100 books like When the Lion Feeds

By Wilbur Smith,

Here are 100 books that When the Lion Feeds fans have personally recommended if you like When the Lion Feeds. 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 Shōgun

Robert Whiting Author Of Tokyo Junkie: 60 Years of Bright Lights and Back Alleys . . . and Baseball

From my list on learning about life.

Why am I passionate about this?

They are in some sense books of self-discovery and/or discovery of new worlds. They made me want to travel and explore other cultures. And they also inspired me to write. They helped shape me as a person. I'm now a journalist and author of several books on Japan. I've lived in many different places around the world and find Tokyo Japan to be the best capital to live in. My work describes life in Tokyo and the Japanese culture in general, focusing on sports, crime, and politics. I've written best-sellers in both the US and Japan and been nominated for several prizes. Most recently I was selected winner of a 2023 Henry Chadwick Award.

Robert's book list on learning about life

Robert Whiting Why did Robert love this book?

Shōgun is a historical novel set in 17th-century feudal Japan that is based on the life of an English sailor named Will  Adams who is shipwrecked there.

He became a samurai and a confidant of a warlord based on Ieyasu Tokugawa. It is a meticulously researched and richly detailed novel that combines historical events with fictional characters and storylines, dealing with themes of honor and loyalty in a world of samurai and daimyos.

It also explores relationships between Japanese and European traders, highlighting the clash of Western and Eastern values. At over 560,000 words long, it is a spellbinding narrative that offers an encyclopedic exploration of Japanese history, culture, customs, and traditions of Japan. It started a Japan craze in the United States when it was first published.

By James Clavell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Clavell never puts a foot wrong . . . Get it, read it, you'll enjoy it mightily' Daily Mirror

This is James Clavell's tour-de-force; an epic saga of one Pilot-Major John Blackthorne, and his integration into the struggles and strife of feudal Japan. Both entertaining and incisive, SHOGUN is a stunningly dramatic re-creation of a very different world.

Starting with his shipwreck on this most alien of shores, the novel charts Blackthorne's rise from the status of reviled foreigner up to the hights of trusted advisor and eventually, Samurai. All as civil war looms over the fragile country.

'I can't…


Book cover of The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

Deb Aronson Author Of How to Raise a Rhino

From my list on humans bonding with wild animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion is writing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, rather than famous people or people with some unusual skill, like being a math genius or something. This passion led me to Anna Merz’s story and my growing appreciation of the power of the animal/human connection and how much communication can take place without language.

Deb's book list on humans bonding with wild animals

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

Okay, I confess this is the same story as the recommendation above, The Elephants Come Home, but this is written by the actual guy, Lawrence Anthony, who undertook this effort.

Also, instead of a picture book, it is a 380-page tale told by the person who lived it. If you love The Elephants Come Home, you’ll want to read Elephant Whisperer as well.

I found myself exclaiming again and again over the stories that Anthony tells of life on the sanctuary.

By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Elephant Whisperer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.…


Book cover of The Pillars of the Earth

Jill Wallace Author Of War Serenade

From my list on impossible odds and satisfying endings.

Why am I passionate about this?

My ultimate read is when the action is fast, but the character's discovery of self is slow. Besides, being engrossed in the challenges of others makes my own pale by comparison. The author needs to get me to empathize with the characters - even if their struggles are nothing like my own - and once they’ve done that, I’ll be in for the long haul! Journeying through life’s mire and finding the rainbow with a character you believe - and believe in - makes for the ultimate in vicarious living. And ‘Heck, YES’ to a satisfying ending!

Jill's book list on impossible odds and satisfying endings

Jill Wallace Why did Jill love this book?

OMG. I have recommended this book to more people than any other. It’s truly a historical fiction masterpiece. I read slowly but my eyes flew over these titillating pages as if I was a famished glutton and had to devour them quickly lest they disappear. The intrigue! The avarice! The anarchy!

It is an ambitious literary project that splashes over the colorful canvas set in 12th-century England. If, like me, you love the complexities of the human condition, read this book and prepare for the rapture that is virtuoso storytelling.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Pillars of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah's Book Club Selection

The "extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece" (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett's already phenomenal career-and begins where its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, ended.

"Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner," extolled Publishers Weekly on the release of The Pillars of the Earth. A departure for the bestselling thriller writer, the historical epic stunned readers and critics alike with its ambitious scope and gripping humanity. Today, it stands as a testament to Follett's unassailable command of the written word and to his universal appeal.

The…


Book cover of The Grass Is Singing

Evadeen Brickwood Author Of The Rhino Whisperer

From my list on Southern Africa with wild life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved from Germany to Botswana when I was a fledgling translator, and then on to South Africa 2 years later. I fell in love with this part of Africa that had a hand in making me the person I am today. Since I used to travel a lot, not all of my books are set in Southern Africa, but I have a passion for sharing my African stories with the world, and in a few of my novels, I include African wildlife in the storyline. Being a translator, I also translate books into German/English, and four of my own books - so far - are also available in German.

