53 books like My Name Is Joe Lavoie

By W.A. Winter,

Here are 53 books that My Name Is Joe Lavoie fans have personally recommended if you like My Name Is Joe Lavoie. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of This Tender Land

Brenda Smith Author Of Becoming Fearless: Finding Courage in the African Wilderness

From my list on surviving and finding courage in the wilderness.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the daughter of a prim and proper New England family, expectations were that I would follow societal norms: attend college, get married, and raise a family. I knew practically nothing about the world outside the United States, nor had I any curiosity about it. Everything changed in 1980 when I took a job as an accountant working for one of the world’s greatest adventurers, Richard Bangs. He literally dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the remotest heart of Africa, where I became infected by wanderlust. Ever since, as a single woman, I have embraced a life of adventure traveling around our amazing planet.

Brenda's book list on surviving and finding courage in the wilderness

Brenda Smith Why did Brenda love this book?

This story also tells of a river journey by four young orphans who in 1932 escape from a horrid Indian training school and travel for months down the Mississippi River. They head into the unknown, unprotected from the perils they encounter.

On my journey, I needed to be constantly vigilant for natural predators like lions, hippos, and crocs. These children had to be on the lookout for human predators: the search party sent looking for them, drifters, grifters, and traveling faith healers. Facing each obstacle we encountered on our trips, we managed not only to survive but actually thrive in hostile surroundings.

By William Kent Krueger,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked This Tender Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1932, Minnesota-the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O'Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent's wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will fly into the unknown and cross paths with others…


Book cover of The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

Joe Wilkins Author Of The Entire Sky

From my list on books about rural America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on the high plains of eastern Montana. Like most rural folks, we lived close to the bone, even in the best of times. Then, when I was nine, my father died—and things got even harder. We finally had to put our acres up for lease, and I made a goal to leave that hard place. Though I worked hard for this new life I find myself leading—I studied, won scholarships, earned an MFA, and became a professor—ever since I left Montana, I’ve been trying to understand the distance between there and where I find myself now. I’ve been trying to understand rural America.

Joe's book list on books about rural America

Joe Wilkins Why did Joe love this book?

I’ve read and deeply admired nearly everything Erdrich has written, from Love Medicine to The Roundhouse. Erdrich’s language is always incantatory, and her stories are full of magic, landscape, and history. But this one is my absolute favorite. Even the title is amazing!

The story moves back and forth across the decades, and characters shift and transform before your eyes. Erdrich reminds me of Faulkner or even Homer; though deeply rooted in the lives and experiences of the Ojibwe communities of eastern North Dakota, Erdrich’s novels have a timeless, mythic feel. 

By Louise Erdrich,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerfully involving novel from one of America's finest writers, and winner of America's prestigious National Book Award for Fiction 2012

Sister Cecilia lives for music, for those hours when she can play her beloved Chopin on the piano. It isn't that she neglects her other duties, rather it is the playing itself - distilled of longing - that disturbs her sisters. The very air of the convent thickens with the passion of her music, and the young girl is asked to leave. And so it is that Sister Cecilia appears before Berndt Vogel on his farm, destitute, looking for…


Book cover of Chief Bender's Burden: The Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star

Curt Brown Author Of Minnesota, 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State

From my list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter.

Why am I passionate about this?

After more than 30 years in daily journalism in Minnesota, I moved to a trout stream near Durango, Colo., to stage a second act. Editors at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where I worked for 26 years, gave me a freelance contract to write a Minnesota History column every Sunday. It’s morphed into a popular crowd-sourcing of history with readers feeding me delicious family stories. I’m the lucky one who gets to weave these stories—enriching my knowledge of what being Minnesotans is all about.

Curt's book list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter

Curt Brown Why did Curt love this book?

This 2008 biography of a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher follows Charles Albert Bender from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota to his heyday with the Philadelphia Athletics in the early-1900s. While fans know about Minnesota baseball stars like Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, and Jack Morris, Bender’s amazing life has been all but forgotten. Swift breathes new life into a man with a foot in both his Indian and white worlds.

By Tom Swift,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The greatest American Indian baseball player of all time, Charles Albert Bender, was, according to a contemporary, "the coolest pitcher in the game." Using a trademark delivery, an impressive assortment of pitches that may have included the game's first slider, and an apparently unflappable demeanor, he earned a reputation as baseball's great clutch pitcher during tight Deadball Era pennant races and in front of boisterous World Series crowds. More remarkably yet, "Chief" Bender's Hall of Fame career unfolded in the face of immeasurable prejudice. This skillfully told and complete account of Bender's life is also a portrait of greatness of…


Book cover of The Gift of the Deer

Curt Brown Author Of Minnesota, 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State

From my list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter.

Why am I passionate about this?

