100 books like The Far Traveler

By Nancy Marie Brown,

Here are 100 books that The Far Traveler fans have personally recommended if you like The Far Traveler. 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 Northmen's Fury: A History of the Viking World

Max Adams Author Of Aelfred's Britain: War and Peace in the Viking Age

From my list on the viking period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I study and write about the Early Medieval period, and in a series of books about its most important characters, its archaeology and landscapes, I've tried to share my lifelong passion for this most obscure and tantalizing period of our history – what we still call the Dark Ages. From the two most shadowy centuries after Rome's fall (The First Kingdom) to Northumbrian King Oswald (The King in the North), who brought Christianity into pagan Anglo-Saxon England, and a walking, riding, sailing tour of Britain's Dark Age lands and seas (In the Land of Giants), I see a continuity of rich cultures, vibrant politics and regional characters that help us to understand how and why we are like we are.

Max's book list on the viking period

Max Adams Why did Max love this book?

Every subject needs a really sound, comprehensive introduction – and Parker's book is just that: a big, chunky history of the Vikings in all their guises, as traders, raiders, explorers, and entrepreneurs.  It's very well illustrated with photos and maps, lucidly written, and with a passion for the subject that is infectious. If you're looking for just one book to see you through the Vikings, make it this one.

By Philip Parker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Northmen's Fury tells the Viking story, from the first pinprick raids of the eighth century to the great armies that left their Scandinavian homelands to conquer larger parts of France, Britain and Ireland. It recounts the epic voyages that took them across the Atlantic to the icy fjords of Greenland and to North America over four centuries before Columbus and east to the great rivers of Russia and the riches of the Byzantine empire.

One summer's day in 793, death arrived from the sea. The raiders who sacked the island monastery of Lindisfarne were the first Vikings, sea-borne attackers…


Book cover of The Vinland Sagas

Michael Ridpath Author Of Where the Shadows Lie

From my list on to read if you want to understand Iceland.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2009, when I decided to set a crime series in Iceland, I embarked on a decade of research into the country, its people, its literature, its culture, and its elves. I visited the country, I spoke to its inhabitants and I read books, lots of books – I couldn’t find an elf, but I was told where they live. I needed to understand its criminals, its victims, its police, and most of all my detective Magnus Jonson. These are the best books that helped me get to grips with Iceland.

Michael's book list on to read if you want to understand Iceland

Michael Ridpath Why did Michael love this book?

I love the sagas. They are stories first told a thousand years ago about the Norse settlers in Iceland. They are crisp, subtle, exciting with some excellent characters, especially the women. My favourites are the two Vinland Sagas, which describe the discovery of Greenland and then North America (Vinland) by Erik the Red and his family. This includes the wonderful Gudrid, who was born in Iceland, got married in Greenland, gave birth to a child called Snorri in Vinland, and then went on a pilgrimage to Rome. All in about 1000 AD! 

By Unknown, Keneva Kunz (translator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Vinland Sagas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red's Saga contain the first ever descriptions of North America, a bountiful land of grapes and vines, discovered by Vikings five centuries before Christopher Columbus. Written down in the early thirteenth century, they recount the Icelandic settlement of Greenland by Eirik the Red, the chance discovery by seafaring adventurers of a mysterious new land, and Eirik's son Leif the Lucky's perilous voyages to explore it. Wrecked by storms, stricken by disease and plagued by navigational mishaps, some survived the North Atlantic to pass down this compelling tale of the first Europeans to…


Book cover of Vikings of the Irish Sea

Max Adams Author Of Aelfred's Britain: War and Peace in the Viking Age

From my list on the viking period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I study and write about the Early Medieval period, and in a series of books about its most important characters, its archaeology and landscapes, I've tried to share my lifelong passion for this most obscure and tantalizing period of our history – what we still call the Dark Ages. From the two most shadowy centuries after Rome's fall (The First Kingdom) to Northumbrian King Oswald (The King in the North), who brought Christianity into pagan Anglo-Saxon England, and a walking, riding, sailing tour of Britain's Dark Age lands and seas (In the Land of Giants), I see a continuity of rich cultures, vibrant politics and regional characters that help us to understand how and why we are like we are.

Max's book list on the viking period

Max Adams Why did Max love this book?

This may not look, at first sight, like a book for the general reader. But in my research into the period I have found no more useful, better written, or more thought-provoking work. David Griffiths is, like me, an archaeologist; and he knows his material. How the Vikings explored, conquered, and settled the lands in and around the Irish Sea is a story of marvellous sculpture and enigmatic burial mound; of silver, towns and landscape. A very fine book.

