100 books like Facing the Mountain

By Daniel James Brown,

Here are 100 books that Facing the Mountain fans have personally recommended if you like Facing the Mountain. 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 A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

David Snell Author Of Sing to Silent Stones: Part One

From my list on wartime books about families torn apart by the conflict in WW1 and WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

My reading is almost entirely influenced by my own family’s extraordinary history. My mother and father-in-law were both illegitimate. Both suffered for the fact and my father-in-law was 11 years old when he first found out and was reunited with his mother, albeit on a second-class basis compared to his half siblings. My mother trained bomb aimers. My father flew Lancaster bombers and was just 19 years old in the skies above wartime Berlin. My own books combine history, my personal experiences, and my family’s past to weave wartime stories exploring the strains that those conflicts imposed on friendships.

David's book list on wartime books about families torn apart by the conflict in WW1 and WW2

David Snell Why did David love this book?

What I loved about this book is that it is the true story of an American woman living in Nazi-occupied France, where she organised and ran resistance groups and led them in action.

The book, though factual, reads like a fictional novel, and her exploits and shear "daring do" almost beggar belief. She only had one leg, a fact that many who met her were completely unaware of, yet she crossed the Pyrenees on foot in winter!

It didn’t surprise me to find out that the men who "ran" the operations from London and Washington denigrated her achievements and consigned her to obscurity, describing her in the words of the book’s title. But she was a truly amazing heroine, and I would have loved to have met her.

By Sonia Purnell,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Woman of No Importance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, the Seattle Times, the Washington Independent Review of Books, PopSugar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookBrowse, the Spectator, and the Times of London

Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography

"Excellent...This book is as riveting as any thriller, and as hard to put down." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A compelling biography of a masterful spy, and a reminder of what can be done with a few brave people -- and a little resistance." - NPR

"A…


Book cover of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Shohini Ghose Author Of Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women Scientists Decoded the Hidden Universe

From my list on amazing women scientists who will inspire you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a curious optimist, which means I want to know how the universe works and use that knowledge to imagine and build a better future. That’s why I chose a career as a physicist. Along the way, I learned about the marvelous laws that govern our universe, but I also discovered the many unsung women who played a huge role in uncovering those laws. I love to share the inspiring stories of women scientists who persisted in the face of many challenges in fields dominated by men. I think they too were curious optimists.

Shohini's book list on amazing women scientists who will inspire you

Shohini Ghose Why did Shohini love this book?

As a physicist and a woman of color, Hidden Figures was absolutely unforgettable for me because it was the first book I read that celebrated women scientists of color.

This wonderful account of the remarkable African-American women who broke through societal and racial barriers and played critical roles at NASA during the space race, transformed the way I thought about the history of science. Interlacing history with personal narratives, Shetterly powerfully brings these women to life.

Not only does the book draw these long-forgotten women out of the shadows, but it also shines a light on the biases and challenges they faced which still persist today. This is a must-read for anyone interested in science, history, and achievement in the face of adversity.

By Margot Lee Shetterly,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Hidden Figures 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 starring Golden Globe-winner Taraji P. Henson and Academy Award-winners Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program-and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now. Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as "Human Computers," calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American…


Book cover of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Bill Lynch Author Of Mekong Belle: Love's Impossible Choice

From my list on time travel on lonely roads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family of journalists. My great-grandfather, grand-aunt, and father were newspaper editors and master raconteurs. I followed in their footsteps, spending 50 years as a small-town newspaper editor. Among family, friends, and neighbors, I was expected to know the stories behind the headlines, and in so doing, I became a raconteur. In a good story, there is a fine line between fact and fiction. The novels I chose for a long road trip are as believable as the true stories I was told and ended up telling when it was my turn. It only takes asking “What if?” to cross the line from fact to fiction.

Bill's book list on time travel on lonely roads

Bill Lynch Why did Bill love this book?

I’d already bought the book when we decided to drive from our home in Sonoma, California, to visit friends who live in the San Juan Islands off the Washington Coast. I packed the book but also downloaded the Audible version. We started listening as we got on the road. I never opened the book.

It’s just a great story set in the time my parents were in high school and college. It was a world with which I was made familiar by their stories. The main character’s difficult early life resonates with anyone who has listened to the greatest generation talk about what it was like growing up during the Depression.

Yes, the action during the rowing was exciting, but I enjoyed the development of the characters, especially Joe Rantz, and his personal challenges and victories, more than all competition scenes.

By Daniel James Brown,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Boys in the Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times-bestselling story about the American Olympic rowing triumph in Nazi Germany-from the author of Facing the Mountain.

