100 books like The Eden Express

By Mark Vonnegut,

Here are 100 books that The Eden Express fans have personally recommended if you like The Eden Express. 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 The Phantom Tollbooth

Heather C. Markham Author Of Rough Waters: From Surviving to Thriving with a Progressive Muscular Dystrophy

From my list on developing your sense of adventure.

Who am I?

A sense of adventure is what gets me out of bed every morning. What will the day hold? I have no idea, but some of it is within my realm of control. Will I let myself get sucked into the Doldrums, or will I courageously reach out to a friend to say that I need help? I believe deeply in the interconnectedness of all things, and that part of my personal destiny is to be a part of that connection for others. Even in the daily struggles that come with using a power wheelchair, I keep working hard and following my vision and see where the adventure takes me.

Heather's book list on developing your sense of adventure

Heather C. Markham Why did Heather love this book?

This children’s classic has been on my bookshelf for as long as I can remember. Back then, I had no idea what a tollbooth was but I was sucked into Milo’s adventure nonetheless.

This book resonates so deeply with me, that one year I gave it as a Christmas present to everyone on my list. I still return to this book every once in a while to get a refresher on what a true friend is [Tock], how to get out of the Doldrums or conquer the Terrible Trivium.

Rhyme and Reason rule on land, but Douglas Adam’s “Don’t Panic” is the watchword when surfing. 

By Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Phantom Tollbooth 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?

With almost 5 million copies sold 60 years after its original publication, generations of readers have now journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic. Enriched by Jules Feiffer’s splendid illustrations, the wit, wisdom, and wordplay of Norton Juster’s offbeat fantasy are as beguiling as ever. 

“Comes up bright and new every time I read it . . . it will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet. And teach us some wisdom, too.” --Phillip Pullman

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only…


Book cover of All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers

Sherry Marie Gallagher Author Of Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture

From my list on reliving the American countercultural experience.

Who am I?

As a degreed socio-linguist and international educator, my novel writing has been immersed in the human experience that began early on as a teen musician immersed naively in a non-mainstream world of creatives and cons, when the word 'counterculture' was perceived more as a renaissance than the drug-laden world of darker gatherings that it later came to be known as. Boulder Blues is a work of fiction drawn from both fantasy and personal exposure. From there I went on to teach in American alternative education and later at university with a focus on rhetoric and forensic writing. My draw to other cultures and their perspectives moved me to go on to teach internationally.

Sherry's book list on reliving the American countercultural experience

Sherry Marie Gallagher Why did Sherry love this book?

This American classic by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Larry McMurtry, is read by university students worldwide. It’s set in its own time of indulgent decadence where little value is placed on the lives of individuals met by Danny Deck, the sad-sack protagonist, who denigrates his published work to the point of tearing up a copy of the novel he carries with him before drowning his own sorry self in the river of the Rio Grande. Yet, Danny is as much at fault for the sloppy treatment of the company he keeps as his company is for being disingenuous.   

What McMurtry calls normal life, or mundane happiness, through the voice of novelist Deck, is seen as obtainable if one wants to pursue the creative arts. His conclusion is that the two simply don’t mix. As he explores this idea in a higgledy-piggledy fashion, Deck sets about self-destructing, which has nothing to do…

By Larry McMurtry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as one of "the best novels ever set in America's fourth largest city" (Douglas Brinkley, New York Times Book Review), All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers is a powerful demonstration of Larry McMurtry's "comic genius, his ability to render a sense of landscape, and interior intellection tension" (Jim Harrison, New York Times Book Review). Desperate to break from the "mundane happiness" of Houston, budding writer Danny Deck hops in his car, "El Chevy," bound for the West Coast on a road trip filled with broken hearts and bleak realities of the artistic life. A cast of unforgettable…


Book cover of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Jerome Antil Author Of The Mysteries of Pompey Hollow

From my list on human resolve in the face of moments of despair.

Who am I?

The seventh child of a seventh son of a seventh son. Mother spoke of my sleeping nights and alert days…felt I was curious, observant. She was convinced I’d be the writer in the family. Named me Jerome after the librarian St. Jerome and Mark after Mark Twain, her favorite author as a child. Mother read to us daily, during high school time, a chapter a night. My brother Fred mailed me a word a week to look up. My freshman year in college I earned money writing compositions. And so it began. I sat on the floor and listened to the world war from Pearl Harbor to D-Day and Hiroshima.

