100 books like Delta of Venus

By Anaïs Nin,

Here are 100 books that Delta of Venus fans have personally recommended if you like Delta of Venus. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ 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 The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Ling Ling Huang Author Of Natural Beauty

From my list on the power of music.

Why am I passionate about this?

For most of my life, I've been a professional classical violinist. I had my first performance on stage at the age of 4, went to a music conservatory at the age of 15, and have gone on to play on some of the best concert stages in the world, from the Elbphilharmonie to Carnegie Hall. My violin playing and writing inform each other, and I think of myself as a translator between the two. I love to do both, and I’m certain I couldn’t do one without the other. It's always a pleasure to see music in the books I read. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Ling's book list on the power of music

Ling Ling Huang Why did Ling love this book?

This was one of the first books I ever loved as a teenager and it has always stayed with me.

A professor recommended it to me, and I didn’t know that it would heavily reference Beethoven’s last string quartet, which I was working on at the time.

I love the way Kundera can weave so many disparate things together, including Beethoven’s fate motif and the fate of the character’s relationships. It’s something I find very inspiring and try to do in my own works.

By Milan Kundera,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Unbearable Lightness of Being as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A cult figure.' Guardian
'A dark and brilliant achievement.' Ian McEwan
'Shamelessly clever ... Exhilaratingly subversive and funny.' Independent
'A modern classic ... As relevant now as when it was first published. ' John Banville

A young woman is in love with a successful surgeon; a man torn between his love for her and his womanising. His mistress, a free-spirited artist, lives her life as a series of betrayals; while her other lover stands to lose everything because of his noble qualities. In a world where lives are shaped by choices and events, and everything occurs but once, existence seems…


Book cover of G.

Tobsha Learner Author Of Quiver

From my list on for when familiarity sets in.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first book was Quiver, a collection of erotic short stories. I wrote it to immortalize the hedonism of Sydney in the 1990s, wanting to show a nonjudgmental, joyful side. The fact that it touched a lot of people compelled me to write two more collections Tremble and Yearn – each exploring different themes: Tremble is an erotic re-imagining of various root myths, whilst Yearn has more historical and fantastical elements. I interweave all the characters in the stories throughout the whole collections. Humor is also important to me when it comes to the ironies and emotions around sex, the other aspect is gender power play and all the sublime reversals that can encapsulate. 

Tobsha's book list on for when familiarity sets in

Tobsha Learner Why did Tobsha love this book?

John Berger was a fantastic cultural observer and art critic, this book is erotic both in its observation of culture and context but also of human fallibility, and psychic and psychological transportation of love itself. It had a big influence on me as an art student and for the brief years when I was a sculptor. What I love about it is its empathy for both the female and male inner erotic life, although it is set in England and Europe at the end of the 19th century, Berger’s razor-sharp, succinct blending of the internal and external world is both moving and sensual. 

By John Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this luminous novel about a modern Don Juan, John Berger relates the story of G., a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of the last century as Europe teeters on the brink of war.

With profound compassion, Berger explores the hearts and minds of both men and women, and what happens during sex, to reveal the conditions of the libertine's success: his essential loneliness, the quiet cumulation in each of his sexual experiences of all of those that precede it, the tenderness that infuses even the briefest of his encounters, and the…


Book cover of The Story of O

Kai Storm Author Of That One Voice

From my list on fiction novels that will make you believe they’re real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Kai Storm, author of reality-based urban fiction and erotica, erotica blogger, YouTuber, and Podcaster. I love reading books that feel real, that make you feel, and that teach you something as they entertain you.

Kai's book list on fiction novels that will make you believe they’re real

Kai Storm Why did Kai love this book?

This book was given to me as a gift, and the lessons it taught me as I read those ancient pages.

It had me clutching my pearls, and it disgusted me at other parts, but at the same time, I wanted/needed to read that book in order to write a book in that style. 

By Pauline Reage,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Story of O as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic French erotic bestseller that preceded Fifty Shades of Grey

A beautiful young French woman, known only as 'O', is taken by her lover Rene to a splendid mansion near Paris. Here, she is initiated into an elite secret society, where she must learn to serve the sexual fantasies of Rene and his fellow members. But she must also explore the nature of her own darkest desires - and confront just how far she is willing to go for love...


