100 books like Deadly Embrace

By Sebastian Balfour,

Here are 100 books that Deadly Embrace fans have personally recommended if you like Deadly Embrace. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Homage to Catalonia

Peter Hain Author Of The Elephant Conspiracy

From my list on thrilling page-turners.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an activist-politician, who’s been both militant anti-apartheid protestor and Cabinet Minister, someone who tries to convey sometimes complex issues in straightforward terms, impatient with taking refuge down academic rabbit holes, striving to see the wood-for-the-trees. With the exception of George Orwell, each of the books I have recommended is by an author I know personally. My new thriller, The Elephant Conspiracy, sequel to The Rhino Conspiracy, reflects dismay at the corrupt betrayal of Nelson Mandela’s freedom struggle and the values which inspired it, the main characters fighting to revive those values of social justice, liberty, equal opportunities, and integrity, as well as service to others not selfish enrichment. 

Peter's book list on thrilling page-turners

Peter Hain Why did Peter love this book?

I recall reading it in my late teens, less as the classic it was on the barbarous Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, and more as a personal discovery by Orwell of how his democratic socialist instincts were sharpened and shaped by the buffeting swirl of ideological clashes and bitter sectarian struggles within the inspirational resistance to Franco’s fascism in Spain. As he witnessed the heroism and the horror, the passion and sometimes the ulterior purposes of these competing groups, Homage to Catalonia for me was a gripping narrative, climaxing in the internecine firefight in Barcelona where the left helped defeat itself, and thereby opened the door to Franco’s murderous victory and equally murderous rule. 

Like Orwell’s, the socialism that I had come to believe in during the first ten years of my life in Britain was instinctively ‘libertarian’ rather than ‘statist’, favouring democracy and liberty rather than central control…

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Homage to Catalonia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Homage to Catalonia remains one of the most famous accounts of the Spanish Civil War. With characteristic scrutiny, Orwell questions the actions and motives of all sides whilst retaining his firm beliefs in human courage and the need for radical social change.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is introduced by Helen Graham, a leading historian on the Spanish Civil War.

When George Orwell arrived in Spain in 1936, he…


Book cover of The International Brigades: Fascism, Freedom and the Spanish Civil War

Christopher Othen Author Of Franco's International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War

From my list on international intervention Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Christopher Othen is the author of Franco’s International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War (Hurst, 2013) and four other books on subjects such as French gangsters in Nazi Paris, mercenaries in post-colonial Africa, and political opposition to Islam in Europe and America. He lives in Eastern Europe and his day jobs have included journalist, legal representative for asylum seekers, and English language teacher. In off-the-clock adventures, he has interviewed retired mercenaries about forgotten wars and got drunk with an ex-mujahidin who knew Osama Bin Laden.

Christopher's book list on international intervention Spanish Civil War

Christopher Othen Why did Christopher love this book?

In 1936 an attempt by a coalition of reactionary army officers to overthrow the Spanish government outraged left-wingers around the world. By the start of the next year the International Brigades had been formed under the watchful eye of the Soviet Union to help the beleaguered Republic. At least 35,000 men from countries as diverse as Britain, China, Sweden, and Cuba fought and died on Spanish battlefields for a lost cause. Giles Tremlett’s expansive narrative history brings them vividly to life, with both their heroism and flaws, and shows why their struggle is still remembered today.

By Giles Tremlett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Magnificent. Narrative history at its vivid and compelling best' Fergal Keane

The first major history of the International Brigades: a tale of blood, ideals and tragedy in the fight against fascism.

The Spanish Civil War was the first armed battle in the fight against fascism, and a rallying cry for a generation. Over 35,000 volunteers from sixty-one countries around the world came to defend democracy against the troops of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini.

Ill-equipped and disorderly, yet fuelled by a shared sense of purpose and potential glory, disparate groups of idealistic young men and women banded together to form a…


Book cover of Franco and the Condor Legion: The Spanish Civil War in the Air

Christopher Othen Author Of Franco's International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War

From my list on international intervention Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Christopher Othen is the author of Franco’s International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War (Hurst, 2013) and four other books on subjects such as French gangsters in Nazi Paris, mercenaries in post-colonial Africa, and political opposition to Islam in Europe and America. He lives in Eastern Europe and his day jobs have included journalist, legal representative for asylum seekers, and English language teacher. In off-the-clock adventures, he has interviewed retired mercenaries about forgotten wars and got drunk with an ex-mujahidin who knew Osama Bin Laden.

