92 books like Pan

By Knut Hamsun, Sverre Lyngstad (translator),

Here are 92 books that Pan fans have personally recommended if you like Pan. 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 The Stranger

Angel Dionne Author Of Sardines

From my list on Books that depict the existential pains of human existance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like to believe that my own characters struggle with being human. They struggle with their bitterness, their relations to others (or lack thereof), and their unresolved guilt. What happens when guilt is left unresolved? What happens when someone enters into a state of self-imposed isolation? These are topics I enjoy exploring in my work. I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child. My mother deserves all the credit. At bedtime, rather than reading bedtime stories to me from a book, she would make up a story and then ask me to do the same. This helped me to develop a lifelong love for reading and writing.

Angel's book list on Books that depict the existential pains of human existance

Angel Dionne Why did Angel love this book?

I first read the English translation of this book during my undergraduate studies. The first time I read it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. Something about it disturbed me, made me feel sick, and made me question what it means to be human.

I felt myself called to read it again years later and, just recently, I picked it up a third time. Mersault’s indifference in relation to his experiences and to society forced me to question my own views concerning the meaning of life.

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Stranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the intrigue of a psychological thriller, The Stranger—Camus's masterpiece—gives us the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach. With an Introduction by Peter Dunwoodie; translated by Matthew Ward.

Behind the subterfuge, Camus explores what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd" and describes the condition of reckless alienation and spiritual exhaustion that characterized so much of twentieth-century life. 

“The Stranger is a strikingly modern text and Matthew Ward’s translation will enable readers to appreciate why Camus’s stoical anti-hero and ­devious narrator remains one of the key expressions of…


Book cover of The Road

Stephen M. Sanders Author Of Passe-Partout

From my list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a sci-fi/fantasy fan ever since my dad introduced me to the original Star Trek (in reruns) and The Lord of the Rings in my youth. I’ve always loved thinking about possibilities—large and small—so my work tends to think big when I write. I also write poetry, which allows me to talk about more than just the everyday or at least to find the excitement within the mundane in life. These works talk about those same “possibilities”—for better or worse, and in reading, I walk in awareness of what could be.

Stephen's book list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels

Stephen M. Sanders Why did Stephen love this book?

Cormac McCarthy does the impossible in this book—he writes an emotionally satisfying, literary-minded travelogue of horrors. It shatters the reader but then lifts them up with its beautifully wrought prose.

Be patient: the novel gets brutally dark before the light.

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked The Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…


Book cover of Heart of Darkness

John Klawitter Author Of Foul

From my list on strong men and women attempting survival in a less moral environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a wild card in the industry heavy town where I was born and raised, destined to burn out my days early in a factory or steel mill. But I worked my way through college, survived several close calls in Vietnam and bull headed my way into a series of jobs that pushed me toward Hollywood assignments as a writer, producer and director.

John's book list on strong men and women attempting survival in a less moral environment

John Klawitter Why did John love this book?

I liked this hundred-year-old novel because it explores some darker doubts and concerns I have always had about “the hidden heart of mankind unrestrained.” What’s more, the theme of Heart Of Darkness is reflected in the movie Apocalypse Now, with stark modern-day observations on the wounds the violence of war can inflict on the hearts and minds of humans.

By Joseph Conrad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Although Polish by birth, Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) is regarded as one of the greatest writers in English, and Heart of Darkness, first published in 1902, is considered by many his "most famous, finest, and most enigmatic story." — Encyclopaedia Britannica. The tale concerns the journey of the narrator (Marlow) up the Congo River on behalf of a Belgian trading company. Far upriver, he encounters the mysterious Kurtz, an ivory trader who exercises an almost godlike sway over the inhabitants of the region. Both repelled and fascinated by the man, Marlow is brought face to face with the corruption and despair…


Book cover of The White Tiger

Brian Klingborg Author Of Thief of Souls

From my list on international crime both fiction and nonfiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small town in the days before the internet and cable television, so books were my escape, and through them, I traveled to faraway places and learned about different customs and cultures. Later, I studied Chinese cultural anthropology and lived and worked in Asia for many years. Now, I write a series about a Chinese police inspector in the brutally cold far north province of Heilongjiang and use mystery stories to unpack some of the more fascinating and essential aspects of Chinese society, politics, and religion.

