100 books like The Young Lions

By Irwin Shaw,

Here are 100 books that The Young Lions fans have personally recommended if you like The Young Lions. 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 The Naked and the Dead

J.M. Unrue Author Of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

From my list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an old guy. I say this with a bit of cheek and a certain amount of incongruity. All the books on my list are old. That’s one area of continuity. Another, and I’ll probably stop at two, is that they all deal with ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—those curveballs of life we flail at with an unfamiliar bat; the getting stuck on the Interstate behind a semi and some geezer in a golf cap hogging the passing lane in a Buick Le Sabre. No one makes it through this life unscathed. How we cope does more to define us than a thousand smiles when things are rosy. Thus endeth the lesson.

J.M.'s book list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do

J.M. Unrue Why did J.M. love this book?

A masterful debut novel, post-WWII, and dealing with characters in the heat of battle, internally and externally.

I was forced to read it in eleventh grade Honors English (what they called AP pre-AP. Like I said, I’m old). I reread it for edification as a young writer and was awed by the craftsmanship. The writing is dense and requires patience. War is never pretty.

By Norman Mailer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since enjoyed a long and well-deserved tenure in the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially for the occasion by Norman Mailer.

Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows a platoon of Marines who are stationed on the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948 with the wisdom of a man twice Mailer's age and the raw courage of the young man he was, The…


Book cover of From Here to Eternity

Sam Foster Author Of Non-Semper Fidelis

From my list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices.

Why am I passionate about this?

I heard a Jordan Peterson interview in which he boiled down my entire life’s struggle in a single phrase.  The interviewer was pushing Jordon on the subject of male toxicity. Jordon said something like, “If a man is entirely unwilling to fight under any circumstance, he is merely a weakling. Ask in martial arts trainer and they will tell you they teach two things – the ability to fight and self-control. A man who knows how and also knows how to control himself is a man.”

Sam's book list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices

Sam Foster Why did Sam love this book?

James Jones's brilliant debut novel must have had a great effect on me because I admit, in many ways, my book covers the same ground – how does a man maintain honor and dignity when constrained to live his life by the choices of other, and much more powerful men? I suppose the difference between our two themes is that the question in my book is about those same choices but wrapped in the question of race. Jones’s characters, while in the military, were dealing with personal issues. My Corporal Buck is dealing with an issue about which all of America is on fire.

From Here to Eternity is 70 years old. I read it in 1969, an eternity ago and it has lasted with me from there to here.  When I was in the Marine Corps I knew everything that was happening to me. But I didn’t know what…

By James Jones,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked From Here to Eternity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I'll never understand the fucking Army.'

Prew won't conform. He could have been the best boxer and the best bugler in his division, but he chooses the life of a straight soldier in Hawaii under the fierce tutelage of Sergeant Milt Warden. When he refuses to box for his company for mysterious reasons, he is given 'The Treatment', a relentless campaign of physical and mental abuse. Meanwhile, Warden wages his own campaign against authority by seducing the Captain's wife Karen - just because he can. Both men are bound to the Army, even though it may destroy them.

Published here…


Book cover of Berlin

Joe Kilgore Author Of A Farmhouse in the Rain

From my list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been enamored with the World War II era. It was a time that seems virtually non-existent today, where almost everyone in my country was on the same page. There seemed to be a collective commitment to the struggle. An agreement that this was indeed good versus evil. Of course, I’m sure its nostalgic allure is much greater for those of us who didn’t actually have to live through it. But the strength, perseverance, and everyday heroism it brought out in soldiers and civilians alike, deserves to be chronicled and remembered forever.

Joe's book list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front

Joe Kilgore Why did Joe love this book?

In addition to being an intriguing mystery about a serial killer, this is a fascinating portrait of Germany before, during, and after World War II. What is the landscape of a defeated country really like? How can cigarette butts literally become economic currency? The reader learns truly remarkable things about what people will do to simply survive. Plus, the narrative itself flips tradition on its head by telling you about victims after they are dead, rather than before they are killed. Atmospheric and compelling, this story pulls you in and won’t let you go.

