10 books like Painting the Black

By Carl Deuker,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Painting the Black. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Bullpen Gospels

By Dirk Hayhurst,

Book cover of The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran

Keith Olberman said that The Bullpen Gospels, "Might be one of the best baseball books written in forty years." 

I would like to go a step further and say that it is THE best baseball book that has been written. Ever. Even better than Ball Four, to me, because it takes place during the modern era of baseball and was written by Hayhurst as he played professionally. 

Hayhurst gives readers a realistic view into what it is really like to be like the majority of minor league players, “Bonus Babies” aside, as he pulls the veil back on professional baseball. 

The Bullpen Gospels

By Dirk Hayhurst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Upon its release, The Bullpen Gospels was a direct hit to the New York Times bestseller list. With comparisons to Jim Boutons's Ball Four, The Bullpen Gospels is slated to be a classic of the genre.

From the humble heights of a Class-A pitcher's mound to the deflating lows of sleeping on his gun-toting grandmother's air mattress, veteran reliever Dirk Hayhurst steps out of the bullpen to deliver the best pitch of his career--a raw and unflinching account of his life in the minors.

Whether training tarantulas to protect his room from thieving employees in a backwater hotel or absorbing…


The Teammates

By David Halberstam,

Book cover of The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship

Ted Williams is my favorite baseball player of all time, so naturally, I have read almost every book ever written about him. This book, however, isn’t just about the “Splendid Splinter”. 

The Teammates takes place in the fall of 2001, as Ted Williams is dying and right around one of the most challenging times our country has endured. It revolves around the life-long friendship of 4 aging Red Sox teammates: Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr.

This is a book about four friends and teammates at the end of their time on this planet, and well-aware of that fact, who demonstrate that they will be there for each other all the way to the end. This is a short book and a fast read at only 218 pages (with pictures), but it is impactful far beyond its word count.

The Teammates

By David Halberstam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More than 6 years after his death David Halberstam remains one of this country's most respected journalists and revered authorities on American life and history in the years since WWII. A Pulitzer Prize-winner for his ground-breaking reporting on the Vietnam War, Halberstam wrote more than 20 books, almost all of them bestsellers. His work has stood the test of time and has become the standard by which all journalists measure themselves.

The Teammates is the profoundly moving story of four great baseball players who have made the passage from sports icons--when they were young and seemingly indestructible--to men dealing with…


The Bad Guys Won

By Jeff Pearlman,

Book cover of The Bad Guys Won

While I am a Cleveland Indians fan, my favorite national league team to root for as a child was the New York Mets - especially the flamboyant and talented 1986 team that partied their way to a World Series trophy. 

In The Bad Guys Won, famed columnist and bestselling author Jeff Pearlman manages to weave all of the craziness of that ‘86 team into a wonderful memoir of a team that had the talent to have been a dynasty in Major League Baseball for years to come. Unfortunately for the Mets, and due to many of the behaviors of the colorful characters chronicled in the book, that dynasty never came to fruition.

The Bad Guys Won

By Jeff Pearlman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bad Guys Won as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Jeff Pearlman has captured the swagger of the '86 Mets. You don't have to be a Mets fan to enjoy this book—it's a great read for all baseball enthusiasts." —Philadelphia Daily News

Award-winning Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankees were the second-best team in New York.

It was 1986, and the New York Mets won 108 regular-season games and the World Series, capturing the hearts (and other assorted body parts) of fans everywhere. But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how…


Glory Days in Tribe Town

By Terry Pluto, Tom Hamilton,

Book cover of Glory Days in Tribe Town: The Cleveland Indians and Jacobs Field 1994-1997

My list could not be complete without a book about my beloved Tribe, and like most Clevelanders, watching the Indians of the mid-90’s was as good as it gets. Whether you are a Cleveland fan, or not, Glory Days in Tribe Town is a phenomenal book that chronicles one of the most intriguing Major League Baseball teams of the past 30 years. 

The Indians had 455 consecutive sold-out crowds home, many of whom stayed until the final out regardless of the score because they knew that the Tribe’s potent offensive could always overcome a deficit in the bottom of the 9th.  

The combination of two of Cleveland’s most iconic voices in Terry Pluto and Tom Hamilton makes this a must-read for any baseball fan.

Glory Days in Tribe Town

By Terry Pluto, Tom Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Glory Days in Tribe Town as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Relive the most thrilling seasons of Cleveland Indians baseball in recent memory! Remember the excitement of those first years at Jacobs Field? When it seemed the Indians could find a way to win almost any game? When screaming fans rocked the jam-packed stands every night? When a brash young team snapped a forty-year slump and electrified the city? Those weren’t baseball seasons, they were year-long celebrations. Step back into the glory days with sportswriter Terry Pluto and broadcaster Tom Hamilton as they share behind-the-scenes stories about a team with all-stars at nearly every position . . . a sparkling new…


Mirror in the Sky

By Aditi Khorana,

Book cover of Mirror in the Sky

Mirror in the Sky is about what happens to a girl who’s just trying to navigate through high school and family situations when a planet incredibly similar to Earth is discovered–and news spreads that people may have doubles on the new planet, called Terra Nova. (The main character’s name is Tara, so there’s a play on words, and a riff on the theme, here.) Mirror in the Sky is more about reactions on Earth to news of the new planet and less a sci-fi adventure.

