68 books like Sargent's Women

By Donna M. Lucey, Donna M. Lucey,

Here are 68 books that Sargent's Women fans have personally recommended if you like Sargent's Women. 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 Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays

Kate Doyle Author Of I Meant It Once

From my list on making sense of your life by writing about it.

Who am I?

I’m the author of the short story collection I Meant It Once. I often say it’s a book about being a mess in your twenties, but to speak more personally, writing it was a necessity, a way to make sense of both the intensity and mundanity of my own experiences. I love a book where you can palpably feel the author working to make sense of their own life, through language—and, in turn, sorting out what it is for any of us to be a person. Books like these are essential reading when life feels thorny, beautiful, and impossible to make sense of, and all you can do is try to write it down.  

Kate's book list on making sense of your life by writing about it

Kate Doyle Why did Kate love this book?

I’ll end with a book that started it all for me!

I still remember, in the year 2010, reaching the end of the essay "Goodbye to All That" where the date of publication is noted—1967—and how startled I was to realize something that feels so contemporary and alive had been written decades earlier. As in so much of her work, in this collection Didion offers vivid details from her life and brings her extraordinary powers of analysis to understanding their meaning.

As she once put it herself—in another essay, "Why I Write"—"Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.”

By Joan Didion,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Slouching Towards Bethlehem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joan Didion's savage masterpiece, which, since first publication in 1968, has been acknowledged as an unparalleled report on the state of America during the upheaval of the Sixties Revolution.

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were

In her non-fiction work, Joan Didion not only describes the subject at hand - her younger self loving and leaving New York, the murderous housewife, the little girl trailing the rock group, the millionaire bunkered in his mansion…


Book cover of The Gastronomical Me

Denise Kiernan Author Of We Gather Together: A Nation Divided, a President in Turmoil, and a Historic Campaign to Embrace Gratitude and Grace

From my list on on or by maverick women.

Who am I?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls Of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and We Gather Together. Throughout her career as a journalist and an author, she has explored underrepresented stories and characters and the impact they have had on history. These stories of the unsung offer fresh perspectives on historical tales we think we already know. At the heart of many of Kiernan’s nonfiction explorations are women from a variety of different backgrounds and time periods.

Denise's book list on on or by maverick women

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

To call Fisher merely a food writer is to miss out on one of the most provocative essayists of the 20th century. This exploration of her departure from American life to live in Dijon, France, is a celebration of what it means to be truly engaged in one’s own story. For those with ravenous appetites for not just food, but the stuff of life.

By M.F.K. Fisher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1929, a newly married M.F.K. Fisher said goodbye to a milquetoast American culinary upbringing and sailed with her husband to Dijon, where she tasted real French cooking for the first time. The Gastronomical Me is a chronicle of her passionate embrace of a whole new way of eating, drinking, and celebrating the senses. As she recounts memorable meals shared with an assortment of eccentric and fascinating characters, set against a backdrop of mounting pre-war tensions, we witness the formation not only of her taste but of her character and her prodigious talent.


Book cover of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Cathy Hester Seckman Author Of Rightside/Wrongside

From my list on women being in charge in fiction and nonfiction.

Who am I?

I grew up in the ‘60s, when women were not in charge of anything much. I’ve always been fascinated by strong women. Amelia Earhart was a particular favorite, as were the suffragettes, Michelle Obama, and others. The strongest thing I’ve done in my life is to seize opportunities when they arise. I forged a second career that way, taking more than one leap of faith to do what I’ve always known I could do, be a writer. During and after my first career as a dental hygienist I took opportunities to be a newspaper wire editor, then a columnist, a magazine writer, an indexer, a nonfiction writer, and a novelist.

Cathy's book list on women being in charge in fiction and nonfiction

Cathy Hester Seckman Why did Cathy love this book?

This is more historical fiction than nonfiction, but the backmatter contains notes, a bibliography, and a decent index.

