100 books like The Sanatorium

By Sarah Pearse,

Here are 100 books that The Sanatorium fans have personally recommended if you like The Sanatorium. 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 Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Richard J.M. Blackett Author Of Samuel Ringgold Ward: A Life of Struggle

From my list on abolitionist biographies about African American history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was not trained in African American history, but first developed a passion for it during my first teaching job in Pittsburgh, where a number of my colleagues were interested in locating the origins of Black Nationalism and began researching the life of a local black physician, Martin R. Delany. That led me to a wider exploration of nineteenth-century African American history.

Richard's book list on abolitionist biographies about African American history

Richard J.M. Blackett Why did Richard love this book?

A giant of the nineteenth century and the leader of the struggle to end slavery needs a giant book and Blight’s is the most penetrating and comprehensive biography we have of the person many consider the voice and soul of the abolitionist movement and the struggle to win the right guaranteed in the Constitution.

By David W. Blight,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Frederick Douglass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History**

"Extraordinary...a great American biography" (The New Yorker) of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with…


Book cover of Fish in a Tree

Veronica Fuxa Author Of What Is Normal?

From my list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a teacher with passion for history and writing realistic fiction. I published my two books when I was a teenager, and I currently work as a 6th-grade educator teaching writing. I love teaching and working with kids; it keeps me young. When I’m not teaching writing, I love to read realistic fiction, listen to or watch documentaries or horror podcasts, and write short stories.

Veronica's book list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health

Veronica Fuxa Why did Veronica love this book?

This book is a great read for parents, teachers, and children. It's breaking down stereotypes in the field of education. It's perfect for book studies or book clubs at any level. I think everyone can get something different from this book.

By Lynda Mullaly Hunt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Fish in a Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"Fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts." -Kirkus Reviews

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be…


Book cover of Out of My Mind

Rachel Bithell Author Of Brave Bird at Wounded Knee: A Story of Protest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

From my list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Teachers and children’s writers are some of each other’s biggest fans, and I have been both, so I couldn’t resist putting a teacher in my book. Besides that, teachers are very useful characters because they can make kids in books do things like write reports or keep a journal. Initially, my main character, Patsy, doesn’t especially like her teacher, Miss Ashman. Patsy thinks she’s too strict. But by the end of the book, she realizes that challenging students and having high expectations are some of the things that make a great teacher. If you’ve ever had a teacher you loved, you’ll want to check out the books on this list. 

Rachel's book list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers

Rachel Bithell Why did Rachel love this book?

Despite cerebral palsy preventing her from speaking, Melody Brooks, the main character of this novel, loves language and aptly describes the teachers who have taught her in both her special needs and general education classrooms – the good, the bad, and ugly.

But the character who really spoke to me was her educational aide. So I’m bending the rules of my list a bit to give a shout out for the aide, Catherine, who quietly advocated for respect and inclusion for all students through her example.

As a parent of a child with special needs I’m grateful for all the Catherines that come into my child’s life.

By Sharon M. Draper,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Out of My Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller for three years and counting!

"A gutsy, candid, and compelling story. It speaks volumes." -School Library Journal (starred review)
"Unflinching and realistic." -KirkusReviews (starred review)

From award-winning author Sharon Draper comes a story that will forever change how we all look at anyone with a disability, perfect for fans of RJ Palacio's Wonder.

Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can't walk. She can't talk. She can't write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She's the…


Book cover of Define "Normal"

Veronica Fuxa Author Of What Is Normal?

From my list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a teacher with passion for history and writing realistic fiction. I published my two books when I was a teenager, and I currently work as a 6th-grade educator teaching writing. I love teaching and working with kids; it keeps me young. When I’m not teaching writing, I love to read realistic fiction, listen to or watch documentaries or horror podcasts, and write short stories.

Veronica's book list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health

Veronica Fuxa Why did Veronica love this book?

I absolutely love this book. The main characters, two teenage girls, who are total opposites, develop a friendship based on peer counseling together. They learn from each other and give each other comfort, advice, and more help on how to resolve their problems. It’s a great insight into what goes on in young adults’ lives. 

By Julie Anne Peters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Overachiever Antonia is eager to participate in the new peer counselling programme at school - until she learns the person she's supposed to counsel is Jasmine Luther. Jazz is anything but Antonia's peer. She's a punk, a druggie, a gang hanger. But as their peer counselling sessions progress, Antonia and Jazz discover that they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. When Antonia's life begins to unravel, she finds Jazz may be her only aid. A poignant, darkly comic novel that challenges readers' definitions of what is 'normal'.


