100 books like Dead Wake

By Erik Larson,

Here are 100 books that Dead Wake fans have personally recommended if you like Dead Wake. 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 The Nightingale

Rhys Bowen Author Of The Paris Assignment

From my list on brave women in WWII.

Who am I?

I am Rhys Bowen, New York Times best selling author of two historical mystery series and several Internationally best selling historical novels. Many of these take place in and around World War II. I have particularly focused on the bravery of ordinary women, the unsung heroines who risked their lives against impossible odds. My stories take place in France, Italy, as well as, England so these books resonated with me.

Rhys' book list on brave women in WWII

Rhys Bowen Why did Rhys love this book?

This is another story that will tear your heart out.

I think this book is an eye opener about what was life for ordinary people in Nazi occupied France during WWII. It’s another book about how women had to make choices, balancing their own survival with their moral compass.

I loved the disfunctional relationship between the two sisters, who were abandoned by their father and grew up with different lives. 

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked The Nightingale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture, The Nightingale is a multi-million copy bestseller across the world. It is a heart-breakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the endurance of women.

This story is about what it was like to be a woman during World War II when women's stories were all too often forgotten or overlooked . . . Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac are two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals and passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah's…


Book cover of Unbroken

Steve Pemberton Author Of The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World

From my list on demonstrating the power of the human spirit.

Who am I?

I’m most drawn to stories of overcoming. My own childhood was about exactly that-overcoming a multi-generational inheritance of family separation and orphaned children. When I wrote my first book about that story, A Chance in the World, an unanticipated magic unfolded: I began to receive stories of strangers from all across the world who wrote to tell me their own story of overcoming. Each and every day I hear from someone and the steady stream of those stories of overcoming affirms something I have to come to learn: we all have a story and none of us look like that story.

Steve's book list on demonstrating the power of the human spirit

Steve Pemberton Why did Steve love this book?

If it’s possible to have lived multiple lives in a single lifetime, then Louis Zamperini did it.

I am a big fan of The Greatest Generation and Unbroken is the story of that generation, the deep beliefs they held, and the many sacrifices they made, not for themselves but for the generations that would follow them. You can’t miss the examples of selflessness, perseverance, and faith that jump out at you from the very first chapter.

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of the bestselling and much-loved Seabiscuit, an unforgettable story of one man's journey into extremity. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood,…


Book cover of War and Peace

Ogi Ogas Author Of Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos

From my list on the great and marvelous mystery of consciousness.

Who am I?

I am an artist and mathematical neuroscientist. I’ve spent my life cracking some of reality’s greatest mysteries, including consciousness, self-consciousness, language, music, suffering, pain, anesthesia, compassionate love, extraterrestrial communication, and autism.

Ogi's book list on the great and marvelous mystery of consciousness

Ogi Ogas Why did Ogi love this book?

There are many authors who attempt to capture the human experience of consciousness in words. Pioneers like Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and William Faulkner all pushed the bounds of literary convention to try to express the subjective stream of consciousness that all humans, presumably, revel in.

Nevertheless, I think the very best literary modeler of human consciousness adopted the same approach as the very best scientific modeler of human consciousness: instead of jumping in and examining consciousness with a microscope, he stepped back—way back—and chronicled everything that was going on all at once... and out of this beautiful turbulence emerged a clear-eyed vision of experience itself.

Tolstoy paints a tapestry that is shockingly cosmic in its vastness, while simultaneously zooming in for microscopic close-ups of the tiniest action—and then showing that it is the holistic interplay of all these levels of purpose and intention that gives rise to the marvel…

By Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear (translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (translator)

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked War and Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov comes this magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's masterwork.

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

War and Peacebroadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both…


Currently Away: How Two Disenchanted People Traveled the Great Loop for Nine Months and Returned to the Start, Energized and Optimistic

By Bruce Tate,

Book cover of Currently Away: How Two Disenchanted People Traveled the Great Loop for Nine Months and Returned to the Start, Energized and Optimistic

Bruce Tate

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The plan was insane. The trap seemed to snap shut on Bruce and Maggie Tate, an isolation forced on them by the pandemic and America's growing political factionalism. Something had to change.

Maggie's surprising answer: buy a boat, learn to pilot it, and embark on the Great Loop. With no experience, and knowing little about seafaring, diesel motors, or navigation, Maggie, Bruce, and the family dog decided to take on the six-thousand-mile journey down inland rivers, around the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, and across the Great Lakes. They would have to navigate canals, rivers, seas, and locks. But along the way, they made new lifelong friends and were forever changed.

For nine months, Bruce and Maggie navigated shallow rivers, bottomless lakes, joy, and loss. Against all odds, they conquered the Great Loop, and along the way, found common cause across political divides with new friends while blowing the walls off their world.

