100 books like Redwood and Wildfire

By Andrea Hairston,

Here are 100 books that Redwood and Wildfire fans have personally recommended if you like Redwood and Wildfire. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Angel of the Crows

Malka Older Author Of The Mimicking of Known Successes

From my list on Sherlock Holmes retellings.

Who am I?

I’ve obviously read a lot of Holmes retellings. Part of the impetus behind my new novella was trying to figure out why I was so attracted to them. Part of it, I realized, is the neurodivergence aspect: fundamental to the Holmes story is the idea of someone who thinks differentlyand who finds a way to interact with the world that uses that as an asset. The other component I love is the Holmes-Watson dynamic. Whether it's romantic or not, the development of a relationship of affection between two people who think very differently is an emotional counterpoint to plot-driven mysteries. Those elements—along with stellar writing, gripping mysteries, and characters I love spending time with.

Malka's book list on Sherlock Holmes retellings

Malka Older Why did Malka love this book?

This is probably the strangest retelling on this list (rivaling Alexis Hall’s wonderful The Affair of the Mysterious Letter) and—perhaps because of that?—the one that follows the original stories most closely.

Indeed, the mysteries explored by Crow are beat-by-beat versions of Holmes’s, except where they deviate to puncture racism, xenophobia, and sexism or to reflect the dictates of the fascinating paranormal world Addison created.

The wary developing friendship between Watson and Crow, the bizarre half-glimpsed world they live in, and the urgency of the prose make it hugely readable.

By Katherine Addison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.
London 1888. Angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A utopia, except for one thing: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds.
Dr J. H. Doyle returns to London having been wounded in Afghanistan by a Fallen, and finds himself lodging in Baker Street with the enigmatic angel Crow. But living…


Book cover of A Master of Djinn

Caroline Stevermer Author Of The Glass Magician

From my list on historical fantasy for armchair travel.

Who am I?

I write fantasy novels, including A College of Magics, River Rats, and When the King Comes Home. With Patricia C. Wrede, I wrote half of the Kate and Cecy series: Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician.

Caroline's book list on historical fantasy for armchair travel

Caroline Stevermer Why did Caroline love this book?

Agent of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, Fatma el-Sha'arawi is the spectacularly well-dressed protagonist tasked with saving the world (again) in an alternate 1912 Cairo. This award-winning novel awed me with its detail and invention. What I loved most was the way the world building relegated the British Empire to relative unimportance. Come to think of it, I loved the Ministry library almost as much.

By P. Djèlí Clark,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Master of Djinn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Included in NPR’s Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books Of The Past Decade (2011-2021)
A Nebula Award Winner
A Ignyte Award Winner
A Compton Crook Award for Best New Novel Winner
A Locus First Novel Award Winner
A RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner
A Hugo Award Finalist
A World Fantasy Award Finalist
A NEIBA Book Award Finalist
A Mythopoeic Award Finalist
A Dragon Award Finalist
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Amazon
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Kobo

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark goes full-length for the first time in his dazzling debut…


Book cover of The Masked City

Caroline Stevermer Author Of The Glass Magician

From my list on historical fantasy for armchair travel.

Who am I?

I write fantasy novels, including A College of Magics, River Rats, and When the King Comes Home. With Patricia C. Wrede, I wrote half of the Kate and Cecy series: Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician.

Caroline's book list on historical fantasy for armchair travel

Caroline Stevermer Why did Caroline love this book?

A dragon, a great detective, many fae, and more than one resourceful librarian clash in a Venice so alternate I can't quite pin down the year—during Carnival, of course. This novel is part of the Invisible Library series, which I've loved from the very first book, The Invisible Library. I love Cogman's use of magic—and airships—as she builds whole worlds and as her librarians travel among them. Her plots are ingenious, but it is her marvelously twisty characters that impress me the most. 

By Genevieve Cogman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Librarian-spy Irene and her apprentice Kai are back in the second in this “dazzling”* book-filled fantasy series from the author of The Invisible Library.
 
The written word is mightier than the sword—most of the time...
 
