100 books like Good in a Crisis

By Margaret Overton,

Here are 100 books that Good in a Crisis fans have personally recommended if you like Good in a Crisis. 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 Educated: A Memoir

Genevieve Kingston Author Of Did I Ever Tell You?: A Memoir

From my list on young women on journeys of self-discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young girl and aspiring writer, I was shocked when I learned how recently women had been afforded the right to publish under our own names. As a life-long reader of female authors, and lover of complex female protagonists, I’m passionate about supporting and sharing stories by and about women. As an author and playwright, I love to seek out buried narratives or minor characters, and put them center stage. I hope you enjoy these extraordinary books by these extraordinary women.

Genevieve's book list on young women on journeys of self-discovery

Genevieve Kingston Why did Genevieve love this book?

I’m always astonished and grateful when someone who has lived through extraordinary events also has the skill to describe them brilliantly.

Tara Westover’s gorgeous writing won me over before I could even begin to appreciate the strange, dangerous, and ever-shifting terrain of her childhood. Her descriptions of growing up in a fundamentalist, survivalist home with no formal education, and no official record of her existence, never stopped surprising me as I gobbled up the pages.

I was amazed and inspired by her determination to forge her own path as an adult and to see the world for herself rather than simply accept the stories she’d always been told.

By Tara Westover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

Selected as a book of the year by AMAZON, THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, NEW YORK TIMES, ECONOMIST, NEW STATESMAN, VOGUE, IRISH TIMES, IRISH EXAMINER and RED MAGAZINE

'One of the best books I have ever read . . . unbelievably moving' Elizabeth Day
'An extraordinary story, beautifully told' Louise O'Neill
'A memoir to stand alongside the classics . . . compelling and joyous' Sunday Times

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the end of the world. She was never put in school, never taken to the doctor. She did not even have a birth certificate…


Book cover of Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

Mark Steven Porro Author Of A Cup of Tea on the Commode: My Multi-Tasking Adventures of Caring for Mom. And How I Survived to Tell the Tale

From my list on books that do not flinch when dealing with difficult circumstances.

Why am I passionate about this?

Family history has always fascinated me. I didn’t want mine to be buried with my loved ones. So, out of curiosity, I asked relatives lots of questions. If unsatisfied, I sought answers elsewhere. I traveled as far as Celle San Vito, Italy, where my grandfather was born, to solve a one-hundred-year-old mystery, and I filmed it for others to enjoy. I’ve memorialized momentous family events in poems, handmade greeting cards, memory books, screenplays, a documentary, and now, in my memoir A Cup of Tea on the Commode. The books on my list are about “family.” I’ve been moved by each, and I hope they move you as well.

Mark's book list on books that do not flinch when dealing with difficult circumstances

Mark Steven Porro Why did Mark love this book?

Like many people, I first discovered Morrie on Nightline with Ted Koppel. Like many, I fell in love with his charm, courage, and determination to continue doing what was in his bones, teaching us what’s truly important in life.

Mitch Albom, his former student, shares many of Morrie’s lessons and his gift of uplifting others while facing his own death. I laughed, cried, and thanked Mitch and Morrie for sharing this gift with me.

By Mitch Albom,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Tuesdays with Morrie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON THAT HAS TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF OVER 9 MILLION READERS

'Mitch Albom sees the magical in the ordinary' Cecelia Ahern
__________

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague? Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it? For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to…


Book cover of My Grandfather's Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

Stephanie Chitpin Author Of Keep My Memory Safe: Fook Soo Am, The Pagoda

From my list on expanding perspectives and empathy for others.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Full Professor of Leadership within the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Canada. I am the recipient of the 2020 Research Excellence Award. My research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Ontario Ministry of Education, Canada, is international in scope. I am also the founder of the Equitable Leadership Network at the University of Ottawa. 

Stephanie's book list on expanding perspectives and empathy for others

Stephanie Chitpin Why did Stephanie love this book?

I love the stories presented in Dr. Remen’s book. They are simple yet profound.

Her stories are centered on the concepts of healing, kindness, compassion, love, and living which she learned from her grandfather. She emphasizes the value of helping others as a way to help ourselves and find meaning in the world.

By Rachel Naomi Remen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Grandfather's Blessings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In My Grandfather's Blessings, Rachel Naomi Remen, a cancer physician and master storyteller, uses her luminous stories to remind us of the power of our kindness and the joy of being alive.

Dr. Remen's grandfather, an orthodox rabbi and scholar of the Kabbalah, saw life as a web of connection and knew that everyone belonged to him, and that he belonged to everyone. He taught her that blessing one another is what fills our emptiness, heals our loneliness, and connects us more deeply to life.

Life has given us many more blessings than we have allowed ourselves to receive. My…


Book cover of Under an Afghan Sky

Stephanie Chitpin Author Of Keep My Memory Safe: Fook Soo Am, The Pagoda

From my list on expanding perspectives and empathy for others.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Full Professor of Leadership within the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Canada. I am the recipient of the 2020 Research Excellence Award. My research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Ontario Ministry of Education, Canada, is international in scope. I am also the founder of the Equitable Leadership Network at the University of Ottawa. 

