The best books about Europe

Who picked these books? Meet our 757 experts.

757 authors created a book list connected to Europe, and here are their favorite Europe books.
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Book cover of Mysteries of the Middle Ages

Frank Shapiro Author Of The Conspiracy against Mary Magdalene

From the list on gripping fiction for history enthusiasts.

Who am I?

History is my passion. I’m a graduate of medieval history from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and post-graduate of London University. Former high school history teacher, and previously held the post of assistant researcher at the Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv. I was commissioned by the Council of Zambian Jewry to research and write the history of Northern Rhodesian/Zambian Jewry. I have lectured frequently on my subjects and have contributed diverse historical articles in newspapers and journals. I have published six books, fiction, and non-fiction.  

Frank's book list on gripping fiction for history enthusiasts

Discover why each book is one of Frank's favorite books.

Why did Frank love this book?

I often like to break away from in-depth academic historical reading and indulge in lighter yet informative work. This always leads me to Cahill’s history books. He always has a new take, such as ‘how the Irish saved civilization’ to this intriguing book, Mysteries of the Middle Ages. He skillfully portrays here how medieval thought foreshadowed the making of the Renaissance and the development of the modern scientific era. Cahill’s talent is in his easy-to-read excellent prose and intellectual richness. His books are also well-illustrated with beautiful pictures and artistic layout.  

By Thomas Cahill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the national bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization—a fascinating look at how medieval thinkers created the origins of modern intellectual movements.

“Intoxicating.... Cahill's command of rich historical detail makes medieval cities and their colorful characters come to alive.” —The Los Angeles Times

After the long period of decline known as the Dark Ages, medieval Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship, art, literature, philosophy, and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of Western civilization today, from the entry of women into professions that had long been closed to them…

Book cover of The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

Donald R. Hickey Author Of The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict

From the list on the War of 1812 (along with some primary sources).

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning author and professor of history at Wayne State College in Nebraska. Called “the dean of 1812 scholarship” by the New Yorker, I’ve written eleven books and more than a hundred articles, mostly on the War of 1812 and its causes. I’ve been passionate about the War of 1812 ever since first studying it as an undergraduate in college.  Although the outcome on the battlefields was inconclusive and the war is largely forgotten today, it left a profound and lasting legacy. Since first “discovering” this war, my aim has been to elevate its public profile by showing how it shaped the United States and Canada and Britain’s relationship to both nations for the rest of the nineteenth century and beyond.

Donald's book list on the War of 1812 (along with some primary sources)

Discover why each book is one of Donald's favorite books.

Why did Donald love this book?

Lossing was an accomplished sketch artist and antiquarian who traveled 10,000 miles in the 1850s and 1860s, visiting battle sites and interviewing survivors of the war. The result of his labors was this compendium that includes songs, poems, battle maps, and illustrations. Lossing treatment of almost every subject yields fascinating gems.

By Benson J. Lossing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Is A New Release Of The Original 1869 Edition.

Book cover of A Nature and Wildlife Guide to Greenland

Christoffer Petersen Author Of Seven Graves, One Winter

From the list on to read if you want to get to know Greenland.

Who am I?

Since reading Jack London’s stories as a child I have been addicted to the far north. I have spent a good chunk of my life exploring the Arctic, including the seven years my wife and I lived in Greenland. I worked as a teacher in remote settlements. Jane worked in medical centres and small hospitals. We experienced life in Greenland from all angles. While in Greenland, I read for a Master of Arts in Professional Writing. Since returning to Denmark I draw on my experiences to shape crime and thriller stories through which I hope to bring Greenland to life. I am English. I often pretend to be Danish.

Christoffer's book list on to read if you want to get to know Greenland

Discover why each book is one of Christoffer's favorite books.

Why did Christoffer love this book?

