100 books like Visco

By David Fell,

Here are 100 books that Visco fans have personally recommended if you like Visco. 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 Ministry for the Future

Michael J. Albert Author Of Navigating the Polycrisis: Mapping the Futures of Capitalism and the Earth

From my list on books that help us make sense of the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lecturer in Global Environmental Politics at the University of Edinburgh. My work is driven by the conviction that we need more thorough and realistic maps of possible futures in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world. Ever since learning about the intersections between climate, energy, and economic crises, I have been fascinated by the question of how our future will unfold and how we might create more just and liveable futures from the wreckage of the present world. And I have been driven to bring down artificial disciplinary divides in order to integrate knowledge across the sciences and humanities in ways that can illuminate the possible pathways ahead. 

Michael's book list on books that help us make sense of the future

Michael J. Albert Why did Michael love this book?

For those looking for a more hopeful account of how climate activism and progressive policy can co-create a more just and sustainable future beyond capitalism, look no further than this book. It is rightfully celebrated as an essential utopian novel of our time.

Most utopian visionaries merely describe the future they want without describing how we might actually get there. In contrast, Robinson shows us how we might cross what he calls the “Great Trench” that separates the current world from the hoped-for future.

This is not a starry-eyed utopian book: it clearly recognizes the intense political struggles, the worsening climate shocks, the suffering, the setbacks, and the violence that would inevitably accompany any transformation of capitalism.

By Kim Stanley Robinson,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Ministry for the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“The best science-fiction nonfiction novel I’ve ever read.” —Jonathan Lethem
 
"If I could get policymakers, and citizens, everywhere to read just one book this year, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future." —Ezra Klein (Vox)

The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us. Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favorite…


Book cover of A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Nick Fuller Googins Author Of The Great Transition

From my list on ward away your global warming anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was working installing solar panels in rural Maine when I first had the idea to write a climate crisis novel. I grew up in the woods of New England, and have always loved nature, but I was feeling pretty despondent about global warming. I started to wonder: what would it feel like to be part of a mass mobilization installing solar, wind, and so on, to save the planet? Those were the seeds of the novel. When I’m not writing, I’m a fourth grade teacher. I worry about the planet my students will inherit, and if I’m doing enough to make that world as hopeful as possible.

Nick's book list on ward away your global warming anxiety

Nick Fuller Googins Why did Nick love this book?

This is a really fun, slim novel set on a moon, Panga, where technology long ago achieved sentience and decided to leave humanity for the wilderness.

The novel opens with a tea monk, Dex, who lives in a gentle utopia and becomes the first human to meet a robot in distant memory. The robot, named Mosscap, asks Dex, “What do humans need?” and what proceeds is a marvelous rolling conversation between robot and monk that spans philosophy, theology, and ecology, providing so much food for thought regarding a happy, nurturing post-transition world.

By Becky Chambers,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked A Psalm for the Wild-Built as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honour the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of 'what do people need?' is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.
They're going to need to ask it a lot.


Book cover of No More Fairy Tales: stories to Save our Planet

Denise Baden Author Of Habitat Man

From my list on climate fiction to give you hope for our lovely planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

My day job is as a sustainability academic, so it’s hard to escape concern for our future and what we’re doing to our wonderful planet. I seek refuge in writing fiction. For me, if I can write the solutions, then maybe people will adopt them. But first and foremost, I love fiction as an escape, so I write and seek out books that make me happy and are filled with love and hope and exciting ideas to keep you turning the page. I also run the Green Stories project which hosts free writing competitions to help us imagine positive visions of a sustainable society.

Denise's book list on climate fiction to give you hope for our lovely planet

Denise Baden Why did Denise love this book?

I love this book because it shows how we can save our lovely planet.

Each story has climate solutions at its heart. Some are nature-based like planting sea grass. Some are technical, such as bringing water to the desert and carbon capture. Audacious solutions include refreezing the Arctic.

Several focus on our political economy like switching from the GDP to a wellbeing index or citizen assemblies to ensure climate-friendly decision-making. Some are incredibly innovative such as giving the Ocean nation-status.

Genres range from romance to action, family drama to whodunit. There are 24 stories so something for everyone and each story links to a webpage where you can find out how to make them happen. It’s also great value.  

By D.A. Baden (editor), Kim Stanley Robinson, Andrew Dana Hudson , Paolo Bacigalupi , Sara Foster , Martin Hastie , Nancy Lord , Brian Burt , Matthew Hanson-Kahn , Rasha Barrage

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No More Fairy Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A collection of inspiring, funny, dark, mysterious, tragic, romantic, dramatic, upbeat and fantastical short stories.

These 24 stories are written by a variety of authors, with the aim to inspire readers with positive visions of what a sustainable society might look like and how we might get there.

The stories are diverse in style, ranging from whodunnits to sci-fi, romance to family drama, comedy to tragedy, and cover a range of solution types from high-tech to nature-based solutions, to more systemic aspects relating to our culture and political economy.


