100 books like Estoril

By Dejan Tiago-Stankovic, Christina Pribichevich-Zoric (translator),

Here are 100 books that Estoril fans have personally recommended if you like Estoril. 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 Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From my list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Louise Ross Why did Louise love this book?

I grew up with lots of stories and books about WWII because my father was a veteran. What is different about this book’s narrative is Portugal’s position of neutrality during the Second World War and the resulting web of political intrigue. Salazar, Portugal’s dictator at the time, played both sides, aligning with the British, all the while selling off Portugal’s Tungsten, a metal used to produce armor-piercing projectiles (which apparently melted the British tanks), to the Germans for gold that the Nazi’s looted. And at the end of the war, all that gold helped Portugal emerge economically intact. 

By Neill Lochery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of World War II, though not a gun was fired there. The only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis power operated openly, it was temporary home to much of Europe's exiled royalty, over one million refugees seeking passage to the U.S., and a host of spies, secret police, captains of industry, bankers, prominent Jews, writers and artists, escaped POWs, and black marketeers. An operations officer writing in 1944 described the daily scene at Lisbon's airport as being like the movie Casablanca," times twenty. In this riveting narrative, renowned…


Book cover of The First Global Village

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From my list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Louise Ross Why did Louise love this book?

I read this book with great curiosity, as it was my first foray into Portuguese history after moving here. Page takes the reader back in time, when Portugal was ‘Rome on the Atlantic,’ and brings us full circle to Portugal’s Carnation Revolution of 1974. In between, there are ample fascinating examples of the cultural cross pollination that occurred as a result of the Portuguese setting sail in the 15th century on their ‘discoveries.’ For instance, we generally associate battered and deep-fried vegetables with Japanese cuisine, and yet it was the Portuguese, the first westerners to enter Japan, who introduced their traditional dish of green beans, fried in a light batter, that ultimately became Japanese tempura. 

By Martin Page,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Portugal is Europe’s south-western extremity, washed by the Atlantic, and warmed by the Mediterranean sun. Alone among Iberia’s ancient kingdoms in its independence from Spain, it is a nation about half the size of Florida, with two-thirds the population. Yet, over centuries, it has influenced the lives of the rest of us far more than many much larger and more powerful countries. The Portuguese gave the English afternoon tea, and Bombay the key to empire. They brought to Africa protection from Malaria, and slave-shipments to America; to India, higher education, curry, and samosas; to Japan, tempura and firearms. Portugal entered…


Book cover of The Portuguese: A Modern History

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From my list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Louise Ross Why did Louise love this book?

On the back cover, Hatton says that his purpose in writing The Portuguese – and this quote made me smile knowingly, and it’s why I bought the book – “is to describe the idiosyncrasies that make this lovely, and sometimes exasperating country unique and to search for explanations, surveying the historical path that drove the Portuguese to where they now stand.” Hatton succeeds beautifully in his endeavour, offering up 280 pages of an enlightening and scintillating read.

By Barry Hatton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Portugal is an established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous and largely overlooked country on the continent’s southwest rim. Barry Hatton shines a light on this enigmatic corner of Europe by blending historical analysis with entertaining personal anecdotes. He describes the idiosyncrasies that make the Portuguese unique and surveys the eventful path that brought them to where they are today. Portugal, which claims Europe’s oldest fixed borders, measures just 561 by 218 kilometers. Within that space, however, it offers a patchwork of…


Book cover of The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From my list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Louise Ross Why did Louise love this book?

Zimler is an award-winning American writer who has lived in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, since 1990. I admire Zimler’s historical fiction for its fact-based accuracy, and The Last Kabbalist is a beauty for that reason. His acclaimed novel details the Portuguese inquisition and the massacre of its Jews in 1506. Via his incisive research and great storytelling, Zimler sheds light on this period of history unknown to many Portuguese; as a result, there is now a Jewish Memorial Plaque in Rossio Square in Lisbon’s city center, honouring the two to five thousand Jews who were massacred. 

By Richard Zimler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Berekiah Zarco, a young manuscript illustrator, searches for the killer of his uncle Abraham, a renowned kabbalist discovered murdered in a secret synagogue, in a historical mystery set in sixteenthcentury Lisbon, Portugal. Reprint.


Book cover of Theory of Shadows

George J. Berger Author Of Four Nails: History's Greatest Elephant and His Extraordinary Trainer

From my list on shedding new light on famous figures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a youngster, my single mom’s bedtime stories did not come out of children’s books. They came out of real history—Hannibal and his elephants, the marauding Huns, or Captain Cook. It seemed preordained that I’d have a life-long love of history, that I’ve written three published historical novels, and am on the review team of the Historical Novel Society. My immersion in history and historical novels provides constant learning and pleasure.

George's book list on shedding new light on famous figures

George J. Berger Why did George love this book?

