34 books like The Return of the King

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Here are 34 books that The Return of the King fans have personally recommended if you like The Return of the King. 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 To Kill a Mockingbird

Katie K. May Author Of You're on Fire, It's Fine: Effective Strategies for Parenting Teens with Self-Destructive Behaviors

From my list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey from a teen struggling with self-harm, drug use, and overwhelming emotions to a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Clinician™ and director of Creative Healing, Teen Support Centers, uniquely positions me to understand the deep emotional challenges teens face. Having navigated my own tumultuous youth and now parenting a "Fire Feeler" teen, I use my personal and professional insights to guide thousands of teens and their parents. I am passionately committed to creating environments where teens are supported while the entire family learns skills to improve and work together.

Katie's book list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma

Katie K. May Why did Katie love this book?

I treasure this book and recently reread it alongside my own teen! It profoundly showcases the courage required to challenge deep-seated prejudices within a community and family.

Witnessing Scout Finch's perspective on her father Atticus' stand against racial injustice amidst moral dilemmas serves as a powerful reminder of the strength needed to confront and transcend the biases we inherit, a journey that resonates with my own experiences of overcoming familial legacies.

By Harper Lee,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'

Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped…


Book cover of The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

Linda Stewart Henley Author Of Kate's War

From my list on young women in WW II in the UK.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two of my three novels have young women protagonists. I find young adulthood a fascinating time in women’s lives and I enjoy creating a character and putting her in a historical setting. The Second World War offers fertile ground for storytelling, and I grew up south of London after the war. My father’s unpublished memoir, in which he describes an event that he experienced in the war, inspired me to write about it, but I told the story through the eyes of the protagonist, Kate. 

Linda's book list on young women in WW II in the UK

Linda Stewart Henley Why did Linda love this book?

This well-written book taught me a great deal about WW2. I especially appreciated learning more about Mary Churchill, Winston’s youngest daughter, who was seventeen at the start of the war. The author obtained access to her diaries, and he quotes from them often, so I got a feel for the life of a young woman in society during wartime. Mary had a conscience and good insights and became a main character in this historical book.

It’s not a novel, but at times it reads like one.  

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Splendid and the Vile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz—an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis
 
“One of [Erik Larson’s] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment.”—Time • “A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”—NPR 
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Vogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • The Globe &…


Book cover of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had a long career as a professor of organizational behavior. My view is that the most ignored and undervalued aspect of leadership is the development and implementation of political skills. Any leader who claims, “I don’t do politics” or “I’m not political,” is not serving themselves very well and, in fact, may be setting themselves up for failure. Whether in organizational life, in the sphere of public policy, or in daily life, we need to overcome the obstacles that impede our capacity to implement agendas and ideas and achieve our aspirations. Dreamers who lack political skills remain dreamers, not leaders. 

Samuel's book list on books for leaders who need to master the political skills to move ideas and innovations and overcome resistance

Samuel Bacharach Why did Samuel love this book?

This book has become a classic. It’s a brilliant book.

Doris Kearns Goodwin gives specific examples of how Abraham Lincoln was a master in creating coalitions and mobilizing support in the face of continuous resistance. His cabinet was made up of senior and ambitious individuals, many of whom were strong leaders in their own right.

Lincoln had to figure out how to get them on his side and create viable coalitions in order to move his key agenda—win the war and ensure the passage of the 13th Amendment. In many ways, he was not simply a visionary but a master of balancing persuasion and authority—which is a desirable leadership skill.

By Doris Kearns Goodwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most influential books of the past fifty years, Team of Rivals is Pulitzer Prize–winning author and esteemed presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s modern classic about the political genius of Abraham Lincoln, his unlikely presidency, and his cabinet of former political foes.

Winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the inspiration for the Oscar Award winning–film Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by Tony Kushner.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago.…


StairWell

By James Sale,

Book cover of StairWell

James Sale Author Of StairWell

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Poet Entrepreneur Consultant Innovator

James' 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

StairWell is the second volume of The English Cantos, where the Poet leaves the confines of Hell’s hospital ward and enters Purgatory. Following in the footsteps of Dante Alighieri, the Poet must climb the staircase to the Chapel of St. Luke, at once a real place of solace and sacredness in the midst of the blighted hospital, but also a metaphysical plane, accessible only to those who may pass the trials and tribulations of the purgatorial ascent.

On the journey, the Poet will meet figures both from his personal life, and those more well known, all fighting their own battles of self-improvement.

Combining deep psychology with the fantastical grandeur of an Arthurian legend, StairWell explores the fragility and wickedness of the human condition balanced with the transformational powers of Hope and Faith.

StairWell

By James Sale,

What is this book about?

