90 books like The Third Life of Grange Copeland

By Alice Walker,

Here are 90 books that The Third Life of Grange Copeland fans have personally recommended if you like The Third Life of Grange Copeland. 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 Where the Crawdads Sing

Lori Duffy Foster Author Of Never Let Go

From my list on thrillers with twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my years on the crime beat, I often met good people who did bad things and criminals with good intentions and good hearts. We tend to draw a line between good and evil, putting ourselves on the good side. From that perspective, we sit in judgment, believing we are incapable of evil because it’s “over there.” Inaccessible. Unfathomable. But that line is fictional. We redraw it constantly to feel good about ourselves and avoid empathizing with the worst of human nature. What I love about these five novels is that they expose that truth. The twists remind me that even my own line is blurred and ever-shifting.

Lori's book list on thrillers with twists

Lori Duffy Foster Why did Lori love this book?

I love historical fiction, especially when authors throw in a touch of crime. So, that’s what first drew me to this book.

What kept me reading and what made me rank this novel so highly is the gradual unlayering of the main character as the story progresses. Sure, Kya is a victim and a survivor, but she is so much more, and she is capable of more than I could have anticipated. As in some of my other favorite novels, it’s that loyalty to human nature, the understanding that circumstances can make good choices wrong and poor choices right, that pulled me in.

If I had known the ending when I started the book, I might not have believed it possible, but Delia Owens made it work.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…


Book cover of Revival

Lillah Lawson Author Of Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree

From my list on Southern Gothic with a heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of three novels (with two more set to release next year); Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree; The Dead Rockstar Trilogy; and I'm happiest when straddling literary genres. I have published works of historical fiction, as well as southern gothic, horror, speculative fiction, dark fantasy, and literary fiction. My debut, Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year in 2020. In addition to writing, I am a genealogist and recently went back to school to obtain my history degree. My love of writing, history, and family all intersect to inform my writing and I always set my characters in good old Georgia.

Lillah's book list on Southern Gothic with a heart

Lillah Lawson Why did Lillah love this book?

This novel is the perfect blend of historical fiction and horror, and King perfectly captures small-town rural life among people who hold a little too strongly to both tradition and stereotypes. The novel invokes that particular dread that can only be raised by those philosophical questions that one can’t seem to answer; the horror of the unknown. Plus, given my own book, I have a soft spot for traveling preachers who aren’t what they seem. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A spectacularly dark and electrifying novel about addiction, religion, music and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, in the early 60s, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Charles Jacobs. Soon they forge a deep bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity.

Decades later, Jamie is living a nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll. Now an addict, he sees Jacobs again - a showman on stage, creating dazzling 'portraits in…


Book cover of Cold Sassy Tree

Christy Cashman Author Of The Truth About Horses

From my list on coming of age YA books with strong voices.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books were a way to navigate life, my love for my horse, and just being an awkward feeling person. For me, the most powerful thing that stories provide is revealing that everyone is awkward. No one really feels like they fit in, have everything figured out, and know what this whole, crazy existence is about. A book offers a perspective that makes me see my world just a little more clearly. When I find relatable characters in books, I feel comforted because it makes me realize that no one is all good and no one is all bad. We are flawed and beautiful all at once, just like the characters that draw me into their worlds.

Christy's book list on coming of age YA books with strong voices

Christy Cashman Why did Christy love this book?

The voice of the main character Will Tweedy pulled me right in. I was drawn into the world of rural Georgia in the turn of the century as if it was yesterday. I could see, smell, taste, and feel everything Olive Ann Burns described. The main character brought me along on his journey in a Huck Finn sort of way that made me feel like his best buddy. 

By Olive Ann Burns,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Cold Sassy Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around—fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson—a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward—the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and…


Book cover of God's Little Acre

Lillah Lawson Author Of Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree

From my list on Southern Gothic with a heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of three novels (with two more set to release next year); Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree; The Dead Rockstar Trilogy; and I'm happiest when straddling literary genres. I have published works of historical fiction, as well as southern gothic, horror, speculative fiction, dark fantasy, and literary fiction. My debut, Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year in 2020. In addition to writing, I am a genealogist and recently went back to school to obtain my history degree. My love of writing, history, and family all intersect to inform my writing and I always set my characters in good old Georgia.

Lillah's book list on Southern Gothic with a heart

Lillah Lawson Why did Lillah love this book?

Erskine Caldwell is deeply underrated; for my money, he’s one of the best southern gothic writers in the genre. Perhaps it’s down to the risque nature of his books and characters, which were especially provocative (and in some cases, downright despicable) for the time period. However, beyond the depravity there is a real beating heart in his books that perfectly capture the desperation and grief of depression-era Georgia. 

By Erskine Caldwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Like Tobacco Road, this novel chronicles the final decline of a poor white family in rural Georgia. Exhorted by their patriarch Ty Ty, the Waldens ruin their land by digging it up in search of gold. Complex sexual entanglements and betrayals lead to a murder within the family that completes its dissolution. Juxtaposed against the Waldens' obsessive search is the story of Ty Ty's son-in-law, a cotton mill worker in a nearby town who is killed during a strike.

