100 books like Collected Stories of William Faulkner

By William Faulkner,

Here are 100 books that Collected Stories of William Faulkner fans have personally recommended if you like Collected Stories of William Faulkner. 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 Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks

Mitch Cullin Author Of Tideland

From my list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Mitch Cullin, or so I've been told. Besides being the ethical nemesis of the late Jon Lellenberg and his corrupt licensing/copyright trolls at the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., I'm also a documentary photographer, very occasional author of books, and full-time wrangler of feral cats.

Mitch's book list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque

Mitch Cullin Why did Mitch love this book?

The black-and-white images of Ralph Eugene Meatyard have long fascinated me and informed my visual work and writing. Meatyard was, by profession, an optician in Lexington, Kentucky, yet his personal passion was making photographs. His subjects were his wife, children, and family friends, who he often posed in murky settings as they wore masks and held dolls. These images are both disquieting and euphonious, tapping into something primal that hints at the secretive world of childhood.

By Eugenia Parry, Elizabeth Siegel, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (photographer)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Family man, optician, avid reader and photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard created and explored a fantasy world of dolls and masks, in which his family and friends played the central roles on an ever-changing stage. His monograph, The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater, published posthumously in 1974, recorded his wife and family posed in various disquieting settings, wearing masks and holding dolls and evoking a penetrating emotional and psychological landscape. The book won his work critical acclaim and has been hugely influential in the intervening decades. Dolls and Masks opens the doors on the decade of rich experimentation that immediately preceded…


Book cover of The Butcher Boy

Chris Harding Thornton Author Of Little Underworld

From my list on hilarious books that rip your heart from your chest.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite writers, Ralph Ellison, said art could "transform dismal sociological facts" through "tragi-comic transcendence." For me, finding humor in the horrific is a means of survival. It's a way of embracing life's tragedy and finding beauty. My two novels, Pickard County Atlas and Little Underworld, try to do that.

Chris' book list on hilarious books that rip your heart from your chest

Chris Harding Thornton Why did Chris love this book?

I read this novel when I was twenty-two years old.

I remember exactly where I was (in the kitchen of a dilapidated apartment I loved) and what time of day I read it (early afternoon until early evening). I cackled and sobbed (I am not a sobber), and afterward, I couldn’t get the main character’s voice out of my head for days. He narrated everywhere I went and everything I did.

Before then, I’d always written casual nonsense for my own entertainment, but I knew afterward I wanted to do that—I wanted to make people laugh, horrify them, and put their hearts through the wringer. 

By Patrick McCabe,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Butcher Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in Ireland, this book tells the story of teenage hero Francie Brady. Things begin to fall apart after his mother's suicide - when he is consumed with fury and commits a horrible crime. Committed to an asylum, it is only here that he finally achieves peace. Shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize.


Book cover of Come, The Restorer

Mitch Cullin Author Of Tideland

From my list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Mitch Cullin, or so I've been told. Besides being the ethical nemesis of the late Jon Lellenberg and his corrupt licensing/copyright trolls at the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., I'm also a documentary photographer, very occasional author of books, and full-time wrangler of feral cats.

Mitch's book list on to summon the off-kilter beauty of the grotesque

Mitch Cullin Why did Mitch love this book?

This is one of my all-time favorite novels, though I'm not quite sure how to explain it. Set in a small Texas town, Come, The Restorer is a strange, hallucinatory, and comical novel where nothing is quite normal, in fact far from it. Among the cast of characters are Mr. de Persia who becomes a prophet to the townspeople after he is discovered in a glass bathtub with an erection, the virginal Jewel Adair who following her husband's fiery death begins roaming the countryside naked, and Addis, Jewel's adopted son, who is on a singular quest to make himself a Panhandle saint. There's just no other book like this one.

By William Goyen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


William Goyen's fifth novel is a fable of Texas country life in the first half of the twentieth century, portraying religious revivalism and the money madness and ecological destruction caused by the oil boom. His narrative is composed of the brief linked episodes and tales that are Goyen's trademark, and is written with an ear for the rhythms of regional speech that was his particular gift.


Book cover of Geek Love

Alex Dolan Author Of The Euthanist

From my list on female protagonists who you hate to root for.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m obsessed with the exploration of what it means to be a human being. We’re coming into an era where we see more characters who aren’t good or evil but both—they possess the potential to save someone from jumping off a bridge one day and beating someone the next. We’re all capable of the greatest acts of kindness and the most abominable atrocities imaginable. I believe we need to be reminded of that fact so that when there comes a time when we can decide whether to hurt or to help someone, we become the better version of ourselves and make the right decision.

Alex's book list on female protagonists who you hate to root for

Alex Dolan Why did Alex love this book?