Christopher's book list on international intervention Spanish Civil War

Christopher Othen Why did Christopher love this book?

General Franco’s rebellion would never have stood a chance without the support of Nazi Germany. The rebels lacked airpower and Hitler was happy to supply some in the form of the Condor Legion, intended both to support Franco and give the fledgling Luftwaffe a taste of battle. The Legion’s most notorious action was the bombing of Guernica but Michael Alpert shows Germany’s influence on all aspects of the Spanish Civil War in his very readable and wide-ranging  book that also takes in Russian and Italian airborne intervention.

By Michael Alpert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Spanish Civil War was fought on land and at sea but also in an age of great interest in air warfare and the rapid development of warplanes. The war in Spain came a turning point in the development of military aircraft and was the arena in which new techniques of air war were rehearsed including high-speed dogfights, attacks on ships, bombing of civilian areas and tactical air-ground cooperation. At the heart of the air war were the Condor Legion, a unit composed of military personnel from Hitler's Germany who fought for Franco's Nationalists in Spain. In this book, Michael…


Book cover of Mine Were of Trouble

Christopher Othen Author Of Franco's International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War

From my list on international intervention Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

Christopher Othen is the author of Franco’s International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War (Hurst, 2013) and four other books on subjects such as French gangsters in Nazi Paris, mercenaries in post-colonial Africa, and political opposition to Islam in Europe and America. He lives in Eastern Europe and his day jobs have included journalist, legal representative for asylum seekers, and English language teacher. In off-the-clock adventures, he has interviewed retired mercenaries about forgotten wars and got drunk with an ex-mujahidin who knew Osama Bin Laden.

Christopher's book list on international intervention Spanish Civil War

Christopher Othen Why did Christopher love this book?

The Nationalists had their own International Brigades in the form of the many thousands of foreigners who came to support Franco’s cause. Most ended up in the Spanish Foreign Legion, among them the Cambridge-educated conservative Peter Kemp. Motivated to take part by a fierce hatred of communism, he saw sharp end of the Civil War and had most of his teeth smashed out by a mortar shell at the Ebro but never lost faith in the rightness of Franco’s cause.  Years later he wrote this, recently republished, memoir of the war that is equally vivid and disturbing, never more so than when he describes executing a British deserter from the Internationalist Brigades.

By Peter Kemp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Spain, 1936. Escalating violence between left- and right-wing political factions boils over. Military officers stage a coup against a democratically elected, Soviet-backed, government. The country is thrown into chaos as centuries-old tensions return to the forefront. Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards choose sides and engage in the most devastating combat since the First World War. For loyalists to the Republic, the fight is seen as one for equality and their idea of progress. For the rebels, the struggle is a preemptive strike by tradition against an attempted communist takeover.

Thousands of foreigners, too, join the struggle. Most fight with the…


Book cover of The Sleeping Voice

Johana Gustawsson Author Of Blood Song

From my list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a French writer of Spanish origin. My two grandfathers shared history with Spain’s darkest hours. My maternal grandfather was born in Barcelona and he was a teenager at the time of the war; just like Salvayre’s parents, he had to flee Spain as the bombs were hitting his city. My paternal grandfather, who was in his twenties at the time of the civil war, decided to fight for the “International Brigades” to defend Spain’s freedom. It is to honour their memory and one of the millions of men and women who suffered from those almost four decades of dictatorship that I wrote Blood Song, a historical thriller, the third installment in the Roy and Castell series.

Johana's book list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War

Johana Gustawsson Why did Johana love this book?

The Sleeping Voice is the most poignant novel about women in the Spanish civil war you will get to read. Those voices are the ones of the women who fought throughout the dictatorship not to be forgotten as the silent soldiers they were. Those voices tell us that the real heroes are very often anonymous. You won’t be able to part with Hortensia, Elvira and Tomasa, the heroines: I can guarantee that they will all stay with you. I actually chose a quote from that book to open Blood Song: it is about a mother wondering how the sea looks like as her boys are laying in it. 

