100 books like Pump

By Bill Schutt,

Here are 100 books that Pump fans have personally recommended if you like Pump. 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 Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Roy A. Meals Author Of Muscle: The Gripping Story of Strength and Movement

From my list on friend your body’s marvelous machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been in love with biology since first playing with earthworms and marveling at the sprouting of radish seeds as a five-year-old. Further interest and curiosity led me to positions as nature counselor at summer camps and an eventual college degree in biology. Medical school was at times tedious, but the efficient, compact, durable mechanics of the musculoskeletal system totally engaged my interest. A residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in hand surgery were natural follow-ons. My other passion is a love of teaching, taking a learner from where ever their understanding is presently and guiding them to what they need to know next. And they should have fun in the process.

Roy's book list on friend your body’s marvelous machines

Roy A. Meals Why did Roy love this book?

Should bookstores shelve Gulp in the Humor section or the Science section? Both.

With her usual comedic and eclectic approach to her subject, Roach ranges and rages through our digestive system end to end. She mixes plenty of real science with quirky and unexpected diversions headlined by chapter titles such as "Dead Man’s Bloat and Other Tales from the History of Flatulence Research"; "Up Theirs, The Alimentary Canal as Criminal Accomplice"; and "Stuffed, The Science of Eating Yourself to Death".

It’s informative. It’s fun. Worthy of digestion.

By Mary Roach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet…


Book cover of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

Roy A. Meals Author Of Muscle: The Gripping Story of Strength and Movement

From my list on friend your body’s marvelous machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been in love with biology since first playing with earthworms and marveling at the sprouting of radish seeds as a five-year-old. Further interest and curiosity led me to positions as nature counselor at summer camps and an eventual college degree in biology. Medical school was at times tedious, but the efficient, compact, durable mechanics of the musculoskeletal system totally engaged my interest. A residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in hand surgery were natural follow-ons. My other passion is a love of teaching, taking a learner from where ever their understanding is presently and guiding them to what they need to know next. And they should have fun in the process.

Roy's book list on friend your body’s marvelous machines

Roy A. Meals Why did Roy love this book?

Any author who voluntarily has his nose packed and totally obstructed for over a week attracts my awe as one who is committed to walking the walk of his subject.

Nestor’s descriptions of this experience and the immense joy he encounters when his nasal airways were unblocked and his sense of smell restored sets the stage for an engaging tour through the science and art of a vital bodily function that we mostly ignore—respiration.

He posits that humans have been ignoring breath for centuries at our detriment and which accounts for sleep apnea, snoring, asthma, and autoimmune diseases. He poses means of relief. What a fresh breath.    

By James Nestor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE PHENOMENAL INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY BOOK PRIZE

'Who would have thought something as simple as changing the way we breathe could be so revolutionary for our health, from snoring to allergies to immunity? A fascinating book, full of dazzling revelations' Dr Rangan Chatterjee

There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world…


Book cover of The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Roy A. Meals Author Of Muscle: The Gripping Story of Strength and Movement

From my list on friend your body’s marvelous machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been in love with biology since first playing with earthworms and marveling at the sprouting of radish seeds as a five-year-old. Further interest and curiosity led me to positions as nature counselor at summer camps and an eventual college degree in biology. Medical school was at times tedious, but the efficient, compact, durable mechanics of the musculoskeletal system totally engaged my interest. A residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in hand surgery were natural follow-ons. My other passion is a love of teaching, taking a learner from where ever their understanding is presently and guiding them to what they need to know next. And they should have fun in the process.

Roy's book list on friend your body’s marvelous machines

Roy A. Meals Why did Roy love this book?

Now turning to the human body, Bryson continues his long tradition of combining loads of engaging, thoroughly researched information with ironic humor.

He dissects his subject system by system, starting with the normal structure and function of the skin and eventually moving to the “nether regions.” He follows with chapters on what can go wrong and what can go very wrong. Whereas other books focus on single systems, e.g., skeleton or gut, The Body is broader in its scope but understandably not so thorough.

For a single book to heighten a reader’s marvel and understanding of the human workings, this is the one.  

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body—with a new afterword for this edition.

Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body—how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Brysonesque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding…


Book cover of The Remarkable Life of the Skin: An Intimate Journey Across Our Largest Organ

Roy A. Meals Author Of Muscle: The Gripping Story of Strength and Movement

From my list on friend your body’s marvelous machines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been in love with biology since first playing with earthworms and marveling at the sprouting of radish seeds as a five-year-old. Further interest and curiosity led me to positions as nature counselor at summer camps and an eventual college degree in biology. Medical school was at times tedious, but the efficient, compact, durable mechanics of the musculoskeletal system totally engaged my interest. A residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in hand surgery were natural follow-ons. My other passion is a love of teaching, taking a learner from where ever their understanding is presently and guiding them to what they need to know next. And they should have fun in the process.

Roy's book list on friend your body’s marvelous machines

Roy A. Meals Why did Roy love this book?

