91 books like The Jester

By James Patterson,

Here are 91 books that The Jester fans have personally recommended if you like The Jester. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Gates of Fire

By Steven Pressfield,

Book cover of Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

Andrew Lubin Author Of Charlie Battery: A Marine Artillery Unit in Iraq

From the list on famous battles that make you want to be there.

Who am I?

When reading about famous battles such as Thermopylae, Tarawa, the Chosin Reservoir, or Taffy-3’s gallantry off Samar: have you ever wondered “what makes young men fight against such overwhelming odds?” Or a more important question: “would I do the same?” I know I wondered. Both my mom and dad were WW2 Marines, and I was raised with the stories of the Marines at Tarawa wading a half-mile ashore against horrific Japanese fire, along with their epic Korean War 79-mile fighting retreat in -50’F bitter cold and snow while grossly outnumbered by the Chinese army; these were often our dinnertime discussions and impromptu leadership lessons.

Andrew's book list on famous battles that make you want to be there

Why did Andrew love this book?

We all know the story of Thermopylae: 300 Spartans fight heroically for three days against an overwhelming Persian force, with the Spartans all killed during the three-day fight as Greece used their lives to buy time to successfully defend itself. But historical fiction Gates of Fire adds a new twist: as the Persians are pulling the bodies off the battlefield, they find a sole wounded Spartan, and after nursing him back to health, have him recount the battle from the Spartan viewpoint.

Author Steven Pressfield, a former Marine, is a superb storyteller as he describes the battle – and Spartan training - in a gripping blend of courage, humor, ethics, and brilliant historical research. Xeones, the survivor, was a squire to the Spartans, and had trained with them. “War is work,” he explains, “with conditions contrived to make the exercise as close as possible to the actual campaign.” “Shared misery…

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Gates of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Sunday Times bestseller Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield tells the breathtaking story of the legendary Spartans: the men and women who helped shaped our history and have themselves become as immortal as their gods.

'Breathtakingly brilliant . . . this is a work of rare genius. Savour it!' DAVID GEMMELL

'A tale worthy of Homer, a timeless epic of man and war, exquisitely researched and boldy written. Pressfield has created a new classic' STEPHEN COONTS

'A really impressive book - imaginatively framed, historically detailed and a really gripping narrative' ***** Reader review

'Beautifully written and a great joy…


Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

Paula Altenburg Author Of The Rancher Takes a Family

From the list on featuring worldbuilding as part of the story.

Who am I?

I’m a writer. I also teach plot through non-credit university workshops and writer groups, and the one thing I stress is that storytelling is about reader experience. Worlds are a huge part of that experience. A degree in social anthropology makes me very conscious of the way my characters interact with their worlds. My fictional cowboys currently reside in Montana. But what if I wanted to move my cowboys to Manhattan? That requires a whole different story world—one my characters may or may not be comfortable in. My readers would now have to buy into the change in location. See the effect the world has on the story?

Paula's book list on featuring worldbuilding as part of the story

Why did Paula love this book?

I bought a copy of Pillars of the Earth mostly because I’d heard Ken Follett’s literary agent speak at a conference about their working relationship and I was curious.

I’m a bit of a history nerd but I’m terrible with dates and facts, so when I come across authors who manage to keep my attention engaged while writing about them, then I’m hooked. At over 800 words I had a good idea that dates and facts were going to feature prominently. I was right.

But I also came away from this book feeling as if I’d lived through the building of a 12th-century British cathedral along with the main characters. It’s an excellent example of fictional worldbuilding derived from late medieval history.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Pillars of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.

The…


Three Roads to the Alamo

By William C. Davis,

Book cover of Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis

Thomas J. Berry Author Of Iron and Bronze

From the list on history that drops you into adventure.

Who am I?

I have always loved reading and feel a natural attraction to history and the lessons it can give us. I want to learn something new whenever I pick up a book but also enjoy the story and characters as well. Since 2010, I have authored six historical novels of my own and am working on my seventh. I carefully weave years of extensive research into a fast-paced, exciting story that pushes all the right buttons! Intrigue, love, fear, and hope are integral parts of my novels, and I hope along the way, my readers will gain a new insight into a different culture or era they never knew before.  

