100 books like In Watermelon Sugar

By Richard Brautigan,

Here are 100 books that In Watermelon Sugar fans have personally recommended if you like In Watermelon Sugar. 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 The Living Mountain

Sara B. Franklin Author Of The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America

From my list on the stories we tell about women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Judith Jones became an important mentor and mother figure to me in my twenties, in the wake of my parents’ deaths. Her personal wisdom and guidance, which I received both in knowing her personally and from the incredible archive she left behind, have been invaluable to me during a particularly tumultuous and transformative decade in my own life. I wrote The Editor as I was coming into my full adulthood, and the books on this list helped shape my thinking along the way at times when I felt stagnant or stuck or needed to rethink both how to write Judith’s life and why her story is so vital to tell.

Sara's book list on the stories we tell about women

Sara B. Franklin Why did Sara love this book?

I’ve never read anything like The Living Mountain. A book that is, at once, an autobiography of a remarkable yet under-celebrated woman writer and an exploration of the ecstasies of experiencing the world through the body and its senses.

In gorgeously vivid prose, Shepherd invites us to pursue depth over breadth and to rely upon our felt experience as a way of knowing in the world. This book challenges dominant “hero’s journey” narratives in both content and form and suggests that all we yearn to experience and know can be found right where we find ourselves, wherever that may be. 

By Nan Shepherd,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Living Mountain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain' Guardian

Introduction by Robert Macfarlane. Afterword by Jeanette Winterson

In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape.

Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the 'essential nature' of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and…


Book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Wildcat: An Appalachian Romance

From my list on big imagination and creative punch.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a happy child until I went to school. When my teacher turned her back, I ran home. My mom sent me back. The umbilical cord broken, I held a grudge. That enmity remained until my ninth-grade English teacher read us Richard Brautigan’s post-apocalyptic, proto-hippie fantasy In Watermelon Sugar. There was much to imagine: a multicolored sun, an infinite garbage dump, and mathematical, parent-eating tigers. Like the narrator, I wanted to live in a shack, not have a regular name, and hook up with a proto-hippie, hot cake-making artist girlfriend who made “a long and slow love” possible. Since then, I have devoured fiction, poetry, art, film, you name it. 

Jeffrey's book list on big imagination and creative punch

Jeffrey Dunn Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Maybe you’ve read this book, but maybe you haven’t. The kids like me who used to carry the 95¢ Dell paperbacks are now dead or thinking about it.

The author, Kurt Vonnegut, was an American prisoner of war and spent 24 hours underground in a meat locker during the Allied firebombing of Dresden, Germany. He said of his experience the bombing “killed 250,000 people in 24 hours and destroyed all of Dresden—possibly the world’s most beautiful city. But not me.” It’s fair to say that this book was his imagination’s way of dealing with the war. “One” acts as a preface, so the novel really begins with “Two,” “Listen:/Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time,” and then imagination fights its way out.

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked Slaughterhouse-Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had…


Book cover of Still Life with Woodpecker

Dianne Pearce Author Of Simona's Son

From my list on making you want to write your own damn book.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading voraciously at age 4, and read Camus by 6th grade, which is why it made sense that I was so into Pink Floyd, my favorite album of theirs being Animals, which is super depressing. I then studied writing extensively with some great writers, getting my MA and MFA, and teaching writing at colleges from 1991-2021. Along the way I became an editor, a writing coach, ran a writing workshop for 7 years, and started a publishing company. I know good writing when I see it versus crap, and I can tell for sure in about 300 words. I also fall hard for books, and do want to marry them

Dianne's book list on making you want to write your own damn book

Dianne Pearce Why did Dianne love this book?

This is the Tom Robbins book for me: the glorious bastard that made me want to be a writer.

It's a day lost in Tijuana, or Nice, or Beijing, or some other place you'd never thought you'd be, and you don't speak the language, but you've convinced yourself that you're fluent, and you can do it: you can get around anyway, and there's no cabs, and so you get into some guy's really old Volvo or, more ill-advised, van, and you give him the local equivalent of ten bucks to take you where you hope you want to be and not kill you, and he does it, but when he drops you off he yells at you, in his language, for being stupid enough to take a ride with a stranger.

And you do it again the next day, and you never learn your lesson.

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Still Life with Woodpecker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Still Life with Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads.


Book cover of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

Julie A. Mullen and Mike D. Rodgers Jr. Author Of The Island

From my list on cultivating a fulfilling life-long relationship.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are a couple with a combined 70 years worth of relationship experience. We certainly know ‘what not to do.’ What makes us relationship experts is having a relationship that is as exciting today (after more than 6 years together) as it was from day one! We never argue, we have tremendous passion, we never name-call, we show 100% respect every day, and we have 100% connectivity. This does not mean we don’t have disagreements. It means we handle them without arguing. Since experiencing a relationship we never imagined was possible, we want to share with others how to get it and keep it ongoing.

Julie and Mike's book list on cultivating a fulfilling life-long relationship

Julie A. Mullen and Mike D. Rodgers Jr. Why did Julie and Mike love this book?

