10 books like Soul Catcher

By Michael C. White,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Soul Catcher. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Cold Mountain

By Charles Frazier,

Book cover of Cold Mountain

Harper Ford Author Of Divorced Not Dead

From the list on beautifully sad love stories.

Who am I?

I write romcoms as Harper Ford, yet I also write historical fiction as Rebecca Mascull and Mollie Walton. You’ll probably notice that all of my choices are either historical fiction or writers from the past. I just love an old-timey love story! My romcoms are funny (or at least they’re trying to be). But funnily enough, it’s the tragic, heart-rending love stories that stick in my mind when I think about romance in books. I hope you enjoy these novels as much as I have. But don’t forget to have a box of tissues to wipe away the inevitable tears…there aren’t many laughs to be had here! But hopefully a transcendent reading experience instead.

Harper's book list on beautifully sad love stories

Discover why each book is one of Harper's favorite books.

Why did Harper love this book?

Cold Mountain tells the tale of two people separated and ultimately drawn inexorably together by the American Civil War in the 1860s.

We follow Inman, a wounded soldier, as he abandons the battlefield to make his way across the war-torn country to Cold Mountain, where his love Ada lives. She is trying to scratch a living from her dead father’s farm in terrible conditions.

The whole story is written in exquisite style, with the narrative moving forward as one stays still while the other slowly moves towards their joint goal of being together once more. Get those tissues ready for a good cry…you’re gonna need them…

By Charles Frazier,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Cold Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for sixty-one weeks, won numerous literary awards, including the National Book Award, and went on to sell over three million copies. Now, the beloved American epic returns, reissued by Grove Press to coincide with the publication of Frazier’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, Thirteen Moons. Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, a Confederate soldier named Inman decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge mountains to Ada, the woman he loves.…

Home Before Morning

By Lynda Van Devanter,

Book cover of Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam

Robert J. Begiebing Author Of The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin

From the list on British and American historical fiction, 1850-1960.

Who am I?

I’m the author of ten books, including fiction, memoir, collected journalism, and criticism. My novels are historical fiction, hence my decision to make my recommendations within that genre, mostly. My own historical novels comprise a tetralogy beginning with The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin and ending with The Turner Erotica, so the series takes the reader roughly from 1648 to 1900. The second book chronologically in the series, Rebecca Wentworth’s Distraction, won the 2003 Langum Prize for historical fiction. Retired now, I was the founding director of the MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction at Southern New Hampshire University.

Robert's book list on British and American historical fiction, 1850-1960

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

I’m going to jump historical genres slightly and recommend Lynda Van Devanter’s Vietnam memoir which reads like historical fiction and is every bit as engaging as the great novels and memoirs of the Vietnam War written by such men as Robert Stone, Larry Heinemann, Michael Herr, Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo, and Karl Marlantes. As an Army nurse, Devanter gave it her all to save others. This book is her effort to learn to live with what she witnessed in Vietnam, to get the truth down as honestly as she can by using all the narrative techniques of the novelist. Of the great books written about that horrific time in our country’s (and Vietnam’s) history, this one grabbed me from start to finish like no other. A powerful voice is telling us what we too readily forget now—that war is a criminal activity, no matter how justified or how much the…

By Lynda Van Devanter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Home Before Morning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lynda Van Devanter was the girl next door, the cheerleader who went to Catholic schools, enjoyed sports, and got along well with her four sisters and parents. After high school she attended nursing school and then did something that would shatter her secure world for the rest of her life: in 1969, she joined the army and was shipped to Vietnam. When she arrived in Vietnam her idealistic view of the war vanished quickly. She worked long and arduous hours in cramped, ill-equipped, understaffed operating rooms. She saw friends die. Witnessing a war close-up, operating on soldiers and civilians whose…


By Pat Barker,

Book cover of Regeneration

Benjamin Markovits Author Of Imposture

From the list on historical fiction about famous writers.

Who am I?

When I was fourteen years old, my family moved from Texas to London for a year, and I started going to a little second-hand book shop around the corner. It was run by a long-haired Canadian, who always smoked a pipe. There were only three or four aisles, plus a cluttered backroom. You could pick up a 19th-century edition of the complete works of Shelley, with uncut pages, for two pounds. One volume led to another, in the same way that one friendship can lead to another, or introduce you to a new circle of people. Twenty-odd years later, I decided to write a novel about some of these writers.  