Thomas' book list on history that drops you into adventure

Why did Thomas love this book?

Have you ever wondered what happens during a significant moment in history and no one is left to tell the tale? Three Roads to the Alamo by William C. Davis helps give a wonderful backstory to the characters leading up to the famous 1836 Texas battle against the Mexican army under Santa Ana. The pages are filled with details obtained through original documents of the era both in the United States and Mexico, making the characters come alive as never before. The incorrigible James Bowie, loyal commander William Barret Travis, and the renowned Davy Crockett give the ultimate sacrifice against insurmountable odds, and in doing so, shape the course of history forever.

By William C. Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Roads to the Alamo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"William C. Davis's Three Roads to the Alamo is far and away the best account of the Alamo I have ever read. The portraits of Crockett, Bowie, and Travis are brilliantly sketched in a fast-moving story that keeps the reader riveted to the very last word." — Stephen B. Oates

Three Roads to the Alamois the definitive book about the lives of David Crockett, James Bowie and William Barret Travis—the legendary frontiersmen and fighters who met their destiny at the Alamo in one of the most famous and tragic battles in American history—and about what really happened in that battle.


Alexander the Great

By Philip Freeman,

Book cover of Alexander the Great

Thomas J. Berry Author Of Iron and Bronze

From the list on history that drops you into adventure.

Who am I?

I have always loved reading and feel a natural attraction to history and the lessons it can give us. I want to learn something new whenever I pick up a book but also enjoy the story and characters as well. Since 2010, I have authored six historical novels of my own and am working on my seventh. I carefully weave years of extensive research into a fast-paced, exciting story that pushes all the right buttons! Intrigue, love, fear, and hope are integral parts of my novels, and I hope along the way, my readers will gain a new insight into a different culture or era they never knew before.  

Thomas' book list on history that drops you into adventure

Why did Thomas love this book?

Of all the characters in history, few have accomplished as much as Alexander the Great. It has been over two thousand years since the young man from Macedonia set out with his father’s army and conquered the entire Persian and Egyptian empires in just six short years. Philip Freeman brings this incredible story to life in his book Alexander the Great. I was mesmerized by the politics and behind-the-scenes machinations of this man and the court he controlled as he marched his army across the scorching deserts and inhospitable terrain. The young king was forced to confront both traitors in his midst and enemies at the point of his spear, all the while keeping his iron grip on a rebellious populous. A lively read!

By Philip Freeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) was one of history's great generals, a man studied by Caesar and Napoleon, among hundreds of others. He was born to the king of Macedon and educated by Aristotle, whose inquiring mind Alexander appreciated. After his father, Philip II, was assassinated, the 19-year-old Alexander succeeded to the throne and swiftly consolidated power. Over the next 13 years until his death at age 32, Alexander created one of the great empires of history, covering an area as far south as Egypt and as far east as Afghanistan and India. Most of the world that…


The Apple of His Eye

By William Chester Jordan,

Book cover of The Apple of His Eye: Converts from Islam in the Reign of Louis IX

Thomas D. Conlan Author Of Weapons & Fighting Techniques of the Samurai Warrior 1200-1877 AD

From the list on medieval European history to Japanese literature.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated with history in general, and the history of Japan, since I was in junior high when I read a book on the samurai. After attending summer school at Harvard in 1985, I resolved to devote myself to the study of Japan. Since then, I have studied at Michigan, Stanford, and Kyoto before teaching Japanese history at first Bowdoin College and now, Princeton University. Although I primarily research Japanese history, I find scholarship pertaining to medieval and early modern Europe to be fascinating as well. 

Thomas' book list on medieval European history to Japanese literature

Why did Thomas love this book?

