10 books like Intensive Care

By Echo Heron,

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

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A Glimpse of My Heart

By Delraya Anstine RN OCN,

Book cover of A Glimpse of My Heart: One Nurse's Story

Television has offered movies and series with nurses as the primary protagonists, but few books narrate the gritty lived experience of RNs. A Glimpse of My Heart is one that does, sharing her story in a light but informative tone that makes the book very readable despite the grim realities of cancer nursing. 

A Glimpse of My Heart

By Delraya Anstine RN OCN,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Having worked as A Registered Nurse certified in the area of oncology (taking care of cancer patients) for 23 years, Delraya has learned to face tears and stress, but along the way has discovered much joy. She is a native of North Idaho where she continues to live with her husband of 38 years. She has two grown children and five amazing grandchildren. She enjoys the outdoors, the changing seasons and also loves to travel.

10 percent of the proceeds from this book are donated to Sarcoma Research.


I Knew a Woman

By Cortney Davis,

Book cover of I Knew a Woman: Four Women Patients and Their Female Caregiver

This story about four patients cared for by nurse practitioner and acclaimed poet Cortney Davis reminds me a bit of pandemic narratives in that she works in a public clinic with individuals whose financial, emotional, or social situation puts them at risk. Since her patients are all female, their needs are related to gynecology, but the bigger story is Cortney’s ability to connect with them on a humanistic level and share their hopes, concerns, and fears.

I Knew a Woman

By Cortney Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Knew a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I cannot ignore the reality of the body, its glorious beginnings and its subtle endings," writes Cortney Davis in this intimate and startlingly original account of her work at a women's clinic. A poet and nurse-practitioner with twenty five years' experience, Davis reveals the beauty of the body's workings by unfolding the lives of four patients who struggle with its natural cycles and unexpected surprises: pregnancy and childbirth, illness and recovery, sexual dysfunction and sexual joy. An abundance of solid medical information imbues every graceful line.

Davis's eternal question to herself is: How do you help someone to not merely…


Oh, Nurse!

By David Daniels,

Book cover of Oh, Nurse!: One Man’s Journey Through the Nursing Life, a Personal Account of the Highs and Lows

Although this book wasn’t as smooth or polished as some and used occasional rough language, I was curious to learn more about Mr. Daniels and his 30-year career as a nurse. Full of anecdotes and the kind of “fireside chat” nurses like to exchange, the narrative is very readable and offers insight into a male perspective on the nursing profession.

Oh, Nurse!

By David Daniels,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You think hospitals are full of calm competent professionals? You’re about to get a true behind-the-scenes look at exactly what it’s like to be a nurse. (And a male nurse, at that!)

Oh, Nurse! is David Daniels’s first-hand account of his experiences as a nurse, offering personal anecdotes to peel open the curtain to unveil the secrets of the nursing life. Following Daniels over the course of his 30-year career, this book helps the reader discover the hidden truths of medical professionals, both good and not so good, and it even describes specific instances where he either succeeds or fails…


American Nightingale

By Bob Welch,

Book cover of American Nightingale: The Story of Frances Slanger, Forgotten Heroine of Normandy

I confess to a passion for WW2 fiction and non-fiction, so this book was a no-brainer for me. Frances Slanger, a Polish Jew who immigrated and grew up in Boston, was the first nurse to due during the D-day invasion at Normandy. She left a legacy in writing that helps the author piece together her story and offer insight into what military nurses faced.

American Nightingale

By Bob Welch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The heart-wrenching and inspirational WWII story of the first American nurse to die at the Normandy landings, the true account of a woman whose courage and compassion led to what a national radio show host in 1945 called "one of the most moving stories to come out of the war—a story of an army nurse that surpassed anything Hollywood has ever dreamed of."

She was a Jewish girl growing up in World War I-torn Poland. At age seven, she and her family immigrated to America with dreams of a brighter future. But Frances Slanger could not lay her past to…


Notes on Nursing

By Florence Nightingale,

Book cover of Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not

Although known for being the “Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale was also a statistician and tireless crusader for more hygienic conditions in hospitals both temporary and permanent. This book explains how to nurse a loved one or client at home, and includes advice we should follow today, particularly about ventilation in the sickroom. When she herself became ill later in life, she became a sofa-bound activist, influencing policies via correspondence. Nightingale founded a nursing school at St. Thomas’s Hospital, and the nurse probationers featured in my book attended her school. Mrs. Sarah Wardroper, a character in the novel, was Nightingale’s lieutenant in real life.

Notes on Nursing

By Florence Nightingale,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, Notes of Nursing was the first book of its kind. It was originally published when the simple rules of health were only beginning to be known. Its topics were of vital importance for the well-being and recovery of patients, when hospitals were riddled with infection.