I was intrigued by the ideas about why we chose our partners in the first place. I discovered ways to have more compatibility in relationships. This book opened my mind to aspects I had not considered before. Those realizations caused positive shifts in behavior.

And… I had a much better understanding of why my partner approached things the way he did.

By Harville Hendrix, Helen Lakelly Hunt,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Getting the Love You Want as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Getting the Love You Want, Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen Hunt offer the relationship skills that have helped millions of couples replace confrontation and criticism with a process of mutual support that facilitates healing and growth at any stage of a relationship. This extraordinary practical guide describes the revolutionary technique that combines a number of disciplines - including the behavioural sciences, depth psychology, social learning theory, Gestalt therapy, and interpersonal neurosciences, among others - to create a program that transforms conflict into creative tension that deepens connection and renews passion.

In a new forward and chapter, Hendrix and…


Book cover of Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Wildcat: An Appalachian Romance

From my list on big imagination and creative punch.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a happy child until I went to school. When my teacher turned her back, I ran home. My mom sent me back. The umbilical cord broken, I held a grudge. That enmity remained until my ninth-grade English teacher read us Richard Brautigan’s post-apocalyptic, proto-hippie fantasy In Watermelon Sugar. There was much to imagine: a multicolored sun, an infinite garbage dump, and mathematical, parent-eating tigers. Like the narrator, I wanted to live in a shack, not have a regular name, and hook up with a proto-hippie, hot cake-making artist girlfriend who made “a long and slow love” possible. Since then, I have devoured fiction, poetry, art, film, you name it. 

Jeffrey's book list on big imagination and creative punch

Jeffrey Dunn Why did Jeffrey love this book?

I saw my first raven near Mount Rainier. The bird looked me in the eye, hopped to the left, sized me up, and continued his business. The advancing Russian army drove Bernd Heinrich and his family into the forest near Hahnheide, Germany, where they lived in a small hut for five years.

There, he began his lifelong quest to connect with insects (especially bees), owls, trees, antelope (he runs ultramarathons), geese...and ravens. The mind of the Raven is a deep, scientific meditation on the intersection between being human and raven. It concludes that “ultimately [our differences are] less a matter of consciousness than of culture” (342).

I wonder how culture has dulled my imagination, a struggle Heinrich clearly has fought more successfully than I have.

By Bernd Heinrich,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Mind of the Raven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too.

Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in…


Book cover of Passionate Marriage: Love, Sex, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships

Jessica Graham Author Of Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out

From my list on great sex, deep connection, and rainy day romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in sex and relationships. When I was a teenager I was the go-to person for questions ranging from How do I give a good blowjob? to Where do I go for an abortion? to Should I say I love you before she does? I was sort of like the kid in Sex Education on Netflix. Perhaps, given the fact that I come from a long line of troubled marriages I tended to find great satisfaction in supporting others in working out their relationship woes. These days I do that as a job, along with trauma resolution, acting, writing, and nude modeling. 

Jessica's book list on great sex, deep connection, and rainy day romance

Jessica Graham Why did Jessica love this book?

I was a few years sober from alcohol, and in my first heterosexual relationship in quite a while when I read this book. Just being sober during sex, and having a penis involved, kept things interesting for about a year or so. But after a while, I wanted a deeper connection with my partner during sex, and more frequency. This proved to be challenging. One day I was crying on the phone about the state of my carnal life to a mentor and she recommended Passionate Marriage. So, I dug into the 408 pages of this relationship masterpiece. Spoiler alert, it didn’t save that relationship, but it did change my life.

It taught me about the erotic charge that can come from differentiation and how to navigate “relationship crucibles.”  I also first learned about open-eyed orgasms from Schnarch. I had been squeezing my eyes shut since I started having…

By David Schnarch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Passionate Marriage has long been recognized as the pioneering book on intimate human relationships. Now with a new preface by the author, this updated edition explores the ways we can keep passion alive and even reach the height of sexual and emotional fulfillment later in life. Acclaimed psychologist David Schnarch guides couples toward greater intimacy with proven techniques developed in his clinical practice and worldwide workshops. Chapters-covering everything from understanding love relationships to helpful "tools for connections" to keeping the sparks alive years down the road-provide the scaffolding for overcoming sexual and emotional problems. This inspirational book is sure to…


Book cover of Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy

Zachary Zane Author Of Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto

From my list on overcoming sexual shame.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the sex and relationship advice columnist at Men’s Health Magazine, I’m obviously pretty damn obsessed with sex. I find it fascinating on so many levels, which is why I not only have a ton of it but also made it my career. For so long, I struggled with sexual shame, and one thing I realized as a writer is that I’m not special. Sure, I’ve probably been to more sex parties than you, but if I’m struggling with shame, being bisexual, and embracing my kinks, then other folks are, too. And just like I’m obsessed with sex, I’ve become obsessed with helping others remove sexual shame.

Zachary's book list on overcoming sexual shame

Zachary Zane Why did Zachary love this book?

This is my favorite book about non-monogamy and polyamory; it uses attachment theory to explain our relationship dynamics. I particularly loved how detailed the book was. She described some of the self-destructive and less-than-ideal behaviors and thoughts I’ve had in past non-monogamous relationships and explained, “Okay, here’s why you’re likely doing this, and here’s how you become secure enough to do this stupid shit, no longer.”

