88 books like Dark Earth

By Rebecca Stott,

Here are 88 books that Dark Earth fans have personally recommended if you like Dark Earth. 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 Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

Just finished listening to this dynamite book read by the author. Dahlia Lithwick demolished the conventions of women lawyers I’ve lived with, by telling us the stories of women who used the law to stand up and overcome the shock of Trump’s administration. 

Remember the infamous “travel ban?” If like me, a surface memory, you may enjoy the tour with lawyer and writer Lithwick, who introduces us to the players in her stories – the lawyers who worked all night in the airports on their laptops to file petitions to the court first thing in the morning, for example. 

Lithwick’s rant on the chant: “Lock Her Up” is worth the price of admission alone. Dynamite. File under First-Draft-of-History.

By Dahlia Lithwick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An instant New York Times Bestseller!

“Stirring…Lithwick’s approach, interweaving interviews with legal commentary, allows her subjects to shine...Inspiring.”—New York Times Book Review

“In Dahlia Lithwick’s urgent, engaging Lady Justice, Dobbs serves as a devastating bookend to a story that begins in hope.”—Boston Globe

Dahlia Lithwick, one of the nation’s foremost legal commentators, tells the gripping and heroic story of the women lawyers who fought the racism, sexism, and xenophobia of Donald Trump’s presidency—and won

After the sudden shock of Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, many Americans felt lost and uncertain. It was clear he and his administration…


Book cover of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

The author also reads this audiobook with professional polish making it a very pleasurable experience. Actually comforting as I would tune in often during the day doing the chores, with the iPhone in the back pocket. 

Maggie Haberman, currently a New York Times reporter with previous positions at the Post and Daily News, makes her account of the man “formidable” – to use a word from the New York Times review. But for me it was continually fascinating to hear the stories of Trump’s early years. For example, one of Haberman’s talking points is that Trump’s orientation to the world is one of hospitality, of course. This explains his charm to voters where I see none. 

It’s a long book, but I loved Haberman reading her story to me, as sad as it is, but as the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and I feel stronger for knowing the human…

By Maggie Haberman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

“This is the book Trump fears most.” - Axios

“Will be a primary source about the most vexing president in American history for years to come.” - Joe Klein, The New York Times

"A uniquely illuminating portrait." - Sean Wilentz, The Washington Post

“[A] monumental look at Donald Trump and his presidency.” — David Shribman, Los Angeles Times

From the Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times reporter who has defined Donald J. Trump's presidency like no other journalist, Confidence Man is a magnificent and disturbing reckoning that chronicles his life and its meaning from his…


Book cover of Justice on the Brink: A Requiem for the Supreme Court

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

Best to know up-front, I am a dedicated follower of the author. 

Linda Greenhouse once covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times between the years 1978-2008, yet, she is still contributing opinion pieces – perhaps on a First-responder status! 

Reading Greenhouse describing what just happened in the highest Court Room with a clarity that astounds me as I read the words, then a feeling of complete understanding. Like a backstage tour, during the performance, I just can’t get enough of her descriptive writing – it’s as if I’m there. 

This book sets the stage for the drama of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment by Donald Trump… and I assume you know what I’m talking about. A great read that makes us smarter.

By Linda Greenhouse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The gripping story of the Supreme Court’s transformation from a measured institution of law and justice into a highly politicized body dominated by a right-wing supermajority, told through the dramatic lens of its most transformative year, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning law columnist for The New York Times

“A dazzling feat . . . meaty, often scintillating and sometimes scary . . . Greenhouse is a virtuoso of SCOTUS analysis.”—The Washington Post

In Justice on the Brink, legendary journalist Linda Greenhouse gives us unique insight into a court under stress, providing the context and brilliant analysis readers of her work in…


Book cover of The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

As a serious fan of Susan Glasser’s digital column on The New Yorker website, I had the bonus treat of listening to narrator Julia Whelan read the articles as a promotion for Audm back in the Days-of-Trump.

For this book, Glasser joins her husband Peter Baker, The New York Times’ chief White House correspondent, to co-author this impressive document, I loved this book. And it’s fat-free.

Full of stories on the brink of disaster during the Trump years are briskly told with a calm, reasoned voice – kind of like a walk down memory lane! Curious that reading about the events that had me bubbling up with anger at the time, is now replaced with understanding and acceptance of the man Trump as a phenomenon, and with this account I may have read enough about the man in the White House from 2017 to 2021.

