The best war books

Who picked these books? Meet our 401 experts.

401 authors created a book list connected to war, and here are their favorite war books.
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The Eternal Soldier

By Allison Crotzer Kimmel, Rotem Teplow (illustrator),

Book cover of The Eternal Soldier: The True Story of How a Dog Became a Civil War Hero

Rebecca Langston-George Author Of The Booth Brothers: Drama, Fame, and the Death of President Lincoln

From the list on little-known US history for children.

Who am I?

I taught for more than 26 years in classes ranging from first grade through college. No matter the age of the students, I used children’s books to introduce topics in history. I never shied away from using a picture book with older students and often found they were more engaged in a picture book than in an article. I also used historical fiction as a hook to lure students into picking up a related non-fiction book. In fact, historical fiction was the gateway that taught this writer of 13 nonfiction children’s books to love non-fiction history. 

Rebecca's book list on little-known US history for children

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

Why did Rebecca love this book?

Allison Crotzer Kimmel’s touching book is a 2023 Pennsylvania Young Reader Choice Award Winner for Grades 3-6. This book is a favorite of mine not only because it covers a little-known bit of Civil War history, but because the author humanizes the difficult topic of war, using a beloved dog.

Sallie, a brindle bull terrier, marched with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry as their mascot during the Civil War. The dog was so well-liked even President Lincoln tipped his hat to her when reviewing the troops. At the battle of Gettysburg, she guarded the wounded, nearly dying herself from hunger. After the war her men erected a statue to their loyal Sallie that still stands today.

By Allison Crotzer Kimmel, Rotem Teplow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the untold story of Sallie, a dog whose life as a soldier began in a basket and ended as a Civil War hero.

The pup barked and nearly tumbled out of the basket. We laughed, and immediately we knew--she was one of us already.

Brindle fur with streaks of brown and black swirled all over her like a patchwork quilt. She was as pretty as an apple tree in full bloom. We called her Sallie.

During the Civil War, Sallie came to the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry as a gift from a townsperson, but she quickly became a…

The Knight of the Swords

By Michael Moorcock,

Book cover of The Knight of the Swords

Mark A. Rayner Author Of Alpha Max

From the list on multiverse to blow your mind.

Who am I?

Alpha Max is set in the multiverse, so I thought a list of other multiverse books would be a fun comparison. In my work, I’ve had a recurring character, Dr. Maximilian Tundra; a reader noted that he always seemed slightly different novel-to-novel. A very astute reader. You see, the whole time, all of my books took place in slightly different versions of my hometown. Parallel Earths! So, I thought it was time to let Max take center stage and explore why this might be. In this book, we get to meet not just one Max, but dozens of divergent Maxes from alternate realities. Mind-blowing stuff!

Mark's book list on multiverse to blow your mind

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

Why did Mark love this book?

I’ve always loved Moorcock’s work – I find his writing can be quite beautiful stylistically, even while he’s telling a compelling story. The Knight of Swords is the first in the Corum series, two trilogies, which is also part of the eternal champion multiverse. (It’s actually Moorcock who coined the term “multiverse” in a novel he wrote in the 60s.) I prefer Corum to his arguably more famous other protagonist, Elric of Meliboné. Corum is significantly less emo and whiny than Elric and I also really enjoyed the allusions to Irish mythology. But both of these characters are examples of what Moorcock calls the eternal champion – a hero that emerges whenever the universe experiences imbalance. This hero appears in many different realities, the multiverse, and is set the task of righting the balance between Law and Chaos. If you like high fantasy, and you haven’t read Moorcock, you really…

By Michael Moorcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ancient races, the Vadhagh and the Nhadragh, are dying. By creating Mankind, the universe has condemned Earth to a pestilence of destruction and fear.

Prince Corum is the last remaining Vadhagh. He sets out on a crusade of vengeance against the forces that slaughtered his family and his race, to challenge the unjust power of the puppet masters of Man: the Lords of Chaos. Along the way he will barter with his soul for the limbs of gods to repair his mutilated body, and will encounter a member of the very race who caused the mutilation, the irresistible Rhalina...

