100 books like All That Man Is

By David Szalay,

Here are 100 books that All That Man Is fans have personally recommended if you like All That Man Is. 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 Against Nature (A Rebours)

John Andrew Fredrick Author Of The King Of Good Intentions Part Three

From my list on reads if your rock ‘n’ roll party days are over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a perfect of exemplar of an author whose party days are decidedly not over, but I’m doubtless at the age/stage where I’m bloody contemplating at least paring down my intakes plural. Not that I’m still at it like a Sophomore or anything but I’m hanging in there. I get a great, tingly buzz (you had to have seen this coming!) recommending great books to keen readers. I live in a library—essentially—and friends who visit for a beer or a spliff most often leave with a book I’ve given them. Now you lot are gonna ask me to lend you some scratch! Now you’ve gone and done it, John! Haha.

John's book list on reads if your rock ‘n’ roll party days are over

John Andrew Fredrick Why did John love this book?

I like to recommend difficult books—everyone needs a challenge once in a while and the nihilist Huysmans kind of throws down a literary gauntlet here in that he’s sort of daring you to go with him to the abysses of the modern soul. 

This book is indeed way more psychedelic than any 60’s Beat guy or girl ever penned or dreamed.

By Joris Karl Huysmans, John Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Against Nature (A Rebours) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Against Nature (A Rebours)By Joris-Karl Huysmans, John Howard (Translated by)


Book cover of The Sun Also Rises

John Klawitter Author Of Foul

From my list on strong men and women attempting survival in a less moral environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a wild card in the industry heavy town where I was born and raised, destined to burn out my days early in a factory or steel mill. But I worked my way through college, survived several close calls in Vietnam and bull headed my way into a series of jobs that pushed me toward Hollywood assignments as a writer, producer and director.

John's book list on strong men and women attempting survival in a less moral environment

John Klawitter Why did John love this book?

I admire Hemingway’s measured empathy for the war-torn social outcast. This classic novel pictures a post-WWI environment where survivors have been physically and mentally maimed by their war experience; I like how Hemingway creates a vivid cast of characters struggling to find their way in a society that seems no better than before the conflict began.

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Sun Also Rises as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jake Barnes is a man whose war wound has made him unable to have sex—and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley. Jake is an expatriate American journalist living in Paris, while Brett is a twice-divorced Englishwoman with bobbed hair and numerous love affairs, and embodies the new sexual freedom of the 1920s. The novel is a roman à clef: the characters are based on real people in Hemingway's circle, and the action is based on real events, particularly Hemingway's life in Paris in the 1920s and a trip to Spain in 1925 for the Pamplona festival and fishing in the…


Book cover of High Fidelity

Abraham Chang Author Of 888 Love and the Divine Burden of Numbers

From my list on incorporating pop culture in unexpected ways.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a publishing professional for over 20 years, I’ve worked in a variety of jobs and positions with some of the biggest pop culture creators and brands. Just before the pandemic, I finally took time to invest in myself as a writer and set out to combine my lifelong passions for film, TV, music, video games, and books–with my skills as an award-winning poet–to write my debut novel, from my “certain point of view” as a first-generation Asian American. The books on my list here are from some of the authors that I admire–who are also “one of us”: the bookworms, the pop culture geeks, the hopeless romantics. 

Abraham's book list on incorporating pop culture in unexpected ways

Abraham Chang Why did Abraham love this book?

If there is anything I can relate to and appreciate, it’s how music informs every aspect of life. All the big and small moments–there is a song, a soundtrack for that. Nick Hornby is certainly one of “my people” who totally gets it.

Though our music preferences may not have a tight Venn Diagram collision–I can understand how his song and band choices help to tell the story and add to the reader's sensory experience of that certain feeling for that certain someone–heart-pumping adrenaline/soul-wrenching heartbreak. Music nerds like us–we appreciate this shorthand, playing in the background at 33 rpm. The songs (and the stories) remain the same (sort of?)–they just get played in different rotations.  

By Nick Hornby,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked High Fidelity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I've always loved Nick Hornby, and the way he writes characters and the way he thinks. It's funny and heartbreaking all at the same time."—Zoë Kravitz

From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, A Long Way Down and Dickens and Prince, a wise and hilarious novel about love, heartbreak, and rock and roll.

Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a…


Book cover of Under The Volcano

John Andrew Fredrick Author Of The King Of Good Intentions Part Three

From my list on reads if your rock ‘n’ roll party days are over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a perfect of exemplar of an author whose party days are decidedly not over, but I’m doubtless at the age/stage where I’m bloody contemplating at least paring down my intakes plural. Not that I’m still at it like a Sophomore or anything but I’m hanging in there. I get a great, tingly buzz (you had to have seen this coming!) recommending great books to keen readers. I live in a library—essentially—and friends who visit for a beer or a spliff most often leave with a book I’ve given them. Now you lot are gonna ask me to lend you some scratch! Now you’ve gone and done it, John! Haha.

John's book list on reads if your rock ‘n’ roll party days are over

John Andrew Fredrick Why did John love this book?