Jerome's book list on human resolve in the face of moments of despair

Jerome Antil Why did Jerome love this book?

I saw Twain as a standup, audience driven, storyteller with a knack for stretching more than I did as a writer.

Slave Jim, to keep it topical, joining Huck who cleverly faked his death on a raft seeded a row of corn. The Mississippi River becomes the stalk. The exaggeratedly imagined Duke and rightful king of France began narratives that grew arms like an octopus seeding chain letters of nonsense.

I tire from the lengths to which Twain will stretch a situation. That being said, there are reasons I put the novel on my list of favorites. Finn was a collection of stories created over thirty years as a riverboat captain, typed into one adventure.

The other is the scene when Huck’s raft gets hit by the steamboat startled me so much it was as if I were on that raft with him. I remember the moment to this day.

Book cover of Malory: Complete Works

Harry Miller Author Of Southern Rain: A Novel of Seventeenth Century China

From my list on the struggle of the individual in the crazy world.

Who am I?

I have studied, worked, and lived in Taiwan, China, and Japan and am now a history professor at the University of South Alabama. I have skinny-dipped on Mount Tai, where Confucius said, "Climb Mount Tai and the world seems small," and at the Peach Blossom Spring, where the poet Tao Yuanming wrote of a lost society, untouched by the corruption and power-lust of his own day.

Harry's book list on the struggle of the individual in the crazy world

Harry Miller Why did Harry love this book?

The “Knight Prisoner” Malory must have found the world a tough place to get along, and his collected work, which publisher William Caxton didn’t know what to make of, is a veritable bible of striving amidst chaos. From the early tale of “Balin or the Knight with Two Swords,” in which the hapless hero, involved in a fast-moving pursuit through a castle, unwittingly delivers the Dolorous Stroke, blighting the world, to the piteous tale of the “Morte d’Arthur,” in which the knights of the round table turn against each other, all is confusion. In between can be read “The Tale of Sir Gareth” and the story of La Cote Male Tayle, which seem identical – but are they? Why is everything so easy for Sir Gareth and so difficult for LCMT? The answer may very well provide the key to life itself. Be sure to read these stories in the…

By Thomas Malory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This single-volume edition of the complete works of Sirhe Thomas Malory retains his 15th-century English while providing an introduction, glossary, and fifty pages of explanatory notes on each romance.


Book cover of The Sot-Weed Factor

Harry Miller Author Of Southern Rain: A Novel of Seventeenth Century China

From my list on the struggle of the individual in the crazy world.

Who am I?

I have studied, worked, and lived in Taiwan, China, and Japan and am now a history professor at the University of South Alabama. I have skinny-dipped on Mount Tai, where Confucius said, "Climb Mount Tai and the world seems small," and at the Peach Blossom Spring, where the poet Tao Yuanming wrote of a lost society, untouched by the corruption and power-lust of his own day.

Harry's book list on the struggle of the individual in the crazy world

Harry Miller Why did Harry love this book?

This is the funniest book I’ve ever read. The hero, Ebenezer Cooke, seeks to earn his estate in colonial Maryland, in spite of losing it by a misplaced act of justice (the Dolorous Stroke of the story). Nearly every important man he meets turns out to be his childhood tutor in disguise. Nearly all the women in the book are prostitutes. Pure mayhem.

By John Barth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sot-Weed Factor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is Barth's most distinguished masterpiece. This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices, with a hero who is "one of the most diverting . . . to roam the world since Candide."

"A feast. Dense, funny, endlessly inventive (and, OK, yes, long-winded) this satire of the eighteenth-century picaresque novel-think Fielding's Tom Jones or Sterne's Tristram Shandy-is also an earnest picture of the pitfalls awaiting innocence as it makes its unsteady way in the world. It's the late seventeenth century and Ebenezer Cooke is a poet, dutiful son and determined virgin who travels from…


Book cover of The White Album

Sherry Marie Gallagher Author Of Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture

From my list on reliving the American countercultural experience.

Who am I?

