100 books like The Orchard

By Adele Crockett Robertson,

Here are 100 books that The Orchard fans have personally recommended if you like The Orchard. 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 Gardener's Year

Ngoc Minh Ngo Author Of In Bloom: Creating and Living With Flowers

From my list on why everyone loves gardening.

Who am I?

I am a photographer of gardens and botanical still-lifes. I have a passion for plants and flowers and love reading about their historical and cultural significance. I am always curious about the meanings that humankind has ascribed to flowers in different cultures and eras. I have written and photographed three books that revolve around my passion for flowers.

Ngoc's book list on why everyone loves gardening

Ngoc Minh Ngo Why did Ngoc love this book?

This is a very slim volume by the Czech novelist, playwright, and essayist who gave us the word “robot” in a play in 1921. In this book, Capek takes readers through a year, month by month, in his backyard garden in Prague. The writing is full of humor, the tone conversational, with observations that resonate with all gardeners–from the fickleness of the weather to the pleasures of reading plant catalogues in the winter. But the true subject of Capek’s musing is the complexity of human nature. For the writer, the garden is a metaphor for what makes us human. It is ultimately a very hopeful book, and Capek ends it with these words: “The right, the best is in front of us. Each successive year will add growth and beauty. Thank God that again we shall be one year farther on!”  

By Josef Capek, Karel Capek,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gardener's Year as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This very entertaining volume with its delightfully humorous pictures should be read by all gardeners." — Nature
"Mr. Čapek writes with sympathy, understanding, and humor." — The New York Times
"Has a mellowness and a charm that give it a high place in the humorous literature of gardening … will delight the amateur gardener, and indeed everyone else." — Saturday Review
The creator of this book is best known internationally as the author of R.U.R., the science-fiction play that introduced the term "robot" to the world. Karel Čapek's satiric gifts take a different turn in this impishly comic book, which…


Book cover of The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants

William Alexander Author Of The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for a Perfect Garden

From my list on a gardening life.

Who am I?

William Alexander’s best-selling gardening memoir, The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for a Perfect Garden has been praised for its fresh, humorous, and honest take on home gardening. The books he’s selected similarly break the mould for garden books, featuring rabid rose gardeners, an obsessive breeder, and a Czech playwright.

William's book list on a gardening life

William Alexander Why did William love this book?

Gardening, whether in a backyard or a hundred-acre orchard, is an audacious attempt to improve on nature, and Smith’s fascinating hybrid of biography, history, and botany brings to life the most audacious of them all. The only biography on my list, I’ve included it because, in an age where we might be forgiven for thinking it takes millions of corporate dollars and genetic engineers to produce a new plant, The Garden of Invention reminds us how one man’s singular determination, patience, and brilliance can change the world. And produce the perfect potato for McDonald’s French fries.

By Jane S. Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The wide-ranging and delightful history of celebrated plant breeder Luther Burbank and the business of farm and garden in early twentieth- century America

At no other time in history has there been more curiosity or concern about the food we eat-and genetically modified foods, in particular, have become both pervasive and suspect. A century ago, however, Luther Burbank's blight-resistant potatoes, white blackberries, and plumcots-a plum-apricot hybrid-were celebrated as triumphs in the best tradition of American ingenuity and perseverance. In his experimental grounds in Santa Rosa, California, Burbank bred and cross-bred edible and ornamental plants-for both home gardens and commercial farms-until…


Book cover of Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening

William Alexander Author Of The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for a Perfect Garden

From my list on a gardening life.

Who am I?

William Alexander’s best-selling gardening memoir, The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for a Perfect Garden has been praised for its fresh, humorous, and honest take on home gardening. The books he’s selected similarly break the mould for garden books, featuring rabid rose gardeners, an obsessive breeder, and a Czech playwright.

William's book list on a gardening life

William Alexander Why did William love this book?

Q-tips, cotton balls, and hazmat suits: welcome to the world of competitive rose gardening. Scott’s engaging journey into the underbelly of rose exhibitions will leave you wondering, Are these hobbyists bloomin’ nuts, or simply having more fun than the rest of us? My dark-horse pick, maybe because it reassured me that my own gardening exploits (installing a 10,000-volt electric fence that deters people but not groundhogs, for instance) weren’t so wacky, after all.

By Aurelia C. Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twice a year America's rose lovers cut the prettiest blossoms off their best plants and travel to the national rose show, where they lovingly groom their precious blooms for hours in a frigid hall in order to contend for the highest honor: the Queen of Show. Doctors. Teachers. Sheet metal mechanics. Lawyers. Truck drivers. Men and women. These are type A gardeners, and for them this is a blood sport. They grow tender roses in the frigid North and disease prone roses in the humid South simply for the challenge. They decorate otherwise lovely yards with paper bags and panty…


Book cover of Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Jenny Price Author Of Stop Saving the Planet!: An Environmentalist Manifesto

From my list on revolutionize how Americans think about nature.

Who am I?

