75 books like Unaccompanied Sonata

By Orson Scott Card,

Here are 75 books that Unaccompanied Sonata fans have personally recommended if you like Unaccompanied Sonata. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dune

Johnny B. Truant Author Of Dead City

From my list on Sci-Fi real science that justifies unreal things.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I was an author, I was a scientist pursuing a PhD in molecular genetics. When I left the lab and started writing, that scientist’s need for real-world sense stuck with me and became a theme in everything I write. The authors I like understand that “suspension of disbelief” is a limited resource, so they’d better only ask readers for it when it counts. Get the baseline facts and logic right, and I’ll believe and enjoy the fantastical stuff spun from it so much more. 

Johnny's book list on Sci-Fi real science that justifies unreal things

Johnny B. Truant Why did Johnny love this book?

This has been one of my favorite books since I was a kid. I love it for two main reasons: The first is that I’m a fiend for exploring the real limits of ability (which the Bene Gesserit and Fremen do). The second is that as fantastical as the world is, it’s grounded in real science. 

There are no giant sandworts on my own planet, but I completely believe why and how they’d exist on Arrakis. Herbert even includes an appendix to explain how it works, called “The Ecology of Dune.” 

Fiction requires a leap of faith, but the real-science grounding in Dune makes that leap a whole lot easier because I believe where it’s coming from.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


Book cover of 1984

William R. Wolesensky Author Of Mathematical Methods in Biology

From my list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived a life filled with diverse life experiences and have encountered people in very different professions who could think effectively and deeply understand topics unrelated to their profession. My life changed for the better when I finally started to develop a deep understanding of math, which empowered me to believe that I could develop a deep understanding of things I encountered. However, this change did not occur in me until my late twenties. My current passion is to empower people to think more effectively early in their lives.

William's book list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking

William R. Wolesensky Why did William love this book?

The world Orwell presents in this book is the result of a society that no longer advocates for ALL its members to pursue the ability to think freely, deeply, and effectively. The world shared in 1984 and the many similarities I see today have made me more passionate than ever about how the study of math can help people lead better lives.

I believe that developing a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, which everyone is capable of, will make people want to deeply understand everything in their world.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


Book cover of Starship Troopers

Bennett R. Coles Author Of Virtues of War

From my list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 4 years old when I first saw Star Wars, and it changed my entire world view. Basically, from that moment forward everything was cooler if it was in SPACE! Eventually, I grew up, and today, I’ve served more than 20 years in uniform, but I discovered along the way that most sci-fi doesn’t portray the military accurately. When I started writing, one of my goals was to present as realistic a depiction of the military as I can (in space!) and I’ve always enjoyed books like the ones on my list that do the same. 

Bennett's book list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military

Bennett R. Coles Why did Bennett love this book?

I have never read a book that more perfectly captures the day-to-day reality of military life. Having served in the Navy for over twenty years, I found Heinlein’s descriptions of shipboard life, basic training, and the camaraderie of brothers in arms to be pitch-perfect and laced with the subtle humor of cynicism that every sailor feels.

But beyond that, I was fascinated by Heinlein’s exploration of the ethics of war, and how the society in Starship Troopers was able to justify its actions against the enemy. Despite all they go through, none of the characters ever question why they’re fighting and I think this is one of the core issues Heinlein is exploring: how is it possible to convince an educated public to support terrible actions?

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Starship Troopers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The historians can't seem to settle whether to call this one 'The Third Space War' (or the fourth), or whether 'The First Interstellar War' fits it better. We just call it 'The Bug War'. Everything up to then and still later were 'incidents', 'patrols' or 'police actions'. However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an 'incident' as you are if you buy it in a declared war.'

5,000 years in the future, humanity faces total extermination. Our one defence: highly-trained soldiers who scour the metal-strewn blackness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy: an…


Price of Vengeance

By Kurt D. Springs,

Book cover of Price of Vengeance

Kurt D. Springs

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Teacher Cook Barista Guardian

Kurt's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Liam was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Taken in by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci.

As an adult, Liam becomes a soldier. After being cut off from the city, Liam finds that there is an alien intelligence behind the chitin. To defeat it, he must discover who he is and how to use his powers. Then, Liam discovers that a traitor, responsible for his birth parents' deaths, had…

Price of Vengeance

By Kurt D. Springs,

What is this book about?

"From the cover to the opening pages, Price of Vengeance grabs the reader and takes them on a wild ride. Fasten your seat belts for this book." -S. J. Francis, author of Shattered Lies

What is the Price of Vengeance? One could understand why Liam was angry. He was orphaned at the age of two by a group of giant carnivorous insects called the chitin. Taken in by High Councilor Marcus and his wife, Lidia, Liam was raised with their older son, Randolf in New Olympia, the last remaining city on the planet Etrusci.

As an adult, Liam becomes a…


Book cover of Foundation

Perry Kivolowitz Author Of Get Off My L@wn: How a Computer Geek and His Wife Survived the Zombie Apocalypse

From my list on inspiring depressing books Science Fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science Fiction can explore many themes, including relationships, philosophy, politics, and more. While this is common to many genres, SF is unique in that it also focuses on science-based “what ifs.” What if we could travel to distant stars? What if we could visit the past? The theme of “what if” hinges upon the forward progress of science. This explores the realm of the possible… a realm for which I am passionate.