My copy of Génsbøl’s nature guide is well-thumbed. I often used it to find out what I was eating. That’s right; it is a nature guide, packed with fabulous illustrations–better than photographs–that allow for easy identification of the flora and fauna of Greenland, but I also used it to identify what I was eating when invited to an Inuit hunter’s kaffemik–a celebration of culture, tradition, and food wrapped up in a birthday or child’s confirmation party. The guide is an indispensable companion for anyone travelling to the Arctic, and Greenland in particular. But it is equally enjoyable, perhaps even more so, when sitting in a favourite armchair with a favourite beverage in familiar surroundings, dreaming of the far north.

Of Kids & Parents

By Emil Hakl, Marek Tomin (translator),

Book cover of Of Kids & Parents

Chad Bryant Author Of Prague: Belonging in the Modern City

From the list on Prague and its hidden histories.

Who am I?

Prague has fascinated me my whole life. I first explored the city while an English teacher in the Czech Republic in 1993, shortly after the end of Communist rule there. I’ve been wandering Prague’s streets ever since, always seeing something new and intriguing, always stumbling upon stories about the city and its people. Below are some of my favorite books about a city that continues to surprise me. The author or co-editor of four books, I teach European history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Chad's book list on Prague and its hidden histories

Discover why each book is one of Chad's favorite books.

Why did Chad love this book?

I believe that I’ve read this short novel three times now. The story follows a son and his father as they walk through the outskirts of gritty, post-Communist Prague, chatting along the way. They, of course, stop at a few pubs as well. Narrated with wry humor and sympathy, their stroll reveals much about generational differences and efforts to remember troubling episodes from the past. Each man describes experiences that could only happen in this city. This novel inspired me to think long and hard about how walking can create a sense of place and belonging, and how walking is so often central to urban life. Most importantly, this book is a true joy to read. 

By Emil Hakl, Marek Tomin (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Kids & Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Europe, taking a walk is a cultural phenomenon having an almost mystical import. It connects physical activity with meditation, inner silence with the outer tumult of the world. Taking its cue both from Joyce's Ulysses and Hrabal's freely associating stream of anecdote, Of Kids & Parents is about a father and son taking a walk through Prague, over the course of which, and in the pubs and bars they stop into, their personal lives are revealed as entwined with the past sixty years of upheaval in their corner of Europe. One's "small history" is shown to be inseparable from…

Off the Wall

By Michael P. Ghiglieri, Charles R. Farabee, Jim Myers (illustrator)

Book cover of Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite

Karen Barnett Author Of Ever Faithful

From the list on national park adventures and misadventures.

Who am I?

I am endlessly inspired by the beauty and majesty of our national parks. As a former seasonal ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park, I was frequently surprised by the incredible scrapes that visitors could get themselves into. Of course, I wasn’t immune, and I experienced a few misadventures of my own. These books are great reminders to always respect your limits and be aware of your surroundings. Since I now write novels set in our national parks, I enjoy reading some of these real adventures—it provides great fodder for the imagination. 

Karen's book list on national park adventures and misadventures

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

This book is an incredibly detailed look at the many fatalities that have occurred throughout history at Yosemite National Park. Organized into categories and then covered chronologically, you’ll be stunned by the kinds of trouble people can get themselves into. The book can get a little overwhelming at points, but the authors do a good job of keeping the stories moving. It is a good overview of the history of the park and our interactions with it. I’d also say it’s an effective warning to watch your step so you don’t become an entry in future editions. 

By Michael P. Ghiglieri, Charles R. Farabee, Jim Myers (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gripping accounts of all known fatal mishaps in America's first protected land of scenic wonders.

Culture Shock! France

By Sally Adamson Taylor,

Book cover of Culture Shock! France: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette

Janet Hulstrand Author Of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You

From the list on understanding and appreciating the French.

Who am I?

I became fascinated with France and the French as a child, and over the past 40 years I have spent as much time as I can here. I’ve been fortunate to be able to combine my dual passions—for France and for literature—in creating a series of classes for CUNY study abroad programs and for the Politics & Prose bookstore. Through this work, over the past 20+ years I have spent much of my time reading and teaching works of literature that explore France and the French people in depth. I now live in France, and I continue to find the French endlessly fascinating. I think I always will. 

