100 books like The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Here are 100 books that The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott fans have personally recommended if you like The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott. 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 Hospital Sketches

Ronald S. Coddington Author Of African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album

From my list on the American Civil War by those who experienced it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two boyhood experiences inspired my fascination with the Civil War: a family trip to Gettysburg and purchasing original photographs of soldiers at flea markets. Captivated by the old photos, I became an avid collector of Civil War-era portrait photography. Curiosity about identified individuals in my collection led me on a lifelong journey to tell their stories. In 2001, I started a column, Faces of War, in the Civil War News. Since then, I’ve profiled hundreds of participants in the column, and in six books. In 2013, I became the fourth editor and publisher of Military Images, a quarterly journal that showcases, interprets, and preserves Civil War photography.

Ronald's book list on the American Civil War by those who experienced it

Ronald S. Coddington Why did Ronald love this book?

Early in the war, writer Louisa May Alcott journeyed to the nation’s capital to care for sick and wounded soldiers. Over a period of six weeks, she experienced firsthand the rigors of life in crowded hospital wards as a nurse to men suffering from disease and wounds. She recorded her observations in a series of accounts printed in a Boston newspaper. These writings formed the basis of Hospital Sketches. Published a month after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, when the outcome of the war remained uncertain, Alcott’s words encouraged other women to support the U.S. war effort, and remind us today of the critical role of nurses in times of conflict.

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hospital Sketches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Complete and unabridged paperback edition.

Collection of short stories.

First published in 1863.


Book cover of The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

This book opened up Louisa, and who she was to me. We can see her cheery optimism when she is younger, as well as the many inner battles she has with herself. We see her wit and humor, her desire to care for those she loves. As she ages and struggles with health issues, the reader feels her pain. Not a light-hearted book, but an extremely insightful one for those who want to gain a true glimpse into the character of this remarkable woman.

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From her eleventh year to the month of her death at age 55, Louisa May Alcott kept copious journals. She never intended for them to be published, but the insights they provide into her remarkable life are invaluable. Alcott grew up in a genteel but impoverished household, surrounded by the literary and philosophical elite of 19th-century New England, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Like her fictional alter ego, Jo March, she was a free spirit who longed for independence, yet she dutifully supported her parents and three sisters with her literary efforts. In the journals…


Book cover of Louisa on the Front Lines: Louisa May Alcott in the Civil War

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

We know Louisa May Alcott primarily as an author and the writer of the great masterpiece, Little Women, but many do not realize she was also a nurse during the Civil War. This book explores how her experiences in Washington D.C. as a nurse impacted her writing as well as her beliefs. Easy to read, captivating account. Highly recommend!

By Samantha Seiple,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louisa on the Front Lines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An eye-opening look at Little Women author Louisa May Alcott's time as a Civil War nurse, and the far-reaching implications her service had on her writing and her activism

Louisa on the Frontlines is the first narrative nonfiction book focusing on the least-known aspect of Louisa May Alcott's career -- her time spent as a nurse during the Civil War. Though her service was brief, the dramatic experience was one that she considered pivotal in helping her write the beloved classic Little Women. It also deeply affected her tenuous relationship with her father, and inspired her commitment to abolitionism. Through…


Book cover of Louisa May Alcott: A Biography

Heidi Chiavaroli Author Of The Orchard House

From my list on Louisa May Alcott and her life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Heidi Chiavaroli first knew the magic of history and story while standing in Louisa May Alcott’s bedroom as a twelve-year-old. Her favorite pastime is exploring places that whisper of historical secrets in her home state of Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and poodle puppy. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life.

Heidi's book list on Louisa May Alcott and her life

Heidi Chiavaroli Why did Heidi love this book?

This is a well-researched, detailed biography of Louisa’s works and life. I appreciated the author covering the many different stories Louisa wrote throughout her life and how they reflected her experiences. I also loved the information on why Louisa used a pen name in the earlier part of her career. Very insightful and informative!

By Madeleine B. Stern,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Madeleine B. Stern, one of the world's leading Alcott scholars, shows how the breadth of Alcott's work, ranging from Little Women to sensational thrillers and war stories, serves as a reflection of a fascinating and complicated life dotted with poverty and riches alike, hard menial work, physical suffering relieved by opiates, and the acclaim of literary success.


Book cover of The Invention of Wings

T.K. Thorne Author Of Noah's Wife

From my list on history’s remarkable women.

Why am I passionate about this?

T.K. Thorne became a police officer during the first decade of women policing in Birmingham, Alabama, retiring as a captain. Her background as a woman in a macho man’s world helped inform the writing of award-winning historical novels about completely unknown women in two of the world’s oldest and most famous stories—the tale of Noah’s flood and the burning of Sodom (Noah’s Wife and Angels at the Gate). An experienced speaker, T.K. shares the fascinating background research into the culture of those early civilizations, as well as the scientific discoveries behind the flood in the Mideast and first-hand information gained from her personal trips to the area.

