100 books like Pronoun Envy

By Anna Livia,

Here are 100 books that Pronoun Envy fans have personally recommended if you like Pronoun Envy. 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 Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Bettina Aptheker Author Of Communists in Closets: Queering the History 1930s-1990s

From my list on helped me claim identity as a lesbian and feminist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an activist/scholar and I taught in the Feminist Studies department at the University of California, Santa Cruz for 40 years. My most popular class was Introduction to Feminism. Then I taught another large, undergraduate course Feminism & Social Justice. By the time I retired I had taught over 16,000 students, and worked with scores of graduate students. My online class, Feminism & Social Justice, on the Coursera Platform has been taken by over 107,000 people located on literally every continent. My teaching and writings are always anti-racist, and explicitly queer. They've drawn on my life experiences. They come out of my passion to lessen suffering, and embrace compassion. 

Bettina's book list on helped me claim identity as a lesbian and feminist

Bettina Aptheker Why did Bettina love this book?

Gloria Anzaldúa was born and raised in South Texas, growing up along the U.S.-Mexican border. For many years she lived in San Francisco, and then in Santa Cruz, California.

The first 113 pages of the book are stories and essays drawn from her life experiences as a woman of Mexican and Indian heritage, daily experiencing life at the physical border between the United States and Mexico.

She was raised in a strongly Catholic tradition, while also drawn to and inventing her own spirituality rooted in indigenous practices of harmony, balance, and reverence for the earth. She was a lesbian in a straight world that condemned her woman-loving sensibility.

Each of these is a “borderland” to be navigated and negotiated, and each of these borders is rich with insight, life, laughter, tears, violence, and love. The last 100 pages of the book is titled “Un Agitado Viento/ Ehécatl, The Wind.” It…

By Gloria Anzaldúa,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Borderlands/La Frontera as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The U.S-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country--a border culture."--Gloria Anzaldúa

Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in BORDERLANDS/LA FRONTERA: THE NEW MESTIZA profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. BORDERLANDS/LA FRONTERA remaps our understanding of what a "border" is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but…


Book cover of White Teeth

Michael Keenan Gutierrez Author Of The Swill

From my list on bars where I'd like to get a drink.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved bars before I could drink. Maybe it was a steady diet of Cheers reruns as a child. Or perhaps it was growing up in Los Angeles, a city without a center, a city of cars, a city that seemed—at least when I was a child—to lack real community. Bars, in my imagination, provided that. So when I started actually finding myself in bars—and often working in them—I also found myself writing fiction, and those bars ended up in that fiction. In each of my novels, a bar is a gathering place for those wanting a church sans theology, a place, where, yes, everyone knows your name.  

Michael's book list on bars where I'd like to get a drink

Michael Keenan Gutierrez Why did Michael love this book?

Maybe I just want to have a drink with Zadie Smith. She could tell me how she managed to write such a breathtaking novel by the age of 23. In this fictional encounter, I’d ask her about O’Connell’s, the pub in White Teeth frequented by her constantly put-upon war vets Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. “O’Connell’s is the kind of place family men come to for a different kind of family. Unlike blood relations, it is necessary here to earn one’s passion in the community; it takes years of devoted fucking around, time-wasting, lying-about, shooting the breeze, watching paint dry—far more dedication than men invest in the careless moment of procreation.” The whole book is this keenly observed, and this funny. 

By Zadie Smith,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked White Teeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most talked about fictional debuts of recent years, "White Teeth" is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.


Book cover of Style: Language Variation and Identity

Emilia Di Martino Author Of Celebrity Accents and Public Identity Construction: Analyzing Geordie Stylizations

From my list on language and identity and why it matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of English Linguistics interested in all aspects of language, identity, society, and power. I grew up and live in Southern Italy, in the Naples area, except for extended summertime family visits to San Diego, Southern California. I alternate my reading and writing between books on language and identity (how we self-promote ourselves to the public through personal style and narratives, molding our public image in a way we believe most advantageous to us) and texts on language and society (how we as individuals do things with words and gather information about other people from the way they communicate) and how these aspects intersect with power issues.

