100 books like 1066

By Andrew Bridgeford,

Here are 100 books that 1066 fans have personally recommended if you like 1066. 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 Arthur Young's Travels in France: During the Years 1787, 1788, 1789

Stephen Clarke Author Of The Spy Who Inspired Me

From my list on why the French deny their own history.

Who am I?

I have lived almost all my adult life in France, and have spent that whole time wondering what makes the French so French. One of the answers is their attitude to their own history. The French have got a lot of upheaval to process: at least five revolutions since 1789, and two World Wars fought on their soil, including a Nazi occupation that they still haven’t digested. I didn’t start writing about the French until I’d been living in France for about 10 years – I didn’t want to write like a tourist, and it took me that long to unweave the first strands of their DNA. I’ve never stopped writing about them since, half a dozen Merde novels and as many non-fiction books later.

Stephen's book list on why the French deny their own history

Stephen Clarke Why did Stephen love this book?

Young was an English agriculturalist who took time out from farming to analyse life and developments in the countryside. He toured Britain, then Ireland, and finally France. Here, he lucked in. He wandered the fields, lanes, and city streets of France as the Revolution was brewing and then erupting. Although not an aristo himself, he frequented nobility and royalty, and was amazed at the blissful indifference of the idle rich about what was going on around them. He saw the extreme poverty of the peasants, who were being worked and starved to death by their absentee landlords. He witnessed the actual events of the Revolution and had to talk himself out of getting lynched as a potential aristo spy. It’s a book to browse rather than consume whole, and contains whole pages about crop yields and diseases, but at times it is the most measured first-hand view of the Revolution…

By Arthur Young,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Arthur Young's Travels in France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arthur Young (1741-1820) was an English writer on agriculture, economics and social statistics. At the age of seventeen, he published a pamphlet On the War in North America, and in 1761 went to London and started a periodical, entitled The Universal Museum. He also wrote four novels, and Reflections on the Present State of Affairs at Home and Abroad in 1759. Young produced around 25 books and pamphlets on agriculture and 15 books on political economy, as well as many articles. He was famous for the views he expressed, as an agricultural improver, political economist and social observer. Amongst his…


Book cover of Les Miserables

Stephen Jackley Author Of Just Time: A Journey Through Britain's Fractured Justice System

From my list on the power of redemption.

Who am I?

Having spent a total of 7 years in 12 UK prisons (and 6 in the USA), I encountered so many people from all walks of life who found themselves in custody. What they all generally had in common was a desire to seek betterment – redemption – for even the repeat offenders never hoped to see the inside of another jail again. It can be a soul-destroying, depressing place, often ruthless, but also serves as a forge to draw out the perseverance and will to keep going. After leaving prison, I went on to set up a social enterprise, received a commendation from then Prince Charles, and support the daily operations of a charity (Arkbound). 

Stephen's book list on the power of redemption

Stephen Jackley Why did Stephen love this book?

Another classic, and quite possibly my favorite. It has been dramatised many times, though nothing beats the full novel.

Admittedly with a slow-paced start, the narrative soon grips you with the intensity of its plot and unforgettable characters – most prominent, of course, being the protagonist (Jean Valjean). After serving a long sentence, he then must contend with the prospect of a lifetime of prejudice and discrimination by being an ex-con, but he escapes this and, with the help of a kind bishop, sets himself up under a different name.

Here he transforms into Monseiur Madeleine, a philanthropic businessman who later becomes mayor, before being hunted down by the stern and relentless Javert. If I could name any literary ‘role model’, it would be Jean Valjean.

This dramatic tale has redemption at its very heart, resonating deeply with me, and what makes it even more fascinating is the fact it’s…

By Victor Hugo, Lee Fahnestock (translator), Norman Macafee (translator)

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Les Miserables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A SIX-PART MINISERIES ON MASTERPIECE ON PBS

The only completely unabridged paperback edition of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece—a sweeping tale of love, loss, valor, and passion.

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.

Within his dramatic story…


Book cover of The Belly of Paris

Crystal King Author Of Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome

From my list on novels about food.

Who am I?

Crystal King is the author of The Chef’s Secret and Feast of Sorrow, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was a Must-Read for the MassBook Awards. She is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at GrubStreet, Harvard Extension School, and Boston University, among others. She resides in Boston.

