100 books like Grand Days

By Frank Moorhouse,

Here are 100 books that Grand Days fans have personally recommended if you like Grand Days. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Dave Hersh Author Of Reignition: Transforming Stuck Startups Into Breakout Winners

From my list on leaders feeling lonely at the top.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a founder, CEO, venture capitalist, buyout specialist, Chairman, author, consultant, and coach. I’ve seen the startup world from every angle and also seen how destructive it can be if we don’t take care of our inner lives. My work now is to help people understand how we can transform ourselves to transform our businesses. These books were helpful to me when I needed them most and shaped not only my leadership approach but also my life. 

Dave's book list on leaders feeling lonely at the top

Dave Hersh Why did Dave love this book?

Being “lonely at the top” is often a problem of being stuck inside an infinite loop of cycling voices in your head. I can get insanely maniacal about the little things and have difficulty breaking out of the cycle.

This book came at a time when I was deep in one of those cycles. It was a mind-blowing look into why we are who we are and how homo sapiens systematically took over the planet. It was such an “aha” moment for me that it made all the voices go away, and I could see why and how my life was playing out in this way.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…


Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Eric Kurlander Author Of Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich

From my list on Nazism and the occult.

Why am I passionate about this?

I would trace the genesis of Hitler’s Monsters to three distinct influences. The first was my childhood love of Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age comics––Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four––which, as illustrated by the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, are replete with themes of Nazi occultism and border science. The second was a conversation with my thesis advisor early in graduate school, when he noted that he was advising a dissertation on German occultism (Science for the Soul). The third influence was observing the mid-2000s resurgence in rightwing populism across Europe and North America, seemingly fueled by recourse to esoteric and supernatural thinking. The rest, as they say, is history.

Eric's book list on Nazism and the occult

Eric Kurlander Why did Eric love this book?

For those interested in a compelling work of fiction built loosely around Nazism and the occult, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the perfect novel.

Whether it’s one of the protagonists, a young Jewish magician, escaping Nazi-occupied Central Europe in the coffin of the “Golem of Prague” or the eponymous cousins finding success with their own comic book series infused by contemporary esoterica, Kavalier & Clay evokes the world in which young, first and second generation Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe created the Marvel and DC superheroes and super(natural) villains, often allied with the Third Reich, that have defined our popular culture for the past eighty years. 

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic - from the author of 'Wonder Boys'.

One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved. Little does he realise that this is the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. Together, they create a comic strip called 'The Escapist', its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed…


Book cover of Identity Crisis

Judy Nunn Author Of Showtime!

From my list on embrace show business and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an actor and a writer all my life. After many years performing in theatre and television in both Australia and the UK, I turned my hand to prose and revelled in the creative freedom. Thirty years and sixteen novels later I’m still revelling. As both actor and writer, the mix of fact and fiction has always intrigued me and I love travelling my characters through historical times of great impact, particularly upon Australia. In 2015 I was honoured to be made a Member of the Order of Australia for my service to the performing arts as an actor and to literature as an author.

Judy's book list on embrace show business and history

Judy Nunn Why did Judy love this book?

Identity Crisis is the most delicious satire! It is so much a send-up of modern times it will unfortunately date, and all too quickly become tomorrow’s history. But I don’t care. I will always find this one of the funniest books I have ever had the pleasure to read - indeed a wickedly witty laugh-out-loud on every page. Anyone who chooses to find the political incorrectness that abounds in Identity Crisis offensive really will need to delve deep in order to discover their obviously lost or sadly under-developed sense of humour.  

By Ben Elton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why are we all so hostile? So quick to take offence? Truly we are living in the age of outrage.

A series of apparently random murders draws amiable, old-school Detective Mick Matlock into a world of sex, politics, reality TV and a bewildering kaleidoscope of opposing identity groups. Lost in a blizzard of hashtags, his already complex investigation is further impeded by the fact that he simply doesn't 'get' a single thing about anything anymore.

Meanwhile, each day another public figure confesses to having 'misspoken' and prostrates themselves before the judgement of Twitter. Begging for forgiveness, assuring the public "that…


Book cover of The Lights That Failed: European International History 1919-1933

László Borhi Author Of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union

From my list on the search for truth in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I come from a small country, Hungary, the past of which was consciously falsified in the political system under which I grew up. Some chapters of it, like the cold war period, Soviet rule, the revolution of 1956 couldn't even be discussed. I was lucky because communism collapsed and archives were gradually opened just as I started my career as a historian. Books on international history are usually written from the perspective of the powerful states, I was interested in looking at this story from the perspective of the small guy. Writing this book was both a professional challenge and a personal matter for me. I'm currently a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington.

László's book list on the search for truth in history

László Borhi Why did László love this book?

This is a book for academics, college professors, graduate students, and those members of the educated public who are interested in historical scholarship at its best.

