100 books like The Joy of Keeping Score

By Paul Dickson,

Here are 100 books that The Joy of Keeping Score fans have personally recommended if you like The Joy of Keeping Score. 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 Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

Karen Levy Author Of Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance

From my list on human stories about technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a sociologist, and I study how technology shapes and is shaped by people. I love my job because I am endlessly fascinated by why people do the things they do, and how our cultures, traditions, and knowledge affect how we interact with technology in our daily lives. I picked these books because they all tell fascinating stories about how different communities of people have designed, used, or been affected by technological tools.

Karen's book list on human stories about technology

Karen Levy Why did Karen love this book?

This is one of those books that you have to read either alone or among tolerant friends, because every few pages you’ll be moved to read some bit of it aloud to everyone around you. Alondra Nelson is a brilliant sociologist of science and technology, and this book tells the story of how genetic science and racial politics intersect, sometimes in surprising ways. I love how this book intertwines cultural and political history with clear-eyed analysis of genomics, genealogy, and the life sciences—it’s a great example of how to write about the human stakes of scientific research and innovation.

By Alondra Nelson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A Favorite Book of 2016, Wall Street Journal
2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction (Finalist)
2017 Day of Common Learning Selection, Seattle Pacific University
2020 Diana Forsythe Prize (Honorable Mention)
2020 Best Books of the Year, Writers' Trust of Canada

The unexpected story of how genetic testing is affecting race in America
We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life is both revelatory and endlessly fascinating. Tracing genealogy is now the second-most popular hobby amongst Americans, as well as the second-most visited online category. This billion-dollar industry has spawned popular television…


Book cover of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

Karen Levy Author Of Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance

From my list on human stories about technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a sociologist, and I study how technology shapes and is shaped by people. I love my job because I am endlessly fascinated by why people do the things they do, and how our cultures, traditions, and knowledge affect how we interact with technology in our daily lives. I picked these books because they all tell fascinating stories about how different communities of people have designed, used, or been affected by technological tools.

Karen's book list on human stories about technology

Karen Levy Why did Karen love this book?

I think I’m on my third or fourth copy of this book, because I keep giving it away! This is an absolutely stunning, gorgeously illustrated book about the spacesuits worn by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong during the moon landing. The bid to design the suits was won by the Playtex Corporation—the lingerie company!—over a bunch of industrial materials suppliers, because Playtex knew how to design for the body in ways the other firms didn’t. The book is organized into twenty-one chapters, in homage to the twenty-one layers of the spacesuit, and it’s a thing of beauty. It weaves together the history of aeronautics, the politics of the Space Race, technology design, and mid-century fashion so seamlessly, and makes you think about each of these topics differently.

By Nicholas de Monchaux,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in July of 1969, they wore spacesuits made by Playtex: 21 layers of fabric, each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles. This book is the story of that spacesuit. It is a story of the triumph over the military-industrial complex by the International Latex Corporation, best known by its consumer brand of "Playtex" - a victory of elegant softness over engineered hardness, of adaptation over cybernetics.

Playtex's spacesuit went up against hard armor-like spacesuits designed by…


Book cover of The Shabbat Elevator and other Sabbath Subterfuges: An Unorthodox Essay on Circumventing Custom and Jewish Character

Karen Levy Author Of Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance

From my list on human stories about technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a sociologist, and I study how technology shapes and is shaped by people. I love my job because I am endlessly fascinated by why people do the things they do, and how our cultures, traditions, and knowledge affect how we interact with technology in our daily lives. I picked these books because they all tell fascinating stories about how different communities of people have designed, used, or been affected by technological tools.

Karen's book list on human stories about technology

Karen Levy Why did Karen love this book?

