91 books like The Thousand Names

By Django Wexler,

Here are 91 books that The Thousand Names fans have personally recommended if you like The Thousand Names. 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 Leviathan

Reese Hogan Author Of Shrouded Loyalties

From my list on cross-dressing women in wartime.

Who am I?

As a nonbinary trans guy, I grew up obsessed with novels about women disguising themselves as men. I loved everything about the trope, and always felt disappointed when they had to go back to living as women. It is a trope I eagerly embraced when I wrote Shrouded Loyalties, and though I didn’t yet know the term “transgender,” I was already exploring my own gender identity through my reading and writing of this theme. The books I’ve chosen to highlight here are ones that became some of my very favorites, and also feature action-packed wartime settings like the one used in Shrouded Loyalties.

Reese's book list on cross-dressing women in wartime

Reese Hogan Why did Reese love this book?

With a vibrant steampunk setting that pits airships against fantastical creatures, Leviathan follows the story of Deryn Sharp, who joins the air service disguised as a male soldier. The second character we follow is a young prince disguised as a commoner, trying to flee the country Deryn is fighting. This is my favorite type of story, told in the same way as in my book: with tight points of view from drastically different characters on opposing sides of a war, who both have big secrets that could destroy them if the other finds out. Action-packed and daring, it was everything I’d hoped for when I picked it up.

By Scott Westerfeld, Keith Thompson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Leviathan 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?

Two opposing forces are on the brink of war. The Clankers - who put their faith in machinery - and the Darwinists - who have begun evolving living creatures into tools. Prince Aleksandar, the would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, comes from a family of Clankers, and travels the country in a walker, a heavily-fortified tank on legs. Meanwhile Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy, works for the British Empire, crewing the ultimate flying machine: an airship made of living animals. Now, as Alek flees from his own people, and Deryn crash-lands in enemy territory, their lives are…


Book cover of The Ventriloquists

Reese Hogan Author Of Shrouded Loyalties

From my list on cross-dressing women in wartime.

Who am I?

As a nonbinary trans guy, I grew up obsessed with novels about women disguising themselves as men. I loved everything about the trope, and always felt disappointed when they had to go back to living as women. It is a trope I eagerly embraced when I wrote Shrouded Loyalties, and though I didn’t yet know the term “transgender,” I was already exploring my own gender identity through my reading and writing of this theme. The books I’ve chosen to highlight here are ones that became some of my very favorites, and also feature action-packed wartime settings like the one used in Shrouded Loyalties.

Reese's book list on cross-dressing women in wartime

Reese Hogan Why did Reese love this book?

Based on a true story, this book was a treasure of a find, detailing the rebellion of artists in Nazi-occupied Belgium in 1943. Helene, a girl disguised as a male newspaper hawker, is only a side character – a cog in the machine of the farce newspaper being published by the rebels – but her incredible voice brings the movement to life, while expertly weaving in her own questions about gender and sexuality in a world she’s not sure has a place for her. The author later came out on the nonbinary spectrum as well, which really brought home for me how many of us explore our identities through our writing before coming to terms with significant truths about ourselves.

By E. R. Ramzipoor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“[A] remarkable saga.... Engrossing.” —Booklist, starred review

In this triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.

The Nazis stole their voices. But they would not be silenced.

Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network that publishes dissident underground newspapers.

The Nazis track down Aubrion’s…


Book cover of Whiskey When We're Dry

Reese Hogan Author Of Shrouded Loyalties

From my list on cross-dressing women in wartime.

Who am I?

As a nonbinary trans guy, I grew up obsessed with novels about women disguising themselves as men. I loved everything about the trope, and always felt disappointed when they had to go back to living as women. It is a trope I eagerly embraced when I wrote Shrouded Loyalties, and though I didn’t yet know the term “transgender,” I was already exploring my own gender identity through my reading and writing of this theme. The books I’ve chosen to highlight here are ones that became some of my very favorites, and also feature action-packed wartime settings like the one used in Shrouded Loyalties.

