10 books like Hunting Midnight

By Richard Zimler,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Hunting Midnight. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Silk Roads

By Peter Frankopan,

Book cover of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Even more than the oil curse, the location curse is key to understanding the Middle East. Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads is one of the best explorations of what imperial geographers identified as Eurasia, the ancient, much-fought-over land bridge between west and east running from the eastern Mediterranean to the Himalayas of which the modern construct of the “Middle East” is only one, sadly reduced part. Frankopan looks away from today’s association with regimes that are unstable, violent threats to international security and/or human rights, and popularly perceived as somehow peripheral to the interests of the West—to its historic center at the crossroads of civilization.

By tracing the evolution of the vitally interconnected trade routes known as the “Silk Roads", from conveying Chinese luxury goods and Turkic slaves to gold and silver, Iranian oil and Ukrainian wheat, Mongolian rare earths, and transcontinental telecommunications links, he shows how the region has…

The Silk Roads

By Peter Frankopan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Silk Roads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The No. 1 Sunday Times and international bestseller - a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west - in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia deep into China and India, is taking centre stage in international politics, commerce and culture - and is shaping the modern world. This region, the…


Salazar

By Tom Gallagher,

Book cover of Salazar: The Dictator Who Refused to Die

My neighbor, who owns the local agricultural store where I buy honey, told me almost casually that his father died in prison under Salazar. 

Gallagher has written 15 books on world history and politics, so I chose his to understand the dictator´s lasting impact on society. Salazar hung with dictator Franco strategically as a shield against Hitler, who he told to lay off all European Jews with Portuguese names because “Portugal does not recognize racial distinctions.” Personally above reproach Salazar was tolerant of homosexuality and promiscuity in others, and he welcomed back exiled and imprisoned opponents into regime leadership. Exploitations by the professional guilds Salazar built exist today, but so does social value on correct and ethical behaviour. 

Maybe my neighbor´s father stole a pig.

Salazar

By Tom Gallagher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fifty years after his death, Portugal's Salazar remains a controversial and enigmatic figure, whose conservative and authoritarian legacy still divides opinion. Some see him as a reactionary and oppressive figure who kept Portugal backward, while others praise his honesty, patriotism and dedication to duty. Contemporary radicals are wary of his unabashed elitism and scepticism about social progress, but many conservatives give credit to his persistent warnings about the threats to Western civilisation from runaway materialism and endless experimentation.

For a dictator, Salazar's end was anti-climactic-a domestic accident. But during his nearly four decades in power, he survived less through reliance…


Portugal

By Phil Mailer,

Book cover of Portugal: The Impossible Revolution?

One of few books I could get my hands on to decide whether I wanted to live in Portugal was this diary written by a young Canadian observer of the 1974 revolution that toppled Salazar´s regime. Cookbooks and tour guides were not going to help, and have you tried reading Saramago? Published in 1976 by Black Rose Books the reportage as it was unfolding has a breathless quality. The glossary of stakeholders´ acronyms is helpful. I learned 1) revolutions are probably never linear, 2) they require “strange bedfellows” to set aside differences, and 3) the Portuguese might be a peaceful, amenable, cohesive bunch. They are. 

Portugal

By Phil Mailer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the military coup in Portugal on April 25th, 1974, the overthrow of almost fifty years of Fascist rule, and the end of three colonial wars, there followed eighteen months of intense, democratic social transformation which challenged every aspect of Portuguese society. What started as a military coup turned into a profound attempt at social change from the bottom up and became headlines on a daily basis in the world media. This was due to the intensity of the struggle as well as the fact that in 1974–75 the right-wing moribund Francoist regime was still in power in neighboring Spain…


Unsheltered

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Book cover of Unsheltered

As weird as Portugal is, and has been, it may become weirder yet as it absorbs masses of migrants from unexpected places. Unsheltered is fiction that I found accurately portrays the shock and terror of American life for hundreds of millions of families, driving many to migrate. The family portrayed in the book are solidly middle-class, educated professionals. They “did everything right” in the “richest country on the planet,” yet find themselves on a downward slide with no way back to security. Vineland, New Jersey in its present state, and in its 19th-century aspirational origin is the compelling setting. One great thing Kingsolver does is to give hope, creating “new normals” of happiness in frugality.

The Portuguese figured this out ages ago. It's called “soup.”

Unsheltered

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW NOVEL FROM ORANGE PRIZE WINNER AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER BARBARA KINGSOLVER

2016 Vineland
Meet Willa Knox, a woman who stands braced against an upended world that seems to hold no mercy for her shattered life and family - or the crumbling house that contains her.

1871 Vineland
Thatcher Greenwood, the new science teacher, is a fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, and he is keen to communicate his ideas to his students. But those in power in Thatcher's small town have no desire for a new world order. Thatcher and his teachings are not welcome.

Both Willa…


The Whisper of the Palms

By Harriet E. Michael,

Book cover of The Whisper of the Palms

I loved this book! It is an engaging inspirational novel of two people who love God and answer His call to go to Africa as missionaries. The author does a wonderful job of putting the reader right there in the scene. I especially loved the way the characters at times struggled in their faith but always sought God's will. This is a really great book that will help to strengthen the reader's faith and walk with God. Harriet Michael was born in Nigeria, West Africa. The Whisper of the Palms, based on the love story of her parents, offers an authentic insight into a missionary’s life in Africa.

