The best books about the United Kingdom

Who picked these books? Meet our 492 experts.

492 authors created a book list connected to the United Kingdom, and here are their favorite United Kingdom books.
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Up the Duff

By Kaz Cooke,

Book cover of Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy

Koa Lou Whittingham Author Of Becoming Mum

From the list on for new and expectant mothers.

Who am I?

I’m a clinical and developmental psychologist, a parenting researcher at the University of Queensland, and a mother. My research is focused on applying and commitment therapy (ACT) to parenting including the parenting of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. I wrote Becoming Mum while becoming a mother for the first time. In fact, much of the book was written while I cuddled my new baby, my laptop propped up on my knees so I could write! I am also the first author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy the Clinician’s Guide to Supporting Parents. It is the first clinical manual on using ACT with parents.

Koa's book list on for new and expectant mothers

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

Why did Koa love this book?

Every woman needs at least one practical book to read along with their pregnancy. There are several good options, but Up the Duff has the advantage of being highly entertaining and easy to read. It always made me giggle. It is a great book to have by the side of your bed all pregnancy through.

By Kaz Cooke,

Why should I read it?

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

Quartet In Farewell Time

By Mary B. Durant,

Book cover of Quartet In Farewell Time

Eleanor Cooney Author Of Death in Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Daughter, Her Mother, and the Beast Called Alzheimer's

From the list on if great writing is your reason to live.

Who am I?

I took an early plunge into literature because of my very smart, highly literate parents, and it shaped my young brain. When my brilliant mother came down with Alzheimer’s, I had been a professional published writer for years, with a penchant for the non-pollyanna side of life. Here was the perfect subject matter. My aim was to take on her disintegration and downfall and turn it into art, to produce something as pitiless and unladylike as the disease itself. If people learn something about Alzheimer’s by reading it, that’s fine. But my larger purpose was to do her (and my) ordeal justice via the powers she bestowed on me.

Eleanor's book list on if great writing is your reason to live

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

Why did Eleanor love this book?

Mary Durant was my mother. This was her first novel, published in 1963. When I read it, the proverbial light bulb popped to life in my very young head: I recognized the real-life people and events upon whom the characters and plot were based, and because of that familiarity, saw the way my mother had changed things around, invented circumstances, conversations and fashioned composite characters to create a story. It was a behind-the-scenes crash course in the art of fiction-writing, the marvelous synthesis by which the novelist spins fact and invention into literature. And I understood that really good fiction, though technically a "made up" story, is always imbued with Truth with a capital "T," and that great writing and Truth are inextricably intertangled.

My mother was a first-rate writer and reader, and because of her, I was initiated into the quasi-secret bandwidth of real literature. The key: it’s all…

By Mary B. Durant,

Why should I read it?

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


By Anna Maude,

Book cover of London: A View from the Streets

Melissa McShane Author Of Burning Bright

From the list on touring the unfamiliar corners of Regency England.

Who am I?

I’ve loved the Regency era since first reading Jane Austen’s novels, but in writing my series of 19th-century adventure fantasies, I discovered there was so much more to the period than I’d ever dreamed. Though their culture and traditions aren’t like ours, I’m fascinated by how much about the lives of those men and women is familiar—the same desires, the same dreams for the future. I hope the books on this list inspire in you the same excitement they did in me!

Melissa's book list on touring the unfamiliar corners of Regency England

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

Why did Melissa love this book?

After getting a general idea of what Regency England was like, I recommend this slim little book produced in connection with the British Museum. It’s mostly reproductions of famous pictures and drawings, but for me it made the streets of London come alive. It’s great to read about the famous theaters at Covent Garden and Drury Lane, but so much better to see what they looked like at the height of their fame. And it saves you the cost of a trip to the British Museum!

By Anna Maude,

Why should I read it?

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

The Proposition

By Judith Ivory,

Book cover of The Proposition

Anna Campbell Author Of One Wicked Wish

From the list on classic historical romance.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved historical romance, ever since my mother gave me my first Georgette Heyer when I was eight, and my grandmother gave me my first Barbara Cartland shortly after. The fascination has never waned, which is a good thing because I grew up to become a historical romance author myself. Since publishing my first romance in 2006, I’ve written nearly 50 books, mainly set during the Regency period (first quarter of the 19th century). I’ve always adored how a good historical romance whisks me away to a larger-than-life world replete with dashing rakes, smart-mouthed ladies, and glittering high society, not to mention witty banter, glamour, and heart-stopping romance.