Everyone who knows me has at some point had to hear me recount at least one anecdote from this book! Dundes was a professor of folklore, and this book is about all the ways Orthodox Jews navigate the prohibitions of the Sabbath. It includes a lot of incredible history about how technology plays a role in helping people do what they need to do without technically breaking the rules—like the Shabbat elevator in the title, which stops automatically at every floor in a building so that observant Jews don’t have to press a button to operate the elevator (which is prohibited). This book changed how I think about automation, and it’s so richly and respectfully written. One of my all-time favorites.

By Alan Dundes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shabbat Elevator and other Sabbath Subterfuges as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of books written about Judaism and Jews, but this book is unlike any previously published. It focuses on the topic of 'circumventing custom' with special emphasis on the ingenious ways Orthodox (and other) Jews have devised to avoid breaking the extensive list of activities forbidden on the Sabbath. After examining the sources of Sabbath observance as set forth in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and rabbinical writings, some of the most salient forms of circumvention are described. These include: riding a special Shabbat elevator, unscrewing the lightbulb in the refrigerator, constructing an…


Book cover of The Fires: How a Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City--and Determined the Future of Cities

Karen Levy Author Of Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance

From my list on human stories about technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a sociologist, and I study how technology shapes and is shaped by people. I love my job because I am endlessly fascinated by why people do the things they do, and how our cultures, traditions, and knowledge affect how we interact with technology in our daily lives. I picked these books because they all tell fascinating stories about how different communities of people have designed, used, or been affected by technological tools.

Karen's book list on human stories about technology

Karen Levy Why did Karen love this book?

My copy of this book has so many dog-eared pages and “!”s scrawled in the margins that it’s almost ridiculous. This is the story of how, in the 1960s, New York City and the RAND Corporation used algorithmic modeling to decide where to locate fire stations in the city. It was pretty much a disaster: because of the choices the modelers made about what to measure and how to measure it, they ended up cutting services to many of the poorest neighborhoods in NYC. Joe Flood is a journalist, and it shows—this book is stunning in how it combines the stories of human beings with crystal-clear accounts of the technical decisions made by the computing “whiz kids.”

By Joe Flood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York City, 1968. The RAND Corporation had presented an alluring proposal to a city on the brink of economic collapse: Using RAND's computer models, which had been successfully implemented in high-level military operations, the city could save millions of dollars by establishing more efficient public services. The RAND boys were the best and brightest, and bore all the sheen of modern American success. New York City, on the other hand, seemed old-fashioned, insular, and corrupt-and the new mayor was eager for outside help, especially something as innovative and infallible as "computer modeling." A deal was struck: RAND would begin…


Book cover of The Dixie Association

Daniel Paisner Author Of A Single Happened Thing

From my list on baseball novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and a lifelong baseball fan with a weakness for baseball-ish fiction. For a lot of folks, this means reading the usual suspects: Kinsella, Malamud, Coover, Roth, DeLillo... But I especially enjoy stumbling across under-the-radar novels that can’t help but surprise in their own ways. I enjoy this so much, in fact, I went out and wrote one of my own – inspired by the life and career of an all-but-forgotten ballplayer from the 1880s named Fred “Sure Shot” Dunlap, one of the greats of the game in his time. In the stuff of his life there was the stuff of meaning and moment… of the sort you’ll find in the books I’m recommending here.

Daniel's book list on baseball novels

Daniel Paisner Why did Daniel love this book?

I was working as a flak at Simon & Schuster when this book came out, and I helped to write the flap copy, so it feels to me like I had a hand in it. As an aspiring writer, I remember admiring the hell out of this novel. On a recent re-read, as a grizzled, wizened veteran writer, I still do. Hays gives us a collection of memorable characters, and a wild, vagabonding tale that offers a glimpse at minor league life in the deep South. There’s humor and heartache and all that good stuff. 

By Donald Hays,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An account of a season with baseball team, the Arkansas Reds. Their line-up includes an ex-con first baseman, a couple of real Reds on loan from Castro, young bucks on the way up and old-timers on the way down, all led by a one-armed Marxist and ex-major leaguer named Lefty.