Book cover of One by One

Michelle Prak Author Of The Rush

From my list on thriller books set In eerie, isolated settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in the world’s most isolated capital city – Perth, Western Australia. Ever since my family packed up and drove across the vast Nullarbor Plain to relocate to South Australia, I’ve been fascinated by our eerie, wide-open spaces. There’s no doubt that family folklore fed into this. My Finnish mother arrived as a ten-year-old, recalling that when she first felt the heat, she thought: “This is hell.” My father and his family arrived from the Netherlands. I love my country, but this continent presents dangers in its arid isolation – all captivating to a storyteller.

Michelle's book list on thriller books set In eerie, isolated settings

Michelle Prak Why did Michelle love this book?

This book has a spellbinding setting and twisting plot that I adored. It’s set inside a luxury lodge in the Alps, cut off by snow. I love snow books and movies—being Australian, it’s so foreign to me, and it’s ideal for the locked room trope.

This novel is told via two POVs: one young woman who works at the ski lodge and one who’s on a tech company work retreat. I admired the way Ware crafts two sympathetic yet suspicious characters. There’s so many puzzles to work out and scrumptious red herrings.

By Ruth Ware,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked One by One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This instant New York Times bestseller and “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) from Ruth Ware follows a group of employees trapped on a snow-covered mountain.

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech start-up, organizes…


Book cover of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Jay Bonansinga Author Of Return to Woodbury

From my list on thrillers that begin with a bang.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a veteran novelist who believes this over all else: The opening is everything. This has been my modus operandi as a storyteller for over thirty books, as well as a half dozen screenplays. I love a great opening. It is how a reader or viewer will subconsciously decide whether they will devote themselves to a story. It is the first kiss. The first shot over the bow. The ignition, the countdown, and the launch. It is the alpha and omega… because the beginning dictates the ending. Oh my, how I love the beginning! 

Jay's book list on thrillers that begin with a bang

Jay Bonansinga Why did Jay love this book?

"The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted." 

It’s more than a creepy opening sentence; it’s a mission statement from the Master of the Macabre, the Poet of the Paranormal, the Chaucer of Chills. It encapsulates what Stephen King does so well – a plucky little girl gets lost in the woods, a shadowy presence stalking her, and something dark, magical, and miraculous emerging from the girl’s soul. 

This short novel is so riveting, you will finish it in one sitting.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the master of horror and suspence, Stephen King, comes a pop-up adaptation of one of his bestselling novels.; Trisha MacFarland had no idea what was in store for her when she wandered away from her mother and brother on a family hike! Readers will travel with Trisha on her journey of horror, where she has only her witts for navigation, her ingenuity as a defence against the elements, and her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace, during this terrifying journey, Trisha tuned in her walkman to listen to the broadcasts about her hero, the Red…


Book cover of Descent

Jennifer Fawcett Author Of Beneath the Stairs

From my list on thrillers that give you something to chew on.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love thrillers. Mysteries, police procedurals, domestic noir, horror—no matter the sub-genre, I love books that grip me in a well-structured plot. But the books that I re-read, that leave me thinking about them long after, have more than just the pull of a page-turner. There’s a lushness to the language, a psychological complexity to the characters, and the landscapes are alive, vivid, and filled with menace. I call these books “chewy” because, like excellent food, there’s so much to savor. They satisfy my cravings and fill me up, but their flavors and textures add layers to the experience. I hope you’ll devour and savor these books as much as I have.

Jennifer's book list on thrillers that give you something to chew on

Jennifer Fawcett Why did Jennifer love this book?

This book is a meticulous and gut-wrenching story of the unraveling of a family. At its center, is a young woman who is abducted while running in the Rockies, but it is so much more than that (and that story in and of itself is riveting). I’ve always been drawn to stories that look at the ripples of an act of violence. There’s the shock of the act itself, but then there’s all of the days and years after. What Johnston does so beautifully in this story is show how this family unravels but also how each one of them fights like hell to survive within that unraveling and how that hope ultimately saves them all. 

By Tim Johnston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As their world comes undone, the Courtlands are drawn into a vortex of dread and recrimination. Why weren't they more careful? What has happened to their daughter? Is she alive? Will they ever know? Caitlin's disappearance, all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning of the family's harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths until all that continues to bind them together are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point will a girl stop fighting for her life? Written with a precision that captures…


Book cover of The Anomaly

Nicholas Holloway Author Of Three Houses on a Hill

From my list on mystery thrillers set in mountainous landscapes.

