The most recommended books about the Apache

Who picked these books? Meet our 8 experts.

8 authors created a book list connected to the Apache, and here are their favorite Apache books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Valley of Shadows

Victoria Costello Author Of Orchid Child

From my list on realist that use magic to say hard things.

Who am I?

Like most children growing up with fairy tales and Bible instruction, I believed in miracles and magic. But it was the death of my father at age eight, then having his spirit return to my childhood bedroom to comfort and reassure me, that planted in me a core belief in dimensions beyond material reality. Other influences, including living as a neurodiverse woman and raising a neurodiverse son, working as a science journalist, and reading quantum physics, helped me re-embrace the liminal as part of my adult worldview. The most interesting novels to me often carry subtle messages and bring awareness to underrepresented people and issues, and many do this using magic and the fantastic.

Victoria's book list on realist that use magic to say hard things

Victoria Costello Why did Victoria love this book?

At first glance, Valley of Shadows is a straight-genre horror novel, with a gruesome whodunnit at its center.

We’re given a noble but flawed Mexican American hero, Solitario, searching for a band of ritualistic murderers, who, by the novel’s midpoint, have already slaughtered a dozen men, women, and children.

This leaves Solitario, like the reader, desperate to keep them from killing again, but clueless about who they are and how they select their victims. This mystery remains unsolved until a shocking perpetrator and motive emerge on the novel’s final pages.

An essential thread in Ruiz’s riveting story is its otherworldly cast of characters, including a parade of personable ghosts, two living bruja (Mexican witches), and both the mythology and practical applications of Aztec and Apache mystical traditions.

Readers will recognize these flourishes as directly traceable to the fantastical, politically charged magic realism style developed by masters of this genre, namely…

By Rudy Ruiz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction

A visionary neo-Western blend of magical realism, mystery, and horror, Valley of Shadows sheds light on the dark past of injustice, isolation, and suffering along the US-Mexico border.

Solitario Cisneros thought his life was over long ago. He lost his wife, his family, even his country in the late 1870s when the Rio Grande shifted course, stranding the Mexican town of Olvido on the Texas side of the border. He’d made his brooding peace with retiring his gun and badge, hiding out on his ranch, and communing with…


Book cover of Shadows at Dawn: An Apache Massacre and the Violence of History

David Grassé Author Of The Bisbee Massacre: Robbery, Murder and Retribution in the Arizona Territory, 1883-1884

From my list on Arizona territorial history.

Who am I?

There is nothing I detest more than what I have dubbed the “John Wayne Mythos” – the idea the West was populated with righteous gunslingers going about “taming” the West by killing anyone who was not abiding by or submitting to white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant standards and morality. The West, of which Arizona was an integral part, was much more complex than this, and the heroes of legend were oft-times the real-life villains. I consider myself to be a historian of the “New Western History” school, which recast the study of American frontier history by focusing on race, class, gender, and environment in the trans-Mississippi West.

David's book list on Arizona territorial history

David Grassé Why did David love this book?

The Arizona territory was an intersection for people from many different cultures, and they sometimes did horrible things to one another. This is the story of the brutal Camp Grant Massacre of 1871, one of the pivotal events in the war on the aboriginal tribes in the Arizona Territory. This is a difficult book to read as it lays bare the inherent racism of the so-called settlers of the territory, and uncompromisingly addresses their genocidal inclinations. Worse, it shows how the policies of the U.S. Government encouraged such acts of mass murder. Though one hundred of the participants, including a number of upstanding citizens from Pima County, were indicted for 108 counts of murders, and tried, not one was found guilty. A shameful, but important history.

By Karl Jacoby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A masterful reconstruction of one of the worst Indian massacres in American history

In April 1871, a group of Americans, Mexicans, and Tohono O?odham Indians surrounded an Apache village at dawn and murdered nearly 150 men, women, and children in their sleep. In the past century the attack, which came to be known as the Camp Grant Massacre, has largely faded from memory. Now, drawing on oral histories, contemporary newspaper reports, and the participants? own accounts, prize-winning author Karl Jacoby brings this perplexing incident and tumultuous era to life to paint a sweeping panorama of the American Southwest?a world far…


Book cover of The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard

Thomas Leo Ogren Author Of Cowboys Don't Shoot Magpies

From my list on that are packed with action.

Who am I?

I am best known for my books on allergies and horticulture. But my first love was always writing fiction, and the first two books I ever sold, were both novels. I know a lot about exciting historical novels because I’ve read so many of them. I read; I don’t watch TV. I love history, and historical fiction that has good, strong characters that I can give a hoot about. And I love books that are full of action, where something exciting is always happening or just about to. A plug: I believe I’ve now written some books myself that fit that bill.

Thomas' book list on that are packed with action

Thomas Leo Ogren Why did Thomas love this book?

Elmore Leonard wrote a ton of books, and almost all of them were darn good. He’s most famous for his more modern books, Get Shorty, etc. His stories are raw, edgy, and exciting. Toward the very end of his career, he did crank out some novels that were, I thought, junk. But for the most part, his writing is terrific, easy to read, page-turning books. What many don’t know is that when he was young, he was writing Westerns. And wow, what fabulous Westerns, too! If you’re lucky enough to get a copy of this collection, you’ll both love it, and feel kind of bad when you get to the end. One of the very best Western writers of them all.

