100 books like Memoir

By John McGahern,

Here are 100 books that Memoir fans have personally recommended if you like Memoir. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of A Canticle for Leibowitz

Christopher Ruocchio Author Of Empire of Silence

From my list on science fiction for fantasy readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of 5 (nearly 6) science-fantasy novels in my Sun Eater series, as well as the author of 2 novellas and nearly two dozen short stories, as well as an 8-year veteran of the publishing industry. For 7 of those years, I worked as an editor for Baen Books, a nearly 40-year-old publisher of science fiction and fantasy. On top of all that, I am a lifelong sci-fi and fantasy fan, and something of an amateur historian of the field. 

Christopher's book list on science fiction for fantasy readers

Christopher Ruocchio Why did Christopher love this book?

Folks daunted at the prospect of jumping in to a longer series will be delighted to know that this is just a standalone novel. In fact, it was the only novel Walter M. Miller, Jr. wrote in his lifetime. There is a posthumously published sequel to this novel, but it was completed by another writer and is generally considered the lesser work, and at any rate, Canticle stands on its own. This is a post-apocalyptic novel, set after a nuclear war in the 1960s wiped out civilization. It takes place over the course of centuries, and follows a small Roman Catholic monastery in the American southwest as they struggle to preserve documents from before the bombs destroyed everything—scientific knowledge, mostly, knowledge the poor monks can’t even begin to understand.

This is one of the most beautifully written novels in the genre’s history, and one that—though I’ve only read it two…

By Walter M. Miller, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Canticle for Leibowitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the depths of the Utah desert, long after the Flame Deluge has scoured the earth clean, a monk of the Order of Saint Leibowitz has made a miraculous discovery: holy relics from the life of the great saint himself, including the blessed blueprint, the sacred shopping list, and the hallowed shrine of the Fallout Shelter.

In a terrifying age of darkness and decay, these artifacts could be the keys to mankind's salvation. But as the mystery at the core of this groundbreaking novel unfolds, it is the search itself—for meaning, for truth, for love—that offers hope for humanity's rebirth…


Book cover of Earth Abides

Terence M. Green Author Of Shadow of Ashland

From my list on searching for answers in the past and present.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are things expressed only in writing, never spoken aloud in our culture. We can find them in books, in the honesty and insights of those willing to take the time and make the effort to say what they feel and think. Another reason to read is for the sheer joy of a story well told, one that can open both the mind and the heart. I have published 7 novels and a collection of short stories, have just retired from teaching creative writing at the university level. My life has been spent among books. Simply, I am in awe of the ones recommended here.

Terence's book list on searching for answers in the past and present

Terence M. Green Why did Terence love this book?

This novel appeared in 1949 and is eminently readable still—wise and unpredictable—about a plague that decimates the globe before it became fashionable as a topic. Stewart was a professor of English at UC Berkeley. First read it as a teenager, and several times since over the years. It holds up! Stewart was way ahead of his time—and writes a terrific story.

By George R. Stewart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this profound ecological fable, a mysterious plague has destroyed the vast majority of the human race. Isherwood Williams, one of the few survivors, returns from a wilderness field trip to discover that civilization has vanished during his absence.

Eventually he returns to San Francisco and encounters a female survivor who becomes his wife. Around them and their children a small community develops, living like their pioneer ancestors, but rebuilding civilization is beyond their resources, and gradually they return to a simpler way of life.

A poignant novel about finding a new normal after the upheaval of a global crisis.


Book cover of Stoner

Terence M. Green Author Of Shadow of Ashland

From my list on searching for answers in the past and present.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are things expressed only in writing, never spoken aloud in our culture. We can find them in books, in the honesty and insights of those willing to take the time and make the effort to say what they feel and think. Another reason to read is for the sheer joy of a story well told, one that can open both the mind and the heart. I have published 7 novels and a collection of short stories, have just retired from teaching creative writing at the university level. My life has been spent among books. Simply, I am in awe of the ones recommended here.

