100 books like Grand Quarrel

By Roger Hudson,

Here are 100 books that Grand Quarrel fans have personally recommended if you like Grand Quarrel. 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 The Fighting at Jutland

Tim Pears Author Of The Redeemed

From my list on memories of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I dig deep for research for my novels and am entranced by history. It is the soil we grow from; without a sense of history, we have shallow roots. Many history books, however, are academic and tedious. Accounts by living witnesses – from interviews, letters, diaries – bring the past to life with vivid detail.

Tim's book list on memories of war

Tim Pears Why did Tim love this book?

My grandfather fought in the Battle of Jutland, as a young gunnery lieutenant; the hero of The Redeemed, Leo, would do likewise as a boy seaman. I needed insight into men’s experience and found it above all in this book (put together by two naval officers who’d themselves taken part.) It is composed of sixty personal accounts from men of all ranks and is edited to give a gripping chronology of what remains the largest naval battle in history.

By H.W. Fawcett, G.W.W. Hooper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the end of the First World War there was a widespread feeling in the British fleet that the public's disappointment with the results of the Jutland battle was based on misunderstanding. From this grew a desire to set the record straight, and a pair of naval officers collected together some sixty personal accounts of what was the largest ever clash between dreadnought battleships. These came from men of all ranks, widely distributed throughout the British fleet, each only writing of what he had seen and how the experience affected him. These were edited and arranged to follow the chronology…


Book cover of The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War

Tim Pears Author Of The Redeemed

From my list on memories of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I dig deep for research for my novels and am entranced by history. It is the soil we grow from; without a sense of history, we have shallow roots. Many history books, however, are academic and tedious. Accounts by living witnesses – from interviews, letters, diaries – bring the past to life with vivid detail.

Tim's book list on memories of war

Tim Pears Why did Tim love this book?

The Swedish historian stitches together diaries and letters from twenty unknown people - from a Hungarian cavalryman to a German schoolgirl, the American wife of a Polish aristocrat to an English nurse – to tell the history of the First World War as an epic tapestry, with dizzying novelistic shifts from banal human moments to a wide scope of political and military affairs. Riveting and emotional.

By Peter Englund,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An intimate narrative history of World War I told through the stories of twenty men and women from around the globe--a powerful, illuminating, heart-rending picture of what the war was really like.
 
In this masterful book, renowned historian Peter Englund describes this epoch-defining event by weaving together accounts of the average man or woman who experienced it. Drawing on the diaries, journals, and letters of twenty individuals from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Venezuela, and the United States, Englund’s collection of these varied perspectives describes not a course of events but "a…


Book cover of Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust

Tim Pears Author Of The Redeemed

From my list on memories of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I dig deep for research for my novels and am entranced by history. It is the soil we grow from; without a sense of history, we have shallow roots. Many history books, however, are academic and tedious. Accounts by living witnesses – from interviews, letters, diaries – bring the past to life with vivid detail.

Tim's book list on memories of war

Tim Pears Why did Tim love this book?

Lyn Smith worked at the Imperial War Museum and created this extraordinary history of the Holocaust through her own interviews as well as writings and recordings with over a hundred participants. We follow events from the persecution of Jews in the thirties, through the ghettoes and camps, the Final Solution, to the liberation of the camps and after. Every page illuminates the central event of the twentieth century with heartbreaking, precise recollections. An indispensable monument.

By Lyn Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following the success of Forgotten Voices of the Great War, Lyn Smith visits the oral accounts preserved in the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, to reveal the sheer complexity and horror of one of human history's darkest hours.

The great majority of Holocaust survivors suffered considerable physical and psychological wounds, yet even in this dark time of human history, tales of faith, love and courage can be found. As well as revealing the story of the Holocaust as directly experienced by victims, these testimonies also illustrate how, even enduring the most harsh conditions, degrading treatment and suffering massive family losses,…


Book cover of The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II

Sarah Percy Author Of Forgotten Warriors: The Long History of Women in Combat

From my list on women in combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an academic, writer, and broadcaster, and I’ve always been fascinated by the big questions of who fights wars and why. A puzzle caught my eye: the only profession (short of maybe priest) where women were actively banned in the 1980s and as late as the 2010s, was combat. How could Western democracies ban women from an entire profession? This was especially odd, given that the plentiful historical evidence that women were perfectly capable of combat. So I wrote a book explaining how women in combat fit into the broader sweep of military history, and how the suppression and dismissal of their stories has had a profound social and cultural impact. 

Sarah's book list on women in combat

Sarah Percy Why did Sarah love this book?

If you didn’t know that between 800,000 and a million Soviet women fought in combat during World War II, this book will blow your mind.

Even for those aware of the history of Soviet female combatants – Soviet women fought in every imaginable military role, from fighter pilots to snipers to tank units – Alexievich’s astonishing oral history brings their stories to life. It’s especially profound to hear from the women themselves because after the war was over, women were told to never speak of their military service and got very little recognition for it.

