The best Latin books 📚

Browse the best books on Latin as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Minimus Pupil's Book: Starting out in Latin

Minimus Pupil's Book: Starting out in Latin

By Barbara Bell, Helen Forte

Why this book?

There are many books for kids who would like to learn Latin but this charmingly illustrated book, also set in Roman Britain, is one of the most accessible, especially for children in primary school.

From the list:

The best books for kids on ancient Rome

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Book cover of Cambridge Latin Course Book 1

Cambridge Latin Course Book 1

By Cambridge School Classics Project

Why this book?

‘Caecilius est in horto!’ For slightly older children the Cambridge Latin Course has now become such a part of pop culture that some of its characters have been referenced in Dr Who. And what other language textbook can reduce pupils to tears – the good kind! – in the final chapters?

From the list:

The best books for kids on ancient Rome

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Book cover of The Unknown Socrates

The Unknown Socrates

By Stephen M. Trzaskoma, William M. Calder, Bernhard Huss, Marc Mastrangelo, R. Scott Smith

Why this book?

This book provides a series of translations of ancient texts relating to the life of Socrates, raising questions about his earlier trajectory among other things. The scattered sources gathered in this volume tell a very different story about the philosopher from that normally obtained by concentrating almost exclusively on his trial and death.

From the list:

The best books about the life, death, and thoughts of Socrates

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Book cover of Luther and Liberation: A Latin American Perspective

Luther and Liberation: A Latin American Perspective

By Walter Altmann, Thia Cooper

Why this book?

Because the Reformation took place in 16th century Germany, it’s common to wonder how ideas that were popular 500 years ago in Central Europe might have anything to say to today’s global realities. In this book, Brazilian Lutheran professor Walter Altmann explores the ways that Martin Luther’s teachings resonate with the contemporary concerns of Latin American theologies of liberation. Altmann’s approach sets a great model for how people today can apply the spiritual riches of the past to the practical needs of the present.

From the list:

The best books on Lutherans and social change

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Book cover of The Complete Claudine: Claudine at School/Claudine in Paris/Claudine Married/Claudine and Annie

The Complete Claudine: Claudine at School/Claudine in Paris/Claudine Married/Claudine and Annie

By Colette, Antonia White

Why this book?

Each of the five books in my list either stars or co-stars a young woman, and The Complete Claudine, as the title would suggest, is not an exception. Colette’s Claudine is a mesmerizing character—sensual, passionate, fierce, and tender by turns. The ordinary twists and turns of Claudine’s turn-of-the-century life in the French countryside and Paris are made extraordinary by her uncommon self-possession and power of observance. Claudine fairly blisters off the page.
From the list:

The best historical fiction by diverse women

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Book cover of The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

By George Eliot

Why this book?

As someone occasionally made to feel I was “too much” as a child—too emotional, too smart, too odd—I’ve always been drawn to The Mill on the Floss’s temperamental and bewildered young protagonist, Maggie Tulliver. I’m moved by her attempt, as she grows older, to navigate relationships with three men who represent three different possible paths for her: her staid older brother; a gentle, intellectual soulmate; and an erotic tempter. One minute I’m hooked by the drama, the next I’m chuckling at the comic portraits of Maggie’s many colorful relatives.
From the list:

The best George Eliot books to start with

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