73 books like In Sacred Loneliness

By Todd Compton,

Here are 73 books that In Sacred Loneliness fans have personally recommended if you like In Sacred Loneliness. 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 No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith

Alexander Stille Author Of The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune

From my list on cults and “high demand” groups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began reading about religion, cults, and “high demand” groups to help me understand the group I was writing about in The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy and the Wild Life of an American Commune. In my book, the central question was how could so many smart, highly educated people allow their lives to be taken over by a group of psychotherapists. As a result, it was crucial for me to understand what draws people into new religions and holds them in groups that others may consider extreme or bizarre. 

Alexander's book list on cults and “high demand” groups

Alexander Stille Why did Alexander love this book?

This biography of Joseph Smith although first published nearly eighty years ago is still the best account of the founder of Mormonism. It caused a sensation when it came out in 1945.

Its author, the 30-year-old Fawn Brodie, member of a prominent Mormon family, was excommunicated by the Church of Latter Day Saints. Despite being nearly eighty years old – it was revised and reissued in 1971 – and the subject of controversy in the Mormon church, this is a brilliant work of biography. Brodie writes extremely well and she knows the Mormon world and its belief system from within.

Her sin – if you can call it that – was to treat Joseph Smith as a mortal, historical figure. Unless you believe that the Angel Moroni really revealed a set of golden tablets to Joseph Smith that contained a set of divine truths and the amazing story he tells…

By Fawn M. Brodie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked No Man Knows My History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first paperback edition of the classic biography of the founder of the Mormon church, this book attempts to answer the questions that continue to surround Joseph Smith. Was he a genuine prophet, or a gifted fabulist who became enthralled by the products of his imagination and ended up being martyred for them? 24 pages of photos. Map.


Book cover of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith

Alex Beam Author Of American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

From my list on Mormon history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2012, a publisher asked me if I wanted to write a book about Joseph Smith's assassination. I leapt at the chance, in part because I was fascinated by Smith and the Latter-day Saints, and in part because I appreciated how many of the important contributions to Mormon history --- including Fawn Brodie’s famous biography of Joseph Smith, or the first honest and comprehensive account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre -- sprang from the pens of women and men with no formal academic training. By contrast, many “scholars” have disgraced themselves with prevaricating or pusillanimous accounts of the religion’s raucous and fascinating 190-year history. So jump in! Never a dull moment with the Latter-day Saints! 

Alex's book list on Mormon history

Alex Beam Why did Alex love this book?

This is an honest book about Joseph Smith’s first, and only “real” wife, Emma, who virulently opposed polygamy and, after Joseph’s death, convinced herself that it never existed. Emma is one of the three titans of Mormon history: she, her husband, and the subject of my next pick.

By Linda King Newell, Valerie Tippetts Avery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mormon Enigma is the bestselling biography of Emma Hale Smith, wife of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. It was Joseph Smith who announced that an angel of the Lord had commanded him to introduce a 'new order of marriage.' And it was Emma Hale Smith who confronted the practice of polygamy head on.

As the authors note in their introduction, "Early leaders in Utah castigated Emma from their pulpits for opposing Brigham Young and the practice of polygamy, and for lending support to the Reorganization. As these attitudes filtered down through the years, Emma was virtually written out of official…


Book cover of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet

Alex Beam Author Of American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

From my list on Mormon history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2012, a publisher asked me if I wanted to write a book about Joseph Smith's assassination. I leapt at the chance, in part because I was fascinated by Smith and the Latter-day Saints, and in part because I appreciated how many of the important contributions to Mormon history --- including Fawn Brodie’s famous biography of Joseph Smith, or the first honest and comprehensive account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre -- sprang from the pens of women and men with no formal academic training. By contrast, many “scholars” have disgraced themselves with prevaricating or pusillanimous accounts of the religion’s raucous and fascinating 190-year history. So jump in! Never a dull moment with the Latter-day Saints! 

Alex's book list on Mormon history

Alex Beam Why did Alex love this book?

You hear a lot about John C. Fremont and Kit Carson, but square mile for square mile, Brigham Young is the man who built the American West. He dispatched Latter-day Saints to settle the following states, either wholly or in part: Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, and Oregon.

By John G. Turner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brigham Young was a rough-hewn craftsman from New York whose impoverished and obscure life was electrified by the Mormon faith. He trudged around the United States and England to gain converts for Mormonism, spoke in spiritual tongues, married more than fifty women, and eventually transformed a barren desert into his vision of the Kingdom of God. While previous accounts of his life have been distorted by hagiography or polemical expose, John Turner provides a fully realized portrait of a colossal figure in American religion, politics, and westward expansion.

