100 books like The Art of Love

By Ovid, James Michie (translator),

Here are 100 books that The Art of Love fans have personally recommended if you like The Art of Love. 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 Roman Passions: A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome

Daisy Dunn Author Of Catullus' Bedspread: The Life of Rome's Most Erotic Poet

From my list on love and sex in ancient rome.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the ancient world. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve trips to Roman villas in Britain, theatres in Sicily, and museums across Europe. After studying Classics at Oxford, I completed a Masters and then a Ph.D., eager to gain as strong a grounding in the ancient world as I could before pursuing a career as an author. Ancient history has a reputation for being complicated. When I write books, I strive not to simplify the past, but rather to provide an engaging, memorable, and above all enjoyable path into it. 

Daisy's book list on love and sex in ancient rome

Daisy Dunn Why did Daisy love this book?

Ray Laurence begins this wonderful book with the bold view that the passions of first-century Rome were more developed than those of earlier times. Examining the connections between pleasure and power in the imperial household; the role pleasure played in art and landscape; and what really went on in the Roman baths, the resulting account is as wide-ranging as it is surprising.

By Ray Laurence,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Immerse yourself in the sensual delights of Rome in all their guises. By the time of the emperors, the Romans had created the world's first global empire, and plundered the provinces for produce to be eaten, planted or displayed as novelties. At the same time the aesthetics of the city of Rome was being transferred to the provinces, establishing towns with public buildings, baths and the Latin language. With these attributes of civilisation came other trappings of Roman culture: lavish entertainments, elaborate dinner parties and vice. The world of pleasure became a defining feature of the Romans, and this book…


Book cover of Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250

Daisy Dunn Author Of Catullus' Bedspread: The Life of Rome's Most Erotic Poet

From my list on love and sex in ancient rome.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the ancient world. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve trips to Roman villas in Britain, theatres in Sicily, and museums across Europe. After studying Classics at Oxford, I completed a Masters and then a Ph.D., eager to gain as strong a grounding in the ancient world as I could before pursuing a career as an author. Ancient history has a reputation for being complicated. When I write books, I strive not to simplify the past, but rather to provide an engaging, memorable, and above all enjoyable path into it. 

Daisy's book list on love and sex in ancient rome

Daisy Dunn Why did Daisy love this book?

This book is truly a staple for the study of Roman sex through Roman art. Clarke, a professor at the University of Texas, draws attention to the kind of details in ancient paintings and everyday objects we may miss when viewing them from behind museum glass, and interprets them to cast new light upon how the Romans viewed themselves as sexual beings. The pictures are also great. 

By John Clarke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What did sex mean to the ancient Romans? In this lavishly illustrated study, John R. Clarke investigates a rich assortment of Roman erotic art to answer this question--and along the way, he reveals a society quite different from our own. Clarke reevaluates our understanding of Roman art and society in a study informed by recent gender and cultural studies, and focusing for the first time on attitudes toward the erotic among both the Roman non-elite and women. This splendid volume is the first study of erotic art and sexuality to set these works--many newly discovered and previously unpublished--in their ancient…


Book cover of Sex in Antiquity: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World

Daisy Dunn Author Of Catullus' Bedspread: The Life of Rome's Most Erotic Poet

From my list on love and sex in ancient rome.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the ancient world. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve trips to Roman villas in Britain, theatres in Sicily, and museums across Europe. After studying Classics at Oxford, I completed a Masters and then a Ph.D., eager to gain as strong a grounding in the ancient world as I could before pursuing a career as an author. Ancient history has a reputation for being complicated. When I write books, I strive not to simplify the past, but rather to provide an engaging, memorable, and above all enjoyable path into it. 

Daisy's book list on love and sex in ancient rome

Daisy Dunn Why did Daisy love this book?

This volume contains essays on sexuality in all corners of the ancient world, from the Near East to Athens and Israel. But Part III is dedicated to Rome and offers a smorgasbord of discussions on everything from ‘The bisexuality of Orpheus’ to erectile dysfunction. The perfect book for dipping in and out of.

By Mark Masterson (editor), Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz (editor), James Robson (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Looking at sex and sexuality from a variety of historical, sociological and theoretical perspectives, as represented in a variety of media, Sex in Antiquity represents a vibrant picture of the discipline of ancient gender and sexuality studies, showcasing the work of leading international scholars as well as that of emerging talents and new voices.

Sexuality and gender in the ancient world is an area of research that has grown quickly with often sudden shifts in focus and theoretical standpoints. This volume contextualizes these shifts while putting in place new ideas and avenues of exploration that further develop this lively field.…


Book cover of Sexual Morality in Ancient Rome

Daisy Dunn Author Of Catullus' Bedspread: The Life of Rome's Most Erotic Poet

From my list on love and sex in ancient rome.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the ancient world. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve trips to Roman villas in Britain, theatres in Sicily, and museums across Europe. After studying Classics at Oxford, I completed a Masters and then a Ph.D., eager to gain as strong a grounding in the ancient world as I could before pursuing a career as an author. Ancient history has a reputation for being complicated. When I write books, I strive not to simplify the past, but rather to provide an engaging, memorable, and above all enjoyable path into it. 