Book cover of I Was Right on Time

G. Brian Benson Author Of Habits for Success: Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar (Habits of Successful People)

From my list on to inspire personal growth and success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been motivated to be the best version of myself for as long as I can remember and that has included reading a ton of books, pushing my own limits on what I was capable of (Ironman triathlons and a cross-country bicycle ride), tapping into my own creativity as well as taking it to the next step and sharing what I have learned through my own books and TEDx presentation. I believe we have so much more inside of us than we realize and I love to share and see others reach their goals and dreams.  

G.'s book list on to inspire personal growth and success

G. Brian Benson Why did G. love this book?

This book is wonderful. While it isn’t your typical self-improvement book, reading it made me want to be a better person. Buck O’Neil’s attitude is amazing despite all of the hardships he endured. He is an inspiration to everyone. No matter where we are or when we are born, we are all  "right on time,” and hopefully striving to serve a purpose for a greater good. A good attitude and lots of gratitude are so important for our self-awareness journey and Buck had it in truckloads. Please read this book. 

By Buck O'Neil, Steve Wulf, David Conrads

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was Right on Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Babe Ruth to Bo Jackson, from Cool Papa Bell to Lou Brock, Buck O'Neil has seen it all. As a first baseman and then manager of the legendary Kansas City Monarchs, O'Neil witnessed the heyday of the Negro leagues and their ultimate demise.
In I Was Right on Time, he charmingly recalls his days as a ballplayer and as an African-American in a racially divided country. Whether he's telling of his barnstorming days with the likes of Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson or the day in 1962 when he became the first African-American coach in the major leagues, O'Neil…


Book cover of Summerland

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a confusing, chaotic household, and magic was always an escape for me. Books were my place to dream about other worlds and bigger choices. Stories of forgotten, invisible, or odd people who found their way to each other, found courage and talents they didn’t know they had, and then banded together to fight some larger foe even though they were scared. Was it possible that dragons and witches and gnomes were real and very clever at hiding in plain sight? What if I had hidden talents and courage and could draw on them with others just like me?

Martha's book list on urban fantasy books to help you find the magic all around you and a really good what-if book too

Martha Carr Why did Martha love this book?

The book is wonderfully weird even though it starts out in ordinary settings. I loved it because the ride was wild and fast-paced and took so many turns; I couldn’t put it down.

The vivid detail helped me see the strange ball game or the flying car, and it was so well set up that I didn’t question any of it. The story took me on an adventure, and I didn’t let go until the very end.

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Summerland 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 the Pulitzer Prize winning Michael Chabon comes this bestselling novel that blends fantasy and folklore with that most American coming-of-age ritual: baseball—now in a new edition, with an introduction by the author.

Ethan Feld is having a terrible summer: his father has moved them to Clam Island, Washington, where Ethan has quickly established himself as the least gifted baseball player the island has ever seen. Ethan’s luck begins to change, however, when a mysterious baseball scout named Ringfinger Brown and a seven-hundred-and-sixty-five-year-old werefox enter his life, dragging Ethan into another world called the Summerlands. But this beautiful, winter-less place…


Book cover of The Bird and the Bees

Carolyn Astfalk Author Of All in Good Time

From my list on modern-day romantic escapes for frazzled Catholic moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a mom of four busy kids in grade school, middle school, high school, and college, reading a novel is my reward at the end of a hectic day. I’ve read hundreds of novels, many of them Christian romances, while sitting at my children’s bedsides. They have to be well-written, no smut, and if the characters are Catholic Christians like me, all the better.

Carolyn's book list on modern-day romantic escapes for frazzled Catholic moms

Carolyn Astfalk Why did Carolyn love this book?

I love baseball romances. Pair one with a solid Theology of the Body romance (something I’ve done myself), and I’m there for it!

This debut novel is part women’s fiction, part romance, part mystery, and like any great love story, is anchored by God. I’m partial to the Presque Isle setting on the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, and I quickly became partial to easygoing, steady minor leaguer Ketch Devine.

