84 books like The Gift of Nothing

By Patrick McDonnell,

Here are 84 books that The Gift of Nothing fans have personally recommended if you like The Gift of Nothing. 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 Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Summer McStravick Author Of Stuff Nobody Taught You: 40 Lessons from M.E.School® to Help You Stop Being Miserable and Start Feeling Amazing

From my list on making you want to plunge joyfully forward in life.

Who am I?

I’m always on the hunt for unique, thought-provoking voices among the endless thicket of personal growth titles out there. I look for thought leaders who can help me truly understand myself or the Universe, and help me reach some next-level breakthroughs in my heart. In my prior role as podcast producer for the likes of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, and the like, I’ve been able to really understand what does (and doesn’t) trigger true change within ourselves. I’ve compiled this short list of people who know their sh*t and both challenge me and make me feel blessed to have encountered their wild, gorgeous minds in the pages of their books. 

Summer's book list on making you want to plunge joyfully forward in life

Summer McStravick Why did Summer love this book?

This book is a beautiful classic that you probably already own. Singer is wise.

Each paragraph is rich as chocolate cake, imparting an understanding of our energetic and emotional worlds and especially how to heal our hearts and move through pain and into healing—all with a good dash of Buddhist thought.

By Michael A. Singer,

Why should I read it?

15 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…


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

Barron Steffen Author Of The Final Gift of the Beloved: Her Disappearance-13 Days

From my list on spirituality for life's purpose and grief.

Who am I?

Without my longtime commitment to the spiritual path of Siddha Yoga, I am quite sure that I would never have even met my wife Seana for I would not have been ready for her, let alone survived the trials along the way. And I certainly would not have been able to meet the calamity of her sudden death and come to know it as something else entirely. I have discovered the most strange and wonderful thing—that hidden within the death of a loved one may also be her final gift to us. And this is what I wish for you—in your moment of greatest need, though the world feels shattered into a thousand shards—may you remember this possibility and fully receive what the beloved longs to give you in farewell.

Barron's book list on spirituality for life's purpose and grief

Barron Steffen Why did Barron love this book?

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.

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…


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

Barron Steffen Author Of The Final Gift of the Beloved: Her Disappearance-13 Days

From my list on spirituality for life's purpose and grief.

Who am I?

Without my longtime commitment to the spiritual path of Siddha Yoga, I am quite sure that I would never have even met my wife Seana for I would not have been ready for her, let alone survived the trials along the way. And I certainly would not have been able to meet the calamity of her sudden death and come to know it as something else entirely. I have discovered the most strange and wonderful thing—that hidden within the death of a loved one may also be her final gift to us. And this is what I wish for you—in your moment of greatest need, though the world feels shattered into a thousand shards—may you remember this possibility and fully receive what the beloved longs to give you in farewell.

Barron's book list on spirituality for life's purpose and grief

Barron Steffen Why did Barron love this book?

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…

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.


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

Duff McDonald Author Of Tickled: A Commonsense Guide to the Present Moment

From my list on to help you find your true self.

Who am I?

That’s the eternal question, isn’t it? Out here in the manifestation, I am Duff McDonald, author and journalist, father of Marguerite, husband of Joey, and general man about town. I’m a Canadian who moved to the U.S. to go to college and never went back. But who am I, really? I am the same thing as everyone else, a speck of consciousness in the possibility machine, a perfect creation. This whole thing has divine origins, something I only realized not that long ago, and it set me free. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I have, of late, discovered that maximizing one’s awareness is the main quest of a human life.

Duff's book list on to help you find your true self

Duff McDonald Why did Duff love this book?

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…

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.


Book cover of Pete The Cat And The Missing Cupcakes

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Who am I?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

Hey! Who's taking the cupcakes that Pete and Gus baked?

They're disappearing two by two. Is it squirrel? Alligator? Turtle? 

I won't tell, but when they find out, Pete and Gus give the cupcake nabber a chance to make amends because "that's what friends do."  

Part of the popular Pete the Cat series, this rhyming, counting, mystery story is also a story of forgiveness and second chances.

By Kimberly Dean, James Dean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pete The Cat And The Missing Cupcakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?


From Kimberly and James Dean's bestselling Pete the Cat series, help Pete and his friends solve the mystery of the missing cupcakes!

Pete the Cat and his friends are busy as can be baking cupcakes for a party, and Pete can't wait to perform with his groovy band. But some of the cupcakes have gone missing! Who could have taken them

In this rhyming picture book by New York Times bestselling authors James and Kimberly Dean, Pete and the gang work together to find the missing cupcakes and learn about making mistakes, forgiveness, and that it's cool to be kind.…


Book cover of It's Me

Chrissie Krebs Author Of Bizard the Bear Wizard

From my list on graphic reads for young reluctant readers.

Who am I?

As a child, I was obsessed with comics, whether it was Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, or the Far Side, I would devour every one I could get my hands on. I discovered the joy of observing two storylines – the one the writing was telling me and one that the pictures were telling me. As I became a teacher, I realized the importance of pictures and stories working together to keep students engaged. The resurgence of graphic novels has now been a focus for me in my pedagogy practices as well as my pathway as an author-illustrator. 

Chrissie's book list on graphic reads for young reluctant readers

Chrissie Krebs Why did Chrissie love this book?

