100 books like As Meat Loves Salt

By Maria McCann,

Here are 100 books that As Meat Loves Salt fans have personally recommended if you like As Meat Loves Salt. 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 Grief

Jeffrey Richards Author Of We Are Only Ghosts

From my list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

I came of age in Oklahoma as a gay youth in the late 1970s and early 1980s, keeping myself hidden out of safety and shame. Once I was old enough to leave my small-minded town and be myself, I crashed headlong into the oncoming AIDS epidemic. It set me on a path to understanding the world and my place in it as a homosexual. I turned to reading about the lives and histories of those who came before me, to learn about their deaths and survivals in what could be an ugly, brutal world. These works continue to draw me, haunt me, and inspire me to share my story through my writing. 

Jeffrey's book list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way)

Jeffrey Richards Why did Jeffrey love this book?

The quiet endurance of grief. I love this small, meditative novella that captures the essence of grief as it continues to linger in the body, the mind, and the heart long past the comfortability of those around you.

While the story focuses on the main character, an aging, gay professor who has come to Washington, DC, for a visiting professorship after losing his mother to a long illness, each person encountered is grieving something in their own way (I truly love that Holleran mirrors the main character’s grief with that of Mary Todd Lincoln’s after losing her husband to an assassin but also still grieving the death of her son via a biography he’s reading).

What I find so beautiful about this book is that Holleran doesn’t go for the theatrics of grief. He keeps the story and the emotions calm, methodic, and persistent with such great care to craft…

By Andrew Holleran,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the tradition of Michael Cunningham's The Hours, a beautiful novel destined to become a classic

Reeling from the recent death of his invalid mother, a worn, jaded professor comes to our nation's capital to recuperate from his loss. What he finds there--in his repressed, lonely landlord, in the city's mood and architecture, and in the letters and journals of Mary Todd Lincoln--shows him new, poignant truths about America, yearning, loneliness, and mourning itself.

Since Andrew Holleran first burst onto the scene with 1978's groundbreaking Dancer from the Dance, which has been continuously in print, he has been dazzling readers…


Book cover of The Prophets

Jeffrey Richards Author Of We Are Only Ghosts

From my list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

I came of age in Oklahoma as a gay youth in the late 1970s and early 1980s, keeping myself hidden out of safety and shame. Once I was old enough to leave my small-minded town and be myself, I crashed headlong into the oncoming AIDS epidemic. It set me on a path to understanding the world and my place in it as a homosexual. I turned to reading about the lives and histories of those who came before me, to learn about their deaths and survivals in what could be an ugly, brutal world. These works continue to draw me, haunt me, and inspire me to share my story through my writing. 

Jeffrey's book list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way)

Jeffrey Richards Why did Jeffrey love this book?

This is one of those novels I read as a writer, and I thought I should just pack it in because I’ll never be able to write anything so gloriously beautiful, heartbreaking, and perfect.

While Robert Jones, Jr. meticulously creates an atmosphere of the harsh realities of slavery–stretching from the shores of Africa to the cotton fields of Mississippi–he brings us up above all that ugliness, all that inhumanity by offering a transcendental love story between two of the slaves, Samuel and Isaiah.

Even though the harshness, so realized that it made my stomach turn while reading the story, is so visceral and painful, it is the love story that not only infuses itself throughout the plantation–from the slave quarters to the main house–that supersedes all and wends its way into your skin, your heart, your soul. This novel is an achievement beyond anything I expected.