By Peter Baker, Susan Glasser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ABest Book of the Year: The New Yorker and Financial Times • "The most comprehensive and detailed account of the Trump presidency yet published."—The Washington Post

"A sumptuous feast of astonishing tales...The more one reads, the more one wishes to read."—NPR.com

The inside story of the four years when Donald Trump went to war with Washington, from the chaotic beginning to the violent finale, told by revered journalists Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker—an ambitious and lasting history of the full Trump presidency that also contains dozens…


Book cover of Citadel of the Saxons: The Rise of Early London

Marc Morris Author Of The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

From my list on medieval Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into medieval history from the moment I arrived at university, when I looked at a lecture list that included the Norman Conquest, King John and Magna Carta, Edward I – in short, the subjects of the books I have gone on to write. The attraction for me was that the medieval centuries were formative ones, shaping the countries of the British Isles and the identities of the people within them. After completing my doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk I was keen to broaden my horizons, and presented a TV series about castles, which was a great way to reconnect with the reality of the medieval past.

Marc's book list on medieval Britain

Marc Morris Why did Marc love this book?

In my own writing I’ve recently ventured into the Anglo-Saxon period, so I know how hard it is to conjure the history of these early medieval centuries from the meagre source material that survives. Rory Naismith manages this brilliantly in his highly engaging history of London in the centuries between the end of Roman Britain and the Norman Conquest. Naismith’s earlier books are on coins and coinage, but he does not allow his specialism to pull the book off balance. It’s a comparatively short volume, but it provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging capital, and it wears its considerable learning lightly.

By Rory Naismith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a past as deep and sinewy as the famous River Thames that twists like an eel around the jutting peninsula of Mudchute and the Isle of Dogs, London is one of the world's greatest and most resilient cities. Born beside the sludge and the silt of the meandering waterway that has always been its lifeblood, it has weathered invasion, flood, abandonment, fire and bombing. The modern story of London is well known. Much has been written about the later history of this megalopolis which, like a seductive dark star, has drawn incomers perpetually into its orbit. Yet, as Rory…


Book cover of Offshore

Jane McMorland Hunter Author Of Urban Nature Every Day: Discover the natural world on your doorstep

From my list on novels set by the River Thames in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in London most of my life, and what I love most about it are the wild places, the spots where the city and nature rub shoulders. When reading fiction, ‘place’ matters a lot to me, and if I am familiar with the setting, I like it to be accurate. That said, I love a little fantasy to stretch the boundaries. As well as being a writer and editor, I have worked part-time in bookshops for over forty years, and during that time, I must have read hundreds of novels set in and around London. These are five of my absolute favourites.

Jane's book list on novels set by the River Thames in London

Jane McMorland Hunter Why did Jane love this book?

I have always liked the idea of living in a houseboat on the River Thames. This wonderful story simultaneously fed my fantasies and made me realise it might not be as idyllic as I imagined.

The houseboats on Battersea Reach are like a small village–each character is an individual yet integral part of the whole, their fortunes rising and falling with the tide. Through these characters, the book paints a picture of sixties London, swinging yet also unforgiving for those who slip between the cracks. Penelope Fitzgerald lived on a barge in Battersea, and I think much of the story is based on personal experience.

What I particularly liked was the sense of the houseboat dwellers not quite belonging, being offshore in more ways than one. 

By Penelope Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE
FEATURED ON BBC'S BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB

Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize-winning novel of loneliness and connecting is set among the houseboat community of the Thames, with an introduction from Alan Hollinghurst.

On Battersea Reach, a mixed bag of the temporarily lost and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the tide of the Thames.

There is good-natured Maurice, by occupation a male prostitute, by chance a receiver of stolen goods. And Richard, an ex-navy man whose boat, much like its owner, dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, an abandoned wife…


Book cover of Visco

Denise Baden Author Of Habitat Man

From my list on climate fiction to give you hope for our lovely planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

My day job is as a sustainability academic, so it’s hard to escape concern for our future and what we’re doing to our wonderful planet. I seek refuge in writing fiction. For me, if I can write the solutions, then maybe people will adopt them. But first and foremost, I love fiction as an escape, so I write and seek out books that make me happy and are filled with love and hope and exciting ideas to keep you turning the page. I also run the Green Stories project which hosts free writing competitions to help us imagine positive visions of a sustainable society.

Denise's book list on climate fiction to give you hope for our lovely planet

Denise Baden Why did Denise love this book?

We may have visions of what a sustainable society might look like, but how could we possibly get there?

This story imagines a giant music festival which allows free access to those who need care and their carers and designs a care-based mini-society. But they love it so much, no one wants to go home when the music stops. So they don’t!

David Fell brings to this novel all the knowledge he has gained in his years working as a sustainability consultant, and packages it with engaging characters and an exciting plot.

