100 books like Hideous Kinky

By Esther Freud,

Here are 100 books that Hideous Kinky fans have personally recommended if you like Hideous Kinky. 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 Sultan's Wife

Tahir Shah Author Of Travels with Nasrudin

From my list on or set within Morocco.

Who am I?

Tahir Shah has spent his professional life searching for the hidden underbelly of lands through which he travels. In doing so he often uncovers layers of life that most other writers hardly even realise exist. With a world-wide following, Tahir’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages, in hundreds of editions. His documentaries have been screened on National Geographic TV, The History Channel, Channel 4, and in cinemas the world over. The son of the writer and thinker Idries Shah, Tahir was born into a prominent Anglo-Afghan family, and seeks to bridge East with West through his work.

Tahir's book list on or set within Morocco

Tahir Shah Why did Tahir love this book?

Good writers of historical fiction blend layers of fact and fantasy together into an irresistible kaleidoscope. The very best of them are time travellers. And, that’s what Jane Johnson certain is… for her magical novel, set in the days of Sultan Moulay Ismail, sucks the reader back through centuries to a time when the Barbary Coast was a wild rumpus of a place – peppered with palaces and pirates, treasure, secrets, intrigue, and danger. I love this book because it’s not a dry historical read, so much as an intricate observation on the relationship between people, both elegant and deeply touching.

By Jane Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sultan's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The author of The Salt Road and The Tenth Gift Jane Johnson returns with a captivating historical novel set in Morocco, The Sultan's Wife.

The year is 1677. Behind the magnificent walls and towering arches of the Palace of Meknes, captive chieftain's son and now a lowly scribe, Nus Nus is framed for murder. As he attempts to evade punishment for the bloody crime, Nus Nus finds himself trapped in a vicious plot, caught between the three most powerful figures in the court: the cruel and arbitrary Sultan Moulay Ismail, one of the most tyrannical rulers in history; his monstrous…


Book cover of The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco

Tahir Shah Author Of Travels with Nasrudin

From my list on or set within Morocco.

Who am I?

Tahir Shah has spent his professional life searching for the hidden underbelly of lands through which he travels. In doing so he often uncovers layers of life that most other writers hardly even realise exist. With a world-wide following, Tahir’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages, in hundreds of editions. His documentaries have been screened on National Geographic TV, The History Channel, Channel 4, and in cinemas the world over. The son of the writer and thinker Idries Shah, Tahir was born into a prominent Anglo-Afghan family, and seeks to bridge East with West through his work.

Tahir's book list on or set within Morocco

Tahir Shah Why did Tahir love this book?

Far too many foreigners, myself included, have rocked up in Morocco and set to work recording versions of traditional tales for an outside audience. Almost all of them have realized that, what they imagined would be a straightforward exercise, was a near-impossible feat. One of the few European writers who have succeeded, and succeeded exceptionally well, is BBC reporter Richard Hamilton. As I read The Last Storytellers, I marvelled at how well he succeeded where so many others failed. The reason is that Hamilton has two qualities in abundance: patience and sensitivity. Reading the stories he presents takes me to the central square in Marrakech, Jma al Fna. I can see it, feel it, smell it, and, most importantly, I can hear the storytellers there recounting tales that pre-date A Thousand and One Nights.

By Richard Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marrakech is the heart and lifeblood of Morocco's ancient storytelling tradition. For nearly a thousand years, storytellers have gathered in the Jemaa el Fna, the legendary square of the city, to recount ancient folktales and fables to rapt audiences. But this unique chain of oral tradition that has passed seamlessly from generation to generation is teetering on the brink of extinction. The competing distractions of television, movies and the internet have drawn the crowds away from the storytellers and few have the desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton has witnessed at first hand the death…


Book cover of The Assembly of the Dead

Tahir Shah Author Of Travels with Nasrudin

From my list on or set within Morocco.

Who am I?

Tahir Shah has spent his professional life searching for the hidden underbelly of lands through which he travels. In doing so he often uncovers layers of life that most other writers hardly even realise exist. With a world-wide following, Tahir’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages, in hundreds of editions. His documentaries have been screened on National Geographic TV, The History Channel, Channel 4, and in cinemas the world over. The son of the writer and thinker Idries Shah, Tahir was born into a prominent Anglo-Afghan family, and seeks to bridge East with West through his work.

