10 books like Cafe Neandertal

By Beebe Bahrami,

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

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Eleanor of Aquitaine

By Marion Meade,

Book cover of Eleanor of Aquitaine

This may not be the most scholarly book on this extraordinary woman; but it is by far the most readable on the only woman who married both a King of France and King of England, went on Crusade to Jerusalem, and civilized feudalism by sponsoring poets and minstrels and creating the idea of romantic love.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

By Marion Meade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Marion Meade has told the story of Eleanor, wild, devious, from a thoroughly historical but different point of view: a woman's point of view." Allene Talmey, Vogue.


Grape Expectations

By Caro Feely,

Book cover of Grape Expectations: A Family's Vineyard Adventure in France

Enjoying wine is second nature here in France. But what does it take to produce a perfect vintage? This no-frills memoir gave me the answers. 

An Irish couple moves to the Dordogne. Realising their dream, they buy a vineyard in financial trouble only to find that they have taken on more than they realised. And it’s tough on them all. Caro takes the reader on a detailed journey, describing the challenges of renovating their dilapidated farmhouse whilst learning to become wine-makers. 

I was fascinated by the gritty realities and hard work needed to make their vineyard a going concern. I was also hugely impressed. I suspect that many others in a similar situation would have given up. Amazingly, they continue whilst bringing up their young daughters and integrating into their local community. I was engrossed throughout.

Grape Expectations

By Caro Feely,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Filled with vivid descriptions of delicious wines, great food, and stunning views, this is a unique insight into the world of the winemaker, and a story of passion, dedication, and love

When Caro and Sean find the perfect 10-hectare vineyard in Saussignac, it seems like their dreams of becoming winemakers in the south of France are about to come true. But they arrive in France with their young family (a toddler and a newborn) to be faced with a dilapidated 18th-century farmhouse and an enterprise that may never, ever make them a living. Undeterred by mouse infestations, a leaking roof,…


Life and Food in the Dordogne

By James Bentley,

Book cover of Life and Food in the Dordogne

James Bentley, a former Anglican priest, wrote this a generation ago but it remains a classic, with excellent recipes, by a man who really knew his stuff. I always keep it on hand.

Life and Food in the Dordogne

By James Bentley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life and Food in the Dordogne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through the centuries, the Dordogne has cherished a tradition of fine cuisine that is framed throughout France, and the region has produced a disproportionate number of France's finest chefs: Brillat-Savarin, CarZme, Escoffier, AndrZ Noel and, in our own times, Marcel Boulestin. Moreover, the culinary skills found on the farms and in town households are not far removed from the gastronomic secrets of the finest restaurants.


The Discovery of France

By Graham Robb,

Book cover of The Discovery of France

Don’t be intimated by the academic-sounding title. This book just blew my mind. If you want to even begin understanding the French, you have to know where they came from. As Robb proves in this readable work, there is no better way to do this than by looking at French geography. France is a country that evolved out of surprisingly varied landscapes, ethnic origins, languages, and more. Understanding all the pieces of the puzzle, the great struggles that gathered them into a unified country, will forever change how you see the country.

The Discovery of France

By Graham Robb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A narrative of exploration-full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language.

Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn…


The World Before Us

By Tom Higham,

Book cover of The World Before Us: The New Science Behind Our Human Origins

We are accustomed to thinking of ourselves as a species mentally superior to all others. This view was challenged in the 19th century with the discovery in Europe of the Neanderthals, an extinct large-brained human-like species. Our superiority seemed to be restored by evidence that Neanderthal extinction followed the arrival in Europe of seemingly dominant Homo sapiens from Africa. Accumulating archaeological and genetic evidence is changing that comfortable picture. Another large-brained but extinct human-like species, the Denisovans, are now also known to have existed in widespread regions of Russia, Asia, and Oceania. Not only were these archaic species technologically and culturally on a par with sapiens, but they also mated occasionally with each other and with our own species. Many people throughout the world carry genetic material from them, and these have contributed to our own regional adaptations. This book challenges our view of ourselves, and implies greater affinity and…

The World Before Us

By Tom Higham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating investigation of the origin of humans, based on incredible new discoveries and advanced scientific technology

"Conveys the thrill of archaeological discovery.”—Alexander Larman, The Observer

"Packs in startling discoveries, impressive insights and the occasional debunking of a foolish idea.”—Michael Marshall, New Scientist

Fifty thousand years ago, Homo sapiens was not the only species of humans in the world. There were also Neanderthals in what is now Europe, the Near East, and parts of Eurasia; Hobbits (H. floresiensis) on the island of Flores in Indonesia; Denisovans in Siberia and eastern Eurasia; and H. luzonensis in the Philippines. Tom Higham investigates…


Kindred

By Rebecca Wragg Sykes,

Book cover of Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art

British Paleo-Archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes’s compelling book combines hard science, tantalizingly reasonable postulations, and poetry. It appeals to our “humanity.” Kindred is an almost wistful examination of our closest Hominid relatives - the Neanderthals. For over 300,000 years, Homo Neanderthalensis successfully survived several ice ages and drastic changes in weather, food sources, and landscape. Although they are not manifestly with us now, they exist in our imagination and provoke our curiosity.

