100 books like On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers

By Kate Marsden,

Here are 100 books that On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers fans have personally recommended if you like On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers. 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 Sakhalin Island

Sara Wheeler Author Of Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

From my list on to read when visiting Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sara Wheeler is a prize-winning non-fiction author. Sara is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Contributing Editor of The Literary Review, a Trustee of The London Library, and former chair of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award. She contributes to a wide range of publications in the UK and US and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio. Her five-part series, ‘To Strive, To Seek’,  went out on Radio 4, and her book Cherry was made into a television film. 

Sara's book list on to read when visiting Russia

Sara Wheeler Why did Sara love this book?

The writer’s account of a journey across Siberia and into the Russian Far East to investigate prison conditions on an island in the Sea of Okhotsk north of Japan. A book of investigative journalism and a finely worked travel narrative conjuring spongy mud, ‘smoky, dreamy mountains’ and ‘lithe’ rivers while the author dreams of turbot, asparagus and kasha.

By Anton Chekhov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1890, the thirty-year-old Chekhov, already knowing that he was ill with tuberculosis, undertook an arduous eleven-week journey from Moscow across Siberia to the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. Now collected here in one volume are the fully annotated translations of his impressions of his trip through Siberia and the account of his three-month sojourn on Sakhalin Island, together with his notes and extracts from his letters to relatives and associates. Highly valuable both as a detailed depiction of the Tsarist system of penal servitude and as an insight into Chekhov's motivations and objectives for visiting the colony…


Book cover of Among the Russians

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From my list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading travel books that voyaged beyond mere tourism into the life of the land, its people, and its histories, I found myself longing to launch my own journeys. I took a thousand-mile canoe trip with my son following the 1673 route of the French explorers Marquette and Joliet; I crossed the Rockies with two sons by foot, mountain bike, and canoe following Lewis and Clark and their Nez Perce guides; I took to sea kayak and pontoon boat with a son and daughter, 400 miles along the Gulf Coast in pursuit of the 1528 Spanish Narvaez Expedition. Writing of these journeys gave me the chance to live twice.

Steven's book list on travel that enrich landscape with history

Steven Faulkner Why did Steven love this book?

Colin Thubron showed me real travel writing: a journey in words that leads the reader through detailed landscapes, personal encounters with local people, and a depth of understanding that can only come through the human history of these landscapes.

I took this trip with Thubron when Russia was still the Soviet Union. Thubron met dissidents living in Moscow, drank vodka with them late into the night, traveled north to the remnants of Soviet concentration camps, took the rails through that vast continent across the steppes, over the mountains, around huge lakes, all the way to the Pacific coast. The book is beautifully written and introduced me to a travel writer I have read many times since.

By Colin Thubron,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Among the Russians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thubron learnt Russian and entered the then Soviet Union in an old Morris Marina in which he camped and drove for almost 10,000 miles between the Baltic and Caucasus. This book provides a revealing picture of the many races who inhabit the country and the human side behind state socialism.


Book cover of Black Earth City

Sara Wheeler Author Of Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

From my list on to read when visiting Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sara Wheeler is a prize-winning non-fiction author. Sara is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Contributing Editor of The Literary Review, a Trustee of The London Library, and former chair of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award. She contributes to a wide range of publications in the UK and US and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio. Her five-part series, ‘To Strive, To Seek’,  went out on Radio 4, and her book Cherry was made into a television film. 

Sara's book list on to read when visiting Russia

Sara Wheeler Why did Sara love this book?

A wonderful account of a young Englishwoman’s year as a student in Voronezh in the potato belt. Crucially, that year was 1991, and Hobson saw it all. At once lyrical, funny and grim, this is a book that stands the test of time despite it all.

By Charlotte Hobson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of a young woman's heady encounter with Russia - and a society in collapse. In 1991, Charlotte Hobson went to study for a year in the provincial town of Voronezh. She captures the lives of her young contemporaries as the Soviet Union breaks up around them: Viktor, and his brutal memories of military service; Lola who sleeps with her fellow students for a share of their dinner; Yakov, blowing a million roubles of the Salvation Army's money on a taxi to Minsk to see a girl. Here too is the author's story and Mitya's. Their love affair begins…


Book cover of Journey into Russia

Sara Wheeler Author Of Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

From my list on to read when visiting Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sara Wheeler is a prize-winning non-fiction author. Sara is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Contributing Editor of The Literary Review, a Trustee of The London Library, and former chair of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award. She contributes to a wide range of publications in the UK and US and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio. Her five-part series, ‘To Strive, To Seek’,  went out on Radio 4, and her book Cherry was made into a television film. 

Sara's book list on to read when visiting Russia

Sara Wheeler Why did Sara love this book?

The author was an old fraud but this is a delightful period piece which reveals a good deal, sometimes inadvertently, about the lives of Russians in the benighted Soviet sixties.

