100 books like The Billionaire's Vinegar

By Benjamin Wallace,

Here are 100 books that The Billionaire's Vinegar fans have personally recommended if you like The Billionaire's Vinegar. 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 The City of Falling Angels

Joel Warner Author Of The Curse of the Marquis de Sade: A Notorious Scoundrel, a Mythical Manuscript, and the Biggest Scandal in Literary History

From my list on nonfiction on international capers.

Who am I?

Thanks to formative experiences playing Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, I’ve long been obsessed with international true crime capers. There’s just something about the genre, and how it ties together colorful characters, audacious escapades, and fantastic locales, that sucks me in. As a longtime journalist, I’ve sought out and chronicled many narratives in this vein – from snowboarding bank robbers, to an expedition in search of the origins of the world’s most expensive coffee bean, to the wild story that led to my book The Curse of the Marquis de Sade. Here are my favorite nonfiction books on international capers, guaranteed to take readers on globetrotting adventures.

Joel's book list on nonfiction on international capers

Joel Warner Why did Joel love this book?

In 2006, John Berendt published a true crime caper every bit as serpentine and seductive as his iconic first book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – but this time, he took aim at the quirks and secrets of Venice, Italy.

Exploring the mystery behind a terrible fire that consumed Venice’s historic opera house, Berendt immerses himself in the tale.

Reading it felt like settling into the iconic city and getting to know the wonderful characters who call it home.

By John Berendt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The City of Falling Angels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A #1 New York Times Bestseller!

"Funny, insightful, illuminating . . ." -The Boston Globe

Twelve years ago, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil exploded into a monumental success, residing a record-breaking four years on the New York Times bestseller list (longer than any work of fiction or nonfiction had before) and turning John Berendt into a household name. The City of Falling Angels is Berendt's first book since Midnight, and it immediately reminds one what all the fuss was about. Turning to the magic, mystery, and decadence of Venice, Berendt gradually reveals the truth behind a sensational…


Book cover of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts

Joel Warner Author Of The Curse of the Marquis de Sade: A Notorious Scoundrel, a Mythical Manuscript, and the Biggest Scandal in Literary History

From my list on nonfiction on international capers.

Who am I?

Thanks to formative experiences playing Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, I’ve long been obsessed with international true crime capers. There’s just something about the genre, and how it ties together colorful characters, audacious escapades, and fantastic locales, that sucks me in. As a longtime journalist, I’ve sought out and chronicled many narratives in this vein – from snowboarding bank robbers, to an expedition in search of the origins of the world’s most expensive coffee bean, to the wild story that led to my book The Curse of the Marquis de Sade. Here are my favorite nonfiction books on international capers, guaranteed to take readers on globetrotting adventures.

Joel's book list on nonfiction on international capers

Joel Warner Why did Joel love this book?

This book jumped out at me at a bookstore one day, and I loved it so deeply that I sought out the author when I learned he lived nearly and we became good friends.

Rubinstein stumbled upon a true crime story most reporters only dream of – that of hard-drinking third-string Hungarian hockey goalie Attila Ambrus, who took up bank robbing and triggered the largest manhunt in post-communist Eastern European history – and then was smart enough to let the story tell itself, bit by incredible bit.

The result is a wild ride through the chaos of post-Cold War Hungary with a rambunctious antihero for whom you can’t help but root.

By Julian Rubinstein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ballad of the Whiskey Robber as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Attila Ambrus was a gentleman thief from Transylvania, a terrible professional hockey goalkeeper - and preferred women in leopard-skin hot pants. During the 1990s, while playing for the biggest hockey team in Budapest, Ambrus took up bank robbery to make ends meet. Arrayed against him was perhaps the most incompetent team of crime investigators the Eastern Bloc had ever seen: a robbery chief who had learned how to be a detective by watching dubbed Columbo episodes, a forensics officer who wore top hat and tails on the job, and a driver so inept he was known only by a Hungarian…


Book cover of The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

Joel Warner Author Of The Curse of the Marquis de Sade: A Notorious Scoundrel, a Mythical Manuscript, and the Biggest Scandal in Literary History

From my list on nonfiction on international capers.

Who am I?

Thanks to formative experiences playing Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, I’ve long been obsessed with international true crime capers. There’s just something about the genre, and how it ties together colorful characters, audacious escapades, and fantastic locales, that sucks me in. As a longtime journalist, I’ve sought out and chronicled many narratives in this vein – from snowboarding bank robbers, to an expedition in search of the origins of the world’s most expensive coffee bean, to the wild story that led to my book The Curse of the Marquis de Sade. Here are my favorite nonfiction books on international capers, guaranteed to take readers on globetrotting adventures.