On March 24, 1946, then-current world chess champion, Alexandre Alekhine, is supposed to be getting ready to defend his title against a Russian challenger. But, at age 53, Alekhine lies dead in his seaside hotel room in Estoril, Portugal. Alekhine appears to have been eating dinner alone in his room. A local doctor soon certifies he choked on a piece of meat.

Born in Moscow, handsome, married four times, master of multiple languages, widely travelled, Alekhine was caught behind enemy lines during World War II. To stay alive, he played for both Stalin and high-level Nazis. He drank to excess, smoked heavily, suffered from angina. Did he die of a heart attack, a stroke, choking on food, murder by the KGB, or partisans for his apparent sidling up to Nazis? Sceptics and chess fans have wondered. Maurensig recounts the chess master’s last days and summarizes the many aspects of a…

By Paolo Maurensig, Anne Milano Appel (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the morning of March 24,1946, the world chess champion Alexander Alekhine - "sadist of the chess world," renowned for his eccentric behaviour as well as the ruthlessness of his playing style was found dead in his hotel room in Estoril, Portugal. He was fully dressed and wearing an overcoat, slumped back in a chair, in front of a meal, a chessboard just out of reach. The doctor overseeing the autopsy certified that Alekhine died of asphyxiation due to a piece of meat stuck in his larynx and assured the world that there was absolutely no evidence of suicide or…


Book cover of Salazar: The Dictator Who Refused to Die

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

From my list on why Portugal is weird.

Why am I passionate about this?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

Wendy Lee Hermance Why did Wendy love this book?

My neighbor, who owns the local agricultural store where I buy honey, told me almost casually that his father died in prison under Salazar. 

Gallagher has written 15 books on world history and politics, so I chose his to understand the dictator´s lasting impact on society. Salazar hung with dictator Franco strategically as a shield against Hitler, who he told to lay off all European Jews with Portuguese names because “Portugal does not recognize racial distinctions.” Personally above reproach Salazar was tolerant of homosexuality and promiscuity in others, and he welcomed back exiled and imprisoned opponents into regime leadership. Exploitations by the professional guilds Salazar built exist today, but so does social value on correct and ethical behaviour. 

Maybe my neighbor´s father stole a pig.

By Tom Gallagher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fifty years after his death, Portugal's Salazar remains a controversial and enigmatic figure, whose conservative and authoritarian legacy still divides opinion. Some see him as a reactionary and oppressive figure who kept Portugal backward, while others praise his honesty, patriotism and dedication to duty. Contemporary radicals are wary of his unabashed elitism and scepticism about social progress, but many conservatives give credit to his persistent warnings about the threats to Western civilisation from runaway materialism and endless experimentation.

For a dictator, Salazar's end was anti-climactic-a domestic accident. But during his nearly four decades in power, he survived less through reliance…


Book cover of Fortunes of War: The Balkan Trilogy

Debbie Rix Author Of The German Mother

From my list on WW2 books that will inform and inspire.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents both fought in the Second World War – my father as a bomber pilot, my mother as a Wren.  Dad often entertained us at family mealtimes with tales of his wartime adventures – of how was shot down over Germany, captured, imprisoned, but finally escaped. My interest in the period grew from there, and my first ‘wartime’ novel The Secret Letter was in fact largely based on my parents experiences.  Since then, I have become increasingly fascinated by the period, with now a total of four novels set in WW2, culminating in my present book The German Mother.

Debbie's book list on WW2 books that will inform and inspire

Debbie Rix Why did Debbie love this book?

A set of six novels that follow the fortunes of Harriet and Guy Pringle, set during the chaos of World War Two in Europe.

Guy teaches English at the University of Bucharest, and the novel opens with him bringing his new wife to join him in Romania. Manning combines an intimate story of the couple’s relationship with an epic tale of war-torn Europe and the Middle East. Her descriptions of places are brilliantly done; her dialogue is perfect, and she effortlessly portrays significant moments in history. 

I learned so much when I read it, and yet never felt I was being ‘taught’; in other words it’s the gold standard of historical fiction.

By Olivia Manning,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set under the gathering storm that is the Second World War in Romania, The Great Fortune is the first action-packed, romantic and fascinating book of The Balkan Trilogy.

Guy and Harriet Pringle marry after a six month courtship. Still getting to know each other, they arrive in Bucharest, where Guy is employed in the English Department of the University of Bucharest.

Over the following years Guy builds an eclectic network of friends and acquaintances. These charismatic contacts include his work colleague Clarence, his boss Lord Inchcape, the eccentric Prince Yakimov and Sophie, a local Romanian beauty. Harriet appears tough, but…


Book cover of No One Is Here Except All of Us

Jennifer Rosner Author Of The Yellow Bird Sings

From my list on Jewish-themed imaginative female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love stories about human connection and creativity. I came to writing later in life; I was moved to research and write a memoir about raising our two daughters, both of whom were born deaf. I discovered in my Jewish ancestry two deaf great-great aunts who tied strings to their babies’ wrists at night so that when their babies cried, they would feel the tug in the darkness and wake to care for them. This innovation of connection has shaped me as a mother, a writer, and a reader. In my novel, The Yellow Bird Sings, a mother and daughter stay connected through music and the power of imagination.

