100 books like God, War, and Providence

By James A. Warren,

Here are 100 books that God, War, and Providence fans have personally recommended if you like God, War, and Providence. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Mayflower: Voyage, Community, War

Glynis Ridley Author Of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

From my list on famous sea voyages we think we know, but don’t.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember the first time I stepped onto a sailing ship and that was the full-size replica of the Cutty Sark at Greenwich, London. The younger me descended below decks and started to imagine the enormity of risking everything on an expedition into the unknown. Since that time, I’ve become an eighteenth-century scholar, able to channel my wonder at the age of sail into researching, teaching, writing, and broadcasting about many aspects of the period. I hope the books on this list help you journey all over the globe with a sense of what it was like to trust your life to a self-contained floating world heading into unchartered waters. 

Glynis' book list on famous sea voyages we think we know, but don’t

Glynis Ridley Why did Glynis love this book?

Philbrick had me from his opening sentence: “We all want to know how it was in the beginning.” He makes a familiar history fresh, asking how fifty years of peace at Plymouth Rock between the Mayflower Pilgrims and local Wampanoags could end in war.

Within this overarching theme, it’s the small details I remember, such as how Philbrick interviewed Captain Alan Villiers who sailed a 1957 replica of the Mayflower. In a violent transatlantic storm, Villiers tested a Jacobean sailing technique that hadn’t been tried for centuries, furling the sails and securing the helm into the wind. Its boxy shape kept Mayflower II perfectly balanced, bobbing upright in the gale. With accounts like this, I felt Philbrick had done his research and gave real credibility to his description of the voyage and its aftermath.

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nathaniel Philbrick, bestselling author of 'In the Heart of the Sea', reveals the darker side of the Pilgrim fathers' settlement in the New World, which ultimately erupted in bloody battle some fifty years after they first landed on American soil.

Behind the quaint and pious version of the Mayflower story usually taught in American primary schools is a tumultuous and largely untold tale of violence, subterfuge and epic drama.

For amidst the friendships and co-operation that sprang up between the settlers and indigenous people, whose timely assistance on more than one occasion rescued the Pilgrims from otherwise certain death, a…


Book cover of The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony

Noelle A. Granger Author Of The Last Pilgrim

From my list on colonial Plymouth.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Plymouth, MA, I was steeped in the history of the Pilgrims, eventually working as a tour guide at Plimoth-Patuxet.  After I retired as professor emerita from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I wrote and published a series of mysteries. That experience and my New England background buoyed my confidence that I could write about a Pilgrim woman, keeping true to the history of the Plimoth Colony. The story of Mary Allerton Cushman’s life was the result. It was long-listed for the Devon and Cornwall International Novel Prize. 

Noelle's book list on colonial Plymouth

Noelle A. Granger Why did Noelle love this book?

James Deetz was an American anthropologist and his wife, a cultural historian. Their book was the result of studying Plymouth Colony court transcripts, wills, probate listings, and rare firsthand accounts, and then combining the facts with archeological evidence from various sites in Plymouth. This book shows a reality of the Pilgrims and Pilgrim life very different from the straight-laced, nearly mythical images from the 18th and 19th centuries: an all too human group who wore bright clothing, drank, believed in witches, had premarital sex and adulterous affairs, and committed petty and serious crimes. This book is informative and eye-opening.

By James Deetz, Patricia Scott Deetz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This title sets out to debunk the longstanding ideas about the life of the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Colony. The authors describe the arrival of the English settlers, the early years of the settlement, and the myths which have developed since.


Book cover of Brethren by Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origins of American Slavery

Neill McKee Author Of Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American search through four centuries of history, to the Mayflower

From my list on to understand the true founding of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my childhood in Canada, I was fascinated by the “Wild West” and the fact that my maternal grandmother, who lived with us, was born in Wisconsin in 1876, when Jesse James was still robbing trains. I became an international multimedia producer, and I always took an entertainment-based approach to my work, grounded in research. After I retired, I began to search for my roots, uncovering interesting stories of my ancestors. Besides accessing websites and books, I traveled to where they lived to gain insights, meet historians, and distant cousins. I also engaged expert genealogists to prove my lineage back to the Mayflower and Puritan settlers of New England. That allowed me to join the Mayflower Society.

