100 books like Remainder

By Tom Mccarthy,

Here are 100 books that Remainder fans have personally recommended if you like Remainder. 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 Unlimited Dream Company

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

Published in 1979, but it reads like 1960s psychedelia. The hero, Blake, descends—literally—on the sleepy riverside town of Shepperton (where Ballard himself lived), and conjures it and its inhabitants into a sensual Amazonian Eden. I imagine Ballard walking the streets each day and seeing visions: flamingos perched atop the filling station, orchids overrunning the hardware store, his neighbours throwing off their business suits and coupling naked in their front gardens. Seeing, like his hero’s namesake, "a world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wildflower." The rich prose, evocative but never repetitive, works the same magic on the reader.  

By J.G. Ballard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a new introduction by John Gray and striking new cover from the artist Stanley Donwood, the author of 'Cocaine Nights' brings you the story of suburban London transformed into an exotic dreamworld.

When a light aircraft crashes into the Thames at Shepperton, the young pilot who struggles to the surface minutes later seems to have come back from the dead. Within hours everything in the dormitory suburb is surreally transformed. Vultures invade the rooftops, luxuriant tropical vegetation overruns the quiet avenues, and the local inhabitants are propelled by the young man's urgent visions through ecstatic sexual celebrations towards an…


Book cover of Against Nature (À Rebours)

Michelle Facos Author Of An American in Pandemic Paris: A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir

From my list on Paris for foodies and historians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began writing about Paris at age 7. It figured as the central location for my uncompleted novel (4 chapters), Mystry (sic) at Oak Hall Manor, undoubtedly inspired by public television’s French language program that aired daily at noon when I was a child and by tales told by my French Alsatian grandmother and her siblings. Paris was my primary destination on my first trip to Europe, and I’ve spent many extended stays for art history research (who can write about 19th-century French art without privileging Paris?), lecturing, and writing, as well as for hanging with friends, swing dancing, and just being in, for me, the world’s most wonderful city.

Michelle's book list on Paris for foodies and historians

Michelle Facos Why did Michelle love this book?

I always recommend this short read to anyone wanting to understand the weird, dystopic side of the late 19th-century Symbolist movement. Written in 1884 at the beginning of the avant-garde art movement that launched 20th-century modernism and abstraction, Huysmans tells the tale of an aristocrat repulsed by a Paris transformed by urbanization, commercialization, and massive immigration who builds himself a ‘Fortress of Solitude’ in a quiet suburb and interacts with the world through his imagination with the help of a loyal servant who maintained his physical milieu, silently serving meals and performing domestic tasks. Who doesn’t want to know more about a man determined to beautify his environment by commissioning a jeweler to embed precious stones into the shell of his pet tortoise?

By J. K. Huysmans,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Against Nature (À Rebours) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in French under the title “À Rebours” in 1884 and translated into English in 1926, “Against Nature”, also known as “Against the Grain”, is a book by Joris-Karl Huysmans and is well described by its subtitle “A Novel Without a Plot”. The premise of the novel is simple and follows the seclusion of Jean des Esseintes, the last member of a once powerful and noble family. Having lived an extremely decadent life in 19th-century bourgeois Parisian society, Des Esseintes finds himself disgusted with the life he once led and retreats to a house in the countryside. He is…


Book cover of Fu-Manchu: The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

At first glance, a pulp fiction potboiler in which Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie (clones of Holmes and Dr. Watson) struggle to foil the devilish plans of an evil mastermind. But as the pair are thrust into ever more fantastical dangers, I started to wonder. Is Nayland Smith’s obsession with Fu Manchu (like Holmes with Moriarty) making him see the Chinaman’s omnipotent hand behind every crime? And Dr. Petrie, the narrator (like Watson a blinkered stuffed shirt) becomes infatuated with Fu Manchu’s beautiful Egyptian slave/concubine Karameneh. Even more improbably, she falls in love with him, according to his account. Are the two Englishmen actually living out their own (or their author’s) fantasies?

I love to wallow in the pure excitement and polished prose of these pre-war thrillers. I penned my own homage in the Chinatown chapter of my own book.  

By Sax Rohmer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The greatest genius whom the powers of evil have put on the earth for centuries", Fu Manchu - an agent of the Si-Fan - seeks to climb the ladder of the secret society's hierarchy, then to pave the way for conquest of his native land of China. He is pursued by Commissioner Sir Denis Nayland Smith and his compatriot Dr. Petrie, the narrator of these fast-paced, mood-drenched adventures.