Emilia's book list on language and identity and why it matters

Emilia Di Martino Why did Emilia love this book?

This remarkably clear and engaging read opened my eyes to the identity dimension of style. Using plenty of examples, it shows how we pick and mix from the many alternative ways we can say something to present and position ourselves in society in a specific way. 

Nikolas Coupland, currently Emeritus Professor at Cardiff University, thoroughly reviews previous sociolinguistic studies on style, from traditional to modern, steering research towards a more sophisticated and wide-ranging understanding of the ways specific contexts, local interactions, personal access to the resources of language and individual aesthetic choices make meaning in the presentation of the self.

By Nikolas Coupland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Style refers to ways of speaking - how speakers use the resource of language variation to make meaning in social encounters. This 2007 book develops a coherent theoretical approach to style in sociolinguistics, illustrated with copious examples. It explains how speakers project different social identities and create different social relationships through their style choices, and how speech-style and social context inter-relate. Style therefore refers to the wide range of strategic actions and performances that speakers engage in, to construct themselves and their social lives. Coupland draws on and integrates a wide variety of contemporary sociolinguistic research as well as his…


Book cover of Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don't

Emilia Di Martino Author Of Celebrity Accents and Public Identity Construction: Analyzing Geordie Stylizations

From my list on language and identity and why it matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of English Linguistics interested in all aspects of language, identity, society, and power. I grew up and live in Southern Italy, in the Naples area, except for extended summertime family visits to San Diego, Southern California. I alternate my reading and writing between books on language and identity (how we self-promote ourselves to the public through personal style and narratives, molding our public image in a way we believe most advantageous to us) and texts on language and society (how we as individuals do things with words and gather information about other people from the way they communicate) and how these aspects intersect with power issues.

Emilia's book list on language and identity and why it matters

Emilia Di Martino Why did Emilia love this book?

Identity is currently the dominant frame in public discourse, with individuals of a specific ethnicity, religion, gender, social background, environmental opinion or other identifying factors developing shared agendas, which are often expressed through a recognizable style. In this book (revisited in 2002 with the subtitle Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think to relate the book’s content to the 2000 US presidential election─also used for the book’s third edition, issued in 2016), George Lakoff applies cognitive linguistics to the study of contemporary American politics, illustrating the different conceptual models of morality conservatives (strict father model) and liberals (nurturant parent model) hold. These models revolve around contrasting views of the relationship between the State and citizens, springing from an understanding of the nation and its governance through the metaphor of the family

By George Lakoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Taking a look at current thought about political and moral ideas, this book analyzes political discussion to find that the family - especially the ideal family - is the most powerful metaphor in politics. Revealing how family-based moral values determine views on such diverse issues as crime, gun control, taxation, social programmes, and the environment, George Lakoff looks at how conservatives and liberals link morality to politics through the concept of family and how these ideals diverge. Arguing that conservatives have exploited the connection between morality, the family, and politics, while liberals have failed to recognize it, Lakoff explains why…


Book cover of Natchez Country: Indians, Colonists, and the Landscapes of Race in French Louisiana

Christian Pinnen Author Of Complexion of Empire in Natchez: Race and Slavery in the Mississippi Borderlands

From my list on race and slavery in colonial Mississippi Valley.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of race and slavery in the lower Mississippi Valley because the region is a fulcrum of United States history. I was always fascinated by the significance of the Mississippi River for American expansion, society, and culture. Ultimately, this region of the country is so deeply influenced by people of African descent that must be included in all histories, and I wanted to share their stories in a particular place during the colonial period. Telling these stories in places where they have commonly been less well represented is very rewarding and it opens more ways to understand the histories of places like Natchez along the Mississippi River.

Christian's book list on race and slavery in colonial Mississippi Valley

Christian Pinnen Why did Christian love this book?