Perry's book list on inspiring depressing books Science Fiction

Perry Kivolowitz Why did Perry love this book?

Forgive me for citing another classic in the Science Fiction genre. My interpretation of Seldon’s Psychohistory is that it is a reasonable premise, being based on the law of large numbers. If only there was something in our present day based on large data models, like maybe language? Yes, we’re living in the dawn of “psychohistory,” but instead of predicting fundamental shifts in human society, today’s AI is telling us what detergent to buy and which politician to vote for. Sad.

It takes a lot of time and a great deal of commitment to read the Foundation Series and the titles I have listed do not include several set in the same universe but not written by Asimov. But consider, it’s Asimov, one of Science Fiction’s gods. This series is nothing if not foundational to Science Fiction.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series

THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION, NOW STREAMING • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
 
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings…


Book cover of The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America

Kermit Roosevelt III Author Of The Nation That Never Was: Reconstructing America's Story

From my list on understanding America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved America and our Constitution. I went to law school, I clerked at the Supreme Court, and I ended up teaching Constitutional law at Penn. But as I learned more about the Constitution and our history, I realized that the story I’d absorbed growing up about what our values were and where they came from didn’t ring true. Things were a little more complicated. And so I did my own research. I read dozens of books, including the ones listed here. And in the end, I found a story that was both more true and more inspiring than the one we learned in school. 

Kermit's book list on understanding America

Kermit Roosevelt III Why did Kermit love this book?

What happened to our Constitution during the Civil War? Noah Feldman argues that Lincoln, whose goal was to save the Union, had to break the Constitution to do so. But this rupture created the possibility of a new order. The original Constitution was filled with compromises, most notably between the supporters and opponents of slavery. But a broken document could be mended to eliminate those compromises and produce an anti-slavery Constitution.

I think this book is really insightful—it will change the way you think about what it means to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

By Noah Feldman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

An innovative account of Abraham Lincoln, constitutional thinker and doer.

When Abraham Lincoln assumed the presidency in 1861, the United States’ constitutional arrangements were not the ones we know today. It was widely believed that the federal government could not use armed force to prevent a state from seceding. It was also assumed that it had no authority over slavery in states where the institution existed and that basic civil liberties could not be suspended during a rebellion without the consent of Congress. As president, Lincoln broke decisively with all these precedents,…


Book cover of Class Conflict, Slavery, and the United States Constitution: Ten Essays

Leonard L. Richards Author Of The Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination, 1780--1860

From my list on why slaveholders once dominated American politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm now retired. But like many historians of my generation, I've been lucky. Having gone to the University of California when there was no tuition and got through graduate school thanks to the GI Bill, I then taught history for five decades, briefly at San Francisco State College and the University of Hawaii, and for a long stretch at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. During those years, I wrote eight books, one was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and three won prizes—the Albert J. Beverage Award in 1970, the second-place Lincoln Prize in 2001, and the Langum Trust Prize in 2015. All but one deal with slavery and power.

Leonard's book list on why slaveholders once dominated American politics

Leonard L. Richards Why did Leonard love this book?

This book is a corrective. For over two hundred years Americans have been taught that enlightened slaveholders—and especially Jefferson and Madison—were initially the main champions of liberty and equality. But was that truly what happened? This book offers a different take on that story, and in my mind it deserves more attention than it has received.

By Staughton Lynd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Class Conflict, Slavery, and the United States Constitution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We sell Rare, out-of-print, uncommon, & used BOOKS, PRINTS, MAPS, DOCUMENTS, AND EPHEMERA. We do not sell ebooks, print on demand, or other reproduced materials. Each item you see here is individually described and imaged. We welcome further inquiries.


Book cover of The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution

Joseph D'Agnese Author Of Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution

From my list on the creation of the U.S. Constitution.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joseph D’Agnese grew up in the Bicentennial-fueled excitement of the 1970s, and spent 1976 fake-playing a fife and sporting a tricorn hat in various school events. Besides teaching him how to get in and out of Revolutionary-period knickers, this experience awakened in him a love for the Founding Era of American history. He has since authored three history titles with his wife, The New York Times bestselling author Denise Kiernan. 

Joseph's book list on the creation of the U.S. Constitution

Joseph D'Agnese Why did Joseph love this book?

Because so much of the US’s focus is centered on the Fourth of July and the date 1776, it’s easy for people to assume that after the colonies declared independence, life in the new nation was simply wonderful, and we never looked back. Wrong!

Within two years after the end of the Revolutionary War, the nation was in serious trouble. The nascent government had no Army or Navy, no power to print or mint currency, and intentionally weak leadership because the last thing anyone wanted was a tyrannical ruler. Something had to be done if the nation was going to survive.

