100 books like The Gardener and the Carpenter

By Alison Gopnik,

Here are 100 books that The Gardener and the Carpenter fans have personally recommended if you like The Gardener and the Carpenter. 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 A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Vitaliy Katsenelson Author Of Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life

From my list on that bring meaning to your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an investor who happens to love writing, music, and simply life in general. I was born in Murmansk, Russia, where I spent my first 18 years. My family moved to Denver in 1991, and I have lived there since. I’m CEO of IMA, a value investing firm where I have creative freedom to focus on things I love. I was so fortunate to stumble into writing; it has completely rewired my mind by providing a daily two-hour refuge for focused thinking. I am constantly on the lookout for new stories and fresh insights. Writing is what keeps me in student-of-life mode, and there is so much to learn!

Vitaliy's book list on that bring meaning to your life

Vitaliy Katsenelson Why did Vitaliy love this book?

This book is solely responsible for hooking me on Stoic philosophy, prompting my deep exploration of practical aspects of life in my own book and, most importantly, the application of them to my daily life. William’s writing is easy to follow, and his advice is very practical. I’d advise you to start reading the book from chapter four; and then when you are done with the book, come back to the first three chapters.

By William B. Irvine,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Guide to the Good Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives.

In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using…


Book cover of Minimalism for Families: Practical Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life

Brittany Polat Author Of Tranquility Parenting: A Guide to Staying Calm, Mindful, and Engaged

From my list on finding your bliss as a parent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I strongly believe that anyone who is willing to reflect thoughtfully on life can make progress toward inner peace and contentment. I have pursued my lifelong interest in human development first through a Ph.D. in applied linguistics (with a focus on individual differences in second language development) and then through the study of Stoic moral psychology and philosophy. These days I have ample opportunity to study human nature in the best laboratory of all: parenthood!

Brittany's book list on finding your bliss as a parent

Brittany Polat Why did Brittany love this book?

Maybe you’ve heard of minimalism. It’s a way of life that helps you shed all the stuff you don’t need in your life so you can focus on the people, activities, and priorities that bring you joy. But is it possible to be a minimalist with children at home? Absolutely! Zoë Kim shows you how in this relatable and easy-to-read guide to getting the whole family on board with minimalism. You’ll learn how to pare back your commitments, declutter your home, and take a more intentional approach to family life. From cleaning out the first drawer to developing lifelong minimalist habits, you will appreciate the newfound time, space, and sense of peace that minimalism brings.

By Zoë Kim,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Share the joys of minimalism with your whole family.

Make room for what really matters. Minimalism for Families shows you the real costs of the things you own and helps you discover that cutting non-essential items makes for a happier, more satisfying home and life.

Spend less time stressing about your stuff and more time together. Filled with practical advice to help you and your family clear out your house, Minimalism for Families helps you build stronger bonds, spend more time together, and start enjoying the benefits of living clutter-free.

Minimalism for Families includes:

An introduction to minimalism―Find out what…


Book cover of Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization

Brittany Polat Author Of Tranquility Parenting: A Guide to Staying Calm, Mindful, and Engaged

From my list on finding your bliss as a parent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I strongly believe that anyone who is willing to reflect thoughtfully on life can make progress toward inner peace and contentment. I have pursued my lifelong interest in human development first through a Ph.D. in applied linguistics (with a focus on individual differences in second language development) and then through the study of Stoic moral psychology and philosophy. These days I have ample opportunity to study human nature in the best laboratory of all: parenthood!

Brittany's book list on finding your bliss as a parent

Brittany Polat Why did Brittany love this book?

You’re probably familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, an undergraduate psychology staple that explains how a person’s basic needs (such as security) are foundational to higher needs (such as self-actualization). But did you know Abraham Maslow never actually drew that pyramid? Popular psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman follows in Maslow’s footsteps, tracking down his later research and personal writings to uncover what the famous humanist really thought about personal development. It turns out that the image of the pyramid is both misleading and incomplete: it is missing its top level, self-transcendence.

