100 books like Rural Rides

By William Cobbett,

Here are 100 books that Rural Rides fans have personally recommended if you like Rural Rides. 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 Cider with Rosie

Richard Glover Author Of Flesh Wounds

From my list on weird families and how to survive them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian writer and journalist. I’ve written several humour books, as well as a history of Australia in the 1960 and 1970s called The Land Before Avocado. I also write for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Washington Post and present a radio show on ABC Radio Sydney. Of the books I’ve written, the one that’s closest to my heart is my memoir Flesh Wounds.

Richard's book list on weird families and how to survive them

Richard Glover Why did Richard love this book?

In my book I talk about how many people miss out on the love they expect—the love of a mother, father, spouse, or child—and yet how most of us survive by finding the love we need elsewhere. In Cider with Rosie, Laurie’s father abandons his family, but Laurie’s mother shines: her frisks and gaieties, her fits of screams, her love of man. This is the childhood memoir of one of the great (somewhat unacknowledged) poets of the twentieth century.

By Laurie Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A re-issue of the evocative and nostalgic account of Lee's country childhood in a secluded Cotswold valley. Lee describes a vanished rural world of village schools and church outings but also touches on the darker side of village life as it comes into contact with murder, rape, suicide and depression.


Book cover of On Hunting

Charlie Pye-Smith Author Of Land of Plenty: A Journey Through the Fields & Foods of Modern Britain

From my list on that evoke the spirit of the British countryside.

Why am I passionate about this?

I thought I was going to be a farmer, but some serious practical experience after I finished school put paid to that idea. I then focused my attention on conservation, before turning to travel writing. All of which led, eventually, to a growing interest in development issues and how people can make a living from the land. The result is over a dozen books, some of which are narrative-driven travelogues – many based on my experiences in Africa and elsewhere; and some of which focus on the nitty-gritty of agriculture, agroforestry, and related issues. My most recent book, Land of Plenty, provided a state of the nation account of British farming during the tumultuous year (for farmers, at least) when the UK voted to leave the EU.

Charlie's book list on that evoke the spirit of the British countryside

Charlie Pye-Smith Why did Charlie love this book?

On Hunting is not so much a defence of foxhunting, which the conservative philosopher came to quite late in life, as a celebration of everything associated with it, from its culture to its profound influence on rural communities and the strange veneration of the quarry species. It also helps to explain, better than any other book I have read, why significant numbers of people are so passionate about hunting. “This book will bring on its author’s head the abuse to which he has long been accustomed,” wrote the historian Raymond Carr in the Literary Review. “But even the politically correct, if they have a shred of honesty, must acknowledge the intellectual power and literary elegance that distinguish it.”

By Roger Scruton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawing on his own experiences of hunting and offering a delightful portrait of the people and animals who take part in it, Roger Scruton introduces the reader to some of the mysteries of country life. His book is a plea for tolerance towards a sport in which the love of animals prevails over the pursuit of them, and in which Nature herself is the centre of the drama. 'A supremely witty book. ' EVENING STANDARD 'A pocket masterpiece. . . and a lyrical celebration. 'THE SPECTATOR 'This is a lovely book. . . A Classic. ' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'A…


Book cover of Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape

Charlie Pye-Smith Author Of Land of Plenty: A Journey Through the Fields & Foods of Modern Britain

From my list on that evoke the spirit of the British countryside.

Why am I passionate about this?

I thought I was going to be a farmer, but some serious practical experience after I finished school put paid to that idea. I then focused my attention on conservation, before turning to travel writing. All of which led, eventually, to a growing interest in development issues and how people can make a living from the land. The result is over a dozen books, some of which are narrative-driven travelogues – many based on my experiences in Africa and elsewhere; and some of which focus on the nitty-gritty of agriculture, agroforestry, and related issues. My most recent book, Land of Plenty, provided a state of the nation account of British farming during the tumultuous year (for farmers, at least) when the UK voted to leave the EU.

Charlie's book list on that evoke the spirit of the British countryside

Charlie Pye-Smith Why did Charlie love this book?