I know, I know…this is a book you’re either going to love or hate, and it’s probably on a lot of lists. I love this book because before it was as common to “break the rules” and write frankly about taboo subjects, Katherine Dunn dove headfirst into an ocean of taboo and told a story that’s as exquisitely heart-wrenching as it is ghastly.

Despite her flaws (and I mean flaws in character–I don’t consider her physical traits to be flawed at all), the protagonist, Oly, is driven by devotion to her family as much as anything.

By Katherine Dunn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A National Book Award Finalist: This 'wonderfully descriptive' novel from an author with a 'tremendous imagination' tells the unforgettable story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias have bred their own exhibit of human oddities. (The New York Times Book Review)

The Binewskis arex a circus-geek family whose matriarch and patriarch have bred their own exhibit of human oddities (with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes). Their offspring include Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan, Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins, albino hunchback Oly, and…


Book cover of The Complete Stories

Audrey Wick Author Of Seeing Us

From my list on classic and contemporary Southern women’s fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a full-time English professor at Blinn College, I always try to choose stories for the literature classes I teach which will resonate with students. Likewise, as an author myself, I aim for that same approach with fiction writing: I want people to remember and reflect on what they read. Memorable settings can help achieve that, so it’s my pleasure to share some of these in America's South that span both the classic side of the spectrum as well as the contemporary side.

Audrey's book list on classic and contemporary Southern women’s fiction

Audrey Wick Why did Audrey love this book?

Georgia-born Flannery O’Connor gifted the world with dozens of stories, which can be read individually or collectively.

Set on farms, in small towns, and off-the-beaten path, she colorfully explores both people and places, inviting readers along to do the same. Some stories are folksy, some are humorous, and some are dark, but one thread is constant: her highly individualized style is built on strong literary conventions.  

By Flannery O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Complete Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction.

There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death―is a…


Book cover of A Closer Look: The Art Techniques of Patrick Woodroffe

David Chelsea Author Of Perspective! for Comic Book Artists

From my list on making you a better artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I have been a professional artist for over forty years, I have never yet gotten to the point where I imagine I have it all figured out. There are always new techniques to learn, and new mediums to explore. The books on this list are ones I have found helpful in nudging me in new and productive directions. 

David's book list on making you a better artist

David Chelsea Why did David love this book?

British illustrator Patrick Woodroffe was an eclectic virtuoso, working with equal facility in oils, acrylic, pencil, pen and ink, silverpoint, and a unique technique of his own involving cutout drawings photographed in natural settings. Like McMullan’s, this book gives you a practical look inside one artist’s creative process. One remark of Woodroffe’s helped set me free artistically: “I don’t think strict accuracy is important, for if art is to offer us anything at all that is not to be found ‘out there’ or in photographs, then it can only come from those fortunate instances when the artist sees something not quite straight, when his visual memory fails him just a little. Getting it at least slightly wrong is I believe what art is all about.”

By Patrick Woodroffe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The celebrated fantasy artist reveals the creative process behind his paintings, etchings, and photographs


Book cover of Teatro Grottesco

Adam Washington Author Of The Misophorism Trilogy

From my list on depressive reads that are free of platitudes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was young, I’ve suffered from Major Depressive Disorder, coupled with chronic pain that surfaced when I was in middle school. Being in constant pain—mental and physical—obviously drains the spirit. I found no hope whatsoever in phrases such as, “It gets better.” When you have chronic pain, that statement means nothing, because you know it won’t. These books, however, offered me something that I hadn’t encountered before: someone acknowledging that, although it may never get better, there is still something for me here, whatever form it takes. These books do not shame depressives, they console (and even commiserate) with them, and I hope you find them as fulfilling as I have.

Adam's book list on depressive reads that are free of platitudes

Adam Washington Why did Adam love this book?

Similar to Cioran, Ligotti has a profoundly dark worldview, but not one that is unearned.

Ligotti’s own experiences with anhedonia and despair seep through his writing. I cannot get enough of it. Through his prose, he creates his own world wherein doom is assured and life seems like a poorly written, performed, and directed play that is in profoundly bad taste.

It may seem like work like this would depress you, but for me, it gives me a sense of understanding. Someone out there, even if it’s just Ligotti’s characters, has felt that gloom.

By Thomas Ligotti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Thomas Ligotti is often cited as the most curious and remarkable figure in horror literature since H. P. Lovecraft. His work is noted by critics for its display of an exceptionally grotesque imagination and accomplished prose style. In his stories, Ligotti has followed a literary tradition that began with Edgar Allan Poe, portraying characters that are outside of anything that might be called normal life, depicting strange locales far off the beaten track, and rendering a grim vision of human existence as a perpetual nightmare. The horror stories collected in Teatro Grottesco feature tormented individuals who play out their doom…


Book cover of I Will Rot Without You

Roland Blackburn Author Of Seventeen Names for Skin

From my list on body horror to rot your mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

Obsession and mania have never been far from my heart, and with that has always come the certainty that everything we build can fall apart. I’ve always been fascinated by our frail bodies; what they can do, what they can’t, and the limits we can all be pushed to. People are forced to their extremes, day after day, and that this can happen to anybody at any time has always attracted my imagination. Something shatters. Bones break. Flesh twists. And, in itself, the incident is never the end. Afterward, what’s left? This question haunts me through every word that I write.

