100 books like Border

By Kapka Kassabova,

Here are 100 books that Border fans have personally recommended if you like Border. 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 Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese

Tony Spawforth Author Of What the Greeks Did for Us

From my list on travel in Greece, ancient and modern.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about ancient Greece as a teenager when I studied the ancient languages and history at school. I was also lapping up ancient Greece on film—back then the so-so Burton-Taylor Cleopatra really impressed. I got enthused by historical novels too, Mary Renault’s especially. My first visit to Greece as a university student hooked me on modern Greece as well. Since then, I’ve become a professional academic specialising in ancient Greece and have been lucky enough to develop a lifelong relationship with modern as well as ancient Greeks. I lived in Greece for six years in my twenties, and have gone back repeatedly ever since. I’ve published widely on Greece’s ancient history and archaeology.

Tony's book list on travel in Greece, ancient and modern

Tony Spawforth Why did Tony love this book?

This book is a gem for lovers of Greece and of superlative English prose.

For me the book is far and away the best evocation of a wild and remote part of Greece that I got to know and treasure when tramping through its olive fields in search of ancient inscriptions. Leigh Fermor was incapable of writing a dull sentence.

His imagination allied with what he observed himself in his wanderings combine to bring out all the strangeness of Mani’s history of brigands and vendettas, of villages bristling with defensive towers and of fishermen descended—perhaps—from Byzantine emperors.   

By Patrick Leigh Fermor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is Patrick Leigh Fermor's spellbinding part-travelogue, part inspired evocation of a part of Greece's past. Joining him in the Mani, one of Europe's wildest and most isolated regions, cut off from the rest of Greece by the towering Taygettus mountain range and hemmed in by the Aegean and Ionian seas, we discover a rocky central prong of the Peleponnese at the southernmost point in Europe.

Bad communications only heightening the remoteness, this Greece - south of ancient Sparta - is one that maintains perhaps a stronger relationship with the ancient past than with the present. Myth becomes history, and…

Book cover of The Colossus of Maroussi

Anastasia Miari Author Of Yiayia: Time-perfected Recipes from Greece's Grandmothers

From my list on to odyssey across Greece with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a food and travel journalist, raised by a Greek father and a British mother. I’ve always been obsessed with the fostering of my Greek culture, heritage, and identity and have been particularly interested in the duality of my two identities, since moving to England from Greece as a young girl. During my teenage years in grey and drizzly England, the food we ate as a family transported me to my grandmothers’ white-washed alleyway, dotted with geraniums and bursting with the colours and flavours of Greece. Since then I’ve become obsessed with what food and time-perfected recipes can tell us about our heritage. 

Anastasia's book list on to odyssey across Greece with

Anastasia Miari Why did Anastasia love this book?

The Colossus of Maroussi is a book all wanderers and visitors of Greece should dip into at least once.

It’s a travelogue that drips with humour from the brilliant Henry Miller. It is a collection of fantastic prose inspired by the islands and mainland that Miller visited in the early 20th Century. It offers great wit and wisdom as well as cultural insights that still feel incredibly relevant to Greece today, despite the book being published in the 1940s.

When I think of great travel literature, this book is a classic. It speaks on the Greek people - their strength, stoicism, and humour - and chronicles a time in Greece before mass tourism descended and changed the islands forever.

By Henry Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Like the ancient colossus that stood over the harbor of Rhodes, Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi stands as a seminal classic in travel literature. It has preceded the footsteps of prominent travel writers such as Pico Iyer and Rolf Potts. The book Miller would later cite as his favorite began with a young woman's seductive description of Greece. Miller headed out with his friend Lawrence Durrell to explore the Grecian countryside: a flock of sheep nearly tramples the two as they lie naked on a beach; the Greek poet Katsmbalis, the "colossus" of Miller's book, stirs every rooster within…

Book cover of The Station

Dana Facaros Author Of Northern Greece

From my list on evocative travel about Greece.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Greece 50 years ago, when I had the good fortune of spending a summer on my father’s native island of Ikaria. I bagged my first writing job four years later when I wrote a guide to all the Greek islands. As a travel writer I tend to fall in love with all the places I write about! But Greece is where I feel most at home, and it has inspired some truly memorable travel books. I hope you like some of my all-time favorites.

