100 books like Northwest Passage

By Kenneth Roberts,

Here are 100 books that Northwest Passage fans have personally recommended if you like Northwest Passage. 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 Gone With the Wind

Lynn Shurr Author Of Lady Flora's Rescue

From my list on historical novels picked by a librarian.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a reference librarian, I love doing research for myself and others. By reading a well-written historical novel, we can learn about the past and compare and contrast it to our present. All but the last of my choices have strong female characters who must overcome the customs of their time. The struggle goes on today. Let these books remind you of how far we have come and how far we have to go.

Lynn's book list on historical novels picked by a librarian

Lynn Shurr Why did Lynn love this book?

I know it is no longer PC to love this book, but Mitchell did do awesome historical homework concerning the antebellum and reconstruction eras in Georgia.

It is far more than the romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler; rather, it is a portrait of a woman who goes from being a spoiled belle to one who will do anything to save her heritage—at the cost of love. It is not a romance, for sure.

By Margaret Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Gone With the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the tempestuous romance between Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara is set amid the drama of the Civil War.


Book cover of The Last Kingdom

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by history since I was eight. I remember reading through the biography section of my grade school library, cleaning out the names from the Revolution, the Civil War, famous pioneers, and the Wild West. I also had some unbelievable professors in college. One of my first courses was entitled “The World Since 1919.”  It began with Herman Muller blinking in the Hall of Mirrors as he signed the Treaty of Versailles. The course material took us from that moment until the morning news on the last day of class. We learned that history isn’t about the past but how we came to the present.

J.'s book list on books that sweep through time and immerse you in a story so compelling that you don’t even realize you’re learning about history

J. Boyce Gleason Why did J. love this book?

My introduction to Bernard Cornwell's work was a series of audiobooks that chronicled the journey of a British Rifleman who fought in every battle against Napoleon’s army, from the ports of Portugal to Waterloo. 

This book is the first novel in a new series by Cornwall called The Saxon Series, which begins the tale of Britain. It is told through the eyes of a Saxon noble (Utred of Bebbanburg) who is captured and raised by invading Danish Vikings. He is assimilated into their warrior culture before events lead him into service to King Alfred of Wessex. His knowledge of Viking battle tactics and his ruthless approach to war make him invaluable in a number of battles.

The story immerses you in the history of Britain, following a compelling protagonist whose story weaves you into the politics of Britain’s early days. I walked away thoroughly entertained and informed. This series was…

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Last Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in the epic and bestselling series that has gripped millions.

A hero will be forged from this broken land.

As seen on Netflix and BBC around the world.

In a land torn apart by conflict, an orphan boy has come of age. Raised by the Vikings, deadly enemies of his own Saxon people, Uhtred is a fierce and skilled warrior who kneels to no-one.

Alfred - Saxon, king, man of god - fights to hold the throne of the only land still resisting the pagan northerners.

Uhtred and Alfred's fates are tangled, soaked in blood and blackened…


Book cover of All Quiet on the Western Front

Henry Rozycki Author Of Walk the Earth as Brothers

From my list on novels that describe what war does to young men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the child of Holocaust survivors who chose not to talk about it. The effects were clear and stark – my mother crying out with nightmares, my father doing everything in his power not to be noticed by authorities – but I was not allowed to know their sources. Though my lottery number was 76, I missed going to Vietnam by a year as the draft ended; I watched so many of my peers come back either damaged or at least profoundly changed. I never wish I experienced war in all its hellaciousness, but from early adolescence, I have wondered how I would have acted.

Henry's book list on novels that describe what war does to young men

Henry Rozycki Why did Henry love this book?

I first read this in high school and remember thinking that it was good but not as good as its reputation implied. In retrospect, I think that because I was young and in school, I strongly identified with the main characters, especially Paul, as a thoughtful, introspective, and idealistic young man. What he learns from veterans and then through experience, and what those lessons provoke in him made sense, but at no more on an intellectual level.