Lowry is the best stylist in the history of the English Language bar two other classic writers—Jonathan Swift and Samuel Johnson. 

The amount of alcohol consumed in this brutally beautiful novel is staggering to say the least. Its zesty darkness and, er, volcanic poetry is a stone-cold trip. If you don’t remember (or never tasted) mescal or that time you had too many margaritas, Lowry’s masterpiece will do you well. 

By Malcolm Lowry,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived Without Men After the First World War

Melvyn Fickling Author Of Farewell to the Glory Boys: A Battle of Arras Novel

From my list on the battles, corps and aftermath of WW1 for women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had finished The Bluebird Trilogy, three novels that centred on the first half of the Second World War, and I heard echoes of the Great War ringing faintly in the egos of my older characters. I started to read more of the history and was drawn to the aerial maelstrom that befell the RFC over Arras in 1917. I was also interested in working with a larger cast of characters, many transients, and telling their stories over a short stretch of time. The result was Major Claypole and Jackdaw Squadron, Glory Boys every last one.

Melvyn's book list on the battles, corps and aftermath of WW1 for women

Melvyn Fickling Why did Melvyn love this book?

The First World War stripped Britain of hundreds of thousands of its young men. In an age where women’s lives were funnelled towards the certainty of marriage, this left a big shortfall on the balance sheet of matrimony, creating what became known as the Surplus Women. Now they had to find their own sources of income and become responsible for their own future happiness.

Nicholson curates many memoirs and diaries of such women from all tiers of society. Adding material from interviews she conducted herself, she tells the stories of lost potential and loneliness, together with inspirational tales of liberation, fresh-forged independence, and the unprecedented freedom that self-reliance brought for those who rose to the challenge.

By Virginia Nicholson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The First World War deprived Britain of three-quarters of a million soldiers, with as many more incapacitated. In 1919 a generation of women who unquestioningly believed marriage to be their birthright discovered that there were, quite simply, not enough men to go round. The press ran alarming stories about the `Problem of the Surplus Women - Two Million who can never become Wives . . .'. But behind the headlines were thousands of brave, emancipated individuals forced by a tragedy of historic proportions to rethink their entire futures.

Tracing their fates, Virginia Nicholson shows how the single woman of the…


Book cover of Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown's Cult Classic

Minda Honey Author Of The Heartbreak Years: A Memoir

From my list on reads to get over your ex.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was the type of kid who tossed a coin in a fountain and wished that every day could be Valentine’s Day. So, it’s no surprise that my younger years were dominated by dating, love, and heartbreak. I learned enough about the matter to even have my own dating advice column for a few years. Mostly what I’ve learned is how important it is to have compassion for yourself and to know you’re not the only one having a hard time finding your forever love. I hope these book picks bring you some comfort.

Minda's book list on reads to get over your ex

Minda Honey Why did Minda love this book?

I contributed an essay to this collection and there’s quite a few writers I admire in this book, as well.

It’s refreshing to see other people’s perspective on what can feel like an albatross around your neck. Some of the essays are humorous, others are more poignant, but they all work together to show that a single life can look and feel a bazillion different ways—yours will be what you make it.

By Eliza Smith (editor), Haley Swanson (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of Bustle's Best Books of May

A feminist anthology inspired by legendary Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl, featuring twenty-four new essays on the triumphs and heartbreaks of modern singlehood from acclaimed and bestselling authors, including Kristen Arnett, Morgan Parker, Evette Dionne, and Melissa Febos.

Sixty years ago, Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl sent shockwaves through the United States, selling more than two million copies in three weeks. Helen's message was radical for its time: marriage wasn't essential for women to lead rich, fulfilling lives.

Now, in these critical, wry, and expansive…


Book cover of The World of Jeeves

Christopher Shevlin Author Of The Spy Who Came in from the Bin

From my list on making you laugh and feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write books that I hope will make people laugh and feel better – so far, they are the three Jonathon Fairfax novels and a novella called The Pursuit of Coconuts. I suffer from depression, and have always found the world quite a difficult and confusing place, so – ever since I learned to read – I’ve escaped into books. Reading is so soothing and absorbing, and there’s something oddly intimate about joining an author inside a book. When a book’s genuinely funny, it feels as though – in a flash – it reveals the essential foolish absurdity of the world. I’ve listed five of the books that have worked that little miracle on me.

Christopher's book list on making you laugh and feel better

Christopher Shevlin Why did Christopher love this book?

I’d never read any PG Wodehouse before I found this in a second-hand bookshop on Charing Cross Road. My edition is a huge and ancient green volume that looks like a book of magic – and it is.

It contains all the Jeeves and Wooster stories from the very beginning till the end of their golden age. And they’re in order, so you see the characters and style develop, and watch Bertie follow PG himself to America and back.

It came to me just when I needed it most: I had an absolutely horrible job at the time, the sort where you start dreading Monday morning around about lunchtime on Saturday. Being able to slip away into these stories was like owning a portal to a better world. They contain so many pleasures.