By David Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vikings of the Irish Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vikings began raiding islands and monasteries on the Atlantic fringes of Europe in the 790s. The Irish Sea rapidly became one of their most productive hunting-grounds. Attacks, battles and destruction were accompanied by trade - in slaves, silver and fine objects. Vikings crossed and re-crossed the Irish Sea in search of land, wealth and power. Raids were followed by settlement, firstly in fortified camps, and later in towns, market enclaves and rural estates. Vikings came into contact with existing populations in Ireland, Britain and the Isle of Man. Viking paganism, demonstrated by spectacular burials, was gradually eclipsed by Christianity. By…


Book cover of The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings

Ian Stuart Sharpe Author Of Old Norse for Modern Times

From my list on researching Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ian Stuart Sharpe likes to imagine he is descended from Guðrum, King of the East Angles, although DNA tests and a deep disdain for camping suggest otherwise. He is the author of two novels set in his alternate Vikingverse, the All Father Paradox and Loki’s Wager. He once won a prize at school for Outstanding Progress and chose a dictionary as his reward, secretly wishing it had been an Old Norse phrasebook. It took him thirty years, but he has finally realised his dream.

Ian's book list on researching Vikings

Ian Stuart Sharpe Why did Ian love this book?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what value is an illustrated, annotated map complete with key dates and a timeline?! Most books carry a few maps that help orientate you to the text, but this atlas is a treasure trove. It provides a visual context that is hugely helpful in understanding how the world of the Vikings evolved.

By John Haywood,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Viking marauders in their longships burst through the defences of ninth-century Europe, striking terror into the hearts of peasants and rulers alike for two centuries. But the Vikings were more than just marine warriors and this atlas shows their development as traders and craftsmen, explorers, settlers and mercenaries. With over sixty full colour maps, it follows the tracks of the Viking merchants who travelled deep into Russia, of Viking mercenaries who served in the emperor's bodyguard at Constantinople, and Viking mariners who sailed beyond the edge of the known world to North America.


Book cover of Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

Linnea Hartsuyker Author Of The Half-Drowned King

From my list on understanding the Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer of historical fiction. When I was in my teens, my family embarked on a project to trace our ancestry and identify our living relatives. Through church records in Sweden and Norway, we found that Harald Fairhair (Harfagr), the first king of Norway is one of our ancestors. Those explorations gave me the seeds of my first novel of Viking-Age Norway, The Half-Drowned King, and the subsequent books in the trilogy.

Linnea's book list on understanding the Vikings

Linnea Hartsuyker Why did Linnea love this book?

One of the best ways to envision a historical period is to see its artifacts. Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga is a companion to a Smithsonian exhibit of the same name and contains a rich trove of images and descriptions of viking physical culture, along with essays about the archeology of their discovery, and how they were used in the exploration of the North Atlantic, and the eventual journey to the New World.

By William F. Fitzhugh, Elisabeth Ward,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Replete with color photographs, drawings, and maps of Viking sites, artifacts, and landscapes, this book celebrates and explores the Viking saga from the combined perspectives of history, archaeology, oral tradition, literature, and natural science. The book's contributors chart the spread of marauders and traders in Europe as well as the expansion of farmers and explorers throughout the North Atlantic and into the New World. They show that Norse contacts with Native American groups were more extensive than has previously been believed, but that the outnumbered Europeans never established more than temporary settlements in North America.


Book cover of The Sea Road

Nikki Marmery Author Of On Wilder Seas: The Woman on the Golden Hind

From my list on historical sea voyages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historical fiction writer living in a landlocked village in the Chilterns, UK. I became obsessed with long sea voyages while researching my debut novel, On Wilder Seas, which is inspired by the true story of Maria, the only woman aboard the Golden Hind during Francis Drake’s circumnavigation voyage in 1577-1580. I immersed myself in the literature of the sea, in early modern sailors’ accounts of their terrifying voyages, in their wills and diaries, in maps and sea-logs. A ship is the perfect setting for a novel: the confined space, the impossibility of escape, the ever-present danger – and the hostile, unforgiving sea is the ultimate antagonist.

Nikki's book list on historical sea voyages

Nikki Marmery Why did Nikki love this book?

The ‘sea-fiction’ literary canon is very male-focused. But in the real world, women put to sea too, and were sometimes at the forefront of exploration. Maria, the heroine of my novel, was the first non-native woman to set foot on the northwest coast of America, when she arrived with Francis Drake during his circumnavigation voyage in the summer of 1579. Five hundred years earlier, on the other side of the continent, another female pioneer, Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, explored and settled the Newfoundland coast. 

Gudrid, the ‘Far Travelled’ of Icelandic sagas, is brought to life in this beautifully written and vividly imagined novel. Rich in historical detail and steeped in the mythology and worldview of the Vikings, it’s a thoroughly convincing portrait of an extraordinary woman at the edge of the known world.

By Margaret Elphinstone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A haunting, compelling historical novel, The Sea Road is a daring re-telling of the 11th-century Viking exploration of the North Atlantic from the viewpoint of one extraordinary woman. Gudrid lives at the remote edge of the known world, in a starkly beautiful landscape where the sea is the only connection to the shores beyond. It is a world where the old Norse gods are still invoked, even as Christianity gains favour, where the spirits of the dead roam the vast northern ice-fields, tormenting the living, and Viking explorers plunder foreign shores.

Taking the accidental discovery of North America as its…


Book cover of Journey to the Center of the Earth

Benjamin Hoffmann Author Of Sentinel Island

From my list on forbidden territories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of French Literature and Creative Writing at The Ohio State University. A Franco-American writer, I am the author of books and essays published in both France and the United States, including Posthumous America, The Paradoxes of Posterity, American Pandemonium, and Sentinel Island. My work encompasses various genres (novel, short story, essay, and critical study) to explore recurring themes: exile and the representation of otherness; disinformation and the social impact of new technologies; nostalgia and the experience of mourning; the legacy of the Enlightenment and the Age of Great Discoveries; and America’s history and its troubled present.

