The most recommended books on choice and choosing

Who picked these books? Meet our 62 experts.

62 authors created a book list connected to choice and choosing, and here are their favorite choice and choosing books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of choice and choosing book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of Two Summers

Kristina Miranda Author Of Perfume Princess

From my list on YA contemporary romances that take you abroad.

Who am I?

I write romantic comedies for readers who want adventure in the great wide somewhere and can’t wait until the next time they hear the words bon voyage! Even as a young, midwestern farm girl, I always had a passion for languages and a strong desire to travel. As soon I flew the coop and went to college, I made friends with students from all over the world. Eventually, I followed my travel plans, learned to speak three languages, and now can’t decide whether to adopt London or Paris as my European hometown. 

Kristina's book list on YA contemporary romances that take you abroad

Kristina Miranda Why did Kristina love this book?

This charming parallel universe story is like two contemporary realistic novels in one. Fifteen-year-old Summer Everette makes a choice at the beginning of the book (no spoilers, here!) that will either take her to France or keep her in upstate New York for the summer. So why not see what would happen in both worlds?

This book has all the elements I love. A relatable protagonist, two adorable love interests, and tons of heart. Add the French countryside element and voila! Parfait!

By Aimee Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Two Summers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

This summer, Summer's saying goodbye to her best friend, her secret
crush and her single mom and is off on a trip of a lifetime to
visit her estranged artist father in France.

But right before she's about to board, her phone rings. Should she
answer it?

Either way, it's going to be a summer Summer will never forget.


Book cover of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters

David G. Myers Author Of How Do We Know Ourselves? Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind

From my list on psychological science wisdom about the human mind.

Who am I?

I’m a Hope College social psychologist who reports on psychological science in textbooks, general audience trade books, and essays. My career has progressed from experiments on group decision-making to reading widely in psychological science in search of discoveries and big ideas that educated people should know about. Two aims animate my writing: to enable people, amid a sea of misinformation, to think smarter about their lives, and to savor the wonders of their lives. 

David's book list on psychological science wisdom about the human mind

David G. Myers Why did David love this book?

“For the time is coming when people will...turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths.” So wrote St. Paul, two millennia ago. And so it has come to pass in our age, with misinformation spreading faster than truth, and democracy threatened by anti-science conspiracy thinking. In response to this post-truth world, Pinker, with his characteristic wit and wisdom, exposes the roots and fruits of human irrationality and guides us to thinking smarter. A book for our time.

By Steven Pinker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021

'Punchy, funny and invigorating ... Pinker is the high priest of rationalism' Sunday Times

'If you've ever considered taking drugs to make yourself smarter, read Rationality instead. It's cheaper, more entertaining, and more effective' Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind

In the twenty-first century, humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding - and at the same time appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that discovered vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, quack cures and conspiracy theorizing?

In Rationality, Pinker rejects…


Book cover of The Book of Two Ways

Rita Lee Chapman Author Of The Poinciana Tree

From Rita's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Problem-solver Chocolate lover Tennis player Avid reader Horse lover

Rita's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Rita Lee Chapman Why did Rita love this book?

This is an intricate love story which will take you on an emotional journey.

Having survived a plane crash, Dawn decides that, instead of going home to her husband of fifteen years in Boston, she will fly straight to Cairo and her previous lover.

Going back to the world of archaeology, which she loved - the excitement of the discovery of a new tomb, even the hard conditions, lack of space and comforts – she is forced to face her feelings for the man she left behind all those years ago.

Did she make a mistake when she left him, or did she make the right decision? Will she be able to work alongside him on the project, or will their relationship pick up where they left off? I didn’t like the ending of this book, but I did enjoy the story!

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Book of Two Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A writer the world should be reading right now.' Independent

Who would you be, if you hadn't turned out to be the person you are now?

Dawn is a death doula, and spends her life helping people make the final transition peacefully.

But when the plane she's on plummets, she finds herself thinking not of the perfect life she has, but the life she was forced to abandon fifteen years ago - when she left behind a career in Egyptology, and a man she loved.

Against the odds, she survives, and the airline offers her a ticket to wherever she…


Book cover of The One Thing You'd Save

John Micklos Jr. Author Of Raindrops to Rainbow

From my list on recent picture books with a message.

Who am I?

I have written 60 books over the past 20 years. My titles include picture books, poetry books, and dozens of nonfiction books covering a wide range of history and social studies topics. My picture books deal with concepts such as counting and colors. I enjoy rhyming and wordplay and conveying ideas in simple terms. 

John's book list on recent picture books with a message

John Micklos Jr. Why did John love this book?

It begins with a simple assignment—a teacher asks her class the one thing they’d save if their home were on fire. The answers, ranging from practical items such as cell phones, laptops, and wallets to priceless mementos such as a sweater knitted by gran, a baseball star’s autograph, and a lock of hair from a younger brother who died, reveal a lot about the students’ backgrounds and priorities. The text is written in a line structure called sijo—an ancient form of traditional Korean poetry. Simple black-and-white illustrations provides a nice complement to the text. This is a great book to get kids thinking about what is really important in their lives. 