We want to know them; Neanderthal genes still survive among our own. Sykes introduces our Neanderthal cousins, fleshing out their bones by bringing their appearance, their everyday tasks, their diets, their various habitats - even their possible way of speaking - into focus for us laymen by presenting the latest scientific evidence. Misconceptions are corrected. The icing on this delicious Paleolithic cake was, for me, Sykes’s poetic passages which open a path into each chapter, transporting me into the…

Kindred

By Rebecca Wragg Sykes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

** WINNER OF THE PEN HESSELL-TILTMAN PRIZE 2021 ** 'Beautiful, evocative, authoritative.' Professor Brian Cox 'Important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.' Yuval Noah Harari Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery more than 160 years ago, Neanderthals have metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. Rebecca Wragg Sykes uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside cliches of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them…


The Inheritors

By William Golding,

Book cover of The Inheritors

In The Inheritors, William Golding brings to life a creature from the distant past: Lok, a hairy, barely verbal hominid whose small band is the last of their kind. New words and thoughts confuse him, flashes of logic slip out of his grasp, and he discovers the existence of mysterious Others; invaders with the formidable technology of bow and arrow. But The Inheritors is much more than an exciting adventure. The story stays with me because Lok is a mirror of us—of the human urge to try, to fail, to push on despite the odds. We have no idea what the next thousand years will hold. Neither did Lok. But just like him, we can’t help moving forward.

The Inheritors

By William Golding,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hunt, trek, and feast among Neanderthals in this stunning novel by the radical Nobel Laureate and author of Lord of the Flies, introduced by Ben Okri.

This was a different voice; not the voice of the people. It was the voice of other.

When spring comes, the people leave their winter cave, foraging for honey, grubs, and the hot richness of a deer's brain. They awaken the fire to heat their naked bodies, lay down their thorn bushes, and share pictures in their minds. But strange things are happening: inexplicable scents and sounds. Imaginable beasts are half-glimpsed in the forest;…


The Clan of the Cave Bear

By Jean M. Auel,

Book cover of The Clan of the Cave Bear: Earth's Children, Book One

“Archeology” is the study of human prehistory through the excavation and analysis of artifacts and other physical remains. Author Jean M. Auel humanized what archeologists coldly classified as the human sub-species Homo Neanderthalensis, and changed literature forever. In her 1980 breakout novel The Clan of the Cave Bear she breathed life into bits of bone, stone chips, and cave art and, in the doing, made Neanderthals real to millions of readers. Jean M. Auel gave Neanderthals real hopes, fears, love and inner darkness. Through the eyes of a Cro-Magnon girl named Ayla, Auel saw Neanderthals not as primitive brutes, but fully realized people. This fictionalized humanity of what previously was only abstract scientific theory profoundly inspired me as a writer, and influenced my novel.

The Clan of the Cave Bear

By Jean M. Auel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Clan of the Cave Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by…


The Crucible of Time

By John Brunner,

Book cover of The Crucible of Time

A planet in its equivalent of the stone age is passing through a galactic debris field. An alien stargazer realizes that sooner or later some object will strike the planet and destroy it. The only hope of survival his species has is to leave the planet before that happens. But the concept is a mere abstraction to his people, the equivalent of a Neanderthal saying “we need to travel to the moon,” and the task is further complicated by the fact that their technology is biological in nature, focused on the manipulation of living tissue. It is hard to imagine how such technology could ever produce a spaceship. 

The novel--structured as a series of novellas-- follows the development of a fascinating alien species from its primitive roots to an age of high technology, each chapter focusing on a different time period. Always the stargazer’s warning is proclaimed by a few…

The Crucible of Time

By John Brunner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traces the development over milennia of a civilization of an unusual alien species, whose sense of humor, resourceful adaptibility, and metalworking skills are the strengths and the hope of their society


The Ends of the Earth

By W.S. Merwin,

Book cover of The Ends of the Earth: Essays

W. S. Merwin writes about place with both a sense of rich material texture and evanescence. Science and history may be referred to as well. Somehow these assorted sensibilities, or views, create a genuine and full sense of place that reflects what is both visible and invisible. For some reason I don’t quite understand, I would rather encounter a monk on a tractor in a Merwin essay than in a Merwin poem.

The Ends of the Earth

By W.S. Merwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

W. S. Merwin is widely acknowledged as one of the finest living poets in English. Less well known is the power and range of his work in prose. For his first new prose collection in more than ten years, The Ends of the Earth, Merwin has gathered eight essays that show the breadth of his imagination and sympathy. A memoir of George Kirstein, publisher of "The Nation," stands alongside one of Sydney Parkinson, explorer, naturalist and artist on Captain James Cook’s Endeavour. A wonderful portrait of the French explorer of Hawai’i, Jean-Francois Galaup de La Perouse is followed by a…


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