Terence's book list on searching for answers in the past and present

Terence M. Green Why did Terence love this book?

This novel is the story of William Stoner, raised on a US midwestern farm, who becomes an English professor at the University of Missouri. It follows his life throughout, in simple prose, becoming both moving and profound. It was introduced to me by a knowledgeable NY city book dealer back in the 90s. I pick it up every few years for another reading experience. It’s become a bit of an obscure classic.

By John Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2013

'It's the most marvellous discovery for everyone who loves literature' Ian McEwan, BBC Radio 4

Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013 translations of Stoner began appearing on bestseller lists across Europe. Forty-eight years after its first, quiet publication in the US, Stoner is finally finding the wide and devoted readership it deserves. Have you read it yet?

William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at nineteen to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature…


Book cover of Onion Man

Terence M. Green Author Of Shadow of Ashland

From my list on searching for answers in the past and present.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are things expressed only in writing, never spoken aloud in our culture. We can find them in books, in the honesty and insights of those willing to take the time and make the effort to say what they feel and think. Another reason to read is for the sheer joy of a story well told, one that can open both the mind and the heart. I have published 7 novels and a collection of short stories, have just retired from teaching creative writing at the university level. My life has been spent among books. Simply, I am in awe of the ones recommended here.

Terence's book list on searching for answers in the past and present

Terence M. Green Why did Terence love this book?

Mockler is currently a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). This small volume (poetry? prose? sui generis?) knocked me out the first time I read it in 2011, and its brevity has led to me re-reading it several times since. About an 18-year-old girl working in a canning factory in London, Ontario—wise, funny, moving, honest... it’s got it all. I’ve purchased several copies over the years and use them as gifts to fellow readers. Highly recommended.

By Kathryn Mockler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the late 1980s of London, Ontario-a time in Canada when the recession lay like a lead weight on the shoulders of young people, leaving the future bleak-an eighteen-year-old girl is working for the summer at a corn canning factory. Her story is told through a series of masterfully-sculpted linked poems, following her relationship with her boyfriend, her alcoholic mother, her terminally-ill grandfather, the factory job, and the man who every night "peels an onion and eats it as if it were an apple." The Onion Man doesn't speak English and is tormented by the other workers, and ater his…


Book cover of The Cheating Cell: How Evolution Helps Us Understand and Treat Cancer

Lixing Sun Author Of The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars: Cheating and Deception in the Living World

From my list on science in behavior and evolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a biologist specialized in animal behavior and evolution. I write science nonfictions about behavior, evolution, and human nature for the general, intelligent audience. An avid reader myself, I “consume” at least a hundred books a year (mostly nonfictions but occasionally fictions when I have some leisure time) with a wide range of topics including science, nature, technology, psychology, economics, social justice, philosophy, and history. My favorite science books are those with new ideas and insights, an impeccable scientific rigor, and a strong, accessible, and concise writing style

Lixing's book list on science in behavior and evolution

Lixing Sun Why did Lixing love this book?

Cheating takes place in all organisms at all levels.

This book takes readers to cheating at the cell level, particularly cancer cells. It demonstrates to readers how cancer cells take the path of going rogue, refusing to die as they are preprogramed.

In light of this, fighting cancer is essentially fighting cells that defy their fate by cheating. This introduces a fresh strategy for tackling cancer.

By Athena Aktipis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Cheating Cell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fundamental and groundbreaking reassessment of how we view and manage cancer

When we think of the forces driving cancer, we don't necessarily think of evolution. But evolution and cancer are closely linked because the historical processes that created life also created cancer. The Cheating Cell delves into this extraordinary relationship, and shows that by understanding cancer's evolutionary origins, researchers can come up with more effective, revolutionary treatments.

