100 books like Unsheltered

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Here are 100 books that Unsheltered fans have personally recommended if you like Unsheltered. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Kenneth W. Harl Author Of Empires of the Steppes: A History of the Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilization

From my list on how the nomadic peoples enriched and shaped civilizations across Eurasia.

Who am I?

I am a Professor Emeritus of Classical and Byzantine History, and I was fascinated by Attila and the Hun and Genghis Khan from early childhood when I decided that I would become a historian. I set out to write the history of the Eurasian nomads from their perspective, and so convey their neglected history to a wider readership.

Kenneth's book list on how the nomadic peoples enriched and shaped civilizations across Eurasia

Kenneth W. Harl Why did Kenneth love this book?

A literate history of the economic and religious history of Europe, the Middle East, and adjacent Eursian steppes from fifth century B.C. down to the opening of the twenty-first century. I found the book a delight to read.

The first ten chapters are complementary to my work Empires of the Steppes. Professor Frankopan, however, continues the story to emergence of the global economy based on oceanic trade. The excellent analysis of colonial rivalries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is a must reading for understanding the geopolitical role of Eurasia today the Belt and Road initiative of China.

By Peter Frankopan,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Silk Roads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The No. 1 Sunday Times and international bestseller - a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west - in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia deep into China and India, is taking centre stage in international politics, commerce and culture - and is shaping the modern world. This region, the…


Book cover of Salazar: The Dictator Who Refused to Die

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

From my list on why Portugal is weird.

Who am I?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

Wendy Lee Hermance Why did Wendy love this book?

My neighbor, who owns the local agricultural store where I buy honey, told me almost casually that his father died in prison under Salazar. 

Gallagher has written 15 books on world history and politics, so I chose his to understand the dictator´s lasting impact on society. Salazar hung with dictator Franco strategically as a shield against Hitler, who he told to lay off all European Jews with Portuguese names because “Portugal does not recognize racial distinctions.” Personally above reproach Salazar was tolerant of homosexuality and promiscuity in others, and he welcomed back exiled and imprisoned opponents into regime leadership. Exploitations by the professional guilds Salazar built exist today, but so does social value on correct and ethical behaviour. 

Maybe my neighbor´s father stole a pig.

By Tom Gallagher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fifty years after his death, Portugal's Salazar remains a controversial and enigmatic figure, whose conservative and authoritarian legacy still divides opinion. Some see him as a reactionary and oppressive figure who kept Portugal backward, while others praise his honesty, patriotism and dedication to duty. Contemporary radicals are wary of his unabashed elitism and scepticism about social progress, but many conservatives give credit to his persistent warnings about the threats to Western civilisation from runaway materialism and endless experimentation.

For a dictator, Salazar's end was anti-climactic-a domestic accident. But during his nearly four decades in power, he survived less through reliance…


Book cover of Portugal: The Impossible Revolution?

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

From my list on why Portugal is weird.

Who am I?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

Wendy Lee Hermance Why did Wendy love this book?

One of few books I could get my hands on to decide whether I wanted to live in Portugal was this diary written by a young Canadian observer of the 1974 revolution that toppled Salazar´s regime. Cookbooks and tour guides were not going to help, and have you tried reading Saramago? Published in 1976 by Black Rose Books the reportage as it was unfolding has a breathless quality. The glossary of stakeholders´ acronyms is helpful. I learned 1) revolutions are probably never linear, 2) they require “strange bedfellows” to set aside differences, and 3) the Portuguese might be a peaceful, amenable, cohesive bunch. They are. 

By Phil Mailer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the military coup in Portugal on April 25th, 1974, the overthrow of almost fifty years of Fascist rule, and the end of three colonial wars, there followed eighteen months of intense, democratic social transformation which challenged every aspect of Portuguese society. What started as a military coup turned into a profound attempt at social change from the bottom up and became headlines on a daily basis in the world media. This was due to the intensity of the struggle as well as the fact that in 1974–75 the right-wing moribund Francoist regime was still in power in neighboring Spain…


Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

By Sharman Apt Russell,

Book cover of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

Sharman Apt Russell Author Of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Explorer Runner Mother

Sharman's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Citizen Scientist begins with this extraordinary statement by the Keeper of Entomology at the London Museum of Natural History, “Study any obscure insect for a week and you will then know more than anyone else on the planet.”

As the author chases the obscure Western red-bellied tiger beetle across New Mexico, where she lives, she explores a dozen other citizen science programs with lyrical prose, humor, and a profound sense of connection to place. Diary of a Citizen Scientist celebrates a renewed optimism in the mysteries of the world and a renewed faith in how ordinary people can contribute to science and environmental activism.

Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

By Sharman Apt Russell,

What is this book about?

A critically acclaimed nature writer explores the citizen scientist movement through the lens of entomological field research in the American Southwest.

Award-winning nature writer Sharman Apt Russell felt pressed by the current environmental crisis to pick up her pen yet again. Encouraged by the phenomenon of citizen science, she decided to turn her attention to the Western red-bellied tiger beetle, an insect found widely around the world and near her home in the Gila River Valley of New Mexico.

