100 books like Target Tokyo

By James M. Scott,

Here are 100 books that Target Tokyo fans have personally recommended if you like Target Tokyo. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

Robert C. Daniels Author Of 1220 Days: The Story of U.S. Marine Edmond Babler and His Experiences in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps During World War II

From my list on World War II POWs.

Who am I?

History has always been a strong part of me since I can remember. My heart has always laid in reading, studying, researching, and writing about it, and World War II history is a large part of that. When writing about World War II, I like to visit topics that relate to the everyday person, not well-known generals and admirals. I like to interview people about their experiences and write their stories, what they saw, lived through, witnessed. Both of my books are based upon this concept, how everyday people lived their lives during World War II.

Robert's book list on World War II POWs

Robert C. Daniels Why did Robert love this book?

I find Ghost Soldiers to be an excellent account of the rescue of Allied POWs, many held since the outset of the U.S. involvement in World War II, from the infamous Cabanatuan Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in central Luzon in the Philippines. Based upon interviews of those involved, it would be used as one of two true-to-life books to create the 2005 movie The Great Raid. This book has a strong place in my heart since Ed Babler was marched to this POW camp soon after surrendering on the offshore island of Corregidor and would spend at least three months there.

By Hampton Sides,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “The greatest World War II story never told” (Esquire)—an enthralling account of the heroic mission to rescue the last survivors of the Bataan Death March.

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.

In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly…


Book cover of On Desperate Ground: The Epic Story of Chosin Reservoir--The Greatest Battle of the Korean War

Paul Wilson Author Of Bad Karma: The True Story of a Mexico Trip from Hell

From my list on the Greatest Generation.

Who am I?

I grew up without a TV in the home, so I read everything I could get my hands on. I believe the type of historical recreations I embraced had a lot to do with my writing style and "voice" that I employed in BAD KARMA: The True Story of a Mexico Trip from Hell. Although I hadn't written anything since junior high school, I put myself into the head of the authors above and endeavored to tell the story in a straight-forward and engaging way. My goal was to put the reader in the scene with me. My book is approaching 40,000 copies sold, an Amazon #1 for more than a year, and recently optioned for a movie, so I believe I have succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.

Paul's book list on the Greatest Generation

Paul Wilson Why did Paul love this book?

Another terrific job of research and forensic investigation by Hampton Sides brings to life the worst defeat suffered by the Allies during the Korean War. I was drawn to this on two fronts: First because of the way Hampton can bring together all of the threads that constitute a "moment in time" type of story. And secondly, because once again, my fiance's father was a key figure in the story. (He passed September 10, 2020, at the age of 96). He shared many of his first-hand remembrances of this and the "Great Raid" (the subject of Ghost Soldiers) that he'd participated in. Truly our greatest generation!)

By Hampton Sides,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Superb...A masterpiece of thorough research, deft pacing and arresting detail...This war story — the fight to break out of a frozen hell near the Chosin Reservoir — has been told many times before. But Sides tells it exceedingly well, with fresh research, gritty scenes and cinematic sweep."—Washington Post

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War

On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops…


Book cover of A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

Mike Guardia Author Of Tomcat Fury: A Combat History of the F-14

From my list on military aviation.

Who am I?

Mike Guardia is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author and military historian. A veteran of the United States Army, he served six years on active duty (2008-2014) as an Armor Officer. He has written and lectured on various topics of modern military history, including guerrilla warfare, air-to-air combat, and World War II in the Pacific. He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston.

Mike's book list on military aviation

Mike Guardia Why did Mike love this book?

Pound-for-pound, this is perhaps the best military aviation book on the market today.  During the darkest days of World War II, A Higher Call tells the story of a seemingly-improbable act of gallantry in the skies over Europe.  A wounded and hardly-airworthy B-17 limps through the sky near the conclusion of its first mission. It is soon tailed by a Bf-109, the Luftwaffe’s deadliest fighter. The Messerschmitt pilot could end the B-17 crewmen’s lives with the pull of a trigger.  But what happens next will shock the reader.  

By Adam Makos, Larry Alexander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER: “Beautifully told.”—CNN • “A remarkable story...worth retelling and celebrating.”—USA Today • “Oh, it’s a good one!”—Fox News
 
A “beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies” emerges from the horrors of World War II in this New York Times bestseller by the author of Devotion, now a Major Motion Picture. 