T.K.'s book list on history’s remarkable women

T.K. Thorne Why did T.K. love this book?

This masterpiece is a story of the Grimké sisters, Sarah and Angelina—path-breakers in the abolitionist and women’s rights movements—interwoven with the story of Hetty, a young slave girl given to Sarah on her 11th birthday.

Hetty and Sarah find their way through the prejudice and barriers of a patriarchal society that views them as less than. Both learn to soar.

This book affected me deeply as a writer. Kidd is simply a master of words. But the story itself stripped away my naivety about what our society would look like had these women not taken on the patriarchal system. It is jolting to realize that the fight for women’s rights is not over, but ongoing.

We owe such a debt to those who struggled through the painful and sometimes deadly slings and arrows of culture to stand up for what was right. And we are not done.

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Invention of Wings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees and the forthcoming novel The Book of Longings, a novel about two unforgettable American women.

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something…


Book cover of President in Love: The Courtship Letters of Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt

Tracey Enerson Wood Author Of The President's Wife

From my list on amazing women whose stories were lost or hidden.

Why am I passionate about this?

 As a military wife, and daughter, sister, mother, and mother-in-law to military members, I gained a strong perspective of what it is like to be behind the scenes, keeping the family together and building my own career while supporting the important missions of the men around me. In my reading, I’m drawn to historical fiction, as I feel it makes the stories come alive for me. I love a good story, and what entertains and informs even better than the documented facts are the dialog, relationships, and emotions of the characters. So it seems only natural to write about the amazing women behind the curtain in history in the engaging and memorable form of novels.

Tracey's book list on amazing women whose stories were lost or hidden

Tracey Enerson Wood Why did Tracey love this book?

 This is a collection of the letters between President Woodrow Wilson and his future second wife, Edith Bolling.

I already knew a bit about the role of Edith Bolling Wilson during her husband’s presidency. Reading their actual letters both shocked and entertained me. Woodrow Wilson, unlike his staid, professorial reputation, was quite the romantic.

It made me realize there was much, much more to their story, and it sent me on a journey to discover a relationship that changed the course of history.

By Edwin Tribble (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

225 pages. Hardcover with dust jacket. Houghton Mifflin Company (ISBN 0395294827).


Book cover of The Disappearance

Monica Wesolowska Author Of Holding Silvan: A Brief Life

From my list on maternal grief and universal love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a member of an unfortunate tribe, the tribe of grieving mothers who write. Upon learning that my newborn son was profoundly brain-damaged, I kept a diary. Writing those pages helped me make sense of his prognosis and figure out how to care for him before he died. Later, my diary helped me write my memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life which went on to be named a “Best Book” of the year by both Library Journal and the Boston Globe. Today, I write and work with other writers trying to craft their own stories of loss. Each experience of grief is unique. The five memoirs I’m recommending give voice to a variety of maternal losses — from stillbirth to murder. While each of these memoirs is powerful in its own way, the love in them is universal.

Monica's book list on maternal grief and universal love

Monica Wesolowska Why did Monica love this book?

Upon receiving the news that her two young daughters had been killed by a drunk driver, Genevieve Jurgensen didn’t think she could go on, let alone ever write about her loss. Fortunately for us, she eventually found a way to tell this story. Through letters to a friend, she draws us in, circling the pain of that terrible day, musing about the mysterious ways in which loss can coexist with a happy, ongoing life. With its raw and intimate feel, the book is a profoundly moving testimony to the complicated process of healing.

By Geneviève Jurgensen, Adriana Hunter (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What do you do, how do you live, when both of your daughters are killed on the same afternoon?

On April 30, 1980, Genevieve Jurgensen found herself facing that question when she lost her four- and seven-year-old daughters to a drunk driver. Here she presents her search for an answer.

Book cover of The Letters of Henry Adams: 1858-1892 Volumes 1-3

Laurence Jurdem Author Of The Rough Rider and the Professor: Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and the Friendship That Changed American History

From my list on the lives of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian who focuses on the political history of the United States during the 20th century. My particular interest focuses on the history of the Republican Party & the American presidency. I am curious about how individuals acquire political power and their use of it. I was drawn to write a book about the friendship between Roosevelt and Lodge because of my fascination with the friendship among Eastern elites and how Lodge served as a mentor to Roosevelt in helping him achieve prominence in United States politics. Despite the many books on T.R. no one has ever written a narrative about his relationship with Lodge. 

Laurence's book list on the lives of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge

Laurence Jurdem Why did Laurence love this book?