Janet's book list on understanding and appreciating the French

Discover why each book is one of Janet's favorite books.

Why did Janet love this book?

This is one of the best books I know for covering a huge amount of material in a compact, reader-friendly, yet very thorough form. The author provides insightful perspective on French history, psychology, culture, cuisine, language, and habits, and offers particularly helpful advice about how to recover from the inevitable moments of cultural awkwardness. Although some of the practical information is outdated, the general insights into and analysis of French people and their culture will never go out of date. I think it’s well worth reading for anyone who has an interest in France and the French that goes beyond the surface; anyone who has a genuine interest in understanding this fascinating people and culture. 

By Sally Adamson Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Culture Shock! France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CultureShock! France peels away the layers of the French and their country to reveal the heart of the Gallic temperament. The book navigates through essential topics such as learning the French language, how best to work with the French, observing their body language and even how to choose wine in a restaurant. Glean practical advice on finding a home, getting the utilities running and putting the children into school. Find out more about the French, a complex people who maintain a cool composure on the outside yet are inwardly passionate about art, romance, cuisine and wine. Discover how easily the…

Power Questions

By Andrew Sobel, Jerold Panas,

Book cover of Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Author Of Leading with Questions: How Leaders Discover Powerful Answers by Knowing How and What to Ask

From the list on asking questions that will change you and the world.

Who are we?

Michael Marquardt is Professor Emeritus of Human and Organizational Learning at George Washington University, where he directed the Global Certificate and Executive Leadership Programs. He's a Co-founder and first President of the World Institute for Action Learning. Dr. Marquardt has authored 27 books and his publications has sold over a million copies. Bob Tiede is on the U.S. Leadership Development Team at Cru, an interdenominational Christian parachurch organization. His blog, is in its 11th year and followed by Leaders in over 190 countries. Bob is the author of Great Leaders ASK Questions, Little Book of Big Leading With Questions Quotes, and 262 Questions Paul the Apostle of Christ Asked.

Michael's book list on asking questions that will change you and the world

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

Reading a list of great questions by themselves, most often, does not motivate me to ask any of them.

But reading stories, sharing how a great question was discovered or how asking it has changed the person asked or changed a relationship or resulted in a successful outcome, instantly motivates me to find someone I can ask! Power Questions shares 30-plus stories that will instantly have you wanting to find someone to ask that same question!

By Andrew Sobel, Jerold Panas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An arsenal of powerful questions that will transform every conversation

Skillfully redefine problems. Make an immediate connection with anyone. Rapidly determine if a client is ready to buy. Access the deepest dreams of others. Power Questions sets out a series of strategic questions that will help you win new business and dramatically deepen your professional and personal relationships. The book showcases thirty-five riveting, real conversations with CEOs, billionaires, clients, colleagues, and friends. Each story illustrates the extraordinary power and impact of a thought-provoking, incisive power question. To help readers navigate a variety of professional challenges, over 200 additional, thought-provoking questions…

A House with Seven Windows

By Kadya Molodowsky, Leah Schoolnik (translator),

Book cover of A House with Seven Windows: Short Stories

Joan Rudd Author Of Building Solid: A Life in Stories

From the list on growing into womanhood in different locations.

Who am I?

"Two tickets to ride!Most people get only one life.... and on only one coast. This book is an overview of an era 1948-2020 of cultural shifts and expectations for "girls". At seventeen I left my family and NYC for college, a commune, and then art school on the West coast. Visual artist, woman, mother, and descendant, Joan describes the lifetime challenges that she has met with creativity, humor, and resilience. Two NW cities, two marriages, and two sons born 23 years apart inspire many of her stories. 

Joan's book list on growing into womanhood in different locations

Discover why each book is one of Joan's favorite books.

Why did Joan love this book?

Kadya Molodowsky’s book of stories, A House with Seven Windows are stories mostly set one half of a generation off of my own, just far enough to be recognizable. There is one story about parents investing in a stylish winter coat for their daughter in order to render her more marriageable in appearance for the “market.” My own parents did the same for me when I left for college!