From the misery of Hell’s corrupted wards, to the mountain of personal transcendence…

StairWell is the second volume of The English Cantos, where the Poet leaves the confines of Hell’s hospital ward and enters Purgatory. Following in the footsteps of Dante Alighieri, the Poet must climb the staircase to the Chapel of St. Luke, at once a real place of solace and sacredness in the midst of the blighted hospital, but also a metaphysical plane, accessible only to those who may pass the trials and tribulations of the purgatorial ascent.

On the journey, the Poet will meet figures both from…


Book cover of The Confessions: Saint Augustine of Hippo

Hunter Howe Cates Author Of Oklahoma's Atticus: An Innocent Man and the Lawyer Who Fought for Him

From my list on inspiring heroism.

Why am I passionate about this?

While my book Oklahoma’s Atticus is technically true crime, I always viewed it as a story about courage, not unlike the stories of brave heroes that have inspired me for longer than I can remember. But unlike these great figures of history and literature, my book is about a regular man who never saw himself as a hero. I should know, for that man, Elliott Howe, was my grandfather. I can only hope his story inspires others as much as it did me.

Hunter's book list on inspiring heroism

Hunter Howe Cates Why did Hunter love this book?

For most of us, the greatest enemy isn’t from without, but from within. This is true today and was just as true nearly two millennia ago when Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote his Confessions, the first autobiography. His struggles with sin and vice should be relatable to us all, especially his difficulty in abandoning his worldly desires. Would most of us be so brave as to abandon our wants for something far greater?

By Augustine of Hippo, Maria Boulding (translator), David Vincent Meconi (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of a major new Classics series - books that have changed the history of thought, in sumptuous, clothbound hardbacks.

The son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn between conflicting faiths and world views. His Confessions, written when he was in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he came to turn away from his youthful ideas and licentious lifestyle, to become instead a staunch advocate of Christianity and one of its most influential thinkers. A remarkably honest and revealing spiritual autobiography, the Confessions also address fundamental issues of Christian doctrine,…


Book cover of The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of the Lord of the Rings

Robert E. Kreig Author Of Pit Guard: The Tanner's Boy

From my list on suspense to lose yourself in.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love character-driven, roller coaster ride stories. As a young reader, I gravitated to the “choose your own adventure” books which relied on invoking knotted stomachs, and cold sweats in children as they struggled to make the right decision before reading on; turn to page 105 if you want to face the ravenous bear or page 23 if you wish to flee. Thus, the love of reading emerged and, eventually, the joy of writing followed. These books are just some of the stories that bring similar nostalgic tones when I delve into their pages. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Robert's book list on suspense to lose yourself in

Robert E. Kreig Why did Robert love this book?

Whilst the Lord of the Rings trilogy should be read as one story, my favourite of the series is the second book, The Two Towers.

I loved the separation of our characters and the focus on one narrative concerning one group in its entirety before we see what happens to the other group. It was a new way of reading when I first read The Two Towers.

Prior, my encounter with books containing multiple storylines saw intercut sections, switching from one set of characters to the other.

I particularly enjoyed the overarching dread surrounding the story of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum. For me, there were many gut-wrenching moments when hope fizzled away. The character building in these moments is exquisite.

Beautifully written and well worth a read.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Two Towers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

This brand-new unabridged audio book of The Two Towers, the second part of J. R. R. Tolkien's epic adventure, The Lord of the Rings, is read by the BAFTA award-winning actor, director and author, Andy Serkis.

The company of the Ring is torn asunder. Frodo and Sam continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin - alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

This continues the classic tale begun in The Fellowship of the Ring, which reaches its awesome climax in The Return of the King.


Book cover of The Fellowship of the Ring

Teresa M. Schulz Author Of Barbed Wire and Daisies

From my list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a wicked imagination and loved to tell stories. Unfortunately, this had me naively believing in fairy tales and happy endings. Cinderella has a lot to answer for. My kind heart and trusting nature were a magnet for bad men, and boy, did I suffer because of it. The term “Viking Berserker” comes to mind. This is why I have a passion for reading about strong women. I’ve learned (through reading books – such as those on my recommended list) that to survive, you have to have hope for a better future, and inspiring people – within inspiring stories – can often give you that hope.

Teresa's book list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour

Teresa M. Schulz Why did Teresa love this book?

When I read a book, I’m looking to escape real life and all the stressful b.s. that goes with it. Lord of the Rings – in particular, The Shire, where the Hobbits live - is a great place to do that.

I’m a little like a Hobbit myself in that I love gardening, food, and fine ale. I also like to wander off on the path less traveled, my heart filled with a combination of fear, curiousness, excitement, and loads of imagination.

The characters in this book are loveable (except the Orcs, Orcs are rather unpleasant), but the other characters are loveable and very human in a lot of ways. I love to see the little guy (underdog) win. Especially when he/she has had to fight hard to get there.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Fellowship of the Ring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

This brand-new unabridged audio book of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien's epic adventure, The Lord of the Rings, is read by the BAFTA award-winning actor, director and author, Andy Serkis.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord Sauron's evil dominion.

