82 books like The Great Stink

By Clare Clark,

Here are 82 books that The Great Stink fans have personally recommended if you like The Great Stink. 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 Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Who am I?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

The Ghost Map is the fantastic story of an important Cholera epidemic in London in 1854.

The book swept me along with its narrative, plunging straight into the fetid world of Victorian London. Johnson weaves together the stories of the people affected, and the desperate hunt by Dr. John Snow to understand the cause of the disease. He also provides fascinating descriptions of the dangers to life in a time before sewers, and the evolution of such systems that ultimately transformed city life.

I definitely look at toilets, pipes, and sewer grates differently after reading this book.

By Steven Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A National Bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year

It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

In a triumph of…


Book cover of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

Sharon Levy Author Of The Marsh Builders: The Fight for Clean Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

From my list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands.

Who am I?

I fell in love with the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary thirty years ago, when I first moved to town. At the time, I was working as a field biologist, and I loved to hang out at the marsh and birdwatch—I’d see everything from pelicans to peregrine falcons. Later I shifted from field biology to science writing, and some of my first articles were about how the Arcata Marsh serves both as a wildlife habitat and a means of treating the city’s sewage. I learned about the grassroots movement that created the marsh, and the global history of wetlands loss. I’ve been hooked on wetlands ever since.

Sharon's book list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands

Sharon Levy Why did Sharon love this book?

During research for my book, I visited manmade wetlands in south Florida, built to filter farm runoff from the water before it flows into Everglades National Park. These constructed wetlands are thick with alligators, spoonbills, storks, hawks, and other wildlife—but they’re just an echo of the surviving Glades. Now among the most cherished natural areas on Earth, in the settlement era the Everglades was written off as wasted space. Early in the 20th century the northern half of the Everglades was drained and turned into sugar fields. Today polluted runoff from those farms threatens the surviving remnants of the Everglades ecosystem. 

Grunwald’s book shows the human quirks and greed that drove the Everglades’ destruction, and that sometimes get in the way of its restoration.

By Michael Grunwald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Brilliant.” —The Washington Post Book World * “Magnificent.” —The Palm Beach Post * “Rich in history yet urgently relevant to current events.” —The New Republic

The Everglades in southern Florida were once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it.

The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald,…


Book cover of Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge

Kristin Ohlson Author Of Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World

From my list on interconnection in nature.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small agricultural town in California’s Sacramento Valley, and my parents didn’t even consider worrying if I was bored or lonely when I wasn’t at school. Consequently, I spent hours in a nearby vacant lot riddled with anthills watching the ants hustle back and forth and, occasionally, inserting myself in their lives with handfuls of sugar or sticks to block their paths. Pretty sure this is where my interest in science and nature began—and maybe even my interest in cooperation.

Kristin's book list on interconnection in nature

Kristin Ohlson Why did Kristin love this book?

Whenever I fly across country, I love looking out the window of the plane to watch how water has sculpted the landscape below—especially in undeveloped expanses, where I often see dozens of squiggles from rivers that have changed course.

Erica Gies’s fascinating book gave me an expanded view of the relationship between water and land, even in our modern cities, and introduced me to people who are figuring out new ways of living respectfully with this mighty and essential force.

By Erica Gies,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Water Always Wins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hopeful journey around the world and across time, illuminating better ways to live with water. 

Nearly every human endeavor on the planet was conceived and constructed with a relatively stable climate in mind. But as new climate disasters remind us every day, our world is not stable—and it is changing in ways that expose the deep dysfunction of our relationship with water. Increasingly severe and frequent floods and droughts inevitably spur calls for higher levees, bigger drains, and longer aqueducts. But as we grapple with extreme weather, a hard truth is emerging: our development, including concrete infrastructure designed to…


Book cover of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

Sharon Levy Author Of The Marsh Builders: The Fight for Clean Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

From my list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands.

Who am I?

I fell in love with the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary thirty years ago, when I first moved to town. At the time, I was working as a field biologist, and I loved to hang out at the marsh and birdwatch—I’d see everything from pelicans to peregrine falcons. Later I shifted from field biology to science writing, and some of my first articles were about how the Arcata Marsh serves both as a wildlife habitat and a means of treating the city’s sewage. I learned about the grassroots movement that created the marsh, and the global history of wetlands loss. I’ve been hooked on wetlands ever since.

Sharon's book list on how humanity fouled water and why we need wetlands

Sharon Levy Why did Sharon love this book?

Long before I learned anything about their ecology, I was fascinated by beavers and their flair for building. Beaver dams change the courses of streams and create habitat for willows, fish, frogs, songbirds, even elk and wolves. Goldfarb’s book tells the story of the beavers’ destruction by fur hunters, the way their loss changed the way water flowed through all of North America, and the ways people are working to bring them back.

By Ben Goldfarb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Washington Post "50 Notable Works of Nonfiction"

Science News "Favorite Science Books of 2018"

Booklist "Top Ten Science/Technology Book of 2018"

"A marvelously humor-laced page-turner about the science of semi-aquatic rodents.... A masterpiece of a treatise on the natural world."-The Washington Post

In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were…


Book cover of An Underground Guide to Sewers: Or: Down, Through and Out in Paris, London, New York, &c.