By Dulce Chacon, Nick Caistor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dulce Chacon's book has had an immense success in Spain, no doubt because the novelist speaks with a just and powerful voice, and because she has allowed women - the most anonymous, the most suppressed, the most silenced - to speak out" Le Monde

It is 1939. In the Ventas prison in Madrid a group of women have been incarcerated. Their crime is to have supported or fought on the Republican side in Spain's cruel and devastating Civil War. Chief among them are Hortensia, who fought with the militia and is pregnant by her husband Felipe - a man still…


Book cover of Blood of Spain: An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War

Martha A. Ackelsberg Author Of Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

From my list on anarchism and revolution in the Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying and writing about, anarchism, gender, and the Spanish Civil War for almost 4 decades. I first explored what it would mean to organize a society without formal institutions of authority; and, as part of that research, I looked at how anarcho-syndicalist organizations related to governmental institutions and the struggle against fascism in Spain. I then engaged in a multi-year investigation of the social revolution that occurred in the midst of the ensuing Civil War and, in particular, the activities of the anarchist women’s organization, Mujeres Libres. Through the research for my book, Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women, I was captivated by the extraordinary strength and enthusiasm of those women, and committed myself to telling their stories in ways that would be relevant to contemporary readers.

Martha's book list on anarchism and revolution in the Spanish Civil War

Martha A. Ackelsberg Why did Martha love this book?

Based on interviews Fraser conducted with both activists and everyday citizens (over 300 people, in total) who survived the Civil War, this book provides a powerful picture of the struggles, successes and defeats experienced by those who lived through it. It provides an extraordinary view of the complexity of the war and of the organizations that became involved in it.

By Ronald Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Conversations taped between June 1973 and May 1975 with more than three hundred survivors of the Spanish Civil War provide a chronological account of the fratricidal struggle, which brought violence and desperation to every family in Spain


Book cover of The Spanish Labyrinth: An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Spanish Civil War

Martha A. Ackelsberg Author Of Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

From my list on anarchism and revolution in the Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying and writing about, anarchism, gender, and the Spanish Civil War for almost 4 decades. I first explored what it would mean to organize a society without formal institutions of authority; and, as part of that research, I looked at how anarcho-syndicalist organizations related to governmental institutions and the struggle against fascism in Spain. I then engaged in a multi-year investigation of the social revolution that occurred in the midst of the ensuing Civil War and, in particular, the activities of the anarchist women’s organization, Mujeres Libres. Through the research for my book, Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women, I was captivated by the extraordinary strength and enthusiasm of those women, and committed myself to telling their stories in ways that would be relevant to contemporary readers.

Martha's book list on anarchism and revolution in the Spanish Civil War

Martha A. Ackelsberg Why did Martha love this book?

This book was originally published almost immediately after the Civil War and provides an extraordinarily rich—and yet very readable---account of the many conflicting forces that led up to the war. It is an indispensable introduction to that history.

By Gerald Brenan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gerald Brenan's The Spanish Labyrinth has become the classic account of the background to the Spanish Civil War. Written during and immediately after the Civil War, this book has all the vividness of the author's experience. It represents a struggle to see the issues in Spanish politics objectively, whilst bearing witness to the deep involvement which is the only possible source of much of this richly detailed account. As a literary figure on the fringe of the Bloomsbury group, Gerald Brenan lends to this narrative an engaging personal style that has become familiar to many thousands of readers over the…


Book cover of Guerra

Jules Stewart Author Of Madrid: Midnight City

From my list on the Spanish Civil War and its impact on Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first set foot in Madrid in 1962, when the deep scars of a three-year siege were still very much in evidence. Over the years I have observed it evolve into the most vibrant and fascinating city in Europe. I lived in Madrid for a total of twenty years and after moving to London, I found myself missing it very badly, so much so that I decided to put my enthusiasm to pen and tell the world what a spectacular place it is. The result was three books: Madrid: The History, Madrid: A Literary Companion for Travellers, and the latest, Madrid: Midnight City, co-authored with Helen Crisp, a long-time visitor who shares my enthusiasm for this city perched atop the Castilian plateau. 

Jules' book list on the Spanish Civil War and its impact on Spain

Jules Stewart Why did Jules love this book?

Jason Webster journeys across Spain to explore the lasting effects of the Spanish Civil War. The result of his travels is this book of fascinating and vividly retold true stories from the war. The more the author unveils of the passions that set one countryman against another, the more he is led to wonder: could the dark, primitive currents that ripped the country apart in the 1930s still be stirring under the sophisticated, worldly surface of today's Spain? With this moving and succinct account, Webster definitively establishes his credential as one of the most gifted and knowledgeable Anglophone writers who have interpreted Spain to the world.