Book cover of The House at the End of the World

Clayton Graham Author Of Milijun

From the list on otherworldly encounters with alien characters.

Who am I?

Growing up I read a lot of science fiction: HG Wells, Isaac Asimov, John Wyndham; those kind of authors and their inspiring tales. In my early twenties, I penned a few short stories as I worked as an aeronautical engineer. Always being at the leading edge of technology certainly helped shape my dreams of the future. I have an interest in writing novels that place humankind within a universe [or multiverse] we are only just starting to understand. To date, I have written six novels, two of them extensive short story collections. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.

Clayton's book list on otherworldly encounters with alien characters

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

Why did Clayton love this book?

Government meddling is the real monster of this story, which is hardly a surprise these days, and I was fascinated by the the alleged intention of the secretive alien life form. Whilst an engrossing read, it took a while to get to the alien persona involved and its apparent destiny and motives within our universe.

Heroine Katie is such an interesting, if conflicted, character and I would love to know how many such people exist in the real world. The advent of Libby is a much-needed catalyst to take the tale further and reach a fascinating finale.

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The House at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soon no one on Earth will have a place to hide in this novel about fears known and unknown by #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz.

In retreat from a devastating loss and crushing injustice, Katie lives alone in a fortresslike stone house on Jacob's Ladder island. Once a rising star in the art world, she finds refuge in her painting.

The neighboring island of Ringrock houses a secret: a government research facility. And now two agents have arrived on Jacob's Ladder in search of someone-or something-they refuse to identify. Although an air of menace hangs…

King of Scars

By Leigh Bardugo,

Book cover of King of Scars

Jennifer Ivy Walker Author Of The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven

From the list on paranormal romances with shapeshifting warriors.

Who am I?

I have always loved fairy tales, myths, and fantasy, having developed a vivid imagination during childhood because we lived far from friends. When I began studying French, I discovered a love for medieval legends such as Tristan et Yseult.  During trips to France, I explored troglodyte caves of the Loire Valley and prehistoric grottos, such as La Grotte de Lascaux. The more I researched legends and myths, the more my fantasy world of paranormal romance and shapeshifting warriors evolved.

Jennifer's book list on paranormal romances with shapeshifting warriors

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

Why did Jennifer love this book?

In this dark fantasy, King Nikolai Lantsov harbors a demon that transforms him into a winged monster. The female general Zoya Nazyalensky—the woman he passionately loves but resists because of the evil which lurks inside him—helps the stricken monarch control the destructive beast and hide his ugly secret from the unsuspecting kingdom.

I loved how King Nikolai struggled with the monster within, finally accepting it as the darker half of his own soul and a source of immense strength for him as king. I also loved how the monster--a most unlikely romantic hero—knew Zoya and protected her, like Nikolai himself.

By Leigh Bardugo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


See the Grishaverse come to life on screen with Shadow and Bone, now a Netflix series.

Enter the Grishaverse with the instant #1 New York Times-bestseller King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, the first book in the King of Scars Duology.

"[Bardugo] touches on religion, class, family, love — all organically, all effortlessly, all cloaked in the weight of a post-war reckoning with the cost (literal and figurative) of surviving the events that shape both people and nations." —NPR

"The story exists at an intersection of past and future selves, and in the dawning understanding…

The Art of War

By Sun Tzu, Thomas Cleary,

Book cover of The Art of War: Complete Text and Commentaries

Charles Oliviero Author Of Praxis Tacticum: The Art, Science and Practice of Military Tactics

From the list on military tactical thinking.

Who am I?

I spent 40 years as a soldier studying war. After graduation from Royal Military College, I joined the Armoured Corps. Throughout history, we have regaled each other with stories of war. From Greek myths to Norse sagas to modern movies, we cannot seem to get enough of war stories. And yet, we know that war is inherently a bad idea. It is evil. It is a form of collective madness. War is destructive and cruel, unworthy of our better selves. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, war breaks the bonds of our affection and does not speak to our better angels. I study it in order to better understand this madness.

Charles' book list on military tactical thinking

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

Why did Charles love this book?

