100 books like Joe

By Larry Brown,

Here are 100 books that Joe fans have personally recommended if you like Joe. 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 Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

Who am I?

I am a highly experienced outdoorsman, musician, songwriter, and backcountry guide who chose teaching as a day job. As a writer, however, I am a promoter of creative and literary nonfiction, especially nonfiction that features a thematic thread, whether it be philosophical, conservation, historical, or even unique experiential. The thread I used for thirty years of teaching high school and honors English was the thread of Conservation, as exemplified by authors like Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Edward O. Wilson, Al Gore, Henry David Thoreau, as well as many other more contemporary authors.

Mark's book list on creative nonfiction books that entertain and teach through threaded essays and stories

Mark Doherty Why did Mark love this book?

Reading Terry Tempest Williams’ book brought me an intimate awareness of the magical beauty of The Great Salt Lake ecosystem and its abundant, fascinating bird life, while at the same time, the book educated me about the long-term impacts on both wildlife and human life from all who lived downwind of the 1950’s Western nuclear weapons testing and development.

I loved the themes of wild bird habitats and migratory bird refuges that ran throughout the book, and I truly felt the emotive connection that Williams created between wild birds and human lives.

The honesty about increased cancer rates and the ultimate death of her mother added a poignant, bittersweet element that brought me to emotional tears as well.

By Terry Tempest Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms…


Book cover of Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness

Rick Bass Author Of Fortunate Son: Selected Essays from the Lone Star State

From my list on resistance.

Who am I?

I’m a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction living in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley. I moved here from Mississippi 35 years ago to live in the mountains and write short stories, novellas, novels, but have gotten sucked into decades of battling a recalcitrant U.S. Forest Service intent on building roads and clearcutting in this incredibly unique ecosystem—the Yaak Valley, is the lowest elevation in Montana, the wettest valley, and an ancient inland rainforest that contains 25% of the entire state of Montana’s “species of concern.” Chief among these are the valley’s last 25 grizzlies: one of the rarest subpopulations in North America. Loving a thing deeply is almost always revolutionary. Revolution: to turn. To change. To revolve, evolve, return. To turn around.

Rick's book list on resistance

Rick Bass Why did Rick love this book?

Doug Peacock’s Grizzly Years is revolutionary on two counts. The tale of a Green Beret medic devastated from his tours trying to sew soldiers and civilians back together in the killing fields of Vietnam, who seeks—and finds—recovery in the American wilderness: Wyoming’s Wind Rivers, the desert Southwest, and, always, the mountains of Montana—particularly Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. That wilderness can save our lives is a beautifully simple and revolutionary concept for many—that it is not a thing to be frightened of, but celebrated, preserved, defended.

In Montana’s backcountry, Peacock was drawn to the grizzlies, observed them at a distance, respectfully, and began filming them. His portraits of them playing show them to be what they are, but what not many had thought—incredibly social, certainly incredibly intelligent, but most of all, incredibly playful sentient beings. What’s revolutionary about this is also so simple: observation, and keen attention to detail, is…

By Doug Peacock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For nearly twenty years, alone and unarmed, author Doug Peacock traversed the rugged mountains of Montana and Wyoming tracking the magnificent grizzly. His thrilling narrative takes us into the bear's habitat, where we observe directly this majestic animal's behavior, from hunting strategies, mating patterns, and denning habits to social hierarchy and methods of communication. As Peacock tracks the bears, his story turns into a thrilling narrative about the breaking down of suspicion between man and beast in the wild.


Book cover of One of Us: A Biologist's Walk Among Bears

Rick Bass Author Of Fortunate Son: Selected Essays from the Lone Star State

From my list on resistance.

Who am I?

I’m a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction living in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley. I moved here from Mississippi 35 years ago to live in the mountains and write short stories, novellas, novels, but have gotten sucked into decades of battling a recalcitrant U.S. Forest Service intent on building roads and clearcutting in this incredibly unique ecosystem—the Yaak Valley, is the lowest elevation in Montana, the wettest valley, and an ancient inland rainforest that contains 25% of the entire state of Montana’s “species of concern.” Chief among these are the valley’s last 25 grizzlies: one of the rarest subpopulations in North America. Loving a thing deeply is almost always revolutionary. Revolution: to turn. To change. To revolve, evolve, return. To turn around.

