100 books like Jewel of Persia

By Roseanna M. White,

Here are 100 books that Jewel of Persia fans have personally recommended if you like Jewel of Persia. 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 Red Tent

Jessica Disciacca Author Of Witches of Triora: The Vessel

From my list on taking you on a magical journey through time and space.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing for years and reading forever. Fantasy books have always been my number one go-to as far as genres. I loved how they would teleport me to a new world, allowing me to leave behind reality. The characters became my friends. The worlds became my home. I couldn’t get enough and still can’t. As I got older, my imagination never stopped. I was constantly creating dreamworld and character plots in my head. Eventually, I started writing, needing the characters to stop talking. The only way to do that was to get them on paper. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop.

Jessica's book list on taking you on a magical journey through time and space

Jessica Disciacca Why did Jessica love this book?

I read this for a women’s study class and LOVED it. The telling of a story back in the biblical times from a woman’s perspective… sign me up.

This one took me through an emotional journey, blending fact with fiction to the point where I didn’t know where one ended and the other began. My heart was put through the ringer. I cried. I laughed. I fell in love. I felt the bond between mother and daughter and the rage of the oppression the FMC went through. It made me take a look at these biblical stories in a whole new light. 

By Anita Diamant,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Red Tent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Red Tent Anita Diamant brings the fascinating biblical character of Dinah to vivid life.

'Intensely moving . . . feminist . . . a riveting tale of love' - Observer

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her fate is merely hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the verses of the Book of Genesis that recount the life of Jacob and his infamous dozen sons. Anita Diamant's The Red Tent is an extraordinary and engrossing tale of ancient womanhood and family honour. Told in Dinah's voice, it opens with the story of her mothers -…


Book cover of Miriam

Stephanie Landsem Author Of The Tomb: A Novel of Martha

From my list on bringing women of the Bible to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who has traveled the world in real life and traveled through time in my research and imagination. In the past dozen years, I’ve researched historical women of the Bible for my own novels and have come to realize that women of the ancient world were much like women of today. Biblical women had dreams and fell in love. They worried about their children, politics, and the world around them. They wished for security and happiness just as we do. I have a special regard for historical fiction that brings these ancient women to life—honoring their lives and their struggles.

Stephanie's book list on bringing women of the Bible to life

Stephanie Landsem Why did Stephanie love this book?

I loved Miriam—one of many of Mesu Andrew’s novels of Old Testament women—because this aged woman brings a fresh perspective to the well-known story of the Exodus from Egypt. Her lived experience from slavery to freedom—and from despair to hopeas she searches for the God of her brother, Moses, is both familiar and utterly new. Mesu Andrews weaves a beautiful tapestry of a story that breathes new and fascinating life into a familiar story.

By Mesu Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
 
 Miriam and her beloved family…


Book cover of Havah: The Story of Eve

Stephanie Landsem Author Of The Tomb: A Novel of Martha

From my list on bringing women of the Bible to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who has traveled the world in real life and traveled through time in my research and imagination. In the past dozen years, I’ve researched historical women of the Bible for my own novels and have come to realize that women of the ancient world were much like women of today. Biblical women had dreams and fell in love. They worried about their children, politics, and the world around them. They wished for security and happiness just as we do. I have a special regard for historical fiction that brings these ancient women to life—honoring their lives and their struggles.

Stephanie's book list on bringing women of the Bible to life

Stephanie Landsem Why did Stephanie love this book?

After reading this imaginative story, I never thought of Eve in the same way again. Havah is a stunning depiction of the first woman—one created, not born. Tosca Lee takes us on an original journey into the life, choices, and emotions of the first woman. It is a story of sin, but more than that, it is a story of creative love and the gift of free will. This story allows us to sympathize with Havah, and even ask ourselves what we might have done in her place. Enthralling and inspiring!

By Tosca Lee,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Thief of Corinth

Stephanie Landsem Author Of The Tomb: A Novel of Martha

From my list on bringing women of the Bible to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who has traveled the world in real life and traveled through time in my research and imagination. In the past dozen years, I’ve researched historical women of the Bible for my own novels and have come to realize that women of the ancient world were much like women of today. Biblical women had dreams and fell in love. They worried about their children, politics, and the world around them. They wished for security and happiness just as we do. I have a special regard for historical fiction that brings these ancient women to life—honoring their lives and their struggles.

Stephanie's book list on bringing women of the Bible to life

Stephanie Landsem Why did Stephanie love this book?

Although this novel isn’t about a historical biblical woman, both the setting and the premise bring the latter half of the New Testament to vibrant life. In Corinth of the first century, a girl thief is befriended by a Jewish teacher named Paul, leading us into a fast-paced story of action and intrigue. Afshar’s novels brim with authentic historical detail as well as great empathy for what it meant to be a woman in this time in history. Turning the last page of the story, I felt like I’d lived and breathed alongside this long-ago woman.