First published in 1933, God's Little Acre was censured by the Georgia Literary Commission, banned in Boston, and once led the…


Book cover of I Am Not Sidney Poitier

Betsy Robinson Author Of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

From my list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to learn what I don’t know about myself and our purpose as flawed beings in this Alice-in-Wonderland world. In the documentary about singer/poet Leonard Cohen, creator of the much-covered “Hallelujah” (title of the documentary), to explain the song, he says that life is so impenetrable that the only options are to shake your fist or exclaim “Hallelujah.” I think there is a third option: to laugh. And I prefer to do all three because that is what comes through me: confusion, pain, and hilarity. And hopefully a better understanding of the whole mess once I’ve written about it. And that is what I hope to share with readers.

Betsy's book list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness

Betsy Robinson Why did Betsy love this book?

I’ve read this book twice and probably will read it a few more times before I die. It’s that good.

The story of a young Black man (named Not Sidney Poitier) traversing the U.S.A. is a picaresque, hilarious, heart-breaking tale about trying to find yourself.

Eighteen-year-old Not Sidney is surrounded by people who only see his race or his wealth, or conversely by geniuses who have succeeded despite themselves and, although they see Not Sidney without the cultural labels, are of little help in his quest to find his mission in life. 

The first time I read this book, I was spitting coffee laughing. The second time, my heart broke. I am curious what my next read will evoke.

By Percival L. Everett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Sidney Poitier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not Sidney Poitier is an amiable young man in an absurd country. The sudden death of his mother orphans him at age eleven, leaving him with an unfortunate name, an uncanny resemblance to the famous actor and, perhaps more fortunate, a staggering number of shares in the Turner Broadcasting Corporation. Percival Everett's hilarious new novel follows Not Sidney's tumultuous life, as the social hierarchy scrambles to balance his skin color with his fabulous wealth.


Book cover of A Lesson Before Dying

Karen Conti Author Of Killing Time with John Wayne Gacy: Defending America's Most Evil Serial Killer on Death Row

From my list on books for law lovers, fairness fighters, and true crime connoisseurs.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I read and watched everything about the Jack the Rippers, Black Dahlias, and Ted Bundys of the world. I think humans are fascinated by these killers, the worst of the worst, in the same way we are drawn to the best of the best. We want to know what makes them tick. One of the reasons I became a lawyer is at a young age I wanted to be a part of making sure justice is done—for everyone, regardless of their societal status. An empathetic person, I wanted to help others, even those who made horrific life choices. The law, true crime, and fighting for fairness are my passions!

Karen's book list on books for law lovers, fairness fighters, and true crime connoisseurs

Karen Conti Why did Karen love this book?

I love the heart-breaking power of this story about a falsely accused Black man on death row in the racist 1940s South. A college-educated teacher visits him in prison and gives him some dignity before his execution happens, and in so doing, gives meaning to himself and his community.

The unfairness of what went on in this country on a daily basis with our criminal justice system is shameful. But this book compels us to rise above it and create meaning and hope.

The conversations are real and raw, and I cried real tears at the end. This book made me think, feel, and care about justice being done.  

By Ernest J. Gaines,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Lesson Before Dying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • A deep and compassionate novel about a young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to visit a Black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.

"An instant classic." —Chicago Tribune

A “majestic, moving novel...an instant classic, a book that will be read, discussed and taught beyond the rest of our lives" (Chicago Tribune), from the critically acclaimed author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

"A Lesson Before Dying reconfirms Ernest J. Gaines's position…


Book cover of Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves: The Bass Reeves Trilogy, Book One

Venetia Hobson Lewis Author Of Changing Woman: A Novel of the Camp Grant Massacre

From my list on the old west with in-depth characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an amalgam of all of my varied interests and varied employments from actress and singer to corporate paralegal at a movie studio. Since my teenage years, I’ve loved to research. That joy leads into writing factually-accurate historical fiction set in the West. Delving into the private lives of both the fictional and the real people gives the reader a better understanding of the characters’ designated paths leading to the events upon which my novel is based. My recommendations for the best books set in the West with in-depth characters have qualities I’ve employed in my novel. Some of these books also delve into characters from differing races, reflecting most towns in the Old West.

Venetia's book list on the old west with in-depth characters

Venetia Hobson Lewis Why did Venetia love this book?

Bass Reeves, a real individual, was a slave in Texas and, as personal attendant and crack shot, accompanied his owner, an officer in the 11th Texas Cavalry Regiment, into battle during the Civil War.

The lyrical and colorful narrative closely resembles Bass Reeves’s speech and thoughts, so that one flows into the other. That’s fine writing. Thompson reveals in meticulous detail behavioral traditions between owner and slave and between the slaves themselves that reflect the injustice rife at that time.

This is the first novel in a trilogy, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next two books.

