100 books like Who Gets In

By Norman Ravvin,

Here are 100 books that Who Gets In fans have personally recommended if you like Who Gets In. 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 The Ever-Dying People?: Canada's Jews in Comparative Perspective

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

I love books written by multiple authors. Some of the greatness of this multi-author work comes from the fact that 28 different scholars have contributed to it, many of them working in pairs to create new insights they might not have been able to achieve alone.

Some chapters compare an aspect of Canadian Jewish life with that of another religious or ethnic minority in Canada (for example, Chinese, Muslims, and Métis). Other chapters compare an aspect of Canadian Jewish life with that of Jewish communities in other countries (including Australia, France, and the Former Soviet Union).

So, I reaped the benefit of learning about Canadian Jews through various comparative perspectives. I found virtually all of the essays in it to be stimulating, approachable, and punchy-short, so I didn’t feel compelled to read the whole thing cover to cover, uninterrupted by another book. I just went back to it, bit…

By Robert Brym (editor), Randal F. Schnoor (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ever-Dying People? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Demise by assimilation or antisemitism is often held to be the inevitable future of Jews in Canada and other diaspora countries. The Ever-Dying People? shows that the Jewish diaspora, while often held to be in decline, is influenced by a range of identifiable sociological and historical forces, some of which breathe life into Jewish communities, including Canada's.

Bringing together leading Canadian and international scholars, The Ever-Dying People? provides a landmark report on Canadian Jewry based on recent surveys, censuses, and other contemporary data sources from Canada and around the world. This collection compares Canada's Jews with other Canadian ethnic and…


Book cover of Search Out the Land: The Jews and the Growth of Equality in British Colonial America, 1740-1867

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

I love this book’s choc-a-block presentation of actual archival fragments from Jewish life in the British colonies that would eventually become Canada.

I also like that the book’s husband-wife, antiquarian, author team aimed to fuse together two objectives in one book: on the one hand, to paint a relatable picture of what Jewish life looked like during this period when Upper Canada was still being formed, and on the other hand, to account for the step-by-step process of Jews gaining civil rights in the new world.

When I teach Canadian Jewish history, I not only read this book with my students but also bring them into the archives that contain Godfrey’s trove of archival fragments of early Jewish Canadiana, which they collected before and while writing the book.

By Sheldon J. Godfrey, Judith C. Godfrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mapping the history of Canadian Jews from the arrival of the first settlers before 1750 through to the 1860s, Search Out the Land introduces a new set of colourful players on Canada's stage. Ezekiel Solomons, John Franks, Jacob Franks, Chapman Abraham, Rachel Myers, Moses David, Samuel Hart, Elizabeth Lyons, and a host of others now take their appropriate place in Canadian history. Focusing on the significant role played by Jews in British North America in the fight for civil and political rights, the authors compare the development of Canadians' rights with that in other British jurisdictions of the time and…


Book cover of The New Spice Box: Contemporary Jewish Writing

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

This collection of Canadian Jewish fiction gave me 33 different short fiction, personal essays, and poetry windows into the hearts and minds, longings, fears, and dreams of Canadian Jews.

I can’t think of another volume that captures so much life at the intersection of Jewish literary vitality and Canadian content–understood liberally. I think I was most moved by David Bezmozgis’ and Isa Milman’s contributions.

By Ruth Panofsky (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New Spice Box includes short fiction, personal essays, and poetry by Jewish writers from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. Fresh and relevant, profound and lasting, this anthology features works by acclaimed short story writers David Bezmozgis, Mireille Silcoff, and Ayelet Tsabari; groundbreaking memoirists Bernice Eisenstein and Alison Pick; and award-winning poets Isa Milman, Jacob Scheier, and Adam Sol.

