88 books like You Will Know Me

By Megan Abbott,

Here are 88 books that You Will Know Me fans have personally recommended if you like You Will Know Me. 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 Infinite Jest

Norman Farb Author Of Better in Every Sense: How the New Science of Sensation Can Help You Reclaim Your Life

From my list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life.

Who am I?

I am a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who studies the social neuroscience of the self and human emotion, with a focus on how biases in self-representation shape emotional reactions that determine well-being. I am particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation and yoga foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to disorders such as depression. I’ve always wished we had better ways of communicating fascinating and important discoveries in neuroscience and mental health to a wider audience, so we combined our teaching experience in the fields of mindfulness, yoga, sports, and clinical psychology to write this book.

Norman's book list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life

Norman Farb Why did Norman love this book?

This book may seem out of place in a list of psychologically-minded self-help recommendations. And it is long, and hard to read. Don’t even get me started on the use of end-notes in a work of fiction. But it is quite simply one of the best books written in the past 100 years and it is all about people who have gotten stuck, trapped by habit or circumstance, and are yearning for a way to find meaning in life.

To me, this book is a self help book because it is written so powerfully (in a not-so-distance fictional future) that as the characters are inevitably transformed and sometimes freed from their assumed destinies, Wallace somehow illustrates how we too can be transformed in our daily routines and interactions by finding moments of clarity and meaning right where we are, rather than being saved by some outside force that promises liberation…

By David Foster Wallace,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Infinite Jest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A writer of virtuostic talents who can seemingly do anything' New York Times

'Wallace is a superb comedian of culture . . . his exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight' James Wood, Guardian

'He induces the kind of laughter which, when read in bed with a sleeping partner, wakes said sleeping partner up . . . He's damn good' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

'One of the best books about addiction and recovery to appear in recent memory' Sunday Times

Somewhere in the not-so-distant future the residents of Ennet House, a Boston halfway house for recovering addicts, and students at the…


Book cover of All the Castles Burned

Fred Venturini Author Of The Escape of Light

From my list on about sports but not really about sports.

Who am I?

As the author of a novel where basketball plays a huge role in the main character's life, I've come to delight in and respect when an author can expertly take what is surely a passion in their own lives and turn it into a colorful and important background for the characters they've created.

Fred's book list on about sports but not really about sports

Fred Venturini Why did Fred love this book?

This criminally overlooked gem of a novel follows Owen Webb, a troubled young man with trouble at home. And the boy he befriends (or more accurately befriends him). Even more trouble. Basketball is Owen's obsession and outlet, and while it simmers in the background of this novel, it's one of the most accurate and lovingly depicted hoops books you'll ever read.

By Michael Nye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Owen Webb, the son of working-class parents, receives a scholarship to the prestigious Rockcastle Preparatory Academy, the mysterious and enigmatic Carson Bly, an upperclassman from a wealthy and powerful family, befriends him. Their friendship, deepened through a love of basketball, becomes an obsession for Owen, who is desperate to avoid the growing trouble at home between his parents. When Owen's father is arrested for a shocking and unexpected crime, his family is torn apart, and Owen's anger and fear are carefully manipulated by Carson's mercurial and increasingly dangerous personality. Owen, who has fallen in love with Carson's beautiful but…


Book cover of Stephen Florida

Fred Venturini Author Of The Escape of Light

From my list on about sports but not really about sports.

Who am I?

As the author of a novel where basketball plays a huge role in the main character's life, I've come to delight in and respect when an author can expertly take what is surely a passion in their own lives and turn it into a colorful and important background for the characters they've created.

Fred's book list on about sports but not really about sports

Fred Venturini Why did Fred love this book?

This first-person tale of a North Dakota wrestler chasing glory in his senior season isn't what you think it is as you spend a couple of hundred pages in the mind of a kid who is obsessive, hilarious, and above all, lonely. I know jack about wrestling but the sports sequences are engrossing because it's less about what's happening and more about Stephen's reaction to what's happening. Also criminally underrated.

