87 books like The Sportswriter

By Richard Ford,

Here are 87 books that The Sportswriter fans have personally recommended if you like The Sportswriter. 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 Moonglow

Sid Garza-Hillman Author Of Six Truths: Live by These Truths and Be Happy. Don't, and You Won't.

From my list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books.

Why am I passionate about this?

This list is specifically “secret” philosophy books. There were plenty of novels (Victor Hugo, Milan Kundera, Robert Pirsig) that I love, but they don’t hide the fact that they’re significantly philosophy books. My degree is in philosophy (BA, UCLA), with a special interest in ethics, ethical questions. I still really love the marriage of fiction and philosophy especially when it’s done subtly and beautifully. I am the author of three books: Approaching the Natural, Raising Healthy Parents. and Six Truths. I hold a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, am a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of Small Steppers

Sid's book list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books

Sid Garza-Hillman Why did Sid love this book?

This is a memoir of sorts, but a fiction book nevertheless. Again, the philosophy of life is shown through the dying grandfather. The book highlights the sometimes blurry lines between right and wrong, but also standing up for what is right, questions of personal sacrifice for the common good, and more.

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A Telegraph Book of the Year * A New York Times Notable Book of the Year * A Washington Post Book of the Year * A Wall Street Journal Book of the Year * A Slate Book of the Year

'Probably Chabon's greatest, a piece of sustained writing that will be hard to see outdone in 2017' The Times

'Entirely sure footed, propulsive, the work of a master at his very best. The brilliance of Moonglow stands as a strident defence of the form itself, a bravura demonstration of the endless mutability and versatility…


Book cover of The Darling

Sid Garza-Hillman Author Of Six Truths: Live by These Truths and Be Happy. Don't, and You Won't.

From my list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books.

Why am I passionate about this?

This list is specifically “secret” philosophy books. There were plenty of novels (Victor Hugo, Milan Kundera, Robert Pirsig) that I love, but they don’t hide the fact that they’re significantly philosophy books. My degree is in philosophy (BA, UCLA), with a special interest in ethics, ethical questions. I still really love the marriage of fiction and philosophy especially when it’s done subtly and beautifully. I am the author of three books: Approaching the Natural, Raising Healthy Parents. and Six Truths. I hold a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, am a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of Small Steppers

Sid's book list on fiction books that are secretly philosophy books

Sid Garza-Hillman Why did Sid love this book?

At times a difficult (but great) read, The Darling tackles some big ethical and political subjects. Banks addresses the power of speech (and silence), the separation of emotions from choice, and the sometimes necessity of compartmentalizing traumatic experiences in order to survive. I found the protagonist’s voice compellingly detached with just the right amount of compassion and engagement (similar, in fact to Frank’s voice in The Sportswriter).

(Side note, Banks’ Rule of the Bone almost made this list as well…)

By Russell Banks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hannah Musgrave has always been on the run: from her adoring parents, her many lovers, even from herself. As a young woman, she dropped out of her privileged Boston world to work for the terrorist group the Weathermen. Her activities put Hannah on the FBI's most wanted list forcing her to flee to Liberia in West Africa. There she marries an ambitious, young politician and settles down to being a wife and mother. Liberia, in the meantime, is a country waiting to explode. A century of American exploitation has created a corrupt elite and a fragile military state where the…


Book cover of Skinny Legs and All

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

What a world-rocking, mind-blowing journey reading Skinny Legs and All was! I read it in my twenties, and it truly was life-changing. It is imaginative and thought-provoking. It expanded my perspective on life and what might be happening right in front of my eyes that I’m missing with my limited imagination.

It’s wickedly funny and irreverent and yet addresses difficult issues that are relevant today, such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The storytelling is so unique, I’ve never read another book like it. It’s a book that leaves me envying someone else’s first read of it.

It also served as a source of inspiration for me as an author many years later. There was a scene in the movie Finding Forrester, where a young writer (Rob Brown) is facing writer’s block. His instructor (Sean Connery) suggests he start typing the content of a book he loves word for…

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Arab and a Jew open a restaurant together across the street from the United Nations....

It sounds like the beginning of an ethnic joke, but it's the axis around which this gutsy, fun-loving, and alarmingly provocative novel spins, in which a bean can philosophizes, a dessert spoon mystifies, a young waitress takes on the New York art world, and a rowdy redneck welder discovers the lost god of Palestine-while the illusions that obscure humanity's view of the true universe fall away, one by one, like Salome's veils.

Skinny Legs and All deals with today's most sensitive issues: race, politics,…


Book cover of All the Pretty Horses

Mark Warren Author Of Indigo Heaven

From my list on Westerns that don’t thrive off of gunfights.

Why am I passionate about this?

