10 books like The Flanders Panel

By Arturo Perez-Reverte, Margaret Jull Costa (translator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Flanders Panel. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Girl with a Pearl Earring

By Tracy Chevalier,

Book cover of The Girl with a Pearl Earring

This is a book I’ve read more than once. I sympathized with Griet, the main character and enjoyed reading about her world, set in 1600s Holland. When her father goes blind and is unable to support the family, Griet’s mother forces her to work as a maid for a wealthy painter. No longer allowed to live at home, Griet moves in with the painter’s family. He is smitten with Griet despite his pregnant wife’s disapproval. Griet struggles to fulfill her work duties while everyone else resents her presence. I loved the ending of this story.

The Girl with a Pearl Earring

By Tracy Chevalier,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Girl with a Pearl Earring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of A Single Thread and At the Edge of the Orchard

Translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Scarlett Johanson and Colin Firth

Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly-imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.

History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of sixteen-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius . .…


The Art Forger

By B.A. Shapiro,

Book cover of The Art Forger

Art forgery has always fascinated me. The idea that you can create a 'new' work by an old master and then, maybe, get away with it. Claire is a struggling artist whose one chance at fame had been stolen by a lover. Reduced to painting reproductions of famous paintings for clients to hang in their home she is approached by an art dealer to secretly forge a Degas painting. The money is good enough to silence her scruples and when the painting arrives she immediately recognizes that it is one of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. Already she is having doubts but after beginning her study of the painting she suspects that it, too, is a forgery. Forged art has never been so compelling.

The Art Forger

By B.A. Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - still the largest unsolved art theft in history - one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece - the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years - may…


As Above, So Below

By Rudy Rucker,

Book cover of As Above, So Below: A Novel of Peter Bruegel

As Peter Bruegel stands in the Sistine Chapel admiring Michelangelo’s work he realizes he could never compete with one who works in the heavens – above. He will confine himself to the below the common man. We follow Bruegel and his friends on his journeys, his daily life, and the inspiration he finds in the everyday world around him. His peasants are peasants. Their daily toil is not romanticized. Their feasts consist of rural fare.  Even his religious art is not idealized. It is wonderful to imagine that the author has walked in Bruegel's shoes. Rudy Rucker is a professor of math and computer science but his extensive research has brought to life an artist who left very little of his own life to history.  

As Above, So Below

By Rudy Rucker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked As Above, So Below as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Bruegel's paintings - a peasant wedding in a barn, hunters in the snow, a rollicking street festival, and many others - have long defined our idea of everyday life in 16th Century Europe. In sixteen chapters Rucker brings Bruegel's painter's progress and his colourful world to vibrant life doing for Bruegel what GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING did for Vermeer. We follow the artist from the winding streets of Antwerp and Brussels to the glowing skies and decaying monuments of Rome.


Beauty in Thorns

By Kate Forsyth,

Book cover of Beauty in Thorns

After the Impressionists and Vincent Van Gogh, the artists that come easily in third place for fictional ink spilled about them are the Pre-Raphaelites. Their personal lives are as colorful as their artwork. Australian Kate Forsyth has tackled the second phase of Pre-Raphaelitism led by Edward Burne-Jones's mythological and Arthurian paintings and William Morris's designs for furniture, wallpaper, and book art. The love lives of the artists, wives, models, and daughters find their way interwoven in the story of the art. Gabriel Rossetti, who was a major figure of the first phase of Pre-Raphaeltisim, is the flint that ignites the second phase. They all want to live in the dreams of the past, and of legends, but real life is never a fairy tale.

Beauty in Thorns

By Kate Forsyth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A spellbinding reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the wild bohemian circle of Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets.

The Pre-Raphaelites were determined to liberate art and love from the shackles of convention.

Ned Burne-Jones had never had a painting lesson and his family wanted him to be a parson. Only young Georgie Macdonald – the daughter of a Methodist minister – understood. She put aside her own dreams to support him, only to be confronted by many years of gossip and scandal.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was smitten with his favourite model, Lizzie Siddal. She wanted to be an artist herself, but…


The Immortal Game

By David Shenk,

Book cover of The Immortal Game: A History of Chess

The brilliance of Shenk’s book is that even someone who didn’t know the basic rules of chess would be enthralled by the backdrops of the game he introduces to the reader. Chess is played around the world by hundreds of millions of people and Shenk delves into the reasons why the game has such perversely addictive appeal. 

The Immortal Game

By David Shenk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fresh, engaging look at how 32 carved pieces on a Chess board forever changed our understanding of war, art, science, and the human brain.

Chess is the most enduring and universal game in history. Here, bestselling author David Shenk chronicles its intriguing saga, from ancient Persia to medieval Europe to the dens of Benjamin Franklin and Norman Schwarzkopf. Along the way, he examines a single legendary game that took place in London in 1851 between two masters of the time, and relays his own attempts to become as skilled as his Polish ancestor Samuel Rosenthal, a nineteenth-century champion. With…


Theory of Shadows

By Paolo Maurensig, Anne Milano Appel (translator),

Book cover of Theory of Shadows

On March 24, 1946, then-current world chess champion, Alexandre Alekhine, is supposed to be getting ready to defend his title against a Russian challenger. But, at age 53, Alekhine lies dead in his seaside hotel room in Estoril, Portugal. Alekhine appears to have been eating dinner alone in his room. A local doctor soon certifies he choked on a piece of meat.

