100 books like Misery

By Stephen King,

Here are 100 books that Misery fans have personally recommended if you like Misery. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Road

C.L. Lauder Author Of The Quelling

From my list on dystopian novels to make you cling to your duvet and worship your walls.

Who am I?

I am a young adult fantasy author and paranoid survivalist. I have spent years curating items for my end-of-days go-bag, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than hanging out in universes that are about to go bang! 

C.L.'s book list on dystopian novels to make you cling to your duvet and worship your walls

C.L. Lauder Why did C.L. love this book?

This father and son duo set up residence in my heart.

I recall some scenes with such clarity that I still see them that way, even after subsequently watching the movie. Imagine having the sum of your possessions piled up in a shopping cart, and you’re on the road, excruciatingly aware that at any point, everything you have could be taken from you, including your loved ones.

If that thought doesn’t inspire a bout of enthusiastic wall-worshipping, then maybe you should read the book.  

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Uri Gatt Author Of Winds of Strife

From my list on morally grey characters.

Who am I?

Growing up in the Middle East, I’ve met all kinds of moral ambiguity. There’s a lot to say about it. How both sides think they’re right, how the ends justify the means and all that. Then there are the consequences. Even the winners often lose things. So I’ve set out to write about grey characters! About people who do bad things for the greater good, and how their life turns up after. And if you like the trope as much as I do, check the recs!

Uri's book list on morally grey characters

Uri Gatt Why did Uri love this book?

This is a multiplayer chess game, each side with their own agenda. Some play for love, others for revenge, others just to survive. 

It’s a treat to cheer for one side, only to find out we chose wrong. No side is pure good, and no side is pure evil. They’re all just people, and it’s impossible to cheer for only one person when in each chapter, someone else does something amazing or terrible.

The best part about this book is the wisdom. Every character clings to their own principles, and the author chooses the best words to describe these principles. Like, a dwarf who’s principle is “Never forget what you are. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.” 

Words to live by.

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…

Book cover of The Talented Mr. Ripley

Annette Joseph Author Of The Killer Menu: A Delicious Tale of Food, Family and Murder

From my list on mystery books with a beautiful aesthetic.

Who am I?

I am Annette Joseph, a writer and food stylist. I spend most of the year at our twelfth-century fortress in northern Tuscany. I have written six books, three cookbooks, and two memoirs about life in Italy. We run private retreats on the grounds. My book My Italian Guestbook is based on these retreats. Writing about everything around me in Italy gives me great pleasure.

Annette's book list on mystery books with a beautiful aesthetic

Annette Joseph Why did Annette love this book?

A Classic. I have read it three times. I would read it a fourth time. It's a beautifully crafted book. The writing is masterful. As a writer, I can’t get enough.

Set in the most beautiful places in Italy. This book transports you to another time. It’s a delicious read. If you have not read it, you must. If you have read it,  you must reread it; like a fine wine, it only becomes better. 

By Patricia Highsmith,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Talented Mr. Ripley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's here, in the first volume of Patricia Highsmith's five-book Ripley series, that we are introduced to the suave Tom Ripley, a young striver seeking to leave behind his past as an orphan bullied for being a "sissy." Newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante, and Ripley begins a deadly game. "Sinister and strangely alluring"…

Book cover of The Paying Guests

Alison Moore Author Of The Lighthouse

From my list on in which things take a nasty turn.

Who am I?

I find uncomfortable stories comforting. I love fiction that explores eeriness, uncanniness, awkwardness; I love reading it and writing it. I recently published an essay – in Writing the Uncanny: Essays on Crafting Strange Fiction – about the connection between emotional disturbance and the uncanny, focusing on Shirley Jackson’s life and work as well as my own experience of donating a kidney and the pleasure of writing a horror novelette about it. In my most recent novel, a character reads stories ‘in which things take a nasty turn,’ which could describe a number of my own novels and short stories, as well as the five fantastic books I’m going to recommend here.

Alison's book list on in which things take a nasty turn

Alison Moore Why did Alison love this book?