Stephanie's book list on expanding perspectives and empathy for others

Stephanie Chitpin Why did Stephanie love this book?

Fung writes a powerful story about survival, her captivity, and her indomitable spirit under the most perilous of circumstances that she lived through in Kabul, Afghanistan after being grabbed by the Taliban. As the Canadian reporter describes her bone-chilling account of the horrific twenty-eight days, I am left in awe of her strength and courage. 

By Mellissa Fung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under an Afghan Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In October 2008, Mellissa Fung, a reporter for CBC’s The National, was leaving a refugee camp outside of Kabul when she was kidnapped by armed men. She was forced to hike for several hours through the mountains until they reached a village; there, the kidnappers pushed her towards a hole in the ground. “No,” she said. “I am not going down there.”

For more than a month, Fung lived in that hole, which was barely tall enough to stand up in, nursing her injuries, praying and writing in a notebook. Under an Afghan Sky is the gripping tale of Fung’s…


Book cover of There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America

Mae Elise Cannon Author Of Beyond Hashtag Activism: Comprehensive Justice in a Complicated Age

From my list on justice that you don’t need a PhD to understand.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in rural Southern Maryland, I first began to notice a difference between Blacks and whites because of the way I was treated when I hung out with my African American friends. South of the Mason Dixon line, racial differences are often clear. Throughout my childhood and young adult life some of the most influential people who invested in me were African American. As I began to learn about their stories, my heart grew with a love for racial justice and equality. My work and adult life has focused on righting wrongs, responding to global and domestic poverty, to writing and working against inequality and oppression.

Mae's book list on justice that you don’t need a PhD to understand

Mae Elise Cannon Why did Mae love this book?

Having lived in Chicago for more than a decade, this first-hand glimpse of two young boys growing up in the inner city changed my perspective and understanding of the realities of domestic urban poverty. A moving and powerful read, you can follow the journey after There are No Children Here in Kotlowitz’s follow-up story, An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago.

By Alex Kotlowitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There Are No Children Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A moving and powerful account by an acclaimed journalist that "informs the heart. [This] meticulous portrait of two boys in a Chicago housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape" (The New York Times).

"Alex Kotlowitz  joins the ranks of the important few writers on the  subiect of urban poverty."—Chicago Tribune

The story of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago's  Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.


Book cover of This Heart of Mine

Amiee Smith Author Of Love Sounds

From my list on steamy romance to make you stay up all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the art of writing romance fiction. I’m a character-driven author. My stories are contemporary romance with steam, humor, and diversity. I run my business from my living room. When I'm not writing and telling people about my books, I run another online business. Read lots. Watch tons of series. Drink coffee and wine. Listen to music. Cook comforting vegetarian meals. Say prayers, meditate, and light candles. Text with my girlfriends. And try to squeeze in a walk and a shower. My sexy little stories are my attempt at keeping someone up all night. May you always feel loved, seen, and heard. The Smart Girl Mafia Series books 1-4 are currently available. 

Amiee's book list on steamy romance to make you stay up all night

Amiee Smith Why did Amiee love this book?

A funny contemporary romance that I skipped worked because I stay up all night reading it. The heroine is a smart and quirky children’s book author and the hero is the hottest of a hot football star. They find themselves having to work at a summer camp after a potentially scandalous hookup. This is one of my favorite authors and a true master of happily-ever-after storytelling. 

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the gold standard for women's fiction - an award-winning, bestselling phenomenon whose talent for blending laughs and tears with heartfelt, passionate, ingeniously conceived romance has made her one of America's most loved authors. The Phillips magic is vibrantly alive and on display in her long-awaited e-book debut.

Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect.

Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it's Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children's books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle,…


Book cover of The Chicago Food Encyclopedia

Amelia Levin Author Of The Chicago Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Windy City

From my list on the magic of Chicago cuisine and food lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a longtime food writer, magazine editor, cookbook author, and certified chef (through Kendall College, also in Chicago of course!). I was born in Chicago, raised in the Northern suburbs, and came back right after graduating from the University of Michigan in the early 2000s. For two decades, I lived in various parts of the city and wrote about the food scene for local and national outlets. The first edition of The Chicago Chef’s Table came out in 2012. Even though I moved to the suburbs a few years ago with my growing family, we still get down to the city often to enjoy the hottest new spots. My love for Chicago will never subside!

Amelia's book list on the magic of Chicago cuisine and food lore

Amelia Levin Why did Amelia love this book?

Carol Haddix served as the former editor of the Chicago Tribune’s food section and is a personal friend and colleague of mine; we are both part of Les Dames d’Escoffier Chicago, an international society for women in food service with chapters around the world. This literal tome is a homage to all things Chicago and food. It’s a bookshelf must-have if you live in the area, have lived here or want to live here! 