The driving force behind The New Spice Box is the desire to uncover the twin touchstones of original expression and writerly craft, and to balance the representation of genres, styles, and authorial perspectives. Here, authors summon the past as they…


Book cover of Like Everyone Else but Different: The Paradoxical Success of Canadian Jews

David S. Koffman Author Of No Better Home?: Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging

From my list on Canadian Jewish life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised as both an anglophone Canadian and a diaspora Jew. After living in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York for a total of about 15 years, I returned to my hometown of Toronto and took up the position of the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York University, where I work as a professor of history. I teach undergraduate students, graduate students, fellow academics, community leaders, and the wide public about all sorts of dimensions of this very religiously diverse, culturally diverse, socio-economically diverse, and politically diverse community of 400,000+ souls, with its 260+-year-old history. 

David's book list on Canadian Jewish life

David S. Koffman Why did David love this book?

I love this book’s sprawling effort to answer all sorts of basic questions about the living, vibrant Jews of Canada.

The book was so solid and sold so well when it originally came out with a trade publisher it was re-issued. It uses good social science and approachable theories.

I found it highly informative, intuitive, and curiosity-provoking. What’s more, it’s really funny. If you’re a Canadian Jew, you’ll learn something about yourself or some part of the Jewish world of which you’re a part of. And if you’re not both Canadian and Jewish, you’ll get a very good grounding in understanding the world’s fourth-largest Jewish community. 

By Morton Weinfeld,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Like Everyone Else but Different as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Liberal democratic societies with diverse populations generally offer minorities two usually contradictory objectives: the first is equal integration and participation; the second is an opportunity, within limits, to retain their culture. Yet Canadian Jews are successfully integrated into all domains of Canadian life, while at the same time they also seem able to retain their distinct identities by blending traditional religious values and rituals with contemporary cultural options. Like Everyone Else but Different illustrates how Canadian Jews have created a space within Canada's multicultural environment that paradoxically overcomes the potential dangers of assimilation and diversity. At the same time, this…


Book cover of Wretched Refuse?: The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions

Ilya Somin Author Of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom

From my list on migration rights and democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ilya Somin is a Professor of Law at George Mason University. He is the author of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom, Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter, and The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London, and the Limits of Eminent Domain. Somin has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Atlantic, and USA Today. He is a regular contributor to the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, affiliated with Reason.

Ilya's book list on migration rights and democracy

Ilya Somin Why did Ilya love this book?

Perhaps the strongest argument against expanded migration rights is the fear that too many of the “wrong” kind of immigrants might kill the goose the laid the golden egg that makes a country attractive to migrants in the first place. If immigrants have harmful cultural values, vote for dangerous political leaders, or otherwise undermine the political and economic system, they could degrade the host nation’s institutions. In the extreme case, they might even replicate the same awful conditions that led them to flee their country of origin. Wretched Refuse is the most thorough analysis and refutation of such concerns. Nowrasteh and Powell use both historical and modern evidence to show that institutional concerns about immigration are largely misplaced and that migrants strengthen liberal democracy far more than they undermine it.

By Alex Nowrasteh, Benjamin Powell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Economic arguments favoring increased immigration restrictions suggest that immigrants undermine the culture, institutions, and productivity of destination countries. But is this actually true? Nowrasteh and Powell systematically analyze cross-country evidence of potential negative effects caused by immigration relating to economic freedom, corruption, culture, and terrorism. They analyze case studies of mass immigration to the United States, Israel, and Jordan. Their evidence does not support the idea that immigration destroys the institutions responsible for prosperity in the modern world. This nonideological volume makes a qualified case for free immigration and the accompanying prosperity.


Book cover of American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons

Nancy Hiemstra Author Of Detain and Deport: The Chaotic U.S. Immigration Enforcement Regime

From my list on why the U.S. has the biggest immigration detention system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first became aware of harms of immigration enforcement policies while volunteering to tutor kids of undocumented migrant farmworkers in the 1990s. Through a variety of jobs in the U.S. and Latin America, my eyes were opened to reasons driving people to migrate and challenges immigrants face. I eventually went to graduate school in Geography to study local to transnational reverberations of immigration policies. A project in Ecuador where I helped families of people detained in the U.S. led me to realize how huge, cruel, and ineffective U.S. immigration detention is. I hope these books help you break through myths about detention and make sense of the chaos.

Nancy's book list on why the U.S. has the biggest immigration detention system

Nancy Hiemstra Why did Nancy love this book?