George Milne writes the definitive history of the Natchez people and how their encounter with the French changed the power dynamics in the lower Mississippi Valley in the eighteenth century. Milne draws on research in French archives to show how French and Natchez built a fragile cultural understanding based on misinterpretation of social and cultural cues. This book is very good at elaborating on the complicated relationships that often turned on questions of race, dominance, and submissiveness in the lower Mississippi Valley. It specifically highlights the way in which the Natchez people became aware of the way the French viewed them as racially inferior and in turn defined their own people as distinct from Europeans and Africans.

By George Edward Milne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the dawn of the 1700s the Natchez viewed the first Francophones in the Lower Mississippi Valley as potential inductees to their chiefdom. This mistaken perception lulled them into permitting these outsiders to settle among them. Within two decades conditions in Natchez Country had taken a turn for the worse. The trickle of wayfarers had given way to a torrent of colonists (and their enslaved Africans) who refused to recognize the Natchez's hierarchy. These newcomers threatened to seize key authority-generating features of Natchez Country: mounds, a plaza, and a temple. This threat inspired these Indians to turn to a recent…


Book cover of Building the Devil's Empire: French Colonial New Orleans

Katrina Gulliver Author Of Modern Women in China and Japan: Gender, Feminism and Global Modernity Between the Wars

From my list on the history of cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in cities through my research on culture in Asia. I came to appreciate how much cities generate culture - and are the exchange points for different ideas. I’ve hosted a podcast on urban history, edited a book (Cityscapes in History: Creating the Urban Experience), and written about urban space for various magazines and websites.

Katrina's book list on the history of cities

Katrina Gulliver Why did Katrina love this book?

This book is about the city of New Orleans, and how it came to be, as an outpost of 3 empires in turn (the French, the Spanish, and the nascent United States). Its cultural mix gave it a rich identity, but also practical issues - whose legal system would be followed? What language should be used? This legacy created a particular urban environment, and Dawdy’s work brings out the most fascinating stories in how this city came to be.

By Shannon Lee Dawdy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building the Devil's Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Building the Devil's Empire" is the first comprehensive history of New Orleans' early years, tracing the town's development from its origins in 1718 to its revolt against Spanish rule in 1768. Shannon Lee Dawdy's picaresque account of New Orleans' wild youth features a cast of strong-willed captives, thin-skinned nobles, sharp-tongued women, and carousing travelers. But she also widens her lens to reveal the port city's global significance, examining its role in the French Empire and the Caribbean, and she concludes that by exemplifying a kind of rogue colonialism - where governments, outlaws, and capitalism become entwined - New Orleans should…


Book cover of France Since 1945

Jeremy Black Author Of France: A Short History

From my list on the history of France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian with wide-ranging interests and publications, including, in European history, histories of Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, eighteenth-century Europe, Europe 1550-1800, Europe since 1945, and European warfare.

Jeremy's book list on the history of France

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

The leading British interpreter of French history from 1940 produced this valuable guide to a period of major transformation in French history. Gildea has cogently argued that French politics reflects long-lasting divisions that play out in different mileux.

By Robert Gildea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked France Since 1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The last fifty years of French history have seen immense challenges for the French: constructing a new European order, building a modern economy, searching for a stable political system. It has also been a time of anxiety and doubt. The French have had to come to terms with the legacy of the German Occupation, the loss of Empire, the political and social implications of the influx of foreign immigrants, the rise of Islam, the destruction of rural life, and the threat
of Anglo-American culture to French language and civilization.
Robert Gildea's account examines the French political system and France's role…


Book cover of The Outsider

Christopher Wilson Author Of Cotton

From my list on mavericks and oddballs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some authors plan a book then write it. I can’t. I need to find a fresh surprise every day as I discover the book by writing it. And it’s been mavericks, oddballs, and outsiders that have drawn me in. I’m a maximalist. I enjoy the extreme and exotic. I empathise with outsiders. Having trained as a psychologist I developed an interest in oddities of experience and behaviour. And this focus on the maverick matches the potentials of fiction. Novels are great at depicting the inner lives of their characters, their motivations and worldviews, and the diverse ways to be human.

Christopher's book list on mavericks and oddballs

Christopher Wilson Why did Christopher love this book?

I read voraciously as a kid and this is one of those early books that influenced me most.

