10 books like 1919

By John Dos Passos,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like 1919. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Madame Fourcade's Secret War

By Lynne Olson,

Book cover of Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler

On finishing my book, I wanted to write a companion novel, based this time in Paris. My inspiration for the lead character in that book was Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, an extraordinary woman who led the Alliance network in France, operating on behalf of SIS, as MI6 was then known. Her handler Sir Kenneth Cohen described her as the ‘textbook beautiful spy,’ but her intelligence and courage marked her out even more. Marie-Madeleine lived a life on the run, operating under the radar via a string of false identities, and even escaping imprisonment. Lynne Olsen’s riveting account tells the story of Marie-Madeleine’s terrifying existence in Nazi-occupied France, and of a heartbreaking love affair. 

Madame Fourcade's Secret War

By Lynne Olson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Madame Fourcade's Secret War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The little-known true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the bestselling author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island

“Brava to Lynne Olson for a biography that should challenge any outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero.”—The Washington Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE WASHINGTON POST 

In 1941 a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, became the leader of a…


Master & Commander

By Patrick O'Brian,

Book cover of Master & Commander

This is the first of the 21 Aubrey/Maturin novels about the British side in the Napoleonic Wars. Read one and you’re hooked for the duration! O’Brian recreates an accurate and nuanced immersion into the age of sail and the British Navy. His characters are rich and complex with foibles and flaws, yet rise to the circumstances of their lives. His research is impeccable and exhaustive. One feels they are on the oak deck next to the crew.
The movie of the same title is far more truncated than the novel, but still a wonder in its beautifully rendered scenes.

The casual brutality, foreign intrigues, and vivid battle scenes leave the reader with racing heart and the hint of salt air in their nose. This series is a true treasure.

Master & Commander

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Master & Commander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.


Time and Again

By Jack Finney,

Book cover of Time and Again

Being a romantic I loved Time and Again (as well as the movie) for the story’s construction. I appreciate verisimilitude in historical novels and Finney has done his homework. Having briefly visited New York City twice, I do not know it personally. 

Finney makes it breathe in 1882 with fascinating detail that never bores, and by using photographs. I thought the novel was perfect, and it stuck in my head as much for production/construction values as well as the story. When I first researched Treadwell at the Alaska Historical Library in Juneau I came across dozens of photographs, and the form for the novel coalesced in my head.

In retrospect I realize the novels I loved taught me about the architecture of story as well as entertaining me.

Time and Again

By Jack Finney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Time and Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Si Morley is bored with his job as a commercial illustrator and his social life doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So, when he is approached by an affable ex-football star and told that he is just what the government is looking for to take part in a top-secret programme, he doesn't hesitate for too long. And so one day Si steps out of his twentieth-century, New York apartment and finds himself back in January 1882. There are no cars, no planes, no computers, no television and the word 'nuclear' appears in no dictionaries. For Si, it's very like Eden,…


Dead Wake

By Erik Larson,

Book cover of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Dead Wake is fact that reads like fiction. Not often do I choose a book already knowing how it ends. His artistic rendering of the world in 1915 is alone worth the read. He introduces us to the passengers of the SS Lusitania, who they are, why they are on the ship, and he makes us care.

Larson limns Captains Turner of the Lusitania, and Schweiger of the U-20, the Imperial German submarine. The author carefully choreographs the final voyage of the doomed ship. The sinking is not the end of the story. 

The last third of the book is devoted to what happened after the torpedo hit. Captain Turner survives the attack as well as many of the passengers. This is a beautifully researched, but heartrending read. 

Dead Wake

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Dead Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover,…


Field Gray

By Philip Kerr,

Book cover of Field Gray: A Bernie Gunther Novel

Eventually, my travels to understand and write about the times in which I had been born took me to the Auschwitz concentration camp near Krakow, then to its source in Berlin and some excellent walking tours into the heart of its lights and shadows – which is much of the world of Philip Kerr’s fictional Bernie Gunther. A 1930s Berlin detective, Bernie must navigate the attempt to maintain a humanity that is both moral and faulted in a time of brutality and absurdity over the course of fifteen novels that will puzzle through the human dilemma of World War II Europe. Field Gray, which ranges from the Spanish Flu epidemic of World War I to the corruption of 1950s Cuba is perhaps the most comprehensive of the series.

Field Gray

By Philip Kerr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'One of the greatest anti-heroes ever written' LEE CHILD

'A man doesn't work for his enemies unless he has little choice in the matter.'

So says Bernie Gunther. It is 1954 and Bernie is in Cuba. Tiring of his increasingly dangerous work spying on Meyer Lansky, Bernie acquires a boat and a beautiful companion and quits the island. But the US Navy has other ideas, and soon he finds himself in a place with which he is all too familiar - a prison cell. After exhaustive questioning, he is flown back to Berlin and yet another prison cell with a…


A Hero of France

By Alan Furst,

Book cover of A Hero of France

Je suis las,” is the first human utterance of A Hero of France. “I am tired of the way I have to live my life.” In the lights and shadows of Alan Furst’s Europe at war the challenges are almost elegant in their quiet persistence, and their demands for endurance through the endless nights of the European underground. Occupied France is often the transit point through the center of it all. Paris is the delicate city of hard dangers and the closed doors upon, or hidden stairways to, the French Resistance. Mathieu, without a surname, is the leader of one of its cells of ordinary men and women who love their country and its magnificent, brutalized city. Like my friend Alan Seeger, he becomes A Hero of France.

