89 books like The Odyssey

By Homer, T. E. Lawrence (translator),

Here are 89 books that The Odyssey fans have personally recommended if you like The Odyssey. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Alchemist

Michael Teichberg Author Of ManuScrita: Poems on Life, Love, & the Nature of Reality

From my list on When looking for a soulful deep dive.

Who am I?

Growing up Jewish, third-generation in Latin America has given me a strong identity and a unique lens living as a double-minority. My entire life, I’ve been fascinated by life’s deep questions, the arts, and metaphysics. When no college major was clicking, I decided to pursue a B.A. in philosophy and comparative religion to better get to know my own faith and search for a universal truth across all world religions and cultures. It was in my college poetry class, where I first started writing as an outlet for my thoughts and many of the poems in my book were written then and reworked over the next two decades.

Michael's book list on When looking for a soulful deep dive

Michael Teichberg Why did Michael love this book?

This book by Paulo Coelho is a great read for anyone pursuing their dream or in need of motivation to set things in motion.

The book was an early influence to me in prioritizing the pursuit of life’s purpose, following your heart and “gut”, and learning from both the good and bad times. The protagonist goes on a metaphorical journey that makes one think about destiny, spirituality, and how everything is connected in your journey.

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


Book cover of King Rat

Sam Foster Author Of Non-Semper Fidelis

From my list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices.

Who am I?

I heard a Jordan Peterson interview in which he boiled down my entire life’s struggle in a single phrase.  The interviewer was pushing Jordon on the subject of male toxicity. Jordon said something like, “If a man is entirely unwilling to fight under any circumstance, he is merely a weakling. Ask in martial arts trainer and they will tell you they teach two things – the ability to fight and self-control. A man who knows how and also knows how to control himself is a man.”

Sam's book list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices

Sam Foster Why did Sam love this book?

James Clavell’s first book, King Rat, is the story of allied servicemen trapped by the Japanese in Singapore at the beginning of World War II and held captive for the duration in the infamous Changi prison. The captured consisted of some 10,000 men made up of a British regiment, a few Australian companies, and one small American platoon. After three years of brutal, virtually starvation conditions even the British Commanding General was reduced to a uniform of nothing more than rags. Only one prisoner, an American Corporal, had lost no weight, wore a freshly pressed uniform and spit-shined shoes every day. With physical courage and an understanding of human weaknesses and breaking points he dominated all the other prisoners and many of the guards as well. When the camp was liberated he was the only man among the survivors who left without one friend. Why? The key to both his…

By James Clavell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in Changi, the most notorious prisoner of war camp in Asia, King Rat is an heroic story of survival told by a master story-teller who lived through those years as a young soldier. Only one man in fifteen had the strength, the luck, and the cleverness simply to survive Changi. And then there was King.


Book cover of Kushiel's Dart

Tom Doyle Author Of Olympian Games: Agent of Exiles 2

From my list on alternate/secret histories that blew my mind.

Who am I?

I love history, and it infuses most of my fiction. Since I first picked up a book, I’ve never stopped learning about the past. Now, I listen to college courses and podcasts and read books both popular and academic. Sometimes this is for my writing or personal travel, but those things are often just excuses for the fun of immersion in a subject. I particularly enjoy reading and writing alternate/secret history because it merges creative imagination with factual scholarship. But I’m picky about the use of history in all media—factual sloppiness bumps me out of a story as quickly as bad physics drives a scientist from an SF movie. 

Tom's book list on alternate/secret histories that blew my mind

Tom Doyle Why did Tom love this book?

After I quit my law firm and was trying to decide what (if anything) I wanted to write, I read Kushiel’s Dart. This book convinced me that whatever stories I wanted to tell, no matter how extreme, I could tell them within science fiction/fantasy. And it really puts the “alternate” in alternate history.

During the Roman Empire, angels came to earth and mated with mortals in the area of modern France, again producing a race like the biblical Nephilim, only sexier, and with one commandment: “Love as thou wilt.” In this Europe that never knew a dark age, the angels’ descendants pursue love, power, and intrigue, and at the center of their plots is Phèdre, a courtesan spy fighting to save her land from betrayal.