Soon to be a major motion picture directed by George Clooney

For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times-the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the…


Book cover of Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II

Stephanie Hinnershitz Author Of Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II

From my list on Japanese American incarceration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in central Pennsylvania, I learned little about Japanese American incarceration beyond the brief mention in textbooks. It wasn’t until I came across documents about incarceration camps in Arkansas that I wanted to learn more and spent the next five years exploring this subject. What I took away from my research is that even though confinement in camps only directly affected Japanese Americans, understanding how this tragedy happened is important for all Americans who value democracy. I’m a Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum and work hard to make sure that Japanese American incarceration is included in the larger history of the American home front during the war.

Stephanie's book list on Japanese American incarceration

Stephanie Hinnershitz Why did Stephanie love this book?

This book is a classic and of the first that I read on the subject. It’s a concise introduction to this shameful moment in America’s WWII era history that carefully explains how decades of anti-Japanese sentiment along the West Coast reached a peak following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. But Daniels also provides in-depth detail on what life was like for Japanese Americans who spent some of if not most of their time during the war behind barbed wire and how they struggled to return to “normal” when released from the camps. Most importantly, the book has a compelling concluding chapter that asks its readers, “Could this happen again?” Daniels doesn’t give an answer but encourages us to read more and think about the legacy of incarceration.

By Roger Daniels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prisoners Without Trial as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Well established on college reading lists, Prisoners Without Trial presents a concise introduction to a shameful chapter in American history: the incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. With a new preface, a new epilogue, and expanded recommended readings, Roger Daniels’s updated edition examines a tragic event in our nation’s past and thoughtfully asks if it could happen again.

“[A] concise, deft introduction to a shameful chapter in American history: the incarceration of nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.” — Publishers Weekly

“More proof that good things can come in small packages... [Daniels] tackle[s] historical issues…


Book cover of What Did the Internment of Japanese Americans Mean?

Stephanie Hinnershitz Author Of Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II

From my list on Japanese American incarceration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in central Pennsylvania, I learned little about Japanese American incarceration beyond the brief mention in textbooks. It wasn’t until I came across documents about incarceration camps in Arkansas that I wanted to learn more and spent the next five years exploring this subject. What I took away from my research is that even though confinement in camps only directly affected Japanese Americans, understanding how this tragedy happened is important for all Americans who value democracy. I’m a Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum and work hard to make sure that Japanese American incarceration is included in the larger history of the American home front during the war.

Stephanie's book list on Japanese American incarceration

Stephanie Hinnershitz Why did Stephanie love this book?

The title says it all: This is a book if you want to dig a little deeper into what incarceration meant and means for all Americans. Featuring different, shorter essays by leading scholars on the Japanese American experience during the war, I love this book for its collection of insights from different historians who approach the topic in their own, distinct ways. If you’re short on time and want a quick read on the many angles on incarceration from motivations to experiences to the movement for a formal apology from the US government, this is one to check out.

By Alice Yang Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Did the Internment of Japanese Americans Mean? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During World War II, over 120,000 Japanese Americans were removed and confined for four years in 16 camps located throughout the western half of the United States. Yet the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps remains a largely unknown episode of World War II history. In these selections, students are invited to investigate this event, and to review and challenge the conventional interpretations of its significance. They explore the US government's role in planning and carrying out the removal and internment of thousands of citizens, resident aliens and foreign nationals, and the ways in which Japanese Americans coped with…


Book cover of When Can We Go Back to America? Voices of Japanese American Incarceration During WWII

Stephanie Hinnershitz Author Of Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II

From my list on Japanese American incarceration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in central Pennsylvania, I learned little about Japanese American incarceration beyond the brief mention in textbooks. It wasn’t until I came across documents about incarceration camps in Arkansas that I wanted to learn more and spent the next five years exploring this subject. What I took away from my research is that even though confinement in camps only directly affected Japanese Americans, understanding how this tragedy happened is important for all Americans who value democracy. I’m a Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum and work hard to make sure that Japanese American incarceration is included in the larger history of the American home front during the war.

Stephanie's book list on Japanese American incarceration

Stephanie Hinnershitz Why did Stephanie love this book?

If you want to delve into first-hand accounts of what life was like in the incarceration camps, you’ll find a lot of books for that, but you could be overwhelmed in the process. What I like about Kamei’s recent book is that it is a handy compilation of over a hundred engaging, heartbreaking, and inspiring descriptions of incarceration from those who directly experienced and fought against the prejudice that created it. Best of all, you can use this book as a jumping-off point for learning more about any of the individuals you encounter here. 

By Susan H. Kamei,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Can We Go Back to America? Voices of Japanese American Incarceration During WWII as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

In this dramatic and page-turning narrative history of Japanese Americans before, during, and after their World War II incarceration, Susan H. Kamei weaves the voices of over 130 individuals who lived through this tragic episode, most of them as young adults.

It's difficult to believe it happened here, in the Land of the Free: After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States government forcibly removed more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry from the Pacific Coast and imprisoned them in desolate detention camps until the end of World War II just because of their race.

