100 books like Village to Village

By Alister Kershaw,

Here are 100 books that Village to Village fans have personally recommended if you like Village to Village. 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 Unreliable Memoirs

Jesse Fink Author Of The Eagle in the Mirror

From my list on books by Australian writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in England to Australian parents and have lived most of my life in Australia. My family all live there, and I grew up in Sydney. Most of my books have been about Australian-related themes or historical figures. I don’t think enough is known about Australian history outside Australia. Australian writers have always struggled for recognition outside Australia. Publishing can be an unfair business. I’m more interested in reading nonfiction than fiction. True stories are much harder to write and get right, and there’s a bigger responsibility involved. You’re dealing with real people. The dead ones also have families.

Jesse's book list on books by Australian writers

Jesse Fink Why did Jesse love this book?

The funniest memoir I’ve ever read about being Australian and growing up in Sydney. It had me in tears throughout, with belly laughs and nostalgia.

Like Robert Hughes, Clive James was a stylish writer with a wonderful facility for words who sadly is no longer with us. He wrote a bunch of sequels (Falling Towards England, May Week Was in June, et al), and his poems are bloody good, too. He’s sadly missed.

By Clive James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before James Frey famously fabricated his memoir, Clive James wrote a refreshingly candid book that made no claims to be accurate, precise, or entirely truthful, only to entertain. In an exercise of literary exorcism, James set out to put his childhood in Australia behind him by rendering it as part novel, part memoir. Now, nearly thirty years after it first came out in England, Unreliable Memoirs is again available to American readers and sure to attract a whole new generation that has, through his essays and poetry, come to love James's inimitable voice.


Book cover of The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change

Jesse Fink Author Of The Eagle in the Mirror

From my list on books by Australian writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in England to Australian parents and have lived most of my life in Australia. My family all live there, and I grew up in Sydney. Most of my books have been about Australian-related themes or historical figures. I don’t think enough is known about Australian history outside Australia. Australian writers have always struggled for recognition outside Australia. Publishing can be an unfair business. I’m more interested in reading nonfiction than fiction. True stories are much harder to write and get right, and there’s a bigger responsibility involved. You’re dealing with real people. The dead ones also have families.

Jesse's book list on books by Australian writers

Jesse Fink Why did Jesse love this book?

This is probably the best, most exhilarating book about modern art I’ve ever read, written by one of the most erudite writers who ever lived. I read it when I was about 11 or 12, and it made me passionate about art and art history.

Hughes was such a good writer, and he made me want to get into writing myself. The BBC made a series based on the book. 

By Robert Hughes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This legendary book has been universally hailed as the best, the most readable and the most provocative account of modern art ever written.

Through each of the thematic chapters Hughes keeps his story grounded in the history of the 20th century, demonstrating how modernism sought to describe the experience of that era and showing how for many key art movements this was a task of vital importance.

The way in which Hughes brings that vitality and immediacy back through the well-chosen example and well-turned phrase is the heart of this book's success.


Book cover of One Crowded Hour: Neil Davis Combat Cameraman 1934-1985

Jesse Fink Author Of The Eagle in the Mirror

From my list on books by Australian writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in England to Australian parents and have lived most of my life in Australia. My family all live there, and I grew up in Sydney. Most of my books have been about Australian-related themes or historical figures. I don’t think enough is known about Australian history outside Australia. Australian writers have always struggled for recognition outside Australia. Publishing can be an unfair business. I’m more interested in reading nonfiction than fiction. True stories are much harder to write and get right, and there’s a bigger responsibility involved. You’re dealing with real people. The dead ones also have families.

Jesse's book list on books by Australian writers

Jesse Fink Why did Jesse love this book?

A stellar biography of Neil Davis, the legendary Australian cameraman of the Vietnam War who was killed in 1985 in Thailand during a military coup. Davis, tragically, filmed his own death. The camera was still running as he was shot and fell to the ground. His soundman, Bill Latch, was also killed.

This book really ignited my love of travel in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. It would make a fabulous feature film, and I’m surprised no one has made one yet. Davis was a remarkable man and this is a remarkable story, brilliantly told by Bowden. It's a timeless book. 

By Tim Bowden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bestselling biography of one of the world's greatest cinecameramen and an extraordinary Australian. For over twenty years journalist Neil Davis covered the conflicts in SouthEast Asia. Always at the battle front, he brought enduring images of the full horror of modern war to the world. Ironically, in September 1985, having survived so much war, Neil Davis was killed filming an attempted coup in the streets of Bangkok.


Book cover of Boxing Day: The Fight That Changed the World

Jesse Fink Author Of The Eagle in the Mirror

From my list on books by Australian writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in England to Australian parents and have lived most of my life in Australia. My family all live there, and I grew up in Sydney. Most of my books have been about Australian-related themes or historical figures. I don’t think enough is known about Australian history outside Australia. Australian writers have always struggled for recognition outside Australia. Publishing can be an unfair business. I’m more interested in reading nonfiction than fiction. True stories are much harder to write and get right, and there’s a bigger responsibility involved. You’re dealing with real people. The dead ones also have families.