Book cover of The Invention of Morel

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

A friend recommended this book when I told her about my Shepherd theme. A neurotic fugitive, hiding on a deserted island, discovers that he is not alone. This novella is classed as magical realism—there’s a foreword by Borges—but like my book it eventually provides a scientific explanation for the strange occurrences. And like almost all my other choices, it’s a first-person narration, so we are kept wondering how much is true. It flags a bit after the initial premise, but once the revelations start, it grips you. Amazingly for a book written in 1964, its speculations address issues at the forefront of digital technology and science today. I won’t say more, except: don’t read the introduction or foreword, which contain plot spoilers!     

By Adolfo Bioy Casares, Ruth L. C. Simms (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy's novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.

 

Inspired by Bioy Casares's fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped…


Book cover of The Cornish Wedding Murder

Nina Kaye Author Of Take a Moment

From my list on strong female leads who’d make great dinner guests.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent my twenties mostly devouring women’s fiction and romance novels with female leads, but I also stepped outside my preferred genre. Being a strong lead doesn’t necessarily mean saving the world or doing something heroic (though obviously that helps!), it’s about strength of character, being real, and being able to fight on when things get difficult. I always dreamt of being an author, but only started writing properly when I developed a debilitating long-term health condition. I used writing to support my rehabilitation and this led to me finally achieving that dream – so in a way, I see myself as a strong female lead in my own story. 

Nina's book list on strong female leads who’d make great dinner guests

Nina Kaye Why did Nina love this book?

The Cornish Wedding Murder is the first installment of Fiona Leitch’s wonderful cosy mystery series. It features Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker, ex-copper turned caterer, who butts heads with handsome DCI Nathan Winters to prove a childhood friend’s innocence, after an unexpected guest is found dead at his wedding. It’s an entertaining read with plenty of twists and turns and some added romantic tension to keep you wanting more. 

Jodie’s on my list as a female lead who’d make a great dinner guest because she’s bold, fiercely loyal and she doesn’t let others push her around. She’s also one to raise a smile with her deadpan humour and she’d have many a story from her police days to share. Oh, and with her being a caterer, I might not even have to cook!    

By Fiona Leitch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

‘A sparklingly delicious confection to satisfy the mystery reader’s appetite’ Helena Dixon, bestselling author of the Miss Underhay Mysteries

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing quite like having your first job back at home be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your…


Book cover of Frank and Bean

Sandra Nickel Author Of Big Bear and Little Fish

From my list on friends that bring on all the best feelings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I hold a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. In addition to the usual two-year program, I studied an extra semester, where I read all the best children’s books about friendship. I wanted to learn how the great authors such as A. A. Milne, James Marshall, and Arnold Lobel wrote stories full of so much heart and humor. My love of friendship stories burgeoned from there. And now, it’s with great delight that I offer you my Best Children’s Books About Friendship—and, of course, my very own friendship story, Big Bear and Little Fish.  

Sandra's book list on friends that bring on all the best feelings

Sandra Nickel Why did Sandra love this book?

Frank and Bean opens with Frank, who visits the great outdoors to find peace and quiet. Then, Bean shows up. He is literally a one bean band, with a drum, trumpet, triangle and more. Needless to say, they don’t initially hit it off. But then it gets dark, and fears bring them together. Before you know it, they are making beautiful music together. The text is full of wry humor presented with a wink for adults, while the illustrations are pitched perfectly to make five- to eight-year-old readers giggle along. I love this friendship story because it’s so much fun to read out loud. 

By Jamie Michalak, Bob Kolar (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Frank and Bean as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

When the introspective Frank meets the gregarious Bean, can they find a way to make beautiful music together? Dry wit and hilarious illustrations introduce a new unlikely pair.

Frank likes peace and quiet. He likes his tent, his pencil, and writing in his secret notebook. Bean likes noise. He likes his bus, his trumpet — toot, toot! — and making music. Loud music. But Bean is missing something: he does not have words. What will happen if Frank shares his words with Bean? With a laugh-out-loud narrative by Jamie Michalak, author of the Joe and Sparky series, and Bob Kolar’s…


Book cover of Pastoralia

Harrison Demchick Author Of Reptiles: A Short Story

From my list on short horror stories on why my brain works this way.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm perhaps the inevitable result of a lifetime spent on a steady diet of magical realism, literary fiction, science-fiction, and Spider-Man comics. Fortunately I’ve been able to channel my simultaneous loves of storytelling and structure into a life as a developmental editor. And where my own work is concerned, I’ve been able to do a lot of those things my childhood self might have hoped for: a novel in The Listeners, a feature film in Ape Canyon, and a litany of strange and usually distressing short stories. These days I do those things from my Washington, D.C. apartment with my wife and our two cats with a combined seven legs.