By Kadya Molodowsky, Leah Schoolnik (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A House with Seven Windows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A House of Seven Windows by Kadya Molodowsky is the famed Yiddish poet's only collection of short stories. Written in simple prose, these stories are subtle portraits - tragic-comic, bittersweet, always generous spirited - of ordinary people: Jews in pre-World War II Eastern Europe and Jews struggling to adjust to life in America. A traditional-minded husband is defeated by his wife who wants only the latest fashion. A community leader's position is supported and maintained by his more energetic and political-minded wife. A couple, ardent supporters of the newly formed state of Israel, nevertheless find themselves at odds with their…

The Penultimate Peril

By Lemony Snicket,

Book cover of The Penultimate Peril

R.J. Vickers Author Of The Natural Order

From the list on teens grappling with the line between good and evil.

Who am I?

As a fantasy author, I have always been drawn to magic and alternative universes as a way of exploring the issues that seem unsolvable here on earth. We are so entrenched in our own ways of seeing the world that it can be hard to imagine looking at things from a different perspective, but twisting these ideas sideways and adding a dash of magic can remind us that everything exists in shades of grey. Teenagers are learning to think abstractly and explore their own relationships with ethics, and I have vivid memories of being drawn to moral ambiguity at that age. 

R.J.'s book list on teens grappling with the line between good and evil

Discover why each book is one of R.J.'s favorite books.

Why did R.J. love this book?

A Series of Unfortunate Events begins by pitting the Baudelaires against the evil Count Olaf and his henchmen, escaping time and time again from his villainous schemes. But as the series progresses, good and evil begin to blur. The Baudelaires are forced to do things they would have previously considered evil (lighting fires, lying), while they learn that V.F.D. is not the noble organization they had once thought. 

Towards the end of the series, the moral ambiguity grows starker than ever, and in The Penultimate Peril, the Baudelaires find themselves facilitating an evil scheme in the process of trying to disguise themselves. Though aimed at younger readers, these books are very cleverly written, with plenty of hidden meanings that I’ve enjoyed rediscovering as an adult! 

By Lemony Snicket,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dear reader,

There is nothing to be found in Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' but misery and despair. You still have time to choose another international best-selling series to read. But if you insist on discovering the unpleasant adventures of the Baudelaire orphans, then proceed with caution...

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky.

In The Penultimate Peril, the siblings face a harpoon gun, a rooftop sunbathing salon, two mysterious initials, three unidentified triplets, a notorious villain, and an unsavoury curry...


The Path to Rome

By Hilaire Belloc,

Book cover of The Path to Rome

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From the list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Who am I?

After reading travel books that voyaged beyond mere tourism into the life of the land, its people, and its histories, I found myself longing to launch my own journeys. I took a thousand-mile canoe trip with my son following the 1673 route of the French explorers Marquette and Joliet; I crossed the Rockies with two sons by foot, mountain bike, and canoe following Lewis and Clark and their Nez Perce guides; I took to sea kayak and pontoon boat with a son and daughter, 400 miles along the Gulf Coast in pursuit of the 1528 Spanish Narvaez Expedition. Writing of these journeys gave me the chance to live twice.

Steven's book list on travel that enrich landscape with history

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

This may well be my favorite travel book of all time. I have read it several times. Belloc is an opinionated, humorous, deeply insightful writer who, when he was a young man, decided to walk from France, where he had served in the French army, to Rome on a pilgrimage that almost killed him. Each day is a revelation. He passes on to the reader his wonder at his first sight of the distant Alps, his miserable boredom on a long muddy walk in the rain (which he makes funny and engaging by creating a contest with his readers). There are days of exhaustion and joy. His reflections on Europe, tourism, Catholicism, and travel inform and delight, open the mind and open the heart.