Unfortunately, the word “gulag” is all too apt for describing U.S. carceral systems.

While this book came out nearly twenty years ago, I picked it because its gut-wrenching descriptions of what goes on inside U.S. immigration facilities still reflect contemporary reality.

Journalist Mark Dow draws on interviews with detainees, guards, and immigration officials to document the atrocious material conditions, violations of human rights, and abuses routinely experienced by detainees.

He details how guards are conditioned to treat all detainees as criminals, regardless of who they are, and how using private companies helps shield facilities from scrutiny and accountability. Given the horrors revealed in this book, it is especially alarming that the detention system has more than doubled since its publication.

By Mark Dow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before September 11, 2001, few Americans had heard of immigration detention, but in fact a secret and repressive prison system run by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has existed in this country for more than two decades. In "American Gulag", prisoners, jailers, and whistle-blowing federal officials come forward to describe the frightening reality inside these INS facilities. Journalist Mark Dow's on-the-ground reporting brings to light documented cases of illegal beatings and psychological torment, prolonged detention, racism, and inhumane conditions. Intelligent, impassioned, and unlike anything that has been written on the topic, this gripping work of investigative journalism should be…


Book cover of The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move

Glenda R. Carpio Author Of Migrant Aesthetics: Contemporary Fiction, Global Migration, and the Limits of Empathy

From my list on migration, migrant lives, and how they shape our common world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I embody the “American Dream” mythology: I came to the United States as a child who did not speak English and had few means. And now I am the Chair of the English Department at Harvard. But I am the exception, not the rule. So many migrants die on perilous journeys or survive only to live marginal lives under surveillance. Yet we don’t always ask why people risk their lives and those of their children to migrate. And when we do, we don’t often go beyond the first layer of answers. The list of books I recommend allows us to think deeply about the roots of forced migration.

Glenda's book list on migration, migrant lives, and how they shape our common world

Glenda R. Carpio Why did Glenda love this book?

Drawing on a wide range of research, Shah counteracts the common assumption that contemporary human and nonhuman migrations represent an unprecedented global crisis.

She reframes migration as a biological and cultural necessity that has been a crucial part of human history and shows how it has been fueled by such factors as economic inequality, politics, nationalism, colonialism, etc. I learned so much from this meticulously researched, yet highly readable book.

I love how it asks readers to consider migration and its history from multiple perspectives and that it can help us think and prepare for an increase of migration due to climate change.

By Sonia Shah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finalist for the 2021 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
A Library Journal Best Science & Technology Book of 2020
A Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Book of 2020
2020 Goodreads Choice Award Semifinalist in Science & Technology

A prize-winning journalist upends our centuries-long assumptions about migration through science, history, and reporting--predicting its lifesaving power in the face of climate change.

The news today is full of stories of dislocated people on the move. Wild species, too, are escaping warming seas and desiccated lands, creeping, swimming, and flying in a mass exodus from their past habitats. News media presents this scrambling…


Book cover of This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto

Glenda R. Carpio Author Of Migrant Aesthetics: Contemporary Fiction, Global Migration, and the Limits of Empathy

From my list on migration, migrant lives, and how they shape our common world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I embody the “American Dream” mythology: I came to the United States as a child who did not speak English and had few means. And now I am the Chair of the English Department at Harvard. But I am the exception, not the rule. So many migrants die on perilous journeys or survive only to live marginal lives under surveillance. Yet we don’t always ask why people risk their lives and those of their children to migrate. And when we do, we don’t often go beyond the first layer of answers. The list of books I recommend allows us to think deeply about the roots of forced migration.

Glenda's book list on migration, migrant lives, and how they shape our common world

Glenda R. Carpio Why did Glenda love this book?

This is a heart-felt but infinitely well-researched book that asks us to go beyond the usual answers one might give to the question of why migrants risk everything and leave their homes (i.e., gang violence, climate change, war, hunger).

Instead, Mehta shows how colonial and neo-colonial forces have and continue to cause migration flows. People migrate, Mehta says, “because the accumulated burdens of history have rendered their homelands less and less habitable.”

