100 books like Against Nature (À Rebours)

By J. K. Huysmans,

Here are 100 books that Against Nature (À Rebours) fans have personally recommended if you like Against Nature (À Rebours). Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of A Moveable Feast

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Author Of The Transformational Path: How Healing, Unlearning, and Tuning into Source Helped Me Manifest My Most Abundant Life

From my list on completely transforming your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known I was “special” since I was a child. I saw, felt, and heard things that others did not. Eventually I embraced my clairaudient mediumship gifts and turned it into a thriving business, allowing me to live a life of purpose: helping others find their passions and live their most joyful lives. But the journey never ends; I am always on a mission to transform. Consistently, literature has been where I turn when I am seeking wisdom on becoming the best version of myself. I also pursued certification as a Book Therapist - the first thing I’ll recommend to friends, family, or clients is the best book for their dilemma!

Claudia's book list on completely transforming your life

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Why did Claudia love this book?

A Moveable Feast is life-changing, with its introspective and evocative exploration of Hemingway’s early years as a struggling writer in the 1920s. It heavily inspired me to make my own move and pursue my authorship journey in Paris!

Through vivid and poetic prose, Hemingway captures the bohemian atmosphere of the era. The book delves into themes of creativity, love, loss, and pursuing one's artistic vision. Hemingway's raw and honest reflections on his own experiences and struggles offer profound insights into the nature of art, resilience, and the pursuit of a meaningful life. 

This book inspired me to uncover my passions, live the life of my dreams, embrace the beauty of the world around me, and, most importantly, savor every moment.

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Moveable Feast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. Since Hemingway's personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.

Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Sean Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and…


Book cover of How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City

Michelle Facos Author Of An American in Pandemic Paris: A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir

From my list on Paris for foodies and historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing about Paris at age 7. It figured as the central location for my uncompleted novel (4 chapters), Mystry (sic) at Oak Hall Manor, undoubtedly inspired by public television’s French language program that aired daily at noon when I was a child and by tales told by my French Alsatian grandmother and her siblings. Paris was my primary destination on my first trip to Europe, and I’ve spent many extended stays for art history research (who can write about 19th-century French art without privileging Paris?), lecturing, and writing, as well as for hanging with friends, swing dancing, and just being in, for me, the world’s most wonderful city.

Michelle's book list on Paris for foodies and historians

Michelle Facos Why did Michelle love this book?

Not a repeat reader by nature, this book I have read three times, and keep a digital copy handy because I find myself consulting it when I’m in Paris. As a historian of 19th-century art, I knew modern Paris was the co-creation of Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann; its many boulevards, department stores, parks, train stations, and now ubiquitous 7-story, white buildings with wrought-iron window grates emerged during the second half of the 19th-century. Professor DeJean persuaded me otherwise: that Henry IV made the first modern improvements: planned neighborhoods, tax incentives to encourage enterprise, streetlights, and Europe’s first stone bridge intended for spectating rather than commerce – the Pont Neuf had no buildings, just alcoves with stone benches for viewing the city from the Seine River that traverses it.

By Joan DeJean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paris was known for isolated monuments but had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like other European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But in a mere century Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we know today.

Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and…


Book cover of Paris to the Moon

Michelle Facos Author Of An American in Pandemic Paris: A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir

From my list on Paris for foodies and historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing about Paris at age 7. It figured as the central location for my uncompleted novel (4 chapters), Mystry (sic) at Oak Hall Manor, undoubtedly inspired by public television’s French language program that aired daily at noon when I was a child and by tales told by my French Alsatian grandmother and her siblings. Paris was my primary destination on my first trip to Europe, and I’ve spent many extended stays for art history research (who can write about 19th-century French art without privileging Paris?), lecturing, and writing, as well as for hanging with friends, swing dancing, and just being in, for me, the world’s most wonderful city.

Michelle's book list on Paris for foodies and historians

Michelle Facos Why did Michelle love this book?

In grad school, Adam and I had the same advisor, McArthur ‘Genius’ Kirk Varnedoe, and as a lifelong New Yorker reader, I’ve avidly followed his career. Paris to the Moon is an engaging memoir of his family and professional life as an ex-pat New Yorker writer in Paris during the 1990s. I love his insider-outsider perspective and the fact that he lived in my favorite neighborhood, rive Gauche at the boundary between the 6th and 7th arrondissements. With a sociologist-anthropologist’s eye, Adam interrogates the quintessentially Parisian (why Café Flore has surpassed Deux Magots in fashionability, for instance), attends lectures by celebrity sociologist Jean Beaudrillard, muses about the public reception of labor strikes, negotiates toddler culture in Paris, and take us food exploring with the iconic Alice Waters.

