73 books like Encyclopaedia of Hell

By Martin Olson, Tony Millionaire (illustrator), Mahendra Singh (illustrator)

Here are 73 books that Encyclopaedia of Hell fans have personally recommended if you like Encyclopaedia of Hell. 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 Plague

Ty Roth Author Of Island No. 6

From my list on medical thrillers for doomsday phobics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I come from a family with a number of medical professionals, I am not one myself. My interest in medical thrillers is a three-strand braid that combines my learning and experiences in the fields of sociology, literature, and storytelling. Horrific as the stories on this list are, they share both a hopefulness that mankind is capable of overcoming whatever challenge nature presents, or they themselves conjure and a warning to get ourselves right before the next one comes along. At a time when it is tempting to despair over the human condition, I hope these books inspire your faith in mankind’s resourcefulness and ability to endure.

Ty's book list on medical thrillers for doomsday phobics

Ty Roth Why did Ty love this book?

I especially love this novel as Camus applies his background in existential philosophy to elevate the medical thriller genre into the realm of the metaphysical.

I love how the novel uses the plot device of an outbreak of the plague to force me as a reader to move  beyond the surface questions of “What?” “When?” and “Where?” to ask the deeper question of “Why?” and “What now?”

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Its relevance lashes you across the face.” —Stephen Metcalf, The Los Angeles Times • “A redemptive book, one that wills the reader to believe, even in a time of despair.” —Roger Lowenstein, The Washington Post 

A haunting tale of human resilience and hope in the face of unrelieved horror, Albert Camus' iconic novel about an epidemic ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature. 

The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death. Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they…


Book cover of The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

Dan Carlin is here to get the facts straight. The wildly intelligent and passionate historian released this book while I was working on mine, and it was a great resource for me. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to educate themselves on how civilizations fail. Hint: We keep making the same mistakes again. Read this and break the pattern!

By Dan Carlin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A journey back in time that explores what happened-and what could have happened-from creator of the wildly-popular podcast Hardcore History and 2019 winner of the iHeartRadio Best History Podcast Award.

Dan Carlin has created a new way to think about the past. His mega-hit podcast, Hardcore History, is revered for its unique blend of high drama, enthralling narration, and Twilight Zone-style twists. Carlin humanizes the past, wondering about things that didn't happen but might have, and compels his listeners to "walk a mile in that other guy's historical moccasins." A political commentator, Carlin approaches history like a magician, employing completely…


Book cover of Bad Island

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

Prefer something a bit more visual as the world falls apart? Stanley Donwood fills a book with full-page black and white linocut illustrations, the same medium I use for my illustrations. Without relying on any text, Donwood is able to use classic sequential art techniques to move us through the continual destruction of a wild and devolving island habitat. You may recognize his work from his decades-long collaboration with Radiohead, but his distinct style of storytelling and art stands alone.

By Stanley Donwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A wild seascape, a distant island, a full moon. Gradually the island grows nearer until we land on a primeval wilderness, rich in vegetation and huge, strange beasts. Time passes and man appears, with clubs, with spears, with crueler weapons still-and things do not go well for the wilderness. Civilization rises as towers of stone and metal and smoke choke the undergrowth and the creatures that once moved through it. This is not a happy story, and it will not have a happy ending.

Working in his distinctive, monochromatic linocut style, Stanley Donwood achieves with his art what words cannot…


Book cover of Mr. Burns

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

A little levity may be required as we watch the world crumble around us. Anne Washburn’s play reads as a multi-generational game of telephone. Beginning shortly after the apocalypse, with television now obsolete, people gather round a campfire and begin retelling what they remember from random episodes of The Simpsons. In the second act, the retelling has evolved into an oral tradition far from the original. By the third act, we’re eighty years removed from the apocalypse, and the story has become its own bizarre and surreal performance. I read Mr. Burns and saw the play in person years ago, but I still think about it and laugh. It might also somehow be a fairly accurate depiction of our post-apocalyptic world.

By Anne Washburn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's the end of everything in contemporary America. A future without power. But what will survive? Mr Burns asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are, explodes the boundaries between pop and high culture and, when society has crumbled, imagines the future for America's most famous family.


