100 books like The Van Rijn Method

By Poul Anderson,

Here are 100 books that The Van Rijn Method fans have personally recommended if you like The Van Rijn Method. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ 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 Dune

Mark Joyner Author Of Simpleology: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want

From my list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi.

Who am I?

I'm an author, inventor, military veteran, (mostly) self-taught scholar, and an entrepreneur. Every internet-connected person interacts with things I invented (the tracking pixel, the ebook, etc) every day, but I'm best known for my books about business and personal development. As I write this, I'm serving as the Founder and CEO of a software platform called "Simpleology." It's designed to solve what I think is one of mankind's greatest threats to survival as a species:  "The Complexity Gap." It's the gap between the amount of information in the world and our ability to navigate it. It solves this by guiding you to focus on what we call "HIME" (high impact, minimal effort).

Mark's book list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi

Mark Joyner Why did Mark love this book?

This book presents perhaps the most prescient and today-relevant sci-fi premise ever: how could technology evolve without thinking machines?

After reading this book, I finally understood that my thinking does not have to be constrained by the "scientific consensus" of the day. The book presents a future so radically different from what most futurists are envisioning that it not only freed my thinking about science and futurism...it freed my mind of all constraints.

Even further, it beckoned me to explore the limits of my own human potential.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


Book cover of Foundation

Mark Joyner Author Of Simpleology: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want

From my list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi.

Who am I?

I'm an author, inventor, military veteran, (mostly) self-taught scholar, and an entrepreneur. Every internet-connected person interacts with things I invented (the tracking pixel, the ebook, etc) every day, but I'm best known for my books about business and personal development. As I write this, I'm serving as the Founder and CEO of a software platform called "Simpleology." It's designed to solve what I think is one of mankind's greatest threats to survival as a species:  "The Complexity Gap." It's the gap between the amount of information in the world and our ability to navigate it. It solves this by guiding you to focus on what we call "HIME" (high impact, minimal effort).

Mark's book list on self-help books masquerading as sci-fi

Mark Joyner Why did Mark love this book?

While it is best known for being the first book to introduce the concept of a "galactic empire," the real juice comes from the gradual revelation of a profound thesis: Epistemology and Persuasion Science are the most important academic disciplines of all. 

This was the inspiration for my own journey into those two fields and led to my career in Military Intelligence.

While these explorations are ultimately liberating, this liberation does not come without a cost. I found myself truly in the dilemma of Plato's Allegory of the Cave: I had to accept both the obligation to free minds and the social strife that comes with choosing that path.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series

THE EPIC SAGA THAT INSPIRED THE APPLE TV+ SERIES FOUNDATION, NOW STREAMING • Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
 
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings…


Book cover of Quicksilver

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Who am I?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

Quicksilver, Volume One of the Baroque Cycle is an amazing novel and not for those who like quick reads. At nearly 1,000 erudite pages it depicts the lives and confusions of natural philosophers between the years 1660 and 1713 at the dawn of the scientific revolution. Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, King Charles II, and many others fill the pages with wit, history, avarice, sex, political duplicity, religious prejudice, and wars that seem to pop up by whim. 

The sheer volume of historical research evident in Quicksilver eclipses all other works of the genre. The number of “throw away” lines that reveal deeper research and add but a thought or two to the current narrative is awesome. This is rapture for a bibliophile. Mr. Stephenson is a genius.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.

It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe -- London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds -- risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox.

And it is the tale of Eliza, rescued by Jack…


Book cover of The Pride of Chanur

D.J. Butler Author Of Abbott in Darkness

From my list on science fiction adventures about traders.

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction and fantasy novelist and editor. I’m also a corporate lawyer and mergers and acquisitions consultant. I have a passion for trade, in history, games, literature, and even real life. I fear that we have far too much art glorifying killers and bullies, and I think the future will be built, as the past has been, by people who are willing to explore, meet other cultures, get to know them, and work to find deals that will benefit everyone involved.

D.J.'s book list on science fiction adventures about traders

D.J. Butler Why did D.J. love this book?

In The Pride of Chanur, a human prisoner escapes from the alien kif, who are interrogating him and who have killed his shipmates. The human stows away aboard a hani merchant vessel (the hani are non-human sentients; think large humanoid cats); when discovered, he talked the ship’s captain into making him part of the (otherwise female and hani) crew. The kif attempt to bully the hani into giving up their human crewmate, but they refuse and retreat, until the kif are overextended and have to return home. This is a psychologically rich and entertaining novel that is about spaceships, but whose action is all subterfuge, negotiation, and diplomacy, rather than shooting.

By C. J. Cherryh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Excellent Book


Book cover of Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny

Keith Grint Author Of Mutiny and Leadership

From my list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them.

Who am I?

My academic writing is focused on leadership, and leading mutinies is probably the most dangerous thing any leader can do: the chances of success are slim and the likelihood of the leaders surviving even a successful mutiny are negligible. So why do it? The book suggests an answer through a typology of dissent that is rooted in the environment mutineers find themselves in, but that still doesn’t explain by very similar conditions generate very different outcomes. To explain that I turned to two ideas: the importance of the moral economy and the role of the puer robustus – the inveterate recalcitrant who takes it upon themselves to resolve the despotic situation.

