100 books like Jesus + Nothing = Everything

By Tullian Tchividjian,

Here are 100 books that Jesus + Nothing = Everything fans have personally recommended if you like Jesus + Nothing = Everything. 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 Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

I bought this book, thinking it would be about Andrew Peterson’s creative process as he writes songs. Well, yeah, it’s about that. It’s also about his struggle with depression. He talks candidly about how he hid from others, wept, and thought he was worthless. And as I read his descriptions of his depression… I knew I was not alone. This is an intimate look at a singer and the darkness he battles. Thankfully, it’s not only brutal about depression, but also points to the light we have in Jesus. 

By Andrew Peterson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Wingfeather Saga and award-winning musician and storyteller, Andrew Peterson. 
Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine each named Adorning the Dark as one of their books of the year. 

Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can’t be done alone.
 
Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a film—all in a belief that God calls us to proclaim the…


Book cover of Courage, Dear Heart: Letters to a Weary World

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

We’re all broken in so many ways. This book presents a number of letters to different kinds of broken people. Have you been rejected? Are you scared? Are you alone? There are letters here that will touch your heart. They touched mine! I found someone who could speak poetry into my darkness and make me know that I was not alone. Reynolds also points to real hope, so that even in darkness, I could see a shining light. 

By Rebecca K. Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The world is broken. I am broken. And my need is dire.”

This stark revelation is the path to divine surrender. Our courage has a chance to flourish when we reach a point where we have no control and nothing to lose.

In a series of letters, Rebecca Reynolds uses imagery to breathe truth to the lonely, the weary, the restless, and afraid. If you feel the ache of brokenness, you will be refreshed by the source of all courage illuminated in these pages. God is available and wants to join you, in the midst of any mess. You can…


Book cover of When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend: Reflections On Life And Ministry With Depression

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

Being a Christian often means “faking it” on Sunday mornings. We’re all fine then. So often we internalize that and show a smile to the world when all we feel is shattered inside. This books gives voice to the darkness that so many Christians feel but don’t know how to express. Like the other books on my list, though, it also points to real hope. It also includes a list of resources in the back of the book. 

By Mark Meynell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Highly personal, honest and insightful. Author has struggled with depression for decades, and partly as a high-profile minister in All Souls Langham Place


Book cover of I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression

Luke Italiano Author Of Hollow Heart

From my list on Christians struggling with depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a pastor, I thought I had to be a put-together person. Sure, I was allowed to have problems, but I wasn’t really allowed to struggle. Then I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I thought I was alone. I thought I’d have to leave the ministry. I was wrong. I needed to find other people who struggled, though. Through other books, I was able to find them. These books have helped me in my journey so, so much, and if you struggle with depression, I hope it helps with your journey, too! 

Luke's book list on Christians struggling with depression

Luke Italiano Why did Luke love this book?

And sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only one who struggles. This is Pastor Todd Peperkorn’s struggle with depression. He writes about how hard it has been for him, including his struggle with suicidal thoughts. This is not a happy sunshiny book. It’s one that sighs and moans with pain. Peperkorn is very forward about how he’s hurt, and how Jesus has helped. As a pastor, it helped me see that I’m not the only one in ministry with this struggle! 

By Todd A. Peperkorn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Trust When Dark My Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rev. Todd Peperkorn’s autobiographical account is a gift to us, particularly those of us who are God’s blood-bought children. Peperkorn, a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor, has granted us the privilege of looking deeply into the heart, mind, and soul of a Christian in the clenches of mental illness. We are a bit unnerved to imaginethat a Lutheran pastor, called to preach God’s Holy Word and to faithfully administer the Sacraments, could possiblysuffer such a fate. He challenges all our myths. In his story we see a bright, articulate man serving his church and hisparish as God gave Him light. We…


Book cover of Sticky Monsters

Landis Blair Author Of The Envious Siblings: and Other Morbid Nursery Rhymes

From my list on morbidly whimsical illustrated stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an illustrator of books, comics, and various other things, but no matter what I illustrate I can’t seem to keep a certain darkness out of my drawings. For most of my life I have been attracted to the macabre. This attraction first emerged out of fear but later out of amusement. It is rather comical to see the amount of effort people are willing to expend in order to avoid thinking and talking about death. I find it far more healthy to acknowledge it everywhere while simultaneously having a good chuckle.  