By Tessa Afshar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption―the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s…


Book cover of Creation: A Novel

Thomas Suddendorf Author Of The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

From my list on peculiar events and issues that changed the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of psychology at the University of Queensland and I am fascinated by big picture questions about how we became the peculiar creatures that we are. Shortly after I was asked to compile a list of recommendations, I attended my friend Ashley Hay’s book launch of Gum. This beautiful book does not just present a bunch of facts about Australia’s iconic trees, but uses this lens to examine many broader issues from colonial history to climate change. Reading it inspired me to create the present list of books that, unlike the rote learning of dates that marked many history classes at school, take much more interesting, novel vantage points from which to understand why things turned out the way they did.

Thomas' book list on peculiar events and issues that changed the world

Thomas Suddendorf Why did Thomas love this book?

Occasionally, a novel perspective on events that changed the world can also be presented in a novel (sorry). Gore Vidal’s Creation is one example that left a deep impression on me. With the invention of writing, human philosophies could manifest in lasting new ways that profoundly shaped the world. Vidal’s historical fiction invites us to entertain the possibility that a single human living in the 5th century BC could have met the founding fathers of many of today’s moral traditions. It tells the story of the imaginary life of Cyrus, a Persian diplomat, grandson of Zoroaster, who travels the world and meets Socrates, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius among others. This may not be an easy read, and I recall it involved a lot of name-dropping, but it is worth the effort – providing a fascinating comparative perspective on religion and the human quest for meaning.

By Gore Vidal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A sweeping novel of politics, war, philosophy, and adventure–in a restored edition, featuring never-before-published material from Gore Vidal’s original manuscript–Creationoffers a captivating grand tour of the ancient world.
Cyrus Spitama, grandson of the prophet Zoroaster and lifelong friend of Xerxes, spent most of his life as Persian ambassador for the great king Darius. He traveled to India, where he discussed nirvana with Buddha, and to the warring states of Cathay, where he learned of Tao from Master Li and fished on the riverbank with Confucius. Now blind and aged in Athens–the Athens of Pericles, Sophocles, Thucydides, Herodotus, and Socrates–Cyrus recounts…


Book cover of Esther

Bobi Gentry Goodwin Author Of Revelation: A Novel

From my list on getting your heart, mind, and spirit inspired.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a reader since childhood and books have simply become a part of my life’s tapestry. They have comforted me in times of stress. They have provided me with ripples of joy. And simply kept me up almost all night. The books that I have recommended underscore the changing cultures of the human condition all centered around three universal themes, faith, mental illness, and family. When drafting my first novel I dived into simply capturing aspects of the human condition. As a mental health clinician I see the many tides of life and how the human condition has many times been couched within family dynamics. 

Bobi's book list on getting your heart, mind, and spirit inspired

Bobi Gentry Goodwin Why did Bobi love this book?

This novel is simply beautiful. It surrounds the biblical character Esther and her unexpected transition from being snatched from her home and dumped into the harem of the king. This novel highlights coping with the unexpected path that life sometimes presents. It is also careful to highlight how culture can influence our experiences and decisions. Esther dives into how this young woman learns to navigate the road less traveled and finds a new one all her own. It is not a coming-of-age story, it is a coming of self story. The power of a woman is clearly outlined in this novel and how being buried under pressure can create a diamond indeed. 

By Angela Hunt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young…


Book cover of Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

Nick Brown Author Of The Siege: Agent of Rome 1

From my list on books that take you to another world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I was a writer, I was a reader.  My mother was a primary school teacher, so I was encouraged to read from my earliest years. I wanted to be not only entertained but transported to another place, time, or world. When I finally decided to write my first novel, I settled on historical fiction, but I have since written both science fiction and fantasy. I always endeavour to emulate my literary heroes and create engaging characters, compelling plots, and an interesting, unusual, convincing world.

Nick's book list on books that take you to another world

Nick Brown Why did Nick love this book?

Forget the film 300. The Battle of Thermopylae has never been described with more power and authenticity than in Pressfield’s 1998 novel.

His immense knowledge and understanding of the era are evident on every page, and any reader will swiftly find themselves alongside Xeones, Leonidas, and the outnumbered Spartans as they defend their homeland against the Persian invaders. This is a bloody, brutal, brilliant classic of the historical fiction genre. 

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Gates of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Sunday Times bestseller Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield tells the breathtaking story of the legendary Spartans: the men and women who helped shaped our history and have themselves become as immortal as their gods.

'Breathtakingly brilliant . . . this is a work of rare genius. Savour it!' DAVID GEMMELL

'A tale worthy of Homer, a timeless epic of man and war, exquisitely researched and boldy written. Pressfield has created a new classic' STEPHEN COONTS

'A really impressive book - imaginatively framed, historically detailed and a really gripping narrative' ***** Reader review

'Beautifully written and a great joy…


Book cover of Travels with Herodotus

Gary Geddes Author Of Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things: An Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas

From my list on for would-be travellers.

