100 books like Sagittarius Rising

By Cecil Lewis,

Here are 100 books that Sagittarius Rising fans have personally recommended if you like Sagittarius Rising. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Regeneration

Martin Pengelly Author Of Brotherhood: When West Point Rugby Went to War

From my list on brotherhood in war – and sports.

Who am I?

I played rugby union for Durham University and at Rosslyn Park FC in London. Then I became a reporter and editor, for Rugby News magazine and on Fleet Street sports desks. In March 2002, six months after 9/11 and a year before the invasion of Iraq, my Park team played against the cadets of the United States Military Academy. Years later, settled in New York, I decided to find out what happened to those West Point rugby players in the 9/11 wars, and what their experiences might tell us about sports, war, brotherhood, loss, and remembrance.

Martin's book list on brotherhood in war – and sports

Martin Pengelly Why did Martin love this book?

Pat Barker’s prize-winning 1991 novel is a devastating portrait of the horrors of the trenches of World War One but also a meditation on why men fight, how they suffer and recover, how they live for the men they fight with.

I came to Regeneration young, and to the poems of Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon, all of whom appear in Barker’s novel. Sassoon’s declaration against the war is well known, as is his decision to return to it, to be with his men. Owen was killed in action.

There is also a character Barker creates: Billy Prior, a working-class figure John Mullan called “an interloper, angrily observing the snobbery and smugness of the officer class”. Regeneration shows fiction can complement reportage when considering how brotherhood works.

By Pat Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Calls to mind such early moderns as Hemingway and Fitzgerald...Some of the most powerful antiwar literature in modern English fiction."-The Boston Globe

The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy-a Booker Prize nominee and one of Entertainment Weekly's 100 All-Time Greatest Novels.

In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back…

Book cover of The Great War and Modern Memory

Elliot Y. Neaman Author Of A Dubious Past: Ernst Junger and the Politics of Literature after Nazism

From my list on war and collective memory.

Who am I?

I am a Professor of modern European history at the University of San Francisco. I have written or co-edited three major books and many articles and reviews, as well as serving as a correspondent for a German newspaper. My areas of expertise are intellectual, political, military, and cultural history. I also work on the history of espionage and served as a consultant to the CIA on my last book about student radicals in Germany.

Elliot's book list on war and collective memory

Elliot Y. Neaman Why did Elliot love this book?

I am a huge fan of everything Paul Fussell (1924-2012) published. He was a colorful character in real life and earned his chops as a literary critic of modern war when he landed in France with the 103rd Infantry division in 1944, was wounded fighting in Alsace, and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

I couldn't put down his book. I find most important the universal way he describes the gap between the way common soldiers experience battlefields, in contrast to how the war is portrayed to the general public by observers at home, propagandists, and the like who interpret the war from a safe distance. I was always impressed by the sharp manner of his writing. He traces the pulverization of pre-1914 Victorian values as they collided with the sheer force and brutality of modern steel and gas technology.

I loved surveying the direct and profane language…

By Paul Fussell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and named by the Modern Library one of the twentieth century's 100 Best Non-Fiction Books, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory was universally acclaimed on publication in 1970. Today, Fussell's landmark study remains as original and gripping as ever: a literate, literary, and unapologetic account of the Great War, the war that changed a generation, ushered in the
modern era, and revolutionized how we see the world.

This brilliant work illuminates the trauma and tragedy of modern warfare in fresh, revelatory ways. Exploring the…

Book cover of Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918

Richard S. Fogarty Author Of Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918

From my list on France and the first World War.

Who am I?

I’m a historian of modern Europe and France and have focused my research and writing on the First World War for almost 30 years now. The war remains the “original catastrophe” of the catastrophic 20th century and continues to shape our world in decisive ways here in the 21st century.  I don’t think there are many topics that are of clearer and more urgent interest, and what fascinates me most is how every day, individual people experienced these colossal events, events that seemed only very personal and intimate to most of them at the time.  It is with this in mind that I’ve chosen the books on my list.

