10 books like The Gift of Nothing

By Patrick McDonnell,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Gift of Nothing. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Untethered Soul

By Michael A. Singer,

Book cover of The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

This book opened up something deep within me. I would recommend all of The Untethered Soul book series, as each one of them allows you to understand who you are, how your monkey mind is constantly on duty, and how to become aware that you don’t always have to believe in that monkey mind!  

The Untethered Soul

By Michael A. Singer,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Untethered Soul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who are you? When you start to explore this question, you find out how elusive it really is. Are you a physical body? A collection of experiences and memories? A partner to relationships? Each time you consider aspects of yourself, you realize that there is much more to you than any of these can define. In this book, spiritual teacher Michael Singer explores the question of who we are and arrives at the conclusion that our identity is to be found in our consciousness, the fact of our ability to observe ourselves and the world around us. By tapping into…


Sadhana of the Heart

By Gurumayi Chidvilasananda,

Book cover of Sadhana of the Heart: A Collection of Talks on Spiritual Life

Uplifting, inspired, essential—in this volume of timeless wisdom, my guru Gurumayi teaches students about Siddha Yoga sadhana, the spiritual study and practices that lead to liberation.

Siddha Yoga is a spiritual path. It feels important to understand that it is a philosophy, not a religion, and it includes people from many different faiths. For myself, at its heart, Siddha Yoga sees the highest reality as divine Consciousness that dwells equally in all people. On the Siddha Yoga path, seekers come to recognize this, their innermost Self, experientially.

Sadhana of the Heart

By Gurumayi Chidvilasananda,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

These five speeches impart the teachings of the Siddha Yoga path for modern seekers with eloquence, erudition, and compassionate humor, making an ancient tradition deeply engaging and vibrantly alive. Each talk, originally addressed to a global audience as a traditional greeting to the new year in the period 1995–1999, offers guidance—both practical and philosophical—for progressing on the spiritual path in today's world and living a noble and purposeful life. The book teaches with illustrative stories and anecdotes and urges all people to make the best use of their lives, to discover the divinity in their own hearts, and to let…


Destiny of Souls

By Michael Newton,

Book cover of Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives

A few years ago when my wife suddenly died, on the second day I spoke to a dear friend who also happens to be a longtime monk on my spiritual path. He mentioned a book by a psychologist who took people to see the greater arc of their soul’s journey—their ‘lives between lives’. That doctor was Dr. Michael Newton, and this is my favorite of his series.

At the time, reading it had a profound effect on my growing understanding of the greater arc of the human soul and provided an immense sense of peace. Above all, it soothed my tattered mind at a moment when life felt incomprehensible and helped me make sense of our larger purpose for being here even while still grieving. Through 70 case histories of real people who were regressed into their ‘lives between lives,’ Dr. Newton reveals life continuing on the other side, ways…

Destiny of Souls

By Michael Newton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Featuring seven case histories of real people who were regressed into their lives between lives, this text discusses the mystery of life in the herafter.


I Am That

By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,

Book cover of I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I don’t like rankings — I think we count and rank to our collective detriment – but if I had to make a list of the most important books I’ve ever read, this would probably be on top of the list. What is it about? It’s about finding your true self. On the one hand, the task couldn’t be simpler: You are what you are, so there’s hardly a Hardy Boys mystery to crack here. On the other, we cloud our own understanding with so much illusion that few of us have the capacity to see the truth about ourselves. Maharaj can be a bit prickly, but he’s more love than anything else. If you try this book and you can’t connect to it, put it down and return to it later. That’s what I did – the first time, it was impenetrable; the second time, it penetrated to the…

I Am That

By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Am That as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?

By Coll Muir,

Book cover of Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?

This is an adorable book about a predator-prey pair. Tradition says felines devour birds, so when Cat says he must eat Bird, the feathered fowl tempts Cat’s taste in other ways … by showing him “the highest tree for a cat to get stuck in,” for example. When Cat points out desirable activities for Bird, the two decide to become friends, until they realize they share nothing in common.

I love the humorous banter between the two and the clever use of different text colors to distinguish between the two speakers. I think it’s brilliantly symbolic that when the characters concentrate on differences, the illustrations are in black and white, but once they accidentally discover a shared interest, the pages are splashed with joyful colors.

Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?

By Coll Muir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can Cat and Bird Be Friends? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cats and birds can't be friends! They have absolutely nothing in common. After all, cats are supposed to eat birds, not play with them!

But there's something special about this prey-and-predator pair...and they may just find that it's our differences that bring us closer together.

In a delightful picture book filled with pleasing banter and hilarious quips, rising talent Coll Muir creates the perfect unlikely friendship between unexpected creatures.

Perfect for fans of Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat.