Neill's book list on to understand the true founding of America

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

This title caught my attention because we usually associate slavery with the American south. But the Puritans brought many indentured laborers from England to help build their settlements and operate their farms and businesses. When these white men worked their way to freedom, the settlers turned to indenturing Native Americans, and enslaving captives of warfare, selling some of them for goods and African slaves from the Caribbean. (I found a reference in this book that my ancestor, Dr. Mathew Fuller, participated in this trade during King Philip’s War.) Newell’s book, full of primary sources, gives excellent background on, and understanding of, the founding of New England’s culture, economy, and legal framework. Those alien ideas didn’t go so well for the original inhabitants as white settlers pushed westward. 

By Margaret Ellen Newell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Brethren by Nature, Margaret Ellen Newell reveals a little-known aspect of American history: English colonists in New England enslaved thousands of Indians. Massachusetts became the first English colony to legalize slavery in 1641, and the colonists' desire for slaves shaped the major New England Indian wars, including the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip's War of 1675-76, and the northeastern Wabanaki conflicts of 1676-1749. When the wartime conquest of Indians ceased, New Englanders turned to the courts to get control of their labor, or imported Indians from Florida and the Carolinas, or simply claimed free Indians as slaves.

Drawing…


Book cover of A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

Neill McKee Author Of Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American search through four centuries of history, to the Mayflower

From my list on to understand the true founding of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my childhood in Canada, I was fascinated by the “Wild West” and the fact that my maternal grandmother, who lived with us, was born in Wisconsin in 1876, when Jesse James was still robbing trains. I became an international multimedia producer, and I always took an entertainment-based approach to my work, grounded in research. After I retired, I began to search for my roots, uncovering interesting stories of my ancestors. Besides accessing websites and books, I traveled to where they lived to gain insights, meet historians, and distant cousins. I also engaged expert genealogists to prove my lineage back to the Mayflower and Puritan settlers of New England. That allowed me to join the Mayflower Society.

Neill's book list on to understand the true founding of America

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

I read this book because Salem was founded by another ancestor of mine, Roger Conant. He first settled in Plymouth but could not abide the Pilgrims’ fanatical creed. He was a Puritan but not a religious separatist. Most Puritans had dreams of reforming the Church of England, starting in America. Fortunately, Conant died before the Salem Witch Trials began, for he would have been shocked at these developments. (Unfortunately for him, the town stuck his statue in front of the Witch Museum.) Frances Hill’s book is a blow-by-blow account of how the hysteria of some adolescent girls captured the minds of Massachusetts’ residents, including educated people, causing the death of 20 innocent people. It is also a study of Puritan culture, as it went more and more “off the rails.”

By Frances Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This acclaimed history illuminates the horrifying episode of Salem with visceral clarity, from those who fanned the crisis to satisfy personal vendettas to the four-year-old "witch" chained to a dank prison wall in darkness till she went mad. Antonia Fraser called it "a grisly read and an engrossing one."


Book cover of Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Tim Weed Author Of Will Poole's Island

From my list on Early Colonial New England.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many of my English ancestors came to New England during the so-called Great Migration of the 1630s. I also have Native American ancestors, and as I researched both groups I couldn’t escape the feeling that something important was missing from our contemporary understanding of the period. In the novel that became Will Poole’s Island, I was in a sense driven to recreate the age, or at least to complicate our received mythologies about it. A central theme of the book is the collision of two radically opposed worldviews that had in common a preoccupation with the visionary and the unseen; this is also a theme of the five narratives described below.

Tim's book list on Early Colonial New England

Tim Weed Why did Tim love this book?

Ok, this isn’t actually a historical novel, but it was a bestseller when it came out back in 1682 and in some ways it does read like fiction. The story of a Puritan settler and her three children who were captured by Narragansett Indians during King Phillip’s War, Rowlandson’s account, judged by contemporary mores, is both racist and religiously bigoted. Still, it provides a rare first-hand rendering of the Puritan experience of a central truth of 17th century America: the collision of two radically distinct societies and the personal fallout resulting from that collision. As such it’s an invaluable historical document—though one best considered alongside other, less publicized primary accounts, which tell us that many seventeenth-century English captives, especially younger ones, were reluctant to return to the English settlements because of the freedom and ease they found in Indian society.