Book cover of Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image

Tracy Crump Author Of Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness

From my list on faith and hope during illness.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having practically grown up at the hospital where my dad worked as a medical photographer, I wanted to be a nurse from the age of ten. I worked in ICU for five years and then retired to become a stay-at-home mom and later a homeschool mother. But once a nurse, always a nurse. I continued to care for friends and family, including my one-hundred-year-old mother-in-law, through health crises and long-term illnesses. My book and the others listed here tell stories of God’s healing—physically, mentally, and spiritually—a theme I’m passionate about and hope you are, too!

Tracy's book list on faith and hope during illness

Tracy Crump Why did Tracy love this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite books! Raised in India by missionary parents, Dr. Brand saw firsthand the effects of leprosy on the body. He trained as a doctor in England and returned to India where he pioneered the concept of the “gift of pain”—the idea that lepers’ “rotting” extremities resulted from the loss of sensation and subsequent infection, not the disease itself. A renowned surgeon, he was the first in the world to use reconstructive surgery on lepers, techniques he later applied to diabetics.

The book goes through the body, system by system, relating the physical body to the body of Christ. My favorite parts are Dr. Brand’s vivid stories of treating the “outcasts” society shuns but God does not.

By Dr. Paul Brand, Philip Yancey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The human body holds endlessly fascinating secrets. The resilience of skin, the strength, and structure of the bones, the dynamic balance of the muscles―your physical being is knit according to a pattern of stunning purpose. Now Gold Medallion winners Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and In His Image have been completely revised and updated to offer a new audience timeless reflections on the body.

Join renowned leprosy surgeon Dr. Paul Brand and bestselling writer Philip Yancey on a remarkable journey through inner space―a spellbinding account of medical intervention, pain and healing, and the courage of humanity. Discover here the eternal truths…


Book cover of A Burnt-Out Case

Joe Kilgore Author Of Misfortune’s Wake

From my list on expat adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

In a previous career, I traveled extensively to many parts of the world. I always found new cultures, old traditions, strange languages, and exotic environments fascinating. Perhaps even more fascinating, were the expats I found who had traded in their home country for an existence far from where they were born and different from how they were reared. In many instances, I’ve attempted to incorporate—in Heinlein’s words—this stranger in a strange land motif in my work. It always seems to heighten my interest. I hope the reader’s as well. 

Joe's book list on expat adventures

Joe Kilgore Why did Joe love this book?

Graham Greene is considered by many to be the acknowledged master of expat tales. This is actually one of his lesser-known novels. It tells the story of Querry, an internationally famous architect suffering from terminal ennui. Life no longer holds meaning for him, or even pleasure. He takes a boat up river in Africa to its last stop, a leper village in the Congo. There, he attempts to lose himself by helping the indigenous afflicted, and in so doing begins to cure his own ills as well. But fate and the white community can’t let well enough alone. 

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Burnt-Out Case as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY GILES FODEN

Querry, a world famous architect, is the victim of a terrible attack of indifference: he no longer finds meaning in art or pleasure in life. Arriving anonymously at a Congo leper village, he is diagnosed as the mental equivalent of a 'burnt-out case', a leper mutilated by disease and amputation. Querry slowly moves towards a cure, his mind getting clearer as he works for the colony. However, in the heat of the tropics, no relationship with a married woman, will ever be taken as innocent...


Book cover of Lord Foul's Bane

Gregory J. Glanz Author Of In Human Shadow

From my list on anti-heroes of fantasy fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

It seems that all of the fictional main characters I create have anti-hero tendencies. There is always some voice in their head telling them to do right when they are expected to do wrong, or to do wrong when it is supposed they will do right. I find this flaw very compelling, and universal for those of us of flesh and blood. Do sneering, evil characters exist? Well, maybe, but they aren’t very interesting, and I think a weak trope.

Gregory's book list on anti-heroes of fantasy fiction

Gregory J. Glanz Why did Gregory love this book?

This book begins with a broken and scorned man, his world having come apart at the seams after contracting leprosy.

Donaldson’s craft at portraying Covenant’s bitterness and vitriol toward life because of his plight is a palpable thing. When Covenant is transported to “The Land” by the magic of his wedding ring, which he refuses to part with despite the emotional pain it engenders, he is hailed as the second coming of Berek Halfhand, a legendary figure in this realm he considers to be a dream.

Such is his weakness, confusion, and rage at his plight in the real world, that when he begins to be healed by the natural powers of “The Land,” he ravages the people around him, even as they push him toward their belief that he is there to save them from The Despiser.

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Lord Foul's Bane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Comparable to Tolkien at his best' WASHINGTON POST

Instantly recognised as a modern fantasy classic, Stephen Donaldson's uniquely imaginative and complex THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, THE UNBELIEVER became a bestselling literary phenomenon that transformed the genre.

Lying unconscious after an accident, writer Thomas Covenant awakes in the Land - a strange, beautiful world locked in constant conflict between good and evil.

