80 books like The Yellow House

By Sarah M Broom,

Here are 80 books that The Yellow House fans have personally recommended if you like The Yellow House. 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 Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

Karl F. Seidman Author Of Coming Home to New Orleans: Neighborhood Rebuilding After Katrina

From my list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

After hurricane Katrina, I was shocked by the scale of displacement and devastation, and the failed government response. I decided to use my planning classes at MIT to assist with rebuilding efforts. Over the next ten years, my students and I worked with several dozen organizations across New Orleans and provided ongoing assistance to three neighborhoods. Through this work and my relationships with many New Orleanians, I learned so much about the city and came to appreciate how special New Orleans, its way of life and people are.   

Karl's book list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans

Karl F. Seidman Why did Karl love this book?

There is no New Orleans without the Mississippi River.  

Rising Tide tells the story of government and engineers’ flawed efforts to control this mighty river, and how they contributed to the disastrous 1927 flood that left over one million people homeless and destroyed scores of towns. 

It provides a rich picture of the enduring social and racial divides in early twentieth-century New Orleans.

Moreover, it reveals how the city’s wealthy white leaders chose to flood neighboring communities to protect the city while undermining efforts to compensate the victims—creating a precedent for injustice and corruption, and ensuring a long-standing distrust of the city’s levees and flood control system.    

By John M. Barry,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Rising Tide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Lillian Smith Award.

An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of almost one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of African Americans north, and transformed American society and politics forever.

The flood brought with it a human storm: white and black collided, honor…


Book cover of Manchild in the Promised Land

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Author Of Let's Talk Race: A Guide for White People

From my list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should.

Why we are passionate about this?

We grew up in predominantly white communities and came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. As academics, we focused on issues of race in our research and teaching. Yet, despite our reading and writing about race, we still hadn’t made a connection to our own lives and how our white privilege shielded us and made us complicit in perpetuating racial inequities. We didn’t fully see our role in white supremacy until we adopted our sons. Becoming an interracial family and parenting Black sons taught us about white privilege and the myriad ways that Blacks confront racism in education, criminal justice, health care, and simply living day-to-day. 

Marlene and Fern's book list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Why did Marlene and Fern love this book?

Although presented as a novel, this book is a memoir of Brown’s life growing up as a Black boy in Harlem in the 1940s and 50s amid poverty, violence, and addiction.

Marlene was in Paris in the summer of 1969 when a young white American man gave her a book to read. Brown’s story smacked me in the face. He lived in an America that was foreign to me—poverty, addiction, violence, incarceration. His experiences growing up on the streets of Harlem were so different from mine in suburban New Jersey.

What I remember most is my wonder at Brown’s description of “conking” his hair—straightening it with chemical relaxers that damaged his hair and burned his scalp. His description has stayed with me for all these years as a reminder of how little I knew and know about the lives of Blacks and their position in a white world.

By Claude Brown,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Manchild in the Promised Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown's childhood as a streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem of everyday life for the first generation African American raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s.


Book cover of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Author Of Let's Talk Race: A Guide for White People

From my list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should.

Why we are passionate about this?

We grew up in predominantly white communities and came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. As academics, we focused on issues of race in our research and teaching. Yet, despite our reading and writing about race, we still hadn’t made a connection to our own lives and how our white privilege shielded us and made us complicit in perpetuating racial inequities. We didn’t fully see our role in white supremacy until we adopted our sons. Becoming an interracial family and parenting Black sons taught us about white privilege and the myriad ways that Blacks confront racism in education, criminal justice, health care, and simply living day-to-day. 

Marlene and Fern's book list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Why did Marlene and Fern love this book?

Growing up, Marlene learned about the Holocaust through stories about members of her mother’s family who died in the Holocaust. As a Lutheran growing up in Minnesota, Fern learned little about the Holocaust. As whites, neither of us learned much about the Jim Crow era in the US or the northern migration of southern African Americans during that era.

Isabelle Wilkerson grew up knowing the stories of her parents’ migration north to Washington, DC. Those stories shaped her desire to chronicle the Great Migration (1915-1970), in which millions of African Americans left the Jim Crow South for better lives in northern cities. Although many achieved success that would not have been possible, they experienced the same interpersonal and institutional racism in the North that they thought they were escaping from.

Wilkerson, a journalist, gives us the sweep of history grounded by the stories of four African Americans. 

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Warmth of Other Suns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official…


Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Heather Hepler Author Of We Were Beautiful

From my list on when you’re feeling your worst.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have bad days. At times there have been a lot of bad days. I’m alone, caring for someone, working, scooping the cat box, and mopping the floors. Sometimes it can all feel a little sad and hopeless, like I am alone in the world. Stories are where I go when I’m happy. When I want adventure, mystery, or romance. But they are mostly where I go when I want to feel like I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I can see that it’s not just me. I’m not alone.