By Linda Sue Park, Robert Sae-Heng (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The One Thing You'd Save 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?

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save? Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park explores different answers to this provocative question in linked poems that capture the diverse voices of a middle school class. Recipient of four starred reviews!

"[Park's] message is powerful: We don’t need a great blazing tragedy to determine what we hold most precious in our lives; we can define what’s vital through our thoughts and memories, always at hand, in our heads and hearts—safe, where the flames don’t reach."—New York Times Book Review

When a teacher asks her class what one thing they…


Book cover of Bumped

Tracy Lawson Author Of Counteract

From my list on young people oppressed by dystopian societies.

Who am I?

In dystopian societies, which are nothing more than twisted versions of perfection, people are often treated as slaves or children. They are kept from reaching their full potential by the rules and regulations designed to curtail their freedoms in the name of safety. It’s not just fiction anymore. We saw dystopia unfold in 2020. People beat each other up over packages of toilet paper. College kids staged rebellions…I mean spring break…on the beaches. That got me thinking—what does it really mean to grow up? How do young people determine what is responsible behavior and what is selfish? How do they know when to protect themselves, and when to stand up and reclaim their inalienable rights?

Tracy's book list on young people oppressed by dystopian societies

Tracy Lawson Why did Tracy love this book?

In Bumped, a worldwide pandemic of the Human Progressive Sterility Virus renders the adult population sterile. About three-quarters of teenagers are infected and will go irreversibly sterile sometime between their eighteenth and twentieth birthdays. This changes attitudes about teen pregnancy. The survival of humanity depends on it.

The situation spurs a variety of responses. Trendy stores at the mall sell provocative clothing and “fun bumps,” strap-on bellies that show the girls how sexy they’ll look when pregnant. School clubs put the focus on procreation. The main character’s parents are determined to cash in on their daughter’s great genes and virginity and broker her first child to the highest bidder.

I read this book when my daughter was a teenager. Yikes! I know how much teenagers are influenced by social media, advertising, and their peers. It was horrifying how the government tried to manipulate the teens into having as much…

By Megan McCafferty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bumped as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for 'conception contracts' with the prettiest, healthiest and cleverest girls - cash, college tuition and liposuction in exchange for a baby.

Sixteen-year-old Melody is gorgeous, athletic and has perfect grades, and has scored an amazing contract with a rich couple. And she's been matched with one of the most desirable 'bumping' partners in the world - the incredibly hot, genetically flawless Jondoe.

But Melody's luck is about to run out. She discovers…


Book cover of QBQ! The Question Behind The Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Author Of Leading with Questions: How Leaders Discover Powerful Answers by Knowing How and What to Ask

From my list on asking questions that will change you and the world.

Who are we?

Michael Marquardt is Professor Emeritus of Human and Organizational Learning at George Washington University, where he directed the Global Certificate and Executive Leadership Programs. He's a Co-founder and first President of the World Institute for Action Learning. Dr. Marquardt has authored 27 books and his publications has sold over a million copies. Bob Tiede is on the U.S. Leadership Development Team at Cru, an interdenominational Christian parachurch organization. His blog, LeadingWithQuestions.com is in its 11th year and followed by Leaders in over 190 countries. Bob is the author of Great Leaders ASK Questions, Little Book of Big Leading With Questions Quotes, and 262 Questions Paul the Apostle of Christ Asked.

Michael's book list on asking questions that will change you and the world

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Why did Michael love this book?

Too often, too many of us, ask “Victim Questions” like “When are they going to train me?” or “When are they going to tell us what’s going on?”

Instead of asking “Victim Questions” John teaches us to ask  “QBQs” (The Question Behind the Question).  For example, “What could I do to get trained?” or “How could I find out what is going on?  Asking QBQ’s has consistently moved me from being stuck to having a way forward! 

By John G. Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No one can successfully achieve goals and new objectives, provide outstanding service, engage in exceptional teamwork, make change in their community or lead other people without personal accountability.

After decades of working with organisations and individuals, John G. Miller knows that the troubles that plague them cannot be solved by pointing fingers and blaming others. Rather, the real solutions are found when each of us recognizes the value of our own accountability. In this book, Miller explains how negative, ill-focused questions like "Who dropped the ball?" harm rather than help. Conversely, when we begin to ask better questions - QBQs,…


Book cover of Jane, Unlimited

Katie Kennedy Author Of What Goes Up

From my list on with parallel worlds.

Who am I?

I’m a history instructor and often think about alternate historical outcomes, but you don’t get to choose those. Wish the Spanish Armada hadn’t sunk? Tough luck. But you can take a novel in any direction—kill a character, bring them back, let them fall in love, make them eat an egg salad sandwich… When the book itself is about parallel worlds, it increases those possibilities exponentially. In What Goes Up, Rosa and Eddie have very different backgrounds—Earth is two different worlds for them. What happens when there’s another world out there and they meet themselves in a different place? As one character asks, how much do you trust yourself?

