100 books like Here Goes Nothing

By Steve Toltz,

Here are 100 books that Here Goes Nothing fans have personally recommended if you like Here Goes Nothing. 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 Hell of a Book

Betsy Robinson Author Of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

From my list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to learn what I don’t know about myself and our purpose as flawed beings in this Alice-in-Wonderland world. In the documentary about singer/poet Leonard Cohen, creator of the much-covered “Hallelujah” (title of the documentary), to explain the song, he says that life is so impenetrable that the only options are to shake your fist or exclaim “Hallelujah.” I think there is a third option: to laugh. And I prefer to do all three because that is what comes through me: confusion, pain, and hilarity. And hopefully a better understanding of the whole mess once I’ve written about it. And that is what I hope to share with readers.

Betsy's book list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness

Betsy Robinson Why did Betsy love this book?

This National Book Award-winning novel is the story of an unnamed writer negotiating life in a Black skin that pre-empts most people from seeing him as an individual human being. And it has one of the funniest (pee-in-your-pants) first chapters I’ve ever read.

I not only laughed, but I so identified with the writer (and I think most readers will, no matter what your race—that is the genius of this writing), that I lived every moment of this crazy quest to be seen in a world that absolutely refuses to drop its projections.

But ultimately, the person who needs to see this man as a human being, accepting all of his history, hurt, and uniqueness, is the unnamed writer himself. This is a combination of crazy humor and pain.

By Jason Mott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER***

***THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER***

Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, and the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize shortlist

A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

An Ebony Magazine Publishing Book Club Pick! 

One of Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction | One of Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2021 | One of Shelf Awareness's Top Ten Fiction Titles of the Year | One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books | One of…


Book cover of Donna Has Left the Building

Betsy Robinson Author Of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

From my list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to learn what I don’t know about myself and our purpose as flawed beings in this Alice-in-Wonderland world. In the documentary about singer/poet Leonard Cohen, creator of the much-covered “Hallelujah” (title of the documentary), to explain the song, he says that life is so impenetrable that the only options are to shake your fist or exclaim “Hallelujah.” I think there is a third option: to laugh. And I prefer to do all three because that is what comes through me: confusion, pain, and hilarity. And hopefully a better understanding of the whole mess once I’ve written about it. And that is what I hope to share with readers.

Betsy's book list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness

Betsy Robinson Why did Betsy love this book?

How I love to laugh at the same time that I’m feeling all the raw pain of being a human—in this case a human woman who runs away from home. The beginning of this book—about a housewife, cooking ware saleswoman's trip to hell and back, is belly-laugh-inducing, causing one to cough and gasp in joy. But there’s more: Gilman writes real, complicated characters, complete with pain and delusions. And the reason they are so deeply funny is that Gilman is self-aware enough to know and show their flaws better than they know them. 

Titular protagonist Donna Koczynski may inhabit a particular era (one when trendiness reigns), but she is rooted in her own psychology, which includes equal parts compassion, open-minded curiosity, lunatic-level denial, and crazed she-wolf rage.

By Susan Jane Gilman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Donna Has Left the Building as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Donna Koczynski is a failed punk rocker, recovering alcoholic, and suburban mother of two teenagers whose relatively peaceful existence suddenly detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Vegas to find the surprise of a lifetime. Suddenly realizing that life can be more than the rut of middle-aged motherhood, she sets off on an impulsive quest to reclaim everything she believes she sacrificed since her wild youth: Friendship, great love, and art. But as she flees her family and drives across the U.S. on what she calls an "emotional scavenger hunt"(and others might call a midlife crisis),…


Book cover of I Am Not Sidney Poitier

Betsy Robinson Author Of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

From my list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to learn what I don’t know about myself and our purpose as flawed beings in this Alice-in-Wonderland world. In the documentary about singer/poet Leonard Cohen, creator of the much-covered “Hallelujah” (title of the documentary), to explain the song, he says that life is so impenetrable that the only options are to shake your fist or exclaim “Hallelujah.” I think there is a third option: to laugh. And I prefer to do all three because that is what comes through me: confusion, pain, and hilarity. And hopefully a better understanding of the whole mess once I’ve written about it. And that is what I hope to share with readers.