By Mary Rowlandson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mary (White) Rowlandson was a colonial American woman who was captured during an attack by Native Americans during King Philip's War and held ransom for 11 weeks. After being released, she wrote A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, also known as The Sovereignty and Goodness of God. It is a work in the literary genre of captivity narratives. It is considered to be one of America's first bestsellers, four editions appearing in 1682 when it was first published.


Book cover of Quabbin: The Story of a Small Town With Outlooks Upon Puritan Life

Mary Babson Fuhrer Author Of A Crisis of Community: The Trials and Transformation of a New England Town, 1815-1848

From my list on everyday life in Village New England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the everyday lives of people from early New England; I want to understand how they experienced their world, made choices, and participated in changing history. Most of these people left no memoirs, so I’ve spent years in all manner of archives, piecing together clues to individual lives. I’ve found extraordinary insights on how and why people farmed in tax valuations, deeper knowledge of their material world in probate court inventories, evidence of neighborly interdependence in old account books, etc. I’ve spent my career as a public historian sharing these stories through museum research and exhibits, public programs, lectures, and writing. I love the hunt – and the story!

Mary's book list on everyday life in Village New England

Mary Babson Fuhrer Why did Mary love this book?

Quabbin is a relic of a lost world – both figuratively and literally. In his old age, Francis Underwood remembered his childhood village, the buildings, the personalities, their dress, manners, and speech, their faith and their passions for reform, their old social customs and their emerging middle-class sensibilities – and most of all their stories. But it is a world, as Underwood knew, that was passing away. His secluded old New England village was opening to the world, and its agrarian ways were soon to be eclipsed by the industrial village. What Underwood did not know, but we do, is that his childhood home has literally disappeared, under the flooding waters of the Quabbin Reservoir. This is an extraordinary testimonial to that lost world!

By Francis Henry Underwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699

Karen Vorbeck Williams Author Of My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northampton

From my list on 17th century America.

Why am I passionate about this?

After living in, while restoring, an old farmhouse built in the late 17th century or very early in the 18th, it was impossible for me not to want to know the history of the house and the people who lived there. Combine that with the stories my grandmother told me about our ancestor, the suspected witch Mary Bliss Parsons of Northampton, and I felt destined to know her story. That led to many years of research and writing. At the moment I am writing another 17th century New England historical fiction. I love this period of history and so few write about it. 

Karen's book list on 17th century America

Karen Vorbeck Williams Why did Karen love this book?

Well, the title was amusing. The rest of the book was fascinating, alarming, and totally surprising for an author who was researching the lives of Puritans in early New England. The public records, Puritan laws, along with Thompson’s analysis opened up a world of new information and removed every myth I’d heard about these staunchly religious people.

By Roger Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Thompson analyzes the court records of 17th century Middlesex County, searching for such sexually related crimes as fornication, breach of promise, sexual deviancy, and adultery. His findings help shatter the traditional historical caricature of New England Puritans as patriarchal, dour wife-beaters and child-abusers, a myth eloquently created by Perry Miller and most recently reinforced by Lawrence Stone. In the court records Thompson discovers Puritans who exhibited 'tolerance, mutual regard, affection, and prudent common sense' within the context of a popular Puritan piety. A well-written social history that places Puritanism in a human rather than an intellectual framework, Sex in Middlesex…


Book cover of Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and its Symbols, 1650–1815

James Blachowicz Author Of From Slate to Marble: Gravestone Carving Traditions in Eastern Massachusetts, 1770-1870

From my list on New England gravestones and stonecutters.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was in 1972, while spending a summer with my wife in Falmouth (on Cape Cod), that I first discovered the 18th-century slate gravestones of New England. Anyone who visits these cemeteries will find it difficult not to be impressed by these monuments–which are among the oldest and most distinguished works of art produced by the craftsmen of the early American colonies. My fascination with them spiraled into many such trips in subsequent years, when I photographed much of this work, learned how to identify the stonecutters responsible for them, and determined the extent and locations of their production. 

James' book list on New England gravestones and stonecutters

James Blachowicz Why did James love this book?

