86 books like We Almost Lost Detroit

By John G. Fuller,

Here are 86 books that We Almost Lost Detroit fans have personally recommended if you like We Almost Lost Detroit. 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 Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

David DeKok Author Of Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire

From my list on environmental catastrophes.

Why am I passionate about this?

David DeKok became interested in environmental disasters in his native Michigan in 1974, when PBB, a fire-retardant chemical, was accidentally mixed with animal feed, entered the food chain, and then most people in the state, probably including himself. As a journalist in Pennsylvania, he wrote extensively about the Centralia mine fire and the aftermath of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and is the author of four books. He tends to write about small towns and small-town people in crisis.

David's book list on environmental catastrophes

David DeKok Why did David love this book?

The world continues to consider nuclear power, despite the devastation to the nuclear industry caused by the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Nuclear power can play a part in fighting climate change, but we need to be aware of the risks as well as the rewards. Beyond that, it is a well-researched and dramatic story about the trauma that ensues when human communities are beset by environmental disasters.

By Adam Higginbotham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Best Book of the Year
A Time Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year
2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Winner

From journalist Adam Higginbotham, the New York Times bestselling “account that reads almost like the script for a movie” (The Wall Street Journal)—a powerful investigation into Chernobyl and how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the history’s worst nuclear disasters.

Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering one of the…


Book cover of Laying Waste: The Poisoning of America by Toxic Chemicals

David DeKok Author Of Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire

From my list on environmental catastrophes.

Why am I passionate about this?

David DeKok became interested in environmental disasters in his native Michigan in 1974, when PBB, a fire-retardant chemical, was accidentally mixed with animal feed, entered the food chain, and then most people in the state, probably including himself. As a journalist in Pennsylvania, he wrote extensively about the Centralia mine fire and the aftermath of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and is the author of four books. He tends to write about small towns and small-town people in crisis.

David's book list on environmental catastrophes

David DeKok Why did David love this book?

Brown lays out some of the major crises that fueled modern environmentalism and in so doing helps the reader to understand the passions that drove the movement. I remember when Lois Gibbs, a leader of the Love Canal residents, came to Centralia to give a pep talk to residents there about fighting government inaction.

By Michael Harold Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recounts the dumping of toxic chemical wastes in the Love Canal area of Niagara Falls which led to an epidemic of grave medical problems and the permanent evacuation of nearby residents and documents other chemical-waste tragedies erupting throughout America


Book cover of A Civil Action

Elie Honig Author Of Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away with It

From my list on making the law come to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was a lawyer, so people sometimes assume that I wanted to follow in his footsteps. In fact, it was the opposite; I saw how hard he worked and how much of a grind the job could be. What really sparked my interest was the great books and movies about the legal profession. Eventually, I was lucky enough to spend fourteen years as a prosecutor, and let me tell you: the job is even better than you’d see on the page or on the screen. I loved the work while I had the job, and now I love telling stories. I hope you’ll be as entertained and inspired as I was by these books.

Elie's book list on making the law come to life

Elie Honig Why did Elie love this book?

Civil lawsuits often get second-billing to criminal cases, but this book about a case of mass environmental contamination in a small town in Massachusetts one has all the traits of a legal thriller: an astonishing injustice, stunning twists and turns, and enormous consequences for all involved.

More than once, I gasped while reading this, and it’s one of the few books I ever re-read. This has since become a major-release movie (starring John Travolta), but the book is even better.

By Jonathan Harr,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Civil Action as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of a lawyer's battle to win compensation from two of America's largest industrial giants. He fought on behalf of 21 families whose lives were wrecked by illness and death due to the alleged poisoning of their town well. This case became renowned in American legal history.


Book cover of Meltdown: A Race Against Nuclear Disaster at Three Mile Island: A Reporter's Story

David DeKok Author Of Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire

From my list on environmental catastrophes.

Why am I passionate about this?

David DeKok became interested in environmental disasters in his native Michigan in 1974, when PBB, a fire-retardant chemical, was accidentally mixed with animal feed, entered the food chain, and then most people in the state, probably including himself. As a journalist in Pennsylvania, he wrote extensively about the Centralia mine fire and the aftermath of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and is the author of four books. He tends to write about small towns and small-town people in crisis.

David's book list on environmental catastrophes

David DeKok Why did David love this book?

While this is not a comprehensive history of the TMI accident and its aftermath—none exists––you can happily read this book and understand the seriousness of what happened. It is not encumbered with anti-nuclear ideology, like some of the books written immediately after the accident were. It has many photos, a glossary of nuclear terms, and an index. 