Evadeen's book list on Southern Africa with wild life

Evadeen Brickwood Why did Evadeen love this book?

I don’t remember if there is actual wildlife in this book (apart from a dog), but nature plays a big part in the story. It was one of the first novels about Africa I read and it moved me deeply. Doris Lessing has written quite a few books about Africa, some political, others with a focus on the land, its people, and nature. She grew up in Zimbabwe (which was called Rhodesia back then) and is an award-winning author. I had to include at least one of her books in my list, so there.

By Doris Lessing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Nobel Prize-winner Doris Lessing's first novel is a taut and tragic portrayal of a crumbling marriage, set in South Africa during the years of Arpartheid.

Set in Rhodesia, 'The Grass is Singing' tells the story of Dick Turner, a failed white farmer and his wife, Mary, a town girl who hates the bush and viciously abuses the black South Africans who work on their farm. But after many years, trapped by poverty, sapped by the heat of their tiny house, the lonely and frightened Mary turns to Moses, the black cook, for kindness and understanding.

A masterpiece of realism,…


Book cover of Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story

Evadeen Brickwood Author Of The Rhino Whisperer

From my list on Southern Africa with wild life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I moved from Germany to Botswana when I was a fledgling translator, and then on to South Africa 2 years later. I fell in love with this part of Africa that had a hand in making me the person I am today. Since I used to travel a lot, not all of my books are set in Southern Africa, but I have a passion for sharing my African stories with the world, and in a few of my novels, I include African wildlife in the storyline. Being a translator, I also translate books into German/English, and four of my own books - so far - are also available in German.

Evadeen's book list on Southern Africa with wild life

Evadeen Brickwood Why did Evadeen love this book?

Daphne Sheldrick has written this memoir to give us an insight into her life, saving and raising young elephants and numerous other wild animals with her husband in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Her book is hugely inspiring and, although Kenya is strictly speaking not in Southern Africa. South African and East African wildlife are very similar and her description of an orphan sanctuary inspired me to write about such a sanctuary in my own book.

By Daphne Jenkins Sheldrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya's rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.

In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous…


Book cover of The Memory of an Elephant

Harriet Segal Author Of The Expatriate

From my list on commitment, courage, and perseverance against odds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am mom to three daughters, grammy to seven grandchildren. I am a storyteller and a voracious reader. There’s nothing better than to immerse myself in books about history, espionage, and family sagas. Growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, I never suspected that I would travel the world one day, although I always dreamed of writing novels. Living in India for a time, I developed a passion for international affairs. I try to make the settings and culture of my novels as authentic as possible. To research the background for The Expatriate, I traveled to England, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and the Eastern Republics of the former Soviet Union. 

Harriet's book list on commitment, courage, and perseverance against odds

Harriet Segal Why did Harriet love this book?

I fell in love with Ishi, the ageing bull elephant, who is the narrator of this saga. If ever you doubted that elephants were sentient creatures, this book will change your mind. After fifty years as a captive, shipped overseas, mistreated in a circus, and landing in a zoo, by miraculous serendipity, Ishi finds himself back in Africa, hundreds of miles from the animal sanctuary where he was raised. Making a final desperate journey to reach the human family that rescued him as a baby, when his mother and entire herd were killed by ivory poachers, our hero encounters one peril after another. A highly emotional tale, it speaks of good and evil. Ishi’s story will have you contributing to every campaign to save these noble beasts.

By Alex Lasker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Memory of an Elephant" is an epic saga told by an aging African elephant as he makes a last, perilous journey to find the humans who rescued him as an orphan some fifty years ago. Interwoven with his narrative are the tumultuous lives of the family who raised and then lost him. This timeless story is alternately heartwarming and heartbreaking, spanning east Africa, Great Britain and New York from 1962 to 2015.


Book cover of Burial Rites

Mark A. Biggs Author Of Love Letters From Dresden

From my list on stories that help shape who we are.

Why am I passionate about this?

Storytelling wields the power to transcend time and place, connecting us through shared experiences and emotions. It shapes our understanding of the world and ignites the imagination, making it an essential part of the human journey. As a psychologist, I understand how the stories we tell about ourselves are crucial in defining who we are and that books and good people can help shape our character. The books I've chosen celebrate the human spirit and our ability to face adversity, adapt, and ultimately choose our destiny. As Stephen Covey wisely stated, “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”

Mark's book list on stories that help shape who we are

Mark A. Biggs Why did Mark love this book?

This book resonated deeply with me because it explored the intricate layers of human nature, beautifully encapsulated in the quote, ‘To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.’

The gripping narrative, based on a true story set in 19th-century Iceland, draws me into the life of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, a woman accused of murder, as she awaits her execution. Kent's masterful storytelling skilfully delves into Agnes' complexities, making her a character so vividly real that I fervently hoped for a different outcome despite knowing the inevitable fate that awaited her.

