If You Liked “Nomadland,” Try These

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The film adaptation of “Nomadland: Survivng America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder just won Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars. As my colleague and co-worker Gabby describes in her Staff Picks for the book, it is an engaging and thought-provoking journalistic account of the author’s time living and traveling with older Americans who have chosen or been forced by circumstances to become itinerant workers on the margins of society.

I’ve put together a list of read-alikes for the book and film, covering different facets of their appeal. Here are studies of communities that live outside of what could be considered the norm, stories of looking for home or elegizing what home was, stories of being a migrant, and histories of homelessness and the causes of poverty.

Peruse the list to find a book (or movie) that matches the aspect of “Nomadland” that most resonated with you!

And for more suggestions check out these read-alikes for the book “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive,”  which cover similar topics and themes.

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

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Broke, USA

The industry built on poverty – the network of businesses that thrive on creating and maintaining debt for people who live paycheck to paycheck – is explored and exposed in this investigative narrative. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.

Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America

After the Civil War,hobohemia” sprang up: a subculture centered on the lives of homeless men sweeping across the country and preserving their idea of masculinity and America. The influence of that subculture on the idea of social order and our politics can be seen today.

Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport

As the author prepares to welcome her first child, she discovers that all three of her childhood homes have been demolished at one time or another to accommodate the expansion of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. She decides to investigate this sprawl and the loss of her homes. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

The Florida Project

Moonee, a six-year-old, lives with her mother in the community of working poor housed in shabby hotels in the shadow of Disney World. You can also check out this title as video on Hoopla.

Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America

With a mix of storytelling and journalistic reporting, this book brings readers into activist movements fighting the housing crisis in San Francisco, and illuminates the implications for the rest of the country. 

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories From Red States

Throughout Real Queer America, transgender writer Samantha Allen vows to do “something gay every day.” It may not seem like that hard of a task if she was ensconced in a major city like New York or Chicago with its concentrations of gay residents. It becomes a bit harder in the Deep South or the Rio Grande Valley. Yet, throughout Allen’s travels, she shows that there is plenty of gay life that is happening well outside metropolitan hubs. 

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Hoopla. 

The Salt Path

An older British couple lose their house and farm and the husband receives a devastating diagnosis. They decide, with nothing left to lose, to walk 630 miles along the seaside route through Devon and Cornwall known as the South West Coast Path, encountering challenges and joyous moments along the way. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

The Undocumented Americans

Looking beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMers, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented—and the mysteries of her own life. She finds the singular, effervescent characters across the nation often reduced in the media to political pawns or nameless laborers. You can also check out this title as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.