As someone who had to leave a country that was thrust into a four-decade-long civil war because of American intervention (the CIA), I appreciate the clear-eye and convincing argument Mehta makes about contemporary migration: it is directly due to American and European political interests (i.e., the Cold War) and their extraction and theft of gold, silver, cash crops, and human beings from the Global South. And it is fueled by black market demands for drugs and arms that…

By Suketu Mehta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Land Is Our Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An impassioned defence of global immigration from the acclaimed author of Maximum City.

Drawing on his family's own experience emigrating from India to Britain and America, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. He juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of labourers, nannies and others, from Dubai to New York, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change…


Book cover of Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945

Alison R. Marshall Author Of The Way of the Bachelor: Early Chinese Settlement in Manitoba

From my list on to reimagine Chinatown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by Chinese culture. My great uncle owned an import-export shop in 1920s Montreal and many of the things in his shop decorated my family home. An aunt who worked in Toronto’s Chinatown took me to see a Chinese opera performance and this began my journey to understand Chinese thought and culture first with an MA in Chinese poetry and then with a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies. After I learned that Sun Yatsen had visited Manitoba, where I had moved for work, my attention turned to Chinese nationalism. More than 15 years later, my research and work on KMT culture continues.

Alison's book list on to reimagine Chinatown

Alison R. Marshall Why did Alison love this book?

Lisa Mar’s rich archival study provides a window into the important role of power brokers in Chinese Canadian political life and culture up until the end of the Second World War. My own book also tells the stories of Chinese Canadian power brokers who were active in political organizations and lobbied for the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act. Unlike the power brokers of Mars’s study, the men in my study were active and influential beyond Vancouver’s Chinatown and in prairie rural Canada.

By Lisa Rose Mar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brokering Belonging traces several generations of Chinese "brokers, " ethnic leaders who acted as intermediaries between the Chinese and Anglo worlds of Canada. At the time, most Chinese could not vote and many were illegal immigrants, so brokers played informal but necessary roles as representatives to the larger society. Brokers' work reveals the changing boundaries between Chinese and Anglo worlds, and how tensions among Chinese shaped them.

By reinserting Chinese back into mainstream politics, Brokering Belonging alters common understandings of how legally "alien" groups' helped create modern immigrant nations. Over several generations, brokers deeply embedded Chinese immigrants in the larger…


Book cover of This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart: A Memoir in Halves

Julie Sedivy Author Of Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self

From my list on immigration and identity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a language scientist and a writer, but most of all, a person who is smitten with language in all its forms. No doubt my fascination was shaped by my early itinerant life as a child immigrant between Czechoslovakia to Canada, with exposure to numerous languages along the way. I earned a PhD in linguistics and taught linguistics and psychology at Brown University and later, the University of Calgary, but I now spend most of my time writing for non-academic readers, integrating my scientific understanding of language with a love for its aesthetic possibilities.

Julie's book list on immigration and identity

Julie Sedivy Why did Julie love this book?

This is one of the most innovative and intriguing memoirs I have read. Its structure is inspired by the visual image of the line that runs through the Punjab region, partitioning Pakistan from India. The book is separated into halves: one half relates the stories of the author’s parents, who were born on opposite sides of the line, and the other presents the author’s own experiences and observations as a second-generation immigrant. Nothing about the design of the book indicates which half should be read first—a hint that the reader will be invited to consider the resonances running in both directions across the generations.

The theme of fragmentation and division is, paradoxically, the glue that binds the various elements of the book together. The author explores the arbitrary lines, imposed by historical and cultural forces, that divide people from each other and that split their selves into parts. The portrait…

By Madhur Anand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2020 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD FOR NONFICTION

“Wondrously and elegantly written in language that astonishes and moves the reader…This is an important book: an emotional and intellectual tour de force.” —Jane Urquhart

An experimental memoir about Partition, immigration, and generational storytelling, This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart weaves together the poetry of memory with the science of embodied trauma, using the imagined voices of the past and the vital authority of the present.

We begin with a man off balance: one in one thousand, the only child in town whose polio leads to partial paralysis.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in immigrants, Canada, and Poland?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about immigrants, Canada, and Poland.

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