Currently Away: How Two Disenchanted People Traveled the Great Loop for Nine Months and Returned to the Start, Energized and Optimistic

By Bruce Tate,


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Book cover of Master and Commander

Amelia Vergara Author Of Firefax

From my list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure.

Who am I?

I am a physician assistant and paramedic with ten brothers and sisters, an all-consuming love of the outdoors and adventure, and a fascination with history, particularly early US history. I love reading and writing the kind of books that I would like to read. My debut novel, Firefax, was written in large part as an escape from the horrors of serving in the hospital as a physician assistant during the delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope it provides my readers with an escape from their own struggles as well. 

Amelia's book list on fiction full of intrigue, danger, and high adventure

Amelia Vergara Why did Amelia love this book?

I can hardly recommend the first book without recommending the entire series.

The historical accuracy of these books will blow you away, as will the depths and complexities of every character involved, from Dr. Maturin with his fascination with languages, music, and the natural world, to the stalwart, steady Captain Aubrey, who lets his drive to serve king and country push him to the very heights of his profession.

Their wild, dangerous adventures will hook you and each time you finish a novel you’ll hardly be able to wait for the next adventure, until at last the final book ends the tales. The heights and depths of this story of true, lifelong friendship will ring true to any soul reading these tales of high adventure in a world at war upon the seas. 

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Master and Commander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.


Book cover of Time and Again

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Who am I?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

Being a romantic I loved Time and Again (as well as the movie) for the story’s construction. I appreciate verisimilitude in historical novels and Finney has done his homework. Having briefly visited New York City twice, I do not know it personally. 

Finney makes it breathe in 1882 with fascinating detail that never bores, and by using photographs. I thought the novel was perfect, and it stuck in my head as much for production/construction values as well as the story. When I first researched Treadwell at the Alaska Historical Library in Juneau I came across dozens of photographs, and the form for the novel coalesced in my head.

In retrospect I realize the novels I loved taught me about the architecture of story as well as entertaining me.

By Jack Finney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Time and Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Si Morley is bored with his job as a commercial illustrator and his social life doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So, when he is approached by an affable ex-football star and told that he is just what the government is looking for to take part in a top-secret programme, he doesn't hesitate for too long. And so one day Si steps out of his twentieth-century, New York apartment and finds himself back in January 1882. There are no cars, no planes, no computers, no television and the word 'nuclear' appears in no dictionaries. For Si, it's very like Eden,…


Book cover of The Life of Elizabeth I

Kevin O'Connell Author Of Bittersweet Tapestry

From my list on fascinating women of 16th and 18th century Europe.

Who am I?

Whilst I was born in America, growing up in an old Irish family with a long history and a powerful sense of its past, I learnt a great deal of Irish, British, and European (especially French) history from an early age – proving valuable in both of my careers – one, as an international business lawyer, the other as a full-time writer of historical fiction. As a result of a “very Irish” numinous connection with the Gaelic poet, Eileen O’Connell, I frequently find myself drawn to books about strong, courageous, and memorable women – particularly those who lived in interesting times, such as the tumultuous days of Sixteenth and Eighteenth-Century Europe.  

Kevin's book list on fascinating women of 16th and 18th century Europe

Kevin O'Connell Why did Kevin love this book?

It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to recommend this particular work of Alison Weir. A brilliant historian, she – by means of both traditional, meticulously-researched biographies, as well as in her historical fiction offerings –  chronicles many aspects, and a number of personages of Tudor England in all of its – and their – colourfully untidy turbulence. 

Her account of Elizabeth I’s life is amongst her best. I especially appreciate the skillful way in which Weir continuously “introduces” the reader to Elizabeth, as the compelling figure she is – fascinatingly intricate, brilliant, and annoyingly contradictory. Just when one seems to understand her – Weir drops yet another paradox – as the reader learns that this supposedly staunchly Protestant daughter of Henry VIII maintained most aspects of orthodox Roman Catholic practices – including a crucifix – in her private chapel royal.

By Alison Weir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Elizabeth the Queen begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign - both a woman and a queen, Elizabeth's story is an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age.

From Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior, here, in rich, vivid and colourful detail, Alison Weir helps us comes as close as we shall ever get…


Book cover of 1919

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Who am I?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

I first read 1919 by Dos Passos when I was a teenager in the Navy. Having a yen for history since the age of eight, I was transported to an era where hopes and dreams have shattered or vanished. The author created the gritty and tawdry ambiance of characters as far out of their depth as was the reader.

We meet many limned characters with engaging flaws and hopes. The point-of-view shifts constantly and the narrative is spaced with advertising jingles from period radio programs and magazines to promote visualization.

The USA trilogy never left me. After pursuing art and making my living as a commercial artist for 15 years I turned to writing. I realized I wanted to create an immersive portrait of Juneau using similar tactics. I believe I succeeded.