By the time Alexievich recorded their stories, these women were getting old – and without her work many of these stories would have been lost. 

By Svetlana Alexievich, Larissa Volokhonsky (translator), Richard Pevear (translator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Unwomanly Face of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A must read' - Margaret Atwood

'It would be hard to find a book that feels more important or original' - Viv Groskop, Observer

Extraordinary stories from Soviet women who fought in the Second World War - from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? Their words and feelings? A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown... I want to write the history of that war. A women's history."

In the late…


Book cover of The Children of the New Forest

Stella Riley Author Of The Black Madonna

From my list on books set in 17th century England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of sixteen novels—six of them set in the mid-seventeenth century. The English Civil Wars and their aftermath is a period very close to my heartcombining as it does fascinating personalities, incredibly complicated politics, and all the drama and bloodshed of civil conflict. My greatest pleasure has been finding and featuring real men whose names are now largely forgotten.

Stella's book list on books set in 17th century England

Stella Riley Why did Stella love this book?

First published in 1847, the writing style seems somewhat ponderous these days. I read it when I was about twelve—and this is where I discovered the English Civil War. It begins in 1647 and tells the story of four children who, their home burned by Parliamentary soldiers, flee to hide in the forest during a time of danger, persecution, and war. Its bias is unashamedly Royalist but that isn’t necessarily a flaw.

By Frederick Marryat,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Book cover of By Love Divided

Anna Belfrage Author Of In the Shadow of the Storm

From my list on gritty historical fiction with a pinch of love.

Why am I passionate about this?

Give me a castle ruin or guide me through ancient Roman mosaics and you make my day. Accordingly, my preferred reading is historical fiction. I read (and review) lots of it, like 100 books/year. I am also ridiculously romantic. I want there to be some heart with the blood and war, I want characters I can root for despite the horrifying odds facing them. I want protagonists that step out of the past to drag me back with them. When I read, these are the books I choose. When I write, these are the books I aspire to create—Romantic Historical Fiction, if you will.

Anna's book list on gritty historical fiction with a pinch of love

Anna Belfrage Why did Anna love this book?

I have a passion for the 17th century and this novel based on actual diaries and letters from IRL people living through the realities of the English Civil War is a favourite. Ms. St. John writes about her own ancestors, and she imbues her characters with so much life, so many contrary opinions. These are difficult times, and especially for mother Lucy St. John whose son is a through-and-through royalist while daughter Luce is head-over-heels in love with Parliamentarian John Hutchinson. Luce is utterly fascinating: intelligent and with a passion to truly reform, she never loses her humanity or her ability for compassion. This novel is a real treat for anyone desiring well-researched historical fiction – with the added benefit of having a spoonful or two of love to complicate things! 

By Elizabeth St. John,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

”A fantastic read." Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Society

London, 1630. Widowed and destitute, Lucy St.John is fighting for survival and makes a terrible choice to secure a future for her children. Worse still, her daughter Luce rejects the royal court and a wealthy arranged marriage, and falls in love with a charismatic soldier. As England tumbles toward bloody civil war, Luce’s beloved brother Allen chooses to fight for the king as a cavalier. Allen and Luce are swept up in the chaos of war as they defend their opposing causes and protect those they love.

Will war unite or divide…


Book cover of The King's General

Stella Riley Author Of The Black Madonna

From my list on books set in 17th century England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of sixteen novels—six of them set in the mid-seventeenth century. The English Civil Wars and their aftermath is a period very close to my heartcombining as it does fascinating personalities, incredibly complicated politics, and all the drama and bloodshed of civil conflict. My greatest pleasure has been finding and featuring real men whose names are now largely forgotten.

Stella's book list on books set in 17th century England

Stella Riley Why did Stella love this book?

Set in Cornwall, before and during the Civil War, this is a terrific tale based upon the lives of real people—most notably, perhaps, Sir Richard Grenville the King’s General in the West. It’s the story of the Rashleigh Family and Menabilly—where Daphne du Maurier herself lived.

Well written as one would expect of du Maurier—it’s a beautiful story, beautifully told; absorbing, exciting and hard to put down.

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The King's General as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by a grisly discovery in the nineteenth century, The King's General was the first of du Maurier's novels to be written at Menabilly, the model for Manderley in Rebecca. Set in the seventeenth century, it tells the story of a country and a family riven by civil war, and features one of fiction's most original heroines. Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies,…


Book cover of Areopagitica and Other Writings

Ben Hutchinson Author Of On Purpose: Ten Lessons on the Meaning of Life

From my list on essays to help us think for ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an essayist, literary critic, and professor of literature, books are what John Milton calls my ‘pretious life-blood.’ As a writer, teacher, and editor, I spend my days trying to make meaning out of reading. This is the idea behind my most recent book, On Purpose: it’s easy to make vague claims about the edifying powers of ‘great writing,’ but what does this actually mean? How can literature help us live? My five recommendations all help us reflect on the power of books to help us think for ourselves, as I hope do my own books, including The Midlife Mind (2020) and Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2018).

