100 books like American Psycho

By Bret Easton Ellis,

Here are 100 books that American Psycho fans have personally recommended if you like American Psycho. 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 J R

Travis Jeppesen Author Of Settlers Landing

From my list on when you need a heavy dose of satire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Given the state of the world today, laughter truly is the best coping mechanism. The best satire is all about excess in design, intention, characterization, and deployment of attitude. The more extreme, the better; leave restraint to the prudish moralists! 

Travis' book list on when you need a heavy dose of satire

Travis Jeppesen Why did Travis love this book?

If American Psycho is too bloody an evocation of hyper-capitalism for your stomach, try this tragically under-appreciated door-stopper of a novel, in which an eleven-year-old becomes a millionaire by playing the stock market. Written almost wholly in unattributed dialogue! As with Pynchon, everything written by Gaddis deserves to be on this list; alas, alas. 

By William Gaddis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A National Book Award-winning satire about the unchecked power of American capitalism, written more than three decades before the 2008 financial crisis.

At the center of J R is J R Vansant, a very average sixth grader from Long Island with torn sneakers, a runny nose, and a juvenile fascination with junk-mail get-rich-quick offers. Responding to one, he sees a small return; soon, he is running a paper empire out of a phone booth in the school hallway. Everyone from the school staff to the municipal government to the squabbling heirs of a player-piano company to the titans of Wall…


Book cover of The War of the Worlds

Jools Cantor Author Of The Trellis

From my list on real-life time machines through sci fi.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science fiction lets us readers escape into space or travel through time, but I believe it is most effective when grounded in our primal anxieties. Classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid’s Tale resonate because the dark futures they describe drive us to prevent their prophecy. These stories give us a window into the world that birthed them by crystalizing the authors' fears into a work of fiction. When I read each book on this list, they transported me to the time they were written. En route, they showed how much our world has changed and how much we humans haven’t.

Jools' book list on real-life time machines through sci fi

Jools Cantor Why did Jools love this book?

I don’t know what I was expecting when I decided to cross this book off my “should have read a long time ago” list, but right off the bat, the narrator is riffing on humanity’s destruction of its own planet and Europe’s extermination of indigenous groups across the world, and asking if we can really blame the Martians for giving us a taste of our own medicine.

Written in 1898 as the Victorian age waned and the new century loomed, Wells weaves all sorts of still-relevant commentary between the gripping action and horror. Whether it’s the suicidal religious fervor of the curate, the terror of total war and mechanized murder, or societal breakdown as London evacuates, the 1890s had things to say that never stopped being relevant. Maybe we’ll finally sort them out in the next 130 years.

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The War of the Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

But planet Earth was not only being watched - soon it would be invaded by monstrous creatures from Mars who strode about the land in great mechanical tripods, bringing death and destruction with them. What can possibly stop an invading army equipped with heat-rays and poisonous black gas, intent on wiping out the human race? This is one man's story of that incredible invasion, from the time the first Martians land near his home town, to the destruction of London. Is this the end of human life on Earth?


Book cover of Jesus' Son

Michael Keenan Gutierrez Author Of The Swill

From my list on bars where I'd like to get a drink.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved bars before I could drink. Maybe it was a steady diet of Cheers reruns as a child. Or perhaps it was growing up in Los Angeles, a city without a center, a city of cars, a city that seemed—at least when I was a child—to lack real community. Bars, in my imagination, provided that. So when I started actually finding myself in bars—and often working in them—I also found myself writing fiction, and those bars ended up in that fiction. In each of my novels, a bar is a gathering place for those wanting a church sans theology, a place, where, yes, everyone knows your name.  

Michael's book list on bars where I'd like to get a drink

Michael Keenan Gutierrez Why did Michael love this book?

On any given day, this is my favorite book with one of my favorite bars, The Vine, a dive that Johnson describes as “like a railroad club car that had somehow run itself off the tracks into a swamp of time where it awaited the blows of the wrecking ball.” Is it a nice place? No. Would you take a date here? Not if you wanted them to respect you. Could you find yourself in mortal danger? Absolutely. But amongst the addicts and runaways, the small-time crooks and ne’er do wells, you’ll find moments of beauty that transcend the pain of everyday life, becoming, in its best moments, like reading scripture.