By Hilaire Belloc,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Path to Rome is one of the most well-loved travel books of the past century. Legendary writer Hilaire Belloc tells of his walk from Southern France to Rome.
But it is so much more than a travelogue. It is a history of Europe, and exploration of the English language, and journey to Christ and His Church. The Path to Rome is both the story of Hilaire Belloc and his path to becoming one of the most celebrated writers of the modern era; and the story of us as Christians, navigating the divide between history and our own age as…

In Full Bloom

By Caroline Hwang,

Book cover of In Full Bloom

Sung J. Woo Author Of Everything Asian

From the list on debut novels by Korean American writers.

Who am I?

My recommendations are more like a diary of my nascent writing career. I don’t mean to get melodramatic here, but these five Korean-American authors literally (get it?) built me. None of them know this, but they were a quintet of Dr. Frankensteins who created Sung J. Woo, writer. I dared to write my first novel because these authors showed me how, in the best possible way, the only way, really: through their printed words. When I held their books in my hands, I believed a little more that I could do the same. I’ll always be proud to be in their debt.

Sung's book list on debut novels by Korean American writers

Discover why each book is one of Sung's favorite books.

Why did Sung love this book?

The year is 2003, and I’m finishing up my first year at NYU’s Creative Writing Program. And a colleague of mine tells me a recent Korean-American graduate will be publishing her first novel. He tells me that Caroline’s book is a romantic comedy in novel form. And I pause for a moment – ten years ago I could not name a single Korean American writer, and now we have our own Jennifer Weiner? How cool is that? And how cool is In Full Bloom? You probably have never heard of this novel, and now that you have, you will thank me when you race through these hilarious pages. Ginger Lee is our heroine, and yes, that type of punny humor is de rigueur in this book. I don’t know who I love more, Ginger or her mother. Probably her mother. 

By Caroline Hwang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Caroline Hwang's debut novel, In Full Bloom, all Ginger Lee wants is a promotion at the fashion glossy A la Mode magazine. All her mother wants is a nice, professional Korean son-in-law. Unable to keep her mother at bay, Ginger reluctantly agrees to let her play matchmaker.

At work, Ginger's efforts at advancement are thwarted by style fiends better practiced in the art of office warfare. Away from the job, she's surprised that her arranged dates are rejecting her before she gets a chance to reject them.

With wry humor, lively dialogue, and a compassionate take on being a…

The Book of Esther

By Emily Barton,

Book cover of The Book of Esther: A Novel

Michael David Lukas Author Of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo: A Novel

From the list on magical historical.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by history, by the way that the past informs the present, how it makes us who we are. And I’ve found myself drawn, as a reader and as a writer, towards those stories that incorporate some element of magic into the past. I’ve written two magical historical novels. And my third book, which I hope to be finished with soon, is a fabulist tale set in the future, which I like to say is history that hasn’t happened yet. 

Michael's book list on magical historical

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

As someone writing a post-apocalyptic retelling of the biblical Book of Esther, I was immediately drawn to this counterfactual history set amidst an isolated Eastern European nation of Turkic warrior Jews. Called the “Jewish Game of Thrones” the book goes deep into a magical alternative universe that will have you hungering for a sequel.

By Emily Barton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What if an empire of Jewish warriors that really existed in the Middle Ages had never fallen—and was the only thing standing between Hitler and his conquest of Russia? 

Eastern Europe, August 1942. The Khazar kaganate, an isolated nation of Turkic warrior Jews, lies between the Pontus Euxinus (the Black Sea) and the Khazar Sea (the Caspian). It also happens to lie between a belligerent nation to the west that the Khazars call Germania—and a city the rest of the world calls Stalingrad.

After years of Jewish refugees streaming across the border from Europa, fleeing the war, Germania launches its…


By Fairfax Downey,

Book cover of Louisbourg: Key to a Continent

Jason Born Author Of Quaker's War

From the list on the war that made America.

Who am I?

Jason has written over twenty historical novels on topics ranging from the Roman Empire to the Islamic invasion of Spain and to the spread of the Viking Age into North America. His latest series, The Long Fuse, follows a young man as he navigates the deadly conflicts of the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War in Eighteenth-Century America.

Jason's book list on the war that made America

Discover why each book is one of Jason's favorite books.

Why did Jason love this book?

