100 books like Ink & Paint

By Mindy Johnson,

Here are 100 books that Ink & Paint fans have personally recommended if you like Ink & Paint. 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 The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Jason Kersten Author Of The Last Counterfeiter: The Story of Fake Money, Real Art, and Forging the Impossible $100 Bill

From my list on crime books that explode into larger worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a window-seat person. If I’m on a trip, I want to see much more than the device propelling me forward. In crime books, the vehicle is always the crime, but I want that felonious little engine to also propel me through realms where I become more explorer than passenger, where I’ve entered marvelous and unexpected worlds that become characters in themselves. It almost doesn’t matter what that world is, whether it’s 19th-century Chicago architecture, bitcoin cartels or octopus linguistics. As long as it’s well-researched and rendered with depth, precision, and passion, your ticket to a crime gets you at least two books, or even genres, for one!

Jason's book list on crime books that explode into larger worlds

Jason Kersten Why did Jason love this book?

Erik Larson is known for his masterful ability to combine meticulous research with rich prose to breathe life into history. This book, with intersecting narratives of a serial killer and a brilliant architect set at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, painted such a living picture for me that I still felt stuck to the canvas even when I wasn’t reading.

I learned about astonishing true events and characters I barely knew existed. The contrast between the great inventors on the grand stage of the fair and the killer haunting its shadow was superbly done.

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked The Devil in the White City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular- an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once…


Book cover of Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

Jake S. Friedman Author Of The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age

From my list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an expert in animation history, having written three books on it, dozens of articles, and appeared on TV documentaries about it. I've also been a college professor for about 13 years, so I know what a story needs to maintain interest. These books have that. They're about different chunks of American history, some political, some artistic, all cultural. But they're also focused on the people who made the history, and showing how they got to where they were, and why they matter. These books let me walk in the shoes of subjects, and whisk me back to their time and place. If a book passes the empathy/time-machine test, it has won me over.

Jake's book list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching

Jake S. Friedman Why did Jake love this book?

Reading this book was a journey that I can’t forget.

One aspires to be the main subject of this piece of non-fiction – a young WWII soldier who survived, first being lost at sea in shark-infested waters and then in a vicious POW camp. The details and context of the story hooked me in, and I learned details about the Pacific front that left me aghast. I’m not a WWII scholar, and you don’t need to be one to love this book.

The author takes you by the hand and presents history to you as the story progresses. She also adroitly makes this a story about a man and his personality, with all its imperfections. It’s not a series of unfortunate events – it’s the unflinching character profile of one man and his unyielding will to live, mostly out of spite!  

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Unbroken as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new generation to one of history's most thrilling survival epics. 

On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the…


Book cover of Alexander Hamilton

Jake S. Friedman Author Of The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age

From my list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an expert in animation history, having written three books on it, dozens of articles, and appeared on TV documentaries about it. I've also been a college professor for about 13 years, so I know what a story needs to maintain interest. These books have that. They're about different chunks of American history, some political, some artistic, all cultural. But they're also focused on the people who made the history, and showing how they got to where they were, and why they matter. These books let me walk in the shoes of subjects, and whisk me back to their time and place. If a book passes the empathy/time-machine test, it has won me over.

Jake's book list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching

Jake S. Friedman Why did Jake love this book?

I learned that he was the only of America’s Founding Father to not come from a well-to-do family.

The book makes him into such a three-dimensional, yet exceptional portrait of a man, Even down to his extramarital affair, the first sex scandal in America. I felt like I could have a beer with this guy by the time the book was over. It breathes life into the exciting time that was colonial America before, during and immediately after the war for independence. It makes the events seem less like a bygone era, and more like a bunch of dudes threatening each other.

Most of all, it casts slavery into a realistic light, pulling no punches on how hypocritical many colonists considered each other for having slaves.

By Ron Chernow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

"Grand-scale biography at its best-thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book." -David McCullough

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all." -Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton.…


Book cover of Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson's First Television Show

Jake S. Friedman Author Of The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation's Golden Age

From my list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an expert in animation history, having written three books on it, dozens of articles, and appeared on TV documentaries about it. I've also been a college professor for about 13 years, so I know what a story needs to maintain interest. These books have that. They're about different chunks of American history, some political, some artistic, all cultural. But they're also focused on the people who made the history, and showing how they got to where they were, and why they matter. These books let me walk in the shoes of subjects, and whisk me back to their time and place. If a book passes the empathy/time-machine test, it has won me over.

Jake's book list on American history that read like you’re binge-watching

Jake S. Friedman Why did Jake love this book?

This book looks like it’s only for die-hard fans, but it’s actually an extremely humanizing and thoughtful trip through the growth of genius.

Jim Henson has become so larger-than-life it’s too easy to “other” him. But this account of the first 28-ish years of his life really set the stage for his future success, and helped me understand how the dots were connected from a boy in Mississippi to a guest on The Tonight Show.

As a creative person, I “get” him now. And I also deeply understand his older self and how that man’s movements through life were based on his early development. 