By Gabe Habash,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"In Stephen Florida, Gabe Habash has created a coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity. Habash has a canny sense of how young men speak and behave, and in Stephen, he's created a singular character: funny, ambitious, affecting, but also deeply troubled, vulnerable, and compellingly strange. This is a shape-shifter of a book, both a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study."
Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life

Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when…


Trouble in Queenstown

By Delia Pitts,

Book cover of Trouble in Queenstown

Delia Pitts

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Vandy Myrick became a cop to fulfill her father’s expectations. After her world cratered, she became a private investigator to satisfy her own desires. Now she’s back in Queenstown, New Jersey, her childhood home, in search of solace and recovery.

Soon after her return, Vandy takes on a divorce case for the mayor’s nephew, Leo Hannah. At first the surveillance job seems routine, but Vandy soon realizes there’s trouble beneath the surface when a racially-charged murder with connections to the Hannah family rocks Q-town. She’s a minor league PI with few friends and no resources. But Vandy has a determination few possess — she’ll stop at nothing to solve this case.

Trouble in Queenstown

By Delia Pitts,

What is this book about?

With Trouble in Queenstown, Delia Pitts introduces private investigator Vandy Myrick in a powerful mystery that blends grief, class, race, and family with thrilling results.

Evander “Vandy” Myrick became a cop to fulfill her father’s expectations. After her world cratered, she became a private eye to satisfy her own. Now she's back in Queenstown, New Jersey, her childhood home, in search of solace and recovery. It's a small community of nine thousand souls crammed into twelve square miles, fenced by cornfields, warehouses, pharma labs, and tract housing. As a Black woman, privacy is hard to come by in "Q-Town," and…


Book cover of The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

Florence Madden Author Of The Intention Impact Conundrum: Practical ways to achieve the impact you want

From my list on making the impact you want in work and in life.

Who am I?

I'm an author, trainer, coach, and podcaster – a description that would have shocked my much younger self. My own journey of self-development has taken me to the privileged position, through my business, of helping others on their journey to discover their own potential. The joy of seeing this emerge is fresh with every individual and group I work with, and of course my own journey of discovery continues too. Someone once said to the Dalai Lama, "When do you get to enlightenment?"…. "When I die!" came the reply. He recognised the value of being open to ideas and change… which is just some of the fabulous gifts we get from books and each other!

Florence's book list on making the impact you want in work and in life

Florence Madden Why did Florence love this book?

Originally written as a tennis coaching text – the wisdom of this approach transcends the world of tennis and carries an important message about how changing our thinking can release the latent potential in us whatever we are doing.

The focus is on the importance of self-talk – what our outer self is telling the inner self and in doing so chimes beautifully with what we know about our unconscious mind. We know that more than 90% of our behaviour is driven by our unconscious and it hears everything we say to ourselves – so consider the impact of critical self-talk and the potential damage to our confidence and performance.

The book is summarised in the formula: Potential minus Interference = Performance

We achieve at our best when we manage the ‘Interference’ we impose on ourselves!

By W. Timothy Gallwey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Inner Game of Tennis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Improve your game and discover your true potential by increasing your concentration, willpower and confidence.

Described by Billie Jean King as her 'tennis bible', Timothy Gallwey's multi-million bestseller, including an introduction from acclaimed sports psychologist Geoff Beattie, has been a phenomenon for players of all abilities since it was first published in 1972.

Instead of concentrating on how to improve your technique, it starts from the understanding that 'every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game'. The former is played against opponents on the court, but the latter is a battle within ourselves as…


Book cover of Rhyme & Rhythm: Poems for Student Athletes

Kristin Bartley Lenz Author Of The Art of Holding on and Letting Go

From my list on teen sports (and so much more).

Who am I?

I wasn’t a sporty teen, but I discovered rock climbing in my twenties and that later inspired my first novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go. I’m also a social worker, and even though my main character Cara is a competitive climber and the book features gripping (ha!) rock climbing scenes, the story is about much more – love and loss, finding home, the transformative power of nature. Sports and athleticism (or lack thereof) are something we can all relate to. What a great starting point for exploring our multi-faceted lives.

Kristin's book list on teen sports (and so much more)

Kristin Bartley Lenz Why did Kristin love this book?

This anthology is full of heart and features a wide field of sports and experiences and identities. The poems are a mix of serious, moving, and funny moments, but most of all they’re relatable and accessible. I’ve read many of the poems several times, making new discoveries with each read, and other poems beg to be read aloud in a spoken word performance. This is a great collection for teens to enjoy by themselves, or for teachers to share in the classroom. It might even inspire you to write your own sports poem.