We are blessed right now with an abundance of farmers who have good stories to tell. Three hill farmers stand out: John Lewis-Stempel, James Rebanks, and Patrick Laurie, whose Native is so lyrical that it reads at times like a prose poem by Seamus Heaney. Laurie’s book is an account, season by season, of his relationship with a roughish bit of land in southwest Scotland. It is part love affair with his small farm, and the curlews and native Galloway cattle in which he has an obsessional interest, and part critique of modern farming and the industrial timber production that threatens much of the open moorland. Native is worth reading just for the quality of the prose, even if you’re not remotely interested in countryside matters.

By Patrick Laurie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Times Bestseller

Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing 2020

'Remarkable, and so profoundly enjoyable to read ... Its importance is huge, setting down a vital marker in the 21st century debate about how we use and abuse the land' - Joyce McMillan, Scotsman

Desperate to connect with his native Galloway, Patrick Laurie plunges into work on his family farm in the hills of southwest Scotland. Investing in the oldest and most traditional breeds of Galloway cattle, the Riggit Galloway, he begins to discover how cows once shaped people, places and nature in this remote and half-hidden…


Book cover of Walking Home: A Poet's Journey

Charlie Pye-Smith Author Of Land of Plenty: A Journey Through the Fields & Foods of Modern Britain

From my list on that evoke the spirit of the British countryside.

Why am I passionate about this?

I thought I was going to be a farmer, but some serious practical experience after I finished school put paid to that idea. I then focused my attention on conservation, before turning to travel writing. All of which led, eventually, to a growing interest in development issues and how people can make a living from the land. The result is over a dozen books, some of which are narrative-driven travelogues – many based on my experiences in Africa and elsewhere; and some of which focus on the nitty-gritty of agriculture, agroforestry, and related issues. My most recent book, Land of Plenty, provided a state of the nation account of British farming during the tumultuous year (for farmers, at least) when the UK voted to leave the EU.

Charlie's book list on that evoke the spirit of the British countryside

Charlie Pye-Smith Why did Charlie love this book?

This is one of the best books I have read about a long walk – in this case, the poet laureate Simon Armitage’s account of the 19 days he spent walking the Pennine Way, beginning at its northern extremity and ending up near his home in West Yorkshire. This is not a precious, solipsistic memoir of the sort favoured by many of our celebrated New Nature Writers, but a wonderfully droll account of what was often a hard slog, where at the end of each day Armitage, who set off without any money, sings for his supper, reading poetry in village halls, pubs, barns, and other venues, and takes pot luck with whatever accommodation he is offered for the night. Walking Home provides a vivid portrait of one of our great landscapes, and the quirks of character and acts of kindness he encounters on the way.

By Simon Armitage,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Odysseus journeys home, his famous flair for storytelling seducing friend and foe. The Romantic poets tramped all over the Lake District searching for inspiration. Now Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a wry humor all his own, has taken on Britain's version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way. Walking "the backbone of England" by day (accompanied by friends, family, strangers, dogs, the unpredictable English weather, and a backpack full of Mars Bars), each evening he gives a poetry reading in a different…


Book cover of The Devil You Don't Know: Going Back to Iraq

Emma Sky Author Of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq

From my list on what the Iraq War was like for Iraqis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I served in Iraq as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004; and as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010. I retain a deep love of the country and am a regular visitor. I teach about the Middle East and Global Affairs at Yale University. 

Emma's book list on what the Iraq War was like for Iraqis

Emma Sky Why did Emma love this book?

What did the Iraq War look like from the perspective of Iraqis? In most accounts of the Iraq War, Iraqis only feature as terrorists or victims. This book explains how Iraqis felt about the invasion of the country; what relations were like between returning exiles and those who had remained in Iraq all along; and the hopes that Iraqis had for their country. It is really well written and engaging.

By Zuhair al-Jezairy, John West (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil You Don't Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1979, journalist Zuhair al-Jezairy fled Iraq and certain death after openly criticising Saddam's regime. Twenty-five years later he is back, and cautiously celebrating the toppling of the hated Ba'ath Party.

As editor of a newspaper, he breaks the Oil for Food scandal, disclosing the names of Arab and Westerners who were involved. He then sets up a television company and travels all over Iraq, documenting the country's descent into sectarianism and hopeless violence, soon becoming a target himself.