By Craig Shemin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Long before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, college students Jim Henson and Jane Nebel created a long-running daily local Washington, D.C. television program called Sam and Friends, where Jim developed his unique approach to comedy and introduced the world to a puppet named Kermit.


In this book, President of The Jim Henson Legacy and author of The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, Craig Shemin, explores the story behind Sam and Friends and creates an episode guide from surviving scripts and recordings.


Includes a foreword by longtime Henson collaborator Frank Oz, several complete scripts and more than 150 rare photos from The…


Book cover of The Illusion of Life

Ron Husband Author Of Quick Sketching with Ron Husband

From my list on sketching, anatomy and animation for the artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been drawing for over 68 years and carrying a sketchbook for over 60 of those years. I've seen success as an author, I'm an award-winning illustrator of books and magazines and animated many classic Disney features. Am I an expert on sketching humans and animals? ...No. I'm constantly learning in my effort to capture humans and animals in action by following the basic principles of drawing as they apply to quick sketching. My learning is aided by these books as I prepare lesson plans or the encouragement and inspiration found within their pages. I'm married to LaVonne, my high school sweetheart of 50 years, and have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Ron's book list on sketching, anatomy and animation for the artist

Ron Husband Why did Ron love this book?

I was privileged to see firsthand these two Disney Legends and their passions for the craft of storytelling through animation. I worked with Frank and Ollie as a young animation trainee. I learned the basics of animation by ‘in-betweening’ scenes primarily for Frank. In addition to ‘in-betweening’ for Frank, he would give me scenes to animate under his supervision. The principles and philosophy of the ‘Disney way’ are explained within the pages of this book and I was fortunate to have absorbed them firsthand.

Applying the principles of animation that Frank and Ollie presented has had a tremendous effect on all aspects of my art. My book, my personal award-winning illustrations, and a 38-year career with the Disney Studio bear witness of putting these principles into practice.

By Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The most complete book on the subject ever written, this is the fascinating inside story by two long-term Disney animators of the gradual perfecting of a relatively young and particularly American art from, which no other move studio has ever been able to equal.

The authors, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, worked with Walt Disney himself as well as other leading figures in a half-century of Disney films. They personally animated leading characters in most of the famous films and have decades of close association with the others who helped perfect this extremely difficult and time-consuming art form. Not to…


Book cover of Drawn to Life

Ron Husband Author Of Quick Sketching with Ron Husband

From my list on sketching, anatomy and animation for the artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been drawing for over 68 years and carrying a sketchbook for over 60 of those years. I've seen success as an author, I'm an award-winning illustrator of books and magazines and animated many classic Disney features. Am I an expert on sketching humans and animals? ...No. I'm constantly learning in my effort to capture humans and animals in action by following the basic principles of drawing as they apply to quick sketching. My learning is aided by these books as I prepare lesson plans or the encouragement and inspiration found within their pages. I'm married to LaVonne, my high school sweetheart of 50 years, and have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Ron's book list on sketching, anatomy and animation for the artist

Ron Husband Why did Ron love this book?

This two-book volume of notes, drawings, wise sayings, and philosophy are and have been invaluable assets to the learning curve of myself and numerous others. I have these same handouts, in storage boxes, saved over the years. I was there in the lunch-time drawing classes Walt taught at the Disney Studio. Before each drawing session he would hand out these xerox pages. On occasion some of my sketches were included in these handouts. With humor and enthusiasm, Walt encouraged us to push the models pose, see the possibilities and more, all with a goal of making better animation drawings. 

By Walt Stanchfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover the lessons that helped bring about a new golden age of Disney animation!

Published for the first time ever, Drawn to Life is a two volume collection of the legendary lectures from long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. For over twenty years, Walt helped breathe life into the new golden age of animation with these teachings at the Walt Disney Animation Studios and influenced such talented artists as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Glen Keane, and John Lasseter. These writings represent the quintessential refresher for fine artists and film professionals, and it is a vital tutorial for students who are now…


Book cover of Animation: A World History: Volume I: Foundations - The Golden Age

David Perlmutter Author Of The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows

From my list on understanding the history of animation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a freelance writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, specializing in media history and speculative fiction. I have been enchanted by animation since childhood and followed many series avidly through adulthood. My viewing inspired my MA thesis on the history of animation, out of which grew two books on the history and theory of animation on television, America 'Toons In: A History of Television Animation (available from McFarland and Co.) and The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows (available from Rowman and Littlefield). Hopefully, others will follow.

David's book list on understanding the history of animation

David Perlmutter Why did David love this book?

Bendazzi is one of the world's leading authorities on all aspects of animation.

This multi-volume set is his magnum opus, detailing the art of animation as it has evolved over the course of decades on multiple continents.

Thoroughly researched and documented, it is essential for any serious animation scholar's shelf.