Richard's book list on France and the first World War

Richard S. Fogarty Why did Richard love this book?

A day-to-day chronicle of a remarkably observant Frenchman who served from the beginning to the end of the war, this fascinating book is full of minute observations, perceptive insights, and the real, gritty texture of military life, service at the front, visits home, and confrontations with civilian life and politics. Barthas recounts all of this with an engaging immediacy and passion that makes the reader sad to part company with him at the war’s end.

By Louis Barthas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The harrowing first-person account of a French foot soldier who survived four years in the trenches of the First World War

Along with millions of other Frenchmen, Louis Barthas, a thirty-five-year-old barrelmaker from a small wine-growing town, was conscripted to fight the Germans in the opening days of World War I. Corporal Barthas spent the next four years in near-ceaseless combat, wherever the French army fought its fiercest battles: Artois, Flanders, Champagne, Verdun, the Somme, the Argonne. Barthas' riveting wartime narrative, first published in France in 1978, presents the vivid, immediate experiences of a frontline soldier.

This excellent new translation…

Book cover of Goodbye to All That

Hal Johnson Author Of Impossible Histories: The Soviet Republic of Alaska, the United States of Hudsonia, President Charlemagne, and Other Pivotal Moments of History That Never Happened

From my list on irresponsible history.

Who am I?

I’m probably too dishonest to write a real non-fiction book, but the sort of non-fiction book that has some wiggle room for me to “improve” on reality when I think it needs tightening up, or a little more schmaltz—that’s the strange twilight area the books I write live in, and all irresponsible history books dwell in this neighborhood. Remember, kids, as long as you make it clear when you’re lying, it still counts as non-fiction! 

Hal's book list on irresponsible history

Hal Johnson Why did Hal love this book?

Graves’s account of his World War I experiences stands alongside Augustine’s Confessions and the Baburnama as one of the all-time great memoirs—except everyone who was in the war with Graves agrees that most of it is fake.

Sure, Graves fought in WWI, and the experience was unpleasant, so he captured that part accurately. But all his delightful anecdotes tend to be exaggerations, prevarications, fabrications.

Graves would become in later years best known as a historical novelist, and maybe its best to take Good-Bye as his first novel, a novel of life in the trenches of the Great War. Much like his novels of ancient Rome, this book is most fun if you can suspend your disbelief completely, and persuade yourself that this must have been exactly the way things went down.

(Maybe forget I told you it was fake until after you read it.)

By Robert Graves,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Goodbye to All That as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I: a hardcover edition of one of the best and most famous memoirs of the conflict.

Good-bye to All That was published a decade after the end of the first World War, as the poet and novelist Robert Graves was preparing to leave England for good. The memoir documents not only his own personal experience, as a patriotic young officer, of the horrors and disillusionment of battle, but also the wider loss of innocence the Great War brought about. By the time of his writing, a way of life had…

Book cover of Charles James: Portrait of an Unreasonable Man: Fame, Fashion, Art

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell Author Of The Way We Wed: A Global History of Wedding Fashion

From my list on biographies of fashion designers.

Who am I?

Fashion historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is the author of Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History, and The Way We Wed: A Global History of Wedding Fashion. She is working on a biography of designer Chester Weinberg.

Kimberly's book list on biographies of fashion designers

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell Why did Kimberly love this book?

Like any art form, fashion has its share of tortured geniuses. Perhaps none combined genius and torture with as much panache as Charles James, who dressed celebrities and socialites only to die in poverty. Vogue editor Bettina Ballard remembered that “he was constantly cutting and perfecting” his toiles, “which he turned, very occasionally, into actual dresses.” A personality as complex and demanding as his sculptural evening gowns, James knew everybody and got along with nobody—and you’ll understand why after reading Klein’s biography, which draws on recently discovered, unfiltered tapes James made for a planned autobiography that, like so many of his creations, he never he finished.

