100 books like Fear of the Collar

By Patrick Touher,

Here are 100 books that Fear of the Collar fans have personally recommended if you like Fear of the Collar. 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 The Light in the Window

Esther Freud Author Of I Couldn't Love You More: A Novel

From my list on Mother and Baby Homes and the unplanned babies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Aged eighteen and living in London, my mother fell in love with an older man and was soon pregnant. Fearful of repercussions, she kept the pregnancy secret from her Catholic parents and continued to keep this secret for many years. This was something I’d always known, but it was only recently that I decided to investigate what happened to so many girls who went to the wrong people for help. What I found was devastating, and it gave me a greater understanding of the choices my mother made. I'm a writer who often draws on autobiographic material for my novels, plays, and stories. I like to feel a subject is truly mine.

Esther's book list on Mother and Baby Homes and the unplanned babies

Esther Freud Why did Esther love this book?

I came across this memoir while researching Irish mother and baby homes for my own novel. June Goulding was a young midwife in the 1950s when she was hired by the Sacred Heart Convent in Cork.  Here she found girls,  some as young as 13, punished for the sin of being pregnant, forced to work, tarring roads, scrubbing floors, and rearing their children until they were handed over for adoption – in exchange for a donation to the church often without their consent. Thirty years later, haunted by what she was party to, Goulding tells the story of how she tried to relieve the suffering of these unfortunate women. 

By June Goulding,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Light in the Window as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I promised that I would one day write a book and tell the world about the home for unmarried mothers. I have at last kept my promise.'

In Ireland, 1951, the young June Goulding took up a position as midwife in a home for unmarried mothers run by the Sacred Heart nuns. What she witnessed there was to haunt her for the next fifty years. It was a place of secrets, lies and cruelty. A place where women picked grass by hand and tarred roads whilst heavily pregnant. Where they were denied any contact with the outside world; denied basic…


Book cover of For the Love of My Mother

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

John Rodgers tells the story of his mother’s experience in three Irish institutions, including an industrial school, a Mother Baby Home, and a Magdalene Laundry. Bridie Rodgers’ story reveals the psychological and emotional burdens of an inmate and how they are also felt by their future generations. It is a devastating reality to learn of the many innocent children and women who had been isolated from society and powerless over their own lives. 

By J.P. Rodgers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For the Love of My Mother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the Love of My Mother is the tragic and uplifting story of one Irish mother and her son. Born into a life of poverty and detained at the tender age of two for begging in the streets, Bridget Rodgers proceeded to spend the next 30 years of her life locked away in one institution or another. The orphanage came first but after being raped and falling pregnant, she was sent to a home for unmarried mothers where she gave birth, had her son taken away from her and then was sent to one of the infamous Magdalen Laundries. And…


Book cover of Belonging: A Memoir

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

In her book Belonging: A Memoir of Place, along with her personal journey, Corless shares her research and activism work towards justice for the lost babies of the Tuam Mother Baby Home. Her book is an excellent resource to learn about the institutions where unmarried mothers paid their penance and gave birth to their “illegitimate” children. Her book includes heart-wrenching accounts from former residents. 

I’ve had several exchanges with Catherine since 2010 when she responded to a query I had posted regarding the Tuam Mother Baby Home. Catherine Corless has brought worldwide attention to a scandal she uncovered: 796 missing burial records of children born in the Tuam Mother Baby Home.

By Catherine Corless,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ONE WOMAN, THE SECRETS OF A SMALL TOWN, AND A QUEST FOR JUSTICE THAT ROCKED A NATION.

Catherine Corless could not have known where her interest in local history would lead her, as she began researching the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway in 2010. Uncovering no less than 796 missing burial records of children born there, the stark truth of their place of rest became clear: a disused sewage tank on the old home site, where two boys had once stumbled upon bones.

But who were these lost children, and what had happened to them in the care…


Book cover of Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland

Heidi Daniele Author Of The House Children

From my list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am first generation American - my mother is from Ireland and my father is from Germany. I’ve always had an interest in my heritage and developed a passion for genealogy. My curiosity led me to researching Industrial Schools and Mother Baby Homes in Ireland. I’ve read many books about these institutions and also wrote a book of my own based on stories of former residents of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Ballinasloe, Galway.

Heidi's book list on Irish industrial schools and mother baby homes

Heidi Daniele Why did Heidi love this book?

Moira J. Maguire has written a book that could be used by academics yet still fascinates a curious reader. Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland gives a full view of the system implemented to care for needy children. The study examines the roles of religion and state involved in providing services. Maguire references documents and quotes from reports to give the reader an authentic view of how destitute, abused, and illegitimate children were cared for. 

By Moira J. Maguire,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating study reveals the desperate plight of the poor, illegitimate, and abused children in an Irish society that claimed to cherish and hold them sacred, but in fact marginalized and ignored them. It examines closely the history of childhood in post-independence Ireland, and breaks new ground in examining the role of the state in caring for its most vulnerable citizens.

