99 books like The Physician

By Noah Gordon,

Here are 99 books that The Physician fans have personally recommended if you like The Physician. 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 Nightingale

Mel Laytner Author Of What They Didn't Burn: Uncovering My Father's Holocaust Secrets

From my list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a foreign correspondent seven time zones from home when my father died of a sudden heart attack. My grief mixed with guilt for never having sat down with him to unravel his vague vignettes about life and loss in the Holocaust. I wondered, how did he survive when so many perished? How much depended on resilience, smarts, or dumb luck? As reporters do, I started digging. I uncovered a Nazi paper trial that tracked his life from home, through ghettos, slave labor, concentration camps, death marches, and more. The tattered documents revealed a man very different from the quiet, quintessential Type-B Dad I knew…or thought I knew. 

Mel's book list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II

Mel Laytner Why did Mel love this book?

This novel left me feeling both teary-eyed and ennobled. Superficially, it is about two French sisters living through the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. At its root, however, Hannah deconstructs the essence of survival.

I loved how her characters frame the book’s cosmic questions: What would you do to survive? What compromises would you make? Is it better to fight back aggressively or resist passively? The sisters are of different temperaments and personalities. Each answers these questions differently, painfully. I found myself haunted by these themes long after I put The Nightingale back on the shelf. You will, too.

By Kristin Hannah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture, The Nightingale is a multi-million copy bestseller across the world. It is a heart-breakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the endurance of women.

This story is about what it was like to be a woman during World War II when women's stories were all too often forgotten or overlooked . . . Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac are two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals and passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah's…


Book cover of Unbroken

Mel Laytner Author Of What They Didn't Burn: Uncovering My Father's Holocaust Secrets

From my list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a foreign correspondent seven time zones from home when my father died of a sudden heart attack. My grief mixed with guilt for never having sat down with him to unravel his vague vignettes about life and loss in the Holocaust. I wondered, how did he survive when so many perished? How much depended on resilience, smarts, or dumb luck? As reporters do, I started digging. I uncovered a Nazi paper trial that tracked his life from home, through ghettos, slave labor, concentration camps, death marches, and more. The tattered documents revealed a man very different from the quiet, quintessential Type-B Dad I knew…or thought I knew. 

Mel's book list on resilience and surviving the horrors of World War II

Mel Laytner Why did Mel love this book?

If I didn’t know this was a true story, I would have dismissed Unbroken as some overblown Rambo novel. But it is true, and enthralling, and that’s what kept me turning pages.

Louis Zamperini, a 1936 American Olympian turned World War II Air Corp navigator, was shot down and captured by the Japanese. Because of his fame, Japanese guards singled him out for especially harsh treatment. Zamperini’s torment made me angry; his tenacity made me proud. Post-war trauma drove him to the bottle, as with so many veterans. That he overcame spiraling alcoholism through his renewed Christian faith makes for an inspiring story and gives fresh meaning to the very word “survivor.”

By Laura Hillenbrand,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Unbroken as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the bestselling and much-loved Seabiscuit, an unforgettable story of one man's journey into extremity. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood,…


Book cover of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Dave Hersh Author Of Reignition: Transforming Stuck Startups Into Breakout Winners

From my list on leaders feeling lonely at the top.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a founder, CEO, venture capitalist, buyout specialist, Chairman, author, consultant, and coach. I’ve seen the startup world from every angle and also seen how destructive it can be if we don’t take care of our inner lives. My work now is to help people understand how we can transform ourselves to transform our businesses. These books were helpful to me when I needed them most and shaped not only my leadership approach but also my life. 

Dave's book list on leaders feeling lonely at the top

Dave Hersh Why did Dave love this book?

If there’s one thing I needed more of as a founder CEO (and didn’t know I needed), it was self-compassion. Tara’s amazing book is a calming, kind, and loving “friend” of a book that helps you connect with what matters and how our minds can get in our way.

To get in the best “athletic shape” as a leader, we need self-compassion lest we burn ourselves and our teams out and kill our companies in the process. This book was better than any medication I could have taken to calm my nervous system and make me a better leader. 

By Tara Brach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much--just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work--to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully.
—from Radical Acceptance

“Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering…


Book cover of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

Kevin Davies Author Of Editing Humanity: The CRISPR Revolution and the New Era of Genome Editing

From my list on CRISPR and genome editing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British science editor and author of a string of books on the scientific, medical, and social implications of advances in genetics research. I trained as a geneticist but found more personal satisfaction wielding a pen rather than a pipette. I’m especially drawn to science stories that have medical implications for the public and a strong narrative thread. Prior to writing Editing Humanity, I covered the race for the BRCA1 breast cancer gene (Breakthrough), the Human Genome Project (Cracking the Genome), and the rise of personal genomics (The $1,000 Genome). I’m currently writing a biography of sickle cell disease, arguably the most famous genetic mutation in human history.

