10 books like U and I

By Nicholson Baker,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like U and I. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Out of Sheer Rage

By Geoff Dyer,

Book cover of Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence

First, because it’s incredibly funny. Geoff Dyer set out—he says—to write a sober, serious study of D. H. Lawrence, but life, travel arrangements, random people and his own inertia kept getting in the way. The story of his odyssey doesn’t just evoke all the things about writing that we’ve always suspected (that it’s hard; that it’s easy; that we often wonder why on earth we do it; that we never question that we want to do it). It also, by stealth, evokes and explains an amazing amount about Lawrence, and why he’s a writer that so many people love—or hate—so passionately. 

Out of Sheer Rage

By Geoff Dyer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Out of Sheer Rage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recounts the author's experiences visiting the places D.H. Lawrence lived while actively not working on a book about Lawrence and not writing his own novel.


My Life in Middlemarch

By Rebecca Mead,

Book cover of My Life in Middlemarch: A Memoir

What do the writers you are drawn to reveal about you? Why at certain points in our lives do we become “attached” to certain authors? The process of attachment is mysterious. As we age (and change) some things remain constant. Our attachment to a particular author may have begun in our youth, but evolved as we have. To reconnect with a favorite author can put us in touch with our younger self in unexpected ways. Mead shows how much Middlemarch has “spoken” to her throughout her life. This book is perhaps more in harmony with my own than any on the list. I have come to love books that underscore how what we read can be inseparable from the person we become.

My Life in Middlemarch

By Rebecca Mead,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Life in Middlemarch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth--Middlemarch--and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories.

Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot's Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described…


The Possessed

By Elif Batuman,

Book cover of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

This is a compilation of essays about Batuman’s experience of studying Russian literature at Stanford. Wondering about “possible methods for bringing one’s life closer to one’s favorite books,” Batuman traces the literal and figurative path of writers such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Babel, finding answers in their life and work while at the same time exploring their influence upon a motley group of Slavic scholars and readers.

The Possessed

By Elif Batuman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The true story of one woman's intellectual and sentimental education and her strange encounters with others devoted - absurdly, melancholically, ecstatically - to the Russian classics

Roaming from Tashkent to San Francisco, this is the true story of one budding writer's strange encounters with the fanatics who are devoted - absurdly! melancholically! ecstatically! - to the Russian classics. Combining fresh readings of the great Russians from Gogol to Goncharov with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence, The Possessed introduces a brilliant and distinctive new voice: comic, humane, charming, poignant and completely, and unpretentiously, full…


Austen Years

By Rachel Cohen,

Book cover of Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels

“About seven years ago,” Rachel Cohen writes at the beginning of Austen Years, “not too long before our daughter was born, and a year before my father died, Jane Austen became my only author.” Weaving together memoir, biography, history, and literary criticism, Cohen draws upon five of Austen’s novels to make sense of her own life and work as she raises young children, moves across the country, and grapples with her father’s death. The result is a brilliant and beautiful reflection upon family and loss, isolation and transcendence, and reading and rereading.

Austen Years

By Rachel Cohen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of The Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2020

"A thoroughly authentic, smart and consoling account of one writer’s commitment to another." --The New York Times Book Review (editors' choice)

"An absolutely fascinating book: I will never read Austen the same way again." ―Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

An astonishingly nuanced reading of Jane Austen that yields a rare understanding of how to live

"About seven years ago, not too long before our daughter was born, and a year before my father died, Jane Austen became my only author."

In the turbulent period around the birth…


Reversed Thunder

By Eugene H. Peterson,

Book cover of Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination

As a long-time fan of Eugene Peterson, I intentionally sought out his book. I was attracted by the title, the praying imagination. I came hungry to Revelation for more understanding and he masterfully sets the table with a feast of Jesus’ last words each one to be continually savored and enjoyed. It’s as if I am ushered into the heart of Revelation to linger and pray and sing and reflect on the wonder and grace of the crucified and risen Lamb. And among all these riches, I found additional confirmation for my own dramatic interpretation of Revelation! 

Reversed Thunder

By Eugene H. Peterson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Peterson's eloquent meditation on the Revelation of St. John engages the imagination and awakens the intellect to the vitality and relevance of the last words on scripture, Christ, church, worship, evil, prayer, witness, politics, judgement, salvation, and heaven.


