to be both determined by and distinct from the institution of motherhood as it is imposed on all women everywhere. A "powerful blend of research, theory, and self-reflection" (Sandra M. Gilbert, Paris Review), Of Woman Born revolutionised how women thought about motherhood and their own liberation. With a stirring new foreword from National Book Critics Circle Award-winning writer…


Book cover of My Wild and Sleepless Nights

Manni Coe Author Of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

From my list on memoirs that capture the struggle of everyday life.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a gay man born into an evangelical Christian family, my coming out story was wrought with pain, trauma, and separation from family and loved ones. In the same year I lost my best friend in an accident. My world tumbled and I had to crawl back to a place of reckoning. Walking became my path to healing. So when my brother Reuben, who has Down's syndrome sent me a message from the isolation of a care home in the pandemic, I knew he was in trouble. Those five words - ´brother. do. you. love. me.´changed our lives. I thought I might know a way to save him.

Manni's book list on memoirs that capture the struggle of everyday life

Manni Coe Why did Manni love this book?

As a guy with no children, motherhood has always intrigued me.

What does motherhood actually feel like? How does it change you? How to describe the bond between mother and child? I had questions that would be difficult to ask any mother. In this soaring memoir, Clover has answered them all for me. She has a skill to convert the most mundane into life-changing and the routine into extraordinary.

Clover’s style is engaging and intimate. She leaves no stone unturned in this ‘heart on her sleeve’ book about what it really means to be a mother.

By Clover Stroud,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Wild and Sleepless Nights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Raw, elemental and beautiful.' Telegraph
'This is quite simply the best book about motherhood I have ever read.' - Eleanor Mills in the Sunday Times

Mother to five children, Clover Stroud has navigated family life across two decades, both losing and finding herself. In her touching, provocative and profoundly insightful book, she captures a sense of what motherhood really feels like - how intense, sensuous, joyful, boring, profound and dark it can be.

My Wild and Sleepless Nights examines what it means to be a mother, and reveals with unflinching honesty the many conflicting emotions that this entails: the joy…


Book cover of Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection

Jay Belsky Author Of The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life

From my list on development from childhood to middle age.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was almost by accident that I became who I turned out to be as a professional, a developmental scientist interested in how early-life experiences shape who we become. Had someone asked me when I graduated from high school what were the chances of me becoming a scientist and teacher, I would have answered “zero, zero”! During my now 40+ year academic career I've come to appreciate how complex the many forces are that shape who we become. There's no nature without nurture and no nurture without nature. This emergent realization led me to learn about and study many aspects of developmental experience, like parenting and peer relations, and the role of genetics and evolution.

Jay's book list on development from childhood to middle age

Jay Belsky Why did Jay love this book?

Given my interests in nature and nurture, what I find especially fascinating is “the nature of nurture”. By this I mean how Darwinian natural selection has shaped the way our species rears its children and the effects such care has on them.

This book by a world-famous anthropologist beautifully, informative, and insightfully reveals how evolution has made us who we are as parents, people capable of unconditional love but by no means always dispensing it, sometimes the exact opposite—and why that is the case.

By Sarah Blaffer Hrdy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A History of Mothers, Infants and Natural Selection


Book cover of Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood

Anna Malaika Tubbs Author Of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

From my list on Black motherhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anna Malaika Tubbs is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of MLK Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation. She is also a Cambridge Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and a Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge Scholar. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a BA in Anthropology, Anna received a Master’s from the University of Cambridge in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies. Outside of the academy, she is an educator and DEI consultant. She lives with her husband, Michael Tubbs, and their son Michael Malakai.

Anna's book list on Black motherhood

Anna Malaika Tubbs Why did Anna love this book?

This anthology brings together diverse Black women’s voices to discuss motherhood, they range from mothers who celebrate their role to women who ask why motherhood is cast upon all of us as a necessary step, they explore the joys as well as some of the painful realities of loss and postpartum depression. Reading these stories from varied perspectives in short essay formats makes it approachable and allows you to move through it at a pace that is comfortable for any reader.

By Cecelie Berry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From a dazzling array of well-known African American women, short fiction, poems, and personal essays that describe with warmth and humor their experiences as mothers and as daughters.

A sparkling anthology devoted to exploring the lives of African American mothers, Rise Up Singing presents the stories and reflections of such beloved and respected artists, journalists, and authors as Alice Walker, Faith Ringgold, Marita Golden, Martha Southgate, Tananarive Due, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Deborah Roberts, Rita Dove, and others. It features original and previously published writings, organized by editor Cecelie Berry by themes—mothering, work, family, children, community, and love—that illuminate the…


Book cover of Motherhood: Facing and Finding Yourself

Andrew G. Marshall Author Of I Love You, But I'm Not in Love with You: Seven Steps to Putting the Passion Back Into Your Relationship

From my list on raising emotionally rounded children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a marital therapist with thirty-five years of experience helping couples fall back in love and deal with the fall out from infidelity. I trained with RELATE – the UK’s largest couple counselling charity – and have a private practice in Berlin and lead a team of therapists based in the UK. I have heard over a thousand couples argue – more often than not – about their children. So I am always looking for books that will give a wider perspective and practical advice on how to be a parent without exhausting your marriage and forgetting to still be lovers.

Andrew's book list on raising emotionally rounded children

Andrew G. Marshall Why did Andrew love this book?

There are plenty of ‘how to’ books on being a mother but this looks at how having children changes you and what you learn about yourself. What makes this book profoundly helpful is that Lisa in a Jungian Analyst and she is not afraid to look at the dark as well as the light side of mothering. In my podcast, The Meaningful Life with Andrew G Marshall she talked about the moments where she crossed a line with her son and daughter and how owning ALL parts of you helps you learn and grow.

By Lisa Marchiano,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Motherhood is the true hero's journey-which is to say that it can be as harrowing as it is joyful, and enlightening as it is exhausting. For Jungian psychoanalyst Lisa Marchiano, this journey is not just an adventure of diaper bags and parent-teacher conferences, but one of intense self-discovery.

In Motherhood, Marchiano draws from a deep well of Jungian analysis and symbolic research to present a collection of fairytales, myths, and fables that evoke the spiritual arc of raising a child from infancy through adulthood. After all, this kind of storytelling has always been one of the most important conduits of…


Book cover of The Push

Natasha Boydell Author Of The Legacy of Eve

From my list on motherhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always wanted to write fiction but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I finally took the plunge. I think motherhood, with all the joy, fear, and complexity that comes with it, is such a rich topic which I was inspired to explore in my writing and most of my books are centred around parenting and family life. And I also think that, like many of the characters in the books I’ve recommended, my journey to rediscover my sense of identity in the world as I approached my 40th birthday pushed me to finally pursue my dream of being an author.   

Natasha's book list on motherhood

Natasha Boydell Why did Natasha love this book?

From one extreme to another!

The Push is a fast-paced suspense that had me on tenterhooks from start to finish and I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s about a woman, Blythe, who is determined to be a loving and kind mother to her new baby. But as the stress and relentlessness of early motherhood takes its toll, Blythe becomes increasingly convinced there’s something wrong with her daughter. The problem is that no one believes her.

This book reminded me of my early days of parenting, when I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and paranoid that I was a terrible mother. Looking back now, it really does feel like a distant memory and if you’re a new mother reading this, I promise you that this too shall pass. (Unless you’re Blythe perhaps…!) 

By Ashley Audrain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | A New York Times bestseller!

"Utterly addictive." -Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

"Hooks you from the very first page and will have you racing to get to the end."-Good Morning America

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family-and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for-and everything she feared

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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