10 books like The Pioneers

By David McCullough,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Pioneers. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Meditations

By Marcus Aurelius, Maxwell Staniforth (translator),

Book cover of Meditations

Leaders should develop a philosophy of life—a north star that will guide them through difficult times. This timeless classic by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius provides a combination of wisdom and practical advice that serves as a reference both for those in a leadership position and for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of their daily lives. Here is a sample: “The longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all that they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have, you cannot lose.”

Meditations

By Marcus Aurelius, Maxwell Staniforth (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Penguin Great Ideas edition of Stoic philosophy in wise and practical aphorisms that have inspired Bill Clinton, Ryan Holiday, Anna Kendrick and many more.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161-180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus's insights and advice-on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others-have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen…


The Undoing Project

By Michael Lewis,

Book cover of The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

If I ever assumed my decisions were the result of a carefully reasoned analysis of factual information, The Undoing Project would derail that comfortable belief. It is the story of the creative collaboration of two remarkable thinkers, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, whose work would overturn an idea at the center of most prior economic theory, the idea that people’s economic decisions are based on rational self-interest. The intense working friendship of these two men is a gripping story, and Michael Lewis brings the personal side to vivid life while also conveying the essence of their revolutionary thinking in lucid and approachable prose.

The Undoing Project

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Michael Lewis could spin gold out of any topic he chose ... his best work ... vivid, original and hard to forget' Tim Harford, Financial Times

'Gripping ... There is war, heroism, genius, love, loss, discovery, enduring loyalty and friendship. It is epic stuff ... Michael Lewis is one of the best non-fiction writers of our time' Irish Times

From Michael Lewis, No.1 bestselling author of The Big Short and Flash Boys, this is the extraordinary story of the two men whose ideas changed the world.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky met in war-torn 1960s Israel. Both were gifted young…


The Apprentice

By Jacques Pépin,

Book cover of The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

This is the heartwarming and inspiring story of the journey a great chef took from serving as a lowly apprentice to becoming a leader in establishing new food traditions in America. I especially enjoyed the many funny stories about Pepin and his family. Warning: the book includes many of his favorite recipes that will cause hunger pangs as you read the book. 

The Apprentice

By Jacques Pépin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called “the best chef in America” tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award–winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation’s tastes in the bargain.

We see young Jacques as a homesick six-year-old boy in war-ravaged France, working on a farm in exchange for food, dodging bombs, and bearing witness as German soldiers capture his father, a fighter in the Resistance. Soon Jacques is caught up in the hurly-burly action of his…


In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Book cover of In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

Fiction is an excellent source of inspiration for leaders. This book is a prime example. The book is part of a series of books on the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” in Botswana. The proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, uses a combination of wisdom, intelligence, and humor to solve crimes. Like leaders and entrepreneurs everywhere, she must handle a variety of challenges using limited resources. A special treat in reading these books is learning about daily life in Botswana. 

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

By Alexander McCall Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Company of Cheerful Ladies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SIXTH BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES

The one where Mma Makutsi finds a dancing partner . . .

Although Mma Ramotswe and Mr J. L. B. Matekoni have finally settled down, at the shared premises of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Speedy Motors the staff are not mixing in a perfectly peaceful manner.

But in the course of investigating her latest case, Mma Ramotswe's tiny white van comes into contact with a man on a bicycle who might be able to restore harmony.

And Mma Makutsi at last seems to have found…


Centennial

By James A. Michener,

Book cover of Centennial

Set in the town of Centennial, Colorado, the story, like so many of Michener’s works, moves through the centuries from the Arapaho who inhabited the area, to the fur trappers, to the first settlers, all the way to modern times. Each generation is filled with incredible, remarkably vivid characters. You will find yourself anguishing over each and every passing. Yet remarkably, Michener is able to seamlessly transition into the next cast of characters with a skill few, if any, authors can match. Filled with action and heart-rendering people, if you enjoy historical works and broad tales, this American epic just might be for you.

Centennial

By James A. Michener,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of the Westis an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people: Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee enemies; Levi Zendt, fleeing with his child bride from the Amish country; the cowboy, Jim Lloyd, who falls in love with a wealthy and cultured Englishwoman, Charlotte Seccombe. In Centennial, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters are brought together in the dramatic conflicts that shape the…


The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830

By R. Douglas Hurt,

Book cover of The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830

Part of the “History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier” series, this book presents readers with many entertaining and informative accounts of Ohio life throughout the frontier era. The period covered in this book is just over 100 years, so Dunmore’s War, while given attention, is not explored in detail. Still, I found this book a valued and comprehensive survey that helped me to understand the political and cultural factors that led to the conflict in 1774, as well as what followed after.

