64 books like The Road to Gandolfo

By Robert Ludlum,

Here are 64 books that The Road to Gandolfo fans have personally recommended if you like The Road to Gandolfo. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 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…


Book cover of Just One Damned Thing After Another

Yvonne Kjorlien Author Of Memoirs of a Reluctant Archaeologist

From my list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families.

Why am I passionate about this?

On the surface, my childhood was characterized by 1980s unsupervised country freedom in rural Alberta. Deeper in, my history involved emotional abuse and neglect. I wanted nothing more than to be seen and loved for my true self. The library was a refuge, but the fiction section allowed me to find the community I so greatly desired. I was seen and loved by the characters I read. They showed me it was possible to be myself–loudly and audaciously–and still be accepted. I read and now write books that delve into themes of identity, autonomy, and acceptance because I still struggle with these themes today. 

Yvonne's book list on kick-ass women come from screwed up families

Yvonne Kjorlien Why did Yvonne love this book?

The title made me stop mid-step. Sometimes, a book title is misleading. I’ve been burned before. I finally borrowed it from the library and found myself smitten by the “Dramatis Thingummy” at the very beginning and headlong in love by the end.

I re-read this series often: I weird out my neighbors by laughing so hard I can’t breathe; I seek the community of St. Mary’s. Mostly, I love Max. For all her flaws, her sarcasm, her deep-seated need to go down in flames, I love her to bits. She gives me hope that no matter how screwed up a person may be, they can find love and a place in the world. This is the first book in a many-book series. With short stories. And Christmas specials. All of which I now own.

By Jodi Taylor,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Just One Damned Thing After Another as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Time Travel meets History in this explosive bestselling adventure series.

`So tell me, Dr Maxwell, if the whole of History lay before you ... where would you go? What would you like to witness?'

When Madeleine Maxwell is recruited by the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research, she discovers the historians there don't just study the past - they revisit it.

But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And she soon discovers it's not just History she's fighting...

Follow the tea-soaked disaster magnets of St Mary's as they rattle around History. Because wherever the…


Book cover of Slow Horses

Lee Goldberg Author Of Calico

From my list on humor that makes us human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing crime stories since I was a child. They entertained me and helped me cope with a lot of family strife. My first novel was published in college and sold to the movies, which got me into screenwriting, leading to writing hundreds of hours of TV and fifty novels to date. The one thing all of my stories share is humor because I believe it’s an essential part of life–and of memorable story-telling. Humor makes characters come alive, revealing shades of personality and depths of emotion you wouldn’t otherwise see. Here are five books that taught me that it’s true and that continue to influence me as a writer. 

Lee's book list on humor that makes us human

Lee Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Spy novels, especially the British ones, are densely plotted, densely written, densely serious stories full of politics and betrayals…without a smile to be had by the characters or the reader. The only funny ones are satires. But this book is different.

I could enjoy all the pleasures of a spy novel, with all the betrayals and plot twists, and find myself laughing even as I was caught up in the suspense and surprises. If anything, the laughs made the twists more twisty and the tragedies more tragic.

This book revitalized an entire genre for me…by knowing where to find the humor in what was always portrayed as a humorless job in a humorless world. 

By Mick Herron,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Slow Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*

'To have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one's career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron's novels - the heir, in a way, to le Carre - is a terrific thing' Gary Oldman

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the 'slow horses' these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty.

In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don't run…


Book cover of Cryptonomicon

Robert J. Lloyd Author Of The Bloodless Boy

From my list on science-based historical fiction novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write as Robert J. Lloyd, but my friends call me Rob. Having studied Fine Art at a BA degree level (starting as a landscape painter but becoming a sculpture/photography/installation/performance generalist), I then moved to writing. During my MA degree in The History of Ideas, I happened to read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary and fascinating man. My MA thesis and my Hooke & Hunt series of historical thrillers are all about him. I’m fascinated by early science, which was the initial ‘pull’ into writing these stories, but the political background of the times (The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis, for example) is just as enticing. 

Robert's book list on science-based historical fiction novels

Robert J. Lloyd Why did Robert love this book?

About WWII codebreaking, the reason this makes my ‘Best 5’ is that, besides being constantly inventive and informative, it’s also very funny. (I’m that shallow.)

There are similarities, I think, with Catch 22, in the plot’s intelligence, absurdity, and dreamlike turns.

I think Stephenson’s character Bobbie Shaftoe, a soldier who carries out counterintelligence deceptions, is hilarious. Also, Stephenson’s use of real historical characters–he presents believable portraits of Alan Turing, Douglas MacArthur, Karl Dönitz, and Hermann Göring, with a walk-on appearance by Albert  Einsteingave me license to do so in my own fiction.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With this extraordinary first volume in an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence…


Book cover of The Vicar of Christ

Charles Rosenberg Author Of The Day Lincoln Lost

From my list on transporting you to another time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I hadn’t become a lawyer, I might well have been a history teacher. I’m always reminded that history is just a story that's isn't yet complete. We're constantly uncovering things that alter our knowledge of the past, but we also become aware of just how many things could have gone differently. My first alternative history novel The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington, was inspired by an 18th Century rumor that I stumbled upon: That the British army planned to kidnap George Washington and spirit him back to England to be tried for high treason. Whether that was true or not, it seemed a great plot device for an alternative history novel.

