100 books like A House Is a Body

By Shruti Swamy,

Here are 100 books that A House Is a Body fans have personally recommended if you like A House Is a Body. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Get in Trouble: Stories

S.G. Browne Author Of Lost Creatures: Stories

From my list on genre-bending literary short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed short story collections. Starting with Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, I became a fan of the short form. And as a burgeoning writer, writing short stories was the best way for me to learn the craft of storytelling. While I started out writing supernatural horror, I gradually found myself combining horror, fantasy, and science fiction with dark comedy and social satire, creating a blend of genres. Several of the short story collections I recommend here were instrumental in my evolution as a short story writer and inspired a number of the stories in my latest collection, Lost Creatures.

S.G.'s book list on genre-bending literary short story collections

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

I love reading novels and stories that make me wish I’d written them, and this collection by Kelly Link made me wish that time and time again. This book also introduced me to the concept of fabulism, a form of magical realism where elements of the fantastic occur in everyday settings, which is something I find compelling both as a reader and as a writer. Link combines humor, fantasy, magical realism, and more than a touch of horror to create a collection of stories that is unique, weird, and wonderful. 

By Kelly Link,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Get in Trouble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fantastic, fantastical and utterly incomparable, Kelly Link's new collection explores everything from the essence of ghosts to the nature of love. And hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, Ouija boards, iguanas, The Wizard of Oz, superheroes, the pyramids . . .

With each story she weaves, Link takes readers deep into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed universe. Strange, dark and wry, Get in Trouble reveals Kelly Link at the height of her creative powers and stretches the boundaries of what fiction can do.


Book cover of Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories

Charlie Jane Anders Author Of Even Greater Mistakes

From my list on short stories that could change your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which Time Magazine listed as one of the hundred best fantasy novels of all time. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night, Victories Greater than Death, and Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories. She organizes the long-running spoken word series Writers With Drinks, helps to organize tours of local bookstores, and also co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, Conjunctions, Wired Magazine, Slate, and the Boston Review.

Charlie's book list on short stories that could change your life

Charlie Jane Anders Why did Charlie love this book?

This story collection is mind-blowing in the best way. As its name suggests, a lot of the stories in this book deal with immigrants, including Chinese people who've immigrated to the United States, but also rural people who've migrated to cities. Chai's characters are struggling to balance traditional Confucian values with postmodern urban existence, and a lot of these stories feature tensions between different generations in a single-family. The best story is probably the award-winning "Fish Boy," in which a boy moves from the Chinese countryside to the big city and ends up working at a seafood restaurant whose offerings sound pretty unappetizing. Chai is brilliant at picking up on the subtle nuances of damaged families, and every one of these stories hits home.

By May-Lee Chai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Useful Phrases for Immigrants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the title story of this timely and innovative collection, a young woman wearing a Prada coat attempts to redeem a coupon for plastic storage bins while her in-laws are at home watching the Chinese news and taking her private phone calls. It is the lively and wise juxtaposition of cultures, generations, and emotions that characterize May-lee Chai's amazing stories. Within them, readers will find a complex blend of cultures spanning China, the Chinese diaspora in America, and finally, the world at large.

With luminous prose and sharp-eyed observations, Chai reveals her characters' hopes and fears, and our own: a…


Book cover of Homesick: Stories

Charlie Jane Anders Author Of Even Greater Mistakes

From my list on short stories that could change your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which Time Magazine listed as one of the hundred best fantasy novels of all time. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night, Victories Greater than Death, and Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories. She organizes the long-running spoken word series Writers With Drinks, helps to organize tours of local bookstores, and also co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, Conjunctions, Wired Magazine, Slate, and the Boston Review.

Charlie's book list on short stories that could change your life

Charlie Jane Anders Why did Charlie love this book?

This book of speculative short fiction includes some of the best queer representation I've seen in ages. "A Silly Love Story" includes a gender-fluid character named Merion, and "Before We Disperse Like Star Stuff" includes a trans grad student named Min. Cipri manages to combine the surreal and illogical with a pervasive sense of warmth and humanity, which is a nearly impossible feat, and they make it look easy. Each story will leave you wondering what happens next, but the characters will also live on in your imagination long after you've turned the page.

By Nino Cipri,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shirley Jackson Award finalist

World Fantasy Award finalist

Dark, irreverent, and truly innovative, the speculative stories in Homesick meditate on the theme of home and our estrangement from it, and what happens when the familiar suddenly shifts into the uncanny. In stories that foreground queer relationships and transgender or nonbinary characters, Cipri delivers the origin story for a superhero team comprised of murdered girls; a housecleaner discovering an impossible ocean in her least-favorite clients' house; a man haunted by keys that appear suddenly in his throat; and a team of scientists and activists discovering the remains of a long-extinct species…


Book cover of Never Have I Ever: Stories

Charlie Jane Anders Author Of Even Greater Mistakes

From my list on short stories that could change your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which Time Magazine listed as one of the hundred best fantasy novels of all time. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night, Victories Greater than Death, and Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times By Making Up Stories. She organizes the long-running spoken word series Writers With Drinks, helps to organize tours of local bookstores, and also co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, Conjunctions, Wired Magazine, Slate, and the Boston Review.