Joel's book list on nonfiction on international capers

Joel Warner Why did Joel love this book?

The Telling Room combines several of my greatest joys: Spain, artisanal cheese, and the unparalleled wordsmithing of writer Michael Paterniti.

To track the creation one of the world’s greatest cheeses and the betrayal and sabotage that led to its downfall, Paterniti moves his family into a quiet Spanish village – and thanks to his vibrant, evocative writing, brings readers along for the ride.

As someone who’s spent time in the picturesque, history-rich environs of central Spain, I can attest that The Telling Room is the next best thing to travelling yourself to the lands of El Cid and Don Quixote. 

By Michael Paterniti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Entertainment Weekly • Kirkus Reviews • The Christian Science Monitor

In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets—usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine.
 
It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti…


Book cover of The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece

Joel Warner Author Of The Curse of the Marquis de Sade: A Notorious Scoundrel, a Mythical Manuscript, and the Biggest Scandal in Literary History

From my list on nonfiction on international capers.

Who am I?

Thanks to formative experiences playing Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, I’ve long been obsessed with international true crime capers. There’s just something about the genre, and how it ties together colorful characters, audacious escapades, and fantastic locales, that sucks me in. As a longtime journalist, I’ve sought out and chronicled many narratives in this vein – from snowboarding bank robbers, to an expedition in search of the origins of the world’s most expensive coffee bean, to the wild story that led to my book The Curse of the Marquis de Sade. Here are my favorite nonfiction books on international capers, guaranteed to take readers on globetrotting adventures.

Joel's book list on nonfiction on international capers

Joel Warner Why did Joel love this book?

Harr is best known for his blockbuster legal thriller A Civil Action, but the work that has stuck with me is his 2005 follow-up about a high-stakes quest to find a lost masterpiece by the Renaissance master Caravaggio.

Stretching from a hilltop village on the Adriatic Sea to the alleyways of Rome to an unexpected discovery in a dusty old house in Ireland, The Lost Painting taught me that a single incredible object—in this case, Caraggio’s extraordinary The Taking of Christ – can be the central character of a book, taking readers across centuries and from one exotic locale to another.

By Jonathan Harr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The Lost Painting is a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. 

An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries.

The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque.…


Book cover of Noble Rot: Wine from Another Galaxy

Anthony Gladman Author Of Gin A Tasting Course: A Flavor-focused Approach to the World of Gin

From my list on cocktail-loving flavour fans.

Who am I?

I think I was always meant to write about drinks for a living, it just took me a while to realise. Ever since my Dad gave me a copy of Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails as a kid (to look at the cartoonish illustrations) I've been fascinated by these particularly adult delights. I've also followed flavour around all my life like a Loony Tunes figure in the thrall of a beckoning wisp of fragrant steam. Studying this stuff for various drinks industry qualifications has only made that interest grow stronger, and so I take it out on you, dear reader, in the nicest way, of course.

Anthony's book list on cocktail-loving flavour fans

Anthony Gladman Why did Anthony love this book?

I write about beer, cider, spirits, and cocktails. In fact, I'll write about almost anything that will get you drunk, plus a few liquids that won't, but I don't write about wine. That's my off-duty drink, the one side of booze I don't need to know about beyond asking myself whether I want more of the wine in my glass.

So you could say that for me all wine is from another galaxy. It can seem too big, the world of wine. Too deep. Too stuffy. This book makes it fun again, makes it fresh and exciting. I almost want to learn about the stuff, despite my best efforts not to!

After reading this, I feel I'd happily follow Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew into any cellar to swill and swig the hours away.

By Dan Keeling, Mark Andrew,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Drinks Book Award 2021

Shortlisted for the Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Awards 2020

"Noble Rot manages to unravel the mysteries of wine with insight and humour. A wonderful - and essential - read for anyone interested in the world of wine, or even for those, like me, who just drink it." - Nigella Lawson

"The Noble Rot guys have the ability to describe wines as if theyre either future friends, or rock-stars coming to blow your mind." - Caitlin Moran

"Noble Rot has brought originality, humour and now space travel to…


Book cover of 1855 Bordeaux

Rod Phillips Author Of French Wine: A History

From my list on the history of wine.

Who am I?