This is the most obscure book on my list. But I truly enjoyed reading it. Not only was it utterly informative about the town and fortress of Louisbourg, the largest fort outside of Europe in its day, but Mr. Downey wrote his work in an almost beautiful way. He made countless references and drew many parallels to other eras and conflicts. After reading, I better understood what it was like to be trapped inside those walls during a siege. Likewise, I shivered as I considered the conditions suffered by the besiegers outside.

By Fairfax Downey,

Why should I read it?

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

Book cover of Santa Lilio Sangre Ayami Kojima Artworks Art Book

Mina Petrović Author Of Manga Crash Course Fantasy: How to Draw Anime and Manga, Step by Step

From the list on inspiring manga art.

Who am I?

I am a long-time manga teacher and a pop-culture researcher, as well as a comic illustrator and a Youtuber, presenting under the "Mistiqarts" pseudonym. Since manga was something that inspired me early on to dedicate my life to the art style and pop culture, I was constantly looking for new ways to bring this lifestyle and art to other people interested in drawing manga.  

Mina's book list on inspiring manga art

Discover why each book is one of Mina's favorite books.

Why did Mina love this book?

Ayami Kojima has held my heart for as long as I was an artist. Her visual style is something anyone can recognize, and the aftershock of knowing that this artist defined an entire video game industry aesthetic made me love her work even more. I managed to find only pieces of this book online until I was able to finally afford this super rare book filled with her hyper-detailed oil paintings.

The Anatomy of Fascism

By Robert O. Paxton,

Book cover of The Anatomy of Fascism

Archie Brown Author Of The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War

From the list on authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

Who am I?

Throughout the forty-one years (thirty-four of them at Oxford) I spent as a university teacher, I taught a course on Communist government and politics (latterly ‘Communist and post-Communist government’). Communist-ruled systems were never less than highly authoritarian (when they became politically pluralist, they were, by definition, no longer Communist), and in some countries at particular times they were better described as totalitarian. That was notably true of Stalin’s Soviet Union, especially from the early 1930s to the dictator’s death in 1953. The books I’ve written prior to The Human Factor include The Rise and Fall of Communism and The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age.

Archie's book list on authoritarianism and totalitarianism

Discover why each book is one of Archie's favorite books.

Why did Archie love this book?

Fascism and Communism purported to explain all social and political phenomena and, on that basis, justified their authoritarian or totalitarian rule. The term ‘fascist’ tends to be loosely applied to intolerant and autocratic political behaviour, but the outstandingly lucid, and highly readable, book by Robert Paxton not only surveys fascism in practice – in Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany and in fascist movements and parties in many different countries – it also shows what its distinctive components are. What he calls the ‘mobilizing passions’ of fascism include the glorification of war and violence, expansionism, racism, a fixation on national solidarity, rejection of the legitimacy of diverse interests and values within a society, and, not least, a cult of the heroic leader, with the leader’s instincts counting for more than reasoned, evidence-based argument.

By Robert O. Paxton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fascism was the major political invention of the twentieth century and the source of much of its pain. How can we try to comprehend its allure and its horror? Is it a philosophy, a movement, an aesthetic experience? What makes states and nations become fascist?

Acclaimed historian Robert O. Paxton shows that in order to understand fascism we must look at it in action - at what it did, as much as what it said it was about. He explores its falsehoods and common threads; the social and political base that allowed it to prosper; its leaders and internal struggles;…

War Brides

By Lois Battle,

Book cover of War Brides: A Novel

Susan Tate Ankeny Author Of The Girl and the Bombardier: A True Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied France

From the list on women during WW2.

Who am I?

Susan Tate Ankeny left a career in teaching to write the story of her father’s escape from Nazi-occupied France. In 2011, after being led on his path through France by the same Resistance fighters who guided him in 1944, she felt inspired to tell the story of these brave French patriots, especially the 17-year-old- girl who risked her own life to save her father’s. Susan is a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, the Air Force Escape and Evasion Society, and the Association des Sauveteurs d’Aviateurs Alliés. 