By Robert Jones, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*

'This visionary and deeply evocative debut carves a radiant love story out of the bleakest of landscapes.' Waterstones - Best Books to Look Out For in 2021

'An Outstanding novel' Guardian
'A lyrical, poetic novel' Independent
'Epic in its scale' Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
'A rare marvel' Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
'Magisterial' Courttia Newland, author of A River Called Time
'A spellbinding debut' COSMO
'Ambitious and intense' Vanity Fair

In this blinding debut, Robert Jones Jr. blends the lyricism of Toni Morrison with the vivid prose…


Book cover of Was

Jeffrey Richards Author Of We Are Only Ghosts

From my list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

I came of age in Oklahoma as a gay youth in the late 1970s and early 1980s, keeping myself hidden out of safety and shame. Once I was old enough to leave my small-minded town and be myself, I crashed headlong into the oncoming AIDS epidemic. It set me on a path to understanding the world and my place in it as a homosexual. I turned to reading about the lives and histories of those who came before me, to learn about their deaths and survivals in what could be an ugly, brutal world. These works continue to draw me, haunt me, and inspire me to share my story through my writing. 

Jeffrey's book list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way)

Jeffrey Richards Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Oh, Was, how I love your relentlessly bleak, depressing sadness.

This is a strangely inventive novel that twines reality and fantasy into a brutal, desolate, yet gorgeous story of pain and survival. Told from the points of view of numerous characters, each story is tethered in some way to The Wizard of Oz, that venerable fable about good versus evil in the search for home.

Ryman introduces us to a main trio of characters whose lives are all equally harrowing–Dorothy Gael (the imagined inspiration for The Wizard of Oz heroine and the victim of familial sexual abuse), Frances Gumm (who becomes the tragic Judy Garland), and Jonathan (an actor experiencing AIDS-related dementia)–whose stories he intricately weaves together like a master craftsman. And while the novel is not a “happy” read by any stretch of the imagination, what has stayed with me throughout the past thirty years is its…

By Geoff Ryman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dorothy, orphaned in the 1870s, goes to live with her Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. Baby Frances sings with her family on stage in the 1920s. From the settling of the West and the heyday of the studios, to the metropolis of modern Los Angeles, this book follows the development of the USA.


Book cover of At Swim, Two Boys

Jeffrey Richards Author Of We Are Only Ghosts

From my list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

I came of age in Oklahoma as a gay youth in the late 1970s and early 1980s, keeping myself hidden out of safety and shame. Once I was old enough to leave my small-minded town and be myself, I crashed headlong into the oncoming AIDS epidemic. It set me on a path to understanding the world and my place in it as a homosexual. I turned to reading about the lives and histories of those who came before me, to learn about their deaths and survivals in what could be an ugly, brutal world. These works continue to draw me, haunt me, and inspire me to share my story through my writing. 

Jeffrey's book list on LGBT+ novels that haunt me (in a good way)

Jeffrey Richards Why did Jeffrey love this book?

This is my favorite novel of all time, bar none.

The sweeping saga of two seemingly socially disparate boys caught up in the volatile world of early 1900s Ireland from which springs forth the Easter Uprising. As a writer and a reader, I am amazed at the historical details and language that are completely immersive, as well as by the structure and control O’Neill wields over the book. Yet he never overwhelms with the “history,” nor does he ever lose sight of the true story, the true heart of his stunning novel.

The love story between the boys is timeless and beautiful and, of course, tragic, as is so often the case with gay love stories from our history. It has haunted me since I first read the novel some twenty-two years ago. It is yet another book I often come back to reread, and I am astounded all over…

By Jamie O'Neill,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked At Swim, Two Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Praised as “a work of wild, vaulting ambition and achievement” by Entertainment Weekly, Jamie O’Neill’s first novel invites comparison to such literary greats as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Charles Dickens.

Jim Mack is a naïve young scholar and the son of a foolish, aspiring shopkeeper. Doyler Doyle is the rough-diamond son—revolutionary and blasphemous—of Mr. Mack’s old army pal. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the nude, the two boys make a pact: Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, on Easter of 1916, they will swim to the…


Book cover of Britain in Revolution: 1625-1660

Kirsteen MacKenzie Author Of The Solemn League and Covenant of the Three Kingdoms and the Cromwellian Union, 1643-1663

From my list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic historian who has had a passion for the wars of the three kingdoms for over three decades. I have been reading books about the civil wars in Britain and Ireland since I was ten years old. I have been a member of the re-enactment society The Sealed Knot and the Cromwell Association. I published my first monograph on the wars of the three kingdoms in 2018. The monograph views the conflict from a three kingdoms perspective through the eyes of the Scottish Covenanters and their English allies. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Kirsteen's book list on he Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1637-1653

Kirsteen MacKenzie Why did Kirsteen love this book?