The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830

By R. Douglas Hurt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ohio Frontier
Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830

R. Douglas Hurt

"This exhaustively researched and well-written book provides a comprehensive history of Ohio from 1720 to 1830."
-Journal of the Early Republic

Nowhere on the American frontier was the clash of cultures more violent than in the Ohio country. There, Shawnees, Wyandots, Delawares, and other native peoples fought to preserve their land claims against an army that was incompetent at the beginning but highly trained and disciplined in the end.

Sales territory is worldwide
A History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier
1996; 440 pages, 23 b&w photos, 7 maps, bibl.…


Tecumseh

By John Sugden,

Book cover of Tecumseh: A Life

Studies for general readers tend to be weak. An exception that logically would form an example of a popular writer’s efforts in an essential library is John Sugden’s Tecumseh. The Indigenous history of the war is poorly understood, and often suffers from grim biases when non-specialists write about the First Nations. This text on the most famous of the conflict’s Native participants presents readers with an accessible biography aimed at general audiences within the context of the wider issues that afflicted the Shawnees and other tribes of the “Old Northwest” in today’s Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and neighbouring regions. Another, older meritorious book is by Cherokee author R. David Edmunds, who wrote Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership. Dr. Edmunds is well known for other important books in Indigenous history, and like British historian John Sugden, is well worth reading for his insights, presented through strong…

Tecumseh

By John Sugden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If Sitting Bull is the most famous Indian, Tecumseh is the most revered. Although Tecumseh literature exceeds that devoted to any other Native American, this is the first reliable biography--thirty years in the making--of the shadowy figure who created a loose confederacy of diverse Indian tribes that exted from the Ohio territory northeast to New York, south into the Florida peninsula, westward to Nebraska, and north into Canada.

A warrior as well as a diplomat, the great Shawnee chief was a man of passionate ambitions. Spurred by commitment and served by a formidable battery of personal qualities that made him…


Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership

By R. David Edmunds,

Book cover of Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership

Indians fought on both sides in this war, but for the British, who were tied up in the Napoleonic Wars, they played a central role in saving Canada. The preeminent Native leader was the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh, who built an Indian confederacy allied to the British and was killed in 1813 in the Battle of the Thames. Dave Edmunds does a superb job of ferreting out the details of the life of the man who was arguably North America’s greatest war chief.

Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership

By R. David Edmunds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this biography, David Edmunds examines the life of legendary Shawnee leader Tecumesh and his pivotal role in defending the Native American way of life.



Since his death as an avowed warrior at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, the details of Tecumseh's life have passed into the realm of legend, myth and drama. In this new edition, David Edmunds considers the man who acted as a diplomat - a charismatic strategist who attempted to smooth cultural divisions between tribes and collectively oppose the seizure of their land.



The titles in the Library of American Biography Series make ideal…


The Frontiersmen

By Allan W. Eckert,

Book cover of The Frontiersmen: A Narrative

The Frontiersmen by Allan Eckert was a life-changing experience for me. I read it as a youth, and Eckert’s compelling writing and meticulous research opened my eyes to just a few of the horrific events that happened right here in my backyard—events that enabled me to have a backyard in North America. This book is history as it should be written: a vivid description of true events without editorializing or interpretation. Eckert was a master storyteller who let the facts speak for themselves, and he is a personal hero of mine.

The Frontiersmen

By Allan W. Eckert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The frontiersmen were a remarkable breed of men. They were often rough and illiterate, sometimes brutal and vicious, often seeking an escape in the wilderness of mid-America from crimes committed back east. In the beautiful but deadly country which would one day come to be known as West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, more often than not they left their bones to bleach beside forest paths or on the banks of the Ohio River, victims of Indians who claimed the vast virgin territory and strove to turn back the growing tide of whites. These frontiersmen are the subjects…


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

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.

Three Roads to the Alamo

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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in pioneers, the American West, and Native Americans?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about pioneers, the American West, and Native Americans.

Pioneers Explore 81 books about pioneers
The American West Explore 103 books about the American West
Native Americans Explore 161 books about Native Americans