Jesse's book list on books by Australian writers

Jesse Fink Why did Jesse love this book?

Full disclosure: This was a book I edited back in 1999 when I was working as an editor at HarperCollins. I'm not sure if it was ever published outside Australia, but it should have been.

Wells, a sports journalist, tells the amazing story of the heavyweight world title boxing fight between African-American Jack Johnson and Canadian Tommy Burns at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney in 1908. It features a cast of incredible characters, including Jack London.

By Jeff Wells,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Describes the championship bout between Johnson and Burns in Australia and the impact of Johnson's unexpected victory, including Jack London's call for a "Great White Hope"


Book cover of The Arcades Project

Massimiliano Tomba Author Of Marx's Temporalities

From my list on a Marxist’s conception of time, history, and politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by the relationship between the concept of time, history, and politics. My first publications were in the philosophy of history. I started by translating some Left Hegelians. Then I moved toward Kant and Benjamin. My research background was constituted by the attempt to liberate Marxism from any kind of teleological philosophy of history. Recently, I began digging into concrete historical cases to extract political and legal categories. I’m interested in the reactivation of past possibilities to reconfigure the present and open alternative futures. I am now fortunate to teach courses on Temporalities and History in the History of Consciousness Department at UCSC.

Massimiliano's book list on a Marxist’s conception of time, history, and politics

Massimiliano Tomba Why did Massimiliano love this book?

There are numerous reasons why this text should be read. Personally, Benjamin's reflections on progress and history are crucial to a critique of capitalist modernity.

From a methodological perspective, this text allows the reader to enter Benjamin's laboratory and grasp the essential aspects of his groundbreaking methodology that merged cultural analysis, historical research, and philosophical reflection. Benjamin's unique approach combined elements of sociology, anthropology, and literary critique, creating a multidisciplinary work that defied conventional boundaries.

By Walter Benjamin, Howard Eiland (translator), Kevin McLaughlin (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"To great writers," Walter Benjamin once wrote, "finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives." Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental ruin, meticulously constructed over the course of thirteen years--"the theater," as Benjamin called it, "of all my struggles and all my ideas."

Focusing on the arcades of nineteenth-century Paris-glass-roofed rows of shops that were early centers of consumerism--Benjamin presents a montage of quotations from, and reflections on, hundreds of published sources, arranging them…


Book cover of La Dame d'Esprit: A Biography of Marquise Du Châtelet

Karen Offen Author Of Debating the Woman Question in the French Third Republic, 1870-1920

From my list on remarkable French women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by France and things French. In graduate school, no women’s history was on our required reading lists. As a young woman, though, entering a professional field in which women were few on the ground, much less studied, I became an avid reader of biographies of achieving women – partly to learn how they were able to surmount (or not) the obstacles that confronted them in a male-dominated world. The five stellar biographies of French women I present here are products of the newer work in retrieving women’s histories. They are deeply researched and engagingly written. They confirm the saying that “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Karen's book list on remarkable French women

Karen Offen Why did Karen love this book?

This splendid biography traces the life and times of the Marquise Du Châtelet, born in Paris in December 1706, who became one of the most erudite women of her époque. For fifteen years she was the companion to Voltaire, the best-known of the French philosophes. She mastered calculus and translated Newton’s Principia, in addition to carrying on an active social life and raising several children. She died at the age of 42, following the birth of a daughter conceived with another lover. The author explains her subject’s life course as “from a life of frivolity to a life of the mind.” It’s a great read.

By Judith Zinsser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked La Dame d'Esprit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Documents the life of the French Enlightenment-era intellectual, from her aristocratic youth and controversial choice to become the mistress of Voltaire to her mathematical and scientific achievements and work as a translator of Newton.


Book cover of The Paris Winter

Lise McClendon Author Of Blackbird Fly

From my list on transporting you to France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m American but I’ve been a Francophile for ages. I didn’t get a chance to visit France until well into adulthood. So much history lives in France and it’s been my joy to illuminate it for readers who tell me they feel transported. There is no higher compliment, in my mind. I’ve been writing novels for thirty years, set in the Rocky Mountains, America’s heartland, and the scenic villages of France. The Bennett Sisters Mysteries are now up 18 books in the series, featuring settings from Paris to Champagne to the Dordogne, with more in the works. I must go back to France to research, oui

Lise's book list on transporting you to France

Lise McClendon Why did Lise love this book?

I love weaving history into my mysteries so I was drawn to this dark tale of Paris in the Belle Époque. An English girl goes to Paris to study art but, desperately poor, throws her fate into the hands of some shady characters. The atmosphere and scene-setting of Paris during a terrible rainy winter are unforgettable. 

