100 books like The End Is Always Near

By Dan Carlin,

Here are 100 books that The End Is Always Near fans have personally recommended if you like The End Is Always Near. 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 The Plague

Alexander Fisher Author Of Delirium

From my list on where a catastrophe makes society fall apart.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by the strangeness of human character when tested to the limit by overwhelming catastrophe. I’ve always wanted to write a story that brings into stark relief the courage, fear, ambition, tragedy, absurdity, and the ecstatic. In other words, a disaster. And if character is destiny, then an apocalypse maybe the best way to show us who we really are and where we’re going. My debut novel, Delirium focuses on these extremes of character. And after writing it I reached one indelible conclusion: that the human being is the most disturbed creature, but also the most hopeful.

Alexander's book list on where a catastrophe makes society fall apart

Alexander Fisher Why did Alexander love this book?

Camus’ Stranger brought me to this book and I was once more pulled in by the same direct prose, the same detachment and the same philosophical inquisitiveness.

There’s a feeling that plagues are inevitable, that they will come no matter what we do, and that our efforts to stop them always degenerate into the absurd. But what struck me most was that this is not fatalism, because although the collective effort is largely useless, hope lies in the small acts of kindness between individuals.

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Plague as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Its relevance lashes you across the face.” —Stephen Metcalf, The Los Angeles Times • “A redemptive book, one that wills the reader to believe, even in a time of despair.” —Roger Lowenstein, The Washington Post 

A haunting tale of human resilience and hope in the face of unrelieved horror, Albert Camus' iconic novel about an epidemic ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature. 

The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death. Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they…


Book cover of Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America's Empire

Jordan Neben Author Of A Lot of Questions, with No Answers

From my list on thinking about history and how we understand it.

Who am I?

Like many people, my passions were first ignited when I was a toddler, and I mainly have my maternal grandfather to thank what for interests me. I remember coming to my grandparent’s house when I was young and watching WWII documentaries that my grandfather had on VHS (yes, I’m that old). Since then, I’ve always had a passion for history. It doesn’t really matter the subject, I’m interested in everything; from the Ottoman Empire to the Vietnam War, to the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula, to the US-backed coup in Guatemala during the Cold War. I hope that passion for history comes through when readers explore my book.  

Jordan's book list on thinking about history and how we understand it

Jordan Neben Why did Jordan love this book?

Gangsters of Capitalism covers a part of US history that is often deliberately overlooked by Americans, because it clashes with our national myths about ourselves. Katz follows US imperial history from the very end of the 19th century through to the middle of the 20th century, by following the life and career of Smedley Butler, a man who served in the marines for so much of this history. Gangster of Capitalism is in the top five of my favorite books that I have ever read. Katz’s ability to weave a personal biography with sweeping history and how that history still affects us all in the present is superb. 

By Jonathan M. Katz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking journey tracing America’s forgotten path to global power—and how its legacies shape our world today—told through the extraordinary life of a complicated Marine.

Smedley Butler was the most celebrated warfighter of his time. Bestselling books were written about him. Hollywood adored him. Wherever the flag went, “The Fighting Quaker” went—serving in nearly every major overseas conflict from the Spanish War of 1898 until the eve of World War II. From his first days as a 16-year-old recruit at the newly seized Guantánamo Bay, he blazed a path for empire: helping annex the Philippines and the land for the…


Book cover of Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution

Jordan Neben Author Of A Lot of Questions, with No Answers

From my list on thinking about history and how we understand it.

Who am I?

Like many people, my passions were first ignited when I was a toddler, and I mainly have my maternal grandfather to thank what for interests me. I remember coming to my grandparent’s house when I was young and watching WWII documentaries that my grandfather had on VHS (yes, I’m that old). Since then, I’ve always had a passion for history. It doesn’t really matter the subject, I’m interested in everything; from the Ottoman Empire to the Vietnam War, to the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula, to the US-backed coup in Guatemala during the Cold War. I hope that passion for history comes through when readers explore my book.  

Jordan's book list on thinking about history and how we understand it

Jordan Neben Why did Jordan love this book?

Mike Duncan is another source of inspiration that I am indebted to for helping me become a better writer. Duncan is also the host of the podcasts History of Rome and Revolutions, and author of another book, The Storm Before the Storm. Duncan’s ability to recount some truly complex history with clarity and precision is truly uncanny, and his dry and sarcastic style of humor is similar to the humor I use in my book too. Duncan’s work helped me become a more discerning student of history and I am grateful for that. 

