83 books like Crane

By Robert Crane, Christopher Fryer,

Here are 83 books that Crane fans have personally recommended if you like Crane. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Woman Watching

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Author Of Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story

From my list on to help you discover what makes people tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I think of who I am, as a writer and a human being, I remember the words of prolific Portland poet Dan Rapheal, who wrote the foreword to my book of poetry, Blue Reverie in Smoke: “...the reader must look carefully to get a full picture of the poet herself—tender, no nonsense, quietly observing and juggernauting to make things as she thinks they should be.” I’ve never forgotten Dan’s astute appraisal of me, and it surprised me. It seems that's how I’ve always beensomeone who quietly observes, never unmoved by what I see, just trying to make sense of it, sometimes successful in that endeavor, and oftentimes, not successful at all. 

Theresa's book list on to help you discover what makes people tick

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Why did Theresa love this book?

How do we decipher mundane truth from sophisticated deception? Who holds the gaze and who is the protagonist if they’re not readily revealed? Vulpius, a popular actor in a dubious era, develops an obsession with an unknown spectator, who he believes comes only to see him. The reader watches his life slowly unravel because Vulpius can never seem to capture the woman watching. Capriolo draws the reader into the insanity and narcissism of obsession, revealing how it can make perfect sense to the afflicted. I loved this book because of the strangeness of the extreme passive voice, probably because it's translated from Italian to English. Also, there is a complete lack of dialogue. I loved Capriolo’s masterful teasing of the reader, revealing just enough to keep you coming back, wondering just what’s going to happen to Vulpius. Will he survive, or will he destroy himself in the end? 

By Paola Capriolo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What is the nature of the actor's mask? At what point do performer and performance merge? Vulpius, a much admired young actor in a provincial rep company, develops an obssession with an unknown spectator whose gaze seems only for him, at first kindling fresh fervour in his mastery of each role, then leaving him a slave to artistic perfection. With philosophical elegance and black macabre sense of comedy, Paola Capriolo draws the reader deep into obssession, exploring the most compelling recesses of the theatrical experience where ritual and stylisation run rampant. Dark questions emerge about the power of representation and…


Book cover of Suicide Blonde

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Author Of Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story

From my list on to help you discover what makes people tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I think of who I am, as a writer and a human being, I remember the words of prolific Portland poet Dan Rapheal, who wrote the foreword to my book of poetry, Blue Reverie in Smoke: “...the reader must look carefully to get a full picture of the poet herself—tender, no nonsense, quietly observing and juggernauting to make things as she thinks they should be.” I’ve never forgotten Dan’s astute appraisal of me, and it surprised me. It seems that's how I’ve always beensomeone who quietly observes, never unmoved by what I see, just trying to make sense of it, sometimes successful in that endeavor, and oftentimes, not successful at all. 

Theresa's book list on to help you discover what makes people tick

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Why did Theresa love this book?

In Suicide Blonde, the lead character Jesse tries to sustain a connection with her beautiful bisexual boyfriend, Bell, who though he loves her, cannot refuse the allure of sex with strange men and seems to be regularly “dipped in sleaze.” Jesse becomes caretaker of Madam Pig, an old obese beauty queen who lives in a crumbling old house. The paint peels in the wind with only vacant lots and industrial buildings nearby, as Madam Pig swills red wine and vomits down staircases. I loved this book for the lonely dystopian feel and the way Jesse seems utterly alone in the world. I also loved the natural way Stienke writes about sex. I learned a great deal from her graphic content, learning how to actually write sex into litertaure. The book is not for the faint of heart and does not have a happy ending, but in its way, it…

By Darcey Steinke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jesse is a twenty-nine-year-old adrift in San Francisco's demi-monde of sexually ambiguous, drug-taking outsiders, desperately trying to sustain a connection with her bisexual boyfriend. She becomes caretaker and confidante to Madame Pig, a grotesque, besotted recluse. Jesse also meets Madison - Pig's daughter or lover or both - who uses others' desires for her own purposes, and who leads Jesse into a world beyond all boundaries.

