100 books like Flowers For Algernon

By Daniel Keyes,

Here are 100 books that Flowers For Algernon fans have personally recommended if you like Flowers For Algernon. 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 Call of the Wild

Ken Wells Author Of Swamped!

From my list on coming of age survival and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, all I wanted to read were books about adventure. I also had an adventurous childhood, growing up in the Louisiana swamps with a father who actually hunted alligators and took me with him. As I came of age, I longed to tell stories, and, as they say, it’s best to write about what you know. To date, I’ve penned six novels, all set in the exotic wetlands of Cajun, Louisiana. I feel missionary about this—that my writing gifts allow me to decode my homeplace in a way that makes it easier for outsiders to see the singular niche it occupies on the American landscape. 

Ken's book list on coming of age survival and adventure

Ken Wells Why did Ken love this book?

I love this book for its fabulous sense of place, nonstop action, and realistic depiction of the rough-and-tumble Yukon during the 1890s Gold Rush.

The protagonist may be a dog but Buck, the good-heard Saint Bernard we meet as affable and innocent puppy, is I truly believe one of the most unforgettable characters in the history of adventure novels. His transition to a feral state is utterly believable as the book unfolds the darkness that lies at the heart of all too many men and the often violent chain of events that causes Buck to seek a new life.

I have read this book three times, and each time, it continues to amaze me. 

By Jack London,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Call of the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Puffin Classics bring together the best-loved stories to a new generation.

In The Call of the Wild life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survivial. Can he rise above his enemies and become the master of his realm once again?

Jack London (1876-1916) was…

Book cover of Stories of Your Life and Others

Ai Jiang Author Of I Am AI

From my list on reads for a glimpse at humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a diet of dystopian fiction, and when I first began taking craft more seriously and diving into short stories, that was the genre I found myself writing most. I suppose what draws me to the genre is how dystopian fiction has the ability to illuminate society’s faults and injustices and humanity as a whole, the bleak futures that it could create if certain ideologies were allowed to persist, the way individual behaviours and actions can well shape the future and dictate whether it becomes one filled with hope or one that falls into disaster. 

Ai's book list on reads for a glimpse at humanity

Ai Jiang Why did Ai love this book?

What fascinates me most about this novella is its ability to capture such depth and fullness in such a short length.

This book explores the concept of time and language, and how the way humans perceive time vastly differs from the alien species, and the way language ultimately affects time perception and decision-making as well.

By Ted Chiang,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Stories of Your Life and Others as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A science fiction genius . . . Ted Chiang is a superstar.' - Guardian

With Stories of Your Life and Others, his masterful first collection, multiple-award-winning author Ted Chiang deftly blends human emotion and scientific rationalism in eight remarkably diverse stories, all told in his trademark precise and evocative prose.

From a soaring Babylonian tower that connects a flat Earth with the firmament above, to a world where angelic visitations are a wondrous and terrifying part of everyday life; from a neural modification that eliminates the appeal of physical beauty, to an alien language that challenges our very perception of…

Book cover of 1984

William R. Wolesensky Author Of Mathematical Methods in Biology

From my list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived a life filled with diverse life experiences and have encountered people in very different professions who could think effectively and deeply understand topics unrelated to their profession. My life changed for the better when I finally started to develop a deep understanding of math, which empowered me to believe that I could develop a deep understanding of things I encountered. However, this change did not occur in me until my late twenties. My current passion is to empower people to think more effectively early in their lives.

William's book list on help people see the necessity of effective thinking

William R. Wolesensky Why did William love this book?

The world Orwell presents in this book is the result of a society that no longer advocates for ALL its members to pursue the ability to think freely, deeply, and effectively. The world shared in 1984 and the many similarities I see today have made me more passionate than ever about how the study of math can help people lead better lives.