Benjamin's book list on historical fiction about famous writers

Discover why each book is one of Benjamin's favorite books.

Why did Benjamin love this book?

When I was seventeen, I endlessly reread Robert Graves’s classic memoir Goodbye to All That.

It was the combination of his very low-key description of an ordinary middle-class English childhood with his equally matter-of-fact account of the horrors of the First World War that drew me. Pat Barker’s novel covers the aftermath of that experience, as poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen recover from “shell-shock” (or what we would now call post-traumatic stress disorder) at Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh, under the pioneering care of psychiatrist W. H. R. Rivers.

How do you find meaning in ordinary life after suffering through so much meaningless destruction? But it’s also a novel about literary friendship, as Sassoon and Owen deal with their experiences by encouraging each other’s poetry – and Rivers himself tries to understand their trauma by writing about them. 

By Pat Barker,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Regeneration as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Calls to mind such early moderns as Hemingway and Fitzgerald...Some of the most powerful antiwar literature in modern English fiction."-The Boston Globe

The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy-a Booker Prize nominee and one of Entertainment Weekly's 100 All-Time Greatest Novels.

In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back…

Book cover of The French Lieutenant's Woman

Joy Sheridan Author Of Charity Amour

From the list on the French Revolution.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the Regency Period, and because of this fascination, I explored its historical context in full. That includes, of course, the French Revolution and its repercussions in England and globally. I am also obsessed with the literary concept of the heroine, and wanted to create characters who in some ways synthesized Moll Flanders and Jane Eyre, bridging the gap between 18th and 19th Century expression.

Joy's book list on the French Revolution

Discover why each book is one of Joy's favorite books.

Why did Joy love this book?

I was utterly captivated by Meryl Streep’s performance in the film; I had to read the book. Great plot line with its revolutionary intrigue. My heart warmed utterly to Sarah Woodruff, and the mysterious, charismatic qualities she so powerfully radiated. She was a powerful fractional role model for Charity’s character.   

By John Fowles,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The French Lieutenant's Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of Back Bay's ongoing effort to make the works of John Fowles available in uniform trade paperback editions, two major works in the Fowles canon are reissued to coincide with the publication of Wormholes, the author's long-awaited new collection of essays and occasional writings.Perhaps the most beloved of Fowles's internationally bestselling works, The French Lieutenant's Woman is a feat of seductive storytelling that effectively invents anew the Victorian novel. "Filled with enchanting mysteries and magically erotic possibilities" (New York Times), the novel inspired the hugely successful 1981 film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons and is today universally…

Slavery's Exiles

By Sylviane A. Diouf,

Book cover of Slavery's Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons

Justin Iverson Author Of Rebels in Arms: Black Resistance and the Fight for Freedom in the Anglo-Atlantic

From the list on Black resistance to slavery.

Who am I?

I am a historian of slavery and resistance in early America and in the Atlantic world, and I have long been passionate about how enslaved people refused to accept the chattel system and the many creative ways they found to resist their status. It has also become a central goal of mine to tell their stories and make sure we know more about how slave resistance influenced U.S. society in the past and how it shapes the world in which we live today.

Justin's book list on Black resistance to slavery

Discover why each book is one of Justin's favorite books.

Why did Justin love this book?

The history of Maroons, runaway slaves who created their own autonomous communities, is not well known to the general public in the United States or especially to those outside the Caribbean where prominent Maroon communities existed.

Sylviane Diouf shatters that problem and provides a comprehensive history of Maroons who lived in the present-day United States.

Diouf expertly traces how common these groups of runaways were in the U.S. South and tells their wonderful stories that inspire students to explore their history more deeply.

By Sylviane A. Diouf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slavery's Exiles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The forgotten stories of America maroons-wilderness settlers evading discovery after escaping slavery
Over more than two centuries men, women, and children escaped from slavery to make the Southern wilderness their home. They hid in the mountains of Virginia and the low swamps of South Carolina; they stayed in the neighborhood or paddled their way to secluded places; they buried themselves underground or built comfortable settlements. Known as maroons, they lived on their own or set up communities in swamps or other areas where they were not likely to be discovered.
Although well-known, feared, celebrated or demonized at the time, the…

Uncle Tom's Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe,

Book cover of Uncle Tom's Cabin

John J. Miller Author Of The First Assassin

From the list on the American Civil War and 5 novels to immerse yourself within it.

