54 books like Geek Love

By Katherine Dunn,

Here are 54 books that Geek Love fans have personally recommended if you like Geek Love. 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 Fifth Season

Diana Fedorak Author Of Children of Alpheios

From my list on sci-fi and fantasy featuring incredible mothers.

Who am I?

I’m a mother of two children and was raised in a noisy family of four. It was my kids who reawakened my instinct to write again and follow through on my projects. Motherhood is such a fundamental part of my life and for most women I know. It’s mundane yet transformative in the sense it brings out your inner lioness in a way you don’t anticipate. When I think about some of my favorite literary characters, they would be unrecognizable if they weren’t mothers. With that in mind, I hope readers find a lovely story for their moms on Mother’s Day.

Diana's book list on sci-fi and fantasy featuring incredible mothers

Diana Fedorak Why did Diana love this book?

This Hugo Award-winning novel has one of the most original stories I’ve read that revolves around a remarkable mother, Essun.

While Essun pretends to be ordinary, she is an orogene, a race of humans with the ability to significantly alter her environment. As a result, the orogenes are wretched exiles, feared by society and trapped in a governing system that seeks to control them.

I was immediately taken with Essun’s emotional journey as the story opens with the loss of her child. She wants to live a quiet life with her family but is pursued by officials who cannot allow her to go free.

The story really tapped into the most primal aspects of motherhood. Ultimately, it’s motherhood that strengthens Essun’s power as she unleashes it with devastating effectiveness. 

By N. K. Jemisin,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked The Fifth Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)

This is the way the world ends. . .for the last time.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land…


Book cover of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Karen C.L. Anderson Author Of You Are Not Your Mother: Releasing Generational Trauma and Shame

From my list on difficult mother/adult daughter relationships.

Who am I?

In the 1980s, my mother “divorced” her mother with a letter in the mail. In 2010 I did the same via email. I thought it was just my dysfunctional family, but come to find out, mother-adult daughter estrangement is not unusual and difficult mother-daughter relationships don’t happen in a vacuum, they happen in the context of patriarchy, white supremacy, internalized misogyny, and other oppressive systems. Through therapy and, later, when I trained to be a life coach, allllll my “mother stuff” came up. The tools and practices I learned and developed were so helpful to me, I couldn’t keep them to myself. 

Karen's book list on difficult mother/adult daughter relationships

Karen C.L. Anderson Why did Karen love this book?

This is one of the first books I read on the subject and it provided so much relief and finally gave me an explanation, not only about why my mother might be the way she is, but why I might be the way I am.

It might be rather simplistic and pathologizing, but in her book McBride discusses how daughters of narcissistic mothers often fall into one of two categories: overachievers and underachievers. As someone who used to identify as an underachiever, it would have never dawned on me that being an overachiever was just as fraught with pain, self-doubt, and shame.

By Karyl McBride,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From experienced family therapist Dr. Karyl McBride, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? is an essential guide to recovery for women with selfish, emotionally abusive, and toxic mothers—designed to help daughters reclaim their lives.

The first book for daughters who have suffered the abuse of narcissistic, self-involved mothers, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? provides the expert assistance you need in order to overcome this debilitating history and reclaim your life. Drawing on more than two decades of experience as a therapist specializing in women’s health and hundreds of interviews with suffering daughters, Dr. Karyl McBride helps you recognize the…


Book cover of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Barbara Mariconda Author Of After the Diagnosis...A Guide for Living

From my list on transforming suffering.

Who am I?

From darkness, light. From death, life. I believe this, passionately. When emptied by love, by suffering, by life, it’s possible to fill that space with something greater than ourselves – and that something is God. None of us gets through life without suffering. For me, it was growing up in an alcoholic home and later going through a divorce. The question is, will our suffering destroy us or transform us? Co-author Fr. Tom Lynch and I started Journey of the Soul Ministry to help others transform their suffering into an ability to live more freely and love more deeply. That’s what our book explores, as do my other recommendations.

Barbara's book list on transforming suffering

Barbara Mariconda Why did Barbara love this book?