Brian's book list on international crime both fiction and nonfiction

Brian Klingborg Why did Brian love this book?

The White Tiger is a witty and searing portrayal of a “self-made” man who has risen from the depths of abject poverty to a position of wealth and influence. 

The India portrayed is far from the glitz and romantic notions of Bollywood. It is a desperately poor place where the “haves” live like kings and the “have-nots" live like slaves.

In addition to shedding light on some of the harsh realities of class, economics, and corruption in India, The White Tiger somehow manages to subvert expectations and coax the reader into rooting for a murderer and thief who justifies his actions, not entirely convincingly, by describing himself as a sort of working-class hero.

In reality, he is more of a cautionary tale.

By Aravind Adiga,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2008

Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he…


Book cover of Ruth Maier's Diary: A Jewish girl's life in Nazi Europe

Christine Foster Meloni Author Of Growing Up in Mussolini's Fascist Italy: The Story of Andrea Marcello Meloni

From my list on the dangers of living under Hitler and Mussolini.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became very interested in this topic when I moved to Italy and met and married Andrea Meloni. I had never been particularly interested in wars and battles but, when he began to tell me about his very personal experience growing up in Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, I was captivated and felt that his unique story was important. I, therefore, encouraged him to write his memoirs. My book is based on them, and so it is more his book than mine. However, I did extensive research to set his story in a coherent historical context. 

Christine's book list on the dangers of living under Hitler and Mussolini

Christine Foster Meloni Why did Christine love this book?

Ruth Maier was a Jew born in Germany. Kristallnacht, an infamous Nazi pogrom, took place in 1938. Ruth was able to flee to Norway shortly thereafter.

She soon became fluent in Norwegian, finished high school, and began her university studies. However, the Germans occupied Norway in 1940. She, therefore, lived in constant fear of being arrested and kept a very detailed diary of how she lived through these two dangerous years. She was then arrested in 1942 at age 22 and deported to Auschwitz, where she was immediately put to death. 

By Ruth Maier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ruth Maier's Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ruth Maier was born into a middle-class Jewish family in interwar Vienna. Following the Anschluss of Austria in March 1938, her world collapsed. In early 1939, her sister having left for England, Ruth emigrated to Norway and lived with a family in Lillestrom, near Oslo. Although she loved many things about her new country and its people, Ruth became increasingly isolated until she met a soulmate, Gunvor Hofmo, who was to become a celebrated poet. When Norway became a Nazi conquest in April 1940, Ruth's effort to join the rest of her family in Britain became ever more urgent.

Ruth…


Book cover of The Days of Bluegrass Love

Michael Cart Author Of Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism

From my list on beautifully capturing gay teens’ lives and loves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a full-time writer since 1994 and have so far published twenty-seven books, three of them with gay themes: My Father’s Scar, a gay coming-of-age novel and two about LGBTQ+ issues: Top 250 LGTBQ Books for Teens and The Heart Has Its Reasons, a history of queer literature. I’ve been interested in this literature since I was a gay teen myself, because there were no YA books with queer characters then. I missed seeing my face in the pages of a good book and so I promised myself that when I became an adult. I would make sure there was an ample assortment for today’s queer kids. And, guess what? I’ve kept my promise!

Michael's book list on beautifully capturing gay teens’ lives and loves

Michael Cart Why did Michael love this book?

Weary of people asking him what his plans for the future are, eighteen-year-old Dutch teen Tycho decides to travel from his Holland home to America to work at a camp for international kids. Along the way, he meets Oliver, who’s from Norway, and is also going to work at the camp. The two quickly become fast friends and then something more. When their love relationship is discovered, they’re expelled from the camp, and the two fly back to Norway where Tycho will stay with Oliver while the boy’s mother is gone. No, there are no wild parties, just a lovely examination of an emerging relationship that is challenged by Oliver’s keeping a closely guarded secret. If this sounds dull, trust me, it isn’t! Find out why I’m so crazy about this book by reading it. Tell them Michael sent you...