As startling, original and vital as it was when first published, Suicide Blonde is an intensely erotic story of one young woman's sexual and psychological odyssey, and a modern cult classic.


Book cover of Verge

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Author Of Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story

From my list on to help you discover what makes people tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I think of who I am, as a writer and a human being, I remember the words of prolific Portland poet Dan Rapheal, who wrote the foreword to my book of poetry, Blue Reverie in Smoke: “...the reader must look carefully to get a full picture of the poet herself—tender, no nonsense, quietly observing and juggernauting to make things as she thinks they should be.” I’ve never forgotten Dan’s astute appraisal of me, and it surprised me. It seems that's how I’ve always beensomeone who quietly observes, never unmoved by what I see, just trying to make sense of it, sometimes successful in that endeavor, and oftentimes, not successful at all. 

Theresa's book list on to help you discover what makes people tick

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Why did Theresa love this book?

This book of short fiction is a riveting account of how the marginalized outcasts of society struggle to find a voice, often not finding anything other than the realization of their own loneliness and social isolation. Many dynamics are shown in this book, such as a kind of unquenchable desire for new experience, even when it harms us, and the struggle to contend with class, gender, age, and continued sexual hunger. Do we invite troubled persons into our lives if they might harm us, or at least carve profanity into our coffee tables, or do we walk away? I loved this book because each story and character captures what it's like to live on the edge, and this is done without judgment, malice, or any form of indifference. I had so many favorite stories from this collection, just rest assured it is totally worth your time and the money to…

By Lidia Yuknavitch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE STORY PRIZE

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Bustle and Lit Hub

A fiercely empathetic group portrait of the marginalized and outcast in moments of crisis, from one of the most galvanizing voices in American fiction.

Lidia Yuknavitch is a writer of rare insight into the jagged boundaries between pain and survival. Her characters are scarred by the unchecked hungers of others and themselves, yet determined to find salvation within lives that can feel beyond their control. In novels such as The Small Backs of Children and The Book of Joan, she has…


Book cover of American Junkie

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Author Of Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story

From my list on to help you discover what makes people tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I think of who I am, as a writer and a human being, I remember the words of prolific Portland poet Dan Rapheal, who wrote the foreword to my book of poetry, Blue Reverie in Smoke: “...the reader must look carefully to get a full picture of the poet herself—tender, no nonsense, quietly observing and juggernauting to make things as she thinks they should be.” I’ve never forgotten Dan’s astute appraisal of me, and it surprised me. It seems that's how I’ve always beensomeone who quietly observes, never unmoved by what I see, just trying to make sense of it, sometimes successful in that endeavor, and oftentimes, not successful at all. 

Theresa's book list on to help you discover what makes people tick

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Why did Theresa love this book?

American Junkie is a brutally honest tour de force you will never forget! The life of a young and intelligent musician with the promise of success in the 1990s Seattle Grunge scene slowly morphs into the sad reality of a man slipping into addiction and melancholy. In this memoir, Hansen struggles, but does find that his humanity is tied up in more than just addiction. Hansen was a gentleman heroin dealer, not a thug or bully. He mixed with celebrities and those unseen ghosts of the street that end up unnamed and forgotten. He had a code of ethics he lived by. Cleverly written in intimate second-person narrative voice, I loved this book because as you read, you are at once a part of Hansen’s story and in the end, you feel moved by his honesty and the unsparing way he shares the details of his life. When his final…

By Tom Hansen, Tom Hansen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A non-stop trip into one man's land of desperate addicts, failed punk bands, and brushes with sad fame, as he sells drugs during the Seattle grunge years.

In American Junkie, Tom Hansen maps his heroin addiction, from the promise of a young life to the prison of a mattress, from budding musician to broken down junkie, drowning in syringes and cigarette butts, shooting heroin into wounds the size of softballs, and ultimately, a ride to a hospital for a six-month stay and a painful self-discovery that cuts down to the bone. Through it all he never really loses his step,…


Book cover of Spoiler Alert

Mara Jacobs Author Of Worth The Weight

From my list on sexy and funny romance with plus-sized heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve struggled with weight and body issues most of my adult life. When I first wrote Worth The Weight (nearly 20 years ago), I had just lost a lot of weight and was coming to terms with what that meant to my self-image vs my body image. Package deal? Able to be separate the two? The weight loss romances on this list spoke to me. But the “love all those curves” books spoke to me on a different level. And the body-positivity movement has spoken to me on yet another level as I evolve into the imperfect, but hopefully always learning, person I am still becoming.

