98 books like Consequence

By Eric Fair,

Here are 98 books that Consequence fans have personally recommended if you like Consequence. 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 Here, Bullet

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

This collection of poems by an Iraq war veteran opens a door into the crazy, horrifying world of America’s time in Iraq. I used this book while teaching a section on poetry to combat veterans at the local university. For some of these men and women, the poems offered their first glimpse into the power of verse. Turner showed my students how, through the searing beauty of words made into images, it was possible to capture—and thus contain—the horrors of war. As Turner writes:

This is a language made of blood.
It is made of sand and time.
To be spoken, it must be earned.

By Brian Turner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A first-person account of the Iraq War by a solider-poet, winner of the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award.

Adding his voice to the current debate about the US occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl (Song of Napalm) and Alice James’ own Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), Iraqi war veteran Brian Turner writes power-fully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty, and skill. Based on Turner’s yearlong tour in Iraq as an infantry team leader, the poems offer gracefully rendered, unflinching description but,…


Book cover of What It Is Like to Go to War

Benjamin Sledge Author Of Where Cowards Go to Die

From my list on war that leave you shattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As I explored the ramifications of combat and struggled to reintegrate when I returned home, I often felt veterans’ memoirs teetered on the brink of “war porn” as opposed to the crushing devastation and fear men and women face on the battlefield. Seeking to rectify the misconceptions about the longest-running wars in U.S. history, I began writing about my experiences on medium.com and amassed over 40,000 followers (which turned into a book deal). This list of books below directly influenced my work and—I believe—are the gold standards for true war stories.

Benjamin's book list on war that leave you shattered

Benjamin Sledge Why did Benjamin love this book?

The sheer number of times I cried in this book is absurd. Marlantes is a Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient who chronicles his journey leaving Yale University to serve as a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam. Throughout, he chronicles the struggle to readjust to civilian society and intermingles religion, philosophy, and psychology while recounting some of his most harrowing tales of combat. If you’ve ever had a loved one or friend serve who came home different and wondered why or how you can help, this is the book to read. 

By Karl Marlantes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What It Is Like to Go to War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Matterhorn" author Karl Marlantes' nonfiction debut is a powerful book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for the psychological and spiritual stresses of war. One of the most important and highly-praised books of 2011, Karl Marlantes' "What It Is Like to Go to War" is set to become just as much of a classic as his epic novel "Matterhorn". In 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or…


Book cover of Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

During America’s recent wars, Americans who felt they had few career prospects enlisted. Some were looking for a steady paycheck. Others for adventure and a chance to see the world. Many signed up out of a sense of patriotic duty after the events of 9/11. Goodell volunteered for Mortuary Affairs. She and her peers processed the bodies of those killed in combat. The title comes from instructions given by her commanding officer to members of his unit who are sketching the bodies as they arrive: when a body part is missing, “shade it black.” Harrowing and poignant, Shade it Black reminds us of the innocence of those we send to war.

By Jessica Goodell, John Hearn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 2008, CBS' Chief Foreign Correspondent, Lara Logan, candidly speculated about the human side of the war in Iraq: "Tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier. What does that look like? Who in America knows what that looks like? Because I know what that looks like, and I feel responsible for the fact that no one else does..." Logan's query raised some important yet ignored questions: How do the remains of service men and women get from the dusty roads of Fallujah to the flag-covered coffins at Dover Air Force Base? And what…


Book cover of The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Barbara Nickless Author Of Blood on the Tracks

From my list on what it is like to go to war and come home.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning and bestselling author who teaches creative writing to veterans as part of a collaboration between the Department of Defense and the National Endowment for the Arts. I’m also an Air Force brat who grew up around military folk. After traumatic events gave me personal experience with post-traumatic stress disorder, I better understood why veterans don’t talk about their time in war. The books on this list are some of my favorites for capturing the terror of battle and the difficulty of reintegrating into a society that gives little thought to the human cost of war. 