By Pierre Frei, Anthea Bell (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in a devastated Berlin one month after the close of the Second World War, Berlin has been acclaimed as "ambitious . . . filled with brilliantly drawn characters, mesmerizingly readable, and disturbingly convincing" by the Sunday Telegraph. An electrifying thriller in the tradition of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst, Berlin is a page-turner and an intimate portrait of Germany before, during, and after the war. It is 1945 in the American sector of occupied Berlin, and a German boy has discovered the body of a beautiful young woman in a subway station. Blonde and blue-eyed, she has been sexually…


Book cover of Before the Court of Heaven

Joe Kilgore Author Of A Farmhouse in the Rain

From my list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been enamored with the World War II era. It was a time that seems virtually non-existent today, where almost everyone in my country was on the same page. There seemed to be a collective commitment to the struggle. An agreement that this was indeed good versus evil. Of course, I’m sure its nostalgic allure is much greater for those of us who didn’t actually have to live through it. But the strength, perseverance, and everyday heroism it brought out in soldiers and civilians alike, deserves to be chronicled and remembered forever.

Joe's book list on WWII era that explore conflicts on the home front

Joe Kilgore Why did Joe love this book?

Most of this novel’s action occurs between World War I and World War II. It’s the riveting tale of a young German crushed by his country’s defeat and dedicated to doing something about it. He joins a network of assassins and aids in the murder of a high-ranking Jew in the Weimar government. Sent to prison, he meets a unique individual and begins an acute reexamination of everything he’s previously believed. This is a passionately compelling tale of one man looking deep within himself to make sense of what he’s done with his life. The author brings the times, as well as his characters vividly to life and makes this chronicle of redemption a supremely fulfilling read.

By Jack Mayer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Before the Court of Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Historical Fiction based on a true story of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Third Reich. Winner of 13 book awards.2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - Historical Fiction 2017 Independent Press Award - Winner - General Fiction 2016 IndieReader Discovery Award - 1st Place - Fiction2015 Nautilus Book Award Winner - Fiction - Silver medal2016 Readers' Favorite Book Award - Gold Medal - Fiction -Social Issues2016 Finalist - Grand Prize (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction2016 Honorable Mention (Eric Hoffer Award) - Commercial Fiction 2016 Finalist - First Horizon Award (Eric Hoffer Award) - Fiction 2015 Finalist - Foreword…


Book cover of The House of Fragile Things: Jewish Art Collectors and the Fall of France

Susan Blumberg-Kason Author Of Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong

From my list on rediscovered women's history with badass book covers.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Susan Blumberg-Kason and I write books about strong women who have a strong sense of place. I think we are all partly defined by where we live and I enjoy examining how our environment informs our choices. My first book centers around someone I know very well—me! My memoir, Good Chinese Wife, takes place in my favorite city—Hong Kong—the place where I came of age and married for the first time, as well as China and a few cities in the US. I’m also a sucker for a good cover and I absolutely love my Good Chinese Wife cover!

Susan's book list on rediscovered women's history with badass book covers

Susan Blumberg-Kason Why did Susan love this book?

There’s so much texture on this cover, and the Renoir painting stands out because it’s probably the most recognizable part. The story involves Irene Cahen d’Anvers, the woman who sat for Renoir as a young girl, and how she came from a prominent Jewish family in France. Irene made some pivotal decisions that would forever change the lives of her ex-husband and daughter.

By James McAuley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A powerful history of Jewish art collectors in France, and how an embrace of art and beauty was met with hatred and destruction

"The depths of French anti-Semitism is the stunning subject that Mr. McAuley lays bare. . . . [He] tells this haunting saga in eloquent detail. As French anti-Semitism rises once again today, the effect is nothing less than chilling."-Diane Cole, Wall Street Journal

"Elegantly written and deeply moving. . . . [A] haunting book."-David Bell, New York Review of Books

In the dramatic years between 1870 and the end of World War II, a number of prominent…


Book cover of The UNtied Kingdom

Melody Johnson Author Of Beyond the Next Star

From my list on sci-fi that will melt your heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science fiction is a wonderful genre and a fun one to write because it offers authors the opportunity to explore age-old topics from a fresh perspective. For me, as both a writer and a voracious reader, the one thing that ties me to a great story—no matter the genre—is romance. Whether the hero is an alien from a faraway world or a werewolf with mechanical organs, the heart of a story is its characters, the relationships they form, and the healing power of love. Below are my top five recommended reads in science fiction that are sure to melt your heart!

