100 books like Reaching for Heaven on Earth

By Robert H. Nelson,

Here are 100 books that Reaching for Heaven on Earth fans have personally recommended if you like Reaching for Heaven on Earth. 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 The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time

Vinícius Guilherme Rodrigues Vieira Author Of Shaping Nations and Markets: Identity Capital, Trade, and the Populist Rage

From my list on understanding the transformation of capitalism and globalisation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 2008, I have conducted research on themes related to International Political Economy. I am currently the co-chair of the research committee on this topic at the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and am passionate about making sense of the interplay between material and symbolic factors that shape capitalism and globalisation. Being based in Brazil, I was stuck when the country—which did not have salient identity cleavages in politics—came to be, after 2008, a hotspot of religious-based right-wing populism associated with the defence of trade liberalisation as globalisation started to face meaningful backlash from White-majority constituencies who are relatively losers of the post-Cold War order in the advanced industrialised democracies.

Vinícius' book list on understanding the transformation of capitalism and globalisation

Vinícius Guilherme Rodrigues Vieira Why did Vinícius love this book?

As post-Cold War globalisation seems to face its fate, I always go back to this book as it offers lessons on the perils of taking for granted economic rationality. The 19th-century liberal order crumbled, and fascism emerged as a solution. In the same vein, is far-right populism a reaction against the consequences of neoliberalism?

Although he does not bring to the centre stage the impact of ethnic-religious cleavages, such a shortcoming only made me wonder whether his riveting account of modernity applies nowadays.

By Karl Polanyi,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Great Transformation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the "great transformation" of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism. New introductory material reveals the renewed importance of Polanyi's seminal analysis in an era of globalization and free trade.


Book cover of 1984

William R. Wolesensky Author Of Mathematical Methods in Biology

From my list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived a life filled with diverse life experiences and have encountered people in very different professions who could think effectively and deeply understand topics unrelated to their profession. My life changed for the better when I finally started to develop a deep understanding of math, which empowered me to believe that I could develop a deep understanding of things I encountered. However, this change did not occur in me until my late twenties. My current passion is to empower people to think more effectively early in their lives.

William's book list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking

William R. Wolesensky Why did William love this book?

The world Orwell presents in this book is the result of a society that no longer advocates for ALL its members to pursue the ability to think freely, deeply, and effectively. The world shared in 1984 and the many similarities I see today have made me more passionate than ever about how the study of math can help people lead better lives.

I believe that developing a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, which everyone is capable of, will make people want to deeply understand everything in their world.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


Book cover of Ecotopia

Ronnie D. Lipschutz Author Of Political Economy, Capitalism, and Popular Culture

From my list on explaining how capitalism works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a product of Sputnik and the threat of nuclear war. Both turned me into a long-time reader of science fiction and a perpetual student in trying to understand how the world works and why? If we have free will, why do so many things seem to be predetermined? If we are rational beings, why do so many of our choices seem so absurd? And if a new world is possible, why can’t we bring it into existence? I was a professor of politics for 30 years (and I was respected! See “Soylent Green.”) and most of my research and writing try to answer these questions.

Ronnie's book list on explaining how capitalism works

Ronnie D. Lipschutz Why did Ronnie love this book?

Callenbach’s tale of ecological secession by Washington, Oregon, and Northern California remains an inspiration to those who believe another world is possible.

Callenbach imagined cheap solar electricity and newspapers being delivered through what was, essentially, street corner fax machines. Right on the first, wrong on the second. Unfortunately, Callenbach’s novel is sexist and even a little racist in places, and its utopian vision is unlikely to ever materialize. 

By Ernest Callenbach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty years have passed since Northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the United States to create a new nation, Ecotopia. Rumors abound of barbaric war games, tree worship, revolutionary politics, sexual extravagance. Now, this mysterious country admits its first American visitor: investigative reporter Will Weston, whose dispatches alternate between shock and admiration. But Ecotopia gradually unravels everything Weston knows to be true about government and human nature itself, forcing him to choose between two competing views of civilization.Since it was first published in 1975, Ecotopia has inspired readers throughout the world with its vision of an ecologically and socially…


Book cover of Snow Crash

Jools Cantor Author Of The Trellis

From my list on real-life time machines through sci fi.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science fiction lets us readers escape into space or travel through time, but I believe it is most effective when grounded in our primal anxieties. Classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid’s Tale resonate because the dark futures they describe drive us to prevent their prophecy. These stories give us a window into the world that birthed them by crystalizing the authors' fears into a work of fiction. When I read each book on this list, they transported me to the time they were written. En route, they showed how much our world has changed and how much we humans haven’t.

Jools' book list on real-life time machines through sci fi

Jools Cantor Why did Jools love this book?

Out of the Cold War and into the Metaverse, this was published in 1992 and captures the infancy of the Information Age we live in. More so than the other novels on the list, this story is fun, on top of being wildly creative and smart.