A Hero of France

By Alan Furst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling master espionage writer, hailed by Vince Flynn as “the best in the business,” comes a riveting novel about the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.

1941. The City of Light is dark and silent at night. But in Paris and in the farmhouses, barns, and churches of the French countryside, small groups of ordinary men and women are determined to take down the occupying forces of Adolf Hitler. Mathieu, a leader of the French Resistance, leads one such cell, helping downed British airmen escape back to England.
 
Alan Furst’s suspenseful, fast-paced thriller captures this dangerous time as no…


The Mathews Men

By William Geroux,

Book cover of The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-Boats

As I was finishing Dutch Children, my own DNA began pointing to the watermen, boatbuilders, and seafarers of Middlesex and Mathews counties, Virginia, on the Chesapeake Bay. The Mathews Men took me deep within a story of the war that I had not much known and which would soon turn personal. These were the Merchant Mariners who carried the people and supplies of war through treacherous seas of German submarines, and lost beneath the waves the highest percentage of members of all military branches. Geroux’s fine telling of the lives of these men and their families prepared me for the eventual discovery that my mystery father had been one of them, raised in Middlesex County, a survivor of the war who had sailed everywhere in the world, though I would never meet him.

The Mathews Men

By William Geroux,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Vividly drawn and emotionally gripping."
-Daniel James Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat

From the author of The Ghost Ships of Archangel, one of the last unheralded heroic stories of World War II: the U-boat assault off the American coast against the men of the U.S. Merchant Marine who were supplying the European war, and one community's monumental contribution to that effort

Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except unspoiled scenery-but it sent an unusually large concentration of sea captains to fight in World…


Quicksilver

By Neal Stephenson,

Book cover of Quicksilver: Volume One of the Baroque Cycle

Quicksilver, Volume One of the Baroque Cycle is an amazing novel and not for those who like quick reads. At nearly 1,000 erudite pages it depicts the lives and confusions of natural philosophers between the years 1660 and 1713 at the dawn of the scientific revolution. Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, King Charles II, and many others fill the pages with wit, history, avarice, sex, political duplicity, religious prejudice, and wars that seem to pop up by whim. 

The sheer volume of historical research evident in Quicksilver eclipses all other works of the genre. The number of “throw away” lines that reveal deeper research and add but a thought or two to the current narrative is awesome. This is rapture for a bibliophile. Mr. Stephenson is a genius.

Quicksilver

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.

It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe -- London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds -- risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox.

And it is the tale of Eliza, rescued by Jack…


Theodore Roosevelt

By Kathleen Dalton,

Book cover of Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life

This is easily the best single-volume account of Roosevelt’s life. Dalton writes with an understated verve and an attention to detail that will pull along even biography-averse readers. While Morris’s trilogy is still the definitive account, Dalton’s is more persuasive, as she is more willing to cast a skeptical eye on Roosevelt’s excesses and shortcomings.

Theodore Roosevelt

By Kathleen Dalton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He inherited a sense of entitlement (and obligation) from his family, yet eventually came to see his own class as suspect. He was famously militaristic, yet brokered peace between Russia and Japan. He started out an archconservative, yet came to champion progressive causes. These contradictions are not evidence of vacillating weakness: instead, they were the product of a restless mind bend on a continuous quest for self-improvement.

In Theodore Roosevelt, historian Kathleen Dalton reveals a man with a personal and intellectual depth rarely seen in our public figures. She shows how Roosevelt’s struggle to overcome his frailties as a child…


The Illusion Of Victory

By Thomas Fleming,

Book cover of The Illusion Of Victory: America In World War I

The late historian, Thomas Fleming, was a friend. It was an article he wrote for American Heritage magazine in 1968, “Two Argonnes,” about his father, a lieutenant in the 78th Division, that inspired me to write my first World War I book centered on my great uncle as the main character, Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York’s Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line. The author of 19 books, The Illusion of Victory, his last book, Fleming paints a different picture of America’s role in the war, showing how President Wilson and our country were “duped” by Great Britain and France to enter the war, thinking the war was almost won. He not only writes about the Western Front, but goes into detail about the home front. After reading his book, you’ll get a different perspective on World War I. In 2020, to honor one of…

The Illusion Of Victory

By Thomas Fleming,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this sweeping historical canvas, Thomas Fleming undertakes nothing less than a drastic revision of our experience in World War I. He reveals how the British and French duped Wilson into thinking the war was as good as won, and there would be no need to send an army overseas. He describes a harried president making speech after speech proclaiming America's ideals while supporting espionage and sedition acts that sent critics to federal prisons. And he gives a harrowing account of how the Allies did their utmost to turn the American Expeditionary Force into cannon fodder on the Western Front.Thoroughly…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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