Although skin is highly visible and a good indicator of health, habits, and age, its complexity and significance for overall health are often overlooked. Dermatologist, historian, and world traveler, Lyman demystifies the body’s largest organ.

He explains commonly encountered conditions such as blushing, goosebumps, and itching. With engaging stories, Lyman also informs about rarely encountered conditions, past and present, that illustrate the amazing capacity of the skin to fend off infection, dehydration, and other perils of the outside world as well as assaults from within.

Additionally, skin is rich with social and psychological significance. You will be compelled to take better care of your body’s wrapping having read the book. 

By Monty Lyman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

- Shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2019
- A Sunday Times 'MUST READ'
- 'An exciting introduction to a little-known microscopic universe.' Sunday Times
- 'A seriously entertaining book.' Melanie Reid, The Times
- As read on RADIO 4's BOOK OF THE WEEK
_______________

How does our diet affect our skin? What makes the skin age? And why can't we tickle ourselves?

Providing a cover for our delicate and intricate bodies, the skin is our largest, fastest growing and yet least understood organ. We see it, touch it and live in it every day. It's a habitat…


Book cover of The Dream Daughter

Linda Wisniewski Author Of Where the Stork Flies

From my list on time travel dealing with women’s issues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an avid lifelong reader who became a librarian, my dream job that kept me close to books and everything about them. I’ve seen so many changes in women’s lives since then. My oldest known ancestor was a woman born in 1778. What was her life like compared to mine? What would she think of me? In my time travel novel, I try to answer those questions. I’m drawn to stories that deal with universal women’s themes – family, love, fulfilling work, inequality, domestic abuse, motherhood, sisterhood, daughterhood – the list seems endless, as are the many ways authors use time travel to explore them.   

Linda's book list on time travel dealing with women’s issues

Linda Wisniewski Why did Linda love this book?

Carly is pregnant but her baby has a fatal heart defect. Her brother-in-law knows how to fix this: travel from 1970 to a future time where fetal surgery will save her child’s life. And the portals are all over the place! All you have to do is find one on his computer, go there and step off a roof or ledge. The scientific explanation for this is so believable I was half-convinced it’s real. Of course, it’s not that simple. What will a mother do to save her child? This brought back all the sleepless nights when my kids were sick or going through tough times. Mothers do what we have to do.

By Diane Chamberlain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Dream Daughter is a page-turning and unforgettable story of love and hope from bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before - and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.…


Book cover of The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature

Liz Koch Author Of Stalking Wild Psoas: Embodying Your Core Intelligence

From my list on re-wilding our relationship with life.

Why am I passionate about this?

As both an international somatic educator and conceptual artist, I have explored direct perception through the sensory system for over 45 years. Focusing on human potential and core awareness through the portal of the neuro-core tissue called Psoas, I am the author of The Psoas Book and Core Awareness: Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise and Dance. I have come to appreciate that fostering personal integrity requires changing our language of the body from an object to a dynamic living process. To restore our core coherency, humans must wake up from our mechanistic separateness to once again be innovative organisms dancing in reciprocity with a living, dynamic Earth.

Liz's book list on re-wilding our relationship with life

Liz Koch Why did Liz love this book?

This book offers a response to a deep longing to be in the world with childlike curiosity. It encourages our direct perception of life through the energetic heart field. Although it is meant as a knowledgeable guide for listening to and communicating with plants, it elicits a poignant call during a time of profound alienation. Encouraging the letting go of top-down linear thinking, Buhner offers a step-by-step somatic path for decolonizing the soul. I discovered by exchanging the word “psoas” for “plant” the book easily becomes a personal guide for increasing our core awareness as it inspires opening the heart by rooting into a reciprocal relationship with the living Earth. To me, re-wilding my relationship with the deepest aspects of self is vitally personal and imperative if all life is to truly flourish. 

By Stephen Harrod Buhner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

All ancient and indigenous peoples insisted their knowledge of plant medicines came from the plants themselves and not through trial-and-error experimentation. Less well known is that many Western peoples made this same assertion. There are, in fact, two modes of cognition available to all human beings--the brain-based linear and the heart-based holistic. The heart-centered mode of perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed in its information gathering capacities if, as indigenous and ancient peoples asserted, the heart's ability as an organ of perception is developed. Author Stephen Harrod Buhner explores this second mode of perception in great detail through the…


Book cover of You Go First

Laura Anne Bird Author Of Crossing the Pressure Line

From my list on for girls who love the outdoors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and when I’m not reading my way through a tall stack of library books, I love to exercise and explore the outdoors, particularly in the Northwoods and in the Driftless Area (Google it—it’s the coolest!). My debut novel, Crossing the Pressure Line, is about identifying the lifeboats that have the power to save us during turbulent times. One of my own personal lifeboats is nature. I spend time outdoors every single day, even when the temperature is below zero, because I find deep peace in breathing fresh air, using my muscles, and watching for signs of wildlife. 

