100 books like Psychogeography

By Will Self, Ralph Steadman (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Psychogeography fans have personally recommended if you like Psychogeography. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ 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 Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Jim Miller Author Of Drift

From my list on urban wandering and subterranean history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach literature, Labor Studies, and writing at San Diego City College and have written three San Diego-based novels: Drift, Flash, and Last Days in Ocean Beach, along with Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, a radical history of San Diego that I co-wrote with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew. Both as a writer and as a daily wanderer on the streets of San Diego, I have a passion for the psychogeography of the city space and a deep curiosity for and love of the people I encounter there.

Jim's book list on urban wandering and subterranean history

Jim Miller Why did Jim love this book?

This book really got to me because it offers a rich and quixotic history of walking that encompasses the Romantics, the French flaneurs, and a host of other wanderers. In her chapter on San Francisco, Solnit re-maps the space of her home city in a way that outlines her own rediscovery and gave me new eyes to see a place that I love.

By Rebecca Solnit,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of the memoir Recollections of My Nonexistence

Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most…


Book cover of City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

Maxim Samson Author Of Invisible Lines: Boundaries and Belts That Define the World

From my list on redefining your understanding of geography.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Geography professor at DePaul University with a long-standing obsession with the world, comparing puddle shapes to countries as a small child and subsequently initiating map and flag collections that I cultivate to this day. Having lived in different parts of the UK and the USA, as well as being fortunate enough to travel further afield, I’ve relished the opportunity to explore widely and chat with the people who know their places best. I love books that alter how I look at the planet, and I am particularly intrigued by the subtle ways in which people have shaped our world—and our perceptions of it—both intentionally and inadvertently.

Maxim's book list on redefining your understanding of geography

Maxim Samson Why did Maxim love this book?

A film noir in book form, Davis’ astute, visceral, and impassioned chronicle of Los Angeles at the turn of the millennium offers a dystopian view of future urban society.

I was recommended this book by my secondary school geography teacher shortly before starting university. Although my teacher did not know it, I had been questioning whether I’d made the right choice in choosing Geography for my degree, but this book captivated me like no other and assuaged my academic concerns. 

Los Angeles is a world-famous city that means very different things to different people. Davis shows how Los Angeles is simultaneously a utopia and a dystopia, a place of gated communities and private police forces, where libraries look like fortresses and prisons, on the outside at least, resemble futuristic hotels.

Over three decades after the first edition’s publication, this book remains essential reading for anyone seeking a sobering peek into…

By Mike Davis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked City of Quartz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No metropolis has been more loved or more hated. To its official boosters, "Los Angeles brings it all together." To detractors, LA is a sunlit mortuary where "you can rot without feeling it." To Mike Davis, the author of this fiercely elegant and wide-ranging work of social history, Los Angeles is both utopia and dystopia, a place where the last Joshua trees are being plowed under to make room for model communities in the desert, where the rich have hired their own police to fend off street gangs, as well as armed Beirut militias.

In City of Quartz, Davis reconstructs…


Book cover of Love and War in California

Jim Miller Author Of Drift

From my list on urban wandering and subterranean history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach literature, Labor Studies, and writing at San Diego City College and have written three San Diego-based novels: Drift, Flash, and Last Days in Ocean Beach, along with Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, a radical history of San Diego that I co-wrote with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew. Both as a writer and as a daily wanderer on the streets of San Diego, I have a passion for the psychogeography of the city space and a deep curiosity for and love of the people I encounter there.

Jim's book list on urban wandering and subterranean history

Jim Miller Why did Jim love this book?

In this moving novel, the late great Oakley Hall took me back to World War II era San Diego. What I love about it is it paints a much fuller portrait of the lost city of old than he does in his first San Diego-based novel.

This book is filled with wonder, dread, love, and longing but what makes it noteworthy is its keen eye toward history and the darkness at the heart of the city’s streets and neighborhoods—and at the center of the war itself. 

By Oakley Hall,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Sweeping Novel of a Twentieth-Century California Life

Love and War in California tells the story, through the eyes of Payton Daltrey, of the last sixty years of an evolving America.
The award-winning author Oakley Hall begins his newest work in 1940s San Diego, where his endearing, wide-eyed narrator must define his identity in terms of self, family, and World War II. As his classmates disappear into the war one by one, he becomes obsessed with abuses of power and embroiled with the charming, dangerous Errol Flynn; with the Red Baiting of the American Legion; with the House Un-American Activities…


Book cover of Now and on Earth

Jim Miller Author Of Drift

From my list on urban wandering and subterranean history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach literature, Labor Studies, and writing at San Diego City College and have written three San Diego-based novels: Drift, Flash, and Last Days in Ocean Beach, along with Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See, a radical history of San Diego that I co-wrote with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew. Both as a writer and as a daily wanderer on the streets of San Diego, I have a passion for the psychogeography of the city space and a deep curiosity for and love of the people I encounter there.

Jim's book list on urban wandering and subterranean history

Jim Miller Why did Jim love this book?

Jim Thompson’s novel is arguably San Diego’s greatest classic noir work.