Al-Jezairy's first-hand accounts of the looting of Baghdad, the destruction of government buildings, and indiscriminate bombings are a searing, personal and…


Book cover of Paper Tigers

Marc D. Giller Author Of Candidate Z

From my list on not minding your workout as much.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just your friendly neighborhood thriller novelist. When people find out I write books, they inevitably enquire, “Really? Have I read anything of yours?” Well, funny you should ask! I’ve been cranking out stories since I was sixteen but took a couple of decades to finally land a publishing deal for my debut novel Hammerjack and its sequel Prodigal (Bantam Spectra). A lifelong Star Trek fan, I’ve also published the novella “Revenant” in the collection Seven Deadly Sins (Gallery Books). My latest is the high-tech thriller Candidate Z, available on Amazon.

Marc's book list on not minding your workout as much

Marc D. Giller Why did Marc love this book?

I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a novel, but if you take this one for a spin you’ll find out what I mean. Aguilar is a screenwriter and a former reporter, and it shows here in the visual flair with which he constructs his scenes and his eye for detail as he follows the adventures of young wannabe journalists trying to make their bones in the cutthroat offices of The Washington Post. The characters are witty, winsome, and way better looking than anyone I ever knew during my own short stint as a local TV guy—but who cares? This is an absolute romp, which will have you rooting for a happy ending and for love to conquer all.

By Lou Aguilar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two ambitious new interns at the Washington Post—a cowboy conservative and a patrician feminist beauty—match wits and sparks while vying for a reporter slot. But can chemistry trump ideology in the mad age of Donald Trump?

They came to the Washington Post from opposite sides—Nick Jarrett, the conservative son of a Wyoming rancher, and Laura London, an Ivy League feminist firebrand. They are young, bright, and attractive. Sure, they’re just copy aides, glorified gophers, relegated to delivering parcels and answering phones on different news desks. But someday, they'll be Post reporters who will save America—either from the Left or the…


Book cover of Fishing in Africa: A Guide to War and Corruption

Iain Parke Author Of The Liquidator

From my list on African set political thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Looking for an adventure in the mid-90s I found myself in East Africa helping wind up a failed African bank, locked out of a t-shirt manufacturing plant, chasing down missing bulldozers (which turned up creating Rwandan refugee camps), taking over a toilet paper manufacturer which couldn’t manage to perforate the paper, and running a match factory on the slopes of Kilimanjaro before selling it to a Nigerian chief who turned up in his private jet. Meanwhile feeling like an alien who really didn’t understand what was really going on around me, and uncomfortable with much of the hard-drinking and arrogant expat culture, drove me to start to write as a way of making sense of what I was seeing and feeling.    

Iain's book list on African set political thrillers

Iain Parke Why did Iain love this book?

A revealing portrait of 80s/90s Africa from a journalist who had covered many of the continent’s trouble spots for major British newspapers. Through his journeys you get to meet a wide range of players from fighters in the bush to aid executives and politicians in executive suites. A fascinating mix of travel writing and political analysis (and yes with some fishing thrown in). 

By Andrew Buckoke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For ten years Andrew Buckoke wrote articles about Africa for many of the major newspapers including "The Guardian", "The Times" and "The Observer". He brings his experience and knowledge of the African continent to bear in a book which attempts to open up this often romanticized and little understood land to the general reader. "Fishing in Africa" concentrates interest on the people of the continent rather than the animals, while looking at the ways in which these peoples are governed. The author follows the antics of governments, rebels, aid agencies and fellow journalists and while persuing his interest in fishing,…


Book cover of The Journalist in British Fiction and Film: Guarding the Guardians from 1900 to the Present

Tony Harcup Author Of Journalism: Principles and Practice

From my list on journalists as heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve worked in and around journalism long enough to know that not all journalists are heroes. Few even aspire to be. But there is something quietly heroic about the daily task of holding the powerful to account, even in democracies where the risk of imprisonment or assassination is less than in more authoritarian states. Here is my selection of books to remind all of us about some of these more heroic aspects of the journalism trade. I hope you find reading them enjoyable and maybe even inspiring.

