100 books like Seeking Salvation

By Sally Badham,

Here are 100 books that Seeking Salvation fans have personally recommended if you like Seeking Salvation. 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 Medieval Wall Paintings in English & Welsh Churches

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

Today surviving medieval church wall paintings are a bit of a rarity in England, but during the Middle Ages every church, almost without exception, would have been an absolute riot of colour, with saints, angels, and demons battling their way across the walls. What Rosewell's book does is allow you to understand not just what you are seeing, but how and why they were made in the first place. It explains the way in which the pigments were made, who painted them, and even who paid for them. It also contains an absolutely fantastic selection of images, that bring to life just how vibrant the walls of our churches once were. A gem.

By Roger Rosewell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Medieval Wall Paintings in English & Welsh Churches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Highly Commended in the Best Archaeological Book category of the 2008 British Archaeological Awards.

Wall paintings are a unique art form, complementing, and yet distinctly separate from, other religious imageryin churches. Unlike carvings, or stained glass windows, their support was the structure itself, with the artist's "canvas" the very stone and plaster of the church. They were also monumental, often larger than life-size images forpublic audiences. Notwithstanding their dissimilarity from other religious art, wall paintings were also an integral part of church interiors, enhancing devotional imagery and inspiring faith and commitment in their own right, and providing an artistic setting…


Book cover of Norfolk Rood Screens

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

Surviving medieval painted rood screens are one of the wonders of England's churches. Each one artwork in its own right. In this magnificently illustrated work, the authors highlight twenty-four of the finest surviving examples, showing them in all their glorious detail. It may not be a groundbreaking work, but it is most certainly an inspiring one. If you ever thought the Middle Ages were drab and colourless, then this book will undoubtedly change your mind. A visual feast.

This book is currently out of print.


By Paul Hurst, Jeremy Haselock,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Flint Flushwork: A Medieval Masonry Art

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

Stephen Hart spent a lifetime travelling around English churches and was one of the most knowledgeable - and good-natured - individuals I ever had the pleasure to work with. One of his passions was for flushwork - the decorative flint work seen on many English churches, most especially in East Anglia. This book was published towards the end of his career and brings together many of his thoughts and ideas - as well as a fantastic selection of images.

By Stephen Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Flint Flushwork is a wholly external decorative medium, where the skills of medieval craftsman blended with the iconography of the medieval church to create a unique new art form. It is an artistic achievement that is built into the very fabric of many hundreds of medieval churches. As such, many examples of Flushwork survive where more impermanent artworks have succumbed to the ravages of reformation and over-zealous restoration. Despite this, however, ithas not attracted the same depth of research and analysis as other aspects of church architecture.

This book provides a wide perspective on the several different modes of Flushwork…


Book cover of The Archaeology of Churches

Matthew Champion Author Of Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

From my list on medieval churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you spend as long looking at medieval churches as I do, you also end up collecting a lot of books on the subject. Any church archaeologist cannot help also becoming something of a librarian. A passion for churches - and books. There are hundreds of church guidebooks out there, all of which have their own merits, but these are a small selection of books that look at different aspects of church history. They look at these amazing buildings through a different lens. These aren't a definitive guide - just books that I find myself returning to time and time again - for both information and pleasure.

Matthew's book list on medieval churches

Matthew Champion Why did Matthew love this book?

I love this book, and not just because it is one of the few church archaeology books to mention graffiti. This book takes a very different approach to churches than most volumes you will have come across, as it quite literally strips them back to their bare bones. This is the deep history of the parish church, laid bare in the stones. Rodwell is a recognised expert in his field, and understands churches in ways that few others do - and after reading this you will never look at a medieval church in quite the same way again. 

By Warwick Rodwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Churches are Britain's most completely surviving class of historic monument. They are also usually the oldest buildings within their settlements. As such, these structures, from parish church to cathedral, from medieval to Georgian, are a huge architectural and archaeological resource.

The last couple of decades have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of public interest in the historic environment, and the growth of the tourism and 'heritage' industries has focused new attention on churches. While some visitors to churches, cathedrals and monastic ruins seem content to wander around with little or no understanding of what they are looking at, many have an…


Book cover of Artisans in Europe, 1300-1914

Henry C. Clark Author Of Compass of Society: Commerce and Absolutism in Old-Regime France

From my list on understanding where “capitalism” came from.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long found it mysterious how we can live in what is truly one interconnected global order. Traders, merchants, deal-makers have long been viewed with suspicion. I wrote Compass of Society to explore how one country, France, with its tradition of land-based elites, could contemplate remaking itself as a “commercial society.” Adam Smith said that even in his time, everyone “becomes in some measure a merchant, and the society itself... a commercial society.” Revisionists are finding high levels of commercialization even in premodern China and India. In this list, I picked five of my favorite books that reshaped our understanding of where European “capitalism” came from.