By Carol Haddix (editor), Bruce Kraig (editor), Colleen Taylor Sen (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Chicago Food Encyclopedia is a far-ranging portrait of an American culinary paradise. Hundreds of entries deliver all of the visionary restauranteurs, Michelin superstars, beloved haunts, and food companies of today and yesterday. More than 100 sumptuous images include thirty full-color photographs that transport readers to dining rooms and food stands across the city. Throughout, a roster of writers, scholars, and industry experts pays tribute to an expansive--and still expanding--food history that not only helped build Chicago but fed a growing nation. Pizza. Alinea. Wrigley Spearmint. Soul food. Rick Bayless. Hot Dogs. Koreatown. Everest. All served up A-Z, and all…


Book cover of Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power

Clarence Taylor Author Of Fight the Power: African Americans and the Long History of Police Brutality in New York City

From my list on race and policing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Professor Emeritus of History at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  I grew up in Brooklyn, New York during the turbulent decades of the 1950s and 1960s where there were numerous social protest movements against the War in Vietnam, school segregation, and police brutality.  My books explore the men and women who battled institutional racism.

Clarence's book list on race and policing

Clarence Taylor Why did Clarence love this book?

Balto explores how the Chicago police, from 1910 to the 1970s “built an intricate, powerful carceral machinery whose most constitutive feature was an extreme racial selectivity.” Black people are over-policed and under-protected. Balto focuses on policing and anti-blackness. Black Chicagoans’ complaints of torture and “aggressive prevention patrol” by the police went on for decades and was essentially ignored by those in power. Balto tells the story of a racially repressive police force. In two decades, from 1945 to 1965 the Chicago police grew more punitive as the department doubled in size. Black communities were targeted by the CPD, in large part, because black was equated with criminality.

By Simon Balto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In July 1919, an explosive race riot forever changed Chicago. For years, black southerners had been leaving the South as part of the Great Migration. Their arrival in Chicago drew the ire and scorn of many local whites, including members of the city's political leadership and police department, who generally sympathized with white Chicagoans and viewed black migrants as a problem population. During Chicago's Red Summer riot, patterns of extraordinary brutality, negligence, and discriminatory policing emerged to shocking effect. Those patterns shifted in subsequent decades, but the overall realities of a racially discriminatory police system persisted.

In this history of…


Book cover of He Had It Coming: Four Murderous Women and the Reporter Who Immortalized Their Stories

Silvia Pettem Author Of In Search of the Blonde Tigress: The Untold Story of Eleanor Jarman

From my list on mysterious and intriguing women in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been writing for decades, as one genre evolved into another. Local Colorado history led to the identification of "Boulder Jane Doe," a murder victim. During that journey I learned a lot about criminal investigations and forensics. I devoured old movies (especially film noir), and I focused on social history including mysterious and intriguing women. Midwest Book Review (see author book links) credits In Search of the Blonde Tigress as "rescuing" Eleanor Jarman "from obscurity." So true! Despite Eleanor's notoriety as "the most dangerous woman alive," she actually was a very ordinary woman. I've now found my niche pulling mysterious and intriguing women out of the shadows.

Silvia's book list on mysterious and intriguing women in history

Silvia Pettem Why did Silvia love this book?

Using photo and newspaper archives from the Chicago Tribune, the authors of He Had It Coming tell the stories of four Chicago female murderers from the 1920s.

The documentation (both primary and secondary sources) and, especially, the newspaper's original high-quality historical photographs inspired me to dig deeply into similar archives when researching and writing my book.

By Kori Rumore, Marianne Mather,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked He Had It Coming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beulah Annan. Belva Gaertner. Kitty Malm. Sabella Nitti. These are the real women of Chicago.

You probably know Roxie and Velma, the good-time gals of the 1926 satirical play Chicago and its wildly successful musical and movie adaptations. You might not know that Roxie, Velma, and the rest of the colorful characters of the play were inspired by real prisoners held in "Murderess Row" in 1920s Chicago-or that the reporter who covered their trials for the Chicago Tribune went on to write the play Chicago.

Now, more than 90 years later, the Chicago Tribune has uncovered photographs and newspaper clippings…


Book cover of Then We Came to the End

Jinwoo Chong Author Of Flux

From my list on to cure (or rather validate) your post-capitalist malaise.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2017, I was laid off from my first job out of college, an experience that I think more young people are going through as we move further into an uncertain economic future. That experience formed the basis of my novel, which was published earlier this year. Afterwards, I met a lot of people, most of whom I didn’t know, who told me they’d resonated with the feeling of malaise captured by those first few chapters: of working jobs that seem to be dead ends, wondering if you’ll be here, at this desk, twenty years from now. It’s something most everybody can relate to but doesn't appear in novels nearly as much as it should.

Jinwoo's book list on to cure (or rather validate) your post-capitalist malaise

Jinwoo Chong Why did Jinwoo love this book?

This may be the first book one thinks of when picturing The American Office Novel. It’s one of the older books on this list. It’s also the funniest, and strangest, and the truest.

Centered around a Chicago advertising agency struggling to preserve its relevancy amid the vastly changing media landscape of the 90s and employing one of the only uses of first-person plural that I think works in entirety, this book is a true gem, a marvel that tells a fairly straightforward story that practically vibrates with the amount of beautiful, carefully arranged detail throughout it. 

By Joshua Ferris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Then We Came to the End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. With a demon's eye for the details that make life worth noticing, Joshua Ferris tells a true and funny story about survival in life's strangest environment--the one we…


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