Athena Aktipis goes back billions of years to explore when unicellular forms became multicellular organisms. Within these bodies of cooperating cells, cheating ones arose, overusing resources and replicating out of control, giving…


Book cover of Outside the Box Cancer Therapies: Alternative Therapies That Treat and Prevent Cancer

Brandon LaGreca Author Of Cancer, Stress & Mindset: Focusing the Mind to Empower Healing and Resilience

From my list on to read after a cancer diagnosis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 32 when diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a clinician, and now cancer survivor, I’ve become increasingly focused on empowering cancer patients through and beyond remission. Nearly two decades of clinical practice have taught me that an informed and committed patient makes better decisions about their care, harmoniously interfaces with their healthcare team, and stays focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve read countless books about cancer, but this list outlines the essentials that I recommend to patients beginning their healing journey.

Brandon's book list on to read after a cancer diagnosis

Brandon LaGreca Why did Brandon love this book?

Many holistic cancer treatments exist, but how do you separate hype from effective, evidence-based therapies? Authored by two seasoned naturopathic oncologists, Outside the Box Cancer Therapies is a meticulously referenced guidebook to what’s working right now in integrative oncology. Many forward-thinking cancer clinics are employing naturopathic oncologists and are consistently getting better outcomes combining therapies, such as intravenous vitamin C, alongside conventional oncology protocols. This book will give you the confidence and the research to best communicate options with your healthcare team.

By Mark Stengler, Paul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Outside the Box Cancer Therapies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'[A] calm exposition of the latest research and not a rejection of mainstream treatment.' - Cygnus Review

With approximately 40 percent of men and women in the United States being diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, very few of us escape having cancer touch our lives in some way - whether it is our own life or that of a loved one. Scientific research continues to prove the benefits of nutritional and holistic therapies, yet, for the most part, these approaches to treatment still remain unexplored by the conventional medical establishment. With integrative and holistic healing being…


Book cover of Mortality

Loren Mayshark Author Of Death: An Exploration: Learning To Embrace Life's Most Feared Mystery

From my list on the art of living and dying.

Why am I passionate about this?

Loren Mayshark is the author of three non-fiction books. His first book Death: An Exploration won the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award in the category of Death & Dying and was selected as the honorable mention recipient for the book of the year in the 2016 Foreword INDIES Awards in the category of Grief/Grieving (Adult Nonfiction). Mayshark has a BA in World History with a minor in World Religion from Manhattanville College.

Loren's book list on the art of living and dying

Loren Mayshark Why did Loren love this book?

Hitchens was a man on a mission with a razor sharp intellect. These precious words written while Hitchens was losing a fatal battle with cancer are fascinating and he touches on some profound ideas. I was especially struck by the conviction of a man who was a staunch atheist unflinchingly prepared for a godless death. Hitchens was not only witty, but inspirational and courageous.

By Christopher Hitchens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The starting point of this book was when Christopher Hitchens found he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady'. Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of cancer treatment, enduring huge levels of suffering and eventually losing the power of speech.

Mortality is at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease and the climax of a lifetime's work of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this confrontation with mortality Hitchens writes eloquently of his fear of losing the ability to write,…


Book cover of The Body Papers: A Memoir

Beth Castrodale Author Of The Inhabitants

From my list on confronting trauma or loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

All of my novels explore, in some way, how the characters are affected by trauma or loss, and how they respond to these difficulties over time. This comes partly from my impatience with the notion of “closure” and with the idea that we can ever truly find it after a traumatic event or a significant loss. I’m drawn to fiction and nonfiction that doesn’t shy away from the messiness of finding a way to live with these difficulties, or trying to. In addition to writing fiction, I’ve spent nearly ten years recommending novels and story collections through my Small Press Picks website.

Beth's book list on confronting trauma or loss

Beth Castrodale Why did Beth love this book?