I had the pleasure of hearing Sarah Waters speak at the Derby Book Festival in 2015, bought a signed copy of her latest novel, and have been recommending it ever since. The Paying Guests is set in the wake of World War I, and the historical context is beautifully rendered. Frances Wray and her mother have been living a quiet and orderly life on a street where the houses have ‘a Sunday blankness to them… every day of the week.’ It’s a life stuck in time, in a house whose ‘heart stopped… years ago.’ Then the Wrays’ new lodgers arrive, and they are noisy, gaudy, messy, dramatic, attractive. The two worlds collide with Frances caught between them, and what follows is both a captivating love story and a gripping crime story.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


This novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Stranger, is a brilliant 'page-turning melodrama and a fascinating portrait of London of the verge of great change' (Guardian)

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of…

Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Rae Giana Rashad Author Of The Blueprint

From my list on reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy.

Who am I?

I’m drawn to stories of women whose journeys shed light on human nature. These women are often found in cautionary tales within dystopian and historical fiction. Their stories not only remind us of the past but also hint at possibilities—different versions of the future. To capture this truth, I wrote a novel that delicately blends the past with the near future.

Rae's book list on reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy

Rae Giana Rashad Why did Rae love this book?

Since reading this story in high school, I’ve revisited it dozens of times. It never loses its impact.

This classic dystopian novel envisions a society where women are subjugated and treated as property, primarily for reproduction. It's a powerful exploration of women's loss of agency in a patriarchal regime.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Handmaid's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford -…

Book cover of I Am Legend

C.L. Lauder Author Of The Quelling

From my list on dystopian novels to make you cling to your duvet and worship your walls.

Who am I?

I am a young adult fantasy author and paranoid survivalist. I have spent years curating items for my end-of-days go-bag, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than hanging out in universes that are about to go bang! 

C.L.'s book list on dystopian novels to make you cling to your duvet and worship your walls

C.L. Lauder Why did C.L. love this book?

Legends are made of powerful stuff, and nothing has greater power than a total flip in perspective. I still recall the gut-punch end to this book, though it’s been decades since I read it. 

Robert Neville is a vampire hunter by day and a tormented man by night. As seemingly the only living human in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, Robert faces depression, isolation, alcoholism, and his undead neighbor, Ben Cortman, who appears outside Robert’s front door each night chanting, "Come out, Neville."

But when Robert is finally captured, and the truth of his situation is revealed, he gets a good look at the world through the eyes of the undead and is forced to ask himself, who am I? What have I become? 

By Richard Matheson,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked I Am Legend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An acclaimed SF novel about vampires. The last man on earth is not alone ...Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth ...but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?

Book cover of Frankenstein

James Bailey Blackshear Author Of The Last Day Before Forever

From my list on technological advances having a double-edged sword.

Who am I?

I have been hooked on fantastic tales since I picked up my first Marvel Comic book. I was in on the beginning of The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, and the Hulk. Gamma rays and human angst are a powerful combination, even for an eight-year-old. From there I gobbled up the Doc Savage series before moving on to more popular books like The Exorcist and The Godfather. I have been writing since I was ten. My first publication came decades later. Non-fiction works on the history of the Southwest. Yet recently I returned my to roots, rediscovering Bradbury, Dick, and Herbert. That is when the eight-year-old boy woke up and wrote The Last Day Before Forever. 

James' book list on technological advances having a double-edged sword

James Bailey Blackshear Why did James love this book?

I get it. This topic is low-hanging fruit, yet classic science fiction is always worth revisiting, particularly when it is the first of the genre. And the first was written by a woman.

It was 1818 when Mary Shelley explored what can happen when a laboratory experiment goes wrong. In this case, an experiment that eliminates the need for human propagation. Taking such an experiment to its logical conclusion eliminates the need for women. Or men for that matter. The prose holds up surprisingly well.

I recommend it because it illustrates why science fiction is as much an art form as anything Rembrandt produced. And perhaps more impactful. A literary masterpiece, Frankenstein considers a future where technology succeeds, but humanity fails.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…

Book cover of Red Dragon

Tom Grace Author Of The Secret Cardinal

From my list on thrillers to keep you awake at night.