Keith's book list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them

Keith Grint Why did Keith love this book?

If ever there was a mutiny that road roughshod over the romantic assumptions that mutineers were the ‘better angels’ of these events, then the mutiny on the Batavia is it. In 1628 the largest ship owned by the Dutch East India Company during the Golden Age of the Netherlands is shipwrecked and taken over by Jeronimus Cornelisz and his gang of mutineers. They then establish a dystopian world on a deserted island and systematically murder many of those who survive before the last survivors are rescued. You need a strong stomach to read this, but it is an important warning for idealists and romantics.

By Mike Dash,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.

It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon,…


Book cover of The Real Taiwan and the Dutch: Traveling Notes from the Netherlands Representative

John Grant Ross Author Of Formosan Odyssey: Taiwan, Past and Present

From my list on Taiwan and why you should visit.

Who am I?

I’m a Kiwi who has spent most of the past three decades in Asia. My books include Formosan Odyssey, You Don't Know China, and Taiwan in 100 Books. I live in a small town in southern Taiwan with my Taiwanese wife. When not writing, reading, or lusting over maps, I can be found on the abandoned family farm slashing jungle undergrowth (and having a sly drink). 

John's book list on Taiwan and why you should visit

John Grant Ross Why did John love this book?

An enjoyable read and a practical guide for those looking to explore Taiwan’s aboriginal cultures and the vestiges of Dutch rule on Taiwan in the seventeenth century. It’s a beautifully illustrated book containing hundreds of photographs and useful travel information. The focus is on getting off the beaten path, and the book details fascinating places not covered by other guidebooks, which is a testament to the two authors’ expert knowledge.

By Menno Goedhart, Cheryl Robbins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Menno Goedhart was the Representative of The Netherlands for eight years. He traveled, together with tour guide Cheryl Robbins, to parts of Taiwan that most tourists do not see and met and befriended many indigenous people. This book contains a selection of fascinating places, with explanations on how to get there, where to stay, and what to eat. In the 17th century, Taiwan was occupied by Dutch East India Company forces. From their base in the southern city of Tainan, they explored the island, leaving behind many stories, some of which are also included in this book.


Book cover of The Company Daughters

Rebecca D'Harlingue Author Of The Map Colorist

From my list on 17th-century women.

Who am I?

I find the seventeenth century fascinating, and both of my novels are set in that period. The century was a time of great flux, and I am especially interested in exploring the kinds of things that women might have done, even though their accomplishments weren’t recorded. There is a wonderful article by novelist Rachel Kadish called “Writing the Lives of Forgotten Women,” in which she refers to Hilary Mantel’s comments that people whose lives are not recorded fall through the sieve of history. Kadish says that, “Lives have run through the sieve, but we can catch them with our hands.” These novels all attempt to do that.

Rebecca's book list on 17th-century women

Rebecca D'Harlingue Why did Rebecca love this book?

One of the characters of my novel goes to a Dutch colony, and I found this look at what that might be like particularly fascinating.

Rajaram gives us the intensely personal perspective of two young women, Jana and Sontje, who in 1620 Amsterdam have no way to make a living. They sign on to become “Company Daughters,” the company being the Dutch East India Company. Agreeing to travel to the other side of the world and marry men they have never met, the two women land in a place they had not imagined, and find a way to survive with one another’s care.

By Samantha Rajaram,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

‘Blew my mind… so magically written and most of all that it is based on true events… a hard-hitting, soul-crushing book… I loved every moment of it… immersive, heart-wrenching, I feel emotional writing this review.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wanted: Company Daughters. Virtuous young ladies to become the brides of industrious settlers in a foreign land. The Company will pay the cost of the lady’s dowry and travel. Returns not permitted, orphans preferred.

Amsterdam, 1620. Jana Beil has learned that life rarely provides moments of joy. Having run away from a violent father, her days are spent searching for work…


Book cover of Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis Author Of Samurai: An Encyclopedia of Japan's Cultured Warriors

From my list on Tokugawa Japan.

Who am I?

I’ve spent all of my career teaching and writing about Japan. Within that country’s long history, the Tokugawa or early modern period (1600-1868) has always fascinated me, going back to my teenage years when I went to Japanese film festivals in Boston with my father and brothers. This fascination stems in part from the period’s vibrancy, color, drama, and the wealth of historical documentation about it that has survived warfare as well as the ravages of time. From these rich sources of knowledge, historians and other scholars have been able to weave rich narratives of Japan’s early modern past.

Constantine's book list on Tokugawa Japan

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis Why did Constantine love this book?

This book first excited my interest in the Tokugawa period and directly led to my first two academic books on the subject. Kaempfer’s History of Japan was a best-seller from the date of its publication in London in 1727. The author was a German doctor in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, who were the only Europeans the Tokugawa rulers would allow into Japan until 1853. He was able to make two trips to the capital of Edo, likely the largest city in the world at the time, and thus was able to observe Tokugawa society broadly.

