100 books like The Evil Hours

By David J. Morris,

Here are 100 books that The Evil Hours fans have personally recommended if you like The Evil Hours. 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 Here, Bullet

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

This collection of poems by an Iraq war veteran opens a door into the crazy, horrifying world of America’s time in Iraq. I used this book while teaching a section on poetry to combat veterans at the local university. For some of these men and women, the poems offered their first glimpse into the power of verse. Turner showed my students how, through the searing beauty of words made into images, it was possible to capture—and thus contain—the horrors of war. As Turner writes:

This is a language made of blood.
It is made of sand and time.
To be spoken, it must be earned.

By Brian Turner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A first-person account of the Iraq War by a solider-poet, winner of the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award.

Adding his voice to the current debate about the US occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl (Song of Napalm) and Alice James’ own Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner writes power-fully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty, and skill. Based on Turner’s yearlong tour in Iraq as an infantry team leader, the poems offer gracefully rendered, unflinching description but,…


Book cover of What It Is Like to Go to War

Benjamin Sledge Author Of Where Cowards Go to Die

From my list on war that leave you shattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As I explored the ramifications of combat and struggled to reintegrate when I returned home, I often felt veterans’ memoirs teetered on the brink of “war porn” as opposed to the crushing devastation and fear men and women face on the battlefield. Seeking to rectify the misconceptions about the longest-running wars in U.S. history, I began writing about my experiences on medium.com and amassed over 40,000 followers (which turned into a book deal). This list of books below directly influenced my work and—I believe—are the gold standards for true war stories.

Benjamin's book list on war that leave you shattered

Benjamin Sledge Why did Benjamin love this book?

The sheer number of times I cried in this book is absurd. Marlantes is a Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient who chronicles his journey leaving Yale University to serve as a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam. Throughout, he chronicles the struggle to readjust to civilian society and intermingles religion, philosophy, and psychology while recounting some of his most harrowing tales of combat. If you’ve ever had a loved one or friend serve who came home different and wondered why or how you can help, this is the book to read. 

By Karl Marlantes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What It Is Like to Go to War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Matterhorn" author Karl Marlantes' nonfiction debut is a powerful book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for the psychological and spiritual stresses of war. One of the most important and highly-praised books of 2011, Karl Marlantes' "What It Is Like to Go to War" is set to become just as much of a classic as his epic novel "Matterhorn". In 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or…


Book cover of Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

During America’s recent wars, Americans who felt they had few career prospects enlisted. Some were looking for a steady paycheck. Others for adventure and a chance to see the world. Many signed up out of a sense of patriotic duty after the events of 9/11. Goodell volunteered for Mortuary Affairs. She and her peers processed the bodies of those killed in combat. The title comes from instructions given by her commanding officer to members of his unit who are sketching the bodies as they arrive: when a body part is missing, “shade it black.” Harrowing and poignant, Shade it Black reminds us of the innocence of those we send to war.

By Jessica Goodell, John Hearn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 2008, CBS' Chief Foreign Correspondent, Lara Logan, candidly speculated about the human side of the war in Iraq: "Tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier. What does that look like? Who in America knows what that looks like? Because I know what that looks like, and I feel responsible for the fact that no one else does..." Logan's query raised some important yet ignored questions: How do the remains of service men and women get from the dusty roads of Fallujah to the flag-covered coffins at Dover Air Force Base? And what…


Book cover of Consequence: A Memoir

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

Our recent wars, waged under the spotlight of journalists’ cameras and highlighted on social media, exposed American audiences to the dark underbelly of what it means to wage war. We saw not only the horrors of combat, but also the fallout from our treatment of the enemy. Eric Fair worked as an interrogator in Iraq, where Abu Ghraib became synonymous with everything America did wrong in a foreign country. His memoir reveals the ethical consequence of our quest for intelligence, and how those who participated in “enhanced interrogation” against foreign soldiers and civilians will forever carry the dark memories of their actions.

By Eric Fair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named one of "8 Books You Need to Read" by Vulture

A man questions everything--his faith, his morality, his country--as he recounts his experience as an interrogator in Iraq; an unprecedented memoir and "an act of incredible bravery" (Phil Klay, author of Redeployment).

In 2004, after several months as an interrogator, Eric Fair’s call to serve his country has led him to a dark and frightening place. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment, Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation.…


Book cover of What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma

Mariel Buqué Author Of Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma

From my list on cycle breakers who broke the cycle of trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a trauma psychologist and intergenerational trauma expert who’s listened to countless client stories of generational pain and healing. I also write a weekly newsletter, called Break the Cycle, where I offer coping skills to cycle breakers and have the opportunity to read about the multitude of ways in which they are breaking away from trauma and creating legacies of abundance. It is in these stories, I believe, that we're able to see all the possibilities of how we may heal. I hope you enjoy these multilayered stories as much as I did! 