Shocking and wonderful stuff! 

By Jacqueline Carey,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Kushiel's Dart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lush epic fantasy that inspired a generation with a single precept: Love As Thou Wilt

The first book in the Kushiel's Legacy series is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. A world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, deposed rulers and a besieged Queen, a warrior-priest, the Prince of Travelers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess...all seen through the unflinching eyes of an unforgettable heroine.

A nation born of angels, vast and intricate and surrounded by danger... a woman born to servitude, unknowingly given access to the secrets of the realm...

Born…


She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

Book cover of She Refused to Bow

Farida Manekshah

New book alert!

What is my book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.

She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

What is this book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.


Book cover of The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

Sam Foster Author Of Non-Semper Fidelis

From my list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices.

Who am I?

I heard a Jordan Peterson interview in which he boiled down my entire life’s struggle in a single phrase.  The interviewer was pushing Jordon on the subject of male toxicity. Jordon said something like, “If a man is entirely unwilling to fight under any circumstance, he is merely a weakling. Ask in martial arts trainer and they will tell you they teach two things – the ability to fight and self-control. A man who knows how and also knows how to control himself is a man.”

Sam's book list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices

Sam Foster Why did Sam love this book?

As a teenager Alexander, to become The Great, is given to one of his father’s warriors – Telamon – to go on a life-threatening winter wolf hunt. A risk of building character and spirit his father is willing to take.  Later in life, during Alexander’s conquest, Telemon never wishes to rise above a colonel’s rank. He wants to remain in the midst of the fighting.  

When Alexander finally departs India to end his conquests Telamon leaves him to go off with a group of monks. When Alexander asks why that choice Telamon responds, “I schooled you as a boy Alexander, to be superior to fear and anger. You vanquished hardship and hunger and cold and fatigue. But you have not learned to master your victories. These hold you. You are their slave.” What more can a man learn from a book?

As for my liking this book, Pressfield is one of my favorite authors and this…

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership. By turns heroic and calculating, compassionate and utterly merciless, Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for detail the blood, the terror, and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories. Whether surviving his father’s brutal assassination, presiding over a massacre, or weeping at the death of a beloved comrade-in-arms, Alexander never denies the hard realities of the code by which he lives: the virtues of war. But as much as he was feared by…


Book cover of From Here to Eternity

Sam Foster Author Of Non-Semper Fidelis

From my list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices.

Who am I?

I heard a Jordan Peterson interview in which he boiled down my entire life’s struggle in a single phrase.  The interviewer was pushing Jordon on the subject of male toxicity. Jordon said something like, “If a man is entirely unwilling to fight under any circumstance, he is merely a weakling. Ask in martial arts trainer and they will tell you they teach two things – the ability to fight and self-control. A man who knows how and also knows how to control himself is a man.”

Sam's book list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices

Sam Foster Why did Sam love this book?

James Jones's brilliant debut novel must have had a great effect on me because I admit, in many ways, my book covers the same ground – how does a man maintain honor and dignity when constrained to live his life by the choices of other, and much more powerful men? I suppose the difference between our two themes is that the question in my book is about those same choices but wrapped in the question of race. Jones’s characters, while in the military, were dealing with personal issues. My Corporal Buck is dealing with an issue about which all of America is on fire.

From Here to Eternity is 70 years old. I read it in 1969, an eternity ago and it has lasted with me from there to here.  When I was in the Marine Corps I knew everything that was happening to me. But I didn’t know what…

By James Jones,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked From Here to Eternity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I'll never understand the fucking Army.'

Prew won't conform. He could have been the best boxer and the best bugler in his division, but he chooses the life of a straight soldier in Hawaii under the fierce tutelage of Sergeant Milt Warden. When he refuses to box for his company for mysterious reasons, he is given 'The Treatment', a relentless campaign of physical and mental abuse. Meanwhile, Warden wages his own campaign against authority by seducing the Captain's wife Karen - just because he can. Both men are bound to the Army, even though it may destroy them.

Published here…


Book cover of Valdez Is Coming

Sam Foster Author Of Non-Semper Fidelis

From my list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices.

Who am I?