It details the work of four Civil War-era women who made significant contributions to the war effort on both sides. Flamboyant teenager Belle Boyd and scheming temptress Rose O’Neal Greenhow spied for the South; Emma Edmonds enlisted in the Union Army as Frank Thompson; and secret abolitionist Elizabeth Van Lew managed an espionage ring under the noses of her Richmond neighbors.

I cheered each one of them through the entire book, wondering if I could have been as strong and resolute as they were. They didn’t cower in their homes. They stood up and made their lives count in an era when the overwhelming majority of women did no such thing.

By Karen Abbott,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Not for nothing has Abbott been called a ‘pioneer of sizzle history.’ Here she creates a gripping page-turner that moves at a breathtaking clip through the dramatic events of the Civil War.”  — Los Angeles Times

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women - a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow - who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle…


Book cover of First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies

Denise Kiernan Author Of We Gather Together: A Nation Divided, a President in Turmoil, and a Historic Campaign to Embrace Gratitude and Grace

From my list on on or by maverick women.

Who am I?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls Of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and We Gather Together. Throughout her career as a journalist and an author, she has explored underrepresented stories and characters and the impact they have had on history. These stories of the unsung offer fresh perspectives on historical tales we think we already know. At the heart of many of Kiernan’s nonfiction explorations are women from a variety of different backgrounds and time periods.

Denise's book list on on or by maverick women

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

The First Lady of the United States is a challenging role that has been navigated by an incredibly wide array of women over the years. Brower has interviewed many of them, and the insights she gives readers into their day-to-day lives—at turns uplifting and heartbreaking—make for an incredibly relatable and inspiring book. This is as behind-the-White House-scenes as you can get. From Jaqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama, Brower offers an incredibly intimate look at this often misunderstood role in American politics.

By Kate Andersen Brower,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House, The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama and Melania Trump. One of the most underestimated-and challenging-positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible…


Book cover of Ain't She Sweet?

Katherine Grace Author Of Just a Fling

From my list on second-chance romance.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was way too young to be reading romances and I love the romance genre. I’m a fan of many tropes, but second-chance romance is one of my favorites and it is the main trope in my debut novel, Just a Fling. When I read romance, I want to read stories that make my heart break and then stitch it back together. Second-chance romances do that because they capture the essence of hope and forgiveness. They give readers the opportunity to experience the beauty and power of forgiveness and to believe in the transformative power of love.

Katherine's book list on second-chance romance

Katherine Grace Why did Katherine love this book?

Ain't She Sweet is my favorite second-chance romance. It will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love all over again.

It's about Sugar Beth Carey, the ultimate mean girl, who returns to her hometown and tries to make amends for all the drama she caused in the past. And of course, there's a handsome man from her past, Colin Byrne, who she just can't resist.

With hilarious banter, relatable characters, and steamy scenes, Ain't She Sweet is a must-read for romance junkies.

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ain't She Sweet? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In high school Sugar Carey had reigned supreme. She alone had decided what or who was cool. Her spiral perm had been the perm against which all others were measured, and her opinion on which boys were acceptable to date the only one that counted. A beautiful, blonde - if not always benevolent - dictator, she had a reputation for being the wild child of Parrish, Mississippi, the girl most likely to set the world on fire, and leave a trail of destruction in her wake. When she left home she swore she'd never return. Only now, fifteen years and…


Book cover of The Space Between Us

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Author Of Independence

From my list on the many mysteries of India.

Who am I?

As a writer and a professor, I love sharing knowledge of my birth country (India) and the experiences of Indian immigrants in America. My first book, Arranged Marriage, is about the transformed lives of immigrant women and won an American Book Award. Mistress of Spices is about a spice-shop owner who knows magic, was a national bestseller, and became a film. One Amazing Thing is a multicultural novel about nine people trapped by an earthquake, was a Citywide Read in over 25 US cities. Recently, fascinated by the richness of Indian history, I have delved into it in novels like The Last Queen, set in the 1800s, and Independence, set in the 1940s. 

Chitra's book list on the many mysteries of India

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Why did Chitra love this book?