For one thing, PG can construct a sentence that somehow transcends its constituent words to become almost…

By P G Wodehouse,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Woman

Bella DePaulo Author Of Single at Heart: The Power, Freedom, and Heart-Filling Joy of Single Life

From my list on joyfull single people at heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

For too long, single life has been characterized as a lesser life. As a 70-year-old who has been happily single my whole life, I want that to end. As I said in my book, “In the enlightened world that I envision, every child will understand, as a matter of course, that living single is a life path that can be just as joyful and fulfilling as any other—and for some people, the best path of all. Every adult will forsake forever the temptation to pity or patronize single people and will instead appreciate the profound rewards of single life." 

Bella's book list on joyfull single people at heart

Bella DePaulo Why did Bella love this book?

When I first started writing books about single life, I thought my joyful and utterly unapologetic take on it was something fresh and new. Then I discovered Marjorie Hillis’s book–first published in 1936! Full of wit and attitude, it was an instant bestseller and republished in 2008.

Hillis has no patience for people who think a single life is sad, seeing them as hopelessly behind the times. One of the single women described in the book has traveled the world and feels sorry for her married friends tethered to husbands. Hillis feels sorry for the people who have never discovered the joy of being alone, including in bed. Every chapter includes single-at-heart sentiments sure to be treasured.

By Marjorie Hillis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Live Alone and Like It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BESTSELLING NOVEL WHICH CREATED A WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON

'A perfect bedside companion for the post-Bridget Jones generation' DAILY TELEGRAPH (CANADA)

'Hillis's book gave rise to "Live Alone" accessories, including cocktail shakers, china dogs and negligees' WALL STREET JOURNAL

'She was boldly leading a vanguard of young women into a self-reliant, judgment-free future' NATIONAL

This 1936 bestseller sold over 100,000 copies in the first two months of its release. Marjorie Hillis, a 1930s Vogue editor, provides a stylish, no-nonsense guide to living and loving single life. Written with wisdom, humour and panache, this is advice that will never go out of…


Book cover of Mad About the Boy

Lottie Phillips Author Of Sunshine at Daisy's Guesthouse

From my list on to make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love romantic comedies with an emphasis on comedy. I’m not in love with sugary-sweet romance because I don’t think it’s true to life. I know that I laugh daily because my life is very 'Bridget Jones'. You know a book genre is strong when you can describe yourself as a character written in the late nineties. My own books are full of awkward moments, endearing observations, and humour that pushes the boundaries. Why? Because what are we if we are not fallible and vulnerable to whatever life throws at us?

Lottie's book list on to make you laugh and cry at the same time

Lottie Phillips Why did Lottie love this book?

Who doesn’t immediately fall in love with Bridget Jones upon meeting her?

This book is full of laughs, tears, and now parenthood! I adored the other books in the Bridget Jones series, and this didn’t disappoint. If, like me, you like to read about a woman who feels ‘real’ and relatable, this book is just divine.

Bridget Jones is the sister to all of us women who need to hear that someone else goes through such highs and lows.

By Helen Fielding,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mad About the Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

What do you do when a girlfriend's 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend's 30th?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen's day?…


Book cover of Excellent Women

Ruth Leigh Author Of The Diary of Isabella M Smugge

From my list on books you read and re-read even though you know every word by heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I learned to read at four and have been telling stories ever since. Books were my escape from unhappiness into a new and endless world. Left to myself, I’d read ten or so weekly, and my mind was packed with characters, dialogue, jokes, prose, and poetry like an over-brimming literary reservoir. Words are my thing, and I am an avid collector of them. I was reading David Copperfield at eight and specialised in 18th and 19th-century literature at university. I’ve written five books and am working on the sixth. I love writing humour but have also authored Jane Austen Fan Fiction and poetry. Without books, my world is nothing.

Ruth's book list on books you read and re-read even though you know every word by heart

Ruth Leigh Why did Ruth love this book?

If Jane Austen was writing in the twentieth century, she’d be Barbara Pym!

There is so much sly, gentle humour in this story of a respectable thirty-something vicar’s daughter living in London in the fifties. Her life revolves around her church and work, and when a glamorous married couple moves into the flat upstairs, everything changes.

I’ve read this book so many times, and it has never failed to delight me. Great characterisation, a narrative that moves along at a cracking pace, and several potential suitors for the protagonist’s hand. Also, the book contains some of my favourite jokes around bird poo, fawn underwear, and badly made tea. Even though I’ve read and reread it, I always hate to get to the last chapter and finish it again.

By Barbara Pym,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Cover design by Orla Kiely Mildred Lathbury is one of those 'excellent women' who is often taken for granted. She is a godsend, 'capable of dealing with most of the stock situations of life - birth, marriage, death, the successful jumble sales, the garden fete spoilt by bad weather'. As such, though, she often gets herself embroiled in other people's lives - and especially those of her glamorous new neighbours, the Napiers, whose marriage seems to be on the rocks. One cannot take sides in these matters, though it is tricky, especially when Mildred, teetering on the edge of spinsterhood,…


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