The Whisper of the Palms

By Harriet E. Michael,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Africa beckoned ... but would she have to go alone?            
Growing up in the foothills of North Carolina, Ali Blackwell dreamed of going places she had only seen in books and magazines. She lived in a small farmhouse that her farmer father had built with his own hands, and the prospects of ever leaving her little town of Union Mills appeared unlikely. Her family barely scraped by on the sale of produce grown by her dad and brothers and the supplemental income they earned working at the nearby textile mill.  
Kyle Edmonds, a few years her elder, lived in a…


The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner

By Andrea Smith,

Book cover of The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner

While the minute details of the plot may have faded, I still recall the feelings Sisterhood left me with, its essence. As the middle of three daughters, sisterhood is highly important to me. Although the women in the book weren’t biologically connected, their bond and unification were definite. I consider our protagonist Bonnie Wilder (despite her own personal challenges), her best friend, Thora, and the women of Blackberry Corner heroic in their efforts to rescue abandoned children—thus, touching on another topic important to me: motherhood. If you like small-town stories with lively, colorful characters, historical references, and a touch of drama dive into The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner. The sense of satisfaction I felt when reading it remains with me still. 

The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner

By Andrea Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Filled with compassion, humor, and tenacity in the face of almost insurmountable odds, here is a rich, inspiring tale of friendship and family, sisterhood and mother love . . . and of finding grace where you least expect it. 

Canaan Creek, South Carolina, in the 1950s is a tiny town where the close-knit African-American community is united by long-term friendships and church ties. Bonnie Wilder has lived here, on Blackberry Corner, all her life, and would be content but for her deep desire to have a child. She and her husband Naz cannot conceive, and he refuses to adopt. Even…


The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Book cover of The Invention of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Invention of Wings, blends fact and fiction in this pre-Civil War story of two young women. I was fascinated by reading chapters that alternated between Sarah Grimke, a historical character, representing South Carolina’s aristocracy and Hetty, called “Handful,” who is given as an enslaved maid to Sarah on her eleventh birthday. Sarah’s conscience won’t allow this division to endure. I loved the memorable scene where the two girls escape through a hatch in the roof to drink tea and tell each other secrets. For me, this image of flight in a shared hope for independence and voice, illustrates the heart of this novel. Organized religion fails both women; instead, spiritual comfort comes for Handful in the story-filled quilt that she attempts to complete.  

The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Invention of Wings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees and the forthcoming novel The Book of Longings, a novel about two unforgettable American women.

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something…


The Secret Life of Bees

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Book cover of The Secret Life of Bees

At the center of The Secret Life of Bees is fourteen-year-old White girl Lily Owens, who is haunted by clouded memories of the afternoon her mother was killed. After her “stand-in mother” confronts racists in their town, they move to Tiburon, South Carolina, where they are taken in by three Black beekeeping sisters. There, Lilly finds a long-needed safe harbor in this mesmerizing novel about a bedrock longing for acceptance and the power, the divinity of the female spirit. Like a lot of kids from wildly dysfunctional Southern families, I ached for inclusion, for a sign that I was going to be okay, just like Lily. I get her—her questions, her struggles, her doubts, and I think you will too.

The Secret Life of Bees

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The multi-million bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings and The Book of Longings

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted Black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina-a town that holds the secret to her mother's…


Prelude to Civil War

By William W. Freehling,

Book cover of Prelude to Civil War

Though venerable, Freehling’s book remains the standard treatment of this early episode in America’s convulsive sectional crisis. Informed by impeccable research, Freehling depicts the growing tension that pitted hardline states’ rights advocates against resolute nationalists, almost to cause a civil war three decades before it finally happened. Vivid portrayals abound with numerous characters, including the volatile Andrew Jackson and the doctrinaire John C. Calhoun, brought to life in a gemstone of the narrative art.

Prelude to Civil War

By William W. Freehling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prelude to Civil War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When William Freehling's Prelude to Civil War first appeared in 1965 it was immediately hailed as a brilliant study of the origins of the American Civil War. Three decades later, its importance remains undiminished and is still considered one of the most significant studies in its field. This vivid description of a society on the brink powerfully conveys the combustive social elements of the Old South, as well as the political manoeuvring and combative
personalities that finally ensured secession and war, and insists upon the central importance of the South's `peculiar institution' in understanding the roots of the Civil War.


Edisto

By Padgett Powell,

Book cover of Edisto

Edisto was the first coming-of-age novel I fell in love with as an adult reader and the book that showed me the tremendous literary potential of the genre. Padgett Powell endows his protagonist, twelve-year-old Simons, with what comes across as precociousness, but in fact reflects the depth of thinking that many young tweens and teens have. Simons wrestles with his narcissistic parents’ competing visions of his future—although neither bothers to ask him what he wants—while hanging out on the sultry island of Edisto off the coast of South Carolina with an enigmatic older acquaintance, Taurus, who offers him tastes of adult life and the kind of attention his parents are incapable of providing. Powell’s deft prose and realistic dialogue make it all fully believable, and at times riotously funny. Edisto is nothing short of brilliant.

Edisto

By Padgett Powell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Finalist for the National Book Award: Through the eyes of a precocious twelve-year-old in a seaside South Carolina town, the world of love, sex, friendship, and betrayal blossoms
Simons Everson Manigault is not a typical twelve-year-old boy in tiny Edisto, South Carolina, in the late 1960s. At the insistence of his challenging mother (known to local blacks as “the Duchess”), who believes her son to possess a capacity for genius, Simons immerses himself in great literature and becomes as literate and literary as any English professor.
When Taurus, a soft-spoken African American stranger, moves into the cabin recently vacated by…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in South Carolina, Africa, and Portugal?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about South Carolina, Africa, and Portugal.

South Carolina Explore 25 books about South Carolina
Africa Explore 190 books about Africa
Portugal Explore 30 books about Portugal