Anna's book list on classic historical romance

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

Why did Anna love this book?

Judith Ivory has one of the most distinctive voices in historical romance. I wish she was still releasing new work! The Proposition is a fun take on My Fair Lady, where Henry Higgins is a down-on-her-luck duke’s daughter and Eliza Dolittle is a charming rat catcher. Yes, you heard that right. We’re a long way from the usual historical romance fare of dukes and rakes. Not only that, Mick Tremore, the rat catcher in question, has the most wonderful dog Win who threatens to steal the show every time she’s on the page. Charming, clever, witty and full of delicious sexual tension, this is a compelling read – and it has a serious message about how often the greatest barriers to our dreams are those our minds place on us. 

By Judith Ivory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No man, gentleman or otherwise, has ever looked at Lady Edwina Bollash the way the brash, handsome man standing before her is doing now. Edwina has accepted the challenge to transform incorrigible Mick Tremore into a gentleman in just six weeks. And although the linguist is sure she can rise to the task, she isn't at all certain she won't swoon under his frankly sensuous gaze before her job is done.

Mick has lived outside of London society long enough to know that appearances can be deceiving. Edwina might look all buttoned up-the perfect English lady-but there is unleashed passion…

Book cover of The Lesbian Detective Novel: an annotated bibliography

Iza Moreau Author Of The News in Small Towns

From the list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives.

Who am I?

Halfway through my first novel, I realized that I was writing in a genre that had received little critical study and had almost no visibility. To find my way around the genre—and my place within it—I began reading heavily and before I knew it, I had read well over 200 lesbian mystery novels and devoured almost every serious review and critical study The dozen books I have written over the last decade reflect this study. In them, I hope I have succeeded in expanding the genre in some small way and adding to the menu of a hungry and discerning LGBTQ audience. 

Iza's book list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives

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

Why did Iza love this book?

When I was writing my first mystery series, I knew very little about the history of the lesbian detective novel. Because I wanted to work within the genre’s boundaries, I spent almost as much time researching it as writing. With the 2022 publication of The Lesbian Detective Novel, Megan Casey has made this task way easier for future lesbian mystery authors. She lists over 1,000 titles along with their creators and adds a few pertinent notes about each book or series. When you finish my first four picks and are looking for other lesbian mysteries to enjoy, this is the book to have by your bedside. I certainly have it beside mine.

By Megan Casey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This 300-page book lists over 1000 Lesbian Mystery novels by over 330 authors spanning the years 1977—when the first generally accepted lesbian mystery novel was published—to the present. The author is the leading authority on the lesbian mystery novel and has published two other books on the subject.

The Herd

By Emily Edwards,

Book cover of The Herd

Lisa Timoney Author Of His Secret Wife

From the list on family drama with a central dilemma.

Who am I?

I was drawn to writing family drama because complex family dynamics are endlessly fascinating to me. I’m an adopted person whose parents went on to divorce and remarry. I have two teenagers of my own and I’ve found that there are a multitude of choices we have to make as parents, and sometimes dilemmas don’t have a clear answer. If we get it wrong, the effects on the people we love can be devastating. Love within families can be tricky. The gap between what we want and what we need can be vast. There’s so much to explore in family dramas!

Lisa's book list on family drama with a central dilemma

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

Why did Lisa love this book?

This novel grapples with the thorny subject of immunisation and what happens when one friend’s stance has a potentially life-threatening effect on another’s child.

Edwards manages to explore both sides without judgment in a story which is perfect for book clubs. The characters are relatable and fully fleshed out.

I found it a brave and compelling book.

By Emily Edwards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'It is hard to imagine a more timely novel. A fascinating exploration of all sides of a particularly knotty, politicized issue.' Jodi Picoult

'Will have book clubs across the country in hot debate! Brilliant.' Clare Mackintosh


You should never judge how someone chooses to raise their child.

Elizabeth and Bryony are polar opposites but their unexpected friendship has always worked. They're the best of friends, and godmothers to each other's daughters - because they trust that the safety of their children is both of their top priority.

But what if their choice could harm your own child?

Little do…

Book cover of The Journalist in British Fiction and Film: Guarding the Guardians from 1900 to the Present

Tony Harcup Author Of Journalism: Principles and Practice

From the list on journalists as heroes.