Henry's book list on understanding where “capitalism” came from

Henry C. Clark Why did Henry love this book?

Though sometimes described as a “textbook,” this authoritative, lucidly written, and altogether reliable synthesis—covering much of Europe—is actually a fine way to learn about the guild masters who dominated pre-industrial labor. Their paradoxical condition comes through clearly: employers and employees, they were at once seamlessly integrated into the social hierarchy and ruthlessly exclusionary toward outsiders. They touted a timeless, divinely sanctioned order, while also being true wheelers and dealers for their own honor and interests, leading to levels of entrepreneurship and inequality amongst their own ranks that would surprise many.

By James R. Farr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Artisans in Europe, 1300-1914 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is a survey of the history of work in general and of European urban artisans in particular, from the late middle ages to the era of industrialization. Unlike traditional histories of work and craftsmen, this book offers a multi-faceted understanding of artisan experience situated in the artisans' culture. It treats economic and institutional topics, but also devotes considerable attention to the changing ideologies of work, the role of government regulation in the world of work, the social history of craftspeople, the artisan in rebellion against the various authorities in his world, and the ceremonial and leisure life of…


Book cover of The Long Ships

Daniel Ben-Horin Author Of Substantial Justice

From my list on funny international classics you (may) have not heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

Humor is based on surprise and the ‘foreign’ is often surprising. As I traveled all over the world for work, I searched out local authors and found myself laughing. It started with At Swim Two Birds and has never stopped.

Daniel's book list on funny international classics you (may) have not heard of

Daniel Ben-Horin Why did Daniel love this book?

I remember buying The Long Ships about twenty years ago on Potrero Hill in San Francisco. Generally speaking, 1950s Swedish novels about Vikings are not my thing, but there was an absolutely over-the-top introduction from Michael Chabon.…'best novel ever’ kind of stuff…so I bought it.

Since then, I have recommended it to dozens of people, almost all of whom have, often to their surprise, loved it and recommended it to others. My favorite recommendation was to a pal whose daughter absconded with it and was reading it on a parapet in southern Spain when a guy came by and asked her what she was reading. She showed him the book, he perused it gravely, and then tore out the frontispiece and used it to roll a joint. This is a very satisfying book in every way.

Don’t get it confused with the derivative Norwegian comedy series, Norsemen. The Long Ships…

By Frans G. Bengtsson, Michael Meyer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Long Ships as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This saga brings alive the world of the 10th century AD when the Vikings raided the coasts of England.

Acclaimed as one of the best historical novels ever written, this engaging saga of Viking adventure in 10th century northern Europe has a very appealing young hero, Orm Tostesson, whose story we follow from inexperienced youth to adventurous old age, through slavery and adventure to a royal marriage and the search for great treasure. Viking expeditions take him to lands as far apart as England, Moorish Spain, Gaardarike (the country that was to become Russia), and the long road to Miklagard.…


Book cover of Holy Feast and Holy Fast

Peter Adamson Author Of Medieval Philosophy: A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, Volume 4

From my list on a fresh approach to medieval philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a professor of philosophy in Munich who has been working on various aspects of medieval philosophy for nearly three decades. My own research is on philosophy in the Islamic world but I've always been fascinated by philosophy in medieval Christian Europe. What I find most interesting is the way medieval philosophy constantly overturns our expectations: we imagine that this was a deeply conservative and highly controlled society where it was almost impossible to explore new ideas. Yet, it was an incredibly diverse and innovative time in the history of human thought. Thanks to my History of Philosophy podcast project I had the chance to delve deeply into medieval philosophy in Latin Christendom.

Peter's book list on a fresh approach to medieval philosophy

Peter Adamson Why did Peter love this book?

This choice might surprise you: it’s a famous book in medieval studies circles but not the sort of thing a historian of philosophy would usually pick up. But its exploration of the role of the body in writings by female medieval authors is foundational for understanding what is sometimes called “affective mysticism.” That topic expands our sense of what medieval philosophy could be. Other scholars whose work is worth checking out on this topic include Amy Hollywood and Christina Van Dyke.

