100 books like Black Elk Speaks

By John G. Neihardt,

Here are 100 books that Black Elk Speaks fans have personally recommended if you like Black Elk Speaks. 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 A Moveable Feast

Stephen Rowley Author Of The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny

From my list on memoirs that will ignite your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am captivated by memoirs that shed light on the deeper life experiences of their authors. My curiosity about inner life compelled me to learn about the psychological essence of memoir writers, resulting in my writing a memoir from an in-depth psychological perspective. My curiosity also led me to become a psychotherapist, which helped me better navigate dark and uncertain waters with my clients. By probing the inner psychological dynamics of such memoirs, I learned more about myself and became a writer with rare psychological insight. Such illumination served to ignite my very soul. My passion is fueled by tapping the mysteries of what lies within us all. 

Stephen's book list on memoirs that will ignite your soul

Stephen Rowley Why did Stephen love this book?

At age 15, I was captivated by Ernest Hemingway and his depiction of Paris in the 1920s. This book today reignites the enchantment of those years. Hemingway's profound influence shaped my aspirations as a writer. Through his eyes, I can vividly see Paris's cafés, salons, and vibrant social scenes, which ultimately became the backdrop of my dreams.

This book, rich with lovemaking, drinking, writing, betting at the track, and the bohemian lifestyle of so many young artists in Paris, reawakens my desire to immerse myself in that world. Hemingway's narrative voice and his novels continue to speak to me in a language that feels intimately mine, reminding me of the undying impact of his work on my life and aspirations.

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked A Moveable Feast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. Since Hemingway's personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.

Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Sean Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and…


Book cover of Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Stephen Rowley Author Of The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny

From my list on memoirs that will ignite your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am captivated by memoirs that shed light on the deeper life experiences of their authors. My curiosity about inner life compelled me to learn about the psychological essence of memoir writers, resulting in my writing a memoir from an in-depth psychological perspective. My curiosity also led me to become a psychotherapist, which helped me better navigate dark and uncertain waters with my clients. By probing the inner psychological dynamics of such memoirs, I learned more about myself and became a writer with rare psychological insight. Such illumination served to ignite my very soul. My passion is fueled by tapping the mysteries of what lies within us all. 

Stephen's book list on memoirs that will ignite your soul

Stephen Rowley Why did Stephen love this book?

Upon my initial reading, this book profoundly impacted me, reshaping my perspective as an emerging psychotherapist and memoirist. Carl Jung, rather than detailing his professional achievements, delves into his personal struggles and inner life, resonating deeply with my own experiences.

I was captivated by his journey from his earliest memories to his later years as he continued to explore his psyche and the collective unconscious. Standing beside him through his narrative, I was struck by his raw honesty, particularly remarkable for an 83-year-old man articulating his deepest emotional truths.

This book inspires me to embrace my dreams and imagination as tools for self-exploration and understanding, highlighting a path to inner discovery and wholeness that is accessible to anyone willing to engage deeply with their inner world.

By C.G. Jung, Aniela Jaffe (editor), Clara Winston (translator) , Richard Winston (translator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Memories, Dreams, Reflections as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I can understand myself only in the light of inner happenings. It is these that make up the singularity of my life, and with these my autobiography deals' Carl Jung

An eye-opening biography of one of the most influential psychiatrists of the modern age, drawing from his lectures, conversations, and own writings.

In the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, Carl Gustav Jung undertook the telling of his life story. Memories, Dreams, Reflections is that book, composed of conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffe, as well as chapters written in his own hand, and other…


Book cover of Finding Me

Stephen Rowley Author Of The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny

From my list on memoirs that will ignite your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am captivated by memoirs that shed light on the deeper life experiences of their authors. My curiosity about inner life compelled me to learn about the psychological essence of memoir writers, resulting in my writing a memoir from an in-depth psychological perspective. My curiosity also led me to become a psychotherapist, which helped me better navigate dark and uncertain waters with my clients. By probing the inner psychological dynamics of such memoirs, I learned more about myself and became a writer with rare psychological insight. Such illumination served to ignite my very soul. My passion is fueled by tapping the mysteries of what lies within us all. 