By Michele Gerber Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Christian Dior described him as the inspiration for the New Look. Salvador Dali called his work soft sculpture, and Virginia Woolf exclaimed, He is a genius. As George Bernard Shaw tells us, only unreasonable men change the world. This portrait of the life and times of Charles James winner of two Coty awards, and the subject of a 2014 Metropolitan Museum of Art show draws on the glamour of Europe in the 1930s, and the dazzle of New York City from the 40s through the 70s as it travels with James from his birth to privilege in England in 1906…

Book cover of Lexicon of Musical Invective: Critical Assaults on Composers Since Beethoven's Time

J. Anthony Allen Author Of Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers: The producer's guide to harmony, chord progressions, and song structure in the MIDI grid.

From my list on falling in love with music all over again.

Who am I?

When you get a PhD in music, you end up with a lot of music books. Like, hundreds of them. At the end of every semester I could never bring myself to sell my textbooks because I just love books. Over the years I’ve continued to collect books about music, and books about everything. I’m happy that now a few have my name on the spine. 

J.'s book list on falling in love with music all over again

J. Anthony Allen Why did J. love this book?

This book is essentially a book of quotes from famous musicians, composers, and conductors. I find this book especially inspiring because of the trivial nature of some of the quotes. Sometimes it is just refreshing to read Beethoven complaining about his taxes, or Mozart trying to get paid after a gig. I use this book in my university classes constantly.

By Nicolas Slonimsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A snakeful of critical venom aimed at the composers and the classics of nineteenth- and twentieth-century music. Who wrote advanced cat music? What commonplace theme is very much like Yankee Doodle? Which composer is a scoundrel and a giftless bastard? What opera would His Satanic Majesty turn out? Whose name suggests fierce whiskers stained with vodka? And finally, what third movement begins with a dog howling at midnight, then imitates the regurgitations of the less-refined or lower-middle-class type of water-closet cistern, and ends with the cello reproducing the screech of an ungreased wheelbarrow? For the answers to these and other…

Book cover of The Truth about Pygmalion

Patsy Trench Author Of Mrs Morphett's Macaroons

From my list on early 20th century English theatre and actors.

Who am I?

I began my professional life as an actress and have skittered around the edges of theatre ever since, in various capacities. While I haven’t been on a stage for nearly forty years and I wouldn’t venture onto one at the point of a gun, I have always found the life of the actor fascinating. I’m old enough to have witnessed huge changes in the theatre over the decades, and it is intriguing to discover how much has changed—absconding managers are pretty well a thing of the past these days, and today’s actors don’t drink as muchyet how much the adaptability and single-minded passion of actors remain the same.

Patsy's book list on early 20th century English theatre and actors

Patsy Trench Why did Patsy love this book?

This is an apparently ‘true’ account of the first-ever production of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (from which sprang My Fair Lady), directed by Shaw himself—in the days when playwrights mostly directed their own work—and featuring two theatrical giants: Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Professor Higgins and Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle. Tree, who as an actor liked to don disguises in the form of false noses and wigs, was incapable of playing ‘straight’, and Shaw, with what appears to be the patience of a saint, had a right old time dissuading him from giving Higgins a limp and a Scottish accent. Meanwhile Mrs. P—ironically, bearing in mind the story of the play—struggled with her cockney accent and disappeared from the last week of rehearsals without telling anyone where she’d gone. (She was getting married for the second time.) I don’t know how ‘true’ this all is but it makes for…

By Richard Huggett,

Why should I read it?

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

Book cover of Marx's Das Kapital: A Biography

Michael Roberts Author Of The Long Depression: Marxism and the Global Crisis of Capitalism

From my list on love and capitalism.

Who am I?

Marxian Economics and its relevance to a better world and socialism has been my passion since I became an adult. My expertise in this subject, such as it is, has been sharpened by the study of Marx and Engels’ great works, but also by the efforts of so many others since; some of whom are included in my five best books. But above all, it is the knowledge that in this world of nearly 8 billion people, most do not have a happy and fulfilling life but face daily toil and struggle to live (and die). Humanity has the power and technology to do better; we just need to organise our social and governmental structures to achieve it.