I recommend this book because it is not only the oldest military book known, but also a foundational text. It is short, simple to read, and can be understood at multiple levels from absolute novice to grand strategist. It is a compilation of aphorisms and stories intended to give the reader an insight into the nature of war. To stay with the Chinese theme, Lao Tzu reputedly said that the journey of a thousand li (miles) begins with a single step. This book is that step.

By Sun Tzu, Thomas Cleary,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sun Tzu's Art of War, compiled more than two thousand years ago, is a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict. It is perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world today. Now, this unique volume brings together the essential versions of Sun Tzu's text, along with illuminating commentaries and auxiliary texts written by distinguished strategists. The translations, by the renowned translator Thomas Cleary, have all been published previously in book form, except for The Silver Sparrow Art of War, which is available here for the first time. This comprehensive collection contains:

The Art of…

War Doctor

By David Nott,

Book cover of War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line

Rhona Morrison Author Of I Don't Talk to Dead Bodies: The Curious Encounters of a Forensic Psychiatrist

From the list on medical memoirs which take you 'behind the scenes'.

Who am I?

I am a retired, Scottish, NHS consultant forensic psychiatrist, who worked with mentally disordered offenders in prisons, hospitals, and in the community. I am passionate about raising awareness, destigmatisation of mental illness, and introducing the human beings behind the sensationalist newspaper headlines. They are all someone's son or daughter, who didn't ask to get ill. Occasionally mental illness makes good people do bad things. It was my job to find, treat and rehabilitate them. I believe entertaining medical memoirs can engage readers and inform thinking by challenging attitudes and assumptions.

Rhona's book list on medical memoirs which take you 'behind the scenes'

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

Why did Rhona love this book?

I loved this book as it gave a vivid, no holds barred glimpse into the world of a general/vascular surgeon volunteering in a war zone.

It was written with passion and an eye for detail which captured the imagery and emotions for me, in a way that transported me right into the frontline of the war zone beside him.

This book highlights the necessity for medical services to be provided in war zones and the superhuman personal attributes of those brave staff who venture in there. I am not sure I would have been so brave.

By David Nott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 internationally bestselling, gripping true story of a frontline trauma surgeon operating in the world s most dangerous war zones

For more than 25 years, surgeon David Nott has volunteered in some of the world s most dangerous conflict zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993 to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out lifesaving operations in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major metropolitan hospital. He is now widely acknowledged as the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world.

War Doctor is his extraordinary story, encompassing his surgeries in…


By Eric Nylund,

Book cover of Halo: The Fall of Reach

Matthew Michaelson Author Of Daughters of Astrid

From the list on licensed books from settings that inspired me.

Who am I?

All of the books I’ve recommended here involve various game series, or at least subseries in a larger franchise like Star Wars, that has come to influence my own writing, be it with the technology, the setting details, or just various writing quirks I’ve picked up over the years. I’m a long-standing fan of video games and strategy games or RPGs in particular, and I’ve been told in the past that my novels feel very video-game-y, though such was not my original intention. I should hope that the books I recommend here will give you some insight into what sources I draw from as I write my own novels!

Matthew's book list on licensed books from settings that inspired me

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

Why did Matthew love this book?

The Halo Universe is a massive, sprawling sci-fi series that many assume to be just a random sci-fi shooter franchise. The Fall of Reach acts as a prequel to the first game and to the Halo series as a whole. Focusing on the initial creation of the Spartan-II Super Soldier program, the growth of Spartan John-117 into a super soldier, and culminating in the defense of the planet he’s grown up on, The Fall of Reach serves to set the stage for the Halo franchise. I recommend picking up the reprints from 2011 or later, as it fixes many continuity errors induced later on in the series.

By Eric Nylund,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



By Janne Teller, Translated by Martin Aitken,

Book cover of War

Annika Thor Author Of A Faraway Island

From the list on for children and young people on war and refugees.

Who am I?

As a descendant of Jewish refugees, from pogroms in Russia and from Nazi persecution in Germany, I grew up with stories of war, exile, and loss. As a writer, these themes have been very important for me, not only in the series of four books about Stephie and Nellie, but also in a novel for adults and a picture book for younger children. As a reader, I am interested in stories that deal with the same themes – stories that may be set in the past, the present, or the future. As a mother and grandmother, I know that good books can help us talk to our young about the most difficult matters.

