100 books like The Status Seekers

By Vance Packard,

Here are 100 books that The Status Seekers fans have personally recommended if you like The Status Seekers. 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 Status Anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

It’s hilarious and cringey at the same time to read this honest look at status anxiety. It’s hilarious to watch others seek status. As for yourself, you hopefully relieve your cringing because you see how status has obsessed people throughout history. 

The author says we seek the love of the world as well as the love of a partner. The quest can ruin an otherwise good life, so he offers solutions. I love his explanation of the original “Bohemians.” They were the hipsters of the 19th century! They created those impressionist paintings we love because they were aching for status.

The author is a famous British philosopher who inherited a fortune. He sees that money does not relieve status anxiety. But he misses the real reason: because we’ve inherited the brain of status-seeking animals (as explained in all of my books). 

By Alain De Botton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

From one of our greatest voices in modern philosophy, author of The Course of Love, The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life - Alain de Botton sets out to understand our universal fear of failure - and how we might change it

'De Botton's gift is to prompt us to think about how we live and how we might change things' The Times

We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer - to a greater or lesser…


Book cover of Snobbery: The American Version

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

He sums it up in one brilliant sentence: 

“Envy is the only one of the 7 deadly sins that isn’t fun.”

The author is a great observer of the snobbery that surrounds you in daily life, from fashion snobs to intellectual snobs. He’s a “snobographer,” according to one reviewer.

This book invites you to laugh at the snobs, not to change your thinking. Pointing fingers feels good in the short run, but my books show that it hurts you in the long run. We all have the one-upping impulse because we’re all mammals. If you hate people who do this, you end up hating yourself. You may insist that you don’t care about status, but moral superiority is just more one-upping.

So enjoy with caution.

By Joseph Epstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Observations on the many ways we manage to look down on others, from “a writer who can make you laugh out loud on every third page” (The New York Times Book Review).

Snobs are everywhere. At the gym, at work, at school, and sometimes even lurking in your own home. But how did we, as a culture, get this way? With dishy detail, Joseph Epstein skewers all manner of elitism as he examines how snobbery works, where it thrives, and the pitfalls and perils in thinking you’re better than anyone else.
 
Offering arch observations on the new footholds of snobbery,…


Book cover of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

Bourgeois Bohemians sneer at expensive cars, but they spend much more renovating their bathrooms. They are eager to make a statement against consumerism, but they are also eager to let you know how successful they are. I grew up around this thinking, so I love to hear the forbidden thoughts expressed publicly.

Brooks explains the inner conflict of bobos. They feel guilty about their success, so they call attention to their solidarity with the common man. They want to keep achieving, but don’t want to appear that way.

Brooks misses the deeper engine of this inner conflict: all mammals seek status in their herd or pack or troop because it promotes “reproductive success.” Natural selection built a brain that rewards you with serotonin when you raise your status.

By David Brooks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore grey, and went to church. The bohemians were the artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the radical 1960's; bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980's. Now the 'bo's' are all mixed up and it is impossible to tell an expresso sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. In attitudes toward sex, morality, leisure time and work, it is hard to separate the renegade from the company man. The new establishment has combined the countercultural…


Book cover of Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

A thick science book on envy is just what we need to help us release this feeling. The author looks at “Man the Envier” in an anthropological way. He shows how diverse cultures have struggled to manage this natural impulse, even using “black magic.” That may sound crazy, but my Italian ancestors did this. They believed that suffering is caused by malocchiothe evil eye from a person who envies you.

I like this book because it shows how humans create envy inside themselves. You may not want to see inside yourself. It’s easier to dream that the perfect society that will relieve your envy. But you make yourself powerless when you do that because you can’t control society. You are better off building your power over your emotions, as my books explain.

By Helmut Schoeck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This classic study is one of the few books to explore extensively the many facets of envy—“a drive which lies at the core of man’s life as a social being.” Ranging widely over literature, philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, Professor Schoeck— a distinguished sociologist and anthropologist—elucidates both the constructive and destructive consequences of envy in social life. Perhaps most important, he demonstrates that not only the impetus toward a totalitarian regime but also the egalitarian impulse in democratic societies are alike in being rooted in envy.


Book cover of My Big Welcome

Brigita Orel Author Of The Pirate Tree

From my list on new beginnings.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first started writing in English, which is my second language, I was reluctant to share my work with others. I was terrified they would find it lacking. It takes a lot of effort and research to write authentically for a foreign audience. I studied creative writing at different universities around the world to gain knowledge and experience. I published short stories and poems in online and print journals. Bit by bit, I gathered the courage to submit my first picture book manuscript.

Brigita's book list on new beginnings

Brigita Orel Why did Brigita love this book?