Even though I have never served in combat, re-reading it years later, I could now understand how life events, especially such traumatic ones, will cause everlasting changes and damage.  

By Erich Maria Remarque, Arthur Wesley Wheen (translator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked All Quiet on the Western Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story is told by a young 'unknown soldier' in the trenches of Flanders during the First World War. Through his eyes we see all the realities of war; under fire, on patrol, waiting in the trenches, at home on leave, and in hospitals and dressing stations. Although there are vividly described incidents which remain in mind, there is no sense of adventure here, only the feeling of youth betrayed and a deceptively simple indictment of war - of any war - told for a whole generation of victims.


Book cover of Master and Commander

Tristan Nettles Author Of The Shepherd: A Bronze Age Tale

From my list on books to read when living on a small island.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading, mostly due to a speech impediment that left me awkward and shy. I was lucky enough to experience world travel at a young age. My parents' divorce set me on a different path. Five middle schools and seven high schools later, I volunteered as a Marine Corps infantryman. I left the USA in 2015 to travel the world, from Micronesia to Nepal to Honduras and even Ukraine, where I fought with the Ukrainian Foreign Legion. 

Tristan's book list on books to read when living on a small island

Tristan Nettles Why did Tristan love this book?

This book is the penultimate adventure story set on the high seas during the Napoleonic Wars. The characters are expertly made and presented around a plot line that takes every pain to stay true to the truth of past events while still offering the reader a series of novels that will keep even the greenest of landlubbers glued to their seats.

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Master and Commander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.


Book cover of The Last Full Measure

Philip Duke Author Of The Village: A Novel of Wartime Crete

From my list on wartime historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired professor of anthropology. I was first drawn to archaeology after a high-school presentation by a Classics master on the ruins of Paestum. I have enjoyed exploring the past but have a special passion for Greece. Because of my working-class origin in Liverpool, England, class struggle and the fight for human dignity has been a leitmotif of first my academic and now my fiction writing. My books explore how war inevitably changes the lives of the characters. I have bachelors and graduate degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Calgary. I'm a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities. I hope you enjoy the books on my list!

Philip's book list on wartime historical fiction

Philip Duke Why did Philip love this book?

I actually think that Shaara has outdone his father. Both, of course, weave the story around actual historical events, although Shaara Junior’s introduction of fictional characters livens the narrative up. I’ve enjoyed all of Shaara’s books, regardless of their historical setting, but I chose this one because it was a good way for me to learn more about the Civil War post-Gettysburg and also have a really good read.

By Jeff Shaara,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the Pulitzer prize–winning classic The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara created the finest Civil War novel of our time. In the bestselling Gods and Generals, Shaara’s son, Jeff, brilliantly sustained his father’s vision, telling the epic story of the events culminating in the Battle of Gettysburg. Now, Jeff Shaara brings this legendary father-son trilogy to its stunning conclusion in a novel that brings to life the final two years of the Civil War.
 
As The Last Full Measure opens, Gettysburg is past and the war advances to its third brutal year. On the Union side, the gulf between the politicians…


Book cover of Panther in the Sky

Norman Gilliland Author Of Sand Mansions

From my list on dropping you into another time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and read every history of the area I could get my hands on, all the while imagining who lived there and what their lives were like. I got three degrees from the University of Florida and applied the skills learned there to Sand Mansions. The novel covers the years 1876 to 1905, a time in which a get-rich-quick frontier mentality slowly gave way to a more stable approach to community building. Sand Mansions won a prize for Best Adult Fiction from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Norman's book list on dropping you into another time and place

Norman Gilliland Why did Norman love this book?

I was quite taken with Thom’s meticulous evocation of the great Tecumseh, an American much of whose life is unknown but whose formidable effort to form a Native American confederacy came at a time when the British and Americans were engaged in the War of 1812. With convincing detail, Thom gives us a Native American perspective on those turbulent times and shows us a Tecumseh who was not only a warrior but also a political strategist and a diplomat.