By Edward van de Vendel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Days of Bluegrass Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Tycho Zeling is drifting through his life. Everything in it - school, friends, girls, plans for the future - just kind of ... happens. Like a movie he presses play on, but doesn't direct.

So Tycho decides to break away from everything. He flies to America to spend his summer as a counselor at a summer camp, for international kids. It is there that Oliver walks in, another counselor, from Norway.

And it is there that Tycho feels his life stop, and begin again, finally, as his.
The Days of Bluegrass Love was originally published in the Netherlands in 1999.…


Book cover of Occupied: A Novel Based on a True Story

J.L. Oakley Author Of The Jossing Affair

From my list on Norway during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a trained historian and past educator at a historical museum. I fell into my passion for Norway during WWII after I dreamed about a man in the snow surrounded by German soldiers. I was encouraged to write the scene down. That scene became the prologue to The Jøssing Affair, but not before going to libraries and reading countless secondary and primary resources, interviewing numbers of Norwegian-Americans who settled in my area in the 1950s, and eating a lot of lefse. This passion of over 28 years has taken me to Norway to walk Trondheim where my novels take place and forge friendships with local historians and experts.

J.L.'s book list on Norway during WWII

J.L. Oakley Why did J.L. love this book?

Occupied is a fictionalized story of the author’s father, Trygve Borstad, during WWII. I recommend this book because I think the novel gives a realistic portrayal of ordinary life in occupied Norway as he tells the story of his family and their struggles to survive during the German occupation of their country. Trygve was only 7 years old in 1936 when he was living with his grandparents in Norway. His father had gone back to the States to find a place for the family to live and raise money for their passage for them to travel. Ten years will pass until he will see his father again. As he grows into a teenager, he is entrusted with a job that will protect a resistance group in the town. 

By Kurt Blorstad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A world at war, a family kept apart and a young boy in the midst of it all. Will they all survive? As WW II breaks out, a father finds himself in the U.S. while his wife and sons are home in occupied Norway. Based on the son’s true-life journals from 1935-1945, this is the story of a family separated by war and uncertainty.


Book cover of The Land of Dreams

Adrian Stumpp Author Of The Crow's Head: The Chemical Marriage

From my list on crime with supernatural overtones.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m not a genre purist. I adore combining classic forms in new and exciting ways to make stories that have never been told before. The novels on this list are like that. They refuse to obey genre rules. Detective fiction suggests our questions have answers. The truth is rational and we can discover it. The supernatural elements of occult fiction say otherwise. Human consciousness cannot comprehend the nature of reality. Our investigations fail to understand our lives—the best we can do is explain them away. When these perspectives collide, it can result in interesting ways to see the world, familiar but fresh, as we have never known it before. 

Adrian's book list on crime with supernatural overtones

Adrian Stumpp Why did Adrian love this book?

Superficially, The Minnesota Trilogy is a murder mystery. When two Norwegian tourists are slaughtered in a national forest, it seems like an open and shut case. All the evidence points in one direction, but park ranger Lance Hansen is not convinced. He suspects his own brother. Hansen’s amateur investigation accidentally uncovers a second mystery involving his ancestor and the death (murder?) of a nineteenth-century Ojibwe medicine man. Sundstøl’s depiction of contemporary rural Minnesota is as full of magic, menace, and intrigue as the best fantasy world-building. The American Midwest becomes a land of prophetic dreams and roaming ghosts. The clash of cultures is less political than mythic, and the stakes are spiritual. History is still happening. Family is deeper than blood. These books open my imagination and tear my heart in half.

By Vidar Sundstøl, Tiina Nunnally (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Riverton Prize for best Norwegian crime novel and named by Dagbladet as one of the top twenty-five Norwegian crime novels of all time, The Land of Dreams is the chilling first installment in Vidar Sundstol's critically acclaimed Minnesota Trilogy, set on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior and in the region's small towns and deep forests.