Set in the present-day cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, India, the novel follows the lives of two women: Serabai Dubash, a middle-class widow, and her maidservant, Bhima. The pair experience similar situations in their lives: abuse, the death or absence of a husband, and the longing for a better future. They both have pregnant daughters, a fact that becomes significant as the novel progresses.

This book shows us the difficulties faced by women in Indian society but also their courage. Ultimately it is an upbeat book with great spirit. The plot twist at the end, and the resolution, blew me away. 

By Thrity Umrigar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this beautifully crafted novel about the interlinked lives of two women, Thrity Umrigar explores the complex relationships between the classes in India, rarely addressed in contemporary fiction.

'Bhima is real. She worked in the house I grew up in, year after year, a shadow flitting around our middle-class home, her thin brown hands cleaning furniture she was not allowed to sit on, cooking food she was not allowed to share at the family dining table, dusting the stereo that mainly played American rock and roll, music that was alien and unfamiliar to her, that only reminded her of her…


Book cover of Templar Families: Landowning Families and the Order of the Temple in France, c.1120–1307

Nicholas Morton Author Of The Teutonic Knights in the Holy Land, 1190-1291

From my list on medieval military orders.

Who am I?

I’m an associate professor in medieval history at Nottingham Trent University. My interest in the military orders began over twenty years ago with a very simple question – why? Jesus’ teaching to my mind clearly does not condone the use of lethal violence, so how did medieval Christians come to think that holy war warfare could ever be acceptable in the eyes of God? From this underlying question (which I still don’t feel I’ve satisfactorily answered!) emerged a curiosity about the military orders, who so epitomized crusading ideology. I began to ask wider questions such as: who supported the orders? How did they view people of other faiths? Why were the Templars put on Trial? 

Nicholas' book list on medieval military orders

Nicholas Morton Why did Nicholas love this book?

The Templars are generally remembered as fighters and castle builders, yet their activities along the frontier depended heavily on the order’s huge support infrastructure across Western Christendom. Networks consisting of hundreds of estates spanning many countries dispatched vast quantities of cash and resources—as well as recruits and other supporters—to the Templars’ outposts in the Holy Land on an annual basis. In Templar Families, Jochen Schenk investigates these networks focusing especially on the relationships that developed between the order’s officers governing their landholdings in France and the many local families whose support enabled the order to function.  

By Jochen Schenk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Founded in c.1120, in the aftermath of the First Crusade in Jerusalem, the Order of the Temple was a Christian brotherhood dedicated to the military protection of pilgrims and the Holy Land, attracting followers and supporters throughout Christian Europe. This detailed study explores the close relationship between the Order of the Temple and the landowning families it relied upon for support. Focussing on the regions of Burgundy, Champagne and Languedoc, Jochen Schenk investigates the religious expectations that guided noble and knightly families to found and support Templar communities in the European provinces, and examines the social dynamics and mechanisms that…


Book cover of Walkaway

Sandra Jeppesen Author Of Transformative Media: Intersectional Technopolitics from Indymedia to #Blacklivesmatter

From my list on science fiction about underdogs and rebel groups.

Who am I?

I’ve loved science fiction since I was a nerdy high school student acing all the math and science courses my high school offered and power-reading through the library’s sci-fi section. I saw Bladerunner on a mediocre date with a hot guy a grade ahead of me, slouched down in our seats, hoping to hold hands but it never happened. The film, however, blew my mind. Fast forward through my engineering degree where I saw every cyberpunk film and punk band I could, through a punk-fueled creative writing MA and anarchist English PhD, to today where I study grassroots media and sometimes teach Comics or Science Fiction. 

Sandra's book list on science fiction about underdogs and rebel groups

Sandra Jeppesen Why did Sandra love this book?

Doctorow and I had a mutual friend in common—the incredible Possum who organized Toronto’s Anarchist Free University for many years until his early demise, Rest in Power—full disclosure, and that’s how I started reading his fiction. Walkaway is one of my favorites. This is a world where 3D printers have changed everything. People who are poor, exploited, unhappy, or maybe just feeling adventurous can—and do—walk away from the capitalist world within the city walls and live quite literally on the fringes, using 3D printers and their imaginations of a world without exploitation to construct whole new societies. Can they successfully build a utopia despite the many conflicts that arise? Who knows? But I do know I’m hoping for a sequel.