Charlie's book list on short stories that could change your life

Charlie Jane Anders Why did Charlie love this book?

Yap's debut collection is full of brilliant moments and haunting images. She wraps together Filipino folklore with characters who are endlessly rich and fascinating, and the result is sometimes terrifying, sometimes weird and unsettling, and always gorgeous. This book will leave you feeling as if uncanny worlds are waiting for you to discover them, just out of view. Many of these stories go to dark places, but then you stumble on a sweet tale like "A Spell For Foolish Hearts," involving a gay magician, a love potion, and a complicated relationship. You'll wish you could read this book for the first time more than once.

By Isabel Yap,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Have I Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Am I dead?" Mebuyen sighs.
She was hoping the girl would not ask.

Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales: the magic in Isabel Yap's debut collection jumps right off the page, from the joy in her new novella, "A Spell for Foolish Hearts" to the terrifying tension of the urban legend "Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez."


Book cover of Ham on Rye

James Tyler Ball Author Of Matita: The Tragic Tale of a Writer's Pencil

From my list on the outrageous but still have serious meaning.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by absurdist comedy and ideas for as long as I can remember. At sixteen, I wrote my first book, Mr A, which followed a man who would turn into a superhero after taking LSD and his talking dog. As an adult, I continue to revel in these types of stories. I brought this passion to my chart-topping debut non-fiction book, where I interviewed several people who believe McDonald’s has interdimensional properties. Now, I hold no bars in fiction writing, having authored a ‘genius of a book’ that follows a talking pencil.

James' book list on the outrageous but still have serious meaning

James Tyler Ball Why did James love this book?

Many of us writers are subject to the terrible cliché of substance abuse, none so much as Charles Bukowski. Having dabbled in the debauched myself, Ham on Rye sadly reflects what life could be like if the idiocy of adolescence continues into adulthood. This book is hilarious, vulgar, shocking, and oddly insightful. Not only is this my favourite Bukowski book, but it’s the book that introduced me to his work and changed my writing forever.

By Charles Bukowski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INTRODUCTION BY RODDY DOYLE

'He brought everyone down to earth, even the angels' LEONARD COHEN

Charles Bukowski is one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. The autobiographical Ham on Rye is widely considered his finest novel. A classic of American literature, it offers powerful insight into his youth through the prism of his alter-ego Henry Chinaski, who grew up to be the legendary Hank Chinaski of Post Office and Factotum.


Book cover of Leaving Las Vegas

S.C. Sterling Author Of Teenage Degenerate: A Memoir that Explores the Depths of Methamphetamine and Drug Addiction

From my list on addicts, addiction, and the damage it does.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a teenage drug addict, starting with alcohol then gradually moving onto marijuana then onto crystal meth. I wrote a memoir about my year as a methamphetamine that details my drug usages, and how it nearly destroyed my life and everyone around me.

S.C.'s book list on addicts, addiction, and the damage it does

S.C. Sterling Why did S.C. love this book?

A truly heartbreaking book about an alcoholic who travels to Las Vegas to drink himself to death, and the prostitute who falls in love with him. It’s a haunting story about addiction, but also a tragic love story. I feel this book is one of the best depictions of alcoholism, and how it can ultimately destroy you. The tragic story extended into real life as the author committed suicide a few weeks after signing the film rights. It is a hard read, but that’s what makes it amazing.

By John O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A re-issue of John O'Brien's debut novel, a masterpiece of modern realism about the perils of addiction and love in a city of loneliness.

Leaving Las Vegas, the first novel by John O'Brien, is the disturbing and emotionally wrenching story of a woman who embraces life and a man who rejects it.

Sera is a prostitute, content with the independence and routine she has carved out for herself in a city defined by recklessness. But she is haunted by a spectre in a yellow Mercedes, a man from her past who is committed to taking control of her life again.…


Book cover of This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life

Dustin Dunbar Author Of You're Doing Great!: And Other Lies Alcohol Told Me

From my list on Groundbreaking books on how to control alcohol.

Why am I passionate about this?

I vowed at a young age to never drink alcohol. I dove headfirst into psychology, earning a doctorate and I believed generational alcohol chains were broken. I became the "LA Shrink" and "Life Coach" on some pretty cool TV pilots! But life threw me a curveball, and after two decades of moderate, responsible drinking, I found myself addicted to alcohol. However, I cured it, and I've been passionately helping others do the same. I'm now a coach at WearetheAFR.org, an amazing nonprofit community dedicated to supporting individuals with alcohol addictions. My journey is filled with passion, resilience, and joy. I'm living proof that it's possible.

Dustin's book list on Groundbreaking books on how to control alcohol

Dustin Dunbar Why did Dustin love this book?

It's not just a book for me; it was a life-transforming journey that brought joy, freedom, and a renewed sense of my true self.

Annie’s approach is so refreshing and empowering to me, offering a beacon of hope and practical wisdom that helped me break free from alcohol addiction. It's like she is speaking directly to my soul, guiding me to embrace a life of clarity and fulfillment.