Book cover of A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves

Lewis Dartnell Author Of Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History

From my list on big history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science researcher and writer living in London. My research field is astrobiology and the possibility of life on other planets – it brings together lots of different areas of science with engineering and space exploration and so is deeply ‘interdisciplinary’. And as a science writer, I try to bring this same broad perspective and unifying approach to other profound questions. My fascination with understanding our own origins was sparked by my childhood growing up in East Africa, the cradle of humanity. In Origins I explored different ways that planet Earth has influenced our human story across the millennia - it’s an example of ‘Big History’.

Lewis' book list on big history

Lewis Dartnell Why did Lewis love this book?

This is a much lesser-known book than the others I’ve picked, and I feel it deserves a load more attention. Walter Alvarez was instrumental to the development of the theory that the dinosaurs were wiped-out by an asteroid impact. Here, he casts his professor-of-geology eye across the whole of Earth’s history to show us the astonishing ways that our world – and the cosmos around us – have nurtured life on the planet and influenced the human story.

By Walter Alvarez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Big History, the field that integrates traditional historical scholarship with scientific insights to study the full sweep of our universe, has so far been the domain of historians. Famed geologist Walter Alvarez-best known for the "Impact Theory" explaining dinosaur extinction-has instead championed a science-first approach to Big History. Here he wields his unique expertise to give us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences-from the Big Bang to the formation of supercontinents, the dawn of the Bronze Age, and beyond-that have led to our improbable place in the universe.


Book cover of Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe is Just Right for Life

H Chris Ransford Author Of In Search of Ultimate Reality: Inside the Cosmologist's Abyss

From my list on weird thrilling science universe.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I felt profoundly dissatisfied by the pat and cardboard cutout explanations that some teachers offered for life and the universe: there had to be more! I decided to go into science. The explanatory power of science is 'next level,' to use a contemporary phrase, and unless and until we explore it, we'll miss the beauty and sheer wonder of the universe. Neither should we overly specialize: science is not compartmentalized, but vastly different fields of science feed into and reinforce one another. Popular science has an essential role to play: irrespective of how arcane hard science may appear to be, its story can always be told in everyday words.

H Chris' book list on weird thrilling science universe

H Chris Ransford Why did H Chris love this book?

This book is the first pop science book I would ever recommend to anyone, and certainly to anyone who could only ever read one science book in their lives. It tackles the issue of why our universe is so extremely fine-tuned for life but ends up being much more than that, as the search for answers leads the author to a thrilling exploration of many deep questions at the forefront of physics and of life itself.  

Mind-blowing. 

By Paul Davies,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Cosmic Jackpot is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the "big questions," including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life?

In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an…


Book cover of Janus: A Summing Up

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Author Of Memory Evolutive Systems: Hierarchy, Emergence, Cognition: Volume 4

From my list on mathematical approaches to complex systems.

Why are we passionate about this?

An accident of professional life led us, Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch and Andrée Ehresmann, to meet in 1979. Jean-Paul was then a young physician who was also interested in problems of emergence and complexity. Andrée was a mathematician working in Analysis and, more recently, in Category Theory with Charles Ehresmann (her late husband). With Charles, she shared the idea that: “a category theory approach could open a wealth of possibilities to the understanding of complex processes of any kind.”This idea appealed to Jean-Paul who suggested that we both try applying it to problems of emergence, complexity, and cognition. It led to our 40 years old development of MES. 

Andrée and Jean-Paul's book list on mathematical approaches to complex systems

Andrée Ehresmann & Jean-Paul Vanbremeersch Why did Andrée and Jean-Paul love this book?

We appreciate this book because it helped us to introduce the concept of a ‘hierarchical category,’ which is necessary to describe our MES. We accomplished this by translating Koestler's concept of a "hierarchy of holons," where a holon embodies a 'hybrid nature' akin to a two-faced Janus.

Technically, a hierarchical category organizes objects into numbered levels (0 to m). An object at level n is dual-faced: 'simple' compared to levels above n, but 'complex' compared to levels < n, this object being the "colimit" (or combination) of linked objects < n. Within a hierarchical category, we compute the 'complexity order' for each object. The category aligns with pure reductionism if it lacks objects with a complexity order greater than 1.

By Arthur Koestler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Excellent Book


Book cover of Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil

Babs Kirby Author Of Love and Sexuality: An Exploration of Venus and Mars

From my list on astrology with a psychological perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a humanistic psychotherapist first and came to astrology later and loved the way it didn’t pathologize and gave insight into our character and how that affects our destiny. I started to gather the charts of my psychotherapy clients (with their permission of course) and while not using this in their sessions, I was inspired by how they spoke their charts. Much of my understanding of how planetary positions and aspects manifest has been discovered by listening. I love how aspect patterns repeat through the generations within a family and what ramifications this has on the individuals. Who’s carrying the families karma?