Benjamin's book list on forbidden territories

Benjamin Hoffmann Why did Benjamin love this book?

In this book, Jules Verne takes readers on an extraordinary journey deep beneath the Earth’s surface, exploring uncharted realms and encountering strange and wondrous phenomena.

Through the intrepid expedition led by Professor Lidenbrock, the novel captures the human fascination with the unknown and continues a rich literary tradition dedicated to imagining what wonders might be concealed under the surface of our world.

As the characters navigate through subterranean landscapes filled with peril and discovery, Verne masterfully explores themes of exploration, adventure, and the limits of human knowledge. This timeless classic continues to captivate readers with its imaginative portrayal of a forbidden world hidden beneath our feet.

By Jules Verne,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey to the Center of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"The reason Verne is still read by millions today is simply that he was one of the best storytellers who ever lived." — Arthur C. Clarke
An adventurous geology professor chances upon a manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a route to the earth's core. Professor Lidenbrock can't resist the opportunity to investigate, and with his nephew Axel, he sets off across Iceland in the company of Hans Bjelke, a native guide. The expedition descends into an extinct volcano toward a sunless sea, where they encounter a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic…


Book cover of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas

Tom Shippey Author Of Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings

From my list on Vikings through archaeology and research.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a retired professor of medieval literature, and taught at six universities, including Oxford and Harvard. I have published widely on Old English, Old Norse, and on my predecessor at Birmingham, Leeds, and Oxford, JRR Tolkien. I think it’s vital for academics to break out of their enclosed communities and engage with the interests of the general public – especially in areas where the public has shown keen interest, like the literature, history, and archaeology of the Vikings, all of which deserve to be taken together.

Tom's book list on Vikings through archaeology and research

Tom Shippey Why did Tom love this book?

Dr Barraclough not only traces Viking voyages north, south, east and west, she has followed in their footsteps. She was knighted with the penis-bone of a walrus by the Polar Bear Society of Hammarfest, saw the runestones commemorating those who “died in the east with Ingvar,” and mapped saga accounts of Newfoundland. Grisly information about Icelandic “necropants” and the Greenland hero “Corpse-Lodin.” This book has particularly beautiful color plates.

By Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the dying days of the eighth century, the Vikings erupted onto the international stage with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen may be best remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, but this is far from the whole story. Throughout the Middle Ages, long-ships transported hairy northern voyagers far and wide, where they not only raided but also traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered unfamiliar races, and embarked on pilgrimages
and crusades.

The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond; north to the wastelands of arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands…


Book cover of Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest

Merri Melde Author Of Soul Deep in Horses: Memoir of an Equestrian Vagabond

From my list on adventures from a traveling Endurance horse rider.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been addicted to horses for as long as I can remember – not that I'm complaining. Reading The Black Stallion books as a youngster started me down the path of a life with equines. Everything fell into place, one step after another, as I became a racetrack groom, horse photographer, writer, traveler, Endurance rider, and author. I write and photograph for numerous magazines, and I’ve authored five books and several short e-stories on horses. My long-time love was my off-the-track Thoroughbred Stormy, who lived to be 30, and I currently own Hillbillie Willie, an off-the-track Standardbred who loves Endurance riding.

Merri's book list on adventures from a traveling Endurance horse rider

Merri Melde Why did Merri love this book?

This is the kind of ride I'd love to do if I had the horse and the time: a thousand-mile exploration across the desert Southwest over some of the most rugged and remote country I'd never get to see otherwise.

Preston and a partner retrace as best they can the journey of the 1540s Spanish explorer Coronado in his search for the mythical Seven Cities of Gold, experiencing some of the same misadventures and encountering some of the same Pueblo tribes.

I learned much about the history that is seldom told – how tribes were invaded and subjugated by Coronado in his bloody quest for gold, but also about the stoicism and ultimate triumph of some of the tribes who still live there today.

By Douglas Preston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Excellent Book


Book cover of Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City

Jennifer McKeithen Author Of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

From my list on Atlantis if you love adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.

Jennifer's book list on Atlantis if you love adventure

Jennifer McKeithen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Mark Adams is simply a delightful writer. In this book, he dares to ask the age-old question: did Atlantis actually exist? He sifts through the facts and the fiction, taking the reader with him in his traipse across the globe to find answers. Like his other books, Meet Me in Atlantis is a fun read, where you’ll learn a lot and have some laughs along way.

By Mark Adams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestselling Travel Memoir! 

The author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu travels the globe in search of the world’s most famous lost city. 

“Adventurous, inquisitive and mirthful, Mark Adams gamely sifts through the eons of rumor, science, and lore to find a place that, in the end, seems startlingly real indeed.”—Hampton Sides

A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Far from alien conspiracy theories and other pop culture myths, everything we know about the legendary lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Stranger still: Adams…


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