Crenshaw

By Katherine Applegate,

Book cover of Crenshaw

I normally avoid reading books with an element of fantasy, but I loved this one by Katherine Applegate. Jackson has an imaginary friend named Crenshaw who is a giant cat. He hasn’t seen Crenshaw in a while but one day Crenshaw reappears to help him through a difficult time. Even though I knew Crenshaw wasn’t real, Applegate’s writing makes him come alive. This book will make you believe in magic and the power of friendship.

Crenshaw

By Katherine Applegate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The heart-warming new story about family and friendships from Newbery Medal-winner Katherine Applegate.

Life is tough for ten-year-old Jackson. The landlord is often at the door, there's not much food in the fridge and he's worried that any day now the family will have to move out of their home. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken and he's imaginary. He's come back into Jackson's life to help him but is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

A heart-warming story about family and friendships from Newbery medal winner Katherine Applegate.


Katie the Catsitter

By Colleen Af Venable, Stephanie Yue (illustrator),

Book cover of Katie the Catsitter

In this purr-fectly irresistible graphic novel, twelve-year-old Katie wants to earn money so she can go to summer camp with her best friend and starts a catsitting business for her mysterious upstairs neighbor. The problem? The woman has 217 cats! And that’s not all...the cats have superpowers! And the neighbor may be a notorious supervillian! Talk about a tough job! I laughed, cheered, and crossed my fingers for Katie!

Katie the Catsitter

By Colleen Af Venable, Stephanie Yue (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! Introducing an irresistible new middle-grade graphic novel series about growing up, friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats!)--perfect for fans of Guts, Awkward and Real Friends (not to mention anyone who loves cats!)

Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead while her best friends are all away at camp--something that's way out of Katie and her mom's budget, UNLESS Katie can figure out a way to earn the money for camp herself. But when Katie gets a job catsitting for her mysterious upstairs neighbor, life get interesting. First, Madeline has 217 cats (!) and they're…


Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence

By Sonja Thomas,

Book cover of Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence

I instantly became of fan of Mira, a STEM-loving pre-teen who is dealing with a lot: her best friend moving away, a very sick cat she adores, and her father’s depression after losing his job. At first, she thinks her big brain has to be the key to unlocking how to solve her troubles, but over the course of the chapters, she realizes that opening her heart to new friends and modeling true perseverance goes a lot farther. This book has so much sweetness and humor, but it's not fluff. Every page feels like a real kid dealing with real stuff and trying to use whatever she can to help her family through a really tough time. 

Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence

By Sonja Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine in this heartfelt middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.

Twelve-year-old Mira's summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he's been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas's old house down the street, Mira gets stuck…


Good Dog

By Dan Gemeinhart,

Book cover of Good Dog

Although I rarely recommend books where the dog dies (I was greatly traumatized by classics Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller), this one is the exception. Brodie was a good, good dog who was wholeheartedly devoted to his boy, Aiden. When Brodie finds himself in the perfect doggy heaven—lots of green grass to roll in and endless balls to chase—Brodie is gripped by a need to go back to Earth and his boy, who he senses is in terrible danger. Aided by a smart, happy-go-lucky pitbull and snarky cat, Brodie makes his way back to Earth and Aiden at the risk of losing his soul. I love this book because it stays firmly in the perspective of the dog (and other animals) with a masterful use of sensory details. Give this book to your reader who likes books that are suspenseful while also exploring deeper themes. 

Good Dog

By Dan Gemeinhart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brodie was a good dog. And good dogs go to heaven. Except Brodie can't move on. He can't forget the boy he left behind. The boy he loved, and who loved him in return.The boy who's still in danger.So Brodie breaks the rules of heaven. He returns to Earth as a spirit. With the help of two other lost souls-lovable pitbull Tuck and surly house-cat Patsy-he is determined to find his boy and to save him. Even if it costs him paradise. Because it's what a good dog would do.


Small in the City

By Sydney Smith,

Book cover of Small in the City

I love how this book captures a child’s perspective of city life and landscape, by using the child’s view of what they imagine would be the experience of a lost cat. The illustrations here are nothing short of beautiful, using a loose appearing style that captures an evocatively accurate impression of the colors and atmosphere of city life on a snowy winter day. The child narrator is captivating and the story is quietly poignant.

Small in the City

By Sydney Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Small in the City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I know what it's like to be small in the city...
Being small can be overwhelming in a city. People don't see you. The loud sounds of the sirens and cyclists can be scary. And the streets are so busy it can make your brain feel like there's too much stuff in it. But if you know where to find good hiding places, warm dryer vents that blow out hot steam that smells like summer, music to listen to or friends to say hi to, there can be comfort in the city, too.
We follow our little protagonist, who knows…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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