After more than 30 years in daily journalism in Minnesota, I moved to a trout stream near Durango, Colo., to stage a second act. Editors at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where I worked for 26 years, gave me a freelance contract to write a Minnesota History column every Sunday. It’s morphed into a popular crowd-sourcing of history with readers feeding me delicious family stories. I’m the lucky one who gets to weave these stories—enriching my knowledge of what being Minnesotans is all about.

Curt's book list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter

Curt Brown Why did Curt love this book?

This quirky 1966 memoir comes from a Chicago couple who traded in their big-city careers for a cabin at the end of the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota’s remote northeastern Arrowhead country. She had been a top-notch metallurgist—fiddling with a new way to temper steel for farm implements at International Harvester’s research lab near Chicago. He had been an art director for a textbook publisher. No one thought they’d make it through one Minnesota winter but they endured for 17 years on the edge of the wilderness and write soothingly about their new lives amid nature.

By Helen Hoover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic story of a family of deer and the humans who loved them

One Christmas Eve an emaciated deer stumbled across the yard of Helen Hoover's remote cabin in northern Minnesota. Barely surviving the brutal winter, gaunt from starvation, blind in one eye from a hunting wound, he became the central character in Hoover's best-selling book, The Gift of the Deer.

Hoover and her husband Adrian named this deer Peter and nursed him back to health, setting out cedar branches, corn, and carrots. From that Christmas on, the Hoovers observed Peter and his growing clan for four years. Hoover…


Book cover of A Million Little Pieces

Monica Parker Author Of Getting Waisted: A Survival Guide to Being Fat in a Society that Loves Thin

From my list on flaw and failure making human beings so relatable.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fortunate to have been blessed with a positive disposition. When my toast falls on the floor I like to believe it will land butter side up. I learned at a very early age that owning one's mistakes and airing them out loud could bring on laughter or a smile of recognition that many of us suffer the same fears as we navigate this often uncharted life with our fingers crossed or hands in prayer, that we will mostly get it right. This is why I write the books I write. By nature, I am a happiness ambassador… And humor is my weapon of choice.

Monica's book list on flaw and failure making human beings so relatable

Monica Parker Why did Monica love this book?

I loved reading this book before it became tainted by fact checkers. That being said, it remains a fascinating, raw, and gripping read. His use of language as falls deeper and deeper into becoming hooked is similar to being a storm chaser. He can’t help himself chasing the highs, knowing full well the low may be the last one. “I want a drink. I want fifty drinks. I want a bottle of the purest, strongest, most destructive, most poisonous alcohol on Earth. I want fifty bottles of it. I want crack, dirty and yellow and filled with formaldehyde. I want a pile of powder meth, five hundred hits of acid, a garbage bag filled with mushrooms, a tube of glue bigger than a truck, a pool of gas large enough to drown in. I want something anything whatever however as much as I can.

If there ever were…

By James Frey,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Million Little Pieces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.


Book cover of Rules of Prey

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

John Sandford’s books aren’t as “literary” as those written by Mick Herron or Richard Price, but I love his books for their pacing—they always start out with a bang—and for Sandford’s sense of humor. I also admire the way he’s aged the recurring characters in the Prey books, taking Lucas Davenport from a young man in his thirties to the age of almost sixty in the last book. You can’t go wrong with any of the thirty-plus books in the Prey series, and I’m holding my breath for the next one. 

By John Sandford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**Don't miss John Sandford's brand-new thriller Ocean Prey - out now**

#1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford's 'haunting, unforgettable, ice-blooded thriller' - first in the Lucas Davenport series!

The killer was mad but brilliant.

He left notes with every woman he killed. Rules of murder: Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used...So many rules to his sick, violent games of death.

But Lucas Davenport, the cop who's out to get him, isn't playing by the rules.

***Praise for RULES OF PREY***

'Terrifying... Sandford has crafted the kind…


Book cover of Till the Stars Fall

Liz Flaherty Author Of A Soft Place to Fall

From my list on romance and women’s fiction on marriages resurrected.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for this theme comes from my own long marriage and my passion for it. Having heard the phrase “I wouldn’t put up with that” so many times, it’s a relief to me to read that yes, many people do. Instead of giving up on something as important to them as a life partnership, they don’t give up until all hope is gone. Marriage resurrected is all about hope.

Liz's book list on romance and women’s fiction on marriages resurrected

Liz Flaherty Why did Liz love this book?

I could cheerfully “pick” any one of Kathleen Gilles Seidel’s books as a recommendation.

I have read, loved, and reread them all. In my reading mind, she has the purest voice in both romantic fiction and women’s fiction. Her characters are all fascinating, all different, and all relatable. They make you care.

Within this writer’s voice lies tenderness that is never wordy, never sappy, never tired. I don’t have enough words to explain it, so by all means, read hers for yourself. 

