100 books like The Devil's Highway

By Luis Alberto Urrea,

Here are 100 books that The Devil's Highway fans have personally recommended if you like The Devil's Highway. 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 Leora's Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II

Paul E. Kotz Author Of Start Late, Finish Happy: Random Encounters - Unexpected Joy

From my list on that capture the magic of seeing everyday good.

Who am I?

Every time I see a wonderful episode of life, I want to capture it in writing or tell a compelling story about it. Too often, we let the good memories go, and remember the difficult ones. So, I keep writing books that have a real—yet positive outlook that can ignite a smile out of someone—or a hearty laugh. In 2020, I published Profiles in Kindness—an award-winning CIPA/Reader's Choice Award for motivation & inspirational leadership. In 2018, I first released the CIPA Award-winning Something Happened Today, addressing seeing the goodness in everyday life even in the face of difficulties. 

Paul's book list on that capture the magic of seeing everyday good

Paul E. Kotz Why did Paul love this book?

It is the captivating story of the five Wilson brothers from Iowa. Leora was their motherJoy’s delightful grandmother. All five of these brave young men enlisted. Only two came home. All served their country during WWII, two in the Navy, and three in the Army Air Corps. Kidney provides her readers with a genuine and heartfelt glimpse into the life of an American family during one of our nation's most difficult times. It is so well-crafted, combining letters, photographs, and narratives that touch your heart. Joy Neal Kidney makes you feel like a member of her family. I hoped that all men would make it back safely. Unfortunately, war is never that compassionate and affects many lives in the process. It is an absorbing read and well worth the endeavor.

By Joy Neal Kidney, Robin Grunder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one, all five sons were serving their country in the military. The oldest son re-enlisted in the Navy. The younger three became U.S. Army Air Force pilots. As the family optimist, Leora wrote hundreds of letters, among all her regular chores, dispensing news and keeping up the morale of the…


Book cover of 11/22/63

Dana Perry Author Of The Nowhere Girls

From my list on books that are ripped from the headlines by a headline writing journalist.

Who am I?

I know a lot about “ripped from the headlines” news stories because I’ve been around a lot of news stories and headlines most of my life. I’m a longtime New York City journalist who has worked as a top editor at both the NY Post and the NY Daily News. Believe me, I’ve seen a lot of wild headlines in these places (e.g., Headless Body in Topless Bar!). So you can understand why I now like ripping from news headlines for fiction books as an author. 

Dana's book list on books that are ripped from the headlines by a headline writing journalist

Dana Perry Why did Dana love this book?

Okay, this might seem like a bit of a strange choice to be included in a list of best “ripped from the headlines” crime novels, but it really isn’t. I mean, the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, is probably the most famous big news headline of our times. 

I was totally blown away by King’s brilliant concept of using that legendary date in history to write this fascinating thriller about what “might have been” if someone could somehow go back in time and stop it from ever happening.

Like the other four books on my list, King takes a major real-life news story and uses it to create a fascinating work of fiction. I just love books like this!  

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked 11/22/63 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major TV series from JJ Abrams and Stephen King, starring James Franco (Hulu US, Fox UK and Europe, Stan Australia, SKY New Zealand).

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . .

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of…


Book cover of The Diamond Eye

Paul E. Kotz Author Of Start Late, Finish Happy: Random Encounters - Unexpected Joy

From my list on that capture the magic of seeing everyday good.

Who am I?

Every time I see a wonderful episode of life, I want to capture it in writing or tell a compelling story about it. Too often, we let the good memories go, and remember the difficult ones. So, I keep writing books that have a real—yet positive outlook that can ignite a smile out of someone—or a hearty laugh. In 2020, I published Profiles in Kindness—an award-winning CIPA/Reader's Choice Award for motivation & inspirational leadership. In 2018, I first released the CIPA Award-winning Something Happened Today, addressing seeing the goodness in everyday life even in the face of difficulties. 

Paul's book list on that capture the magic of seeing everyday good

Paul E. Kotz Why did Paul love this book?

