100 books like A Week in the Life of Rome

By James L. Papandrea,

Here are 100 books that A Week in the Life of Rome fans have personally recommended if you like A Week in the Life of Rome. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Three Musketeers

Amelia Vergara Author Of Firefax

From my list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a physician assistant and paramedic with ten brothers and sisters, an all-consuming love of the outdoors and adventure, and a fascination with history, particularly early US history. I love reading and writing the kind of books that I would like to read. My debut novel, Firefax, was written in large part as an escape from the horrors of serving in the hospital as a physician assistant during the delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope it provides my readers with an escape from their own struggles as well. 

Amelia's book list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure

Amelia Vergara Why did Amelia love this book?

The action in this book just keeps pumping.

Each of the heroes is a deep, fully realized person, plagued with flaws, some of them almost unforgiveable. Each character must face their own demons in this fast-paced, mysterious adventure. This book has espionage, swordplay, constant danger, friendship, even romance, everything you could wish for.

It is a swashbuckling tale following the impetuous and brave-to-a-fault D’Artagnan as he grows from an idealistic boy to a man, chasing his calling to fight among the hallowed ranks of the King’s musketeers. 

By Alexandre Dumas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"We read The Three Musketeers to experience a sense of romance and for the sheer excitement of the story," reflected Clifton Fadiman. "In these violent pages all is action, intrigue, suspense, surprise--an almost endless chain of duels, murders, love affairs, unmaskings, ambushes, hairbreadth escapes, wild rides. It is all impossible and it is all magnificent."

First published in 1844, Alexandre Dumas's swashbuckling epic chronicles the adventures of D'Artagnan, a gallant young nobleman who journeys to Paris in 1625 hoping to join the ranks of musketeers guarding Louis XIII. He soon finds himself fighting alongside three heroic comrades--Athos, Porthos, and Aramis--who…


Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

John R. Dougherty Author Of Holy Terror

From my list on Christian action books allegorical references.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have felt a spiritual call in my life from as early as I can remember having memories as a young child. Being a life-long Christian has always drawn me to try to see God in everything around me, from people I encounter, to creation itself, to songs, to movies, etc. So, reading books which contain Christian allegory – symbols, meanings, underlying Biblical references – is very exciting for me. I enjoy trying to decipher that symbolism and try to understand the undertones that the book’s author is trying to communicate indirectly. I find that to be a personal challenge as I read, but also I find it very inspiring as well!

John's book list on Christian action books allegorical references

John R. Dougherty Why did John love this book?

Honestly, I love any book written by C.S. Lewis, but this is probably the first book of his I remember ever reading–and I have read it many times throughout my life. It’s a great story, as part of the 6-book series from Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia collection, with all kinds of Christian symbolism buried throughout the storyline.

And even without considering the Christian references, it is simply storytelling at its best. I never get tired of reading this book (nor the entire collection), and the movie recreations from the mid-to-late 2000s do a good job of bringing the books to life on the big screen.

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

30 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country's creatures are ever going to be free again...


Book cover of Father Elijah: An Apocalypse

Carlo Kennedy Author Of Time Signature

From my list on fiction with a Christian worldview.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an Irish-Italian-American, I’ve got a lifetime of cultural and family traditions to bring to the table, and I want that in the books I read. I love books that celebrate the beauty of life, love, family, and creation. A novel can open up the world, and uplift the reader, adding joy to life – that’s what I’m looking for when I read, and I imagine others, too, want uplifting stories. That doesn’t mean preachy or sanctimonious – stories should be about real imperfect people who sometimes fall short of the ideal – but I definitely want stories that take place in a universe where God, and right and wrong, exist. 

Carlo's book list on fiction with a Christian worldview

Carlo Kennedy Why did Carlo love this book?

In this book, the author speculates about the events that could give rise to the anti-Christ, and a few brave souls who might try to stop his rise to power.

But this is not your grandfather’s end-times fiction. It’s deeply entrenched in actual events of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, and the story is eminently plausible.

It’s not about world wars or secret underground Christian armies – it’s about how pride is conquered by humility, how the biggest things the devil can throw at us are defeated by the holiness of unknown saints.

