10 books like Arundel

By Kenneth Roberts,

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

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The Winds Of War

By Herman Wouk,

Book cover of The Winds Of War

Herman Wouk’s The Winds Of War was published more than half a century ago. That makes it an old book. Not a bad thing, but old books do need to be read with a sensitivity to the times in which they were written. Winds holds up well. The story of the Henry family on the eve of WWII is stunning. A long book by today’s standards but so worth reading. Herman Wouk’s early training in radio can be heard in the attention-grabbing passages of domestic drama—soap opera at its engrossing best. But it’s Wouk’s grasp of history and historical figures that has landed this book on my list. Hitler.  Mussolini. Churchill. And best of all, FDR.

“Behind the warm jolly aristocratic surface, there loomed a grim ill-defined personality of distant visions and hard purpose…” One astonishing sentence on page 655. It doesn’t get any better! 

The Winds Of War

By Herman Wouk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with THE WINDS OF WAR and continues in WAR AND REMEMBRANCE, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers.

Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - the drama, the romance, the heroism and the tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very centre of the maelstrom.

"First-rate storytelling." - New York Times

"Compelling . . . A panoramic, engrossing story." - Atlantic…


I, Claudius

By Robert Graves,

Book cover of I, Claudius

This is the masterclass in the portrayal of the first hundred years or so of the Roman Empire. Graves was a considerable scholar in his own right, providing the translation for the Penguin edition of Suetonius’ “Twelve Caesars”. He was also a poet and novelist, and his picture of the naïve Claudius making his unwitting way to power is probably on most people’s list of all-time great historical novels. What I particularly found striking was just how much work went into running the Roman empire, and one almost has sympathy for Augustus as he tries to mould Roman rule into something that is efficient and fair. The BBC adaptation, in my opinion, did a good job: Sian Phillips as Livia is a complete joy.

I, Claudius

By Robert Graves,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A work of historical fiction which recreates the life and times of Emperor Claudius, who lived from 10 BC to AD 41, a time when poisoning, blasphemy, treachery, incest and unnatural vice were commonplace. From the author of CLAUDIUS THE GOD AND HIS WIFE MESSALINA.


Caleb's Crossing

By Geraldine Brooks,

Book cover of Caleb's Crossing

When Caleb’s Crossing came out I couldn’t wait to read it. Not only was it written by one of my favorite authors, it was inspired by a true story and set in the same place and time period as the novel I was working on. Brooks’ depiction of the love between a Puritan minister’s daughter and the son of a Wampanoag leader is fraught with tension as two very different cultures collide. The novel brings to life the forces driving the conflict through the characters of Bethia and Caleb as they struggle to navigate a perilous time and the looming prospect of war.

Caleb's Crossing

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Caleb's Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bestselling tale of passion and belief, magic and adventure from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha's vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans. At age twelve, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's father is a Calvinist minister who seeks to convert the native Wampanoag, and Caleb becomes a prize in the contest…


Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Book cover of Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel was not a historian. She was not a psychologist. She was an insightful and imaginative novelist who wrote in searing psychobiographical style. With Wolf Hall Mantel gave us an understanding of and sympathy for one of history’s most misunderstood and maligned men – Thomas Cromwell – and in the process she transformed historical fiction. When asked if she believed in an afterlife, Mantel answered. “Yes. I can’t imagine how it might work. However, the universe is not limited by what I can imagine.” And yet, I always believed Hilary Mantel’s imagination was limitless. Read Wolf Hall. I think you’ll agree.

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Wolf Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail

'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…


The Great Meadow

By Elizabeth Madox Roberts, M. E. Bradford,

Book cover of The Great Meadow

The appealing heroine Diony Hall moves with her new husband into the Kentucky wilderness. A beautiful variation on the archetypal plot, “Someone Goes on a Journey,” written in gorgeous prose and featuring many perfectly rendered actual characters such as Thomas Jefferson and Daniel Boone. The story shows determined human nature struggling against hostile nature, the earliest of the great American themes.

The Great Meadow

By Elizabeth Madox Roberts, M. E. Bradford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set at the time of the western migration from Piedmont Virginia to her native Kentucky, Ms. RobertsAIs novel recounts the heroism of the Kentucky pioneer. Roberts was that rare thing, a true artist...She was one of the indispensables.O-Robert Penn Warren. Southern Classics Series.