Daisy's book list on love and sex in ancient rome

Daisy Dunn Why did Daisy love this book?

We often assume that the Romans were in love with love but, actually, they could be very divided over it. Love, for some, was not only destructive, it was practically criminal. The author of this academic book looks at the ethics of love and sex in Rome and considers the surprising appeal of ‘sexual virtue’, abstention, and chastity in ancient society. 

By Rebecca Langlands,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sexual Morality in Ancient Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditionally, scholars have approached Roman sexuality using categories of sexual ethics drawn from contemporary, Western society. In this 2006 book Dr Langlands seeks to move away from these towards a deeper understanding of the issues that mattered to the Romans themselves, and the ways in which they negotiated them, by focusing on the untranslatable concept of pudicitia (broadly meaning 'sexual virtue'). She offers a series of nuanced close readings of texts from a wide spectrum of Latin literature, including history, oratory, love poetry and Valerius Maximus' work Memorable Deeds and Sayings. Pudicitia emerges as a controversial and unsettled topic, at…


Book cover of The Governesses

Olivia Gatwood Author Of Life of the Party: Poems

From my list on poets who want to write fiction.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing poetry for most of my life and only recently began a real crash course in fiction with my first novel. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but not for the reasons I thought. In poetry, you learn to locate meaning, but you don’t learn narrative structure. Who knew being an existential genius was easier than finishing a sentence? Once I started studying literature that I felt embodied both, I was able to visualize how my poetic voice wasn’t just applicable, but useful, in the world of fiction.

Olivia's book list on poets who want to write fiction

Olivia Gatwood Why did Olivia love this book?

This French novella was written in the early ’90s but translated in 2019 to English for the first time. It lacks structure and is full of plot holes, but Serre’s writing is equal parts whimsical and erotic. It feels a bit like she wrote it in one sitting during some kind of fever dream but that’s why it feels like a poem. If you’re into chaotic women and turn of the century kink, then this is for you.

By Anne Serre, Mark Hutchinson (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a large country house shut off from the world by a gated garden, three young governesses responsible for the education of a group of little boys are preparing a party. The governesses, however, seem to spend more time running around in a state of frenzied desire than attending to the children's education. One of their main activities is lying in wait for any passing stranger, and then throwing themselves on him like drunken Maenads. The rest of the time they drift about in a kind of sated, melancholy calm, spied upon by an old man in the house opposite,…


Book cover of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

Hayley Quinn Author Of Do This, Not That: Dating

From my list on crushing it at dating and feel great being single.

Who am I?

 I was the nerdy kid at school, so when I stumbled upon the world of pick-up artists, and the fact you could learn how to get better at dating, I was all over it! In time my coaching and my company grew with the ideology that we wanted to teach practical skills for dating in a way that was inclusive and ethical. 

Hayley's book list on crushing it at dating and feel great being single

Hayley Quinn Why did Hayley love this book?

Penetrating? Secret Society? Pick Up Artists? Okay you’re going to have to trust me, that despite its nebulous reputation Strauss’ voyage into the underworld of the “pua” community has some merits. Firstly, it’s a fantastically funny, twisted story. Secondly, whilst every “technique” the book advocates to hone your seduction skills is squarely on the side of skeezy, just the idea that you can learn skills for dating is cool. It gripped me 15 years ago, and started me on my quest in the dating industry. 

By Neil Strauss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Neil Strauss a self-proclaimed AFC (average frustrated chump) withdraws $500 and signs-up for a workshop with notorious pick-up artist Mystery, he embarks upon a life-changing journey into the bizarre underworld of 'players'. Creating their own vernacular and codes of honour, these are men that have devoted their lives to perfecting techniques of seduction. In the course of the next two years, Neil transforms himself from a frustrated, insecure journalist into the quick thinking, smooth talking Style, a character irresistible to women. Then, as he is voted The World's Number One Pick-up Artist, he falls for a woman who could…


Book cover of Assassin's Gambit

Anna Kashina Author Of Blades of the Old Empire

From my list on fantasy books about assassins.

Who am I?

I’ll start with my passion for the topic. I find it irresistible to think of a profession where people are the absolute best at what they do – not just weapons, but many different skills that enable them to plan, blend in, get around, and improvise. There is a brutal kind of selection in the assassins’ world that makes sure only the best of the best survive. Added to the rich backstories these people tend to have, with the conflicts and moral choices they face, assassins make for some of my favorite fiction characters. I have published seven novels, four of them assassin-themed, and I claim my expertise on the topic as a scientist, ballroom dancer, and student of martial arts.