Stephen's book list on memoirs that will ignite your soul

Stephen Rowley Why did Stephen love this book?

I love this book for its stark, raw depiction of Viola Davis’s ascent to stardom. Her narration of the audiobook adds a poignant and often wrenching dimension to growing up in abject poverty, overt racism, and fear at the hands of a terrorizing and abusive father.

I was further compelled by her description of therapy in later life, where she struggled against the demons of her past, often in the form of her inner child, battered and belligerent, lacking any confidence to become the stellar human being and actress she was meant to become. Davis’s voice and courage left me both humbled and inspired.  

By Viola Davis,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Finding Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'A breathtaking memoir...I was so moved by this book.' Oprah

'It is startlingly honest and, at times, a jaw-dropping read, charting her rise from poverty and abuse to becoming the first African-American to win the triple crown of an Oscar, Emmy and Tony for acting.' BBC News

THE DEEPLY PERSONAL, BRUTALLY HONEST ACCOUNT OF VIOLA'S INSPIRING LIFE

In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life changing decision to stop running forever.
This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls,…


Book cover of The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own.

Stephen Rowley Author Of The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny

From my list on memoirs that will ignite your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am captivated by memoirs that shed light on the deeper life experiences of their authors. My curiosity about inner life compelled me to learn about the psychological essence of memoir writers, resulting in my writing a memoir from an in-depth psychological perspective. My curiosity also led me to become a psychotherapist, which helped me better navigate dark and uncertain waters with my clients. By probing the inner psychological dynamics of such memoirs, I learned more about myself and became a writer with rare psychological insight. Such illumination served to ignite my very soul. My passion is fueled by tapping the mysteries of what lies within us all. 

Stephen's book list on memoirs that will ignite your soul

Stephen Rowley Why did Stephen love this book?

I’m not a lifelong addict, so with every chapter, I found myself exclaiming again and again, “Oh, no, you fool! Just stop before it’s too late!” David Carr had his way with me as he dragged me down the painful road of his life, teaching me that addiction is something you can never really shake. Yet, he became a world-famous editor at the New York Times and a single, sober father of twin girls.

The story of Carr’s unpredictable metamorphosis is made brilliantly clear by his searingly raw and unforgiving style. Even as a junkie and late-night boozer, he wrote with a clarity and conviction that defies the mind to absorb. His life and his soul are always hanging in the balance—by what higher power is still a mystery. I stand in awe.

By David Carr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"In one sense, my story is a common one, a white boy misdemeanant who lands in a ditch and is restored to sanity through the love of his family, a God of his understanding and a support group that will go unnamed. But if the whole truth is told, it does not end there. "The book will be fundamentally different than a tell-all, or more commonly, tell-most. It will be a rigorously clear-eyed reported memoir in which the process of discovery will be part of the narrative motor...For instance, my brother asked if I was going to give him credit…


Book cover of Whereas: Poems

Adin Dobkin Author Of Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France

From my list on people and societies grapple with the end of wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I started writing, my understanding of war largely came about through its manifestation over subsequent decades in individuals. My grandfather selectively shared stories from his time as a bomber, then as a POW in Germany. Maybe it was this conjunction, a personal sense of rebuilding and of storytelling, that has driven my interest in the subject over these years, as a journalist and critic and then as an author of a book on the subject.

Adin's book list on people and societies grapple with the end of wars

Adin Dobkin Why did Adin love this book?

Wars take a long time to end. Work is done to bury the loss, grief, and guilt described above as quickly as possible. Oftentimes the forces that stand to profit from this forgetting succeed, except among those groups which are either ignored or for whom the loss is too deep. What Layli Long Soldier’s brilliant Whereas discloses is how the acts of government, the papers generated like planks over a well, seek to hide that grief and loss, and how those groups might reclaim the stories those papers hope to disappear. 

By Layli Long Soldier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations.