Dana's book list on evocative travel about Greece

Dana Facaros Why did Dana love this book?

As a woman, I’ll never be able to visit the fantastical Orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos, although I’ve looked at from land and sea often enough! But after reading this evocative account from the 1920s by a very young Robert Byron (best known for his classic, The Road to Oxiana) I feel as if I had been there, in a completely other (and rather eccentric) world long before the monasteries’ current revival and modernization—they say the monks even have mobile phones these days! Byron’s black-and-white photographs and drawings add to the charm. 

By Robert Byron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mount Athos, the spiritual heart of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism, is perhaps the most sacred and mysterious place in Greece: an autonomous state, where no woman can set foot, which has its own calendar and its own time. This ruggedly beautiful peninsula in Macedonia boasts a history that stretches back to Herodotus and has been a sanctuary from the earliest days of Christianity, through the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, two world wars and up to the present day. In 1927, at the age of 22, Robert Byron journeyed to Athos with his friends and embarked on an adventure whose influence would…

Book cover of The Flight of Ikaros: Travels in Greece During the Civil War

Dana Facaros Author Of Northern Greece

From my list on evocative travel about Greece.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Greece 50 years ago, when I had the good fortune of spending a summer on my father’s native island of Ikaria. I bagged my first writing job four years later when I wrote a guide to all the Greek islands. As a travel writer I tend to fall in love with all the places I write about! But Greece is where I feel most at home, and it has inspired some truly memorable travel books. I hope you like some of my all-time favorites.

Dana's book list on evocative travel about Greece

Dana Facaros Why did Dana love this book?

In 1947, archaeologist Kevin Andrews went to the Peloponnese on a Fulbright fellowship to study the Crusader castles and found a country in the midst of a civil war. He was one of the few foreigners there at the time, which his book vividly brings to life.. after a first rather idyllic description of stomping on grapes with friends on Paros he enters another world. Yet he was so moved by the humanity of the villagers in a period of great poverty, suspicion, and turmoil that he made Greece his home, and wrote numerous other books about Greece, but this is his best… about a period I hope is never repeated.  

By Kevin Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"One of the great and lasting books about Greece."—Patrick Leigh Fermor

"An intense and compelling account of an educated, sensitive archaeologist wandering the back country during the civil war. Half a century on, still one of the best books on Greece as it was before 'development.'"—The Rough Guide to the Greek Islands

"He also is in love with the country…but he sees the other side of that dazzling medal or moon…If you want some truth about Greece, here it is."—Louis MacNeice, The Observer

"One of the best and most honest books about the modern Greeks."—E. R. Dodds

"Kevin Andrews experienced…

Book cover of Border Politics: Social Movements, Collective Identities, and Globalization

Leela Fernandes Author Of Governing Water in India: Inequality, Reform, and the State

From my list on to understand inequality in a world in crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent close to thirty years researching and teaching about questions of inequality and change. Most of my focus has been on the Global South, with a particular focus on India. I've written about intersecting class, gender, and caste inequalities. I've pursued this research agenda through extensive field research on labor politics, democratization, and the politics of economic reform in India. My interest stems from my background. I am originally from India and have lived and travelled extensively in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. I'm an author, public speaker, and consultant and have been a professor for three decades at the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, The University of Washington, and Oberlin College.

Leela's book list on to understand inequality in a world in crisis

Leela Fernandes Why did Leela love this book?

This book provides an excellent overview of the inequities produced by globalization. It covers a broad set of countries and regions and helps us to understand the complex processes that lead to fears about immigrant and border security. It gives us an understanding of history, people’s lives as they migrate in difficult circumstances, and the possibility for change.