Jennifer's book list on Jewish-themed imaginative female characters

Jennifer Rosner Why did Jennifer love this book?

I read this magical, mystical novel on an airplane, and had to retrieve a spare t-shirt from my suitcase to sob into! A beautiful, heart-wrenching work about family history, memory, and the power of imagination, the story is narrated by a girl, Lena, who leads her village to imagining their way out of the reality of the Holocaust's horrors. For a time, the villagers are spared, even repaired, until the outside world presses its way in and the myths crack, then shatter.  

By Ramona Ausubel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No One Is Here Except All of Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and the new story collection, Awayland.

In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years- across oceans, deserts, and mountains-but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world:…


Book cover of The Persecution of the Jews in Photographs: The Netherlands 1940-1945

C.F. Yetmen Author Of The Roses Underneath

From my list on photo books that tell stories of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my “day job” I write about architecture, which means I often write about things I see in photos. When I began writing fiction, I continued using photos as inspiration and research. My novels are inspired by my family’s circumstances at the end of World War II and my fascination with the work of the Monuments Men. Photos show me details like a little girl playing with her doll under a sign that declares her building to be at risk of collapse, or a woman using the ruins of a building to hang out the wash. I love finding ways to use these elements in my writing.

C.F.'s book list on photo books that tell stories of World War II

C.F. Yetmen Why did C.F. love this book?

This book is the catalog of a 2019 exhibition of the same name. It’s a collection of 440 images that cover all facets of Jewish life in the Netherlands during the German occupation. What’s most interesting and compelling are the rare, so-called bystander photos that show what life under Nazi rule looked like for ordinary people going about their lives, both those who were persecuted and those who committed genocide, as well as those who witnessed it. While we can look into the faces of people knowing the horrors that were to come, seeing these images—weddings, dinners, strolls in the parkas a preface to the more familiar images of round-ups, transports, and concentration camps provides deeper insight into history. I revisit the photos in this book often.

By Rene Kok, Erik Somers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Persecution of the Jews in Photographs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Persecution of the Jews in Photographs, the Netherlands 1940-1945 is the first book of its kind on the subject. Both the professional photographers commissioned by the occupying forces and amateurs took moving photographs.

On 10 May 1940, the day of the German invasion, there were 140,000 Jewish inhabitants living in the Netherlands. The full extent of their terrible fate only became known after the war: at least 102,000 were murdered, died of mistreatment or were worked to death in the Nazi camps. This tragedy has had a profound effect on Dutch society.

Photographic archives and private collections were consulted…


Book cover of The Secret Purposes

Amanda Hale Author Of Mad Hatter, Volume 164

From my list on human relations in the altered reality of wartime.

Why am I passionate about this?

The writing of Mad Hatter (my 7th book), was fueled by curiosity about WW2 and about my absent father. I emigrated to Canada as a young woman and pursued a career in the Arts – theatre, painting, writing. But only when I embarked on this fictionalized family story did I begin to uncover shocking family secrets as I pulled together threads of childhood memory, woven in with research material, trying to make sense of it all. Writing has literally saved my life, and Mad Hatter has liberated me in a manner I could never have predicted. I am an intense, passionate workaholic, writing in many genres, exulting in life's surprises!

Amanda's book list on human relations in the altered reality of wartime

Amanda Hale Why did Amanda love this book?

Jewish internment in Britain is a little-known aspect of WW2. Baddiel based this novel on his grandfather's experience as a German-Jewish refugee to Britain, fleeing Nazi persecution. It is an ironic story of a man interned on the Isle of Man as an “enemy alien,” when war breaks out. Baddiel’s excellent story-telling led me to write a scene in my own family-inspired novel; between a character based on my father, also interned on the Isle of Man, and a Jewish refugee he encounters in the camp. They meet in the potato fields and, after some bristling, form a bond.

By David Baddiel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SECRET PURPOSES, David Baddiel's third novel, takes us into a little-known and still somewhat submerged area of British history: the internment of German Jewish refugees on the Isle of Man during the Second World War. Isaac Fabian, on the run with his young family from Nazism in East Prussia, comes to Britain assuming he has found asylum, but instead finds himself drowning in the morass of ignorance, half-truth, prejudice, and suspicion that makes up government attitudes to German Jews in 1940. One woman, June Murray, a translator from the Ministry of Information, stands out - and when she comes…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Portugal, Lisbon, and Romania?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Portugal, Lisbon, and Romania.

Portugal Explore 35 books about Portugal
Lisbon Explore 10 books about Lisbon
Romania Explore 24 books about Romania