Rick's book list on resistance

Rick Bass Why did Rick love this book?

Dr. Barrie Gilbert’s memoir, One of Us: A Biologist’s Walk Among Bears, is nothing if not a magnificent portrait and case study of humility. A half-century of incisive study and research into the baits, and needs and, perhaps most importantly, social complexity and intense attachments and intelligence of grizzly bears should be the lede here—not a single incident from Gilbert’s youth, when he surprised a mother grizzly with cubs while coming over a ridge into the wind. But so goes storytelling. Imbued with the compassion and generosity of the forgiven, Gilbert’s acute and intimate knowledge of the animal Indigenous cultures referred to as “the Real Bear” is unprecedented and unequaled in the tattered and impoverished remains of contemporary society in which so many have lost—are bereft of—any attachment to the wilderness from which we were birthed.

By Barrie Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Barrie Gilbert's fascination with grizzly bears almost got him killed in Yellowstone National Park. He recovered, returned to fieldwork and devoted the next several decades to understanding and protecting these often-maligned giants. He has spent thousands of hours among wild grizzlies in Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, Alberta, coastal British Columbia, and along Brooks River in Alaska's Katmai National Park, where hundreds of people gather to watch dozens of grizzlies feast on salmon. His research has centered on how bears respond to people and each other, with a focus on how to keep humans and bears safe.

Drawn from his…


Book cover of All the King's Men

James Sulzer Author Of The Voice at the Door

From my list on poets and politics.

Who am I?

As a teenager, I “discovered” the poetry of Emily Dickinson and put her verse to music. Later, at Yale University I delved deeper into the power of rhythms, the beauty of images, the clarity of insights—how they combine to create a genuine poetic voice that reveals an interior world. Politics, of course, define our interactions in the exterior world, and great novels meld these two elements—poetry and politics—into a seamless union. I’ve been inspired to write novels about two poets—Emily Dickinson and John Keats—to bring the reader into the intense, poetic world of their blazing interiors and their unique outward politics.

James' book list on poets and politics

James Sulzer Why did James love this book?

Harsh politics and tender poetic feelings: All the King’s Men is a classic novel about the rise and fall of a would-be dictator named Willie Stark. But it’s also about the personal lives of the people behind the power struggles—especially the bemused, poetic narrator, Jack Burden, who loses the love of his life, Anne Stanton, to the increasingly tyrannical Stark. As a teenager I fell in love with the love story. This novel convinced me of the power of combining the personal and the public, which I am working on in my new novel about the Black Panther rally in New Haven in 1970.

By Robert Penn Warren,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked All the King's Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16.

What is this book about?

Willie Stark's obsession with political power leads to the ultimate corruption of his gubernatorial administration.


Book cover of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

Emily Guy Birken Author Of Making Social Security Work for You: Advice, Strategies, and Timelines That Can Maximize Your Benefits

From my list on changing the way you look at money.

Who am I?

When I was about 8, I remember taking all the money out of my piggy bank, counting it, and carefully putting it back in again. My sister called me Ms. Moneybags. But I wasn’t worried about accumulating money. I was fascinated by money’s pure potential. I could do anything with it! From that early interest in the potential of money, I grew to be an avid reader of financial books–and that led to a surprise career as a money writer. I still love to think about money’s potential and the best ways to allocate that potential, and I love to bring my readers with me on the fascinating journey.

Emily's book list on changing the way you look at money

Emily Guy Birken Why did Emily love this book?

In Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich took a number of low-paying jobs to understand the challenges facing the working poor. This book opened my eyes to things I’d always taken for granted.

Prior to reading this book, it never occurred to me how expensive it can be to be frugal. Theoretically, making yourself big batches of homemade soup is far cheaper (and healthier) than getting fast food for every meal. But if you don’t have pots or utensils, the initial set-up cost of making your own food is far higher than the cost of a single Value Meal. 

This book will challenge your beliefs about what it means to be “good with money” and the meaning of “unskilled” labor.

By Barbara Ehrenreich,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Nickel and Dimed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beautifully repackaged as part of the Picador Modern Classics Series, this special edition is small enough to fit in your pocket and bold enough to stand out on your bookshelf.

