87 books like Slow Dance

By Bonnie S. Klein,

Here are 87 books that Slow Dance fans have personally recommended if you like Slow Dance. 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 On Death & Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy & Their Own Families

Hari Ziyad Author Of Black Boy Out of Time

From my list on loss and grief from a certified death doula.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, author and screenwriter, my work has always pondered loss and grief. I think this has something to do with the fact that of my mother’s religion; she was a convert to Hinduism and started conversations about the inevitability of death and how the soul and the body aren’t the same when us children were at a very young age. It probably also has something to do with the constant presence of death within my family and communities as a Black and queer person in a violently anti-Black and queerantagonistic world. I currently volunteer at a hospice, and provide community-building programming to death workers from diverse communities.

Hari's book list on loss and grief from a certified death doula

Hari Ziyad Why did Hari love this book?

A quintessential text of death and dying research, this incredibly insightful and compassionate exploration shines a blaring light on all of the hidden contours of a topic we often shy away from.

You’ll almost certainly come away from these pages with a new understanding of the stages of grief (they probably don’t refer to what you were taught they refer) and the importance of honesty and connection when facing mortality. It's an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to better comprehend the human experience.

By Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked On Death & Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The five stages of grief, first formulated in this hugely influential work forty years ago, are now part of our common understanding of bereavement. The five stages were first identified by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her work with dying patients at the University of Chicago and were considered phases that all or most people went through, when faced with the prospect of their own death. They are now often accepted as a response to any major life change.

However, in spite of these terms being in general use, the subject of death is still surrounded…


Book cover of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

Lisa Currie Author Of Guidebook to the Unknown: A Journal for Anxious Minds

From my list on journeying into the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian author and artist who is quite cautious and introverted by nature, but very curious and playful at heart. I make books that help people untangle what’s on their mind today and shift their thinking in creative ways, often using visual metaphors. My latest book, Guidebook to the Unknown, was created during the long lockdowns we had in Melbourne (and all over the world of course) during the pandemic. It was my way of exploring how to calm an anxious mind and find meaning in my daily life, right here and now, without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Lisa's book list on journeying into the unknown

Lisa Currie Why did Lisa love this book?

This fascinating and charming book was written by a French magazine editor after he suffered a massive stroke and was locked inside his own body, unable to speak or move. Incredibly, he wrote this book in his mind throughout the day and then each letter was slowly transcribed by blinking his eyes. I kept thinking about this book long after I read it. It’s a nightmare scenario, but he leads us all the way through it. We’re with him as he survives and even finds meaning when almost everything else is lost.

By Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jeremy Leggatt (translator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whilst suffering from a condition whereby he was unable to speak and his only movement was the blinking of an eyelid, Jean-Dominique Bauby devised a code for each letter of the alphabet and dictated this book about his experiences and feelings. He died just after it was published.


Book cover of Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell

Shawn Jennings Author Of Locked In Locked Out: Surviving a Brainstem Stroke

From my list on accepting and moving on from a tragedy.

Why am I passionate about this?

The five recommended nonfiction books on my list profoundly affected my life in my time of need. I struggled when a minor accident led to a brainstem stroke and being locked in at 45. How would I find happiness now? How can I go on? These five books gave me the strength to work hard, accept what couldn’t be improved, and be grateful for each day of good health. I hope the recommended books will help you prepare for the day your life will change...and it will.

Shawn's book list on accepting and moving on from a tragedy

Shawn Jennings Why did Shawn love this book?

Spong is an Episcopalian bishop who has no qualms questioning the fundamental aspects of religion. He uses familiar, non-scholarly language anyone can understand. I had spiritual experiences in my journey from being a healthy 45-year-old to a locked-in to a finally quadriplegic person. I couldn’t embrace all the tenets of religion, yet how could I explain what I experienced? Spong helped me be comfortable with my spirituality.

By John Shelby Spong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, New York Times bestselling author and controversial religious leader John Shelby Spong continues to challenge traditional Christian theology in Eternal Life: A New Vision. In this remarkable spiritual autobiography about his lifelong struggle with the questions of God and death, he reveals how he ultimately came to believe in eternal life.


