10 books like Contagion

By Erin Bowman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Contagion. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Fever 1793

By Laurie Halse Anderson,

Book cover of Fever 1793

When I first read Fever 1793—set in Philadelphia during a yellow fever epidemic—I thought it was a well-written and thought-provoking glimpse into how people would respond in a crisis. After re-reading it post-pandemic, I would now add “prophetic.” Mattie is a typical grumpy teen who would rather have fun than work in her family’s coffee house. But there is a deadly fever rapidly spreading through the city. Desperation unleashes her inner strength, allowing her to prevail over disease, fear, food shortages, unscrupulous thieves, and well-intentioned but poorly-managed medical science.

Fever 1793

By Laurie Halse Anderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Fever 1793 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Parable of the Sower

By Octavia E. Butler,

Book cover of Parable of the Sower

Released in 1993, the dystopian story it tells begins in 2024. This grabbed me because back when I read George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1984 seemed like the distant future. I didn’t think anything in the book could happen in my lifetime. But history proved me wrong. Butler’s version of 2024 is overwhelmingly negative, and there are some elements that ring true now. But the plot is interesting and kept me reading even when the story was grim. I like Lauren, the main character, because she keeps looking for ways to survive and help others. She believes if we are willing to change and adapt, we can create a better future for those who come after us. I believe that too.

Parable of the Sower

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Parable of the Sower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The extraordinary, prescient NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling novel.

'If there is one thing scarier than a dystopian novel about the future, it's one written in the past that has already begun to come true. This is what makes Parable of the Sower even more impressive than it was when first published' GLORIA STEINEM

'Unnervingly prescient and wise' YAA GYASI

--

We are coming apart. We're a rope, breaking, a single strand at a time.

America is a place of chaos, where violence rules and only the rich and powerful are safe. Lauren Olamina, a young woman with the extraordinary power to…


Severance

By Ling Ma,

Book cover of Severance

Sometimes second chances come with a steep price, which, in Candace Chen’s case, means the apocalyptic annihilation of the world’s population. I wouldn’t call this book a pick-me-up, though it is funny, but it is an incredibly moving story about what it means to move on. Ling Ma moves her characters between time, writing about Candace’s parent's decision to leave behind China and her own decision to stay in New York as the deadly fever takes hold. Some of the most beautiful writing is about New York City, a place I dearly love. “New York is possibly the only place in which most people have already lived, in some sense, in the public imagination, before they ever arrive.” 

Severance

By Ling Ma,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Maybe it’s the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma’s offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire, Severance.

"A stunning, audacious book with a fresh take on both office politics and what the apocalypse might bring." ―Michael Schaub, NPR.org

“A satirical spin on the end times-- kind of like The Office meets The Leftovers.” --Estelle Tang, Elle

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: NPR * The New Yorker ("Books We Loved") * Elle * Marie Claire * Amazon Editors * The Paris Review…


A Beginning at the End

By Mike Chen,

Book cover of A Beginning at the End

A Beginning at the End is probably the novel I’d recommend to most readers now, because it’s not just about a pandemic—it’s the story of a pandemic’s long aftermath. The novel paints of picture of societal resilience and growth, and individuals holding out hope for the future after the greatest of tragedies.

A Beginning at the End

By Mike Chen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Brotherhood

Four survivors come together as the country rebuilds in the aftermath of a devastating pandemic. A character-driven postapocalyptic suspense with an intimate, hopeful look at how people can move forward by creating something better.

Six years after a virus wiped out most of the planet’s population, former pop star Moira is living under a new identity to escape her past—until her domineering father launches a sweeping public search to track her down. Desperate for a fresh start herself, jaded event planner Krista navigates the world for those still too…


The Diviners

By Libba Bray,

Book cover of The Diviners

Evie O’Neill has been sent to live with her Uncle Will when she can’t obey the conventional rules of her hometown. The good news is that he lives in glitzy New York City during the 1920s, but Will runs a very different scene, operating the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. After a girl’s body is discovered with clues indicating that the murder was motivated by the occult, Evie, her uncle, and a few new friends find themselves involved in the investigation. A Young Adult book, what I particularly love about this novel, is the way Evie evolves from a thoughtless party-girl to a young detective who embraces the psychic gift she has long kept at bay. In the process, she becomes wiser about the larger, complicated world around her.  

