10 books like Louisa May Alcott

By Madeleine B. Stern,

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

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Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of Hospital Sketches

Early in the war, writer Louisa May Alcott journeyed to the nation’s capital to care for sick and wounded soldiers. Over a period of six weeks, she experienced firsthand the rigors of life in crowded hospital wards as a nurse to men suffering from disease and wounds. She recorded her observations in a series of accounts printed in a Boston newspaper. These writings formed the basis of Hospital Sketches. Published a month after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, when the outcome of the war remained uncertain, Alcott’s words encouraged other women to support the U.S. war effort, and remind us today of the critical role of nurses in times of conflict.

Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Complete and unabridged paperback edition.

Collection of short stories.

First published in 1863.


The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

This book opened up Louisa, and who she was to me. We can see her cheery optimism when she is younger, as well as the many inner battles she has with herself. We see her wit and humor, her desire to care for those she loves. As she ages and struggles with health issues, the reader feels her pain. Not a light-hearted book, but an extremely insightful one for those who want to gain a true glimpse into the character of this remarkable woman.

The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Journals of Louisa May Alcott as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From her eleventh year to the month of her death at age 55, Louisa May Alcott kept copious journals. She never intended for them to be published, but the insights they provide into her remarkable life are invaluable. Alcott grew up in a genteel but impoverished household, surrounded by the literary and philosophical elite of 19th-century New England, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Like her fictional alter ego, Jo March, she was a free spirit who longed for independence, yet she dutifully supported her parents and three sisters with her literary efforts. In the journals…


Louisa on the Front Lines

By Samantha Seiple,

Book cover of Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

We know Louisa May Alcott primarily as an author and the writer of the great masterpiece, Little Women, but many do not realize she was also a nurse during the Civil War. This book explores how her experiences in Washington D.C. as a nurse impacted her writing as well as her beliefs. Easy to read, captivating account. Highly recommend!

Louisa on the Front Lines

By Samantha Seiple,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louisa on the Front Lines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An eye-opening look at Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's time as a Civil War nurse, and the far-reaching implications her service had on her writing and her activism

Louisa on the Frontlines is the first narrative nonfiction book focusing on the least-known aspect of Louisa May Alcott's career -- her time spent as a nurse during the Civil War. Though her service was brief, the dramatic experience was one that she considered pivotal in helping her write the beloved classic Little Women. It also deeply affected her tenuous relationship with her father, and inspired her commitment to abolitionism. Through…


The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott

Ranging from sweet letters to her family to everyday business correspondence, these letters open up Louisa’s world to me. The reader obtains a snapshot of Louisa’s life and career through her various correspondences as well as glimpses into her writing process and her struggles to write prolificly when her health deteriorates. It was fun to read about her books in the letters and gain insight into the story behind them.

The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A broad cross-section of letters from the correspondence of the creator of ""Little Women"". This collection provides an autobiography spanning 45 years and provides an account of Alcott's life and development as a writer.


Beyond These War-Torn Lands

By Cynthia Roemer,

Book cover of Beyond These War-Torn Lands

A heartfelt and poignant tale of faith and perseverance with authentic details sure to resonate with historical fiction fans, this tale of grace and forgiveness is both tender and endearing. In many ways, reading this book was like going home. I was delighted to see the historical details during the search for Booth (something I spent months researching as I dug through the trial records for my own series). It's a beautiful story of grace and forgiveness.

Beyond These War-Torn Lands

By Cynthia Roemer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond These War-Torn Lands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher…


The Passing of the Armies

By Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,

Book cover of The Passing of the Armies

This is a reprint of the original edition from 1915. Chamberlain, the Maine general and hero of Little Round Top, was also a brigade commander in the last campaigns of the war in the east. Chamberlain tells the story of the end of the American Civil War, through the ceremonial surrender at Appomattox, which Chamberlain supervised and the parade in Washington DC. 

On the last page of his book, Chamberlain quotes the June 28, 1865 general orders of the Army of the Potomac, “ . . . this army, as an organization, ceases to exist.”  A one-time aspiring minister, Chamberlain is writing religiously when he adds “Ceases to exist!  Are you sure about that?” A century and a half later there is still a clear picture of the Army of the Potomac and the whole period remains a clear part of our historical memory. This book is well worth reading.  