Crystal's book list on novels about food

Crystal King Why did Crystal love this book?

In the third novel of Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart, a man named Florent, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, escapes to Paris and becomes a fish inspector at the Les Halles market. Food and politics collide in the heart of the market, giving the reader some of the most vivid and delicious descriptions you’ll ever find on the page.

By Emile Zola, Brian Nelson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Belly of Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Respectable people... What bastards!'

Unjustly deported to Devil's Island following Louis-Napoleon's coup-d'etat in December 1851, Florent Quenu escapes and returns to Paris. He finds the city changed beyond recognition. The old Marche des Innocents has been knocked down as part of Haussmann's grand programme of urban reconstruction to make way for Les Halles, the spectacular new food markets. Disgusted by a bourgeois society whose devotion to food is inseparable from its devotion to the Government, Florent
attempts an insurrection. Les Halles, apocalyptic and destructive, play an active role in Zola's picture of a world in which food and the injustice…


Book cover of Second Harvest

Stephen Clarke Author Of The Spy Who Inspired Me

From my list on why the French deny their own history.

Who am I?

I have lived almost all my adult life in France, and have spent that whole time wondering what makes the French so French. One of the answers is their attitude to their own history. The French have got a lot of upheaval to process: at least five revolutions since 1789, and two World Wars fought on their soil, including a Nazi occupation that they still haven’t digested. I didn’t start writing about the French until I’d been living in France for about 10 years – I didn’t want to write like a tourist, and it took me that long to unweave the first strands of their DNA. I’ve never stopped writing about them since, half a dozen Merde novels and as many non-fiction books later.

Stephen's book list on why the French deny their own history

Stephen Clarke Why did Stephen love this book?

A bit of a cheat, this one. It’s probably my favourite French novel, precisely because it is timeless and seems to ignore everything about French history. I don’t think there’s one mention or symptom of the Revolution, no scar of the First World War, no French over-intellectualizing. It’s just nature and humankind going head-to-head in a brutally realistic, but starkly beautiful, Provençal landscape. By the way, I don’t like the English title – Regain means regrowth, the first signs of recovery. Personally, I’d prefer a title like Signs of Life. And this novel is all about a tiny hamlet in southern France that is on the verge of death. Only one man of working age remains amongst the ruined houses; the fields are fallow; there are no women. Then a tinker comes through, dragging his unwilling, abused femme with him. She catches the lone male peasant’s eye, cosmic chemistry occurs,…

By Geoffrey Myers, Jean Giono, Louis William Graux , Henri Fluchere

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Aubignane is a village in Provence; or, rather, it was, for it has long been dying. The only inhabitants remaining are the old blacksmith, the well-digger s widow and Panturle, the hunter. Now the blacksmith and the widow abandon the village, the latter promising she will find Panturle a wife. He is not made for solitude and gradually he becomes morose almost to the point of madness. Then a woman comes to the village as if by some supernatural path. She is all it takes for Panturle to start digging the land again and planting wheat, a second harvest. The…


Book cover of The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry: Unravelling the Norman Conquest

Andrew Varga Author Of The Last Saxon King: A Jump in Time Novel

From my list on detailed, fun, and easy to read Anglo-Saxon history.

Who am I?

I’ve been a lifelong student of history. Even as a child I would devour history books or watch documentaries on TV telling tales of past wars of heroic battles. This passion eventually turned into a degree in History from the University of Toronto. I have also visited countless museums, castles, ruins, and historic sites throughout Europe and North America. My particular interest in Anglo-Saxon history came during my university years when I took some Old English language courses. Poems like the Battle of Maldon and Beowulf were my gateway to the rich tapestry of lives and events that made up the Anglo-Saxon era.

Andrew's book list on detailed, fun, and easy to read Anglo-Saxon history

Andrew Varga Why did Andrew love this book?

This book provides a fantastic, in-depth study of the Bayeux Tapestry—the most detailed of all the sources for the Battle of Hastings—the battle that ended the Anglo-Saxon age.

What makes the book stand out is its panel-by-panel description of the tapestry, providing insight into the characters and places that are depicted, as well as the little oddities that occur in the borders of the tapestry.

However, the authors don’t just want you to believe their interpretation. They are quick to identify alternate explanations for ambiguous scenes, and clearly state that while some academics may prefer one view over another, no one really has the true answer, leaving the reader to form their own opinion.

