100 books like This Here Flesh

By Cole Arthur Riley,

Here are 100 books that This Here Flesh fans have personally recommended if you like This Here Flesh. 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 The Ones We're Meant to Find

Lauren Yero Author Of Under This Forgetful Sky

From my list on seeking hope after the end of the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Can stories bring a human scale to something as all-encompassing as climate change? In 2011, I began an MA in Literature and Environment with this question weighing on my mind. I finished my degree two years later with a draft of my debut novel, Under This Forgetful Sky. I’ve come to understand the climate crisis, in many ways, as a crisis of imagination. Its enormity tests the limits of the imaginable. What if the world as we know it ends? What would life look like on the other side? The books on this list reckon with the fears these questions bring while also gesturing beautifully, unsentimentally, courageously toward hope. 

Lauren's book list on seeking hope after the end of the world

Lauren Yero Why did Lauren love this book?

The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a young adult dystopian eco-thriller that tells the story of two sisters across alternating timelines.

One timeline follows Cee, who wakes up one day colorblind and devoid of memories, stranded on a deserted island. The other timeline follows Kasey as she tries to understand her sister’s disappearance from within the rank-based eco-city she calls home (a city that rewards citizens who demand the least of the Earth’s dwindling resources).

Though the novel takes impending ecological doom as its ever-present backdrop, it tells a complex, surprising, human story about the quest for meaning and responsibility in an intricately interconnected world.

By Joan He,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Ones We're Meant to Find as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Perfect for fans of Marie Lu and E. Lockhart, The Ones We're Meant to Find is a twisty YA sci-fi that follows the story of two sisters, separated by an ocean, desperately trying to find each other in a climate-ravaged future.
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it's up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.…


Book cover of Iron Widow

Robyn Dabney Author Of The Ascenditure

From my list on women who challenge the patriarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up as a total tomboy in the early 90s, I naturally gravitated toward traditionally male-dominated sports, jobs, and hobbies throughout my life. Despite encountering instances of sexual harassment and sexism along the way, I had strong role models and books with fierce main characters to turn to for support. I have always been passionate about women claiming their power, which is why I love writing about and reading stories that center on this theme.

Robyn's book list on women who challenge the patriarchy

Robyn Dabney Why did Robyn love this book?

This book was a wild read in the best way, with its fierce protagonist and thought-provoking social commentary.

The author’s portrayal of protagonist Zetian’s unhindered feminine power, combined with the powerful feminist themes of the book, made this story a gripping, inspirational read. With elements like female fighter pilots, rich Chinese-inspired world-building, and a refreshing polyamorous romance, Iron Widow delivers a story that is a testament to feminine rage and empowerment and refuses to follow the rules. 

By Xiran Jay Zhao,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Iron Widow 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?

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
 
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through…


Book cover of Seven Blades in Black

K.E. Andrews Author Of The Assassin of Grins and Secrets

From my list on morally gray woman in dark fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy books, especially ones that focus on women protagonists. Morally gray protagonists are the most interesting because they straddle the line between hero and villain, often making questionable choices to achieve a goal. I like to write characters who struggle with mental health issues because so often it can be overlooked in a fantasy story in favor of the bigger plot at hand. Women struggling with mental health, who are single mothers, those with disabilities, and those who have long been poorly represented in fiction are characters I like to read and write about.

K.E.'s book list on morally gray woman in dark fantasy

K.E. Andrews Why did K.E. love this book?

The book is filled to the brim with powerful descriptions and enough sass to fill an ocean. You’ll fall in love with Sal, even though she’s rough around the edges and has revenge pulsing in her veins. Each page has lines that make you stop and sit with them in order for them to sink in, and when they do, they follow you around for days. Sykes brings Sal and her world alive with vivid writing that is just *chef’s kiss*. It holds its own against Game of Thrones, the works of Sanderson, and Robert Jordan. If you like morally gray characters and gritty fantasy, this is the book for you. 

By Sam Sykes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author Sam Sykes returns with a brilliant new epic fantasy that introduces an unforgettable outcast mage caught between two warring empires.

Her magic was stolen. She was left for dead.

Betrayed by those she trusts most and her magic ripped from her, all Sal the Cacophony has left is her name, her story, and the weapon she used to carve both. But she has a will stronger than magic, and knows exactly where to go.

The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a…


Book cover of The Cat Who Saved Books

K.E. Andrews Author Of The Assassin of Grins and Secrets

From my list on morally gray woman in dark fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy books, especially ones that focus on women protagonists. Morally gray protagonists are the most interesting because they straddle the line between hero and villain, often making questionable choices to achieve a goal. I like to write characters who struggle with mental health issues because so often it can be overlooked in a fantasy story in favor of the bigger plot at hand. Women struggling with mental health, who are single mothers, those with disabilities, and those who have long been poorly represented in fiction are characters I like to read and write about.

K.E.'s book list on morally gray woman in dark fantasy

K.E. Andrews Why did K.E. love this book?