My Big Welcome illustrates how kindness can help children overcome anxiety when they’re starting at a new school, moving, meeting new people. The story introduces a number of classroom situations that a newcomer might face. Emilia, the new girl, is welcomed with warmth and kindness. And the bright illustrations give off such a positive vibe.

By Onaolapo Dagunduro, Saoirse Lou (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Emilia’s world has just turned upside down.

Moving to the big city feels even worse.

When she must go to a new school, Emilia becomes afraid.

Will her new class be everything she fears?

Or will she get a big surprise?

This heartwarming story reveals the anxiety children feel when faced with new situations and shows children that new experiences bring many possibilities.

My Big Welcome is the perfect book for every child moving to a new school, starting a new class, or dealing with change.

Inspired by actual events, My Big Welcome shows that life can offer much more…


Book cover of Kind of Sort of Fine

Halli Gomez Author Of List of Ten

From my list on for young adults that will make you laugh and cry.

Why am I passionate about this?

The topic of mental health, which is prominent in all the books I’ve recommended, including my own, is one I am passionate about. As a neurodivergent person, I know first-hand how difficult the teen years can be. Not only are you dealing with the issues like friends, family, and school, but you are working with other factors that can make learning and socializing especially difficult. When I was a teen, I did not have books like these to guide me and let me know I was not alone in my feelings and struggles. It is my deepest wish that all kids have books, tools, and guides to help them.

Halli's book list on for young adults that will make you laugh and cry

Halli Gomez Why did Halli love this book?

There may be other young adult books written about high school seniors who have no idea what they want to do when they grow up, but there aren’t many. That is one aspect I love about this book. There are many high schoolers, and adults, who have no idea what career they want. It’s important for them to know that is normal, especially in this high-pressure world. One of the two main characters, Lewis Holbrook, is that kid. He’s also a great friend, hiding a crush, and learning to be adventurous. I love books that show it’s okay to not have your life planned. I fear for the kids who are under so much pressure, and any book to help them gets a recommendation from me.

By Spencer Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kind of Sort of Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

Senior year changes everything for two teens in this poignant, funny coming-of-age story that looks at what happens when the image everyone has of us no longer matches who we really are.

Senior year of high school is full of changes.

For Hayley Mills, these changes aren’t exactly welcome. All she wants is for everyone to forget about her very public breakdown and remember her as the overachiever she once was—and who she’s determined to be again. But it’s difficult to be seen as a go-getter when she’s forced into TV Production class with all the slackers like Lewis Holbrook.…


Book cover of One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays

Tajja Isen Author Of Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service

From my list on that find the funny in an unjust world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and editor, I spend a lot of time thinking about what prose—especially first-person nonfiction, which is mostly what I edit—does, and how it sets out to accomplish its project. Across forms, I tend to think humor is largely underused! No matter how serious the subject, there’s always a place for it to sharpen the critique. My book engages with topics like systemic discrimination and inequity, but throughout, I always stay attuned to the comic absurdity of my subject—both as a way to give more pleasure to the reader, and as a way to cut to the heart of what I want to express.

Tajja's book list on that find the funny in an unjust world

Tajja Isen Why did Tajja love this book?

Whether in her book or her writing for BuzzFeed, Koul’s voice and humor are always instantly recognizable. Their distinctive tone is right there in the title. In her debut collection, Koul explores growing up as a South Asian woman in Canada, braiding her personal narrative with deft cultural critique. Essay collections rarely have such a strong sense of characters as this one does—Koul’s parents, especially, are deeply felt and sharply rendered figures who appear across the essays as sources of humor, pathos, and exasperation.

By Scaachi Koul,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of NPR's Best Books of the Year

A DEBUT COLLECTION OF FIERCE, FUNNY ESSAYS ABOUT GROWING UP THE DAUGHTER OF INDIAN IMMIGRANTS IN WESTERN CULTURE, ADDRESSING SEXISM, STEREOTYPES, AND THE UNIVERSAL MISERIES OF LIFE

In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul deploys her razor-sharp humor to share all the fears, outrages, and mortifying moments of her life. She learned from an early age what made her miserable, and for Scaachi anything can be cause for despair. Whether it’s a shopping trip gone awry; enduring awkward conversations with her bikini waxer; overcoming…


Book cover of What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders: Key Concepts, Insights, and Interventions

Joshua Fletcher Author Of Untangle Your Anxiety: A Guide To Overcoming An Anxiety Disorder By Two People Who Have Been Through It

From my list on managing and overcoming anxiety disorders.

Why am I passionate about this?