In this edition, Mark Stinson adds his commentary, writing that this book "portrays the background for understanding the historical evolution from Nightingale’s experiences and sine qa non of her day to today’s utilization of evidence-based medicine in healthcare. The Nightingale legacy is also a call to…


Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War

By Laurie S. Stoff,

Book cover of Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War: More Than Binding Men's Wounds

Stoff’s work on women’s history during the war has been consistently excellent, starting with her book on women soldiers and continuing with this book. One of the most significant developments of the war was the need to dramatically expand medical care, especially for sick and wounded soldiers. Women rushed in to fill this need, with significant consequences not only for the health of the army but also the nature of gender and sexual relations throughout the whole country.

Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War

By Laurie S. Stoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Russia's Sisters of Mercy and the Great War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They are war stories, filled with danger and deprivation, excitement and opportunity, sorrow and trauma, scandal and controversy-and because they are the war stories of nurses, they remain largely untold. Laurie Stoff's pioneering work brings the wartime experiences of Russia's "Sisters of Mercy" out of the shadows to show how these nurses of the Great War, far from merely binding wounds, provided vital services that put them squarely in traditionally "masculine" territory, both literally and figuratively.

While Russian nursing shared many features of women's medical service in other nations, it was in some ways profoundly different. Like soldiers and doctors,…


The War Nurse

By Tracey Enerson Wood,

Book cover of The War Nurse

Based on a real-life WWI nurse, this novel is about Julia Stimson who supervised dozens of British nurses in Rouen, France. Horrific battle injuries and a deadly influenza that infiltrates their camp put Julia to the test, all while she tries to advocate for her nursing staff and navigate the egos of some of the male doctors. But when one doctor falls for her, she must decide how this relationship squares with her career aspirations. This book is a wonderful way to learn about this amazing woman who wants to put her career first.

The War Nurse

By Tracey Enerson Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Any readers who enjoyed the mix of romance, intrigue, and medical accuracy of Call the Midwife will love The War Nurse."-New York Journal of Books
"[An] impeccably researched, well-drawn, based-on-a-true-story tale, written by a former RN...The War Nurse shines an important light on a woman whose story was, until now, lost to time."-Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names
Based on a true story, The War Nurse is a sweeping historical novel by USA Today bestselling author Tracey Enerson Wood that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through WWI France.
She asked dozens of…


The Man in the Window

By Jon Cohen,

Book cover of The Man in the Window

Perhaps this was an inspiration for my own novel. It is about Louis, who has not left his house in sixteen years, due to his disfigured face. I won’t ruin the book, but I must say that it is written with great tenderness and understanding, and the characters are luminous. 

This book has stayed with me for years. Cohen weaves a bit of magic into his writing, and though the topic is sad on the surface, its two main characters will fill the reader with deep love and great satisfaction.

The Man in the Window

By Jon Cohen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An off-beat love story alternately deeply moving and laugh-aloud funny. Good Housekeeping Jon Cohen conjures magic, weaving a gentle romantic fantasy of piercing and eccentric beauty. Boston GlobeSince he was disfigured in a fire sixteen years ago, recluse Louis Malone has remained hidden from the prying eyes of his neighbors in the small town of Waverly.Across town, Iris Shula, a lonely and unlovely nurse knows, at thirty-seven, it is unlikely that her Prince Charming will ever appear. But Iris is about to learn how wrong she is.When Louis accidently falls out of his second story window these two kindred souls…


Home Before Morning

By Lynda Van Devanter,

Book cover of Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam

I’m going to jump historical genres slightly and recommend Lynda Van Devanter’s Vietnam memoir which reads like historical fiction and is every bit as engaging as the great novels and memoirs of the Vietnam War written by such men as Robert Stone, Larry Heinemann, Michael Herr, Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo, and Karl Marlantes. As an Army nurse, Devanter gave it her all to save others. This book is her effort to learn to live with what she witnessed in Vietnam, to get the truth down as honestly as she can by using all the narrative techniques of the novelist. Of the great books written about that horrific time in our country’s (and Vietnam’s) history, this one grabbed me from start to finish like no other. A powerful voice is telling us what we too readily forget now—that war is a criminal activity, no matter how justified or how much the…

Home Before Morning

By Lynda Van Devanter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Home Before Morning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lynda Van Devanter was the girl next door, the cheerleader who went to Catholic schools, enjoyed sports, and got along well with her four sisters and parents. After high school she attended nursing school and then did something that would shatter her secure world for the rest of her life: in 1969, she joined the army and was shipped to Vietnam. When she arrived in Vietnam her idealistic view of the war vanished quickly. She worked long and arduous hours in cramped, ill-equipped, understaffed operating rooms. She saw friends die. Witnessing a war close-up, operating on soldiers and civilians whose…


Sisters of the Great War

By Suzanne Feldman,

Book cover of Sisters of the Great War

Two sisters from Baltimore volunteer for WWI, one as a nurse, one as an ambulance driver. Though this isn’t a romance, each find love amid the gruesome reality of war – one with a doctor, one with another (female) ambulance driver. The sheer number of amputations will leave your head spinning.

Sisters of the Great War

By Suzanne Feldman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sisters of the Great War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I

August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort—Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war’s harshest lesson: not everyone can be…


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