When I first saw this book, I was intrigued by the promise of magical cats and books. This story is light yet had some deep themes and poses questions about the true purpose of books and our relationship to them. It has all the hallmarks of a contemporary anime that is short and easy to read, especially if you’re used to diving into thick fantasy books. There were so many quirky moments in the book that felt like a mixture of Alice in Wonderland meets Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s the kind of book you can curl up with while you sip tea and pet a cat.

By Sosuke Natsukawa, Louise Heal Kawai (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Cat Who Saved Books is a heart-warming story about finding courage, caring for others - and the tremendous power of books.

Grandpa used to say it all the time: 'books have tremendous power'. But what is that power really?

Natsuki Books was a tiny second-hand bookshop on the edge of town. Inside, towering shelves reached the ceiling, every one crammed full of wonderful books. Rintaro Natsuki loved this space that his grandfather had created. He spent many happy hours there, reading whatever he liked. It was the perfect refuge for a boy who tended to be something of a…


Book cover of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine

Margie Lukas Author Of The Broken Statue

From my list on heroines who inspire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching my mother suffer under a strict patriarchal religion. She never felt she had a choice in her life, and yet she always remained a dreamer, collecting newspaper articles about events in history that interested her. They piled up in a box and I’ve no idea what she thought to do with them. She would thumb through them between bouts of standing over a ringer washer or hanging wet clothing outside in freezing weather. There were 15 of us, you can imagine the laundry. I never saw her cry…despite working like a mule. I admire her and women like her for getting through. 

Margie's book list on heroines who inspire

Margie Lukas Why did Margie love this book?

The book chronicles Kidd’s evolution from a patriarchal religion into a spirituality that honors her as a woman. She’d built her reputation and made her livelihood as a Christian writer and speaker, and she risked everything: career, marriage, family, and friends in leaving that behind. I was making a similar journey when I found the book, leaving behind the organized religion I’d grown up with and significantly, married into. Fighting broke out when I quit attending services, and I received a lot of condemnation for seeking to free myself from a religion thousands of years old. How dare I! I was letting my immediate, and not so immediate, family and community down. I was headed for damnation. Kidd’s book uplifted and supported my decision. It’s honest, too, in addressing one’s internal conflicts about change. The book gave me the courage to face my fears, my guilts, and keep following my…

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A masterpiece of women’s wisdom."—Christiane Northrup, M.D.

"The journey to capture her feminine soul and live authentically . . . makes a fascinating, well-researched and well-written story."—Publishers Weekly

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its publication, a newly reissued edition of the bestselling author’s classic work of feminine spiritual discovery, with a new introduction by the author.

"I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised, and, in fact, a little terrified, when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening."—Sue Monk…


Book cover of A Confession

Mike James Ross Author Of Intention: The Surprising Psychology of High Performers

From my list on books to help you find meaning in your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in purpose and meaning since I snuck into a high school philosophy class when I was 10 years old. Since then, I have not only worked on my own quest for meaning in my life but also helped dozens of others through these types of questions as an executive coach and business leader. I believe that having an answer to the question “why am I here?” is the crucial ingredient to living a happy and fulfilled life, and I’ve been working for years to distill all that I have learned on the subject into a useable and accessible collection of insights.

Mike's book list on books to help you find meaning in your life

Mike James Ross Why did Mike love this book?

What amazes me about A Confession is that here is Tolstoy, one of the giants of world literature, at the top of his game, lamenting that there is no meaning to his life. This made me realize that there is no one immune from this feeling of purposelessness and that there are no prizes, accolades, awards, or other external things that will prevent you from feeling existential angst.

The book also shows how Tolstoy worked through his crisis, and although I do not agree with his conclusions, the path that he takes in the book was very useful for me in my own journey to meaning. 

By Leo Tolstoy, Aylmer Maude (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Despite having written War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy, at the age of 51, looked back on his life and considered it a meaningless, regrettable failure. A Confession provides insight into the great Russian writer's movement from the pursuit of aesthetic ideals toward matters of religious and philosophical consequence.
Authentic and genuinely moving, this memoir of midlife spiritual crisis was first distributed in 1872 and marked a turning point in the author's career as a writer: in subsequent years, Tolstoy would write almost exclusively about religious life, especially devotion among the peasantry.
Generations of readers have been inspired…


Book cover of The Song of the Bird

Joan Budilovsky Author Of Sages of Young Ages

From my list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve taught yoga and meditation for decades to children from ages 3 to 93. My Doctorate is in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to experience personal development and child development has a very special place in my heart. I learn so much from them! It is particularly fun to watch children discover and explore life. Everything old is new again! Sages of Young Ages can open our eyes if we simply open our ears to each child’s unique spoken truths.

Joan's book list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children

Joan Budilovsky Why did Joan love this book?

Short interesting titles to profound short stories. Each story offers a lesson to clearer soulful understandings. Humor, insights, simplicity – all the things I treasure and hope to be as a writer. Anthony deMello has influenced my world with new ways of looking at old things. I find this in children too – their new eyes looking at old things reminds me of how important fresh perspectives are to enjoying and appreciating life.

By Anthony De Mello,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Every one of these stories is about YOU." --Anthony de Mello

Everyone loves stories; and in this book the bestselling author of Sadhana: A Way to God shares 124 stories and parables from a variety of traditions both ancient and modern. Each story resonates with life lessons that can teach us inescapable truths about ourselves and our world.

