100 books like Trade and Taboo

By Sarah E. Bond,

Here are 100 books that Trade and Taboo fans have personally recommended if you like Trade and Taboo. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Roman Retail Revolution: The Socio-Economic World of the Taberna

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

I adore this book because it explains the development of streets lined with shops that we see in Pompeii and identifies this phenomenon as a key development in the Roman empire. Steve shows that shops develop as part of the façade to what were houses of the elite in the second century BCE, but then proliferate in the towns of Italy. Ultimately, he shows how shops also spread to the towns of the provinces. The implications for a fundamental change in urban life were immense. The book is full of archaeological data and painstaking study, which is concisely presented to the reader in an accessible manner.

By Steven J. R. Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Tabernae were ubiquitous in all Roman cities, lining the busiest streets and dominating their most crowded intersections in numbers far exceeding those of any other form of building. That they played a vital role in the operation of the city, and indeed in the very definition of urbanization in ancient Rome, is a point too often under-appreciated in Roman studies, and one which bears fruitful further exploration.

The Roman Retail Revolution offers a thorough investigation into the social and economic worlds of the Roman shop, focusing on food and drink outlets in particular. Combining critical analysis of both archaeological material…


Book cover of The Traffic Systems of Pompeii

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

Pompeii is such a wonderful archaeological site and one that allows archaeologists to develop new ways to investigate how that ancient city functioned. This book, through meticulous study of paving, carts, and curbstones even, prods the surviving pieces from antiquity to create a full understanding of how traffic was enabled and hindered by the inhabitants of Pompeii. Plenty of streets blocked to traffic here and lots of detailed archaeological evidence to get to grips with, but coming through the book to the reader is the passion of the author and his need to discover and reveal new facts about Pompeii to his readers.

By Eric E. Poehler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Traffic Systems of Pompeii is the first sustained examination of the development of road infrastructure in Pompeii-from the archaic age to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE-and its implications for urbanism in the Roman empire. Eric E. Poehler, an authority on Pompeii's uniquely preserved urban structure, distills over five hundred instances of street-level "wear and tear" to reveal for the first time the rules of the ancient road. Through a
thorough, yet lively, investigation of every facet of the infrastructure, from the city's urban grid and the shape of the streets to the treatment of their surfaces…


Book cover of A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

This book has everything in it across 37 chapters: technology, landscapes, material culture, identity, and empire. It is one of the few volumes in this series of Companions and Handbooks from various publishers that takes an explicitly archaeological focus. It includes developments in the city of Rome over time, but broadens out to include Italy and Rome’s empire. The book benefits from drawing on the research of 37 leading experts, who present in concise sections key findings based on archaeological research – often from archaeological projects that they have led in the field.

By Jane DeRose Evans (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic offers a diversity of perspectives to explore how differing approaches and methodologies can contribute to a greater understanding of the formation of the Roman Republic. * Brings together the experiences and ideas of archaeologists from around the world, with multiple backgrounds and areas of interest * Offers a vibrant exploration of the ways in which archaeological methods can be used to explore different elements of the Roman Republican period * Demonstrates that the Republic was not formed in a vacuum, but was influenced by non-Latin-speaking cultures from throughout the Mediterranean region…


Book cover of The Atlas of Ancient Rome: Biography and Portraits of the City - Two-Volume Slipcased Set

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

In two volumes, this is quite simply one of the most beautiful books I own. Much more than an atlas of maps, it includes illustrations of archaeological evidence from across the city and is full of reconstruction drawings. It is a book to simply lose yourself in and spend time browsing through the pages that set out the city of Rome. The overlaying of the ancient buildings from Rome onto the modern street grid, also allows for the reader to see how those ancient buildings, such as the Theatre of Pompey, continue to shape the streetscape of the city of Rome.

By Andrea Carandini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Atlas of Ancient Rome provides a comprehensive archaeological survey of the city of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period. Lavishly illustrated throughout with full-color maps, drawings, photos, and 3D reconstructions, this magnificent two-volume slipcased edition features the latest discoveries and scholarship, with new descriptions of more than 500 monuments, including the Sanctuary of Vesta, the domus Augusti, and the Mausoleum of Augustus. It is destined to become the standard reference for scholars, students, and anyone interested in the history of the city of Rome. The Atlas of Ancient Rome is monumental in scope. It examines the city's…


Book cover of Status Anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

It’s hilarious and cringey at the same time to read this honest look at status anxiety. It’s hilarious to watch others seek status. As for yourself, you hopefully relieve your cringing because you see how status has obsessed people throughout history. 