Who am I?

I’ve worked in and around journalism long enough to know that not all journalists are heroes. Few even aspire to be. But there is something quietly heroic about the daily task of holding the powerful to account, even in democracies where the risk of imprisonment or assassination is less than in more authoritarian states. Here is my selection of books to remind all of us about some of these more heroic aspects of the journalism trade. I hope you find reading them enjoyable and maybe even inspiring.

Tony's book list on journalists as heroes

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

Why did Tony love this book?

If fictional journalists are your thing, then this book will almost certainly introduce you to some you’ve never heard of as well as those you (really should) have. Lonsdale insightfully identifies and dissects themes that crop up time after time in creative writing about journalists, from swashbuckling rogues to unethical scumbags. In the process, she has plenty to say about the craft of journalism itself and its enduring value to society. There is humour too, as when she quotes the immortal line of Stella Gibbons (author of Cold Comfort Farm): "The life of the journalist is poor, nasty, brutish and short. So is his style." Lovely.

By Sarah Lonsdale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Journalist in British Fiction and Film as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why did Edwardian novelists portray journalists as swashbuckling, truth-seeking super-heroes whereas post-WW2 depictions present the journalist as alienated outsider? Why are contemporary fictional journalists often deranged, murderous or intensely vulnerable? As newspaper journalism faces the double crisis of a lack of trust post-Leveson, and a lack of influence in the fragmented internet age, how do cultural producers view journalists and their role in society today?

In The Journalist in British Fiction and Film Sarah Lonsdale traces the ways in which journalists and newspapers have been depicted in fiction, theatre and film from the dawn of the mass popular press to…


By Susan G. Wooldridge,

Book cover of Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words

Marge Pellegrino Author Of Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing

From the list on creative jump starts whatever your medium.

Who am I?

As a kid, I loved how words on a page transported me. Later, I was astounded by how the words I wrote myself could help me solve problems, deepen my understanding, and expand my thinking. Over time, that writing offered clarity and built my confidence. And in my most challenging times, writing has saved me over and over again. Learning to observe like a writer or an artist continues to help me be more present in my life. Sharing expressive writing experiences with others, during a 35-year career as a writer and workshop facilitator, allowed me to witness how this creative engagement offers a respite while building resilience and joy in others too.

Marge's book list on creative jump starts whatever your medium

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

Why did Marge love this book?

Susan Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy is a vibrant collage in which she shares her poetry-writing journey in rich detail. From evocative chapter titles, quotes by poets, and poems from a variety of lesser-known voices, each element plays a part in setting up and illustrating an approach or addressing the topic at hand. My favorite part of this book is the “Practice” opportunities Wooldridge crafts for us. Get out your pencil! This book, informed by Wooldridge’s expressive arts practice, is one in which we, the readers, are invited to play. You’ll be surprised and delighted by what Poemcrazy will inspire you to write.

By Susan G. Wooldridge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Following the success of several recent inspirational and practical books for would-be writers, Poemcrazy is a perfect guide for everyone who ever wanted to write a poem but was afraid to try. Writing workshop leader Susan Wooldridge shows how to think, use one's senses, and practice exercises that will make poems more likely to happen.

Bad Panda

By Swapna Haddow, Sheena Dempsey,

Book cover of Bad Panda

Rachel Hamilton Author Of Louie Lets Loose!

From the list on by British authors to get kids laughing out loud.

Who am I?

I am Rachel Hamilton and I’m the author of the Exploding series with Simon & Schuster and the Unicorn in New York series with OUP and Scholastic. I love making people laugh, especially when it's intentional rather than accidental. As well as writing books, I write comedy sketches and have performed standup as part of the Funny Girls tour in the Middle East. It's hard to do humor well, so I have huge respect and admiration for the authors on this list, because they do it fantastically. I hope you love their stories as much as I do. 

Rachel's book list on by British authors to get kids laughing out loud

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

Why did Rachel love this book?

I’ve been a huge fan of Swapna and Sheena’s since I first read Dave Pigeon, which is so good it’s now a set text on the Creative Writing degree I teach. These two are champions of slapstick, silliness, and subversive creatures with big hearts. And Bad Panda is, arguably, their greatest creation. She’s SO desperate to be bad, but she is scuppered at every turn by the fact that everything she does looks so ridiculously cute. The result is panda-monium (groan!)