I’ve been passionate about wine since I was a teenager in New Zealand and I now teach and write about it, judge in wine competitions, and travel the world to visit wine regions. I teach European history and the history of food and drink at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. As a wine historian, I spend weeks each year in archives, studying everything from changes in vineyard area and the weather in specific years to the taxation of wine and patterns of wine drinking. Currently, I’m working in several French archives for a book on wine in the French Revolution. It will be my ninth wine book.

Rod's book list on the history of wine

Rod Phillips Why did Rod love this book?

The 1855 Classification created quality tiers for wines from a number of districts in Bordeaux: the famous First Growth (Premier Cru) wines and their Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Growth counterparts. There’s been only one change since then (a Second Growth promoted to First) and people still pay high prices for these wines based on a ranking that is more than 150 years old. Dewey Markham’s book tells the story of the Classification and shows that the wines that topped the list in 1855 were also ranked highest in earlier lists and that the rankings were based on price rather than intrinsic quality. It’s a well-documented book that brings history to bear on the way we look at some of the most prestigious wines of Bordeaux.  

By Dewey Markham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1855 Bordeaux as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The First Complete Guide to the 1855 Bordeaux Classification--A Fascinating Account for Wine Lovers and an Authoritative Reference for Wine Industry Professionals The 1855 Bordeaux Classification has been a fixture of the wine world for almost 150 years, yet the origin of the system and the thinking behind it have never been thoroughly researched and presented in detail--until now. How was the 1855 classification drafted? Who was responsible? What was the rationale for the cru classe rating, and what criteria were used to determine inclusion and ranking? 1855: A History of the Bordeaux Classification answers these central questions and more.…


Book cover of In the Vine Country

Kathleen Burk Author Of Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine

From my list on for those who like wine.

Who am I?

I’m the daughter of a Californian grape farmer, and have driven tractor, picked grapes, and tied vines. Whilst at Berkeley, I travelled around Napa Valley tasting wines whilst riding pillion on a 750 cc motorcycle; at Oxford I discovered European wines. Thereafter, I was a professor of modern and contemporary history in London, writing nearly a dozen books, and continuing to explore wines with my husband. I have wine in my bones. I now travel around the world tasting it, writing about it, judging it, and leading tasting tours, all the while continuing to drink it. I am currently writing a book on the global history of wine.

Kathleen's book list on for those who like wine

Kathleen Burk Why did Kathleen love this book?

This is fiction masquerading as non-fiction. Published in 1893 but now re-published – do try to get a copy with the original illustrations – the story is about two upper-class female cousins from Ireland who receive a letter commanding them to go to Bordeaux to tour the vineyards. They know nothing about wine, except that a glass and a half of Château Lafite caused one of the cousins to snore quietly over her dessert. Nor do they know about Bordeaux or how to use the Kodak camera they were given to take photographs. Nevertheless, off they go, two intrepid young women braving the French hotel-keepers, the carts, the country people, and the owners. It is witty, historic now, and fun to read.

By Edith Somerville, Martin Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Vine Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Hands down the wine book of the year." -David McIntyre, Washington Post

"...paints a glorious picture of Bordeaux as seen through the skittish and mischievously observant eyes of Somerville and Ross - cousins and writing partners." -Victoria Moore, The Telegraph

Journeying through the Medoc in the autumn of 1891, Anglo-Irish cousins and travelling companions, Edith Somerville and Martin Ross (aka Violet Florence Martin) bring their distinctive melange of wry wit, acute observation and unabashed horror at the barefoot treading of Cabernet Sauvignon to this delightful account of vendangeurs lofty and low-born as they bring in the harvest in time-honoured fashion.…


Book cover of French Wine: A History

Mack P. Holt Author Of The Politics of Wine in Early Modern France: Religion and Popular Culture in Burgundy, 1477-1630

From my list on French wine, history, and culture.

Who am I?

I knew nothing about wine and drank it only rarely until I went to Paris as a graduate student in the 1970s. Even then, I couldn’t afford more than basic plonk. It was not until I started doing research in Dijon every summer in the 1980s, making great friends in the process, eating and drinking at their dining tables, and visiting their favorite vignerons with them for dégustations, that I began to appreciate wine, not just as a fantastic beverage, but as a social and cultural creator. And as a historian, I appreciate that drinking wine that comes from vineyards planted in the Middle Ages connects us with our ancestors in the past.

Mack's book list on French wine, history, and culture

Mack P. Holt Why did Mack love this book?

