Welcome to the Empathy Library search page. Use keywords to search for books and films, or browse the collection using filters (e.g. under Book Type select 'fiction' or under Theme choose 'love' or 'poverty'). Results are automatically ranked by popularity. Join the library to add items, comment and give ratings.
‘I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’
There’s something about this book that breaks down the wall of fiction and leaves the reader feeling viscerally overwhelmed by what they‘ve just read.
At fifteen, I discovered Raymond Carver in a book of short stories that two friends of my parents kindly let me lift from their house in the middle of a car trip. Carver writes wonderfully about empathy.
The novel, Bel Canto, is one of my favourite books of all time. It offers suspense, well-developed characters, and universal themes of love and forgiveness.
With touching detail, Shaun Tan's picture book tells the story of a migrant family, seeking refuge and asylum in a strange new city. By depicting this new city as an alienating, science-fiction world, Tan performs a neat trick on our empathy glands.
Does it make sense to “review” great poetry? The following is from Milosz’s Campo dei Fiori:
“In Rome, on Campo dei Fiori,
baskets of olives and lemons
cobbles spattered with wine
and the wreckage of flowers.
Willy is a lonely chimpanzee living in a world of intimidating-looking gorillas, until one day he literally bumps into a gentle giant, Hugh Jape, and thus begins an exceptional and charming friendship.
I was hugely impressed when I came across Malaria, Poems. This collection really is a moving and powerful feat of the empathic imagination. Poems such as 'Still Born' take us into minds and lives that most of us barely or rarely think about, and the result is both shocking and inspiring.
In this 2013 Newbery Award Winner, a fictionalized account of Ivan, a real-life gorilla who was a Seattle mall tourist attraction for 26 years, is exquisitely written by Katherine Applegate for middle grade readers.
George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) was a great believer in the power of empathy to move her readers. Back when she was writing in the 19th century, empathy was generally known as ‘sympathy’.