Book cover of Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Jonathan Ellerby Author Of The Seven Gateways of Spiritual Experience: Awakening to a Deeper Knowledge of Love, Life Balance, and God

From my list on spiritually-focused books to awaken your heart, mind, and soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love books! I wrote my first book as a science project at age 11. As a writer, books are my passion. Specifically, I have been interested in the nature of consciousness and healing since I was 12 years old. I started reading everything I could get my hands on at that time and continued voraciously until I completed my Ph.D. around the age of 30. Many themes in transformation and spirituality I read almost exhaustively – Indigenous studies, cross-cultural healing, the nature of mind, and the nature of the soul. I have always needed to keep books around me just to feel at home.

Jonathan's book list on spiritually-focused books to awaken your heart, mind, and soul

Jonathan Ellerby Why did Jonathan love this book?

I loved the absolutely unique blend of history, culture, deep spirituality, practical philosophy, politics, humor, and memoir. I have read few books that ever became as personally meaningful as this one.

It was difficult not to recommend Black Elk Speaks or Fools Crow, two similar books, but Lame Deer was more provocative, and the direct introduction to Indigenous ritual, healing, and worldview was simple yet profound.

I loved the way Lame Deer shared stories that transported me into his world, his experience, and ceremonies and knowledge that are rare to learn about. It’s not exactly written in politically correct language, but it remains an important book to read.

By Richard Erdoes, John (Fire) Lame Deer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Storyteller, rebel, medicine man, Lame Deer was born almost a century ago on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. A full-blooded Sioux, he was many things in the white man's world - rodeo clown, painter, prisoner. But, above all, he was a holy man of the Lakota tribe. The story he tells is one of harsh youth and reckless manhood, shotgun marriage and divorce, history and folklore as rich today as ever - and of his fierce struggle to keep pride alive, though living as a stranger in his own ancestral land.


Book cover of The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt

J. Baird Callicott Author Of American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study

From my list on American Indian worldviews and ecological wisdom.

Why am I passionate about this?

After “the environmental crisis” came to popular attention in the 1960s, American Indians were portrayed as having a legacy of traditional environmental ethics. We wanted to know if this were true. But how to gain access to ideas of which there is no written record? Answer: analyze stories, which have a life of their own, handed down from one generation to the next going all the way back to a time before European contact, colonization, and cultural, as well as murderous, genocide. And the stories do reveal indigenous North American environmental ethics (plural). That’s what American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study demonstrates.

J.'s book list on American Indian worldviews and ecological wisdom

J. Baird Callicott Why did J. love this book?

His life story in Black Elk Speaks ends when Black Elk was only twenty-seven years old. He would live another sixty years. The Sixth Grandfather completes his biography.

Black Elk successfully made his way into the utterly new White man’s world, performing in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Europe and converting to Catholicism and becoming a deacon. Toward the end of his life, Black Elk renounced Catholicism and with a providential encounter with the poet John G. Neihardt, he found the person in whom he could entrust his great vision, which he had never truly forsaken.

He spoke in Lakota, his son Ben translated, and Neihardt’s daughters Enid and Hilda transcribed his narrative in shorthand. The Neihardt daughters’ typescripts are published here in full and clearly show that the poet’s contribution was only to distill the essence of Black Elk’s tale in vivid and concise prose, not to intrude…

By Raymond J. DeMallie (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Black Elk Speaks and When the Tree Flowered, John C. Neihardt recorded the teachings of the Oglala holy man Black Elk, who had, in a vision, seen himself as the "sixth grandfather," the spiritual representative of the earth and of mankind. Raymond J. DeMallie makes available for the first time the transcripts from Neihardt's interviews with Black Elk in 1931 and 1944, which formed the basis for the two books. His introduction offers new insights into the life of Black Elk.


Book cover of Black Elk

Mada Eliza Dalian Author Of In Search of the Miraculous: Healing into Consciousness

From my list on spirituality and self-discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 5 when I saw my grandfather die. He drank morphene from a bottle, to stop his cancer pains, and soon after he stopped breathing. In the silent peace that followed, I realized that I too shall die one day, and life on earth will continue. The questions, Who am I? Where do I come from? What am I doing here? and Where will I go when I die? felt like the most important questions to find answers to before I die. The book, In Search of the Miraculous: Healing into Consciousness, was written fifty years later, and is the fruit of my search and discovery of answers to these questions.