This book is THE gem, and I'm beyond thrilled for anyone else to read it as it had such a profound impact on my life!

By Annie Grace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This Naked Mind has ignited a movement across the country, helping thousands of people forever change their relationship with alcohol.
 
Many people question whether drinking has become too big a part of their lives, and worry that it may even be affecting their health. But, they resist change because they fear losing the pleasure and stress-relief associated with alcohol, and assume giving it up will involve deprivation and misery.  
 
This Naked Mind offers a new, positive solution. Here, Annie Grace clearly presents the psychological and neurological components of alcohol use based on the latest science, and reveals the cultural, social,…


Book cover of True Story

Chris Pavone Author Of Two Nights in Lisbon

From my list on suspense that is actually about something bigger.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love crime fiction—mysteries, thrillers, espionage, you name it, plots and puzzles that excite and confound and ultimately gratify. I also love the non-genre called literary fiction, sharply observed and beautifully written books that move me, and leave me with a slightly better understanding of humanity. And I think the sweetest spot of all is the intersection of the two, with sparkling prose, fully realized characters, and interesting settings combined with an insistent, credible plot that makes it a matter of urgency to turn the page, presenting the exquisite dilemma of wanting to race through the excitement but also the opposite urge to slow down and enjoy it all.

Chris' book list on suspense that is actually about something bigger

Chris Pavone Why did Chris love this book?

A rumor about teenage sexual assault has long-term repercussions on a handful of characters in this superb novel that toggles among different genres—thriller, mystery, women’s fiction, coming-of-age literary, even screenplays—with voices in first, second, and third person, a fascinating way of looking at a single event from every angle. The characters are astoundingly well-drawn, in particular the spot-on portraits of teenaged boys, which are a master class on how to write credible, realistic, and true characters that are well beyond the novelist’s own experience. Even the title itself is a clever subversion.

By Kate Reed Petty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A gripping, ripped-from-headlines tale." -People

"Spellbinding." -Megan Abbott, The New York Times Book Review

Tracing the fifteen-year fallout of a toxic high school rumor, a riveting, astonishingly original debut novel about the power of stories-and who gets to tell them

2015. A gifted and reclusive ghostwriter, Alice Lovett makes a living helping other people tell their stories. But she is haunted by the one story she can't tell: the story of, as she puts it, "the things that happened while I was asleep."

1999. Nick Brothers and his lacrosse teammates return for their senior year at their wealthy Maryland high…


Book cover of Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition

Erica Hannickel Author Of Empire of Vines: Wine Culture in America

From my list on the history of booze.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor at Northland College (WI) and an American environmental historian with specialties in wine, food, and horticulture. I mostly write on alcohol, garden history, botany, and orchids. The history of alcohol is wild, fraught, and charged with power—I’ll never tire of learning about it.

Erica's book list on the history of booze

Erica Hannickel Why did Erica love this book?

Rorabaugh argues convincingly that alcohol of several types—but mostly rum and whisky—were part and parcel of, and at times even drove, early national American culture. Solo and group binges increased from 1790 to 1820 as the population tried to adapt to anxious and uncertain changes in their lives. Drinking became aligned with liberty—taverns were the “seedbeds of the revolution” and the “nurseries of freedom.” And although boozing came to be an early element in what was defined as the American character, the temperance movement was not far off.

By William J. Rorabaugh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recreating America's first fifty intemperate years, when, from 1790 to 1840, Americans drank more alcoholic beverages per capita than at any other time in history, Rorabaugh examines some of the reasons why Americans drank so much


Book cover of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

John Howard Matthews Author Of This Is Where It Gets Interesting

From my list on characters who encounter the extraordinary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fiction and humor writer whose imagination was initially sparked by superheroes and comic books. The idea of an otherwise average person who could turn themselves into a superbeing was transformative and powerful. As a teenager, these early heroes faded, and I became fascinated by The Twilight Zone’s compact and poignant storytelling that contained moral messages. This eventually led me to the fiction of Stephen King where the idea of average people encountering the supernatural and overcoming obstacles was a recurring theme. In my own work, I have tried to carry forward the idea that our everyday lives are more absurd, complex, and magical than they appear.

John's book list on characters who encounter the extraordinary

John Howard Matthews Why did John love this book?

A master class on “less is more,” the stories in this collection are set in everyday, locations: a suburban front yard, an airport lounge, a kitchen, and are populated by working-class people in the midst of one or more traumas such as alcoholism, divorce, or financial trouble.

Though Carver doesn’t employ fantasy, the tight, accessible writing lures you in and immerses you in a comic-tragic world that is uniquely his own. This collection taught me the power of economical prose and that writing about the kinds of people you encounter at the supermarket can be just as transportive and resonant as stories that involve characters who live in exotic places, or universes.

By Raymond Carver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What We Talk About When We Talk About Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This powerful collection of stories, set in the mid-West among the lonely men and women who drink, fish and play cards to ease the passing of time, was the first by Raymond Carver to be published in the UK. With its spare, colloquial narration and razor-sharp sense of how people really communicate, the collection was to become one of the most influential literary works of the 1980s.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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