79 books like Rising Tide

By John M. Barry,

Here are 79 books that Rising Tide fans have personally recommended if you like Rising Tide. 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 Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Marianne E. Krasny Author Of In This Together: Connecting with Your Community to Combat the Climate Crisis

From my list on influencing others to do about climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor at Cornell University who struggles with the meaning of individual action in the face of looming crises—be they plastics and litter, or climate. The idea of Network Climate Action bubbled up one morning as a way to magnify individual actions, such as eating a plant-rich diet, donating money to a climate organization, or joining in an advocacy group. Network Climate Action helps me achieve my role-ideals as a teacher, volunteer, friend, mom, and grandmother, and it gives meaning and happiness to my life. I live in beautiful Ithaca, NY, with my chosen family, which includes an Afghan artist and a Ukrainian mom and her two kids.

Marianne's book list on influencing others to do about climate change

Marianne E. Krasny Why did Marianne love this book?

Trudging up Ithaca’s steep hills in the morning, I asked myself: what are the most effective climate actions I can take?

Then I came upon the drawdown.org website, which constantly updates the information in the book of the same name. Project Drawdown lists over 80 climate “solutions” ranked in terms of their effectiveness in drawing down greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Among the top five most effective are reducing food waste, plant-rich diet, and health and education—solutions that can be realized in one’s daily life, by donating money, or through volunteering for an advocacy organization.

By applying research in the above books, these actions also can be intentionally spread through close social networks—that, in a nutshell, is Network Climate Action.

By Paul Hawken (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

• New York Times bestseller •

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world

“At this point in time, the Drawdown book is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis. Reported by-effects include increased determination and a sense of grounded hope.” —Per Espen Stoknes, Author, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming…

Book cover of Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Vanessa Lee Author Of High Rise

From my list on celebrating the bravery of everyday heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Australian writer living in Europe. Returning to my hometown on the East Coast of Australia post-COVID, I confronted relentless rain and king tides threatening the beach promenade cafes. Witnessing the potential demise of these familiar spots sparked the idea for my novel. Opening with a dystopian scene of future tourists exploring submerged coastal cafes with snorkels, my work delves into the realm of "cli-fi" (climate fiction). Against the backdrop of imminent climate danger, my characters, a lovable yet obstinate Australian ensemble, navigate a world profoundly altered by the impacts of climate change. I hope what I have written is an exaggeration. I fear it may not be.

Vanessa's book list on celebrating the bravery of everyday heroes

Vanessa Lee Why did Vanessa love this book?

Climate change may well be increasing the frequency and intensity of violent storms and hurricanes, but they are certainly nothing new.

This is a vividly written account of what has been dubbed one of the worst natural disasters to have ever hit the United States, the hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900. The narrative is constructed using the letters and reports from Isaac Cline, a meteorologist working at the US Weather Bureau at the time.

The storm described in this book occurred 124 years ago, yet readers will find eerie precursors to the issues we hear being discussed globally today: despair at our seeming hubris and disturbing unpreparedness in the face of increasingly volatile and unpredictable natural events.

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Isaac's Storm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of The Devil in the White City, here is the true story of the deadliest hurricane in history.

National Bestseller

September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline…

Book cover of Young Men and Fire

Matthew O. Jackson Author Of The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviors

From my list on fiction driven by rich historical context.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lover of both fiction and nonfiction, I find that the ultimate pleasure in reading is when the author combines the two without short-changing either. These are books that provide accurate and deep historical background, but also tell stories shaped by that context. These are also books that have intricate, unusual, and effective narrative structures.   

Matthew's book list on fiction driven by rich historical context

Matthew O. Jackson Why did Matthew love this book?

This book concerns a group of young firefighters known as smokejumpers and the catastrophic Mann Gulch Forest Fire in Montana in 1949. 

Maclean was from the community and worked in the US Forest Service before he became a professor and eventually an author who spent years researching the event. You learn about the physics of forest fires, the invention of the first "escape fire," how multiple and cascading errors can lead to a disastrous outcome, and about the lives and heroics of a group of firefighters.

Interestingly, it is all seen through the journey of a man trying to understand a captivating event from his past. This book falls pretty squarely in the non-fiction category, but has multiple stories interwoven with the facts. It helps that Maclean was not only an author of many nonfiction articles, but also the author of the highly successful novel (and movie) A River Runs…

By Norman MacLean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Norman Maclean sent the manuscript of A River Runs through It to New York publishers, he received a slew of rejections. One editor, so the story goes, replied, "It has trees in it." Forty years later, the title novella is widely recognized as one of the great American tales of the twentieth century, and Maclean as one of the most beloved writers of our time. Maclean's later triumph, Young Men and Fire, has over the decades also established itself as a classic of the American West. And with this twenty-fifth-anniversary edition, a fresh audience will be introduced to Maclean's…

Book cover of Awakenings

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

Awakenings is the novel-length true story of the patients comatose for decades from sleeping-sickness, a disease that reared its head in the 1920s and then died out.