Readers wanting hard sci-fi–tentacled aliens with ray guns–may be disappointed, but readers who want a contemporary with another world as a backdrop might take a look.

Mirror in the Sky

By Aditi Khorana,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Another Earth meets Perks of Being a Wallflower in this thoughtful, mesemerizing debut and subject of a TedX talk about the discovery of a mirror planet to Earth and how it dramatically changes the course of one Indian-American girl's junior year.

“[O]ne of the most powerful reads of the year. A novel about family, race, and discovering who you are, Mirror in the Sky promises a unique read that blends YA contemporary struggles with imaginative science fiction."
—Paste Magazine

For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year…


The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

By Carolyn Mackler,

Book cover of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

This book was one of the first I read that featured a main character who looked like me. I love the humor, honesty, and insight of Virginia, which is perfectly captured in the diary format of the writing. And the book takes a hard but hopeful look at the ideas of perfection and expectations and all the ways we are flawed, but also worthy of love.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

By Carolyn Mackler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifteen-year-old Virginia feels like a fat, awkward outsider in her perfect family, especially next to her golden-boy big brother Byron. She's got a lot to deal with - her weight, her best friend moving away, the mean girls at school - not to mention a boy who seems to like her! To survive, she decides to follow the 'Fat Girl Code of Conduct' to make herself acceptable, unnoticed ... invisible.

It seems to be working until something unthinkable happens and, before her eyes, Virginia's flawless family begins to fall apart. As her world spins out of orbit, Virginia realises that…


The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

By Kody Keplinger,

Book cover of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

Two words: Wesley Rush. I’m a sucker for a bad boy with charisma. And Bianca—my girl!—definitely gives Wesley a run for his money. I love her feistiness. Wesley dubs Bianca the “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” which is a huge no-no, but somehow he and Bianca began a steamy enemies with benefits fling and I lived for it. Naturally, their walls began to come down the closer they got, and there’s a line in the book (I will not spoil it) that took my breath away and made me fall completely in love with Wesley. Skip the movie, read the book! I loved Keplinger’s authentic uncensored teen voice in this. It made me a fan.

The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

By Kody Keplinger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is smart, cynical, loyal - and well aware that she's not the hot one in her group of friends. But when high-school jock and all round moron Wesley Rush tells her she's a DUFF - a Designated, Ugly Fat Friend - Bianca does not the see funny side. She may not be a beauty but she'd never stoop so low as to go anywhere near the likes of Wesley ... Or would she? Bianca is about to find out that attraction defies looks and that sometimes your sworn enemies can become your best friends ...

With a…


Before I Fall

By Lauren Oliver,

Book cover of Before I Fall

This is a creepy version of Groundhog’s Day (that old movie with Bill Murray). I love anything with a hint of ghosts or the afterlife. To me this is a story of a girl learning how not to be a bitch before she gets to go to heaven. That sounds almost humorous, but it’s not. It’s a story of friendship breakups and friendships gone wrong and the consequences of the actions you choose. Creepy atmosphere. I read this twice when it came out, and probably will give it another read at some point. They did make this into a movie!

Before I Fall

By Lauren Oliver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A bestselling summer read as heartbreaking as The Lovely Bones and as gripping as Jenny Downham's Before I Die.

**Now a major Netflix movie starring Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley*

'Gossip Girl meets Groundhog Day' Grazia

'Tender, funny and raw' Marie Claire

'A clever, funny, insightful and utterly addictive novel' Daily Mail

'Compelling and poignant, a truly memorable read' Closer

They say 'live every day as if it's your last' - but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't.
The thing is, you don't get to know when it happens. You don't…


Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

By Debbi Michiko Florence,

Book cover of Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

This sweet story brings me back to the rush of heady (albeit sometimes fleeting) infatuations and reminds me that simple friendship rules such as “Don’t let guys come between us” are not always as simple as they seem. The best part? Although Keiko ends up with the right romantic interest (there’s a scene that will melt your heart), she learns that self-love is paramount.

Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

By Debbi Michiko Florence,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Judy Blume and Jenny Han are sure to fall head-over-heels
for this funny, sweet story of crushes, competition,
and the confusing reality of middle school.
"Heartbreak is for suckers."

When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what
she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships
are risky and only lead to disappointment.
So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott
at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this
semester - no boys, just books.

But keeping her cool isn't always easy.

Jenna's chief competition for a big journalism
scholarship…


The Body Image Book for Girls

By Charlotte Markey,

Book cover of The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless

There’s been a lot of research on how girls fall prey to diet culture, lose their self-confidence, disappear into disordered eating/eating disorders/low self-esteem at puberty. A lot of that is triggered by living in a culture that’s so messed up around food, eating, and body image. So I’m always looking for tools to give girls to help them navigate that treacherous time, and this is one of the books I like to recommend.

The Body Image Book for Girls

By Charlotte Markey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Body Image Book for Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is worrying to think that most girls feel dissatisfied with their bodies, and that this can lead to serious problems including depression and eating disorders. Can some of those body image worries be eased? Body image expert and psychology professor Dr Charlotte Markey helps girls aged 9-15 to understand, accept, and appreciate their bodies. She provides all the facts on puberty, mental health, self-care, why diets are bad news, dealing with social media, and everything in-between. Girls will find answers to questions they always wanted to ask, the truth behind many body image myths, and real-life stories from girls…


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