Book cover of Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

Shawn Jennings Author Of Locked In Locked Out: Surviving a Brainstem Stroke

From my list on accepting and moving on from a tragedy.

Why am I passionate about this?

The five recommended nonfiction books on my list profoundly affected my life in my time of need. I struggled when a minor accident led to a brainstem stroke and being locked in at 45. How would I find happiness now? How can I go on? These five books gave me the strength to work hard, accept what couldn’t be improved, and be grateful for each day of good health. I hope the recommended books will help you prepare for the day your life will change...and it will.

Shawn's book list on accepting and moving on from a tragedy

Shawn Jennings Why did Shawn love this book?

Borg is another theologian who is liberal and questions all aspects of religion in a respectful way. Borg usually writes in a more classic theological style, but this book was personal and hence, more relatable for the average reader. This book helped me feel comfortable with my own spirituality, even if I couldn’t conform to any conventional religion. 

By Marcus J. Borg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the occasion of his seventieth birthday, the renowned scholar Marcus J. Borg shares how he formed his bedrock religious beliefs, contending that Christians in America are at their best when they focus on hope and transformation and so shows how we can return to what really matters most. The result is a manifesto for all progressive Christians who seek the best path for following Jesus today.

With each chapter embodying a distinct conviction, Borg writes provocatively and compellingly on the beliefs that can deeply ground us and guide us, such as: God is real and a mystery; salvation is…


Book cover of Faust: A Tragedy, Parts One and Two

Lenny Cavallaro Author Of Paganini Agitato

From my list on historical fiction about classical musicians.

Why am I passionate about this?

My doctorate is in music, and although I am now more active as a composer, I was at one time a performer (pianist). Thus, I have both personal ties to the author (my mother) and professional insights into the subject matter. I have also interviewed a number of the world’s leading violinists (Bell, Chase, Markov, Zukerman, and others) and composed two works for the instrument (my Op. 4 and Op. 5, published by Broadbent & Dunn). Moreover, my series, The Passion of Elena Bianchi, also involves classical music and musicians, and echoes Paganini Agitato with concerts, poker, the great love of a child, and elements of the supernatural and/or demonic.

Lenny's book list on historical fiction about classical musicians

Lenny Cavallaro Why did Lenny love this book?

I cannot reasonably recommend Part Two without Part One. If we look at all the ghastly sins with which the eponymous hero has been involved by the end of that first drama, it seems inconceivable that he can possibly be redeemed.

Nevertheless, we have Goethe’s Part Two, completed twenty-four years after the earlier play, and by its conclusion, Faust has (somehow) been saved.

In fact, I sense some echo of Part One when Angelica’s unborn baby strangles on its cord: a far milder outcome for Paganini (who sired the child) than for Faust (whose Gretchen drowns their infant and is condemned to death). However, as the readers will see, Paganini truly loves the son he begets some years later.

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Martin Greenberg (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Greenberg has accomplished a magnificent literary feat. He has taken a great German work, until now all but inaccessible to English readers, and made it into a sparkling English poem, full of verve and wit. Greenberg's translation lives; it is done in a modern idiom but with respect for the original text; I found it a joy to read."-Irving Howe (on the earlier edition)

A classic of world literature, Goethe's Faust is a philosophical and poetic drama full of satire, irony, humor, and tragedy. Martin Greenberg re-creates not only the text's varied meter and rhyme but also its diverse tones…


Book cover of Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F.Scott Fitzgerald

Libby Sternberg Author Of Daisy

From my list on the tragedy of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stories ever since I read The Great Gatsby as a teenager. After that, I devoured all of his works, thanks to a membership in one of those book subscription services where you have to send back monthly book selections if you don’t want them. I read almost all his short stories, all his novels, including the unfinished The Last Tycoon, and everything I could find on him and his wife Zelda. When The Great Gatsby entered the public domain a couple years ago, I started daydreaming of how I'd love to revisit the story from a fresh perspective, which led me to penning Daisy.

Libby's book list on the tragedy of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Libby Sternberg Why did Libby love this book?