Charles' book list on transporting you to another time and place

Charles Rosenberg Why did Charles love this book?

I am lucky to have lived a few lives – I am a lawyer, was a television consultant and analyst, and am now an author.  But that’s nothing compared to this book’s protagonist, a man who was a medal of honor winner, then a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, then a monk, and finally the Pope. Creatively told and excellently written, this book inspires me to think that anything, any path is possible. 

By Walter F. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestseller is now available in its 35th Anniversary Edition, featuring an extensive new introduction by Justice Samuel Alito of the U.S. Supreme Court. (NOTE: Only the new edition from QUID PRO BOOKS is an all-new printing and includes the new Foreword, even if this description erroneously appears under used copies of old versions.) This book is universally considered to be an unusual, fascinating, and well-written observation of the life of a man who was first a hero and Medal of Honor winner from a brutal war, then Chief Justice of the United States, later a monk…


Book cover of Soldier of Christ

Kevin P. Spicer and Rebecca Carter-Chand Author Of Religion, Ethnonationalism, and Antisemitism in the Era of the Two World Wars

From my list on Catholic churches in Hitler’s Germany.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are historians of twentieth-century Germany who investigate the relationship between church and state from 1918-1945. We are fascinated by the choices of Christian leaders during this time as they negotiated the challenges of living and leading under National Socialism. In our writing, we seek to understand the connections between Christian antisemitism and National Socialists’ racial-based exclusionary ethnonationalism and antisemitism and seek to understand how religious communities navigate ethical and practical challenges of living through political upheaval and fascism.

Kevin's book list on Catholic churches in Hitler’s Germany

Kevin P. Spicer and Rebecca Carter-Chand Why did Kevin love this book?

The leading expert on the Holy See during World War II, Ventresca offers us an immensely readable and authoritative biography of the elusive Eugenio Pacelli. In many ways, it surpasses all previous biographies in its comprehensive and convincing analysis of its central subject, Pope Pius XII. Ventresca adeptly bores through the polemical and problematic arguments that encompass the decades-long “Pius Wars” and offers us a balanced portrait of Pacelli, who is neither a condemned reprobate nor an exalted saint. Rather, Ventresca shows that Pacelli was a man of his time, burdened with nearly insurmountable challenges, who nevertheless consistently preferred to address them through a diplomatic path of prudence and caution that always placed the needs of the institutional Church before all other concerns.  

By Robert A. Ventresca,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Debates over the legacy of Pope Pius XII and his canonization are so heated they are known as the "Pius wars." Soldier of Christ moves beyond competing caricatures and considers Pius XII as Eugenio Pacelli, a flawed and gifted man. While offering insight into the pope's response to Nazism, Robert A. Ventresca argues that it was the Cold War and Pius XII's manner of engaging with the modern world that defined his pontificate.

Laying the groundwork for the pope's controversial, contradictory actions from 1939 to 1958, Ventresca begins with the story of Pacelli's Roman upbringing, his intellectual formation in Rome's…


Book cover of Pope Joan

Alex Myers Author Of The Story of Silence

From my list on reimagine the Middle Ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading fiction set in the middle ages since…well, since I could read! Tales of Arthur and his knights featured largely on my childhood bookshelves. In graduate school, I got the chance to study both the literature and the religion of the middle ages and read up on the source texts. Reading literature from the period itself – whether saints’ lives or poems or travel tales – made me realize how rich the age was, and how few stories we tend to retell. I became passionate about writing more about the experiences of those who didn’t fit the mainstream expectations of gender and sexuality. There are a wealth of tales that need to be retold.

Alex's book list on reimagine the Middle Ages

Alex Myers Why did Alex love this book?

I love this novel because of how it takes what seems like an impossible story (a female pope?!) and writes it so carefully and compellingly that the impossible becomes completely plausible. The young woman’s journey from her home and family to becoming pope…how she navigates a world that is completely not designed for her…I was totally captivated by the story.

By Donna Woolfolk Cross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Pope Joan has all the elements one wants in a historical drama—love, sex, violence, duplicity, and long-buried secrets. Cross has written an engaging book.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

In this international bestseller and basis for the 2009 movie of the same name, Donna Woolfolk Cross brings the Dark Ages to life in all their brutal splendor and shares the dramatic story of a woman whose strength of vision led her to defy the social restrictions of her day.