After the 1844 murder of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, Young gathered those…


Book cover of Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith

Alex Beam Author Of American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

From my list on Mormon history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2012, a publisher asked me if I wanted to write a book about Joseph Smith's assassination. I leapt at the chance, in part because I was fascinated by Smith and the Latter-day Saints, and in part because I appreciated how many of the important contributions to Mormon history --- including Fawn Brodie’s famous biography of Joseph Smith, or the first honest and comprehensive account of the Mountain Meadows Massacre -- sprang from the pens of women and men with no formal academic training. By contrast, many “scholars” have disgraced themselves with prevaricating or pusillanimous accounts of the religion’s raucous and fascinating 190-year history. So jump in! Never a dull moment with the Latter-day Saints! 

Alex's book list on Mormon history

Alex Beam Why did Alex love this book?

Not only is this book fascinating, but it is also utterly honest, and honesty is in short supply in Mormon history-telling. Oaks is a politically conservative and culturally controversial member of the Mormon church’s ruling triumvirate, which in no way detracts from this masterpiece.

By Dallin H. Oaks, Marvin S. Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Carthage Conspiracy deals with the general problem of Mormon/non-Mormon conflict, as well as with the dramatic story of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and their alleged assassins. It places the infamous event at the Carthage jail (1846) and the subsequent murder-conspiracy trial in the context of Mormon and American legal history, and deals with the question of achieving justice when crimes are politically motivated and popularly supported.


Book cover of Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

Brenda Stanley Author Of The Treasure of Cedar Creek

From my list on escaping polygamist cults.

Why am I passionate about this?

Living in southern Utah for many years, I saw first-hand the polygamist communities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hilldale, Utah. It always intrigued me that these people still held on to the beliefs and teachings of the early Mormon leaders regardless of the laws or scorn of those who lived around them. The research I did for The Treasure of Cedar Creek, was about polygamy, but also the history of the area of Idaho where the novel takes place and how it would be as a woman not only trying to escape, but facing the challenges of the terrain and perceptions of the day.

Brenda's book list on escaping polygamist cults

Brenda Stanley Why did Brenda love this book?

I found Wall’s first-hand account of what life is like inside a polygamist cult to be both revealing and tragic. The book is nonfiction but reads like a novel. I loved how the pages were full of descriptive passages that gave me an insider’s view of what these young girls are taught and must face as child brides. It helped me see that what began decades before is still happening under a cloak of secrecy. I found this book revealing and disturbing, and one I couldn’t put down.

By Elissa Wall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A tale of survival and freedom, Stolen Innocence is the story of one heroic woman who stood up for what was right and reclaimed her life.

In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at the age of fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.…


Book cover of Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Catherine Richmond Author Of The Shelter of Each Other

From my list on communes and cults in the 19th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Loess Hills of Iowa provide a great place to hike, with leg-stretching hills and diverse species of plants and animals, and a park with the unusual name Preparation Canyon. In 1853 a small band of Mormons built a commune called Preparation. Leader Charles Blancher Thompson kept his printing press busy, publishing over a thousand pages. Few of those pages told about those who lived there. The Shelter of Each Other is the story of the people of Preparation, brought to you by a writer whose imagination fills in blanks and connects the dots.

Catherine's book list on communes and cults in the 19th century

Catherine Richmond Why did Catherine love this book?

The origin of a twentieth century crime is traced to the violent history of the Latter Day Saints.

With Mormons, the line between faith and fanaticism, between belief and delusion, is blurred.

While Preparation maintained their anti-polygamy stance, they struggled with their leader’s use of prophecy and revelation similar to the main group of Mormons.

By Jon Krakauer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Under the Banner of Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, this extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities. Now an the acclaimed FX limited series streaming on HULU.

“Fantastic.... Right up there with In Cold Blood and The Executioner’s Song.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God; some 40,000 people still practice polygamy in these communities. 

At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty,…


Book cover of Unsaid

Jessica Ingold Author Of The Spirit Catchers

From my list on contemplating your own mortality.

Why am I passionate about this?


Jessica's book list on contemplating your own mortality

Jessica Ingold Why did Jessica love this book?

Told from the perspective of Helena, a veterinarian whose career was cut short by—you guessed it!—cancer, this book explores the ethical implications of testing on animals while unpacking the messy reality of grief. As Helena’s husband, David, struggles to care for his late wife’s houseful of beloved animals, ghost-Helena reflects on the meaninglessness of her existence. I think we all like to believe we leave some kind of impact on the world, but what if we don’t? And who are we to call ourselves superior beings when other creatures are forced to suffer at our expense?