This is the real deal. You will not want to put it down!

By Michael O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Michael O'Brien presents a thrilling apocalyptic novel about the condition of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of time. It explores the state of the modern world, and the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary religious scene, by taking his central character, Father Elijah Schafer, a Carmelite priest, on a secret mission for the Vatican which embroils him in a series of crises and subterfuges affecting the ultimate destiny of the Church.

Father Elijah is a convert from Judaism, a survivor of the Holocaust, a man once powerful in Israel. For twenty years he has been "buried in the…


Book cover of The Fragment

Carlo Kennedy Author Of Time Signature

From my list on fiction with a Christian worldview.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an Irish-Italian-American, I’ve got a lifetime of cultural and family traditions to bring to the table, and I want that in the books I read. I love books that celebrate the beauty of life, love, family, and creation. A novel can open up the world, and uplift the reader, adding joy to life – that’s what I’m looking for when I read, and I imagine others, too, want uplifting stories. That doesn’t mean preachy or sanctimonious – stories should be about real imperfect people who sometimes fall short of the ideal – but I definitely want stories that take place in a universe where God, and right and wrong, exist. 

Carlo's book list on fiction with a Christian worldview

Carlo Kennedy Why did Carlo love this book?

This book is a masterful mix of mystery and the miraculous!

Set in Paris, in the early twentieth century, the author will take you on a wild ride, something like a cross between Indiana Jones and National Treasure – and it’s not a long book, so it’s a great way to introduce yourself to this prolific author.

If you’ve never heard of Davis Bunn, he’s more famous than you would guess, and a best-selling author. Do yourself a favor, and introduce yourself to his work.

By Davis Bunn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paris, 1923: a young American photographer, Muriel Ross, finds herself documenting antiques that US Senator Tom Bryan has travelled to France to acquire. At first revelling in the freedom Paris affords, events take a dangerous turn when Muriel intuits that Senator Bryan is on a mission far more momentous, and potentially deadly, than a mere shopping trip.

Asked to photograph an astonishing artefact - a piece of the True Cross on which, legend has it, Christ was crucified - Muriel is deeply moved. When rumours surface that a second fragment has been unearthed in Constantinople, she becomes enmeshed in a…


Book cover of Let the Emperor Speak

Jim Carr Author Of Yesterdays

From my list on wars over the ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history and languages from the first time my school classes opened my eyes to them and it has stayed with me ever since. Learning Latin helped me to understand how these people talked and how they thought and expressed themselves. It didn’t matter what, whether the daily lives of Romans and how they built their empire. It has coloured my thinking, and helped me in writing all my books that take place during the past, whether in Roman life or medieval warfare.

Jim's book list on wars over the ages

Jim Carr Why did Jim love this book?

And speak Caesar Augustus does with a number of prominent figures, including Cleopatra, Mark Anthony, Tiberius, Cicero, and even Virgil. His comments and asides let us know what he really thinks of them. He lets you know that the war with Pompey is a distraction and a bore. His comments are blunt and reveal a strong, wily individual completely in control of the Latin empire, and written in a way that, at times, you forget you’re not reading a history book but fiction.

It was comments like this regarding his meeting with Cleopatra that make the book rewarding: 

“I felt her power, her quite remarkable seductiveness. It was like listening to the deepest, most desirable temptation; it held promises of bliss and power. I understood how Anthony had found himself caught like a beast in a net. I looked away…”

By Allan Massie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let the Emperor Speak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Let the Emperor Speak


Book cover of Rome's Revolution: Death of the Republic and Birth of the Empire

David M. Gwynn Author Of The Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction

From my list on the fall of the Roman Republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born and raised in New Zealand I got hooked on history as a child and began university life as an ancient and medieval double major studying everything from the classical Greeks and Romans to Charlemagne and the Crusades. By the time I came to Oxford to write my PhD, I had decided that my greatest interest lay in the dramatic transformation which saw classical antiquity evolve into medieval Christendom. I've been fortunate enough to write and teach many different aspects of that transformation, from the Roman Republic to early Christianity and the Goths, and I'm currently Associate Professor in Ancient and Late Antique History at Royal Holloway, in the University of London. 