Once I’d started writing fiction—late, in my thirtiesI focused on mavericks and oddballs. They don’t match our familiar categories. They’re exotic - richly different. They may have intriguing and startling inner lives. They have a deal to say about identity, sense of self, and motive. They also highlight convention, albeit in negative image. And they share a stance with writers themselves, who are often detached, peering in on life from the outside. 

It might have been many other writers, but it was Camus (through The Outsider and The Fall) who first impressed me with confessional voice and narration. It’s all established in the opening lines, slapping you with Meursault’s chilling, oddball indifference. “My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.”

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A peerless work of philosophical fiction that is as shocking today as when it was first published, the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Albert Camus' The Outsider is translated by Joseph Laredo.

Meursault will not pretend. After the death of his mother, everyone is shocked when he shows no sadness. And when he commits a random act of violence in Algiers, society is baffled. Why would this seemingly law-abiding bachelor do such a thing? And why does he show no remorse even when it could save his life? His refusal to satisfy the feelings of others only increases his guilt…


Book cover of The Spies of Warsaw

Andrew Kaplan Author Of Blue Madagascar

From my list on spy thrillers that are about more than spies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never planned to be a spy thriller writer. One day an editor suggested I write genre fiction. “Pick a genre you read just for fun,” he said. For me, that was spy novels. I had some background (military intelligence, journalist in Europe, Africa, etc.) and John Le Carré had shown that spy novels could be serious fiction. An encounter in the Amazon jungle sparked my first spy thriller, Hour of the Assassins. Then came Scorpion, Homeland, and the rest. What’s the attraction? Intelligence agents lie better than most because their lives depend on it. But if you dig hard enough, you get small truths. Big ones too.

Andrew's book list on spy thrillers that are about more than spies

Andrew Kaplan Why did Andrew love this book?

Reading a novel by Alan Furst is like seeing Casablanca for the first time, if it were written by Hemingway. There’s that same evocative atmosphere of people smoking cigarettes, having affairs, making sophisticated remarks, while looming over them is the war. Furst mines a narrow niche. All of his books are set in Europe either during World War Two or in the Thirties, with the war threatening. The protagonist here is Colonel Mercier, military attaché at the French embassy in Warsaw. Mercier must navigate the salons and alleyways of Warsaw against all manner of spies and German agents. The book is also an exploration of love in a desperate time through Mercier’s affair with the beautiful Anna, a Polish lawyer. It’s very good. Furst is always good. 

By Alan Furst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers' bar in the city's factory district, he will meet with the military attache from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, with war coming to Europe, and French and German operatives locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attache, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn in to a world of abduction,…


Book cover of Teaching and Learning Algebra

David Acheson Author Of The Wonder Book of Geometry: A Mathematical Story

From my list on mathematics for the general reader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an applied mathematician at Oxford University, and author of the bestseller 1089 and All That, which has now been translated into 13 languages. In 1992 I discovered a strange mathematical theorem – loosely related to the Indian Rope Trick - which eventually featured on BBC television. My books and public lectures are now aimed at bringing mainstream mathematics to the general public in new and exciting ways.

David's book list on mathematics for the general reader

David Acheson Why did David love this book?

This may seem an odd choice, but as a maths popularizer I need to know all that I can about why some people find the main elements of the subject so difficult. I found Doug French's book exceptionally helpful in this respect, even though it is aimed principally at high school teachers. This is partly because he focuses throughout on the most important mathematical ideas and difficulties. Moreover, the scope is wider than the title suggests, for he also ventures imaginatively into both geometry and calculus.

By Doug French,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Continuum has repackaged some of its key academic backlist titles to make them available at a more affordable price. These reissues will have new ISBNs, distinctive jackets and strong branding. They cover a range of subject areas that have a continuing student sale and make great supplementary reading more accessible. A comprehensive, authoritative and constructive guide to teaching algebra.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in French people, the English language, and feminism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about French people, the English language, and feminism.

French People Explore 10 books about French people
The English Language Explore 34 books about the English language
Feminism Explore 331 books about feminism