By Caroline Walker Bynum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the period between 1200 and 1500 in western Europe, a number of religious women gained widespread veneration and even canonization as saints for their extraordinary devotion to the Christian eucharist, supernatural multiplications of food and drink, and miracles of bodily manipulation, including stigmata and inedia (living without eating). The occurrence of such phenomena sheds much light on the nature of medieval society and medieval religion. It also forms a chapter in the history of women. Previous scholars have occasionally noted the various phenomena in isolation from each other and have sometimes applied modern medical or psychological theories to them.…


Book cover of Making a Living in the Middle Ages: The People of Britain 850-1520

Marion Turner Author Of Chaucer: A European Life

From my list on medieval life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Marion Turner is a Professor of English Literature at Oxford University where she teaches medieval literature. Her critically-acclaimed biography of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer was picked as a Book of the Year by the Times, the Sunday Times, the New Statesman, and the TLS, and has been hailed as ‘an absolute triumph,’ and a ‘masterpiece.’ It won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize and the English Association Beatrice White Prize, and was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize.

Marion's book list on medieval life

Marion Turner Why did Marion love this book?

For me, this isn’t a book that I read cover to cover; it is a book that I very frequently refer to when I want information. This is my go-to book when I want to check how much a labourer was paid, and what that money would buy, for example. It is an economic history and, as such, helps you to understand the fundamentals of how medieval society worked and was put together. So you can find out not only about the life of an aristocrat, but about the life of a peasant, free or unfree, and about life in the countryside as well as life in towns or in great households. It covers almost 700 years of history, so it also demonstrates how much changed across this long and varied period – starting hundreds of years before the Norman Conquest, and ending in the reign of Henry VIII, when…

By Christopher Dyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making a Living in the Middle Ages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dramatic social and economic change during the middle ages altered the lives of the people of Britain in far-reaching ways, from the structure of their families to the ways they made their livings. In this masterly book, preeminent medieval historian Christopher Dyer presents a fresh view of the British economy from the ninth to the sixteenth century and a vivid new account of medieval life. He begins his volume with the formation of towns and villages in the ninth and tenth centuries and ends with the inflation, population rise, and colonial expansion of the sixteenth century.

This is a book…


Book cover of The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages

Richard G. Lipsey Author Of Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth

From my list on how technologies have transformed our societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In spite of many setbacks, living standards have trended upwards over the last 10,000 years. One of my main interests as an economist has been to understand the sources of this trend and its broad effects. The key driving force is new technologies. We are better off than our Victorian ancestors, not because we have more of what they had but because we have new things, such as airplanes and indoor plumbing. However, these new technologies have also brought some unfortunate side effects. We need to understand that dealing with these successfully depends, not on returning to the use of previous technologies, but on developing newer technologies such as wind and solar power.

Richard's book list on how technologies have transformed our societies

Richard G. Lipsey Why did Richard love this book?

When we began our research on our book, we were surprised to read challenges to the conventional view we had been taught that the Middle Ages were a time of largely stagnant Western societies. The source of this new view is in several books, including the one recommended here. Gimpel challenges the traditional view writing instead: “The Middle Ages introduced machinery into Europe on a scale no civilization had previously known.” He goes on to chronicle the ingenuity that architects, engineers, and other technicians devoted to innovations in agriculture, light industry, construction, and mining ̶ innovations that anticipated, and were often credited to, later figures of the Renaissance.

By Jean Gimpel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A close examination of the industrial life and institutions of the Middle Ages and of that inventiveness that laid the foundations for our present technologically oriented society


Book cover of Civilization of the Middle Ages

Frank Shapiro Author Of The Conspiracy against Mary Magdalene

From my list on gripping fiction for history enthusiasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

History is my passion. I’m a graduate of medieval history from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and post-graduate of London University. Former high school history teacher, and previously held the post of assistant researcher at the Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv. I was commissioned by the Council of Zambian Jewry to research and write the history of Northern Rhodesian/Zambian Jewry. I have lectured frequently on my subjects and have contributed diverse historical articles in newspapers and journals. I have published six books, fiction, and non-fiction.  

Frank's book list on gripping fiction for history enthusiasts

Frank Shapiro Why did Frank love this book?

Every second book I read must be a history book. As history is not only my vocation it is also my passion. As a historian I always enjoy reading and rereading Cantor’s works on the Middle Ages. This particular book is one of my favorites; it is a really engrossing history and his knowledge is presented in such a clear, informative, and interesting style that makes it very readable for the general public. This book has been extensively revised and gone through numerous editions.  

By Norman F. Cantor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

''No better explanation of medievalism is available to the general reader.'' --Booklist

A revised and expanded edition of Norman Cantor's splendidly detailed and lively history of the Middle Ages, containing more than 30 percent new material from the original edition.




5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Middle Ages, Europe, and France?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Middle Ages, Europe, and France.

The Middle Ages Explore 416 books about the Middle Ages
Europe Explore 905 books about Europe
France Explore 894 books about France