A true story of a heroine who is a sharpshooter in WW II is not one that I would immediately gravitate to. But, she is complex and can compartmentalize her need to defend her country, while at the same time trying to live an ordinary life when not in the military. She meets up with U.S. dignitaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR, and charms them with her no-nonsense approach to life. It is a historical fiction piece based on a true story and has been a NY Times bestseller.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Diamond Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The brand-new historical novel based on a true story from the bestselling author of The Rose Code and The Alice Network

In the snowbound city of Kiev, aspiring historian Mila Pavlichenko's life revolves around her young son - until Hitler's invasion of Russia changes everything. Suddenly, she and her friends must take up arms to save their country from the Fuhrer's destruction.

Handed a rifle, Mila discovers a gift - and months of blood, sweat and tears turn the young woman into a deadly sniper: the most lethal hunter of Nazis.

Yet success is bittersweet. Mila is torn from the…


Book cover of Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security

Michael Blake Author Of Justice, Migration, and Mercy

From my list on understanding what’s happening at the border.

Who am I?

I’m a political philosopher who lives in Seattle. I teach and write about political ethics, and the ways in which moral concepts change when they get applied to the relationships between states—and to the complicated borders that define where states end. I tend to write about what puzzles me, and many of these puzzles come from my personal life; I’m a migrant myself, and the experience of migrating to the United States led me to write about what sorts of values a country can rightly pursue through migration policyand what sorts of things, more generally, it can and can’t do to migrants themselves.  

Michael's book list on understanding what’s happening at the border

Michael Blake Why did Michael love this book?

The insistence that migration is a ‘crisis’ has led to a greater willingness to take enforcement as more urgent than human rights. Todd Miller’s book is a moral argument about the costs of that bargain. He argues that the powers given to those who enforce borders have led to abusive and violent practices at the border—and, increasingly, within the United States itself. The book is sobering, but important—and it should worry all of us, citizen and migrant alike.

By Todd Miller,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Border Patrol Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In his scathing and deeply reported examination of the U.S. Border Patrol, Todd Miller argues that the agency has gone rogue since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, trampling on the dignity and rights of the undocumented with military-style tactics...Miller's book arrives at a moment when it appears that part of the Homeland Security apparatus is backpedaling by promising to tone down its tactics, maybe prodded by investigative journalism, maybe by the revelations of NSA leaker Edward Snowden...Border Patrol is quite possibly the right book at the right time ..."--Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times "At the start of his unsettling and…


Book cover of Against the Wall: My Journey from Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Activist

Reece Jones Author Of Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

From my list on US Border Patrol.

Who am I?

I first came face to face with the expansive and unchecked authority of the Border Patrol about a decade ago when I was stopped five times in less than an hour while driving on a Texas country road. Could the Border Patrol really stop any vehicle they want without any reason whatsoever deep inside the United States? That day set me off on a journey through the borderlands and into the history of the Supreme Court in order to tell the untold story of how the Border Patrol became the most dangerous police force in the United States.  

Reece's book list on US Border Patrol

Reece Jones Why did Reece love this book?

Jenn Budd’s account of her life as a Border Patrol agent is powerful because it comes from a place of self-reflection and growth. She faces up to her previous ignorance and accepts the criticism that goes along with it. This book inspired me because she sees the racism and violence that are endemic to the Border Patrol and then dedicates her life to changing it. 

By Jenn Budd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jenn Budd, the only former U.S. Border Patrol agent to continually blow the whistle on this federal agency's rampant corruption, challenges us-as individuals and as a nation-to face the consequences of our actions. Her journey offers a vital perspective on the unfolding moral crisis of our time. She also gives harrowing testimony about rape culture, white privilege, women in law enforcement, LGBTQ issues, mental illness, survival and forgiveness.


"An unflinching look at a Border Patrol riddled with corruption, racism, and misogyny. Raw and truthful, no one escapes judgement, not even Budd, who searches deep within herself to examine her own…


Book cover of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border

Reece Jones Author Of Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

From my list on US Border Patrol.