Barbara's book list on what it is like to go to war and come home

Barbara Nickless Why did Barbara love this book?

For Morris, war was a siren call, “exalting” work that allowed him to “challenge death.” But once redeployed to the safety of America, he realized that months and years of waiting for the next bomb to explode had taught his body to react to potential threats in the environment that his mind rightfully ignored. A sack of trash at the side of the road. A car backfiring. A restless crowd. For the combat veteran, these everyday triggers can generate a crippling flashback or a spiraling panic, the body shooting up flares of alarm before the mind has time to recognize that in America, a bag of trash is just trash. The Evil Hours is a brilliant, evocative, and often poetic portrayal of one man’s quest to leave the war behind.

By David J. Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“An essential book” on PTSD, an all-too-common condition in both military veterans and civilians (The New York Times Book Review).
 
Post-traumatic stress disorder afflicts as many as 30 percent of those who have experienced twenty-first-century combat—but it is not confined to soldiers. Countless ordinary Americans also suffer from PTSD, following incidences of abuse, crime, natural disasters, accidents, or other trauma—yet in many cases their symptoms are still shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.
 
This “compulsively readable” study takes an in-depth look at the subject (Los Angeles Times). Written by a war correspondent and former Marine with firsthand experience of this…


Book cover of A History of Iraq

Johan Franzen Author Of Pride and Power: A Modern History of Iraq

From my list on Iraqi history.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teenager in 1991, I watched a coalition of Western powers bombard Iraq into submission. Twelve years later, “regime change” was the agenda. Iraq descended into sectarianism, civil war, and Islamist insurgency. Western depictions had reduced Iraq to an authoritarian state with a megalomaniac leader and no history of its own. These events and the accompanying vilification of Iraq and its people convinced me to study the country’s history. I try to bring nuance and depth to a story so often told superficially. I think history is about giving life to the voices and perspectives of the past. The result, I hope, is an authentic and unbiased portrayal of Iraqi history.

Johan's book list on Iraqi history

Johan Franzen Why did Johan love this book?

If you want a quick overview of Iraqi history with easily digestible political science takes on the country’s problems, this is your book. Tripp’s study of Iraq has been read by countless undergraduate studentsmyself included—grappling with trying to understand the course of events that led the United States to declare war on Iraq twice. The book provides lucid arguments in an easily accessible writing style. As a first introduction to Iraqi history, this book is hard to beat.

By Charles Tripp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To understand Iraq, Charles Tripp's history is the book to read. Since its first appearance in 2000, it has become a classic in the field of Middle East studies, read and admired by students, soldiers, policymakers and journalists. The book is now updated to include the recent American invasion, the fall and capture of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent descent into civil strife. What is clear is that much that has happened since 2003 was foreshadowed in the account found in this book. Tripp's thesis is that the history of Iraq throughout the twentieth-century has made it what it is…


Book cover of Dark Actors: The Life and Death of David Kelly

Terry Morgan Author Of Whistleblower

From my list on international crime exotic locations nasty politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

What I look for in a book is something that triggers my serious side. So be it if that removes a whole range of fantasy books or those that merely titillate. Because I’ve traveled a lot, ‘feasible fiction’ is what I write and what I look for in other books. A story might be entirely fictitious, but as long as it’s not far-fetched, has a cast of realistic characters, an international or historic location, and keeps me on my toes to the very end, that’s great. If it’s got some politics and science thrown in, that’s even better. I hope my list lives up to expectations. 

Terry's book list on international crime exotic locations nasty politics

Terry Morgan Why did Terry love this book?

My fifth book is not a novel but a true story about modern politics and warfare. 