Roland's book list on body horror to rot your mind

Roland Blackburn Why did Roland love this book?

Crawling with cockroaches, mold, and touching moments, this dark love story of a protagonist unable to move on and his neighbor whose boyfriend is so controlling he’s stitched himself to her is a bizarro classic. I’ve lived with both pretty abhorrent apartments and breakups, and the grotesque escalation of the novel as both the protagonist and their dwelling fall apart get under my skin in the best way possible. Full of nightmarish yet recognizable characters (maybe this says a lot about me), the plot propels itself forward through so many twists and turns that the ending is a true surprise. Slater’s ability to fascinate and repulse in equal measure is on full display as he explores the nightmare side of relationships, and I can’t help but sympathize with the protagonist as their heartbreak causes a brutal and irrecoverable decay.

You can’t know where this one is going. Even as the…

By Danger Slater,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Will Rot Without You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WHEN THE WORLD FALLS APART AND YOUR BODY STARTS TO ROT, LET THE ROACHES LEAD.

Meet Ernie. His life is a mess. Gretchen's gone, and the apartment they once shared in this grey, grim city is now overrun with intelligent mold and sinister bugs.

Then his neighbor Dee shows up, so smart and lovely. If he can just get past the fact that her jealous boyfriend could reach out of her blouse and punch him in the face at any moment, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Unfortunately for all involved, a Great Storm is coming and…


Book cover of Fowlers End

Tom Bolton Author Of Vanished City: London's Lost Neighbourhoods

From my list on revisiting lost London.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of five books, including the New Angles Prize shortlisted, Low Country, London’s Lost Rivers and Camden Town: Dreams of Another London. I write about forgotten history, lost places, and strange landscapes in London and on the coast. I have appeared on television (including PBS) and radio and have written for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, among others. I also write about music and theatre.

Tom's book list on revisiting lost London

Tom Bolton Why did Tom love this book?

Published in 1957, this book is one of the few comic novels about London, and it is genuinely funny.

In a dead-end suburb, variety entertainment is dying a painful death in a flea-pit cinema that attracts a parade of fantastical characters, from the Falstaffian impresario Sam Yudenow to a pair of Greek caterers and bomb makers.

It makes a lost world seem both alluring and deeply unsavoury.

By Gerald Kersh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"One of the great comic novels of the century." - Anthony Burgess

"[A]n exuberant romp with a parcel of grotesques in a truly horrible nor'-nor'-easterly suburb of London . . . great fun." - Manchester Guardian

"Rabelaisian, vigorous, readable, inventive and bizarre." - Simon Raven

"The very best of his works." - Harlan Ellison

In the worst, poorest, most benighted corner of London is Fowlers End, one of the most godforsaken spots on the face of the earth. It is here that young Daniel Laverock, starving and nearly penniless at the height of the Great Depression, takes the only job…


Book cover of The Woman on the Bench

Miranda Rijks Author Of What She Knew

From my list on twisty British psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of 17 twisty psychological thrillers, many of which are Amazon bestsellers. Most of them are set in southern England where I live. My life was tipped upside down in 2015 when I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Although I have a masters in writing and was traditionally published for non-fiction, I hadn’t been brave enough to put my fiction out in the world. Cancer changed that. I’m now a full-time author, writing about scary things that happen to ordinary people. I’m also an avid reader of thrillers and enjoy nothing more than reading a book with an ending that makes me gasp!

Miranda's book list on twisty British psychological thrillers

Miranda Rijks Why did Miranda love this book?

Not only is this a great story but I think it’s beautifully written, even more exceptional because this is Stevens’ debut. Quite often, psychological thrillers are such page-turners, the reader doesn’t properly appreciate the words. I think that Elliot Stevens achieves both literary finesse and fast-paced action in this book. Set in London and the south of England, it’s tightly woven with an original premise, and as a bonus, has a fabulous twist at the end. Mark and Cecilia seem to have the perfect life, until he meets Alice. But he can’t leave Cecilia because she knows too much…

By Eliot Stevens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At last, Mark has found the perfect woman. There’s just one small problem – his wife.

Married couple Mark and Cecilia seem to have it all – looks, wealth, love. But behind closed doors, things are very different – they live in silent resentment, their marriage broken by the shattering loss of the child they so desperately wanted.

Enter Alice – Mark’s idea of the perfect woman. She appears from nowhere and offers Mark the chance of a new life filled with love, passion, and – finally – the joys of parenthood. Everything he’s ever dreamed of.

But there’s a…


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