He recorded important events (such as meeting the shogun) as well as the mundane minutiae of life. It is, hands down, the best informed and liveliest foreign account of Tokugawa Japan before the mid-19th century. Bodart-Bailey translated the text from the original German, annotated it, and wrote a very helpful…

By Englebert Kaempfer, Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kaempfer's Japan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Engelbert Kaempfer's work was a best-seller from the moment it was published in London in 1727 and remains one of the most valuable sources for historians of the Tokugawa period. The narrative describes what no Japanese was permitted to record (the details of the shogun's castle, for example) and what no Japanese thought worthy of recording (the minutiae of everyday life). However, all previous translations of the history oar flawed, being based on the work of an 18th century Swiss translator or that of the German editor some fifty years later who had little knowledge of Japan and resented Kaempfer's…


Book cover of We That Are Young

Mircea Raianu Author Of Tata: The Global Corporation That Built Indian Capitalism

From my list on capitalism in 21st century India.

Who am I?

I'm a historian of global capitalism and South Asia, writing about corporations as they are and how they could be. I've looked at India with the eyes of an outsider, drawing on my experiences growing up in 1990s Eastern Europe during a time of political upheaval and shock privatizations as the old communist order crumbled. Having witnessed the rise of a new class of monopolists and oligarchs in its stead, I became interested in the many different ways capitalists exercise power in society over time and around the world, and how we as ordinary citizens relate to them. I'm now interested in thinkers, activists, and entrepreneurs who have tried to experiment with alternatives

Mircea's book list on capitalism in 21st century India

Mircea Raianu Why did Mircea love this book?

There is no better book for understanding India’s family businesses in a broader social and political context than this sprawling, powerful novel. Preti Taneja retells and reworks Shakespeare’s King Lear as three sisters (and an illegitimate son) fight over the inheritance of a massive company that makes everything from textiles to cars (echoes of the Tatas, Birlas, and Ambanis, but also of the East India Company as the subcontinent’s original corporate sovereign). Taneja touches on all the big issues, including gender, caste, climate, and Kashmir, without ever being preachy. It is a long and sometimes challenging read, but always rewarding. I may be biased given the subject matter, but this is the century’s Great Indian Novel—a worthy successor to the likes of Midnight’s Children, A Suitable Boy, and Sacred Games

By Preti Taneja,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We That Are Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a billionaire hotelier and political operator attempts to pit his three daughters against one another, a brutal struggle for primacy begins in this modern-day take on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Set in contemporary India, where rich men are gods while farmers starve and water is fast running out, We That Are Young is a story about power, status, and the love of a megalomaniac father. A searing exploration of human fallibility, Preti Taneja’s remarkable novel reveals the fragility of the human heart—and its inevitable breaking point.


Book cover of Murder at the Mushaira

Laury Silvers Author Of The Unseen

From my list on seriously historical historical fiction.

Who am I?

I'm a retired historian of early Islam and writer of historical fiction set in medieval Iraq, Turkic, and Persian lands. I write and love to read novels that “do history.” In other words, historical fiction that unravels the tangles of history through the lives of its characters, especially when told from the perspectives of those upon whom elite power is wielded. My selections are written by authors who speak from an informed position, either as academic or lay historians, those with a stake in that history, or, like me, both, and include major press, small press, and self-published works and represent the histories of West Africa, Europe, Central and West Asia, and South Asia.

Laury's book list on seriously historical historical fiction

Laury Silvers Why did Laury love this book?

Set in Delhi on the eve of the first battle for Indian independence in 1857 that would be so brutally put down by the British, ending with Delhi in flames and India coming under direct British rule, our detective, the poet laureate Mirza Ghalib investigates a murder. The investigation reveals the myriad of personalities, pressures, and allegiances from every corner of Indian and British society that led to the uprising and all that has come after. This finely wrought novel begins and ends with death at a Mushaira—a poetry recitation, public, private, or intimate for just two, that typically drew from every level of society—sounding the loss of India as it was before colonization, and then partition, when religious and social boundaries were not as starkly defined and policed as they are now.

By Raza Mir,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder at the Mushaira as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

3 May 1857. India stands on the brink of war. Everywhere in its cities, towns, and villages, rebels and revolutionaries are massing to overthrow the ruthless and corrupt British East India Company which has taken over the country and laid it to waste. In Delhi, the capital, even as the plot to get rid of the hated foreigners gathers intensity, the busy social life of the city hums along. Nautch girls entertain clients, nawabs host mushairas or poetry soirees in which the finest poets of the realm congregate to recite their latest verse and intrigue, the wealthy roister in magnificent…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the East India Company, the Dutch East India Company, and India?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the East India Company, the Dutch East India Company, and India.

The East India Company Explore 18 books about the East India Company
The Dutch East India Company Explore 11 books about the Dutch East India Company
India Explore 425 books about India