I’m a writer, artist, and historian, and I’ve spent much of my career trying to blow up the powerful American definition of environment as a non-human world “out there”, and to ask how it’s allowed environmentalists, Exxon, and the EPA alike to refuse to take responsibility for how we inhabit environments. Along the way, I’ve written Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America and "Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in LA"; co-founded the LA Urban Rangers public art collective; and co-created the “Our Malibu Beaches” phone app. I currently live in St. Louis, where I’m a Research Fellow at the Sam Fox School at Washington University-St. Louis. 

Jenny's book list on revolutionize how Americans think about nature

Jenny Price Why did Jenny love this book?

A self-critical and often hysterically funny account of what happens when you plant a garden to be “one with nature” and nature has other ideas. Still my favorite Pollan book (his first!), which is saying a lot. Favorite bit: his journey from “living in harmony” with a resident groundhog to an albeit ill-considered act of firebombing.

By Michael Pollan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Second Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An account of one man's experience in his garden.


Book cover of Upstream: Selected Essays

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From my list on wine, love, and landscape.

Who am I?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Deirdre Heekin Why did Deirdre love this book?

Mary Oliver, as a poet and an essayist, writes with a lyric sword. Upstream is a collection of essays that reflect her willingness to lose herself in the mysteries and intricacies of the natural world. In this work, Oliver contemplates the joy of her work, her passionate eye for observation, her ability and responsibility to write and think about the flora and fauna, the flowers, the grass, the water, the sky, and how they connect us to the natural world, to each other, and to ourselves.

The sheer power of her writing and command of language has always drawn me in, what pushes me as a person, a farmer, and a writer to give into the “stream” of our consciousness, to stop and observe, but to also keep moving forward with the power of words and my experience of the world around me.

By Mary Oliver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of O, The Oprah Magazine's Ten Best Books of the Year

The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver.

"There's hardly a page in my copy of Upstream that isn't folded down or underlined and scribbled on, so charged is Oliver's language . . ." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"Uniting essays from Oliver's previous books and elsewhere, this gem of a collection offers a compelling synthesis of the poet's thoughts on the natural, spiritual and artistic worlds . . ." -The New York Times

"In the beginning I was so young and such…


Book cover of Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From my list on wine, love, and landscape.

Who am I?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Deirdre Heekin Why did Deirdre love this book?

Wine writer, and now friend, Alice Feiring has often been controversial, but she has always been a champion of the kinds of wines I love, natural wines that are allowed to tell the story of where they are grown and the people who steward them. Her book Naked Wine came out in 2011, just a year after my first very small vintage of natural wines. In her own tale of making wine in Oregon and her journey tracing the roots of modern natural wine in France, Spain, and America rang so clearly for me from her stories of a wine made in a fixer-upper farmhouse in France replete with scorpions to a vineyard cum garden of Eden scented with mint and thyme in Spain, I realized I not only loved wines that told stories, but writers who tell the stories of wine and place.

This book, an icon of its…

By Alice Feiring,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Naked wine is wine stripped down to its basics,wine as it was meant to be: wholesome, exciting, provocative, living, sensual, and pure. Naked, or natural, wine is the opposite of most New World wines today Alice Feiring calls them overripe, over-manipulated, and overblown" and makes her case that good (and possibly great) wine can still be made, if only winemakers would listen more to nature and less to marketers, and stop using additives and chemicals. But letting wine make itself is harder than it seems. Three years ago, Feiring answered a dare to try her hand at natural winemaking. In…


Book cover of South of Somewhere: Wine, Food, and the Soul of Italy

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From my list on wine, love, and landscape.

Who am I?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Deirdre Heekin Why did Deirdre love this book?

I have long loved Robert Camuto’s writing about living in Italy and the wines and winemakers he’s discovered. My own food and wine awakening happened while living and working in Italy, so naturally I gravitate to books that take place there or tell the stories of others who’ve chosen to live there against all odds. Robert Camuto’s newest book South of Somewhere has quickly risen to my list of favorites. In this evocation, he traces his own history back to the town of his ancestors, and the relationship that evolves from a life-defining memory of a childhood summer in this village to his exploration and understanding of it as an adult. His work captures the essence of Italy, Italian life, and Italian wine: “the chaos that gives birth to inspiration”.

From chapters on the nostalgia of that Southern Italian childhood summer to a series of portraits of winegrowers from Italy’s…

By Robert V. Camuto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Best Wine Book of 2021
A Washington Post Best Wine Book of 2021
Named one of the Best Wine Books of 2021 by Henry Jeffreys, timatkin.com

South of Somewhere begins and ends in American writer Robert Camuto's maternal ancestral town of Vico Equense, Italy-a tiny paradise south of Naples on the Sorrento Peninsula. It was here in 1968, at ten years old, that the author first tasted Italian life, spending his own summer of love surrounded by relatives at the family's seaside pizzeria and restaurant. He fell in love with a way of living and with…


Book cover of Pioneer Species

Deirdre Heekin Author Of An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

From my list on wine, love, and landscape.

Who am I?

