10 books like The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Selected Letters Of Louisa May Alcott. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of Hospital Sketches

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.

Hospital Sketches

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.


The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

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.

The Journals of Louisa May Alcott

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…


Louisa on the Front Lines

By Samantha Seiple,

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

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!

Louisa on the Front Lines

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…


Louisa May Alcott

By Madeleine B. Stern,

Book cover of Louisa May Alcott: A Biography

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!

Louisa May Alcott

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.


The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Book cover of The Invention of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Invention of Wings, blends fact and fiction in this pre-Civil War story of two young women. I was fascinated by reading chapters that alternated between Sarah Grimke, a historical character, representing South Carolina’s aristocracy and Hetty, called “Handful,” who is given as an enslaved maid to Sarah on her eleventh birthday. Sarah’s conscience won’t allow this division to endure. I loved the memorable scene where the two girls escape through a hatch in the roof to drink tea and tell each other secrets. For me, this image of flight in a shared hope for independence and voice, illustrates the heart of this novel. Organized religion fails both women; instead, spiritual comfort comes for Handful in the story-filled quilt that she attempts to complete.  

The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

6 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…


Dear Palestine

By Shay Hazkani,

Book cover of Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War

Examines how the architects of the conflict worked to influence and indoctrinate their respective ideologies in the ordinary soldiers by analyzing the battle orders, pamphlets, army journals, and recordings of radio broadcasts in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Through two overarching narratives – the official and unofficial, the propaganda and personal letters, Dear Palestine reveals the fissures between ‘sanctioned nationalism’ and individual experience and identity. This book reminds one that everyday individual’s fears, bravery, hubris, base cruelty, lies, and fantasies are as important in history as the preoccupations of the elites.

Dear Palestine

By Shay Hazkani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1948, a war broke out that would result in Israeli independence and the erasure of Arab Palestine. Over twenty months, thousands of Jews and Arabs came from all over the world to join those already on the ground to fight in the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces and the Arab Liberation Army. With this book, the young men and women who made up these armies come to life through their letters home, writing about everything from daily life to nationalism, colonialism, race, and the character of their enemies. Shay Hazkani offers a new history of the 1948 War…


The Deadly Brotherhood

By John C. McManus,

Book cover of The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II

The big question for World War II is what kept men fighting in appalling conditions, with high losses against an implacable enemy. McManus focuses on the American army to answer this question, but his answers could apply to many of the fighting men in other armies as well. The book explores the nature of combat and the psychological mechanisms used to cope with the conditions of modern war. This is a dimension of the history that too often gets overlooked as divisions and units are moved around on the historians’ map of the war, yet it is a central issue to understand what motivates soldiers and keeps them fighting effectively. Sadly, a great many did, indeed, end up as psychological casualties.

The Deadly Brotherhood

By John C. McManus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his book Men Against Fire, [historian S. L. A.] Marshall asserted that only 15 to 25 percent of American soldiers ever fired their weapons in combat in World War II. . . .
Shooting at the enemy made a man part of the “team,” or “brotherhood.” There were, of course, many times when soldiers did not want to shoot, such
as at night when they did not want to give away a position or on reconnaissance patrols. But, in the main, no combat soldier in his right mind would have deliberately sought to go through the entire ear without…


Letters to a Young Poet

By Rainer Maria Rilke, MD Herter Norton,

Book cover of Letters to a Young Poet

There’s nothing in Letters to a Young Poet about craft, writer’s block, or any of the recognizable challenges faced by twenty-first-century writers. Yet this slender volume published more than a century ago speaks to writers everywhere and in every era, who so often work in isolation and, if they are to be true to their art and authentic within themselves, must rip open their souls and spill the contents onto the page without regard for others’ judgment and criticism. In fact, it speaks to anyone, non-writer as well as writer, whose sensitivity and feelings of not belonging make it sometimes feel impossible to express themselves out in the world. In the end, isn’t that what writer’s block is all about. It certainly was for me!

Letters to a Young Poet

By Rainer Maria Rilke, MD Herter Norton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Letters to a Young Poet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle…


84, Charing Cross Road

By Helene Hanff,

Book cover of 84, Charing Cross Road

A memoir in letters about a solitary writer in mid-century New York corresponding with the proprietor and staff of a used book shop in London, from whom she orders inexpensive but attractive copies of mostly classics over a period of decades. Even more, it’s a memoir of relationships that develop as a consequence (all through letters; the principals never meet in person). There are so many reasons I love it. For one thing, Helene Hanff collects, rather than accrues. She’s not in it for the First Editions (which doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate decent paper or proper weight or used book smell); she’s in love with the words, and the way they seem to make her feel more like a fellow human being than her interactions with actual people do. There is the natural infusion, over a period of years, of not just incidental details of lives being lived but…

84, Charing Cross Road

By Helene Hanff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 84, Charing Cross Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Those who have read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a novel comprised of only letters between the characters, will see how much that best-seller owes 84, Charing Cross Road." -- Medium.com

A heartwarming love story about people who love books for readers who love books

This funny, poignant, classic love story unfolds through a series of letters between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a charming, sentimental friendship…


Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

By Michael White, David Epston,

Book cover of Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

Narrative Therapy (of which this book is the founding text) traces its roots back to the French philosopher Michel Foucault and postmodern philosophy. Not that anyone can agree on a definition of postmodernism. Invoking Foucault’s critique of power, narrative therapy sees the DSM-5 (the standard list of mental illness that is akin to the Bible in psychiatry) as grounded not in objective truth but as a mostly fabricated list of pseudo-diseases a profession has conjured up in order to assure it is well-paid. Narrative therapy works not on attempting to change any objective condition the client may inhabit but to motivate the patient to change his subjective view of his condition.

Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

By Michael White, David Epston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

White and Epston base their therapy on the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. Therapy then becomes a process of storying or restorying the lives and experiences of these people. In this way narrative comes to play a central role in therapy. Both authors share delightful examples of a storied therapy that privileges a person's lived experience, inviting a reflexive posture and encouraging a sense of authorship and reauthorship of one's experiences and relationships in the telling and retelling of one's…


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Interested in letters, women's rights, and the American Civil War?

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