By Giannalberto Bendazzi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A continuation of 1994's groundbreaking Cartoons, Giannalberto Bendazzi's Animation: A World History is the largest, deepest, most comprehensive text of its kind, based on the idea that animation is an art form that deserves its own place in scholarship. Bendazzi delves beyond just Disney, offering readers glimpses into the animation of Russia, Africa, Latin America, and other often-neglected areas and introducing over fifty previously undiscovered artists. Full of first-hand, never before investigated, and elsewhere unavailable information, Animation: A World History encompasses the history of animation production on every continent over the span of three centuries.

Volume I traces the roots…


Book cover of Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons

David Perlmutter Author Of The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows

From my list on understanding the history of animation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a freelance writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, specializing in media history and speculative fiction. I have been enchanted by animation since childhood and followed many series avidly through adulthood. My viewing inspired my MA thesis on the history of animation, out of which grew two books on the history and theory of animation on television, America 'Toons In: A History of Television Animation (available from McFarland and Co.) and The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows (available from Rowman and Littlefield). Hopefully, others will follow.

David's book list on understanding the history of animation

David Perlmutter Why did David love this book?

This is the book- the one that helped me to understand why animation is and always will be important.

Maltin is thorough and impartial, explaining the strengths and weaknesses of classic animated films with clarity and skill. He has been the standard I have always sought to emulate in my own animation writing.

By Leonard Maltin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Film historian Leonard Maltin recreates a whole era of Hollywood cartoons, from Betty Boop to Spielberg's "An American Tail". It also brings the reader up to date on the modern work of Walt Disney and the Warner Bros studio, plus new developments in animation. The book includes a filmography of cartoons and sources for video rental.


Book cover of Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age

J.B. Kaufman Author Of Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic

From my list on American animation history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like so many others, I discovered Disney in childhood. When I was five years old my parents took me to see a Disney movie in a theater, and the experience was so overwhelming that I still recall it vividly. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for classic films, a passion that has led me to a career as a film historian. For me, writing a book about a film is mainly an excuse to do the research, to get inside a film and explore it, and find out what makes it tick. It’s invariably a fascinating journey, and if I can share that fascination with readers, I’m happy.

J.B.'s book list on American animation history

J.B. Kaufman Why did J.B. love this book?

During the 1960s, a wonderful periodical called Funnyworld began to chronicle animation history with unprecedented depth and eloquence. It was the work of Michael Barrier, and as it continued, it offered glimpses of the research he was conducting for a book to be published by Oxford Press. The book was finally finished and published more than three decades later, and reflects Barrier’s depth of insight, the thoroughness of his methods, and his dogged perseverance; his research included interviews with literally hundreds of artists from every American cartoon studio. Hollywood Cartoons stands as a definitive study of its subject, an essential reference (and enjoyable read) for any lover or serious student of classic animation.

By Michael Barrier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Hollywood Cartoons, Michael Barrier takes us on a glorious guided tour of American animation in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, to meet the legendary artists and entrepreneurs who created Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, Wile E. Coyote, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, and many other cartoon favorites.
Beginning with black-and-white silent cartoons, Barrier offers an insightful account, taking us inside early New York studios and such Hollywood giants as Disney, Warner Bros., and MGM. Barrier excels at illuminating the creative side of animation-revealing how stories are put together, how animators develop a character, how technical innovations enhance the…


Book cover of Cartoon Animation with Preston Blair: Learn Techniques for Drawing and Animating Cartoon Characters

Stephen Silver Author Of The Silver Way: Techniques, Tips, and Tutorials for Effective Character Design

From my list on to inspire you to sketch.

Why am I passionate about this?

Stephen Silver has been a professional working artist, character designer, and teacher in the industry for over 30 years. He developed intellectual properties for some of the largest media companies in the world; such as Disney, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Sony, MAD Magazine, Reel FX, Bento box, Hasbro, Universal, DreamWorks, and more. Stephen is responsible for the visual character development and design of some of animation’s most iconic shows; including Disney’s Kim Possible, Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom, and Disney’s Clerks: The Animated Series, to name a few.

Stephen's book list on to inspire you to sketch

Stephen Silver Why did Stephen love this book?

I believe this is one of the greatest books for breaking down and understanding the emotion and simplicity of construction. I love that it offers a variety of animals and humans to draw from and it can save you so much time by teaching you the basic fundamentals of drawing cartoon faces that will guide you throughout your career.

By Preston Blair,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cartoon Animation with Preston Blair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By following the lessons in Cartoon Animation with Preston Blair, you can make any character—person, animal, or object—come to life through animated movement!

While animators must first know how to draw, the animation process involves much more than just good drawing skills. In this new edition, acclaimed cartoon animator Preston Blair shares his vast practical knowledge to explain and demonstrate the many techniques of cartoon animation. Learn the knowledge and skills animators must have, including: How to construct original cartoon characters by developing a character’s shape, personality, features, and mannerisms How to animate movements such as running, walking, dancing, posing,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in animation, the film industry, and traditionally animated filmss?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about animation, the film industry, and traditionally animated filmss.

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