December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German…


Book cover of I Could Never Be So Lucky Again

Robert O. Harder Author Of First Crossing: The 1919 Trans-Atlantic Flight of Alcock and Brown

From my list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot.

Who am I?

Since I was old enough to get around under my own power, I wanted to be a pilot, a result of idol-worshiping my mother’s brother, Orvis M. Nelson, president of Transocean Airlines. His influence led to my being named a Distinguished Military Graduate in Air Force ROTC, navigator school (sadly, my eyes were slightly myopic), bombardier school (145 Vietnam War combat missions); then later a civilian private & commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). After settling for a business career rather than airline pilot, I now vicariously pursue my first love through writing.

Robert's book list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

I doubt there is a flyer anywhere in the world who doesn’t know of Jimmy Doolittle. He did it all: stunt pilot, scientist, pioneer “blind-flyer,” Schneider Cup and Mackay trophy winner, first to perform an outside loop, Medal of Honor winner for the 1942 Tokyo Raid, and three-star general leading the Eighth Air Force against the Axis.

The writing is remarkably fluid (ably assisted by aviation writer C.V. Glines); Doolittle’s humility is always on display. We also learn of how critical his loving, understanding wife of seventy years, “Joe,” was to his success. In particular, she was instrumental in Jimmy earning his Ph.D in Aeronautical Engineering at M.I.T. One wonders how it all would have worked out without her!

By James H. Doolittle, Carroll V. Glines,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Could Never Be So Lucky Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pilot, scholar, daredevil, general . . . James "Jimmy" Doolittle was one of America\s greatest heroes. In a life filled with adventure and achievement, Doolittle did it all. As a stunt pilot, he thrilled the world with his aerial acrobatics. As a scientist, he pioneered the development of modern aviation technology. During World War II, he served his country as a fearless and innovative air warrior, organizing and leading the devastating raid against Japan. Now, for the first time, here is his life story - modest, revealing, and candid as only Doolittle himself can tell it. Doolittle tells a story…


Book cover of Tokyo: A Biography: Disasters, Destruction and Renewal: The Story of an Indomitable City

Michael Pronko Author Of Tokyo Traffic

From my list on Tokyo’s essence.

Who am I?

My four novels and three sets of writings are all about Tokyo. I rely not only on my daily observations, personal experiences, and reactions to the city, but on the responses of others to the city. I’ve used all these books to better understand the place where I’ve lived and worked for over two decades. I’ve written about various aspects of Japan for numerous publications, editorials for The Japan Times, art and architecture reviews for Artscape Japan, personal columns on Tokyo life for Newsweek Japan, and reviews and interviews on the vibrant jazz scene for my Jazz in Japan website. I continue to find Tokyo a mesmerizing place to spend my working and writing—and wandering—life. Living here is like traveling every day.

Michael's book list on Tokyo’s essence

Michael Pronko Why did Michael love this book?

This biography by writer and photographer Mansfield is probably the best guide into Tokyo’s vibrantly organic nature. To get a thorough line on the largest city in the world isn’t easy, but Mansfield carefully selects the most relevant, and interesting details. Inevitably, it’s a work of exclusion as much as inclusion, but is magnificent for that. Seeing and understanding Tokyo requires getting past the cascade of small details that keep you from seeing the whole forest. Mansfield keeps his biography flowing with the right balance of telling details and insightful summary. His companion volume, Tokyo, a Cultural History is also excellent, as are his beautifully photographed books on Japanese gardens.

By Stephen Mansfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The history of Tokyo is as eventful as it is long. A concise yet detailed overview of this fascinating, centuries-old city, Tokyo: A Biography is a perfect companion volume for history buffs or Tokyo-bound travelers looking to learn more about their destination.

In a whirlwind journey through Tokyo's past from its earliest beginnings up to the present day, this Japanese history book demonstrates how the city's response to everything from natural disasters to regime change has been to reinvent itself time and again. A calamitous fire results in a massive expansion of the city's territory. A debate over the Samurai…


Book cover of Tokyo Megacity

Michael Pronko Author Of Tokyo Traffic

From my list on Tokyo’s essence.