No look at F. Scott Fitzgerald would be complete without a good biography of his life.

This book does the job, capturing with copious quotes from Fitzgerald and those who knew him the tortured creative life of this golden boy of 1920s literature. What struck me most was how insecure Fitzgerald was about his class status all through his life, how he always felt like the outsider among the rich and famous he came to hobnob with.

It explains a lot about how his most famous protagonist, Jay Gatsby, came to be—in many ways, he’s a stand-in for Fitzgerald himself, a man in search of acceptance who never gives up on the one great love of his life—Daisy in Gatsby’s story, Zelda in Fitzgerald’s.

By Matthew J. Bruccoli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Some Sort of Epic Grandeur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The standard work on Fitzgerald, revised, enlarged, and updated; Since its first publication in 1981, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur has stood apart from other biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald for its thoroughness and volume of information. It is regarded today as the basic work on Fitzgerald and the preeminent source for the study of the novelist. In this second revised edition, Matthew J. Bruccoli provides new evidence discovered since its original edition. This new edition of Some Sort of Epic Grandeur improves, augments, and updates the standard biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Book cover of The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite

Martin Puchner Author Of Culture: The Story of Us, From Cave Art to K-Pop

From my list on discovering forgotten masterpieces of world culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been driven by curiosity about other cultures. I grew up in Germany but became restless and studied in Italy before moving to the United States. Some of the texts I recommend here I discovered while working on the Norton Anthology of World Literature. When I began this work, I realized just how narrow my own education had been and spent the next several years reading world literature and world culture. Ever since, I’ve been on a mission to expand how culture is taught. This is why I became an academic: to excite students about world culture.

Martin's book list on discovering forgotten masterpieces of world culture

Martin Puchner Why did Martin love this book?

Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize laureate from Nigeria, was steeped in both Yoruba traditions and Greek tragedy as well as Shakespeare.

This combination of influences shaped his adaptation of The Bacchae, by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides.

He brings this play into the modern world of slavery, using White and Black actors. At the same time, he captures the original’s blend of ritual and performance.

This explosive mixture is the most compelling study I know in what theater can do: mobilize bodies in front of an audience. It also shows how theater can bridge vast historical and cultural differences.

By Wole Soyinka,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wole Soyinka has translated-in both language and spirit-a great classic of ancient Greek theater. He does so with a poet's ear for the cadences and rhythms of chorus and solo verse as well as a commanding dramatic use of the central social and religious myth. In his hands The Bacchae becomes a communal feast, a tumultuous celebration of life, and a robust ritual of the human and social psyche. "The Bacchae is the rites of an extravagant banquet, a monstrous feast," Soyinka writes. "Man reaffirms his indebtedness to earth, dedicates himself to the demands of continuity, and invokes the energies…


Book cover of The Girl Who Lived

Elizabeth Flann Author Of Beware of Dogs

From my list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Elizabeth Flann is a history and literature major who worked for over twenty years in the publishing industry in England and Australia before moving into teaching literature, scriptwriting and editing to postgraduate students at Deakin University, Melbourne. She is a co-author of The Australian Editing Handbook and was awarded a PhD in 2001 for her thesis entitled Celluloid Dreaming: Cultural Myths and Landscape in Australian Film. Now retired, she is able to give full rein to her true love—writing fiction. Her first novel, Beware of Dogs, was awarded the Harper Collins Banjo Prize for a Fiction Manuscript. She now lives in a peaceful rural setting in Victoria, Australia, close to extended family and nature.

Elizabeth's book list on humans fighting for survival in dangerous situations

Elizabeth Flann Why did Elizabeth love this book?

In another story that combined the two elements of memoir/non-fiction, Berg’s turmoil began because of the adventure. The sole survivor of a family tragedy, in which she performed heroically trying to seek help, she was stricken with survivor’s guilt as well as enormous personal loss. The first part of her story conveys the physical adventure of saving her own life. The second part conveys with devastating honesty the mental adventure of surviving all the self-torture and heart-rending loss that entailed. This book also manages to negotiate the line between fiction and non-fiction with delicacy and strength.