This, at first sight intimidatingly large volume makes a deep dive into the diplomatic history of the first decade after the first world war. All angles, diplomatic, intelligence, and economic are examined from the perspective of the actors of the international stage, large and small alike.

The magnitude of Steiner’s work can be compared to Gibbon’s opus on the Roman Empire – it will remain a classic in the genre. It took a lifetime to piece together the puzzle of why the stabilization of Europe in the aftermath of the hitherto most destructive war in history.

This book – and its sequel, The Triumph of the Dark is a must for those who are interested in understanding the vast complexity of international politics as…

By Zara Steiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The peace treaties represented an almost impossible attempt to solve the problems caused by a murderous world war. In The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919-1933, part of the Oxford History of Modern Europe series, Steiner challenges the common assumption that the Treaty of Versailles led to the opening of a second European war. In a radically original way, this book characterizes the 1920s not as a frustrated prelude to a second global conflict
but as a fascinating decade in its own right, when politicians and diplomats strove to re-assemble a viable European order. Steiner examines the efforts that…


Book cover of The Illusion Of Victory: America In World War I

Stephen L. Harris Author Of Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York City's Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line

From my list on World War I and America's role in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading my great uncle’s war letters home to Kansas City and seeing his artwork—he was a magazine illustrator in civilian life and then editor of the 27th Empire Division’s magazine, Gas Attack—I knew, as a writer, I had to put his story down on paper. What his National Guard regiment did, the 107th, simply blew me away. From writing about what the 107th endured in the Great War, I was carried away to tackle the all-black 369th Regiment, famously known as Harlem’s Hell Fighters. I then had to tell the story of New York City’s most famous regiment, the Fighting 69th. My trilogy of New York’s National Guard in the war is now done.

Stephen's book list on World War I and America's role in it

Stephen L. Harris Why did Stephen love this book?

The late historian, Thomas Fleming, was a friend. It was an article he wrote for American Heritage magazine in 1968, “Two Argonnes,” about his father, a lieutenant in the 78th Division, that inspired me to write my first World War I book centered on my great uncle as the main character.

Thomas authored 19 books, The Illusion of Victory, is his last book, and he paints a different picture of America’s role in the war, showing how President Wilson and our country were “duped” by Great Britain and France to enter the war, thinking the war was almost won. He not only writes about the Western Front but goes into detail about the home front. After reading his book, you’ll get a different perspective on World War I.

In 2020, to honor one of our most imminent historians, Military History Quarterly magazine inaugurated the annual Thomas Fleming Award for…

By Thomas Fleming,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this sweeping historical canvas, Thomas Fleming undertakes nothing less than a drastic revision of our experience in World War I. He reveals how the British and French duped Wilson into thinking the war was as good as won, and there would be no need to send an army overseas. He describes a harried president making speech after speech proclaiming America's ideals while supporting espionage and sedition acts that sent critics to federal prisons. And he gives a harrowing account of how the Allies did their utmost to turn the American Expeditionary Force into cannon fodder on the Western Front.Thoroughly…


Book cover of Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Human Rights Movement

Mona L. Siegel Author Of Peace on Our Terms: The Global Battle for Women's Rights After the First World War

From my list on feminism is a century-old global phenomenon.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was at university in the 1980s, I thought I wanted to become the ambassador to France. Then one of my roommates made me promise to take a women’s studies class—any class—before I graduated. I opted for “The History of Women’s Peace Movements.” Descending into historical archives for the first time, I held in my hands crumbling, 100-year-old letters of World War I-era feminists who audaciously insisted that for a peaceful world to flourish, women must participate in its construction. My life changed course. I became a professor and a historian, and I have been following the trail of feminist, internationalist, social justice pioneers ever since.  

Mona's book list on feminism is a century-old global phenomenon

Mona L. Siegel Why did Mona love this book?

When global diplomats formed the League of Nations in 1919, feminists were forced to lobby for women’s rights from outside the halls of power. As a small measure of progress, after World War II six states would appoint women to the 1945 conference charged with drafting a charter to govern the League’s successor: the United Nations. Half of the female delegates were appointed by Latin American nations, and together, the three feministas would lobby tirelessly to ensure that the UN Charter bound the body to promote human rights “without distinction as to race, language, religion, or sex.” Marino’s fabulous book explains why, in the 1920s and 1930s, Latin American feminists came to play such an outsized role in the global quest for sexual equality and human rights.