As a degreed socio-linguist and international educator, my novel writing has been immersed in the human experience that began early on as a teen musician immersed naively in a non-mainstream world of creatives and cons, when the word 'counterculture' was perceived more as a renaissance than the drug-laden world of darker gatherings that it later came to be known as. Boulder Blues is a work of fiction drawn from both fantasy and personal exposure. From there I went on to teach in American alternative education and later at university with a focus on rhetoric and forensic writing. My draw to other cultures and their perspectives moved me to go on to teach internationally.

Sherry's book list on reliving the American countercultural experience

Sherry Marie Gallagher Why did Sherry love this book?

Coining an era of "sorry stuff of troubled times," The New Yorker calls this autobiography of journalist/fiction writer Didion’s a timely and elegant collection. Yet, it could also be seen as a culmination of depressing flashbacks to a scarier time of a seedier side of the ‘60s - ‘70s, when broken taboos of post-WWII boomers led to not only drug-induced spirituality and experimentation, but also depraved moralities and violent behaviours. The author relives personal experiences of friendships with others once close to key figures who had near escapes from encounters with the likes of the Manson Family and Black Panthers.

By Joan Didion,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joan Didion's hugely influential collection of essays which defines, for many, the America which rose from the ashes of the Sixties.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea.

In this now legendary journey into the hinterland of the American psyche, Didion searches for stories as the Sixties implode. She waits for Jim Morrison to show up, visits the Black Panthers in prison, parties with Janis Joplin and buys dresses with Charles Manson's girls. She and her reader emerge, cauterized, from…


Book cover of Crossroads

Sherry Marie Gallagher Author Of Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture

From my list on reliving the American countercultural experience.

Who am I?

As a degreed socio-linguist and international educator, my novel writing has been immersed in the human experience that began early on as a teen musician immersed naively in a non-mainstream world of creatives and cons, when the word 'counterculture' was perceived more as a renaissance than the drug-laden world of darker gatherings that it later came to be known as. Boulder Blues is a work of fiction drawn from both fantasy and personal exposure. From there I went on to teach in American alternative education and later at university with a focus on rhetoric and forensic writing. My draw to other cultures and their perspectives moved me to go on to teach internationally.

Sherry's book list on reliving the American countercultural experience

Sherry Marie Gallagher Why did Sherry love this book?

Vogue praises this as a "magnificent portrait of an American family on the brink" by painting a story of a typical 1970’s family that is influenced by the challenging morals of the time. Exploiting a generational perspective that the breaking of old taboos leads to a better world, this novel drags out tired themes of egoistic flirtation and personal searches for fulfillment to the detriment of others involved, such as the family unit. 

The mother of the story is perhaps the only sympathetic character waking up to the fact that she’s buried herself in calories while avoiding truths she has a hard time facing as she attempts to reshape her being through a more pleasing physical self. The husband, on the other hand, is a failed contemporary minister in love with another one of his parishioners. Without facing up to his own moral shortcomings, he instead justifies his own motives…

By Jonathan Franzen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.

It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless—unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social…


Book cover of Trout Fishing In America

Sherry Marie Gallagher Author Of Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture

From my list on reliving the American countercultural experience.

Who am I?

As a degreed socio-linguist and international educator, my novel writing has been immersed in the human experience that began early on as a teen musician immersed naively in a non-mainstream world of creatives and cons, when the word 'counterculture' was perceived more as a renaissance than the drug-laden world of darker gatherings that it later came to be known as. Boulder Blues is a work of fiction drawn from both fantasy and personal exposure. From there I went on to teach in American alternative education and later at university with a focus on rhetoric and forensic writing. My draw to other cultures and their perspectives moved me to go on to teach internationally.

Sherry's book list on reliving the American countercultural experience

Sherry Marie Gallagher Why did Sherry love this book?

Popularised as a 1960s counterculture book, its author, Brautigan, playfully breaks all the rules in a modern Dadaistic style of commentary which is a sort of stream of consciousness that verges on playful and purposeful madness. Thoughts of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass come to mind when trying to make any sense of this author’s zany work here. In a word: trout? No trout. This is no commentary about fishing. It’s a mishmash of essay-like commentaries on an ‘on the road’ lifestyle which does occasionally mention fishing.

By Richard Brautigan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Trout Fishing In America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Brautigan's wonderfully zany, hilarious episodic novel set amongst the rural waterways of America.