Truly, this is the best book I’ve read about the Bayeux Tapestry.

By David Musgrove, Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Political intrigue and treachery, heroism and brutal violence, victory and defeat - all this is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, an epic account of one of the pivotal episodes in English history embroidered on a strip of linen. Famously, it shows the stricken Anglo-Saxon king Harold dying on the battlefield of Hastings in 1066 amid a shower of arrows, as axes clash, spears fly and fallen warriors are trampled beneath charging hooves.

However, there is much more to this remarkable historical and artistic treasure, which tells its tale with an intensity and immediacy that speak to our modern world, almost…


Book cover of The Anglo-Saxon World

Tom Licence Author Of Edward the Confessor: Last of the Royal Blood

From my list on Anglo-Saxon England.

Who am I?

Tom Licence is Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia and a former Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He teaches Anglo-Saxon History to undergraduates and postgraduates.

Tom's book list on Anglo-Saxon England

Tom Licence Why did Tom love this book?

The Anglo-Saxon World is the best introductory survey for students of Anglo-Saxon history. Experts in their field, the authors flesh out the traditional narrative account with insights from archaeology, numismatics, and DNA analysis. The book is splendidly enriched by almost three hundred colour photographs, tables, maps, and diagrams, while box-out sections in each chapter delve into interesting topics or debates. The authors also outline the historiography for readers who want to know how scholarly understanding of the period has developed.

By Nicholas J. Higham, M.J. Ryan, Nicholas J. Higham

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Anglo-Saxon World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Anglo-Saxon period, stretching from the fifth to the late eleventh century, begins with the Roman retreat from the Western world and ends with the Norman takeover of England. Between these epochal events, many of the contours and patterns of English life that would endure for the next millennium were shaped. In this authoritative work, N. J. Higham and M. J. Ryan reexamine Anglo-Saxon England in the light of new research in disciplines as wide ranging as historical genetics, paleobotany, archaeology, literary studies, art history, and numismatics. The result is the definitive introduction to the Anglo-Saxon world, enhanced with a…


Book cover of The Lady and the Unicorn

Madina Papadopoulos Author Of The Step-Spinsters

From my list on transporting you to medieval life.

Who am I?

Madina Papadopoulos is a New Orleans-born, New York-based freelance writer and author. She is currently working on the sequel to The Step-Spinsters, the first in the Unspun Fairytale series, which retells classic princess stories set in the late Middle Ages. She studied French and Italian at Tulane University and received her MFA in screenwriting at UCLA. After teaching foreign languages at the university level, as well as in childhood and elementary school programs, she developed and illustrated foreign language coloring workbooks for preschoolers. As a freelance writer, she focuses on food, drinks, and entertainment.

Madina's book list on transporting you to medieval life

Madina Papadopoulos Why did Madina love this book?

Tracy Chevalier once again manages to transport readers into iconic works of art, bringing the story of famed images to life, and exploring the personality of every hand that took to create it. Set in 1490, this book invents a tale behind the creation of “The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries.” It has everything an engrossing read should have—romance, ambition, betrayal. But for the medieval aficionado, Chevalier’s incredible research on the creation of a tapestry—from designing the cartoon, to sheering the sheep’s wool to the dying it, to the weaving and the warping—is described as a master class that leaves the reader wanting to pick up a loom. 

By Tracy Chevalier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lady and the Unicorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A tour de force of history and imagination, The Lady and the Unicorn is Tracy Chevalier’s answer to the mystery behind one of the art world’s great masterpieces—a set of bewitching medieval tapestries that hangs today in the Cluny Museum in Paris. They appear to portray the seduction of a unicorn, but the story behind their making is unknown—until now.

Paris, 1490.  A shrewd French nobleman commissions six lavish tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. He hires the charismatic, arrogant, sublimely talented Nicolas des Innocents to design them. Nicolas creates havoc among the women in the house—mother and daughter,…


Book cover of Just One Thing

Cheryel Hutton Author Of The Ugly Truth

From my list on getting you lost in small town life.

Who am I?

I was raised in a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it town in southeast Tennessee. I was embarrassed by where I came from for a long time, and worked on getting rid of my tell-tale accent. Then, as the years went on,  I figured out who I am as a person was shaped by being a small-town Southern girl. So I embraced my Southerness. When I started writing fiction, it never occurred to me to set my books anywhere but small towns, and every one of them is. I’m fact, with the exception of one, all my books are set in Tennessee. At this point, I can't imagine not writing small-town stories.