Mara's book list on sexy and funny romance with plus-sized heroines

Mara Jacobs Why did Mara love this book?

April Whittier is a professional by day, and a fan fiction queen by night. Unbeknownst to her, her best online friend is the star of TV’s biggest show (think Game Of Thrones) who agrees with her about everything the show is doing wrong. Now, due to some harsh online trolls criticizing her weight, she’s going out on a date with him.

I love how different Spoiler Alert is from the others on my list that were written a decade – or two – earlier. The body-positivity mindset is refreshing and so much more emotionally healthy than the fat-duckling-to-thin-swan take. (As much as I enjoy those, too.) April has issues, yes, but never any doubt that she’s as worthy to date a huge star as any size 4. And in fact, questions whether he is worthy of her!

By Olivia Dade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who's secretly posting fanfiction of his own.

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he's known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet's favorite couple to…


Book cover of Devil House

John Mantooth Author Of Holy Ghost Road

From my list on appealing to horror readers and non-horror readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t consider myself specifically a horror reader (or writer for that matter!) any more than I consider myself a fantasy, mystery, or science fiction reader. As a writer (under my real name John Mantooth as well as my pseudonym, Hank Early), much of my work has been classified as horror, though I take pride in my novels appealing to people who aren’t typically well-versed in the genre. So, it got me thinking… what are some novels that may or may not be classified as horror that will appeal to a wide range of readers? I call these books horror-adjacent, and no matter what you typically read, I think you’ll enjoy them. 

John's book list on appealing to horror readers and non-horror readers

John Mantooth Why did John love this book?

This one is truly unique. It’s a true crime story operating under the guise of a horror story that is really neither. Instead, it grapples with teenage alienation and the way stories transform the truth, while offering an insightful meditation on empathy. Darnielle is one of the most unique and stylistically adventurous writers we have. And this may be his best.

By John Darnielle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success—and a movie adaptation—to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for the…


Book cover of Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

Paul Willetts Author Of King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor

From my list on twenty-first century true-crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an English nonfiction writer who is, I suppose, best-known for Members Only, my biography of the London strip club owner, theatre impresario, property magnate, and porn baron Paul Raymond, which was adapted into a big-budget movie called The Look of Love. Like many of my books, Members Only strayed into true crime, a genre that has, for all sorts of reasons, been attractive to me as a writer. Probably the most important of those is that it provides the opportunity to tell inherently dramatic stories and to convey a vivid picture of the past, thanks to the wealth of documentation associated with major crimes. 

Paul's book list on twenty-first century true-crime

Paul Willetts Why did Paul love this book?

It’s been said that true crime provides a window into the past.

Well, that’s certainly true of Tinseltown, which plunges readers into the early days of the Hollywood studio system. More specifically, William J. Mann’s justly popular book focuses on the unsolved murder of the silent movie-era director William Desmond Taylor.

Besides being an atmospheric and compulsively readable account of his death and its aftermath, the book offers a persuasive reinvestigation of this once-famous crime. 

By William J. Mann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller Edgar Award winner for Best Fact Crime The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry. By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America's new favorite pastime, and one of the nation's largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood's glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies-including the murder of William Desmond…


Book cover of The Night Bell

Laurie Loewenstein Author Of Funeral Train

From my list on immersive settings of time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even though I have not lived in the Midwest for fifty years, I remain a Midwesterner. It is in how I speak (adding an “r” to wash), what I like to eat (Cincinnati chili), and explains my favorite smell (the inside of a barn). Both as a reader and writer, I want to know where the story is “from.” What does this place look like? Smell like? What is the cadence of the characters’ speech? All this translates into an immersive experience and that is something I look for both in a book I pick up and in one I write. 