Mariel's book list on cycle breakers who broke the cycle of trauma

Mariel Buqué Why did Mariel love this book?

Our bodies tell stories of remnants of the past and in this memoir, Stephanie Foo proved to us that the body will indeed keep traces of unmetabolized pain that runs through our families.

This book reflects the spirit of intergenerational trauma, but also of intergenerational healing and the ways in which cycle breakers, and particularly those who are immigrants, have to build from the ashes of burned-down dreams and broken hearts. It is a reflection of how generational resilience comes to life, even in the darkest of moments.

By Stephanie Foo,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked What My Bones Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A searing memoir of reckoning and healing by acclaimed journalist Stephanie Foo, investigating the little-understood science behind complex PTSD and how it has shaped her life

“Achingly exquisite . . . providing real hope for those who long to heal.”—Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, NPR, Mashable, She Reads, Publishers Weekly

By age thirty, Stephanie Foo was successful on paper: She had her dream job as an award-winning radio producer at This American Life and…


Book cover of When Rabbit Howls: A First-Person Account of Multiple Personality, Memory, and Recovery

Tyler James Russell Author Of When Fire Splits the Sky

From my list on authentically (and engagingly) capture trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

After finding out a close friend of mine had what was once called Multiple Personality Disorder, I set out looking for stories, only to find that, according to most fictional representations, my friend was likely to be a violent, amnesiac murderer. Fortunately, this is wildly inaccurate. Unfortunately, it's socially prominent, and enormously destructive. This has sparked a decade-long obsession (and close friendship), the result of which is my debut novel, When Fire Splits the Sky, which was released in November of 2022 by Unsolicited Press. My other writing has been nominated for the Rhysling and Best of the Net, and has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction and F(r)iction, among others.

Tyler's book list on authentically (and engagingly) capture trauma

Tyler James Russell Why did Tyler love this book?

Some books are fascinating character studies. Others are riveting stories. When Rabbit Howls is somehow both.

Narrated by a woman’s alters (The Troops for Trudi Chase), this book really goes the extra mile in terms of forcing the reader to feel the lifetime impact of abuse both through the story being told, and the way that story is written on the page. I won’t spoil anything here, but it includes a brilliant, metafictional ending that has lingered with me for years now like a punch to the solar plexus.

By Truddi Chase,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked When Rabbit Howls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A woman diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder reveals her harrowing journey from abuse to recovery in this #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography written by her own multiple personalities.

Successful, happily married Truddi Chase began therapy hoping to find the reasons behind her extreme anxiety, mood swings, and periodic blackouts. What emerged from her sessions was terrifying: Truddi's mind and body were inhabited by the Troops-ninety-two individual voices that emerged to shield her from her traumatizing childhood.

For years the Troops created a world where she could hide from the pain of the ritualized sexual abuse she suffered at the…


Book cover of Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

Patricia Lynne Duffy Author Of Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

From my list on neurodiversity by authors who are neurodiverse.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a neurodivergent person myself, I have always been fascinated by the fact that each of us perceives the world in a way that is as unique as our fingerprints. My book was the first book by a synesthete about synesthesiaWhile writing the book, I interviewed many neuroscientists, synesthetes, and other neurodiverse people. Later, I was invited to contribute a chapter, “Synesthesia and Literature,” to the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia. I am now a regular contributor to Journey through the Senses Online Magazine, where you can read interviews with authors whose books spotlight synesthesia and other forms of neurodivergence. I am also the co-founder of the American Synesthesia Association.

Patricia's book list on neurodiversity by authors who are neurodiverse

Patricia Lynne Duffy Why did Patricia love this book?

I was awe-struck by author Daniel Tammet’s first-person account of his experience as both an autistic savant and a synesthete!

He can do complex mathematical calculations in his head, thanks to his ability to “see’ numbers as three-dimensional colored objects. Tammet describes his amazing ability to “see” and recite mathematical pi to 22,514 decimal places!

What’s more, he experiences words and days of the week as colors, which helps him visualize periods of time and learn different languages (Tammet knows 11, including Icelandic, learned in one week).

As a person on the autism spectrum, the book also tells of the author’s social and emotional struggles to relate to other people. A moving and inspiring personal story.

By Daniel Tammet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Born on a Blue Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.

Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has…


Book cover of A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century

Matthew Parker Author Of Monte Cassino: The Hardest Fought Battle of World War II

From my list on less-well-known books about World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Brit growing up in the 1970s, I was obsessed with the Second World War as a heroic narrative and my country’s ‘Finest Hour’. Then I went out on the road and interviewed hundreds of veterans of the Battle of Monte Cassino and learned a somewhat different story…

Matthew's book list on less-well-known books about World War 2

Matthew Parker Why did Matthew love this book?

It was working with the author on this book that first put me on to Monte Cassino – the whole place was one massive nervous breakdown. Compassionate but utterly unsentimental, Shephard tells the story of the very different diagnoses and treatments for what was called Shell Shock, then Battle Exhaustion, then PTSD. At its heart is the military doctor’s dilemma – the incompatibility of his role as healer and his obligation to get men back to the front. Nowhere else have I read such a vivid account of the effect of combat on the minds of soldiers.

By Ben Shephard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A War of Nerves is a history of military psychiatry in the twentieth century-an authoritative, accessible account drawing on a vast range of diaries, interviews, medical papers, and official records, from doctors as well as ordinary soldiers. It reaches back to the moment when the technologies of modern warfare and the disciplines of psychological medicine first confronted each other on the Western Front, and traces their uneasy relationship through the eras of shell-shock, combat fatigue, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

At once absorbing historical narrative and intellectual detective story, A War of Nerves weaves together the literary, medical, and military lore…


Book cover of Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within

Carl F. Nathan Author Of An Arrow's ARC: Journey of a Physician-Scientist

From my list on a life in science or medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I experienced “otherness.” My family was hard up amidst affluence. Typecast as Jewish, where that was a rarity, we were met with suspicion and unease. Being a woman held my mother back from her preferred profession. Racism was rampant; my growing appreciation of it and efforts to intervene added to “otherness.”  My childhood was shadowed by illness, including my mother’s cancer. These influences drew me to medicine and science. Both are a way to overcome “otherness” and to protect one’s family, even as my sense of family expanded. Medicine forges extraordinary bonds between doctor and patient. Science brings people together from diverse backgrounds to share goals. These connections make meaningful stories. 

Carl's book list on a life in science or medicine

Carl F. Nathan Why did Carl love this book?

What is it like to be a doctor failing to save your patients, then turning to the lab to understand why, then bringing that learning back to improve outcomes, not just for your patients but for patients you will never see who have diseases you will never treat?

Kevin Tracey is a brilliant neurosurgeon and innovative scientist who not only did all that but also went one step further—he wrote a book that answers those questions and reads like a thriller. He takes the concept of “lab bench to bedside” from platitude to paradigm. 

By Kevin J. Tracey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Severe sepsis, a critical illness that most often afflicts victims of initially non-fatal illnesses or injuries, is the third-most common killer in the United States. In "Fatal Sequence", neurosurgeon, immunologist, and clinical investigator, Kevin J. Tracey offers a chronicle, both scientific and human, using cases he personally experienced to illustrate the clinical nightmare of organ failure that typifies the disease. In clear, accessible language, Tracey explains how the brain, which normally restrains the immune system and protects the patient, can fail during severe sepsis - allowing the immune system to indiscriminately kill normal cells along with foreign microbes. "Fatal Sequence"…


Book cover of My Sister's Keeper

Staci Troilo Author Of Type and Cross

From my list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

Misery loves company, right? While I never wish ill on someone, I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one going through a loss, slight, or rejection. Family dysfunction novels remind me that the petty problems I get caught up in are nothing compared to what they could be. Sure, fiction frequently elevates these troubles from drama to melodrama, but I still experience relief—even though it may only be in the smallest way—focusing on someone else’s struggles. Sometimes I even find a solution to my own paltry issues. Who wouldn’t want that? And what writer wouldn’t want to help readers in that way?

Staci's book list on dysfunctional family drama to make you feel better

Staci Troilo Why did Staci love this book?

The sickness or death of a child is a particularly sharp arrow to the average person’s heart.

But I think anyone who’s suffered the loss of a child, seen their child’s life in jeopardy, or is close to someone who’s been through one of those situations is even more sensitive to the topic. My heart and soul were battered from word one, but I had to read this book.

How far would a parent go to save her child? This story explored the question from many angles in a poignant way and left me in tears. I dare people to read it and not ask themselves the same questions.

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked My Sister's Keeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sara and Brian Fitzgerald's life with their young son and their two-year-old daughter, Kate, is forever altered when they learn that Kate has leukemia. The parents' only hope is to conceive another child, specifically intended to save Kate's life. For some, such genetic engineering would raise both moral and ethical questions; for the Fitzgeralds, Sara in particular, there is no choice but to do whatever it takes to keep Kate alive. And what it takes is Anna. Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) and Anna (Abigail Breslin) share a bond closer than most sisters: though Kate is older, she relies on her little…


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