100 books like Stuart

By Alexander Masters,

Here are 100 books that Stuart fans have personally recommended if you like Stuart. 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 Vulnerable Observer

Paul Stoller Author Of Wisdom from the Edge: Writing Ethnography in Turbulent Times

From my list on writing about the wisdom of others.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was passionate about anthropology in the 1970s when I was in my twenties and am still passionate about anthropology in the 2020s in my seventies. Throughout the years I have expressed my passion for anthropology in university classrooms, in public lectures, and in the 16 books I have published. As my mind has matured, I understand more and more fully just how important it is to write powerfully, cogently, and accessibly about the wisdom of others. In all my books I have attempted to convey to the public this fundamental wisdom, none more so than in my latest book, Wisdom from the Edge: Writing Ethnography in Turbulent Times.   

Paul's book list on writing about the wisdom of others

Paul Stoller Why did Paul love this book?

The Vulnerable Observer is a classic work in anthropology in which the author underscores the emotional impact of being a research anthropologist. 

Behar’s wonderfully crafted stories evoke the wisdom of others and demonstrate why it is important for anthropologists to describe the emotional impact of social being in the world. It is an important text for understanding the emotional contours of the human condition.

By Ruth Behar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eloquently interweaving ethnography and memoir, award-winning anthropologist Ruth Behar offers a new theory and practice for humanistic anthropology. She proposes an anthropology that is lived and written in a personal voice. She does so in the hope that it will lead us toward greater depth of understanding and feeling, not only in contemporary anthropology, but in all acts of witnessing.


Book cover of Stealing with the Eyes

Tim Hannigan Author Of The Travel Writing Tribe: Journeys in Search of a Genre

From my list on writing about the real world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by nonfiction since my teens, by the idea of books about things that really happened. Fiction gets all the kudos, all the big prizes, all the respect. But as far as I’m concerned, trying to wrestle the unruly matter of reality onto the page is much more challenging – imaginatively, technically, ethically – than simply making things up! My book The Travel Writing Tribe is all about those challenges – and about the people, the well-known travel writers, who have to confront them every time they put pen to paper.

Tim's book list on writing about the real world

Tim Hannigan Why did Tim love this book?

Since the 1980s, anthropologists have been confronting the fraught ethics of representing other people, other places, other cultures much more directly than their counterparts in journalism or travel writing. Will Buckingham didn’t stick with anthropology, and this book about his fieldwork with woodcarvers in eastern Indonesia – written two decades after the events it describes – goes some way to explaining why. It’s wry, funny and thought-provoking. The title refers to the theft committed by every travelling writer.

By Will Buckingham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stealing with the Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Will Buckingham travelled to Tanimbar Islands (Indonesia) as a trainee anthropologist to meet three remarkable sculptors: the crippled Matias Fatruan, the buffalo hunter Abraham Amelwatin, and Damianus Masele, who was skilled in black magic, but who abstained out of Christian principle. Part memoir, part travel-writing, Stealing with the Eyes is the story of these men, and also of how stumbling into a world of witchcraft, sickness and fever lead him to question the validity of his anthropological studies, and eventually to abandon them for good. Through his encounters with these remarkable craftsmen and weaving together Tanimbarese history, myth and philosophy…


Book cover of The Saddest Pleasure

Tim Hannigan Author Of The Travel Writing Tribe: Journeys in Search of a Genre

From my list on writing about the real world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by nonfiction since my teens, by the idea of books about things that really happened. Fiction gets all the kudos, all the big prizes, all the respect. But as far as I’m concerned, trying to wrestle the unruly matter of reality onto the page is much more challenging – imaginatively, technically, ethically – than simply making things up! My book The Travel Writing Tribe is all about those challenges – and about the people, the well-known travel writers, who have to confront them every time they put pen to paper.

Tim's book list on writing about the real world

Tim Hannigan Why did Tim love this book?

