10 books like Fragile Beasts

By Tawni O'Dell,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Fragile Beasts. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Book cover of News of the World

This is one of those stories about a career I would have never considered. After the Civil War, Captain Kidd travels to Texas doing live readings of newspapers. He is tasked with caring for an orphan who is reluctantly being transported to a family she does not remember. This tells a story of an individual, Joanne, lost between two cultures as a bond is created with the elderly and honorable Kidd. This holds a vivid description of the place and time.

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked News of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his…

Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

By Glen Huser,

Book cover of Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

I was guilted into buying the book when I went to Glen’s book signing event. He’s a friend. After the reading, I noticed that everyone in attendance had one or more copies of his books along with their credit cards in their hands. I felt obligated to buy a copy. The book sat on my shelf for several weeks until guilt forced me to take it down and read. I finished the book that night, and reread it the next day. I recommend it all the time.  

Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

By Glen Huser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At 15, Tamara has survived the foster care system through brains, will, and attitude. Now close to getting out, she dreams of being a model. First, though, there's high school to get through, along with her teacher's latest community project volunteering at the local seniors home. Tamara doubts she can endure either the residents or the smells. Then she's assigned to Jean Barclay a cranky, wealthy, and extremely frail former schoolteacher. As the two warily size each other up, they realize each is the key to achieving their own very different goals. Miss Barclay wants to attend Wagner's Ring Cycle…

Akin

By Emma Donoghue,

Book cover of Akin

I felt sorry for Noah even as I laughed at his predicament. He’s about to celebrate his eightieth birthday in Nice. Then he learns he’s responsible for his eleven-year-old great nephew. Noah refuses to give up his trip and takes the boy along. The ensuing adventures of this unlikely pair take Noah and the reader on a wild ride through Nice and back to WWII as they search for the answers Noah needs. 

Akin

By Emma Donoghue,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Akin is a tender tale of love, loss and family, from Emma Donoghue, the international bestselling author of Room.

'If Room forced home truths on us, about parenthood, responsibility and love, Akin deals with similar subject matter more subtly, but in the end just as compellingly' - Guardian

A retired New York professor's life is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother's wartime secrets.

Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for…


The Reading List

By Sara Nisha Adams,

Book cover of The Reading List

Working at the local, almost defunct library, Aleisha comes across a reading list in one of the returned books. Bored, with little to do, she begins to read the books. When an old man wanders in one day, she shares the list with him. Reading and discussing the books leads them out of their shells and into new understandings of their worlds and to friendship. Reading this made me reflect on books that impacted me and on my friendships over the years with people much younger or much older and I realized that all of them had such value—value that I did not always recognize at the time 

The Reading List

By Sara Nisha Adams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*A finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards for Fiction, discover this year's most uplifting and heart-warming debut*

'Absolutely gorgeous' RUTH WARE
'The most heartfelt read of the summer' SHONDALAND
'A joyful, uplifting read!' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
'A captivating debut' HEIDI SWAIN

_________________________________________________________________

A faded list.
Nine favourite stories.
For two strangers, friendship is only a page away . . .

When Mukesh Patel pops to the local library, forgoing his routine of grocery shopping and David Attenborough documentaries, he has no idea his life's about to change.

He meets Aleisha, a reluctant librarian and the keeper of a curious reading list…


Vanishing Girls

By Lisa Regan,

Book cover of Vanishing Girls

Lisa Regan is a stellar writer, and Vanishing Girls was a literal can’t-put-it-down read. I raced through the first four books in this series (Detective Josie Quinn series) and can’t wait to read the rest. I promise if you try it, you’ll feel the same—it’s addictive! Detective Josie is a mess—but you’ll be rooting for her big time. This situation is dark and disturbing, and this author excels at making things worse and worse for her characters. The writing is fast-paced and twisty—seriously, you’ll want to hold on tight to the armchair!

Vanishing Girls

By Lisa Regan,

Why should I read it?

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


Rabbit, Run

By John Updike,

Book cover of Rabbit, Run

The four Updike Rabbit novels are written in the present tense, which is uncommon for fiction but done to help bring more immediacy to the action. This causes the novels to read more like screenplays than when written in the past tense. I chose to write my own book in the present tense as a new challenge after reading all four Rabbit novels in succession. Updike was a master at getting into the interior lives of his characters, revealing their longings, typically not to be obtained. The character Rabbit is a wayward former high school basketball star who marries a childhood sweetheart and is gradually worn down over time by her mother and his own insouciance about everything. Rabbit is a sexist character and Updike wrote with truth about his many characters. 