By Adam Gopnick,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Paris to the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The finest book on France in recent years.”—Alain de Botton, The New York Times Book Review
 
In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of Paris. In the grand tradition of Stein, Hemingway, Baldwin, and Liebling, Gopnik set out to enjoy the storied existence of an American in Paris—walks down the paths of the Tuileries, philosophical discussions in cafés, and afternoon jaunts to the Musée d’Orsay. 
 
But as readers of Gopnik’s beloved and award-winning “Paris Journal” in The New…


Book cover of The Unlimited Dream Company

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

Published in 1979, but it reads like 1960s psychedelia. The hero, Blake, descends—literally—on the sleepy riverside town of Shepperton (where Ballard himself lived), and conjures it and its inhabitants into a sensual Amazonian Eden. I imagine Ballard walking the streets each day and seeing visions: flamingos perched atop the filling station, orchids overrunning the hardware store, his neighbours throwing off their business suits and coupling naked in their front gardens. Seeing, like his hero’s namesake, "a world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wildflower." The rich prose, evocative but never repetitive, works the same magic on the reader.  

By J.G. Ballard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a new introduction by John Gray and striking new cover from the artist Stanley Donwood, the author of 'Cocaine Nights' brings you the story of suburban London transformed into an exotic dreamworld.

When a light aircraft crashes into the Thames at Shepperton, the young pilot who struggles to the surface minutes later seems to have come back from the dead. Within hours everything in the dormitory suburb is surreally transformed. Vultures invade the rooftops, luxuriant tropical vegetation overruns the quiet avenues, and the local inhabitants are propelled by the young man's urgent visions through ecstatic sexual celebrations towards an…


Book cover of Remainder

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

If you were suddenly awarded 8.5 million pounds, what would you do with it? Would you take the advice of the financial consultants and invest it sensibly? How boring. If you were a visionary you might create a sensual paradise of your imagination. But if you are just an ordinary young working-class Londoner? You might remember an instant—on holiday, or at a party—when you felt happy and content, and decide to recreate it. 

This time the writing is sparse and matter-of-fact. I hardly noticed as the hero’s project proceeds gradually, logically into realms of absurdity, told with deadpan humour. For me, speculative fiction involves a world that is recognisable and familiar—but which gradually becomes ‘curiouser and curiouser’.

It’s a story that makes you think—though without telling you what to think.

By Tom Mccarthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traumatised by an accident that involves something falling from the sky and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer, our hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting memories and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them...But, when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, including hold-ups and shoot-outs.


Book cover of Fu-Manchu: The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

At first glance, a pulp fiction potboiler in which Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie (clones of Holmes and Dr. Watson) struggle to foil the devilish plans of an evil mastermind. But as the pair are thrust into ever more fantastical dangers, I started to wonder. Is Nayland Smith’s obsession with Fu Manchu (like Holmes with Moriarty) making him see the Chinaman’s omnipotent hand behind every crime? And Dr. Petrie, the narrator (like Watson a blinkered stuffed shirt) becomes infatuated with Fu Manchu’s beautiful Egyptian slave/concubine Karameneh. Even more improbably, she falls in love with him, according to his account. Are the two Englishmen actually living out their own (or their author’s) fantasies?

I love to wallow in the pure excitement and polished prose of these pre-war thrillers. I penned my own homage in the Chinatown chapter of my own book.  

By Sax Rohmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The greatest genius whom the powers of evil have put on the earth for centuries", Fu Manchu - an agent of the Si-Fan - seeks to climb the ladder of the secret society's hierarchy, then to pave the way for conquest of his native land of China. He is pursued by Commissioner Sir Denis Nayland Smith and his compatriot Dr. Petrie, the narrator of these fast-paced, mood-drenched adventures.


Book cover of The Invention of Morel

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

A friend recommended this book when I told her about my Shepherd theme. A neurotic fugitive, hiding on a deserted island, discovers that he is not alone. This novella is classed as magical realism—there’s a foreword by Borges—but like my book it eventually provides a scientific explanation for the strange occurrences. And like almost all my other choices, it’s a first-person narration, so we are kept wondering how much is true. It flags a bit after the initial premise, but once the revelations start, it grips you. Amazingly for a book written in 1964, its speculations address issues at the forefront of digital technology and science today. I won’t say more, except: don’t read the introduction or foreword, which contain plot spoilers!     

By Adolfo Bioy Casares, Ruth L. C. Simms (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy's novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.

 

Inspired by Bioy Casares's fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped…


Book cover of L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

Michelle Facos Author Of An American in Pandemic Paris: A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir

From my list on Paris for foodies and historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing about Paris at age 7. It figured as the central location for my uncompleted novel (4 chapters), Mystry (sic) at Oak Hall Manor, undoubtedly inspired by public television’s French language program that aired daily at noon when I was a child and by tales told by my French Alsatian grandmother and her siblings. Paris was my primary destination on my first trip to Europe, and I’ve spent many extended stays for art history research (who can write about 19th-century French art without privileging Paris?), lecturing, and writing, as well as for hanging with friends, swing dancing, and just being in, for me, the world’s most wonderful city.

