10 books like The Power and the Glory

By Graham Greene,

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

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A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

This delightful novel was the first book I read after moving into a new apartment. It’s about a Russian aristocrat in the 1920s who is sentenced to live the rest of his days in a small attic room in the Hotel Metropol, and how he makes a life for himself there. Just by enjoying the story so much I actually found myself being more amused by, rather than wary of, the quirks of my own new neighbors. Gentle curiosity is a powerful weapon for surviving the unknown and this book helped sharpen mine.

A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Hamnet

By Maggie O'Farrell,

Book cover of Hamnet

In Hamnet, set in the late 16th century, I can “see” the town, the room, the farm, the children, the kittens, even the furniture. Agnes' role as a healer, a free soul, a caring mother, makes her an unforgettable heroine. The terrible transposing of the illness from one twin to the other is something O'Farrell makes one believe could happen. Add to that the desperate plight of Agnes' son in a world that, despite her reputation as a healer, has no remedy for most illnesses and especially the plague. The grief she feels enters your psyche and is made more terrible by her having to experience it alone. That Hamlet could be based on Hamnet, is Hamnet, is Shakespeare's son too, is to me entirely credible.

Hamnet

By Maggie O'Farrell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2020 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION - THE NO. 1 BESTSELLER 2021
'Richly sensuous... something special' The Sunday Times
'A thing of shimmering wonder' David Mitchell

TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A LOSS THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.

On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a sudden fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London.

Neither…


Guernica

By Dave Boling,

Book cover of Guernica

You don’t have to know much about the Spanish civil war to have heard of Guernica. If you’ve ever seen Picasso’s work depicting the bombing, this book creates the story of the people of the town going about their everyday lives just before the painting’s horror. As a reader, you know what is coming but are helpless to do anything but care for characters who are oblivious to the destruction coming their way. 

As an author, I found inspiration in this novel for my own portrayal of the civil war in Spain. The trick is to let ordinary people tell the story for you.

Guernica

By Dave Boling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An extraordinary epic of love, family, and war set in the Basque town of Guernica before, during, and after its destruction by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the centre of Basque culture and tradition. Once there, he finds more than just a new life - he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is the charismatic and graceful dancer he meets and the two discover a love they believe…


The Painted Veil

By W. Somerset Maugham,

Book cover of The Painted Veil

I love adventure stories that offer unexpected challenges in foreign lands. 

This story, set in upper-class England and rural China in the 1920s, is about Kitty, a selfish, beautiful, and attention-seeking woman, and the shy and unattractive English bacteriologist, Walter, who falls hopelessly in love and asks for Kitty’s hand in marriage. Kitty consents, but Walter’s discovery of her lover and the resulting social pressure, force the couple to enter into a marriage doomed for failure. 

Even though bitterness prevails, the couple set off for Walter’s assignment in the cholera-infected area of China. It is an act of suicide, fraught with peril. 

During their dangerous sojourn in this strange and foreign land, the couple’s discoveries are many. In the end, they realize that the greatest discovery is their mutual love.

The Painted Veil

By W. Somerset Maugham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'She did not know what to say. She was undecided whether indignantly to assert her innocence or to break out into angry reproaches. He seemed to read her thoughts. "I've got all the proof necessary" '

Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with Charles Townsend, a man whom she finds charming, attractive and exciting. But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange but terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera…


The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Book cover of The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald himself saw the book as a struggle between rich and poor. Bootlegging functions as a backdrop to the corruption of America and its aspiring classes. The narrator, Nick Carraway, escapes the attention of most readers who think the book is about Gatsby, when in fact it is about Nick, who at the outset disapproves of Gatsby and concludes by praising him. I particularly like the irony that Nick and readers of the novel think Gatsby foolish for thinking that you can repeat the past; but in fact, the book proves that you can repeat it. Nick relates his story two years after the events occurred; Tom Buchanan is still reliving his football glories from college; and. most importantly, Gatsby and Daisy resume an affair that began shortly before he went off to war.

