81 books like Atomised

By Michel Houellebecq, Frank Wynne (translator),

Here are 81 books that Atomised fans have personally recommended if you like Atomised. 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 The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Mid-Life

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

I love the opening quote in this book. I’ve never, ever forgotten it since I turned the first page. It’s a quote from Dante’s Inferno: “Midway through life’s journey, I found myself lost in a dark wood, having lost the way.”

That’s exactly where I found myself when I started reading this book. Like millions of other people, I was lost when I found it. I was looking for someone or something–wiser than meto help me recognize that what I was going through in early midlife is actually a very normal, perhaps essential part of life’s journey.

By James Hollis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Middle Passage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Author James Hollis' eloquent reading provides the listener with an accessible and yet profound understanding of a universal condition - or what is commonly referred to as the mid-life crisis. The book shows how we may travel this Middle Passage consciously, thereby rendering our lives more meaningful and the second half of life immeasurably richer.


Book cover of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

This book invited me to think about how we age and meet death in contemporary Western societies.

I have seen people close to me die. I watched as my grandma, then my grandpa, and then my father passed away. They each, in different ways, faced the brutal realities of growing old and they encountered a healthcare system that ultimately medicalized their death and the aging process–striving to ‘eek out’ more time, as though that was the only honorable thing to do.

Atul Gawande’s book really taught me to reflect critically on that.

By Atul Gawande,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

'GAWANDE'S MOST POWERFUL, AND MOVING, BOOK' MALCOLM GLADWELL

'BEING MORTAL IS NOT ONLY WISE AND DEEPLY MOVING; IT IS AN ESSENTIAL AND INSIGHTFUL BOOK FOR OUR TIMES' OLIVER SACKS

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's…


Book cover of Heartbreak: New Approaches to Healing - Recovering from Lost Love and Mourning

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

I think I read this book when I was heartbroken. I imagine that’s why most people would initially gravitate to it.

Heartbreak is something we are all likely to experience at least once in a lifetime. I remember how sick I was of being told by other people that they "understood" how I felt and that they’d "been there too." Ginette Paris didn’t do that. In fact, I remember how she stated that nobody really knows what YOU feel like when you’re heartbroken because nobody has lost exactly what YOU’VE lost. There’s never been a loss exactly like your relationship before because what you lost is in some sense completely unique.

The book is full of revelations about heartbreak that brought me far more comfort than the usual well-meaning platitudes.

By Ginette Paris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Look at your broken heart with the curiosity of a naturalist, as you would pay close attention to your pet, to understand what is going on.

The pain of mourning and heartbreak is neurologically similar to being submitted to torture. There seems to be only one way to end that agony and to limit somatic damage; neurobiology calls it an evolutionary jump and psychologists call it an increase in consciousness.

Past theories of grief therapy considered recovery from the point of view of stages: a one-year cycle of mourning was supposed to heal the heart. Not so! A true Liberation…


Book cover of Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays

Sam Carr Author Of All the Lonely People: Conversations on Loneliness

From my list on the psychological challenges of being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess we all have a "calling." Mine has always been to explore the deeper, darker, less palatable aspects of being human. I’m a bit like a space explorer of the human psyche. I’m lucky in the sense that my day job permits me to research, teach, and better understand things like love, death, and loneliness. I’ve been researching and writing about them for many years now. I always treasure books that help me to shed light on these themes. They are like shiny pebbles or jewels that I pick up and keep in my pocket. I hope you enjoy and learn from some of the treasures in my personal collection!  

Sam's book list on the psychological challenges of being human

Sam Carr Why did Sam love this book?

I cried on behalf of all lobsters when I’d finished listening to the main essay, "Consider the Lobster," in this collection.

For me, it was a profound educational and emotional experience that jolted me into a deep sense of empathy for a creature I’d never really considered all that much up to now. 

By David Foster Wallace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This celebrated collection of essays from the author of Infinite Jest is "brilliantly entertaining...Consider the Lobster proves once more why Wallace should be regarded as this generation's best comic writer" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). 

Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike's deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person?

David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain's 2000 presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World's…


Book cover of The German Mujahid

Diane Lefer Author Of Out of Place

From my list on for recovering erased history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Soon after 9/11, I had dinner with several American scientists worried about how new security measures would affect international collaborations and foreign-born colleagues. Since science rarely if ever comes up in discourse about the War on Terror, that set me off. I’m always drawn to whatever gets overlooked. I was born in one international city – New York – and have lived in another – Los Angeles – for over 20 years. I’ve spent time on four continents and assisted survivors of violent persecution as they seek asylum – which may explain why I feel compelled to include viewpoints from outside the US and fill in the gaps when different cultural perspectives go missing.