The Diviners

By Libba Bray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just…


Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff,

Book cover of Illuminae

There really are no new stories, so when you find something that does feel new it’s amazing. Illuminae is a space opera epistolary novel—it’s presented in a series of letters and documents, including classified reports, censored emails, interviews, texts, and even some poetry. Although the reading experience is unique it feels natural and even modern. I found it interesting that this is how we tell our own stories to each other today! The main characters become refugees after becoming caught in a political crossfire, and most of the action takes place on ships in space. It’s a rollicking good time with loads of action and intrigue. If it were just a unique storytelling vehicle, it’d be worth reading—but the story delivers, and that makes it a must-read.

Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Never have I read a book so wholly unique and utterly captivating.' Marie Lu

'It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica-shaped hole in my heart.' Victoria Aveyard

The internationally bestselling first book in a high-octane trilogy

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she'd ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has…


Icarus

By Danika Stone,

Book cover of Icarus

Icarus is a totally different kind of scary read from what I normally pick up, more psychological thriller than actual horror – but don’t let that stop you from reading this amazing book. In Icarus, Stone leads us through a complicated, dark, and forgotten history until we find the place Tess’ present intersects with her half-forgotten past. The ride is thrilling and the conclusion won’t leave you disappointed!

Icarus

By Danika Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Being the ‘new kid’ at school is hard, but for Tess Novak - who’s moved more times than she can remember - it’s a role she knows by heart. Transferring during senior year means yet another place she’ll eventually leave, more classmates she’ll forget. Fate, it seems, has other plans.From the moment Tess is introduced to honor student Drew Martinez, she is convinced she has met him before. But when? Confident and attractive, Drew is exactly the type of ‘rich kid’ Tess’s father hates, and Tess avoids. Thrown together by a class project, their tentative friendship sparks a smoldering attraction.…


House of Furies

By Madeleine Roux, Iris Compiet (illustrator),

Book cover of House of Furies

This is another period piece, this one a classic Victorian gothic that appeals to my secret nostalgia for the old original horror pieces such as Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, or Jane Eyre. The main character finds herself enmeshed in a strange and dark world where right and wrong become blurred as she struggles to find the place she fits in. You won’t be able to stop reading between one chapter and the next. 

House of Furies

By Madeleine Roux, Iris Compiet (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An all-new creepy fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring the story to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house.

But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house's mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more…


A Curious Beginning

By Deanna Raybourn,

Book cover of A Curious Beginning

“Being a lady is a crashing bore, or hadn’t you noticed?” So observes Veronica Speedwell: lepidopterist, spinster and – much to her chagrin – a lady. But Veronica isn’t going to be bound by that, and she’s as happy chasing murderers as she is butterflies and men. This book is as much about her smoldering relationship with the enigmatic Stoker as it is a whodunnit, which is part of what attracted me to it. I’m a sucker for sexual tension, and this book has it in spades—along with the sort of dry one-liners that will have you snickering into your tea.

A Curious Beginning

By Deanna Raybourn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Curious Beginning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica Speedwell intends to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry-and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb.But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. The baron offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker-a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can…


Kings of the Wyld

By Nicholas Eames,

Book cover of Kings of the Wyld

Nicholas Eames crafted a radical take on the standard fantasy adventuring party by giving them rock band style. This book is a fun take on the fantasy genre with a group of over-the-hill mercenaries getting together for one last score. It isn’t often that a book comes along and grabs me by the ears and sets me to head banging. Kings of the Wyld was that book. I couldn’t put it down as I followed Clay and his ragtag band of mercenaries. I love the mix of humor and epic fantasy with the found family thrown in. The audio version is a riot that preserves the rock and roll tone and makes for a great time painting your newest D&D miniature.

Kings of the Wyld

By Nicholas Eames,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Kings of the Wyld as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'An outstanding debut which will make you laugh and cry and hold your breath. This is a book that has it all' - K. J. Parker Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best - the meanest, dirtiest, most feared and admired crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. But their glory days are long past; the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk - or a combination of the three. Then a former bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help: his daughter Rose is trapped in a city…


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