Whether it’s riffing on anarcho-capitalist enclaves run by franchisee governments, the pathology of language and ancient Babylonian grammar, or the ups and downs of being the world’s best swordsman online but a pizza delivery driver for the mafia in real life, the story exudes a manic energy and levity brought on by the dawn of a new era.

It is both cyberpunk and mocking cyberpunk. It is juvenile and jaded. It is absurd and prophetic. If you’re not having enough fun in 1992’s actual future, pick up Snow Crash and enjoy the ride.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Snow Crash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The “brilliantly realized” (The New York Times Book Review) breakthrough novel from visionary author Neal Stephenson, a modern classic that predicted the metaverse and inspired generations of Silicon Valley innovators

Hiro lives in a Los Angeles where franchises line the freeway as far as the eye can see. The only relief from the sea of logos is within the autonomous city-states, where law-abiding citizens don’t dare leave their mansions.

Hiro delivers pizza to the mansions for a living, defending his pies from marauders when necessary with a matched set of samurai swords. His home is a shared 20 X 30…


Book cover of I call him HIM

Parker J. Cole Author Of Dark Cherub

From my list on Christian horror and thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

The question I have for Christian authors is this: are we Christian authors or authors who are Christian? The realm of horror is the perfect genre to explore the human condition in all of its depravity. Why do Christians avoid this genre when at the end of the day? I grew up watching horror movies with my grandmother and I enjoy the thrills and chills, the questions the genre asks, and the various ways horror can be depicted. Christians understand the dark forces that underlie our natural world. And we understand the darkness within ourselves. But unlike Hollywood horror, we know what the solution – Christ. So that’s why this is a passion of mine.

Parker's book list on Christian horror and thrillers

Parker J. Cole Why did Parker love this book?

I call him HIM is an apocalyptic horror story about a man who is a fighting machine.

Hell has come to earth and wreaked havoc. Demonic beings lurk everywhere, feasting off of humanity. Our main character is simply called Him. He has no name, but only rage as he kills demonic hordes with his sword and his strength.

Where is God in a world filled with demonic influences? Where is God when the cry of humanity reaches out for answers? This thought consumes Him, but there may be a light. A young girl who may be the key.

Scott Kimak blends this horror, apocalyptic story with gritty violence, intense action scenes, coarse language, but also themes of redemption and sacrifice.

By Scott W. Kimak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I call him HIM as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a post-apocalyptic world, a warrior and his family are driven underground, fighting for their very survival. When they do emerge, the futuristic planet they discover is very different from the one they left behind. Ruled by an evil presence which dominates and controls what is left of mankind, Earth has been reduced to a violent place of darkness, grief and destruction.I call him HIM follows the journey of this unnamed warrior as he loses both his family and his mind. As he hits rock bottom, all he can think of is his insatiable yearning for revenge until he meets…


Book cover of Her Gates Will Never Be Shut

J.D. Atkinson Author Of Believable: Discover the God That Saves All

From my list on apologetic defense of the Christian faith.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to hear the reasons behind what people think regarding the origin of the universe, the existence of God, and the fate of mankind. These topics are all closely related to apologetics, the study of defending one’s faith. I was taught in church that most of humanity is destined for endless torment in hell. However, I now see there is a wealth of scriptural and historical evidence to support the contention that all people will ultimately see the truth and be saved by Jesus Christ. This is a crucial question every Christian must confront, as it is central to defining the character and identity of God.

J.D.'s book list on apologetic defense of the Christian faith

J.D. Atkinson Why did J.D. love this book?

What basis is there for hope in the salvation of all? This book explores the possibility that Jesus may one day truly become “the Savior of All”―a view that many Christian literary works avoid or reject despite abundant evidence in its favor.

Jersak explores various views surrounding the topic of final judgment with clear and thoughtful objectivity. Many experts seem to want to impress―rather than inform―the reader, but this author’s accessible style conveys a powerful command of scripture and history in words most any reader can appreciate and benefit from.

By Brad Jersak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Her Gates Will Never Be Shut as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story

Christina St. Clair Author Of Naomi and Ruth: Loyalty Among Women

From my list on women whose spiritual understanding is enlightening.

Why am I passionate about this?

One Christmas Eve many years ago when I was a little girl, I was too excited to sleep. I prayed to the baby Jesus whom I’d heard about in carols. I felt wrapped in love and woke up well-rested on Christmas morning. I’ve always believed life is a spiritual journey: I respect and learn from many religious and secular traditions. After I joined a church, I became a spiritual director. When I was sixty, I earned an MA in pastoral ministry and women’s studies. I have pastored two churches and also became a preacher—something I could not imagine I’d ever be able to do. It’s never too late!

Christina's book list on women whose spiritual understanding is enlightening

Christina St. Clair Why did Christina love this book?