Reese's book list on cross-dressing women in wartime

Reese Hogan Why did Reese love this book?

This is slightly outside the boundaries of a wartime novel, as it takes place in the Old West, but it’s a fantastic book for this list, and shouldn’t be overlooked if you love this trope. Jess Harney makes a name for herself as a notorious male sharpshooter and outlaw. Her first-person voice is one of the most interesting I’ve read, and I loved how she fit in as one of the guys while never sacrificing who she was. She barely even thinks about her gender as she so naturally considers herself male. Books like this really highlight the blurred lines between cross-dressing out of necessity or desire, and I’m excited to see more authors addressing this trope with the nuance of queerness which is often part of it.

By John Larison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Whiskey When We're Dry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book by Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine, Goodreads, Southern Living, Outside Magazine, Oprah.com, HelloGiggles, Parade, Fodor's Travel, Sioux City Journal, Read it Forward, Medium.com, and NPR's All Things Considered.

"A thunderclap of originality, here is a fresh voice and fresh take on one of the oldest stories we tell about ourselves as Americans and Westerners. It's riveting in all the right ways -- a damn good read that stayed with me long after closing the covers." - Timothy Egan, New York Times bestselling author of The Worst Hard Time

From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty…


Book cover of She Who Became the Sun

Lianyu Tan Author Of The Wicked and the Willing

From my list on inspired by history with queer Chinese protagonists.

Who am I?

I loved books as a kid, especially fantasy books, but could never find anyone like me within their pages. I’m a lesbian Chinese writer who adores stories about messed-up, complicated queer people. I’m thrilled by the range of books available now that feature queer and Asian characters. We all deserve representation, and to me that means representation that’s complex, that encompasses the ugly and the beautiful. One of my goals as an author is to make you fall in love with monsters—brutal, flawed women who may not deserve love, but who demand it all the same.

Lianyu's book list on inspired by history with queer Chinese protagonists

Lianyu Tan Why did Lianyu love this book?

This book is a fantastical retelling of the Hongwu Emperor’s rise to power, with the emperor re-imagined as a non-binary afab person. It’s billed as Mulan meets The Song of Achilles, but I vastly preferred it to both those narratives; the nascent emperor, Zhu Chongba, becomes gloriously ruthless in a way that defies their gender. There’s also a gay eunuch point-of-view character with an incredibly tragic backstory, who almost steals the show.

It’s very character-driven, which helps temper its epic scope. I don’t usually love stories with this much military/political scheming, but I absolutely loved this book. It’s a duology, with the second book expected in 2023.

By Shelley Parker-Chan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked She Who Became the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

British Fantasy Award Winner
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Two-time Hugo Award Finalist
Locus Award Finalist

"Magnificent in every way."—Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

"A dazzling new world of fate, war, love and betrayal."—Zen Cho, author of Black Water Sister

She Who Became the Sun reimagines the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor.

To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In…


Book cover of Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War

Dennis L. Peterson Author Of Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies

From my list on little-known aspects of the Confederate era.

Who am I?

I am an author, editor, and former history teacher and curriculum writer with a special interest in Southern history, particularly the Confederate era. I have written and published two books on lesser-known aspects of the Confederacy, the civilian government (Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries), and religious work in the Confederate armies (Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies). I taught on various levels, from junior high through college, and have B.S. and M.S. degrees with post-graduate work in Southern history and religion.

Dennis' book list on little-known aspects of the Confederate era

Dennis L. Peterson Why did Dennis love this book?

Although many (even most) historians relegate religion to the periphery of the history of the war, Nichols-Belt shows it to be a critical ingredient of that history. Moreover, although historians who admit the importance of religion to the South’s conduct of the war, most of them focus primarily on the armies in the East. Nichols-Belt shines a light on the just-as-important influence of religion in the armies of the Western theater, specifically the Army of Tennessee.