Here's a journey that begins at the foot of the Benjamin Franklin statue in San Francisco's Washington Square, wanders through the wonders of America's rural waterways and ends, inevitably, with mayonnaise. With pure inventiveness and free-wheeling energy, the counterpoint to all those angry Beatniks, Brautigan tells the story of rural America, and the hunt for a bit of trout fishing. Funny, wild and sweet, Trout Fishing in America is an incomparable guidebook to the delights of exploration - of a country and a mind.


Book cover of The Center Cannot Hold

Satya Doyle Byock Author Of Quarterlife: The Search for Self in Early Adulthood

From my list on quarterlife beyond the crisis.

Who am I?

Before becoming a psychotherapist and author focused on the stage of adulthood between adolescence and midlife, I survived those years myself. The stage of development that I now call “Quarterlife” is a complex and rich period of life. Countless fictional heroes and protagonists in novels are in Quarterlife, yet the emphasis on these years within psychology and memoir is lacking. I personally love memoirs about this period of life and think they offer so much to others who are struggling through Quarterlife themselves and the trials of “adulting.”

Satya's book list on quarterlife beyond the crisis

Satya Doyle Byock Why did Satya love this book?

I first read this book in graduate school, and it completely changed the way I think about schizophrenia and the daily experience of living with a mental illness.

This memoir chronicles Saks’ experiences attending Oxford University and then Yale Law School with ever more progressive symptoms of schizophrenia; she details her therapy sessions as she worked closely with a psychoanalyst and then the journey to study psychoanalysis herself. I was captivated by Saks’ experience and her skilled storytelling.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that most commonly emerges in the Quarterlife years and frequently after people have gone away to college. This book is a gift to understanding this experience more fully or for those who want to feel less alone in the struggle with mental and emotional anguish during this time of life. 

By Elyn R. Saks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Center Cannot Hold 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?

Elyn Saks is Professor of Law and Psychiatry at University of Southern California Law School. She's the author of several books. Happily married. And - a schizophrenic. Saks lifts the veil on schizophrenia with her startling and honest account of how she learned to live with this debilitating disease. With a coolly clear, measured tone she talks about her condition, the stigma attached and the deadening effects of medication. Her controlled narrative is disrupted by interjections from the part of her mind she has learned to suppress. Delusions, hallucinations and threatening voices cut into her reality and Saks, in a…


Book cover of I Know This Much Is True

Deborah Kasdan Author Of Roll Back the World: A Sister's Memoir

From my list on startling encounters with mental illness.

Who am I?

When my older sister died, I felt a pressing need to tell her story. Rachel was a strong, courageous woman, who endured decades in a psychiatric system that failed her. She was a survivor, but the stigma of severe mental illness made her an outcast from most of society. Even so, her enduring passion for poetry inspired me to write about her. I sought out other people’s stories. I enrolled in workshops and therapy. I devoured books and blogs by survivors, advocates, and family members. Everything I read pointed to a troubling rift between the dominant medical model and more humane, less damaging ones. This list represents a slice of my learning.

Deborah's book list on startling encounters with mental illness

Deborah Kasdan Why did Deborah love this book?

Before my sister became so ill, people used to say we looked alike. But ours was just a resemblance. In this novel, Dominick looks exactly like his brother, who has schizophrenia. Dominick encounters his identical twin every time he looks in a mirror. And he is terrified.

I first read this book 25 years ago and inhaled every one of the intertwined subplots in its 900 + pages. Recently, I re-read the “story within the story,” a memoir by Dominick’s grandfather. I became fascinated by his story about the Sicilian market where one chicken transforms into two whole ones—a bit of magical realism about twinning, schizophrenia, and hope. I too excavated old family documents to understand why my sibling suffered so much.

By Wally Lamb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Know This Much Is True as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller and Oprah Book Club selection

"Thoughtful . . . heart-wrenching . . . . An exercise in soul-baring storytelling—with the soul belonging to 20th-century America itself. It's hard to read and to stop reading, and impossible to forget."  — USA Today

Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his subdued life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation. Dominick is forced to care for his brother as well as confront dark secrets and pain he has buried deep within himself—a journey…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in mental disorders, schizophrenia, and counterculture?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about mental disorders, schizophrenia, and counterculture.

Mental Disorders Explore 152 books about mental disorders
Schizophrenia Explore 51 books about schizophrenia
Counterculture Explore 30 books about counterculture