Tahir's book list on or set within Morocco

Tahir Shah Why did Tahir love this book?

The books I like about certain places tend to be written by people who have not been born and raised there. It’s because the author has detachment, which makes their sense of observation all the keener. But, best books about places seem to be by authors who have some ancestral connection to that place. It’s as though they’re attached to it through their genes. Saeida Rouass, was born in London to Moroccan parents. From the very first line on the very first page of her book Assembly of the Dead, you can feel she’s not English, but rather that she’s connected by some magical alchemy to Morocco, the land of her ancestors. Rouass is a dazzling writer, one who bridges East and West in the most exceptional and unusual way.

By Saeida Rouass,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Morocco, 1906. The country is caught between growing European influence and domestic instability. As young women disappear from the alleyways of Marrakesh, Farook Al-Alami, a detective from Tangier, is summoned to solve the case of the apparent abductions. Investigating crimes in a country without a police force, Farook enters Marrakesh on the orders of the Sultan. But, in a city under siege from famine and death, he must rely on his own intuition and skill to uncover the mystery of the women s fate. Will anything halt the spate of disappearances until then? And can a single, criminal pair of…


Book cover of Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

Tahir Shah Author Of Travels with Nasrudin

From my list on or set within Morocco.

Who am I?

Tahir Shah has spent his professional life searching for the hidden underbelly of lands through which he travels. In doing so he often uncovers layers of life that most other writers hardly even realise exist. With a world-wide following, Tahir’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages, in hundreds of editions. His documentaries have been screened on National Geographic TV, The History Channel, Channel 4, and in cinemas the world over. The son of the writer and thinker Idries Shah, Tahir was born into a prominent Anglo-Afghan family, and seeks to bridge East with West through his work.

Tahir's book list on or set within Morocco

Tahir Shah Why did Tahir love this book?

This book haunts me in a way that almost no other published work does. It’s like one of those movies we all have on a secret list – that we adore but can’t bear to ever watch again (like the Killing Fields or Fight Club). A memoir of almost unparalleled beauty and horror, it tells the true-life tale of the daughter of General Oufkir, who was put to death for attempted regicide. Malika and her five siblings were imprisoned for fifteen years in a penal colony, from where they mounted a daring escape.

By Michele Fitoussi, Malika Oufkir,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The daughter of a former aide to the king of Morocco, who was executed after a failed assassination attempt on the ruler, describes how she, her five siblings, and her mother were imprisoned in a desert penal colony for twenty years.


Book cover of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Buffy Cram Author Of Once Upon an Effing Time

From my list on living that 60s cult/commune life.

Who am I?

I grew up living in a housing co-op on Vancouver Island, BC. While not technically a commune, it did have some of the hallmarks. There were gangs of partially clothed kids roaming wild. There were a bunch of idealistic adults who had dreams of shared land stewardship and, well, shared everything. The housing project succeeded in many ways (it still exists today) and, it failed in other ways (over the years there were many fractures in the community). I’ve always been fascinated by attempts at communal living. I suppose my obsession with cult life is just an extension of this. It is my life imagined one step further.

Buffy's book list on living that 60s cult/commune life

Buffy Cram Why did Buffy love this book?

Okay, I might be stretching the definition of “cult” with this one, but hear me out.

This book—which is technically non-fiction, but reads an awful lot like a novel—tells the true story of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters’ efforts to dose America with LSD-laced Kool-Aid in the 1960s. But it’s Kesey’s ramblings about creating a new religion and the devotion of the unhinged misfits who orbit around him that make me see the Merry Pranksters as cult-like.

Reading this book, I get the feeling that if Kesey hadn’t been stopped by the FBI, he very well might have changed the world. Or did he manage to change the world anyway? I’ll let you decide.