By Traci Nichols-Belt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Civil War was trying, bloody and hard-fought combat for both sides. What was it, then, that sustained soldiers low on supplies and morale? For the Army of Tennessee, it was religion. Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War explores the significant impact of religion on every rank, from generals to chaplains to common soldiers. It took faith to endure overwhelming adversity. Religion united troops, informing both why and how they fought and providing the rationale for enduring great hardship for the Confederate cause. Using primary source material such as diaries, letters, journals and…


Book cover of Blood Song

R. A. Whitworth Author Of A Retreating Tide

From my list on breaking the fantasy cliché with mythical themes.

Who am I?

Ever since I was a child the world has fascinated me. I’ve grown up with a deep love of reading and passion for the natural world, so much so that this often inspires both my writing and my artwork. As an artist and writer I seek to showcase the wonder and magic in the world. I have been able to draw upon ancient legends for inspiration into how people’s minds worked in the deep past and use it to enrich my writing further to cement the stories into our world and become more tangible. As a part-time adventurer, it’s only natural that my novels should be that.

R. A.'s book list on breaking the fantasy cliché with mythical themes

R. A. Whitworth Why did R. A. love this book?

Grittier than the other recommendations, I’m recommending this novel as well for its new take on the fantasy genre. Following a protagonist whose magical abilities act like a sixth sense, as well as quenching my lust for adventure, this book and its series tell one epic adventure through this world. I love how magic has its firm place in the world without dominating it, and this novel has taught me a lot about how battles are fought and how armies may work.

By Anthony Ryan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first in the “powerful” (SFFWorld.com) New York Times bestselling fantasy series.

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order to be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate and dangerous life of a warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.
 
Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the Unified Realm—and Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright knows no bounds. Even his cherished memories of his mother are soon challenged by what he learns within the…


Book cover of Tier One Wild

Jeffrey Engle Author Of All the War They Want: Special Operations Techniques for Winning in Cyber Warfare, Business, and Life

From my list on introducing military tactics into your leadership.

Who am I?

As a veteran of the United States Army Special Operations Command, my time in the army will always guide my actions. When I began my career in cybersecurity and later took on the role of President and Chair of Conquest Cyber, I looked to my military experience for guidance. The lessons I learned from leaders were much like those I’ve learned through these books, and they are lessons that will benefit any leader, business owner, or founder. 

Jeffrey's book list on introducing military tactics into your leadership

Jeffrey Engle Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Even corporate America needs heroes. While Tier One Wild is fiction, it was written by a true hero, Dalton Fury. Fury was the senior ranking officer in the Battle of Tora Bora. He helped author the operation to hunt and kill bin Laden. 

This book, the second in the Raynor series, has the flair of someone who has been there as Fury has been. Its fast moving and includes elements of both redemption and sacrifice. While this would be easy to dismiss as fiction or another war story, readers will be surprised by how applicable the lessons can be in the business world.  

By Dalton Fury,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author and former Delta Force commander Dalton Fury (Black Site and Kill Bin Laden) is back with an explosive new thriller

Former disgraced Delta Force commander Kolt "Racer" Raynor has earned his way back into The Unit after redeeming himself during an explosive operation at a black site in Pakistan. But he is about to face his deadliest challenge yet.

The most wanted man in the world, American al Qaeda commander Daoud al Amriki, and his handpicked team of terrorist operatives, have acquired stores of Russian-built, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (SAM's) from ex-Libyan spies in Cairo. Their…


Book cover of To the End of the Land

Raphael Cohen-Almagor Author Of Israeli Institutions at the Crossroads

From my list on Israel studies.

Who am I?

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, DPhil, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, is Professor of Politics, Founding Director of the Middle East Study Centre, University of Hull; Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Vice President of The Association for Israel Studies. Raphael taught, inter alia, at Oxford (UK), Jerusalem, Haifa (Israel), UCLA, Johns Hopkins (USA), and Nirma University (India). He was twice a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London. Raphael Has published extensively about Israel, including Basic Issues in Israeli Democracy (Hebrew), Israeli Democracy at the Crossroads, and Public Responsibility in Israel (with Ori Arbel-Ganz and Asa Kasher Hebrew).

Raphael's book list on Israel studies

Raphael Cohen-Almagor Why did Raphael love this book?