David's book list on the fall of the Roman Republic

David M. Gwynn Why did David love this book?

The title of this book, written by one of my colleagues at Royal Holloway, recalls the classic work of Ronald Syme, whose The Roman Revolution appeared in 1939 against the backdrop of the rise of Nazi Germany. Alston narrates in detail the crucial period from Caesar’s murder on the Ides of March 44 BC through to the death of the first emperor Augustus (Caesar’s adopted son) more than half a century later. This was the time of Brutus, Antony, and Cleopatra which so appealed to Shakespeare, and Alston disentangles skillfully the complex political and military events and demonstrates the achievement of Augustus who claimed to restore the Republic while establishing the Empire which ruled the Mediterranean world for the next 400 years.

By Richard Alston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rome's Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Novelized, televised, and endlessly scrutinized by scholars, the fall of the Roman Republic marks one of history's great turning points. Historians have studied the descent of the Republic into civil war as a great political tragedy, a warning from the past about the unsustainability of empires; political scientists have labeled it a parable about militarism, populism, moral decay, or the inevitable corruption of political systems. Yet the familiar story of the Roman
Republic's downfall continues to be the story of its elites. What if we started thinking about Roman politics not from the perspectives of Caesar and Cicero, but from…


Book cover of The Light Bearer

Athena Author Of Murder of Crows: Book One of the Pillars of Dawn

From my list on when destiny calls, and love answers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for the topic because it’s so unlimited. We’re all called to destiny inner/outer in so many ways. We see a lot of stories about those calls being massive adventures with global impact—but sometimes the small stories, those inner calls with inner love answers are just as epic, just as magnificent. Love of family, community, country, lovers, nature… truly, it can be anything. These are just a few books off the older shelves to illustrate the many ways love answers the call. My challenge is to go back and re-read them with this list in mind. Re-visit books from a decade ago, reframe the story with love.

Athena's book list on when destiny calls, and love answers

Athena Why did Athena love this book?

I never miss an opportunity to recommend this book for its broad scope and human courage.

It’s such an immersive and very human story full of adventure, challenge, will, and passion. Auriane is brought to such exquisite life as a woman born to a destiny meant to free the people she loves.

This book lands on my list for a call to destiny answered by love because Auriane’s life is an example of how we can’t see ourselves, or how we often don’t know where to fit, whom to challenge, and where to connect—but we find our way by being relentlessly devoted to doing what feels right to us, guided by that internal flame until we unite with the force that gives us a purpose, place, meaning.

Often, if not always, that destiny is deeply anchored in love. 

For Auriane, that love is her tribe, and her community, family, friends,…

By Donna Gillespie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Auriane, daughter of a Rhine River area chieftain in 50 A.D., must face her difficult destiny and lead her people against the invading legions of the Roman Empire


Book cover of Augustus

Catharine Edwards Author Of Lives of the Caesars

From my list on Roman emperors behaving badly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the ancient Romans and particularly by the ways they wrote about themselves. A Professor of Ancient History at Birkbeck, University of London since 2005, I regularly take part in BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, discussing topics such as Roman decadence. Later generations look back on ancient Rome as mired in luxury and sexual misbehaviour—but that’s because the Romans themselves were constantly accusing one another of terrible vices. What can these claims tell us about Roman society? That’s a question that I’ve often returned to in many years of university teaching—and writing books, such as The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome.  

Catharine's book list on Roman emperors behaving badly

Catharine Edwards Why did Catharine love this book?

This enthralling evocation of the long life of Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, uses fictional letters and other invented documents to tell his story, from the point when, as a teenager, he found himself the heir of the assassinated dictator Julius Caesar, to his final days as sole ruler of a vast empire. Emerging as victor from a protracted civil war, Augustus managed to impose a degree of stability across the Roman world, though at a cost. Could the bloodthirsty youth have really turned into the modest statesman? His contemporaries found him hard to read. Williams charts with subtlety and insight the phases in Augustus’ self-reinvention, shining a particular spotlight on his fraught relationship with Julia, his daughter, whom he found himself obliged to send into exile, as a conspicuous offender against his flagship legislation on adultery.

