100 books like Planet of the Apes

By Pierre Boulle,

Here are 100 books that Planet of the Apes fans have personally recommended if you like Planet of the Apes. 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 Atlas Shrugged

Mark Burgess Author Of Slogans: The end of sympathy

From my list on a vision of a near future society in trouble.

Who am I?

I am a scientist and technologist, trained in theoretical quantum physics, who became an Emeritus Professor of Network Technology from Oslo’s metropolitan university. I’ve strenuously tried to communicate the wonder of science to students and industry throughout my career. I’m also a long-standing fan of science fiction who grew up with heroes in both fact and fiction. The idea of future society has haunted me my whole life. I’m an optimist, who looks to the darker tales as warnings of futures we hope to avoid. Read these tales with a determination for us all to do better.

Mark's book list on a vision of a near future society in trouble

Mark Burgess Why did Mark love this book?

This book was a forerunner and inspiration to the big society science fiction of the John Brunner era, and (like much of her writing) should properly be understood as an alternative reality science fiction, imitated by many writers including Brunner and Robert Silverberg.

Rand became a controversial figure because of the cult that grew up around her, promoting elitist ideas, and driven mainly by her husband. Yet Rand herself was a brilliant writer and thinker who wanted to be a philosopher. The writing is not only deeply intellectual, it was deeply character driven.

As a non-native English speaker, her writing style is rich and could be the envy of native writers. Perhaps too long, this book is nevertheless a must read for any science fiction fan. 

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Atlas Shrugged as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life-from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy...to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction...to the philosopher who becomes a pirate...to the woman who…


Book cover of Animal Farm

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From my list on malevolent beasts.

Who am I?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Ben H. Winters Why did Ben love this book?

When we think of scary animals we think of gnashing teeth and tearing claws, but obviously Orwell’s famous parable presents a very different kind of malevolence: that of overweaning ambition and our deep-seated instinct to control.

The pigs that present themselves as heroes and then slowly, greedily, inexorable turn into murderous dictators, forcing the other animals to do their bidding and then slaughtering them when they become too old, are of course not really pig-like at all—they are human-like, and therefore all the more terrifying. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Animal Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perfect edition for any Orwell enthusiasts' collection, discover Orwell's classic dystopian masterpiece beautifully reimagined by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the…


Book cover of Brainwave: The Greatest Masterpiece by the Science Fiction Grandmaster

Bob Zeidman Author Of Animal Lab

From my list on dystopian books that are great lessons for today.

Who am I?

While every single attempt at socialism in human history has failed, usually leading to the murder of millions of people, it is being revived by those who think they can “do it right this time.” I’ve been writing about American principles and American values for newspapers and magazines for years. The threat to the exceptional American experiment that has led so many people of all backgrounds to success and happiness, led me to write this novel. I hope that it is fun enough and interesting enough that many readers will enjoy it, and more importantly learn from it. And take action to preserve the values and principles of America that have uplifted and inspired so many for over two centuries.

Bob's book list on dystopian books that are great lessons for today

Bob Zeidman Why did Bob love this book?

This is another book that stuck with me for many years. What happened if animals suddenly had increased intelligence and the power of speech? They would need to start a society from scratch. How would they accomplish this? This unique premise just fascinated me, and I think it is a very underrated classic science fiction novel.

By Poul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A transcendent look at the possible effects of enhanced intelligence on our planet.


Book cover of Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Bob Zeidman Author Of Animal Lab

From my list on dystopian books that are great lessons for today.

Who am I?

While every single attempt at socialism in human history has failed, usually leading to the murder of millions of people, it is being revived by those who think they can “do it right this time.” I’ve been writing about American principles and American values for newspapers and magazines for years. The threat to the exceptional American experiment that has led so many people of all backgrounds to success and happiness, led me to write this novel. I hope that it is fun enough and interesting enough that many readers will enjoy it, and more importantly learn from it. And take action to preserve the values and principles of America that have uplifted and inspired so many for over two centuries.

Bob's book list on dystopian books that are great lessons for today

Bob Zeidman Why did Bob love this book?

This is one of the least-known books by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, but it’s my favorite. In a dying future, scientists are sent back to the past to initially transcribe history and later to change it when they discover that possibility. Time travel books can either be an interesting intellectual exercise or a jumble of logical impossibilities. This is the former, but it is also a great historical description of the discovery of the New World including all of the wonders and atrocities. It confronts the disturbing roots of European and American slavery as well as the barbarism of native American cultures. It is a well-written, exciting, emotional experience full of fascinating personalities, high adventure, historical narratives, and serious questions about morality.