Julie Anderson Author Of Plague

From my list on secret subterranean London.

Who am I?

I've lived and worked in London for most of my adult life and am perpetually astonished, amazed, and fascinated by the city around me. It's histories, small and large, are a constant delight and surprise for me, and its hidden places of enchantment fire my imagination. So, when I came to write my first novel, for Claret Press, there was no other place where it could possibly be set and I chose central London which I knew very well and had layer upon physical layer of history. Given that it was a crime thriller, it had to use those hidden places, which mirrored the surface world, as part of the plot. Walk with me along one of London's lost rivers on my website

Julie's book list on secret subterranean London

Julie Anderson Why did Julie love this book?

I have always admired the pioneering Victorian engineers like Stephenson and Brunel, but especially Sir Joseph Bazalgette, who is less recognised and honoured than others, but whose genius provided a sewage system for London which improved sanitation, reduced disease, and death, allowed for the development of the Embankment and lasted for over a century! This book tells the story of those sewers and ones like them across the world and the remarkable men who designed and built them, many of them little known to their countrymen and women. It's absolutely fascinating, from the technical details to the social impact. It has turned me into a sewer aficionado.


By Stephen Halliday,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Underground Guide to Sewers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global guide to sewers that celebrates the magnificently designed and engineered structures beneath the world's great cities.

The sewer, in all its murkiness, filthiness, and subterranean seclusion, has been an evocative (and redolent) literary device, appearing in works by writers ranging from Charles Dickens to Graham Greene. This entertaining and erudite book provides the story behind, or beneath, these stories, offering a global guide to sewers that celebrates the magnificently designed and engineered structures that lie underneath the world's great cities. Historian Stephen Halliday leads readers on an expedition through the execrable evolution of waste management—the open sewers, the…


Book cover of The Face of a Stranger

Jeanne M. Dams Author Of Murder in the Park

From my list on historical mysteries that make the period come alive.

Who am I?

I used to hate history, until I made the startling discovery that history wasn’t about dates and wars—the stuff we had to memorize in high school—but about people. And what can be more absorbing than people? When I started my first historical series, set in the very early 20th century in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana, I delved into the local newspaper and learned that the people of the time and their problems were very much like today’s. That pulled me in, and never let go. Now, researching the 1920s, I’m meeting people who might live next door. It’s so much fun!

Jeanne's book list on historical mysteries that make the period come alive

Jeanne M. Dams Why did Jeanne love this book?

Anne Perry is too well known for me to add anything about her or her many books.

This particular one, though, the first in the William Monk series, intrigues me particularly because of the startling idea of a detective who doesn’t know who he is, knows nothing about his past. What a challenge to the writer!

Monk is understandably ill-tempered and extremely touchy, but this, oddly enough, makes him, for me, a sympathetic character.

As always, the brooding descriptions of Victorian London set the scene perfectly, and I was desperately hoping for Monk to resolve not only the crime but his personal problems. And, as with all books that I love, it’s beautifully written. 

By Anne Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He is not going to die, after all, in this Victorian pesthouse called a hospital. But the accident that felled him on a London street has left him with only half a life, because his memory and his entire past have vanished. His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective; the mirror reflects a face that women woud like, but he senses he has been more feared than loved.
Monk is given a particularly sensational case: the brutal murder of Major the Honourable Joscelin Grey, Crimean war hero and a popular man about…


Book cover of Gods Go Begging

Doug Bradley Author Of We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War

From my list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note.

Who am I?

Until today’s multiple catastrophes, the Vietnam War was the most harrowing moment in the lives of my fellow baby boomers and me. Drafted into the U.S. Army in early 1970, I spent 365 days in Vietnam as a combat correspondent. That experience changed my life, because as the Argentinian writer Jose Narosky has pointed out, “in war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” I have spent the past five decades trying to heal those wounds, writing three books grounded in my Vietnam experience, and have devoted my life to listening to the voices of our veterans, distilling their memories (often music-based), and sharing their words. 

Doug's book list on the Vietnam War that strike a different note

Doug Bradley Why did Doug love this book?

Vea’s novel is as ambitious, complex, and surreal a story about the horrors of Vietnam (and post-Vietnam) ever written. A Vietnam vet himself, Vea traces the efforts of several men and women who try to purge their Vietnam ghosts while finding a way to curtail the violence convulsing contemporary America. Jesse Pasadoble, the protagonist, is a defense attorney in San Francisco, hardened and embittered by his Vietnam experience. While his journey toward redemption, as well as that of an Army chaplain who goes AWOL in Vietnam, may require a “willing suspension of disbelief,” Vea skillfully pulls it off, helped in no small way by the many allusions to jazz, specifically the inimitable works of John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. 