Kaufman walks us through an updated vision of Maslow’s work, culminating in our ability to rise above everyday affairs and connect with our higher aspirations and ideals. In the process, we learn how to cultivate the proper mindset for growth and turn our aspirations into reality. Transcend is not about parenting per se, but it is chock full of insights…

By Scott Barry Kaufman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A MASTERPIECE' Susan Cain

How to realise your full potential and live your most creative life.
When psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman first discovered Maslow's unfinished theory of transcendence, sprinkled throughout a cache of unpublished journals, lectures, and essays, he felt a deep resonance with his own work and life. In this groundbreaking book, Kaufman picks up where Maslow left off, unraveling the mysteries of his unfinished theory, and integrating these ideas with the latest research on attachment, connection, creativity, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived.

Kaufman's new hierarchy of needs provides a roadmap for finding…


Book cover of The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives

Thomas Lickona Author Of How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain

From my list on raising good children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a developmental psychologist and former professor of education. My life’s work and 10 books have focused on helping families and schools foster good character in kids. Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility is credited with helping launch the national character education movement. My first book for parents, Raising Good Children, described how to guide kids through the stages of moral development from birth through adulthood. My focus these days is kindness and its supporting virtues. My wife Judith and I have two grown sons and 15 grandchildren, and with William Boudreau, MD, co-authored Sex, Love, and You: Making the Right Decision, a book for teens.

Thomas' book list on raising good children

Thomas Lickona Why did Thomas love this book?

This thought-provoking book by Bill Stixrud (a clinical neuropsychologist) and Ned Johnson (an SAT tutor) pops up on other “best books” lists on parenting. It deserves to be there. But it’s not, as the title might suggest, a prescription for “hands-off” parenting. On the contrary, it shows us how to actively help our kids become better decision-makers by giving them lots of guided practice in making decisions they’re capable of handling, such as: “Should I take on the challenge of moving to the next grade in school, or spend another year learning the important skills I didn’t learn very well this year?” (but definitely not decisions where, for example, danger is involved—like going to an unsupervised party).

In short, raising a “self-driven” child means doing more of a different kind of parenting—in a collaborative, mutually respectful relationship that’s more rewarding for both parent and child. It means looking for opportunities…

By William Stixrud, Ned Johnson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Self-Driven Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Instead of trusting kids with choices . . . many parents insist on micromanaging everything from homework to friendships. For these parents, Stixrud and Johnson have a simple message: Stop." -NPR

"This humane, thoughtful book turns the latest brain science into valuable practical advice for parents." -Paul Tough, New York Times bestselling author of How Children Succeed

A few years ago, Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson started noticing the same problem from different angles: Even high-performing kids were coming to them acutely stressed and lacking motivation. Many complained they had no control over their lives. Some stumbled in high school…


Book cover of The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)

Alice O'Keeffe Author Of On The Up

From my list on books for frazzled parents–and their children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing my book when my older son was two, and my youngest was less than six months. And if that sounds like a bad idea to you–it was! But despite the madness of trying to write a novel in 5-minute parcels of time, for me, it was a necessary way to reclaim some of my individuality at a time when I often felt I was losing it. I’m so glad I have my book to remind me of the very particular challenges of new parenthood. These are some books I found that helped me do just that.

Alice's book list on books for frazzled parents–and their children

Alice O'Keeffe Why did Alice love this book?

Books offering support to parents have come on in leaps and bounds since the days when Gina Ford and Supernanny-style discipline reigned supreme. This book is my go-to book for practical advice.

Perry, a psychotherapist with more than 20 years of experience, is not interested in manipulating children’s behaviour with naughty steps and sticker charts. Her approach may incidentally help to get your children to brush their teeth and eat their vegetables, but her emphasis is on the far deeper and more important business of how to build a mutually respectful and cooperative relationship. Her voice is wise and refreshingly nonjudgmental.

This is one for parents who, in Perry’s words, "Not only love their children but want to like them, too”.