Born in Moscow, handsome, married four times, master of multiple languages, widely travelled, Alekhine was caught behind enemy lines during World War II. To stay alive, he played for both Stalin and high-level Nazis. He drank to excess, smoked heavily, suffered from angina. Did he die of a heart attack, a stroke, choking on food, murder by the KGB, or partisans for his apparent sidling up to Nazis? Sceptics and chess fans have wondered. Maurensig recounts the chess master’s last days and summarizes the many aspects of a…

Theory of Shadows

By Paolo Maurensig, Anne Milano Appel (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the morning of March 24,1946, the world chess champion Alexander Alekhine - "sadist of the chess world," renowned for his eccentric behaviour as well as the ruthlessness of his playing style was found dead in his hotel room in Estoril, Portugal. He was fully dressed and wearing an overcoat, slumped back in a chair, in front of a meal, a chessboard just out of reach. The doctor overseeing the autopsy certified that Alekhine died of asphyxiation due to a piece of meat stuck in his larynx and assured the world that there was absolutely no evidence of suicide or…


Grandmasters of Chess

By Harold C. Schonberg,

Book cover of Grandmasters of Chess

Harold Schonberg explores the nuances of what goes into creating a brilliant chess player across the vast history of chess. The characters he details within this gem of a book rival anything he assembled in his other breathtaking tomb on classical music, “The Lives Of Great Composers.” Schonberg’s backstories of the rogues gallery of chess great add such texture and nuance to the vast eccentricity at the heart of genius chess players and also highlights the times in which they lived so that they and it comes to life. Probably my favorite resource for my work with “The Grandmaster.”

Grandmasters of Chess

By Harold C. Schonberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What makes a great chess player? Mr. Schonberg is explicit: vast memory, imagination, intuition, technique, a healthy body, relative youth, a high degree of visual imagery, and the unyielding determination to win are the prerequisites. Almost always child prodigies, chess geniuses invariably have massive egos. Mr. Schonberg begins with François Philidor, the eighteenth century French-man who laid the foundations for the game as it is played today. Among those who followed are the irascible Howard. Staunton, designer of the chess pieces that are still universally used; Paul Morphy, one of the best natural players who ever lived and one of…


Pandolfini's Endgame Course

By Bruce Pandolfini,

Book cover of Pandolfini's Endgame Course: Basic Endgame Concepts Explained by America's Leading Chess Teacher

Once you have some practice playing chess, studying endgames is one of the most important roads to improvement. Endgames are situations where many trades have already occurred, leaving few chessmen remaining on the board. In these positions the remaining pieces have a lot more room to roam, and since they have only a few teammates around them we can see more clearly how they operate, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Famed New York coach Bruce Pandolfini, portrayed in the most famous chess film, Searching for Bobby Fischer, takes a subject mystifying to many and distills the essence of the most important endgames, with easy-to-understand diagrams and explanations. I was already a strong endgame player when I read this book, but I learned a lot and was so impressed, I’ve recommended it to students ever since.

Pandolfini's Endgame Course

By Bruce Pandolfini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on his private course for students, America's foremost chess coach and game strategist for Netflix's The Queen's Gambit presents an easy-to-use guide that explains invaluable "inner circle" endgame concepts for players of any level.

The endgame has always been a particularly instructive phase of chess play. It provides the perfect opportunity for understanding the potential power of each chess piece in every chess situation-from opening move to checkmate.

But the endgame is often viewed as an inaccessible area of play by most players whose experience is limited to watching championship games. Now, Pandolfini changes all of that.

With one…


The Immortality of Influence

By Salome Thomas-El, Cecil Murphey,

Book cover of The Immortality of Influence: We Can Build the Best Minds of the Next Generation

Written by Salome Thomas-El, a parent and a nationally acclaimed educator, The Immortality of Influence nails a parent’s job description: We’re here to help kids recognize and realize their full potential. Simply put, that’s our legacy to our kids, grandkids, and any young person we take under our wing. I loved how the personal stories throughout this book demonstrated, again and again, the positive and lasting impact a consistently caring and responsible adult can have on a child’s life. Having had the honor of visiting Principal El’s school, I can attest to the fact that he walks the walk in a special way that’s immediately apparent to every child he encounters.

The Immortality of Influence

By Salome Thomas-El, Cecil Murphey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning educator and the highly-praised author of I Choose to Stay, has helped hundreds of troubled children get into magnet high schools, major colleges, and universities. Yet he still finds himself devastated by the long-ago death of a promising student named Willow Briggs. Salome worked with and consistently encouraged this troubled boy, who ultimately became one of the school's top chess players and students. But when Willow moved on to high school, he found no real positive influences. He struggled academically and was murdered on a street corner at the age of sixteen. More than any other factor,…


Pawn Power in Chess

By Hans Kmoch,

Book cover of Pawn Power in Chess

The legendary 18th-century chess champion Andre Danican Philidor called pawns “the soul of chess”. The Dutch master Hans Kmoch was the first to catalog all the nimble and fascinating tricks the humble pawn can do, and how the lowliest chess piece can work together with its neighbors to build a “structure” around which chess positions develop. Unlike computers, we humans need concepts to help us learn, and the ideas around pawn play I learned from this book have stuck with me for decades, helping me understand the correct strategy and tactics for different chess positions. 

Pawn Power in Chess

By Hans Kmoch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"One of the few books…which, at a glance, one can recognize as an immortal." — Chess.
The proper use of pawns — of paramount importance in chess strategy — sometimes even puzzles experienced players. This profoundly original and stimulating book by an International Master and prolific chess writer offers superb instruction in pawn play by isolating its elements and elaborating on various aspects.
After a lucid exposition of the fundamentals and the basic formations of one or two pawns that virtually constitute the keys to winning chess strategy, the reader is shown a multitude of examples demonstrating the paramount significance…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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