I consider Oliver Sacks the master storyteller of medical mysteries, and he kept me completely riveted with his descriptions of watching these patients wake up when given the drug L-Dopa, re-entering the world after many decades. The story gives me chills every time I think about it.

By Oliver Sacks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The story of a disease that plunged its victims into a prison of viscous time, and the drug that catapulted them out of it' - Guardian

Hailed as a medical classic, and the subject of a major feature film as well as radio and stage plays and various TV documentaries, Awakenings by Oliver Sacks is the extraordinary account of a group of twenty patients.

Rendered catatonic by the sleeping-sickness epidemic that swept the world just after the First World War, all twenty had spent forty years in hospital: motionless and speechless; aware of the world around them, but exhibiting no…

Book cover of Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Avalyn Hunter Author Of Dream Derby: The Myth and Legend of Black Gold

From my list on thoroughbred horses and horse racing.

Why am I passionate about this?

An old photograph shows a little blonde girl trying to climb a fence separating her from a pasture full of broodmares near Louisville, Kentucky. That was me, and I have never lost my fascination with these creatures of beauty, courage, and magic. Combine that with an equal passion for books, research, and writing, and you have the path leading to four books and hundreds of magazine articles on Thoroughbred horses over the last twenty years, with a fifth book due out next spring. The five books I’ve recommended are just a few of those that have provided touchstones and inspiration for my journey as a writer.

Avalyn's book list on thoroughbred horses and horse racing

Avalyn Hunter Why did Avalyn love this book?

When I first picked up Seabiscuit, I was dubious; I had already read too many stories of champion racehorses that were either dry histories or overblown hero-worship.

A hundred pages later (where did the time go?) I was completely engrossed and headed for an all-night read. In Hillenbrand’s hands, carefully researched history became the foundation for a sweeping story of a great horse, the incredible cast of people who gave him what he needed to become a legend, and the world of horses, horse racing, and American life in the 1930s.

If I ever write anything half as good, I will be well content.

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of the runaway phenomenon Unbroken comes a universal underdog story about the horse who came out of nowhere to become a legend.

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:

Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to…

Book cover of All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Anne Louise Burdett Author Of Dirt Gems: Plant Oracle Deck and Guidebook

From my list on nerdy science books that break your heart and put it back together again.

Why am I passionate about this?

Working with the natural world has long been my life’s compass. I have been dedicated to conservation, education, and management of terrestrial and marine ecosystems for my entire career. I strongly believe we must approach the crisis that we now live in with humor, joy, and devotion, and we must be able to fall in love with this world over and over again, even if it breaks our hearts. This is why I write, and this is how I live. I love reading science books that allow this connection, that lead me into the complexities of why we must never stop feeling wonder at this magnificent world.

Anne's book list on nerdy science books that break your heart and put it back together again

Anne Louise Burdett Why did Anne love this book?

If I’m being completely honest, I bought this book because of my very large professional crush on both of the editors. I work in climate science, so I have signed up to have my heart destroyed over and over again. I read about all the species that are dying and threatened, the ecosystems collapsing, the fishermen fighting for their livelihoods, and the coastal communities slammed by storms.

This book covered all these topics, but if you’re going to learn about this, (as we all should), we also have to be given the reasons to keep at it. We have to not lose the will to fight or the ability to see beautiful, generative, and imaginative solutions and outcomes. This book helps with that, too. 

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (editor), Katharine K. Wilkinson (editor),

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked All We Can Save as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.

“A powerful read that fills one with, dare I say . . . hope?”—The New York Times

There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist, rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents of change for this planet, they…

Book cover of Odds Against Tomorrow

Alice C. Hill Author Of The Fight for Climate After Covid-19

From my list on dealing with catastrophic risks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former white-collar crime federal prosecutor and California state court judge turned policymaker and author. Though I started in law, I joined the Department of Homeland Security mid-career where I ended up with an assignment that no one wanted: create the department’s first-ever climate adaptation plan. That experience showed me that climate change is a mounting risk affecting everything. I then joined President Barack Obama’s climate team in the White House, where I crafted policy to address catastrophic risks, including climate change and biological threats. Since then, I have become an author, media pundit, and frequent podcast guest, using my voice to call for action on climate.

Alice's book list on dealing with catastrophic risks

Alice C. Hill Why did Alice love this book?

Climate fiction, or “cli-fi” as it is now known, lets readers imagine the world about which scientists are warning, a world where climate-fueled extremes upend humanity’s everyday existence. This book tells the story of a Midwestern math whiz who studies “worst-case scenarios” for a living. When one of those scenarios collides with his own life, action, adventure, and love follow.

By Nathaniel Rich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor works on the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming. A gifted mathematician, he spends his days in Manhattan calculating worst-case scenarios for FutureWorld, a consulting firm that indemnifies corporations against potential disasters. As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe, he exchanges letters with Elsa Bruner - a college crush with an apocalyptic secret of her own - and becomes obsessed by a culture's fears. When his predictions culminate in a nightmarish crescendo, Mitchell realizes he is uniquely prepared to profit from the disaster. But at what cost?

