100 books like Reckless Daughter

By David Yaffe,

Here are 100 books that Reckless Daughter fans have personally recommended if you like Reckless Daughter. 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 There Was a Time: James Brown, the Chitlin' Circuit, and Me

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Who am I?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Alan Leeds does a wonderful job presenting his eyewitness experiences as part of the James Brown entourage in the 1960s and beyond. The reader can’t wait to find out what happens next in the riveting story he presents of Soul Brother No. 1, the “hardest working man in show business.” It’s a fascinating tale, which presents Brown as an innovative musical force, determined artist, forceful businessman, and unpredictable personality. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Chitlin’ Circuit when soul music was taking off as a dynamic new genre—as recalled by a young, Jewish kid from Queens who joined James Brown’s team and learned the music business at the hand of the performer who mastered it.

By Alan Leeds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There Was a Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As seen in the Wall Street Journal!

“Alan Leeds was a protegé of James Brown and a true historian of the world that nurtured the great entertainer. Alan was a witness to the vibrant black music scene of the ’60s and ’70s—whose book is both a memoir and a document of a lost world of sound.”—Nelson George, an American author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker

A behind-the-scenes look at the Chitlin’ Circuit during American’s most vital period of soul music—from the eyes and ears of a young, Jewish kid from Queens who joined the team of the…


Book cover of Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Who am I?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

This is an in-depth look at the life and career of the magnetic Otis Redding Jr., soul singer extraordinaire. We learn tons about Redding’s family background and his hometown of Macon, Georgia (also the hometown of Little Richard). Redding died at 26 in a 1967 plane crash just as he was starting to climb to the heights of the music industry. Even so, he left behind a much-admired body of work though his time was cut so tragically short. The author did an enormous amount of research for the book, then crafted an energetic and easy-reading story that captures the remarkable journey that was Otis Redding’s—from preacher’s son to charismatic soul singer who touched millions.

By Mark Ribowsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When he died suddenly at the age of twenty-six, Otis Redding (1941-1967) was the conscience of a new kind of soul music. Berry Gordy built the first black-owned music empire at Motown but Redding was doing something as historic: mainstreaming black music within the whitest bastions of the post-Confederate south. As a result, the Redding story-still largely untold-is one of great conquest but grand tragedy. Now, in this transformative work, Mark Ribowsky contextualises Redding's life within the larger cultural movements of his era. What emerges in Dreams to Remember is not only a triumph of music history but also a…


Book cover of How Sweet It Is: A Songwriter's Reflections on Music, Motown and the Mystery of the Muse

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Who am I?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

If you know the music of the 1960s, you know that Lamont Dozier was at the heart of the hit-producing machine that was Motown Records. He was one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team that came up with hit after hit for an amazing number of celebrated artists. Later, after leaving Motown, Dozier continued to be a creative musical force (and still is today). He contributed his song-writing talents to over 100 Top 10 singles and was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This book is a window into Dozier’s musical world—in the 1960s and beyond. Dozier recalls what it was like to grow up in Detroit when he did and then reveals his experiences collaborating with some of the greatest musical talents of the era.

By Lamont Dozier, Scott B. Bomar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Sweet It Is as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of Motown’s legendary songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier is responsible for such classics as “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Heat Wave,” “Baby Love,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Nowhere to Run,” “You Keep Me Hanging On,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” and many more. After leaving Motown, he continued to make his mark as an influential songwriter, artist, and producer with hits such as “Give Me Just a…


Book cover of The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns

From my list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s.

Who am I?

I grew up with the music of the 1960s. Going to packed, pheromone-heavy dances featuring The Lincolns—Nova Scotia’s most popular and most soulful band—were a huge part of my teenage years. Those experiences implanted a deep love of R&B, and somehow or other pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer. It’s a bit of a mystery how it all works. In any case, of all my books, none was as much fun to work on as Kings of Friday Night. It has received lots of love, including from readers who grew up far from the time and place I write about. Long live local bands! And live music everywhere!

A.J.B.'s book list on rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

The title of this book might suggest that it will be a book of lists. It is not, not even close. Instead, Greil Marcus offers something closer to a philosophical meditation on what rock ‘n’ roll is. Or aspires to be when played and sung as a heartfelt, life-altering, reckless abandon musical genre. It’s largely about attitude and feeling. The book is a fascinating read as one travels along with the author while he ruminates on different artists and their work and how some songs have resonated deeply with (and influenced) later musicians across the span of time. 

By Greil Marcus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of our finest critics gives us an altogether original history of rock 'n' roll

Unlike all previous versions of rock 'n' roll history, this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows. Instead, in a daring stroke, Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock 'n' roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out-a new language, something new under the sun.

"Transmission" by Joy Division. "All I Could Do Was Cry" by Etta…


Book cover of Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

Jennifer Merz Author Of Steadfast: Frances Perkins, Champion of Workers' Rights

From my list on strong inspiring women.