Rabbit, Run

By John Updike,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in his award-winning 'Rabbit' series, John Updike's Rabbit, Run contains an afterword by the author in Penguin Modern Classics.

It's 1959 and Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, one time high school sports superstar, is going nowhere. At twenty-six he is trapped in a second-rate existence - stuck with a fragile, alcoholic wife, a house full of overflowing ashtrays and discarded glasses, a young son and a futile job. With no way to fix things, he resolves to flee from his family and his home in Pennsylvania, beginning a thousand-mile journey that he hopes will free him from his mediocre…


Washington's Crossing

By David Hackett Fischer,

Book cover of Washington's Crossing

A book that won the Pulitzer Prize for History will tend to be a good read, and Washington’s Crossing does not disappoint. David Hackett Fischer paints a picture of the forces and people involved, and the critical decisions that shaped the campaigns of 1776 to 1777. I leaned heavily on Washington’s Crossing when researching my novel Times That Try Men’s Souls. More importantly, Fischer’s chapter on the aftermath of the Battle of Princeton directly inspired my third book, A Nest of Hornets. Growing up in Central New Jersey I was oblivious to the drama that played out there in the winter of 1777. Thanks to Washington’s Crossing, I not only learned about the “Forage War,” but wrote my own award-winning book about it.

Washington's Crossing

By David Hackett Fischer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Washington's Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia.

Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, George Washington-and many other Americans-refused to let the Revolution die. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a…

The Light in the Forest

By Conrad Richter,

Book cover of The Light in the Forest

The Light in the Forest is a classic beloved by generations of school children and surely reigns as one of the first great Young Adult novels. I read it several times as a child in the 1960s and still recall scenes from the book, which tells the tale of young John Cameron Butler, who was captured at the age of four by the Lenni Lenape Indians and raised as the adopted son of a war chief. Eleven years later an angry and unwilling 15-year-old John is returned to his white family at the end of the French and Indian War. He longs to return to his Indian family, having forgotten the ways of white settlers.

This is the forerunner of many books about settlers captured by the Indians who are unwilling to return to white society, including the likes of News of the World and Flight of the Sparrow.…

The Light in the Forest

By Conrad Richter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A beautifully illustrated edition of a novel that has enthralled young American readers for generations. It is the story of John Cameron Butler-captured as a small child in a raid on the Pennsylvania frontier by the Indian tribe Lenni-Lenape. Adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga and renamed True Son, he has spent 11 years living and thinking of himself as fully Indian. But when the tribe signs a treaty that requires them to return their white captives, 15-year-old True Son is returned against his will to the family he had long forgotten, and to a life that he no longer…

Woods Runner

By Gary Paulsen,

Book cover of Woods Runner

What an exciting tale! I've done lots of research about life on the American frontier during the Revolutionary War, but Gary Paulsen provided information that was new to me about British attacks on small frontier villages and prison ships anchored in New York Harbor. I couldn't stop reading. The author alternated the fiction story with nonfiction segments providing further explanation. Rather than interrupt the reading, they enhanced it, elevating the excitement I felt as Samuel searched for his missing parents.

Woods Runner

By Gary Paulsen,

Why should I read it?

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


Simon Girty

By Phillip W. Hoffman,

Book cover of Simon Girty: Turncoat Hero

This superb book provides deep insights into the relationship between Indigenous peoples and encroaching European settlers and convincingly emphasizes that the striving of land developers, such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Patrick Henry, was a major cause of the American rebellion. He describes in detail the Native societies, their customs, interactions, and political alliances. The early chapters provide accounts of settlers of both sexes who were captured, adopted, nurtured, and trained by the Natives. In the case of the Girty brothers, their seizures led to their wartime careers as accomplished, multi-lingual interpreters and as fighting partisans in the British Indian Department. In addition to an amazing array of Native tribes, two companies of Butler’s Rangers operated out of Detroit assisted by the Girtys. 

Simon Girty

By Phillip W. Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

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


5 book lists we think you will like!

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