Annika's book list on for children and young people on war and refugees

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

Why did Annika love this book?

The idea of this book is so simple and so brilliant! What if war broke out, not in some faraway part of the world, but in your own home country? What if your house had been bombed, your sister injured, and your grandparents killed? What if you, a European teenager, had to flee with your family to a country in the Middle East, where you are barely tolerated and forced to live in poverty? 

On 64 pages, in a book the size and shape of a European Union passport, Danish writer Janne Teller makes the reader understand what it really means to be a refugee from war and persecution.

By Janne Teller, Translated by Martin Aitken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Endorsed by Amnesty International. Imagine if war broke out - not in Iraq or Afghanistan, somewhere far far away, but here, in our country. In War, Janne Teller embarks on a thought-provoking experiment: by simply turning the current crisis on its head, she reveals what it is like to flee your home country, to be exiled, and to fight for survival in a foreign country.

In this illustrated short story, Europe has fallen apart and the only place at peace within reach is the Middle East. You follow a normal British family as they flee to the Middle East and…

Perilous Glory

By John France,

Book cover of Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power

Beatrice Heuser Author Of War: A Genealogy of Western Ideas and Practices

From the list on war in general.

Who am I?

I have studied aspects of war and strategy – mainly on the political-military interface level – for the past forty years of my life. My interest originated from my parents’ stories about their childhood and early youth in the Second World Wars, its horrors and hardships, and from myself living in South-East Asia during the time of the Vietnam War. Moreover, I became obsessed with the fear of nuclear war through reading and hearing about it. So I have studied aspects of war, much as an oncologist studies cancer, in the hope that a better understanding may eventually help us ban it in practice (and not just in theory as it has been since the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928).

Beatrice's book list on war in general

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

Why did Beatrice love this book?

John France has a knack for making the history of war interesting and readable, without taking away its gore and horror, without making you think it in any way romantic or desirable. The title already captures it: the book is largely about the rise of Europe (or later: the West) on the back of military prowess, but at what perilous price! The book aptly traces military traditions and continuity of ideas and concepts, but also profound changes, from Antiquity to the present, giving us a grasp of the essence of warfare during different periods. This book can be said to replace Sir Charles Oman’s old classic.

By John France,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A major new history of war that challenges our understanding of military dominance and how it is achieved

This expansive book surveys the history of warfare from ancient Mesopotamia to the Gulf War in search of a deeper understanding of the origins of Western warfare and the reasons for its eminence today. Historian John France explores the experience of war around the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. His bold conclusions cast doubt on well-entrenched attitudes about the development of military strength, the impact of culture on warfare, the future of Western dominance, and much more.

Taking into account…

Empire in Black and Gold

By Adrian Tchaikovsky,

Book cover of Empire in Black and Gold

Rohan Monteiro Author Of Keep Calm and Go Crazy: A Guide to Finding Your Inner Hero

From the list on fantasy that is off the beaten path.

Who am I?

I've been passionate about Fantasy ever since I found a used copy of the Dragonlance Chronicles in a second-hand book store in India. I was 10 years old and immediately fell in love with the idea of fantasy worlds with magic and dragons. Soon after I read Terry Brooks, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, RA Salvatore, Edgar Burroughs, and a host of other writers from the 1980s. What I like about the books I've chosen is that these characters are memorable. They are stories that can be re-read because the plot doesn't feel like rehashed tropes. The uniqueness of the settings, the challenges they face, and the solutions they engineer are what make them worth reading.

Rohan's book list on fantasy that is off the beaten path

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

Why did Rohan love this book?

Ten glorious books about deceitful spiders, brave dragonflies, and steadfast beetles. In a world where people possess the traits of different insects, the wasps are expanding their empire. One lone beetle decides to challenge them. Shadows of the Apt turns traditional fantasy on its head by bringing together a whole new set of protagonists - Mantis who are skilled swordsmen beyond compare, Spiders who can craft deceitful webs of intrigue, Ants who can operate within a hive mind, and the like. The storytelling is unique for never before have there been characters like this, on a scale as massive as the insect kingdom.

