100 books like Zeppelin!

By Guillaume de Syon,

Here are 100 books that Zeppelin! fans have personally recommended if you like Zeppelin!. 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 Zeppelin Hindenburg: An Illustrated History of LZ-129

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

From my list on Zeppelin airships.

Why am I passionate about this?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

Alexander Rose Why did Alexander love this book?

A magnificently illustrated guide to the Hindenburg, written and compiled by three airship experts, this book is an amazing resource, not just for its selection of extremely rare photos but for the depth of knowledge that’s contained within. I would say that if you’re going to buy a single book specifically about the Hindenburg, I’d make it this one. It’ll tell you pretty much everything you need to impress people at parties while also introducing you to the Wide World of Zeppelin.

By Dan Grossman, Cheryl Ganz, Patrick Russell

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ON 6 MAY 1937 the pioneering Zeppelin Hindenburg, LZ-129, ended its career in flames when its hydrogen lifting gas ignited while landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey. But the airship had already completed sixty-two successful flights before this fateful day, catering to Nazi officials, socialites and the well-heeled. Hindenburg offered cutting-edge transport technology with luxury and style, making it a spectacle to behold on both sides of the Atlantic, and was expected to be just the first of many giant passenger Zeppelins.

In this revised edition with additional material, three world-renowned experts have collaborated to create the definitive history of the…


Book cover of Airshipmen, Businessmen, and Politics, 1890-1940

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

From my list on Zeppelin airships.

Why am I passionate about this?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

Alexander Rose Why did Alexander love this book?

This is a collection of ten essays about airship history, mostly concentrating on the business, political, and diplomatic angles. Zeppelins didn’t simply “exist” as objective bits of hardware, but were inextricably enmeshed in the controversies of their era, as Meyer ably and amply demonstrates. If you’re interested in the story-behind-the-story of Zeppelins, this is the book for you, though I’d perhaps wait to dive in until you’ve gotten your feet wet with some basic background reading. Particularly fascinating are Meyer’s investigations into the Zeppeliners’ visits to Detroit to see Henry Ford in the early 1920s, his comparative assessment of French and British airship engineering, and the sad fate of the very last German airship—no, the Hindenburg was not it—before they vanished forever in the age of the airplane.

By Henry Cord Meyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Airshipmen, Businessmen, and Politics, 1890-1940 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dust jacket notes: "Rigid airships, the first aircraft capable of crossing the oceans with significant numbers of passengers and cargo, captured the public's imagination and the attention of many who saw in the dirigible a chance to expand their own ambitions, whether personal, political, military, or commercial. Drawing on governmental, company, and private archives from Germany, England, and the United States, Henry Cord Meyer shows how politicians and airship company executives with ulterior motives exploited public enthusiasm as well of feelings of nationalism. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin used his invention to enhance German military power and assure his nation's preeminence…


Book cover of The Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships: Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

From my list on Zeppelin airships.

Why am I passionate about this?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

Alexander Rose Why did Alexander love this book?

Harold Dick, a young American engineer, was seconded to the Zeppelin Company between 1934 and 1938, putting him in the unique position of being the only outsider ever allowed within its secretive hangars for a prolonged time. While he was there, he collected data, photos, and reports, compiled a diary, and was on excellent terms with the greatest airshipman of all time, Hugo Eckener, who had been Count von Zeppelin’s protégé and had run the company since before the First World War. All of that, plus the fact that he made no fewer than 22 transatlantic voyages on the Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg, makes Dick’s 1985 memoir an extraordinary one.

By Harold Dick, Douglas Robinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on the extensive photographs, notes, diaries, reports, recorded data, and manuals he collected during his five years at the Zeppelin Company in Germany, from 1934 through 1938, Harold G. Dick tells the story of the two great passenger Zeppelins. Against the background of German secretiveness, especially during the Nazi period, Dick's accumulation of material and pictures is extraordinary. His original photographs and detailed observations on the handling and flying of the two big rigids constitute the essential data on this phase of aviation history.


Book cover of Giants in the Sky: A History of the Rigid Airship

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

From my list on Zeppelin airships.

Why am I passionate about this?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

Alexander Rose Why did Alexander love this book?

Robinson was among the finest of airship historians and his work is based on a firm research footing and deep personal knowledge (he also helped edit Harold Dick’s book and traveled round Germany in the 30s). This volume includes chapters on American and British airships, but the real meat is the material on their German counterparts. Sometimes, I’ll be honest, Robinson’s fondness for detail can be a little overwhelming, but there’s no doubt that he knows his stuff, especially on wartime Zeppelins and the bombing campaign. Warning: Giants in the Sky is long out-of-print, unfortunately, but copies are available (for a price).