By Neil Abramson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

UNSAID is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of her husband David. With Helena's passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena's animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in…


Book cover of Wifey

Debby Dodds Author Of Amish Guys Don't Call

From my list on serious subjects that are also hilariously funny.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my first career as an actress, I often got cast as the “comic relief” in more serious films and plays. I cut my acting chops on improv comedy before getting my BFA in drama from NYU and performing in everything from Shakespeare to Seinfeld. I wrote and performed in stage shows at Disneyland and Disney World and screamed myself hoarse in B-horror films. As an author, I like to write about serious topics but I just can’t help being funny. I received my MFA from Antioch University and have had over 30 short stories and essays published. While I read voraciously (and genre-indiscriminately), my favorite books are often “darkly comedic” or “funny yet poignant.”

Debby's book list on serious subjects that are also hilariously funny

Debby Dodds Why did Debby love this book?

I first came across this book when babysitting at a neighbor’s house as a young teen. I was a giant Judy Blume fangirl and I was confused. I thought I’d read all of her novels. When I picked this one up, I managed to find a “dirty part” quite quickly while flipping through it and I stole the book to show that passage to all my friends. Scandalous! When I was out of college, I actually read the whole book and found it a poignant, but still funny, look at dreams deferred, marriage, motherhood, and sex.

By Judy Blume,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With more than four million copies sold, Wifey is Judy Blume's hilarious, moving tale of a woman who trades in her conventional wifely duties for her wildest fantasies-and learns a lot about life along the way.

Sandy Pressman is a nice suburban wife whose boredom is getting the best of her. She could be making friends at the club, like her husband keeps encouraging her to do. Or working on her golf game. Or getting her hair done.

But for some reason, these things don't interest her as much as the naked man on the motorcycle...


Book cover of When She Makes More: The Truth about Navigating Love and Life for a New Generation of Women

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley Author Of Financial Adulting: Everything You Need to Be a Financially Confident and Conscious Adult

From my list on personal finance to not poke your eyes out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my company The Fiscal Femme and have written two personal finance guides because I needed them myself. I studied finance in college and worked in finance but still knew nothing about my own money. I do what I do so that others don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. Plus, when I started financial adulting, it gave me so much more power and freedom over my choices – career and personal – and I want that for others. 

Ashley's book list on personal finance to not poke your eyes out

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley Why did Ashley love this book?

I know (and research backs it up) that when women earn more money (and have more money) the world will be a better place for it. We all win. But in today’s society being the breadwinner also comes with a higher risk of burnout, infidelity, depression, and divorce. In When She Makes More, Farnoosh shares the ten rules for a fulfilling and wealthy life at home and work.   

By Farnoosh Torabi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When She Makes More as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As seen on CNBC's Follow the Leader

“Farnoosh’s ground-breaking book will save more relationships than couples counseling ever could.” —Barbara Stanny, author of Secrets of Six-Figure Women

Today, a record number of women are their household’s top-earner. But if you’re that woman, you face a much higher risk of burnout, infidelity, and divorce.
In this important and timely book, personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi candidly addresses how income imbalances affect relationships and family dynamics, and presents a bold strategy to achieving happiness at work and home. Torabi’s ten essential rules include:


   •  Buy Yourself a Wife: Outsource as many household…


Book cover of Mrs. Kimble

Tanya E. Williams Author Of A Man Called Smith

From my list on emotional reads to leave you with a book hangover.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by people’s behavior since I was a child. I was the kid who asked too many impertinent questions, never satisfied with the short answer. When I fell in love with historical fiction, the history mingled with my interest in human psychology. I soon discovered that despite advancements throughout civilization, people’s wants, needs, and fears remain fairly consistent. The exploration of life experiences that are not our own through the power of a book is pure magic. I hope these recommendations will allow you to put another’s life on like you would your winter parka and just for a moment, gain an understanding of another’s trials and tribulations. 

Tanya's book list on emotional reads to leave you with a book hangover

Tanya E. Williams Why did Tanya love this book?

I will admit it, I am a sucker for a compelling book cover. The cover of Mrs. Kimble completely drew me in and it didn’t take long for me to be so immersed that I wanted to grab the characters by their shoulders and shake some sense into them. I was intrigued by the idea of a “serial husband” but honestly, I wanted to know more about this narcissistic man who could simply change who he was at any given moment all the while changing careers, hometowns, and wives without nary a backwards glance. Self-centered doesn’t even begin to describe Ken Kimble but he sure does make the novel an intriguing story about love, loss, betrayal, and human nature in all of its glory.

By Jennifer Haigh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Covering a span of twenty five years, Mrs Kimble tells the story of three women married in succession to the same man - a charismatic opportunist named Ken Kimble. Told from the perspective of each Mrs Kimble, it offers a mesmerising look at how three very different women become accomplices in their own deception.

We see Ken Kimble through the eyes of the women he seduces: his first wife, Birdie, who struggles to hold herself together in the months following his desertion; his second wife, Joan, a lonely heiress recovering from personal tragedy, who sees in Kimble her last chance…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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