100 books like Gulliver's Travels

By Jonathan Swift,

Here are 100 books that Gulliver's Travels fans have personally recommended if you like Gulliver's Travels. 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 J R

Travis Jeppesen Author Of Settlers Landing

From my list on when you need a heavy dose of satire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Given the state of the world today, laughter truly is the best coping mechanism. The best satire is all about excess in design, intention, characterization, and deployment of attitude. The more extreme, the better; leave restraint to the prudish moralists! 

Travis' book list on when you need a heavy dose of satire

Travis Jeppesen Why did Travis love this book?

If American Psycho is too bloody an evocation of hyper-capitalism for your stomach, try this tragically under-appreciated door-stopper of a novel, in which an eleven-year-old becomes a millionaire by playing the stock market. Written almost wholly in unattributed dialogue! As with Pynchon, everything written by Gaddis deserves to be on this list; alas, alas. 

By William Gaddis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A National Book Award-winning satire about the unchecked power of American capitalism, written more than three decades before the 2008 financial crisis.

At the center of J R is J R Vansant, a very average sixth grader from Long Island with torn sneakers, a runny nose, and a juvenile fascination with junk-mail get-rich-quick offers. Responding to one, he sees a small return; soon, he is running a paper empire out of a phone booth in the school hallway. Everyone from the school staff to the municipal government to the squabbling heirs of a player-piano company to the titans of Wall…


Book cover of Catch-22

Daniel Fryer Author Of How to Cope with Almost Anything with Hypnotherapy: Simple Ideas to Enhance Your Wellbeing and Resilience

From my list on boost your wellbeing and heal your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I could say I’ve had a hard life (and I have), but who hasn’t? Life is one adversity after another, and we need all the help we can get. Without that help, moods suffer, hope falters, and our souls are diminished. During my own personal journey through this quagmire called life, I have often been lifted up and out of the mud whilst reading the books I suggest below and more. These books either made me laugh and cry, made me think, or made me change the way I approached things. Quite often, they did all four at the same time. Their insights were invaluable. 

Daniel's book list on boost your wellbeing and heal your soul

Daniel Fryer Why did Daniel love this book?

Whilst on humour (including satire): it is an important part of REBT. Humor is another one of those character strengths in positive psychology (again, good for you when used appropriately). It’s not for nothing that laughter is called the best medicine (in fact, I wrote my MSc dissertation on the use of humor in psychotherapy).

Humor, especially satire, and wordplay have helped me a lot in life. Regarding those two things, this book is the best bar none. Both funny and tragic (which sums life up pretty well), considering how much saber rattling is happening today, it’s as relevant now as it has always been.

I'm sure this book will change you for the better. It may also have you challenging authority a little more than you currently do (which alone will work wonders for your mental health and well-being). 

By Joseph Heller,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Catch-22 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.

Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the…


Book cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Ben Forta Author Of Captain Code: Unleash Your Coding Superpower with Python

From my list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read and write lots and love doing so. So when I need a break, the last thing I want is another book, right? Wrong! I take a break with books, and I love fun books that are an escape from the normal day-to-day, ones that won’t lull you to sleep, ones that end too quickly. It’s a sickness, I know, and I’ll deal with it as soon as I have worked through this pile of books on my desk.

Ben's book list on when you really need to get away, without actually getting away

Ben Forta Why did Ben love this book?

Oh, what’s not to love? Space travel, poetry writing aliens, a criminal galactic president, the end of the world, a depressed robot … this book has it all, and I reread it (and the other 4 volumes in the trilogy, yes, trilogy) every year or so.

This is a fun escape, I discovered this volume as a kid, fell in love with it, and it’s my favorite book still to this day all these centuries later.

By Douglas Adams,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This box set contains all five parts of the' trilogy of five' so you can listen to the complete tales of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Bebblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android! Travel through space, time and parallel universes with the only guide you'll ever need, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Read by Stephen Fry, actor, director, author and popular audiobook reader, and Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He is well known as Tim in The Office.

The set also includes a bonus DVD Life, the Universe and…


Book cover of The Sellout

Andre Soares Author Of America is a Zoo

From my list on highly political satirical.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some creative writers believe that stories carry a responsibility. The duty to entertain, of course, but also to educate, challenge and question the character(s) of the most powerful, the wealthiest. I am one of them. As an author, screenwriter, stage, and film actor, I’ve always believed in using stories as a platform to convey positively disruptive ideas, to highlight potentially destructive ideologies, to combat imperialism, expansionism, racism, and other toxic practices while delivering a neutral message devoid of political affiliations and emotional responses with no logical ground. Not unlike my latest novel, America is a Zoo, I am the product of a passionate soul, one who’s apolitical by design, yet political by conviction.

Andre's book list on highly political satirical

Andre Soares Why did Andre love this book?

If I had to use one word to describe The Sellout, it would be “charged”. 