Great travel writing requires serious honesty – and there’s no more honest book than this. An aging, crotchety American sets out on a sentimental journey through Brazil after a forced departure from his adopted home in Ecuador. You start out thinking that he’s been the victim of some sort of sketchily explained injustice, but as he travels, he gradually tears more and more strips off himself and your perspective changes. Brutally honest. Thomsen is also remarkably open about his own writerly craft: “let me shift my characters around a bit” he says at one point, revealing the fundamental tension of nonfiction – between faithfulness to narrative and faithfulness to reality.

By Moritz Thomsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Unflinchingly honest about his family, his failures, his already broken health at the age of sixty?three and the loss of the hopes he once had for himself, Thomsen is also sickened by the corruption and rapacity of our societies, the inequality and the economic destitution. What starts as an almost reluctant concatenation of memory and poignant, limpid descriptions of Brazil, grows into a shattering romantic symphony on human misery and life s small but exquisite transcendent pleasures. He spares the reader nothing.


Book cover of For Love & Money

Tim Hannigan Author Of The Travel Writing Tribe: Journeys in Search of a Genre

From my list on writing about the real world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by nonfiction since my teens, by the idea of books about things that really happened. Fiction gets all the kudos, all the big prizes, all the respect. But as far as I’m concerned, trying to wrestle the unruly matter of reality onto the page is much more challenging – imaginatively, technically, ethically – than simply making things up! My book The Travel Writing Tribe is all about those challenges – and about the people, the well-known travel writers, who have to confront them every time they put pen to paper.

Tim's book list on writing about the real world

Tim Hannigan Why did Tim love this book?

Jonathan Raban’s nonfiction books take travel writing to another level. He has a special mastery of the intersection of self, journey, place, and narrative. This collection – of essays, short memoirs, travel pieces, and more – isn’t necessarily his best book (that would probably be Passage to Juneau); but it’s full of brilliant reflections on the writing life, and on the challenges facing the writer as a craftsperson. There’s a particularly memorable section on the difficulties of transferring real-world dialogue onto the page. “You isolate the speaker’s tics and tricks of speech, his keywords,” Raban says, “and make him say them slightly more often than he did in fact; you give him small bits of stage business to mark his silences; you invent lines of dialogue for yourself to break up a paragraph of solid talk that looks too long to be believable. You are trespassing, perhaps, into writing…

By Jonathan Raban,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For Love & Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Jonathan Raban is the only person I listen to in matters of travel and books and writing in general. Reading him, talking to him as I have over fifty years, he has made my work better and me happier.' Paul Theroux

'For Love and Money ... is as good a book as there is about the writing life. Delighted that it will be safeguarded in print by Eland.' Tim Hannigan

This collection of writing undertaken for love and money is about books and travel, and makes for an engrossing and candid exploration of what it means to live from writing.…


Book cover of Learning to Breathe

Amber Smith Author Of The Way I Used to Be

From my list on me-too movement.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing The Way I Used to Be back in 2010. For me, it started simply as a place to work through my own private thoughts and feelings about sexual violence. I was writing as a survivor myself, but also as someone who has known, loved, and cared for so many others who have experienced violence and abuse. By the time I finished, I realized my novel had evolved into something much bigger: a story I hoped could contribute something meaningful to the larger dialogue. These powerful books on this list are all a part of that dialogue, each based in a richly diverse, yet shared reality. Readers will learn, grow, heal, and find hope in these pages.

Amber's book list on me-too movement

Amber Smith Why did Amber love this book?

Learning to Breathe tells such an important side of the #MeToo Movement, with sixteen-year-old Indira (Indy), a Black Bahamian girl who struggles to find her place in the aftermath of an assault that leads to an unwanted pregnancy. Set in the Bahamas, a place so often portrayed in Western culture as idyllic, it depicts a very different gritty and authentic lived reality for the main character. This heart-rending, yet empowering novel is enlightening on so many levels. Not only does it offer the unique and all-too-often overlooked point of view of a young person of color, but it also deals with complex family issues, homelessness, and a young woman’s path to claiming power over her own body and future. 