By Douglas Robinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Second Library copy- San Diego Air and Space Museum


Book cover of The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed

Mark Spivak Author Of Friend of the Devil

From my list on human obsession.

Why am I passionate about this?

From an early age, it became obvious there were two types of people in the world. There were those who played it safe, who sold life insurance or worked for the government, who took their kids to soccer games and dutifully hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Then there were those who were haunted and driven by inner forces they couldn’t begin to understand. After realizing that I fell into the second category, I discovered many kindred spirits who had written books. While some of them sugar-coated their stories into “page-turners” or “beach reads,” the core of human obsession was unmistakable. I resolved to explore the outer edge of that obsession.

Mark's book list on human obsession

Mark Spivak Why did Mark love this book?

When most people think of dirigibles, they’re reminded of either the Goodyear Blimp or (if they’re old enough) the crash of the Hindenburg. However, there’s a small band of fanatics who are dedicated to the quest for lighter-than-air flying. For these folks, the subject is more compelling than the Holy Grail, and they devote decades of their lives and the bulk of their resources to prove to the public that dirigibles should come back and replace jet aviation. A true story, and a fascinating read.

By John McPhee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the fascinating story of the dream of a completely new aircraft, a hybrid of the plane and the rigid airship - huge, wingless, moving slowly through the lower sky. John McPhee chronicles the perhaps unfathomable perseverance of the aircraft's sucessive progenitors.


Book cover of The Guns Above

Shae Ford Author Of Harbinger

From my list on sci-fi/fantasy featuring fierce warrior women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Texas during a time when girls still had to wear poofy dresses and pantyhose, and boys got to have all the fun. The whole idea of traditional womanhood never fit me. It took a long time, but I finally reconciled with the fact that being able to run in heels and pop a grackle off the birdfeeder from thirty yards out are not mutually exclusive: a skill is a skill, and the injection of some femininity into a traditionally masculine feat can be wildly refreshing. We’ve only just begun to explore the genre of the fierce warrior woman—mine is merely one of infinite definitions.   

Shae's book list on sci-fi/fantasy featuring fierce warrior women

Shae Ford Why did Shae love this book?

This novel begins in the fiery aftermath of a gruesome airship battle—and it only gets better from there. Our heroine, Josette, is a scrappy, hardworking airship captain who must contend with the undermining efforts of the fleet’s dubious general and his spies, all while fighting *actual* battles against an enemy that wants to blow her crew out of the sky. What really captured my attention about this book was the incredible descriptive voice displayed by the author: from the gory battle scenes to the complex inner workings of an airship, this is a truly immersive adventure. Josette is a smart, relatable heroine who pulls no punches and doesn’t let herself get sucked into the political minutiae, which keeps the story moving at a good clip. 

By Robyn Bennis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They say it's not the fall that kills you.

For Josette Dupre, the Corps first female airship captain, it might just be a bullet in the back.

On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat, a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He's also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision.

When the enemy makes an unprecedented move that could turn the tide of…


Book cover of Pimp My Airship: A Naptown by Airship Novel

Errick Nunnally Author Of All The Dead Men: Alexander Smith #2

From my list on history to thrill, disturb, and intrigue.

Why am I passionate about this?

Errick Nunnally was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school was a safer pursuit. He enjoys art, comics, and genre novels. A graphic designer, he has trained in Krav Maga and Muay Thai kickboxing. His work has appeared in several anthologies of speculative fiction. His work can be found in Apex Magazine, Fiyah Magazine, Galaxy’s Edge, Lamplight, Nightlight Podcast, and the novels, Lightning Wears a Red Cape, Blood for the Sun, and All the Dead Men.

Errick's book list on history to thrill, disturb, and intrigue

Errick Nunnally Why did Errick love this book?

I don’t often read “steampunk” because it usually reflects the Victorian era of England or a ‘what if’ scenario involving the Confederacy and I’m just sick to death of the subjects. Along came “steamfunk,” an addition to the genre where the focus wouldn’t be on exclusively white characters, but Black sourced from the African continent. Then once upon a time, Broaddus cracked a joke on Twitter: “I’m going to write a steampunk story with an all-Black cast and call it ‘Pimp My Airship.’ To his chagrin (and eventual delight) several editors asked to see the story. The worldbuilding in this story is phenomenal. It take place in Indiana, part of an alternate history where England has established a “United States of Albion” and Native Americans have managed to retain a sizeable chunk of territory. There’s so much more to the book in relation to history and cultural norms. I thoroughly…

By Maurice Broaddus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Warning: Don’t Believe the Hype!