Diane's book list on for recovering erased history

Diane Lefer Why did Diane love this book?

For decades, Holocaust denial was widespread in Arab countries. That’s beginning to change, and Sansal’s harrowing novel – inspired in part by a Nazi officer who escaped to Algeria and became a hero in the war for independence aids in writing that history back into consciousness. We gain extraordinary intimacy with two brothers as they contend in different ways with the challenges of North African immigrant life in France, the massacre by the Algerian military that claims the lives of their parents, and the discovery of their father’s horrific past. Sansal was attacked for comparing Islamist fundamentalism to the Holocaust and for visiting Israel, but I think it’s clear his intent is to condemn any ideology based on an unyielding and violent intolerance of difference.   

By Boualem Sansal, Frank Wynne (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“[A] masterly investigation of evil, resistance and guilt, billed as the first Arab novel to confront the Holocaust” from the Nobel Prize–nominated author (Publishers Weekly).

Banned in the author’s native Algeria, this groundbreaking novel is based on a true story and inspired by the work of Primo Levi.

The Schiller brothers, Rachel and Malrich, couldn’t be more dissimilar. They were born in a small village in Algeria to a German father and an Algerian mother and raised by an elderly uncle in one of the toughest ghettos in France. But the similarities end there. Rachel is a model immigrant—hard working,…


Book cover of The Comedy of Errors

Jade Varden Author Of Justice

From my list on switching places in all time periods.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books about switching places and mistaken identity have always interested me. Sometimes, it takes a comedic turn where the hero bumbles through misadventures. Sometimes, there's something sinister at play at the hero must fight to get their own lives back. Whether funny or scary or romantic or thrilling, it’s always a wild ride. The fun of it, and the frightening part, is that the reader must guess what's happening along with the hero. You have to figure out who is who and what is what, so there's always a mystery. 

Jade's book list on switching places in all time periods

Jade Varden Why did Jade love this book?

Twain definitely wasn’t the first to cover the topic of switching places. Shakespeare, who was writing 200 years before Twain, wasn't even the first to do it. However, he did it with a great deal of style and a lot of laughs in The Comedy of Errors. This is considered to be one of his great comedies and it's easy to see why. This is a tale about two sets of identical twins who get all mixed up. A whole bunch of hijinks happens next. 

This is a great example of Shakespeare and a plot that has been adapted several times since. And while it's funny, the plot also reveals some deeper truths within the characters and society as a whole. As always with Shakespeare, it's meant to make you think.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* Beautifully illustrated with atmospheric paintings by renowned artists, The Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. It's also his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humor coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play.

* Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as it would have been when first published, the play is one of the great works of English literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world.

* This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction…


Book cover of The Last Brother: A Civil War Tale

Jonathan W. White Author Of My Day with Abe Lincoln

From my list on children’s books about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing books about Abraham Lincoln for 15 years. I also have two daughters, and I spend a lot of time at night telling bedtime stories. A couple of years ago, I decided to combine these two areas of my life by writing a Lincoln book for kids. But I didn’t want it to be another run-of-the-mill history book. So, I developed a story about a girl who travels back in time and meets a young Abe. Along the way, she learns a lot about his life. I like to tell people that everything about it is historically accurate . . . except the time travel!

Jonathan's book list on children’s books about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War

Jonathan W. White Why did Jonathan love this book?

In this fictional story about the Battle of Gettysburg, two 11-year-old buglers (one from the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry and the other from 11th Mississippi) meet in the woods and share some moments in conversation away from the din of the fighting.

The story helps young readers reflect on the common humanity and suffering of the soldiers on both sides during the Civil War. In elegant prose and beautiful pictures it humanizes the experiences, fears, and uncertainties faced by these men and boys (and their families).

Book cover of The Brothers K

Susie Finkbeiner Author Of The All-American

From my list on making you fall in love with baseball.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m intrigued by baseball. The passion and drama of the games and the way the sport is nearly always linked to a meaningful relationship with someone dear. That curiosity has only been fueled by the books I’ve read over the years and inspired me to write a baseball story of my own. The All-American is my ninth novel and I couldn’t feel more privileged to have been able to write it.