By Sidney Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Adapted for the Paramount+ miniseries Lawmen: Bass Reeves, directed by Taylor Sheridan and starring David Oyelowo

2022 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist for Western Fiction
2021 Phillip H. McMath Post Publication Book Award Finalist for Prose
2021 International Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society Book Award for Historical Fiction in Event/Era
2021 Oklahoma Book Award Finalist for Fiction from the Oklahoma Center for the Book
2021 Will Rogers Medallion Book Award Finalist for Western Fiction
2021 Spur Award Finalist for Historical Novel from the Western Writers of America
2021 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist for Historical Fiction (Pre 1900s)
2020…


Book cover of Homie: Poems

Sidik Fofana Author Of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

From my list on poetry collections with the best sense of voice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love hip hop. It’s basically poetry with a beat. I'm always thinking of literature in terms of rhythm and delivery. Creatively, my inspirations come from lyricists. I look at poets the same way. They accomplish wonderful feats with words. From years of listening to classic albums, I can feel the aliveness of a good verse. It’s also an element I try to tap into as a fiction writer. I'm a recipient of the 2023 Whiting Award and was also named an Emerging Writer Fellow at the Center for Fiction in 2018. My work has appeared in the Sewanee Review and Granta. He is the author of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs. 

Sidik's book list on poetry collections with the best sense of voice

Sidik Fofana Why did Sidik love this book?

It’s funny because he wanted to call it My Nigs, but didn't like the idea of white people saying, I loved your collection My Nigs!

That first poem “My President” just floored me with how he heralded all his friends by nominating them for office, like “the boys outside Walgreens selling candy/ for a possibly fictional basketball team” or the guy who hooks him up with a free slice of pizza as long as Danez gives him time to say salat.

There’s a poem about getting beat up, at once an act of violence and an act of care for while they're beating you up, they’re weirdly making sure they don’t kill you. 

By Danez Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR POETRY
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR POETRY

Danez Smith is our president

Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can…


Book cover of Blood Grove

Michael R. Lane Author Of The Gem Connection

From my list on African American mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid reader, I read a wide variety of books. Of the fiction genre mystery and suspense remain my favorite. From the classics to the gritty, a well-told mystery is a literary gem. As my mystery palette has aged—like my taste in wine—so are my demands of what makes a good mystery novel. The best mysteries for me contain more than a serpentine journey toward the hidden truth. They have intriguing characters, crisp dialogue, interesting settings, formidable foes, and of course indispensable heroes or anti-heroes. My writing goal is aimed at achieving the same level of literary penmanship of the mysteries I enjoy reading so much.

Michael's book list on African American mysteries

Michael R. Lane Why did Michael love this book?

Easy Rawlins is an African American private detective in 1960s Los Angeles. Easy gets a visit from a troubled Vietnam veteran at his office. The vet tells an implausible story of him and his lover being attacked in a citrus grove outside the city. He may have killed the man. The woman and his dog are missing. Rawlins’ gut tells him the case is nothing but trouble. He takes the case anyway. The bond between veterans overriding all other concerns. Blood Grove is an exhilarating, mystery soup involving moguls, sociopaths, cops, hippies, extremists, and swindlers. Requiring Easy to call upon help from his friends. Friends who range from genius to lethal. I loved going along with Easy on this case. Admiring his resolve and intelligence in solving the mystery.

By Walter Mosley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ezekiel "Easy" Porterhouse Rawlins is an unlicensed private investigator turned hard-boiled detective always willing to do what it takes to get things done in the racially charged, dark underbelly of Los Angeles.

But when Easy is approached by a shell-shocked Vietnam War veteran- a young white man who claims to have gotten into a fight protecting a white woman from a black man- he knows he shouldn't take the case.

Though he sees nothing but trouble in the brooding ex-soldier's eyes, Easy, a vet himself, feels a kinship form between them. Easy embarks on an investigation that takes him from…


Book cover of Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File

Jo Scott-Coe Author Of Unheard Witness: The Life and Death of Kathy Leissner Whitman

From my list on nonfiction that reclaim lost history or silenced voices.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a book lover and as a nonfiction writer and researcher, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that a book is truly a portal that can connect people across time and space. I’m a Catholic (stray) by education and tradition, and for me this interconnectivity resonates with the familiar theology of the communion of saints. Whether you are religious or not, if you love words, there is something rather miraculous about how language, past and present, from authors living and dead, can connect and surprise us and spark new conversations even with those yet to be born. You never know who may need to hear what you are putting on the page. 

Jo's book list on nonfiction that reclaim lost history or silenced voices

Jo Scott-Coe Why did Jo love this book?

I have admired Wideman for many years. As a writer, he is a virtuoso in multiple forms, making room to confront violence and racism without offering readers trite or false resolutions.

I appreciate how he keeps calling back to the themes and subjects of earlier work. His essay, “Looking at Emmett Till” (originally published in Issue 19 of Creative Nonfiction), grappled with his recollections of 1955 as a 14-year-old teenager, the same age as Emmett Till when he was lynched and murdered.

Writing to Save a Life builds upon this work, tracing a parallel history of Till’s father, Louis, and Wideman’s journey to confront official documents of Louis’s prosecution and hanging during his service in World War II. Here as in so much of his writing, Wideman chooses a unique structure for the book, braiding his own reflections on injustice into the documentary material. 

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