By James Alexander Thom,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Panther in the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rich, colorful and bursting with excitement, this remarkable story turns James Alexander Thom's power and passion for American history to the epic story of Tecumseh's life and give us a heart-thumping novel of one man's magnificent destiny—to unite his people in the struggle to save their land and their way of life from the relentless press of the white settlers.

“Oh, what a man this will be, with such a sign as that!”

In 1768, when Turtle Mother gave birth to a strong baby boy in the heart of the Shawnee nation, a green-yellow shooting star streaked across the heavens.…


Book cover of War and Peace

Fathali Moghaddam Author Of The Psychology of Revolution

From my list on why revolutions fail.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a deep passion for the psychology of revolution because my family has experienced revolution in our country of birth, and I have expertise on this topic because, as a psychologist, I have extensively studied revolutions for decades. This is a topic seldom studied by modern psychologists, perhaps because most research psychologists live in Western countries and have not experienced revolutions. Western psychologists have no experience with revolutions. The last book published with the title of my book, The Psychology of Revolution, came out in 1894! I am very enthusiastic about putting together this diverse reading list, which is made up of research books, novels, and a poetry collection.

Fathali's book list on why revolutions fail

Fathali Moghaddam Why did Fathali love this book?

I am deeply passionate about Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace because I find that when I re-read it, I can always learn profound new lessons about human behavior. The setting of War and Peace is Russia in the period before, during, and after the Napoleonic Wars–roughly the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Both directly and indirectly, Tolstoy is dealing with the question of what happens after great revolutions.

France has experienced its great revolution and is now ruled by Emperor Napoleon. The talk is of spreading ‘revolutionary justice’ to the rest of Europe (and the world). In practice, Napoleon is making his own family members monarchs–the revolutionaries are the new aristocracy. Russia also experienced a kind of revolution because the French army's invasion of Mother Russia turned the Russian world upside down.

After invading Russia and capturing Moscow, the French military found themselves…

By Leo Tolstoy, Aylmer Maude (translator), Louise Maude , Henry Gifford (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If life could write, it would write like Tolstoy.' Isaac Babel

Tolstoy's epic masterpiece intertwines the lives of private and public individuals during the time of the Napoleonic wars and the French invasion of Russia. The fortunes of the Rostovs and the Bolkonskys, of Pierre, Natasha, and Andrei, are intimately connected with the national history that is played out in parallel with their lives. Balls and soirees alternate with councils of war and the machinations of statesmen and generals, scenes of violent battles with everyday human passions in
a work whose extraordinary imaginative power has never been surpassed. The prodigious…


Book cover of A Land Remembered

Janie DeVos Author Of The Art of Breathing

From my list on the flawed but indomitable human spirit.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being a historical fiction writer, I spend much time researching people and places for my novels with my focus being on the South, particularly Florida, where I’m from, as well as Western North Carolina, where I’ve lived for nearly two decades. Family dynamics and character development have always held a special interest for me; particularly the humanness of being flawed, but also the resilience and strength found within us, too. I enjoy creating characters we can identify with, and become emotionally connected to, so much so that when the final page is turned, readers feel a sense of loss at saying goodbye to characters they’ve come to love.

Janie's book list on the flawed but indomitable human spirit

Janie DeVos Why did Janie love this book?

This quintessential historical fiction book on Old Florida was both a nominee of the Pulitzer, and the Nobel Prize in Literature. Rich in history and unforgettable characters, the story follows the MacIveys, as they scrap out a living as dirt farmers, beginning in the mid-1800s, through the 1960s. Not hurricanes, the Civil War, freezes, or near-starvation can staunch the family’s resilience, ultimately allowing them to build a great fortune. This novel truly touches my heart as my family came from Georgia, with little in their pockets, in the early 20th century, seeking to fulfill their own dreams. This is writing at its best, steeped in rich and authentic detail, making this a novel that will live on through the ages.