Book cover of Bad Behavior: Stories

Tobsha Learner Author Of Quiver

From my list on for when familiarity sets in.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first book was Quiver, a collection of erotic short stories. I wrote it to immortalize the hedonism of Sydney in the 1990s, wanting to show a nonjudgmental, joyful side. The fact that it touched a lot of people compelled me to write two more collections Tremble and Yearn – each exploring different themes: Tremble is an erotic re-imagining of various root myths, whilst Yearn has more historical and fantastical elements. I interweave all the characters in the stories throughout the whole collections. Humor is also important to me when it comes to the ironies and emotions around sex, the other aspect is gender power play and all the sublime reversals that can encapsulate. 

Tobsha's book list on for when familiarity sets in

Tobsha Learner Why did Tobsha love this book?

This collection of short stories is really about how sexual desire and social ambition can lead to all sorts of compromising and bizarre situations. I originally was drawn to it because I’d loved the film Secretary based on one of the short stories in the collection. I related to it because it is nearly all from a young female P.O.V – a kind of potpourri of trying to make it in NY in the 1980s. It's the perfect illustration of how powerful short story as a form can be in terms encapsulate an event, mood, and era – It also showed me how fictionalized memoir can be a good source of material and that if the book is really well-observed it never dates. 

By Mary Gaitskill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mary Gaitskill's tales of desire and dislocation in 1980s New York caused a sensation with their frank, caustic portrayals of men and women's inner lives. As her characters have sex, try and fail to connect, play power games and inflict myriad cruelties on each other, she skewers urban life with precision and candour.

'Stubbornly original, with a sort of rhythm and fine moments that flatten you out when you don't expect it, these stories are a pleasure to read' Alice Munro

'An air of Pinteresque menace hangs over these people's social exchanges like black funereal bunting ... Gaitskill writes with…


Book cover of The Space Merchants

Gary Gibson Author Of Echogenesis

From my list on cynical takes on space colonisation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I was exposed to the same influences as most other SF writers of my generation – Clarke, Heinlein, and Asimov. But I was also exposed to the more nuanced, more psychologically realistic work of writers like Harlan Ellison, Norman Spinrad, Ursula K. LeGuin, and J.G. Ballard, none of whom shared the unquestioning techno-utopianism of an earlier generation of writers. They taught me not to automatically respect power or authority, and to always question ideas that might otherwise be taken for granted. It’s an approach that’s carried over into my own writing ever since.

Gary's book list on cynical takes on space colonisation

Gary Gibson Why did Gary love this book?

Pohl drew heavily on his experience as an advertising copywriter in this, perhaps his most famous novel co-written with C.M. Kornbluth. Although not directly set on a colonized world, it’s easily one of the darkest takes on the subject as the protagonist, a ‘star-class copysmith’ is given the job of selling people on the idea of emigrating to Venus…while carefully avoiding the reality of Venus being barely, if at all, habitable, with nothing to promise but a harsh existence and generations of toil before the planet can be fully terraformed.

By Frederik Pohl, C.M. Kornbluth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a vastly overpopulated near-future world, businesses have taken the place of governments and now hold all political power. States exist merely to ensure the survival of huge transnational corporations. Advertising has become hugely aggressive and boasts some of the world's most powerful executives.

Through advertising, the public is constantly deluded into thinking that all the products on the market improve the quality of life. However, the most basic elements are incredibly scarce, including water and fuel.

The planet Venus has just been visited and judged fit for human settlement, despite its inhospitable surface and climate; colonists would have to…


Book cover of The Revolt on Venus

William Illsey Atkinson Author Of Sun's Strong Immortality

From my list on well-written slam-bang adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had a rotten childhood. Stuck in bed with asthma, I couldn’t do sports; but I could roam space and time with books, especially science fiction. Yet when I tried to re-read my beloved sci-fi titles as an adult, I got a shock. The books with sound science had terrible writing; the well-written books were full of scientific schlock. I realized that if I wanted sci-fi that was both technically astute and rewarding to read, I’d have to write it myself. And so I did.

William's book list on well-written slam-bang adventures

William Illsey Atkinson Why did William love this book?