But Covenant, too, has been transformed: weak, angry, and alone in our world, he now holds powers beyond imagining and is greeted as a saviour. Can this man truly become the hero the Land requires?


Book cover of The Crystal World

Darragh McManus Author Of Shiver The Whole Night Through

From my list on where the forest feels like a character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Irish author who lives close to three very different forests: deciduous, planted coniferous, and the planned gardens of a former stately home that once welcomed WB Yeats and several other famous writers. I’ve always loved the woods – it often feels like stepping through a portal into some other, stranger parallel world – and drew huge inspiration from these places for Shiver the Whole Night Through. I wanted the forest to feel like a character, which was sentient and had agency. I incorporated several real-life locations into the fictional Shook Woods…and wrote a lot of the story in the forest, gazing into the dark trees, waiting for them to speak. 

Darragh's book list on where the forest feels like a character

Darragh McManus Why did Darragh love this book?

A tropical forest in Africa is the epicentre of a bizarre and very troubling phenomenon. Through a sort of “leak” in space-time, everything is slowly turning to crystal, and this “disease” will eventually seep out into the rest of the world. An English doctor goes on an Apocalypse Now-style journey into the forest to try and understand. Ballard’s sci-fi classic is as weird and thought-provoking as always, and the forest itself is a palpable presence throughout. 

By J.G. Ballard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From J. G. Ballard, author of 'Crash' and 'Cocaine Nights' comes his extraordinary vision of an African forest that turns all in its path to crystal.

Through a 'leaking' of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering skins lurch down the river. Pythons with huge blind gemstone eyes rear in heraldic poses. Most flee the area in terror, afraid to face a catastrophe they cannot understand.

But some, dazzled and strangely entranced, remain to drift through this dreamworld forest: a doctor in pursuit of his ex-mistress, an enigmatic Jesuit…


Book cover of How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories

Dwight Okita Author Of The Hope Store

From my list on weird wonderful books to read in one weekend.

Why am I passionate about this?

A Chicago writer, I've always been drawn to quirky books. My first novel, The Prospect of My Arrival, was a finalist in Amazon's novel contest and centers on a human embryo that is allowed to preview the world. My current work-in-progress is nonfiction. The Invention of Fireflies is a memoir of the magical and monstrous moments of my life. Varied day jobs have included being a professional cuddler, web designer, and caregiver. Affirmative Entertainment represents me for possible movie/TV projects. My work was selected for inclusion in the HBO New Writers Project, The Norton Introduction to Literature, many textbooks, and anthologies.

Dwight's book list on weird wonderful books to read in one weekend

Dwight Okita Why did Dwight love this book?

I love the unexpected beauty and horror of this book which is a collection of stories and a novella. The title also made me wonder, how do you escape a leper colony? Author Tiphanie Yanique is a Caribbean writer whose stunningly poetic voice haunted me long after I finished reading her book. As I read it, I imagined the narrator's Caribbean accent soaking into every syllable. In the key short story, Yanique sets us down in a leper colony on a deserted island for the dying and yet manages to leave room for the miraculous as well. Describing one leper she says, "And when a man with no hands claims that he can fly, you listen."

By Tiphanie Yanique,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Escape from a Leper Colony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lyrical, lush and haunting, the prose shimmers in this nuanced debut, set primarily in the US Virgin Islands. Part oral history, part postcolonial narrative, How to Escape from a Leper Colony is ultimately a lovely portrait of a wholly unique place. Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edwidge Danticat and Maryse Cond before her, Yanique has crafted a heartbreaking, hilarious, magical and mesmerisingly unforgettable collection of stories.


Book cover of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever : Lord Foul's Bane', 'Illearth War' and 'Power That Preserves

G. Wells Taylor Author Of Skin Eaters

From my list on starring antiheroes you love to hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a thing for antiheroes since my early days that were dominated by stereotypical “true-blue” protagonists in straightforward “good versus evil” narratives. Comic books, novels, and television shows were stunted by this unrealistic division that was intended to shelter the reader from provocative ideas and philosophies in favor of presenting a stable worldview. This distortion was most obvious in entertainment intended for young Canadian minds, so it wasn’t until I was old enough to make my own library selections and book purchases that I began to seek out the dark characters populating the gray area that is fiction and life. This ongoing exploration is reflected in my books.

G. Wells' book list on starring antiheroes you love to hate

G. Wells Taylor Why did G. Wells love this book?

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is a fantastic tale of two worlds. There is the Land, a mystical place of good versus evil, with inhabitants who use supernatural means to summon help against the darkness, and our world where the writer Thomas Covenant lives as an outcast to keep his leprosy in remission and to avoid his hostile neighbors. When he is magically transported to the Land and its people beg him to fight the evil for them, he refuses, believing it is a suicidal delusion that will reactivate his disease and kill him. The troubled hero Covenant could not be more compelling, or his dilemma better written, especially as the true-blue inhabitants of the Land struggle to understand why he can’t do the right thing.

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The acclaimed fantasy epic, together in one volume.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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