This memoir is one of the most compelling accounts of confronting trauma that I’ve ever read. In the case of the author, the traumas are multiple: fear of deportation due to her “illegal” status; years of sexual abuse by her paternal grandfather; and later in life, the discovery that she carries a gene that leaves her susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. I was moved as I learned how Talusan found the wordsboth as a writer and as a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a romantic partner, and a citizen—to speak of these difficulties. Her writing about this journey is both spare and powerful, and it bears re-reading and deep reflection. Whenever I return to this book, I find inspiration.

By Grace Talusan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Body Papers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Grace Talusan’s critically acclaimed memoir The Body Papers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, powerfully explores the fraught contours of her own life as a Filipino immigrant and survivor of cancer and childhood abuse.

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns…


Book cover of Radical Remission

Lisa Manyon Author Of Spiritual Sugar: The Divine Ingredients to Heal Yourself With Love

From my list on healing and spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a seeker and fascinated by spirituality. Books were among some of my best friends growing up and I’ve been reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I started my business Write On Creative in 2003 and have helped mission-driven business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders craft their messages, create marketing messages with integrity, and develop strategies to get their work out into the world. I firmly believe that business is personal so it makes sense that my first book released via the Write On Creative Publishing imprint is my story of healing with love. I live in magical, Ashland, Oregon and love spending time in nature. 

Lisa's book list on healing and spirituality

Lisa Manyon Why did Lisa love this book?

Radical Remission was my go-to healing guide when faced with cancer.

What impressed me most about Dr. Kelly Turner is her ability to connect the dots and realize that spontaneous remission wasn’t actually spontaneous. She did extensive research to determine the 9 key factors that help people heal from cancer (and they are not what you might think).

This is a must-have for all resource libraries. I’m also deeply honored that my book was included in The Radical Remission Projects newsletter as recommended reading. 

By Kelly A. Turner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Radical Remission as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her New York Times bestseller, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Dr. Kelly A. Turner, founder of the Radical Remission Project, uncovers nine factors that can lead to a spontaneous remission from cancer—even after conventional medicine has failed.

While getting her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley, Dr. Turner, a researcher, lecturer, and counselor in integrative oncology, was shocked to discover that no one was studying episodes of radical (or unexpected) remission—when people recover against all odds without the help of conventional medicine, or after conventional medicine has failed.  She was so fascinated by this kind of…


Book cover of Eat God's Food: A Kid's Guide to Healthy Eating

Ginny Dent Brant Author Of Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer

From my list on showing you how to help prevent and survive cancer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Unleash Your God-Given Healing is the book I never wanted to write. As an educator and trained researcher, I uncovered some of the reasons I got a cancer I had no risk factors or genetics for. I also discovered what I could do to help my doctors to beat my cancer and prevent a recurrence. After surgeries and then chemo and immunotherapy for a year, my cancer was gone. My doctors called me their “Rock Star” cancer patient and attributed my lifestyle changes as to why I fared well and returned quickly to vibrant health. I realized that what I learned could help many people. The treasures I learned are in this book. 

Ginny's book list on showing you how to help prevent and survive cancer

Ginny Dent Brant Why did Ginny love this book?

This book is for children. Susan uses Biblical references and colorful pictures to teach children the importance of making healthy eating a priority. It is written by a certified health and wellness coach who inspires children to appreciate the foods God has made for us to eat that promote healing. Every parent needs this book to teach their children at a young age the health benefits of eating God’s Foods.

By Susan U. Neal, Courtney Smith (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eat God's Food as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Kids have strong opinions about food. Some foods they love and others they don’t. Instead of letting their taste buds rule over your family’s food choices, teach them early to love the right kinds of food. Healthy food can be fun!

Every good thing we need to grow strong and healthy, God created for us to eat. A body needs different foods to grow and work well. Eat God’s Food teaches kids what foods are healthy and unhealthy, preparing them for a lifetime of eating and living the way God intended.

In Eat God’s Food, you’ll find healthy activities and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cancer, the Irish, and Europe?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cancer, the Irish, and Europe.

Cancer Explore 111 books about cancer
The Irish Explore 54 books about the Irish
Europe Explore 878 books about Europe