By Patrick D. Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Land Remembered has been ranked #1 Best Florida Book eight times in annual polls conducted by Florida Monthly Magazine.

In this best-selling novel, Patrick Smith tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. The story opens in 1858, when Tobias MacIvey arrives in the Florida wilderness to start a new life with his wife and infant son, and ends two generations later in 1968 with Solomon MacIvey, who realizes that the land…


Book cover of The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and The North Pole, 1818-1909

Alastair Scott Author Of Tracks Across Alaska

From my list on the Far North.

Why am I passionate about this?

For five years I hitchhiked round the world, for the most part in a kilt. I cycled 5000 miles behind the Iron Curtain before it fell and took a dog team across Alaska. I’ve sailed solo round Ireland and endured storms off Greenland. Currently, I’m cycling in stages from North Cape to Cape Town.  Unconventional travel has been a part of my life for forty years.  As a writer I try to inform and entertain, and my eye is drawn to quirky detail and humour.  I’m inspired by wild places and the people who live in them:  their customs and intrinsic wisdom.  In particular I’m fascinated by the Far North and have travelled extensively throughout this region.

Alastair's book list on the Far North

Alastair Scott Why did Alastair love this book?

In the 19th century, it was believed that if a way could be found through North America’s ice barrier, beyond lay an open sea offering ships a shortcut to the Pacific.  The quest to find it became a litany of disaster, suffering, human spirit stretched to breaking point and heroic survival. Canada’s greatest historian, Pierre Burton, turns factual accounts into a riveting read, ‘a cliff-hanger with colorful characters’ as Newsweek described it. This is another book I hate to lend for fear I’ll never get it back.

By Pierre Berton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The complete saga of the pursuit for two of the world's greates geographical prizes - the elusive Passage linking the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the North Pole. Culled from extensive research of hand-written diaries and private journal The Arctic Grail is the definitive book on the age of arctic exploration and adventure.


Book cover of The Breathing Hole

Nina Munteanu Author Of A Diary in the Age of Water

From my list on eco-fiction that make you care and give you hope.

Why am I passionate about this?

The environment and how we treat it has always been important to me since I was a child. My passion for storytelling morphed into writing, but the underlying spark came through environmental activism. I got a university degree in aquatic ecology, published numerous papers, and now write eco-fiction that is grounded in accurate science with a focus on human ingenuity and compassion. The most meaningful and satisfying eco-fiction is ultimately optimistic literature that explores serious issues with heroic triumph. Each of these favourites intimately connects human to environment. Each moved me to cry, think, and deeply care. 

Nina's book list on eco-fiction that make you care and give you hope

Nina Munteanu Why did Nina love this book?

What struck me most was the use of simple language to portray powerful intimacy and connection between human and animal, and by extension, environment. Murphy’s humorous dialogue, together with sparing, often ironic, descriptions, struck deep into my heart. The play starts in 1535 on an ice shelf up north—when an Inuk widow risks her life to save a lost one-eared polar bear cub on an ice floe, and adopts him. In the last scene five hundred years later in the oily waters of the Northwest Passage, the same bear—starving and cruelly injured by eco-tourists on a cruise ship—struggles to keep from drowning. No one on the ship cares. No one weeps for him. But I did. I wept for him and for his world destroyed by apathy. 

By Colleen Murphy, Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy, Janet Tamalik McGrath (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1535, Hummiktuq, an Inuit widow, has a strange dream about the future. The next day, she discovers a bear cub floating on a piece of ice near a breathing hole. Despite the concerns of her community, she adopts him as her own and names him Angu’řuaq. In 1845, Angu’řuaq and his mate Panik wander into a chance meeting between Inuit hunters and explorers from the Franklin Expedition. By 2029, when surveyors and entrepreneurs examine the now-melting land for future opportunities, Angu’řuaq encounters the passengers and crew of a luxury cruise ship as it slinks through the oily waters of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Northwest Passage, the French and Indian War, and American frontier?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Northwest Passage, the French and Indian War, and American frontier.

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