By Nancy A. Naples (editor), Jennifer Bickham Mendez (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the current historical moment borders have taken on heightened material and symbolic significance, shaping identities and the social and political landscape. "Borders"-defined broadly to include territorial dividing lines as well as sociocultural boundaries-have become increasingly salient sites of struggle over social belonging and cultural and material resources. How do contemporary activists navigate and challenge these borders? What meanings do they ascribe to different social, cultural and political boundaries, and how do these meanings shape the strategies in which they engage? Moreover, how do these social movements confront internal borders based on the differences that emerge within social change initiatives?…

Book cover of Finder

Kater Cheek Author Of Mulberry Wands

From my list on real-world fantasy with a unique and creative premise.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing urban fantasy because that’s what I wanted to read more of, and at the time there wasn’t much on offer. I started the Kit Melbourne series with the aim of creating a world in which magic was real, but most people don’t believe in it. I aim for believable, realistic characters with plausible relationships. I’m not a fan of prophets, noble bloodlines, or destiny; magic in my worlds are much more egalitarian. Vampires are not sexy superheroes. Faeries are more like aliens than pinup girls. My inspirations are mystery, true crime, anthropology, psychology, history, natural sciences, ecology, and neo-Paganism—and books like those on this list!

Kater's book list on real-world fantasy with a unique and creative premise

Kater Cheek Why did Kater love this book?

Emma Bull wrote urban fantasy before that was really a thing, and this one is set in a shared world which straddles the human world and the world of the fey. Two unlikely friends are misfits in their own life. The titular character was kicked out of his family because his magic power made him seem too “weird” in the human realm, and his elven friend never felt at home in her fey family because her skill as a mechanic made her an outcast among the magic users. The fragile peace of their community is damaged when a new drug promises to turn humans fey.

This book is about making a home when you didn’t fit in with your family of origin, and the lengths people will go through to find a new identity. It may not feel as fresh as it did in the 1980s, but it will probably…

By Emma Bull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Death and dark magic hang like a shadow over the city called Bordertown. Orient has a magical gift—or maybe a curse—for finding lost objects. But can he find a way to save the people he loves?

Book cover of On the Edge: Life along the Russia-China Border

Sören Urbansky Author Of Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border

From my list on Russia in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sören Urbansky was born and raised in East Germany next to the Iron Curtain. Since embarking on an overland journey from Berlin to Beijing after high school, he became hooked by peoples’ lifeways in Northeast Asia. In college, Sören began studying history in earnest and grew intrigued by Russia and China, the world’s largest and most populous countries. He has published widely on this pivotal yet forgotten region. Sören is a research fellow at the German Historical Institute Washington and is currently embarking on a new project that examines anti-Chinese sentiments from a global perspective.

Sören's book list on Russia in Asia

Sören Urbansky Why did Sören love this book?

Franck Billé and Caroline Humphrey’s On the Edge is an excellent example that two authors can write one compelling story. Based on solid on-the-ground observation of daily life and current affairs along the Russia-China border, the two anthropologists narrate the extraordinary contrasts they encountered in one of the world’s most enigmatic borderlands. In so doing, they give voice to indigenous people, and other subaltern groups often overlooked when writing about two geopolitical superpowers.

By Franck Billé, Caroline Humphrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A pioneering examination of history, current affairs, and daily life along the Russia-China border, one of the world's least understood and most politically charged frontiers.

The border between Russia and China winds for 2,600 miles through rivers, swamps, and vast taiga forests. It's a thin line of direct engagement, extraordinary contrasts, frequent tension, and occasional war between two of the world's political giants. Franck Bille and Caroline Humphrey have spent years traveling through and studying this important yet forgotten region. Drawing on pioneering fieldwork, they introduce readers to the lifeways, politics, and history of one of the world's most consequential…

Book cover of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America

June Carolyn Erlick Author Of A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia's Invisible War

From my list on classics for understanding Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I accidentally fell in love with Latin America, a love that has lasted my lifetime. When I was young, I lived in a Dominican neighborhood in New York, learning Spanish from my neighbors. After I graduated from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism I got a job covering the Cuban community in New Jersey because I spoke Spanish. Eventually I ended up living in Colombia and then Managua as a foreign correspondent. Now I edit a magazine at Harvard about Latin America. It's not just the news that interests me; I love the cadence of the language, the smell and taste of its varied cuisine, the warmth of the people, the culture, and, yes, soccer.

June's book list on classics for understanding Latin America

June Carolyn Erlick Why did June love this book?

Greg Grandin is a historian's historian, a brilliant researcher, a captivating writer. It's honestly hard to pick which of his books to feature here. But since The End of the Myth won the Pultizer Prize, I'll choose it as my favorite. What I loved about this book is that it gives me a new perspective about the history of my own country—about which, frankly, I do not know that much—and the region I have reported on for most of my life, Latin America. He makes connections and does so in a compelling fashion.

The book focuses on the United States and the border, but it sheds much light on how the myth of manifest destiny has shaped the way we think of ourselves and our relationship with our southern neighbors.

By Greg Grandin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


A new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall.

Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation – democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America hasa new symbol: the border wall.

In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history…

Book cover of Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey

Roger Crowley Author Of Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580

From my list on the Mediterranean world.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Mediterranean is in my family’s history. My dad was a naval officer who worked in the sea in peace and war and took us to Malta when I was nine. I was entranced by the island’s history, by an evocative sensory world of sunlight, brilliant seas, and antiquity. I’ve been travelling in this sea ever since, including a spell living in Turkey, and delved deep into its past, its empires, and its maritime activity. I’m the author of three books on the subject: Constantinople: the Last Great Siege, Empires of the Sea, and Venice: City of Fortune.

Roger's book list on the Mediterranean world

Roger Crowley Why did Roger love this book?

We are reminded on almost a daily basis of the plight of refugees in fragile boats that this sea can be cruel as well as kind. The present diaspora has its forerunners – in this book the great population exchange of 1923 that saw the displacement of two million people across the Mediterranean: Greeks living in the Ottoman Empire, Turks living in Greece. Bruce Clarke both explains the chain of events in the aftermath of the First World War and records the personal stories of those who were uprooted from the places they called home. They have a familiar resonance, the repeating patterns of memory and loss: ‘I remember the day they went away,’ recorded a Greek woman of her Muslim neighbours. ‘Some kissed the earth, some took bowls of soil with them. They were decent types; their menfolk used to attend our funerals, and we would exchange presents of…

By Bruce Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twice a Stranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, nearly two million citizens in Turkey and Greece were expelled from homelands. The Lausanne treaty resulted in the deportation of Orthodox Christians from Turkey to Greece and of Muslims from Greece to Turkey. The transfer was hailed as a solution to the problem of minorities who could not coexist. Both governments saw the exchange as a chance to create societies of a single culture. The opinions and feelings of those uprooted from their native soil were never solicited.

In an evocative book, Bruce Clark draws on new archival research…

Book cover of Self

Stuart Aken Author Of An Excess Of ...

From my list on character-driven novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading for 69 years, writing fiction for 43 years. I’ve read many more than 10,000 books. In my own writing, I begin with characters I create from combinations of traits and personalities I’ve met in life. I get to know them as friends. I then put them into the setting I’ve devised and given them free rein to develop the story. I know the destination, but the route is left to them. This involves much re-writing once the story is down on paper, but allows me to experience the excitement, concern, fear, love, and delights felt by the characters as I write the tale.

Stuart's book list on character-driven novels

Stuart Aken Why did Stuart love this book?

This story begins in the first person in the company of a young boy. I lived with him through his early teens and schooling, a huge tragedy, and his fate as the isolated offspring of high-flying achievers, his early experiences, and the casual physical and mental cruelty associated with boarding schools.

Abruptly, I was plunged into the life of a young woman in her late teens, still in the first person. Surprisingly, this overnight transition, both physical and mental, caused me only a short pause to reflect on the nature of gender. I travelled with this developing young woman as she experienced love, sex, and the joys and sorrows life throws at a sensitive, intelligent, and creative soul who enters the world of writing. Her journey as a budding novelist struck a real chord with me, having travelled that difficult and demanding route.

By Yann Martel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Edgy, funny and devastating, Self is the fictional autobiography of a young writer at the heart of which is a startling twist. This extraordinary life meanders through a rich, complicated, bittersweet world. The discoveries of childhood give way to the thousand pangs of adolescence, culminating in the sudden shocking news of an accident abroad. And as adulthood begins, indecisively, boundaries are crossed between countries, languages and people . . .

5 book lists we think you will like!

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