Michelle's book list on Paris for foodies and historians

Michelle Facos Why did Michelle love this book?

After more than a decade as pastry chef at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, DL relocated to Paris in 2004. His blog and books have become the source of culinary advice for savvy American expats and tourists visiting the City of Light. Appart (French slang for apartment) is the adventure-filled story of DL as he establishes himself as a Parisian, an experience recounted with hilarity, insight, and, naturally, delicious recipes. Anyone entertaining the idea of moving to Paris (or wondering what that might be like) must read this delightful memoir.

By David Lebovitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-Pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes.
 
When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with perplexing work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this…


Book cover of Dreamers of Decadence

Nina Antonia Author Of Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood

From my list on decadence & the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

A cult author who has survived by the skin of her wits. Nina has spent her adult years in London though many believe she is from New York, which sounds like a lot of travelling for someone who has spent the majority of her life in the dream land of writing. What does being a cult author entail? It is to be a literary Will o’ the Wisp, possessing a gem like glimmering in a mist of obscurity, loved by the rarified few. After writing many critically acclaimed books on various nefarious rock n’ rollers, her ardor dimmed with the passing years as those she had loved were no more and so she returned to her first love, which is the strange and supernatural.

Nina's book list on decadence & the supernatural

Nina Antonia Why did Nina love this book?

This bejeweled guide to Fin de Siècle art and aesthetics is like a moonlit walk in one of King Ludwig II fairytale castles, populated by androgynous chimeras, drowned princes, and erotic vampires carrying John the Baptist’s head on a platter designed by Moreau. As fabulous and tragic as the author, whose drag mode was that of a convincing English Spinster, Philipe Jullian was born to write this book which has influenced my work since I bought it aged 18, with not a clue about life. For over 40 years I have endeavored to keep a torch burning for the extraordinary decorative aesthetics of the author. Few books are as complete as Dreamers of Decadence for not only does Jullian explore the artists of that curious oeuvre, he also introduces the best of the literature as well as the movement’s strange obsessions and themes, each chapter revealing new facets of the…

By Philippe Jullian, Robert Baldick (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There have been few movements in the history of Western art as strange as that of the Decadents of the last quarter of the 19th Century. While public attention was preoccupied with the Impressionists, many painters were reacting in a totally different...and more imaginative way...to the grim horrors of the new industrial society around them. The roots of the Decadents, as these artists came to call themselves, were to be found in the poetic visions of the English Pre-Raphaelites of the 1850s. Their first great Continental exponent was a brilliant and neglected painter of the fantastic, Gustave Moreau; their most…


Book cover of The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World

Kartik Hosanagar Author Of A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control

From my list on managing technological innovation for mere mortals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I build and use emerging technological innovations in business, and I also teach others how they might too! I’m a serial entrepreneur and a Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As an entrepreneur, I co-founded and developed the core IP for Yodle Inc, a venture-backed firm that was acquired by Web.com. I’m now the founder of Jumpcut Media – a startup using data and Web3 technologies to democratize opportunities in Film and TV. In all this work, I'm often trying to assess how emerging technologies may affect business and society in the long run and how I can apply them to create new products and services.

Kartik's book list on managing technological innovation for mere mortals

Kartik Hosanagar Why did Kartik love this book?

This book provides an excellent description of the various kinds of machine learning approaches and asks the question of whether there will be a Master Algorithm, one single (universal) algorithm that learns all kinds of tasks from data. The author, Pedro Domingos, introduces the different approaches to building intelligence and the research tribes exploring them – Symbolists (with its foundations in Philosophy and Logic), Connectionists (foundations in Neuro/Cognitive Science), Evolutionaries (foundations in Evolutionary Biology), Bayesians (statistical foundations), and Analogizers (Psychology). He also introduces some of his own ideas on what the master machine learning algorithm might look like. It’s a really useful primer for those who are not deeply immersed in machine learning but it’s written for readers with at least a basic engineering and computer science background.

By Pedro Domingos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Algorithms increasingly run our lives. They find books, movies, jobs, and dates for us, manage our investments, and discover new drugs. More and more, these algorithms work by learning from the trails of data we leave in our newly digital world. Like curious children, they observe us, imitate, and experiment. And in the world's top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask.Machine learning is the automation of discovery,the scientific method on steroids,that enables intelligent robots and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Paris, presidential biography, and France?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Paris, presidential biography, and France.

Paris Explore 344 books about Paris
Presidential Biography Explore 18 books about presidential biography
France Explore 866 books about France