100 books like The Woman They Could Not Silence

By Kate Moore,

Here are 100 books that The Woman They Could Not Silence fans have personally recommended if you like The Woman They Could Not Silence. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Susan E. Lindsey Author Of Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

From my list on explore history you didn’t know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical nonfiction, I’m an avid reader, and I’ve long been fascinated by the past. But I’m far less interested in the stories of powerful people, political intrigues, and significant battles. I would rather read (and write) hidden history: the stories that have not yet been discovered or fully explored and stories that are left out of history books—accidentally or deliberately. I find these far more compelling. They often provide a deeper look at how history affects those who lack power, influence, and money but who nevertheless do remarkable and often heroic things. I live in Portugal and have started working on a new historical nonfiction book.   

Susan's book list on explore history you didn’t know

Susan E. Lindsey Why did Susan love this book?

In 2018, I went to an author reading by Liza Mundy. Deep into researching my own nonfiction book, I was fascinated as Mundy talked about interviewing women who became code breakers in World War II.

The government recruited them from top colleges and universities, looking for women who were gifted in math and music. The women were sworn to secrecy and kept their word, telling people they had been secretaries during the war. They maintained that fiction into their old age or their graves.

Mundy tracked down survivors and showed them documentation that the program had been declassified. They had been released from their vow of silence and could share their stories with her. The book is excellent.

By Liza Mundy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An expert on East European politics and economics analyzes and evaluates Western policies toward the new East European democracies as they struggle to build stable political orders and functioning market economies. He argues that the West must give higher priority to assisting the region and reorient its strategies so as to emphasize the political and administrative dimensions of economic reconstruction. He reviews the economic legacy of past Western policies and of Eastern Europe's previous dependency on the Soviet Union, and then examines in detail the changing East-West trade patterns, the prospect for Western investment and technology transfer, the questions of…


Book cover of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Susan E. Lindsey Author Of Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

From my list on explore history you didn’t know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical nonfiction, I’m an avid reader, and I’ve long been fascinated by the past. But I’m far less interested in the stories of powerful people, political intrigues, and significant battles. I would rather read (and write) hidden history: the stories that have not yet been discovered or fully explored and stories that are left out of history books—accidentally or deliberately. I find these far more compelling. They often provide a deeper look at how history affects those who lack power, influence, and money but who nevertheless do remarkable and often heroic things. I live in Portugal and have started working on a new historical nonfiction book.   

Susan's book list on explore history you didn’t know

Susan E. Lindsey Why did Susan love this book?

I couldn’t put down this book that traces dual stories of the architect who designed the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a serial killer who chose his victims from among those who flocked to the city.

One of my great-aunts served as a nurse at the World’s Fair infirmary, and I remember hearing about the fair and her experiences there—how wondrous and magical it had all seemed to a young woman from a small town.

I couldn’t help but think of her when I read about the very dark side of the fair, too. Erik Larson is one of my favorite authors, and this is my favorite of his books.

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Devil in the White City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular- an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once…


Book cover of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Kimberly Nixon Author Of Rock Bottom, Tennessee

From my list on books based on a true story.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for the family story, and I have been blessed with a plethora of them. My mother grew up in Appalachia during the Great Depression and faced shame because her mother left the family to commit a felony. Her accounts of a childhood without and sleeping in an abandoned log cabin have been seared into my soul. My father, one of fourteen children during the Great Depression, worked on neighboring farms from the age of seven. History has two parts, the facts and details, but the telling of the story wrangles the purpose and sacrifice of those involved.

Kimberly's book list on books based on a true story

Kimberly Nixon Why did Kimberly love this book?

I sat on my mother’s lap as a child to hear stories of her childhood in Appalachia—no running water or electricity, and the shame brought on by her mother’s escape from that hard life. The setting and the characterizations in Book Woman of Troublesome Creek brought back some of the memories of my mother’s stories.

I came to love the character’s adaptation to the harsh environment, their want for a better life, and the difference one person’s influence can make in a community. The spirit of survival, even with the hardest of circumstances, forced me to cherish this story. It was as if my mother had written this book or perhaps read it to me.

By Kim Michele Richardson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
AN OKRA PICK
The bestselling historical fiction from Kim Michele Richardson, this is a novel following Cussy Mary, a packhorse librarian and her quest to bring books to the Appalachian community she loves, perfect for readers of Lee Smith and Lisa Wingate. The perfect addition to your next book club!
The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything-everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.
Cussy's not only…


Book cover of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Susan E. Lindsey Author Of Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

From my list on explore history you didn’t know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical nonfiction, I’m an avid reader, and I’ve long been fascinated by the past. But I’m far less interested in the stories of powerful people, political intrigues, and significant battles. I would rather read (and write) hidden history: the stories that have not yet been discovered or fully explored and stories that are left out of history books—accidentally or deliberately. I find these far more compelling. They often provide a deeper look at how history affects those who lack power, influence, and money but who nevertheless do remarkable and often heroic things. I live in Portugal and have started working on a new historical nonfiction book.   