By Adrian Tchaikovsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Empire in Black and Gold is the first instalment in the critically-acclaimed fantasy series Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The days of peace are over . . .

The Lowlands' city states have lived in peace for decades, hailed as bastions of civilization. Yet that peace is about to end. A distant empire has been conquering neighbours with highly trained soldiers and sophisticated combat techniques. And the city states are its desirable new prize.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker - spymaster, artificer and statesman - foresees the threat, as the empires' armies march ever closer. So it falls…

The Book of Lost Names

By Kristin Harmel,

Book cover of The Book of Lost Names

Linda Kass Author Of A Ritchie Boy

From the list on World War II that bring history to life.

Who am I?

I am a first-generation American. My parents grew up in Eastern Europe, both experiencing Nazi persecution. They escaped to America from their respective countries, my mother from eastern Poland, my father from Austria. As such, the stories of World War II have fascinated me since childhood. I began my career as a journalist and took it upon myself to be the family historian, documenting my parents’ unique experiences. I believe in the importance of speaking out against injustice, and of bearing witness so our history of this consequential time and place is never lost. The novels I recommend take pieces of this history and bring them to life!

Linda's book list on World War II that bring history to life

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

Why did Linda love this book?

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis. Author Kristin Harmel includes meticulous research to spotlight the French Resistance figures whose bravery and immeasurable sacrifices must not be lost to history. The act of what the forger needed to turn out identity documents like birth certificates to library cards to ration cards—and the process itself—is fascinating! This is a heartrending page-turner! 

By Kristin Harmel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Throughout the 1940s, forgers helped thousands of children escape Nazi France. In this instant New York Times bestseller, Kristin Harmel reimagines their story...

Perfect for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Librarian of Auschwitz and The Book Thief.

In 1942, Eva is forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children escaping to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Remy, Eva realises she must find a way to preserve…

Gardens of the Moon

By Steven Erikson,

Book cover of Gardens of the Moon

Zachary Howe Author Of The Heir of Olympus and the Forest Realm

From the list on fantasy to scratch that desperate need to escape.

Who am I?

Early in life fantasy was my escape. I watched Lord of the Rings so many times I could quote every line. I read Harry Potter so many times I could recite it. I hunted down every piece of fantasy I could get my hands on. These stories became a part of me. And in consuming so much of them, I succumbed to the inevitable, inexorable need to create my own. Creating fantasy is the most liberating thing you can do. There are no rules. You are the creator. If you read enough, you will have the urge to write—this is my sincere hope for you. Go forth and create. 

Zachary's book list on fantasy to scratch that desperate need to escape

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

Why did Zachary love this book?

First things first, I could make this thing really easy for myself by simply selecting any five books from this masterful 10-book series and be done with it, but I won’t do that to you. Were I asked to name my top five favorite books of all time, however, ‘twouldn’t be a lie to do just that. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is, in my opinion, the single greatest example of Epic Fantasy in all of human history. As I said, it’s 10 books long, about 1,000 pages each. Erikson creates not merely a continent, but an entire world—worlds, in fact—populated by hundreds of fascinating characters. Perhaps the most beloved character in the series, Karsa Orlong is not even introduced until the beginning of book four (that’s ~3,000 pages into the tale, for those of you keeping track). 

When you reach this point in the series,…

By Steven Erikson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the last of the free cities of the Malazan Empire is targeted by the forces of the Empress Laseen, Bridgeburner squad leader Sergeant Whiskeyjack and the mage Tattersall confront dark gods to protect the citadel of Darujhistan.

Autumn of the Black Snake

By William Hogeland,

Book cover of Autumn of the Black Snake: George Washington, Mad Anthony Wayne, and the Invasion That Opened the West

Peter Cozzens Author Of Tecumseh and the Prophet: The Shawnee Brothers Who Defied a Nation

From the list on the American Indian Wars.

Who am I?