The grandson of Norwegian immigrants, Lance Hansen is a U.S. Forest Service officer and has a nearly all-consuming passion for local genealogy and history. But his quiet routines are shattered one morning when he comes upon a Norwegian tourist brutally…


Book cover of Skis Against the Atom: The Exciting, First Hand Account of Heroism and Daring Sabotage During the Nazi Occupation of Norway

J.L. Oakley Author Of The Jossing Affair

From my list on Norway during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a trained historian and past educator at a historical museum. I fell into my passion for Norway during WWII after I dreamed about a man in the snow surrounded by German soldiers. I was encouraged to write the scene down. That scene became the prologue to The Jøssing Affair, but not before going to libraries and reading countless secondary and primary resources, interviewing numbers of Norwegian-Americans who settled in my area in the 1950s, and eating a lot of lefse. This passion of over 28 years has taken me to Norway to walk Trondheim where my novels take place and forge friendships with local historians and experts.

J.L.'s book list on Norway during WWII

J.L. Oakley Why did J.L. love this book?

Skis Against the Atom is a classic action story from WWII and about one of the most famous commando raids. It is the first-hand account of the heavy water raid by one of the men who was part of it, Knut Haukelid. First published in 1954, this book just pulled me into the dangerous and heroic actions of a group of young men who undertook the destruction of the heavily-guarded plant at Rjukan in Telemark. It gave me ideas for my own book concerning not only the planning and execution of missions, but the camaraderie of the men doing it. One of my favorite stories in the book happened after the plant was blown up. It’s almost as thrilling as the actual raid. It’s a great read and constantly in print.

By Knut Haukelid,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skis Against the Atom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The exciting, first-hand account of heroism and daring sabotage during the Nazi occupation of Norway. The outcome of World War II could very possibly have been much different if Knut Haukelid and his small, but courageous band of Norwegian soldiers had not been successful in sabotaging the Nazis supply of heavy water. The heavy water produced at a facility in occupied Norway was vital to Hitlers race with the United States to develop the atomic bomb. Knut Haukelids Skis Against The Atom gives the reader an intimate account of the valiant and self-sacrificing service that the not-to-be-subdued Norwegians performed for…


Book cover of Gold Run: The Rescue of Norway's Gold Bullion from the Nazis, April 1940

J.L. Oakley Author Of The Jossing Affair

From my list on Norway during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a trained historian and past educator at a historical museum. I fell into my passion for Norway during WWII after I dreamed about a man in the snow surrounded by German soldiers. I was encouraged to write the scene down. That scene became the prologue to The Jøssing Affair, but not before going to libraries and reading countless secondary and primary resources, interviewing numbers of Norwegian-Americans who settled in my area in the 1950s, and eating a lot of lefse. This passion of over 28 years has taken me to Norway to walk Trondheim where my novels take place and forge friendships with local historians and experts.

J.L.'s book list on Norway during WWII

J.L. Oakley Why did J.L. love this book?

The German invasion of Norway was sudden and thorough, capturing major ports from Oslo to Bergen and Trondheim on a single day in April. Their only failure was not capturing King Haakon, the cabinet, and Norway’s gold bullion. Robert Pearson’s Gold Run is a thrilling account of the efforts of “a visionary bank chief,” loyal Norwegians, and ships and men of the British Royal Navy. While under bombardment, immense courage was displayed as 50 tons of gold were moved by road, rail, and fishing boats. Pearson provides documents, photos, and personal accounts as well as a great narrative. If you don’t know anything about Norway during WWII, this book is a great way to understand the history of the invasion, how it unfolded and what was at stake. 

By Robert Pearson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gold Run is the true story of arguably one of the greatest gold snatches in history. It is a tale of immense bravery, endurance and great leadership of loyal Norwegians, plus a little good fortune and help from the British against intrigue and overwhelming odds.
The German invasion of Norway on the night of April 8th/9th, 1940 almost took Norway completely unawares; had it not been for the defiance of one small coastal battery, the Norwegian royal family, government, and nearly 50 tons of gold bullion would have had no chance of escape. In desperate haste the royal family fled…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Norway, psychopathy, and hunting?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Norway, psychopathy, and hunting.

Norway Explore 57 books about Norway
Psychopathy Explore 68 books about psychopathy
Hunting Explore 40 books about hunting