Susan's book list on explore history you didn’t know

Susan E. Lindsey Why did Susan love this book?

I love digging into the corners of history that are under-explored or never taught in schools. Isabel Wilkerson’s book tells one such story: the Great Migration of almost six million black people from the American South to the north and west of the country from 1915 to 1970.

The author, a prize-winning journalist, did her homework, digging deeply into various sources. But rather than drowning the reader in data, she illuminates this very big story with stories of three individuals who left everything they knew to start fresh. The migration changed them and changed America.

Her approach was inspirational, and her writing was breathtaking.

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Warmth of Other Suns 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 • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official…


Book cover of American Dirt

Jasmin O'Hara Author Of Asylum Speakers: Stories of Migration From the Humans Behind the Headlines

From my list on migration and displacement from first-hand perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been working to amplify voices of refugees and asylum seekers since 2015, when a 12-year-old boy named Mez joined my family as the first of four foster brothers I now have from Eritrea, Sudan, Libya and Afghanistan. Their stories led me to the Calais Jungle in an attempt to challenge the negative media portrayal of those experiencing displacement. I’ve since worked in refugee camps across the world from France to Bangladesh, sharing food, stories, laughter, and tears, asking questions and learning from those I meet. My book is a compilation of the stories that have impacted me most (Mez being the first), and a testament to those who shared them with me. 

Jasmin's book list on migration and displacement from first-hand perspectives

Jasmin O'Hara Why did Jasmin love this book?

This book (despite being a novel, unlike my other recommendations) taught me so much about a migration route I was less familiar with.

Coming from the UK, my work has been naturally Europe-centric and focuses on migration routes from The Middle East and East Africa to Northern Europe.

This book highlights the journey of a family crossing Mexico to get to America, and it blew my mind. I couldn’t put it down and was so invested in the characters' safe arrival to their final destination. 

By Jeanine Cummins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*NOW A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME*
'Breathtaking... I haven't been so entirely consumed by a book for years' Telegraph
'I'll never stop thinking about it' Ann Patchett

FEAR KEEPS THEM RUNNING. HOPE KEEPS THEM ALIVE.

Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, AMERICAN DIRT is an unforgettable story of a mother and son's attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. Described as 'impossible to put down' (Saturday Review) and 'essential reading' (Tracy Chevalier), it is a story that will leave you utterly changed.

Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop.
Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist.
Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved…


Book cover of An Inconvenient Wife

Juliana Cummings Author Of A History of Insanity and the Asylum: Not of Sound Mind

From my list on insane asylums for those with a bizarre fascination.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the history of the insane asylum. Aside from the sometimes barbaric treatment of patients in the asylums, I’ve discovered that there was a genuine longing to help these people. The asylum has always had such a dark image associated with it and while that may be true, I’ve always been keen on learning more about why things were done the way they were. I decided that one of the best ways for me to learn was to write about it myself and it taught me so much about the human condition, both good and bad.

Juliana's book list on insane asylums for those with a bizarre fascination

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

I read An Inconvenient Wife years ago and it has always stuck with me.

As I dove into my research for my book, I reread this book and was just as impressed with it as I was the first time.

Lucy is the epitome of the upper-class New York Victorian woman but only if she bends to the will of her husband and physicians. It is a classic tale of yet another 19th-century woman forced into an asylum.

Lucy is subjected not only to medications but treatment for her “hysteria” which was the common diagnosis for most women in the asylum at the time. It was brilliantly researched and written!

By Megan Chance,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

- Literary historical fiction is an extremely popular genre, as demonstrated by such bestsellers as Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club (Random House, 2/03) and Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White (Harcourt, 9/02).- Megan Chance is the author of


Book cover of The Other Einstein

Kathleen Stauffer Author Of Thou Shalt Not

From my list on women’s rights, roles, and limitations over time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with five brothers in the 1950-60s and never felt that I could not do whatever they desired to do. Later, I developed a heart for women and children’s rights and a desire for real-life stories about authentic people and their struggles. As I watch the news, television, and observe my daughters and granddaughters, I am intrigued by women’s ever-evolving roles and the courage and perseverance it took for progress. Mary Meier, in Thou Shalt Not, did not  change the world; however, she did give her community much to think about when only the town blacksmith seemed to take an interest in her dire situation—which ultimately leads to a murder.

Kathleen's book list on women’s rights, roles, and limitations over time

Kathleen Stauffer Why did Kathleen love this book?

Is it any wonder that Einstein’s wife, Maric, and he drifted apart as the years passed when we learn the story behind the story? His wife was a brilliant physicist in her own right. In fact, the theory of relativity may have been inspired by her profound intellect. It is my impression that in a relationship, one is more outgoing than the other. Relationships where partnerships co-exist and each person’s skills and intellect are validated and appreciated may be outside the norm. Maric’s story encourages me to affirm my own gifts.