This is the best general survey of French wine in English, from someone who not only teaches the history of modern France at his local university, but who also reviews and writes about wine for his city’s newspaper. As both an academic historian and a journalist, Phillips has written a riveting account of how wine was first introduced to France under the Romans, how many of the vineyards later came under the control of the Catholic church in the Middle Ages, how the French state attempted to control and regulate the production of wine in the nineteenth-century, and how smaller wineries are now trying to cope with the global commercialization of the wine industry. Just a great primer on French wine.

By Rod Phillips,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For centuries, wine has been associated with France more than with any other country. France remains one of the world's leading wine producers by volume and enjoys unrivalled cultural recognition for its wine. If any wine regions are global household names, they are French regions such as Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Within the wine world, products from French regions are still benchmarks for many wines. French Wine is the first synthetic history of wine in France: from Etruscan, Greek, and Roman imports and the adoption of wine by beer-drinking Gauls to its present status within the global marketplace. Rod Phillips…


Book cover of The Oxford Companion to Wine

Kathleen Burk Author Of Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine

From my list on for those who like wine.

Who am I?

I’m the daughter of a Californian grape farmer, and have driven tractor, picked grapes, and tied vines. Whilst at Berkeley, I travelled around Napa Valley tasting wines whilst riding pillion on a 750 cc motorcycle; at Oxford I discovered European wines. Thereafter, I was a professor of modern and contemporary history in London, writing nearly a dozen books, and continuing to explore wines with my husband. I have wine in my bones. I now travel around the world tasting it, writing about it, judging it, and leading tasting tours, all the while continuing to drink it. I am currently writing a book on the global history of wine.

Kathleen's book list on for those who like wine

Kathleen Burk Why did Kathleen love this book?

If I had to choose only one wine book to own and use, this would be it. It contains thousands of entries of varying lengths and complexity, all clearly written: do you want to know where the wines of Cadillac come from and what they taste like in fewer than a hundred words? Here it is. If you want to know how climate change is affecting vines and wines around the world, its three big pages will tell you. What is the wine called PX? Would you like to know all about California and its wines? France? China? What is biodynamic agriculture? Who are the most famous wine writers and what did they write about? Almost anything you might want to know about a wine-related subject is in this book. There is nothing else like it.

By Jancis Robinson (editor), Julia Harding (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Published in 1994 to worldwide acclaim, the first edition of Jancis Robinson's seminal volume immediately attained legendary status, winning every major wine book award including the Glenfiddich and Julia Child/IACP awards, as well as writer and woman of the year accolades for its editor on both sides of the Atlantic. Combining meticulously-researched fact with refreshing opinion and wit, The Oxford Companion to Wine
presents almost 4,000 entries on every wine-related topic imaginable, from regions and grape varieties to the owners, connoisseurs, growers, and tasters in wine through the ages; from viticulture and oenology to the history of wine, from its…


Book cover of Hugh Johnson's The Story of Wine

Kathleen Burk Author Of Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine

From my list on for those who like wine.

Who am I?

I’m the daughter of a Californian grape farmer, and have driven tractor, picked grapes, and tied vines. Whilst at Berkeley, I travelled around Napa Valley tasting wines whilst riding pillion on a 750 cc motorcycle; at Oxford I discovered European wines. Thereafter, I was a professor of modern and contemporary history in London, writing nearly a dozen books, and continuing to explore wines with my husband. I have wine in my bones. I now travel around the world tasting it, writing about it, judging it, and leading tasting tours, all the while continuing to drink it. I am currently writing a book on the global history of wine.

Kathleen's book list on for those who like wine

Kathleen Burk Why did Kathleen love this book?

Hugh Johnson is one of the most famous, and certainly the best-selling, of all the world’s wine writers. This book was first published in 1989 and has held the field ever since. It’s a glorious sweep of the history of wine from the beginning to about thirty years ago, with masses of illustrations, which is one of the glories of the book. A new edition was published in 2020, which brings it up to the present, but it lacks maps and illustrations. On the other hand, he hints at what he thinks about scoring wines by numbers: he’s not keen, preferring sniffing and tasting and then using stars to indicate the quality. What, after all, is the perceived difference between a 91 wine and a 92? And why start at 50?

By Hugh Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hugh Johnson's The Story of Wine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating history of wine is written with all the characteristic enthusiasm and wit of its famous author, Hugh Johnson. Unlike many comprehensive histories, this book is easily "digestible" and explores the cultural history of wine in enthralling chapters. The colorful prose makes the book a joy to read from cover to cover and a delight to dip into at leisure.


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