I believe that developing a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, which everyone is capable of, will make people want to deeply understand everything in their world.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…

Book cover of An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales

John E. Dowling Author Of Understanding the Brain: From Cells to Behavior to Cognition

From my list on healthy and compromised brains.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began research as an undergraduate at Harvard College, initially studying the effects of vitamin A deficiency on the photoreceptors in the eye that capture the light and initiate vision. After receiving my PhD and starting my own laboratory, I became fascinated with the other four classes of cells/neurons found in the retina, which begin the analysis of visual information: two being in the outer retina and two in the inner retina. We mapped out the synaptic interactions among the neurons, recorded from them, and began to put together the neural circuitries that underlie the visual messages that are sent to other parts of the brain. 

John's book list on healthy and compromised brains

John E. Dowling Why did John love this book?

One of Oliver Sack’s delightful books containing stories of individuals with various neurological disorders. I read the first one, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, back in the 1980s  when it first came out and was hooked, now having read almost all of them.

The one I am recommending is, I believe, more relevant to an understanding of brain mechanisms. One criticism I have had of Sack’s books is that there is little in the way of neurobiological explanations for the conditions described. In my book, most chapters begin with a Sack-like story about a specific neurological condition that is then explained, as far as possible, neurobiologically in the chapter.

By Oliver Sacks,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked An Anthropologist on Mars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As with his previous bestseller, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, in An Anthropologist on Mars Oliver Sacks uses case studies to illustrate the myriad ways in which neurological conditions can affect our sense of self, our experience of the world, and how we relate to those around us.

Writing with his trademark blend of scientific rigour and human compassion, he describes patients such as the colour-blind painter or the surgeon with compulsive tics that disappear in the operating theatre; patients for whom disorientation and alienation - but also adaptation - are inescapable facts of life.


Book cover of Never Let Me Go

Lio Min Author Of Beating Heart Baby

From my list on the transformative power of art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m only a writer because I was a musician first. I worshiped music—as a performer, listener, and later a critic—for its ability to enshrine me in a purely emotional world. My favorite lyrics were poetry in motion; my favorite melodies escaped description. And through sharing my feverish acclamations of particular albums and songs, I found community with others who also pledged themselves to art that’d definitively split their lives into “before” and “after.” My writing career was born from cathartic devotion and remains devoted to recounting the rapture of self-formation, of being reflected in the mirror of something that saw you before you even knew to see yourself.

Lio's book list on the transformative power of art

Lio Min Why did Lio love this book?

This book sold me on “bittersweetness” as the most important tone I want to write toward. One of the story's most “bitter” turns is the confirmation that art cannot change one’s life or rescue a loved one from a doomed fate.

But though art can't dull the pain of moving through life, it's proof that something endured long enough to assert its existence, however quietly and quickly it passes.

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Never Let Me Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most acclaimed novels of the 21st Century, from the Nobel Prize-winning author

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense…

Book cover of Winter Tide

Jaq Evans Author Of What Grows in the Dark

From my list on people who are unsure of horror genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror and speculative fiction author who reads everything but who is tired of strict genre definitions and loves introducing people to work they might not have considered—especially the spooky stuff, and especially when I’m asked about horror recommendations for non-horror lovers. I think dark fiction gives us a way to process painful emotions in a safe space; it offers catharsis for being alive in a difficult world; it can definitely be a lot of fun while also giving you a way to empathize with people outside your own direct experience. I’ve tried to hit on all of that in this list!  

Jaq's book list on people who are unsure of horror genre

Jaq Evans Why did Jaq love this book?

I am one of those people who were really into Lovecraft until they discovered he was a huge racist and homophobe, among other things; the contemporary reclamation of Lovecraft’s iconic mythology is delicious, and this book is a wonderfully eerie, weird entry into the new canon.

This book checks a lot of my personal boxes, like secretive government experiments, shady, half-revealed lore, and lyrical writing. I’m a huge fan of stories where you know just enough about what’s going on to keep up, and the characters are so sympathetic that you’ll follow the mystery for their sake alone. 

By Ruthanna Emrys,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two decades ago the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to a desert prison, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god, Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, emerging without a past or a future.

Now it's 1949, and the government that stole Aphra's life needs her help. FBI Agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant and hasten the end of the human race.