The Bad Lands

By Oakley Hall,

Book cover of The Bad Lands

Here is the other archetypal plot, the reverse of the first: “A Stranger Comes to Town.” In this case, a protagonist who seems an unlikely but brilliantly persuasive amalgam of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Adams—a bookish Easterner—arrives in the Dakota Territory in 1883 to make a new life for himself after the death of his wife. The new life will feature lynchings, cattle drives, saloons, brothels, and an even harsher wilderness than Diony Hall found in Kentucky. The author’s cinematic Warlock is a western masterpiece. This forgotten title is every bit as good.

The Bad Lands

By Oakley Hall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's 1883 in Johnson County, in the old Dakota Territory a rugged, wide-open landscape of rolling, red earth, prairie, and cattle as far as the eye can see. But the land is closing, the "Beef Bonanza" is ending, and the free-range cattlemen are stuck watching a way of life disappear in a blaze of drought and gunfire. An action-packed western from one of the masters of the genre, Oakley Hall's The Bad Lands blends round-ups and rustlers, whorehouses and land grabs, shoot-outs and the threat of hangings in a tale of the war between the cowboys and the cattle barons.…


The Trees

By Conrad Richter,

Book cover of The Trees

A beautiful first sentence: “They moved along in the bobbing, springy gait of a family that followed the woods as some families follow the sea.” Then a powerful saga of the settlement of the Ohio River Valley at the end of the eighteenth century, the next move west from Kentucky. At once optimistic and anguished, American history as Chekhov might have written it.

The Trees

By Conrad Richter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“They moved along in the bobbing, springy gait of a family that followed the woods as some families follow the sea.” In that first sentence Conrad Richter sets the mood of this magnificent epic of the American wilderness. Toward the close of the eighteenth century the land west of the Alleghenies and north of the Ohio river was an unbroken sea of trees. Beneath them the forest trails were dark, silent, and lonely, brightened only by a few lost beams of sunlight. Here the Lucketts, a wild, woodsfaring family, lived their roaming life, pushing ever westward as the frontier advanced…


To Have and to Hold

By Mary Johnston,

Book cover of To Have and to Hold

Colonial Jamestown, an English soldier turned American explorer, a bought wife who is in fact an escaping ward of King James I—a brutal pursuer, pirates, shipwrecks, Pocahontas’s brother, an Indian attack on Jamestown, poison! The plot is overloaded with incidents, but the details of colonial life are fascinating and Johnston’s perfect mastery of colonial English make this a thrilling adventure, a number one best-seller in 1900. For years it was a standard on school reading lists and was twice made into a film. Hard to find, but worth the effort.

To Have and to Hold

By Mary Johnston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Have and to Hold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dauntless hero will do whatever it takes to win the heart of his bride in Mary Johnston’s bestselling historical adventure set in colonial Jamestown

Captain Percy is the embodiment of bravery. At the suggestion of a friend, he boards a ship to America to stake his claim in the New World—and perhaps even meet the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile, eligible women are setting sail to the very same place on “bride ships” in order to find husbands and forge new lives. Jocelyn Leigh is one such lady. She fled Europe in order to escape an unwanted suitor, but…


Secret History of the American Revolution

By Carl Van Doren,

Book cover of Secret History of the American Revolution: An Account of the Conspiracies of Benedict Arnold and Numerous Others Drawn from the Secret Service Paper

So much of history happens undercover. Few realize that the American Revolution would have failed were it not for the courage of forgotten spies, as well as mysterious, inexplicable behind-the-scenes surprises. In this book, we find specific ‘secrets’ unveiled that made a difference in the fight for independence. Well-researched, it’s an entertaining and informative read. Expect to blink your eyes and smile, and discover the soul of the patriots. 

Secret History of the American Revolution

By Carl Van Doren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secret History of the American Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Van Doren, Carl


Valiant Ambition

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Book cover of Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Nathaniel Philbrick produces what we call “Dad History,” but despite that, I find this book on George Washington and Benedict Arnold’s relationship to be the most exciting out there. You’ll be surprised at how much they had in common, but their differences matter most.

Valiant Ambition

By Nathaniel Philbrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the George Washington Prize

A surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold, from the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and In the Hurricane's Eye.

"May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age-a volume that turns one of America's best-known narratives on its head."-Boston Globe

"Clear and insightful, [Valiant Ambition] consolidates Philbrick's reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction."-Wall Street Journal

In the second book of his…


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