This is an integrated and detailed account of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms across Britain and Ireland, the English Republic and the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. It is written in an engaging and lively style and concisely integrates the large body of scholarship that emerged with the new British histories in the 1990s and early 2000s.

By Austin Woolrych,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the definitive history of the English Civil War, set in its full historical context from the accession of Charles I to the Restoration of Charles II. These were the most turbulent years of British history and their reverberations have been felt down the centuries. Throughout the middle decades of the seventeenth century England, Scotland, and Ireland were convulsed by political upheaval and wracked by rebellion and civil war. The Stuart monarchy was in
abeyance for twenty years in all three kingdoms, and Charles I famously met his death on the scaffold.

Austin Woolrych breathes life back into the…


Book cover of Cromwell

Nancy Blanton Author Of When Starlings Fly as One

From my list on Ireland in the 17th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nancy Blanton is an American author of Irish descent. She’s written three award-winning Irish historical novels and has a fourth underway. A former journalist, her focus on the 17th century derives from a history lesson about Oliver Cromwell, weariness of Tudor stories, decades of enlightening research, and a little help from supportive friends in County Cork.

Nancy's book list on Ireland in the 17th century

Nancy Blanton Why did Nancy love this book?

For those who like biographies, this story of Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) follows him from young man to gentleman farmer, reluctant politician, military leader, regicide, and Lord Protector of England. To me, Cromwell will always be the cold destroyer who led his most brutal and devastating army across Ireland after England’s civil war. But, there are many differing opinions. This interesting read presents all sides of the man, so you can be the judge. 

By Antonia Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Cromwell, award-winning biographer Antonia Fraser tells of one of England's most celebrated and controversial figures, often misunderstood and demonized as a puritanical zealot. Oliver Cromwell rose from humble beginnings to spearhead the rebellion against King Charles I, who was beheaded in 1649, and led his soldiers into the last battle against the Royalists and King Charles II at Worcester, ending the civil war in 1651. Fraser shows how England's prestige and prosperity grew under Cromwell, reversing the decline it had suffered since Queen Elizabeth I's death.


Book cover of The Diary of William Harvey: The Imaginary Journal of the Physician Who Revolutionized Medicine

Helen King Author Of Greek and Roman Medicine

From my list on discovering the circulation of the blood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by history since I was a fairly sickly child, which means I was gradually drawn towards the history of medicine. Add to that having a hereditary blood clotting condition and you can see why this topic appeals to me! I have a BA and a PhD in History from University College London and have held posts in the universities of Cambridge, Newcastle, Reading, and then at The Open University. I’ve also held visiting professorships in Vienna, Texas, and Minnesota and have published six books as well as editing others. I’m sort of retired but still writing and lecturing.

Helen's book list on discovering the circulation of the blood

Helen King Why did Helen love this book?

It was a great idea to make Harvey come to life by imagining what he’d have written in his diary! This is a well-researched book which gets across how much more there was to Harvey than just the circulation of the blood. His family, his work on the development of the embryo, his role as a physician to King Charles I, and his encounters with witches – a great story – as well as a convincing sense of the sort of man he was and of the times in which he lived.

By Jean Hamburger, Barbara Wright (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French


Book cover of Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion, and Great Houses

Nancy Blanton Author Of When Starlings Fly as One

From my list on Ireland in the 17th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nancy Blanton is an American author of Irish descent. She’s written three award-winning Irish historical novels and has a fourth underway. A former journalist, her focus on the 17th century derives from a history lesson about Oliver Cromwell, weariness of Tudor stories, decades of enlightening research, and a little help from supportive friends in County Cork.

Nancy's book list on Ireland in the 17th century

Nancy Blanton Why did Nancy love this book?