I remember feeling very motivated after reading Fern’s book, as if I had an action plan for future relationships. Now—and hopefully, I’m not jinxing it here—I’m in the healthiest non-monogamous relationship I’ve ever been in. 

By Jessica Fern,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A practical guide to nurturing healthy, loving non-monogamous relationships using attachment theory.

Attachment theory has entered the mainstream, but most discussions focus on how we can cultivate secure monogamous relationships. What if, like many people, you're striving for secure, happy attachments with more than one partner?

Polyamorous psychotherapist Jessica Fern breaks new ground by extending attachment theory into the realm of consensual non-monogamy. Using her nested model of attachment and trauma, she expands our understanding of how emotional experiences can influence our relationships. Then, she sets out six specific strategies to help you move toward secure attachments in your multiple…


Book cover of All About Love: New Visions

Mechal Renee Roe Author Of I'm Growing Great

From my list on expanding your inner vision and allowing life to rush in.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Mechal Roe and I have loved creating fun and colorful art to inspire the inner child in all of us. I began my journey in children's print design and worked my way up to Clothing Designer. It was quite rewarding, and I learned so much. After, I left to create a children's book and toys to serve underrepresented youth. Creating the book was a form of introspection to move me along my heart's path. It was also a gift to those young ones who also struggle with understanding themselves in the world. 

Mechal's book list on expanding your inner vision and allowing life to rush in

Mechal Renee Roe Why did Mechal love this book?

I recommend this book because I have found the meaning of love to be elusive. Slipping in and out of my life's timeline. When love stays, it waits for me to generate it alone, by myself, in hopes that I will alchemize it to all of my relationships. Bell Hooks helped me see how to better understand the mystical workings of love, and it's sometimes confusing nature.

Her work helped me appreciate that the endurance of pain is not the presence of love. Allowing love to be an inner source as life-giving, rather than codependently attaching to an outside source, which can be life-ending.

By bell hooks,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked All About Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The word "love" is most often defined as a noun, yet...we would all love better if we used it as a verb," writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with lovelessness. As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question "What is love?" her answers strike at both the…


Book cover of Jitterbug Perfume

Robin Esrock Author Of The Great Global Bucket List

From my list on inspiring your bucket list travels.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a travel writer, author, broadcaster, speaker, and producer, I’ve reported from over 100 countries on 7 continents for major print and digital publications worldwide and networks like National Geographic and Travel Channel.  I kicked off my career with a solo, 12-month round-the-world backpacking adventure, largely inspired by the formative books I read below. Embracing the world with insatiable curiosity, an open heart, an open mind, a sense of humour, and enthusiasm to share my stories clearly resonated. Here I am, two decades later, author of a half-dozen bestselling books that focus on my own eclectic travels, which will hopefully inspire others as these books inspired me.  

Robin's book list on inspiring your bucket list travels

Robin Esrock Why did Robin love this book?

Nobody writes like Tom Robbins, although admittedly, his wild wit, metaphorical overkill, and commitment to not taking anything too seriously might not appeal to everyone.

Put me on a long train ride or a slow ship with a worn paperback copy of any of his books, and I can happily lose myself in his zany, funny, thought-provoking, and sexy world. Exotic locations are baked into most of his books, and you can burn your retinas on each page’s creative flair.

Put down this book, and you’ll never look at beets, immortality, or life in quite the same way again. Tom Robbins inspired me to read more, write more, and, most importantly, live more.  

By Tom Robbins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jitterbug Perfume is an epic. Which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesn't conclude until nine o'clock tonight [Paris time]. It is a saga, as well. A saga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is a janitor with a missing bottle. The bottle is blue, very, very old, and embossed with the image of a goat-horned god. If the liquid in the bottle is actually the secret essence of the universe, as some folks seem to think, it had better be discovered soon because it is leaking and there is…


Book cover of Killing Commendatore

Biff Mitchell Author Of Blowing Up

From my list on surrealism and magical realism becoming reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Surrealism and magical realism are the blood of my art. All my novels, and especially my short stories, jump in and out of the world of schedules, deadlines, and certainty. It’s what I read and how I think, and it flows through my writing, drawing, and photography. I can’t imagine a world without magic, a world in which everything has a logical explanation and nothing moves beyond a set of rules that can be measured and accounted for. It’s the unaccountable rules, the ones that hint of something going on just under the surface of what we see, that rule my art.

Biff's book list on surrealism and magical realism becoming reality

Biff Mitchell Why did Biff love this book?

This book plays hide and seek with reality. You’re never a hundred percent sure if you’re in the normal mundane world or the world of magic and danger. The story moves swiftly and compellingly between worlds and raises questions about what we can and cannot believe in.

Some parts seem like drug trips gone wrong and others like the comfort and assurance of close relationships no matter how long they’ve lasted.

Murakami is a master at juggling worlds in such a way that sometimes the fantasy worlds are more real than the actual worlds.

By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator), Ted Goossen (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84.

In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a strange painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in magical realism, hippies, and surrealism?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about magical realism, hippies, and surrealism.

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