By Alfredo Vea,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Luminous... a beautiful book." - Carolyn See

For Vietnam veteran Jesse Pasadoble, now a defense attorney living in San Francisco, the battle still rages: in his memories, in the gang wars erupting on Potrero Hill, and in the recent slaying of two women: one black, one Vietnamese. While seeking justice for the young man accused of this brutal double murder, Jesse must walk with the ghosts of men who died on another hill... men who were his comrades and friends in a war that crossed racial divides.

Gods Go Begging is a new classic of Latino literature, a literary detective…


Book cover of Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet

Ronny Bruce Author Of The Grunts of Wrath: A Memoir Examining Modern War and Mental Health

From my list on infantry life during modern war.

Who am I?

I’m an OG ATLien (born in Atlanta, Georgia) and served in the US Marine Corps and the US Army. I hold a degree from Kennesaw State University and taught high school social studies from 2004 - 2006, before my military reenlistment which jumpstarted the events in my memoir.   

Ronny's book list on infantry life during modern war

Ronny Bruce Why did Ronny love this book?

Imagine being the son of the most legendary US Marine of all time? Think those are huge boots to fill?

Lewis B. Puller, Jr.’s father is Lieutenant General “Chesty” Puller – recipient of five Navy Crosses and one Distinguished Service Cross, making him the most decorated marine in history. Puller Jr.’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir chronicles his service as a marine lieutenant in Vietnam attempting to fill his father’s enormous shoes. But Junior arrives home early missing both legs, most of his left hand, and a thumb and finger on his right hand after tripping a booby-trapped mine.

Fortunate Son tells the story of a broken man returning to his family, and high-profile legendary father, to attempt to put together the pieces.  

By Lewis B. Puller Jr.,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Fortunate Son as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s memoir is a moving story of a man born into a proud military legacy who struggles to rebuild his world after the Vietnam War has shattered his body and his ideals. Raised in the shadow of his father, Marine General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, a hero of five wars, young Lewis went to Southeast Asia at the height of the Vietnam War and served with distinction as an officer in his father's beloved Corps. But when he tripped a booby-trapped howitzer round, triggering an explosion that would cost him his legs,…


Book cover of The World Played Chess

Kelly Flanagan Author Of The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell

From my list on making you fall in love with male protagonists.

Who am I?

As a clinical psychologist, a man, and a human being on his own journey of healing and becoming, I suppose I’m interested in stories with struggling but lovable male protagonists because I’m the struggling male protagonist in my own life story, learning how to fall in love again with myself and my story and the little boy who lives on within me. The courage my clients show in the process of facing their pain and finding something beautiful in it is inspiring to me. I hope my life reflects that courage, too. And I want to write stories that give others hope and inspiration for this kind of healing, as well.  

Kelly's book list on making you fall in love with male protagonists

Kelly Flanagan Why did Kelly love this book?

As a clinical psychologist, I’ve come to believe the boundary between childhood and adulthood is both incomprehensible, and yet essential to understand, if we are to reclaim what is most innocent and valuable within us. Drawing upon several clever literary devices, The World Played Chess is told through the eyes of a single protagonist, Vincent Bianco, a middle-aged attorney who is reflecting on his own adolescent choices, as his son is about to leave for college, and as he receives an old friend’s journal of his experiences as a nineteen-year-old boy in the Vietnam War. The story is a heartfelt meditation upon this boundary land between childhood and adulthood, and it will leave every reader reflecting on how young they were when they thought they were so old. 

By Robert Dugoni,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A fearless and sensitive coming-of-age story. I loved it." -Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Last Green Valley.

Bestselling author Robert Dugoni returns with an emotionally arresting follow-up to The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.

In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son…


Book cover of Battle Scars: A Story of War and All That Follows

Joe Talon Author Of Counting Crows

From my list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up.

Who am I?

I’ve written about war for years. To be honest, it all began in school when we studied the terrible events of The Great War. Hearing the hearts shatter of men on the frontline never left me. I wanted to understand. I needed to understand. PTSD is something I’m familiar with, even if I’ve never been on the front line in battle. I’m also obsessed with myths, legends, ghost stories, and mysteries. My Lorne Turner series combines my passions and the books shine a light, in fiction, on what happens to old soldiers when they come home.

Joe's book list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up

Joe Talon Why did Joe love this book?

Another story about a mind broken by war. Jason Fox is former Special Forces, and it shows. Exploring the effects of war on the mind of a soldier who is trained to abhor weakness in all its forms is deeply moving. Also, reading about man’s life descending into chaos when it’s been so ordered is tough. The effect on family and friends, work colleagues. Again, not an easy read, because this is real life folks, but well worth the effort. It’s also very interesting to read about the conflicts from a warrior’s point of view.

By Jason Fox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

___________

THE EXTRAORDINARY NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER.

'The most important book you'll ever read... Battle Scars will save lives.' TOM MARCUS, author of SOLDIER SPY

Battle Scars tells the story of Jason Fox's career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service, to a very different kind of battle that awaited him at home.

After more than two decades of active duty, Foxy was diagnosed with complex PTSD, forcing him to leave the military brotherhood and confront the hard reality of what follows. What happens when you become your own enemy?…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in veterans, the Crimean War, and London?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about veterans, the Crimean War, and London.

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