Melody's book list on sci-fi that will melt your heart

Melody Johnson Why did Melody love this book?

A similar concept to Man in the High Castle, The UNtied Kingdom explores an alternate reality in which the Axis won World War II. The book begins in modern-day England where down-on-her-luck and former pop star, Eve, suffers a hang-gliding accident while filming a has-been “where are they now” reality TV show. She falls through a wormhole into the WWII alternate reality and is saved by Major Harker, only to be arrested as a potential Axis spy. When Harker embarks on a mission to infiltrate enemy lines, he drags Eve along on his mission for her Axis intelligence, and so begins their exciting, adventure-filled romance. Will he ever believe that she came from a different reality? Will she be able to help right the wrongs in his? Is this world the one she belongs in—with him? The questions that Johnson (no relation!) explores are intriguing, heart-wrenching, and kept me riveted…

By Kate Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Eve Carpenter lands with a splash in the Thames, it's not the London or England she's used to. No one has a telephone or knows what a computer is. England's a third world country and Princess Di is still alive. But worst of all, everyone thinks Eve's a spy. Including Major Harker who has his own problems. His sworn enemy is looking for a promotion. The general wants him to undertake some ridiculous mission to capture a computer, which Harker vaguely envisions running wild somewhere in Yorkshire. Turns out the best person to help him is Eve. She claims…


Book cover of The Cello Still Sings: A Generational Story of the Holocaust and of the Transformative Power of Music

Oren Schneider Author Of The Apprentice of Buchenwald: The True Story of the Teenage Boy Who Sabotaged Hitler's War Machine

From my list on individual bravery and triumph over evil during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Israel, a third generation to holocaust survivors and seventh generation to farmers from the Galilee, living with my family in Brooklyn, NY. I was raised by a concentration camp survivor grandfather, whose miraculous story I recorded and documented since early childhood. My painful family heritage made me passionate about 1930s and 1940s Europe, social and political processes that allowed fascism and nationalism to prevail over the frail democracies, and how ordinary people found their world shattered overnight, and had to find ways to stay alive. The books on my list represent small stories, about the human condition under inhumane conditions, told by talented storytellers. 

Oren's book list on individual bravery and triumph over evil during WWII

Oren Schneider Why did Oren love this book?

I enjoyed how the author, a musician herself, masterfully depicts the entire spectrum of human experience: joy, passion, cruelty, love, longing, endless guilt, and a sense of peace, all accompanied by thoughtful insights. Her passion for music is only matched by her longing for homemade Hungarian cuisine… a painful story told in a sensitive and aesthetic manner. 

By Janet Horvath,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a world in which antisemitism is on the rise, Horvath’s story—equal parts disturbing and inspiring—is necessary and timely reading. A poetic, nuanced tribute to the power of music and family. — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Ms Horvath's ability of unrestrained self-reflection combined with her eloquent writing style, her way of summarizing complex events into comprehensible paragraphs will not let you put the book down. — Jewish Book World

Janet Horvath tells [her parents'] gripping story with honesty and humour in an engaging style as if talking to a friend. —THE STRAD music magazine

A sweeping history of three generations…


Book cover of The Origins of the Second World War

Stewart Binns Author Of Barbarossa: And The Bloodiest War In History

From my list on 20th century conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

Stewart Binns is a former academic, soldier, and documentary filmmaker, who became a writer quite late in life. He has since written a wide range of books in both fiction and non-fiction. His passions are history and sport. He has completed a medieval quartet called the Making of England Series, two books about the Great War and a novel set during Northern Ireland’s Troubles. His latest work of non-fiction, Barbarossa, tells the story of the Eastern Front (1945 to 1944) from the perspective of the peoples of Eastern Europe. He is now working on a history of modern Japan.