By Jason Webster,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After twelve years in Spain, Jason Webster had developed a deep love for his adopted homeland; his life there seemed complete. But when he and his Spanish wife moved into an idyllic old farmhouse in the mountains north of Valencia, by chance he found an unmarked mass grave from the Spanish Civil War on his doorstep.Spurred to investigate the history of the Civil War, a topic many of his Spanish friends still seemed to treat as taboo, he began to uncover a darker side to the country. Witness to a brutal fist-fight sponsored by remnants of Franco's Falangists, arrested and…


Book cover of There Your Heart Lies

Diane Josefowicz Author Of Ready, Set, Oh

From my list on you’ve never heard of about Rhode Island.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Rhode Islander, I didn’t have to do too much research to write Ready, Set, Oh. I was born in Providence, and I grew up in Cranston, a suburb outside the city. After graduating from a local high school, I studied at Brown University and after years of living in different cities, fifteen years ago I settled in Providence with my family. I adore this place—we have vibrant neighborhoods, gorgeous beaches, plenty of history, and a surprisingly lively literary scene. I assembled this list to draw attention to some great but under-recognized books set in Rhode Island, either by Rhode Islanders or writers with significant connections to the Biggest Little. 

Diane's book list on you’ve never heard of about Rhode Island

Diane Josefowicz Why did Diane love this book?

I’ve been reading Mary Gordon ever since a fellow writer put her novel Spending in my hands in 1999. Two decades later, I remain as impressed by Gordon’s moral intelligence as by her luscious prose. In this novel, Marian, an older woman living in coastal Rhode Island, relives her young adulthood, which she spent fighting Franco’s forces in Spain while posing as the wife of a politically engaged doctor who happened to be her dead brother’s former lover. Now Marian’s granddaughter has arrived on her doorstep in search of her history and is inspired to visit Spain herself. But what she discovers is only what Marian already knows, living by the coast: that a quiet life in a backwater can also be free and meaningful.

By Mary Gordon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There Your Heart Lies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At nineteen, Marian Taylor cut herself off from her wealthy, conservative Irish Catholic family and left America to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War—an experience she has always kept to herself. Now in her nineties and diagnosed with cancer, Marian finally shares what happened to her during those years with her granddaughter Amelia, a young woman of good heart but only a vague notion of life’s purpose. Marian’s secret history—of personal and ethical challenges nearly unthinkable to Amelia’s generation, of the unexpected gifts of true love and true friendship—compels Amelia to make her own journey to Spain to reconcile her…


Book cover of The Time of the Doves

Jenny Jaeckel Author Of Boy, Falling

From my list on historical fiction by diverse women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author and illustrator who works in a variety of genres, including Historical Fiction. When historical fiction is well done it conveys times and events as they were lived and breathed by real people. Historical fiction by diverse women tells the stories of those consistently left out of the “historical record.” Human life is rich and diverse, and the stories belong to all of us, not just those who have historically had the power to control the cultural narratives. As a writer and student of history, it has been my pleasure to explore characters that are not often represented, characters that are ordinary for their times, and extraordinary as well. 

Jenny's book list on historical fiction by diverse women

Jenny Jaeckel Why did Jenny love this book?

The Time of the Doves is one of my favorite books of all time for its intimacy, immediacy, and unusual descriptive power. Natalia, a young woman living in Barcelona around the time of the Spanish Civil war, paints for the reader a vivid and seamless picture of her life from the inside out—her loves and losses, survival, the confusion of a world broken by chaos and violence and put back together again by perseverance and tenderness. A short but unforgettable read that I return to again and again.

By Mercè Rodoreda, David H. Rosenthal (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Time of the Doves - by Mercè Rodoreda - is the powerfully written story of a naïve shop-tender during the Spanish Civil War and beyond, is a rare and moving portrait of a simple soul confronting and surviving a convulsive period in history. The book has been widely translated, and was made into a film.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Spanish Civil War, Morocco, and Spain?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Spanish Civil War, Morocco, and Spain.

The Spanish Civil War Explore 50 books about the Spanish Civil War
Morocco Explore 45 books about Morocco
Spain Explore 194 books about Spain