Susan's book list on women during WW2

Discover why each book is one of Susan's favorite books.

Why did Susan love this book?

War Brides is a work of historical fiction that explores the lives of five young women from differing backgrounds who meet in a small English village in 1939. I love World War II stories about ordinary people on the Homefront. Despite a slightly misleading title, I was drawn to the strong characters who face the horrors surrounding them with the unwavering support of one another. Bryan has done extensive research into the time period and the traumatic effect the war had on British citizens. What sets this story apart is the inspiring friendship the women develop that endures over time despite the challenges of their differences, the terror of bombing raids that cause the deaths of their neighbors and friends, and an unforgivable deception.

By Lois Battle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A vibrant novel set in postwar America from the New York Times bestselling author of The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle

World War II is over, but for three young Australian women who meet on their way to new lives and new husbands in America, the adventure is just beginning. Sheila, Dawn, and Gaynor will need to reacquaint themselves with the military men they swore to love when peace seemed like a lifetime away. But the world that awaits them is filled with new challenges, and each woman will be forced to summon courage and strength she never knew…

By the Sword

By Mercedes Lackey,

Book cover of By the Sword

Kit Caelsto Author Of The Pegasus Project: A Musimagium Story

From the list on fantasy for horse lovers.

Who am I?

“Horse Crazy” isn’t a description; it’s a way of life for me. I’ve loved horses since I could remember, selling Girl Scout cookies to finance my way through three years of horse camp, working weekends cleaning stalls, even pursing a degree in Equine Science. Discovering fantasy books with magical, sentient horses not only introduced me to fantasy fiction, but also just made my own experience with horses seem real. Currently, I write equestrian fantasy as well as equestrian literature (horse books for those who chose not to grow out of being horse crazy” and live on my homestead with my herd of rescue horses, who inspire me every day.

Kit's book list on fantasy for horse lovers

Discover why each book is one of Kit's favorite books.

Why did Kit love this book?

If Magic’s Pawn introduced me to Valdemar, then By the Sword, based on the ballad Kerowyn’s Ride, stole my heart forever. This is a standalone book in the world of Valdemar, and Kero spoke so much to me as a tomboy that it instantly became my favorite Mercedes Lackey book. If you don’t want to start out with a trilogy, and yet want a taste of Ms. Lackey’s writings, then By the Sword is a great place to start.

By Mercedes Lackey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. When an attack on her home leaves her father slain, her brother wounded, and her brother's fiancee kidnapped, Kerowyn prepares to face the enemy who has shattered her family's dreams.

Bad Witch Burning

By Jessica Lewis,

Book cover of Bad Witch Burning

Amanda Pavlov Author Of Mind Like a Diamond

From the list on witchy young adult.

Who am I?

Growing up in New Orleans, my love of all things magical is the native fruit of the culturally rich soil I was planted in. Witches both fascinate and scare me a little. Reading and writing fiction helps me process what’s hiding behind those fears. My debut novel, Mind Like a Diamond explores thirteen of the most common fears in the form of a competition-style haunted house. Like many of the books on this list, it might give you nightmares. But sometimes being scared is so wonderfully thrilling, you can’t put the book down. For more book recommendations from me, bookish memes, and writing tips follow me on Instagram.

Amanda's book list on witchy young adult

Discover why each book is one of Amanda's favorite books.

Why did Amanda love this book?

Grab a box of tissues before you sit down with this book. It does contain on the page animal death, which is something I can hardly ever bring myself to read. (Literally, it’s part of my author brand, that nothing bad ever happens to the dogs in my books!) But the fact that I still recommend Bad Witch Burning speaks to what an amazing writer Jessica Lewis is.

The pain of the poverty that Katrell experienced felt so real to me. I was rooting for her so hard that I had to stop reading several times because I was crying. So you have been warned, this book will destroy you. But experiencing something so intense in fiction is a rare treat. I’m so excited to read whatever Lewis writes next. 

By Jessica Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of Lovecraft Country and Candyman comes a witchy story full of Black girl magic! One girl′s dark ability to summon the dead offers her a chance at a new life, while revealing to her an even darker future.