While not a crime novel, it captures wartime San Diego through the glass darkly, and I was moved and unsettled by Thompson’s unsparing forays into the alienation of those who were the most exploited in the city.

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

San Diego in the years before World War II. James Dillon is barely scraping by working a menial job in manufacturing, trying to raise a family and support his elderly mother and sister Frankie at the same time. He drinks too hard -- just like his father and nearly everyone in his extended family. With so many people crammed into one home, sometimes there's so much fighting he can barely stand it. But if James can survive the chaos of everyday life long enough, maybe -- just maybe -- there's a chance it'll all get better.

Now and on Earth,…


Book cover of The Imaginative Landscape of Christopher Columbus

Toby Lester Author Of The Fourth Part of the World: An Astonishing Epic of Global Discovery, Imperial Ambition, and the Birth of America

From my list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and an editor with eclectic interests. I’ve published two books of popular history—Da Vinci's Ghost (2012), about Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and The Fourth Part of the World (2009), about the map that gave America its name. I’ve also written extensively for national publications on such topics as the sociology of new religious movements, privacy protection in the Internet age, the Voynich manuscript, the revisionist study of the Qur’an, the revival of ancient Greek music, and alphabet reform in Azerbaijan. I’m presently a senior editor at the Harvard Business Review and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. From 1988-1990, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Yemen.

Toby's book list on geographical ideas behind the age of discovery

Toby Lester Why did Toby love this book?

This is a lapidary introduction to the stories and ideas that prompted Columbus to sail away from Europe into the Atlantic in search of a direct sea route to Asia—and that determined how he interpreted what he came across after making landfall in the Americas. In just 200 pages, Flint nimbly covers all sorts of material: Christian theories of cosmology and eschatology; medieval conceptions of geography; the travel stories of St. Brendan, Sinbad the Sailor, Sir John Mandeville, and Marco Polo; the books that Columbus read, and the notes he made in them to himself; and more. In doing so, she reanimates a fascinating landscape of the imagination.

By Valerie Irene Jane Flint,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Imaginative Landscape of Christopher Columbus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rather than focusing on the well-rehearsed facts of Columbus's achievements in the New World, Valerie Flint looks instead at his imaginative mental images, the powerful "fantasies" that gave energy to his endeavors in the Renaissance. With him on his voyages into the unknown, he carried medieval notions gleaned from a Mediterranean tradition of tall tales about the sea, from books he had read, and from the mappae-mundi, splendid schematic maps with fantastic inhabitants. After investigating these sources of Columbus's views, Flint explains how the content of his thinking influenced his reports on his discoveries. Finally, she argues that problems besetting…


Book cover of The Eternal City: A History of Rome in Maps

Georgia Irby Author Of Conceptions of the Watery World in Greco-Roman Antiquity

From my list on how to read maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I still remember the day I discovered the family atlas (I must have about five; it then lived in my room, and my dad was probably irked, but too kind and encouraging to show it). Since then, I have been mesmerized by maps. How lucky I am to turn an early passion into a focus of research and teaching (I am a Classicist and Historian of Ancient Science). My publications include studies of narrative maps in Greco-Roman literature (they too were mesmerized by maps). You can find maps in the most unexpected places!

Georgia's book list on how to read maps

Georgia Irby Why did Georgia love this book?

In this beautiful book, Maier guides her readers through the parallel development of Rome (imperial city, Holy See, thriving center of art and intellectualism) with the evolution of mapmaking.

I like the clear way that she shows how the changing city helped inform transitions in how and why maps are made. For example, medieval maps of Rome forefront of the city’s five churches, while downplaying other features, and give the cloistered monk (and modern reader) the opportunity to trace an imagined pilgrimage (I spent many childhood hours with the family atlas imagining my own journeys to faraway lands).

Only in the 19th century, when travel for pleasure becomes widespread, do maps of Rome (and elsewhere), advertising their sponsors, become more utilitarian, enabling tourists to find their own ways, and supplying cheap souvenirs. 

By Jessica Maier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Eternal City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most visited places in the world, Rome attracts millions of tourists each year to walk its storied streets and see famous sites like the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain. Yet this ancient city's allure is due as much to its rich, unbroken history as to its extraordinary array of landmarks. Countless incarnations and eras merge in the Roman cityscape. With a history spanning nearly three millennia, no other place can quite match the resilience and reinventions of the aptly nicknamed Eternal City. In this unique and visually engaging book, Jessica Maier considers Rome through…


Book cover of The Discovery of France

Julie Barlow Author Of The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed

From my list on understanding the French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing books about France and the French for two decades. The adventure began when I moved to Quebec in my early 20s and married a Quebecker. He became my life partner and co-author. I learned his language, immersed myself in Canada’s French-language culture and began writing articles in French. In 1999 we moved to France for three years to study the French. Three books later, we returned to Paris with our daughters to try to demystify French conversation. The result is The Bonjour Effect. I am grateful to the authors on my list for helping me refine my understanding of France, the French and their language. 

Julie's book list on understanding the French

Julie Barlow Why did Julie love this book?