By Susan Berg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Girl Who Lived is the true story of Susan Berg, the sole survivor of a boating accident that claimed the lives of her parents and brother, and what it took for her to love life again.At fifteen, Susan was on a boat trip with her parents and brother when their vessel began to sink. Desperate to find help, she swam ahead, struggling through darkness and rough sea. After nearly four hours, Susan, exhausted and barely able to walk, finally made it ashore. Her family did not.
Wracked by survivor guilt, Susan began to rebel against the world. Looking for…


Book cover of Slow Motion: A True Story

Priscilla Gilman Author Of The Critic's Daughter: A Memoir

From my list on loving and losing a complicated father.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the daughter of a charismatic and complicated father, the late theater and literary critic and Yale School of Drama professor Richard Gilman. My memoir, The Critic's Daughter, tells the story of how I lost him for the first time when I was ten years old and over and over in the ensuing months and years; the book is my attempt to find him. I'm a former professor of English literature at Yale and Vassar, the mother of two boys, a book critic for the Boston Globe, and a literature, writing, and meditation teacher.

Priscilla's book list on loving and losing a complicated father

Priscilla Gilman Why did Priscilla love this book?

This book is a luminously honest, unflinching, and brave memoir by the marvelous Dani Shapiro, whose most recent memoir, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, caused a sensation when it was published in 2019. 

When Slow Motion begins, Dani is in her early 20s, adrift, rebelling against her Jewish heritage, dabbling in acting and modeling, involved in a dead-end affair with a married man. 

Then one night, a phone call changes everything- her parents have been in a dreadful car accident. Her father dies a few weeks later, and her mother requires months of intensive rehab.

Dani's tragic loss of the father she idolized and adored prompts a reckoning with her choices and a reevaluation of her life. Slow Motion is beautifully written, wrenching, and unwaveringly candid.

By Dani Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the most gifted writers of her  generation comes the harrowing and exqui-sitely written true story of how a family tragedy saved her life. Dani Shapiro was a young girl from a deeply religious home who became the girlfriend of a famous and flamboyant married attorney--her best friend's stepfather. The moment Lenny Klein entered her life, everything changed: she dropped out of college, began to drink heavily, and became estranged from her family and friends. But then the  phone call came. There had been an accident on a snowy road near her family's home in New Jersey, and…


Book cover of Titanic: The Long Night: A Novel

Carla Louise Robinson Author Of The Light In The Darkness Book One

From my list on the Titanic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a bibliophile who loves dogs and prefers the country to the city. I’m the kid who yelled at my kindergarten teacher because she hadn’t taught me to read by the end of the year. That same tenacity followed me when, at seven years old, I learned that James Cameron was making a movie based on the Titanic. With righteous fury, I yelled at my befuddled parents, before asking why they had not told me about this ship. I pleaded with my parents to take me to see the movie for my upcoming eighth birthday, and they relented, with my mum buying my first fictional Titanic novel. That’s how my Titanic obsession began.

Carla's book list on the Titanic

Carla Louise Robinson Why did Carla love this book?

The Titanic novel my mum bought me for my eighth birthday, it was this one, which is why it can’t not be included (though mine is tattered and the back cover long lost. I can’t yet bring myself to buy a new one). Titanic: The Long Night is like a hot cup of chocolate on a cold winter’s night. It’s sinking into a bath and thinking, This is exactly what I need. It tells two stories: That of first-class passenger, Elizabeth Farr, who falls in love with handsome first-class passenger and artist, Max Whittaker, and third-class passenger Kathleen Hanrahan, who is travelling from Ireland to America to pursue her dreams. Kathleen falls for the youngest Keller brother, “Paddy” (I cannot tell you how many years I yearned for my very own “Paddy”, that was how much I loved his character). 

There’s something so joyful about this novel. It’s full of…

By Diane Hoh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Titanic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Everyone thought that the Titanic was unsinkable. Among the passengers are beautiful Elizabeth Farr and dashing Max Whitaker in first class, whilst in steerage are Brian and Patrick Kelleher and pretty red-haired Kathleen Mahoney.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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