I heard a Jordan Peterson interview in which he boiled down my entire life’s struggle in a single phrase.  The interviewer was pushing Jordon on the subject of male toxicity. Jordon said something like, “If a man is entirely unwilling to fight under any circumstance, he is merely a weakling. Ask in martial arts trainer and they will tell you they teach two things – the ability to fight and self-control. A man who knows how and also knows how to control himself is a man.”

Sam's book list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices

Sam Foster Why did Sam love this book?

Valdez is a humble and quiet Hispanic living in a Texas border town in the 1870s. When a hand riding with the most powerful rancher in the valley inadvertently kills a man, Valdez assumes responsibility of asking the rancher to pay a remittance to the widow. For his trouble he’s beaten almost to death. When he recovers Valdez becomes again the man he was in his youth, a US Army scout and sets out to destroy the rancher.  He kills one of the ranches thugs with a shot at 1,000 yards.  

Valdez is finally captured by the rancher’s hands. The foreman looks at Valdez’s rifle and, knowing what he’s seeing, asks, “Buffalo hunter?” Valdez responds, “No, Apache.” The foreman asks, “When?” Valdez’s response marks him as a man who has learned and earned wisdom. “Before I knew better.”

If you wonder why this book has stayed with me for so many years, read…

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No writer chronicles the battles of misfits, underdogs and renegades like Elmore Leonard ...

VALDEZ IS COMING is a stunning stale of morality and justice in which a simple, honest man is transformed into a killer - and begins a long journey of revenge against those who scarred his soul for ever.

Elmore Leonard's Western novels stand as some of the most vivid writing of his career. With all of his trademark sharp dialogue and set against a beautifully evoked landscape, this is a classic work that captures the wild and glorious spirit of the American West.


Book cover of The Light Bearer

Athena Author Of Murder of Crows: Book One of the Pillars of Dawn

From my list on when destiny calls, and love answers.

Who am I?

I have a passion for the topic because it’s so unlimited. We’re all called to destiny inner/outer in so many ways. We see a lot of stories about those calls being massive adventures with global impact—but sometimes the small stories, those inner calls with inner love answers are just as epic, just as magnificent. Love of family, community, country, lovers, nature… truly, it can be anything. These are just a few books off the older shelves to illustrate the many ways love answers the call. My challenge is to go back and re-read them with this list in mind. Re-visit books from a decade ago, reframe the story with love.

Athena's book list on when destiny calls, and love answers

Athena Why did Athena love this book?

I never miss an opportunity to recommend this book for its broad scope and human courage.

It’s such an immersive and very human story full of adventure, challenge, will, and passion. Auriane is brought to such exquisite life as a woman born to a destiny meant to free the people she loves.

This book lands on my list for a call to destiny answered by love because Auriane’s life is an example of how we can’t see ourselves, or how we often don’t know where to fit, whom to challenge, and where to connect—but we find our way by being relentlessly devoted to doing what feels right to us, guided by that internal flame until we unite with the force that gives us a purpose, place, meaning.

Often, if not always, that destiny is deeply anchored in love. 

For Auriane, that love is her tribe, and her community, family, friends,…

By Donna Gillespie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Auriane, daughter of a Rhine River area chieftain in 50 A.D., must face her difficult destiny and lead her people against the invading legions of the Roman Empire


Book cover of Freedom's Landing

Athena Author Of Murder of Crows: Book One of the Pillars of Dawn

From my list on when destiny calls, and love answers.

Who am I?

I have a passion for the topic because it’s so unlimited. We’re all called to destiny inner/outer in so many ways. We see a lot of stories about those calls being massive adventures with global impact—but sometimes the small stories, those inner calls with inner love answers are just as epic, just as magnificent. Love of family, community, country, lovers, nature… truly, it can be anything. These are just a few books off the older shelves to illustrate the many ways love answers the call. My challenge is to go back and re-read them with this list in mind. Re-visit books from a decade ago, reframe the story with love.

Athena's book list on when destiny calls, and love answers

Athena Why did Athena love this book?

This one might seem an odd pick at first. I thought so too when a friend gave me a copy. I was surprised there was an Anne McCaffery book I hadn’t read!