One of the most prolific correspondents in American history, Adams keen eye and biting wit is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to gain a picture of the themes, events, and personalities that dominated the Gilded Age.

The grandson, and great-grandson of two American presidents, Adams was a symbol of the WASP elite whose dominance in American society was beginning to wane. A former journalist, professor at Harvard, mentor to Henry Cabot Lodge and friend of Theodore Roosevelt, Adams was closely associated with the who’s who of politics, art, and society.

While Adams may have realized he was writing for posterity, the letters are detailed and leave little to the imagination in terms of what Adams thought of those he encountered among the politicians and government men who occupied the nation’s capital. 

By Henry Adams, J. C. Levenson (editor), Ernest Samuels (editor) , Charles Vandersee (editor) , Viola Hopkins Winner (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Henry Adams's letters are one of the vital chronicles of the life of the mind in America. A perceptive analyst of people, events, and ideas, Adams recorded, with brilliance and wit, sixty years of enormous change at home and abroad.

Volume I shows him growing from a high-spirited but self-conscious 20-year-old to a self-assured man of the world. In Washington in the chaotic months before Lincoln's inauguration, then in London during the war years and beyond, he serves as secretary to his statesman father and is privy to the inner workings of politics and diplomacy. English social life proves as…


Book cover of The Van Gogh Sisters

Caroline Cauchi Author Of Mrs Van Gogh

From my list on truly understanding the real Vincent Van Gogh.

Why am I passionate about this?

As well as being a novelist (ten published books to date), I’m a Senior Lecturer in Prose at Liverpool John Moores University. My current academic fields of interest are the role Johanna van Gogh-Bonger played in Vincent’s rise to fame, the silencing of women involved in creative pursuits, and the consideration of a novelist’s ethical and moral responsibilities when fictionalising a real life. My true passion lies in the creative uncovering of those erased stories, and in adding to the emerging conversation. That’s why I’ve shifted from writing contemporary to historical novels. I’m also known as the international, bestselling author Caroline Smailes (The Drowning of Arthur Braxton).

Caroline's book list on truly understanding the real Vincent Van Gogh

Caroline Cauchi Why did Caroline love this book?

I maintain that the only way to gain a true understanding of Vincent van Gogh is to identify his role in seemingly peripheral narratives.

This book considers the Van Gogh sisters, and gives stunning voices to their previously untold narratives. An intimate and necessary insight into the siblings’ relationship, their struggles with mental health, and their intelligent observations of the changing social climate are given.

Without doubt, to recognise Vincent fully, there’s a need to both navigate and to appreciate the female relationships that influenced him.

By Willem-Jan Verlinden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The lively and revealing correspondence that Vincent van Gogh maintained with his art-dealer brother Theo is famous as a source of insight into the mind of one of the most celebrated artists of all time. But what of Anna, Lies and Willemien van Gogh, with whom Vincent had intimate and sometimes turbulent relationships? It was an argument with his oldest sister, Anna, in the aftermath of their father's death that provoked Vincent to leave the Netherlands and never return.

The Van Gogh siblings grew up at a time when long-distance travel by train first became possible. As each went their…


Book cover of Last Letters Home

Clément Horvath Author Of Till Victory: The Second World War By Those Who Were There

From my list on World War II letters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Frenchman with a great interest in the history of the Second World War, specializing in the correspondence of Allied soldiers. Almost 20 years of collecting WWII letters led to the publication of my first book Till Victory which was an award-winning bestseller in France, before it was released in English worldwide in 2021. I also host a podcast (Till Victory: a podcast about WWII and Peace), where I interview British and American veterans, and have made documentaries such as Red Beret & Dark Chocolate or The Missing Highlander. It's all about trying to understand what the young men who fought and died to liberate my country went through when they were my age.

Clément's book list on World War II letters

Clément Horvath Why did Clément love this book?

This book is more about the impact of war on the families of those who never returned from it. There isn’t a lot of combat content, but some of the letters are extremely moving. On the other hand, the title of the book is misleading, since some letters are indeed "last letters home," but they are in fact the last ones written before the soldier went home... In any case, although this book focuses exclusively on the British troops, it allows us to enter the intimacy of families torn apart by the war with great emotion.

By Tamasin Day-Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For many of those who lived through it, the Second World War was the most exciting, dynamic and frightening time of their lives. This wonderful collection of contemporary letters tells their stories - from the battlefields of Europe to the bombed out back streets of London, from the conflict in the skies to the hardships of the home front.

Last Letters Home doesn't show just one side of the war. By concentrating on different themes - lovers, siblings, separation and reunification - Tamasin Day-Lewis paints an unparalleled picture of the daily lives of men and women at war. Through letters…


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