Don’t be intimated by the academic-sounding title. This book just blew my mind. If you want to even begin understanding the French, you have to know where they came from. As Robb proves in this readable work, there is no better way to do this than by looking at French geography. France is a country that evolved out of surprisingly varied landscapes, ethnic origins, languages, and more. Understanding all the pieces of the puzzle, the great struggles that gathered them into a unified country, will forever change how you see the country.

By Graham Robb,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Discovery of France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A narrative of exploration-full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language.

Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn…


Book cover of Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

Maxim Samson Author Of Invisible Lines: Boundaries and Belts That Define the World

From my list on redefining your understanding of geography.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Geography professor at DePaul University with a long-standing obsession with the world, comparing puddle shapes to countries as a small child and subsequently initiating map and flag collections that I cultivate to this day. Having lived in different parts of the UK and the USA, as well as being fortunate enough to travel further afield, I’ve relished the opportunity to explore widely and chat with the people who know their places best. I love books that alter how I look at the planet, and I am particularly intrigued by the subtle ways in which people have shaped our world—and our perceptions of it—both intentionally and inadvertently.

Maxim's book list on redefining your understanding of geography

Maxim Samson Why did Maxim love this book?

I regard this book as the quintessence of a modern geography trade book, a work that compels us to examine the places around us with an increasingly critical eye.

Drawing on current geographical thinking and a rich assortment of case studies from across the globe, Bonnett demonstrates why place matters: it is how we apply meaning to the world. Accordingly, to be placelesswhether through dispossession or demolition on the ground or deletion from the mapis tantamount to not existing at all.

Part of what makes this book such a captivating read is its attention to such concerns. Our relationship with the world may be quite innocuous, characterised by innocent curiosity and a craving for excitement, but it can also assume an ugly side, where people seek to seize places only for themselves. Ultimately, what we make of the planet, mundane and remarkable all at once,…

By Alastair Bonnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A fizzingly entertaining and enlightening book' Daily Telegraph


'Mesmerising' Geographical Magazine


'A fascinating delve into uncharted, forgotten lost places. But it's not just a trivia-tastic anthology of remote destinations but a nifty piece of psycho-geography, explaining our human need for these cartographical conundrums.' Wanderlust

In a world of Google Earth, in which it is easy to believe that every discovery has been made and every adventure already had, Off the Map is a stunning testament to how mysterious our planet still is.

From forgotten enclaves to floating islands, from hidden villages to New York gutter spaces, Off the Map charts…


Book cover of Atlas of the Bible

Jeanne Lyet Gassman Author Of Blood of a Stone

From my list on the life and times in Roman Palestine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an avid reader of historical fiction since I was very young, and I love learning about the life and times of different periods of history. One might describe me as a "research junkie." My desire to know more about the everyday lives of my historical characters has taken me on many wonderful adventures, and my personal library is full of books I use for research. I write fiction, creative nonfiction, and novels. I am currently completing a new novel about a family of downwinders, people who contracted cancer from government-sanctioned radioactive fallout from the atomic bomb tests in Nevada during the 1950s and 1960s.

Jeanne's book list on the life and times in Roman Palestine

Jeanne Lyet Gassman Why did Jeanne love this book?

Part of my job when writing historical fiction is to know the "lay of the land." That means understanding regional maps, the geography, the climate, and the flora and fauna of the era and location of my story. I turned to this book so often that some of the pages are falling out. Beautifully illustrated with color photos, maps, and drawings, this book describes the history and main features of twelve main geographical regions in the Holy Land and connects them to major events in the Old and New Testaments. It's an accessible resource that functions more as a cultural atlas than simply as a map atlas.

By John Rogerson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first atlas of the Bible to treat its subject geographically rather than historically, this unique work features the main biblical sites, illustrated with photographs and colour maps. The book opens with a description of the Bible, explains how it came to be composed and how it has been transmitted to us through medieval manuscript copies and modern translations. The second section of the text provides an outline of the historical background of the Bible, from the time of Abraham to the close of the New Testament period. The third and principal section discusses the main geographical regions of the…


Book cover of A History of America in 100 Maps

Jeremy Black Author Of Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past

From my list on for people who love maps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian fascinated with maps and geography, I have produced historical atlases on the world, Britain, war, cities, naval history, fortifications, and World War Two, as well as books on geopolitics and maps. I am an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and of Policy Exchange.

Jeremy's book list on for people who love maps

Jeremy Black Why did Jeremy love this book?

An excellent example of the British Library’s History … in 100 Maps series, this book, by an expert, on the American geopolitical imagination, combines a first-rate text with instructive maps. Handsomely produced, it is good value.

By Susan Schulten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of America in 100 Maps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout its history, America has been defined through maps. Whether made for military strategy or urban reform, to encourage settlement or to investigate disease, maps invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such they offer unrivaled windows onto the past.
 
In this book Susan Schulten uses maps to explore five centuries of American history, from the voyages of European discovery to the digital age. With stunning visual clarity, A History of America in 100 Maps showcases the power…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in geography, the Scottish Highlands, and Scotland?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about geography, the Scottish Highlands, and Scotland.

Geography Explore 36 books about geography
The Scottish Highlands Explore 41 books about the Scottish Highlands
Scotland Explore 317 books about Scotland