In what…


Book cover of The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II

Stephanie Hinnershitz Author Of Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II

From my list on Japanese American incarceration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in central Pennsylvania, I learned little about Japanese American incarceration beyond the brief mention in textbooks. It wasn’t until I came across documents about incarceration camps in Arkansas that I wanted to learn more and spent the next five years exploring this subject. What I took away from my research is that even though confinement in camps only directly affected Japanese Americans, understanding how this tragedy happened is important for all Americans who value democracy. I’m a Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum and work hard to make sure that Japanese American incarceration is included in the larger history of the American home front during the war.

Stephanie's book list on Japanese American incarceration

Stephanie Hinnershitz Why did Stephanie love this book?

Was it just Japanese Americans who were detained during the war? I found myself asking this question before I started researching this topic. Sadly for me, Russell’s book was not yet published. While there are many books that detail the experiences of Germans and Italians (citizen and nationals) with internment, this book focuses on two young, American-born women—one German American, the other Japanese American—and the trials and tragedy they faced when they were detained and deported to Germany and Japan because their parents were foreign-born and eventually returned to the United States. I normally am skeptical of books described as telling “little-known” or “unknown” stories, but this book truly is an examination of an understudied event in the larger story of wartime panic, prejudice, and discrimination.

By Jan Jarboe Russell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II: “A must-read….The Train to Crystal City is compelling, thought-provoking, and impossible to put down” (Star-Tribune, Minneapolis).

During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged…


Book cover of My Own Country: A Doctor's Story

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

This is a memoir that has really stayed with me. It is beautifully written and a compulsive read.

Dr. Verghese describes the world of the deep south on the precipice of the AIDS epidemic. It is his story of being a young doctor, but also the story of the explosion in HIV cases far from the coastal cities that were the epicenters of the epidemic. I found myself crying over the cases he described, and feeling his heart-ache as he battled for individuals with HIV to gain acceptance, support, and treatments in their communities. 

By Abraham Verghese,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Doctor's storyof a town and its people in the age of Aids


Book cover of Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

Harold J. Goldberg Author Of D-Day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan

From my list on on World War II according to my students.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1974 I started my full-time teaching career at a small liberal arts college and realized how much I love teaching and discussing historical events with students. With Russian and Soviet history as my areas of specialization, expanding my course offerings to include World War II was a natural addition. My World War II class became extremely popular and led to demands that I take students to Europe to visit many of the places we discussed in class. Every summer for about ten years I led study-abroad trips to England, France, and Germany. Watching student reactions to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery made every trip worthwhile.

Harold's book list on on World War II according to my students

Harold J. Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

My students always identify with the story of E Company and its march across northern France and into Germany. As part of the 101st Airborne Division, the members of E Company parachuted into France as part of the D-Day invasion and then participated in a failed attempt to cross quickly into Germany in Operation Market Garden. At the end of 1944, Germany attempted to break through allied lines in the Battle of the Bulge, with E Company engaged in the crucial battle for Bastogne. Finally, inside Germany, E Company helped in the assault on Hitler’s alpine retreat called Eagle’s Nest. Throughout these battle stories, Ambrose focuses on one character in each chapter, allowing students to identify with individual struggles that create an emotional attachment between the reader and members of E Company.

By Stephen E. Ambrose,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Band of Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They fought on Utah Beach, in Arnhem, Bastogne, the Bulge; they spearheaded the Rhine offensive and took possession of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. BAND OF BROTHERS is the account of the men of…


Book cover of Paratrooper!: The Saga of the U. S. Army and Marine Parachute and Glider Combat Troops during World War II

Flint Whitlock Author Of If Chaos Reigns: The Near-Disaster and Ultimate Triumph of the Allied Airborne Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944

From my list on D-Day airborne operations.

Why am I passionate about this?

Flint Whitlock spent five years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army (1965-1970, including tours in West Germany and Vietnam), and is a qualified parachutist (Fort Benning, 1965). He has been an award-winning, full-time military historian since 2003, and has 14 books (mostly about WWII) to his credit. He has also been the editor of WWII Quarterly magazine since 2010 and gives battlefield tours for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and other organizations.

Flint's book list on D-Day airborne operations

Flint Whitlock Why did Flint love this book?

This large (718 pages) book covers the entire history of U.S. military parachute and glider operations—from the early evolution of the concept through landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, Southern France, Holland, Battle of the Bulge, Leyte, Manila, and Corregidor. Anyone wanting to appreciate the myriad American parachute and glider operations will find a wealth of information in Devlin’s book.

By Gerald M. Devlin, William P. Yarborough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Photographs and text document the bravery and daring exhibited by American parachute and glider combat forces and offer in-depth treatment of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and French parachute operations


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Europe, Japanese Americans, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Europe, Japanese Americans, and presidential biography.

Europe Explore 874 books about Europe
Japanese Americans Explore 44 books about Japanese Americans
Presidential Biography Explore 18 books about presidential biography