Cheryel's book list on getting you lost in small town life

Cheryel Hutton Why did Cheryel love this book?

This book took me on a journey that was both heart-wrenching and heart-warming.

Once I started reading, I was hooked. This romance is not what I expected. Both the heroine and hero had faced tragedy, and the book took me back in time as they remembered the things that completely changed the course of their lives.

By each asking the other just one thing at a time, the story took shape. Slowly, painfully, together they took the road forward and found comfort in each other. As comfort turned into love it was a gift neither ever expected. This small-town novel is absolutely unforgettable.

By Holly Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Sometimes, you find yourself inadvertently in the dark. But I'd discovered that if you stopped fighting against it and just stood still, sometimes something marvelous comes along."

Artist Lexie McCain spends her days literally weaving the story of her life into a gorgeous tapestry. But on Monday nights, she walks to the Corner Bar, drinks a Killian's, and answers the same question every week from Sam the bartender: "One thing?" She starts with her name, then her cottage, slowly moving on to the devastating tragedies that tore her life apart.

Sam Corner's smile doesn't seem to hide any pain. One…


Book cover of Master of Poisons

Jess Barber Author Of Reckoning 2

From my list on climate disaster.

Who am I?

I'm a speculative fiction writer who often works within the genre of "climate fiction." I grew up in southern Appalachia; my hometown is a lovely place, surrounded by the beauty and wildness of the Smoky Mountains. It also happens to be centered around a chemical company where a large portion of the town works, including my father and, for a brief time, myself. I've been fascinated with the dichotomy of nature and industry for a long time, and have spent years exploring these themes in my own work.

Jess' book list on climate disaster

Jess Barber Why did Jess love this book?

My favorite fantasy books are always ones that use the lens of genre to help us better understand the world we live in, and Master of Poisons accomplishes this with bells on. An epic fantasy set in a world where climate disaster looms, Master of Poisons draws from Hairston's extensive research and experience in West African, African-American, and Indigenous cultures to weave a rich narrative tapestry that casts an unflinching eye on sources of evil and cruelty, while still always finding a way to offer hope.

By Andrea Hairston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“This is a prayer hymn, a battle cry, a love song, a legendary call and response bonfire talisman tale. This is medicine for a broken world." —Daniel José Older

Named a Best of 2020 Pick for Kirkus Review's Best Books of 2020

Award-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons

The world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic…


Book cover of Tigana

Lena Gibson Author Of Switching Tracks: Out of the Trash

From my list on books that combine love, action, and speculative elements.

Who am I?

I’ve always been an avid reader and loved different genres from the beginning. I started out reading historical fiction as a child, including the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, and Where the Red Fern Grows. I soon discovered that science fiction and fantasy did the same thing, transporting me to different words and places instead of times. Many of my favorite books have elements of these as well as action, tension, thrills, and romance. These things transcend genre, and by reading books that combine genres, I find some of the most interesting and original stories. 

Lena's book list on books that combine love, action, and speculative elements

Lena Gibson Why did Lena love this book?

Tigana might be my favorite book of all time, any genre, which says a lot.

Every time I read it, I am blown away by the perfection of the story and characters and the intricate story of love, hate, rebellion, magic, and politics. I have read it at least a dozen times since I first discovered it, and every time, I find something new or rediscover something I’d forgotten that makes this book wonderful.

It has the structure of a fantasy story and quest for redemption but is also a story of family, friendship, trust, loyalty, and love. It could be any empire and conquest in history. Imagine how devastating it would be to have the name of your country erased from time and memory. 

By Guy Gavriel Kay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With this rich, masterfully written extravaganza of myth and magic, the internationally acclaimed author of THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY trilogy has created an epic that will forever change the boundaries of fantasy fiction.

Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the tyrant King Brandin that even the very name of their once beautiful land cannot be spoken or remembered.

But not everyone has forgotten. A handful of men and women, driven by love, hope and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in France, Paris, and World War 1?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about France, Paris, and World War 1.

France Explore 857 books about France
Paris Explore 340 books about Paris
World War 1 Explore 857 books about World War 1