“Are you sick of being utterly adorable?
Tired of being cuddled and hugged?
Fed up of having your head confused for your bottom because you just so happen to be SOOOOPER-DOOOOOPER fluffy?
Lin: If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re in the right book.”

By Swapna Haddow, Sheena Dempsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you sick of being utterly adorable?
Tired of being cuddled and hugged?
Fed up of having your head confused for your bottom because you just so happen to be SOOOOPER-DOOOOOPER fluffy?

Lin: If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you're in the right book.

Everyone thinks that Lin is the cutest panda in the world. So much so that they ship her off to the local zoo, away from her beloved brother, to be ogled at by the masses. But Lin HATES being cute, and now she will do everything in her power to prove that…

Formosa Moon

By Joshua Samuel Brown, Stephanie Huffman,

Book cover of Formosa Moon

John Grant Ross Author Of Formosan Odyssey: Taiwan, Past and Present

From the list on Taiwan and why you should visit.

Who am I?

I’m a Kiwi who has spent most of the past three decades in Asia. My books include Formosan Odyssey, You Don't Know China, and Taiwan in 100 Books. I live in a small town in southern Taiwan with my Taiwanese wife. When not writing, reading, or lusting over maps, I can be found on the abandoned family farm slashing jungle undergrowth (and having a sly drink). 

John's book list on Taiwan and why you should visit

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

Why did John love this book?

Fun excursions around Taiwan told by the likable duo of Brown – a Taiwan long-timer and veteran travel writer – and Huffman, who is on her first trip to Asia. It’s a quirky travelogue packed with practical info, and with the pairing of new eyes and an old hand working beautifully. They both write with wit and affection for the country. Huffman’s observation that “Taiwan is never boring,” applies to the book. Memorable sections include a visit to the remote aboriginal village of Smangus, meeting various artists, an odd encounter with a fortune teller, and the auditory pleasures of living in “Dog Lane.” 

By Joshua Samuel Brown, Stephanie Huffman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Formosa Moon is a romantic, geeky cultural journey around Taiwan undertaken by a couple comprised of a seasoned guidebook writer intimately familiar with Asia and a first-time visitor who agreed to relocate sight unseen. Join the couple on their journey of discovery through Formosa, “The Beautiful Island”.

River of Lies

By R.M. Greenaway,

Book cover of River of Lies

Valerie Green Author Of Providence

From the list on fiction by British Columbia authors.

Who am I?

I've loved writing since childhood when I lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in England that I was convinced was haunted. I'm now passionate about the history of British Columbia where I live today, and have written over twenty non-fiction historical books, true crime books, historical columns, and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. My own forthcoming fictional trilogy, The McBride Chronicles, tells the story of a fictional family from the beginnings of British Columbia until present day so I can truly say I love all fiction set in our beautiful province by BC writers. I'm delighted that we have so many talented fiction writers in the province including the ones I recommend. 

Valerie's book list on fiction by British Columbia authors

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

Why did Valerie love this book?

I always enjoy a good mystery and R.M. Greenaway’s River of Lies is definitely one I would recommend. This book is the fifth in the B.C. Crime Series of mysteries by Greenaway but it was the first I had read—and it won’t be the last. The two detectives, Cal Dion and David Leith, are strong characters who come together in this book to solve a murder of a young black female janitor, a missing child case, a drowning, and an apparent suicide. Once they find the missing link between all these incidents, they are able to make progress. I found this an absorbing whodunit that held my attention to the very last page.

By R.M. Greenaway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In rain-drenched Vancouver, detectives Dion and Leith work to separate truth from lies in two seemingly unrelated cases.

February is the month of romance, but in North Vancouver it's also become the month of murder. While the North Shore RCMP slog through the rain in the search for whoever left a young woman to die in the Riverside Secondary School parking lot - their first clue a Valentine's Day card - a toddler mysteriously vanishes from a Riverside Drive home in the midst of a dinner party.

With Constable JD Temple's full attention on the parking lot murder, Constables Dave…

An Autobiography

By R.G. Collingwood,

Book cover of An Autobiography

Yulia Ustinova Author Of Divine Mania: Alteration of Consciousness in Ancient Greece

From the list on how historians work.

Who am I?

Doing historical research and thinking about history is an essential part of my personality. During my life, many things changed: the language I speak most of the time, the country where I live, people closest to me, my views, tastes, and habits. Ancient history and its research remain my vocation, job, and place of safety from early youth till nowadays. I am grateful to all people, long dead and living, whose insights on the study of the human past have taught me not only how to do research, but first and foremost how to live.