A self-confessed anxiety disorder nerd, I have a deeper level of understanding beyond the textbooks and training. I grew up in Manchester, UK, and was once diagnosed with crippling anxiety; suffering from panic attacks, agoraphobia, health anxiety, and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), as well as intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, and all the other fun stuff that comes with a nasty anxiety condition. I’m now a qualified psychotherapist and it is my mission to help as many people as I can recover from anxiety disorder and live happy, healthy lives.

Joshua's book list on managing and overcoming anxiety disorders

Joshua Fletcher Why did Joshua love this book?

What is so great about this book is you certainly do not need to be a therapist to read it and gain an incredible amount of understanding about what it means to live with and overcome an anxiety disorder. It is precisely because it was written for therapists in mind that I would encourage anyone suffering from anxiety disorders to read it. Why? Because it approaches it from the perspective of someone who is there to offer guidance and support rather than the one living with anxiety themselves. Sometimes, it’s this third part perspective that can really help distance ourselves from the disorder in order to help ourselves overcome it. It’s a must-read.

By Sally M. Winston, Martin N. Seif,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders is an integrated and practical approach to treating anxiety disorders for general psychotherapists. What is new and exciting is its focus on changing a patient's relationship to anxiety in order to enable enduring recovery rather than merely offering a menu of techniques for controlling symptoms. Neither a CBT manual nor an academic text nor a self-help book, What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders offers page after page of key insights into ways to help patients suffering from phobias, panic attacks, unwanted intrusive thoughts, compulsions and worries. The authors…


Book cover of The Anxiety Sisters' Survival Guide: How You Can Become More Hopeful, Connected, and Happy

Meredith Arthur Author Of Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World

From my list on helping you manage stress, anxiety, and overthinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first started building this site, and the Beautiful Voyager community, I had just turned 40 years old. I’d been fighting migraines all of my life and had tried every medication and natural approach possible. I'd given up hope for improvement when my neurologist surprised me by saying: You have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I searched but found nothing online that spoke to my physical experience of stress, overthinking, and anxiety. I decided that had to change, and that was when Beautiful Voyager was born. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for, or even just feel less alone on the journey. The first Beautiful Voyager book, Get Out of My Head, was released in May 2020.

Meredith's book list on helping you manage stress, anxiety, and overthinking

Meredith Arthur Why did Meredith love this book?

Could there have been a more natural and intuitive connection than mine with the Anxiety Sisters? I don't think so. Abbe Greenberg and Maggie Sarachek have built an online community of 200K people and host a popular podcast called The Spin Cycle. In their work, they blend their personal experience with their professional training as counselors, mental health advocates, researchers, and educators. Their book, The Anxiety Sisters’ Survival Guide: How You Can Become More Hopeful, Connected, and Happy is terrific. The down-to-earth, actionable advice that Abbe and Maggie share is dead on. Great work, sisters!

By Abbe Greenberg, Maggie Sarachek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Anxiety Sisters' Survival Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* Does merely saying the word 'anxiety' make you anxious? [sorry]
* Is your head stuck in a constant spin cycle?
* Do you feel like your anxiety runs the show? [sorry, again]

Got anxiety? Join the club. More specifically, join the Anxiety Sisterhood. Abs and Mags, aka the Anxiety Sisters, have spent the past thirty years figuring out how to outsmart their anxiety-ridden brains, and the last five years sharing what they've learned with a growing online community of like-minded sufferers who are looking for ways to cope better every day.

Whether you're looking to better understand and manage…


Book cover of Hey Awesome: A Book for Kids about Anxiety, Courage, and Being Already Awesome

Jessica Sinarski Author Of What's Inside Your Backpack?

From my list on children’s books for mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

My super-power is making brain science accessible and entertaining for children and adults alike. I am living this out as an author, mental health counselor, and the founder of BraveBrains. In addition to training parents and professionals, I have the joy of sharing my passion and expertise through podcast appearances, blogs, and articles. The lightbulb moments are my favorite, and I'm committed to helping people bring what they learn home in practical ways. I write picture books because the magic of reading and re-reading stories light up the brain in a powerful way. But don’t worry…I always include some goodies for the adults in the back of the book.

Jessica's book list on children’s books for mental health

Jessica Sinarski Why did Jessica love this book?

In my work in the world of mental health and trauma, anxiety is a common complaint. I love the positive (and scientifically accurate) portrayal of the function of anxiety in this whimsically illustrated book. “Sometimes your brain works so hard to protect you, it hits the panic button by mistake.” With this strengths-based framework woven into every page, Hey Awesome teaches kids how to be the boss of their brilliant and brave brains. A must-read for all children, and a lifeline for those who struggle with anxiety. And remember, “anxiety and courage always happen together.”

5 book lists we think you will like!

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