By Tom Wolfe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I looked around and people's faces were distorted...lights were flashing everywhere...the screen at the end of the room had three or four different films on it at once, and the strobe light was flashing faster than it had been...the band was playing but I couldn't hear the music...people were dancing...someone came up to me and I shut my eyes and with a machine he projected images on the back of my eye-lids...I sought out a person I trusted and he laughed and told me that the Kool-Aid had been spiked and that I was beginning my first LSD experience...


Book cover of Drop City

Buffy Cram Author Of Once Upon an Effing Time

From my list on living that 60s cult/commune life.

Who am I?

I grew up living in a housing co-op on Vancouver Island, BC. While not technically a commune, it did have some of the hallmarks. There were gangs of partially clothed kids roaming wild. There were a bunch of idealistic adults who had dreams of shared land stewardship and, well, shared everything. The housing project succeeded in many ways (it still exists today) and, it failed in other ways (over the years there were many fractures in the community). I’ve always been fascinated by attempts at communal living. I suppose my obsession with cult life is just an extension of this. It is my life imagined one step further.

Buffy's book list on living that 60s cult/commune life

Buffy Cram Why did Buffy love this book?

T.C. Boyle is the master of writing novels in which two seemingly disparate storylines are headed for a collision course.

In this novel, he writes about the inhabitants of Drop City, a drugged-out hippy commune in California. And, in alternating chapters, he writes about the inhabitants of a remote village in Alaska, who are struggling to prepare for winter. These two storylines may seem to have nothing to do with one another until you realize both worlds are at a breaking point.

Finding out how these two casts of characters would eventually collide kept me up way past my bedtime a few nights in a row and I’m not mad about it!

By T.C. Boyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune devoted to peace, free love, and the simple life has decided to relocate to the last frontier-the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska-in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. Armed with the spirit of adventure and naive optimism, the inhabitants of "Drop City" arrive in the wilderness of Alaska only to find their utopia already populated by other young homesteaders. When the two communities collide, unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over one's head. Rich,…


Book cover of The Girls

Buffy Cram Author Of Once Upon an Effing Time

From my list on living that 60s cult/commune life.

Who am I?

I grew up living in a housing co-op on Vancouver Island, BC. While not technically a commune, it did have some of the hallmarks. There were gangs of partially clothed kids roaming wild. There were a bunch of idealistic adults who had dreams of shared land stewardship and, well, shared everything. The housing project succeeded in many ways (it still exists today) and, it failed in other ways (over the years there were many fractures in the community). I’ve always been fascinated by attempts at communal living. I suppose my obsession with cult life is just an extension of this. It is my life imagined one step further.

Buffy's book list on living that 60s cult/commune life

Buffy Cram Why did Buffy love this book?

If you’re as obsessed with Charles Manson as I am, you’ll love this novel, which tells the story of Evie, a bored and misguided 14-year-old girl who ends up inadvertently joining a cult that, while not directly stated to be the Manson cult, certainly alludes to it.

In this cult, the leader is Russell Hadrick, and though I find him less charismatic than Manson, he wields the same power over people. The other cult members and their eventual crime is the same as the real-world cult too. What I’m most impressed with about this book is the way it details everyday cult life, what with its musty piles of communal clothes, the tedium of chores, and the listlessness of too many people with too much time on their hands.

By Emma Cline,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gripping and dark fictionalised account of life inside the Manson family from one of the most exciting young voices in fiction.

If you're lost, they'll find you...

Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed.

It's the summer of 1969 and restless, empty days stretch ahead of her. Until she sees them. The girls. Hair long and uncombed, jewelry catching the sun. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful.

If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone. But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where…


Book cover of Astra: A Novel

Buffy Cram Author Of Once Upon an Effing Time

From my list on living that 60s cult/commune life.

Who am I?

I grew up living in a housing co-op on Vancouver Island, BC. While not technically a commune, it did have some of the hallmarks. There were gangs of partially clothed kids roaming wild. There were a bunch of idealistic adults who had dreams of shared land stewardship and, well, shared everything. The housing project succeeded in many ways (it still exists today) and, it failed in other ways (over the years there were many fractures in the community). I’ve always been fascinated by attempts at communal living. I suppose my obsession with cult life is just an extension of this. It is my life imagined one step further.