Yulia's book list on how historians work

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

Why did Yulia love this book?

In a biography of a person whose occupation was to think, the most exciting part is how their thought evolved. Robin G. Collingwood is a prominent philosopher and a historian of Roman Britain. His autobiography is precious because it is an earnest reflection on how his perception of history and the approaches to its study developed over his lifetime - a door open into the mind of a philosopher of history.

By R.G. Collingwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Autobiography

The Wild Baby Goes to Sea

By Barbro Lindgren, Eva Eriksson (illustrator),

Book cover of The Wild Baby Goes to Sea

Charline Davis Author Of Alou: The Martian Agent

From the list on that capture children’s imaginations.

Who am I?

I came into the world telling stories. From the age of four you could often find me surrounded by a little cluster of friends, amusing them with a story I was spinning on the spot. When I was nine, I began telling my sisters about a Martian who was living on Earth and who loved his comfy chairs. This Martian eventually became Alou, and it has been such a joy to share his world through my picture book Alou: The Martian Agent and its sequels. One thing I’m passionate about is sparking the potent imagination bottled up inside all our little ones and I hope my books can encourage that. 

Charline's book list on that capture children’s imaginations

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

Why did Charline love this book?

Make-believe was one of my favorite pastimes as a little girl. When I wasn’t writing a story, chances were, I was off with a sister in a world of imagination. And when I was there, it was as if my fancy was reality. I think that’s why I identify with this charming picture book so much. The main character’s potent imagination pulls his surroundings into his play reality. But the ending leaves us to ponder, along with Baby Ben’s mama…can his imagination conjure things into the tangible world? This translation from the original Swedish expertly converted the rhymes, and the pictures add so very much to the adventure. If you have a little adventurer in your life, this is a must-read!  

By Barbro Lindgren, Eva Eriksson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wild Baby Goes to Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While his mother cleans house, rambunctious baby Ben sets sail in a wooden box and has many adventures.

Old in Art School

By Nell Painter,

Book cover of Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over

Stephanie Storey Author Of Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo

From the list on helping you get in touch with your inner artist.

Who am I?

I’ve been obsessed with studying the artistic process for over 25 years since I got my degree in Studio Art and Art History at Vanderbilt University. After getting my MFA in Creative Writing, I headed out to Hollywood to produce national television for over twenty years. I’ve worked with many of the greatest actors, filmmakers, and writers of our time and written my own bestselling novels about artists. I read as many books on the artistic process as possible. My mission has always been to ensure that every person knows that they, too, can be artists – creating art isn’t just for the “great”, it’s for everyone. 

Stephanie's book list on helping you get in touch with your inner artist

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

Why did Stephanie love this book?

Other people kept recommending this book to me, but I kept putting it off. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. Once I did, the only thing I had to regret was that I hadn’t read it sooner. Now, I’ve returned to its pages time and time again to re-ignite my own love of creating and to remind me that it’s never too late to follow new creative dreams. This book makes me laugh and cry with the hope and pain of creating art, but the most important part of it to me is its relentless insistence that we all must ignore that annoying “You will never be an artist” putdown. Read this book and you will know, without a doubt, that you can be an artist if you want, no matter the obstacles. 

By Nell Painter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Old in Art School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, this memoir of one woman's later in life career change is "a smart, funny and compelling case for going after your heart's desires, no matter your age" (Essence).

Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school--in her sixties--to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves, even as she comes to understand how…

Toronto in 1810

By Eric Wilfrid Hounsom,

Book cover of Toronto in 1810

Ann Birch Author Of A Daughter Rebels

From the list on brave women who dared to challenge the norms.

Who am I?

For a number of years, I was a historical interpreter at two of Toronto’s oldest and finest houses. While looking at the furniture, paintings, and below-stairs bells and open-hearth cooking in these upper-class mansions, I became immersed in the lives of the people who once lived in these places. I have always been interested in history, and I have a post-graduate degree in Canadian literature, but my schooling in history seemed confined to the Tudor period and Greek and Roman times. Working in Toronto’s fine homes led me to a deep understanding of the fascinating history we have right here on our doorstep!

Ann's book list on brave women who dared to challenge the norms

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

Why did Ann love this book?