By Philippa Perry,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

From the UK's favourite therapist, as seen on Channel 4's Grayson's Art Club.

'A wonderful book' Richard Osman

'So clear and true ... Helpful for all relationships in life' Nigella Lawson

'A fascinating read on the emotional baggage we all carry' Elizabeth Day
______________________________________________________________________________________

How can we have better relationships?

In this Sunday Times bestseller, leading psychotherapist Philippa Perry reveals the vital do's and don'ts of relationships. This is a book for us all. Whether you are interested in understanding how your upbringing has shaped you, looking to handle your child's feelings or wishing to…


Book cover of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (Now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)

Sophie Brickman Author Of Baby, Unplugged: One Mother's Search for Balance, Reason, and Sanity in the Digital Age

From my list on parenting that you actually want to read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the mother of three children, ages 6, 3, and 1, and because I tend to write about what interests me, started to investigate the world of parenting when my eldest was born. (Prior to that, I was a food reporter and editor.) As my husband, a tech entrepreneur, kept bringing home pieces of technology that were supposed to make my life easier (spoiler alert: they rarely did), I found myself urgently trying to figure out what was best for my kids, and myself: the boring pile of blocks, or the flashy, sexy iPad? I spent years delving into the fields of neurobiology, psychology, philosophy, and pediatrics to get a better handle on these questions

Sophie's book list on parenting that you actually want to read

Sophie Brickman Why did Sophie love this book?

This enjoyable, first-person romp about raising kids in France is a must-read for any francophile. Druckerman is an American who married a Brit, and they relocated to Paris, where they had three children. With a reporter’s eye, Druckerman tackles such questions as, how on earth do French parents have their kids sleeping through the night at a few weeks old, and how is it that French children sit down to civilized three-course meals when they aren’t yet three feet tall? 

By Pamela Druckerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bebe." -The Wall Street Journal

"I've been a parent now for more than eight years, and-confession-I've never actually made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bebe to be irresistible." -Slate

The runaway New York Times bestseller that shows American parents the secrets behind France's amazingly well-behaved children, from the author of There Are No Grown-ups.

When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby…


Book cover of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Kim T.S. Author Of Feeling All My Feelings Book

From my list on kids with big feelings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just a normal parent who has gone through the ups and downs of helping her little boy with his exceptionally big feelings. Anger is the main emotion we continue to struggle with, but we’ve come such a long way! The smallest things used to set him off, and he could go from annoyance to rage in minutes. Sometimes it would take us up to an hour to completely calm down. I tried my best to stay patient, help him work through his feelings, and redirect his anger towards non-harmful modes of expression. When he was calm, then we would talk about what happened, and think of ways we can both do better next time.

Kim's book list on kids with big feelings

Kim T.S. Why did Kim love this book?

Many of us tend to focus on the child— the child has tantrums, therefore the child has the problem. It‘s important for me to include this book on the list because adults play an unparalleled role in modeling emotional regulation for kids. We need to remind ourselves that how we respond can make the difference between resolving the situation OR making it worse. This book is an eye-opener and can help grown-ups relate to kids in better ways. It’s about connection before correction, because a dysregulated child (or adult, for that matter), cannot think straight and will not be able to act rationally. The teaching moments can come after we have calmed the storm, always coming from a place of love and understanding.

By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Whole-Brain Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this pioneering, practical book for parents, neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson explain the new science of how a child's brain is wired and how it matures. Different parts of a child's brain develop at different speeds and understanding these differences can help you turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child's brain and raise calmer, happier children.

Featuring clear explanations, age-appropriate strategies and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child will help your children to lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives using…


Book cover of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Sylvia A. Rouss Author Of In My Preschool, There is a Time for Everything

From my list on illustrated stories for early childhood educators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as an assistant nursery school teacher when I graduated from college. My head teacher was my mentor. She knew how to engage children with her storytelling. She also managed to inspire children with an enthusiasm for learning. She challenged each child to develop his/her own individual skills. I loved the way she was able to connect with children, and for me, she was the ideal role model. Throughout my teaching career, I tried to connect with the children I taught. My goal was to reach every child, to stimulate their desire for learning, and to help them develop positive self-esteem in a nurturing environment.

