100 books like Hector and the Search for Happiness

By Francois Lelord,

Here are 100 books that Hector and the Search for Happiness fans have personally recommended if you like Hector and the Search for Happiness. 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 Wind, Sand and Stars

Kelly Cordes Author Of The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre

From my list on belief and finding meaning from the meaningless.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some thirty years ago, on a frozen waterfall near an old logging town in Montana, my life changed forever. A friend took me climbing. Almost instantly, upon leaving the ground, the mountains became my singular passion. I lived in run-down shacks and worked dead-end jobs, freeing myself to travel and to climb. Along the way I stumbled into an editorial job with the American Alpine Journal, where I worked for twelve years, deepening my knowledge of mountains, including the incomparable Cerro Torre. I know that climbing is overtly pointless. What we gain from it, however—what it demands and what we give in return—has immeasurable power.

Kelly's book list on belief and finding meaning from the meaningless

Kelly Cordes Why did Kelly love this book?

Saint-Exupery’s descriptions of what he sees and feels during enthralling activities amid stunning landscapes left me enchanted. The feelings he captures extend beyond the mere act of flying and into human relationships and our quest for meaning, written in beautiful, often philosophical prose. He approached flying as a metaphor for life and the human condition. Even if I will never fly, he made me care. 

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Wind, Sand and Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The National Book Award-winning autobiographical book about the wonder of flying from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of the beloved children's classic The Little Prince.

A National Geographic Top Ten Adventure Book of All Time

Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying.

Translated by Lewis Galantière.

"There are certain rare individuals...who by the mere fact of their existence put…


Book cover of God's Debris

Christopher Riley Author Of Where Once We Stood: Stories of The Apollo Astronauts Who Walked On The Moon

From my list on making sense of our existence in the Universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a film director and producer, specialising in science and history. I write books between making films. 

Christopher's book list on making sense of our existence in the Universe

Christopher Riley Why did Christopher love this book?

I like short books that don’t feel too daunting to read. This very readable, brief tale, described by Adams as a thought experiment wrapped in a story, reminds us how to see the world differently. Something we could all do with, to challenge our prejudices and lift us from our echo chambers. 

By Scott Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Debris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explore the mysteries and magic of the cosmos with the acclaimed creator of Dilbert. 

God's Debris is the first non-Dilbert, non-humor book by best-selling author Scott Adams. Adams describes God's Debris as a thought experiment wrapped in a story. It's designed to make your brain spin around inside your skull.

 Imagine that you meet a very old man who—you eventually realize—knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life: quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes…


Book cover of The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God

Christopher Riley Author Of Where Once We Stood: Stories of The Apollo Astronauts Who Walked On The Moon

From my list on making sense of our existence in the Universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a film director and producer, specialising in science and history. I write books between making films. 

Christopher's book list on making sense of our existence in the Universe

Christopher Riley Why did Christopher love this book?

This book, by one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, offers a personal insight into understanding and appreciating the vastness of the Cosmos. It’s a book that spans so much and paints the most accurate picture I’ve read of how we might fit into the Universe.  

By Carl Sagan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Ann Druyan has unearthed a treasure. It is a treasure of reason, compassion, and scientific awe. It should be the next book you read.” —Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith

“A stunningly valuable legacy left to all of us by a great human being. I miss him so.”  —Kurt Vonnegut

Carl Sagan's prophetic vision of the tragic resurgence of fundamentalism and the hope-filled potential of the next great development in human spirituality

The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth…


Book cover of Easy Travel to Other Planets

Christopher Riley Author Of Where Once We Stood: Stories of The Apollo Astronauts Who Walked On The Moon

From my list on making sense of our existence in the Universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a film director and producer, specialising in science and history. I write books between making films. 

Christopher's book list on making sense of our existence in the Universe

Christopher Riley Why did Christopher love this book?

Easy Travel to Other Planets by Ted Mooney, is a fictionalised story of an attempt at another Moon shot idea; the building of an interspecies communication bridge between humans and dolphins. This was a real experiment attempted in the 1960s, by neuroscientist John Lilly – which I made a film about, for the BBC, called The Girl who talked to Dolphins. Like God’s Debris, Mooney’s book challenges our perceptions of reality, and like Varieties of Scientific Experience, it tries to shed light on what it is to be human. Not only does it cover these grand ideas, but it also touches on some very prescient themes – such as our current epidemic of information overload and our existential environmental crisis.

By Ted Mooney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Easy Travel to Other Planets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"One of the most original seductions in recent fiction... a novel of immensely tender feeling." –The New York Review of Books

Ted Mooney's first novel Easy Travel to Other Planets endures as a cult classic known for its opening scene describing a woman having sex with a dolphin.

Winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a finalist for the National Book Award, Mooney's inventive novel was also named to the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels list.