By Janice Lynn Mather,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Learning to Breathe 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?

A 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
Amelia Bloomer List’s 2019 Top Ten Recommended Feminist Books for Young Readers
A Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Semifinalist
A BC Book Prize Finalist

“A love letter to girls—bittersweet and full of hope.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of National Book Award Finalist American Street
“This is a stellar debut.” —Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of Little & Lion and Pointe
“A vibrant, essential story of healing, resilience, and finding one’s family.” —Stephanie Kuehn, author of William C. Morris Award winning Charm…


Book cover of I See You

Jacqueline B. Toner Author Of Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair

From my list on acceptance and empathy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved children. I love tiny babies just discovering the world around them. I love elementary-age kids who are taking pride in developing new skills and learning how to deal with challenges. I love teens who are questioning and rethinking the things they thought they knew. I also love the science and practice of psychology (my profession for over thirty years) and, I love books. To date, I have written nine books. My audience ranges from preschool to high school and topics include strategies to understand and cope with problems as well as psychology as a topic of study.

Jacqueline's book list on acceptance and empathy

Jacqueline B. Toner Why did Jacqueline love this book?

Although this picture book has no words, its message of caring and compassion is clear and powerful. A small boy becomes aware of a homeless woman and simply, gently, acknowledges her. This innocent and kind book serves may serve as an opening to talk to children about homelessness. It also may help us all to remember not to ignore those less fortunate.

By Michael Genhart, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I See You is a wordless picture book that depicts a homeless woman who is unseen by everyone around her - except for a little boy. Over the course of a year, the boy is witness to all that she endures. Ultimately, in a gesture of compassion, the boy acknowledges her through an exchange in which he sees her and she experiences being seen. This book opens the door for kids and parents to begin a conversation about homelessness. In a "Note for Parents, Educators, and Neighbours", there are discussion questions and additional resources about helping the homeless. Ages 4-8.


Book cover of Girl in Pieces

Kathleen Fine Author Of Girl on Trial

From my list on contemporary YA about peer pressure and addiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started to experiment at a very early age with alcohol. During my teen years, like so many of my peers, I had low self-esteem. I wanted to fit in so I understand firsthand the effects that peer pressure can have on a teenager. When I think back to those years, I sometimes wonder: what if? There were so many terrible outcomes that could have occurred in my life. These novels show their readers a “what if.” I hope that teens who read these books think twice before following a crowd and stand firmly with what they know is right in their heart as well as hope for healing.

Kathleen's book list on contemporary YA about peer pressure and addiction

Kathleen Fine Why did Kathleen love this book?

Girl in Pieces is such an important story for anyone who has gone through any addiction or trauma of any kind before.

Charlotte, the protagonist, is in pieces. At seventeen she’s lost more than most people lose in a lifetime and she’s learned how to forget her trauma in order to protect herself. This is a book about Charlotte surviving in a world that has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together.

Although this book tells a story of people being cruel to themselves, it is ultimately a book about learning how to be gentle with yourself.

By Kathleen Glasgow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Girl in Pieces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A haunting, beautiful, and necessary book."—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts…


Book cover of Breaking Night

Traci Medford-Rosow Author Of Unsheltered Love: Homelessness, Hunger and Hope in a City under Siege

From my list on homelessness and poverty.

Why am I passionate about this?

In March 2020, in the middle of a pandemic that had all but crippled New York City, my husband and I became homeless advocates. For months, we woke up each morning, made dozens of sandwiches, and walked the deserted city streets trying to feed the homeless, who were struggling to survive. Deserted streets meant no panhandling, which in turn, meant no food. In doing so, we became friends with many of the homeless men and women in our neighborhood. Fear and suspicion were replaced by trust and love, and our eyes and hearts were forever opened to people who had once been objects to be avoided.

Traci's book list on homelessness and poverty

Traci Medford-Rosow Why did Traci love this book?