Book cover of The Bees

Denise Baden Author Of Habitat Man

From my list on climate fiction to give you hope for our lovely planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

My day job is as a sustainability academic, so it’s hard to escape concern for our future and what we’re doing to our wonderful planet. I seek refuge in writing fiction. For me, if I can write the solutions, then maybe people will adopt them. But first and foremost, I love fiction as an escape, so I write and seek out books that make me happy and are filled with love and hope and exciting ideas to keep you turning the page. I also run the Green Stories project which hosts free writing competitions to help us imagine positive visions of a sustainable society.

Denise's book list on climate fiction to give you hope for our lovely planet

Denise Baden Why did Denise love this book?

Absolutely loved it. I love books that help you to appreciate the world in a whole new way.

This is the best example of this because the story is told from the perspective of a bee. It’s a real page tuner and so imaginative. I also love her next book The Ice which is more of a thriller and also a tale of redemption. Definitely an author to watch. 

By Laline Paull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize for New Fiction 2015

Enter a whole new world, in this thrilling debut novel set entirely within a beehive.

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen.

But Flora is not like other bees. Despite her ugliness she has talents that are not typical of her kin. While mutant bees are usually instantly…


Book cover of Citadel of the Saxons: The Rise of Early London

Marc Morris Author Of The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

From my list on medieval Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into medieval history from the moment I arrived at university, when I looked at a lecture list that included the Norman Conquest, King John and Magna Carta, Edward I – in short, the subjects of the books I have gone on to write. The attraction for me was that the medieval centuries were formative ones, shaping the countries of the British Isles and the identities of the people within them. After completing my doctorate on the thirteenth-century earls of Norfolk I was keen to broaden my horizons, and presented a TV series about castles, which was a great way to reconnect with the reality of the medieval past.

Marc's book list on medieval Britain

Marc Morris Why did Marc love this book?

In my own writing I’ve recently ventured into the Anglo-Saxon period, so I know how hard it is to conjure the history of these early medieval centuries from the meagre source material that survives. Rory Naismith manages this brilliantly in his highly engaging history of London in the centuries between the end of Roman Britain and the Norman Conquest. Naismith’s earlier books are on coins and coinage, but he does not allow his specialism to pull the book off balance. It’s a comparatively short volume, but it provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging capital, and it wears its considerable learning lightly.

By Rory Naismith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a past as deep and sinewy as the famous River Thames that twists like an eel around the jutting peninsula of Mudchute and the Isle of Dogs, London is one of the world's greatest and most resilient cities. Born beside the sludge and the silt of the meandering waterway that has always been its lifeblood, it has weathered invasion, flood, abandonment, fire and bombing. The modern story of London is well known. Much has been written about the later history of this megalopolis which, like a seductive dark star, has drawn incomers perpetually into its orbit. Yet, as Rory…


Book cover of Offshore

Jane McMorland Hunter Author Of Urban Nature Every Day: Discover the natural world on your doorstep

From my list on novels set by the River Thames in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in London most of my life, and what I love most about it are the wild places, the spots where the city and nature rub shoulders. When reading fiction, ‘place’ matters a lot to me, and if I am familiar with the setting, I like it to be accurate. That said, I love a little fantasy to stretch the boundaries. As well as being a writer and editor, I have worked part-time in bookshops for over forty years, and during that time, I must have read hundreds of novels set in and around London. These are five of my absolute favourites.

Jane's book list on novels set by the River Thames in London

Jane McMorland Hunter Why did Jane love this book?

I have always liked the idea of living in a houseboat on the River Thames. This wonderful story simultaneously fed my fantasies and made me realise it might not be as idyllic as I imagined.

The houseboats on Battersea Reach are like a small village–each character is an individual yet integral part of the whole, their fortunes rising and falling with the tide. Through these characters, the book paints a picture of sixties London, swinging yet also unforgiving for those who slip between the cracks. Penelope Fitzgerald lived on a barge in Battersea, and I think much of the story is based on personal experience.

What I particularly liked was the sense of the houseboat dwellers not quite belonging, being offshore in more ways than one. 

By Penelope Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE
FEATURED ON BBC'S BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB

Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize-winning novel of loneliness and connecting is set among the houseboat community of the Thames, with an introduction from Alan Hollinghurst.

On Battersea Reach, a mixed bag of the temporarily lost and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the tide of the Thames.

There is good-natured Maurice, by occupation a male prostitute, by chance a receiver of stolen goods. And Richard, an ex-navy man whose boat, much like its owner, dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, an abandoned wife…


Book cover of Sweet Thames Run Softly

Richard Mayon-White Author Of Discovering London's Canals: On foot, by bike or by boat

From my list on the fascinating beauty of English waterways.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love rivers. The flow of water gives a sense of timelessness, the reflection of light from the surface brightens the colours on the banks and the wider stretches make a feeling of space. I have messed about in boats all my life and I am happiest on inland waterways. What I enjoyed as recreation alongside a medical career has grown into a vocation in my retirement. The more people who know about our beautiful rivers, the better the chances that we can protect them from exploitation and carelessness. 

Richard's book list on the fascinating beauty of English waterways

Richard Mayon-White Why did Richard love this book?