Book cover of Not the End: Life Isn't Over Until It Is Over

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Author Of Make life Yours!: Based on real facts

From my list on live life fully.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a person like you who has lived difficult situations, has had losses, made mistakes, and deals with bad days wondering about my existence and purpose in life. I have a gift, and it's writing; I began sending reflective messages to the people at my office and that’s when I noticed that people loved them. Years later, after reading several books and accumulating more experience, I realized that there are several experiences that are common to all, but few questioned. Therefore, I decided to share my insight and thoughts in my second book, hoping to help people be a better version of themselves and live their lives to their fullest.

Mónica's book list on live life fully

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Why did Mónica love this book?

This book first caught my attention for the title—it’s a common Mexican phrase we use at the end of a fairytale story.

When I began reading it, I loved that the author used different color fonts so we can identify which character is talking. I found it very entertaining and fun.

When I read it, I was living in pain, longing to have a partner. This book helped me to see that nothing can be rushed; everything happens when it must happen. I learned that I could use fear to my favor and live life as I want, because the rest will come. Life is always on our side. And from time to time, I still read again the key parts that helped me when I was in pain.

By Odin Dupeyron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not the End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not The End was first released in 2001 and since that first edition has been read and reread, given, lent and recommended by readers of all ages, of all genders, of different religions, preferences and countries. It has passed from hand to hand and from mouth to mouth, changed publisher, cover, color and presentation. Less than two years after its publication, it became a national bestseller in Mexico and has deeply touched the hearts and lives of thousands of people.

Now eleven years later, Not The End celebrates its twenty-ninth edition in Mexico and the first one in it´s translation…


Book cover of Follow Your Heart: Finding Purpose in Your Life and Work

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Author Of Make life Yours!: Based on real facts

From my list on live life fully.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a person like you who has lived difficult situations, has had losses, made mistakes, and deals with bad days wondering about my existence and purpose in life. I have a gift, and it's writing; I began sending reflective messages to the people at my office and that’s when I noticed that people loved them. Years later, after reading several books and accumulating more experience, I realized that there are several experiences that are common to all, but few questioned. Therefore, I decided to share my insight and thoughts in my second book, hoping to help people be a better version of themselves and live their lives to their fullest.

Mónica's book list on live life fully

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Why did Mónica love this book?

When reading this book, I was dealing with many family issues, and I didn’t know what to do. This book helped me to see that life doesn’t have favorites and that it’s in us to move on and achieve anything we want.

It taught me to be a less controlling woman and detach myself from money and love. It made me realize how important it is to pay attention to my thoughts and beliefs. Do what I want, no matter what, but begin by doing something because in that moment of my life, I was living the “victim role.” I learned that the key is to act, and everything else follows.

I loved this book because it has a lot of wisdom in different areas of life!

By Andrew Matthews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The concepts in this book ring true with practical, applicable advice, and Matthews's lucid writing and witty stories help bring his message into sharp focus. Follow Your Heart is everything you could ask for in a self-help book. It is about doing what you love, dealing with bills and disasters, discovering your own power, and finding peace of mind. Start down the road to changing your life because as Matthews says: "Our mission in life is not to change the world--our mission is to change ourselves."


Book cover of The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Author Of Make life Yours!: Based on real facts

From my list on live life fully.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a person like you who has lived difficult situations, has had losses, made mistakes, and deals with bad days wondering about my existence and purpose in life. I have a gift, and it's writing; I began sending reflective messages to the people at my office and that’s when I noticed that people loved them. Years later, after reading several books and accumulating more experience, I realized that there are several experiences that are common to all, but few questioned. Therefore, I decided to share my insight and thoughts in my second book, hoping to help people be a better version of themselves and live their lives to their fullest.

Mónica's book list on live life fully

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Why did Mónica love this book?

I needed a different book and found it in this one. The author wrote it based on interviewing more than 200 people over 60. And I learned a lot from it!

If you want to make a checkup about your life and how you live it, this is the book you need. The 5 secrets will help you to see if you are on the right path.

What shocked me was to learn that happy people aren’t afraid to die. People who live life wisely accept death as part of life. When I read that, I committed myself to putting into practice the 5 secrets because I want to be like those the author interviewed: nothing to regret.

It’s more than a book: it’s a great life guide!

By John Izzo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“What brought you the greatest joy? What do you wish you had learned sooner? What ultimately mattered and what didn’t?” asks Dr. John Izzo. Based on a highly acclaimed public television series, this book takes the reader on a heartwarming and profound journey to find lasting happiness.
 
Imagine for a moment that you are about to take a foreign vacation to an exotic destination. You have saved your entire life to travel there. It is a destination with almost unlimited choices of how to spend your time and you know you will not have enough time to explore every opportunity.…


Book cover of The Janitor: How an Unexpected Friendship Transformed a CEO and His Company

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Author Of Make life Yours!: Based on real facts

From my list on live life fully.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a person like you who has lived difficult situations, has had losses, made mistakes, and deals with bad days wondering about my existence and purpose in life. I have a gift, and it's writing; I began sending reflective messages to the people at my office and that’s when I noticed that people loved them. Years later, after reading several books and accumulating more experience, I realized that there are several experiences that are common to all, but few questioned. Therefore, I decided to share my insight and thoughts in my second book, hoping to help people be a better version of themselves and live their lives to their fullest.