Betsy's book list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness

Betsy Robinson Why did Betsy love this book?

I’ve read this book twice and probably will read it a few more times before I die. It’s that good.

The story of a young Black man (named Not Sidney Poitier) traversing the U.S.A. is a picaresque, hilarious, heart-breaking tale about trying to find yourself.

Eighteen-year-old Not Sidney is surrounded by people who only see his race or his wealth, or conversely by geniuses who have succeeded despite themselves and, although they see Not Sidney without the cultural labels, are of little help in his quest to find his mission in life. 

The first time I read this book, I was spitting coffee laughing. The second time, my heart broke. I am curious what my next read will evoke.

By Percival L. Everett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Sidney Poitier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not Sidney Poitier is an amiable young man in an absurd country. The sudden death of his mother orphans him at age eleven, leaving him with an unfortunate name, an uncanny resemblance to the famous actor and, perhaps more fortunate, a staggering number of shares in the Turner Broadcasting Corporation. Percival Everett's hilarious new novel follows Not Sidney's tumultuous life, as the social hierarchy scrambles to balance his skin color with his fabulous wealth.


Book cover of I Am Sovereign

Betsy Robinson Author Of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

From my list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to learn what I don’t know about myself and our purpose as flawed beings in this Alice-in-Wonderland world. In the documentary about singer/poet Leonard Cohen, creator of the much-covered “Hallelujah” (title of the documentary), to explain the song, he says that life is so impenetrable that the only options are to shake your fist or exclaim “Hallelujah.” I think there is a third option: to laugh. And I prefer to do all three because that is what comes through me: confusion, pain, and hilarity. And hopefully a better understanding of the whole mess once I’ve written about it. And that is what I hope to share with readers.

Betsy's book list on laughing while squirming with new self-awareness

Betsy Robinson Why did Betsy love this book?

Hint: You have to read a hard copy of this book because the comedy is designed into the fonts and layout, which could never be translated into an ebook.

This is a free-for-all bumper car ride between people and their ids, filled with abrupt and perfect transitions that are so logical in their illogic that they are funny. 

But not only is it unique and funny, but it is founded on a profound understanding of silence—its essential healing and our inability to find it. 

This book is so inventive I’m kind of amazed (1) that it got published and (2) that author Nicola Barker and this book appear to be wildly popular in the U.K.

By Nicola Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

__________________________________________
'One of the funniest, most finely achieved comic novels, even by her own standard ... I think it's a masterpiece.' ALI SMITH

'I think Nicola Barker is incapable of a dull page. [Her work] is unified by its spirit of adventure.' KEVIN BARRY

Charles, a forty-year-old boutique teddy bear maker and wearer of ironic t-shirts, is trying - and failing - to sell his small, characterless house in Llandudno. His estate agent Avigail, whose name is definitely not Abigail, is trying - in vain - to rein in Charles's most unhelpful eccentricities, especially his repeated recounting to prospective buyers…


Book cover of The Tea Rose

Kate Hewitt Author Of Into the Darkest Day

From my list on historical novels to sweep you away.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved novels that sweep me away to another time, immersing me in a historical era and characters I care about. The first time I read Anne of Green Gables I remember looking up from the book and blinking the real world into disoriented focus, surprised I wasn’t in ‘Anne’s world’! My aim and hope for my own historical novels are that they will provide readers with a similar sweeping-away experience, so they feel they’re living and breathing the world I’m writing about. The best feeling in the world is when you are lost in the pages of a good book—wherever or whenever that story takes place. 

Kate's book list on historical novels to sweep you away

Kate Hewitt Why did Kate love this book?