Ben's book list on essays to help us think for ourselves

Ben Hutchinson Why did Ben love this book?

Written at the height of the English Civil War, this is perhaps the single most important manifesto for free speech in the English language. But it’s also surprisingly good fun, composed in a vivid, memorable style that brings abstract concepts to life.

Advocating what he terms ‘promiscuous reading,’ Milton encourages us to think for ourselves and resist intellectual authoritarianism. I love his argument for the importance of reading in cultivating independent thought: "A good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm’d and treasur’d up on purpose to a life beyond life." As a writer and literary critic, this life-blood is precious to me, too.

By John Milton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

John Milton was celebrated and denounced in his own time both as a poet and as a polemicist. Today he is remembered first and foremost for his poetry, but his great epic Paradise Lost was published very late in his life, in 1667, and in his own time most readers more readily recognised Milton as a writer of prose. This superbly annotated new book is an authoritative edition of Milton's major prose works, including Of Education, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates and the Divorce tracts, as well as the famous 1644 polemical tract on the opposing licensing and censorship,…


Book cover of The Manningtree Witches

Winnie M. Li Author Of Complicit

From my list on stories to fuel your feminist fire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and activist, I use fiction as a way of exploring social issues which mean a lot to me. As a woman of color, that means writing protagonists who encounter sexism, racism, class, and geographic inequality—but who combat those injustices in inventive and heroic ways. For me, the story is always about being human: trying to understand why a character acts a certain way in a certain situation. After all, aren’t we all trying to pursue our own desires against a backdrop of societal expectations? A good storywhether fiction or non-fictionbrings these conflicts to emotional, vivid life, and roots them in a reality we can all relate to. 

Winnie's book list on stories to fuel your feminist fire

Winnie M. Li Why did Winnie love this book?

Based on the Essex witch hunts during the English Civil War in 1644, this is so much more than a historical novel. The writing is poetic and fierce, the emotions riveting and unexpectedly moving. And our heroine, clever Rebecca West faces the danger of simply being a low-born, impoverished woman when ‘The Witchfinder General’ (a real historical figure) launches a patriarchal inquisition to ‘clean up’ society. How will Rebecca learn to protect both herself and her cantankerous mother in a cruel world hungry to claim marginalized women as scapegoats? Betrayal and heartbreak, solidarity, and mercy are all brought to vivid, unforgettable life in this literary gem.  

By A. K. Blakemore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wolf Hall meets The Favourite in this beguiling debut novel that brilliantly brings to life the residents of a small English town in the grip of the seventeenth-century witch trials and the young woman tasked with saving them all from themselves.
 
"This is an intimate portrait of a clever if unworldly heroine who slides from amused observation of the 'moribund carnival atmosphere' in the household of a 'possessed' child to nervous uncertainty about the part in the proceedings played by her adored tutor to utter despair as a wagon carts her off to prison." —Alida Becker, The New York Times…


Book cover of Witchfinder General

Michael Stewart Author Of Ill Will

From my list on dark historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by dark fiction since I discovered Edgar Allan Poe at the age of ten. I don’t know why I like to immerse myself in such troubling worlds, perhaps, by experiencing the worst of human nature vicariously, these texts give us the opportunity to really get to grips with who we are as people and what we are capable of. I’ve written eight works of fiction. Wuthering Heights has captivated me, and I've always been fascinated by the two mysterious holes in the narrative: where is Heathcliff from? And where does he go when he is missing for three years? I wrote a book, Ill Will, that attempts to answer these questions.

Michael's book list on dark historical fiction

Michael Stewart Why did Michael love this book?

Matthew Hopkins, the self-appointed Witchfinder General, was one of the most venal and vicious Englishmen to ever live. This is a brutal novel, a veritable catalogue of horror, but a necessary lesson in man’s inhumanity and corruption. There is an authenticity here that will but ice in your marrow. 

By Ronald Bassett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

1643. England is at war with itself.

While bitter battles rage between King and Parliament, local magistrates have more power, and less accountability, than ever before.

Taking advantage of the tense atmosphere and lax prosecution procedures, Matthew Hopkins, an insignificant lawyer and self-appointed Witchfinder General, travels across East Anglia accusing the aged, the confused and the poor of satanic crimes against their neighbours.

With every innocent death, his purse grows heavier, as he satisfies his lust for power.

But his dealings with one particular young woman make him a powerful enemy in the form of Ralph Margery – a captain…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the English Civil War, the American Civil War, and presidential biography?

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