Who am I?

I first came face to face with the expansive and unchecked authority of the Border Patrol about a decade ago when I was stopped five times in less than an hour while driving on a Texas country road. Could the Border Patrol really stop any vehicle they want without any reason whatsoever deep inside the United States? That day set me off on a journey through the borderlands and into the history of the Supreme Court in order to tell the untold story of how the Border Patrol became the most dangerous police force in the United States.  

Reece's book list on US Border Patrol

Reece Jones Why did Reece love this book?

This one takes us back to the founding of the Border Patrol to look at its Wild West origins. The first agents were plucked from frontier law enforcement and the Texas Rangers, whose earlier tasks included slave patrols and the violent removal of Native Americans. Lytle Hernandez shows how those racist and violent origins shaped the practices of the early Border Patrol. 

By Kelly Lytle Hernandez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Migra! A History of the U.S. Border as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the untold history of the United States Border Patrol from its beginnings in 1924 as a small peripheral outfit to its emergence as a large professional police force. To tell this story, Kelly Lytle Hernandez dug through a gold mine of lost and unseen records stored in garages, closets, an abandoned factory, and in U.S. and Mexican archives. Focusing on the daily challenges of policing the borderlands and bringing to light unexpected partners and forgotten dynamics, "Migra!" reveals how the U.S. Border Patrol translated the mandate for comprehensive migration control into a project of policing Mexicans in the…


Book cover of The Ins on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the Us-Mexico Border, 1917-1954

Reece Jones Author Of Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States

From my list on US Border Patrol.

Who am I?

I first came face to face with the expansive and unchecked authority of the Border Patrol about a decade ago when I was stopped five times in less than an hour while driving on a Texas country road. Could the Border Patrol really stop any vehicle they want without any reason whatsoever deep inside the United States? That day set me off on a journey through the borderlands and into the history of the Supreme Court in order to tell the untold story of how the Border Patrol became the most dangerous police force in the United States.  

Reece's book list on US Border Patrol

Reece Jones Why did Reece love this book?

While writing my own book, this is the book that I had to keep going back to for all the historical detail on the early Border Patrol. It’s an academic book, but it does a great job of explaining the story of the early Border Patrol from the perspective of the people in the borderlands. 

By S. Deborah Kang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ins on the Line as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For much of the twentieth century, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials recognized that the US-Mexico border region was different. Here, they confronted a set of political, social, and environmental obstacles that prevented them from replicating their achievements on Angel Island and Ellis Island, the most restrictive immigration stations in the nation. In response to these challenges, local INS officials resorted to the law, nullifying,
modifying, and creating the nation's immigration laws and policies for the borderlands.

In The INS on the Line, S. Deborah Kang traces the ways in which the INS on the US-Mexico border made and remade…


Book cover of Once in a Blue Moon Lodge

Paul E. Kotz Author Of Start Late, Finish Happy: Random Encounters - Unexpected Joy

From my list on that capture the magic of seeing everyday good.

Who am I?

Every time I see a wonderful episode of life, I want to capture it in writing or tell a compelling story about it. Too often, we let the good memories go, and remember the difficult ones. So, I keep writing books that have a real—yet positive outlook that can ignite a smile out of someone—or a hearty laugh. In 2020, I published Profiles in Kindness—an award-winning CIPA/Reader's Choice Award for motivation & inspirational leadership. In 2018, I first released the CIPA Award-winning Something Happened Today, addressing seeing the goodness in everyday life even in the face of difficulties. 

Paul's book list on that capture the magic of seeing everyday good

Paul E. Kotz Why did Paul love this book?

Lorna Landvik captures your attention with entertaining and provocative characters who have endearing qualities that also can challenge us to look at our own lives. She writes with humor, race, and has a style that will draw you in. Many of her books have stories that take you off guard and make you laugh hysterically.