This book belongs on the list for its beautiful depiction of what love and community can do for a group of mismatched outcasts, refugees on a dangerous planet—a collection of peoples all very different from one another working together to survive.

Their destiny was to become a cohesive extended family despite all their differences, and to become empowered individuals at the same time. There’s a steamy romance, too. So that’s always yummy. It goes to show that when destiny calls, the love that answers can be with a voice of multitudes.

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Let Anne McCaffrey, storyteller extraordinare and New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author, open your mind to new worlds and new concepts. Worlds where humans are the slaves of aliens and love can flourish in the most unlikely of places... Perfect for fans of David Eddings, Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Adams.

'Anne McCaffrey, one of the queens of science fiction, knows exactly how to give her public what it wants' - THE TIMES
'My go to comfort book' -- ***** Reader review
'Anne McCaffrey at her best' -- ***** Reader review
'Unputdownable' -- ***** Reader review
'I love this…


Book cover of An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic

Tad Crawford Author Of On Wine-Dark Seas: A Novel of Odysseus and His Fatherless Son Telemachus

From my list on the heroes and myths of the Trojan War.

Who am I?

My interest in the heroes and myths of the Trojan War came from a dream. My father was a wounded Greek youth and I carried him down into the Underworld. As I explored that dream and my relationship to my father, the world of Greek mythology opened to me. I absorbed The Iliad and The Odyssey, read the fragments and summaries of the other six poems that in antiquity had been part of the Epic or Trojan Cycle, immersed myself in Greek myths and gods, wondered if Homer wrote both surviving epics (I don’t think he did), and found within myself the voice of Telemachus ready to narrate On Wine-Dark Seas.

Tad's book list on the heroes and myths of the Trojan War

Tad Crawford Why did Tad love this book?

The author, a professor of classics at Bard College, invites his father to attend his class on The Odyssey. What unfolds is a marvelous father-son story as his opinionated father vigorously participates and the author limns his complicated relationship to this endearing and perplexing man. All this is set against insightful discussions of The Odyssey and the father-son relationship of Odysseus and Telemachus. A surprising and very pleasurable read.

By Daniel Mendelsohn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times/PBS NewsHour Book Club Pick

From award-winning memoirist and critic, and bestselling author of The Lost: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading--and reliving--Homer's epic masterpiece.

When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate Odyssey seminar his son teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician's unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his "one last chance" to learn the great literature he'd neglected in…


Book cover of The Odyssey

Susan Scarf Merrell Author Of Shirley

From my list on that only get better with time.

Who am I?

I’m a writer, a teacher of writers in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton, and one of the founding directors of the novel incubation program, BookEnds. In the course of a year, I read as many as 125 novels. It can be tiring on the eyes, but I really love what I do. And each year, I make sure to return to some of my old favorites, the books that keep giving back to me more and more with each reading. Some of these books were tough to love at first, but over time, they’ve become the most important, loved novels in my library. Not everything or everyone needs to be easy to love!

Susan's book list on that only get better with time

Susan Scarf Merrell Why did Susan love this book?

One book I try to read every year is Homer’s Odysseus, the story of crafty Odysseus’ ten-year journey home from Troy at the end of the Trojan War. Along the way, he bests a cyclops, has an affair with Circe and another with Calypso, visits the land of the dead, and makes his way successfully past the sirens who lure most men to watery deaths. Once home, he meets his son Telemachus again for the first time in two decades. The two men then kill the suitors who, believing Odysseus dead, want to marry his wife and take over his kingdom. I love Emily Wilson’s vibrant translation. 

By Homer, Emily Wilson (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage, family and identity; and about travellers, hospitality and the changing meanings of home in a strange world.

This vivid new translation-the first by a woman-matches the number of lines in the Greek original, striding at Homer's sprightly pace. Emily Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and an iambic pentameter to produce a translation with an enchanting "rhythm and rumble" that avoids proclaiming its own grandeur. An engrossing tale told in a compelling new…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Odysseus, the Odyssey, and the Trojan War?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Odysseus, the Odyssey, and the Trojan War.

Odysseus Explore 24 books about Odysseus
The Odyssey Explore 31 books about the Odyssey
The Trojan War Explore 32 books about the Trojan War