Buffy's book list on living that 60s cult/commune life

Buffy Cram Why did Buffy love this book?

This novel tells the story of one person, Astrid, who grows up in a dysfunctional failed utopian commune in British Columbia, Canada.

The story of Astrid is told from multiple points of view. Each character paints a different picture of this child-who-becomes-a-woman, at different stages in her life. But what I like most about this book is its exploration of the aftermath of growing up in a failed utopian commune.

How does a person carry this ejected-from-Eden baggage with them over a lifespan? Is it possible to overcome it and fit into “normal” society again? The answers to these questions might surprise you.

Book cover of Moroccan Traffic: Send a Fax to the Kasbah

Alana Woods Author Of A Legal Affair

From my list on suspense intrigue thrillers.

Who am I?

I'm a career editor living in the place I love most in the world, Australia's federal capital, Canberra. It's a small city encircled by mountains and populated with so many trees it's affectionately known as The Bush Capital. I love reading most genres but contemporary suspense intrigue above all. I know these books generally fall under the larger Thriller genre but I often feel that's a misnomer, and I think that applies to my novels. I love the range of stories this genre encompasses: it can take you anywhere in the world, into any situation, and follow any type of person as they attempt to come to grips with, and usually right, the wrongs of the world.

Alana's book list on suspense intrigue thrillers

Alana Woods Why did Alana love this book?

Dorothy Dunnett is my all-time favourite author. In her lifetime she wrote the most amazing historical fiction (two series and one stand-alone novel) but she also wrote a contemporary suspense intrigue series featuring the same hero tackling new situations in each one: The Johnson Johnson series. Why do I love her writing? For several reasons. The stories are convoluted and gripping, requiring 100% of your attention, the language is beautiful and transports you, the research she did was phenomenal and her wit was razor sharp. She has a fanatical global fanbase that I'm part of.

By Dorothy Dunnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Morocco with her pushy and eccentric mother, Wendy Helman, upwardly mobile Executive Secretary, finds herself at the centre of kidnappings, explosions, murders and vintage car chases across the High Atlas from Marrakesh to Taroudant.


Book cover of Sufism: An Introduction to the Mystical Tradition of Islam

Juan R.I. Cole Author Of Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires

From my list on Islam and Islamic history.

Who am I?

My interest in Islam was kindled when I lived in Eritrea, East Africa as a teenager, and in my youth fell in love with the mystical Sufi tradition. I went on to live in the Muslim world for over a decade, making many dear friends whose kindness overwhelmed me. I studied the Qur’an in Cairo and exploring various corners of Muslim civilization, including in India. I have taught Islam and Middle East History for nearly 40 years at the University of Michigan and devoted myself to writing several books and many essays on Islam. For geopolitical reasons, the subject often gets a bad rap these days, but it is an impressive religion that produced a beautiful, intricate civilization. I hope you enjoy these books about it.

Juan's book list on Islam and Islamic history

Juan R.I. Cole Why did Juan love this book?

Ernst writes about the Muslim Sufi tradition for the general public with passion and verve, making sometimes complex ideas intimately accessible and conveying the excitement and passion of male and female Muslim seekers after union with their divine beloved. He covers Sufi forms of worship, the role of saints and intercession, and ecstatic poetry, dance, and song. It is a fascinating exploration of a widespread and essential Muslim spiritual tradition that contrasts with the sober, puritanical Salafi strain with which many readers may be more familiar.

By Carl W. Ernst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic introduction to the philosophies, practices, and history of Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam

The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they've flourished—from Morocco to India to China—and as varied as their distinctive forms of art, music, poetry, and dance. They are said to represent the mystical heart of Islam, yet the term Sufism is notoriously difficult to define, as it means different things to different people both within and outside the tradition.
 
With that fact in mind, Carl Ernst explores the broadest range of Sufi philosophies and practices to provide one of the most…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Morocco, the communes of France, and Sufism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Morocco, the communes of France, and Sufism.

Morocco Explore 43 books about Morocco
The Communes Of France Explore 28 books about the communes of France
Sufism Explore 35 books about Sufism