By Marie Benedict,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From beloved New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Benedict comes the story of a not-so-famous scientist who not only loved Albert Einstein, but also shaped the theories that brought him lasting renown.
In the tradition of Beatriz Williams and Paula McClain, Marie Benedict's The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. This novel resurrects Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated. Was she simply Einstein's sounding board, an assistant performing complex mathematical…


Book cover of The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

Susan E. Lindsey Author Of Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia

From my list on explore history you didn’t know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical nonfiction, I’m an avid reader, and I’ve long been fascinated by the past. But I’m far less interested in the stories of powerful people, political intrigues, and significant battles. I would rather read (and write) hidden history: the stories that have not yet been discovered or fully explored and stories that are left out of history books—accidentally or deliberately. I find these far more compelling. They often provide a deeper look at how history affects those who lack power, influence, and money but who nevertheless do remarkable and often heroic things. I live in Portugal and have started working on a new historical nonfiction book.   

Susan's book list on explore history you didn’t know

Susan E. Lindsey Why did Susan love this book?

When this book was published in 2006, I immediately bought a copy. I was researching my own family’s history at the time—families who had lived in Oklahoma and Kansas during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

In the “Dirty Thirties,” enormous, constant dust storms swirled through the air across multiple states. Cattle died, crops failed, and people choked. One of my relatives, suffering from severe pneumonia caused by the dust, left Kansas with her parents when she was just 10 years old. Her doctor had told her parents to get her out of there or prepare for a funeral.

Egan’s book is an incredible, in-depth study of what has been called the worst environmental disaster in US history.

By Timothy Egan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Worst Hard Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award–winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows.

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters…


Book cover of A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman

Kathleen Stauffer Author Of Thou Shalt Not

From my list on women’s rights, roles, and limitations over time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with five brothers in the 1950-60s and never felt that I could not do whatever they desired to do. Later, I developed a heart for women and children’s rights and a desire for real-life stories about authentic people and their struggles. As I watch the news, television, and observe my daughters and granddaughters, I am intrigued by women’s ever-evolving roles and the courage and perseverance it took for progress. Mary Meier, in Thou Shalt Not, did not  change the world; however, she did give her community much to think about when only the town blacksmith seemed to take an interest in her dire situation—which ultimately leads to a murder.

Kathleen's book list on women’s rights, roles, and limitations over time

Kathleen Stauffer Why did Kathleen love this book?

Inspired by an Oprah episode, Lisa Shannon starts to run for Congo Women—literally. Beginning with a 30-mile run and a deep desire to make a difference, it’s an inspiration as to women’s ever-changing roles, and how one person can start a movement that can impact many. In the Congo, she learns it is the worst place on earth for women to live. Instead of driving her away, her life evolves into something bigger than she could have imagined. My daughter, who had been to Africa herself many years ago, recommended this book. The stamina and courage it took to survive was beyond admiration; it was miraculous. I, at times, wonder how God’s divine plan will playout when I read of such circumstances. But when I read of Lisa’s calling, I am reminded that we are each called to be the hands and feet of Jesus—something bigger than who we are…

By Lisa Shannon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lisa J. Shannon had a good life-a successful business, a fiance, a home, and security. Then, one day in 2005, an episode of Oprah changed all that. The show focused on women in Congo, the worst place on earth to be a woman. She was awakened to the atrocities there-millions dead, women raped and tortured daily, and children dying in shocking numbers. Shannon felt called to do something. And she did. A Thousand Sisters is her inspiring memoir. She raised money to sponsor Congolese women, beginning with one solo 30-mile run, and then founded a national organization, Run for Congo…


Book cover of A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac

Juliana Cummings Author Of A History of Insanity and the Asylum: Not of Sound Mind

From my list on insane asylums for those with a bizarre fascination.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the history of the insane asylum. Aside from the sometimes barbaric treatment of patients in the asylums, I’ve discovered that there was a genuine longing to help these people. The asylum has always had such a dark image associated with it and while that may be true, I’ve always been keen on learning more about why things were done the way they were. I decided that one of the best ways for me to learn was to write about it myself and it taught me so much about the human condition, both good and bad.

Juliana's book list on insane asylums for those with a bizarre fascination

Juliana Cummings Why did Juliana love this book?

I recommend this book by Edward Shorter because it was an invaluable tool in my research.

The author does an amazing job pulling together centuries of psychiatric history into a book that was very easy to understand. He goes into detail about different therapies used throughout history, the brilliant minds who brought everything together as well as what patients experienced in the asylum over the decades. 

By Edward Shorter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"PPPP ...To compress 200 years of psychiatric theory and practice into a compelling and coherent narrative is a fine achievement ...What strikes the reader [most] are Shorter's storytelling skills, his ability to conjure up the personalities of the psychiatrists who shaped the discipline and the conditions under which they and their patients lived."--Ray Monk The Mail on Sunday magazine, U.K. "An opinionated, anecdote-rich history...While psychiatrists may quibble, and Freudians and other psychoanalysts will surely squawk, those without a vested interest will be thoroughly entertained and certainly enlightened."--Kirkus Reviews. "Shorter tells his story with immense panache, narrative clarity, and genuinely deep…


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