This somewhat academic collection of articles, essays, and poems began in a Boston living room when a group of Jewish women recognized that traditional Jewish study was invariably seen through the lens of men. These women had formerly dismissed the Book of Ruth as irrelevant to them, nothing more than a tale about an old man marrying a younger woman.

They decided to compile a commentary about the Book of Ruth using female voices. These writings encouraged me to compile my own midrash (interpretation) and deeply impressed me with their understanding that this Biblical story is relevant for women today to explore powerlessness, vulnerability, loss, women mourning and rejoicing, and relationships.

By Judith A. Kates (editor), Gail Twersky Reimer (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Book of Ruth is one of Western civilization's great narratives of women's relationships. This collection of modern-day interpretations brings together the wisdom, sensitivity, and spirituality of the biblical story with the struggles and insights of contemporary women. Readers will be moved and inspired by these essays."
--Susannah Heschel
Editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist
With Reading Ruth, two creative scholars have brought together an amazingly eclectic group of Jewish novelists, essayists, poets, rabbis, psychologists, and scholars--including Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsbrun, and Nessa Rapoport--to explore one of the most beloved stories in the Bible. In lively essays,…


Book cover of Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps to a Happier, Healthier You

Roxane Lapa Author Of How I Overcame Panic Disorder Without Drugs

From my list on overcoming anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve experienced crippling anxiety personally, to the point of nervous breakdown. I’ve researched this topic extensively and have been panic-free for over a decade due to the knowledge and coping skills accrued.

Roxane's book list on overcoming anxiety

Roxane Lapa Why did Roxane love this book?

Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist and Christian, has identified 4 areas of our lives that can really stunt us emotionally if they are out of balance. These 4 areas are bonding; boundaries; perception of good and bad; and emotional maturity. The book brings insight into these areas, which in turn brings healing. I’ve read this book twice about a decade apart, and both times, it changed my life massively for the better.

By Henry Cloud,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A down-to-earth plan to help us recover from the wounds of the past and grow more and more into the image of God.

Many of us struggle with anxiety, loneliness, and feelings of inadequacy. We know that God created us in his image, but how can we be loving when we feel burned out? How can we be free when we struggle with addiction? Will we ever enjoy the complete healing God promises?

Combining his professional expertise and personal experience, renowned psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud guides us through four basic ways to become joy-filled, mature followers of Christ:

Connect more…


Book cover of Faith Under Pressure

M. Liz Boyle Author Of Avalanche

From my list on fiction to encourage Christian teens in their faith.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hey there, readers! One afternoon during my children’s naptime, I read a couldn’t-put-it-down young adult adventure story. It totally drew me in, but as much as I enjoyed it, I distinctly wished it had included Christian morals. The goal of my writing is to give God glory and encourage readers to grow in their faith. My hope is that seeing relatable characters choosing to let God’s light shine through them, even during hard situations, will inspire readers to trust God and strengthen their faith. Be inspired along with me when the characters in this book list courageously make the right choice.

M. Liz's book list on fiction to encourage Christian teens in their faith

M. Liz Boyle Why did M. Liz love this book?

While most of us won’t suddenly move from being homeschooled in an African village to attending a huge high school in California, readers can learn so much from Katie!

If you love books that emphasize strong families and congenial characters who face relevant issues, you’ll love Faith Under Pressure.

I was inspired by the respect within Katie’s family, her desire to bloom where she’s planted, and her commitment to start a Christian club at school.

When agreeing to tutor a bully threatens her new friendships, Katie faces a new level of anxiety, and her faith will be tested like never before. 

Book cover of Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

Malinda Fugate Author Of The Other Three Sixteens

From my list on for Christians to revive a stalled faith journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just an everyday person. I don’t have a fancy title or lots of degrees, but I do have experience being close to God and a never-ending quest to know Him more. His love is so good that it absolutely must be shared. So if I, in all of my ordinariness, can learn extraordinary sacred things, then I can bring others along the journey, too. His presence in my heartaches, struggles, joy, and adventures has sustained my life, and I don’t know any credential that could testify any clearer that a journey with God is worth taking.

Malinda's book list on for Christians to revive a stalled faith journey

Malinda Fugate Why did Malinda love this book?

If scholars are still trying to completely understand the Bible, how are we supposed to navigate it?

Inspired steps back and takes a look at Scripture, inviting us to ask questions and know it better, from both a spiritual and literary perspective. While I didn’t agree with everything the author suggests, everything made me pause and think. It’s a rare book that both challenges and encourages, but this one most certainly does both.

By Rachel Held Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If the Bible isn't a science book or an instruction manual, what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she embarked on a journey to better understand what the Bible is and how it's meant to be read. What she discovered changed her--and it can change you, too.

Evans knows firsthand how a relationship with the Bible can be as real and as complicated as a relationship with a family member or close friend. In Inspired, Evans explores contradictions and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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