By Denis Johnson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Jesus' Son as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jesus' Son is a visionary chronicle of dreamers, addicts, and lost souls. These stories tell of spiralling grief and transcendence, of rock bottom and redemption, of getting lost and found and lost again. The narrator of these interlinked stories is a young, unnamed man, reeling from his addiction to heroin and alcohol, his mind at once clouded and made brilliantly lucid by these drugs. In the course of his adventures, he meets an assortment of people, who seem as alienated and confused as he; sinners, misfits, the lost, the damned, the desperate and the forgotten. Our of their bleak, seemingly…


Book cover of Lolita

Elisa Pezzotta Author Of The Prison of Time: Stanley Kubrick, Adrian Lyne, Michael Bay and Quentin Tarantino

From my list on timeless books about time.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a baby, I was fascinated by shadows, how they lengthened and shortened till they disappeared, and how they moved their position around me and objects. I used to play with Barbies; I invented stories that lasted for days, progressively postponing the main events in favor of their preparation. Progressively, I became accustomed to my relatives’s death and their funerals. I realized that time connected these observations and games as much as the novels and films that I loved. In my list, you can find stimulating books where Time shyly shows itself on a stage.         

Elisa's book list on timeless books about time

Elisa Pezzotta Why did Elisa love this book?

I love how the protagonist conceals the truth through his sophistication and charm. His pedophilia and rape are hidden behind an extensive network of lies about his alleged obsession with nymphets. ‘Between the age limits of nine and fourteen, there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they reveal their true nature, which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac).’

With a simple two-faced name, Humbert Humbert is a narrator with many faces, one of the more complex and discussed in literary studies. He writes his story in prison, forever imprisoned ‘between the age limits of nine and fourteen,’ although his supposed autobiography breaks the walls of his time and that of his nymphets as a timeless flow of perverse mental and linguistic games.     

By Vladimir Nabokov,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of my tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.'

Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, frustrated college professor. In love with his landlady's twelve-year-old daughter Lolita, he'll do anything to possess her. Unable and unwilling to stop himself, he is prepared to commit any crime to get what he wants.

Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all…


Book cover of 1984

William R. Wolesensky Author Of Mathematical Methods in Biology

From my list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived a life filled with diverse life experiences and have encountered people in very different professions who could think effectively and deeply understand topics unrelated to their profession. My life changed for the better when I finally started to develop a deep understanding of math, which empowered me to believe that I could develop a deep understanding of things I encountered. However, this change did not occur in me until my late twenties. My current passion is to empower people to think more effectively early in their lives.

William's book list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking

William R. Wolesensky Why did William love this book?

The world Orwell presents in this book is the result of a society that no longer advocates for ALL its members to pursue the ability to think freely, deeply, and effectively. The world shared in 1984 and the many similarities I see today have made me more passionate than ever about how the study of math can help people lead better lives.

I believe that developing a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, which everyone is capable of, will make people want to deeply understand everything in their world.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


Book cover of Brave New World

Stephen Wunker Author Of The Innovative Leader: Step-By-Step Lessons from Top Innovators For You and Your Organization

From my list on passionate innovators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an innovator. I’ve been one since I was a kid. Since then, I’ve started a couple of non-profits and four companies, and I’ve advised hundreds of clients on innovation opportunities. I’ve also led the team that created one of the world’s first smartphones. Over the past dozen years, I’ve written four books on the strategy and capabilities of innovation. Innovation is one of the essential characteristics that make us human. It can get the world into trouble, but it does more good than harm on balance. My mission is to make us better at innovation and make the world a better place.

Stephen's book list on passionate innovators

Stephen Wunker Why did Stephen love this book?

Perhaps you read this one in school, but most haven’t revisited the work since. I urge you to do so! People passionate about innovation need to keep humans foremost in their minds, not the machines (of any sort) that they create.

Huxley’s tale is famous because it’s both simple and profound. It’s also remarkably prophetic. As we focus intently on creating the new, this book reminds us of the bigger picture and calls into question the overall endeavor.

Early in my career, I was responsible for one of the world’s first smartphones. It was a wonderful achievement. But this book makes me think twice about whether I should be so proud.

By Aldous Huxley,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Brave New World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**One of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World**

EVERYONE BELONGS TO EVERYONE ELSE. Read the dystopian classic that inspired the hit Sky TV series.

'A masterpiece of speculation... As vibrant, fresh, and somehow shocking as it was when I first read it' Margaret Atwood, bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale.

Welcome to New London. Everybody is happy here. Our perfect society achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family and history itself. Now everyone belongs.

You can be happy too. All you need to do is take your Soma pills.

Discover the brave new…


Book cover of Frankenstein

Randy Ryan Author Of Perspectives

From my list on horror that challenges beliefs and imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about this topic because it dates back to my childhood. I have been interested in this subject for as long as I can remember and, as far as I can tell, gravitated towards it naturally, probably due to those unknown vectors within us all that gear us towards our loves, interests, and passions. I have written many novels in this field, and countless short stories, some published, others lying around my house. For me, this genre defines the best aspects of the imagination and is full of color, fantasy, and the entire broad spectrum of human emotions, including the most potent: fear. 