By Kathleen Gilles Seidel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a small Minnesota mining town, young Krissa is sheltered from her violent father by Danny, the brother she idolizes. Danny, a budding musician, is determined to escape with his sister in tow.

When the pair finally succeed, they meet Quinn, a privileged and wealthy college student. Drawn together by a passion for music, Danny and Quinn set up a successful pop group. As their stars begin to rise, Danny falls in love with fame, and Quinn and Krissa fall in love with each other. But the higher Danny, Quinn and Krissa climb, the faster their worlds crumble, until they…


Book cover of Unspeakable Things

Danielle Girard Author Of Up Close

From my list on thrillers set in small towns with big secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first books were set in and around San Francisco, an area I knew well and with plenty of opportunities for crime stories. When we moved to Montana twenty years ago, people asked when I’d write one there. I resisted setting dark stories in my own city, where my kids were growing up. Reading about the Bakken Oil Formation in North Dakota, a boom of wealth and expansion and a subsequent bust, offered a perfect storm—the kind that drives desperation, where locals conflict with newcomers, where money—new and old—drives people to make bad decisions. After a visit to the area, the fictional town of Hagen, North Dakota, and the Badlands Thriller Series was born. 

Danielle's book list on thrillers set in small towns with big secrets

Danielle Girard Why did Danielle love this book?

Unspeakable Things is based on a true crime from Jess Lourey’s own small, Minnesota hometown.

Set in the 1980s, Cassie McDowell’s life on a farm with her sister and parents looks like a perfect childhood. She loves school, has a crush on the nicest boy… But when local boys start to go missing and the haunting crimes become a pall over this idyllic childhood and the more Cassie learns about what is happening, the more she realizes that the monster she feared under the bed may be real.

The point of view of 13-year-old Cassie draws you back to the age when we make that subtle but permanent shift from childhood into the brutal reality of the adult world. Fraught and tense, this is the kind of story that stayed with me long after I read the final page. 

By Jess Lourey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author's hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet-or as safe-as it seems.

Cassie McDowell's life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents' strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she's grown accustomed to them.

All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.

One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed-violent, moody, and withdrawn. What…


Book cover of Ordinary Grace

Kelly Flanagan Author Of The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell

From my list on making you fall in love with male protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a clinical psychologist, a man, and a human being on his own journey of healing and becoming, I suppose I’m interested in stories with struggling but lovable male protagonists because I’m the struggling male protagonist in my own life story, learning how to fall in love again with myself and my story and the little boy who lives on within me. The courage my clients show in the process of facing their pain and finding something beautiful in it is inspiring to me. I hope my life reflects that courage, too. And I want to write stories that give others hope and inspiration for this kind of healing, as well.  

Kelly's book list on making you fall in love with male protagonists

Kelly Flanagan Why did Kelly love this book?

I remember as a boy weeping at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows, not because the dogs died, but because Billy Colman returned decades later to find the rusted axe from that fateful night still stuck in the tree. Great books show us time isn’t linear; it’s like an accordion folding over on itself, so a pivotal moment from our past can, in some mysterious way, always feel present. Here. Somehow on the tip of time’s tongue. It makes you ache with the fullness of your story, your life. The ending of Ordinary Grace did that to me. As I turned the final pages, I wept, my kids pounding on the locked door of the bedroom, and my own childhood pounding on the door of my heart. 

By William Kent Krueger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE 2014 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
WINNER OF THE 2014 DILYS AWARD
A SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2013

From New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger, a brilliant new novel about a young man, a small town, and murder in the summer of 1961.

"That was it. That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word."

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their…


Book cover of Key Lime Pie Murder

Andrea Christenson Author Of How Sweet It Is: A Deep Haven Novel

From my list on when you’re in the mood for food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an aspiring foodie and a huge lover of books with a great food subplot (or main plot!). I’ve been known to read cookbooks for fun and probably the most thumbed book in our house is my copy of The Joy of Cooking. I’m a firm believer in reading books at the lunch table and that no book should be read without a cup of coffee and a cookie (at the minimum) near one’s elbow. Hopefully you find these books to be as drool-worthy as I did!

Andrea's book list on when you’re in the mood for food

Andrea Christenson Why did Andrea love this book?

I admit it. I read the Hannah Swensen books by Joanna Fluke all out of order.

Key Lime Pie Murder is the ninth book in the series, but the first one I read. I picked it up because I love Key Lime Pie! Joanna Fluke delivers in this murder mystery full of laughs, twisty turns, and delicious desserts. If you’re looking for a good place to start reading this series and you’re not committed to starting at the beginning, try a little Key Lime Pie.

By Joanne Fluke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Key Lime Pie Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While getting ready to judge the baking contest at the local town fair, Hannah Swensen, the owner of The Cookie Jar, goes on the ride of her life when she stumbles upon the dead body of a fellow judge, along with a smashed key lime pie.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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