A publishing phenomenon when first published, Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed is a revelatory undercover investigation into life and survival in low-wage America, an increasingly urgent topic that continues to resonate.

Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job―any job―can be the ticket…


Book cover of The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660–1720

Andrew Konove Author Of Black Market Capital: Urban Politics and the Shadow Economy in Mexico City

From my list on everyday life in Mexico City.

Who am I?

I grew up hearing stories about Mexico City from my grandmother, who spent her childhood in the 1930s there after emigrating from the Soviet Union. I fell in love with the city’s neighborhoods during my first visit in 2006, and I am still mesmerized by its scale and its extremes. I am especially interested in the city’s public spaces and the ways people have used them for work and pleasure over the centuries. Those activities often take place in the gray areas of the law, a dynamic I explored in the research for my Ph.D. in History and in my book, Black Market Capital

Andrew's book list on everyday life in Mexico City

Andrew Konove Why did Andrew love this book?

Douglas Cope’s book is a wonderful work of social history that explores how issues of race and class impacted the lives of working people in colonial Mexico City. Cope shows that Spain’s so-called “caste system” was more ideal than reality. A person’s physical appearance, occupation, and social milieu shaped perceptions of their race and ethnicity far more than their lineage, which was not something most people documented in this era. The book combines quantitative and qualitative analysis to provide a rich description of everyday life, bringing readers into artisans’ workshops, market vendors’ stalls, and other spaces where people lived and worked in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

By R. Douglas Cope,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

     In this distinguished contribution to Latin American colonial history, Douglas Cope draws upon a wide variety of sources—including Inquisition and court cases, notarial records and parish registers—to challenge the traditional view of castas (members of the caste system created by Spanish overlords) as rootless, alienated, and dominated by a desire to improve their racial status.  On the contrary, the castas, Cope shows, were neither passive nor ruled by feelings of racial inferiority; indeed, they often modified or even rejected elite racial ideology.  Castas also sought ways to manipulate their social "superiors" through astute use of the legal system.  Cope shows…


Book cover of Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro

Carl Abbott Author Of Suburbs: A Very Short Introduction

From my list on suburbs around the world.

Who am I?

I was a suburban kid in Knoxville, Tennessee and Dayton, Ohio and didn’t see much wrong with my neighborhood. As someone who then grew up to write and teach about the history of cities and city planning, I’ve long been struck by the mismatch between high-brow scorn for “suburbia” and the everyday experience of people who live in suburban communities. This short book is an effort to show how the world became suburban and what that meant to people in the different corners of the world—and maybe to put in a plug for my suburban Meadow Hills and College Hill neighborhoods. 

Carl's book list on suburbs around the world

Carl Abbott Why did Carl love this book?

The improvised communities that ring the cities of Latin America have a bad reputation as squatter towns. Not so fast.

Look beyond the surface and you will see communities with strong social ties, systems of self-government, and residents who are as committed to their neighborhood as any American suburbanite. Janice Perlman has spent decades studying the Rio de Janeiro that lies behind its beaches, and gives a clear-eyed look at some of the self-built communities on the city’s edge.

By Janice Perlman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Janice Perlman wrote the first in-depth account of life in the favelas, a book hailed as one of the most important works in global urban studies in the last 30 years. Now, in Favela, Perlman carries that story forward to the present. Re-interviewing many longtime favela residents whom she had first met in 1969-as well as their children and grandchildren-Perlman offers the only long-term perspective available on the favelados as they struggle for a better
life. Perlman discovers that while educational levels have risen, democracy has replaced dictatorship, and material conditions have improved, many residents feel more marginalized than ever.…


Book cover of Everybody Loves a Good Drought

Leela Fernandes Author Of Governing Water in India: Inequality, Reform, and the State

From my list on to understand inequality in a world in crisis.

Who am I?

I have spent close to thirty years researching and teaching about questions of inequality and change. Most of my focus has been on the Global South, with a particular focus on India. I've written about intersecting class, gender, and caste inequalities. I've pursued this research agenda through extensive field research on labor politics, democratization, and the politics of economic reform in India. My interest stems from my background. I am originally from India and have lived and travelled extensively in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. I'm an author, public speaker, and consultant and have been a professor for three decades at the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, The University of Washington, and Oberlin College.