By John Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the author of Stoner, the surprise international bestseller

After the brutal murder of his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, Octavian, a shy and scholarly youth of nineteen, suddenly finds himself heir to the vast power of Rome. He is destined, despite vicious power struggles, bloody wars and family strife, to transform his realm and become the greatest ruler the western world had ever seen: Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor.

Building on impeccable research, John Williams brings the legendary figure of Augustus vividly to life, and invests his characters with such profound humanity that we enter completely into the heat and…


Book cover of Cleopatra and Rome

Prudence J. Jones Author Of Cleopatra: A Sourcebook

From my list on Cleopatra for non-academics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by Cleopatra ever since I learned that she used science to outwit one of Rome's most powerful men by inventing the world's most expensive cocktail (a pearl disintegrated in vinegar). As a professor of Classics at Montclair State University, I have the opportunity to study ancient historical and literary texts about Cleopatra, as well as monuments, inscriptions, and papyri. I use these primary sources in teaching an advanced ancient history course on Cleopatra to undergraduate students.

Prudence's book list on Cleopatra for non-academics

Prudence J. Jones Why did Prudence love this book?

Kleiner's Cleopatra and Rome is an essential Cleopatra book for art lovers.

It combines Cleopatra's story with an excellent introduction to the art history of the ancient Mediterranean world. One of the most interesting aspects of Kleiner's work is the effect she describes Cleopatra having on her Roman conqueror.

Although Augustus presented Cleopatra as a dangerous enemy of Rome, the iconography he used to present his family as a kind of "first family" for Rome borrowed from the visual language Cleopatra created to communicate with her Egyptian subjects.

By Diana E. E. Kleiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the full panorama of her life forever lost, Cleopatra touches us in a series of sensational images: floating through a perfumed mist down the Nile; dressed as Venus for a tryst at Tarsus; unfurled from a roll of linens before Caesar; couchant, the deadly asp clasped to her breast. Through such images, each immortalizing the Egyptian queen's encounters with legendary Romans--Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Octavian Augustus--we might also chart her rendezvous with the destiny of Rome. So Diana Kleiner shows us in this provocative book, which opens an entirely new perspective on one of the most intriguing women…


Book cover of The Love-Artist

Jesse Browner Author Of The Uncertain Hour: A Novel

From my list on historical novels of the ancient world.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you want to learn about historical societies and events, read history books. But if you want to understand your own world, and how it has emerged from and been shaped by the eternal, unchanging human psyche, intellect and fragility, read historical fiction. A great historical novel should always be first and foremost about the time in which it is written. That is what first drew me to the story of Petronius in The Uncertain Hour – if it doesn’t have a human heart, no amount of technical historical detail will kindle it in the reader’s imagination.

Jesse's book list on historical novels of the ancient world

Jesse Browner Why did Jesse love this book?

The Roman poet Ovid was one of the most popular writers of his day, but the defining tragedy of his life – his lifelong exile from Rome at the very height of his powers – remains as mysterious today as it was in his own time. In The Love-Artist, Jane Alison provides that tragedy with a back story, when Ovid, on holiday on the shores of the Black Sea, meets and is enchanted by the witch-like Xenia and persuades her to return with him to Rome, with dire consequences. But it’s the book’s dream-like atmosphere – the sense that we are seeing the world through the eyes of a great poet with one foot in the ambitious world of empire and the other in an unstable netherworld of imagination and mythology – that will remain with the reader.

By Jane Alison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A darkly brilliant first novel imagines a missing chapter in the life of Ovid. Why was Ovid, the most popular author of his day, banished to the edges of the Roman Empire? Why do only two lines survive of his play Medea, reputedly his most passionate work, and perhaps his most accomplished? Between the known details of the poets life and these enigmas, Jane Alison has interpolated a haunting drama of passion and psychological manipulation. On holiday in the Black Sea, on the fringes of the Empire, Ovid encounters an almost otherworldly woman who seems to embody the fictitious creations…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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