By Lorna Landvik,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Once in a Blue Moon Lodge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set adrift when her mother sells the salon that has been a neighborhood institution for decades, Nora Rolvaag takes a camping trip, intending to do nothing more than roast marshmallows over an open fire and under a starry sky. Two chance encounters, however, will have enormous consequences, and her getaway turns out to be more of a retreat from her daily life than she ever imagined. But Nora is the do-or-die-trying daughter of Patty Jane, who now must embrace the House of Curl's slogan: "Expect the Unexpected."

With her trademark wit and warmth, Lorna Landvik follows Nora and an ever-growing…


Book cover of Rain of Gold

Louis Mendoza Author Of (Re)constructing Memory, Place, and Identity in Twentieth Century Houston: A Memoir on Family and Being Mexican American in Space City USA

From my list on Mexican migration to the United States.

Who am I?

As a second-generation immigrant, I knew very little of my family’s migration story. My grandparents never really learned English despite living in the US sixty or more years. In my twenties when the country was undergoing turmoil about immigration reform once again, I began looking at the immigrants all around me (and in literature) and identifying what we had in common—how our lives intertwined and were mutually dependent on one another. In 2007 I traveled 8,500 miles around the perimeter of the US by bicycle on a research trip to collect stories from immigrants and those whose lives they impacted. I wrote two books based on that experience.

Louis' book list on Mexican migration to the United States

Louis Mendoza Why did Louis love this book?

Villasenor’s Rain of Gold is the first of a trilogy about his family's migration to the United States in the early part of the 20th Century.

Published in 1991, I was fascinated by the book’s rich detail, the numerous layers of stories about his family regarding their life in Mexico, their decision to leave, the challenges they faced finding work and struggling to fit into the United States.

The book covers his parents’ lives as children and the trials their families faced in surviving the Mexican Revolution. His parents meet when they are very young and eventually move to Carlsbad, California. Villasenor’s trilogy highlights the importance of family and personal integrity. I was especially intrigued that the author was able to transform his familial history into a work of literature.

By Victor Villasenor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the Hispanic Roots, an all-American story of poverty, immigration, struggle and success. It focuses on three generations of Villaseñor's kin, their spiritual and cultural roots in Mexico, their immigration to California and their overcoming the poverty, prejudice and economic exploitation. It is the warm-hearted, humorous and tragic, true story of the wily, wary, persevering forebears of Villaseñor.


Book cover of The Brick People

Louis Mendoza Author Of (Re)constructing Memory, Place, and Identity in Twentieth Century Houston: A Memoir on Family and Being Mexican American in Space City USA

From my list on Mexican migration to the United States.

Who am I?

As a second-generation immigrant, I knew very little of my family’s migration story. My grandparents never really learned English despite living in the US sixty or more years. In my twenties when the country was undergoing turmoil about immigration reform once again, I began looking at the immigrants all around me (and in literature) and identifying what we had in common—how our lives intertwined and were mutually dependent on one another. In 2007 I traveled 8,500 miles around the perimeter of the US by bicycle on a research trip to collect stories from immigrants and those whose lives they impacted. I wrote two books based on that experience.

Louis' book list on Mexican migration to the United States

Louis Mendoza Why did Louis love this book?

I read The Brick People when it was first published in 1988.

At the time, I was already familiar with Morales’ work, but this historical novel about the Simons Brick Factory in Southern California and the Mexican migrants who the Simons brother depended upon for their success seized my imagination.

The author blends folklore, history, myth, and magical realism into a novel that relates the story of Mexican migrants and their complicity with or rebellion against the Simons brothers and the mores of the early 20th Century Los Angeles region.

Morales shows how history from the ground up is manifested in people’s lives.  His characters work and play hard as they seek to build community and pursue dreams of social mobility even when customs and laws prohibit them.

By Alejandro Morales,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This engrosing historical novel traces the growth of California from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries by following in the development of the Simons Brick Factory. With an attention to historical reality blended with myth and legend, the prolific Morales recounts the epic struggle of a people to forge their destiny, along with Califonia's.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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