The Sellout tells the story of a young black man who lost his father to a police shooting. As he attempts to cope with this new reality, his hometown is gradually fading into oblivion. To salvage what’s left of it, he decides on the craziest plan: reinstating slavery. An action that will drag our protagonist to the Supreme Court’s doorsteps.

Unconventional and wild, The Sellout is one of the best social commentaries on America’s racial issues you’ll ever read. I guarantee it, I stand behind it.

By Paul Beatty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Book of the Decade, 2010-2020 (Independent)

'Outrageous, hilarious and profound.' Simon Schama, Financial Times
'The longer you stare at Beatty's pages, the smarter you'll get.' Guardian
'The most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I've read.' New York Times

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.

Born in Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged…


Book cover of Dear Committee Members

Carolyn Banks Author Of The Importance of Being Erica

From my list on that have a beating heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

Because both of my parents worked, I had to go somewhere after school. The public library was selected, thank the stars! A librarian watched me gobbling up all the young adult books and suggested maybe I’d like to tackle some from the grown-up room. Wow! I was only 11 years old, but that woman steered me into what has become my career, a reader and reviewer and, best of all, a writer! My first grown-up book? A Portrait of Jenny by Robert Nathan. 

Carolyn's book list on that have a beating heart

Carolyn Banks Why did Carolyn love this book?

Have you ever been a teacher? If you have, you will roll on the floor with laughter reading this book.

The author, Julie Schumacher, has absolutely nailed what faculty life on campus, with all its stupidity, pettiness, and rivalries, is like. After I read it, all I wanted to do was get other people to read it. Amazingly, so many already had!

Finding other fans of the novel was a way to sort of relive the experience of reading it, with a lot of “How about the part where...” There is a wonderful curmudgeon in the book, my favorite sort of person.

By Julie Schumacher,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Dear Committee Members as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finally a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary."

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he…


Book cover of American Psycho

David E. Gates Author Of The Wretched

From my list on horror books that changed my life and could change yours.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved horror since my early teens, when I first discovered The Rats and Lair and other horror stories by James Herbert. The thing I like about horror, in particular, is that there are no holds barred, no censorship, as to what can be written. I grew up on movies like The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Jaws, Alien, The Thing, etc., but horror writing takes you deeper and gives a more visceral experience than anything any film can do.

David's book list on horror books that changed my life and could change yours

David E. Gates Why did David love this book?

This was one of the hardest books to "get into," but a friend of mine told me to stick with it because the rewards of getting through the first quarter would be so great. I'm glad I did. It is an astounding piece of work, quite different from anything I've ever read before or since, and remains one of my top five books.

The tangents the book takes, and the blasé attributes of the leading character are superbly crafted. It was suggested it was "unfilmable," and there's one scene in particular I thought they'd never get away with, but if you look at the movie version carefully, it's in there. 

By Bret Easton Ellis,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked American Psycho as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Patrick Bateman is 26 and works on Wall Street. Handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent, he is also a psychopath.


Book cover of The Vampire Lestat

Iris Carden Author Of Muse

From my list on fictional monsters and their brilliant worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Australian. I live in a country full of monsters. A Bunyip is known to live in the local river. I’ve driven the road where people encounter the Min Min. I’ve lived near where people just go missing from the highway and are never seen again, perhaps taken by aliens or the Kurdaitcha. And what Aussie kid hasn’t eaten a Yowie chocolate (named after the Australian version of Big Foot)? Monster stories play on primal fears of the unknown, but with the safety of knowing they are not real. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, and science-gone-wrong creatures are great in fiction, but I don’t want to meet them in real life.

Iris' book list on fictional monsters and their brilliant worlds

Iris Carden Why did Iris love this book?

I recommend all of Anne Rice’s vampire books. Rice’s vampires are attractive, alluring, but dangerous and deadly. The reader can’t trust what Lestat says, as he will say at one point that he only kills evildoers, or only takes small sips from people and leaves them unharmed. Then he tells stories about his actions which completely contradict what he’s said. There’s something worse than vampires in this book, however. A much older vampire, Marius, has been caring for Those Who Must be Kept. These are precursor vampires, more bloodthirsty and far less civilized than the vampires like Lestat. These creatures have slept for centuries, appearing to be statues, but what sleeps can be woken.

By Anne Rice,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestselling author - Surrender to fiction's greatest creature of the night - Book II of the Vampire Chronicles

The vampire hero of Anne Rice’s enthralling novel is a creature of the darkest and richest imagination. Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, he rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying exsitence. His is a mesmerizing story—passionate, complex, and thrilling.

Praise for The Vampire Lestat
 
“Frightening, sensual . . . Anne Rice will…


Book cover of Bloodsucking Fiends

David Sosnowski Author Of Vamped

From my list on lovable monsters dealing with existential dread.

Why am I passionate about this?

