100 books like Providence of a Sparrow

By Chris Chester,

Here are 100 books that Providence of a Sparrow fans have personally recommended if you like Providence of a Sparrow. 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 The Human Nature of Birds: A Scientific Discovery with Startling Implications

Jonathan Balcombe Author Of Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects

From my list on understanding birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started watching animals as soon as I could walk. That eventually led to a PhD in animal behavior and a career in animal protection. I now focus my energies on writing books that seek to improve our understanding of, and most importantly our relations with, other animals. I've written four previous books: Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What a Fish Knows (a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages). I live in Belleville, Ontario where I enjoy biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.

Jonathan's book list on understanding birds

Jonathan Balcombe Why did Jonathan love this book?

Yes, it’s a bit dated, but it was a bold, pioneering book for its day. Barber doesn’t shrink from describing birds as they are: intelligent, flexible, emotional animals with lives and personalities.

By Theodore Xenophon Barber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Argues that birds make and use their own tools, recognize abstract concepts, create complex musical compositions, and more


Book cover of The Sibley Guide to Birds

Jonathan Balcombe Author Of Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects

From my list on understanding birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started watching animals as soon as I could walk. That eventually led to a PhD in animal behavior and a career in animal protection. I now focus my energies on writing books that seek to improve our understanding of, and most importantly our relations with, other animals. I've written four previous books: Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What a Fish Knows (a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages). I live in Belleville, Ontario where I enjoy biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.

Jonathan's book list on understanding birds

Jonathan Balcombe Why did Jonathan love this book?

This beautifully illustrated, comprehensive book is a must-have for bird enthusiasts. It is not only a useful guide to identifying birds, but also an illuminating source on little-known aspects of bird behavior.

By David Allen Sibley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Undoubtedly the finest guide to North American birds.”—Guy McCaskie, Birding


The publication of The Sibley Guide to Birds, First Edition quickly established David Allen Sibley as the author and illustrator of the nation’s supreme and most comprehensive guide to birds. Used by millions of birders from novices to the most expert, The Sibley Guide became the standard by which natural history guides are measured. The highly anticipated second edition builds on this foundation of excellence, offering massively expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and a new, elegant design.


The second edition of this handsome, flexibound volume…


Book cover of Birds as Individuals

Jonathan Balcombe Author Of Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects

From my list on understanding birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started watching animals as soon as I could walk. That eventually led to a PhD in animal behavior and a career in animal protection. I now focus my energies on writing books that seek to improve our understanding of, and most importantly our relations with, other animals. I've written four previous books: Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What a Fish Knows (a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages). I live in Belleville, Ontario where I enjoy biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.

Jonathan's book list on understanding birds

Jonathan Balcombe Why did Jonathan love this book?

A British musicologist opens the windows to her country home and lets wild birds come in and nest there. This unique study allows her (and us) to observe these feathered sprites up close and personal. Many befriend their human hostess, with remarkable revelations.

By Len Howard,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Birdology: Adventures with Hip Hop Parrots, Cantankerous Cassowaries, Crabby Crows, Peripatetic Pigeons, Hens, Hawks, and Hummingbirds

Jonathan Balcombe Author Of Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World's Most Successful Insects

From my list on understanding birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started watching animals as soon as I could walk. That eventually led to a PhD in animal behavior and a career in animal protection. I now focus my energies on writing books that seek to improve our understanding of, and most importantly our relations with, other animals. I've written four previous books: Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, The Exultant Ark, and What a Fish Knows (a New York Times best-seller now available in fifteen languages). I live in Belleville, Ontario where I enjoy biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.

Jonathan's book list on understanding birds

Jonathan Balcombe Why did Jonathan love this book?

True to form, Montgomery advances our understanding of birds through stories and adventures from the field. An accessible book from a celebrated writer whose love of animals is infectious.

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Book cover of The Birds of Shakespeare: Critically examined, explained, and illustrated

Lesley Adkins Author Of When There Were Birds

From my list on the history of British birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up on the south coast of Hampshire, I love both the countryside and the sea. After studying ancient history, archaeology, and Latin at the University of Bristol, I worked for many years as a field archaeologist and met my husband Roy on an excavation of a Roman villa at Milton Keynes. We have worked together ever since, as archaeologists and as authors of books on archaeology, ancient history, naval history, and social history. Our wide-ranging interests proved invaluable when writing our book When There Were Birds.