Leela's book list on to understand inequality in a world in crisis

Leela Fernandes Why did Leela love this book?

It is often hard to get our minds around poverty and the scarcity of resources that affect people’s lives. This is especially true of rural life in the Global South. This is a highly accessible book written by an eminent journalist in India and is considered to be a classic text on rural poverty. It also illuminates the failures of governance including the programs and policies that seek to help poor and marginalized communities in countries like India.

By P. Sainath,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Everybody Loves a Good Drought as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed across the world, prescribed in over 100 universities and colleges, and included in part in The Century's Greatest Reportage (Ordfront, 2000), alongside the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Studs Terkel and John Reed, Everybody Loves a Good Drought is the established classic on rural poverty in India. Twenty years after publication, it remains unsurpassed in the scope and depth of reportage, providing an intimate view of the daily struggles of the poor and the efforts, often ludicrous, made to uplift them.

An illuminating introduction accompanying this twentieth-anniversary edition reveals, alarmingly, how a large section of India continues to suffer…


Book cover of Lowborn

Ruth Badley Author Of Where are the grown-ups?

From my list on troubled families and the secrets they keep.

Who am I?

I am a journalist with a background in performing arts and have spent much of my work life as a storyteller, fascinated by the process of knocking a narrative into shape, either for print or stage performance. My mother’s death prompted me to use those same skills to tell my own stories and the process has been the most satisfying of my professional life. As a memoirist of two books, my dreams have come true. My work has been shortlisted for awards, featured in national newspapers, special interest magazines, and by the BBC. I regularly speak to family history societies, book clubs, writer’s groups, and at literature festivals.   

Ruth's book list on troubled families and the secrets they keep

Ruth Badley Why did Ruth love this book?

The author’s account of grinding, unrelentless poverty and neglect, set against her eventual, miraculous escape to a different life made me cheer.

Bravely, Kerry Hudson returns to the scenes of many crimes committed against her to really understand why the past refuses to let her go and whether anything has changed for deprived families in those rundown British towns she grew up in.

In an early chapter the author recalls being pushed between two adults across a table. She thought it was a game, but her parents were in fact arguing over who should keep her. Neither was willing.

This is an important and shameful piece of British social history and an unflinching examination of a dysfunctional family with different recollections of the past. 

By Kerry Hudson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Totally engrossing and deliciously feisty' Bernardine Evaristo

A powerful, personal agenda-changing exploration of poverty in today's Britain.

'When every day of your life you have been told you have nothing of value to offer, that you are worth nothing to society, can you ever escape that sense of being 'lowborn' no matter how far you've come?'

Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. The poverty she grew up in was all-encompassing, grinding and often dehumanising. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and…


Book cover of It's All Good

Tom Carter Author Of China: Portrait of a People

From my list on documentary photography.

Who am I?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for a two-year backpacking sojourn across the country. I took a bunch of snapshots along the way with a little point-and-shoot camera. 800 of those images became my first book. Photography – be it travel, documentary, street or reportage – is my passion. The following are but five of five hundred books I’d love to recommend.

Tom's book list on documentary photography

Tom Carter Why did Tom love this book?

I’ll bookend this list with what I consider to be a sort of updated take on Larry Clark’s Tulsa. Serbian photog Boogie has published similarly solemn collections on Moscow and war-torn Belgrade. With It’s All Good, he arrived in New York’s most violent neighborhoods circa 2010 to document the hard and often tragic lives of urban youth. Gangsters pointing their guns into the lens or jabbing their veins with needles might not make the most appealing coffee table book, but the photos themselves are even more sublime than anything shot by Clark, making this book a worthy successor.

By Boogie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A whole lot of initiations happen every day. You hear about them on the news, but you don’t know it was an initiation. You hear about somebody getting shot somewhere in New York, and nobody knows why that person got shot; nine times out of ten it was a gang initiation. I am a three-star general in the Bloods, so I know what’s going on. The majority of crime in New York City is ’cause of gangs; drugs, killings, stabbings, robberies, even the bullshit car theft, the fucking pettiest crimes and misdemeanors are all ’cause of gangs.”
—Kasino, from his…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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