By Cory Doctorow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a world wrecked by climate change, in a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, Hubert, Etc, Seth and Natalie have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do.

But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter - from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and... walkaway.…


Book cover of Envious Casca

Martin Davies Author Of Mrs Hudson and The Christmas Canary

From my list on Christmas certain not to frighten the reindeer.

Who am I?

Christmas, it’s often said, is a time for family, so I asked my son to answer this one for me: "He’s an all-right dad, but sometimes he’s really annoying. His most annoying habit is foraging for things in hedges. His books are actually quite good. He’s good about driving me to places. The dog loves him. He really likes Christmas. His best Christmas habit is that he loves Christmas trees, but he never wants to put them up as early as everyone else, then he always makes us keep them up till Twelfth Night."

Martin's book list on Christmas certain not to frighten the reindeer

Martin Davies Why did Martin love this book?

Can I make this list and not include a golden-age detective story set in a country house at Christmas? This one has all the ingredients required for an afternoon by the fire, looking out at the wintry weather—a locked room, an appealing detective, and a cast of people compelled, rather unwisely, to spend Christmas in each other’s company. "If you ask me, there very likely wouldn’t have been a murder at all if it hadn’t been for him getting ideas about peace and goodwill, and assembling all these highly uncongenial people under the same roof at the same time. 

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Envious Casca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Tis the season—to be dead...

A holiday party takes on a sinister aspect when the colorful assortment of guests discovers there is a killer in their midst. The owner of the substantial estate, that old Scrooge Nathaniel Herriard, is found stabbed in the back. While the delicate matter of inheritance could be the key to this crime, the real conundrum is how any of the suspects could have entered a locked room to commit the foul deed.

For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, the investigation is complicated by the fact that every guest is hiding something—throwing all of their testimony…


Book cover of The Henna Artist

Lisa Niver Author Of Brave-ish: One Breakup, Six Continents, and Feeling Fearless After Fifty

From my list on making flight time disappear because you feel in the story.

Who am I?

As both a lifelong traveler and reader, I cannot start an adventure without a great book. Having owned a Kindle since 2008, I consistently carry a virtual library, curating an assortment of captivating reads for every journey. As a travel journalist, I fly multiple times a month, which amplifies my need and understanding of the perfect in-flight companions; stories that transport and captivate. As an author with a memoir to my name, I appreciate the transformative power of storytelling. This blend of literary passion, frequent travel, and personal authorship has led me on my search for engaging, unforgettable books that mesmerize the reader.  

Lisa's book list on making flight time disappear because you feel in the story

Lisa Niver Why did Lisa love this book?

When I read this book, I felt like I was back walking on the streets of India. Alka Joshi's vivid storytelling will transport you to a world of vibrant colors, rich traditions, and compelling characters.

In this first book of the Jaipur Trilogy, Lakshmi, a skilled henna artist, navigates a complex society, unraveling secrets and defying societal norms. Joshi's exquisite prose and the book's engrossing plot offer the perfect blend of escapism and depth, making it an ideal companion for a journey.

As you soar through the skies, it promises to transport you to another time and place, making the flight feel like a brief detour into an enchanting literary world. 

By Alka Joshi,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Henna Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and Thrity Umrigar's The Space Between Us, Alka Josh's The Henna Artist by is lushly-rendered, emotional book club fiction set in post-Raj 1950s Jaipur about a young woman struggling to shape her own destiny in a world pivoting between the traditional and the modern.

After fleeing an arranged marriage as a fifteen year old to an abusive older man, Lakshmi Shastri steals away alone from her rural village to Jaipur. Here, against odds, she carves out a living for herself as a henna artist, and friend and confidante to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the upper class, women, and France?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the upper class, women, and France.

The Upper Class Explore 74 books about the upper class
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France Explore 857 books about France