Randy's book list on horror that challenges beliefs and imagination

Randy Ryan Why did Randy love this book?

Perhaps the most classic work of horror fiction in both literature and cinema. As an English teacher, I find that there is so much fodder for lessons prevalent in this book–nature vs nurture, the dangers of forbidden knowledge and playing God, the arrogance of science, and who the real monster is. I particularly love the difference between The Monster in the novel and the film, its articulation, desires, abilities, and even its physical appearance. Few written works have been more seminal.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

43 authors picked Frankenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…


Book cover of Gulliver's Travels

Travis Jeppesen Author Of Settlers Landing

From my list on when you need a heavy dose of satire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Given the state of the world today, laughter truly is the best coping mechanism. The best satire is all about excess in design, intention, characterization, and deployment of attitude. The more extreme, the better; leave restraint to the prudish moralists! 

Travis' book list on when you need a heavy dose of satire

Travis Jeppesen Why did Travis love this book?

In the most elegant piss-take on the travel writing genre ever crafted, Swift’s hero traverses lands impossibly strange and, well, just impossible, giving satire a whole new modus operandus: expanding the cosmos!

Whenever I start to feel blue about living in an era that seems to underrate imaginativeness – especially in literature, I go back to Swift, who always reminds me that there is a path veering toward the limitless, and that path will never disappear. 

By Jonathan Swift,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Gulliver's Travels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

'Thus, gentle Reader, I have given thee a faithful History of my Travels for Sixteen Years, and above Seven Months; wherein I have not been so studious of Ornament as of Truth.'

In these words Gulliver represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just set down; but how far can we rely on a narrator whose identity is elusive and whoses inventiveness is self-evident? Gulliver's Travels purports to be a travel book, and describes Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. A consummately skilful…


Book cover of The Godfather

Kaeleb LD Appleby Author Of Steele's Eden: Part One

From my list on crime dramas that keep you hooked.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved a good crime drama/suspense thriller novel–the way they keep you glued to the pages, and you think you’ll just sit down for a quick couple of chapters before dinner, and the next thing you realize, it's 12am, and you’re on the last chapter. The depth of the character studies that you get with this genre is the other reason I enjoy it so much, there’s nothing worse than having main characters that are one dimensional and unreachable as a reader. I have always tried to create this kind of character depth and gripping narrative in my own books.

Kaeleb's book list on crime dramas that keep you hooked

Kaeleb LD Appleby Why did Kaeleb love this book?

I really liked the way Puzo really nails the intricate plot with his straightforward writing style. He takes you through intricate events that jump around in time, keeping you hooked and on the edge of your seat.

The progression of the characters is another great bit. As a reader, you watch as Michael turns from a war hero with the potential to be a great guy into a ruthless mafia boss, almost as if it were destiny or repercussions for his father’s mistakes. 

By Mario Puzo,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Godfather as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________________________
The classic novel that inspired 'the greatest crime film of all time'

Tyrant, blackmailer, racketeer, murderer - his influence reaches every level of American society. Meet Don Corleone, a friendly man, a just man, a reasonable man. The deadliest lord of the Cosa Nostra. The Godfather.

But no man can stay on top forever, not when he has enemies on both sides of the law. As the ageing Vito Corleone nears the end of a long life of crime, his sons must step up to manage the family business. Sonny Corleone is an old hand, while World War II…


Book cover of The Rats

David E. Gates Author Of The Wretched

From my list on horror books that changed my life and could change yours.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved horror since my early teens, when I first discovered The Rats and Lair and other horror stories by James Herbert. The thing I like about horror, in particular, is that there are no holds barred, no censorship, as to what can be written. I grew up on movies like The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Jaws, Alien, The Thing, etc., but horror writing takes you deeper and gives a more visceral experience than anything any film can do.

David's book list on horror books that changed my life and could change yours

David E. Gates Why did David love this book?

This was pretty much the first true horror book I read.

My mother, who had read it, thought I'd like it. Reading as a teenager, the scenarios of giant rats attacking people were frightening, and Herbert's description lent a realism to those scenes which I'd not encountered before. I found myself eagerly turning the pages to feast on the horrors of that which was contained within with relish. I was also fortunate, in my adult life, to meet and interview James Herbert and gain an insight into how he wrote and came up with the stories he told. 

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Rats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fortieth anniversary edition of The Rats, the classic, bestselling horror novel that launched James Herbert's career.

With a foreword by Neil Gaiman, author of Norse Mythology.

It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realized by a panic-stricken city. For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time - suddenly, shockingly, horribly - the balance of power had shifted .…


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