100 books like Identity Crisis

By Ben Elton,

Here are 100 books that Identity Crisis fans have personally recommended if you like Identity Crisis. 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 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Dave Hersh Author Of Reignition: Transforming Stuck Startups Into Breakout Winners

From my list on leaders feeling lonely at the top.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a founder, CEO, venture capitalist, buyout specialist, Chairman, author, consultant, and coach. I’ve seen the startup world from every angle and also seen how destructive it can be if we don’t take care of our inner lives. My work now is to help people understand how we can transform ourselves to transform our businesses. These books were helpful to me when I needed them most and shaped not only my leadership approach but also my life. 

Dave's book list on leaders feeling lonely at the top

Dave Hersh Why did Dave love this book?

Being “lonely at the top” is often a problem of being stuck inside an infinite loop of cycling voices in your head. I can get insanely maniacal about the little things and have difficulty breaking out of the cycle.

This book came at a time when I was deep in one of those cycles. It was a mind-blowing look into why we are who we are and how homo sapiens systematically took over the planet. It was such an “aha” moment for me that it made all the voices go away, and I could see why and how my life was playing out in this way.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…


Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Eric Kurlander Author Of Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich

From my list on Nazism and the occult.

Why am I passionate about this?

I would trace the genesis of Hitler’s Monsters to three distinct influences. The first was my childhood love of Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age comics––Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four––which, as illustrated by the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, are replete with themes of Nazi occultism and border science. The second was a conversation with my thesis advisor early in graduate school, when he noted that he was advising a dissertation on German occultism (Science for the Soul). The third influence was observing the mid-2000s resurgence in rightwing populism across Europe and North America, seemingly fueled by recourse to esoteric and supernatural thinking. The rest, as they say, is history.

Eric's book list on Nazism and the occult

Eric Kurlander Why did Eric love this book?

For those interested in a compelling work of fiction built loosely around Nazism and the occult, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the perfect novel.

Whether it’s one of the protagonists, a young Jewish magician, escaping Nazi-occupied Central Europe in the coffin of the “Golem of Prague” or the eponymous cousins finding success with their own comic book series infused by contemporary esoterica, Kavalier & Clay evokes the world in which young, first and second generation Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe created the Marvel and DC superheroes and super(natural) villains, often allied with the Third Reich, that have defined our popular culture for the past eighty years. 

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic - from the author of 'Wonder Boys'.

One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved. Little does he realise that this is the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. Together, they create a comic strip called 'The Escapist', its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed…


Book cover of Grand Days

Judy Nunn Author Of Showtime!

From my list on embrace show business and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an actor and a writer all my life. After many years performing in theatre and television in both Australia and the UK, I turned my hand to prose and revelled in the creative freedom. Thirty years and sixteen novels later I’m still revelling. As both actor and writer, the mix of fact and fiction has always intrigued me and I love travelling my characters through historical times of great impact, particularly upon Australia. In 2015 I was honoured to be made a Member of the Order of Australia for my service to the performing arts as an actor and to literature as an author.

Judy's book list on embrace show business and history

Judy Nunn Why did Judy love this book?

There is one major reason I include Grand Days in my list of "best" books and her name is Edith Campbell Berry. Some might suggest that as Edith happens to be an Australian character and Frank Moorhouse an Australian author I’m favouring the pair, being Australian myself. But this is definitely not so. To me, Edith Campbell Berry is one of the most beautifully conceived heroines in literary fiction. And when I make this sweeping statement I include every great leading lady you can think of. 

From the moment I met Edith on the train from Paris to Geneva where she was to take up her position with the newly-created League of Nations in the 1920s, I was captivated. She is wickedly naïve, worldly innocent, outrageously proper and every other contradiction imaginable. She continued to bewitch me in Frank Moorhouse’s companion Edith novels, Dark Palace and Cold Light, but…

By Frank Moorhouse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This novel's backdrop is the ill-fated League of Nations, the peace-keeping organization set up after World War I to ensure the world never had to go to war again. The central character is Edith Berry, a spirited young woman full of good intentions.