By Wilborn Hampton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It was 5 a.m. at the nuclear power plant on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. Suddenly an alarm shrieked. Something was going wrong inside the plant. Within minutes human error and technical failure triggered the worst nuclear power accident in the United States and within hours, the eyes of the world were on Three Mile Island. Wilborn Hampton transports the readers to this pivotal moment in American history, telling the hour-by-hour story of covering the nuclear accident as a U.P.I. (United Press International) reporter. His fascinating account will compel readers to consider one of the most…


Book cover of Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster

Nicholas Mee Author Of Gravity: From Falling Apples to Supermassive Black Holes

From my list on when contemplating the risks of nuclear technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a passion to engage with the deepest questions of existence, from the interpretation of quantum mechanics to string theory and cosmology. My desire to understand is driven purely by curiosity, and my aim in writing about these topics is to make the wonders of the universe as widely accessible as possible. But scientific knowledge and the advance of technology also has a potentially darker side. It is vital for the future of humanity that science is widely understood so that democratic informed decisions can be made to safeguard against its misuse, and this was the motivation for recommending my list of books.

Nicholas' book list on when contemplating the risks of nuclear technology

Nicholas Mee Why did Nicholas love this book?

The world’s worst nuclear accident took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.

This short well-researched book is about what really happened before, during, and after the explosion and melt-down of the Unit 4 nuclear reactor. The author Andrew Leatherbarrow successfully interweaves his account of the accident with descriptions of his own visit to the abandoned city of Pripyat close to the power plant.

I like the book’s engaging style; it is informative and very readable without resorting to sensationalism or wild speculation. As Leatherbarrow explains, much is known about the causes of the Chernobyl accident but even some of the important details remain a mystery. 

By Andrew Leatherbarrow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chernobyl 01 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At 01:23:40 on April 26th 1986, Alexander Akimov pressed the emergency shutdown button at Chernobyl’s fourth nuclear reactor. It was an act that forced the permanent evacuation of a city, killed thousands and crippled the Soviet Union. The event spawned decades of conflicting, exaggerated and inaccurate stories.

This book, the result of five years of research, presents an accessible but comprehensive account of what really happened. From the desperate fight to prevent a burning reactor core from irradiating eastern Europe, to the self-sacrifice of the heroic men who entered fields of radiation so strong that machines wouldn’t work, to the…


Book cover of The Blackbird Girls

Shirley Vernick Author Of The Sky We Shared

From my list on MG/YA fiction books based on true events.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a voracious reader of the news and history, consuming everything from Johnny Tremain to Slaughterhouse-Five, from old-fashioned newspapers to online news feeds. I’ve also always loved writing fiction. I aligned my interests in history, the news, and writing in my first novel, The Blood Lie, based on a hate crime in my hometown in the 1920s. Since then, I’ve written two other novels based on true events: Ripped Away and my novel, listed below.

Shirley's book list on MG/YA fiction books based on true events

Shirley Vernick Why did Shirley love this book?

I’ve read many nonfiction pieces about the Chernobyl nuclear power explosion, but nothing comes close to the emotional impact of watching these two fictional fifth-graders live through the devastation and evacuation that ensued.

I cried and then cheered as these girls, who were initially separated by religious discrimination, built a friendship in the face of mutual tragedy.

I love a story that is both uplifting and heartbreaking, and this book is a shining example.

By Anne Blankman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blackbird Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work - Chernobyl - has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all…


Book cover of Mr. Burns

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

A little levity may be required as we watch the world crumble around us. Anne Washburn’s play reads as a multi-generational game of telephone. Beginning shortly after the apocalypse, with television now obsolete, people gather round a campfire and begin retelling what they remember from random episodes of The Simpsons. In the second act, the retelling has evolved into an oral tradition far from the original. By the third act, we’re eighty years removed from the apocalypse, and the story has become its own bizarre and surreal performance. I read Mr. Burns and saw the play in person years ago, but I still think about it and laugh. It might also somehow be a fairly accurate depiction of our post-apocalyptic world.

By Anne Washburn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's the end of everything in contemporary America. A future without power. But what will survive? Mr Burns asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are, explodes the boundaries between pop and high culture and, when society has crumbled, imagines the future for America's most famous family.


Book cover of Fukushima Devil Fish

Julian Sedgwick Author Of Tsunami Girl

From my list on to explore otherworldly Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the age of 11, and an encounter with an illustrated anthology entitled The World of Zen, I have been drawn to and fascinated by the spiritual, philosophical, and folkloric aspects of East Asian Culture. I studied the subject at Cambridge University and subsequently trained in Zen Shiatsu therapy. Most of my books draw from my passion for East Asian culture, and Japan in particular. I have travelled widely in Japan over the last two decades, and for Tsunami Girl spent four years researching, interviewing survivors, and visiting Fukushima. I am now working on a new book on Japanese yōkai and ghosts…

Julian's book list on to explore otherworldly Japan

Julian Sedgwick Why did Julian love this book?