Working in an alternate version of Victorian London, Librarian-spy Irene has settled into a routine, collecting important fiction for the mysterious Library and blending in nicely with the local culture. But when her apprentice, Kai—a dragon of royal descent—is kidnapped by the Fae, her carefully crafted undercover operation begins to crumble.
 
Kai’s abduction could incite a conflict between the forces of chaos and order that…


The Constant Tower

By Carole McDonnell,

Book cover of The Constant Tower

Carole McDonnell Author Of Wind Follower

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Armchair anthropologist Asian drama addict Christian Perseverer

Carole's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Carole's 10, and 12-year-old's favorite books.

What is my book about?

This is a multicultural epic fantasy with a diverse cast of characters. Sickly fifteen-year-old Prince Psal, the son of warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. But his clan disdains the disabled.

When the mysterious self-moving towers that keep humans safe from the Creator's ancient curse rebel, Psal attempts to find the Constant Tower and break the power of the third moon. Psal must risk losing the little respect his father has for him and face the dangers of the unmaking night to find the Constant Tower and save all of humanity.

The Constant Tower

By Carole McDonnell,

What is this book about?

Sickly fifteen year old Prince Psal, the son of the nature-blessed warrior-king Nahas, should have been named Crown Prince of all Wheel Clan lands. A priest-physician like his friend Ephan, Psal lacks a warrior's heart, yet he desires to earn Nahas's respect and become a clan chief. If he cannot do this, he must escape his clan altogether. But his love for Cassia, the daughter of his father's enemy, and his own weaknesses work against him. When war comes, Psal defends Ktwala and her daughter Mahari, wronged by Nahas, and speaks out against the atrocities his clan commits, further jeopardizing…


Book cover of Black Hearts in Battersea

Caroline Stevermer Author Of The Glass Magician

From my list on historical fantasy for armchair travel.

Who am I?

I write fantasy novels, including A College of Magics, River Rats, and When the King Comes Home. With Patricia C. Wrede, I wrote half of the Kate and Cecy series: Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician.

Caroline's book list on historical fantasy for armchair travel

Caroline Stevermer Why did Caroline love this book?

No airships here, but there is a hot-air balloon, as well as a dark conspiracy afoot. This classic children's book, first published in 1964, introduces Dido Twite, a character so vivid that she took over the series this is part of. Back in the Cretaceous period, when I read this book for the very first time, I didn't notice this nineteenth-century London is not the one Dickens wrote of. Now I revel in the sly details that Aiken gives us.

By Joan Aiken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Hearts in Battersea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10.

What is this book about?

'Wait, wait! Save us! What'll we do?'

Simon is determined to become a painter when he grows up so he sets off to London to make his fortune. But the city is plagued by wolves and mysterious disappearances. The Twite household, where Simon is lodging, seems particularly shifty. Before he even gets a chance to open his glistening new paints Simon stumbles right into the centre of a plot to kill the King. And worse than that Simon is kidnapped and sent to sea! Luckily there are two friendly stowaways aboard - the feisty Dido Twite and the spoiled young…


Book cover of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Author Of Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation

From my list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of communication and political science who’s been researching and publishing on the effects of political media on democratic health for 25 years. More recently, I’ve been trying to understand the roots of inter-party hostility, the drop in trust in institutions, and the rise in Americans’ belief in breathtakingly false information. My hope is that through this selection of books, you’ll start to understand the synergistic dynamics between America’s complicated history with race, changes in America’s parties, media, and culture, and various social psychological processes, and maybe even start to see a way out of this mess.

Dannagal's book list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Why did Dannagal love this book?

I cannot count the number of times I let out an audible, “My god,” reading this richly detailed account of the lives of three complicated and infinitely brave Black Americans who dared leave the Jim Crow South for cities North and West in the early-mid 1900s.

In school (in New England, not the South), I didn’t get an intimate sense of how routine and oppressive the violence and injustice were against southern Blacks during Jim Crow. And I certainly didn’t learn how, even in the “free” Northern cities, the subjugation continued, just in quieter ways.

Since reading the book, when I see references to people celebrating “simpler times from a bygone era,” I increasingly wonder if part of that simplicity involves them not having to share cultural or political power. 