In a lyrical, often humorous voice, Russell shares her journey across a wild, rural landscape tracking this little-known species, an insect…


Book cover of Hunting Midnight

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

From my list on why Portugal is weird.

Who am I?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

Wendy Lee Hermance Why did Wendy love this book?

Portugal: The Impossible Revolution? a 1990s dissertation on rainfall patterns, and Richard Zimler's 1998 best-seller, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon were the only books on Portugal I could find with useful content - more than enough to book a flight. Zimler´s second novel about the Zarco family connected with me because it connects Portugal with South Carolina, where I lived for decades. It was the first book to explain Portugal as weird—confusing, full of contradictions—because Portugal is not one country, but a mosaic of world cultures. For example, the main character´s father also went back and forth to Africa in the 18th century, which was mind-blowing to me. Zimler's depiction of the bond between former African slave Midnight, and John Zarco, each a survivor of state-sponsored violence was deeply moving. The book's period atmosphere, magical occurrences, and bird markets primed me to expect the same here. Which I have. 

By Richard Zimler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Zimler's dazzling tale, John Zarco Stewart is an impish child of bold inquisitiveness, the unwitting inheritor of a faith shrouded in 300 years of secrecy. Dark and bitter events put an end to his innocence and almost destroy him, but he is healed by the arrival in his household of a mysterious young man from Africa.

Midnight is a freed slave brought to Porto by John's seafaring father, and he becomes John's greatest friend, ultimately determining the course of his life. But as John grows to manhood Midnight is lost to him, Napoleon's armies invade Portugal, and John's fragile…


Book cover of Seven Viking Romances

Michelle Styles Author Of A Viking Heir to Bind Them

From my list on Viking romances to escape into on a rainy afternoon.

Who am I?

In 2005, the Bookseller declared the Viking romance to be officially dead and never, ever coming back. However, they hadn’t consulted Harlequin Historical editors who researched the actual sales and desires of their readers. When my senior editor asked me if could I write one, I duly obliged with Taken by the Viking. The book beat lofty expectations, and the revival began such that the Viking period now ranks up there with Regency in terms of popular time periods for the line. The following list is some of the Viking set romances that I have escaped into on mainly rainy afternoons.

Michelle's book list on Viking romances to escape into on a rainy afternoon

Michelle Styles Why did Michelle love this book?

These seven actual sagas (really more adventure stories) from the Viking era have it all – famous warriors, thrilling adventures, and intrepid women.

My favorite of the seven is Halfdan Eysteinsson which has a great hero and an even better heroine – Ingigerd who swaps places with her maid and earns her place as a warrior and avenges her father’s death before finding true love. Not to be missed.

By Hermann Palsson (translator), Paul Edwards (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Combining traditional myth, oral history and re-worked European legend to depict an ancient realm of heroism and wonder, the seven tales collected here are among the most fantastical of all the Norse romances. Powerfully inspired works of Icelandic imagination, they relate intriguing, often comical tales of famous kings, difficult gods and women of great beauty, goodness or cunning. The tales plunder a wide range of earlier literature from Homer to the French romances - as in the tale of the wandering hero Arrow-Odd, which combines several older legends, or Egil and Asmund, where the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops…


Book cover of A Spark of Light

Ames Sheldon Author Of Lemons in the Garden of Love

From my list on reproductive freedom.

Who am I?

My great-grand aunt Blanche Ames was a co-founder of the Birth Control League of Massachusetts. My grandmother marched in birth control parades with Blanche. My mother stood in the Planned Parenthood booth at the Minnesota State Fair and responded calmly to those who shouted and spit at her. As the lead author and associate editor of the monumental reference work Women’s History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States, which helped to launch the field of women’s history in the 1970s, I learned to love American women’s history, and I’ve always loved writing. Lemons in the Garden of Love is my third award-winning historical novel.

Ames' book list on reproductive freedom

Ames Sheldon Why did Ames love this book?

This is a page-turner of a novel about a shooting at a women’s reproductive health services clinic in Mississippi, where the 15-year-old daughter of the hostage negotiator is caught inside the clinic. A variety of people are trapped inside the clinic for hours that day. The shooter, the daughter, the hostage negotiator, the abortion doctor, a pro-life protestor who was spying inside the clinic, and a woman who just had an abortion in the clinic–their characters and motivations are all very understandable to me, which makes the tension about this horrible situation that much more riveting. 

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Vonita opened the doors of the Center that morning, she had no idea that it would be for the last time.

Wren has missed school to come to the Center, the sole surviving women's reproductive health clinic in the state, chaperoned by her aunt, Bex. Olive told Peg she was just coming for a check-up. Janine is undercover, a pro-life protester disguised as a patient. Joy needs to terminate her pregnancy. Louie is there to perform a service for these women, not in spite of his faith, but because of it.

When a desperate and distraught gunman bursts into…


Book cover of The Girl

Michelle Cox Author Of A Girl Like You

From my list on upstairs/downstairs historical sagas with mystery.

Who am I?