This book is about Doctor David Kelly, a biologist like me. Kelly led the search for biological weapons in Iraq before the Iraq war. Unfortunately, he didn’t find enough evidence to suit the government of the day, but they still went ahead by issuing a now famous ‘dodgy’ and ‘sexed-up’ dossier that was the excuse to invade Iraq. Shortly afterward, on a July afternoon in a quiet part of Oxfordshire, England, Kelly went for a walk and never returned. He was found dead, slumped against a tree. 

Kelly’s death and the unanswered questions it left behind still bother me, but if you want to understand a quiet, sensitive man and the machinations of a government desperate to find a reason to declare war, then this book is a good start.

By Robert Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One July afternoon in 2003, in a quiet part of Oxfordshire, a scientist went out for a walk and never came back.

Dr David Kelly had been all over the news in the preceding days; as an investigator on the team which went into Iraq to check whether they had weapons of mass destruction, he had been accused of anonymously briefing a BBC reporter that the government's case for the Iraq War had been deliberately falsified.

When the news came through that his body had been found in woods near his country home, for the briefest of moments, a stunned…


Book cover of Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Amanda H. Podany Author Of Weavers, Scribes, and Kings: A New History of the Ancient Near East

From my list on the lives of real people in ancient Mesopotamia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian and professor of ancient Mesopotamia. I was born in the UK but have lived in the US for decades, and from childhood I loved ancient history and archaeology (even through a five-year stint as a bass player before and during college). No matter how long the human race exists in future, we have only one shared ancient global past, the remains of which represent a completely non-renewable resource and source of inspiration. There is plenty left to discover, with much evidence already excavated and awaiting interpretation. It’s a joy to analyze and share the words and life-stories of Mesopotamians in my books—in a conversation that stretches across millennia.

Amanda's book list on the lives of real people in ancient Mesopotamia

Amanda H. Podany Why did Amanda love this book?

People often think that we don’t know much about ancient Mesopotamia because it flourished so long ago, but that isn’t true at all. The excavated documents are full of information about real people and their lives. Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat’s book is a great introduction because she has organized the chapters thematically to examine such features as family life and religion (as it was actually practiced), and because she quotes and analyzes obscure and interesting ancient texts. Readers can also explore ancient Mesopotamian government, economy, and intellectual innovations here, but the author always maintains her focus on the people.

By Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The ancient world of Mesopotamia (from Sumer to the subsequent division into Babylonia and Assyria) vividly comes alive in this portrayal of the time period from 3100 bce to the fall of Assyria (612 bce) and Babylon (539 bce). Readers will discover fascinating details about the lives of these people from the society where writing began-taken from the ancients' own quotations and descriptions. A wealth of information is provided on such varied topics as: education; literature; mathematics and science; city vs. country life; family life; and religion. Similarities between daily life in ancient Mesopotamia and modern-day Iraq are also discussed.…


Book cover of The President's Gardens

Alan Weisman Author Of The World Without Us

From my list on fiction on the real challenges our world now faces.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a nonfiction author whose success owes enormously to fiction. It challenges me to portray real people as vividly as characters in novels, and to use narrative and dialogue to keep readers turning the pages. Reading great novelists has taught me to obsessively seek exactly the right words, to fine-tune the cadence of each sentence, and to heed overall structural rhythm; continually, I return to the fount of fiction for language and inspiration. The astonishing novels I’ve shared here are among the most important books I’ve recently read to help grasp the critical times we’re living in. I’m confident you’ll feel the same.

Alan's book list on fiction on the real challenges our world now faces

Alan Weisman Why did Alan love this book?

I’ve just returned from a research trip to Iraq (one of many settings for my next book: stay tuned). I took along two Iraqi novels, The President's Gardens and Daughter of the Tigris (they’re really just one; the first literally ends with the words to be continued) and I was as stirred by reading them as by what I saw there. While we protest Russia’s outrageous rape of Ukraine, we forget the hideous mess that America’s unjustifiable invasion left in Iraq. Even under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was considered the flower of Arab culture, a land overflowing with poetry, music, and art. Today much of it is rubble. Masterfully, Al-Ramli describes the latter with all the breathtaking beauty of the former. This ranks among my most moving reading experiences ever.