By Sarah J. Donovan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What is it like to be a student athlete? Basketballer, runner, swimmer, cyclist, gymnast, pitcher, wrestler, football, tennis or lacrosse player? And what is it like to balance school, practice, work, family life, love, and all that competing? What is it like for the heart, the mind, and the body? What is it like for the spirit?

Rhyme & Rhythm: Poems for Student Athletes captures through exquisite and heart-felt poetry the lives, pains, sufferings, revelations, grit, and triumphs of the student athlete. On the track, on the diamond, on the court, on the street, in the home, in the ring,…


Book cover of Open City

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.

Who am I?

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?

By most accounts, immigrant literature deals primarily with how immigrants struggle to adapt to their adopted countries.

Its readers have come to expect stories of identity formation, of how immigrants create ethnic communities and maintain ties to countries of origin. Yet such narratives can center exceptional stories of individual success or obscure the political forces that uproot millions of people the world over.

This novel simulates the intimacy of immigrant memoir by seemingly giving readers access to his narrator’s interiority; it seems to cater to readerly expectation. And yet this is ultimately a ruse to obtain readerly investment, which Cole then redirects to the global history of forced migration and dispossession.

I love the combination of erudition and subtlety in a novel that, while ranging across three continents, allows readers to think simultaneously about dislocation across history and in our contemporary world.

By Teju Cole,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Open City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut novel from a writer heralded as the twenty-first-century W. G. Sebald.

A haunting novel about national identity, race, liberty, loss and surrender, Open City follows a young Nigerian doctor as he wanders aimlessly along the streets of Manhattan. For Julius the walks are a release from the tight regulations of work, from the emotional fallout of a failed relationship, from lives past and present on either side of the Atlantic.

Isolated amid crowds of bustling strangers, Julius criss-crosses not just physical landscapes but social boundaries too, encountering people whose otherness sheds light on his own remarkable journey…


Book cover of The Long-Winded Lady: Notes from the New Yorker

Alex Witchel Author Of All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments

From my list on to read in the waiting room.

Who am I?

I am the oldest of four children and was always close to my mom. She was a trailblazer, earning her doctorate in educational psychology in 1963 and teaching at the college level. In her early 70’s her memory started to falter, and she lived with dementia for 10 years before she died. I was a reporter at The New York Times and had published three books by that point. My fourth became All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments. I spent years in doctors’ and hospital’s waiting rooms and these are some of the books that helped make that time not only tolerable but sometimes, even joyful. 

Alex's book list on to read in the waiting room

Alex Witchel Why did Alex love this book?

“I saw a little boy on the street today, and he cried so eloquently that I will never forget him.” Maeve Brennan wrote for the New Yorker’s Talk of the Town section as ‘The Long-Winded Lady’ from 1954 to 1968. She roamed the city’s streets, bars, and restaurants, eyes wide open, weaving stories of vivid emotional detail from the most seemingly mundane moments. None of these are too long – in the waiting room concentration can be fleeting – but each sketch engages. Her story of the crying boy ends this way: “He might have been the last bird in the world, except that if he had been the last bird there would have been no one to hear him.”

By Maeve Brennan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Of all the incomparable stable of journalists who wrote for The New Yorker during its glory days in the Fifties and Sixties,” writes The Independent, “the most distinctive was Irish-born Maeve Brennan.” From 1954 to 1981, Maeve Brennan wrote for The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” column under the pen name “The Long-Winded Lady.” Her unforgettable sketches—prose snapshots of life in small restaurants, cheap hotels, and crowded streets of Times Square and the Village—together form a timeless, bittersweet tribute to what she called the “most reckless, most ambitious, most confused, most comical, the saddest and coldest and most human…


Book cover of The Wise Women

Caroline Leavitt Author Of With or Without You

From my list on hidden gems that won’t stay hidden for long.

Who am I?

I’m a voracious reader, an author, and also a book critic, so hundreds of books cross my desk. What I love the most is the feeling of discovery—reading a book whose likes I haven’t seen on any bestseller list or on a front display in a bookstore. There are so many, many hidden gems—books that have stayed with me long after the publication day, and I always want others to have the same devotion to them that I do!