De Mello's international acclaim rests on his unique approach to contemplation and ability to heighten self-awareness and self-discovery. His is a holistic approach, and in the words of one reviewer: "his mysticism cuts across all times and peoples and is truly a…


Book cover of Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

Scott LaPierre Author Of Your Marriage God's Way: A Biblical Guide to a Christ-Centered Relationship

From my list on Christian marriage (from the author of a best-selling Christian marriage book).

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the teaching pastor of Woodland Christian Church, and in 2016, I published a best-selling marriage book, Your Marriage God's Way, with an accompanying workbook. Soon after that, I began receiving invitations to put on marriage conferences across the nation. My experience teaching on marriage, performing marriage counseling, and meeting so many married couples has given me a strong biblical understanding of marriage.

Scott's book list on Christian marriage (from the author of a best-selling Christian marriage book)

Scott LaPierre Why did Scott love this book?

The subtitle of the book helps you understand Gary Thomas’s purpose: he wants to help his readers see that marriage is not primarily for our happiness.

Although it is a gift and frequently fills us with joy, marriage is also very sanctifying, which is to say it makes us holy. Few things in life help us grow spiritually as much as marriage. When we get married we learn to be patient, gentle, and we frequently have to find ourselves being forgiving. And these are all wonderful graces.

By Gary Thomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What if God designed marriage to make you holy instead of happy? What if your relationship isn't as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?

In Sacred Marriage, bestselling author Gary Thomas uncovers the ways that your marriage can become a doorway to a closer walk with God and with each other. Join over one million others who have already uncovered Thomas's tips for fostering a sacred marriage.

Within the pages of Sacred Marriage, Thomas invites you to see how God can use your relationship with your spouse as a discipline and a motivation…


Book cover of The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity

Karen Martin Author Of The Bringer of Happiness

From my list on writing about death, religion, and spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Our history is spoken through the voice of the conqueror – notably white male. My work seeks to balance our narratives through insight from women’s perspectives. I support my creative writing with extensive research in history, archeology, and myths, and include in situ interpretations of the relevant landscape. There are many truths to be told, not simply one ordained story and I wish to shine the light on stories that have been hidden and/or silenced. The themed series title, Women Unveiled, pertains to this.

Karen's book list on writing about death, religion, and spirituality

Karen Martin Why did Karen love this book?

Mary Magdalene is a central character in my novel. Aside from researching the folklore in the south of France and reading Mary’s Gospel discovered at Nag Hammadi, I needed to delve into contemporary writings of this historical and maligned woman.

I read many academic articles, essays, and books on Mary Magdalene, notably Karen King’s book The Gospel of Mary of Magdala, which could have just as easily been my third pick. I selected Cynthia Boudreault’s book as I appreciated the application of her reasoning and intuition. Her writing was accessible without being laden with religious overtones.

By Cynthia Bourgeault,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author of The Wisdom Jesus takes readers on a journey to discover the real Mary Magdalene—and finds a powerful, ancient model for 21st-century spirituality
 
Mary Magdalene is one of the most influential symbols in the history of Christianity—yet, if you look in the Bible, you’ll find only a handful of verses that speak of her. How did she become such a compelling saint in the face of such paltry evidence?
 
In her effort to answer that question, Cynthia Bourgeault examines the Bible, church tradition, art, legend, and newly discovered texts to see what’s there. She then applies her own…


Book cover of Mausoleum of Flowers

Olatunde Osinaike Author Of Tender Headed

From my list on contemporary poetry books revisiting music.

Why am I passionate about this?

I listen to about eight albums of music per week. At least one per day and another of that bunch gathers a re-listen, though more warrant the same! Listening is my favorite hobby. I name it like one would rock climbing or gardening, and though we are here connecting through words and swapping ideas, it all starts with my ear. I most want to feel what I’d like to know, and it is possible that music sometimes held the work of thinking on my behalf. In writing my book, I was most interested in what it meant to be offered the world in such a personal yet composed way each day. 

Olatunde's book list on contemporary poetry books revisiting music

Olatunde Osinaike Why did Olatunde love this book?

Love is made more possible by every violence it has overcome.

Throughout Summerhill’s sophomoric collection, I found myself turning toward play, both in the pause that suddenly arrived after a line that hits and in the music I turned on after a line that urged reconsideration.

Even for the avid fan of Frank Ocean’s discography, this book serves as a vital push toward questioning what it is we deem valuable. A must-read for self-declarations of grace and hope in the face of racial, historical, and social brutality. 

By Daniel Summerhill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A poetry collection that celebrates Black culture, creativity, and memory.

From Kendrick to Kanye, to a Sunday in Oakland with Frank Ocean's falsetto in the foreground, Mausoleum of Flowers is still life set against the backdrop of demise. Daniel Summerhill's sophomore collection grabs fate by the throat and confronts it. What does it mean to continue living when your friends are dying beside you? This collection melds an exploration of spirituality and rebellion with Black tradition. Summerhill's poems invite the reader near in order to self-excavate and explore tones of loss, love, and light.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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