This emotional investment and the stark portrayal of the human condition left a lasting impact. Kent captured both the darkness and light within us all.

By Hannah Kent,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Burial Rites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tv=ti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her.…


Book cover of Pompeii

Flora Johnston Author Of The Paris Peacemakers

From my list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by stories from the past. I worked for many years in museums and heritage, telling Scotland’s stories through exhibitions and nonfiction publications, but I was always drawn to the question best answered through historical fiction – what did that feel like? Well-researched historical fiction can take us right into the lives of people who lived through the dramatic events we read about in academic books. I found that each of the novels on my list transported me to a different time and place, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Flora's book list on historical fiction books with a new take on a famous event

Flora Johnston Why did Flora love this book?

I picked up this book from the shelf of a holiday cottage and was hooked immediately. I love books which interweave personal human stories with big events.

The ordinary loves and lives of the people of Pompeii are unfolding as the mountain above them begins to behave strangely. Of course, we, the readers, know the disaster that is about to occur, which only adds to the suspense. Unputdownable.

By Robert Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A pulse-rate-speeding masterpiece' Sunday Times

'A stunning novel . . . the subtlety and power of its construction holds our attention to the end' The Times

During a sweltering week in late August, as Rome's richest citizens relax in their villas around Pompeii and Herculaneum, there are ominous warnings that something is going wrong. Wells and springs are failing, a man has disappeared, and now the greatest aqueduct in the world - the mighty Aqua Augusta - has suddenly ceased to flow . . .

Through the eyes of four characters - a young engineer, an adolescent girl, a corrupt…


Book cover of The Covenant

Neville Sherriff Author Of Wings of Gold

From my list on making history come alive through storytelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since a tender age I’ve been fascinated by history and the people who dwelled in and shaped those times. My first two writing awards – at 8 and 12 years of age – were for stories with historical settings. I devoured novels dealing with the past, walked the pages with characters who showed me a life and time of romance and danger and enormous challenge. Every piece of history I research drives me to create characters in my mind, to see how they would fare in those circumstances. Once they become alive to me, they use that background to write their own story. It's especially the lesser-known or “smaller” parts of history that intrigue me.

Neville's book list on making history come alive through storytelling

Neville Sherriff Why did Neville love this book?

Because it is about my own, complex country, South Africa, The Covenant is of special interest to me. Michener uses an array of characters from the various population groups to carry the story forward from prehistoric times to the turbulent 1970s, illustrating via storytelling the interaction and conflicts between these groups.

The novel received some criticism for inaccuracies, but I felt it did a sterling job of giving non-South Africans a greater understanding of South Africa and its problems, which remain prevalent to this day. An array of characters ranging from scoundrels to adventurers made this possible, taking us on this journey through history, exposing the reader to an understanding of the daunting ruggedness, beauty, and physical challenges which shaped the formation of this country.

By James A. Michener,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

James A. Michener’s masterly chronicle of South Africa is an epic tale of adventurers, scoundrels, and ministers, the best and worst of two continents who carve an empire out of a vast wilderness. From the Java-born Van Doorn family tree springs two great branches: one nurtures lush vineyards, the other settles the interior to become the first Trekboers and Afrikaners. The Nxumalos, inhabitants of a peaceful village unchanged for centuries, unite warrior tribes into the powerful Zulu nation. And the wealthy Saltwoods are missionaries and settlers who join the masses to influence the wars and politics that ravage a nation.…


Book cover of Shame and the Captives

Michael J. Murphy Author Of Beneath the Willow

From my list on fiction to immerse yourself in a historical narrative.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for historical fiction writing stems from a lifelong interest in history and a love for creating stories that have rich characters, with deep and meaningful personalities. My interest in history led me to study the subject at university, which has worked hand-in-hand with the pleasure I get from writing. Researching stories is another aspect that I enjoy, and it has seen me travel to destinations all over the world, where I have made some wonderful friendships.

Michael's book list on fiction to immerse yourself in a historical narrative

Michael J. Murphy Why did Michael love this book?

Shame and the Captives is by the award-winning Tom Keneally.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Tom, and the edition that I have is signed by him. The novel is set in World War Two and based on the escape of Japanese prisoners of war at Cowra, Australia. The story moves between the camp itself and residents of the town, which gives the narrative a strong base for dramatic tension.

Throughout the novel, Keneally displays his ability to convey the subtleties of each character, which adds depth to the story and feeds questions about the choices made under situations of stress and uncertainty.

By Thomas Keneally,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the edge of a small town in New South Wales, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, lies a prisoner-of-war camp housing Italian, Korean and Japanese soldiers. For their guards and the locals, many with loved ones away fighting, captive or dead, it is hard to know how to treat them - with disdain, hatred or compassion?

Alice, a young woman leading a dull life on her father-in-law's farm, is one of those with a husband held prisoner in Europe. When Giancarlo, an Italian POW and anarchist, is assigned to work on the farm, she hopes that…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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