Does the world need a list of “the best, ultimately uplifting stories about sexual abuse and harassment“? I think so, and so does Shepherd, the newest kid on the bookworm’s block.
I was invited by the creators of Shepherd, a new reading resource for book-lovers, to submit a list of good reads related to my novel Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. That novel, for those who haven’t read it, is an ultimately uplifting story about two young women triumphing personally and professionally despite troubling experiences with incest in the case of one, and workplace sexual harassment for the other.
How Are Sexual Abuse and Harassment Uplifting
When promoting Horseshoes and Hand Grenades a few years ago, when it was first released, I remember several potential bloggers weren’t sure they wanted to review another book about sexual abuse. Who could blame them? I assured them HAHG wasn’t graphic or extreme, but instead purposely addressed “less severe” forms of abuse. Why? Because I wanted to show that even “mild” sexual abuse can damage the victims. My hope was to help validate the experiences of thousands of women around the globe. So I was pleased when those bloggers took a chance on the book and deemed it uplifting in the end.
(For more on why I chose to portray “mild abuse”, read this guest post I wrote for the Kraftireader book review blog.)
And that’s where my Shepherd book list title comes in: “the best, ultimately uplifting stories about sexual abuse and harassment”. The theme I chose isn’t trying to make light of the subject, trust me. Nor is it minimizing the pain – quite the opposite. By calling these stories “uplighting” I am not taking life’s lemons and proclaiming them lemonade. I am not perusing the world through rose-colored glasses.
What I am doing is celebrating the resiliency of the human spirit, specifically the strength and power of victims who are able to rise above the wrongs done to them and start to appreciate life again. Hopefully, that means trusting and loving first themselves, and then others.
So if a feel-good, ultimately uplifting novel, memoir or self-help book about women overcoming difficult, sometimes horrific, situations sounds like a good read to you, please check out my list of 5 recommendations on Shepherd.
More About Shepherd
Avid readers no longer have to rely solely on friends and librarians for suggestions of what to read next. Goodreads and Amazon are of course the big guys when it comes to searching for new best reads. But there are also now many smaller sites offering quality recommendations for your next book.
Shepherd is one of the newer sites – in fact, it’s still technically in beta. The site offers a new twist: book recommendations from authors, for readers. The concept is simple and elegant: If you like an author’s book(s), you might also like the 5 books the author recommends on topics related to their own work.
The site offers lists you might expect, like the best books about trains, and the best books about spies (fiction and non-fiction). But it also has many more creative lists on topics you might not even know you’re interested in until you see the title. For example: the best books for a cleansing sob break, the best books on historic accounts of plague outbreaks, the best books about haunted minds, etc.
Shepherd seems to have a bright future. MUO calls it “one of the most fuss-free sites to find what book to read next”. So hop on over to Shepherd if you want to check it out. You can start with my list if you like.
And speaking of my list, I’ve got more lists coming on Shepherd, for my Shannon’s Odyssey children’s book and my Bit Players YA series for theater-lovers.