Laurie's book list on immersive settings of time and place

Laurie Loewenstein Why did Laurie love this book?

Hazel Micaellef, 62, a police officer in a small town in Ontario, is divorced, overweight, has back problems, and drinks too much. I am from a small town and divorced. Liquor is not my vice. I am, however, completely at home in the fictional and slightly seedy Port Dumas where locals have long memories. When human bones are found on land that formerly housed orphans, many of the town’s ugly secrets bubble up. The plot is complex and the setting immersive. I would not necessarily want to live in a place like Port Dumas…but I have.

By Inger Ash Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The new novel in this acclaimed series is brilliantly paced, addictively suspenseful—the author's best yet. Hazel Micallef (played by Susan Sarandon in the recent film of the series' debut, The Calling) has become one of crime writing's most memorable detectives. The Night Bell moves between the past and the present in Port Dundas, Ontario, as two mysteries converge. A discovery of the bones of murdered children is made on land that was once a county foster home. Now it's being developed as a brand new subdivision whose first residents are already railing against broken promises and corruption. But when three…


Book cover of The Whites

Mike Lawson Author Of Alligator Alley: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

From my list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Edgar and Barry Award nominated author of twenty novels, sixteen in my Joe DeMarco series, three in my Kay Hamilton Series, and my standalone, Redemption. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a senior civilian executive working in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.  My books are mostly set in and involve characters in Washington, D.C., because Washington is a target-rich environment for a writer—and now more so than ever.

Mike's book list on crime from authors who never disappoint readers

Mike Lawson Why did Mike love this book?

Richard Price, in my opinion, is one of today’s best writers in any genre. The Whites, a book about five detectives finally getting the criminal that always eluded them, was just the most recent book of his I’ve read. His classics—Clockers, Freedomland, The Night of, Sea of Love—were all adapted for the big screen. His prose is cliché free, no one captures New York City and its denizens the way Price does, and the dialogue in his books is pitch perfect and realistic.

By Richard Price,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
FINALIST FOR THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE 2015 IN THE MYSTERY/THRILLER CATEGORY

Every cop has a personal 'White': a criminal who got away with murder - or worse - and was able to slip back into life, leaving the victim's family still seeking justice, the cop plagued by guilt.

Back in the 1990s, Billy Graves was one of the Wild Geese: a tight-knit crew of young mavericks, fresh to police work and hungry for justice, looking out for each other and their 'family' of neighbourhood locals. But then Billy made some bad headlines by accidentally shooting…


Book cover of Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe

Deborah Halber Author Of The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America's Coldest Cases

From my list on cold cases involving unidentified victims.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’d always known about the Lady of the Dunes. I’d read about how she was found in the dunes of Provincetown, Massachusetts, on July 26, 1974. I didn’t know about the tens of thousands of other unidentified victims like her, stowed around the US in the back rooms of morgues and unmarked graves. As a journalist who has always given a voice to those who struggle to be heard, I feel compelled to research and write about these Jane and John Does and the people who work to keep their cases in the public eye. I share a unique bond with writers who do the same.

Deborah's book list on cold cases involving unidentified victims

Deborah Halber Why did Deborah love this book?

Hikers stumbled upon the body of a young woman near Boulder, Colorado, in 1954. Buried in an anonymous grave, for decades she was yet another Jane Doe, abandoned and unidentified. 

Decades later, historian Silvia Pettem joined forces with law enforcement and forensic experts. Together, they exhume the Jane Doe and achieve the seemingly impossible: they identify her and her probable killer. 

By Silvia Pettem,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Someone's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1954, two college students were hiking along a creek outside of Boulder, Colorado, when they stumbled upon the body of a murdered young woman. Who was this woman? What had happened to her? The initial investigation turned up nothing, and the girl was buried in a local cemetery with a gravestone that read, "Jane Doe, April 1954, Age About 20 Years."

Decades later, historian Silvia Pettem formed a partnership with law enforcement and forensic experts and set in motion the events that led to Jane Doe's exhumation and eventual identification, as well as the identity of her probable killer.…


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