This collection of Katsumata’s manga for legendary gekiga magazine Garo and others is a powerful graphic bridge between the politics and reality of this world, and the creatures and legends of the other. Katsumata takes us from the transitory and dangerous lives of nuclear workers at Fukushima Daiichi (decades before the 2011 disaster) to the tough and haunted lands of Tohoku (North East Japan) in the early twentieth century. Lonely kappa monsters, tanuki, and fox spirits feature as sympathetic lead characters, shapeshifting and conjuring a version of Fukushima and Tohoku that dazzled and inspired me.

By Katsumata Susumu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of manga examining Japan's fascination with nuclear power and its dangers and possibilities. FUKUSHIMA DEVIL FISH: ANTI-NUCLEAR MANGA, the fifth volume in the Breakdown Press manga line, collects Katsumata Susumu's nuclear energy related work from the '80s and '90s, produced in the wake of investigative news reports about unreported accidents and dangerous working conditions at Japan's nuclear power plants. Two outstanding works in the collection, "Deep Sea Fish" (1984) and "Devil Fish" (1989), are poetic stories treating the daily trials of maintenance and janitorial workers at Japan's nuclear plants. Due to poor pay, hazardous working conditions, and migrant…


Book cover of Backwater Channel

Don Rich Author Of Coastal Jury

From my list on coastal mystery and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an entrepreneur who was born literally within sight of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Florida. Got my first boat (a dinghy) when I was six. I used to drive an airboat on Lake Okeechobee and learned to fly back when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve flown over a dozen different types of planes and even a helicopter. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Antilles. In my late teens I worked on various private sportfishing boats in Florida, Georgia, and the Bahamas. With this much time spent on, in, under, or around the water, I was destined to write coastal novels. 

Don's book list on coastal mystery and adventure

Don Rich Why did Don love this book?

I first started reading Becker with his Mac Travis series (which I also loved), but when he created Kurt Hunter, I was totally hooked. He and I both share a love for the area around Biscayne Bay, which is where he set the Kurt Hunter Mysteries. Hunter is a Park Ranger who patrols and protects the underwater national park in that area. This creates great and unique plot opportunities, of which Becker takes full advantage. Oh, and then there are the rare saltwater crocodiles that make appearances throughout Backwater Channel. Real creatures, unique to the area. Really nasty, too!

By Steven Becker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You’d think a nuclear power plant was dangerous enough …

That’s what special agent Kurt Hunter thought until, while out fishing, he witnesses a murder at the Turkey Point nuclear power plant. After being assigned the case, Kurt is pulled into the convoluted politics of Miami only to find out that the embattled power plant is only a pawn in a more deadly game.

Greed and corruption are nothing new to pristine Biscayne Bay. With the plant's miles of cooling canals providing essential habitat for several endangered species, Kurt is thrown into a rift between warring environmentalists and power-hungry corporate…


Book cover of Nuclear Winter Vol. 1

François Vigneault Author Of Titan

From my list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American-born cartoonist who’s been living and working in Montreal since 2015. My mother is from Quebec, and when I immigrated here I was looking to reconnect with my cultural roots. Reading graphic novels from here was a huge part of how I got to know my adopted community. I might be a bit biased, but I have to say Quebec has one of the world’s most vibrant comic arts scenes; a blend of American comic books mixed with Franco-Belgian bande dessinée. With more and more graphic novels from Quebec getting translated into English you’re sure to find something you’ll dig, whether you’re looking for slice-of-life or science fiction.

François' book list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste

François Vigneault Why did François love this book?

What’s worse than a Montreal winter? How about four straight years of Montreal winter! While a nuclear power plant melting down and blanketing the metropolis with irradiated snow might seem like a horrible situation, Cab plays this apocalypse for laughs. Gertrude, a superhumanly-strong, snowmobile-piloting delivery driver, has to face off against irradiated beasts, gargantuan snowflakes, and even the withering scorn of fashionable Mile End hipsters. Maniacally creative and drawn with a light touch.

By Cab,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nothing's rougher than a Canadian winter . . . except maybe one that never ends!

It's been nine years since an accident at a nuclear power plant plunged Montreal into an eternal winter; the city is now blanketed 365 days a year in radioactive snow. But life goes on for folks like Flavie Beaumont, a mail courier on snowmobile who's carved out a pretty normal life for herself, despite mutant crushes, eclectic urban fauna, and unrelenting meteorological events of unprecedented force. It turns out surviving nuclear winter is hard . . . but it's possible surviving your twenties is even…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Detroit, nuclear power, and Michigan?

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