When you write historical novels, you have to place your characters in a certain real setting. Hounsom’s book let me step right onto the streets and into the houses of Toronto in 1810. As well as wonderful information on the way people lived at the time, Hounsom includes maps and drawings of Toronto and its important buildings. For example, I actually found a drawing of the house that my novel’s main character lived in.

By Eric Wilfrid Hounsom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Toronto in 1810 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Golden Earth

By Norman Lewis,

Book cover of Golden Earth: Travels in Burma

Rory MacLean Author Of Under the Dragon: Travels in a Betrayed Land

From the list on Myanmar from someone who has traveled throughout it.

Who am I?

Rory MacLean is one of Britain's most innovative travel writers. His books – which have been translated into a dozen languages — include UK top tens Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon as well as Pravda Ha Ha and Berlin: Imagine a City, "the most extraordinary work of history I've ever read" according to the Washington Post which named it a "Book of the Year". Over the years he has travelled throughout Burma – apart from when banned by the military government for his writings – coming to know it as a deeply-wounded and fractured golden land of temple bells, be-medalled generals who enrich themselves through drug deals and ever-optimistic men and women who fight on to restore its ‘democratic transition’.

Rory's book list on Myanmar from someone who has traveled throughout it

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

Why did Rory love this book?

Among the 20th century’s finest travel writers, Norman Lewis visited Burma in the early 1950s.  ‘Golden Earth’ is a bittersweet portrait of the then-optimistic, now-lost land – before communist incursions and military dictatorship shattered the dream.

By Norman Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"a simple blueprint for Utopia" - the best travel book on Burma since World War II - despite travelling at a time of massive internal insecurity, Norman Lewis still found the eternal Burma, where pagodas are the only punctuation on the horizon and strangers are treated with an overwhelming friendliness - an overnight best-seller when first published - revisits the tragic Burma road, treked by so many refugees fleeing Burma before the Japanese advance in 1942

Bryant & May Off the Rails

By Christopher Fowler,

Book cover of Bryant & May Off the Rails

Sherry Roberts Author Of Down Dog Diary

From the list on quirky, fascinating detectives from around the world.

Who am I?

Some people read mysteries to figure out who did it. Not me. I read mysteries (several a week) because they are full of contradictions, lies and truths, and humans making hard and sometimes stupid decisions. I lean toward mysteries that are literary in writing quality with quirky, complicated characters; a good sense of humor; and diverse settings. In my cozy Minnesota mystery series featuring Maya Skye, I am interested in the contradiction of a yoga teacher who is dedicated to seeking inner peace and yet drawn to mayhem. As Maya says, “We may try to follow the path, but life isn’t all Minnesota nice.” 

Sherry's book list on quirky, fascinating detectives from around the world

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

Why did Sherry love this book?

I have never been to London, but Christopher Fowler makes me want to book a plane ticket. His immense collection of mysteries (18 so far) features adorable curmudgeon Arthur Bryant and his partner, John May, an elderly Lothario. These quirky detectives are the heartbeat of the even quirkier Peculiar Crimes Unit (yes, that’s its real name). I am a big fan of teams in mystery solving—not just because they all help out solving the puzzle but because of the emotions and relationships that become entangled among team members. Fowler delivers fascinating British history, smart humor, and delightful writing. Guilty secret: I would love to reach into Arthur Bryant’s big old coat pockets; they always contain the most outlandish things (many essential to solving the crime, of course).

By Christopher Fowler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They've been given just one week to find a killer they'd caught once before . . .
Arthur Bryant, John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit are on the trail of an enigma: a young man called Mr Fox. But his identity is false, his links to society are invisible and his home yields no clues. All they know is that somehow he escaped from a locked room and murdered one of their best and brightest.
Now the detectives are being lured down into the darkest recesses of the London Underground where their quarry, expertly disguised, has struck again. Their…

Thraxas Under Siege

By Martin Scott,

Book cover of Thraxas Under Siege

Andrew Claydon Author Of The Simple Delivery

From the list on fantasy and sci-fi to make you laugh.

Who am I?

For me the best fantasy and sci-fi is made up of many themes. Take one of my favorite fantasy movies, Willow. It has heart and comedy but also drama, action, and high stakes. This is something that I want from my writing. I want the reader to laugh, and a few paragraphs later be gasping as the main character faces mortal peril. With the very best books, you get taken on a roller coaster of emotional responses. As a UK fantasy author, my goal is to make sure that you put my books down only when you absolutely have to, which includes falling asleep holding them because you’ve stayed up too late reading.