By Mike Duncan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Hero of Two Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few in history can match the revolutionary career of the Marquis de Lafayette. Over fifty incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist.

As a teenager, Lafayette ran away from France to join the American Revolution. Returning home a national hero, he helped launch the French Revolution, eventually spending five years locked in dungeon prisons. After his release, Lafayette sparred with Napoleon, joined an underground conspiracy to overthrow King Louis XVIII, and became an international symbol of liberty. Finally, as…


Book cover of Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump

Jordan Neben Author Of A Lot of Questions, with No Answers

From my list on thinking about history and how we understand it.

Who am I?

Like many people, my passions were first ignited when I was a toddler, and I mainly have my maternal grandfather to thank what for interests me. I remember coming to my grandparent’s house when I was young and watching WWII documentaries that my grandfather had on VHS (yes, I’m that old). Since then, I’ve always had a passion for history. It doesn’t really matter the subject, I’m interested in everything; from the Ottoman Empire to the Vietnam War, to the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula, to the US-backed coup in Guatemala during the Cold War. I hope that passion for history comes through when readers explore my book.  

Jordan's book list on thinking about history and how we understand it

Jordan Neben Why did Jordan love this book?

I’ll never forget how enthralled I was from the very beginning of Reign of Terror. Ackerman begins the book with a fascinating contrast in behavior that demonstrates that Americans have not abandoned nearly as much of their race prejudices as we like to pretend. In 1995, when Timothy McVeigh (with the help of many white supremacist groups) bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, he was put through all of the standard legal procedures required under the law. When the United States was hunting extremists in the war on terror, we created places such as Guantanamo Bay and other CIA black sites to extrajudicially hold and torture people. The way Ackerman frames America’s behavior during the war on terror makes Reign of Terror a must-read in my opinion. 

By Spencer Ackerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Critics' Top Book of 2021

"An impressive combination of diligence and verve, deploying Ackerman's deep stores of knowledge as a national security journalist to full effect. The result is a narrative of the last 20 years that is upsetting, discerning and brilliantly argued." -The New York Times

"One of the most illuminating books to come out of the Trump era." -New York Magazine

An examination of the profound impact that the War on Terror had in pushing American politics and society in an authoritarian direction

For an entire generation, at home and abroad, the United States…


Book cover of The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth

Jordan Neben Author Of A Lot of Questions, with No Answers

From my list on thinking about history and how we understand it.

Who am I?

Like many people, my passions were first ignited when I was a toddler, and I mainly have my maternal grandfather to thank what for interests me. I remember coming to my grandparent’s house when I was young and watching WWII documentaries that my grandfather had on VHS (yes, I’m that old). Since then, I’ve always had a passion for history. It doesn’t really matter the subject, I’m interested in everything; from the Ottoman Empire to the Vietnam War, to the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula, to the US-backed coup in Guatemala during the Cold War. I hope that passion for history comes through when readers explore my book.  

Jordan's book list on thinking about history and how we understand it

Jordan Neben Why did Jordan love this book?

Reading how world demand for things such as consumer electronics helps drive conflict in Central Africa as people scramble for the mineral resources required to make such electronics changed the way I think about the world. Ever since reading The Looting Machine, I felt a responsibility to at the very least pay attention to current events in countries such as Nigeria or Angola, to see how my own demand for commodities might be affecting people I will never meet all over the world. I still remember at the end of the book when Burgis quoted a Nigerian rapper when she said, “Don’t think you’re not a part of it.” 

By Tom Burgis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The trade in oil, gas, gems, metals and rare earth minerals wreaks havoc in Africa. During the years when Brazil, India, China and the other "emerging markets" have transformed their economies, Africa's resource states remained tethered to the bottom of the industrial supply chain. While Africa accounts for about 30 per cent of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals and 14 per cent of the world's population, its share of global manufacturing stood in 2011 exactly where it stood in 2000: at 1 percent. In his first book, The Looting Machine, Tom Burgis exposes the truth about the African…


Book cover of Bad Island

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Who am I?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

Prefer something a bit more visual as the world falls apart? Stanley Donwood fills a book with full-page black and white linocut illustrations, the same medium I use for my illustrations. Without relying on any text, Donwood is able to use classic sequential art techniques to move us through the continual destruction of a wild and devolving island habitat. You may recognize his work from his decades-long collaboration with Radiohead, but his distinct style of storytelling and art stands alone.

