100 books like Oslo

By J.T. Rogers,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Mural

Julie Salamon Author Of An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer

From my list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my working life as a journalist, author and storyteller, aiming to uncover complexity that sheds new light on stories we think we know. I got my training at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—and from the wonderful editors of my twelve books. An Innocent Bystander, my book that deals with the Middle East, began as the story of a hijacking and a murder of an American citizen. But as my research widened, I came to see this story couldn’t be told without understanding many perspectives, including the Israeli and the Palestinian, nor could the political be disentangled from the personal.

Julie's book list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Julie Salamon Why did Julie love this book?

This collection of poetry by a revered Palestinian poet illuminates his people’s emotional and historic connection to the land that is now the state of Israel.

His poems, many of which were set to music, are credited with solidifying a Palestinian national consciousness. His family was displaced from their home by the Israeli army; when they returned, they lived as second-class citizens.

The work achingly describes an abiding sense of love and loss.

By Mahmoud Darwish (lead author), John Berger (illustrator), Rema Hammami (translator)

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Vassily Klimentov Author Of A Slow Reckoning: The USSR, the Afghan Communists, and Islam

From my list on the modern Middle East and Afghanistan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of the Cold War and early post-Cold War period, focusing on Soviet/ Russian foreign policy in Afghanistan and in the Middle East in the 1970s and the 1980s. These are exciting topics on which an increasing number of new documents are released each year. I have a research project and lecture about these issues at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. But academia is my second career. Before my Ph.D., I worked as an aid worker, including for two years in the Middle East. I was in the region during the height of the Syrian crisis, notably running humanitarian multi-sector needs assessments.

Vassily's book list on the modern Middle East and Afghanistan

Vassily Klimentov Why did Vassily love this book?

I love how this book takes a familiar story and twists it in unexpected ways. In this classic of nonfiction on the Middle East, Scott Anderson tells the real story of Lawrence of Arabia.

I love how he does so by combining sound research with a writing style that makes the book read like a novel. Ten years after reading the book, I still remember its protagonists–T.E. Lawrence (obviously), the German agent of influence, the American oilman, and a Romanian-born Zionist agronomist. Their fates collide and unfold as the reader sees the Modern Middle East take shape.

By Scott Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller

The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, 'a sideshow of a sideshow'. Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theatre. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.

At the centre of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in the sands of Syria; by 1917 he was battling both…


Book cover of Death as a Way of Life: From Oslo to the Geneva Agreement

Julie Salamon Author Of An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer

From my list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my working life as a journalist, author and storyteller, aiming to uncover complexity that sheds new light on stories we think we know. I got my training at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—and from the wonderful editors of my twelve books. An Innocent Bystander, my book that deals with the Middle East, began as the story of a hijacking and a murder of an American citizen. But as my research widened, I came to see this story couldn’t be told without understanding many perspectives, including the Israeli and the Palestinian, nor could the political be disentangled from the personal.

Julie's book list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Julie Salamon Why did Julie love this book?

In novels and non-fiction, Israeli author David Grossman has spent much of his career writing about the failed struggle for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

This series of essays, written over a period of years, chronicles moments of goodwill and hope on both sides, constantly undermined by sectarian passion and extremist opposition to peace. 

By David Grossman, Haim Watzman (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death as a Way of Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Death as a Way of Life, David Grossman, one of Israel's great fiction writers, addresses urgent questions regarding the middle east in a series of passionate essays and insightful articles.

Writing not only as one of his country's most respected novelists and commentators, but as a husband and father and peace activist bitterly disappointed in the leaders of both sides, Grossman asks: What went wrong after Oslo? How can Israelis and Palestinians make peace? How has the violence changed their lives, and their souls?


Book cover of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Julie Salamon Author Of An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer

From my list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my working life as a journalist, author and storyteller, aiming to uncover complexity that sheds new light on stories we think we know. I got my training at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—and from the wonderful editors of my twelve books. An Innocent Bystander, my book that deals with the Middle East, began as the story of a hijacking and a murder of an American citizen. But as my research widened, I came to see this story couldn’t be told without understanding many perspectives, including the Israeli and the Palestinian, nor could the political be disentangled from the personal.

Julie's book list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Julie Salamon Why did Julie love this book?

My Promised Land is beautifully written, a story deeply informed by the author’s family history and the body of knowledge he built as an influential Israeli journalist.

Shavit loves the place of his birth but doesn’t retreat from hard questions. He tells a powerful, poignant story of a state-created out of tragedy and the brutal reality of what Jewish statehood has wrought for yet another disinherited group.

There are no easy answers, and Shavit offers none. But he presents the complexities and frustrations with intellectual rigor and literary grace.

