93 books like The Golden Ass

By Apuleius, P.G. Walsh (translator),

Here are 93 books that The Golden Ass fans have personally recommended if you like The Golden Ass. 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 War Nerd Iliad

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From my list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Philip Matyszak Why did Philip love this book?

Don't look for some high-brow version full of pseudo-Shakespearean language. Homer's story is a blood-and-guts tale (literally) of hard-bitten heroes, feuding among spiteful gods and bombastic military commanders. Try John Dolan's version from Feral house publishing, deliberately written as he imagined the story was first told – by soldiers sitting around a campfire exchanging yarns.

By Homer, John Dolan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We recognize the names: Achilles, Odysseus, Zeus, and Apollo. We're taught that The Iliad is a foundational text of civilization. But who has really read the text? Until now, The Iliad was hijacked by academics and used to bludgeon schoolchildren as a boring-yet- mandatory reading.

Poet, novelist, essayist, and former teacher John Dolan revisits this ancient tale and restores it to its ancient glory. The Greeks and Trojans are still fighting. The gods are still interfering. But in Dolan's version, you'll be amazed at how funny, raw, and terrifying this doomed world of war really is. He strips away clunky,…


Book cover of Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From my list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Philip Matyszak Why did Philip love this book?

Ever wonder where Shakespeare got his ideas from? He plundered the classics, especially Plutarch and Plautus. Plautus can't really complain about that as his plays are mostly re-workings of (now lost) Greek originals. This play is Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, set 1500 years earlier. It's still a good read and should elicit a few giggles. Try Riley's translation on Digireads.

By Plautus, Henry Thomas Riley (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Considered to be Plautus's greatest play, "Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers" is the story of two twin brothers, Menaechmus and Sosicles, who are separated at age seven when their father takes Menaechmus on a business trip. This classic play, which provided the inspiration for Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors", draws heavily on the theme of mistaken identity.


Book cover of Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From my list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Philip Matyszak Why did Philip love this book?

A self-contained description of a war fought in Africa against an ambitious monarch, in which the Roman superpower struggles with an elusive enemy. Roman efforts are badly hampered by corrupt generals and Sallust, writing a generation later makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for the aristocratic establishment which happily pocketed Jugurtha's bribes. A book that reads well and is relevant today. Get the Oxford University Press edition, and get the Catiline conspiracy thrown in for free.

By Sallust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sallust (86-c. 35 bc) is the earliest Roman historian of whom complete works survive, a senator of the Roman Republic and younger contemporary of Cicero, Pompey and Julius Caesar. His Catiline's War tells of the conspiracy in 63 bc led by L. Sergius Catilina, who plotted to assassinate numerous senators and take control of the government, but was thwarted by Cicero. Sallust's vivid account of Roman public life shows a Republic in decline, prey to moral corruption and internal strife. In The Jugurthine War he describes Rome's fight in Africa against the king of the Numidians from 111 to 105…


Book cover of The Epigrams Of Martial

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From my list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Philip Matyszak Why did Philip love this book?

With this one I'm not going to recommend an edition, because while Martial is witty, bitingly sarcastic and a keen commentator on his society he can also be breathtakingly obscene. Imagine teenage scrawls on toilet walls - if those scrawls were written by Shakespeare - and you'll be close enough. So pick your edition with care – however broad you imagine your mind to be, an unexpurgated Martial will stretch it a bit more and have you chuckling and nodding the rest of the time.

By Henry George Bohn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


Book cover of Survival in Auschwitz

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From my list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Who am I?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

Almost all the survivors of the Holocaust have now died, which makes it more important than ever that we pass on knowledge about this incomparably brutal crime against humanity – and do our best to prevent future genocides.

Survival in Auschwitz is a highly detailed, profoundly disturbing, and, in the end, intensely moving account of Italian chemist Primo Levi’s eleven months in the most notorious of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz.

If you wish to understand what the Holocaust meant to its victims – and how the prisoners did their heroic best to resist dehumanization, hopelessness, and death – you would do well to start with this important work.  

By Primo Levi,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Survival in Auschwitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true and harrowing account of Primo Levi’s experience at the German concentration camp of Auschwitz and his miraculous survival; hailed by The Times Literary Supplement as a “true work of art, this edition includes an exclusive conversation between the author and Philip Roth.

In 1943, Primo Levi, a twenty-five-year-old chemist and “Italian citizen of Jewish race,” was arrested by Italian fascists and deported from his native Turin to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz is Levi’s classic account of his ten months in the German death camp, a harrowing story of systematic cruelty and miraculous endurance. Remarkable for its simplicity, restraint,…


Book cover of Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year

Roland Merullo Author Of Dessert with Buddha

From my list on thoughtful works of fiction and non-fiction.

Who am I?

My twenty novels tend to focus on characters who face great challenges, and I have a particular appreciation for beautiful prose. I don’t read for distraction or entertainment, but to be enlightened, moved, and made more compassionate about different kinds of people in different environments.

Roland's book list on thoughtful works of fiction and non-fiction

Roland Merullo Why did Roland love this book?

It’s a beautiful memoir by a Jewish doctor/painter/political activist who was sent into exile by Mussolini for his anti-fascist political activism. It’s deeply heartfelt and gorgeously written as Levi gets to know the extraordinarily poor peasants of a tiny village in interior southern Italy.