Why am I passionate about this?

After writing and editing fifty books and being the recipient of a dozen national and international literary awards, it’s obvious that I’m not so much a travel writer as a writer who travels a lot and is sometimes compelled to share what he discovers, or fails to discover, along the way. I’m not one of those “lonely tourists with their empty eyes / Longing to be filled with monuments,” that poet P.K. Page describes. I constantly ask myself: “What compels you to abandon the safety and comforts of home for the three Ds of travel: Danger, Discomfort, and Disease?” Itchy feet, insatiable curiosity, or the desire to step outside the ego and the routines of daily life? All of the above. I avoid the Cook’s Tour, travel light, and live on the cheap. 

Gary's book list on for would-be travellers

Gary Geddes Why did Gary love this book?

I admire the way this brilliant Polish journalist has been able to get inside the head of an ancient traveller and show us not only the incredible insights of this peripatetic predecessor, but also what travel really means. “A journey neither begins in the instant we set out, nor ends when we have reached our doorstep again. It starts much earlier and is really never over, because the film of memory continues running inside of us long after we have come to a physical standstill.” Even more important, he offers one great truth about all writing, but especially history, that there is no truth with a capital T. “The subjective factor, its deforming presence will remain impossible to strain out . . . however evolved our methods, we are never in the presence of unmediated history, but history recounted, history as it appeared to someone, as he or she believes…

By Ryszard Kapuściński,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Travels with Herodotus records how Kapuscinski set out on his first forays - to India, China and Africa - with the great Greek historian constantly in his pocket. He sees Louis Armstrong in Khartoum, visits Dar-es-Salaam, arrives in Algiers in time for a coup when nothing seems to happen (but he sees the Mediterranean for the first time). At every encounter with a new culture, Kapuscinski plunges in, curious and observant, thirsting to understand its history, its thought, its people. And he reads Herodotus so much that he often feels he is embarking on two journeys - the first his…


Book cover of The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period

John O. Hyland Author Of Persian Interventions: The Achaemenid Empire, Athens, and Sparta, 450−386 BCE

From my list on Achaemenid Persia and its Greek neighbors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated with ancient history since childhood, but really fell in love with the Achaemenids in college while taking classes on Greek history and wondering about the other side’s perspective on familiar stories of the Persian Wars. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to study both Greek and Persian history in graduate school at the University of Chicago, a leading center of scholarship on the Achaemenid world since the Persepolis excavations in the 1930s. Since 2006, I’ve taught in the History department at Christopher Newport University, a liberal arts university in Newport News, Virginia. I’m currently working on my next book, a new history of Persia’s Greek campaigns. 

John's book list on Achaemenid Persia and its Greek neighbors

John O. Hyland Why did John love this book?

The Persian empire’s size and diversity impose special challenges for modern study. The major sources are written in a wide variety of ancient languages, including Old Persian, Elamite, Babylonian, Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and many texts were initially studied in specialist publications with limited accessibility outside a small circle of scholars. Kuhrt’s sourcebook did a tremendous service to scholars and students alike by gathering reliable translations of a wide range of written evidence from the Persian empire, replete with supporting notes and bibliography for further reading. It includes substantial selections from Greek historians of Persia, including Herodotus, Xenophon, and the Alexander biographers, but ensures that readers are able to contextualize these texts alongside internal materials reflecting the full diversity of Persian empire and society. 

By Amélie Kuhrt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bringing together a wide variety of material in many different languages that exists from the substantial body of work left by this large empire, The Persian Empire presents annotated translations, together with introductions to the problems of using it in order to gain an understanding of the history and working os this remarkable political entity.

The Achaemenid empire developed in the region of modern Fars (Islam) and expanded to unite territories stretching from the Segean and Egypt in the west to Central Asia and north-west India, which it ruled for over 200 years until its conquest by Alexander of Macedon.…


Book cover of Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West

Myke Cole Author Of The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

From my list on narrative military history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong warfighter, law enforcement officer, intelligence officer, and emergency services worker, intimately familiar with the crisis response and what makes conflict so fascinating to students of history. I’m also a popular novelist with an in-depth understanding of story arcs and what makes great prose. I’ve previously published narrative military history myself – Legion Versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World. My short nonfiction, much of it based on military history and crisis work, has appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and Ancient Warfare Magazine.

Myke's book list on narrative military history

Myke Cole Why did Myke love this book?

Tom Holland is one of the most famous popular historians alive, and also one of the most famous polymaths, writing on topics ranging from Islam to medieval and classical history. He’s also dabbled in fiction and playwriting, and those chops come shining through in Persian Fire, an entirely fresh look at one of the most studied conflicts in ancient history – The Greco-Persian War. Holland effortlessly eviscerates the tired “east versus west” narrative and treats the Persians with an honestly and empathy that is made even more rich by his gifts as a storyteller.

By Tom Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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