This is a wonderfully romantic saga focusing on a young woman in the East End of London in the late 1800s, and how she works her way up to run her own business empire, facing tragedy and treachery along the way. Set alongside the Jack the Ripper murders, it has plenty of intrigue and mystery, as well as romance, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey or The Gilded Age. A true saga of the kind that was popular in the 1980s—a big, glitzy, wonderful, passionate book!

By Jennifer Donnelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a splendid, heartwarming novel of pain, struggle, decency, triumph - and just what we need in these times - Frank McCourt

It is 1888 and Jack the Ripper is stalking the streets of Whitechapel. For the people that live there, he is just one more adversary in their everyday battle to survive. Despite working long days at the tea factory, and the constant threat of the Ripper, Fiona Finnegan knows that life is better for her than for many others. With a father in work, a roof over her head, enough to eat and a loving family to…


Book cover of City of Thorns

Emilia Dashfire Author Of The Viper's Library

From my list on vampire novels to sink your teeth into.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a wild imagination and have been creative and expressive through various art forms since I was young. After a series of crazy and vivid dreams, I decided to turn them into a story. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I had over 20 projects, each with a different style but all with my voice. I grew up in Cheshire and studied digital media at the University of Bradford, but moved to my paternal home in Spain in 2009, where I now teach English and moonlight as a fantasy author.

Emilia's book list on vampire novels to sink your teeth into

Emilia Dashfire Why did Emilia love this book?

Mistaken identity, a deadly game, and confusing desires make for a fun read. This book was one of my instant favourites because of its sassy style and the female main character psycho-analysing the people around her because of her studies in psychology.

Rowan is determined to find her mother’s killer, but her plan falls apart when a demon kidnaps her and accuses her of being someone else.

I love the way she plays two roles as herself and her shadow self and how she uses that to play games with Orion, who may or may not want to kill her. It makes for a unique character and a very interesting story.

By C N Crawford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I never thought I'd be singing happy birthday to myself in a dungeon. And yet when a sinfully sexy demon crashes happy hour, that's exactly what happens. He's known as the Lord of Chaos, and he's mistaken me for my succubus doppelgänger.


Happy birthday to me.


When he tastes my blood, he finally understands I'm mortal. And I realize we have something in common: we both crave revenge. So we make a deal: I can stay in the forbidden city to hunt for my mom's killer. In return, I'll help him get the vengeance he craves. I just have to…


Book cover of Horns

James Pack Author Of The Hook

From my list on where real-life horror meets the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a greater interest in supernatural horror compared to the other subgenres of horror. Another way to describe it is fantasy horror. However, sometimes the fantasy can take away from the overall story. I find the best stories with supernatural elements also have a lot of real-life horror to balance with the fantasy. Magic realism is also a trope of Post-Modern Culture and I find myself drawn to stories with post-modern elements versus those that don’t. These are my top five pics for the best “Real-Life Horror Meets Supernatural Horror” novels.

James' book list on where real-life horror meets the supernatural

James Pack Why did James love this book?

I haven’t read a lot of Hill’s work, but this novel was entertaining. The movie adaptation left a lot to be desired, but we won’t talk about that. Ignatius Perrish wakes one morning and has horns growing on his head. His girlfriend was raped and murdered, and everyone thinks he did it. He tries to find the killer and his horns give him power over people’s behaviors. Townsfolk partake in all kinds of debauchery around him, but they still think he raped and murdered his girlfriend. This novel has a lot of symbolism and metaphor. I loved the absurdity and dark humor. I would not recommend this to your church-going grandmother.

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a major Hollywood film starring Daniel Radcliffe: read it first, if you dare ...

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with one hell of a hangover, a raging headache ... and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

Once, Ig lived the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned American musician, and the younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, Ig had security and wealth and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more - he had the…


Book cover of Ten

Amy Christine Parker Author Of Flight 171

From my list on young adult thrillers where escape isn't an option.