Kevin's book list on CRISPR and genome editing

Kevin Davies Why did Kevin love this book?

I have seldom read a book with as much zeal as The Code Breaker, written by the famous biographer and historian, Walter Isaacson, whom I’d met on the CRISPR conference circuit.

Isaacson focuses on Doudna’s life and science, but also introduces the reader to a large cast of characters, including Doudna’s former colleague and fellow Nobelist, Emmanuelle Charpentier. He even has a crack at running a CRISPR experiment himself.

The success of this book has likely done more than anything to educate the public on the transformative promise of CRISPR.

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Code Breaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The best-selling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns.

In 2012, Nobel Prize winning scientist Jennifer Doudna hit upon an invention that will transform the future of the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA.

Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. It has already been deployed to cure deadly diseases, fight the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and make inheritable changes in the genes of babies.

But what does that mean for humanity? Should we be hacking our own DNA to make us less susceptible to disease? Should…


Book cover of The Beach

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Author Of The Lizard

From my list on thrillers with beautiful settings and mind-blowing twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been born in Fiji and lived in Cyprus, Austria, and Nigeria, I have always had a strong sense of wanderlust and a keen eye for my surroundings – both natural and man-made. I’ve always been open to "what might happen next," which makes sense as to why I became a professional storyteller – an actor, writer, and director. I am thrilled by not knowing what lies ahead, and I’ve always felt there is possible adventure at every turn in life, which is why I am so fond of the evocative and thrilling books I have listed.

Dugald's book list on thrillers with beautiful settings and mind-blowing twists

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Why did Dugald love this book?

I read this sultry and disturbing Thailand adventure story in one sitting. It transported me away from my out-of-work actor troubles that rainy day in London and took me to a beautiful and terrifying dreamscape, diving ever deeper into the backpacker protagonist’s murky quest. I can still picture the cut-glass water, the huts… the shark. I still feel the heat, the sting of mosquitoes, and the tang of blood.

I found it extraordinarily gripping, moody, and menacing. The speed at which the unexpected twists unfolded was mind-blowing.

By Alex Garland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On Richard's first night in Bangkok, a fellow traveller slits his wrists, leaving Richard a map to "the Beach", where white sands circle a lagoon hidden from the sea, coral gardens and freshwater falls are surrounded by jungle. Richard was looking for adventure, and now he has found it.


Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

Jill Wallace Author Of War Serenade

From my list on impossible odds and satisfying endings.

Why am I passionate about this?

My ultimate read is when the action is fast, but the character's discovery of self is slow. Besides, being engrossed in the challenges of others makes my own pale by comparison. The author needs to get me to empathize with the characters - even if their struggles are nothing like my own - and once they’ve done that, I’ll be in for the long haul! Journeying through life’s mire and finding the rainbow with a character you believe - and believe in - makes for the ultimate in vicarious living. And ‘Heck, YES’ to a satisfying ending!

Jill's book list on impossible odds and satisfying endings

Jill Wallace Why did Jill love this book?

OMG. I have recommended this book to more people than any other. It’s truly a historical fiction masterpiece. I read slowly but my eyes flew over these titillating pages as if I was a famished glutton and had to devour them quickly lest they disappear. The intrigue! The avarice! The anarchy!

It is an ambitious literary project that splashes over the colorful canvas set in 12th-century England. If, like me, you love the complexities of the human condition, read this book and prepare for the rapture that is virtuoso storytelling.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

18 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…


Book cover of The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

T.M. Rowe Author Of A Viking Moon

From my list on transporting you back through time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have three lifelong passions, the first was reading, then writing, and then archaeology/history. To this end I studied and trained as an archaeologist before I sat down and decided to write stories set in the past as a way of bringing it to life. Of course, there had to be an adventure, a bit of a mystery, and a dash of magic to bring it all together. The books on my list are just a few of those that I have enjoyed reading during my hunt to get to know the past in intimate detail – on my own time travelling journey.

T.M.'s book list on transporting you back through time

T.M. Rowe Why did T.M. love this book?

I have read a lot of history and archaeology books and more often than not they can be a little dull, dry and in some cases work better than a sleeping tablet.

Not with this book, here you learn about parts of medieval England you just wouldn’t think about, written from a more personal point of view its less about political stuff like kings, queens, and those pesky archbishops and much more on the practicalities of living in medieval England.