Andrew's book list on fantasy and sci-fi to make you laugh

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

Why did Andrew love this book?

I picked up this book when I was much younger. Until this point all the fantasy I read had been serious and gritty. This book showed me that fantasy could be amusing too, but still have high stakes. It follows the ongoing story of Thraxas, a down-on-his-luck and disreputable private investigator with some magical skill whose city is now besieged by orcs. He has to try and survive the siege, which mainly comprises of finding some decent food and drink, whilst searching for an artifact that could change the outcome of the war.

A fun read with some quirky characters and an engaging story.

By Martin Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the enchanted city of Turai, the overweight, beer-guzzling private eye Thraxas is probably your only hope. And this time, the entire city is in trouble, besieged by an army of rampaging Orcs. Now a ship has managed to slip past the Orcs to make port, and it was carrying a talisman which could save the city. Unfortunately, it and the ship's captain have vanished without a trace. And if Thraxas can't recover it before it falls into the wrong hands, Turai will be doomed. Which could seriously interfere with the big card game that Thraxas had been looking forward…

Book cover of Diary of William Tayler, Footman 1837

Michelle Higgs Author Of Servants' Stories: Life Below Stairs in their Own Words 1800-1950

From the list on Victorian servants telling their stories.

Who am I?

I became fascinated by the Victorian period when I started tracing my family tree in my teens. I wanted to find out more about my ancestors’ lives, and social history quickly became my passion. At weekends, I would visit stately homes and country houses, and I was always more interested in the kitchens and servants’ quarters below the stairs than the grand rooms upstairs. Oral history is one of the most under-valued sources, but it really brings history to life. This list features some of the most detailed memoirs and diaries by domestic servants who wrote about their working lives. Hope you enjoy them!

Michelle's book list on Victorian servants telling their stories

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

Why did Michelle love this book?

William Tayler worked as a footman in London for the wealthy widow Mrs. Prinsep and her unmarried daughter. He kept a diary for the year 1837 "as I am a wretched bad writer [and] many of my friends have advised me to practice more…" On Sundays, he usually went to see his wife and children who were lodged nearby, although he never mentions her or them by name. 

As it focuses on just one year, the diary only provides a snapshot of William’s working life. However, it gives an illuminating insight into the life of a male servant for the gentry, including details of what William did in his spare time and how the wealthy entertained. Research has shown that he later became a butler.

By Dorothy Wise Tayler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Diary of William Tayler, Footman 1837 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before you read William’s Journal, it is necessary to sketch in his background as briefly as possible. He came from the hamlet of Grafton, which is situated in the south-west corner of Oxfordshire, not far from Faringdon in Berkshire. Its seven grey Cotswold stone farmhouses are linked together by a brook and in the old days you could walk from one house to another along the brookside. These farmhouses sit like old ladies facing the sun and are all on the north side of the brook. In front of them lies all that is left of Grafton Common. If you…

Home Farm

By Paul Heiney,

Book cover of Home Farm

Piers Warren Author Of How to Store Your Garden Produce: The Key to Self-Sufficiency

From the list on self-sufficiency.

Who am I?

Aged six, I was first given a tiny piece of garden where I grew radishes and lettuces. I haven’t stopped growing my own food since! Everything about it is good for you and I have been writing about this for many years in various magazines and books. I have always been fascinated with the idea of self-sufficiency and love to read about methods old and new.

Piers' book list on self-sufficiency

Discover why each book is one of Piers' favorite books.

Why did Piers love this book?

The photography in this book is so gorgeous you can just imagine yourself on a sunny smallholding or homestead, tending your crops and looking after your livestock. The instructions are clear and concise from someone who lives the good life. It certainly encouraged me to have a go at various aspects of self-sufficiency that other books didn’t. A great book to dream over while you plan your future.

By Paul Heiney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There is a part in every one of us that wants to be a home farmer: a part that yearns to get back to the earth and to revel in the healthy experiences of growing rearing and making. In Home Farm well-known journalist TV and radio presenter and part-time farmer Paul Heiney shows you how to turn that dream into a reality beginning from the premise that anyone can bring an element of home farming however small into their life. Country Living for All Paul Heiney addresses the needs of both country livers and country dreamers including advice for those…