100 books like Louisa on the Front Lines

By Samantha Seiple,

Here are 100 books that Louisa on the Front Lines fans have personally recommended if you like Louisa on the Front Lines. 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 Hospital Sketches

Ronald S. Coddington Author Of African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album

From my list on the American Civil War by those who experienced it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two boyhood experiences inspired my fascination with the Civil War: a family trip to Gettysburg and purchasing original photographs of soldiers at flea markets. Captivated by the old photos, I became an avid collector of Civil War-era portrait photography. Curiosity about identified individuals in my collection led me on a lifelong journey to tell their stories. In 2001, I started a column, Faces of War, in the Civil War News. Since then, I’ve profiled hundreds of participants in the column, and in six books. In 2013, I became the fourth editor and publisher of Military Images, a quarterly journal that showcases, interprets, and preserves Civil War photography.

Ronald's book list on the American Civil War by those who experienced it

Ronald S. Coddington Why did Ronald love this book?

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.

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.


Book cover of The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Louisa May Alcott: A Biography

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

This is a well-researched, detailed biography of Louisa’s works and life. I appreciated the author covering the many different stories Louisa wrote throughout her life and how they reflected her experiences. I also loved the information on why Louisa used a pen name in the earlier part of her career. Very insightful and informative!

By Madeleine B. Stern,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Madeleine B. Stern, one of the world's leading Alcott scholars, shows how the breadth of Alcott's work, ranging from Little Women to sensational thrillers and war stories, serves as a reflection of a fascinating and complicated life dotted with poverty and riches alike, hard menial work, physical suffering relieved by opiates, and the acclaim of literary success.


Book cover of The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

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.

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.


Book cover of Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

Jocelyn Green Author Of Wedded to War

From my list on women nurses during the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn's book list on women nurses during the Civil War

Jocelyn Green Why did Jocelyn love this book?

This volume offers a survey of Civil War nurses in both the North and the South. Not only do readers meet individuals like Clara Barton, but readers get an overview of pioneering women in this field, with detailed statistics not found in memoirs.

By Jane E. Schultz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As many as 20,000 women worked in Union and Confederate hospitals during America's bloodiest war. Black and white, and from various social classes, these women served as nurses, administrators, matrons, seamstresses, cooks, laundresses, and custodial workers. Jane Schultz provides the first full history of these female relief workers and shows how the domestic and military arenas merged in Civil War America, blurring the line between homefront and battle-front. Examining the lives and legacies of Dorothea Dix, Clara Barton, Susie King Taylor, and others, Schultz demonstrates that class, race, and gender roles linked female workers with soldiers, both black and white.…


Book cover of Healing Wounds: A Vietnam War Combat Nurse's 10-Year Fight to Win Women a Place of Honor in Washington, D.C.

Marvin J. Wolf Author Of M-9

From my list on to safely satisfy your lust for action and mystery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 13 years a soldier and saw combat in Vietnam. There I met some of the finest men this country has ever produced and became hooked on the exploits of brave men. I have written many books about men—and women—in peril, and strive always for accurate accounts.

Marvin's book list on to safely satisfy your lust for action and mystery

Marvin J. Wolf Why did Marvin love this book?

Evans was the power behind the creation of the Vietnam Women's Memorial located at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Twenty-some years ago, she called me—we didn’t know each other—and asked to meet. She was looking for help in writing about her experiences as a combat nurse in Vietnam, and how that led to her spending ten years to create the Vietnam Woman’s Memorial. We spent a long lunch at a beachfront bistro in Venice, CA talking, and finally agreed that she should have the catharsis from writing her book, when she was ready. This is that book, and it tells about war and politics—war by peaceful means—from a woman’s perspective. Positively riveting story by an extraordinary woman.

By Diane Carlson Evans, Bob Welch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What is the price of honor? It took ten years for Vietnam War nurse Diane Carlson Evans to answer that question—and the answer was a heavy one.

In 1983, when Evans came up with the vision for the first-ever memorial on the National Mall to honor women who’d worn a military uniform, she wouldn’t be deterred. She remembered not only her sister veterans, but also the hundreds of young wounded men she had cared for, as she expressed during a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.: “Women didn’t have to enter military service, but we stepped up to serve believing we…


Book cover of Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War

Jessica Frazier Author Of Women's Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War Era

From my list on women and the US war in Vietnam.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into researching women’s antiwar activism during the U.S. war in Vietnam by chance when I came across evidence of middle-aged American women traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia in 1965 to meet with women from North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front—the enemies of the United States at the time. Discovering that some of these same U.S. women (and many others), would later travel to Hanoi despite the United States conducting extensive bombing raids over North Vietnam, despite travel to North Vietnam being prohibited, and despite some of the women having young children at home, simply astounded me, and I had to find out more.