In his unsurpassed, informative, and intrinsically interesting study, Jordan reveals how France’s Louis IX settled over a thousand Muslims in France after his first Crusade during the thirteenth century. Jordan writes beautifully and through his careful research, engaging style, and polished prose, a forgotten world that few had imagined to even exist comes vividly alive.  

By William Chester Jordan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The thirteenth century brought new urgency to Catholic efforts to convert non-Christians, and no Catholic ruler was more dedicated to this undertaking than King Louis IX of France. His military expeditions against Islam are well documented, but there was also a peaceful side to his encounter with the Muslim world, one that has received little attention until now. This splendid book shines new light on the king's program to induce Muslims-the "apple of his eye"-to voluntarily convert to Christianity and resettle in France. It recovers a forgotten but important episode in the history of the Crusades while providing a rare…


Make the Kaiser Dance

By Henry Berry,

Book cover of Make the Kaiser Dance: Living Memories of a Forgotten War: The American Experience in World War I

Bruce Canfield Author Of U. S. Infantry Weapons of the First World War

From the list on America's crusade in the Great War.

Who am I?

I have written 13 books and over 200 national magazine articles on U.S. Military weapons and am Field Editor for the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine. The story of the World War II weapons and campaigns have been widely covered but the First World War is sometimes all but forgotten. Those who are not familiar with America’s rather brief, but important, role in the conflict often do not realize how the First World War helped make the United States one of the world’s “superpowers.”

Bruce's book list on America's crusade in the Great War

Why did Bruce love this book?

Numerous fascinating first-hand accounts of American “Doughboys” who saw front-line service in World War I. Many of the stories are poignant and personal.

Victory in the East

By John France,

Book cover of Victory in the East: A Military History of the First Crusade

John D. Hosler Author Of The Siege of Acre, 1189-1191: Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle That Decided the Third Crusade

From the list on crusading warfare.

Who am I?

I’m just a guy who once obsessed over Forgotten Realms novels as a kid and, now, teaches history to military officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In between, I got married, earned a PhD at the University of Delaware, and spent 12 years teaching in Baltimore. I’m very interested in cross-cultural warfare—as the crusades are a window into not only western and eastern warfare but also facets of cultural, literary, political, religious, and social history, studying them is endlessly fascinating and infinitely rewarding. My next book, Jerusalem Falls: Seven Centuries of War and Peace, continues my interest in the subject.

John's book list on crusading warfare

Why did John love this book?

The subtitle gives it away—this is my (and, I’m guessing, most other medieval military historians’) go-to book for that most famous of crusades. France masterfully combines a captivating narrative with abundant historical detail, keen tactical/operational/strategic analyses, and expert interpretation. Each chapter is a delight, but not to be missed is France’s discussion of medieval generalship, his close study of army sizes, and especially the three full chapters on the fighting in and around Antioch in 1097-1098—which still constitute the best scholarly treatment of the events there. Despite a rash of newer works on the First Crusade over the last three decades, this remains the standard treatment for those interested in the war’s martial contours.

By John France,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Victory in the East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The success of the First Crusade, and its capture of Jerusalem in 1099, has been conventionally explained in terms of its ideological and political motivation. This book looks at the First Crusade primarily as a military campaign and asks why it was so successful. Modern writing about the crusade has tended to emphasise the moral dimension and the development of the idea of the crusade, but its fate was ultimately decided on the field of battle. Victory in the East looks at the nature of war at the end of the eleventh century and the military experience of all the…


The World of the Crusades

By Christopher Tyerman,

Book cover of The World of the Crusades

Alfred Andrea Author Of Seven Myths of the Crusades

From the list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians.

Who am I?

I was fated to become a crusade historian. Research for my doctoral dissertation on medieval relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople inevitably led me to the Fourth Crusade. I was hooked, and for the past fifty-plus years the crusades have been a passion—I hope a healthy one.  Although I have published two books on the Fourth Crusade, my crusading interests have now gone global, and I am currently studying sixteenth-century crusading in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, and the Americas. Perhaps someday I shall turn to more modern crusades. Sad to say, the crusades are still with us.