“Practical Magic meets Black Girl Magic in this powerful addition to the YA canon. I couldn′t put it down.” —#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Victoria Schwab

Katrell can talk to the dead. And she wishes it made more money. She’s been able to support her unemployed mother—and Mom’s deadbeat-boyfriend-of-the-week—so far, but it isn’t enough. Money’s still tight, and to…


By Kim Sloan (editor), Andrew Burnett (editor),

Book cover of Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century

Ludmilla Jordanova Author Of The Look of the Past: Visual and Material Evidence in Historical Practice

From the list on visual culture.

Who am I?

I’m a historian and writer who strives to combine the history of science and medicine, the study of visual culture, and cultural history in my work. Although I hated being dragged round art galleries and museums as a child, something must have stuck, laying the foundations for my interest in using images and artefacts to understand both the past and the present. Since the early 1990s I’ve been writing about portraits, how they work, and why they are important—I remain gripped by the compelling ways they speak to identity.  It was a privilege to serve as a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery in London between 2001 and 2009.

Ludmilla's book list on visual culture

Discover why each book is one of Ludmilla's favorite books.

Why did Ludmilla love this book?

London’s British Museum, with its massive and diverse collections, is world famous and the story of its foundation and early years in the eighteenth century sheds light on the histories of collecting, knowledge, and exploration. More than twenty essays were assembled to celebrate the opening of the Enlightenment Gallery in the King’s Library after years of research and refurbishment. These essays draw readers into the people, the objects, and the ideas that shaped this important and influential institution. The book is lavishly illustrated with gorgeous photographs of paintings and statues, coins, fossils, china, and much more—a wonderful way to grasp the museum’s stupendous holdings and also to understand better the controversies it has engendered.

By Kim Sloan (editor), Andrew Burnett (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The extraordinary companion to the British Museum's 250th anniversary exhibition.
Opened in 1753 as the world's first public museum, the British Museum epitomized the Age of Enlightenment's dream of a rational universe. Indeed, in many ways the museum was the age's most potent instrument: the incarnation of a world that could be parsed, classified, and comprehended through the physical observation of objects, all in the name of reason, progress, and civic improvement.

In this lavishly illustrated volume, published to coincide with a new permanent exhibit, the museum's centrality to the Enlightenment enterprise is explored through the stunning breadth and variety…

Hoorade Day!

By Nancy Raines Day, Cornelius Van Wright (illustrator),

Book cover of Hoorade Day!

Andrea Denish Author Of Everyone Loves a Parade!*

From the list on children’s books featuring festive parades.

Who am I?

Parades are a truly happy place for people of all ages. The inspiration for Everyone Loves a Parade!* came from the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles Superbowl Championship Parade - a spectacle the entire city enjoyed, drawing people with Philadelphia roots from all over. The communal nature of putting together a parade that carries on traditions and gives people a reason to share a celebration drove my interest in writing this book. The beautiful illustrations by Guilherme Franco bring the pages to life and allow readers to enjoy the wonder of parades from their living room couch - (where it’s much less messy).

Andrea's book list on children’s books featuring festive parades

Discover why each book is one of Andrea's favorite books.

Why did Andrea love this book?

Experience all the joy of an Independence Day parade on the pages of this colorful book. Get a boost on Dad’s shoulders, wave your flag and meet the man wearing the tall red, white, and blue hat. Upbeat, rhyming text adds to the excitement and makes this picturebook a read-aloud favorite.

By Nancy Raines Day, Cornelius Van Wright (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It is the Fourth of July, and a young girl and her parents are off to see the town's big parade--Hoorade Day! Boosted up on daddy s shoulders, the girl excitedly waves to her family members in the parade and joyfully describes each section. From the bleats and bangs of the marching band to the graceful twirls of the ribbon dancers, the little girl spots it all, reciting simple, rhyming cheers that complement the bright illustrations of the diverse community on each page.

Narrated in jolly, lively verse, Hoorade Day! celebrates the birthday of a nation founded on principles of…