Lesley's book list on the history of British birds

Lesley Adkins Why did Lesley love this book?

Also known as The Ornithology of Shakespeare, James Edmund Harting published this book in 1871 as a detailed analysis of all the references to birds in Shakespeare’s plays. He shows that to Shakespeare and his audience, birds and field sports were second nature. His book starts with Shakespeare’s general knowledge of natural history and then tackles different types of birds, such as those with song and the owl and its associations. Harting was an extremely knowledgeable ornithologist and hawker, and his book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand Shakespeare.

By James Edmund Harting,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Leather Binding on Spine and Corners with Golden Leaf Printing on round Spine (extra customization on request like complete leather, Golden Screen printing in Front, Color Leather, Colored book etc.) Reprinted in 2021 with the help of original edition published long back [1871]. This book is printed in black & white, sewing binding for longer life, Printed on high quality Paper, re-sized as per Current standards, professionally processed without changing its contents. As these are old books, we processed each page manually and make them readable but in some cases some pages which are blur or missing or black spots.…


Book cover of Hamlet and the Visual Arts, 1709-1900

Sally Barnden Author Of Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance

From my list on Shakespeare’s plays and the visual arts.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I studied Shakespeare’s works as an undergraduate, I became intrigued by the questions of why and how we got to the point where Shakespeare’s name is recognised all over the world, his plays are quoted in everyday conversation, and his works are central to every English Literature course. I’ve pursued these questions in my academic research, where I look at the history of Shakespeare in performance, but also at how these performances are remembered in souvenirs, pictures, and objects. 

Sally's book list on Shakespeare’s plays and the visual arts

Sally Barnden Why did Sally love this book?

Alan R. Young’s close focus on an individual play over nearly two centuries shows how far images can shape our ideas of what a play is about. He looks at paintings, illustrations, prints, photographs, and comic burlesques, demonstrating the incredible variety of images which have been inspired by Hamlet. I find Young’s chronological approach incredibly helpful, since it shows how one image influences another, and how representations of a single scene can change over time in line with fashions in the art world. 

By Alan R. Young,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hamlet and the Visual Arts, 1709-1900 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book examines the manner in which Shakespeare's Hamlet was perceived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and represented in the available visual media. The more than 2,000 visual images of Hamlet that the author has identified both reflected the critical reception of the play and simultaneously influenced the history of the ever-changing constructed cultural phenomenon that we refer to as Shakespeare.


Book cover of Hamlet

Karl F. Zender Author Of Shakespeare and Faulkner: Selves and Others

From my list on the most wonderful American, British, and Irish writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up on a small farm in southern Ohio, I was the first generation of my family to attend both high school and college. Literature, reading it, talking about it, studying it, was my entry into a world of larger possibilities than my family’s somewhat straitened circumstances had allowed me. Faulkner attracted me because the rural enclave in which we lived, and my neighbors, resembled locales and characters in his fiction. Shakespeare attracted me for many reasons, most notably the beauty of his language and the ability of his plays to reveal new meanings as my life experiences changed.

Karl's book list on the most wonderful American, British, and Irish writers

Karl F. Zender Why did Karl love this book?

Hamlet is one of those literary characters, like Faust, who gains an iconic, extra-literary identity. Moody, hesitant, insolent, and wracked by guilt and doubt, Hamlet marked the eruption into Western literature of self-consciousness as a literary trope. 

Understanding that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are agents of Claudius, not his true friends, Hamlet mockingly says, “You would pluck out the heart of my mystery.”  Whether considered in psychological, social, religious, historical, or political terms, that “mystery” has for centuries intrigued readers and audiences. I invite you to share that intrigue, or to return to it.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The Mona Lisa of literature' T. S. Eliot

In Shakespeare's verbally dazzling and eternally enigmatic exploration of conscience, madness and the nature of humanity, a young prince meets his father's ghost in the middle of the night, who accuses his own brother - now married to his widow - of murdering him. The prince devises a scheme to test the truth of the ghost's accusation, feigning wild insanity while plotting revenge. But his actions soon begin to wreak havoc on innocent and guilty alike.