Katherine May’s Wintering is a treasure for any season of life. This personal narrative, told through gorgeous, evocative prose, describes a period of physical and emotional suffering in the author’s life akin to winter – when the world feels cold and causes us to retreat to a much darker place that we’d prefer to avoid. Ms. May chronicles this painful stage of her life and describes the spiritual “hunkering down” necessary for not only acceptance and healing, but for true transformation, emerging on the other side wiser, freer, and more fully alive. I cracked open this book as the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, and May’s wisdom offered a balm of hope during an isolating, stressful time.

By Katherine May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' RAYNOR WINN

'My favourite book of the last five years' CAITLIN MORAN

Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. Katherine May thoughtfully shows us how to come through these times with the wisdom of knowing that, like the seasons, our winters and summers are the ebb and flow of life.

'Every bit as beautiful…


Book cover of The Black Tides of Heaven

Corin Reyburn Author Of Binary Stars

From my list on speculative fiction for dismantling the patriarchy.

Who am I?

I’m a non-binary, neurodivergent, queer speculative fiction writer who loves a good revolution story—whether that’s a quiet, personal revolution, or a big, explosive overthrowing of the 1%. These books have helped me create my own odd fictional worlds as well as space for my psyche to survive in. I wanted to represent a variety of perspectives here from writers who are subversive, LGBTQ, BIPOC, and, for lack of a better word, brave. As a university writing teacher, I believe that the written word holds power and drives us closer to a utopia, or at least towards a more colorful future community where all are welcome and supported.

Corin's book list on speculative fiction for dismantling the patriarchy

Corin Reyburn Why did Corin love this book?

As a fellow genderqueer/non-binary Asian writer, I’m happy to champion the first in Neon Yang’s Tensorate series. A YA novella set in a non-Western fantasy landscape, this book tackles issues of gender identity and choice head-on, introducing us to a society where children are referred to individually using they/them pronouns, and can select one of the binary genders when they come of age or chose to remain non-binary. We see the world through the eyes of twins Mokoya and Akeha as they come into their gender expressions and their powers in a feudal, monastic society largely reminiscent of those found in Asian history.

By Neon Yang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Joyously wild stuff. Highly recommended." ―The New York Times

One of the 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, according to Time Magazine

A Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novella

The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of unique, standalone introductions to Neon Yang's Tensorate Series, which Kate Elliott calls "effortlessly fascinating." For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune, available simultaneously.

Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her…


Book cover of Collected Stories of William Faulkner

Mitch Cullin Author Of Tideland

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

Who am I?

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?

It's almost impossible to dive into Southern Gothic narratives without exploring the work of William Faulkner at some point, and his collected stories are a great place to start. Specifically, the story "A Rose for Emily" pretty much created the Southern Gothic literary genre. The writing is beautiful, evocative, haunting, and a springboard for the aspirations of many Southern writers, myself included.

By William Faulkner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collected Stories of William Faulkner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a collection of the very best of William Faulkner's short stories. Included are classics of short-form fiction such as 'A Bear Hunt', 'A Rose for Emily', 'Two Soldiers' and 'The Brooch'. Faulkner's ability to compress his epic vision into narratives of such grace and tragic intensity defines him as one of the finest and most original writers America has ever produced.


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.

Who am I?

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

Jon Bassoff Author Of Beneath Cruel Waters

From my list on that are relentlessly twisted.

Who am I?

When I completed one of my early novels, a really demented one called Factory Town, a fellow author emailed me with great concern for my mental health. He was convinced I was heading down a dark cave that I couldn’t be rescued from. But it wasn’t true. Writing and reading these dark novels doesn’t make me depressed. It makes me feel creatively revitalized. Dark literature reminds us that being alive is painful—but it’s also wonderful. I hope to never spend any real time with people as terrifying as the ones I’ve found on these pages. But I’m incredibly thankful they were a part of my imagined world for a time. 

Jon's book list on that are relentlessly twisted

Jon Bassoff Why did Jon love this book?