Maguire gives voice to those children who formed a significant proportion of the Irish population, but have been ignored in the historical record. More importantly, she uses their experiences as lenses through which to re-evaluate Catholic influence in post-independence…


Book cover of Girl in the Tunnel: My Story of Love and Loss as a Survivor of the Magdalene Laundries

Dermot Bolger Author Of A Second Life

From my list on institutions run by Irish religious orders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a novelist and poet from a working-class Dublin suburb. The small press I started at 18 published early works by Sebastian Barry, Colm Toibin, Fintan O’Toole, etc. Because I felt that working-class life was not being written about, I became interested in hidden aspects of Irish society. Adoption was often kept secret when I was small. When I first wrote A Second Life, I was amazed by how many people told me how they were adopted but had never told anyone. I want to do justice to their stories and their mothers’ stories. Hopefully readers will think that, in some small way, my updated novel does this.

Dermot's book list on institutions run by Irish religious orders

Dermot Bolger Why did Dermot love this book?

After my struggles to find a printer for The God Squad in 1988, it is refreshing to see how receptive readers are to this brave memoir by Maureen Sullivan, subtitled “My Story of Love and Loss as a Survivor of the Magdalene Laundries”.

When twelve years old, Sullivan told a teacher she was being sexually abused by her stepfather. A day later she was incarcerated in a Magdalene Laundry. The nuns promised to educated her. Instead she became their indentured slave, washing and scrubbing, with little food or water and subjected to beatings.

The title comes from how the nuns kept her hidden in a tunnel when government inspectors came. Novelists can try to imagine these worlds, but only a survivor (and campaigner for other survivors) like Sullivan can really capture that purgatory.

By Maureen Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A compelling new memoir by one of the youngest-known survivors of Ireland’ s infamous Magdalene laundries. Sullivan has been interviews extensively in the national media about her harrowing experiences. She discussed her ongoing fight for justice in RTÉ ’ s 2022 documentary Ireland’ s Dirty Laundry.


Book cover of The Saddest Girl in the World

Jessie Harrington Author Of The Girl in the Pink Shoes

From my list on that are personal and important.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a 24-year-old, 1st time Author with big plans to call for major changes within our current social system, to bring the taboo subject of child abuse, to conversation. My own story, yes is an extreme case, but isn’t an uncommon occurrence and affects many. My book, The Girl In The Pink Shoes, was written not only for my own self-help but to also help many others to know they are not alone and someone is fighting their corner. I hope my book will open the right doors to raise awareness and make my charity, Your Voice UK, a success and help bring a brighter future to children who have suffered abuse.

Jessie's book list on that are personal and important

Jessie Harrington Why did Jessie love this book?

Cathy has written many books about children from abuse, but I feel this book resonates with me, as the story of the little girl Donna, is very similar to my own story. Placed in care after being neglected by her alcoholic mother, all Donna really wanted was to be loved. 

I think this really is true with most children who are placed in the social system, the feeling of abandonment and detachment runs deep and we all just want to feel part of something, to be part of a family. 

Many of Cathy’s books are written to explain what can happen and the reality of life, when living in certain situations that many are just not aware of, or choose to ignore. This book is well worth a read, it certainly brought a tear to my eye.

By Cathy Glass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Saddest Girl in the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged ten, having been abused, victimised and rejected by her family.

Donna had been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy's. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down. Donna is clearly a very haunted child and refuses to interact with Cathy's children Adrian and Paula.

After patience and encouragement from Cathy, Donna slowly starts to talk…


Book cover of Because I Am Furniture

Ryan A. Kovacs Author Of Create Destruction: Phase I

From my list on human choice & consequence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I firmly live by the saying, “Where we are in life is a direct reflection of the choices we’ve made, or failed to make.” The theme of choice and consequence has not just been a way of living but the very trope in all my novels. The beauty in showing the process of making a choice, for my characters, in their stories, brings them to life. It forces the reader to step inside that decision tree, to analyze and predict the outcome despite the unknown. We are continuously propelled into the unknown and we make choices based on the notion of understanding what those choices will mean.

Ryan's book list on human choice & consequence

Ryan A. Kovacs Why did Ryan love this book?

This novel-in-verse tugs at the heart and soul of any individual who has suffered at the hands of abuse.

Written from the perspective of a teenage girl searching for her identity, she and her siblings come to know abuse in this relatable story.

A coming-of-age story trapped in the grasp of an abusive and alcoholic father whose selfish tendencies are haunting, this story and its tropes of love and acceptance will stick with you well after the last page.

By Thalia Chaltas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Because I Am Furniture 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?