By Imogen Robertson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Extra material includes a deleted scene and a Q&A with Imogen Robertson

Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academy to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become…


Book cover of The New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement

Janet Hubbard Author Of Champagne

From my list on modern day France containing food and wine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went to Paris the first time when I was nineteen. I was sitting in a cheap restaurant when a man entered carrying a burlap sack filled with escargots, and put some on my plate (all very unsanitary) for me to taste. Delicious! I was in France in the 1970s when Robert Parker was discovering French wine. (We didn’t meet then, but did after my series was published many years later.)  Subsequent stays in Paris and other areas of France (Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy) afforded me a food and wine sensibility that over decades has permeated my lifestyle, my friendships—and my writing.

Janet's book list on modern day France containing food and wine

Janet Hubbard Why did Janet love this book?

The description above segues nicely into The New Paris by Lindsey Traumata, published in 2017. Traumata now has a second book published, and hosts a podcast, and is popular on social media. I have spent at least a month (and sometimes three) in Paris annually over the past six years and think of Traumata’s first book as a good friend. She writes wonderful profiles of people, and she keeps readers updated about bistros, winemakers, new cuisine. Her writing is elegant, and I read her descriptions as avidly as I do a novel, constantly making notes. So different from the usual guidebooks.

By Lindsey Tramuta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The city long-adored for its medieval beauty, old-timey brasseries, and corner cafes has even more to offer today. In the last few years, a flood of new ideas and creative locals has infused a once-static, traditional city with a new open-minded sensibility and energy. Journalist Lindsey Tramuta offers detailed insight into the rapidly evolving worlds of food, wine, pastry, coffee, beer, fashion, and design in the delightful city of Paris. Tramuta puts the spotlight on the new trends and people that are making France's capital a more whimsical, creative, vibrant, and curious place to explore than its classical reputation might…


Book cover of Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette

Jessica Stilling Author Of Between Before and After

From my list on a little Parisian flair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author currently living in rural southern Vermont, though I’ve also lived in Chicago and New York City. When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to visit the city of lights and when I finally started going, I was awestruck by the beauty and the history of the city of Paris. It’s the little things about Paris, the crooked cobblestone, the myriad of bookstores, the flowers along the boulevards, and those steel metro signs that look like you’re about to enter a terrifying circus. It all comes together in the most lovely ways. My newest novel, Between Before and After, is in many ways a love letter to the city.

Jessica's book list on a little Parisian flair

Jessica Stilling Why did Jessica love this book?

This biography of the famous French authoress Collette explores the sensuously Parisian life of the famed and inflammatory author. It explores many of her sensuous love affairs along with her fabulous accomplishments. This biography marches through time in Paris, from the Belle Epoch to the lean years of the World Wars, to the shining beacon Paris became in the later half of the twentieth century. Through the life of the indomitable authoress Collette, the city of Paris truly sparkles as we see that her history is so entwined with the city’s history.

By Judith Thurman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who, from her first appearance in Paris salons as a child bride in 1900, scandalised and enraptured all of France.


Book cover of Almost French: Love and a New Life In Paris

Jessica Mudditt Author Of Our Home in Myanmar: Four years in Yangon

From my list on living abroad.

Why am I passionate about this?

I left home in Melbourne to spend a year travelling in Asia when I was in my mid-twenties. I ended up living abroad for a decade in London, Bangladesh, and Myanmar before returning to Sydney in 2016. My first book is about the four years I lived in Myanmar and I’m currently writing my second, which is about the year I spent backpacking from Cambodia to Pakistan. My third book will be about the three years I worked as a journalist in Bangladesh. My plan is to write a ‘trilogy’ of memoirs. Living abroad has enriched my life and travel memoirs are one of my favourite genres, both as a reader and a writer.

Jessica's book list on living abroad

Jessica Mudditt Why did Jessica love this book?

What’s not to love about a book set in Paris about a journalist who falls in love with a Frenchman? This book is a delight. Turnbull writes beautifully, and with modesty and humour about making every faux pas imaginable in Paris. It’s light and insightful at the time. The pages practically turned themselves.

By Sarah Turnbull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Almost French takes readers on a tour fraught with culture clashes but rife with insight and deadpan humour - a charming true story of what happens when a strong-willed Aussie girl meets a very French Frenchman.

Backpacking around Europe, twenty-something Sarah Turnbull meets Frederic and impulsively accepts his invitation to visit him for a week in Paris. Eight years later, she is still there - and married to him. The feisty journalist swaps vegemite for vichyssoise and all things French, but commits the fatal errors of bowling up to strangers at classy receptions, helping herself to champagne, laughing too loudly…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Paris, France, and Australia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Paris, France, and Australia.

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