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Warmth of Other Suns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official…


Book cover of Finding Langston

Ellen Mulholland Author Of This Girl Climbs Trees

From my list on middle grade dealing with death, dying, and grief.

Who am I?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with life and death. As a child, my own life was fairly mundane and even joyful. However, I went through loss like most. We lost two dogs when I was maybe seven or nine. Then my beagle Suzy, who we had the longest, was struck by a car on a rainy day. A few years later, my grandfather passed from cancer. Watching my mother grieve stuck with me. It shaped me—how I cared about life, how I longed to understand it. Once I decided to write stories for children, I knew it could be a safe place to explore my hidden feelings.

Ellen's book list on middle grade dealing with death, dying, and grief

Ellen Mulholland Why did Ellen love this book?

This is a warm hug book. The kind that sneaks up on you when you’re reading words. Langston is a lovable main character. His story is rich with family, tradition, loss, and poetry. He is eleven when his mother dies, and his dad decides they must leave Alabama. So many changes for this boy as he is bullied and deals with segregation in 1940s Chicago. But he discovers the library that welcomes all. Such a sweet story and perfect for younger middle grade readers.

By Lesa Cline-Ransome,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Finding Langston as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

When eleven-year-old Langston's father moves them from their home in Alabama to Chicago's Bronzeville district, it feels like he's giving up everything he loves.

It's 1946. Langston's mother has just died, and now they're leaving the rest of his family and friends. He misses everything--Grandma's Sunday suppers, the red dirt roads, and the magnolia trees his mother loved.

In the city, they live in a small apartment surrounded by noise and chaos. It doesn't feel like a new start, or a better life. At…


Book cover of Wild Women and the Blues

Susan Sage Author Of Dancing in the Ring

From my list on the ‘herstory’ of women of the 1920s.

Who am I?

I have always been intrigued by the Roaring 20s, and specifically in how the lives of women truly began to change during this time. My grandmother loved to boast about how she had been a flapper as a young woman. Her sister-in-law was one of the first female attorneys in Detroit in the mid-20s. The era brought about opportunities and freedoms previously unknown to women. Many women suddenly had options, both in terms of careers and lifestyles. Goals of first wave feminists were beginning to be reached. The research I did for my book furthered my understanding of society at the time, particularly in America. 

Susan's book list on the ‘herstory’ of women of the 1920s

Susan Sage Why did Susan love this book?

Curious about what life was like in the Chicago speakeasies of the 1920s—especially for Black chorus women?

Follow ambitious, yet vulnerable, Honoree Palcour, as she envelops you in her past. Like to feel like what it was like to be alive in an earlier era? You won’t be disappointed by this exciting and well-written tale!

By Denny S. Bryce,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wild Women and the Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Perfect for fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo...a dazzling depiction of passion, prohibition, and murder.“ —Shelf Awareness
 
“Ambitious and stunning.” —Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author

"Vibrant…A highly entertaining read!” —Ellen Marie Wiseman New York Times Bestselling author of THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR
 
“The music practically pours out of the pages of Denny S. Bryce's historical novel, set among the artists and dreamers of the 1920s.” —OprahMag.com
 
Goodreads Debut Novel to Discover & Biggest Upcoming Historical Fiction Books
Oprah Magazine, Parade, Ms. Magazine, SheReads, Bustle, BookBub, Frolic, & BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Books
Marie Claire & Black Business Guide’s…


Book cover of The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America

David G. Nicholls Author Of Conjuring the Folk: Forms of Modernity in African America

From my list on understanding the Great Black Migration.

Who am I?

I'm a lifelong reader and wanted to study literature from an early age. I grew up in Indianapolis, one of the cities reshaped by the Great Black Migration. I went to graduate school at the University of Chicago and found myself once again in the urban Midwest. My research for Conjuring the Folk led me to discover a trove of short stories by George Wylie Henderson, a Black writer from Alabama who migrated to Harlem. I edited the stories and published them as Harlem Calling: The Collected Stories of George Wylie Henderson. I'm a contributor to African American Review, the Journal of Modern Literature, and the Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration

David's book list on understanding the Great Black Migration

David G. Nicholls Why did David love this book?