The Passing of the Armies

By Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joshua Chamberlain's "The Passing of the Armies" is one of the classic books of Civil War history. When it was posthumously published in 1915, it received acclaim for its Victorian prose and accuracy in bringing to life the final twelve days of the war in Virginia. Although highly critical of Sheridan and defensive of the operations of his Fifth Corps, Chamberlain's work is an important contribution to the true story of this intense fighting. It is an important contribution by a contemporary who, as a distinguished Union officer, witnessed the events he wrote about. "The Passing of the Armies" is…


Banners at Shenandoah

By Bruce Catton,

Book cover of Banners at Shenandoah: A Story of Sheridan's Fighting Cavalry

Catton was one of the Civil War’s great historians, best known for bringing the stories of individual soldiers into otherwise sweeping accounts of the American Iliad. Amid this work, he also wrote this little-known short novel, published in 1955, which today probably would be filed in the “young adult” section of your favorite bookstore. It tells the tale of Bob Hayden, a Michigan boy who lies about his age to join a volunteer company and rises to manhood while serving in Virginia with Gen. “Fighting Phil” Sheridan.

Banners at Shenandoah

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enlisting in the Union Army, a seventeen-year-old from Michigan ends up in the cavalry under "Fighting Phil" Sheridan headed for Virginia.


Tenth of December

By George Saunders,

Book cover of Tenth of December: Stories

George Saunders balances humor and horror in a way very few can, in a word: perfectly. Every single one of the stories in this collection makes me smile and laugh and then with a turn, gasp and stop reading because I need to take in what is actually happening.

Saunders is a master at creating characters that are innocent and good-hearted, yet must deal with their life choices in this (at times) cruel world. His voice is unmistakable, both endearing and dark.

Tenth of December

By George Saunders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**ESCAPE FROM SPIDERHEAD NOW STREAMING ON NETFLIX - STARRING CHRIS HEMSWORTH AND MILES TELLER** The prize-winning, New York Times bestselling short story collection from the internationally bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo 'The best book you'll read this year' New York Times 'Dazzlingly surreal stories about a failing America' Sunday Times WINNER OF THE 2014 FOLIO PRIZE AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2013 George Saunders's most wryly hilarious and disturbing collection yet, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for…


On the Altar of Freedom

By James Henry Gooding,

Book cover of On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front

There are many published letters and diaries of Civil War soldiers, but far fewer from black men. This collection, penned by James Henry Gooding, a member of the famed 54th Massachusetts regiment, highlights the military service of a black man, born into slavery but later freed, educated, and keenly observant of the world around him. He enlisted in February 1863, recording his experiences in letters first published in the New Bedford Mercury. Here, they are assembled with insightful editing, illustrations, and an appendix featuring Gooding’s efforts to obtain equal pay for black troops. In September 1863, Gooding wrote President Lincoln, asking pointedly: “Are we Soldiers, or are We Labourers?” Gooding was later captured in battle and sent to Andersonville Prison where he died. His story and his words are invaluable windows into this tumultuous time.

On the Altar of Freedom

By James Henry Gooding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Altar of Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The letters featured in this book were sent by Corporal James Henry Gooding, a member of Company C., of the 54th Massachusetts regiment. They were sent to the New Bedford (Massachusetts) ""Mercury"" and published. He was described as a ""truthful and intelligent correspondent, and a good soldier"".


This Hallowed Ground

By Bruce Catton,

Book cover of This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War

I picked up this book while on a study course in the United States – I was based in Washington DC and intended to visit some of the nearby Civil War battlefields, and decided that I needed to know more about the conflict. It was perhaps the first American history book I had read, and immediately I was struck by the very different style of writing when compared with European works.

For a single-volume account of a terrible conflict that did so much to shape the United States, this is probably unmatched. The people involved, from those in high-level political positions to the men and women caught up in the fighting, are brought to life in an unforgettable way.

This Hallowed Ground

By Bruce Catton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic one-volume history of the American Civil War simultaneously captures the dramatic scope and intimate experience of that epic struggle, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Bruce Catton.
 
Covering events from the prelude of the conflict to the death of Lincoln, Catton blends a gripping narrative with deep, yet unassuming, scholarship to bring the war alive on the page in an almost novelistic way. It is this gift for narrative that led contemporary critics to compare this book to War and Peace, and call it a “modern Iliad.” Now over fifty years old, This Hallowed Ground remains one of the best-loved and…


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