Along with a decidedly dark and quirky sense of humor, one of the things that connects Vamped with my other published novels is the way each takes its premise and builds an intricate world around it. I generally like to start with the world as it currently is, introduce an element of the fantastic, and then explore how that one tweak changes everything. In the case of Vamped, the fantastic element was having a group of vampires turn the vast majority of humanity into bloodsuckers by spiking blood donations, turning influencers, and getting “Pope Peter the Last” to add a little something special to the sacramental wine.  

David's book list on lovable monsters dealing with existential dread

David Sosnowski Why did David love this book?

Bloodsucking Fiends begins in the mid-1990s (the present day as of its writing) and is set in AIDS-fighting, pre-tech-boom San Francisco – a time and place rendered with great affection and plenty of humor. It’s that latter quality – the humor – that I love about this book. Beginning with the beginning, we get Moore’s take on the classic tableau of a vampire rising as the sun sets. But instead of emerging from a coffin, our vamp pops out of a dumpster that’s being peed on by a homeless, benevolent lunatic known as the Emperor. If that setup just made you smile (fangs or no fangs) then Bloodsucking Fiends is for you. It is also why, when I decided to write a funny vampire novel, I turned to Mr. Moore’s novel for inspiration.  

By Christopher Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley Dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realises the decision has been made for her. Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway.

But all that changes when a beautiful, undead…


Book cover of About a Boy

Robert Shaw Author Of Girlfriend Trouble

From my list on to grab your emotions and not let go.

Why am I passionate about this?

What can better give expertise on the books one loves than decades of reading? I’ve always had a passion for sympathetic, strong characters, especially women. At the core of all my novels, readers will find a sympathetic and strong heroine. In Girlfriend Trouble, Lian is the catalyst that changes the lives of everyone around her for the better; or, more precisely, Lian’s compassion, wisdom, and serene nature are what change things. I’m probably too idealistic, but it’s better than being a cynic. There’s an element of this in all the books I’ve recommended, and those I’ve written. I like to think there’s more of it in the real world too.

Robert's book list on to grab your emotions and not let go

Robert Shaw Why did Robert love this book?

While not written for Young Adults, one of this book’s main characters is a young teen that I believe many of us can relate to; I know I certainly could, having been a total outsider and outcast when I was in school. Thank God, though, that I had both my parents and they were wonderful, and not ‘loopy’ like Marcus’s mom is made out to be. Still, I think that many of us are either going through similar experiences to what Marcus deals with throughout this story, or we went through them as teens. And I believe that, even though the character of Will starts out to be a somewhat reprehensibly selfish person, he learns, as we all need to, that the world doesn’t revolve around us as individuals. At least not all the time. 

By Nick Hornby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE MILLION COPY NO. 1 BESTSELLER THAT BECAMEAN ACCLAIMED FILM STARRING HUGH GRANT AND NICOLAS HOULT

'A very entertaining and endearing read' The Times
___________________

Thirty-six-year-old Londoner Will loves his life. Living carefree off the royalties of his dad's Christmas song, he's rich, unattached and has zero responsibilities - just the way he likes it.

But when Will meets Marcus, an awkward twelve-year-old who listens to Joni Mitchell and accidentally kills ducks with loaves of bread, an unlikely friendship starts to bloom.

Can this odd duo teach each another how to finally act their age?

Hugely funny and equally heartfelt,…


Book cover of Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein

Norm Konyu Author Of The Junction

From my list on illustrated books for ‘grown-ups’.

Why am I passionate about this?

At some point in our tweens, we learn that picture books are for children, and comic books are for nerds. I personally never heard it spoken aloud. It was more that thinly disguised looks of disapproval from adults delivered the message. As a graphic novelist, it sometimes feels like an uphill battle. I find pushing a reluctant ‘grown-up’ straight to graphic novels is perhaps a step too far. A start is an illustrated book. No speech bubbles. No comic book panels. Just illustrations supporting text, and text supporting illustrations. And sometimes, just sometimes, this opens the door to graphic novels.

Norm's book list on illustrated books for ‘grown-ups’

Norm Konyu Why did Norm love this book?

The late great Bernie Wrightson was a comic book genius of my childhood whose artistic merits were probably overlooked due to the media he chose to work in. This volume, illustrating the classic gothic masterpiece of horror, hopefully went some way towards righting that wrong. The glorious and intricate black and white illustrations are a marriage between the horror comic books of my youth and the woodcuts of Gustav Doré a hundred years earlier. I remember being staggered by them in my teens and making my own poor attempts at replicating them in college life drawing. Sorry, Bernie.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Bernie Wrightson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few works by comic-book artists have earned the universal acclaim and reverence that Bernie Wrightson's illustrated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein was met with upon its original release in 1983. Twenty-five years later, this magnificent pairing of art and literature is still considered to be one of the greatest achievements made by any artist in the field. Now, Wrightson and Dark Horse Books are collaborating on a beautiful new hardcover edition of the book, published in a larger 9' x 12' format intended to show off the exquisitely detailed line art of one of the greatest living artists in…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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