By Neena Gaynor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Previously published as The Bird and the Bees by Mantle Rock Publishing.

When Larkin Maybie buries her mother in the foothills of Appalachia, she is left all alone. Her only inheritance? A crazy aunt, a mountain of debt, and a run-down, secluded cabin left by a mysterious benefactor. While Larkin thinks an escape to a cabin miles from anything familiar might be exactly what she needs, the quick answer to her problems only leaves her with more questions … Questions concerning her true identity.

As Larkin searches for her link to the Lewandowski Estate, she begins to accept the kindness…


Book cover of How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Author Of The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore

From my list on children’s books about freedom.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former children’s librarian who writes books for children and young adults. I love history, especially black history. We didn’t get much in school when I was a child, so I’ve been catching up on some of what I missed. I am particularly drawn to under-told stories about people who deserve more recognition for their contributions. I’m proud that some of those people are members of my own family.

Vaunda's book list on children’s books about freedom

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Why did Vaunda love this book?

In Georgie Radbourn’s America, baseball (even the mention of it) is illegal, Winter is eternal and everyone over the age of eight must work in factories. All this because of dictator and embittered former baseball player Boss Swaggart. The people fear Swaggart and his Factory Police too much to resist. Georgie is born into this world, so he knows nothing else. Still, something in him rebels.

Shannon’s Orwellian tale is about baseball, yes, but it’s more than it appears (as is true of the best books). It’s about how we often don’t grasp how much we love something until it’s taken away. It’s about how, without the things that give us hope, spring never comes. It’s about how one brave person can triumph and inspire courage in others.

By David Shannon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball 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?

Bestselling Caldecott Honor artist David Shannon tells the story of a boy who overcomes a cruel tyrant using his love of baseball.

Chosen as a NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Children's Book, HOW GEORGIE RADBOURN SAVED BASEBALL was published more than a decade ago, and it was the very first book award-winner David Shannon wrote and illustrated himself. Using his vast experience as an editorial illustrator, Shannon told an expressive, emotional tale of a time when spring no longer existed, and it was always winter in America. Why? Because an angry dictator declared baseball illegal, and once-happy citizens fell into…


Book cover of Bucky F*cking Dent

Daniel Paisner Author Of A Single Happened Thing

From my list on baseball novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and a lifelong baseball fan with a weakness for baseball-ish fiction. For a lot of folks, this means reading the usual suspects: Kinsella, Malamud, Coover, Roth, DeLillo... But I especially enjoy stumbling across under-the-radar novels that can’t help but surprise in their own ways. I enjoy this so much, in fact, I went out and wrote one of my own – inspired by the life and career of an all-but-forgotten ballplayer from the 1880s named Fred “Sure Shot” Dunlap, one of the greats of the game in his time. In the stuff of his life there was the stuff of meaning and moment… of the sort you’ll find in the books I’m recommending here.

Daniel's book list on baseball novels

Daniel Paisner Why did Daniel love this book?

I loved this book the moment I saw the title. And the cover! I loved it even more when I noticed it shared a publication date with my own baseball novel back in 2016, so it feels to me like we’re related. The title and cover alone should earn this one a spot on your shelf, but there’s tasty goodness inside. Duchovny’s love of the game is apparent – but so too is his Ivy League education. He writes like a lifelong reader, with a keen eye for baseball and its denizens and an ear for poetry. He’s funny af, too.   

By David Duchovny,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bucky F*cking Dent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery operated fish, sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American novel, and spends the waning malaise filled days of the Carter administration at Yankee Stadium, waxing poetic while slinging peanuts to pay the rent. When Ted hears the news that his estranged father, Marty, is dying of lung cancer, he immediately moves back into his childhood home, where a whirlwind of revelations ensues. The browbeating absentee father…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in baseball, technology, and presidential biography?

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