I love all things Italian and so it speaks to me, but I also have a great deal of compassion for the have-nots of this world. Levi describes them with wonderful sympathy and respect (at the same time sharply criticizing the petty bureaucrats and the puffed-up local officials).

By Carlo Levi, Frances Frenaye (translator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Christ Stopped at Eboli as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'There should be a history of this Italy, a history outside the framework of time, confining itself to that which is changeless and eternal, in other words, a mythology. This Italy has gone its way in darkness and silence, like the earth, in a sequence of recurrent seasons and recurrent misadventures. Every outside influence has broken over it like a wave, without leaving a trace.'

So wrote Carlo Levi - doctor, painter, philosopher, and man of conscience - in describing the land and the people of Lucania, where he was banished in 1935, at the start of the Ethiopian war,…


Book cover of A Thousand Acres

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From my list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Who am I?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

In this deeply disturbing novel, an elderly and despotic farmer named Larry Cook decides to give joint ownership of his 1000-acre farm in Iowa to his three daughters, although the youngest, Caroline, objects to this arrangement and is soon disinherited.

In the emotional wake of this family conflict, long-hidden revelations about how Cook sexually abused his two eldest daughters – Ginny and Rose – come to light. As the old tyrant’s mind and body deteriorate, Ginny and Rose run the farm as best they can and share their painful memories with each other.

Will they be able to make peace with a past that continually threatens their emotional well-being? And dare they continue running an enterprise that reminds them every day of their brutal father and damaged childhoods?  

By Jane Smiley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Thousand Acres as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This powerful twentieth-century reimagining of Shakespeare's King Lear centers on a wealthy Iowa farmer who decides to divide his farm among his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will, which sets in motion a chain of events that brings dark truths to light. Ambitiously conceived and stunningly written, A Thousand Acres spins the most fundamental themes of truth, justice, love, and pride into a universally acclaimed masterpiece.


Book cover of The Road Back

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From my list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Who am I?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

World War I caused 20 million deaths and left 21 million wounded.

Soldiers who survived the gas attacks and trench warfare often returned to societies eager to forget the atrocities of the conflict and move on. Remarque’s insightfully written novel details the struggles of three German soldiers who return home only to discover that they may have no place in a nation that has learned almost nothing from what they regard as a senseless and immoral war.

In May of 1933, this novel and the rest of Remarque's writing were declared “unpatriotic” by the Nazi dictatorship and all his novels were banned.

By Erich Maria Remarque,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After surviving several horrifying years in the inferno of the Western Front, a young German soldier and his cohorts return home at the end of WW1. Their road back to life in civilian world is made arduous by their bitterness about what they find in post-war society. A captivating story, one of Remarque's best.


Book cover of The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John Faustus 1592

Hal Johnson Author Of Apprentice Academy: Sorcerers: The Unofficial Guide to the Magical Arts

From my list on magic not to let your parents catch you reading.

Who am I?

The only thing I love reading more than books about myth and legend are books you’re not supposed to read. George Bataille once wrote that if you ever caught him producing a book that he risked nothing to write, you should throw it away, and I take that to heart. Every book should be dangerous, because only danger makes you think. I hope every book I’ve written is, in some sense, dangerous, although of course I also hope my readers do not get ripped to pieces by the devil. That’s a little too dangerous. 

Hal's book list on magic not to let your parents catch you reading

Hal Johnson Why did Hal love this book?

John Faustus is the original bad influence. He makes a deal with the devil for absolute power, uses his new power to play childish pranks on people, and has a pretty good but stupid time until the devil shows up one day and literally rips him to pieces. Didn’t think that one through, did you, John? 

If you get caught reading this book, try saying something like, “Well, now I know not to do that!” But, still, those pranks of his sound fun…

By William Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John Faustus 1592 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


Book cover of The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

Hal Johnson Author Of Apprentice Academy: Sorcerers: The Unofficial Guide to the Magical Arts

From my list on magic not to let your parents catch you reading.

Who am I?

The only thing I love reading more than books about myth and legend are books you’re not supposed to read. George Bataille once wrote that if you ever caught him producing a book that he risked nothing to write, you should throw it away, and I take that to heart. Every book should be dangerous, because only danger makes you think. I hope every book I’ve written is, in some sense, dangerous, although of course I also hope my readers do not get ripped to pieces by the devil. That’s a little too dangerous. 

Hal's book list on magic not to let your parents catch you reading

Hal Johnson Why did Hal love this book?

Some guy in Egypt realized long ago that you can create illusions, fly through the air, change your body into whatever you want, or “demolish buildings and castles,” all by writing out little crossword puzzles.

Like a fool, he recorded his method and handed it to some German dude, who passed the information along, and now it’s just in a book anyone can buy? All those secret crossword puzzles of power? Oh, man, if they catch you with this one, watch out, because people are really fond of their buildings and castles, and they do not have a sense of humor about their unscheduled demolition.

By Abraham von Worms, S. L. Macgregor Mathers (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Around the turn of the century, when Aleister Crowley was working out his system of Magick, the source that he turned to for basics was the system of Abramelin of Egypt. From Abramelin he took his concepts of protections, purifications, evocations, vestments, and dromena down to specific details.
This system of Abramelin the Mage is known from a unique fifteenth century manuscript preserved in the Bibliothèque de L'Arsenal in Paris. In it, Abraham of Würzburg, a cabalist and connoisseur of magics, describes a tour that he made of the then civilized world, visiting sorcerers, magicians, and cabalists, estimating their powers…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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