The Promised Land is written in an engaging, eloquent style that makes it an excellent introduction to the history of the Great Black Migration. A noted journalist, Lemann interviewed dozens of migrants and their descendants to create a richly textured story of their experiences. Layered onto this story is description and analysis of the political contexts for the migration, including the civil rights movement and the Great Society programs. He follows a group of Black Americans from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago and, in some cases, back. He shows how the migration affected not just the migrants themselves, but America as a whole, for it shifted race relations from a regional to a national problem. Chicagoans like me will enjoy its wealth of local detail.

By Nicholas Lemann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Promised Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller, the groundbreaking authoritative history of the migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North. A definitive book on American history, The Promised Land is also essential reading for educators and policymakers at both national and local levels.


Book cover of Tougaloo Blues

James E. Cherry Author Of Edge of the Wind

From my list on contemporary African American authors.

Who am I?

I'm a contemporary African American writer born and raised in the South. It was this sense of place that has shaped my artistic sensibilities. I was in my mid-twenties, searching, seeking for answers and direction on my own, when other Black southern writers were instrumental in pointing me in the right direction: Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Walker, Ernest J Gaines, Alice Walker, Arna Bontemps, Albert Murray, just to name a handful. Their writings were revelatory. The same issues that they were dealing with a generation earlier were the same ones I was struggling with every day. It opened my eyes, mind, heart and creativity to put into perspective what I was feeling. 

James' book list on contemporary African American authors

James E. Cherry Why did James love this book?

Kelly Norman Ellis is the Chairperson for the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Literatures at Chicago State University. And like those who have made the “Great Migration” before her, she too has taken the South with her in this wonderful debut collection of poetry. In this book, she deftly taps into the Blues ethos to conjure vivid imagery of a Mississippi unique with its patois, cuisine, and customs that have unmistakably shaped her worldview as an adult. It was the South that would try to degrade and dehumanize Black life. But it was the same South where family and a village would instill pride, confidence, and self-worth. This is a book of a poet coming to terms with where she has come from and celebrating the journey. It reinforces the notion that everywhere you go, home is already there.

By Kelly Norman Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This collection of poems explores the author's southern roots through a blues/narrative voice and revisits her Mississippi youth, while revealing the contemporary voice of a Black woman searching for place and community outside of her southern past.


Book cover of Electric Arches

Sidik Fofana Author Of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

From my list on poetry collections with the best sense of voice.

Who am I?

I love hip hop. It’s basically poetry with a beat. I'm always thinking of literature in terms of rhythm and delivery. Creatively, my inspirations come from lyricists. I look at poets the same way. They accomplish wonderful feats with words. From years of listening to classic albums, I can feel the aliveness of a good verse. It’s also an element I try to tap into as a fiction writer. I'm a recipient of the 2023 Whiting Award and was also named an Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction in 2018. My work has appeared in the Sewanee Review and Granta. He is the author of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs. 

Sidik's book list on poetry collections with the best sense of voice

Sidik Fofana Why did Sidik love this book?

Eve wrote a separate poem to incarcerated youth encouraging them to embrace their emotionality.

She said their tears were rain that they showed existed. It is a powerful poem, an incredible gesture to those working to overcome personal battles. Electric Arches, similarly, is everything you’d hope that a millennial would write. It updates the culture.

She has this poem about Emmett Till as an old man grocery shopping. The normalcy of this imagined life is the sadness of the piece. It basically said that if this man were alive, he'd be a regular guy going about his errands.

By Eve L Ewing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of Black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the surreal and fantastic, Ewing's narrative takes us from the streets of 1990s Chicago to an unspecified future, navigating the boundaries of space, time, and reality. Ewing imagines familiar figures in magical circumstances - Koko Taylor is a tall-tale hero; LeBron James travels through time and encounters his teenage self. Electric Arches invites conversations about race, gender, the city, identity, and the joy and pain of growing up.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in African Americans, the Great Migration, and Chicago?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about African Americans, the Great Migration, and Chicago.

African Americans Explore 708 books about African Americans
The Great Migration Explore 6 books about the Great Migration
Chicago Explore 359 books about Chicago