Who am I?

As a picture-book writer and illustrator as well as a mother and teacher, the most important goal I can think of is fueling a child’s imagination with possibilities by providing true stories of trailblazing women. My reviews highlight remarkable women in the arts, government, sports, social work, and history. I hope you enjoy these books!

Jennifer's book list on strong inspiring women

Jennifer Merz Why did Jennifer love this book?

“Joni Mitchell painted with words,” begins this beautifully lyrical book on the well-known singer/song-writer. The colorful and imaginative collage illustrations jump off the page, telling the story of the girl from a small town in Canada who vanquished polio to go on to become a household name. Joni Mitchell used poetry to paint her feelings into song. We know her music and lyrics as a familiar soundtrack to our lives; now children can learn about the enigmatic spirit behind all that creative musicality.

By Selina Alko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joni 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?

"Colors burst across each page, with layers of collage-work emphasizing the richness of Mitchell's influences and imagination. Will speak to readers just starting their own exploration of artistic expression." -Booklist (starred review)

Celebrate the captivating life of Joni Mitchell, the world-famous songbird who used her music to ignite and inspire an entire generation, in this stunning picture book biography from award-winning author and illustrator Selina Alko. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It's a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity…


Book cover of High School

Rob Shapiro Author Of The Book of Sam

From my list on to relive those awkward teen years.

Who am I?

I grew up on the movies of John Hughes and Cameron Crowe, the writing of Nora Ephron, and every YA, horror, and adventure novel I could devour. I’m a YA novelist and still heavily influenced by the stories that shaped my young brain and perspective. There is something about the teenage experience that compels me. Maybe it’s that everything we feel as teenagers is so visceral, exhilarating, and scary. If you’re a teen, these five books should help you feel more seen or give you that little bit of escape that you crave (and deserve). 

Rob's book list on to relive those awkward teen years

Rob Shapiro Why did Rob love this book?

Tegan and Sara zero in on their high school years to perform an autopsy on that formative period where we find our passion, discover ourselves, and fall in love in sometimes unexpected ways. I’m around the same age as the authors and this book was like walking back in time to those weird years where everything was both exciting and scary. It skimps on the normal musician bio tropes to give an honest look at being a teenager in the 1990s. I also couldn’t help but think of My So-Called Life while reading High School. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, trust me, it’s a compliment. 

By Sara Quin, Tegan Quin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From iconic musicians Tegan and Sara comes a nostalgic memoir about high school, detailing their first loves and first songs in a compelling look back at their origin story.

'Genius' Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors
'A gift' Elliot Page, actor
'Utterly charming' Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

Before they became international musicians and LGBTQ+ icons, twin sisters Sara and Tegan Quin came of age in 90s Canada. They argued relentlessly, skipped school, dropped acid and fell in and out of love - sometimes with their best friends.

One day they found their stepdad's…


Book cover of Canada

William Mark Habeeb Author Of Venice Beach

From my list on poignant coming-of-age about boys.

Who am I?

My novel Venice Beach—like the five books I recommend here—has been classified as a “coming-of-age” novel, a classification that I have no quarrels with as long as it’s understood that coming-of-age is not regarded simply as a synonym for “adolescence” or “being a teenager.” The coming-of-age years—generally defined as between ages 12 and 18—are so much more than a period of life wedged between childhood and adulthood. Coming of age is a process, not a block of time; it is a hot emotional forge in which we experience so many “firsts” and are hammered, usually painfully, into the shapes that will last a lifetime. 

William's book list on poignant coming-of-age about boys

William Mark Habeeb Why did William love this book?

You’re fifteen years old, living unhappily with your feckless parents and unstable older sister in a small town in Montana. And then your family implodes: your parents are arrested for bank robbery and your sister flees to parts unknown. As troubling as the premise is, Canada becomes even darker and more ominous as young Dell Parsons travels alone to Saskatchewan to live with erstwhile family friends, but in fact enters a whole new world of intrigue and violence. Dell is a stoic character, and you desperately want to see his life take a turn for the better. What you get instead is a case study in resiliency and survival. Ford’s prose is powerful; every word counts, every sentence pulls you deeper into the story.

By Richard Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then the murders, which happened later.

In 1956, Dell Parsons' family came to a stop in Great Falls, Montana, the way many military families did following the war. His father, Bev, was a talkative, plank-shouldered man, an airman from Alabama with an optimistic and easy-scheming nature. Dell and his twin sister, Berner, could easily see why their mother might have been attracted to him. But their mother Neeva - from an educated, immigrant, Jewish family - was shy, artistic and alienated from their father's small-town world of money scrapes and living…


Book cover of Moe and Me: Encounters with Moe Norman, Golf's Mysterious Genius

Andrew Stelmack Author Of Send in the Clown

From my list on what sets the greatest golfers apart.

Who am I?