Would you know what to eat, wear, or where to go to the toilet? Would you know how to address a lord or lady? Would you know what to do if you got sick? This is a vital guide for all time travelers!

By Ian Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guest house? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not…


Book cover of All Quiet on the Western Front

Anne Montgomery Author Of Your Forgotten Sons

From my list on depicting war without glorifying it.

Why am I passionate about this?

The night before my dear friend Gina faced a delicate surgery that could have left her paralyzed from the waist down, she handed me a ziplock bag containing yellowed letters dating back to World War II. “No matter what happens to me, I want you to tell Bud’s story,” she said. “Promise me!” And so I did. What followed was a deep dive into what had happened to Gina’s uncle, Sergeant Bud Richardville, a young man drafted into the Army as the U.S. prepared to enter the war in Europe. 

Anne's book list on depicting war without glorifying it

Anne Montgomery Why did Anne love this book?

Once upon a time, war was portrayed as glorious. Smartly-dressed soldiers strutted off to battle as admiring crowds cheered their departure. But then came Erich Maria Remarque’s stunning semi-autographical rebuke. Remarque was conscripted into the Imperial German Army at 18 and was wounded in the poisonous trenches of World War I. While he survived, like many, he did not return home unscathed.  

This book centers around young Paul Bäumer, an idealistic German boy raised in a picturesque village where patriotic speeches in school romanticize war and urge young men to sign up and fight for the Fatherland. He and his friends do just that and soon find themselves mired in the horrific conditions of trench warfare, a new kind of battle where little ground is ever made, and men die in all sorts of miserable ways.

As Paul and his peers struggle to do their duty, they succumb physically and…

By Erich Maria Remarque, Arthur Wesley Wheen (translator),

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked All Quiet on the Western Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story is told by a young 'unknown soldier' in the trenches of Flanders during the First World War. Through his eyes we see all the realities of war; under fire, on patrol, waiting in the trenches, at home on leave, and in hospitals and dressing stations. Although there are vividly described incidents which remain in mind, there is no sense of adventure here, only the feeling of youth betrayed and a deceptively simple indictment of war - of any war - told for a whole generation of victims.


Book cover of The Wright Brothers

Markus Raffel Author Of The Flying Man: Otto Lilienthal-History, Flights and Photographs

From my list on daring adventures with historical content.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am working and lecturing on experimental aerodynamics since decades and started flying hang gliders and powered aircraft long ago. And the older I got, the more I became fascinated by daring adventures with historical content, especially related to the history of flight and the early aeronautical pioneers. But the most I was fascinated by Otto Lilienthal, the man who worked systematically towards flight before and finally succeeded flying with nothing else than willow wood, fabric, and steel wires, materials that existed already long before. Inspired by his attitude and courage I started investigating and flying museum made authentic replicas in California to prove their flying qualities a second time.

Markus' book list on daring adventures with historical content

Markus Raffel Why did Markus love this book?

I was thrilled and partly moved to tears when reading about the human side of the Wright brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister Katharine, without whom things might well have turned out differently for them.

The two mechanics from Dayton were men of extraordinary courage and determination, with wide-ranging intellectual interests and an insatiable curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing.

That they had no more than a public high school education, little money, and no contacts in high places never stopped them in their "mission" to take to the air. Nothing did, not even that they risked being killed every time they took off.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Wright Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The incredible true story of the origin of human flight, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly human story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more…


Book cover of A Fine Balance

Elizabeth R. Andersen Author Of The Scribe

From my list on historical fiction that are not in Western Europe.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I picked up an old copy of Richard Halliburton’s Book of Wonders as a child, I’ve known that exploring other cultures and countries is something I wanted to experience for the rest of my life. From then on, I’ve traveled, taken cross-cultural studies, and managed international teams as a tech marketer–and my passion for new people and places hasn’t ceased. I love reading (and writing) about the liminal spaces in history–the times and places that aren’t easy to define and don’t make it into standard history books. This list reflects my interests, and I hope it broadens the horizons of other readers. 

Elizabeth's book list on historical fiction that are not in Western Europe

Elizabeth R. Andersen Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This massive book has haunted me ever since I finished it a few months ago. It’s set during a period I knew nothing about (India, 1975, during Indira Gandhi’s “State of Emergency”).

It took me a while to become invested in the characters, and that is because Mistry takes his time (more than 600 pages) to really develop the four main characters, exploring their history, their motives, fears, and prejudices.

Parts of this book were so brutal that I had to set it aside for a few days until I felt I could continue. Parts of it were so sensitive and touching that I cried.

When I finished it, I had a book hangover, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. 

By Rohinton Mistry,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Fine Balance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

As the characters move from distrust to friendship…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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