Michael's book list on love and capitalism

Michael Roberts Why did Michael love this book?

Francis Wheen is a witty journalist who has written a short but revealing biography of Karl Marx. And in this book, he explains in no more than 100 pages, how Marx came to write his masterpiece, Das Kapital. He shows why Marx’s great treatise deserves to be read and understood.

By Francis Wheen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marx's Das Kapital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In vivid detail, Francis Wheen tells the story of Das Kapital and Karl Marx’s twenty-year struggle to complete his unfinished masterpiece. Born in a two-room flat in London’s Soho amid political squabbles and personal tragedy, the first volume of Das Kapital was published in 1867, to muted praise. But after Marx’s death, the book went on to influence thinkers, writers, and revolutionaries, from George Bernard Shaw to V. I. Lenin, changing the direction of twentieth-century history. Wheen’s captivating, accessible book shows that, far from being a dry economic treatise, Das Kapital is like a vast Gothic novel whose heroes are…

Book cover of The Widow's Broom

Caralyn M. Buehner Author Of Snowmen at Halloween

From my list on Halloween for the very young.

Who am I?

The world opened to me in a safe space when I learned to read as a child, and by 6th grade, inspired by Jo March, I hoped to be an author and regularly hauled stacks of books home from the library. I had put aside my dream of writing until my marriage to Mark Buehner. It was his career as an illustrator that opened up a path for me, and together we have created many picture books, including the Snowmen at Night series. I’ve learned that stories are told with pictures as well as words, and beautiful picture books can be savored at any age.

Caralyn's book list on Halloween for the very young

Caralyn M. Buehner Why did Caralyn love this book?

It wasn’t long after beginning our family when we started collecting Chris Van Allsburg books, loving the moody feel of his detailed pencil illustrations, and this book, not as well known as Jumanji or The Polar Express, is one of my favorites. 

Losing its magical powers of flight, a witch’s broom ends up in the garden of widow Minna Shaw. While frightened at first, she comes to enjoy its quiet company and help around the farm. But after meting out well-deserved punishment to some children, the neighbor’s demand that she give up her companion, and it seems as if this unusual friendship will come to an end. A twist in the tale brings the story to a warm and satisfactory ending.

By Chris Van Allsburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Widow's Broom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Book cover of Pygmalion

Cinda Gault Author Of This Godforsaken Place

From my list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures.

Who am I?

Just because you’re told something is true doesn’t make it the case. I have never accepted received ideas before subjecting them first to my own personal sniff test. Non-fiction is a wonderful way of acquiring knowledge, and stories open a door to the human soul to make possible living through someone else’s sensibility. Life becomes more vibrant and meaningful. My Ph.D. in English taught me to analyze the ways writers tell their stories. Add in my own life experience, and something magical happens during the creative process. Whether writing historical, literary, or popular fiction, I can’t help but reshape limitation into independence and personal freedom.

Cinda's book list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

This play is perhaps better known to contemporary audiences by its movie title My Fair Lady. I loved this movie as a child and studied the play years later as a graduate student. I always admired Eliza Doolittle for having the gumption to act on whatever quirky opportunity life gave her for the mere sake of stretching herself. Henry Higgins’ self-serving wager that he could transform a Cockney flower girl into a duchess held out no tangible reward to the young woman who just wanted to better herself. While Eliza learned to transcend social class through her speech and deportment, the more valuable reward was an independent assessment of who she ultimately was despite the class context of her social world.

By George Bernard Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of George Bernard Shaw's best-known plays, Pygmalion was a rousing success on the London and New York stages, an entertaining motion picture and a great hit with its musical version, My Fair Lady. An updated and considerably revised version of the ancient Greek legend of Pygmalion and Galatea, the 20th-century story pokes fun at the antiquated British class system.
In Shaw's clever adaptation, Professor Henry Higgins, a linguistic expert, takes on a bet that he can transform an awkward cockney flower seller into a refined young lady simply by polishing her manners and changing the way she speaks. In…

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