Stewart's book list on 20th century conflict

Stewart Binns Why did Stewart love this book?

Taylor’s book was controversial in many ways. He contradicted many of the conventional wisdoms about the war, but more importantly, he annoyed the stuffy world of historical academia by writing popular history which was accessible to a wide readership. He certainly led me to realise that history can be immediate and compelling rather than distant and dry.

By A.J.P. Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origins of the Second World War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A.J.P. Taylor's bestselling The Origins of the Second World War overturns popular myths about the outbreak of war.

One of the most popular and controversial historians of the twentieth century, who made his subject accessible to millions, A.J.P. Taylor caused a storm of outrage with this scandalous bestseller. Debunking what were accepted truths about the Second World War, he argued provocatively that Hitler did not set out to cause the war as part of an evil master plan, but blundered into it partly by accident, aided by the shortcomings of others.
Fiercely attacked for vindicating Hitler, A.J.P. Taylor's stringent re-examination…


Book cover of Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America's Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II

Mike Guardia Author Of Tomcat Fury: A Combat History of the F-14

From my list on military aviation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mike Guardia is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author and military historian. A veteran of the United States Army, he served six years on active duty (2008-2014) as an Armor Officer. He has written and lectured on various topics of modern military history, including guerrilla warfare, air-to-air combat, and World War II in the Pacific. He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston.

Mike's book list on military aviation

Mike Guardia Why did Mike love this book?

Unsung Eagles is an intimate tour-de-force of air combat in World War II told, literally, from the perspective of the pilots themselves. The pilots who provided their stories for this book were all unassuming men from humble backgrounds. Yet, after Pearl Harbor, they gladly raised their right hands and swore an oath to defeat the Axis Powers. These brave young men flew various combat missions over the European and Pacific theaters. Yet, after the war, they came home to resume their normal lives and said nary a word about their wartime service, until now.

By Jay A. Stout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The nearly half-million American airmen who served during World War II have almost disappeared. And so have their stories. In Unsung Eagles, award-winning writer and former fighter pilot Jay Stout has saved an exciting collection of those accounts from oblivion. These are not rehashed tales from the hoary icons of the war. Rather, they are stories from the masses of largely unrecognized men who in the aggregate actually won it. These are "everyman" accounts that are important but fast disappearing. Ray Crandall describes how he was nearly knocked into the Pacific by a heavy cruiser's main battery during the Second…


Book cover of Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II

Alexander J. Field Author Of The Economic Consequences of U.S. Mobilization for the Second World War

From my list on U.S. mobilization for World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a scholar, I take pleasure in developing novel interpretations and arguments and persuading colleagues and readers of their merits. Over the past two decades, I’ve advanced a new macroeconomic narrative for the United States. In earlier publications, I argued that the Depression years were the most technologically progressive of the twentieth century. Behind the backdrop of double-digit unemployment, potential output grew rapidly, an increase that helped enable the country to produce prodigious amounts of WWII armaments. It also, I maintain, established most of the supply side foundations for the golden age (1948-73). The conventional wisdom tends instead to credit U.S. postwar economic dominance to experience manufacturing military durables. 

Alexander's book list on U.S. mobilization for World War II

Alexander J. Field Why did Alexander love this book?

The book gives great insight into the role of organized efforts at persuasion in establishing and reinforcing much of what we think we know about mobilization for the war.

Business wanted credit for the success of war production, even though most of it was achieved in government owned, government operated (GOGO) or government owned, contractor operated (GOCO) plants. The public sector played a much larger role in planning, directing, and controlling the mobilization effort than business wished the American public to acknowledge.

By Mark R. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

During World War II, the United States helped vanquish the Axis powers by converting its enormous economic capacities into military might. Producing nearly two-thirds of all the munitions used by Allied forces, American industry became what President Franklin D. Roosevelt called "the arsenal of democracy." Crucial in this effort were business leaders. Some of these captains of industry went to Washington to coordinate the mobilization, while others led their companies to churn out weapons. In this way, the private sector won the war-or so the story goes.
Based on new research in business and military archives, Destructive Creation shows that…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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