As a very successful professional stage actor and visual artist I have learned that perfection is boring. A person or thing without flaws loses my interest very quickly. There's nothing more boring for an actor to play than someone who does no wrong. Since I have so much experience in putting myself in another person’s shoes with my acting and finding different ways to express emotion in my art, I find great pleasure in finding the flawed people in the world and telling their emotional stories. Their challenges, their obstacles and their success and failures – both self-imposed and that which is thrust upon them by society.

Andrew's book list on what sets the greatest golfers apart

Andrew Stelmack Why did Andrew love this book?

Moe and Me is a great book for those who love the history of golf and want to look beyond just the game itself. Who also want to delve into the personalities who play it too, on an off the course. Lorne knew Moe Norman very well – unlike few did since Moe was not willing to interact with those outside his tiny circle – and so you get a great insight into the man. The best part is that the stories you get of his life journey are always surprising and often funny, while heartbreaking at the same time. You can’t help but fall in love with Moe the Schmoe after reading this book.

By Lorne Rubenstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spotlighting Moe Norman, a golfer admired by Tiger Woods himself, this memoir by a sportswriter who knew Moe Norman for 40 years details Moe's unique and controversial life. The record investigates how, despite winning almost every title in Canada and having his name celebrated in golf circles around the globe, Norman failed to make a mark in the wider world of golf yet still referred to himself as “the happiest guy on two feet.” His uncommon swing, mannerisms, and lifestyle are explored, illustrating how he played very quickly, never took a practice swing, often repeated phrases when talking, and lived…


Book cover of Anne of the Island

Katie Delahanty Author Of Keystone

From my list on 20th century YA that will give you all the feels.

Who am I?

When I was a teen, I had zero aspirations to become a writer. I didn’t discover my passion for writing until I was thirty! But once I started writing, it was these books and the way they made me feel that I drew on. I wanted strong heroines that I wanted to be—and be friends with. I wanted a slow burn, skin-tingling romance with a lot of push and pull. I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. To go on a quest. To feel victorious. And it is my hope that I can give my readers all the feels these books gave me.

Katie's book list on 20th century YA that will give you all the feels

Katie Delahanty Why did Katie love this book?

The best kind of books are books that are your friends, aren’t they? As a reader, I usually feel connected to characters and don’t think much about authors (and I feel this is how it should be. I think once they leave an author’s hands, books belong to the reader!) but in this case, I also feel like Lucy Maude and I are kindred spirits. We both had two imaginary friends growing up, after all. That’s enough to make us BFF’s, right? 😉 Anyway, I have visited with all my Anne book friends many times, but the one I always come back to is Anne of the Island. This is probably because I love a slow-burn romance, and this is the book where Anne and Gilbert finally get together. After three books of will-they-won’t-they banter the payoff is totally worth it! (And on a side note, would this book…

By L.M. Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anne of the Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

In the third installment of the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne enrolls in college and must face new challenges inside and outside the classroom. The young student attempts to balance a vibrant social life with an intense course load that will push her to her limits.

Anne has left the comforts of Green Gables to embark on her college career. While attending Redmond College in Nova Scotia, she meets a new friend, Philippa Gordon and a potential beau, Roy Gardner. As her social circle grows, Anne maintains her connection with childhood cohort, Gilbert Blythe. When his undeniable affection becomes…


Book cover of The Boundless

Kevin Sylvester Author Of MiNRS

From my list on getting around.

Who am I?

Am I an expert on transportation? No. But I’m fascinated by movement. Physical movement (how do bike gears actually work?) and metaphorical (how does life actually work?) I did enjoy a brief moment as the kind of unofficial bike traffic reporter when I was on CBC Radio here in Canada. I’d report on my 4 am commute to work. But as a writer and illustrator for kids, I know the freedom transportation represents. We all want to fly. In MINRS I write about spaceships. We all want to see the world. In The Fabulous Zed Watson! I write (with my kid Basil) about epic road trips.

Kevin's book list on getting around

Kevin Sylvester Why did Kevin love this book?

The titular Boundless is a train, and my grandparents were all train people in Canada. One of my most vivid early memories is being in the engine with my grandpa.

At 11 kilometers long, the Boundless is also a living, moving city. Ken makes a journey through the train like a journey through time, space, and history. Each time Will, the main character, leaps from one car to another, the reader also takes a leap into a new world. Why is Will jumping from car to car? Because he’s witnessed a murder, and the culprit is hot on his tail.

By Kenneth Oppel, Jim Tierney (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boundless 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?

After a murder is committed, Will finds himself in possession of a key that has the potential to unlock the train's hidden treasures. Together with Maren, a gifted escape artist, and Mr Dorian, a circus ringmaster with amazing abilities, Will must save the Boundless before someone else winds up dead. With villains fast on his heels and strange creatures lurking outside the windows, the train hurtles across the country as Will flees for his life.

His adventure may have begun without his knowing . . . but how it ends is now entirely up to Will.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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