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bull's-eye of a short fiction collection that spans the master's career.

In 1950, fresh out of college and keen to make his name as a writer, Elmore Leonard decided he needed to pick a market, a big one, which would give him a better chance to be published while he learned to write. In choosing between crime and Westerns, the latter had an irresistible pull - Leonard loved movies set in the West. As he researched deeper into settings, Arizona in the 1880s captured his imagination: the Spanish influence, the stand-offs and shoot-outs between Apache Indians and the US…


Book cover of The Apache Diaspora: Four Centuries of Displacement and Survival

Sarah Deutsch Author Of Making a Modern U.S. West: The Contested Terrain of a Region and Its Borders, 1898-1940

From my list on reimagining our mythic American West and its cast.

Who am I?

At some point I decided that if I was going to teach US history, I better have a good sense of what the place looked like. So I drove across the country—and then back again—and then again, and then once more, each time at a different latitude. I drove through North Dakota and South Dakota, Montana and Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, up and down California, Oregon and Washington, and on and on. I got addicted to seeing the landscape in all its amazing variety and vastness, and seeing the landscape made the histories come alive. 

Sarah's book list on reimagining our mythic American West and its cast

Sarah Deutsch Why did Sarah love this book?

When we think of slavery in American History, we mostly think of African Americans enslaved by white settlers. Paul Conrad tells a different story. Focusing on the Apache and through the often poignant stories of particular Apache women and men over the course of four centuries, he details their experience as shifting webs of alliance led to their enslavement by the Spanish and the Mexicans on the North American mainland and Cuba, and imprisoned and held in unfreedom by the United States through the 1880s, and yet still holding onto their identity as a distinct people with a distinct culture.

By Paul Conrad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Across four centuries, Apache (Nde) peoples in the North American West confronted enslavement and forced migration schemes intended to exploit, subjugate, or eliminate them. While many Indigenous groups in the Americas lived through similar histories, Apaches were especially affected owing to their mobility, resistance, and proximity to multiple imperial powers. Spanish, Comanche, Mexican, and American efforts scattered thousands of Apaches across the continent and into the Caribbean and deeply impacted Apache groups that managed to remain in the Southwest.
Based on archival research in Spain, Mexico, and the United States, as well Apache oral histories, The Apache Diaspora brings to…


Book cover of Elatsoe

Xan van Rooyen Author Of My Name Is Magic

From my list on LGBT+ reads for spooky season.

Who am I?

While I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a fan of horror, I have recently found myself drawn to darker books—especially at this time of the year with Halloween just around the corner. As a bisexual non-binary person, I love finding books with diverse LGBT+ rep in them, so these are just a few of the spookier LGBT+ books I think would make for great autumnal reading. Plus, my own book—My Name is Magic—features all kinds of mythological werebeasties and a race to save the day before the traditional Finnish Kekri festival, an equivalent of Halloween, although it involves less candy and more fire.

Xan's book list on LGBT+ reads for spooky season

Xan van Rooyen Why did Xan love this book?

This YA novel is unquestionably one of my all time favourite reads. It’s about an asexual Apache girl with her ghost-dog sidekick in a world full of magic including faeries and vampires. The prose, the plot, the characters, the narrative structure—it was all brilliant and brought to life the story of a girl who can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill from her Lipan Apache family. A story that could’ve remained delightfully cute and sweet takes a decidedly darker turn when Elatsoe’s cousin is the picture-perfect town of Willowbee. As Elatsoe begins to investigate, she uncovers some seriously gruesome secrets in an alternate version of small-town America shaped by magic and monsters.

By Darcie Little Badger, Rovina Cai (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Elatsoe 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?

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down…


Book cover of Hondo (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures)

Stan R. Mitchell Author Of Little Man, and the Dixon County War

From my list on the Wild West.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the Wild West since I was a little boy, playing Cowboy vs Indian with a plastic six-shooter and bow-and-arrow set. I grew up watching movies and reading books about the Wild West, and probably that sense of adventure and necessary courage required in such settings helped build the foundation that led me to join the Marines. It took guts to move out West. (Or desperation.) But either way, the settling of the Wild West is one of our core American stories. To me, the stories of the West are even more enthralling today than they were even fifty years ago.

Stan's book list on the Wild West

Stan R. Mitchell Why did Stan love this book?

This book is a great read by Louis L'Amour, who’s arguably one of the greatest Western writers to ever live.

L'Amour executes the book brilliantly, placing a woman and her six-year-old son in grave danger from some angry, fired-up Apaches, who are on the warpath.

All that stands between them and their safety is one tough man and his dog.

By Louis L'Amour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hondo (Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures series, this edition contains exclusive bonus materials!

He was etched by the desert’s howling winds, a big, broad-shouldered man who knew the ways of the Apache and the ways of staying alive. She was a woman alone raising a young son on a remote Arizona ranch. And between Hondo Lane and Angie Lowe was the warrior Vittoro, whose people were preparing to rise against the white men. Now the pioneer woman, the gunman, and the Apache warrior are caught in a drama of love, war, and honor.

Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures is…