Heather's book list on when you’re feeling your worst

Heather Hepler Why did Heather love this book?

Eleanor is completely relatable to me on my worst days. She’s neurotic and judgmental and favors predictability.

Reading this made me feel a little less bad about myself when all I do is lie on the couch and read and eat cookies for dinner. It also helped me to see that sometimes all you need is one person to love you for everything to change.

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…


Book cover of Cold Sassy Tree

Jeffrey Dale Lofton Author Of Red Clay Suzie

From my list on the unique life of outsider children in the South.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a child of the South, hailing as I do from Warm Springs, Georgia, best known for Roosevelt’s Little White House. My family, indeed the entire community as far as I can tell, were in the thrall of conservative Christian values that had no room for people like me—gay (although I had no word for it for a long time) and physically misshapen (something to be hidden under layers of clothing). I was a boy and then teenager living on the fringes, always on the outside looking in, seeking approval or defiantly hiding to process the uniquely Southern dysfunction around me. I know these protagonists. They’re my people.

Jeffrey's book list on the unique life of outsider children in the South

Jeffrey Dale Lofton Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Cold Sassy Tree is unabashedly naughty and funny and innocent all at the same time. Will comes of age in the early 1900s, and along the way we’re introduced to his family and friends who see him through exploits that rival anything Mark Twain ever cooked up for Tom Sawyer. It’s cooky, crazy, and completely enchanting. This is the spot-on antidote to a crummy week. We all have ‘em, so keep this special novel handy and pick it up when you most need to smile. It will bring you happiness as it does me.

By Olive Ann Burns,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Cold Sassy Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around—fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson—a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward—the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and…


Book cover of A Prayer for Owen Meany

Mary Baader Kaley Author Of Burrowed

From my list on brilliant young disabled characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author who started writing after my child was born with a brain malformation resulting in autism, young neurodivergent/disabled characters who simultaneously possess some brilliant quality became literary gold for me. Readers are oftentimes blinded by the character’s disability. How can this inherently limited person possibly cope with whatever conflict kicks their story into gear? But because these quirkier characters tackle issues in nonconforming ways, they become leaders/heroes not by overcoming disabilities but by leaning into their true brilliance. There’s a heartfelt shift for me when this happens in a story, because those characters are more than their disability, exactly how I view my son.

Mary's book list on brilliant young disabled characters

Mary Baader Kaley Why did Mary love this book?

Owen Meany is born abnormally short-statured to parents who don’t love him, though he finds a best friend who appreciates his spunk.

Not even his best friend, though, can explain why Owen believes he is destined to become a hero, going through crazy lengths to prepare. The crazier his actions became, though, I found myself simultaneously hoping for and dreading the day he would have to use his over-practiced skills. The way this intricate story unfolds still blows my mind, following Owen and his friend John from childhood to adulthood.

I’ll never stop recommending this book.

By John Irving,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Prayer for Owen Meany as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A work of genius' Independent

'Marvellously funny . . . What better entertainment is there than a serious book which makes you laugh?' Spectator

'If you care about something you have to protect it. If you're lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.'

Summer, 1953. In the small town of Gravesend, New Hampshire, eleven-year-old John Wheelwright and his best friend Owen Meany are playing in a Little League baseball game. When Owen hits a foul ball which kills John's mother, their lives are changed in an instant.

It…


Book cover of Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Author Of Let's Talk Race: A Guide for White People

From my list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should.

Why we are passionate about this?

We grew up in predominantly white communities and came of age during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. As academics, we focused on issues of race in our research and teaching. Yet, despite our reading and writing about race, we still hadn’t made a connection to our own lives and how our white privilege shielded us and made us complicit in perpetuating racial inequities. We didn’t fully see our role in white supremacy until we adopted our sons. Becoming an interracial family and parenting Black sons taught us about white privilege and the myriad ways that Blacks confront racism in education, criminal justice, health care, and simply living day-to-day. 

Marlene and Fern's book list on the experiences of Black people in the US that white people don’t know but should

Marlene G. Fine and Fern L. Johnson Why did Marlene and Fern love this book?

Our 44th President’s first book is the one most Americans are least likely to have read. We often commented during Obama’s time in office that many who voted for him would not have had they read the book and discovered Obama’s racial activism.

Obama is the son of a white mother and an African father from Kenya. His father left the family when Obama was two years old and returned to visit only once when Obama was ten. His father died when Obama was 21. Obama’s memoir details his early life in Honolulu, where he was raised by his white grandparents, and later in Chicago, where he was a community organizer before becoming a lawyer.

The book powerfully details the racism Obama experienced as a boy and his search to understand his biracial identity by finding and connecting with his family in Kenya.

By Barack Obama,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Dreams from My Father as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ONE OF ESSENCE’S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS

In this iconic memoir of his early days, Barack Obama “guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race” (The Washington Post Book World).
 