By Ari Shavit,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today
 
Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal…


Book cover of A Raisin in the Sun

Karen A. Cerulo Author Of Dreams of a Lifetime: How Who We Are Shapes How We Imagine Our Future

From my list on understanding how social inequality impacts hopes and dreams, not simply opportunities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent an entire career, via reading, research, and teaching, helping people realize their dreams. For me, it represents “paying it forward,” thanking those who helped a girl from an ethnic, working-class background become an internationally recognized scholar. Studying optimism and goal-seeking has taught me that dreaming and optimism are important—but they are simply not enough to move someone forward. Dreams must become projects motivated by mentoring, planning, and hard work. Not everyone has those resources available to them. The curse of social inequality can indeed destroy hopes and dreams in the very early lives of the socially disadvantaged—with devastating consequences for society as a whole. 

Karen's book list on understanding how social inequality impacts hopes and dreams, not simply opportunities

Karen A. Cerulo Why did Karen love this book?

After reading this book, I came away with a hard truth. Dreaming alone is not enough.

In this book, we see, in the most poignant, painful terms, what happens to dreams when situations do not allow them to grow and when people are not helped to plan in ways that can make dreams come true. Dreams must be “codified” to workable plans or, like raisins in the sun, they simply dry up.

By Lorraine Hansberry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Raisin in the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Come to A Raisin in the Sun as you would to any classic. It speaks to us today as it did almost half a century ago." Bonnie Greer In south side Chicago, Walter Lee, a Black chauffeur, dreams of a better life, and hopes to use his father's life insurance money to open a liquor store. His mother, who rejects the liquor business, uses some of the money to secure a proper house for the family. Mr Lindner, a representative of the all-white neighbourhood, tries to buy them out. Walter sinks the rest of the money into his business scheme,…


Book cover of The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories

James R. Benn Author Of Road of Bones

From my list on essential books for writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always wanted to write. It took years to get started, and after working in the library and information technology fields for over thirty-five years, I quit the day job routine in 2011 to write full time. I've learned two valuable lessons since I started writing which have been of immense help. The first is a quote from writer and activist Mary Heaton Vorse, who said, "The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." The second is from novelist Rachel Basch, who told me that "the story has to move down, as well as forward." Both sound simple. Neither is.

James' book list on essential books for writers

James R. Benn Why did James love this book?

This book is a masterwork of more than thirty years of research into why people tell stories. Booker breaks down literature into seven archetypal themes which occur across all types of stories. Using a wealth of examples ranging from ancient myths and folktales to plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today, he demonstrates how these archetypal themes have remained constant over the generations. Not everyone will agree with Booker, but everyone will learn from him—about reading, writing, and understanding. This fascinating read provides writers with a new way to look at their own plotting and tap into the hero’s journey.

By Christopher Booker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This remarkable and monumental book at last provides a comprehensive answer to the age-old riddle of whether there are only a small number of 'basic stories' in the world. Using a wealth of examples, from ancient myths and folk tales via the plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today, it shows that there are seven archetypal themes which recur throughout every kind of storytelling.
But this is only the prelude to an investigation into how and why we are 'programmed' to imagine stories in these ways, and how they relate to…


Book cover of Arcadia

Benjamin Markovits Author Of Imposture

From my list on historical fiction about famous writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was fourteen years old, my family moved from Texas to London for a year, and I started going to a little second-hand book shop around the corner. It was run by a long-haired Canadian, who always smoked a pipe. There were only three or four aisles, plus a cluttered backroom. You could pick up a 19th-century edition of the complete works of Shelley, with uncut pages, for two pounds. One volume led to another, in the same way that one friendship can lead to another, or introduce you to a new circle of people. Twenty-odd years later, I decided to write a novel about some of these writers.  

Benjamin's book list on historical fiction about famous writers

Benjamin Markovits Why did Benjamin love this book?

One of my favorite plays. Set in an English country house across two centuries, it tells the story of Thomasina Coverly, a precocious schoolgirl in 1809 who falls in love with her eccentric tutor, Septimus Hodge.

Along the way she discovers a version of the 2nd law of thermodynamics – the fact that everything over time becomes messier. Because of sex, she jokes, apart from anything else. Byron makes a brief appearance and Stoppard manages to make him almost as witty on the stage as he was in life.

It’s a very funny, very clever play, but also incredibly moving, as a brilliant young woman briefly sees the world opening up to her remarkable understanding, before life gets in the way.

By Tom Stoppard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a large country house in Derbyshire in April 1809 sits Lady Thomasina Coverly, aged thirteen, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge. Through the window may be seen some of the '500 acres inclusive of lake' where Capability Brown's idealized landscape is about to give way to the 'picturesque' Gothic style: 'everything but vampires', as the garden historian Hannah Jarvis remarks to Bernard Nightingale when they stand in the same room 180 years later.

Bernard has arrived to uncover the scandal which is said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park.