Catwad is a book by the hilarious Jim Benton, the comic style of Catwad is silly and at times, outrageous which is just what you need to keep kids interested.

The comic is broken down into short and sweet chapters that are only a few pages long which is great for those that have trouble focusing for long periods of time. Benton’s character expressions are so animated and funny, kids can pick up what is going on even before they read the words.

By Jim Benton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It's Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

From New York Times best-selling author Jim Benton, meet Catwad! He's blue, he's a bit of a grouch, and his best friend is a dim-witted cat named Blurmp who can see the bright side of anything. From pizza and computers, to love and happiness, this crabby tabby has a funny take on just about everything, and he's not afraid to share it. This collection of short comic stories will make even the grumpiest of grouches crack up, and is not to be missed!


Book cover of Can Cat and Bird Be Friends?

Dee Leone Author Of Dough Knights and Dragons

From my list on picture books with unlikely friendships.

Who am I?

I've had 20 reproducible books published in the educational market, and more than 200 of my articles, word puzzles, poems, plays, and stories have appeared in magazines such as Highlights and on websites like the Disney-themed PassPorter.com. I enjoy creating book trailers and free activity kits which can be found on my website. One of my picture books is Dough Knights and Dragons. Curious about the origin of doughnuts, I created an imaginary tale about them with the goal of encouraging friendships of all kinds, setting children’s imaginations on fire, and motivating youngsters to always be hungry for books.

Dee's book list on picture books with unlikely friendships

Dee Leone Why did Dee love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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.


Book cover of Lois Looks for Bob at the Museum

Natasha Wing Author Of Squeak-a-boo!

From my list on cute & cuddly animal lift-the-flap for kids.

Who am I?

As an animal advocate and part-time pet sitter, I wanted to instill the love of animals to babies with a fun board book. I’ve always enjoyed the surprise factor of lift-the-flaps so I was thrilled when Squeak-a-boo! was published. These types of books make for wonderful interactive bonding moments between reader and baby. I hope you enjoy the books on this list, not only for their fun concepts and text, but also for their colorful illustrations. 

Natasha's book list on cute & cuddly animal lift-the-flap for kids

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

Kids love cats and Lois is a wide-eyed black and white cat who is looking for her yellow bird friend, Bob.

In this museum location, Lois looks behind such things as a painting and a vase that are at the museum. She finds other animals but not Bob. Until the end of course! The colors are bright and in large blocks which 0-3 year olds will gravitate to.

This is one in series of Lois Looks for Bob books. Other topics include beach, home, and park. 

By Gerry Turley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lois Looks for Bob at the Museum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Little readers will love helping Lois search for her friend Bob behind museum artifacts and encountering their friends along the way in this quirky lift-the-flap book with a retro feel.

The next title in this quirky lift-the-flap book series from illustrator Gerry Turley appeal with their offbeat humor. Little readers will love helping Lois search for her friend Bob behind museum artifacts and encountering their friends along the way.


Book cover of Big Cat, Little Cat

Dana Wulfekotte Author Of Where Is Poppy?

From my list on picture books about loss when you need a good cry.

Who am I?

I’m a children’s book author-illustrator who loves picture books that can tackle difficult topics in a unique way. Along with Where Is Poppy?, I’ve also illustrated The Remember Balloons, written by Jessie Oliveros, which helps to gently explain Alzheimer’s and memory loss to kids without sugarcoating the realities of the illness. I think books can be a great tool for helping kids understand and process ideas that can be a little heavy or overwhelming, even for adults.

Dana's book list on picture books about loss when you need a good cry

Dana Wulfekotte Why did Dana love this book?

I read this book shortly after losing my pet rabbit, and I almost started crying in the middle of the bookstore.

The text and artwork are so simple while conveying so much feeling. And the ending brings the story full circle in a wonderful way. It is a perfect book for anyone who has lost a beloved pet.

By Elisha Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Cat, Little Cat 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?

There was a cat
who lived alone.
Until the day
a new cat came . . .

And so a story of friendship begins, following two cats through their days, months, and years until one day, the older cat has to go. And he doesn't come back.

This is a poignant story, told in measured text and bold black-and-white illustrations about life and the act of moving on.


Book cover of Crenshaw

Maura Jortner Author Of 102 Days of Lying About Lauren

From my list on kids who make it through tough times.

Who am I?

I went through major surgery when I was in eighth grade. The physical pain was bad, but what hurt more was the emotional side. When I returned to school, the friend groups had shifted, shutting me out because of my extended absence. I had to face that time in life alone. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to works about kids who have to face challenges on their own. When we go through hard times, our true selves come out. They have to; we have no one else. We can’t pretend. We can only try to make it. The books I like show characters that shine through their hardships.

Maura's book list on kids who make it through tough times

Maura Jortner Why did Maura love this book?

This book is amazing. It’s about a kid named Jackson whose parents are having trouble making ends meet. It looks like they’re going to be homeless... again. But that’s when Crenshaw, Jackson’s old imaginary friend shows up. I love how Katherine Applegate shows Jackson’s fears and hopes. I grew up pretty poor, and so I know that she does a great job with this tough situation. Yet, despite the hardships, Applegate fills this book with fun, like when Crenshaw, a giant imaginary cat, takes a bubble bath.

By Katherine Applegate,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Crenshaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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