Tony's book list on journalists as heroes

Tony Harcup Why did Tony love this book?

If fictional journalists are your thing, then this book will almost certainly introduce you to some you’ve never heard of as well as those you (really should) have. Lonsdale insightfully identifies and dissects themes that crop up time after time in creative writing about journalists, from swashbuckling rogues to unethical scumbags. In the process, she has plenty to say about the craft of journalism itself and its enduring value to society. There is humour too, as when she quotes the immortal line of Stella Gibbons (author of Cold Comfort Farm): "The life of the journalist is poor, nasty, brutish and short. So is his style." Lovely.

By Sarah Lonsdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Journalist in British Fiction and Film as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why did Edwardian novelists portray journalists as swashbuckling, truth-seeking super-heroes whereas post-WW2 depictions present the journalist as alienated outsider? Why are contemporary fictional journalists often deranged, murderous or intensely vulnerable? As newspaper journalism faces the double crisis of a lack of trust post-Leveson, and a lack of influence in the fragmented internet age, how do cultural producers view journalists and their role in society today?

In The Journalist in British Fiction and Film Sarah Lonsdale traces the ways in which journalists and newspapers have been depicted in fiction, theatre and film from the dawn of the mass popular press to…


Book cover of Top Ski Resorts of the World

Jimmy Petterson Author Of Skiing Around the World: Over 30 Years in Search of the Ultimate Ski Descent

From my list on skiing from the man who skied the most countries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent a lifetime in search of the coziest ski village, the most spectacular mountaintop view, and the ultimate powder descent, and for the past 35 years, I’ve been writing about and photographing my experiences for ski and travel magazines. I am one of the world’s most published ski journalists, with more than 600 feature articles with photos having appeared in 20 countries. I’ve skied about 4700 days in my life, and have managed to ski in 650 ski resorts, in 75 countries, and on all seven continents. I have also written an unusual multi-media novel with photos and music called Coming of Age

Jimmy's book list on skiing from the man who skied the most countries

Jimmy Petterson Why did Jimmy love this book?

Arnie Wilson is a man with as long a history as a ski journalist as anybody alive. He is a passionate skier who skied his way into the Guinness Book of Records by circumscribing the globe while skiing 365 consecutive days back in 1994, and he also spent 15 years as the ski correspondent for the Financial Times and twelve years more as the editor of the British magazine, Ski and Board. This book is a coffee-table book that is divided into chapters on Arnie’s choice of the 40 best ski resorts in the world.

By Arnie Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Top Ski Resorts of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Chamonix and St. Moritz in the European Alps to Aspen, Colorado, and Lake Louise, Canada, this beautifully illustrated volume features 40 of the most celebrated, fashionable, and diverse skiing destinations in the world. Each resort is treated individually, with the author's vivid and lively description, handsome color photos, and an information panel that tells readers how to get there, the site's altitude, number of lifts, types of pistes or ski runs, the resort's special advantages, and its drawbacks. Each description also features a small map showing nearby cities and approaches by highway. The resorts and sites described encompass the…


Book cover of Armed Truce: The Beginnings of the Cold War 1945-1946

Robert D. Kaplan Author Of In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond

From my list on the Cold War from a journalist who lived it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a foreign correspondent in Cold War Eastern Europe, under communist domination. I lived in Greece, a Cold War battleground, in the 1980s, from where I made regular forays into the Balkans and Central Europe. Those journeys left a vivid, lifelong impression on me.

Robert's book list on the Cold War from a journalist who lived it

Robert D. Kaplan Why did Robert love this book?

This is a somewhat obscure work, a massive book that apparently did not sell well. But it offers a blow-by-blow description by a great British historian about how the Cold War started, and demonstrates how it was principally Stalin's actions that led to World War II morphing into a cold war.

By Hugh Thomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Provides an account of the first years of the Cold War, with insights into the state of the world after the Second World War and vivid portraits of such personalities as Stalin, Beria, Churchill, Roosevelt, deGaulle, and Truman


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the United Kingdom, journalists, and the English Reformation?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the United Kingdom, journalists, and the English Reformation.

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The English Reformation Explore 9 books about the English Reformation