The Great Gatsby

By F. Scott Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As the summer unfolds, Nick is drawn into Gatsby's world of luxury cars, speedboats and extravagant parties. But the more he hears about Gatsby - even from what Gatsby himself tells him - the less he seems to believe. Did he really go to Oxford University? Was Gatsby a hero in the war? Did he once kill a man? Nick recalls how he comes to know Gatsby and how he also enters the world of his cousin Daisy and her wealthy husband Tom. Does their money make them any happier? Do the stories all connect? Shall we come to know…


Dissolution

By C.J. Sansom,

Book cover of Dissolution: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery

The first in Sansom’s dazzling series involving the exploits of London lawyer Matthew Shardlake as he grapples with the demands of Henry VIII and lethal lackey Thomas Cromwell. Comedy is not the essence of this tale, though there are comic moments, but it is certainly lively! As one who loves to be immersed in an atmosphere of intrigue and the occasional murder, this suited me admirably. It suited me even better that the sixteenth-century scene is so vividly evoked. My own novels are mainly light-hearted and frivolous, but the value of setting and context has always mattered. Without social context few stories ring true... and this one rings with a splendid resonance. If you enjoy history, mystery, and an oddly quirky protagonist, this is the novel to get – the start of a truly remarkable series. 

Dissolution

By C.J. Sansom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger - the highest honor in British crime writing

From the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion comes the exciting and elegantly written first novel in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series

Dissolution is an utterly riveting portrayal of Tudor England. The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general, summons…


Gormenghast

By Mervyn Peake,

Book cover of Gormenghast

Mervyn Peake’s writing is unusual. In Gormenghast he creates a bizarre world of weird hierarchical rituals, peopled by eccentric characters, each one singular in a different way. What really brings this novel to life is Peake’s wonderfully rich prose, as he describes the destruction of an ancient social structure.

Gormenghast

By Mervyn Peake,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enter the world of Gormenghast...the vast crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is Lord and heir. Gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age-old rituals, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, manipulation and murder.

Gormenghast is more than a sequel to Titus Groan - it is an enrichment and deepening of that book.The fertility of incident, character and rich atmosphere combine in a tour de force that ranks as one of the twentieth century's most…


Double Indemnity

By James M. Cain,

Book cover of Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity is an American noir crime novella written in the 1940s. From the opening words, the reader is taken into the life of the protagonist, a gullible salesman who becomes entangled with a married woman. When she turns out to have more on her mind than adultery,  he is seduced into becoming involved in a terrible crime. The narrative voice is both convincing and compelling, leading the reader along a devastating journey where the outcome eventually seems inevitable. 

Double Indemnity

By James M. Cain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Walter Huff is an insurance investigator like any other until the day he meets the beautiful and dangerous Phyllis Nirdlinger and falls under her spell. Together they plot to kill her husband and split the insurance. It'll be the perfect murder ...


The Thorn Birds

By Colleen McCullough,

Book cover of The Thorn Birds

This is the oldest book on my list, and one of my all-time favorites. The Thorn Birds tells the sweeping story of Meggie Cleary and her life in rural Australia in the early 20th century. But it is her forbidden decades-long love affair with the haunted priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart, that is at its heart. This story grabbed me for its immersive qualities, certainly. But it’s the intensity of their forbidden relationship that makes it tragic in a way that settles into your soul. How does one survive a life without the love you yearn for? And how many times can a woman’s heart break? There’s a reason that this book is a classic—it reminds us why love is essential to the human condition.

The Thorn Birds

By Colleen McCullough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A phenomenal worldwide bestseller since 1977 THE THORN BIRDS is a robust, romantic saga of three generations. It begins in the early years of this century when Paddy Cleary moves his wife and seven children to Drogheda, an Australian sheep station, owned by his autocratic and childless older sister. For more than half a century we follow their fates, particularly those of Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, Ralph de Bricassart - stunningly handsome, ambitious, and a priest. As background to the Cleary family's lives there is the land itself: relentless in its demands,…


Morality Play

By Barry Unsworth,

Book cover of Morality Play

Evocative, engaging, and clever, if, on occasion, desperately bleak. This is a murder mystery set against the backdrop of plague in the north of England. Although very well researched the book carries some of the hallmarks of contemporary fiction and so avoids many of the stereotypes (and irritations) of historical novels. Sometimes fiction can be as effective as ‘fact’ in showing the fate of individuals caught up in moments of revolutionary change.

Morality Play

By Barry Unsworth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book

In medieval England, a runaway scholar-priest named Nicholas Barber has joined a traveling theater troupe as they make their way toward their liege lord’s castle. In need of money, they decide to perform at a village en route. When their traditional morality plays fail to garner them an audience, they begin to stage the “the play of Thomas Wells”—their own depiction of the real-life drama unfolding within the village around the murder of a young boy. The villagers believe they have already identified the killer, and the troupe believes their play will be a…


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