Confessions about Colton

By Olivia Harvard,

Book cover of Confessions about Colton

In this book, Elliot is a boy whose best friend, Colton, was just murdered. Devastated by the discovery of Colton’s body, Elliot is even more concerned to find a note in his locker—from somebody claiming to be Colton’s killer.

This riveting mystery follows Elliot as he desperately finds the clues left by Colton’s alleged killer. But as he does so, he starts to think that maybe he didn’t know his best friend as well as he thought he did. Either way, Elliot is determined to find the truth.

Confessions about Colton

By Olivia Harvard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SEVEN CLUES MEANS SEVEN STEPS CLOSER TO CATCHING A KILLER.

The most page turning thriller you'll read this year, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying.

'I'll leave you with the first confession: I killed Colton Crest.'

When high school sports captain and honour student Colton Crest disappears, his small town is quick to jump to conclusions. But when he returns two months later, unharmed, the town breathes a sigh of relief - until days later, when his best friend, Elliot Parker, discovers Colton's body in a local lake.

At the funeral, Elliot finds a note in his…


Love and Living

By Thomas Merton,

Book cover of Love and Living

This was one of the last pieces Merton wrote before his life was cut short in 1967 and I believe that he outlined both the problems with education in the modern world as well as a possible solution in an accessible way. I often go back to the first chapter in this work as a foundation for my own understanding of teaching and learning. It is truly inspiring!

Love and Living

By Thomas Merton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A posthumously published collection of Merton’s essays and meditations centering on the need for love in learning to live. “Love is the revelation of our deepest personal meaning, value, and identity.” Edited by Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart.


False Witness

By Patricia Lambert,

Book cover of False Witness: The Real Story of Jim Garrison's Investigation and Oliver Stone's Film JFK

Director Oliver Stone based his 1991 movie JFK on the failed late 1960s JFK assassination probe of New Orleans district attorney, Jim Garrison. In this investigative book, Lambert methodically deconstructs Garrison’s investigation and exposes it as a total fraud. Her prodigious original research both archives and interviews is woven into a faced-paced book that is utterly convincing.

False Witness

By Patricia Lambert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is, for the first time in its entirety, the story of the arrest and trial of Clay Shaw, charged with conspiracy in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


Eliza Hamilton

By Tilar J. Mazzeo,

Book cover of Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton

This book is compelling because Mazzeo is such a skillful writer of creative nonfiction (I also loved her Great Courses lectures on that subject)—and because the focus on Eliza Hamilton shifts what we thought we knew about her vaunted husband. Mazzeo is terrific at keeping Eliza at the center of her own story. And Mazzeo is not afraid to offer informed speculation when the documentary record, as it often does for underrepresented voices from this period, falters. As a professional historian, I learned a lot about centering women's experiences in stories that men keep threatening to take over—and about what kinds of speculation I am and am not comfortable with. I also found her approach to the Reynolds Affair—carefully documented, well reasoned, and centered on Eliza's perspective—to be bold, refreshing, and pretty persuasive. Why should we (as most recent Hamilton scholars have done) simply take Alexander Hamilton at his word…

Eliza Hamilton

By Tilar J. Mazzeo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Irena's Children comes a "vivid, compelling, and unputdownable new biography" (Christopher Andersen, #1 New York Times bestselling author) about the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America's early days.

Fans fell in love with Eliza Hamilton-Alexander Hamilton's devoted wife-in Lin-Manuel Miranda's phenomenal musical Hamilton. But they don't know her full story. A strong pioneer woman, a loving sister, a caring mother, and in her later years, a generous philanthropist, Eliza had many sides-and this fascinating biography brings her…


Wieland

By Charles Brockden Brown,

Book cover of Wieland

Charles Brockden Brown is the Founding Father of American gothic writing and Wieland is his weirdest but most readable novel. Written just after the Adams administration had banned speech criticizing the government, Wieland explores the dangers of uncontrolled speech and the threat of shadowy interlopers. The novel is narrated by Clara Wieland, whose family are plagued by increasingly threatening disembodied voices after the arrival of mysterious itinerant Frank Carwin. This domestic thriller not only showcases the development of the unreliable narrator but also questions the stability of the family and the nation in the early US.

Wieland

By Charles Brockden Brown,

Why should I read it?

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


5 book lists we think you will like!

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