Mada's book list on spirituality and self-discovery

Mada Eliza Dalian Why did Mada love this book?

What do the Native American elders know that is not easily accessible to others?

Through the eyes of, and experiences of Black Elk, a Lakota Sioux elder, you will enter into the mysterious world of Native American wisdom.

You will begin to understand the vital importance of the wisdom that the elders have carried from generation to generation, while silently balancing the positive and negative forces on this planet.      

By Wallace Black Elk, William S. Lyon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"An unprecedented account of the shaman's world and the way it is entered."
STANLEY KRIPPNER, PH.D., coauthor of 'Personal Mythology: The Psychology of Your Evolving Self' and 'Healing States'

"Black Elk opens the Lakota sacred hoop to a comic


Book cover of Lakota Dreaming

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of Tall, Dark, and Cherokee

From my list on Native American romantic suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong history lover. I was the kid who hung around the feet of the elders, listening to their stories and learning about the past. That led to a deep interest in tracing family history, which has been a passion since about the age of ten. I still can get lost for hours finding ancestors or reading about their lives. That interest led me to a double major in college and I earned a Bachelor of Arts in both history and English with a two-year degree in journalism. I live a short distance from Oklahoma and one of my favorite pastimes is to go to powwows whenever possible.

Lee's book list on Native American romantic suspense

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Why did Lee love this book?

This book blends the past with the present and takes the heroine Zora Hughes from New York City to South Dakota where she and John Iron Hawk. The story combines history with mystery and romance with suspense in an engaging way that kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.

By Constance Gillam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Her visions brought her here. Her heart tells her to stay. But someone dangerous wants her gone…

Zora Hughes is haunted by someone else’s past. Plagued by dreams of her ancestor fleeing captivity, the former NYC fashion editor travels to South Dakota to uncover the truth. And until she can put her visions to rest, she won’t let anyone stand in her way… not even the handsome captain of the local tribal police.

John Iron Hawk is on a mission to clean up his reservation. Trying to raise a teenage daughter on his own while working to expose a corrupt…


Book cover of The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman

R. Chapman Wesley Author Of The Well

From my list on uspenseful spiritual transformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in rural central Virginia the namesake of my African-American, family physician father, Dr. Robert C. Wesley and my educator mother, Anne Louise Reynolds. Becoming a physician seemed to be my destiny, which explains attending Yale Medical School. The Well was inspired by my lifelong concern over global health threats, originally regarding the threat of nuclear weapons, and propelled me toward pandemic inquiry. It was also a way to explore fundamental questions I struggled with: At the current state of mankind’s moral and ethical development, would a miraculous discovery controlled by very few lead to universal well-being or universal tyranny? I'm honored to submit my recommendations of books that combine suspense and spirituality.

R.'s book list on uspenseful spiritual transformation

R. Chapman Wesley Why did R. love this book?

This is a picture book published by National Geographic Kids, but equally applicable for reading by adults of our day. 

It is a rendition of, perhaps, the most important Lakota sacred legend, relaying how the Great Spirit presented to the People of the Lakota Nation the Sacred Calf Peace Pipe with which to pray and communicate with the Universe. 

I found this story particularly intriguing as the heroine is an animal spirit sent by the Universe, transformed from a White Buffalo calf into a beautiful spiritual Lakota woman. 

She comes forward at a particularly troubled time for the Lakota Nation, forced into a traumatic migration from mid-western forest lands to the Great Plains by indigenous wars and European colonizing transgressions. The relationship of the tribes to sustenance provided by buffalo herds became the mainstay of the Lakota Nation.

Of all my choices, this story most directly depicts the impact of…

By Paul Goble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Paul Goble recounts the legend of the White Buffalo Woman who appears to her people offering them a peac e pipe, a gift that will give them hope and a new way to pra y to the Great Spirit. A spiritual celebration of life is ap parent on every page. '


5 book lists we think you will like!

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