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet remains my favorite young adult series. What’s not to like? Fights ending in fellowship, villains, and perils defeated, all in a dazzling 24th-century world of atomic spaceflight, electric wristwatches, high-speed slidewalks, hard-nosed Solar Guard officers with hearts of gold, and – remember this was written 70 years ago – brilliant women who are full professors of astrophysics at Space Academy (I’ll always love you, Dr. Joan Dale). Oh yes, and the Paralo-Ray: a weapon that immobilizes but does not kill. Of the eight Corbett books, The Revolt on Venus is the best: tense and thrilling, full of great characters, and politically astute.

By Carey Rockwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is a result of an effort made by us towards making a contribution to the preservation and repair of original classic literature. In an attempt to preserve, improve and recreate the original content, we have worked towards: 1. Type-setting & Reformatting: The complete work has been re-designed via professional layout, formatting and type-setting tools to re-create the same edition with rich typography, graphics, high quality images, and table elements, giving our readers the feel of holding a 'fresh and newly' reprinted and/or revised edition, as opposed to other scanned & printed (Optical Character Recognition - OCR) reproductions. 2.…


Book cover of The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and the Race to Track the Transit of Venus

Larrie D. Ferreiro Author Of Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World

From my list on voyages of discovery about science, not conquest.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an engineer, scientist, and historian, I’ve always been fascinated by how science has always served the political goals of nations and empires. Today, we look at the Space Race to land a person on the Moon as a part of the Cold War effort to establish the intellectual and cultural dominance of the United States and the Soviet Union, even as it created new technologies and completely changed our understanding of the world. When I came across the Geodesic Mission to the Equator 1735-1744, I realized that even in the 18th century, voyages of discovery could do more than simply find new lands to conquer and exploit–they could, and did extend our knowledge of nature and mankind.

Larrie's book list on voyages of discovery about science, not conquest

Larrie D. Ferreiro Why did Larrie love this book?

In the late 18th century, European scientists claimed that “the sciences were never at war,” using as an example the international Transit of Venus voyages that took place during the height of the Seven Years’ War.

Even though the two opposing sides–France and Britain–were engaged in one of the bloodiest conflicts of that century, scientists from those two nations, as well as many allied nations on both sides, traveled vast distances across the globe (including Tahiti, South Africa, and Siberia) to witness the two Transits of Venus, 1761 and 1769.

Facing not just war but also fierce cold, disease, and the perils of ocean navigation (see Longitude above), the astronomers combined their observations to give mankind its first glimpse of the enormous scale of our solar system.      

By Mark Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Day the World Discovered the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On June 3, 1769, the planet Venus briefly passed across the face of the sun in a cosmic alignment that occurs twice per century. Anticipation of the rare celestial event sparked a worldwide competition among aspiring global superpowers, each sending their own scientific expeditions to far-flung destinations to time the planet's trek. These pioneers used the "Venus Transit" to discover the physical dimensions of the solar system and refine the methods of discovering longitude at sea. In this fast-paced narrative, Mark Anderson reveals the stories of three Venus Transit voyages--to the heart of the Arctic, the New World, and the…


Transit of Venus

By Nick Lomb,

Book cover of Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present

Toner Stevenson Author Of Eclipse Chasers

From my list on mash up astronomy, history and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been interested in art, science, and feminism. I became particularly engaged in the history and science of astronomy when I was the manager of the Sydney Observatory. While there, I wrote a doctoral thesis about the work of female ‘computers’ and star measurers for the Australian section of the Great Star Catalogue in the early 20th Century. I am interested in how astronomical events and observations have influenced history, art, and culture. I am an amateur astronomer, have seen eight total solar eclipses, two transits of Venus, and other astronomical events, and plan to see many more.

Toner's book list on mash up astronomy, history and culture

Toner Stevenson Why did Toner love this book?

I was fortunate to view two Venus transits, and this book made me realize how certain astronomical events have had enormous social impacts. There are many such examples of adventure, elation, and disappointment in this book, but the one that I found most fascinating is the 1769 transit of Venus, which was the main reason for the British voyage to the Southern Hemisphere. This historical event had major repercussions for Australian Indigenous people due to British colonisation. 

I particularly enjoyed referring to the many colorful images and maps as I read. The stunning painting of Fort Venus, set up for Lieutenant James Cook and astronomer Charles Green’s observations, led me to recently visit the same site, now called ‘Point Venus’, in Tahiti.

Transit of Venus

By Nick Lomb,

What is this book about?