By Katherine M. Marino,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Feminism for the Americas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book chronicles the dawn of the global movement for women's rights in the first decades of the twentieth century. The founding mothers of this movement were not based primarily in the United States, however, or in Europe. Instead, Katherine M. Marino introduces readers to a cast of remarkable Latin American and Caribbean women whose deep friendships and intense rivalries forged global feminism out of an era of imperialism, racism, and fascism. Six dynamic activists form the heart of this story: from Brazil, Bertha Lutz; from Cuba, Ofelia Domingez Navarro; from Uruguay, Paulina Luisi; from Panama, Clara Gonzalez; from Chile,…


Book cover of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Louis P. Masur Author Of The Sum of Our Dreams: A Concise History of America

From my list on the real history of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louis P. Masur is a cultural historian who has written on a range of topics in American history, from Abraham Lincoln to Bruce Springsteen, from the first World Series to a photograph that shocked the nation. An award-winning teacher, Masur lectures frequently on various topics in American history. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and Slate. The Sum of Our Dreams emerged out a course he teaches on the American Dream, which, somehow, he still believes in.

Louis' book list on the real history of America

Louis P. Masur Why did Louis love this book?

Loewen’s book, updated since its original publication, explodes some of the many myths and falsehoods contained in textbooks on American history. Whether stories of the first Thanksgiving or America and the Vietnam War, the book challenges interpretations presented as facts and facts that are contested. The result is an indispensable argument for trying to get the facts right when discussing American history.

By James W. Loewen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Lies My Teacher Told Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important - and successful - history books of our time. Having sold over two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and was heralded on the front page of the New York Times in the summer of 2006. For this new edition, Loewen has added a new introduction that shows how inadequate history courses in high school help produce adult Americans who think Donald Trump can solve their problems.


Book cover of Village to Village: Misadventures in France

Jesse Fink Author Of The Eagle in the Mirror

From my list on books by Australian writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in England to Australian parents and have lived most of my life in Australia. My family all live there, and I grew up in Sydney. Most of my books have been about Australian-related themes or historical figures. I don’t think enough is known about Australian history outside Australia. Australian writers have always struggled for recognition outside Australia. Publishing can be an unfair business. I’m more interested in reading nonfiction than fiction. True stories are much harder to write and get right, and there’s a bigger responsibility involved. You’re dealing with real people. The dead ones also have families.

Jesse's book list on books by Australian writers

Jesse Fink Why did Jesse love this book?

One of the original Aussie literary expats in the 1940s, Kershaw penned this slim but sparkling memoir of his time in Paris and rural France before his death in 1995.

It is superbly written and completely unknown. Grab a copy if you’re lucky enough to find it. It proves that books don’t have to be long to stick in the memory. Sometimes, the shortest ones are the best. 

By Alister Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this witty and entertaining illustrated memoir, Alister Kershaw describes the pleasures of his prolonged residence in France - a country of villages - from 1948, when even Paris was a series of villages. In post-war Paris, Kershaw lived a penniless but joyous existence and captures a Paris long gone. The author conjures Paris prior to the triumph of the technocrats and town planners. It also traces the author's move into the Berry, two hours south of Paris, where he lives in a hamlet of six houses and finds a rural life amongst a small group of traditional Sancerre winemakers.…


Book cover of Preparing for War: The Making of the Geneva Conventions

Julia F. Irwin Author Of Catastrophic Diplomacy: US Foreign Disaster Assistance in the American Century

From my list on the origins of modern humanitarianism and its consequences for the contemporary world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian and professor in Louisiana, in the southern United States. When I was an undergraduate in college (many years ago!), I embraced the opportunity to study diverse subjects, ranging from the natural sciences to the humanities. I became fascinated by medicine and health and their relationship to history, society, and international relations–and have remained fascinated ever since. These interests led me to study humanitarianism and its place in 20th-century US foreign relations and international history. Over the years, I have researched and written two books and more than 20 articles on these subjects, and I love sharing this history with readers and students alike.

Julia's book list on the origins of modern humanitarianism and its consequences for the contemporary world

Julia F. Irwin Why did Julia love this book?

The 1949 Geneva Conventions are often viewed as a progressive and self-evident response to the horrors of the Second World War, but this book shows that their development was a highly contested and deeply politicized process.

I greatly appreciated the depth and rigor of the author’s research. By examining archival sources from ten countries and in multiple languages, van Dijk shows that the drafters of this landmark development in international humanitarian law had competing priorities and interests. The decisions and compromises they made in the 1940s shaped the future of warfare in profound ways.

In addition to teaching me about history, this book helped me to understand the consequences for civilians caught in today’s global conflicts.

By Boyd van Dijk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The 1949 Geneva Conventions are the most important rules for armed conflict ever formulated. To this day they continue to shape contemporary debates about regulating warfare, but their history is often misunderstood.

For most observers, the drafters behind these treaties were primarily motivated by liberal humanitarian principles and the shock of the atrocities of the Second World War. This book tells a different story, showing how the final text of the Conventions, far from being an unabashedly liberal blueprint, was the outcome of a series of political struggles among the drafters. It also concerned a great deal more than simply…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Paris, Australia, and presidential biography?

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