Tom Stoppard's absorbing play takes us…


Book cover of British Television Drama: A History

Ben Lamb Author Of You're Nicked: Investigating British Television Police Series

From my list on studying film and television in a fun way.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by film and television. No matter how challenging life can be at times, we're forever united by what stories captivate us on the gold and silver screens. Whatever challenges the world may throw at this type of storytelling be it a world war, the internet, Covid, or TikTok, nothing beats sitting down on your sofa to enjoy the finest entertainment the world has to offer. Critically studying our most treasured past time might sound like the best way of sucking the life out of it. But I’m here to show you how this isn't the case. Join me on a quest through the best writings that can capture your imagination.

Ben's book list on studying film and television in a fun way

Ben Lamb Why did Ben love this book?

If I asked you whether you fancied reading the entire history of British television from its beginnings on the BBC in the 1930s to its position today, you’d probably tell me to get lost.

But the evocative writing of Lez Cooke makes this a far more pleasurable experience than it otherwise ought to be. I guarantee you will be stimulated yet entertained as you are walked through the key creatives, technologies, dramas, and genres that captured the imaginations of millions of avid British telly addicts each decade. You will put down this book as an immediate expert in the field, guaranteed.

By Lez Cooke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This widely-respected history of British television drama is an indispensable guide to the significant developments in the area; from its beginnings on the BBC in the 1930s and 40s to its position in the twenty-first century, as television enters a multichannel digital era. Embracing the complete spectrum of television drama, Lez Cooke places programmes in their social, political and industrial
contexts, and surveys the key dramas, writers, producers and directors.

Thoroughly revised and updated, this second edition includes new images and case studies, new material on British television drama before 1936, an expanded bibliography and a substantial new chapter that…


Book cover of Man and Superman

Armin Shimerman Author Of Imbalance of Power

From my list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a classically trained Shakespearian actor who has spent a lifetime researching Tudor and Stuart times, imbibing their language, customs, and idiosyncrasies. As an actor, I'm trained to get inside my characters' heads and dedicate myself to their intentions. Also, as an actor, I've come to relish language and recognize what makes a good phrase, paragraph, and/or book. I not only perform the Bard, but I've also taught his rhetorical stylings to countless people. I love language and admire writers who use it elegantly. They say, "Write what you know." I know Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era inside and out. One's life can be changed by a book; the ones I've recommended have changed mine.

Armin's book list on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period

Armin Shimerman Why did Armin love this book?

Shaw believed he was a better writer than Shakespeare, and I think he may be right in this play. His wit and language combine to inform and entertain. Cleverness and iconoclasm abound. You can't help but revel in Shaw's pin-pricking of cherished beliefs. In response, we are forced to reevaluate customs and standards. If you want intellectual fun, this play is for you.

By George Bernard Shaw, Dan Laurence (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shaw began writing MAN AND SUPERMAN in 1901 and determined to write a play that would encapsulate the new century's intellectual inheritance. Shaw drew not only on Byron's verse satire, but also on Shakespeare, the Victorian comedy fashionable in his early life, and from authors from Conan Doyle to Kipling. In this powerful drama of ideas, Shaw explores the role of the artist, the function of women in society, and his theory of Creative Evolution.
As Stanley Weintraub says in his new introduction, this is "the first great twentieth-century English play" and remains a classic expose of the eternal struggle…


Book cover of The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

Susan Doran Author Of From Tudor to Stuart: The Regime Change from Elizabeth I to James I

From my list on the reigns of James VI of Scotland and I of England.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of early-modern British History at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, who was a specialist in the Tudor period, especially the life and reign of Elizabeth I. However, while doing research over the past six years, I became excited by the politics, religion, and culture of the Jacobean period. James I’s reign had been a topic I taught in a week to undergraduates, but I realised that I didn’t do justice to this rich and important period. Not only is it fascinating in its own right, but James’s reign had a huge impact on a long stretch of British and world history.

Susan's book list on the reigns of James VI of Scotland and I of England

Susan Doran Why did Susan love this book?

I love this book because it combines history and literature, doing justice to both. By setting Lear and Macbeth in their cultural and political contexts, Professor Shapiro has given me new insights into both plays. Before seeing them again, I’ll go back to this book.

Shapiro is a model for me of an academic historian who successfully addresses a wider audience by avoiding academic jargon, explaining the unfamiliar, and telling a good story. He wears his great scholarship lightly, but he has done a huge amount of research and has a mastery of his subject.

By James Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, author of Shakespeare in a Divided America, shows how the tumultuous events in 1606 influenced three of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies written that year—King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. “The Year of Lear is irresistible—a banquet of wisdom” (The New York Times Book Review).

In the years leading up to 1606, Shakespeare’s great productivity had ebbed. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn—King Lear—then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

It was a memorable year in England as…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in drama, Israel, and William Shakespeare?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about drama, Israel, and William Shakespeare.

Drama Explore 75 books about drama
Israel Explore 118 books about Israel
William Shakespeare Explore 183 books about William Shakespeare