Alfred's book list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians

Why did Alfred love this book?

This lavishly illustrated book focuses on the crusades’ material objects: sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, architecture, coinage, and even jewelry. As historical evidence, artifacts are as important as documents, and these carefully chosen items provide privileged insights into the largely-shared crusader worldview and sense of mission. They further illuminate the complex relationships that developed between crusaders and the many foreign cultures with which they came into contact.  

By Christopher Tyerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A lively reimagining of how the distant medieval world of war functioned, drawing on the objects used and made by crusaders

Throughout the Middle Ages crusading was justified by religious ideology, but the resulting military campaigns were fueled by concrete objectives: land, resources, power, reputation. Crusaders amassed possessions of all sorts, from castles to reliquaries. Campaigns required material funds and equipment, while conquests produced bureaucracies, taxation, economic exploitation, and commercial regulation. Wealth sustained the Crusades while material objects, from weaponry and military technology to carpentry and shipping, conditioned them.

This lavishly illustrated volume considers the material trappings of crusading wars…


The Doughboys

By Laurence Stallings,

Book cover of The Doughboys: The Story of the AEF, 1917-1918

Stephen L. Harris Author Of Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York City's Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line

From the list on World War I and America's role in it.

Who am I?

Reading my great uncle’s war letters home to Kansas City and seeing his artwork—he was a magazine illustrator in civilian life and then editor of the 27th Empire Division’s magazine, Gas Attack—I knew, as a writer, I had to put his story down on paper. What his National Guard regiment did, the 107th, simply blew me away. From writing about what the 107th endured in the Great War, I was carried away to tackle the all-black 369th Regiment, famously known as Harlem’s Hell Fighters. I then had to tell the story of New York City’s most famous regiment, the Fighting 69th. My trilogy of New York’s National Guard in the war is now done.

Stephen's book list on World War I and America's role in it

Why did Stephen love this book?

Stallings was there, on the frontlines, fighting. He was wounded, lost a leg. He received the Croix de Guerre from the French government and the Silver Star and Purple Heart from his government. Reading his book, you’re right there with the first Americans landing in France and then following them and those who came after right up until the armistice on November 11, 1918. He also published an award-winning photographic history of the war, wrote a novel about his experiences and, in 1924, with playwright Maxwell Anderson, co-wrote the famous play that twice was turned into a movie, “What Price Glory.” If you want to know what World War I was like for America, it’s well worth the read.

By Laurence Stallings,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

nice vintage book/no DJ/blue boards/no markings/ tight binding/BEST VALUE/FAST SHIPPING/OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE/


The Crusades

By Carole Hillenbrand,

Book cover of The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives

Alfred Andrea Author Of Seven Myths of the Crusades

From the list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians.

Who am I?

I was fated to become a crusade historian. Research for my doctoral dissertation on medieval relations between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople inevitably led me to the Fourth Crusade. I was hooked, and for the past fifty-plus years the crusades have been a passion—I hope a healthy one.  Although I have published two books on the Fourth Crusade, my crusading interests have now gone global, and I am currently studying sixteenth-century crusading in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia, and the Americas. Perhaps someday I shall turn to more modern crusades. Sad to say, the crusades are still with us.

Alfred's book list on the medieval crusades by world-class historians

Why did Alfred love this book?

Hillenbrand does for counter-crusading Islam what Tyerman does for crusading Latin Christianity. This book is chock full of images of objects illustrating the rich variety of cultures embraced by medieval Islam. But beyond that, it is the single best book in English on Islam in the Age of the Crusades. Topics covered in detail, but always in a reader-friendly style, range from Muslim ethnic and religious stereotypes of Westerners to the evolution of jihad as a principle and a reality before and during the crusading era. No serious student of the crusades should overlook this important contribution to crusade studies.   

By Carole Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Crusades, nobility, and France?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Crusades, nobility, and France.

The Crusades Explore 52 books about the Crusades
Nobility Explore 78 books about nobility
France Explore 825 books about France