Jessica's book list on women and the US war in Vietnam

Jessica Frazier Why did Jessica love this book?

Kara Dixon Vuic’s Officer, Nurse, Woman reveals the lives and livelihoods of nurses in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war years. Through oral histories, she presents colorful anecdotes that make one laugh, shudder, and cry. In addition to lively stories, Vuic shows the Army’s contradictory treatment of and expectations toward women, their gender, and their sexuality. For example, recruitment materials for women as nurses promised both adventure and a secure career path, including equal pay as their male counterparts. Yet, women in the military also faced sexism, harassment, and assault with little means of recourse. Both a fun and challenging read, Officer, Nurse, Woman urges readers to consider gendered assumptions that continue to shape military policy today.

By Kara Dixon Vuic,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"'I never got a chance to be a girl,' Kate O'Hare Palmer lamented, thirty-four years after her tour as an army nurse in Vietnam. Although proud of having served, she felt that the war she never understood had robbed her of her innocence and forced her to grow up too quickly. As depicted in a photograph taken late in her tour, long hours in the operating room exhausted her both physically and mentally. Her tired eyes and gaunt face reflected th e weariness she felt after treating countless patients, some dying, some maimed, all, like her, forever changed. Still, she…


Book cover of Three Weeks At Gettysburg

DeAnne Blanton Author Of They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War

From my list on women in the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

DeAnne Blanton retired from the National Archives in Washington, DC after 31 years of service as a reference archivist specializing in 18th and 19th century U.S. Army records. She was recognized within the National Archives as well as in the historical and genealogical communities as a leading authority on the American Civil War; 19th century women’s history; and the history of American women in the military.

DeAnne's book list on women in the Civil War

DeAnne Blanton Why did DeAnne love this book?

This pamphlet, although only 24 pages, is one of the best first-hand depictions of Civil War nursing.  Miss Woolsey and her mother travelled to Gettysburg in the aftermath of the battle and immediately launched into the nursing ranks of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.  She published her account shortly after returning home, when her services were no longer needed.

Book cover of With Courage and Delicacy: Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission

Jocelyn Green Author Of Wedded to War

From my list on women nurses during the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jocelyn Green is the bestselling and award-winning author of eighteen books as of 2021. Her historical fiction has been acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, the Historical Novel Society, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn's book list on women nurses during the Civil War

Jocelyn Green Why did Jocelyn love this book?

This book captures the work of the little-known U.S. Sanitary Commission, the pre-cursor to the Red Cross, and its influence during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. Women nurses were the lifeblood of the hospital transports that saved hundreds of lives.

By Nancy Scripture Garrison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Civil War on the Peninsula: Women and the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The U.S. Sanitary Commission was a volunteer medical and relief organization during the Civil War, in which women played a significant role. The author draws on the letters of women serving in McClellan's Peninsula campaign of 1862 to integrate social, cultural and military history into a gripping narrative.


Book cover of Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War

Carolyn P. Schriber Author Of Damned Yankee

From my list on what historians don’t tell you on the American Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve experimented with many careers during my adult life. I’ve been a nanny, high school Latin teacher, noontime talk-show hostess, computer instructor, college history professor, and president of a four-state charitable organization. But nothing has so occupied my passion as exploring and writing stories about America’s Civil War. Becoming an author was a career choice I made after I retired at the age of 65. I began with a small collection of letters written by my great uncle shortly before his death on a Civil War battlefield. My continuing inspiration comes from the enthusiasm of my readers who want to learn more than their history books offer. 

Carolyn's book list on what historians don’t tell you on the American Civil War

Carolyn P. Schriber Why did Carolyn love this book?

The death toll of the Civil War was horrendous, the list of the wounded? Endless. Medical schools did not exist; doctor trained their assistants. There were no emergency rooms, no hospitals, no triage, and certainly no female nurses to care for those bleeding male bodies. In many respects, the medical profession was born on Civil War battlefields with the brave women who ventured among the dead and dying to staunch the flow of blood. So, who were the women who emerged from their sheltered lives to care for wounded soldiers in the Northern army? I wrote about one of them—Nellie Chase—but I thought she was an exception. These stories of the women who joined the Northern war effort expanded my knowledge beyond my wildest expectations.

By Pamela D. Toler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A look at the lives of the real nurses depicted in the PBS show Mercy Street.

Heroines of Mercy Street tells the true stories of the nurses at Mansion House, the Alexandria, Virginia, mansion turned war-time hospital and setting for the PBS drama Mercy Street. Among the Union soldiers, doctors, wounded men from both sides, freed slaves, politicians, speculators, and spies who passed through the hospital in the crossroads of the Civil War, were nurses who gave their time freely and willingly to save lives and aid the wounded. These women saw casualties on a scale Americans had never seen…


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