Also not specifically set in Ireland, this book reveals in wonderful detail what life was like in the great manor houses of both England and Ireland. Such houses distinguished the 17th century from the age of castles and fortresses, and were lavishly constructed and furnished as tangible statements of power and wealth. You’ll learn what daily life was like from chambermaid to earl.

By Lucy Worsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

William Cavendish was a gifted horseman, prolific womaniser and skilled diplomat. Famously defeated at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, he went into a long and miserable exile before returning to England in triumph on the restoration of King Charles II to the throne in 1660. But this is not just the story of that one remarkable man and the courtly world of King Charles I and his Cavaliers. More than that, Lucy Worsley brings to life the complex and fascinating household hierarchies of the seventeenth century, painting a picture of conspiracy, sexual intrigue, clandestine marriage and gossip. From…


Book cover of The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice

Amelia Abraham Author Of We Can Do Better Than This: 35 Voices on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights

From my list on queer stories to expand your thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing about LGBTQ+ culture for magazines and newspapers for almost a decade, and am a voracious consumer of queer stories. Queer literature makes our various needs and desires as a community come alive on the page, and helps us to connect with and understand one another. Reading LGBTQ+ books is a way to learn about contemporary queer life, and work out what more we can be doing to help those more marginalised than us. 

Amelia's book list on queer stories to expand your thinking

Amelia Abraham Why did Amelia love this book?

This book is written with the utmost clarity – making an incisive and digestible argument why liberation for trans people fits into wider fights for socialism and justice for minorities. With chapters on why “T” belongs in “LGBT” and why trans inclusion should be core to feminist movements, it’s an essential read for LGBTQ+ people and their allies. 

By Shon Faye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'Few books are as urgent as Shon Faye's debut ... Faye has hope for the future - and maybe so should we' Independent

'Unsparing, important and weighty ... a vitally needed antidote' Observer

'Takes the status quo by the lapels and gives it a shaking' Times Literary Supplement

Trans people in Britain today have become a culture war 'issue'. Despite making up less than one per cent of the country's population, they are the subjects of a toxic and increasingly polarized 'debate' which generates reliable controversy for newspapers and talk shows. This media frenzy conceals…


Book cover of The Great Silence: Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age

Lesley Glaister Author Of Blasted Things

From my list on finding a new normal after World War I.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the prize-winning author of sixteen novels, most recently Little Egypt, The Squeeze, and Blasted Things. I teach creative writing at the University of St Andrews. I live in Edinburgh and am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. I’m a novelist and student of human nature. I love to work out what motivates people, how and why they make choices, their coping mechanisms, and how they act under pressure. Before I begin a novel set in the past, I read as much fiction written at the time as I can find, as well as autobiography and history. In this way, I attempt to truffle down into the actions and impulses of individuals, both performative and deeply interior, that characterise the spirit of the era that I’m writing.

Lesley's book list on finding a new normal after World War I

Lesley Glaister Why did Lesley love this book?

Enormously useful to me while researching for Blasted Things, was The Great Silence: 1918-1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War. Taking us through chapters entitled feelingly with nouns: from Wound and Shock, through Resignation, and finally to Hope, Trust and Acceptance, Nicolson provides a chronological account of the period between the 1918 Armistice and the burial of the Unknown Soldier in 1920. It’s addictively readable, the history enriched by the recounted experiences of ordinary people from all walks of life, giving a rounded sense of the time, filled with detail about culture, music, the movies, fashion, class and so much more. This book provides a marvellously concrete and detailed account of the sensibility of a short and fascinatingly complex period.

By Juliet Nicolson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Armistice Day 1918 dawns with great joy for victorious Britain, but the nation must confront the carnage war has left in its wake. In The Great Silence, Juliet Nicolson looks through the prism of daily life to narrate the rich but unknown history of the slow healing Britain undergoes in the two years following that day.

The two-year anniversary of the Armistice brings some closure at last: the remains of a nameless soldier, dug up from a French battlefield and escorted to London in a homecoming befitting a king, are laid to rest in glory in the Tomb of the…


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