The best zombie books of all time

Koji Steven Sakai Author Of Zombie Run
By Koji Steven Sakai

Who am I?

I heart zombies. I have always loved them. Even when I was a baby. Every time I could watch a zombie movie, I did. I even secretly rented zombie films from Blockbuster Video (remember those?) and the library without my parents knowing.


I wrote...

Zombie Run

By Dwayne Perkins, Koji Steven Sakai,

Book cover of Zombie Run

What is my book about?

What if you had to pretend to be a zombie to survive?

Hanson’s been living like a zombie since the apocalypse. Until he learns that his zombie crush is, like him, a human pretending to be a zombie. She introduces him to the Human Underground, shows him how to love, and teaches him that living is more than just being alive.

The books I picked & why

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Extinction Horizon

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Book cover of Extinction Horizon

Why this book?

The whole series is amazing. My favorite part of this series is that it is an unapologetically kick-ass action zombie story. For those of you who just want to see zombies and war, this is the book for you. Also, I personally love the fact that the characters are diverse.

Extinction Horizon

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction...

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. As cities fall, Team Ghost is…


World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

By Max Brooks,

Book cover of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Why this book?

The movie isn’t nearly as good as a book. But more importantly, it is probably one of the first books where I thought… if there ever was a zombie apocalypse, this is what it would be like. I would recommend studying this when the zombies eventually come to your town!

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

By Max Brooks,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked World War Z as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginning of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse.

Faced with a future of mindless man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight against the horde, World War Z brings the finest traditions of journalism to bear on what is…


My Life as a White Trash Zombie

By Diana Rowland,

Book cover of My Life as a White Trash Zombie

Why this book?

The title got me to pick up the book, but what made me keep reading was that I loved the writing and main character. Also, as a writer, this book made me see that zombies could be more than just brainless monsters… they can have feelings, wants, needs, and emotions too!

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

By Diana Rowland,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked My Life as a White Trash Zombie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness,…


The Forest of Hands and Teeth

By Carrie Ryan,

Book cover of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Why this book?

Think M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village but with zombies and much, much, much, much better. It was probably one of the first zombie books that I couldn’t put down and got me really thinking what would happen if zombies were real and took over the earth. We’d probably live in a village like the one featured in the book.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

By Carrie Ryan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Forest of Hands and Teeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and…


The Rising: The Newsflesh Trilogy

By Mira Grant,

Book cover of The Rising: The Newsflesh Trilogy

Why this book?

Some people hate the idea of combining bloggers and zombies, but I loved that it was something different and new. But what I loved most about this series is that it offered us a glimpse into a world after the zombie apocalypse. The first book is the best but the whole series is worth reading.

The Rising: The Newsflesh Trilogy

By Mira Grant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now, for the first time, Mira Grant's complete New York Times bestselling NEWSFLESH trilogy is available in a single volume.

"Alive or dead, the truth won't rest. My name is Georgia Mason, and I am begging you. Rise up while you can."

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in zombies, survival, and dystopia?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about zombies, survival, and dystopia.

Zombies Explore 104 books about zombies
Survival Explore 135 books about survival
Dystopia Explore 255 books about dystopia

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Hot Zone, The War of the Worlds, and The Road if you like this list.