Laura's book list on for girls who love the outdoors

Laura Anne Bird Why did Laura love this book?

I love books about smart and curious girls, and Charlotte, the main character of You Go First, fits the bill. She struggles with tricky middle-school friendships and her father’s declining health, but she keeps herself afloat emotionally by studying all sorts of interesting things, like sea creatures, wild animals, earthquakes, and geology. She maintains a collection of rock specimens on her dresser, and the sparkling hunks of Egyptian quartz, hematite, and feldspar remind her of her dream of studying minerals and gemstones at the base of a pyramid or volcano when she grows up. Charlotte is unapologetically herself, and her unwavering connection with the earth and its treasures is her saving grace during a very rough stretch.  

By Erin Entrada Kelly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Go First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Funny and poignant, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestseller Erin Entrada Kelly's national bestseller You Go First is an exploration of family, bullying, word games, art, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships.

In a starred review, School Library Journal wrote that Erin Entrada Kelly can "capture moments of tween anguish with searing honesty."

Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different-Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana.

Charlotte wants to be a geologist and…


Book cover of The Heart and the Bottle

Robin Hall Author Of The Littlest Weaver

From my list on picture books for healing from loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

All my life, books have been a safe space for me to explore emotions, recognize that what I’m experiencing is universal, and see that we can cope with difficult situations. As I pursued my MFA in Writing, I studied and wrote books that address heavy topics in hopeful ways. As Matt de la Pena says, “I can’t think of a safer place to explore complex emotions … than inside the pages of a book.” The picture books I have chosen address the heavy topic of loss in sensitive, hopeful, and empowering ways. I hope these books will touch your life as much as they’ve touched mine.

Robin's book list on picture books for healing from loss

Robin Hall Why did Robin love this book?

Oliver Jeffers is a master storyteller. Like the girl in this story, when I lost my father, I wanted to build walls to protect myself from the pain of grief so my heart could never hurt so much again. It took time to find a way to open my heart again and continue to find wonder.

Reading The Heart and the Bottle felt like reading my own story, like Jeffers understood me. With sparce text and simple, but poignant, illustrations, Jeffers clearly shows the process of healing from loss.

By Oliver Jeffers,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Heart and the Bottle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Award-winning picture book star Oliver Jeffers explores themes of love and loss in this life-affirming and uplifting tale.

Once there was a girl whose life was filled with wonder at the world around her...
Then one day something happened that made the girl take her heart and put it in a safe place. However, after that it seemed that the world was emptier than before. But would she know how to get her heart back?

In this deeply moving story, Oliver Jeffers deals with the weighty themes of love and loss with an extraordinary lightness of touch and shows us,…


Book cover of Reckless Memories

Willow Aster Author Of True Love Story

From my list on to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night.

Why am I passionate about this?

As well as being an author of romance and an upcoming thriller, I am an avid reader. I’ve been passionate about books since I was a little girl, and I read a ton every year…often reading several at any given time. Books are my favorite pastime and my favorite subject to talk about, hands down. I did a podcast for several years—Living in the Pages—where I talked to authors from all over the world about their books and their process in writing. My TBR (to-be-read) list is never-ending.

Willow's book list on to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night

Willow Aster Why did Willow love this book?

Reckless Memories is the first book in the standalone Wrecked series. Ford and Bell will capture your heart with their second chance at love. There’s angst and tension and a swoon-worthy love story brewing amidst suspenseful moments. If you love a good romance with Nora Roberts’ feels, you’ll enjoy this story!

By Catherine Cowles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love.I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping…


Book cover of Heart: A History

Mara Altman Author Of Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front

From my list on the human body to deepen your appreciation.

Why am I passionate about this?

People, including me, can be so uptight about their bodies. Early on in my career, I found that writing about my shame (chin hair!) or embarrassment (dogs sniffing my crotch!) helped the stigma go away. Researching and learning about how amazing our bodies are helped empower me to feel confident and comfortable being fully myself. I think it can do the same for others, too. My takeaway: There is greatness in our grossness. 

Mara's book list on the human body to deepen your appreciation

Mara Altman Why did Mara love this book?

The amount of blood that passes through a human heart every week is enough to fill a swimming pool. That and facts like it saturate this book about our most essential organ, the heart. Jauhar weaves a dynamic science-based narrative with personal accounts that infuses the reader with love and reverence for the body part, the medical personnel, and the innovations that keep us all pumping.  

By Sandeep Jauhar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Jauhar weaves his own personal and family story into his history of the heart...very effectively... This gives a certain dramatic tension to the book, as it tells the fascinating and rather wonderful history of cardiology.'

-Henry Marsh, New Statesman

A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year

The heart lies at the centre of life. For cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar it is an obsession.

In this fascinating history he interweaves gripping scenes from the operating theatre with the moving tale of his family's history of heart problems - from the death of his grandfather to the ominous signs of how he…


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