I am a retired Foreign Service Officer with the U. S. Department of State and, more to the point for the purpose of the topic at hand, the author or editor of eighteen books on the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Among them is the bestselling, multiple award-winning The Earth is Weeping: The Indian Wars for the American West.

Peter's book list on the American Indian Wars

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

Why did Peter love this book?

The bloodiest and most decisive Indian wars occurred not in the American West but in the Ohio Valley shortly after the United States gained its independence. The little known struggles with the formidable tribes of the Midwest opened the way for westward expansion. Autumn of the Black Snake is a scrupulously balanced account of what is sometimes called President George Washington’s Indian War, enhanced with an intriguing recounting of the often dirty policies behind the creation of the United States Army. Author William Hogeland also offers engaging portraits of towering but largely forgotten Indian leaders such as Little Turtle and Blue Jacket and their peoples. Read this book before turning to the Indian Wars in the West.

By William Hogeland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

William Hogeland's Autumn of the Black Snake presents forgotten story of how the U.S. Army was created to fight a crucial Indian war.

When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the newly independent United States savored its victory and hoped for a great future. And yet the republic soon found itself losing an escalating military conflict on its borderlands. In 1791, years of skirmishes, raids, and quagmire climaxed in the grisly defeat of American militiamen by a brilliantly organized confederation of Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Indians. With nearly one thousand U.S. casualties, this was the worst defeat the nation would…

Book cover of The Fabric of Resistance: Textile Workshops and the Rise of Rebellious Landscapes in Colonial Peru

Leo J. Garofalo Author Of Afro-Latino Voices: Translations of Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic Narratives

From the list on Afro-Latin American and Afro-Andean history.

Who am I?

History tells us who we are and what we can become. History in the Andes tells us that people of the African Diaspora have been a part of building that part of the world into what it is today for over 500 years. I have been fascinated by learning this history and inspired by leaders, writers, artists, and fellow historians who consider themselves Afro-Andean and are building the future. For 25 years now, I have been scouring historical archives in Peru, Spain, and the US to find more sources to help us recognize and understand that history as we use it to build a better, more just present and future. 

Leo's book list on Afro-Latin American and Afro-Andean history

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

Why did Leo love this book?

For thousands of years, right down to the present, textiles and weaving in the Andes has been some of the most exquisite and sophisticated in the world. It has been linked to the amazing cultural creativity of people in the Andes and the rise and fall of successive empires because controlling textile production is controlling power and wealth.

This book shows us something entirely new: how the weavers who made these amazing textiles experienced and often resisted that power and the exploitation of their labor. Even though this book is not explicitly about Afro-Andean people, they were an integral part of the Andean labor force, and they figure in histories of resistance and rebellion in the Andes.

By Di Hu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Fabric of Resistance: Textile Workshops and the Rise of Rebellious Landscapes in Colonial Peru documents the impact of Spanish colonial institutions of labor on identity and social cohesion in Peru. Through archaeological and historical lines of evidence, Di Hu examines the long-term social conditions that enabled the large-scale rebellions in the late Spanish colonial period in Peru. Hu argues that ordinary people from different backgrounds pushed back against the top-down identity categories imposed by the Spanish colonial government and in the process created a cosmopolitan social landscape that later facilitated broader rebellion.

Hu's case study is Pomacocha, the site…

Star Wars The High Republic

By Claudia Gray, Giorgio Baroni (illustrator),

Book cover of Star Wars The High Republic: Into The Dark

Ben Green Author Of Forged in the Fallout

From the list on YA with boys who defy stereotypes.

Who am I?

I’m a grown man who reads and writes young adult fantasy books. I believe YA stories are perfect for nearly every audience. Let me tell you why. Our teenage years are filled with growth. As we mature, we forget what such rapid change feels like. We become less empathetic toward youth. And yet, many of our characteristics—positive and negative—develop during these years. I read YA to understand myself. It also helps me be a more understanding father and teacher. That said, I'm very picky. I despise teenage stereotypes. For young men, it is particularly hard to find books that depict empathetic male characters. Here’s a list of books where young men feel genuine.

Ben's book list on YA with boys who defy stereotypes

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

Why did Ben love this book?