By Muhsin Al-Ramli, Luke Leafgren (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

"A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting".
Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi Christ.

On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.

One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to…


Book cover of Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq

Denis Dragovic Author Of No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis

From my list on the tragedy of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived, breathed, and studied peace and conflict since 1998, but what I’m most passionate about is the plight of the people. I spent over a decade in countries such as Iraq, Sudan, and East Timor providing humanitarian assistance followed by another decade writing and working on the consequences of wars. The more we understand the impact of wars the better humanity will be placed to stop them. That is why I chose five beautifully written books that will be difficult to put down while offering an array of voices and perspectives that together provide insights into how we can better respond to outbreaks of war.

Denis' book list on the tragedy of war

Denis Dragovic Why did Denis love this book?

Occupational Hazards provides a glimpse into the challenges of rebuilding countries after war. In mid-2003 Rory Stewart joined the British government effort to rebuild Iraq. His time overlapped with my early days but regrettably, operating in different areas, our paths never crossed. While I was focusing on humanitarian assistance and community development, Rory was navigating the politics of Maysan province. Rory is an accomplished writer who turns the prosaic work of governance, such as ensuring local salaries are paid, into an exciting and insightful narrative of the mechanics of running an occupation. Luckily for the reader, Rory isn’t the desk-bound type and as a result, we are taken to the streets of Amara, the reed houses of the Marsh Arabs, and the delicate negotiations between competing factions who are seemingly always only one step away from civil war.

By Rory Stewart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating insight into the complexity, history and unpredictability of Iraq.

By September 2003, six months after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the anarchy had begun. Rory Stewart, a young Biritish diplomat, was appointed as the Coalition Provisional Authority's deputy governor of a province of 850,000 people in the southern marshland region. There, he and his colleagues confronted gangsters, Iranian-linked politicians, tribal vendettas and a full Islamist insurgency.

Occupational Hazards is Rory Stewart's inside account of the attempt to rebuild a nation, the errors made, the misunderstandings and insurmountable difficulties encountered. It reveals an Iraq hidden from most foreign journalists…


Book cover of Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Jeffrey Peter Clarke Author Of The Man Who Sought Eternity

From my list on the time of Gilgamesh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Jeff Clarke, author and graphic designer. I have always been interested in origins and beginnings, whether it be the universe, life on Earth, military aviation and ancient societies. I possess a valuable private library of my own and generally prefer to use this rather than on-line sources as the authors’ qualifications are more easily ascertainable. I design the covers for all my novels.

Jeffrey's book list on the time of Gilgamesh

Jeffrey Peter Clarke Why did Jeffrey love this book?

This book, like the others, is an essential reference for anyone researching the subject.

It covers in detail geography, rivers and irrigation, archaeology and building, government and society, religion and myth, language and writing, architecture, and the arts, economy and trade, food and agriculture, arms and warfare, everyday life, customs and society in general.

Getting down to finer details is the strength of this book. A great asset it has to be for the finer points in developing a novel.

By Stephen Bertman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Modern-day archaeological discoveries in the Near East continue to illuminate our understanding of the ancient world, including the many contributions made by the people of Mesopotamia to literature, art, government, and urban life The Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia describes the culture, history, and people of this land, as well as their struggle for survival and happiness, from about 3500 to 500 BCE. Mesopotamia was the home of a succession of
glorious civilizations-Sumeria, Babylonia, and Assyria-which flourished together for more than three millennia. Sumerian mathematicians devised the sixty-minute hour that still rules our lives; Babylonian architects designed the famed…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Iraq, the Iraq War, and Baghdad?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Iraq, the Iraq War, and Baghdad.

Iraq Explore 89 books about Iraq
The Iraq War Explore 61 books about the Iraq War
Baghdad Explore 19 books about Baghdad