Susie's book list on making you fall in love with baseball

Susie Finkbeiner Why did Susie love this book?

My college literature professor lent me a copy of this novel twenty-five years ago and I spent an entire summer savoring it while it made me fall in love with baseball.

This epic novel follows the lives of the Chance brothers as they come of age, leave home, and grapple with the changing world of the 1960s. And it’s about the passion and drama and absolutely relational nature of baseball.

I still have my professor’s copy of the book on my shelf. I tried to return it a few years ago, but George wouldn’t take it back. He, apparently, has a habit of keeping several copies on hand to give to students so they’ll fall in love with it as much as he did.

By David James Duncan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
 
Once in a great while a writer comes along who can truly capture the drama and passion of the life of a family. David James Duncan, author of the novel The River Why and the collection River Teeth, is just such a writer. And in The Brothers K he tells a story both striking and in its originality and poignant in its universality.
 
This touching, uplifting novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. A father whose dreams of glory on a baseball field are shattered…


Book cover of Shotgun Lovesongs

Maggie Ginsberg Author Of Still True

From my list on the essence of small town Wisconsin.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve only ever lived in small Midwestern towns. I grew up there, raised my kids there, recovered from a divorce there, remarried there. I’ve had the same best friends for 40 years. I’ve paid and bartered for my classmates’ trade services. I’ve argued with them in churches and cafes, rooted for and against their kids at high school basketball and football games all over the state. We’ve celebrated and buried each other’s loved ones. I’ve run hundreds of miles of Wisconsin trail, soaked in her waters, marveled at her sunsets. It’s as home to me as my own body, and I’ll never tire of reading about it. 

Maggie's book list on the essence of small town Wisconsin

Maggie Ginsberg Why did Maggie love this book?

Reading Shotgun Lovesongs years ago is my first adult memory of seeing myself on the page—the kind of thing that probably happens more frequently if you’re from New York or L.A. but isn’t as common for those of us born and raised in so-called flyover states.

I fell hard for Nickolas Butler’s debut—the story of four boyhood friends in a small Wisconsin town, one of whom becomes a famous rock star—from the first chapter. While it became an international bestseller for its universally appealing story, hooky concept, and lyrical prose (not to mention its rumored, real-life inspiration),

I personally was drawn to the intimate portrayal of life-long, small-town friendships, the precise push-pull of life in a fishbowl; the loyalty we feel for each other that isn’t always earned; and the way we tether ourselves to people and place, for better or for worse.

By Nickolas Butler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Impressively original." ―The New York Times

"Sparkles in every way. A love letter to the open lonely American heartland…A must-read." ―People

"The kind of book that restores your faith in humanity." ―Toronto Star

Welcome to Little Wing.

It's a place like hundreds of others, but for four boyhood friends―all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town―it is home. One of them never left, still working the family farm, but the others felt the need to move on. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit. One of them hit it big as a rock star. And…


Book cover of Big Brother Daniel

Serene Chia Author Of I Love My Little Brother

From my list on preparing older child for new baby.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing children's books to connect more with my daughter. When she was born, I struggled to bond with her because I felt like I had lost part of who I was. My husband reminded me how important it was to build a strong bond with her, so I began spending more one-on-one time with her. Our favorite activity was looking for the moon together, which led to my first book, "Mommy, Mommy, Where Is The Moon?". When my son came along, I made sure my daughter knew she was still loved, promising our special time together wouldn't stop and she would always be my first baby.

Serene's book list on preparing older child for new baby

Serene Chia Why did Serene love this book?

I loved that this book tells the story of him introducing his new baby sister, Margaret, to the reader. It also focuses on how Daniel can be a big helper in the family in an easy and relatable way.

The book also mentions the importance of special time with just Mom and Dad, which assures the older sibling that he or she is not forgotten and still loved. 

By Angela C Santomero, Jason Fruchter (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Brother Daniel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood!

Daniel Tiger is learning to be a good big brother to Baby Margaret in this sweet shaped board book, based on a very special episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!

Daniel Tiger is so happy: He’s just gotten a new baby sister! Baby Margaret is very little, and she needs lots of care from Mom and Dad. But not to worry, big brother Daniel is here to help!

This adorable story is perfect for little ones who are about to become big brothers or…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in brothers, Francophiles, and anthropology?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about brothers, Francophiles, and anthropology.

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