10 books like Unsheltered

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Unsheltered. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Silk Roads

By Peter Frankopan,

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

Even more than the oil curse, the location curse is key to understanding the Middle East. Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads is one of the best explorations of what imperial geographers identified as Eurasia, the ancient, much-fought-over land bridge between west and east running from the eastern Mediterranean to the Himalayas of which the modern construct of the “Middle East” is only one, sadly reduced part. Frankopan looks away from today’s association with regimes that are unstable, violent threats to international security and/or human rights, and popularly perceived as somehow peripheral to the interests of the West—to its historic center at the crossroads of civilization.

By tracing the evolution of the vitally interconnected trade routes known as the “Silk Roads", from conveying Chinese luxury goods and Turkic slaves to gold and silver, Iranian oil and Ukrainian wheat, Mongolian rare earths, and transcontinental telecommunications links, he shows how the region has…

The Silk Roads

By Peter Frankopan,

Why should I read it?

6 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…


Salazar

By Tom Gallagher,

Book cover of Salazar: The Dictator Who Refused to Die

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.

Salazar

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…


Portugal

By Phil Mailer,

Book cover of Portugal: The Impossible Revolution?

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. 

Portugal

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…


Hunting Midnight

By Richard Zimler,

Book cover of Hunting Midnight

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. 

Hunting Midnight

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…


A Spark of Light

By Jodi Picoult,

Book cover of A Spark of Light

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. 

A Spark of Light

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…


Small Great Things

By Jodi Picoult,

Book cover of Small Great Things

This book has so much to teach us about race and misconceptions. Faced with the decision of intervening to save a newborn baby’s life and the orders she’s been given not to touch the child of white supremacists, a NICU nurse, Ruth, hesitates for a moment then provides care. Her hesitation causes her to be charged with a serious crime. She is assigned a white public defender who wants to plead out and keep race out of the equation, but Ruth stands her ground. The women have to learn to trust each other and to find common ground. This is the most beautiful struggle about race from both perspectives that leaves you with a deeper understanding of both sides of the issue. 

Small Great Things

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Small Great Things is the most important novel Jodi Picoult has ever written ... It will challenge her readers ... [and] expand our cultural conversation about race and prejudice.' - The Washington Post

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is…


The Governess of Highland Hall

By Carrie Turansky,

Book cover of The Governess of Highland Hall

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. 

The Governess of Highland Hall

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…


Birds Without Wings

By Louis De Bernieres,

Book cover of Birds Without Wings

I was drawn to this book because it is set in a part of Turkey that I love. There is such charm to the characters who live simple lives until they’re upended by other people’s wars and political decisions. I felt I could relate to them through people I’d actually met, even more so when I visited the “ghost village” of Kayakoy, which inspired de Berniere’s village. The stories of the fictional villagers, alternately touching, funny, brutal, and tragic, are mingled with that of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern, secular Turkey, a man of great vision and leadership, who yet oversaw the removal of ethnic Greeks from their homes. I found the novel thoroughly haunting and thought-provoking.

Birds Without Wings

By Louis De Bernieres,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Birds Without Wings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, Birds Without Wings traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia - a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries.

When war is declared and the outside world intrudes, the twin scourges of religion and nationalism lead to forced marches and massacres, and the peaceful fabric of life is destroyed. Birds Without Wings is a novel about the personal and political costs of war, and about love: between men and women; between friends; between those who are driven to be enemies; and…


Men, Women, and Chain Saws

By Carol J. Clover,

Book cover of Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film

Clover’s book is a cult classic, but Clover is also one of the leading saga scholars of the past half-century and as she notes her insights into and reads of these horror films owes an incalculable debt to her knowledge of the sagas. 

I cannot refrain from recommending an article by Heather O'Donoghue--"What has Baldr to do with Lamech?" The lethal shot of a blind man in Old Norse myth and Jewish exegetical traditions Medium Aevum 72 (2003, 82-107). I loved it when I first read it. It is wonderfully learned and for those who are equally captivated by the Norse world and the tough world of the Hebrew Bible, the piece is a perfect example of penetrating scholarship and insight.

Men, Women, and Chain Saws

By Carol J. Clover,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Men, Women, and Chain Saws as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From its first publication in 1992, Men, Women, and Chain Saws has offered a groundbreaking perspective on the creativity and influence of horror cinema since the mid-1970s. Investigating the popularity of the low-budget tradition, Carol Clover looks in particular at slasher, occult, and rape-revenge films. Although such movies have been traditionally understood as offering only sadistic pleasures to their mostly male audiences, Clover demonstrates that they align spectators not with the male tormentor, but with the females tormented--notably the slasher movie's "final girls"--as they endure fear and degradation before rising to save themselves. The lesson was not lost on the…


A Little Life

By Hanya Yanagihara,

Book cover of A Little Life

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.

A Little Life

By Hanya Yanagihara,

Why should I read it?

3 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!

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