By Orson Scott Card,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After a scientific innovation allows researchers to open a window on the past, a young woman sends an individual onto a slightly different path in life, interference that has unexpected repercussions for the present and future.


Book cover of Sojourners Book 1

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of After The Robots Died: Rey Rabbits Issue #1

From my list on science fiction and comics for young adults.

Who am I?

For my whole life I've been fascinated by science fiction. I love watching Star Trek and reading books by Octavia Butler, and probably my favorite moment in school was when we were asked to read The Veldt by Ray Bradbury. As an artist I designed aliens for Star Wars products and am listed in the “Wookiepedia” online. My latest children’s book Alien Farm; Scary Stories for kids just won “Best Paranormal Book for kids” in the Firebird Awards. I also teach art to kids here in Mexico and I see their eyes light up when the assignment is to create robot designs or to draw spaceships and aliens.

Carolyn's book list on science fiction and comics for young adults

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Why did Carolyn love this book?

This is the first issue of an excellent YA comic book series. I really do enjoy scifi that features apes or any kind of simian life (yes, I love the Planet of the Apes series), so this book got my attention with the cover. The main characters are all space monkeys or simian astronauts that have landed their spacecraft on an alien world. One unfortunate monkey is the chosen explorer while the others watch his progress from the relative safety of the spaceship. The story is tense and surprising. The art is very skilled and I truly look forward to the next issue of the series which is expected to be released soon.

By Kraig Rasmussen,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Endangered

Catherine Ryan Hyde Author Of Seven Perfect Things

From my list on animals by people who actually understand them.

Who am I?

In addition to being the author of lots of books, I am a wrangler of lots of pets. I live with a dog, two cats, a Belgian warmblood horse who I rode in dressage for many years, and his pasture pal who is a miniature horse. I’m known for writing books with animals in which the animal is a character, not a caricature. So many authors don’t seem to know animals deeply, and so just insert them in a scene like a placeholder. But every animal is an individual, and I try to reflect that in my work.

Catherine Ryan's book list on animals by people who actually understand them

Catherine Ryan Hyde Why did Catherine Ryan love this book?

This is my only other fiction pick. I read this many years ago, when it was new, but it stayed with me. We see a lot of relationships between people and dogs or people and horses, but this is a novel about a girl and a group of bonobos. That’s an interesting twist on the human/animal relationship, because other primates are so similar to us in their intelligence and approach to the world. They are mostly helpless against human forces, but then again so are young girls. The bonds formed in this book are worth the price of admission, and the suspense is high throughout.

By Eliot Schrefer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Endangered 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?

From National Book Award Finalist Eliot Schrefer comes the compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos -- and herself -- from a violent coup.

Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature.But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution breaks out in the country, the sanctuary…


Book cover of Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas

Gary Kowalski Author Of Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet

From my list on love, loss and our kinship with animals.

Who am I?

I called my dog Chinook my spiritual guide. He makes friends easily and doesn’t hold a grudge. He enjoys simple pleasures, taking each day as it comes. On his own canine level, he shows me that it might be possible to live without inner conflicts or neuroses: uncomplicated, genuine and glad to be alive.”  Chinook inspired my first book, The Souls of Animals, which explored the capacities for love, creativity, and compassion we humans share with other species. As an ordained minister (Harvard Divinity School), I believe we desperately need to rediscover our spiritual affinity with other living creatures if we are to save our small planet.

Gary's book list on love, loss and our kinship with animals

Gary Kowalski Why did Gary love this book?

This book tells how three unlikely women–Jane Goodall, Diane Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas–broke scientific ground with their study of the wild chimpanzee, the mountain gorilla, and the orangutan. In every case, a deep emotional involvement with the animals opened the door to insights that male-dominated “objective” methods of research had minimized or overlooked. “Each woman’s first few months in the field were marked by despair, as the study subjects either could not be located or fled at first sight. The women could not make it work–not by extra stealth, not by better equipment, not by new techniques.  One can manipulate an experiment to hasten it, but one cannot force or hurry a revelation.”

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walking with the Great Apes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2017 is the 50th anniversary of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda.

Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Diane Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Birute Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Borneo. All three began their work as protegees of the great Anglo-African archeologist Louis Leakey, and each spent years in the field, allowing the apes…


Book cover of The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal

Sandy Graham Author Of You Speak For Me Now

From my list on to influence human society.

Who am I?

Over the past decade, I’ve become very concerned with the direction authoritarianism is taking human society. It’s a global problem that now infects America, leaving us with a partisan divide we may not be able to bridge. My recommended books helped me understand the situation and how one might speak out against this negative force effectively. Convinced that bombarding readers with facts alone is useless, I chose to provide a novel that is interesting and captivates readers. My goal is to entice readers to press on to the end regardless of their political persuasion, in hopes that along the way some thought will be devoted to the issues raised.