Who am I?

I am an avid reader and devour books of all types, but for pure entertainment I love a good thriller. These are the kind of books I read on planes and at the beach, and these are the kinds of books I shared with my late father. I contributed a piece on Rudyard Kipling’s Kim to the collection Thrillers: 100 Must Reads and am a member of the International Thriller Writers. While I write thrillers professionally, I remain a passionate reader of the genre and love to share the brilliant stories that kept me reading late into the night.

Tom's book list on thrillers to keep you awake at night

Tom Grace Why did Tom love this book?

Hannibal Lecter. That alone is enough to recommend this brilliant Thomas Harris novel. Red Dragon serves as the literary debut of the iconic psychiatrist/gourmand serial killer. This tense, psychological thriller places FBI profiler Will Graham between the imprisoned but still dangerous Lecter and the titular character who slays entire families under the light of a full moon. The novel opens with Graham on leave and recovering from physical and psychological injuries sustained in Lecter’s capture when the urgency of catching this new killer presses him reluctantly back into service. Graham’s effort to aid the hunt of the Dragon from the shadows is thwarted when Lecter aims the killer at Graham and his family. Wicked fun.

By Thomas Harris,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Red Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "Silence of the Lambs" and "Black Sunday", this is the book that introduces the most famous serial killer of them all - Hannibal Lecter.

Book cover of Only Killers and Thieves

Gabriel Bergmoser Author Of The Inheritance

From my list on thought provoking thrillers.

Who am I?

I love a good thriller, as my bookshelf will attest. Anything that can drag me to the edge of my seat, desperate to see how it ends, will always get a recommendation from me, but the books that endure and inspire me the most have always been the ones that keep turning over in my head long after I’ve discovered whodunnit or seen the villain taken down. I have so much admiration for the art of taking what is often the pulpiest genre and infusing it with something more. Closely studying the books that successfully pull that off, for me, gives thriller writers everywhere a benchmark to aspire to.

Gabriel's book list on thought provoking thrillers

Gabriel Bergmoser Why did Gabriel love this book?

In interviews, Paul Howarth has discussed the ways in which colonial Australia was essentially a second Wild West, albeit one scarcely explored in fiction. Only Killers and Thieves leans into that understanding and in doing so creates a vivid, blood-soaked, Biblical saga about revenge, redemption, and the lies upon which nations are built, full of unforgettable characters and passages of writing that will make your breath catch. That it is followed by an even better sequel is the icing on a magnificent cake.

By Paul Howarth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Tommy McBride and his brother Billy return to their isolated family home to discover that their parents have been brutally murdered. Haunted and alone, their desperate search for the killers leads them to the charismatic but deadly Inspector Noone and his Queensland Native Police - an infamous arm of colonial power whose sole purpose is the 'dispersal' of Indigenous Australians in protection of settler rights.

The retribution that follows will leave a lasting mark on the colony and the country it later becomes. It will also devastate Tommy - and destroy his relationship with his brother, forever.

Book cover of In the Woods

Polly Stewart Author Of The Good Ones

From my list on fast-paced mysteries with a strong sense of place.

Who am I?

I’m the author of the novel The Good Ones, published by Harper Books earlier this year. I grew up in a beautiful and somewhat isolated part of the country, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and it’s still my favorite place to set my fiction. When I began writing crime fiction, I knew I wanted to balance telling compelling stories with creating a sense of place and interesting characters to inhabit it, and I’ve learned so much from these writers about how to do that. 

Polly's book list on fast-paced mysteries with a strong sense of place

Polly Stewart Why did Polly love this book?

I’ve never been to the west of Ireland at all, but like the other writers on this list, French is a master at drawing you into a story until you feel like it’s part of you.

The plot of In the Woods is complex, with two different timelines and a multiplicity of characters, but it’s the early scenes, of Adam Ryan and the disappearance of his childhood friends in the woods near their homes, that have stayed with me the most strongly over the years. The woods where Adam and his friends are both a real place and a metaphor for childhood itself, in its darkness and tangled terror.

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked In the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).

"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." -The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only…

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