Because I grew up in the 1950s and ’60s, my supply of heroes was liberally doled out by the 130+ Western series that dominated nighttime television in those decades. My parents allowed me one program per week. It was a Western. I was soon interested in history, to know what really did happen in the American West, and so I came to understand the great discrepancies between fact and TV. The truth, for me, is so much more interesting than the myth. As a Western historian, I've done my share of historical research, but I still gravitate toward fiction as a writer. I love the freedom to engage my characters’ thoughts and emotions.

Mark's book list on Westerns that don’t thrive off of gunfights

Mark Warren Why did Mark love this book?

The dialogue and immersion into Southwestern culture is so immediate and authentic, one might as well have signed up for a secret journey into the heart of the borderlands.

Every paragraph reads like a masterpiece of literature, and taken together they comprise the kind of story that the reader wants never to end. McCarthy has the rare ability to entertain and edify at the same time. 

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked All the Pretty Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Grady Cole is the last bewildered survivor of long generations of Texas ranchers. Finding himself cut off from the only life he has ever wanted, he sets out for Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. Befriending a third boy on the way, they find a country beyond their imagining: barren and beautiful, rugged yet cruelly civilized; a place where dreams are paid for in blood.

The first volume in McCarthy's legendary Border Trilogy, All The Pretty Horses is an acknowledged masterpiece and a grand love story: a novel about the passing of childhood, of innocence and a vanished American…


Book cover of Lolita

Tim O'Leary Author Of Men Behaving Badly

From my list on characters you love to hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Tim O’Leary and two of my books, Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face–And Other Tales of Men in Pain and Men Behaving Badly, emanate from the minds of protagonists trying to do the right thing the wrong way or evil characters doing the wrong thing they believe to be right. I’m particularly drawn to those wonderful literary psychopaths that draw you in with compelling personalities, while reviling the reader with their heinous actions. 

Tim's book list on characters you love to hate

Tim O'Leary Why did Tim love this book?

This is one of the most famous books in literature that everyone should read.

Lolita is the rare literary character that transcends time and has even evolved to become an adjective, and the protagonist is the perfect example of “the character you love to hate.” This is a book that has been both banned and revered. 

By Vladimir Nabokov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of my tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.'

Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, frustrated college professor. In love with his landlady's twelve-year-old daughter Lolita, he'll do anything to possess her. Unable and unwilling to stop himself, he is prepared to commit any crime to get what he wants.

Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all…


Book cover of Saturday

Frank Shapiro Author Of The Conspiracy against Mary Magdalene

From my list on gripping fiction for history enthusiasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

History is my passion. I’m a graduate of medieval history from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and post-graduate of London University. Former high school history teacher, and previously held the post of assistant researcher at the Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv. I was commissioned by the Council of Zambian Jewry to research and write the history of Northern Rhodesian/Zambian Jewry. I have lectured frequently on my subjects and have contributed diverse historical articles in newspapers and journals. I have published six books, fiction, and non-fiction.  

Frank's book list on gripping fiction for history enthusiasts

Frank Shapiro Why did Frank love this book?

McEwan has always numbered among my favorite fiction writers, not only because he knows how to spin a tale, but I enjoy his immaculate prose. I was amazed by the way McEwan creates an exciting and brilliant story all in a one-day narrative. Unusual happenings occur in a famous neurosurgeon’s free Saturday following an exhausting week of intricate surgery. His mundane routine explodes into an unusual, complex situation when a minor car accident leads to a scene of violence and confrontation with a gang of youths. I was so drawn in to this story that I found myself almost being there and sweating in a state of anxiety. 

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The stunning new novel from the Booker Prize winning novelist.

Saturday, February 15, 2003 - Henry Perowne wakes before dawn to find himself already in motion, drawn to the window of his bedroom. He is a contented man - a successful neurosurgeon, the devoted husband of Rosalind, and proud father of two grown-up children. What troubles Perowne as he stands at his window is the state of the world - the impending war against Iraq, and a general darkening and gathering pessimism since the attacks on New York and Washington eighteen months before.

Later during this particular Saturday morning, Perowne…


Book cover of Solar

JoeAnn Hart Author Of Float: A Novel

From my list on climate chnange that you experience through story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Float started out as a comedy of manners set in a coastal Maine town, but the more I learned about fishing and the oceans, the more the characters began to struggle with questions about their responsibility to the natural world. By the time I was finished, Float had morphed into a dark comedy about plastic in the ocean, which is not just unsightly and a killer of sea animals, it is made from fossil fuels. I have stayed active in the fight against plastics ever since, and have participated in a number of programs on the intersection of the arts and climate science.

JoeAnn's book list on climate chnange that you experience through story

JoeAnn Hart Why did JoeAnn love this book?

