42 books like The Colonel of Tamarkan

By Julie Summers,

Here are 42 books that The Colonel of Tamarkan fans have personally recommended if you like The Colonel of Tamarkan. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ 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 The Crowded Hours: The Story Of 'Sos' Cohen

Robert Widders Author Of Forged in Blood and Music: A story of friendship, courage, and survival.

From my list on military books that resonate with me.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Widders is one of the few men who have served in both the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. His books on military history have been quoted in the Irish parliament and Senate and were the focus for a BBC documentary episode of Face the Facts.

Robert's book list on military books that resonate with me

Robert Widders Why did Robert love this book?

The Crowded Hours tells the story of ‘Sos’ Cohen, whose eclectic military career began as an eighteen-year-old during the Matabele Wars of 1887, and then as a soldier in the Boer War. During the First World War, he first served with the Army and then transferred to the Royal Navy Air Service as a pilot. And in 1939, he joined the RAF at the age of 64, flying with RAF Coastal Command till the end of the Second World War.

Crowded Hours is a really interesting book in its own right, but in a more personal sense, it resonates with me because I’ve also served in the Army, the Navy, and the RAF, and I’m fascinated to read about the other men who’ve done this and try to understand what makes them tick.

Book cover of Adolf Hitler

Robert Widders Author Of Forged in Blood and Music: A story of friendship, courage, and survival.

From my list on military books that resonate with me.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Widders is one of the few men who have served in both the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. His books on military history have been quoted in the Irish parliament and Senate and were the focus for a BBC documentary episode of Face the Facts.

Robert's book list on military books that resonate with me

Robert Widders Why did Robert love this book?

Many people will remember Spike Milligan as the anarchic comedian from the Goon Shows. But long before he became a radio and television celebrity, he served with the Royal Artillery in North Africa and then Italy, until he was physically wounded, psychologically traumatised, and then medically downgraded.

Milligan wrote a series of war memoirs beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall. Some of the humour may appear a little dated now, especially to younger generations. But to me the books are hilarious, full of satire, irony, and pathos, albeit written in tones – reflective of the times – that are, well, let’s just say, are not ‘politically correct’. Underneath the humour though, is a story of the unutterable sadness and personal tragedy of war. But leaving all these ‘big’ issues aside, in a personal sense, I’ve always like Milligan because he was different, an oddball, someone willing to…

By Spike Milligan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Volume one of Spike Milligan's legendary memoirs is a hilarious, subversive first-hand account of WW2

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian
______________

'At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a travel warrant, a white feather and a picture of Hitler marked "This is your enemy". I searched every compartment, but he wasn't on the train . . .'

In this, the first of Spike Milligan's uproarious recollections of life in the army,…


Book cover of The British Sumatra Battalion

Robert Widders Author Of Forged in Blood and Music: A story of friendship, courage, and survival.

From my list on military books that resonate with me.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Widders is one of the few men who have served in both the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. His books on military history have been quoted in the Irish parliament and Senate and were the focus for a BBC documentary episode of Face the Facts.

Robert's book list on military books that resonate with me

Robert Widders Why did Robert love this book?

Nearly all of the men that this book talks about have passed away now. They were captured, as the book title explains, in Sumatra, many of them after having escaped from Singapore when the garrison surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942. One of the men who eventually came together to form the [Prisoner of War] British Sumatra Battalion was my friend, G, who volunteered to remain behind and help man the escape lines running through Java and Sumatra. He gave up his own chance of getting evacuated from the island and in doing so sentenced himself to three-and-a-half years of brutality and slave labour as a POW. Men like this have earned remembrance…

By A.A Apthorp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

V/G to LIKE NEW DJ, LIKE NEW BOOK. STATED FIRST EDITION. 1988 Book Guild Ltd. hardcover, British import. A. A. Apthorp. Immediately prior to the Fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942 there was a panic to get out before the Japanese walked in the back door. Women and children, servicemen of all ranks, some individuals, some in groups, many separated from their Regiments all clambered on any vessel leaving Keppel harbour that would put distance between them and imminent presence of the Japanese Army. Some made it to Australia, some to Java and others made it to Sumatra. For…


Book cover of Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

Robert Widders Author Of Forged in Blood and Music: A story of friendship, courage, and survival.

From my list on military books that resonate with me.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Widders is one of the few men who have served in both the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. His books on military history have been quoted in the Irish parliament and Senate and were the focus for a BBC documentary episode of Face the Facts.

Robert's book list on military books that resonate with me

Robert Widders Why did Robert love this book?