Aphra must return to the…

Book cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

Emerald Dodge Author Of Battlecry

From my list on take place in America’s deep South.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Virginia, so I am very familiar with America’s southern lands and culture. The South—also known as the Deep South—is a unique part of America’s tapestry of identities, and I love books set in this locale. Southern literature tends to focus on themes such as racial politics, one’s personal identity, and rebellion. When I wrote my book, I knew the story would have to take place in the southern states. 

Emerald's book list on take place in America’s deep South

Emerald Dodge Why did Emerald love this book?

Perhaps the most famous Southern novel of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird, is the pinnacle of American literature. Covering heavy themes such as racial bigotry, death in families, and the loss of childhood innocence, Lee spins a tale of Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of rape by a local white woman and her father.

The conclusion of the trial and the events following it stand as a terrible warning to this day, reminding readers of the dangers of prejudice. It’s truly a must-read novel.

By Harper Lee,

Why should I read it?

36 authors picked To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'

Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped…

Book cover of Project Hail Mary

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

Okay, I’ve only read this book once, but I can tell you I’ll be reading it again. It’s that good.

It's a classic amnesia story. The hero wakes up from a coma and has no recollection of who he is. Over the course of the story, he discovers he’s a middle school science teacher. And he’s in a spaceship. Alone. And he may happen to be humanity’s only hope to survive.

Wow! Talk about a new spin on the amnesia trope. I’m rooting for Ryland Grace from the jump. No matter how crazy bad it gets, and it gets bad, our hero never loses his sense of humor. I laughed out loud many times. I loved the science, and I dug the author’s writing style.

By Andy Weir,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Project Hail Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through…

Book cover of 11/22/63

Irving Belateche Author Of The Origin of Dracula

From my list on refresh legends, myths, and historical events.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved novels that reinvent and refresh history and legends. They take these building blocks of culture and make them personal and emotional. These novels breathe new life into ancient tales and historical events, so they resonate with relevance. They reveal hidden depths and connections within familiar stories, transforming them into vibrant tales. This genre makes legend and history feel personal by taking me on one character’s unique journey, transforming the exploration of the past into a deeply engaging experience.

Irving's book list on refresh legends, myths, and historical events

Irving Belateche Why did Irving love this book?

I’ve read countless stories about the JFK assassination, but this novel completely refreshed and reframed this part of history for me. By blending the omniscient knowledge of time travel with the perspective of an ordinary person thrown into one of the greatest moments in American history, this novel created a deeply personal journey.

This intimate journey made the time period, the politics, and the culture resonate with life. The vivid portrayal of the late 1950s and early 1960s immersed me in this era, and the novel’s intricate plot, combined with the emotional depth of the main character’s journey, kept me hooked from start to finish. This novel brilliantly refreshes history, offering a thought-provoking exploration of how the past shapes the future.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked 11/22/63 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major TV series from JJ Abrams and Stephen King, starring James Franco (Hulu US, Fox UK and Europe, Stan Australia, SKY New Zealand).

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . .

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of…

Book cover of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

S.R. Algernon Author Of Cooling Season

From my list on science fiction that will change your perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an American author and have been an avid reader of science fiction for nearly forty years. I studied science fiction in college, along with biology and other subjects. My undergraduate honors thesis was a discussion of postwar Japanese science fiction that included a translation from the original. I have a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and have published papers on learning in machines, humans, and humpback whales. I have taught and studied in Japan and Singapore, and critiqued fiction for several years with critters.org. I have published many science fiction stories from various perspectives. The Hugo finalist, "Asymmetrical Warfare" tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth from the invader’s perspective.

S.R.'s book list on science fiction that will change your perspective

S.R. Algernon Why did S.R. love this book?

This Japanese novel is actually two interleaved and interconnected stories, one set in the bustling, alienating landscape of contemporary Japan and the other taking place… well, as the title suggests, at the End of the World. It makes for a gripping page-turner with a unique perspective on the human mind.

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following.

Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.

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