Sandy's book list on to influence human society

Sandy Graham Why did Sandy love this book?

I believe an understanding of how human society evolved into its current state is a key ingredient in the search for ways to influence its future. Desmond Morris provides an insightful foundation for this by analyzing the human-animal from a Zoologist’s viewpoint. He traces our evolution from a small insect-eating forest dweller to a fruit and nut-eating ape to a predominantly carnivorous hunting ape.

This last major transition most interests me because it explains the significant biological and cultural changes needed to compete with established carnivores. This includes lengthened brain development, communication, male/female bonding, social organization, and territorial protection. While this transition introduced major differences between humans and other primates, the inertia of evolution over millions of years still impacts our behavior.

By Desmond Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work has become a benchmark of popular anthropology and psychology.

Zoologist Desmond Morris considers humans as being simply another animal species in this classic book first published in 1967. Here is the Naked Ape at his most primal in love, at work, at war. Meet man as he really is: relative to the apes, stripped of his veneer as we see him courting, making love, sleeping, socializing, grooming, playing. The Naked Ape takes its place alongside Darwin’s Origin of the Species, presenting man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape, remarkable in his resilience, energy and…


Book cover of Oroonoko

Tom Keymer Author Of Jane Austen: A Very Short Introduction

From my list on stories written before 1800.

Who am I?

I’ve been researching and teaching the history of the novel since I was a graduate student in Cambridge in the late 1980s, and along the way, I’ve published trade editions of several classics beyond those recommended here, including Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Richardson’s Pamela, Fielding’s Tom Jones, and Beckford’s Vathek. It’s a great opportunity to take a break from specialist academia and reach a broader community of readers, as I’ve also tried to do in a recent introductory book about Jane Austen. I now teach at the University of Toronto, where I’m blessed with amazing students on two of my favourite undergraduate courses, “The Rise of the Novel” and “Austen and Her Contemporaries.”

Tom's book list on stories written before 1800

Tom Keymer Why did Tom love this book?

“All women together ought to let flowers fall on the tomb of Aphra Behn... in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” The first professional woman writer in England, best known for her scandalous stage comedies during the reign of Charles II, Behn ended her career with a hard-hitting novel about slavery and rebellion in colonial Suriname. It may not be true, as she says when dedicating Oroonoko (1688) to a Scottish nobleman, that “I writ it in a few hours.” But there’s real urgency to Behn’s narrative as she deplores the fate of her enslaved hero, an African prince she likens to “a lion taken in a toil,” while also sounding the alarm about regime change back home in England. 

By Aphra Behn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'We are bought and sold like apes or monkeys, to be the sport of women, fools, and cowards, and the support of rogues . . .'

Spy, traveller and pioneering female writer Aphra Benn's story of an African prince sold into slavery is considered one of the earliest English novels


Book cover of The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

Michael Ruse Author Of Why We Hate: Understanding the Roots of Human Conflict

From my list on why such nice people as we are so nasty.

Who am I?

I was raised a Quaker in England in the years after the Second World War. Quakers don’t have creeds, but they have strong beliefs about such things as the immorality of war. In the 1950s there was also huge prejudice, particularly against homosexuality which was then illegal. Issues like these gnawed at me throughout my 55-year career as a philosophy professor. Now 82 and finally retired, I'm turning against the problems of war and prejudice, applying much that I've learnt in my career as a philosopher interested in evolutionary theory, most particularly Charles Darwin. For this reason, intentionally, Why We Hate: Understanding the Roots of Human Conflict is aimed at the general reader.  

Michael's book list on why such nice people as we are so nasty

Michael Ruse Why did Michael love this book?

If we are not killer apes, if war is not inevitable, how does it happen? Obviously because people were not up to the challenges of maintaining peace. Margaret MacMillan’s riveting account of the events leading up to the Great War, the First World War, shows in all-too-clear detail how not to go about avoiding war. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm, was petty and boastful and altogether too proud and confident of his totally inadequate abilities. The Tsar of Russia, Nicholas, was cut from the same cloth. But whereas Wilhelm made up his mind quickly and then was unmovable, Nicholas could never make up his mind. Between them, helped by other inadequates in places of high status and power, millions of young men lay dead on the fields of Flanders, in Northern France.

By Margaret MacMillan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER of the International Affairs Book of the Year at the Political Book Awards 2014Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2013
The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict which killed millions of its men, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe's dominance of the world. It was a war which could have been avoided up to the last moment-so why did it happen?
Beginning in the early nineteenth…


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