Babs' book list on astrology with a psychological perspective

Babs Kirby Why did Babs love this book?

I bought this book in 1976, when it first came out and it’s now held together with Sellotape.

It offers an in-depth description of Saturn, a much misunderstood and maligned planet, through the signs and houses it occupies in a birth chart and includes a section on aspects as well aspects in synastry. No one else offers as much insight into the Saturnian principle and the painful lessons in life it can describe as Liz Greene. She does this planetary principle justice. 

By Liz Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


This classic astrology text, revered by beginners and professional astrologers alike, is now available in a Weiser Classics edition.

“The most important single contribution of twentieth-century astrology is that astrology is not a map of one’s fixed destiny but is a potential map of the unfolding of the authentic, higher self.” —Robert Hand, from the foreword

Saturn’s darker persona is recognized universally in myth and fairytale. In this classic astrology text, renowned astrologer and Jungian analyst Liz Greene offers a fresh perspective on how to handle the influence of this much-maligned astrological symbol.

In Saturn, Greene shows us how the…


Book cover of The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

Toby Walsh Author Of Machines Behaving Badly: The Morality of AI

From my list on artificial intelligence and human intelligence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been dreaming about Artificial Intelligence (AI) since a young age. I am currently Professor of AI at UNSW, Sydney. I was named by the Australian newspaper as one of the ”rock stars” of Australia’s digital revolution. Although this is highly improbable, I have spoken at the UN, and to heads of state, parliamentary bodies, company boards, and many others about AI and how it is impacting our lives. I've written three books about AI for a general audience that have been translated into a dozen different languages.

Toby's book list on artificial intelligence and human intelligence

Toby Walsh Why did Toby love this book?

This is an entertaining and lighter read than my other recommendations about AI. It is specifically about chatbots trying to pass the Turing Test, and ultimately is a witty story of what it means to be human. For anyone who has ever mistaken an answerphone for a person, or a person for an answerphone!

By Brian Christian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A playful, profound book that is not only a testament to one man's efforts to be deemed more human than a computer, but also a rollicking exploration of what it means to be human in the first place.

“Terrific. ... Art and science meet an engaged mind and the friction produces real fire.” —The New Yorker

Each year, the AI community convenes to administer the famous (and famously controversial) Turing test, pitting sophisticated software programs against humans to determine if a computer can “think.” The machine that most often fools the judges wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there…


Book cover of By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia

Tomek Jankowski Author Of Eastern Europe! Everything You Need to Know About the History (and More) of a Region that Shaped Our World and Still Does

From my list on understanding your Eastern European Grandma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born into a family with an Eastern European heritage, and lived and studied in the region for some years – including during the period of the collapse of the communist regimes. I am comfortable in Polish and Hungarian, and more vaguely functional in Russian and German – with Bulgarian a distant last. My undergraduate degree in history included an Eastern European specialization (including a paper co-administered between American and Hungarian institutions), and my graduate degree in economics included a focus on emerging economies. In my “day job” as a business analyst, I deal frequently with the business landscape in the region. I am married to a Pole, and have family in Poland.    

Tomek's book list on understanding your Eastern European Grandma

Tomek Jankowski Why did Tomek love this book?

Barry Cunliffe is a celebrated British archaeologist who specializes in both Europe’s and Britain’s origins.

Admittedly, Barry gets into the weeds a bit which can be challenging for those just looking for an introduction, but what he does better than most is connect the dots that bind Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa together.

Most histories of Europe pretend that Europe is an island, separate from Asia and everything else, as if it developed in a vacuum – but Barry reminds us that Charlemagne and Columbus are only part of the full European story.

Barry is a great place to start to understand the Eastern European, Asian, and Middle Eastern side of your British or Irish heritage – and yes, they are connected in some very direct ways.  

By Barry Cunliffe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean is nothing less than the story of how humans first started building the globalized world we know today. Set on a huge continental stage, from Europe to China, it is a tale covering over 10,000 years, from the origins of farming around 9000 BC to the expansion of the Mongols in the thirteenth century AD.

An unashamedly 'big history', it charts the development of European, Near Eastern, and Chinese civilizations and the growing links between them by way of the Indian Ocean, the silk Roads, and the great steppe corridor (which crucially allowed horse riders…


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