This book is densely illustrated (I’d guess that about three-quarters of the 430 8”x10” pages of the main text are filled with images). This was what first led me to travel to New England to see these stones for myself, which I did six years later.

This combination of rich art and Puritan values should challenge anyone’s assumptions about early American sensibilities.

By Allen Ludwig,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Puritan New England, with its abiding concern for things not of this world and its distrust of forms and ceremonies, one art flourished: the symbolic art of mortuary monument stonecarvers. This carefully researched, beautifully illustrated work was the first to consider this art in depth as a meaningful aesthetic-spiritual expression. It is reissued for today's readers, with a new preface outlining changes in the field since the book appeared in 1966.


Book cover of Memorials for Children of Change: The Art of Early New England Stonecarving

James Blachowicz Author Of From Slate to Marble: Gravestone Carving Traditions in Eastern Massachusetts, 1770-1870

From my list on New England gravestones and stonecutters.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was in 1972, while spending a summer with my wife in Falmouth (on Cape Cod), that I first discovered the 18th-century slate gravestones of New England. Anyone who visits these cemeteries will find it difficult not to be impressed by these monuments–which are among the oldest and most distinguished works of art produced by the craftsmen of the early American colonies. My fascination with them spiraled into many such trips in subsequent years, when I photographed much of this work, learned how to identify the stonecutters responsible for them, and determined the extent and locations of their production. 

James' book list on New England gravestones and stonecutters

James Blachowicz Why did James love this book?

The Tashjians’ book challenged the idea that Puritans rejected visual art. Their study is important in documenting a new aesthetic, where the skull (death’s head) gives way to the winged faces of angels (cherubs), which were more gentle and sentimental in style rather than dark and threatening. Specific stonecutters discussed in this book include John Bull, William Codner, Zerrubbabel Collins, William Young, Henry Christian Geyer, Joseph Lamson and his shop, William Mumford, John Stevens and family, and Jonathan and Moses Worster. These are names well-known to anyone versed in this art form.

I was taken by the fact that new motifs in gravestone design could spread through the stonecutter community with such personalized innovations and styles. Further, in chapter 8: "The Icons of Essex," County provided a contrast with another style of cutting faces in stone. This book significantly broadened my view of stonecutting styles in New England. It also…

By Dickran Tashjian, Ann Tashjian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memorials for Children of Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Good clean copy , dust cover is missing , no page damage , no highlighting or writing


Book cover of The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Jo Schaffer Layton Author Of Badlands

From my list on characters who go through hell, survive, and also find love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love books that entertain and uplift when characters learn and overcome. As a teenager, things happened that threw me into a painful tailspin, ending in a wilderness program for troubled kids. It taught me that I can do hard things and face challenges in life. I’ve lost loved ones, have a special needs child, divorced, been broke, earned my black belt, returned to school as a single mom for a degree, and co-founded a nonprofit to support literacy for kids. None of that was easy, but it increased my compassion and hope. Stories can be powerful reminders of human resilience, and that battle scars make someone more beautiful than before.

Jo's book list on characters who go through hell, survive, and also find love

Jo Schaffer Layton Why did Jo love this book?

I first read this book as a kid, and it’s one of the reasons I became an avid reader. It's set in Puritan New England and features romance, intrigue, and suspense. It has great historical detail, a fun story, and well-written characters.

The protagonist, 16-year-old Kit from Barbados, arrives in the harsh world of early colonial Connecticut and doesn’t fit in—and society punishes her for it! I found myself angry and outraged for her–I just wanted everything to be fair. This story is a light-handed look at how life isn’t fair. Frustration comes from expecting or demanding it to be. There will always be circumstances and people making things difficult. Can it be endured? Yes!

I love the main characters, Kit and Nat (the son of the boat Captain who brought Kit to the colonies). They are cute together. This is still one of my favorite books.

By Elizabeth George Speare,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Witch of Blackbird Pond 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?

In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, a girl faces prejudice and accusations of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Connecticut. A classic of historical fiction that continues to resonate across the generations.

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met.

Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Puritans, New England, and Massachusetts?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Puritans, New England, and Massachusetts.

The Puritans Explore 34 books about the Puritans
New England Explore 110 books about New England
Massachusetts Explore 139 books about Massachusetts