For a thousand years her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die—Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who…


Book cover of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II

S. L. Smith Author Of Pray the Rosary with Saint John Paul II

From my list on the life of Pope St. John Paul II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Scott L. Smith, Jr. is a Catholic author, attorney, and theologian. He is the author of Pray the Rosary with Saint John Paul II, the St. Joseph Consecration for Children and Families, along with Fr. Donald Calloway, a new translation of St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. He contributes regularly to his blog, The Scott Smith Blog, and is the co-host of the Catholic Nerds podcast.

S. L.'s book list on the life of Pope St. John Paul II

S. L. Smith Why did S. L. love this book?

Pope John Paul died when I was just on the cusp of manhood. Sadly, I never really understood who he was until he was already gone. He and Mother Teresa were the faces of Catholicism to me growing up. This book taught me, not just about his life, but the proper perspective on the last several hundred years of human history. While expansive, it is also deeply personal. This is a book I regularly consult for inspiration on leadership, fatherhood, virtue, and all these in the face of overwhelming odds.  

This is the most authoritative, expansive, and beautiful of the biographies of Pope St. John Paul II. Here is the story of the priest from Krakow who brought down Soviet Communism. George Weigel was personally chosen by His Holiness for this task, and it was an excellent choice.      

By George Weigel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Fascinating...sheds light on the history of the twentieth century for everyone.”—New York Times Book Review

Now, with an updated preface, the latest edition of the definitive biography of Pope John Paul II that explores how influential he was on the world stage and in some of the most historic events of the twentieth century that can still be felt today.

Witness to Hope is the authoritative biography of one of the singular figures—some might argue the singular figure—of our time. With unprecedented cooperation from John Paul II and the people who knew and worked with him throughout his life, George…


Book cover of John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father

S. L. Smith Author Of Pray the Rosary with Saint John Paul II

From my list on the life of Pope St. John Paul II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Scott L. Smith, Jr. is a Catholic author, attorney, and theologian. He is the author of Pray the Rosary with Saint John Paul II, the St. Joseph Consecration for Children and Families, along with Fr. Donald Calloway, a new translation of St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. He contributes regularly to his blog, The Scott Smith Blog, and is the co-host of the Catholic Nerds podcast.

S. L.'s book list on the life of Pope St. John Paul II

S. L. Smith Why did S. L. love this book?

Peggy Noonan's biography of Pope John Paul is as much a memoir of Noonan, herself, and how she was shaped by the pope. Her portrait of John Paul II recounts his struggles against Nazism and communism and his work for freedom. 

One part that has always stuck with me—Noonan also describes her love of the Rosary. Pope John Paul helped foster this love of the Rosary in her. Noonan said of the Rosary, that saying it puts her whole day on the right trajectory. If she would just start the day with the Rosary, all her thoughts, words, and deeds would subtly shift, come together, and follow the path laid out for her by God. Days without the Rosary were more chaotic and jumbled.    

By Peggy Noonan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked John Paul the Great as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author Peggy Noonan comes "a beautifully written testimony about . . . the most historically recognized pope" (Library Journal)

With such accla imed books as When Character Was King, Peggy Noonan has become one of our most eloquent and respected commentators. Now she offers a stirring portrait of a spiritual and intellectual giant who personally confronted all of the worst tragedies of his age. Drawing on scholarship, interviews with prominent Catholics, and her own experience, Noonan traces the extraordinary life and struggles of Pope John Paul II with characteristic insight and probity-and explores how much…


Book cover of A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

S. L. Smith Author Of Pray the Rosary with Saint John Paul II

From my list on the life of Pope St. John Paul II.

Why am I passionate about this?

Scott L. Smith, Jr. is a Catholic author, attorney, and theologian. He is the author of Pray the Rosary with Saint John Paul II, the St. Joseph Consecration for Children and Families, along with Fr. Donald Calloway, a new translation of St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. He contributes regularly to his blog, The Scott Smith Blog, and is the co-host of the Catholic Nerds podcast.

S. L.'s book list on the life of Pope St. John Paul II

S. L. Smith Why did S. L. love this book?

I love reading about how the strength of conviction, not strength of arms, defeated Communism. The work of these two leaders, John Paul II and President Reagan, was as consequential as that of Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt. A lot of their story is known, but a lot remained unknown... until now. 

This is a fascinating portrait of two world leaders that survived assassination. It is a strange coincidence, don't you think? They did. They believed that they were spared by God as part of the "DP," as Reagan spoke of it: the "Divine Plan" to rid the world of Soviet Communism. It is a fight they have passed down to us, as well.  

By Paul Kengor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Pope and a President as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Even as historians credit Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II with hastening the end of the Cold War, they have failed to recognize the depth or significance of the bond that developed between the two leaders. Acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor changes that. In this fascinating book, he reveals a singular bond-which included a spiritual connection between the Catholic pope and the Protestant president-that drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism. Reagan and John Paul II almost didn't have the opportunity to forge this…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in popes, kidnapping, and the United States Army?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about popes, kidnapping, and the United States Army.

Popes Explore 12 books about popes
Kidnapping Explore 115 books about kidnapping
The United States Army Explore 41 books about the United States Army