Book cover of Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Yvonne Ventresca Author Of Pandemic

From my list on on pandemics published pre-COVID.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of short stories and novels including my young adult debut, Pandemic, which continues to be a timely read about surviving a widespread deadly virus. After the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 (commonly called Swine Flu), I was fascinated with the idea of a global illness that could be much, much worse. I researched historical diseases, interviewed public health officials, and the idea for my novel was born. Written and published before COVID-19, some of the details are eerily predictive of coronavirus. Pandemic won SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award the year after its publication, and a June 2022 reissue of the original novel includes updated resources and backmatter.

Yvonne's book list on on pandemics published pre-COVID

Yvonne Ventresca Why did Yvonne love this book?

During the flu pandemic of 1918, the author, Katherine Anne Porter, became deathly ill but recovered. Published over twenty years later, Pale Horse, Pale Rider is her fictionalized account about falling in love with a soldier during the war, then fighting to survive the influenza outbreak. I love that Porter drew from her own experience to write this short novel. (She disliked the term novella.) Pale Horse, Pale Rider is a beautifully written story about a devastating disease.

By Katherine Anne Porter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic 1939 collection of three short novels, including the famous title story set during the flu epidemic of 1918.

From the gothic Old South to revolutionary Mexico, few writers evoke such a multitude of worlds, both exterior and interior, as powerfully as Katherine Anne Porter. This sharp collection of three short novels includes “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” Porter's most celebrated story, where a young woman lies in a fever during the influenza epidemic, her childhood memories mingling with fears for her boyfriend on his way to war. Also included is “Noon Wine,” a haunting story of tragedy and scandal…

Book cover of New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape

Karl F. Seidman Author Of Coming Home to New Orleans: Neighborhood Rebuilding After Katrina

From my list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

After hurricane Katrina, I was shocked by the scale of displacement and devastation, and the failed government response. I decided to use my planning classes at MIT to assist with rebuilding efforts. Over the next ten years, my students and I worked with several dozen organizations across New Orleans and provided ongoing assistance to three neighborhoods. Through this work and my relationships with many New Orleanians, I learned so much about the city and came to appreciate how special New Orleans, its way of life and people are.   

Karl's book list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans

Karl F. Seidman Why did Karl love this book?

New Orleans is a historic, intriguing, and complicated city. 

So many forces have shaped its settlement, development, culture, and character.

Pierce Lewis helped me understand how New Orleans’s location and geography brought it into being and influenced how it has grown, along with how different immigrants and the blending of their cultures have shaped the city. 

He traces how the city’s economy has evolved in relationship to national economic trends and local political decisions on where and how to invest. The book is full of maps, photos, and images that enhance and illustrate the narrative and is written in an engaging style. 

It ends with a clear-headed perspective on the problems faced by New Orleans at the turn of the 21st century. 

By Peirce F. Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his now classic work of historical geography, published in 1976, Lewis traces the rise and expansion of New Orleans through four major historic periods. This revised and greatly expanded second edition brings that story up-to-date, illustrating how the city continues to overcome its site on the Mississippi Delta - ""a fearsome place, difficult enough for building houses, lunacy for wharves and skyscrapers.

Book cover of The Yellow House: A Memoir

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Author Of Let's Talk Race: A Guide for White People

From my list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should.

Why we are passionate about this?

We grew up in predominantly white communities and came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. As academics, we focused on issues of race in our research and teaching. Yet, despite our reading and writing about race, we still hadn’t made a connection to our own lives and how our white privilege shielded us and made us complicit in perpetuating racial inequities. We didn’t fully see our role in white supremacy until we adopted our sons. Becoming an interracial family and parenting Black sons taught us about white privilege and the myriad ways that Blacks confront racism in education, criminal justice, health care, and simply living day-to-day. 

Marlene and Fern's book list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Why did Marlene and Fern love this book?

A memoir that haunted both of us about Broom’s love for the New Orleans house she grew up in, her family, and a neighborhood torn apart by the institutional racism embedded in banking practices, zoning laws, highway development, and other corporate and government policies and practices.

Broom’s mother purchased the house in 1961 in a then “promising” neighborhood. Over the years, the neighborhood was cut off from the city by the growth of the interstate highway, which left this largely Black area in decline from years of indifference by New Orleans elected officials. The house was eventually destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

The book provides a harrowing description of the destructive effects of institutional racism.

By Sarah M Broom,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Yellow House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'A major book that I suspect will come to be considered among the essential memoirs of this vexing decade' New York Times Book Review

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom's mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant - the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah's father Simon Broom; their combined family would…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Mississippi River, floods, and New Orleans?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Mississippi River, floods, and New Orleans.

The Mississippi River Explore 30 books about the Mississippi River
Floods Explore 14 books about floods
New Orleans Explore 124 books about New Orleans