The author says we seek the love of the world as well as the love of a partner. The quest can ruin an otherwise good life, so he offers solutions. I love his explanation of the original “Bohemians.” They were the hipsters of the 19th century! They created those impressionist paintings we love because they were aching for status.

The author is a famous British philosopher who inherited a fortune. He sees that money does not relieve status anxiety. But he misses the real reason: because we’ve inherited the brain of status-seeking animals (as explained in all of my books). 

By Alain De Botton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

From one of our greatest voices in modern philosophy, author of The Course of Love, The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life - Alain de Botton sets out to understand our universal fear of failure - and how we might change it

'De Botton's gift is to prompt us to think about how we live and how we might change things' The Times

We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer - to a greater or lesser…


Book cover of Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England

Susan Stokes-Chapman Author Of Pandora

From my list on researching the Georgian era.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since watching the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, I’ve been fascinated by the Georgian era. At university I always chose modules that connected with the period, which typically focused on the works of Keats, Byron and Shelley. One module introduced me to the essayist William Hazlitt, and my first novel Infelice drew on his illicit love affair with serving girl Sarah Walker. My début Pandora is vastly different, but both novels required a plethora of research. The books I’ve chosen all helped me bring my writing to life, and I hope aspiring novelists with a passion for the Georgians will find these as useful as I have.

Susan's book list on researching the Georgian era

Susan Stokes-Chapman Why did Susan love this book?

It’s all in the details. No matter what social circle a Georgian man and woman lived in, knowing how each functioned within their inner circle is key to creating fully fleshed-out worlds. Vickery uses archival material such as diaries, ledgers, letters, court trials, and other sources to show how the Georgians lived in the comfort (or discomfort) of their own homes, and, interestingly, how this also had an effect on their lives outside the home. The author even provides the reader with an insight into how their homes actually looked, from furniture and portraits, right down to textiles and wallpaper. 

By Amanda Vickery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this brilliant new work, Amanda Vickery unlocks the homes of Georgian England to examine the lives of the people who lived there. Writing with her customary wit and verve, she introduces us to men and women from all walks of life: gentlewoman Anne Dormer in her stately Oxfordshire mansion, bachelor clerk and future novelist Anthony Trollope in his dreary London lodgings, genteel spinsters keeping up appearances in two rooms with yellow wallpaper, servants with only a locking box to call their own. Vickery makes ingenious use of upholsterer's ledgers, burglary trials, and other unusual sources to reveal the roles…


Book cover of Wild Boar in the Cane Field

Judith Teitelman Author Of Guesthouse for Ganesha

From my list on exploring the search for sanctuary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a seeker, fascinated by all cultures, philosophies, and spiritual perspectives. Although the concept is often different—for some, it’s a place of refuge, feeling safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble; for others, it’s a state of being, an inner peace, I’ve found that the search for sanctuary—safe-haven—elsewhere—has ancient roots and contemporary reverberations. My novel, Guesthouse for Ganesha, further heightened my interest in this subject, for my protagonist, Esther Grünspan, both deeply wounded and unsafe, was compelled to seek sanctuary. As a first-time novelist with an 18-year journey to publication, I fully immersed myself in this topic’s study and comprehension.

Judith's book list on exploring the search for sanctuary

Judith Teitelman Why did Judith love this book?

I love to travel—both physically around the world and throughout time and history through books. Anniqua Rana’s Wild Board in the Cane Field transported me elsewhere. It is a beautifully rendered and imaginatively descriptive tale that takes the reader to a place few have likely visited—the life and culture of rural Pakistan. It is also a magically realistic tale, a favorite genre of mine. While this poignant story centers on its teenage protagonist, I was immediately captivated by all the characters and their hopes, desires, challenges, and joys. 

By Anniqua Rana,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wild Boar in the Cane Field as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One day, a baby girl, Tara, is found, abandoned and covered in flies. She is raised by two mothers in a community rife with rituals and superstition. As she grows, Tara pursues acceptance at all costs. Saffiya, her adoptive mother, and Bhaggan, Saffiya's maidservant, are victims of the men in their community, and the two women, in turn, struggle and live short but complicated lives. The only way for the villagers to find solace is through the rituals of ancient belief systems.