Who am I?

John J. Miller is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College, a writer for National Review, and the host of two book-themed podcasts, The Great Books and The Bookmonger. His books include The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football and Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas. He lives on a dirt road in rural Michigan.

John's book list on the American Civil War and 5 novels to immerse yourself within it

Discover why each book is one of John's favorite books.

Why did John love this book?

“So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war,” Abraham Lincoln supposedly said when he met Stowe. The quote may be apocryphal, but it points to a truth about the 1852 novel that shaped American opinions about the cruelty and injustice of slavery. The writing is a bit melodramatic for modern sensibilities, but it’s hard to beat the scene in which the escaped slave Eliza tries to carry her young son across an icy river for freedom on the other side.

By Harriet Beecher Stowe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Uncle Tom's Cabin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Uncle Tom's Cabin is the most powerful and enduring work of art ever written about American slavery"-Alfred Kazin

"To expose oneself in maturity to Uncle Tom's cabin may...prove a startling experience"-Edmund Wilson

In Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe created America's first black literary hero as well as the nation's antecedent protest novel. The novel's vast influence on attitudes towards African American slavery was considered an incitation towards the American Civil War; conjointly, its powerful anti-slavery message resonated with readers around the world at its time of publication.

With unashamed sentimentality and expressions of faith, Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Uncle…

Rebels in the Making

By William L. Barney,

Book cover of Rebels in the Making: The Secession Crisis and the Birth of the Confederacy

William C. Davis Author Of An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government

From the list on the politics of the Confederacy.

Who am I?

I find the early days of the Confederacy to be fascinating, a chance to look at Americans in the act of nation-making while surrounded by fear and crisis. Far more than in the convention of 1776, this episode offers sources that allow us to look inside their motives, and to evaluate them both as impractical rebels, and social and political idealists [albeit their idealism was always encased within the confines of a slave society]. Having written biographies of Jefferson Davis, Alexander H Stephens, Robert Toombs, and other Confederate politicians, this subject is a natural object of my interest. While I do not at all agree with or endorse the political measures they took in the secession crisis, I can feel some empathy for them and their people who felt themselves caught in a no-win position, facing [in their view] the possible destruction of their economy, society, and culture.

William's book list on the politics of the Confederacy

Discover why each book is one of William's favorite books.

Why did William love this book?

This new 2020 book is a fresh synthesis of the scholarly work that has been done on secession and the young Confederacy in the past 30 years and has much that is new to offer  Its treatment of the weeks in Montgomery is rather brief, but insightful, and overall it makes a fine introduction to the political life of the CSA.

By William L. Barney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rebels in the Making as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Regardless of whether they owned slaves, Southern whites lived in a world defined by slavery. As shown by their blaming British and Northern slave traders for saddling them with slavery, most were uncomfortable with the institution. While many wanted it ended, most were content to leave that up to God. All that changed with the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Rebels in the Making is a narrative-driven history of how and why secession occurred. In this work, senior Civil War historian William L. Barney narrates the explosion of the sectional conflict into secession and civil war. Carefully examining the events in…


By Leonard Pitts, Jr.,

Book cover of Freeman

Elizabeth Bell Author Of Necessary Sins

From the list on the human toll of American slavery.

Who am I?

I am an American novelist and a lifelong, enthusiastic student of American history. To me, history is people. In addition to first-hand accounts and biographies, one of the best ways to understand those people is historical fiction. For the last two decades, I’ve lived in the Southern United States, surrounded by the legacy of slavery, America’s “peculiar institution” that claimed an unequivocal evil was a positive good. Because both the enslaved and their enslavers were human beings, the ways that evil manifested were as complex as each individual—as were the ways people maintained their humanity. These are a few of the novels on the subject that blew me away.

Elizabeth's book list on the human toll of American slavery

Discover why each book is one of Elizabeth's favorite books.