Caroline's book list on hidden gems that won’t stay hidden for long

Caroline Leavitt Why did Caroline love this book?

Maybe not a hidden gem (it was a Good Morning America Buzz Pick), but this one surely should be in everyone’s book bag.

New York City’s the bustling backdrop of this wildly witty novel about two adult daughters and their meddling advice columnist mother. Clementine struggles with working and bringing up her six-year-old boy, and her one comfort is the beautiful Queens home she thought she owned—right up until she discovers her husband has mortgaged their house for his failing start-up.

Sister Barb has a cheating girlfriend, and advice columnist mom has issues of her own! Can Wendy swoop in to save the day? Or does she? Smart, smart fun.

By Gina Sorell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Buzz Pick and one of Read With Jenna's Most Anticipated Books of 2022

"I laughed and shook my head in recognition as the three Wise women crashed through love relationships, terrible advice, and delightful moments of connection. The Wise Women is a smart and tender novel about how hard-and vital-it is to find the place where we belong." -Amanda Eyre Ward, New York Times bestselling author of The Jetsetters and The Lifeguards

A witty and wildly enjoyable novel, set in New York City, about two adult daughters and their meddling advice columnist mother, for readers of…


Book cover of This Is New York

Tania de Regil Author Of A New Home

From my list on picture books about cities.

Who am I?

When I was a young girl, I was lucky to have friends from all over the world, so learning about a new country or a new city always fascinated me, and it still does. I’m always trying to learn new things, meet new people and whenever I can I like to travel the world. As a writer and illustrator, it’s always nice to experience new things, it helps to expand my imagination. I hope this list inspires you not only to read but to learn a few things here and there.  

Tania's book list on picture books about cities

Tania de Regil Why did Tania love this book?

Anyone who is curious about other cities and cultures will love the complete series of the This Is… books by Miroslav Sasek. They are filled with exciting facts and the colorful illustrations are truly delightful. From New York, to London, to Hong Kong, and many more, these books will inspire you to travel the world!

By Miroslav Sasek,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the same wit and perception that distinguished his stylish books on Paris, London, and Rome, M. Sasek pictures fabulous, big-hearted New York City in This Is New York, first published in 1960 and now updated for the 21st century. The Dutchman who bought the island of Manhattan from the Native Americnas in 1626 for twenty-four dollars' worth of handy housewares little knew that his was the biggest bargain in American history. For everything about New York is big -- the buildings, the traffic jams, the cars, the stories, the Sunday papers. Here is the Staten Island Ferry, the Statute…


Book cover of Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion

Shastri Akella Author Of The Sea Elephants

From my list on international queer heroes.

Who am I?

When I first wrote The Sea Elephants, my protagonist (Shagun) and I were both asexual. My writing professor read the novel and said it’s dying to be a gay love story. Eventually, when I came out and rewrote the book from my newfound identity of queerness, I searched for queer stories that, like mine, were set outside the US or had non-American leads. And I realized that this is a significant gap that needs to be bridged. I felt a tremendous sense of solidarity with the books I did find. They made me feel less alone. Later, as an assistant professor of English, I’ve taught all of these books.

Shastri's book list on international queer heroes

Shastri Akella Why did Shastri love this book?

The rare South Asian diasporic novel with a queer lead, Bushra Rehman’s novel is set in the 1980s New York and follows Razia, a second generation Pakistani-American girl living in Queens as she finds strong female friendship with Taslima and eventually falls in love with Angela. But being Pakistani-American means, for Razia, making a difficult choice: home or love.

This novel will resonate deeply with anyone who loves New York or has found themselves on the fringes of their families because of who they are.

By Bushra Rehman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Razia Mirza grows up amid the wild grape vines and backyard sunflowers of Corona, Queens, with her best friend, Saima, by her side. When a family rift drives the girls apart, Razia's heart is broken. She finds solace in Taslima, a new girl in her close knit Pakistani-American community. They embark on a series of small rebellions: listening to scandalous music, wearing mini skirts, and cutting school to explore the city.

When Razia is accepted to Stuyvesant, a prestigious high school in Manhattan, the gulf between the person she is and the daughter her parents want her to be, widens.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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