Liz Murray’s riveting memoir tells of her unlikely rise from homelessness to being accepted to Harvard. It is another classic triumph over adversity story of someone beating the odds. I picked this book because of my own personal experience with homelessness. During the pandemic, my husband and I walked the deserted New York City streets helping to feed the homeless in our neighborhood. This led to the writing of my third book. Like Westover’s story, my book also tells the story of one woman’s rise from living on the streets of New York City to becoming sheltered, employed, and admitted to college. 

By Liz Murray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

____________________________________
Liz Murray never really had a chance in life. Born to a drug-addicted father who was in and out of prison, and an equally dependent mother who was in and out of mental institutions, she seemed destined to become just another tragic statistic; another life wasted on the brutal streets of New York.

By the age of 15, Liz found herself homeless with nowhere to turn but the tough streets, riding subways all night for a warm place to sleep and foraging through dumpsters for food. But when her mother died of AIDS a year later, Liz's life changed…


Book cover of Becoming Chloe

Connie King Leonard Author Of Sleeping in My Jeans

From my list on teen homelessness and poverty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Teaching middle school made me painfully aware of the disparity in our students’ lives. Some kids have every advantage, while others struggle to survive without enough food, clean water, or a safe, dry place to sleep for the night. All these kids, with their diverse backgrounds, sit side-by-side in class and are expected to perform at the same academic and social levels. In my novels, I feature ordinary teens that are strong, smart, and resilient, like so many of the students who taught me as much as I taught them.

Connie's book list on teen homelessness and poverty

Connie King Leonard Why did Connie love this book?

Catherine Ryan Hyde does a masterful job of showing us the stark reality of teen homelessness through the eyes of Jordy and Chloe. The content of the first few chapters was hard for me to read because of what young people must do to survive on the street and what traumas lead them there in the first place. As the story unfolded, though, Hyde took me on a warm and loving journey as Jordy set out to show Chloe that there truly is a lot of beauty in the world. 

By Catherine Ryan Hyde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Chloe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Meet Jordy. He’s on his own in New York City. Nobody to depend on; nobody depending on him. And it’s been working fine.
Until this girl comes along. She’s 18 and blond and pretty–her world should be perfect. But she’s seen things no one should ever see in their whole life–the kind of things that break a person. She doesn’t seem broken, though. She seems . . . innocent. Like she doesn’t know a whole lot. Only sometimes she does.
The one thing she knows for sure is that the world is an ugly place. Now her life may depend…


Book cover of Theories of Relativity

Don Aker Author Of The Space Between

From my list on grappling with loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been a teacher for many years, I have had the great fortune to be surrounded by young people most of my adult life. As a result, I’ve been witness to countless moments reflecting the struggles of teenagers facing various challenges in their lives. Without question, one of the most painful is having to grapple with loss, and regardless whether it involves a friend, a family member, a home, an opportunity, or any number of other misfortunes, the act of facing and rising above that loss is often character-defining. I will always be grateful to my many students whose candour and courage have both inspired me and informed my own writing.

Don's book list on grappling with loss

Don Aker Why did Don love this book?

Sixteen-year-old Dylan has lost everything. His mother has thrown him out of their house and he’s forced to live on the streets, begging for handouts and avoiding the thugs that threaten him daily. During my work as a literacy mentor, one of the teachers I supported taught a particularly challenging group with a ringleader (I’ll call him Sean) who frequently interrupted lessons with unruly outbursts. I suggested that the teacher try ending his lessons ten minutes early and reading a few pages of Theories of Relativity as a reward when the group performed well. A week later when I came to observe the teacher’s practice, Sean stopped me before class and demanded, “Have you read Theories of Relativity?” I pretended I hadn’t and he breathlessly summarized the story they’d heard so far. And during the lesson, he shushed anyone whose behaviour might have interfered with that day’s reading, which…

By Barbara Haworth-Attard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Theories of Relativity 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?

Binding Unknown, Date not stated


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