"In his new book, Transit of Venus, 1631 to the Present, Dr Nick Lomb - an astronomer at the Sydney Observatpry and the author of the Australian Sky Guide - has produced what may be his most timely publication to date...Dr Lomb has cooked up both a titillating textual treat and a full-bodied visual feast, and whether his readers choose to nibble at the book meditatively or to ingest it voraciously in a single sitting, they are sure to come away licking their lips and drooling for more." - Michael E. Chauvin, The Bulletin The transit of Venus across the…


Book cover of Beyond Apollo

Allen Steele Author Of Coyote

From my list on lost classics of space science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Okay, so you’ve read Dune, you’ve read Starship Troopers, you’ve read 2001: A Space Odyssey, and maybe you’ve even read From Earth to the Moon and The First Men in the Moon. Seen the movies, too (or maybe you cheat and say you’ve read the books when you’ve only seen the flicks). Bet you think that makes you an expert on science fiction about space, right? Not even close! If you want to read more than just the well-known classics everyone else has, find these books. Some have become obscure and are now out of print, but they’re not hard to find; try ABE, eBay, and local second-hand bookstores. They’re worth searching for, and then you’ll really have something to talk about.

Allen's book list on lost classics of space science fiction

Allen Steele Why did Allen love this book?

In contrast to Marooned (and, in fact, just about every other SF space novel of the ’60s and ’70s) is this short and very dark masterpiece. The first winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, this novel about the aftermath of a doomed mission to Venus is Malzberg’s dark answer to the over-optimistic view of space exploration that was prevalent in the post-Apollo period, and a stark reminder that the universe is an unforgiving and dangerous place.

By Barry N. Malzberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two astronauts travel on the first manned expedition to the planet Venus. When the mission is mysteriously aborted and the ship returns to Earth, the Captain is missing and the First Officer, Harry M. Evans, can't explain what happened. Under psychiatric evaluation and interrogation, Evans provides conflicting accounts of the Captain's disappearance, incriminating both himself and lethal Venusian forces in the Captain's murder. As the explanations pyramid and the supervising psychiatrist's increasingly desperate efforts to get a straight story falter, Evans' condition and his inability to tell the "truth" present terrifying expressions of humanity's incompetence, the politics of space exploration,…


Book cover of The Venus Throw

Josiah Osgood Author Of Rome and the Making of a World State, 150 BCE–20 CE

From my list on the grit and glamor of Ancient Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of ancient Rome. My interest was sparked in my high school Latin classes. On my first trip to Rome, several years later, I truly fell in love. I could see the famed orator delivering his fierce attacks against Catiline amid the grand temples of the Forum and its surrounding hills. I could imagine myself standing in a crowd, listening. In Washington DC, where I now live and teach at Georgetown University, there are classical buildings all around to keep me inspired. I have written a number of books about Roman political history and have also translated the biographer Suetonius and the historian Sallust.

Josiah's book list on the grit and glamor of Ancient Rome

Josiah Osgood Why did Josiah love this book?

Mystery writer Steven Saylor’s recreations of late Republican Rome are the best out there. The Venus Throw finds Saylor’s detective, Gordianus the Finder, investigating the death of an Egyptian ambassador visiting the city. Through Gordianus’ search we meet a range of Romans known from historical sources including a noble woman, a love poet, and a eunuch priest of the eastern goddess Cybele. Saylor captures the variety of the city’s inhabitants and its places. You step into elegant houses, a dive bar with sour wine, and public baths where the floor is “heated to just the right temperature by the hot-water pipes underneath.” The Venus Throw is not the first entry in the Gordianus series but you can start with it, as I did, and then read all the others. One of these books’ many strengths is attention to the lives of slaves.

By Steven Saylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a chill January evening in 56 B.C. , two strange visitors to Rome--an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest--seek out Gordianus the Finder whose specialty is solving murders. But the ambassador, a philosopher named Dio, has come to ask for something Gordianus cannot give--help in staying alive. Before the night is out, he will be murdered.

Now Gordianus begins his most dangerous case. Hired to investigate Dio's death by a beautiful woman with a scandalous reputation, he will follow a trail of political intrigue into the highest circles of power and the city's most hidden arenas of debauchery. There…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Venus, Peru, and opium?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Venus, Peru, and opium.

Venus Explore 10 books about Venus
Peru Explore 48 books about Peru
Opium Explore 26 books about opium