Who am I?

My four novels and three sets of writings are all about Tokyo. I rely not only on my daily observations, personal experiences, and reactions to the city, but on the responses of others to the city. I’ve used all these books to better understand the place where I’ve lived and worked for over two decades. I’ve written about various aspects of Japan for numerous publications, editorials for The Japan Times, art and architecture reviews for Artscape Japan, personal columns on Tokyo life for Newsweek Japan, and reviews and interviews on the vibrant jazz scene for my Jazz in Japan website. I continue to find Tokyo a mesmerizing place to spend my working and writing—and wandering—life. Living here is like traveling every day.

Michael's book list on Tokyo’s essence

Michael Pronko Why did Michael love this book?

If you have to buy only one book on Tokyo, you’d be missing out on a lot, but this might be a contender. Organized by areas of Tokyo, the short essays are written by Donald Richie, Tokyo’s pre-eminent foreign resident, film historian, essayist, novelist, and translator. Having lived most of his life in Tokyo, he understood the city as well as anyone, Japanese writers included. He packs in fantastic quotes from Japanese writers, western theorists, and early foreign chroniclers amid his own quietly elegant prose. Picture books tend to make me roll my eyes, but Ben Simmons’ photographs are a lesson in how to look at and understand the essentials of Tokyo. Unlike many books, the photo captions are precise and informative. Simmons has numerous other photography collections on Japan, so he’s chosen some of his best work to include here.

By Donald Richie, Ben Simmons (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This photographic Tokyo travel guide explores the dynamic Japanese culture, art and architecture that make Tokyo a unique, world-class city.

It has been said that "every city has its high points, but Tokyo is all exclamation points!" The largest and most populous city in the world, Tokyo is best experienced in-person. The next best way? Through Tokyo Megacity-a visual and descriptive exploration of a city that combines old with new and traditional with trendy, like no other city in the world.

This extraordinary book explores Tokyo through more than 250 revealing photographs by well-known photographer Ben Simmons and over 30…


Book cover of Kill Me in Tokyo

Robert Whiting Author Of Tokyo Junkie: 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys . . . and Baseball

From my list on learning about life.

Who am I?

They are in some sense books of self-discovery and/or discovery of new worlds. They made me want to travel and explore other cultures. And they also inspired me to write. They helped shape me as a person. I'm now a journalist and author of several books on Japan. I've lived in many different places around the world and find Tokyo Japan to be the best capital to live in. My work describes life in Tokyo and the Japanese culture in general, focusing on sports, crime, and politics. I've written best-sellers in both the US and Japan and been nominated for several prizes. Most recently I was selected winner of a 2023 Henry Chadwick Award.

Robert's book list on learning about life

Robert Whiting Why did Robert love this book?

Tale of Burns Bannion, private detective and karate expert in Tokyo Japan 1958, as he navigates the Tokyo Underworld in pursuit of a girl named Mitsuko on behalf of a recently dead client.

Filled with color and colorful characters. Inspired a whole series of Burns Bannion books, including, Kill Me In Shinjuku and Kill Me in Roppongi. Pulp fiction. A cross between Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler, it is rough around the edges. Nice depiction of the era.

Earl Norman was the pen name for Norman Thomson, a radio, stage, and film actor who worked for the Department of Defense in the Far East and lived in Tokyo from 1948 to 1978. I read these novels in the 1960s when I first arrived in Tokyo and they made me want to stay in the city.

By Earl Norman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The 4th book in the Burns Brannion Kill me series


Book cover of Tokyo Totem - A Guide To Tokyo

Michael Pronko Author Of Tokyo Traffic

From my list on Tokyo’s essence.

Who am I?

My four novels and three sets of writings are all about Tokyo. I rely not only on my daily observations, personal experiences, and reactions to the city, but on the responses of others to the city. I’ve used all these books to better understand the place where I’ve lived and worked for over two decades. I’ve written about various aspects of Japan for numerous publications, editorials for The Japan Times, art and architecture reviews for Artscape Japan, personal columns on Tokyo life for Newsweek Japan, and reviews and interviews on the vibrant jazz scene for my Jazz in Japan website. I continue to find Tokyo a mesmerizing place to spend my working and writing—and wandering—life. Living here is like traveling every day.