Mónica's book list on live life fully

Mónica Ramírez Chimal Why did Mónica love this book?

I enjoyed reading this book because it’s written as a story. All the learning is through the janitor, on his advice to the CEO, to see life in a different way.

It opened my eyes because, at that moment, I was doing what the CEO does in the book: I was very stressed, not having time for something else, and wrongly thinking that I needed to do more in the same way. The message of the book was compelling for me: I needed to change the way I lived my life because this book made me reflect on how I would leave my legacy.

There are few books that I’ve read that made me cry, this one did. It touched my heart, and hopefully, I touch other lives. 

By Todd Hopkins, Ray Hilbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Do you ever find yourself losing sight of the important things in life-work and stress can become overwhelming at times. Such is the situation where CEO Roger Kimbrough finds himself in this business parable.

The Janitor was inspired by Todd Hopkins's personal experiences of interviewing overqualified retired businessmen for evening shift janitorial positions. Todd's applicants consistently would say they simply needed something to do. In this fable, janitor Bob Tidwell helps Roger to reevaluate how he is leading his business and his life. Bob's counsel is based upon six principles that Todd and coauthor Ray Hilbert discovered have the most…


Book cover of The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

Chase Mielke Author Of The Burnout Cure: Learning to Love Teaching Again

From my list on making teaching suck a little less.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a veteran teacher, instructional coach, and speaker. I’ve dealt with the bull crap and beauty of education for a decade and a half. As such, I’m dedicated to helping educators find their love of this work, even amidst the struggles. I’m a columnist for Education Leadership and host of the Educator Happy Hour podcast. I travel all over the world to help teachers and school leaders learn the science of well-being so they can be at their best in order to give their best, even on full-moon, post-holiday, “WIFI crashed” days of student chaos.

Chase's book list on making teaching suck a little less

Chase Mielke Why did Chase love this book?

I was an angsty, trouble-making, “pain in the ass-essement” of a student. A mischief maker. A frequenter of the principal's office. Then junior year, I find myself at a rummage sale holding a book with a cheesy, smiley Buddhist on the cover about happiness. Maybe it was curiosity (or what I’d later realize was depression) but I felt I had to buy the book. No book has changed my life more.

Co-written by H. H. the Dalai Lama and psychiatrist Dr. Howard C. Cutler, this book is a pragmatic, down-to-earth exploration of how our thoughts – our reactions to hardships – can shape our well-being. Not preachy, nor touchy-feely, this book can explain how to acknowledge the challenges of life while taking our happiness into our own actions. If you’re going to suffer (and in teaching, you will suffer), why not take a masterclass on how to find happiness within…

By Dalai Lama XIV, Howard C. Cutler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this unique and important book, one of the world's great spiritual leaders offers his practical wisdom and advice on how we can overcome everyday human problems and achieve lasting happiness.

The Art of Happiness is a highly accessible guide for a western audience, combining the Dalai Lama's eastern spiritual tradition with Dr Howard C. Cutler's western perspective. Covering all key areas of human experience, they apply the principles of Tibetan Buddhism to everyday problems and reveal how one can find balance and complete spiritual and mental freedom.

For the many who wish to understand more about the Dalai Lama's…


Book cover of Cry, Mother Spain

Johana Gustawsson Author Of Blood Song

From my list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a French writer of Spanish origin. My two grandfathers shared history with Spain’s darkest hours. My maternal grandfather was born in Barcelona and he was a teenager at the time of the war; just like Salvayre’s parents, he had to flee Spain as the bombs were hitting his city. My paternal grandfather, who was in his twenties at the time of the civil war, decided to fight for the “International Brigades” to defend Spain’s freedom. It is to honour their memory and one of the millions of men and women who suffered from those almost four decades of dictatorship that I wrote Blood Song, a historical thriller, the third installment in the Roy and Castell series.

Johana's book list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War

Johana Gustawsson Why did Johana love this book?

The former French psychiatrist Lydie Salvayre won the prestigious Goncourt Prize for that brilliant novel about the Spanish civil war. Salvayre’s parents, who were Republicans, had to flee Franco’s regime, and we feel that her writing is sewn with emotion and memories. The two voices we hear echo perfectly that troubling period of Spanish history: the one of Salvayre’s own mother recounting her experiencing the civil war and the one of the French writer Georges Bernanos. A novel not to be missed.

By Lydie Salvayre, Ben Faccini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Aged fifteen, as Franco's forces begin their murderous purges and cities across Spain rise up against the old order, Montse has never heard the word fascista before. In any case, the villagers say facha (the ch is a real Spanish ch, by the way, with a real spit).

Montse lives in a small village, high in the hills, where few people can read or write and fewer still ever leave. If everything goes according to her mother's plan, Montse will never leave either. She will become a good, humble maid for the local landowners, muchisimas gracias, with every Sunday off…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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