Book cover of The Mouse That Roared

Eric Sporer Author Of A Man Eating Chicken

From my list on to laugh in the face of insanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a joker at heart and was always the class clown. I currently write on my own humor website, A Man Eating Chicken. I started drawing comics in grade school and grew into writing comedic prose in high school. There was never a goal for any of this; it was all pre-internet, so I didn’t realize that humor could be published anywhere. As I got older, I was able to find some books that really spoke to my sensibilities. The books on this list really showed me the power and possibilities of humor and influenced my own writing.

Eric's book list on to laugh in the face of insanity

Eric Sporer Why did Eric love this book?

While I grew up at the tail end of the Cold War, there was something in The Mouse that Roared that really spoke to me. The way that it takes an already absurd reality to an extreme really spoke to my own sensibilities and humor. History books tell the facts, but stories like this reflect how absurd the geopolitical culture must have felt to most people. It’s akin to Dr. Strangelove, not only in being a Cold War satire, but in the absurd and extreme nature of the farce. It influenced my own political satire heavily.

By Leonard Wibberley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Leonard Wibberley's classic political satire, a tiny backwards country decides the only way to survive a sudden economic downturn is to declare war on the United States and lose to get foreign aid - but things don't go according to plan.

The Mouse That Roared was made into a successful feature film starring Peter Sellers.

Books in The Grand Fenwick Series:

Books 2 through 5 are best read after The Mouse That Roared, but all of the books can be read and enjoyed at any point in the series.

Book 1: The Mouse That Roared
Book 2: The Mouse…


Book cover of Machine Man

Martin Lastrapes Author Of Inside the Outside

From my list on dark fiction on the hidden shadows of humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love most all genre fiction, but I’m a sucker for dark fiction—and I have a particular fondness for dark fiction that explores the hidden shadows of men and women as they make dubious choices that lead to consequences rife with fear, despair, and unflinching terror. Whether it’s young men meeting in a basement to engage in a secret barbaric club or a world gone mad following the literal death of God, my favorite dark fiction is woven with sly satire and subversive social commentary.

Martin's book list on dark fiction on the hidden shadows of humanity

Martin Lastrapes Why did Martin love this book?

Max Barry’s satirical science-fiction novel, Machine Man, is a dark and funny mediation on contemporary society’s compulsive over-reliance on technology. The narrator, Charles Neumann, is a mechanical engineer who, while obsessively searching for his phone, loses his leg in an industrial accident. After building himself a new machine leg, Charles purposely loses his other leg, so he can replace it with another machine leg. After seeing how great his new legs work, Charles wonders if maybe he should replace more of his body parts with machine parts, begging the question: Where does humanity end and technology begin?

By Max Barry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.

Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.

A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.


Book cover of The Last Word

Shane Joseph Author Of Circles in the Spiral

From my list on the writing life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a writer for more than twenty years and have favored pursuing “truth in fiction” rather than “money in formula.” As author Edward St. Aubyn quotes: “Money has value because it can be exchanged for something else. Art only has value because it can’t.” I find books about writers are closer to my lived experience and connect me intimately with both the characters and their author.

Shane's book list on the writing life

Shane Joseph Why did Shane love this book?

A story about a biographer who pokes into the corners of a Nobel-winning author’s salacious life to write an exposé is juicy enough, but what happens when the latter uses the opportunity to write a counter-exposé on the former? Unstructured in plot and other novel-craft, this book is laden with pithy quotes on the writing life. The biographer and his subject are libidinous, adulterous, and self-absorbed, a testament to the fact that a writer has to be appreciated separately from their work. Also on display are the strategies employed by the publishing industry to keep the reputation and marketability of a once best-selling author alive, long after their effective shelf-life. 

By Hanif Kureishi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mamoon is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England -- but now, in his early seventies, his reputation is fading, his book sales have dried up and his new wife has expensive tastes. Harry, a young writer, is commissioned to write a biography to revitalise Mamoon's career. He greatly admires Mamoon's work and wants to uncover the truth of the artist's life, but Harry's publisher seeks a more salacious tale of sex and scandal to generate headlines. Meanwhile, Mamoon himself is mining a different truth altogether -- but which one of them will have the last…


Book cover of Envoy to New Worlds

Daniel M. Kimmel Author Of Father of the Bride of Frankenstein

From my list on humorous science fiction and fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

While doing a college humor column I was hoping to be the next Art Buchwald, but instead ended up first as a lawyer, then a film critic and college professor. When I finally got around to writing fiction, the blending of science fiction and comedy was a natural fit (with occasional forays into horror and fantasy). I’ve done four novels and a couple of dozen published stories to date and when readers tell me they’ve enjoyed them I answer, “If it made you laugh, I did my job.” When I came up with the mashup title of “Father of the Bride of Frankenstein” I said, “I have to write this.”