Stewart brings an attorney’s mind and a creative writer’s eye to the story of that sweltering summer in Philadelphia. Narrative nonfiction at its best. We see how the brainy, nerdy James Madison convinces George Washington to lead a delegation of men to design a strong working framework for government.…

By David O Stewart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Summer of 1787 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Summer of 1787 takes us into the sweltering room in which the founding fathers struggled for four months to produce the Constitution: the flawed but enduring document that would define the nation—then and now.

George Washington presided, James Madison kept the notes, Benjamin Franklin offered wisdom and humor at crucial times. The Summer of 1787 traces the struggles within the Philadelphia Convention as the delegates hammered out the charter for the world’s first constitutional democracy. Relying on the words of the delegates themselves to explore the Convention’s sharp conflicts and hard bargaining, David O. Stewart lays out the passions…


Book cover of An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States

Michael Zakim Author Of Accounting for Capitalism: The World the Clerk Made

From my list on modern capitalist economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As both a scholar and a citizen I have spent my adult life seeking to better understand the dynamics of power, especially power wielded in flagrantly unjust fashion in societies otherwise founded on notions of life, liberty, and happiness for all. This has led me to study the history of the economy, not just as a material but as a cultural system that encodes the categories of modern life:  self and society, private and public, body and soul, and needs and desires.

Michael's book list on modern capitalist economy

Michael Zakim Why did Michael love this book?

Charles Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is a passionate, and passionately polemical, work of history devoted to the circumstances in which the young American republic, founded in 1776, was overthrown a decade later by a new, federal system of government. 

The driving force for this counter-revolution, according to Beard, himself an important figure in early twentieth-century progressive politics, was the anxious attempt of “our most considerate and virtuous citizens,” in the words of founding father James Madison, to protect their property – and, most crucially, their control over the money supply – from populist insurgents determined to democratize control over, both, the polity and the economy.

By Charles A Beard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this famous study, the author turned the hagiography of many earlier American historians on its head. Unlike those writers, who had stressed idealistic impulses as factors determining the structure of the American government, Beard questioned the Founding Fathers' motivations in drafting the Constitution and viewed the results as a product of economic self-interest.
Brimming with human interest, insights, and information every student of American history will prize, this volume — one of the most controversial books of its time — continues to prompt new perceptions of the supreme law of the land.
"A staple for history and economics collections."…


Book cover of Religion and the Constitution

Linwood Jackson Jr. Author Of Justification

From my list on challenging the traditional education definition.

Why am I passionate about this?

My field of work involves research in self-development and in devotional improvement. I write and lecture about the need to allow the devotional conversation to feel its living experience; in this way knowledge, above a perception created through tradition, about what is believed can keep and sustain the conversation. My joy is in allowing people to think about the nature of their human being and of their devotional conversation. Liberty of the mind to experience life through no other lens but that of what self has discovered, examined, and proven, is the type of liberty we should all strive for, and I feel as though these books, in their own way, get this done.

Linwood's book list on challenging the traditional education definition

Linwood Jackson Jr. Why did Linwood love this book?

This is a brilliant textbook. Digging into my studies, I found a philosophy of law, in regards to the respect due to the nature of the human being, within the Bible, and sensing the same philosophy within the U.S. Constitution, I purchased this book. Much like the other books, these authors do a good job, through their presenting and reviewing of various cases, and of other documents, of setting the Constitution in the right light. I am recommending this book because it is a good read for anyone wanting to better understand the context of the Constitution’s ideology. I found this book to be not only educational but personally edifying. 

By Michael W. McConnell, John H. Garvey, Thomas C. Berg

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Religion and the Constitution, Third Edition, written by a team of well-known Constitutional Law scholars, thoughtfully examines the relationship between government and religion within the framework of the U.S. Constitution. This classroom-tested casebook is suitable for courses in Religious Liberty, Religion and the Constitution, or Religious Institutions and the Law.

The Third Edition has been completely updated with discussions of recent important cases and includes expanded discussion of key topic areas.

Professors McConnell, Garvey, and Berg bring years of experience and insight to teaching students about Religion and the Constitution:

Broad recurring themes place current debate in context: Free exercise…


Book cover of America's Constitution: A Biography

Kermit Roosevelt III Author Of The Nation That Never Was: Reconstructing America's Story

From my list on understanding America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved America and our Constitution. I went to law school, I clerked at the Supreme Court, and I ended up teaching Constitutional law at Penn. But as I learned more about the Constitution and our history, I realized that the story I’d absorbed growing up about what our values were and where they came from didn’t ring true. Things were a little more complicated. And so I did my own research. I read dozens of books, including the ones listed here. And in the end, I found a story that was both more true and more inspiring than the one we learned in school. 

Kermit's book list on understanding America

Kermit Roosevelt III Why did Kermit love this book?

There’s no one I like to read more about constitutional law than Akhil Amar. He has an incredible breadth of knowledge that’s matched by an amazing depth of insight. In this book, he goes through the constitution, clause by clause, and finds something new and unexpected to say about almost all of them. If you really want to understand the constitution, this is the definitive book. 

By Akhil Reed Amar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it.

We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing…


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