I like a good satire and I love Ian McEwan. Set in academia, Professor Beard, with his Nobel prize in physics clutched to his chest, is offended by the idea that art might be as good a tool for curing a sick planet as his analytical facts. For all his scientific knowledge, he fails to understand that art has power. His younger colleague tries his best, explaining how images created by art bypass the modern cerebral cortex and go straight to our ancient limbic brain which controls memory and emotion, the part of the brain where we process value judgments, judgments that exert a strong influence on our behavior. This book makes the case for climate change as an important subject in literature, art, and music, because we need to touch hearts before we can create change. And it’s pretty funny on top of it.

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time it is different: she is having the affair, and he is still in love with her.

When Beard's professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world…


Book cover of A House for Mr. Biswas

Joy Sheridan Author Of No Gentle Bondage: A Tale of Historic Jamaica

From my list on Caribbean history on piracy and the slave trade.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a lifelong passion for all things maritime. In the early 1980s, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean as a crew companion to the late famous Captain Ted Falcon Barker, author of The Devil’s Gold. The expedition made landfall in the Bahamas, so this area became a focus of fascination. I also have a very strong historical sense, reflected in my poetry and two of my other works of fiction, the novels Charity Amour and No Gentle Bondage

Joy's book list on Caribbean history on piracy and the slave trade

Joy Sheridan Why did Joy love this book?

Shiva Naipaul is a truly major Caribbean writer. He captures the volatile essence of that extremely unstable society. One added bonus is his inter-racial perspective, to which his Indian origins contributes decisively. This work ‘views a colonial world sharply with postcolonial perspectives.’ Any reader of West Indies fiction should combine a sense of history with some grasp of contemporary conditions. Although the novel was written in the 1960s, it still has a sense of contemporary relevance. Obviously, readers must keep their eyes open for younger writers in this mode. Naipaul’s works have rightly been integrated into the Educational System.      

By V.S. Naipaul,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A House for Mr. Biswas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Heart-rending and darkly comic, V. S. Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels, a classic that evokes a man's quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition features an introduction by writer Teju Cole.

Mr Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that…


Book cover of The Sense of an Ending

David Clensy Author Of Prayer in Time of War

From my list on memories and poignant reflections on the passing of time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Wiltshire-based writer with a passion for historical and literary fiction and a fascination for the role of “memory” in the autumn of our lives. My own novel was inspired by conversations with my late grandfather in his final years. But as a journalist for more than 20 years, I had many rich opportunities to talk to the elderly members of our communities–most memorably, taking a pair of D-Day veterans back to the beaches of Normandy. In many ways, memories are the only things we can take with us throughout our lives, carrying both the burden of regrets and the consolation of those we have loved.

David's book list on memories and poignant reflections on the passing of time

David Clensy Why did David love this book?

I was captivated by Julian Barnes’ treatment of memory and time in this novel, which tells the story of Tony Webster and his group of school friends, whose relationships fracture and strain as life and death leave their marks on their lives. In his retirement, Webster's own memories of his youth prove unreliable.

I felt it was a well-paced and exquisitely written short novel, which makes impressive use of subtle imagery (the sight of the Severn bore is a good example–a nod to how the world can sometimes surprise us). He uses these subtly constructed visual reference points to illustrate this greater message on the relationship between time and memory.

As a piece of writing, I found it quite simply extraordinary.

By Julian Barnes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.

Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is…


Book cover of Mickelsson's Ghosts

Brad Barkley Author Of Another Perfect Catastrophe and Other Stories

From my list on for a melancholy day.

Why am I passionate about this?

Behind every cloud, a silver lining, right? You have to take the good days with the bad. But those clichés miss that life is funny, sad, hilarious, mournful, at the same time. We understand that the happiest of days have a tinge of sadness about them. Conversely, real sadness or missing someone possesses a strange beauty. But sometimes we forget that when it comes to our books. We want our novels to be “a comedy,” or “a romance,” a “laugh riot,” or “tear-jerker,” even though Life doesn’t put itself into those separate boxes. Funny, sad, romantic–all have informed my own writing, and all are present in this list of books as well.

Brad's book list on for a melancholy day

Brad Barkley Why did Brad love this book?

Mickelson’s Ghosts was the final book of famous novelist and equally famous writing teacher John Gardner, published a few months before his death in a motorcycle accident at the too-young age of 49. It tells the story of Peter Mickelson, a once-famous philosopher nearing the end of his career, and finding himself buying a run-down house he can't afford with his ex-wife and the I.R.S. breathing down his neck. Soon the rationalist philosopher finds himself living in a world of bad decisions, sex, hauntings and ghosts, and religious cults—a world where rationalism can’t save him from his own creeping madness and mortality. 

By John Gardner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hoping to pull his life back together, a distraught philosophy professor rents an old Pennsylvania farm house and is haunted by ghosts reiterating an old murder


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