Daniel's book list on humorous science fiction and fantasy

Daniel M. Kimmel Why did Daniel love this book?

Laumer’s satirical books about Jame Retief, a functionary in Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne, were inspired by his real-life career in the U.S. Foreign Service. They don’t have to be read in any order and mix short stories (as in this collection) and novels. Much of the humor comes from Retief ignoring the diplomatic niceties in dealing with the problems involving Earth and various alien races.

By Keith Laumer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Envoy to New Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first-ever collection of Retief stories by Keith Laumer. Includes "Protocol," "Sealed Orders," "Cultural Exchange," "Aide Memoire," "Policy," and "Palace Revolution."


Book cover of Oh God

Daniel M. Kimmel Author Of Father of the Bride of Frankenstein

From my list on humorous science fiction and fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

While doing a college humor column I was hoping to be the next Art Buchwald, but instead ended up first as a lawyer, then a film critic and college professor. When I finally got around to writing fiction, the blending of science fiction and comedy was a natural fit (with occasional forays into horror and fantasy). I’ve done four novels and a couple of dozen published stories to date and when readers tell me they’ve enjoyed them I answer, “If it made you laugh, I did my job.” When I came up with the mashup title of “Father of the Bride of Frankenstein” I said, “I have to write this.”

Daniel's book list on humorous science fiction and fantasy

Daniel M. Kimmel Why did Daniel love this book?

Oy, forget the mediocre movie. George Burns was perfectly cast but the reason God appears as a little old Jewish man is that he’s granting an interview to a Jewish freelance journalist, not a white bread grocery store clerk played by John Denver. This book taught me that a writer could be laugh out loud funny and still have something serious to say, something I’ve aspired to in my own fiction.

By Avery Corman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For a God whom philosophers have proclaimed dead, it’s time for a little PR in this novel from the New York Times–bestselling author of Kramer vs. Kramer.
 “God grants you an interview. Go to 600 Madison Ave., room 3700, Monday, at 11 a.m.” When a struggling writer receives this typed note in the mail one morning, curiosity wins out and he finds himself keeping this mysterious  appointment. Soon he’s in an ordinary conference room with an intercom on the floor, furiously scribbling shorthand notes as he interviews God, a deity who badly wants to improve His public profile. Sometimes God…


Book cover of Horse Heaven

Meredith Marple Author Of The Year Mrs. Cooper Got Out More: A Great Wharf Novel

From my list on people with other animals in the mix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former independent publisher and current writer of memoir and fiction. My degree was in zoology (animal biology), which got me my first job in educational publishing. After a solid career in textbooks, I switched over to trade publishing and finally writing. I may have left the "hard science" behind, but I continue to be fascinated by human and animal behavior, which shows up in my reading and writing. 

Meredith's book list on people with other animals in the mix

Meredith Marple Why did Meredith love this book?

The animal is a number of racehorses. The human is a collection of owners, trainers, jockeys, and more, yielding a comprehensive look at human and animal behavior in the horse racing industry. A strong, intimate novel. I used to ride but never very well, and I’ve always wondered what a horse’s “thoughts” involved. Author Smiley gave me a feel for that as she applied her own assumptions to one horse in particular.  

By Jane Smiley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

"A WISE, SPIRITED NOVEL . . . [IN WHICH] SMILEY PLUMBS THE WONDROUSLY
STRANGE WORLD OF HORSE RACING." --People

"ONE OF THE PREMIER NOVELISTS OF HER GENERATION, possessed of a mastery
of craft and an uncompromising vision that grow more powerful with each
book . . . Racing's eclectic mix of classes and personalities provides
Smiley with fertile soil . . . Expertly juggling storylines, she
investigates the sexual, social, psychological, and spiritual problems
of wealthy owners, working-class bettors, trainers on the edge of
financial ruin, and, in a typically bold…


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