James Stockdale was a fighter pilot who was shot down whilst flying over Vietnam in 1964. He had read, and absorbed, The Enchiridion, by Epictetus, and it was this knowledge of Stoicism that helped him to survive seven years of torture and captivity as a Prisoner of War. Fortunately, I’ve never been tested in a crucible akin to Stockdale’s laboratory of human behaviour. But Epictetus speaks to all of us still, and Stockdale’s book is fascinating both as an account of a POW’s survival and as an introduction to a philosophy that I’ve leaned on in my own life.

By James B. Stockdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In describing his seven and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, the late Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale has said: "In that atmosphere of death and hopelessness, stripped of the niceties, the amenities of civilization, my ideas on life and leadership crystallized." Despite torture, intimidation, and isolation, Stockdale fulfilled his duties as senior officer among the prisoners with intelligence and courage, defining rules of conduct and maintaining morale. He often described the intense pressures of that situation as a "melting" experience, in which preconceived feelings, fears, and bias melt as one comes to realize that,…


Book cover of The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life

David Rotenberg Author Of City Rising: From the Holy Mountain

From my list on another time and place with interesting company.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1995, I was invited to the People’s Republic of China to direct a play at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. It was the first Canadian play to be produced in China. It’s amazing what you can learn in a foreign city, with time to explore on your own, ready to soak up the energy, atmosphere, sights, and sounds. The impact is even greater when that city is on the cusp of historic change. The experience power-charged my imagination and was the spark for my first novels–a series of mysteries featuring the detective Zong Fong, Head of Special Investigations, Shanghai. City Rising and its three sequels followed after extensive research.

David's book list on another time and place with interesting company

David Rotenberg Why did David love this book?

Read enough Cold War spy novels by John le Carré, and you can’t help but wonder, who is this gorgeous writer and how much of what he writes is grounded in historical fact. Then you read his memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, and see that le Carré  (the writer’s pen name) has been trying to sort all that out himself in his books.

Meet David John Moore Cornwell (John le Carré's real name), raised by his father, Ronnie Cornwell, and schooled in the art of espionage by the British Security Service (MI5) and Intelligence Service (MI6). What you get is source material for what you’d glimpsed (and suspected) all along in A Perfect Spy, Little Drummer Girl, Smiley’s People, and many others. Betrayal goes deep.

The troubled relationship between father and son plays out over a lifetime. And as a writer, you wonder, how much of me is embedded…

By John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Recounted with the storytelling elan of a master raconteur - by turns dramatic and funny, charming, tart and melancholy." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

The New York Times bestselling memoir from John le Carre, the legendary author of A Legacy of Spies.

From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, le Carre has always written from the heart of modern times. In this,…


Book cover of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Eric Coulson Author Of The Chrysalis Option

From my list on espionage and intrigue in Great Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been in love with London and the UK since I started reading British thrillers over 40 years ago. When I finally had the chance to live in London as a US diplomat, I was able to see so many of those places that had filled my imagination for years. I have my JD from Southern Illinois University. I have worked for the US Army and the US State Department. I now support my wife Karen, who is a US Diplomat.

Eric's book list on espionage and intrigue in Great Britain

Eric Coulson Why did Eric love this book?

I love the sense of intimacy in this book.

The characters are flawed and detailed against the backdrop of London and Great Britain. It is a classic of the genre and really takes you back to the pre-internet and pre-fall of the USSR. It really captures what it was like to live in those times.

By John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Legacy of Spies.

The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement-especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla-his Moscow Centre nemesis-and sets a trap to catch the traitor.

The Oscar-nominated feature film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is directed by…


Book cover of Call-Sign Kluso: An American Fighter Pilot in Mr. Reagan's Air Force

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

From my list on military aviation.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

Plenty of memoirs have been written by combat pilots, but Call Sign Kluso is truly one-of-a-kind. It weaves a captivating personal narrative within the context of America’s resurgence from the post-Vietnam era, while demonstrating the US Air Force’s transformation into the high-tech, cutting-edge organization that defeated Saddam Hussein during Operation Desert Storm. 

By Rick Tollini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Call-Sign Kluso as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eagle pilot Rick "Kluso" Tollini's life has embodied childhood dreams and the reality of what the American experience could produce. In his memoir, Call Sign Kluso, Rick puts the fraught minutes above the Iraqi desert that made him an ace into the context of a full life; exploring how he came to be flying a F-15C in Desert Storm, and how that day became a pivotal moment in his life.

Rick's first experience of flying was in a Piper PA-18 over 1960s' California as a small boy, and his love of flying through his teenage years was fostered by his…


Book cover of My War Gone By, I Miss It So

Jessica Mudditt Author Of Our Home in Myanmar: Four years in Yangon

From my list on living abroad.

Why am I passionate about this?