Anna's book list on fantasy books about assassins

Anna Kashina Why did Anna love this book?

This book was originally marketed as a “romance for the fans of the Game of Thrones”, and it is one of the books I really enjoy. The main character, Vitala, is sent by her secret order of rebels to assassinate the powerful Emperor of Kjall. When she arrives at court, she is quickly dropped into a torrent of intrigue that makes her question everything she’d learned, including her own mission. 

This book is pure fun, from start to finish. From the assassins’ standpoint, Vitala is a refreshing one, because her powers come from a special skill she possesses rather than weaponry. In fact, most of the imperial guards, as well as the Emperor himself, are much more capable than her when it comes to combat, and yet in the end the danger she brings outpowers them all. This book taught me a lot about writing action, intrigue, and romance.

By Amy Raby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.

As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the…


Book cover of Jane Doe

Sarah A. Denzil Author Of The Housemaid

From my list on for fans of Gone Girl.

Who am I?

I’ve enjoyed dark fiction ever since I picked up Dracula for school. But I mostly avoided crime and thriller fiction. I couldn’t relate to a rogue detective with an alcohol problem or an FBI agent on the heels of the next Hannibal Lector. Police procedural books just aren’t my thing. But then Gone Girl came out and changed the genre. The domestic suspense subgenre has exploded over the last decade, and now there’s an abundance of books centered around the dangers within our family and friendship circle. And isn’t that the scariest part of life? Serial killers are rare, but domestic violence is, unfortunately, not rare. Where is more dangerous than in our own homes?

Sarah's book list on for fans of Gone Girl

Sarah A. Denzil Why did Sarah love this book?

If you enjoyed Gone Girl, I’m guessing you have a soft spot for a well-written sociopath. Jane Doe will be right up your street and then some. Jane is the kind of sociopath you can’t help but love. She’s funny, she’s misanthropic and she doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks. But best of all, Jane is on a revenge mission and despite every horrible thing she does, you’ll still love her.

By Victoria Helen Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts bestseller.

A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane's days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She's just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes-meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven's bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced…


Book cover of The Art of Seduction

Hayley Quinn Author Of Do This, Not That: Dating

From my list on crushing it at dating and feel great being single.

Who am I?

 I was the nerdy kid at school, so when I stumbled upon the world of pick-up artists, and the fact you could learn how to get better at dating, I was all over it! In time my coaching and my company grew with the ideology that we wanted to teach practical skills for dating in a way that was inclusive and ethical. 

Hayley's book list on crushing it at dating and feel great being single

Hayley Quinn Why did Hayley love this book?

When I’m coaching people to improve their dating lives, I like to teach them that there’s not one way to be attractive. Creating attraction with someone is like rummaging around in your archetype toolbox and finding what makes you uniquely attractive. Robert Greene takes a literal romp through fictional, and historical seductive characters to get to the essence of what makes them so compelling; along the way cajoling you to learn their tricks. 

By Robert Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating inside look at the nature of seduction uses a vast array of sources, from Freud and Nietzsche to Cleopatra and Josephine Bonaparte, to uncover the truth about this important feature of the human animal.


Book cover of Lessons on Seduction

Annabel Allan Author Of Edgeplay

From my list on strong, confident female main characters.

Who am I?

I definitely wouldn’t say I’m an expert…but I definitely have a passion for the topic of dominant, strong women! Especially when it comes to kink and BDSM, but in all aspects of life. I think most readers would agree, we are sick of seeing the Damsel in Distress and want someone who can kick some serious butt. I connect strongly with those stronger, sassier characters, and aim to write the same for other readers to connect with.

Annabel's book list on strong, confident female main characters

Annabel Allan Why did Annabel love this book?

I definitely recommend Lessons On Seduction because not only is main character Julian Richland a perfect book boyfriend, but main character Sapphire Blake is confident, sexy, and whip-smart. She’s not your typical “church mouse” but so relatable to those who have grown up in a sheltered world. She can be both spicy and sweet, unleashing her vulnerability while being dominant in the bedroom. She’s everything you want your heroine to be!

By Estelle Pettersen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When college student Sapphire Blake finds herself fresh out of a breakup, she is ready to embark on a new journey in her life. A dark, sensual journey. Freeing herself from the expectations set by her family, friends, and church, an innocent and unworldly Sapphire begins experimenting with her new casual lover, Vera Richland. Julian Richland is ridiculously handsome, smart, and intimidating. This university professor finds himself enthralled in a sensual relationship with a woman willing to pay top money for his time in the bedroom. To pay off his debts and continue leading his lavish lifestyle, Julian discovers the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in seduction, ancient Rome, and Ovid?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about seduction, ancient Rome, and Ovid.

Seduction Explore 7 books about seduction
Ancient Rome Explore 284 books about ancient Rome
Ovid Explore 15 books about Ovid