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This novel begins just after the American Civil War and Emancipation, but it foreshadows the horrific legacy of slavery. The titular character, a Black man named Sam who is now free, goes in search of Tilda, the wife whom slavery ripped away from him. Meanwhile, her Confederate enslaver drags Tilda westward, refusing to give up the woman he thinks he owns. How do you rebuild a society and a family in the wake of slavery’s devastation? Pitts explores this question unforgettably, acknowledging the inevitable violence but with a glimmer of hope. Freeman put me through a whole gamut of emotions. It rung me out and gave me a soothing cup of tea at the end.

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam--a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army--decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged." At the same…

Book cover of Tales from the Haunted South: Dark Tourism and Memories of Slavery from the Civil War Era

Drew A. Swanson Author Of Remaking Wormsloe Plantation: The Environmental History of a Lowcountry Landscape

From the list on why American parks look the way they do.

Who am I?

I grew up a farm kid and then worked as a park ranger fresh out of college. This background draws me to the history of American preservation, where so much that seems natural also has deep cultural roots. I find the American South—with its combination of irony and tragedy, beauty, and flaws—the most fascinating place on earth to study. Or maybe I’m just pulling for the home team.

Drew's book list on why American parks look the way they do

Discover why each book is one of Drew's favorite books.

Why did Drew love this book?

What does it mean that tourists are attracted to sites of historical enslavement? And why are ghost tours, especially tours focused on horrific stories of the abuse suffered by female slaves, so popular? Miles uses the seemingly frivolous subject of ghost tourism to explore serious issues of American memory and historical sites. Injecting herself into the story—she visits house museums and historical districts in Savannah, New Orleans, and Louisiana’s Mississippi River plantation district to explore the nation’s pathological attraction to a sordid past—she gracefully restored humanity to history’s victims with her gentle empathy.

By Tiya Miles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tales from the Haunted South as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book Tiya Miles explores the popular yet troubling phenomenon of ""ghost tours,"" frequently promoted and experienced at plantations, urban manor homes, and cemeteries throughout the South. As a staple of the tours, guides entertain paying customers by routinely relying on stories of enslaved black specters. But who are these ghosts? Examining popular sites and stories from these tours, Miles shows that haunted tales routinely appropriate and skew African American history to produce representations of slavery for commercial gain. ""Dark tourism"" often highlights the most sensationalist and macabre aspects of slavery, from salacious sexual ties between white masters and…

The Water Dancer

By Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Book cover of The Water Dancer

Judith Reifsteck Author Of Memoried and Storied: Healing our Shared History of Racial Violence

From the list on the power of memory to heal racial trauma.

Who am I?

I love writing and teaching about topics that help me understand my life and my community better. And I love to contemplate the question - How do we come to care about the same things? As a psychotherapist I have firsthand experience in the disruption that any type of violence causes until it's repaired. One way to advocate for the vulnerable who do not have protection in their communities is to tell the story of the silent, unknown victims of lynching and other acts of racism and racial violence. Only by memorializing the stories of the victims of racial injustice can we repair the trauma and tell the true story of structural racism in America today.

Judith's book list on the power of memory to heal racial trauma

Discover why each book is one of Judith's favorite books.

Why did Judith love this book?

This beautiful story tells the tale of Hiram Walker. Hiram is the fictional biracial slave who escapes his life of slavery on a Virginia plantation and learns to nurture his spiritual gifts to be a Moses to other Freedmen escaping the horrors of slavery.

He is the son of an enslaved woman and the white plantation owner. Such parentage was common during the era of slavery and the slave trade in the U.S. Many plantation owners enslaved, owned, tortured, beat, sold, and traded away their own children.

Through Hiram we see the mystical gifts of the African oral tradition to use memory as a tool to survive. This transmission of African culture occurs through the daily practice of song, prayer, dance, and most importantly, ancestor veneration, through stories, belief, and faith. The oppressive slave owners knew little of the power of these immutable tools.

Hiram describes the mystical power this…

By Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



'One of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. I haven't felt this way since I first read Beloved . . .' Oprah Winfrey

Lose yourself in the stunning debut novel everyone is talking about - the unmissable historical story of injustice and redemption that resonates powerfully today

Hiram Walker is a man with a secret, and a war to win. A war for the right to life, to family, to freedom.

Born into bondage on a Virginia plantation, he is also born gifted with a…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the South, fugitive slaves, and Slavery?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the South, fugitive slaves, and Slavery.

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