Used and Recommended by the National Theatre

General Editor Stanley Wells
Edited by T. J. B.…


Book cover of Where the Forest Meets the Stars

J. Martain Author Of Forgetting the Lost

From my list on uncanny children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an uncanny child myself, I always gravitated toward reading about the strange—whether in historical accounts or fiction—and as a passably normal adult, I often write from the perspective of “the other.” I never intentionally mix science fiction and paranormal elements into my work…they just happen to be my characters’ truths! So much of what we humans know about our world is filtered through our collective reality, and I love following the connecting threads and plucking at the flaws. 

J.'s book list on uncanny children

J. Martain Why did J. love this book?

Vanderah’s novel is an outlier on my list, because it’s actually a beautiful tale of found family—but that makes it a poignant counter to the others. 

Has Ursa, the uncanny child, merely assumed her “otherness” as a protective guise? Even by the end of the book, I found myself wondering whether the neatly wrapped up (and satisfying) story would have ended differently had the child been the narrator.  

More literary fiction than speculative, I recommend this novel for the lingering “what-ifs” that brought me back for a second read.

By Glendy Vanderah,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Where the Forest Meets the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestseller, and a Goodreads Choice Award finalist.

In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot…


Book cover of Power Plays: Shakespeare's Lessons in Leadership and Management

Ken Wilcox Author Of Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

From my list on leadership showing the art of motivating people.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ken began his career as an Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of North Carolina. After ten years in academe, he went to the Harvard Business School, following which he embarked on a 36-year career banking. Ken worked at Shawmut Bank, Bank of New England, and from 1990 through 2019 at Silicon Valley Bank. Mr. Wilcox earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, as well as a PhD in German studies Ohio State University. He published Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures that Motivate People to Achieve Great Things and soon he'll be publishing a second book One Bed Two Dreams: When Western Companies Fail in China.

Ken's book list on leadership showing the art of motivating people

Ken Wilcox Why did Ken love this book?

People often ask themselves, why study literature. What’s the use?

This is the only book I have ever read that attempts to show how literature applies to leadership and management. The authors, one a professor of Shakespearian literature, and the other a management consultant, attempts to show how Shakespeare’s play contain practical lessons for leaders.

The chapter I liked most talks about how and why the CEO doesn’t always want their successor to succeed, and how they sometimes sabotage their successor’s success.

By John O. Whitney, Tina Packer, Steve Noble (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What Can Shakespeare teach us about effective leadership? Everything, according to John Whitney, leading professor at Columbia Business School, and Tina Packer, founder, president and artistic director of the critically acclaimed theatre group Shakespeare & Company. Whether we are dealing with an indecisive Hamlet or a corporate Lear, this innovative approach to management helps us tap into the timeless wisdom and profitable genius of the Bard. The issues fuelling the intricate plots of Shakespeare's 400-year-old plays are the same common yet complex issues that business leaders contend with today. John Whitney and Tina Packer compare Shakespeare's plays with management techniques,…


Book cover of Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare

Arlene Naylor Okerlund Author Of Elizabeth: England's Slandered Queen

From my list on biographies that tell the truth.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fake news is not new. Biographies, in particular, are fraught with fallacies and fake stories. When fake news slanders individuals, reputations are ruined and lives destroyed. That’s what happened to Elizabeth Wydeville, Queen Consort to Edward IV, and mother of the two princes who disappeared during Richard III’s reign. When I discovered the slander that destroyed Queen Elizabeth’s reputation, I began a 5-year research project to set the record straight. Some fallacies are deliberate, originating in envy or power putsches. Others derive from historical laziness or incompetence. What I learned from my research has determined my choices of biographies, stories that tell previously unrevealed truths about individuals.

Arlene's book list on biographies that tell the truth

Arlene Naylor Okerlund Why did Arlene love this book?

Critics argue that William Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him because he lacked the knowledge of classical myth and history basic to his plots and imagery. Jonathan Bates proves that the curriculum of the grammar school in Stratford-on-Avon provided an education sufficient to explain Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Bate reviews books in English and Latin that Shakespeare would have read and that created his rhetorical brilliance. 

I treasure Bate’s biography because my own background originated in a rural, agricultural setting outside the social and economic circles that usually produce academic types. Bates disproves the fallacy that only the privileged and elite can survive and thrive in life and careers.

By Jonathan Bate,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Soul of the Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”

In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bard’s own immortal list of a man’s seven ages in As You Like It, Bate deduces the crucial events of Shakespeare’s life and connects them to his world and work as never before.

Here is the author as an infant, born into a world of plague and syphillis, diseases with which he became closely familiar; as a…


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