Never has a terribly sad book been so much fun to read. Patrick McCabe is the master at creating chillingly unreliable characters, and schoolboy Francis "Francie" Brady is his greatest creation. The narrative is a blend of dirty realism and violent fantasy, and the farther along you get in the novel, the more difficult it is to tell them apart. There are still a handful of scenes that have stuck with me more than a decade after I read it. They made a good movie based on the novel, but the book is what you need. 

By Patrick McCabe,

Why should I read it?

2 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.

Who am I?

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 Cosmicomics

Michael Sussman Author Of Incognolio

From my list on absurdist humor.

Who am I?

I craved attention as a child, and often used humor to get it. I also loved to read. As I aged, I was increasingly struck by the absurdity of the human condition and was drawn to stories that dealt with the ridiculous, nonsensical, and incongruous sides of life. Prone to depression and fascinated by Freud, I became a clinical psychologist, only to discover that my colleagues were as emotionally disturbed as I was! I even wrote a book about it, titled A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations for Practicing Psychotherapy. So, when I turned to writing fiction—Otto Grows Down, Duckworth: The Difficult Child, and Incognolio—I reveled in the absurd.

Michael's book list on absurdist humor

Michael Sussman Why did Michael love this book?

Calvino’s Cosmicomics is perhaps the funniest and most outlandish collections of short stories I’ve ever come across. Think Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time meets Alice in Wonderland. Starting with the Big Bang and charting the entire evolution of the universe and of life on Earth, Calvino’s narrator shape-shifts from a man, to a dinosaur, to a mollusk, a single-cell organism, a subatomic particle, and even a disembodied being. In this linked collection of modern fairy tales, the author displays wild flights of imagination, combining scientific rigor with an uproarious repudiation of logic. Oh, and the narrator’s name is Qfwfq.

By Italo Calvino, William Weaver (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Introducing Little Clothbound Classics: irresistible, mini editions of short stories, novellas and essays from the world's greatest writers, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Celebrating the range and diversity of Penguin Classics, they take us from snowy Japan to springtime Vienna, from haunted New England to a sun-drenched Mediterranean island, and from a game of chess on the ocean to a love story on the moon. Beautifully designed and printed, these collectible editions are bound in colourful, tactile cloth and stamped with foil.

Twelve enchanting and fantastical stories about the evolution of the universe from the giant of Italian literature,…


Book cover of Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Marielle Thompson Author Of Where Ivy Dares to Grow

From my list on gothic that explore different types of grief.

Who am I?

My debut novel, Where Ivy Dares to Grow, inherently explores many kinds of grief through the lens of a gothic novel; the grief of losing one’s sense of self to mental illness, of family estrangement, of relationships that have run their course, of illness in loved ones, of beloved places no longer being the beautiful things we remember them as. While this was not something I did consciously while writing, the gothic genre simply seemed to be a natural fit to investigate mourning in so many untraditional senses, using a sentient home and timeslips as metaphors for the way that grief can seem to shift the world and swallow one whole.

Marielle's book list on gothic that explore different types of grief

Marielle Thompson Why did Marielle love this book?

This gothic-esque collection of short stories explores so many different forms of grief.

It mainly focuses on tales of women and the kinds of grief that often come from living and moving through the world as women. There is a tale of a young woman whose agency of her own body is breached by her husband removing her mysterious neck ribbon, exploring grief at a loss of trust in a relationship as well as loss of agency.

A woman left alone and isolated in the wake of a deadly global virus, left to grieve the way the world once was. Many stories that explore the oppressive, many-faced grief of the smothering patriarchy, from women who whittle down their bodies to nothing in the pursuit of beauty, to those who learn they are hardly real beyond the male gaze.

By Carmen Maria Machado,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Her Body and Other Parties as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FICTION PRIZE 2017
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2018

'Brilliantly inventive and blazingly smart' Garth Greenwell

'Impossible, imperfect, unforgettable' Roxane Gay

'A wild thing ... covered in sequins and scales, blazing with the influence of fabulists from Angela Carter to Kelly Link and Helen Oyeyemi' New York Times

In her provocative debut, Carmen Maria Machado demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. Startling narratives map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited on their bodies, both in myth and in practice.

A…


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