I left home in Melbourne to spend a year travelling in Asia when I was in my mid-twenties. I ended up living abroad for a decade in London, Bangladesh, and Myanmar before returning to Sydney in 2016. My first book is about the four years I lived in Myanmar and I’m currently writing my second, which is about the year I spent backpacking from Cambodia to Pakistan. My third book will be about the three years I worked as a journalist in Bangladesh. My plan is to write a ‘trilogy’ of memoirs. Living abroad has enriched my life and travel memoirs are one of my favourite genres, both as a reader and a writer.

Jessica's book list on living abroad

Jessica Mudditt Why did Jessica love this book?

I read this book many years ago and it was a time when I dreamed of being a war correspondent. It made me realise that I wasn’t cut out for it. Loyd’s unflinching account of the Bosnian War in the 1990s was so vivid that it made me physically recoil. I’d have become traumatised if I had seen the things he saw. I admired his powers of description and raw honesty. He is also addicted to smack, which takes him to dark places.

By Anthony Loyd,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My War Gone By, I Miss It So as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

My War Gone By, I Miss It So is a uniquely powerful piece of writing, unparalleled in the genre. Ex-infantry officer Anthony Loyd arrived in the Balkans hoping to become a war correspondent. He wanted to see `a real war', and in Bosnia he found one. The cruelty and chaos of the conflict both appalled and embraced him - the adrenaline lure of the action perhaps the loudest siren call of all. In the midst of the daily life-and-death struggle among the Serbs, Croatians and Bosnian Muslims he was inspired by the extraordinary human fortitude he discovered. But returning home,…


Book cover of The Fist of God

Jay Bonansinga Author Of Return to Woodbury

From my list on thrillers that begin with a bang.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a veteran novelist who believes this over all else: The opening is everything. This has been my modus operandi as a storyteller for over thirty books, as well as a half dozen screenplays. I love a great opening. It is how a reader or viewer will subconsciously decide whether they will devote themselves to a story. It is the first kiss. The first shot over the bow. The ignition, the countdown, and the launch. It is the alpha and omega… because the beginning dictates the ending. Oh my, how I love the beginning! 

Jay's book list on thrillers that begin with a bang

Jay Bonansinga Why did Jay love this book?

“The man with ten minutes to live was laughing.” Thus begins one of the greatest war novels by one of the greatest living writers of espionage thrillers. 

Frederick Forsyth’s epic story of the Persian Gulf War mingles fact with fiction, and never lets up its humming current of suspense. Incidentally, that laughing man was Gerald Vincent Bull, a real historical figure who invented a super-gun for Saddam Hussein. Not exactly the safest line of work. 

His assassination triggered a Rube Goldberg series of events that only Forsyth would have the… well… foresight to use as the first sentence in this violent, epochal tale. 

By Frederick Forsyth,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Fist of God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From behind-the-scenes decision making of the Allies to the secret meeting of Saddam Hussein's war cabinet, from the brave American fliers running dangerous missions over Iraq to a heroic young spy planted deep in the heart of Baghdad, Forsyths incomparable storytelling keeps the suspense at a breakneck pace.

Peopled with vivid characters, brilliantly displaying the intricacies of intelligence operations moving back and forth between Washington and London, Baghdad and Kuwait, and revealing espionage tradecraft as only Frederick Forsyth can, The Fist of God tells the utterly convincing story of what may actually have happened behind the headlines.


Book cover of Girl at War

Ram Gidoomal Author Of My Silk Road: The Adventures & Struggles of a British Asian Refugee

From my list on refugees, inclusion, diversity and equality.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a refugee myself, I was attracted to read about the lives and experiences of other refugees, not merely those from my own community or background, but especially those from other backgrounds–which is probably reflected in the books that I’ve chosen for my list.

Ram's book list on refugees, inclusion, diversity and equality

Ram Gidoomal Why did Ram love this book?

Set in former Yugoslavia, this powerful novel follows a girl whose only chance of survival is to escape war and rebuild a life elsewhere.

I found the way the author tells this story beautiful, even though the story is tragic, and describes the complexities of civil strife as well as their impact on ordinary people living in a country that is now split into Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia.

“Fiction does give you a capacity for empathy,” says the author. It should–and I found that this one does.

By Sara Nović,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016

Growing up in Zagreb in the summer of 1991, 10-year-old Ana Juric is a carefree tomboy; she runs the streets with her best friend, Luka, helps take care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But when civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, football games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills.

The brutal ethnic cleansing of Croats and Bosnians tragically changes Ana's life, and she is lost to a world of genocide and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Gulf War, World War 1, and spies?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Gulf War, World War 1, and spies.

The Gulf War Explore 33 books about the Gulf War
World War 1 Explore 900 books about World War 1
Spies Explore 597 books about spies