By John Dos Passos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1919 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A Depression-era novel about American tumult has—perhaps unsurprisingly—aged quite well.”—The New Yorker

In 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum).

Employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of the era with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos’s characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow…


Book cover of The Johnstown Flood

Jordan Baker

From my list on that will hook you on history.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a bit of a history nerd. Memories of my childhood are sprinkled with reminders of this passion. Whether it was holding in my excitement to be on the way to fourth-grade social studies so my classmates wouldn’t think I was weird or watching a Nat Geo documentary about the archeology of Stonehenge while I healed up from wisdom teeth surgery, history has always been an escape and fascination for me. This passion led to me obtaining a BA, then an MA in History, and starting my own history blog.

Jordan's book list on that will hook you on history

Jordan Baker Why did Jordan love this book?

I’ve always loved writing and learning about history. And no one exemplifies the marriage of these preoccupations better than McCullough. With his first book, he didn’t set out to do groundbreaking research - he just wanted to tell a great story. 

In The Johnstown Flood, McCullough does just that.

The book tells the story of one this once flourishing town that was destroyed when a nearby dam gave way, and a deluge swept away homes, businesses, and people. 

Throughout the book, McCullough brought these poor souls back to life through great prose and an ability to connect with his subjects. Even though this happened well over a century before I read the book, it made me feel, at least a bit, the devastation of the event.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The stunning story of one of America’s great disasters, a preventable tragedy of Gilded Age America, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation’s burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was…


Book cover of Delivered from Evil: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Faced Monstrous Mass Killers and Survived

Andy Brown Author Of Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base

From my list on man-made disaster and tragedy.

Who am I?

Being a connoisseur of historical nonfiction and a survivor of the 1994 shooting spree and aviation disaster at Fairchild Air Force Base, allowed me to create a unique narrative of the two tragedies. I’ve been naturally curious since childhood and grew even more observant and detail-oriented during my career in law enforcement and criminal investigations. I appreciate books that delve into historical disasters and tragedies giving us the opportunity to learn from other people’s experiences. When I realized none of my favorite authors were writing about the Fairchild tragedies, I took up the challenge myself. Warnings Unheeded is the result of more than seven years of research, it is an incredible story and a timeless lesson from history.

Andy's book list on man-made disaster and tragedy

Andy Brown Why did Andy love this book?

Delivered from Evil covers ten incidents of mass murder and serial killing. In each well-written narrative, Franscell tells the story of the crime, the criminal, and the victims. Even the most devoted crime buff will learn something new from Franscell’s thorough research and unique style. I appreciate the attention he gives to the survivor’s stories and their experience with the life-altering effects of trauma.

By Ron Franscell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by bestselling crime author, Ron Franscell, Delivered from Evil is a compelling look at the most notable mass murders told from the harrowing perspective of those who escaped certain death. Using survivor's accounts, many of which have never been told until now, the crime and its aftermath are laid out in chilling detail. * Suzanna Gratia Hupp watches as her parents are gunned down in the Luby's Cafeteria shooting massacre-while 100 feet away is the handgun Suzanna left in her car. * Dianne Alexander is brutally assaulted and left for dead by serial killer Derrick Todd Lee-but survives to…


Book cover of Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11

Paul Willetts Author Of King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor

From my list on twenty-first century true-crime.

Who am I?

I’m an English nonfiction writer who is, I suppose, best-known for Members Only, my biography of the London strip club owner, theatre impresario, property magnate, and porn baron Paul Raymond, which was adapted into a big-budget movie called The Look of Love. Like many of my books, Members Only strayed into true crime, a genre that has, for all sorts of reasons, been attractive to me as a writer. Probably the most important of those is that it provides the opportunity to tell inherently dramatic stories and to convey a vivid picture of the past, thanks to the wealth of documentation associated with major crimes. 

Paul's book list on twenty-first century true-crime

Paul Willetts Why did Paul love this book?

The extreme length of Fall and Rise put me off until my agent Matthew Hamilton persuaded me to take the plunge.

Just as he’d promised, I found myself deeply engaged in the lives and ultimate fates of Mitchell Zuckoff’s large cast of real-life characters, whose personalities, back-stories, and ambitions are rendered with impressive immediacy.

Of course we already know the outcome of this tragic story, yet the book possesses remarkable narrative dynamism. Hovering over most of its pages is the unnerving question, “Which of these people will survive?”

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

'The farewell calls from the planes... the mounting terror of air traffic control... the mothers who knew they were witnessing their loved ones perish... From an author who's spent 5 years reconstructing its horror, never has the story been told with such devastating, human force' Daily Mail

This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerising, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day.

In the days and months after 9/11, Mitchell Zuckoff, then…


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