Why am I passionate about this?

This topic is very close to my heart, as a lot of my readers know me as “the landscape guy.” My two award-winning mystery thrillers (and the serial killer thriller I'm currently writing) feature chillingly explosive landscapes (the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Gates of the Arctic, and the Rocky Mountains). Readers and reviewers have mentioned time and again how I utilize landscape as a character in its own right, and I have very much been influenced by other authors who do the same. There is so much opportunity in these remote and high-altitude landscapes to propel the dread and isolation for these types of stories.

Nicholas' book list on mystery thrillers set in mountainous landscapes

Nicholas Holloway Why did Nicholas love this book?

This one’s a little bit of a cheat because the Grand Canyon isn’t technically a mountainous landscape—unless you’re looking at it from the bottom. But as far as landscapes go, you can’t do much better. The Anomaly follows an I’ll-do-it-myself archaeologist who discovers an ancient cave that seems to have a mind of its own. More than anything, this book is just downright freakin’ fun. It’s evident that Rutger knows this landscape better than most, and he utilizes both history and conspiracy theories to his advantage. This one’s a true mystery where the setting is a character in itself.

By Michael Rutger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An utterly gripping thriller perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Michael Crichton and Stephen King. The Anomaly will leave you breathless until the final page has been turned . . .

THEY SOUGHT THE TRUTH. THEY FOUND A NIGHTMARE

A team of explorers seek ancient treasures, hidden in a secret cave.

At first it seems they will return empty handed. Then their luck turns.

But the team's elation is short-lived as they become trapped there in the dark, with little possibility of escape.

Then events take an even more terrifying turn.

For not all secrets are meant to be found…


Book cover of Horse

Linda Ballou Author Of The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon

From my list on adventure on horseback for adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

My favorite mode of transport is being on the back of a good horse. I have enjoyed horse treks in Ecuador on the Inca Trail, in the backcountry of British Columbia, the High Sierras, and on the Wild West coast of Ireland, as well as numerous stays at guest’s ranches in the U.S. My equestrian articles have appeared in Equus, Horse Illustrated, and California Riding Magazine, to name a few. A back injury forced me to give up my mare and the riding world I loved. Writing The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon was my way of letting go and moving forward in life.

Linda's book list on adventure on horseback for adults

Linda Ballou Why did Linda love this book?

I was drawn to this historical novel because I love horse-centric books. Geraldine Brooks received a Pulitzer Prize for this novel, so I knew it would be well written. It did not disappoint.

I learned about Lexington, a wonderful stallion claimed to be the fastest horse on record. But, the story is more about Jarret, his keeper who kept him from being damaged and exploited in the greedy horse racing world.

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Brooks' chronological and cross-disciplinary leaps are thrilling." -The New York Times Book Review

"Horse isn't just an animal story-it's a moving narrative about race and art." -TIME

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an…


Book cover of Coffin Road

Thomas Dresser Author Of Hidden History of Martha's Vineyard

From my list on defining a place both quirky and unique.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a washashore who’s lived on Martha’s Vineyard for 25 years. I’ve worked small businesses, drove school and tour buses, volunteered, toured and given walking tours. I know the Island. In my writing I’ve focused my love of American history on the backstory of Martha’s Vineyard. Hence my books comprise a wealth of research and information on each topic. I love what I do. And I like to think it shows.

Thomas' book list on defining a place both quirky and unique

Thomas Dresser Why did Thomas love this book?

I planned a trip to Scotland and immersed myself in Peter May’s Scottish perspective. I try to do that with my books: share the back story, the elements that make Martha’s Vineyard so special to so many people. This is the niche I have carved for myself over the past 15 years.

Peter May is a BBC stalwart; Coffin Road offers a daunting tale with an emphasis on the rugged landscape. May traces his tale right down to the water’s edge.  

And while this is a work of fiction, it offers a vivid view of the reality of living on an island: the isolation, the limitations, the beauty, and the danger. That’s what I do with my Vineyard histories.

By Peter May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE 12 MILLION COPY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE LEWIS TRILOGY, THE ENZO FILES AND THE CHINA THRILLERS
AWARD WINNING AUTHOR OF THE CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY 2021

'Peter May is one of the most accomplished novelists writing today.' Undiscovered Scotland
'No one can create a more eloquently written suspense novel than Peter May.' New York Journal of Books

PETER MAY MIXES MURDER, MYSTERY and MEMORY . . . AND MARKS HIS RETURN TO THE OUTER HEBRIDES

A man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. The only clue…


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