Thus begins J. R. R. Tolkien's classic tale of adventure, which continues in…


Book cover of The Fisherman

Brandon R. Grafius Author Of Lurking Under the Surface: Horror, Religion, and the Questions that Haunt Us

From my list on horror and religion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of horror since I got sucked into Scooby-Doo as a three-year-old. When I started my academic career, I kind of kept that passion tucked inside as something to be embarrassed about – after all, I wanted to do serious work, and horror movies aren’t serious, right? Graduate school made me rethink that assumption, and pushed me towards seriously considering the engagement of horror and religion. I wrote my dissertation on a chapter of the Book of Numbers as a slasher narrative, and I haven’t looked back since.

Brandon's book list on horror and religion

Brandon R. Grafius Why did Brandon love this book?

Langan’s novel is gripping from the start, and weaves a beautifully tangled web of stories-within-stories.

But it’s in the novel’s conclusion, where the whole universe breaks open, that it becomes truly jaw-dropping. After I finished reading it, I was thinking not only about the book I had just read – but about what it implied about the universe, and my place in it.

By John Langan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman's Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other's company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It's…


Book cover of The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital

Reni Stankova Author Of The Enemy of Heaven

From my list on MM fantasies in alternate worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an avid reader of MM literature in all its genres and sub-genres, since I was a teenager. Even now, MM fantasy titles are some of my favorite books of all time. I’d love to share my preferences with other readers so they could see the magic I see.

Reni's book list on MM fantasies in alternate worlds

Reni Stankova Why did Reni love this book?

Prince Roland is a knight who willingly gave his birthright to his older sister.

Sairis is a necromancer with a price on his head. They shouldn't have feelings for each other, because their relationship could strain the stability of the kingdom as it heads for war.

The Knight and the Necromancer is a finished trilogy with a satisfying Happily-Ever-After. Something I adore in fantasy worlds is the dynamic of a power couple.

In this one, Roland is a physically strong knight and Sairis is a powerful magician able to raise the dead. Both partners bring a lot to the table and they overcome the dangers and difficulties of their war-torn world as a strong team.

And the fact that the world doesn’t want them to be together is a personal favorite spice.

By A. H. Lee,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Children of Húrin

Baiculescu Ovidiu Nicolae Author Of Winterhorn

From my list on adventure fantasy that inspire my work.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being of Eastern European origins, and also a child of the 80s, definitely had a say in what my likings and my character would become growing up. From the cold long winters and the white landscapes, Fantasy genre, and everything Might and Magic have shaped my childhood, my studies, my art (traditional oil painting and clay sculpting) and lingered until now (and definitely beyond).

Baiculescu's book list on adventure fantasy that inspire my work

Baiculescu Ovidiu Nicolae Why did Baiculescu love this book?

The man that needs no introduction, the mastermind behind what all of us love most; the middle earth. Although his stories are not likely to have a happy ending, and are quite dark, this book is no exception. Well written and illustrated, by his most famous sketch artist, Alan Lee, the novel has every element that I love; mystery, a strong and solid fictional world, and dragons.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of The Children of Hurin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, eagles and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.

There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which…


Book cover of The Road to Middle-Earth

Richard Middleton Author Of The Wyrm Conspiracy

From my list on Tolkien that will astonish you with his genius.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read The Hobbit when I was in primary school and was immediately captivated by the world of magic, dwarves, and dragons. Perhaps because in the North of England where I grew up, this world seemed often to be just around the next corner! I grew up writing, and as I learned my craft I naturally turned to books on Tolkien to see what inspired and drove him. I found that every writer on Tolkien brings a new and surprising perspective on his work, each revealing a little more of Tolkien’s genius, and inspiring me to demand ever more of myself as a writer.

Richard's book list on Tolkien that will astonish you with his genius

Richard Middleton Why did Richard love this book?

Professor Tom Shippey is one of the great Tolkien scholars, with the gift of being able to offer deep insight and analysis in an accessible way. In The Road to Middle-Earth he uses Tolkien’s academic life and interests to shed light on the development of his personal mythology, from the foundational History of Middle-Earth works through to Lord of The Rings. For me this is a ‘gateway’ book—if you enjoy what Shippey has to say and what he reveals about Tolkien’s work, then I suspect you’ll also like the remaining three books on this list.   

By Tom Shippey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Road to Middle-Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Uniquely qualified to explicate Tolkien’s worldview,” this journey into the roots of the Lord of the Rings is a classic in its own right (Salon.com).

From beloved epic fantasy classic to record-breaking cinematic success, J.R.R. Tolkien's story of four brave hobbits has enraptured the hearts and minds of generations. Now, readers can go deeper into this enchanting lore with a revised edition of Tom Shippey's classic exploration of Middle-earth.
 
From meditations on Tolkien's inspiration to analyses of the influences of his professional background, The Road to Middle-earth takes a closer look at the novels that made Tolkien a legend. Shippey…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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