Michael's book list on Tokyo’s essence

Michael Pronko Why did Michael love this book?

Tokyo can be a quirky place, which of course requires a quirky guidebook. This collection of essays, illustrations, photos, and photo essays are a good way to delve into the unique elements of Tokyo. The chaotic approach of the book ranges from photos to personal musings to sketches to abstract concepts about everything from sidewalk markings, bathhouses, urban building design, aerial views, nature, fashion, family homes—the entire range of Tokyo’s interiors and exteriors. In short, the book doesn’t really cohere, but then, neither does Tokyo. That’s what makes the city so fascinating, and so confusing. This is less a guide in the traditional sense than an intriguing series of suggestions about the overwhelming experience of Tokyo.

By Christiaan Fruneaux (editor), Edwin Gardner (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tokyo Totem - A Guide To Tokyo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This publication is the result of a collaboration between international and Japanese authors and makers from various disciplines. What they have in common is their interest and fascination with cities, and in particular Tokyos urban culture. Everybodys efforts resulted in the essays, maps, photo essays, collages, poems, mangas, and observations that have been collected in this book that is hard to categorize. It is called a guide, not because it helps you to find places to see, eat or drink, but because it helps you to read and see the city differently. Each contribution lets you experience a different city.…


Book cover of The Master Key

Hugh Greene Author Of Murder and Malice

From my list on puzzling murder mysteries.

Who am I?

I’m an academic who has written medical textbooks and medical research papers, but I also have an enduring passion for murder mysteries. As Hugh Greene I have written the bestselling Dr. Power mystery series which follows forensic psychiatrist Dr. Power and Detective Lynch solving murders and exploring the minds that executed these crimes.

Hugh's book list on puzzling murder mysteries

Hugh Greene Why did Hugh love this book?

I love the mosaic of characters and the feeling that time has stood still in this 1962 novel, set in a female-only apartment block, the K Apartment for Ladies, in 1950s Tokyo.

It’s a world away from the settings of the last few books in places like Devon and Cornwall. I love Masako Togawa’s vignettes of the denizens of the 150 rooms; they are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – separate but interacting with each other in surprising ways.

Only by considering all the multiple portraits of the puzzle – the compelling secret lives of the widows, teachers, eccentrics, professors, violinists, and receptionists who people the apartment block – can the reader assemble a coherent picture of what has been going on.

It’s a unique and stylish accomplishment by an author who also mastered the entertainment world as a chanteuse, TV star, and nightclub owner, drawing on her experience…

By Masako Togawa, Simon Grove (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A building full of secrets. A key that will unleash them all
The K Apartments for Ladies in Tokyo conceals a sinister past behind each door; a woman who has buried a child; a scavenger driven mad by ill-health; a wife mysteriously guarding her late husband's manuscripts; a talented violinist tortured by her own guilt. The master key, which opens the door to all 150 rooms, links their tangled stories. But now it has been stolen, and dirty tricks are afoot.
For a deadly secret lies buried beneath the building. And when it is revealed, there will be murder.


Book cover of In the Miso Soup

Brian Klingborg Author Of Thief of Souls

From my list on international crime both fiction and nonfiction.

Who am I?

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?

Ryu Murakami is a musician, writer, and film director. He deals in surrealism and the dark side of a rigid Japanese society – drugs, sex, alienation. 

In this book, Murakami relates the tale of Kenji, a young man who makes his living guiding foreigners through Tokyo’s red-light district. Kenji’s new client is an extremely odd American named Frank.

As Kenji leads Frank through a labyrinth of hostess bars and peep shows, he comes to suspect that Frank may be the serial killer who has been on a rampage, murdering and dismembering teenage girls.

By Ryu Murakami, Ralph McCarthy (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Miso Soup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From postmodern Renaissance man Ryu Murakami, master of the psychothriller and director of Tokyo Decadence, comes this hair-raising roller-coaster ride through the nefarious neon-lit world of Tokyo's sex industry. In the Miso Soup tells of Frank, an overweight American tourist who has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo's sleazy nightlife. But Frank's behavior is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion-that his new client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorizing the city. It is not until later, however, that Kenji learns exactly how much he has to fear and how…


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