The best books where the story is told in an unconventional manner

Betty Rocksteady Author Of Soft Places
By Betty Rocksteady

Who am I?

While I love straight-up fiction and read plenty of novels, I’ve always been just as interested in art as I have been in writing. The further into my writing career I get, the more it becomes obvious that art and illustration are just as vital to the way I want to tell my stories. I did the covers for my first few books and started experimenting with illustrating them as well with The Writhing Skies, creating a very strange blend of splatterpunk horror and Betty Boop-inspired illustration. Soft Places is a further step in the direction of telling stories in a way that’s a little different. 


I wrote...

Soft Places

By Betty Rocksteady,

Book cover of Soft Places

What is my book about?

Soft Places is a novella/graphic novel hybrid, with the story alternating between standard prose and comic book sections.

Johnna is found naked, wandering the streets with a mysterious head injury. Seemingly psychotic, she's forced into the care of perverted psychiatrist Dr. Gonne. Recommended for adult audiences.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

By Emil Ferris,

Book cover of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Why this book?

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is described as a graphic novel, but it takes the form of the notebook of a 10-year-old girl who is obsessed with monsters. The art is terrific and the story is haunting and mysterious. I’ve always been a notebook person myself, filling up stacks of sketchbooks through my childhood and teens, so the way the main character processed her life by scribbling on a page really resonated with me. This book is super unique, from the way the character always draws herself as a werewolf, to the mysterious death of her upstairs neighbor, and the way she remembers conversations by drawing them as comics.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

By Emil Ferris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Favorite Thing Is Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.

Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization

By Jonathan Raab, Benjamin Holesapple (editor),

Book cover of Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization

Why this book?

This book is absolutely wild. It purports to be an adaption of an over-the-top gorefest of a movie, plagued by conspiracy theories. Full of footnotes and behind-the-scenes anecdotes and autobiographical details about how the book itself came to be, it not only supposedly adapts a film but tells a far darker hidden story and is overall a lot of dark and spooky fun.

Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization

By Jonathan Raab, Benjamin Holesapple (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI is one of the most infamous slasher-movie sequels of the 1980s. Known for its over-the-top gore effects, bizarre and psychedelic campground killer plot—and its legacy as a lightning rod for conspiracy theories concerning everything from UFOs and alien abductions to 9/11 and a secret cabal at the heart of world power. This book contains a complete, authorized adaptation of the infamous cult slasher movie as well as the secret history of the behind-the-scenes drama and high-strange events that inspired the filmmakers, complete with footnotes and autobiographical anecdotes. Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization…

The West Wing

By Edward Gorey,

Book cover of The West Wing

Why this book?

Edward Gorey is a forever favorite of mine, a pen and ink artist popular for the dozens of strange and macabre little books he created. The West Wing is unique in that it has no words at all, and the story is told entirely through his meticulous pen and ink images. Without a plot, or even any characters, there is only mood and vibes, and they are spooky and mysterious. Each page shows a different part of The West Wing and its seemingly endless rooms with their hints of ghosts and the feeling that someone has just left, or that something horrible has just happened. It’s my favorite haunted house story of all time.

The West Wing

By Edward Gorey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Edward Gorey's The West Wing is an invitation to the imagination. On each page, a room beckons, inviting the reader to wonder why three shoes lie here abandoned, what is retreating in that mirror's reflection, or why there is an imprint of a body on the wallpaper, faded and floating four feet above the floor. A wordless mystery, it is one of Gorey's finest works.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes

By Eric LaRocca,

Book cover of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes

Why this book?

This is a more modern pick that is very quickly becoming a cult classic. Told entirely through emails and message board postings, it lays out a very dark story of psychological manipulation between two women. I love found footage horror movies, and this book gives you that same feeling of discovering something you aren’t meant to see (or read).

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes

By Eric LaRocca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones. Winner of the Splatterpunk Award for Best Novella.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s-a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.

A couple isolate themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from…

Griffin & Sabine

By Nick Bantock,

Book cover of Griffin & Sabine

Why this book?

These books are just beautiful. I picked them up on sale as a teenager and poured over them over and over. The story is told in the form of letters, postcards, and art sent between two artists. The story is lonely and mysterious, leaving you with more questions than answers. You actually get to open the envelopes and pull out the letters inside as you read. Nick Bantock’s art style is really inspiring.

Griffin & Sabine

By Nick Bantock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

unpaginated. Beautifully illustrated in Nick Bantock fashion. Signed by the author on title page

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in conspiracy theories, ghosts, and werewolves?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about conspiracy theories, ghosts, and werewolves.

Conspiracy Theories Explore 20 books about conspiracy theories
Ghosts Explore 141 books about ghosts
Werewolves Explore 81 books about werewolves

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Beautiful Darkness, Bone, and My Friend Dahmer if you like this list.