Reath Silas is a very relatable Jedi, though perhaps not the most heroic at first.

He deeply doesn’t want to leave the comfort of his home on Coruscant, especially for his first assignment in the outer rim. He would rather explore the Jedi archives and attend historiography. Maybe, like Anakin Skywalker, he too dislikes sand. But reluctantly he faces the challenge.

When his group’s ship is pulled out of hyperspace, they take refuge in an abandoned space station. Reath is thrust into a world of pirate looters, shady guild members, and a dark-side mystery concerning the station itself.

What lessons will this young padawan learn?

By Claudia Gray, Giorgio Baroni (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Long before the Clone Wars, the Empire, or the First Order, the Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in a golden age known as the High Republic!

Padawan Reath Silas is being sent from the cosmopolitan galactic capital of Coruscant to the undeveloped frontier-and he couldn't be less happy about it. He'd rather stay at the Jedi Temple, studying the archives. But when the ship he's traveling on is knocked out of hyperspace in a galactic-wide disaster, Reath finds himself at the center of the action. The Jedi and their traveling companions find refuge on what appears to be…

Sons of the Sierra

By Patrick J. McNamara,

Book cover of Sons of the Sierra: Juárez, Díaz, and the People of Ixtlán, Oaxaca, 1855-1920

Stephen B. Neufeld Author Of The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876–1911

From the list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history.

Who am I?

My passion for Mexican and military history came from many sources. Wandering in my 20s in Europe and Asia honed my appreciation for the historical experience. Good friends in the Canadian military made me curious about the odd rituals and strange subcultures they inhabited. As I moved from Calgary to Vancouver to Tucson I devolved from degree to degree, studying deviance, military history, Mexican culture, and finally finishing a dissertation that combined these elements into one work. And now I happily get to inflict all of this history on my students in California.  

Stephen's book list on 19th Century Mexico’s military history

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

Why did Stephen love this book?

McNamara’s wonderful account shows how communities in Oaxaca understood military service as both a duty to their region, to their people, and as a way to connect to the wider national project and specific presidents. Fighting for the National Guard created a different stake in Mexico and in political life, and the ways that Zapotec peasants remembered this gives new insights into participatory political culture. 

By Patrick J. McNamara,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The period following Mexico's war with the United States in 1847 was characterized by violent conflicts, as liberal and conservative factions battled for control of the national government. In ""Sons of the Sierra"", Patrick McNamara explores events in the Oaxaca district of Ixtlan, where Zapotec Indians supported the liberal cause and sought to exercise influence over statewide and national politics. Two Mexican presidents had direct ties to Ixtlan district: Benito Juarez, who served as Mexico's liberal president from 1858 to 1872, was born in the district, and Porfirio Diaz, president from 1876 to 1911, had led a National Guard battalion…

Book cover of Nightwatch on the Hinterlands

Dan Moren Author Of The Nova Incident

From the list on sci-fi overflowing with intrigue and mystery.

Who am I?

Growing up I devoured science-fiction and spy stories by the boatload—the only person I wanted to be more than James Bond was probably Han Solo. Of course, I couldn’t really become either of them, but I always knew the next best thing would be telling stories about those kinds of characters. Ultimately, I couldn’t decide whether to focus on space adventures or spies, so the only real answer was to smash those two genres together. Five years and four novels later, the world of the Galactic Cold War is humming along quite nicely. But I’m still always on the lookout for the next great sci-fi spy novel.

Dan's book list on sci-fi overflowing with intrigue and mystery

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

Why did Dan love this book?

Combining a murder mystery with a colorful sci-fi universe that’s full of magic? Yes, please. Odd couple Lieutenant Iari and Ambassador Gaer (who, don’t let the title fool you, is actually an alien spy) have to team up to discover why a retired battle-mecha killed someone—an occurrence that should be impossible. The rapport between Iari and Gaer is a delight, and the plot quickly unfolds from a mere murder to something far more sinister. I absolutely love the world that Eason creates—it has the scale of a video game-like Mass Effect while simultaneously creating compelling characters. 

By K. Eason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in the universe of Rory Thorne, this new sci-fi mystery follows an unlikely duo who must discover the motive behind an unusual murder.