As the author of a historical/mystery/romance series that has won over sixty international awards in multiple categories, I’m attracted to books that cannot be pinned to one genre. I love sweeping sagas with elements of all three, perhaps because I was so immersed in classic literature as a kid and fascinated by stories of the past. I suspect I may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, I have resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting myself back there. I am, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. 

Michelle's book list on upstairs/downstairs historical sagas with mystery

Michelle Cox Why did Michelle love this book?

I read all of Catherine Cookson’s novels at a much too-young age, having “borrowed” them from my mom’s bookshelf when she wasn’t looking. I was immediately hooked. So many of Cookson’s books, not just The Girl, pit the wealthy, landed class against their poorer servants, and this theme made a deep impression on me. In fact, I think that Cookson, along with Dickens, probably had the most influence on my personal writing style.  

By Catherine Cookson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She appeared in Ned Riley's stable yard like some wraith of the morning mist to seek Ned's help. Her name was Hannah Boyle, she was eight years old, and she had walked many miles from Newcastle with her mother, who was seriously ill.


Book cover of The Governess of Highland Hall

Carolyn Miller Author Of The Breakup Project

From my list on for romance-loving Christians.

Who am I?

I’m a long-time lover of Christian romance, and now with over a dozen Christian historical romance books published, and a similar amount of Christian contemporary romances published or soon to be, I think I’m someone who has a true appreciation for romance that is soul-stirringly Christian, not just clean or sweet, but which contains truths that will inspire and encourage as well as entertain with swoon-worthy romance.

Carolyn's book list on for romance-loving Christians

Carolyn Miller Why did Carolyn love this book?

If you’re like me and a fan of Downton Abbey, then you’ll appreciate the well-researched Edwardian period details found in this charming story, as well as the sweet romance. Julia Foster is not your usual governess, having a remarkable backstory of her own, but the way she cares for the widowed William and his children is heart-warming and will captivate your heart. 

By Carrie Turansky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More Than 200 5-Star Reviews on Amazon.Finalist for the ACFW Carol Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of ExcellenceWhen a crisis strikes Julia's family in India, she returns to England and takes the position at Highland Hall, a magnificent English country estate. Will she be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?
 
Family drama, romance, and inspiration for those who love Downton Abbey and Jane Eyre. Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to…


Book cover of The Saga of the Volsungs: With the Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok

Jackson Crawford Author Of The Wanderer's Havamal

From my list on Norse myths from direct sources.

Who am I?

Jackson Crawford, Ph.D., taught Norse mythology at multiple universities (including UCLA, Berkeley, and Colorado) for over a decade before becoming a full-time public educator on Old Norse myth and language via his translations and Youtube channel in 2020. He is passionate about presenting the authentic, undistorted medieval stories in clear, thrilling, modern English.

Jackson's book list on Norse myths from direct sources

Jackson Crawford Why did Jackson love this book?

The closest thing to a "novel" from medieval Scandinavia, The Saga of the Volsungs was written down in the 1200s in Iceland by an author who knew the poems about the Volsungs in the Poetic Edda, but also knew a vast wealth of additional poems about them that are otherwise lost to us. Rather than transmit the poems directly, this unknown author chose to attempt to put together a cohesive story of the sprawling generations of this family, beginning with the fathering of their first ancestor by the god Odin and continuing through all the events that lead Odin himself to engineer the death of its last generations. Here we have dwarves forging magic swords, dragon-slayers, Valkyries laboring under the weight of ill-considered oaths, and star-crossed lovers seeking bloody revenge. This volume also includes the medieval "fanfic" sequel, The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrók, written shortly after The Saga of the…

By Unknown, Jackson Crawford (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the translator of the bestselling Poetic Edda (Hackett, 2015) comes a gripping new rendering of two of the greatest sagas of Old Norse literature. Together the two sagas recount the story of seven generations of a single legendary heroic family and comprise our best source of traditional lore about its members-including, among others, the dragon-slayer Sigurd, Brynhild the Valkyrie, and the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.


Book cover of A Little Life

Catherine Adel West Author Of The Two Lives of Sara

From my list on the strengths of found family.

Who am I?

Catherine Adel West was born and raised in Chicago, IL where she currently resides. She graduated with both her Bachelor and Master of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois - Urbana. Her debut novel, Saving Ruby King, was published in June 2020. Her work is also published in Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket, and Gay MagazineThe Two Lives of Sara is her sophomore novel.

Catherine's book list on the strengths of found family

Catherine Adel West Why did Catherine love this book?

A both excruciating and hopeful look into the bonds between four men: JB, Jude, Malcolm, and Willem, this phenomenal book delves into the love, hate, trauma, and acceptance filtered through male friendships. From young adulthood into manhood, Yanagihara takes us through the huge moments and small intimate moments shaping these lifelong relationships ultimately defining these characters and guiding them throughout their lives.

By Hanya Yanagihara,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Little Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2015
Shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction 2016
Winner of Fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2016
Finalist for the US National Book Awards 2015

The million copy bestseller, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.

When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in sagas, Portugal, and Charles Darwin?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about sagas, Portugal, and Charles Darwin.

Sagas Explore 46 books about sagas
Portugal Explore 34 books about Portugal
Charles Darwin Explore 48 books about Charles Darwin