I am a winegrower, farmer, writer, photographer, and pop-upeuse. I fell in love with food and wine while living and working in Italy, then returned stateside to create an homage to the people and place that embraced us and taught us so much. That endeavor--the restaurant osteria pane e salute opened with my chef husband Caleb Barber—was where I curated the wine program and became passionate about wines farmed artfully. I began working as a winegrower in 2007, a personal landscape experiment that led me down the rabbit hole of growing and making wine from hybrid varieties focused on regenerative viticulture and low intervention winemaking.

Deirdre's book list on wine, love, and landscape

Deirdre Heekin Why did Deirdre love this book?

Pioneer Species is a book of poems by friend and farmer-poet Ross Thurber. A small vineyard I work with in southern Vermont, my own agricultural essay and investigation on a sense of place different than my own, is part of Ross’s Lilac Ridge Farm. Like Mary Oliver, Ross is intensely bound to the natural and cultivated world of his farm in which he lives and his poems capture a language that brings forward the light, the shadow, the fog, the till, the butterfly, the flower, the cow. I am constantly inspired by his poems to be out in my own fields and to contemplate and communicate my own place in them. A delicious collection about a deeply personal and lyrical view of farm life.

By Ross Thurber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This collection of poems from Vermont farmer Ross Thurber is divided into four sections: "Green Popplewood," "Sunburnt Juniper," "Stag Horn Sumac," and "Snow Melt, Black Brook." Each section represents a seasonal form of succession that is both literal and abstract. Ultimately the poems in this manuscript have been winnowed to represent a narrative that echoes the idea that, like a lyric poem, stability is only a moment in time―one to be cherished.


Book cover of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Alan Bollard Author Of Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars

From my list on how economists agree and disagree amongst each other.

Who am I?

I am an economics professor at Victoria University of Wellington. As a previous Secretary of the New Zealand Treasury and Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, I have had quite a bit of experience watching economists’ ideas succeed and fail in the real world. I have written a number of books about policy economists and their lives in peace and wartime. (And a couple of novels too!)

Alan's book list on how economists agree and disagree amongst each other

Alan Bollard Why did Alan love this book?

This is the story of four (European and American) central bankers fighting the dramas and crises during the lead-up to the Great Depression. When crisis looms, Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman puts on a disguise and boards a cruise ship to consult with his friend Benjamin Strong in New York. If only financial crises could still be fought that way today! I liked it because I used to be a central bank governor myself!

By Liaquat Ahamed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"Erudite, entertaining macroeconomic history of the lead-up to the Great Depression as seen through the careers of the West's principal bankers . . . Spellbinding, insightful and, perhaps most important, timely." -Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"There is terrific prescience to be found in [Lords of Finance's] portrait of times past . . . [A] writer of great verve and erudition, [Ahamed] easily connects the dots between the economic crises that rocked the world during the years his book covers and the fiscal emergencies that beset us today." -The New York Times

It is commonly believed that…


Book cover of Heaven's My Destination

Sam Torode Author Of The Dirty Parts of the Bible

From my list on seriously funny novels.

Who am I?

I’m the author of The Dirty Parts of the Bible, which has been a #1 Kindle bestseller in Humorous Literary Fiction on several occasions. In school, I hated the sorts of novels we were assigned. Unable to connect with them, I read Cliff’s Notes instead. Then we were given The Catcher in the Rye. It was a revelation—literature can be relatable, engaging, and funny?! The next novel to grab me this way was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Like Catcher, it was gritty and often dark, addressing serious concerns—but it did so with humor. These books were my gateway into enjoying fiction—and, ultimately, to writing my own story in the same category of serious-yet-funny.

Sam's book list on seriously funny novels

Sam Torode Why did Sam love this book?

This is a little-known gem by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thornton Wilder (best known for his play Our Town). Published in the 1935, it’s a contemporaneous account of Depression-era America, following the misadventures of traveling salesman and religious zealot, George Brush. 

Coming off as preachy and self-righteous, George sparks ire and outrage wherever he goes. Yet, he’s a sincere and decent person. At the end of his misadventures, George is humbled and begins to broaden his views, making him a complex, sympathetic character.

Though renowned during his lifetime, Wilder has been largely forgotten in favor of flashier contemporaries. All of his works are worth rediscovering, but Heaven’s My Destination is closest to my heart as it was a major inspiration for my own book.  

By Thornton Wilder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heaven's My Destination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The law of contract is ripe for feminist analysis. Despite increasing calls for the re-conceptualisation of neo-classical ways of thinking, feminist perspectives on contract tend to be marginalised in mainstream textbooks. This edited collection questions the assumptions made in such works and the ideologies that underpin them, drawing attention to the ways in which the law of contract has facilitated the virtual exclusion of women, the feminine and the private sphere from legal discourse.

Contributors to this volume offer a range of ways of thinking about the subject and cover topics such as the feminine offeree, feminist perspectives on contracts…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Great Depression, apples, and World War 1?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Great Depression, apples, and World War 1.

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