Sylvia's book list on illustrated stories for early childhood educators

Sylvia A. Rouss Why did Sylvia love this book?

Can a Pigeon drive a bus? The bus driver asks the “readers” to say “No”. But the Pigeon keeps trying.

It’s a fun easy read, and the whimsical illustrations make the book memorable for children and help cue the listener's part. I especially like the book because the responsive “No” fully engages children in the story.

By Mo Willems,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

When the bus driver decides to take a break from driving, a wild and wacky pigeon pleads and begs to take his place, in a hilarious picture book that perfectly captures a preschooler's temper tantrum.


Book cover of Everyone Poops

Geoff Waring Author Of Oscar and the Bat: A Book about Sound

From my list on science for kids and adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science is truth and always evolving as we discover new things. Like a child, scientists are always asking "Why this? Why that?" Great scientists like great artists are childlike or at least manage to harness the wonder of their childhood self. If a child is interested in the world around them they will never be bored. It will set them up for life and that's a truly precious thing.

Geoff's book list on science for kids and adults

Geoff Waring Why did Geoff love this book?

...And every child will LOVE this book! Taro Gomi is one of Japan's most prolific children's book creators.

His beautifully simple, childlike paintings of animals and their poos are funny yet informative, and especially for younger readers, they will help them start to develop an enquiring mind.

By Taro Gomi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Everyone Poops as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

The beloved, bestselling potty-training classic, now re-released for a new generation!

An elephant makes a big poop. A mouse makes a tiny poop. Everyone eats, so of course: everyone poops!

Taro Gomi's classic, go-to picture book for straight-talk on all things "number 2" is back, as fresh and funny as ever.

• Both a matter-of-fact, educational guide and a hilarious romp through poop territory
• Filled with timeless OMG moments for both kids and adults
• Colorful and content-rich picture book

The concept of going to the bathroom is made concrete through this illustrated narrative that is both verbally and…


Book cover of One Big Pair of Underwear

Karen Deerwester Author Of The Potty Training Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 200 Questions Parents Ask

From my list on to survive potty training with humor and understanding.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love supporting families through the challenges of potty training because I love deciphering the developmental puzzle of potty skill building – the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social pieces all coming together at the perfect time. As a “family time” teacher for over three decades, I know the stories and the setbacks. I want to be the voice for children learning to manage their bodies, their choices and their world. With a Masters and Specialist degree in Early Childhood, I have also conducted national webinars for Early Childhood teachers on collaborating with families on in-school potty training. I hope these books add some fun and sanity to your potty training experience!

Karen's book list on to survive potty training with humor and understanding

Karen Deerwester Why did Karen love this book?

Underwear! Underwear! Underwear is funny! It’s a proud moment when a child graduates to underwear. One Big Pair of Underwear is the perfect underwear book to launch your Underwear Parade through the house to celebrate your child’s potty success! Hoist those underwear flags and parade with family and friends.

This is a fun counting book about animals who learn to share from a pair of underwear. It’s a book about problem solving animals and no one is left out of this underwear parade! It isn’t a book about potty training but you will see, once your child finally says goodbye to diapers, there’s no looking back. Underwear just become the new funny normal. Underwear books never get old.

By Laura Gehl, Tom Lichtenheld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Big Pair of Underwear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Count and share with...underwear! Come along on a zany adventure with this Classic Board Book edition of One Big Pair of Underwear from New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld!

What's one thing that two bears, three yaks, four goats, and six cats have in common?

They hate to share.

But look out-here comes a pack of twenty pigs ready to prove that sharing makes everything twice as fun!

This seriously silly Classic Board Book with artwork by the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site irresistibly combines the concepts of counting and sharing.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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