Anke’s father is abusive to her brother and sister. But not to her. Because, to him, she is like furniture— not even worthy of the worst kind of attention. Then Anke makes the school volleyball team. She loves feeling her muscles after workouts, an ache that reminds her she is real. Even more, Anke loves the confidence that she gets from the sport. And as she learns to call for the ball on the court, she finds a voice she never knew she had. For the first time, Anke is making herself seen and heard, working toward the day she…


Book cover of Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

Laura K. Connell Author Of It's Not Your Fault: The Subconscious Reasons We Self-Sabotage and How to Stop

From my list on healing childhood trauma and self-sabotage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a home with severe emotional abuse and neglect. Scoring 6 on the ACEs (adverse childhood events) test became a wake-up call; according to the test, my life span had been shortened by 20 years and I was determined to get them back. I stopped protecting my abusive family and got honest about what I had been through. This drew an audience who said I helped them feel seen and heard (and they did the same for me). I’ve spent the last decade on a healing journey from addiction and self-sabotage, the culmination of which is my new book and trauma-informed coaching practice that transforms lives.

Laura's book list on healing childhood trauma and self-sabotage

Laura K. Connell Why did Laura love this book?

This book helped me realize how emotional neglect in my childhood had contributed to my innate sense that something is wrong with me.

Since emotional neglect is more what your parents did not do than what they did, it’s hard to put into words why you feel the way you do. I blamed myself for my struggles and felt completely disconnected from others and the world. I had difficulty understanding and regulating my emotions, and often felt shut down and flat.

The only way to feel good and escape the pain was to drink too much, eat too much sugar, and take unhealthy risks, all of which negatively impacted my life outcomes. This book will help you know you’re not alone and that emotional neglect is a form of abuse.

By Jonice Webb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This informative guide helps you identify and heal from childhood emotional neglect so you can be more connected and emotionally present in your life.

Do you sometimes feel like you're just going through the motions in life? Do you often act like you're fine when you secretly feel lonely and disconnected? Perhaps you have a good life and yet somehow it's not enough to make you happy. Or perhaps you drink too much, eat too much, or risk too much in an attempt to feel something good. If so, you are not alone-and you may be suffering from emotional neglect.…


Book cover of Carrie

Megan Carle Author Of Walk Away to Win: A Playbook to Combat Workplace Bullying

From my list on bullies being put in their place.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s taken me a while to feel comfortable calling myself an expert on workplace bullying. I mean, just because you experience something doesn’t necessarily make you an expert, right? What I am, though, is passionate about the subject of workplace bullying within the larger context of organizational health and workplace culture. I’m passionate about it because I experienced a workplace whose culture devolved into hostility, toxicity, and workplace bullying. I'm one of the 80 million US workers who have been affected by workplace bullying. That’s the size of two Californias or one Germany. And, it means one in two workers are contending with something that is known as “the Undiscussable.” So, let’s discuss it. 

Megan's book list on bullies being put in their place

Megan Carle Why did Megan love this book?

Leave it to the master of horror, Stephen King, to dream up the ultimate comeuppance story.

High school student Carrie is bullied relentlessly by her peers, both at school and outside its walls. Her mother’s treatment of her at home doesn’t help. But one day Carrie realizes she has supernatural powers that dwarf the “powers” her classmates think they wield over her.

I don’t condone what happens on prom night, of course, but anyone who’s ever been bullied will agree that the fantasy of turning the tables on your tormentor(s) can be…very satisfying.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stephen King's legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates, is a Classic. CARRIE is the novel which set him on the road to the Number One bestselling author King is today.

Carrie White is no ordinary girl.

Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie - the first
step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.

But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she
is forced to exercise her…


Book cover of A List Of Cages

Sandra L. Rostirolla Author Of Making Friends With Monsters

From my list on what life is like living with mental illness.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father died by suicide when I was thirteen. Because my family never spoke about the issues leading up to and resulting from this devastating event, we suffered a great deal. I have a deep love for books that expose just how dark, and troubled the teen existence can be. Authors who are brave enough to tackle such topics feed my bravery. The more stories we have on the topics of suicide, mental health, and trauma the broader the conversation and the more those who feel as though no one could possibly understand what they are going through feel seen.

Sandra's book list on what life is like living with mental illness

Sandra L. Rostirolla Why did Sandra love this book?

This is one of those books that will sit with you for days. It is the story of two friends—former foster brothers—who were separated then reunited.

One is doing well (Adam) and the other is lost in a deep labyrinth of emotions (Julian). The connection between these boys and how it evolves is masterfully portrayed.

I could feel Adam’s anguish and helplessness towards Julian. Some problems don’t have a quick fix. But what all problems need is kindness.

Sometimes this simple act can make a world of difference.

By Robin Roe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A List Of Cages 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?

FIVE STARRED REVIEWS! #1 BESTSELLER! 
 
"I love this book with my whole heart."--Jennifer Niven
 
"Remarkably gripping and moving."--Emma Donoghue
 
"Triumphant."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 
"Beautiful and brilliant."--Shelf Awareness (starred review)
 
"Emotional, visceral...heartbreaking...and beautiful."--School Library Journal (starred review)

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in child abuse, Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about child abuse, Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.

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