Why am I passionate about this?

Locked room thrillers are what I like to read and write best. Out of my four published novels, two include locked rooms. Gated takes place in a community with an apocalyptic bunker and Flight 171 takes place on a plane. The characters must face their antagonists head-on because there is no escape. I love that these settings challenge me to dig deep into character and plot inventively. Exposing my characters’ darkest secrets as they face their foes becomes part of the fun. The books I chose for this list all have excellent “locked rooms” and speak to the girl in me who gobbled up Murder on the Orient Express and became instantly obsessed. 

Amy's book list on young adult thrillers where escape isn't an option

Amy Christine Parker Why did Amy love this book?

I read a lot of Agatha Christie growing up and Ten by Gretchen McNeil is a modern And Then There Were None with a cast full of snarky teens with secrets stranded on an island with a killer who just might be one of them. I love a good mystery and this one had me at hello. Gretchen knows how to write a good twist and delivers such clever one-liners that I bet she would make an excellent script writer. This is the sort of book that plays in my head like a movie. I read it all in one go and stayed up way too late, but I regret nothing.

By Gretchen McNeil,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A smart and terrifying teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, from Get Even author Gretchen McNeil—now a Lifetime Original Movie!

Ten teens. Three days. One killer.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens…


Book cover of A Time to Kill

David Rohlfing Author Of Cold Consequences

From my list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a voracious reader of murder mysteries and thrillers. My business career took me to all but one continent and countless countries, mostly living and working in large metropolitan areas. After retiring, I moved to a small Midwest city and found it an excellent setting for a murder mystery when I sat down to write. Since I started, I've written two books in the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series, and I'm currently writing the third. The first book, Deliberate Duplicity, won a 2021 American Fiction Award. The second book in the series is Cold Consequences. I've been pleased with the reviews on Goodreads and other platforms.

David's book list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing

David Rohlfing Why did David love this book?

A Time to Kill is the first book of a four-book fiction series written by world-renowned author John Grisham featuring Clanton, Mississippi, lawyer Jake Brigance. Grisham is one of my favorite authors, and although the titles in this series may not be as well known as many of his other books, A Time to Kill is an exciting introduction to this young lawyer. Set in a  time in the South that endured blatant racial injustice, Jake fights tirelessly for his client accused of avenging the rape of his daughter. Grisham's extraordinary storytelling shines through and takes you on a journey that defines his main character in this first book, which you'll enjoy reading in his subsequent books. I highly recommend A Time to Kill.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Time to Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

______________________________
THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal.

But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton.

As…


Book cover of A Master of Djinn

Caroline Stevermer Author Of The Glass Magician

From my list on historical fantasy for armchair travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write fantasy novels, including A College of Magics, River Rats, and When the King Comes Home. With Patricia C. Wrede, I wrote half of the Kate and Cecy series: Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician.

Caroline's book list on historical fantasy for armchair travel

Caroline Stevermer Why did Caroline love this book?

Agent of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, Fatma el-Sha'arawi is the spectacularly well-dressed protagonist tasked with saving the world (again) in an alternate 1912 Cairo. This award-winning novel awed me with its detail and invention. What I loved most was the way the world building relegated the British Empire to relative unimportance. Come to think of it, I loved the Ministry library almost as much.

By P. Djèlí Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Included in NPR’s Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books Of The Past Decade (2011-2021)
A Nebula Award Winner
A Ignyte Award Winner
A Compton Crook Award for Best New Novel Winner
A Locus First Novel Award Winner
A RUSA Reading List: Fantasy Winner
A Hugo Award Finalist
A World Fantasy Award Finalist
A NEIBA Book Award Finalist
A Mythopoeic Award Finalist
A Dragon Award Finalist
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Amazon
A Best of 2021 Pick in SFF for Kobo

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark goes full-length for the first time in his dazzling debut…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murder, murder mystery, and revenge?

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