Sweet Thames Run Softly is a classic of natural history literature. 

It is reputed to have been read by British servicemen during World War II to remind them of home and peace. It is just as evocative today.  It describes a journey down the River Thames in a punt, and it meanders in the same way as the river does. 

The beauty lies in the text and the charm is in the author’s etchings. This is a book that I read time and again, whenever I want inspiration or solace.

By Robert Gibbings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweet Thames Run Softly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, Robert Gibbings launched his home-made punt on the River Thames and began a slow journey downstream, armed with a sketchpad and a microscope. From the river's source at the edge of the Cotswold Hills to the bustle of London's docks, Sweet Thames Run Softly is a charming, often eccentric, account of an artist-naturalist adrift in English waters. First published as the Battle of Britain raged overhead, this gentle boating tale was an antidote to the anxieties of wartime and became an immediate best-seller. Our new edition includes the original engravings…


Book cover of Original Sin

Jane McMorland Hunter Author Of Urban Nature Every Day: Discover the natural world on your doorstep

From my list on novels set by the River Thames in London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in London most of my life, and what I love most about it are the wild places, the spots where the city and nature rub shoulders. When reading fiction, ‘place’ matters a lot to me, and if I am familiar with the setting, I like it to be accurate. That said, I love a little fantasy to stretch the boundaries. As well as being a writer and editor, I have worked part-time in bookshops for over forty years, and during that time, I must have read hundreds of novels set in and around London. These are five of my absolute favourites.

Jane's book list on novels set by the River Thames in London

Jane McMorland Hunter Why did Jane love this book?

I need crime novels to have a good backstory–characters that grip me beyond the murder, burglary, or kidnapping. The setting of this story, in the world of publishing in a building on the bank of the River Thames, fulfills everything I could want.

As a detective, Adam Dalgliesh is intriguing; he is highly respected but intensely private, a published poet who lives alone in a flat overlooking the river, all of which made me want to know more about the man, as well as the crime he has to solve. 

By P. D. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major Channel 5 series

'The Queen of Crime.' New York Times

The Peverell Press, a two-hundred-year-old publishing firm housed in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames, is certainly ripe for change. But the proposals of its ruthlessly ambitious new managing director, Gerard Etienne, have made him dangerous enemies - a discarded mistress, a neglected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues and staff. When Gerard's body is discovered bizarrely desecrated, there is no shortage of suspects and Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of extraordinary complexity and a murderer who is prepared to strike…


Book cover of Dark Earth

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

Rebecca Stott sets her adventure story in the Roman ruins of early London around 500 AD, and is included in this collection because Stott is, in a sense, creating the first draft of history where none exists with this admirable tale.

It’s of two sisters, Isla and Blue, whose father dies and they must deliver the Sword he forged to the client, King Osric. Listening to the story transported me to the sister’s side as they overcome one obstacle after another. Found myself listening in a dream state — an extraordinary listen that called me to make the exception to include this book in my list.

On the author's website I wanted to learn more about the title and clicked on the tab "Mysterious Black Soil". Reading the entry, I was entranced all over again by this amazing tale. Briefly, when the Romans abandoned Londinium, around 420 AD, the mile-wide…

By Rebecca Stott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A “superb” (The Guardian) novel about two sisters fighting for survival in Dark Ages Britain that weaves “a dazzling blend of history and fantasy” (BuzzFeed)
 
“Rich in history and folklore . . . Stott is astute on the use of stories to control others and maintain power. . . . Female defiance blazes through as her women reclaim this brutal period from the men.”—The Telegraph

The year is 500 AD. Sisters Isla and Blue live in the shadows of the Ghost City, the abandoned ruins of the once-glorious mile-wide Roman settlement Londinium on the bank of the River Thames. But…


Book cover of The History of the Port of London: A Vast Emporium of All Nations

Margarette Lincoln Author Of Trading in War: London's Maritime World in the Age of Cook and Nelson

From my list on maritime London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was formerly Deputy Director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and am now a visiting fellow at the University of Portsmouth. I can safely say that I have spent some years of my life walking along the River Thames. The fascinating thing about maritime London is that our understanding of it is always advancing and changing – much like the riverscape itself.

Margarette's book list on maritime London

Margarette Lincoln Why did Margarette love this book?

Stone looks specifically at the evolution of the Port of London from Roman times to the present day. His enthusiasm for London’s history is evident on every page. The book is well-paced, accessible, and combines a broad chronological sweep with interesting side-stories which help to bring the pages to life. Clear maps showing trade routes and the growth of London’s dock complex greatly help the reader.

By Peter Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The River Thames has been integral to the prosperity of London since Roman times. Explorers sailed away on voyages of discovery to distant lands. Colonies were established and a great empire grew. Funding their ships and cargoes helped make the City of London into the world's leading financial centre. In the 19th century a vast network of docks was created for ever-larger ships, behind high, prison-like walls that kept them secret from all those who did not toil within. Sail made way for steam as goods were dispatched to every corner of the world. In the 19th century London was…


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