Landis' book list on morbidly whimsical illustrated stories

Landis Blair Why did Landis love this book?

I don’t know that I have ever been so pleasantly terrified than when I first encountered this book by John Kenn Mortensen. He has an uncanny ability to make nightmares seem quaint. Perhaps this is a result of the fact that he drew all of these illustrations on post-it notes. I have a feeling I wouldn’t be smiling so much if I were confronted with one of these drawings on a larger scale.  

By John Kenn Mortensen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

John Kenn Mortensen's pen is full of wonderfully creepy monsters which crawl onto sticky yellow note pads when darkness falls. Here we have collected some of the best monster drawings in a delectable hardback edition.


Book cover of The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist's Memoir of Depression

James Withey Author Of How To Tell Depression to Piss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back

From my list on manage bloody depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Brighton based writer. I’ve lived with bloody depression and frigging anxiety, since a child. I’m the founder of The Recovery Letters project, which publishes online letters from people recovering from depression, addressed to those experiencing it. It was published as a book in 2017 and Cosmopolitan named it "One of the 12 mental health books everyone should read". I also edited What I Do to Get Through: How to Run, Swim, Cycle, Sew, or Sing Your Way Through DepressionMy fourth book, How to Tell Anxiety to Sod Off, is due out in 2022.

James' book list on manage bloody depression

James Withey Why did James love this book?

This book is a beautiful, inspiring weaving tale of a psychiatrist who has recurrent depression and has worked with people with depression. She doesn’t disguise how hard depression is, she doesn’t patronise, she explains depression from her personal point of view, explores what happened in her childhood, and explains a clinician’s point of view of depression. 

It’s embedded with bucket loads of empathy, compassion, and hope. You hear about the patients she’s helped and you come out feeling humbled and grateful for her telling her story. Very useful for professionals working in psychiatry and mental health but equally useful for those of us with this terrible illness.

By Linda Gask,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.'

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Having spent her life trying to patch up the souls of others, psychiatrist Linda Gask came to realise that being an expert in depression didn't confer any immunity from it - she had to learn take care of herself, too. Artfully crafted and told with warmth and honesty, this is the story of Linda's journey, interwoven…


Book cover of Taproot

Kris Jamison Author Of Love/Rock/Compost

From my list on characters experiencing depression.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a guitar-playing Canadian novelist, born in Kingston. Depression isn’t something that comes explicitly into most of my work, beyond a preference to write about people on the edges, never quite fitting. Lately I’ve begun to think about how in fiction we make and find metaphors for the things we’re carrying, and how sometimes those can help us to come to, if not always a way through, at least a quiet place to gain strength again. I’ve found the books on this list all do that, one way or another. I hope you might find that in them too.

Kris' book list on characters experiencing depression

Kris Jamison Why did Kris love this book?

I love this graphic novel, with its muted, earthy colours. Hamal, the gardener, can see ghosts. At the time the story starts he seems to have found his feet, but he talks about his depression as a teen, which is one of the reasons why I think it can be included here; that sort of thing is never entirely left behind. Another is the emotions of the ghosts he encounters and tries to help; a lot of what the ghosts are experiencing, even apparently-cheerful Blue, who is in love with Hamal, can be read as akin to the lost greyness of various degrees of depression. It's a gentle, thoughtful story, well-told with lots of humour, and it has lovely art. 

By Keezy Young,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"It's a pleasure to lose yourself in the beautiful artwork, and one of the loveliest queer romances I've ever read." — K. O'Neil, author of The Tea Dragon Society

Blue has been living as a ghost for a year when he meets Hamal, a beautiful and sweet gardener who has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. Together, their friendship develops into something more, but being a ghost, Blue can never truly be connected with Hamal.

When Blue realizes Hamal’s strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him--even if it…


Book cover of The Girl on the Red Pillow

Adam Oster Author Of The Agora Files - Part 1

From my list on independent books you’ve never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an independent author, I’ve been lucky enough to find a wealth of other independent authors out there. People who are doing things that aren’t quite mainstream. Artists who are experimenting with the written word and doing truly unique things. Where the world is filled with books made for the sole purpose of being turned into movies, these authors are creating works of fiction that are suited for the written word. Masterpieces that will make you think and want to find even more new forms of fiction. Simply put, independent authors are pushing books into new realms that you simply can’t find in the mainstream market.