Tara lives in a village that could be any village in South Asia, and she dies, like many…


Book cover of Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See

Todd Swanstrom Author Of The Changing American Neighborhood: The Meaning of Place in the Twenty-First Century

From my list on why neighborhoods still matter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a neighborhood that was stable, safe, and stimulating. After my freshman year in college, I signed up for an “urban experience” in Detroit. It turned out to be the summer of the Detroit riots. I woke up to U.S. Army vehicles rumbling into the park across from my apartment. Over the next month, I witnessed the looting and burning of whole neighborhoods. I remember thinking:  what a waste! Why are we throwing away neighborhoods like Kleenex? I have been trying to answer that question ever since.   

Todd's book list on why neighborhoods still matter

Todd Swanstrom Why did Todd love this book?

I’ve often thought that discrimination against poor people is the last socially acceptable prejudice. Kahlenberg proves me correct.

While racial segregation has declined, economic segregation has increased exponentially. Kahlenberg exposes the myths and false arguments that justify economic discrimination. He shows that excluding the poor is most common in liberal communities on the two coasts.

Research demonstrates that where we grow up has a powerful effect on our ability to succeed in school and the job market, demolishing the idea that we are a meritocracy and that rich people deserve to live behind invisible walls in privileged communities.  

By Richard D. Kahlenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The last, acceptable form of prejudice in America is based on class and executed through state-sponsored economic discrimination, which is hard to see because it is much more subtle than raw racism.

While the American meritocracy officially denounces prejudice based on race and gender, it has spawned a new form of bias against those with less education and income. Millions of working-class Americans have their opportunity blocked by exclusionary snob zoning. These government policies make housing unaffordable, frustrate the goals of the civil rights movement, and lock in inequality in our urban and suburban landscapes.

Through moving accounts of families…


Book cover of The Ferryman

William Dean Author Of Militia Men

From my list on suspense thrillers to steal your sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of thrillers since I first read Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot back in, well, you know. A long time ago. I was an investigative journalist for many years before I tried my hand at writing books, but I always knew what my genre would be. Books that make your heart thump with characters you can’t easily forget. Militia Men is my third suspense novel set in the Pacific Northwest. I hope you like it – and the books on this list!

William's book list on suspense thrillers to steal your sleep

William Dean Why did William love this book?

Justin Cronin’s silky prose, captivating characters, and eye for detail elevates this post-apocalyptic literary thriller, making it a thoroughly engrossing read. 

The novel opens with the shocking suicide of a woman who lives in Prospera, a paradise island. But all is not as it seems in this lack-for-nothing dream world, and soon we learn that a rebellion of the underclass is brewing. When the protagonist discovers that all is not as it seems, he quickly finds himself a hunted man. 

I’m new to Cronin, but this book made me a fan.

By Justin Cronin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Next to impossible to put down . . . exciting, mysterious, and totally satisfying.”—STEPHEN KING
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn't what it seems.

Founded by the mysterious genius known as the Designer, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological…


Book cover of The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

Carl Nordgren Author Of Becoming A Creative Genius (again)

From my list on appreciating your natural entrepreneurial genius.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never believed the idea that creativity was for a gifted few. Throughout my life, as a teenage fishing guide, an entrepreneur and college professor, novelist, and creativity guide, the folks I’ve met are rich with creative and entrepreneurial qualities. My calling is to help you appreciate your creative genius so that it appreciates in value for you. Growing your creatively entrepreneurial genius is the best way to prepare for a future of unknowable unknowns, the best way to build careers we desire, the best way to fully appreciate life. I offer various perspectiveS on core creative and entrepreneurial concepts so you can construct the best path to your personal renewal and growth.

Carl's book list on appreciating your natural entrepreneurial genius

Carl Nordgren Why did Carl love this book?

I used this book in class for three semesters. The students were fans; I stopped using it only because I re-designed my classes regularly. It’s a deep dive into hundreds of social science and neuroscience research projects about how we relate to each other, how we want to engage with each other, and why. It first appeared to be an unusual pick for a class on creatively entrepreneurial growth but students agreed it made sense when reminded that most creative work is done in collaborative teams so understanding each other is of great creative benefit. Brooks uses fictional characters, a man and a woman, and tells their life stories, illuminating them with insights rooted in research; we see the deep human truths behind behaviors and are entertained along the way. 

By David G. Brooks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

With unequaled insight and brio, New York Times columnist David Brooks has long explored and explained the way we live. Now Brooks turns to the building blocks of human flourishing in a multilayered, profoundly illuminating work grounded in everyday life. This is the story of how success happens, told through the lives of one composite American couple, Harold and Erica. Drawing on a wealth of current research from numerous disciplines, Brooks takes Harold and Erica from infancy to old age, illustrating a fundamental new understanding of human nature along the way: The unconscious mind, it…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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