THE TEMPLAR: When Lieutenant Iari hears screams in the night, she expects to interrupt a robbery or break up a fight. Instead she discovers a murder with an impossible suspect: a riev, one of the battle-mecha decommissioned after the end of the last conflict, repurposed for manual labor. Riev don't kill people. And yet, clearly, one has. Iari sets out to find it.

THE SPY: Officially, Gaer is an ambassador from the vakari. Unofficially, he's also…

A Storm of Swords

By George R. R. Martin,

Book cover of A Storm of Swords

C.M. Surowiec Jr. Author Of DragonSin

From the list on that help you decide if dragons are good or evil.

Who am I?

My fascination with dragons began at a young age and has intensified over the years. I think I’ve watched every movie with a dragon in it and read many of the books. I've tried to incorporate as much as I can, plus my own little twists, into each species of dragon in my world. The most excited I've been about dragons was while watching a special documentary on Discovery Channel. They explained how dragons could fly, the mechanics behind them breathing fire, and what their diet consisted of. It was a great speculative show but had enough science to make you wonder! I hope you enjoy the books on my list!

C.M.'s book list on that help you decide if dragons are good or evil

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

Why did C.M. love this book?

I love the way this novel portrays the relationship that can exist between humans and dragons. It is a beautiful friendship that is protective and loyal, but does not diminish their savage and vicious nature. Daenerys has raised them from hatchlings in the prior books, but in this book we start to see individual personalities developing, laying a foundation for what’s to come.

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one…

Book cover of The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Author Of The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

From the list on everyday life in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I am a historian and historic buildings consultant with a longstanding interest in 15th and 16th century England. In addition to my own work on memorials, funerals, and the Howard family, I have worked as a researcher and consultant for television and books, including being a production researcher for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. 

Kirsten's book list on everyday life in Tudor England

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

Why did Kirsten love this book?

Rather than examining Henry VIII’s wars as military engagements or part of international politics, this book looks at the impact war had on the English people. How were towns and villages affected by the need to provide men for the royal army? What was the impact of war on trade and agriculture? How were ordinary men persuaded to enact the violence required by war, and what was the physical and mental impact on them? How were wars justified and linked to a sense of Englishness? Originally given as a series of lectures, the chapters are connected but can be dipped into as stand-alone articles.

By Steven Gunn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry VIII fought many wars, against the French and Scots, against rebels in England and the Gaelic lords of Ireland, even against his traditional allies in the Low Countries. But how much did these wars really affect his subjects? And what role did Henry's reign play in the long-term transformation of England's military capabilities?

The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII searches for the answers to these questions in parish and borough account books, wills and memoirs, buildings and paintings, letters from Henry's captains, and the notes readers wrote in their printed history books. It looks…

You Sexy Thing

By Cat Rambo,

Book cover of You Sexy Thing

Charley Marsh Author Of A Desperate Gamble

From the list on sci-fi for visiting alien worlds.

Who am I?

In 1966, I traveled to brave new worlds with the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Star Trek immediately became my lodestone, the focal point of my ten-year-old self, and I never missed an episode. A few years later I found Dune, and my love for the SF genre was cemented. I freely admit that I am not a hard science writer. I like to have fun with my stories, to play with ideas. I write first to entertain myself, and hopefully a reader or two along the way. I am a philosopher, a reader, and a writer.

Charley's book list on sci-fi for visiting alien worlds

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

Why did Charley love this book?

I couldn’t imagine what this book could be about with a title like this, but I enjoy Cat’s short stories so I took a leap of faith. I’m glad I did.

You Sexy Thing is the name of a sentient bioship that believes it is being stolen. Fast-paced and action-packed with great characters, You Sexy Thing also has depth–found family, personal ethics, and a pirate king bent on revenge. Immensely entertaining.

By Cat Rambo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked You Sexy Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Farscape meets The Great British Bake Off in this fantastic space opera You Sexy Thing from former SFWA President, Cat Rambo.

Just when they thought they were out…

TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that’s just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it.

Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance.

But, some wars can’t ever be escaped,…