Adam's book list on independent books you’ve never heard of

Adam Oster Why did Adam love this book?

A thinly veiled discussion about depression, The Girl on the Red Pillow does something I never thought possible: make depression humorous and interesting. Well...it doesn't actually make depression humorous but allows for humor to exist in a story about the topic.

From the first moment you get to meet the wall building dwarf, to the final moment when Annalee finally comes to terms with her depression and looks toward the future, you will be urged forward as you hope Annalee finds the answer to her troubles, especially if you're someone who has dealt with their own wall-building dwarf.

By Angelika Rust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl on the Red Pillow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An average abusive childhood, a tendency towards depression. Annalee's life could be normal. If only she could get rid of the dwarf. Annalee doesn't mind what people call her. After all, a name's just a name. What she does mind, though, is the dwarf trying to wall her in. Struggling between reality and hallucination, a black cat and a talking skeleton her only companions along the way, Annalee fights for her sanity, and a way out.


Book cover of Night Shifts Black

Jay Crownover Author Of Rule

From my list on read if you love the Warped Tour.

Why am I passionate about this?

My two passions in life have always been music and reading. I was a punk rock girl, with wildly colored hair and a plethora of tattoos, who has never missed a chance to lose herself in a romance novel. I love it when my two favorite things collide in wonderful ways. I still read whatever I can get my hands on, but now I write some of those beloved books as well. Several of them have been bestsellers and many are published in various languages. My mosh-pit days are long gone, but you can still find me at a Social Distortion concert whenever they come to town. If you’ve got a rebellious heart and an ear for music that isn’t as mainstream, I’m sure you will love these books I recommended as much as I do.

Jay's book list on read if you love the Warped Tour

Jay Crownover Why did Jay love this book?

The writing is lyrical and lovely. This is a different kind of rockstar romance. It’s haunting and super emotional. This is another book that I feel would benefit someone having a hard time and another one that reinforces that music can be powerful and healing. Alyson is a musician herself and wrote all the music in the series. I think that makes it extra special. This is also a tamer type of romance so a wider audience can enjoy it.

I love that it clearly shows you can have everything at your fingertips but still be unhappy and unfulfilled. It’s a great story that normalizes anxiety and depression, even for those who seem to be on top of the world. I also adore how open and accepting the heroine is. Not that she’s a pushover, she’s just very understanding of the hero's struggles.

As a romance writer and reader, I…

By Alyson Santos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

His name is Luke. But nobody knows that. He was an iconic musician before he gave up music. But nobody knows that either. They also don’t know he’s twenty-seven, that he used to have an infectious laugh, and that he’s way too young to be widowed. They certainly don’t know the rest of his tragic story. All they know is that he comes into their café at the same time every morning and stares at the same chair at the same table. They know he’s strange. They know he interrupts their breakfast with a cold blast of air as he…


Book cover of The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression

JoEllen Notte Author Of In It Together: Navigating Depression with Partners, Friends, and Family

From my list on helping you talk about mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

According to my mother, my first words were, “what’s that?” and I believe that’s indicative of the level of curiosity with which I try to approach life. That curiosity led me to write books about how we can better love ourselves and each other when depression is gumming up the works. Talking about mental illness is hard, and I aim to make it easier. I’m not a doctor or therapist. I am best described as a “sex writer with a theatre degree” and I like to say my work focuses on sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken.  

JoEllen's book list on helping you talk about mental health

JoEllen Notte Why did JoEllen love this book?

We've reached the only actual “how to do mental illness” book on this list and it’s an all time favorite of mine.

Skoczen is not a doctor or a therapist and isn’t afraid to drop a couple of f-bombs when talking about mental health… so, yeah, he’s a lot like me, which may be part of why I love this book so much.

Engaging, reassuring, and full of concrete strategies for navigating depression both as someone with it and as someone who loves someone with it, I have recommended this book for years. 

By Steven Skoczen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Probably the best self-help book on depression I’ve ever read." — Joe Rhinewine, Director and Psychologist, Portland Mindfulness Therapy

Funny, insightful, and relentlessly honest, The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression is the manual for life with depression that everyone should have been given. It's the toolbox you need to build a life you love.

The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression covers day-to-day truths like how food, sleep, and sex get weird and practical insights like how to handle social relationships. It delves into the deep dark places and talks about how to survive the suicidal thoughts that can come with the worst…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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