“Quite extraordinary.”—Toni Morrison 
 
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more…


Book cover of New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape

Karl F. Seidman Author Of Coming Home to New Orleans: Neighborhood Rebuilding After Katrina

From my list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

After hurricane Katrina, I was shocked by the scale of displacement and devastation, and the failed government response. I decided to use my planning classes at MIT to assist with rebuilding efforts. Over the next ten years, my students and I worked with several dozen organizations across New Orleans and provided ongoing assistance to three neighborhoods. Through this work and my relationships with many New Orleanians, I learned so much about the city and came to appreciate how special New Orleans, its way of life and people are.   

Karl's book list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans

Karl F. Seidman Why did Karl love this book?

New Orleans is a historic, intriguing, and complicated city. 

So many forces have shaped its settlement, development, culture, and character.

Pierce Lewis helped me understand how New Orleans’s location and geography brought it into being and influenced how it has grown, along with how different immigrants and the blending of their cultures have shaped the city. 

He traces how the city’s economy has evolved in relationship to national economic trends and local political decisions on where and how to invest. The book is full of maps, photos, and images that enhance and illustrate the narrative and is written in an engaging style. 

It ends with a clear-headed perspective on the problems faced by New Orleans at the turn of the 21st century. 

By Peirce F. Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his now classic work of historical geography, published in 1976, Lewis traces the rise and expansion of New Orleans through four major historic periods. This revised and greatly expanded second edition brings that story up-to-date, illustrating how the city continues to overcome its site on the Mississippi Delta - ""a fearsome place, difficult enough for building houses, lunacy for wharves and skyscrapers.


Book cover of The House of Dance and Feathers: A Museum by Ronald W. Lewis

Karl F. Seidman Author Of Coming Home to New Orleans: Neighborhood Rebuilding After Katrina

From my list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

After hurricane Katrina, I was shocked by the scale of displacement and devastation, and the failed government response. I decided to use my planning classes at MIT to assist with rebuilding efforts. Over the next ten years, my students and I worked with several dozen organizations across New Orleans and provided ongoing assistance to three neighborhoods. Through this work and my relationships with many New Orleanians, I learned so much about the city and came to appreciate how special New Orleans, its way of life and people are.   

Karl's book list on understanding and appreciating New Orleans

Karl F. Seidman Why did Karl love this book?

Unique cultural and social traditions are a big part of what makes New Orleans a special place. 

This book helped me gain a much deeper appreciation of how these traditions build and sustain communities, serve as artistic and political expression and draw on New Orleans’ African and Caribbean connections. 

The House of Dance and Feathers is a rare and beautiful book that presents the Mardi Gras Indians, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Second Line parades (and a lot more) from a practitioners’ perspective as told by Ronald W. Lewis, founder of the museum of the book’s title. 

The scores of photos by Lewis and others provide rich documentation of the arts, crafts, practices, and communities that constitute these traditions.   

By Rachel Breunlin, Ronald W. Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Ronald W. Lewis has assembled a museum to the various worlds he inhabits. Built in 2003, the House of Dance & Feathers represents many New Orleans societies: Mardi Gras Indians, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Bone Gangs, and Parade Krewes. More than just a catalogue of the artifacts in the museum, this full-color book is a detailed map of these worlds as experienced by Ronald W. Lewis.


Book cover of The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square

Peter B. Dedek Author Of The Cemeteries of New Orleans: A Cultural History

From my list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being from Upstate New York I went to college at Cornell University but headed off to New Orleans as soon as I could. By and by I became an instructor at Delgado Community College. Always a big fan of the city’s amazing historic cemeteries, when teaching a world architectural history class, I took the class to the Metairie Cemetery where I could show the students real examples of every style from Ancient Egyptian to Modern American. After coming to Texas State University, San Marcos (30 miles from Austin), I went back to New Orleans on sabbatical in 2013 and wrote The Cemeteries of New Orleans. 

Peter's book list on the history of life, death, and magic in New Orleans

Peter B. Dedek Why did Peter love this book?

I discovered and used The World That Made New Orleans as a source for my book.

Upon opening the book, I was gleefully surprised to discover what an informative, interesting, and fun read it is. Sublette describes the French origins of the city in the early 1700s which involved wild parties, debauchery, tragic exploratory expeditions, and a massive Ponzi scheme that used Louisiana and the fictional gold mines there to defraud most every rich person in France, eventually crashing the entire French economy.

He then took me on a thrilling journey through the Spanish and early American periods to quadroon balls, Congo Square, and so many other fascinating places. I knew the city’s history was interesting, but reading The World That Made New Orleans blew me away. 

By Ned Sublette,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The World That Made New Orleans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of the Top 10 Books of 2008 by The Times-Picayune.  Winner of the 2009 Humanities Book of the Year award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Awarded the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for 2008. 

New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires--France, Spain, and England--and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

 

The World That Made New…


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