All the poet called Sleepy wants to do is spit his verses, smoke chiba, and stay off the COP’s radar—all of which becomes impossible once he encounters a professional protestor known as (120 Degrees of) Knowledge Allah. They soon find themselves on the wrong side of local authorities and have to elude the powers that be.

When young heiress Sophine Jefferson’s father is murdered, the careful life she’d been constructing for herself tumbles around her. She’s quickly drawn into a web of intrigue, politics and airships, joining with Sleepy and Knowledge Allah in a fight…


Book cover of The Black God's Drums

Misty Massey Author Of Mad Kestrel

From my list on pirates who like a little magic in the mix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on the coast of South Carolina, where many of the Golden Age pirates were welcomed as business associates and charming guests by some of the most influential people of the day. They are, to this day, considered local heroes. I read everything I could lay hands on about them, fiction and histories, and I knew my first book would have to be about the pirate I always pretended I could be, if I’d only been born two hundred years ago.

Misty's book list on pirates who like a little magic in the mix

Misty Massey Why did Misty love this book?

This one’s a little different – pirates sail the clouds instead of the ocean. In a world where Haiti won its freedom at a devastating cost, a young Black woman wants to earn a place on an airship, but can’t seem to find any way to prove her worth to the sky pirates she longs to join. Until she learns about a weapon called the Black God’s Drums, that someone plans to use to wipe New Orleans off the map. Add in the whispers of an orisha with its own agenda and a possible romantic attraction to the peg-legged Captain Ann-Marie, and you’ve got everything a pirate might want.

By P. Djèlí Clark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Black God's Drums as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air - in particular, by earning a spot on-board the airship Midnight Robber. Creeper plans to earn Captain Ann-Marie's trust with information she discovers about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God's Drums.

But Creeper also has a secret herself: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head, and may have her own ulterior motivations.

Soon, Creeper, Oya, and the crew of the Midnight…


Book cover of Hell Divers

Devon C Ford Author Of Survival

From my list on current post-apocalyptic series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long had a passion (read: obsession) with the apocalypse in whatever form it takes. I’ve written viral pandemics, zombie outbreaks, post-nuclear survival, dystopian totalitarianism, extinction-level-event, alien invasion, WW3… all of them have the theme of the great reset. The ability to reinvent yourself in the new world. The erasure of your life and the clean slate to try again and become who you want to be. I read and listen to this genre as well as write it because I'm passionate about the worlds writers create and the way their characters adapt to overcome the challenges my own have faced. As a former police officer, I’ve probably spent too many night shifts pondering the end of the world.

Devon's book list on current post-apocalyptic series

Devon C Ford Why did Devon love this book?

Nick should be considered royalty when it comes to the post-apocalypse. He has numerous series with vastly different settings, but all of them are a masterclass in characterisation and story craft. His books draw me in with slick action and characters I care about from the get-go. He tackles the real issues without rubbing it in the reader’s face, and his work makes you question what you would do if the world went sideways.

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hell Divers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling series

They dive so humanity survives …

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers -- men and women who risk their lives by skydiving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.

When one of the remaining…


Book cover of Airborn

Jonathon Mast Author Of Stones and Swords

From my list on fantasy adventure for middle grade readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved cartoons growing up. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Thundercats? Gargoyles? All favorites. But so many of the cartoons never changed anything. There were never any real stakes. (Except for Gargoyles. I fell in love with that show because of its continuity!) I hungered for books where things mattered, where the main characters did things that changed from book to book. Give me adventures that change the world! Well, I found some of those books. Here are stories where the main characters are kids. And now I get to enjoy these same stories with my kids! 

Jonathon's book list on fantasy adventure for middle grade readers

Jonathon Mast Why did Jonathon love this book?

Matt serves as a cabin boy on an airship when he encounters a man who claims there are creatures that fly and never touch the ground…

This book is pure fun and adventure. Looking for amazing creatures? Real stakes and human conflict? A likable main character? You’ve got it all here. I particularly loved the work the author put into creating an entire ecosystem of creatures that live so far up in the sky that we never see them on the ground! 

By Kenneth Oppel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Airborn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Matt Cruse is cabin boy aboard the Aurora, an airship which truly is lighter than air. Since the discovery of hydrium, a gas that renders even the heaviest vehicle as light as a feather, airships travel all over the world in the same way as planes do today. Matt himself was born on an airship and it is there that he feels most at home. Matt has high hopes for promotion to junior sailmaker on this voyage - until Kate de Vries, one of the wealthy passengers, arrives on the scene. She's feisty and brave, and won't let social distinctions…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in airships, Germany, and zeppelins?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about airships, Germany, and zeppelins.

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