Katie's book list on with parallel worlds

Katie Kennedy Why did Katie love this book?

Jane, Unlimited is a marvelously constructed book that focuses on Jane, a girl grieving her aunt and making umbrellas, who gets an invitation to a mysterious island mansion. I am here for all mysterious island mansion books. This estate is named Tu Reviens–"You come back” in French. That is, of course, a clue to the premise. There are a couple of possible love interests, but it’s not a love triangle and I don’t think it would annoy the people who are dead set against triangles.

By Kristin Cashore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jane, Unlimited as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

An instant New York Times bestseller—from the award-winning author of the Graceling Realm series—about adventure, grief, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.

"A wild gift for readers who like books that take them to unexpected places."—Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is lost. So she's easily swept away when a glamorous, capricious, and wealthy acquaintance from years ago asks Jane to accompany her to a gala…


Book cover of Orphan #8

Marlene Trestman Author Of Most Fortunate Unfortunates: The Jewish Orphans' Home of New Orleans

From my list on orphans and orphanages for children and adults.

Who am I?

A former special assistant to Maryland’s attorney general, I reluctantly gave up my three-decade legal career to tell two remarkable stories I was uniquely qualified to tell. Orphaned at age 11, I grew up in New Orleans as a foster care client of the Jewish Children’s Regional Service, the agency that formerly ran the orphanage in which my mentor, legal trailblazer Bessie Margolin, was raised. It was also the orphanage in which I would've been raised had it not closed in 1946. During the time I spent with Bessie Margolin she inspired me to both become her future biographer and go on to write the first comprehensive history of the nation’s earliest purpose-built Jewish orphanage.

Marlene's book list on orphans and orphanages for children and adults

Marlene Trestman Why did Marlene love this book?

Kim Van Alkemade wrote this New York Times bestselling novel based upon a series of real-life experiences, including those of her great-grandmother who worked as a counselor in New York’s Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

Orphan #8 is a powerful and unforgettable book about Rachel, who after being placed in New York’s Hebrew Infant Home, is subjected to experimental radiation treatments as Dr. Mildred Solomon bolsters her medical reputation at the expense of the little girl’s health.

The story focuses on Rachel, now an adult nurse, when Dr. Solomon becomes her patient. Given the widespread popularity of this book, I know I was not the only reader riveted by Rachel’s choice between compassion and retribution, and the extraordinary human capacity to cause harm and to love. 

By Kim van Alkemade,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Orphan #8 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before. In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City's Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave…


Book cover of Mr Breakfast

JL Civi Author Of Timely Persuasion

From JL's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Eclectic Weird Connector of dots

JL's 3 favorite reads in 2023

JL Civi Why did JL love this book?

Jonathan Carroll is my favorite author. He’s also my wife’s favorite. We lovingly bicker over who gets to read his books first whenever a new one is released, oftentimes ending up with two bookmarks as we alternate reading it at the same time.

Sixteen novels in, Carroll has perfected his take on magic realism, where anything can happen and it’s no big deal while always grounding the story in observational truisms such as “You can love someone and still think they’re an idiot.”

I hope he has another book in him, and I hope it doesn’t take another 9 years.

By Jonathan Carroll,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the great modern masters of the fantastic, “A beautiful, brilliant, meditation on art, love, inspiration and what makes life worthwhile."-- Neil Gaiman

"[Carroll's] prose is spare, polished and quick-moving, sometimes lightly comic, always immensely engaging... Mr. Breakfast is pure pleasure to read. It will surprise you, make you laugh and scare you — and then, just when you think it’s over, add several extra twists." - Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

Graham Patterson’s life has hit a dead end. His career as a comedian is failing. The love of his life recently broke up with him and…


Book cover of Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Markus Eberl Author Of War Owl Falling: Innovation, Creativity, and Culture Change in Ancient Maya Society

From my list on innovation in the past when this wasn't yet a thing.

Who am I?

As an archaeologist, I love prehistoric things and what can I learn from them about the people that made them and left them behind. I study ancient Maya commoners in what is now modern Guatemala. Their material remains are humble but include depictions and symbols normally found in the palaces of Maya kings and queens. First I wondered and then I studied how the title-giving war owl fell into the hands of Maya commoners. By approaching this process as innovation, I discuss creativity in the past and cultural changes that result from it.

Markus' book list on innovation in the past when this wasn't yet a thing

Markus Eberl Why did Markus love this book?

This book introduced the concept of nudging into the public discourse, and I guess all of us have encountered it one way or the other. How many reminders have I gotten to sign up for this or that program?… Alas, I love Thaler and Sunstein's concept of choice architects. It made me think about power as a capacity to affect not only people but also the very framework in which people make decisions.

By Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now available: Nudge: The Final Edition

The original edition of the multimillion-copy New York Times bestseller by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, James Clear’s Atomic Habits, and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow

Named a Best Book of the Year by TheEconomist and the Financial Times

Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion…