100 books like Brunelleschi's Dome

By Ross King,

Here are 100 books that Brunelleschi's Dome fans have personally recommended if you like Brunelleschi's Dome. 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 House

Witold Rybczynski Author Of Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City

From my list on architecture for non-architects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I’ve written more than twenty books on a variety of subjects, I was trained as an architect and I’ve designed and built houses, researched low cost housing, and taught budding architects for four decades. I was architecture critic for Wigwag and Slate and I’ve written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. Perhaps more important, my wife and I built our own house, mixing concrete, sawing wood, and hammering nails. I wrote a book about that, too.

Witold's book list on architecture for non-architects

Witold Rybczynski Why did Witold love this book?

Architecture is always a collaboration between the architect who conceives the project, the builder who must realize it, and the client who starts it—and pays for it The protracted building process, which is often stressful, is always a complicated pas de trois. No one has written about this better than Tracy Kidder, who describes the complex choreography by following (in real-time and in detail) the construction of a family home in New England.

By Tracy Kidder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the New York Times bestseller House, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs.

In Kidder's "remarkable piece of craftsmanship in itself" (Chicago Tribune), constructing a staircase or applying a coat of paint becomes a riveting tale of conflicting wills, the strength and strain of relationships, and pride in skills. With drama, sensitivity, and insight, he takes us from blueprints to moving day, shedding light on objects usually taken for granted and creating a vivid cast…


Book cover of Experiencing Architecture

Witold Rybczynski Author Of Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City

From my list on architecture for non-architects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I’ve written more than twenty books on a variety of subjects, I was trained as an architect and I’ve designed and built houses, researched low cost housing, and taught budding architects for four decades. I was architecture critic for Wigwag and Slate and I’ve written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. Perhaps more important, my wife and I built our own house, mixing concrete, sawing wood, and hammering nails. I wrote a book about that, too.

Witold's book list on architecture for non-architects

Witold Rybczynski Why did Witold love this book?

Many books about architecture are like cookbooks, that is, they are written for the cook—the architect—and are concerned with how to make the stuff. But for the lay person, the joy of architecture lies in the actual experience of buildings; good architecture makes you feel good. This classic, written in 1962 by a wise old Dane, is a wonderful guide to the many sensory ways in which we experience buildings, old and new.

By Steen Eiler Rasmussen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A classic examination of superb design through the centuries.

Widely regarded as a classic in the field, Experiencing Architecture explores the history and promise of good design. Generously illustrated with historical examples of designing excellence—ranging from teacups, riding boots, and golf balls to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of Beijing's Winter Palace—Rasmussen's accessible guide invites us to appreciate architecture not only as a profession, but as an art that shapes everyday experience.

In the past, Rasmussen argues, architecture was not just an individual pursuit, but a community undertaking. Dwellings were built with a natural feeling for place,…


Book cover of From a Cause to a Style: Modernist Architecture's Encounter with the American City

Witold Rybczynski Author Of Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City

From my list on architecture for non-architects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I’ve written more than twenty books on a variety of subjects, I was trained as an architect and I’ve designed and built houses, researched low cost housing, and taught budding architects for four decades. I was architecture critic for Wigwag and Slate and I’ve written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. Perhaps more important, my wife and I built our own house, mixing concrete, sawing wood, and hammering nails. I wrote a book about that, too.

Witold's book list on architecture for non-architects

Witold Rybczynski Why did Witold love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered why modern buildings look the way they do—and look so different from say, the buildings of our grandparents’ generation—you cannot do better than read this collection of essays that examines the current state of modern architecture. Glazer, a sociologist who was a noted public intellectual, brings a down-to-earth intelligence and a sharp eye to his subject.

By Nathan Glazer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From a Cause to a Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Modernism in architecture and urban design has failed the American city. This is the decisive conclusion that renowned public intellectual Nathan Glazer has drawn from two decades of writing and thinking about what this architectural movement will bequeath to future generations. In From a Cause to a Style, he proclaims his disappointment with modernism and its impact on the American city. Writing in the tradition of legendary American architectural critics Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs, Glazer contends that modernism, this new urban form that signaled not just a radical revolution in style but a social ambition to enhance the conditions…


Book cover of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Witold Rybczynski Author Of Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City

From my list on architecture for non-architects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I’ve written more than twenty books on a variety of subjects, I was trained as an architect and I’ve designed and built houses, researched low cost housing, and taught budding architects for four decades. I was architecture critic for Wigwag and Slate and I’ve written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. Perhaps more important, my wife and I built our own house, mixing concrete, sawing wood, and hammering nails. I wrote a book about that, too.

Witold's book list on architecture for non-architects

Witold Rybczynski Why did Witold love this book?

Kidder’s book is non-fiction, but Eric Hodgins’s 1946 architectural account, although influenced by his own experience of building a house, is fictional; the novel was later made into a hit movie starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. It’s a very funny story that exaggerates—but only slightly—the travails faced by anyone undertaking this challenging task. Weathering the challenge, as Mr. Blandings discovers, requires fortitude, patience, and yes, a sense of humor.

By Eric Hodgins, William Steig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic tale of leaving the city and building a house in the country, only to find country life isn't so simple. But it is hilarious.
Mr. Blandings, a successful New York advertising executive, and his wife want to escape the confines of their tiny midtown apartment. They design the perfect home in the idyllic country, but soon they are beset by construction troubles, temperamental workmen, skyrocketing bills, threatening lawyers, and difficult neighbors. Mr. Blandings' dream house soon threatens to be the nightmare that undoes him.
This internationally bestselling book by Eric Hodgins is illustrated by William Steig and was…


Book cover of The Boy at the End of the World

Juliana Brandt Author Of The Wolf of Cape Fen

From my list on fantasy to escape into when life is overwhelming.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, books have always been an incredible way to escape, most especially when life is overwhelming. I read books as an escape when I was young, and now as an author, I write books to escape as well. My favorite books to escape into always include heart pounding adventure, fantastical magic, and characters I wish I could know in real life. These are the sorts of books I write; ones that give readers the chance to exist as someone else in another place, perhaps go on a wild adventure. My hope as an author is that my books allow readers to leave their own world and their own worries behind.

Juliana's book list on fantasy to escape into when life is overwhelming

Juliana Brandt Why did Juliana love this book?

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the last human left alive is a young boy, Fisher, this dystopian, fast-paced adventure story lets us glimpse a future where people tried...and failed...to save humanity. Determined to find out what happened, Fisher heads out on a wild journey with his robot, Click. This is one of the most unexpectedly laugh-out-loud middle grade novels I’ve ever read, and it combines the hilarity with incredible action scenes and a truly creepy “bad guy.” I devoured it in one sitting—this is a book I wish I could read for the first time again.

By Greg Van Eekhout,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boy at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

This is what he knew:


His name was Fisher.


The world was dangerous.


And he was alone.


Fisher is the last boy on Earth - and things are not looking good for the human race. The carefully crafted survival dome where Fisher and dozens of other humans have been sleeping for millenia has been destroyed. Through a lucky accident, only Fisher survived.


The world Fisher wakes up in is a lot like ours - but it's changed, too. After the human race wiped itself out, nature took over, and wild creatures evolved into barely familiar beasts. Fisher must face them…


Book cover of Under the Dome

Louis Arata Author Of Dead Hungry

From my list on horror where the world becomes askew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching the old Universal horror movies, which led me to read Frankenstein, Dracula, and other horror classics. It wasn’t until I read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre that I started asking myself what it is that I find truly frightening. Not so much monsters but rather what is unsettling – A recognizable world that suddenly turns askew. Dead Hungry grew out of that: What if there were people who simply had to eat the dead?

Louis' book list on horror where the world becomes askew

Louis Arata Why did Louis love this book?

The premise is straightforward: A dome settles over the small town of Chester’s Mill. The reason why is a bit of a McGuffin, but what is compelling is King’s brilliant exploration of the breakdown of society. Plenty of characters are willing to work together to get through the crisis, but then there are those who want to exploit the situation for their own gain. As with many King novels, it’s the worst aspects of human nature that are the true monster. Plus, King keeps his foot on the gas for the entire length of this massive tome; it never lets up.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don’t miss the “harrowing” (The Washington Post) #1 New York Times bestselling thriller from master storyteller Stephen King that inspired the hit television series, following the apocalyptic scenario of a town cut off from the rest of the world.

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town…


Book cover of The Monster of Florence

A.M. Kirsch Author Of Murder of an Uncommon Man

From my list on dysfunctional family, gender identity, and murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born into a family with friction between parents, I never thought relationships could get much worse. When my parents divorced, father became estranged, then died by apparent suicide, memoirs by diverse voices opened my world and made me feel less alone. When I went through a sexual and gender identity crisis of my own, they helped me navigate the turmoil in my own life. I spent more than twenty-five years writing professionally for corporate and academic employers before writing biography and memoir became a coping skill.

A.M.'s book list on dysfunctional family, gender identity, and murder

A.M. Kirsch Why did A.M. love this book?

Preston and Spezi’s memoir helped me learn how to write from inside a murder investigation. I knew I needed to write about my father’s unusual death and my suspicions, but I didn’t have the tools to tackle it. The two journalists describe how they solved an infamous serial killer case only to become suspects themselves. Preston and Spezi drive their story with a momentum I tried to match in telling mine.

By Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Monster of Florence, which was shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Gold Dagger Award for Non Fiction in 2010, is a true account of brutal serial murder in idyllic Florence. After settling in Italy in 2000, Douglas Preston discovered that the olive grove in front of his family's new home had been the scene of one of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer who had never been found and was known only as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, met Italian journalist Mario Spezi, who had followed the case since the first murders in…


Book cover of Death of an Englishman

Margo Sorenson Author Of Secrets in Translation

From my list on to take you to enchanting Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent my first seven years in Spain and Italy, devouring books and Italian food and still speak (or try!) my childhood languages. The Italian language and culture are precious to me—an integral part of my life. Our visits back to Italy, speaking Italian with friends, cooking Italian meals, writing for the Italian Language Foundation's website, and enjoying our community's Italian movie nights maintain my Italian experience. Sadly, I can't be in Italy all the time, but have found some fabulous books that take me right back! Il cuore e italiano—my heart is Italian.

Margo's book list on to take you to enchanting Italy

Margo Sorenson Why did Margo love this book?

This delightful mystery set in Florence not only intrigues the reader with its clever, twist-filled plot but also with its insights into daily life and culture in Italy. The characters are enjoyable and show many humorous and unique facts of Italian life. Nabb knows her Florence and her Italians, and her ability to describe both make a reader wish to accompany her on her next trip!

By Magdalen Nabb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Introducing Marshal Salvatore Guarnaccia of the Florentine carabinieri, a Sicilian stationed far from home. He wants to go south for Christmas to spend the holiday with his family, but he is laid up with the 'flu. At this awkward moment, the death of a retired Englishman is reported. A most inconvenient time for a murder case. Who has shot Mr Langley-Smythe in the back? And why has Scotland Yard felt it appropriate to send two detectives, one of whom speaks no Italian, to 'help' the marshal and his colleagues with their investigation? Most importantly for the marshal, ever the Italian,…


Book cover of Appetite

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

From my list on novels about food.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

Nino Latino is the nephew of Fra Filippo Lippi, one of the greatest Florentine painters. For Nino, every taste brings a heightened connection to the people and places around him. He rises to culinary acclaim but it’s the forbidden hand of a woman that threatens to undo him. Appetite is a book to relish and devour.

By Philip Kazan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Florence, 1466. A lust for life, a passion for power and a taste for adventure...

In Florence, everyone has a passion. With 60,000 souls inside the city, crammed into a cobweb of clattering streets, countless alleys, towers, workshops, tanneries, cloisters, churches and burial grounds, they live their lives in the narrow world between the walls. Nino Latini knows that if you want to survive without losing yourself completely, then you've got to have a passion.

But Nino's greatest gift will be his greatest curse. Nino can taste things that other people cannot. Every flavour, every ingredient comes alive for him…


Book cover of The Marriage Portrait

Gill Paul Author Of A Beautiful Rival: A Novel Of Helena Rubinstein And Elizabeth Arden

From my list on historical novels based on real people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written fourteen historical novels now and most of them include real historical characters. I particularly like writing about women I feel have been misjudged or ignored by historians, and trying to reassess them in the modern age. Fiction allows me to imagine what they were thinking and feeling as they lived through dramatic, life-changing experiences, giving more insight than facts alone could do. Sitting at my desk in the morning and pretending to be someone else is a strange way to earn a living but it’s terrific fun! 

Gill's book list on historical novels based on real people

Gill Paul Why did Gill love this book?

I was delighted when Maggie O’Farrell started writing historical fiction, and this one is a masterclass in novel writing.

It opens as teenaged Lucrezia is taken to a remote hunting lodge by her husband Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara. He has ordered all her personal servants to remain behind and as they eat dinner, she realizes he is planning to kill her. What a beginning! The writing is lush and colorful, the characterizations subtle, and the story utterly gripping.

By Maggie O'Farrell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Marriage Portrait as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION FINALIST • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • The author of award-winning Hamnet brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life in this unforgettable fictional portrait of the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de' Medici as she makes her way in a troubled court.

“I could not stop reading this incredible true story.” —Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

"O’Farrell pulls out little threads of historical detail to weave this story of a precocious girl sensitive to the contradictions of her station...You may know the history, and you may think you…


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