By David Fell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jo Castle, Londoner and thirty-something firefighter, wants to save the world by being the opposite of Jack Reacher. She starts with care – care for her friends and family, care for community, care for the planet. Together with best friend Miranda, step-brother Mike and ex-boyfriend Robert, Jo turns a giant music festival on an island in the River Thames into the living city of Visco. Visco is a ‘carnival of care’, a radical experiment that challenges the very bedrock of capitalism. The story of its emergence, and how it overcomes the Establishment, is a ray of hope in dark times.


Book cover of Sweet Thames Run Softly

Richard Mayon-White Author Of Discovering London's Canals: On foot, by bike or by boat

From my list on the fascinating beauty of English waterways.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love rivers. The flow of water gives a sense of timelessness, the reflection of light from the surface brightens the colours on the banks and the wider stretches make a feeling of space. I have messed about in boats all my life and I am happiest on inland waterways. What I enjoyed as recreation alongside a medical career has grown into a vocation in my retirement. The more people who know about our beautiful rivers, the better the chances that we can protect them from exploitation and carelessness. 

Richard's book list on the fascinating beauty of English waterways

Richard Mayon-White Why did Richard love this book?

Sweet Thames Run Softly is a classic of natural history literature. 

It is reputed to have been read by British servicemen during World War II to remind them of home and peace. It is just as evocative today.  It describes a journey down the River Thames in a punt, and it meanders in the same way as the river does. 

The beauty lies in the text and the charm is in the author’s etchings. This is a book that I read time and again, whenever I want inspiration or solace.

By Robert Gibbings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweet Thames Run Softly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, Robert Gibbings launched his home-made punt on the River Thames and began a slow journey downstream, armed with a sketchpad and a microscope. From the river's source at the edge of the Cotswold Hills to the bustle of London's docks, Sweet Thames Run Softly is a charming, often eccentric, account of an artist-naturalist adrift in English waters. First published as the Battle of Britain raged overhead, this gentle boating tale was an antidote to the anxieties of wartime and became an immediate best-seller. Our new edition includes the original engravings…


Book cover of Original Sin

Jane McMorland Hunter Author Of Urban Nature Every Day: Discover the natural world on your doorstep

From my list on novels set by the River Thames in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in London most of my life, and what I love most about it are the wild places, the spots where the city and nature rub shoulders. When reading fiction, ‘place’ matters a lot to me, and if I am familiar with the setting, I like it to be accurate. That said, I love a little fantasy to stretch the boundaries. As well as being a writer and editor, I have worked part-time in bookshops for over forty years, and during that time, I must have read hundreds of novels set in and around London. These are five of my absolute favourites.

Jane's book list on novels set by the River Thames in London

Jane McMorland Hunter Why did Jane love this book?

I need crime novels to have a good backstory–characters that grip me beyond the murder, burglary, or kidnapping. The setting of this story, in the world of publishing in a building on the bank of the River Thames, fulfills everything I could want.

As a detective, Adam Dalgliesh is intriguing; he is highly respected but intensely private, a published poet who lives alone in a flat overlooking the river, all of which made me want to know more about the man, as well as the crime he has to solve. 

By P. D. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major Channel 5 series

'The Queen of Crime.' New York Times

The Peverell Press, a two-hundred-year-old publishing firm housed in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames, is certainly ripe for change. But the proposals of its ruthlessly ambitious new managing director, Gerard Etienne, have made him dangerous enemies - a discarded mistress, a neglected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues and staff. When Gerard's body is discovered bizarrely desecrated, there is no shortage of suspects and Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of extraordinary complexity and a murderer who is prepared to strike…


Book cover of The History of the Port of London: A Vast Emporium of All Nations

Margarette Lincoln Author Of Trading in War: London's Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson

From my list on maritime London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was formerly Deputy Director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and am now a visiting fellow at the University of Portsmouth. I can safely say that I have spent some years of my life walking along the River Thames. The fascinating thing about maritime London is that our understanding of it is always advancing and changing – much like the riverscape itself.

Margarette's book list on maritime London

Margarette Lincoln Why did Margarette love this book?

Stone looks specifically at the evolution of the Port of London from Roman times to the present day. His enthusiasm for London’s history is evident on every page. The book is well-paced, accessible, and combines a broad chronological sweep with interesting side-stories which help to bring the pages to life. Clear maps showing trade routes and the growth of London’s dock complex greatly help the reader.

By Peter Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The River Thames has been integral to the prosperity of London since Roman times. Explorers sailed away on voyages of discovery to distant lands. Colonies were established and a great empire grew. Funding their ships and cargoes helped make the City of London into the world's leading financial centre. In the 19th century a vast network of docks was created for ever-larger ships, behind high, prison-like walls that kept them secret from all those who did not toil within. Sail made way for steam as goods were dispatched to every corner of the world. In the 19th century London was…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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