Grossman has a way with words. There are not many people who master Hebrew as he does. His ability to express ideas, thoughts, sentiments, characters, the inner human streams that run in our hearts and minds is admirable. Grossman takes you by the hand, slowly makes you immerse in the story, your soul intertwined with the pictures he paints, you become part of all that is happening to the heroes, all the twists and turns, the emotions, the turmoil, the storms, the fears, the hopes, the love. This book is about the love for the land of Israel and about the love of a mother to her child. There are similarities and differences between the two that Grossman delicately deciphers. I have never read such a characterization of a relationship between parents and children. It is deep. It is penetrating. It is true. It sweeps you off your feet.

A…

By David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To the End of the Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A stunning novel that tells the powerful story of Ora, an Israli mother, and her extraordinary love for her son, Ofer, in a haunting meditation on war and family.

“One of the few novels that feel as though they have made a difference to the world.” —The New York Times Book Review

Just before his release from service in the Israeli army, Ora’s son Ofer is sent back to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, so that no bad news can reach her, Ora sets out on an…


Book cover of Sharpe's Assassin

Wolfric Styler Author Of Troubled Zen

From my list on action series with characters in the military.

Who am I?

I have been in various militaries for over 17 years and am proud of my service. Troubled Zen is my first foray into the publishing world and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I enjoy the ex-military hero-style action/ thriller novels because I find that I can understand their mindset and relate well with their characters. I found most were male, ex-special forces so I chose a female Explosive Ordnance Disposal member as I believe that there are plenty of aspects to investigate that can show how a woman can be equally tough, stubborn, ingenious, brave, and determined.

Wolfric's book list on action series with characters in the military

Wolfric Styler Why did Wolfric love this book?

Bernard Cornwall’s series is an epic tale of a rifleman throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The action is loosely based on true events and grips me from start to finish. As with Reacher, he attempts to do the right thing and doesn’t mind bending the rules as he does it – so long as it helps to achieve the objective. This book seems to be the last in the series and puts Richard and Harper out to pasture as they deserve. Sharpe’s rise from the gutter is a constant reminder to keep trying and no matter where you come from, you have a chance to reach the top. His stubbornness is classic male behaviour and I’ve used some of that for my own character, Zenobia. 

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sharpe's Assassin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHARPE IS BACK.

The global bestseller Bernard Cornwell returns with his iconic hero, Richard Sharpe.

If any man can do the impossible it's Richard Sharpe . . .

Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is a man with a reputation. Born in the gutter, raised a foundling, he joined the army twenty-one years ago, and it's been his home ever since. He's a loose cannon, but his unconventional methods make him a valuable weapon.

So when, the dust still settling after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington needs a favour, he turns to Sharpe. For Wellington knows that the end of one…


Book cover of Redeployment

Siobhan Fallon Author Of The Confusion of Languages

From my list on war (that are not actually about war).

Who am I?

I’m an American writer, Army wife, and occasional expat who has spent nearly a decade of my life living abroad (including Japan, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates), not to mention seven Army moves stateside. I love to read (and write!) books that explore discordance and dislocation, what it is like to be an American living overseas in a time of war, and how these things impact relationships with friends, families, and strangers, and our concept of “home.” My writing is often an exploration of the mundane mixed with the catastrophic. Oh, and I have a weakness for stray cats. Lots of stray cats.

Siobhan's book list on war (that are not actually about war)

Siobhan Fallon Why did Siobhan love this book?

There is a refreshing versatility to the stories in this collection, which touch upon everything from soldiers on the front lines in Iraq, readjustment to the American home front, and a civilian foreign service officer getting stymied at every attempt at humanitarian aid. There is humor, irony, and gutting realism on every page, and the many perspectives offer the insights you hope for in a National Book Award-winning piece of fiction. 

By Phil Klay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction

"Redeployment is hilarious, biting, whipsawing and sad. It's the best thing written so far on what the war did to people's souls." -Dexter Filkins, The New York Times Book Review

Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more

Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality…


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