By Stanley Donwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A wild seascape, a distant island, a full moon. Gradually the island grows nearer until we land on a primeval wilderness, rich in vegetation and huge, strange beasts. Time passes and man appears, with clubs, with spears, with crueler weapons still-and things do not go well for the wilderness. Civilization rises as towers of stone and metal and smoke choke the undergrowth and the creatures that once moved through it. This is not a happy story, and it will not have a happy ending.

Working in his distinctive, monochromatic linocut style, Stanley Donwood achieves with his art what words cannot…


Book cover of Mr. Burns

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Who am I?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

A little levity may be required as we watch the world crumble around us. Anne Washburn’s play reads as a multi-generational game of telephone. Beginning shortly after the apocalypse, with television now obsolete, people gather round a campfire and begin retelling what they remember from random episodes of The Simpsons. In the second act, the retelling has evolved into an oral tradition far from the original. By the third act, we’re eighty years removed from the apocalypse, and the story has become its own bizarre and surreal performance. I read Mr. Burns and saw the play in person years ago, but I still think about it and laugh. It might also somehow be a fairly accurate depiction of our post-apocalyptic world.

By Anne Washburn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's the end of everything in contemporary America. A future without power. But what will survive? Mr Burns asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are, explodes the boundaries between pop and high culture and, when society has crumbled, imagines the future for America's most famous family.


Book cover of Encyclopaedia of Hell: An Invasion Manual for Demons Concerning the Planet Earth and the Human Race Which Infests It

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Who am I?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

Big plans for the afterlife? Go prepared. Martin Olson’s Encyclopaedia of Hell and its sequel Encyclopaedia of Heaven can answer all your questions about God, the Devil, and whatever mess we’re currently stuck in. Every page is uniquely designed, entertaining, and beautifully illustrated. To remind you not to take the End so seriously, it satirizes the hell out of our world. Like my favorite things in life, it manages to be both dark and funny.

By Martin Olson, Tony Millionaire (illustrator), Mahendra Singh (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A tour de force of darkness, Encyclopaedia of Hell is a manual of Earth written by Lord Satan for his invading hordes of demons, complete with hundreds of unpleasant illustrations, diagrams, and a comprehensive and utterly repulsive dictionary of Earth terms.

Since the customs and mores of humanity are alien and inconceivable to demons, Satan wrote this strangely poetic military handbook for the enlightenment and edification of his demon armies. A masterpiece expressing Satan's hatred for humanity and himself, the Encyclopaedia includes "Techniques of Stalking and Eating Humans," "Methods of Canning Human Pus," and "Dicing and Slicing Orphaned Children."

Why…


Book cover of 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Who am I?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age. What caused this epochal shift? Eric Cline outlines just how cataclysmic the 12th and 13th centuries BC really were. Be prepared for fire, earthquakes, and a tide of war!

By Eric Cline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the…


Book cover of The Good Old Days-- They Were Terrible!

Johan Norberg Author Of Open: The Story of Human Progress

From my list on to make you grateful you live today.

Who am I?

I did not use to believe in human progress, but thought there must have been good old days behind us – until I studied history and understood that my ancestors did not live ecologically, they died ecologically, at an early age. Since then I’ve been obsessed with progress, what makes it possible and how we can spread it to more people. I am a historian of ideas from Sweden, the host of a video series on innovations in history, New and Improved, and the writer of many books on intellectual history and global economics, translated into more than 25 languages.

Johan's book list on to make you grateful you live today

Johan Norberg Why did Johan love this book?

This 1974 book, by the founder of one of the world’s great picture libraries, was a real eye-opener to me when I first read it. We are all nostalgic and look at the past through rose-tinted glasses, and so do I. But then we forget about the hunger and the crime, tuberculosis, smallpox and heaps of trash on the streets, the child labor, and the despair of the aged. This richly illustrated book, with its multitude of stories, set me straight. For instance, did you know that New York had 150,000 horses in 1900, each producing around 20 pounds of manure a day? The past stank. It makes you deeply grateful for science, technology, and economic growth.

By Otto Bettmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Good Old Days-- They Were Terrible! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Good Old Days—were they really good? On the surface they appear to be so—especially the period to which this term is most often applied, the years from the end of the Civil War to the early 1900’s. This period of history has receded into a benevolent haze, leaving us with the image of an ebullient, carefree America, the fun and charm of the Gilded Age, the Gay Nineties.

But this gaiety was only a brittle veneer that covered widespread turmoil and suffering. The good old days were good for but the privileged few. For the farmer, the laborer, the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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