Harrison's book list on short horror stories on why my brain works this way

Harrison Demchick Why did Harrison love this book?

Specifically, I'm recommending the short story "Sea Oak." In the expanse of horror fiction, it has to be said that there are very few stories about a kindly old woman who returns from the dead as a pissed-off, vulgar, rotting corpse demanding her nephew start showing his cock (Saunders’s phrasing, not mine) for extra money so that his family can stop being pushovers and start earning some cash. George Saunders, it should be noted, is not remotely a horror author—rather, one of the more offbeat, distinctive writers of short literary fiction of the last quarter century—and Pastoralia is determinedly not a horror collection. But it’s exactly this that makes “Sea Oak” the strangest, least likely zombie story, if you can call it that, that you’ll ever read.

By George Saunders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Saunders is an astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny - telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times' Thomas Pynchon

In PASTORALIA elements of contemporary life are twisted, merged and amplified into a slightly skewed version of modern America. A couple live and work in a caveman theme-park, where speaking is an instantly punishable offence. A born loser attends a self-help seminar where he is encouraged to rid himself of all the people who are 'crapping in your oatmeal'. And a male exotic dancer and his family are terrorised by their…


Book cover of Unreliable Memoirs

David Baboulene Author Of Ocean Boulevard

From my list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I only read humour, and it was my passion to write humour. When I was lucky enough to find myself travelling the world and working on cargo ships, the source material presented itself, and I took my chance. Publishers were wary of the crudity inherent to a sailor’s life, so I present myself as if P.G. Wodehouse himself had gone to sea. I am the butt of all the pranks, and horrified by what I see around me. So I was able to write a book that addresses the truth of a shipboard life… but leaves the suggested extremes to your imagination!

David's book list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories

David Baboulene Why did David love this book?

Clive James is one of those writers whose voice you hear as he writes.

His journey from childhood in Sydney to adulthood at Oxford University in England is beautifully written and so very funny. The entire trilogy is good, but this first one – it’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

And if you have heard him speak, his dry, clever wit, and his ability to pick precisely the right word rides through and adds a lovely Australian spark to it all. A brilliant work. 

By Clive James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before James Frey famously fabricated his memoir, Clive James wrote a refreshingly candid book that made no claims to be accurate, precise, or entirely truthful, only to entertain. In an exercise of literary exorcism, James set out to put his childhood in Australia behind him by rendering it as part novel, part memoir. Now, nearly thirty years after it first came out in England, Unreliable Memoirs is again available to American readers and sure to attract a whole new generation that has, through his essays and poetry, come to love James's inimitable voice.


Book cover of I Was Born a Baby

Lori Degman Author Of Cock-a-Doodle-Oops!

From my list on humorous pictures in rhyme.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always written funny, rhyming poems so, when I began reading picture books to my kids, I decided to give writing one a try. I now have seven published books (six are in rhyme). I love creating humorous, alliterative stanzas – I think that’s what makes rhyming picture books so much fun to read aloud! Here's an example from my book Cock-a-Doodle Oops: “I know that I’m quiet, but I’d like to try it. Here goes said a shy little sheep. / Her cock-a-doodle baaaa didn’t travel too faaaa. In fact, she made barely a peep.” I hope you enjoy reading the books I’ve listed and other humorous, rhyming picture books!

Lori's book list on humorous pictures in rhyme

Lori Degman Why did Lori love this book?

I Was Born a Baby is my favorite Meg Fleming book – and that’s saying a lot! The rhyme and meter are wonderful! “I was born a baby. I was born a colt. / I was born a piglet. I’m a billy goat.”

The illustrations are so adorable and add to the humor! Not only will kids love listening to the rollicking rhyme, but they’ll also learn the names of animal babies! It’s the kind of book you love reading again and again and again! 

By Meg Fleming, Brandon James Scott (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was Born a Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Don't miss this irresistible read-aloud in the vein of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-with catchy rhymes and bold, silly art about baby animals and the names they share!

I was born a baby and grew into a kid...

Soon all the other baby animals can't help but share what they are called and what they grew up into! Readers will learn about owlettes, pufflings, and more. But when the chick, calf, cub, and pup realize they share their names with several other species, they can't believe it. "No way! No how! That can't be true!" becomes a catchy, energetic refrain readers…


Book cover of Quick Change

Howard Michael Gould Author Of Last Looks

From my list on comic crime that inspired comic crime movies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve made my way in the world as a writer, mostly of TV and movies, mostly of comedy of one stripe or another. As a consumer, though, I’ve always been more drawn to cops and robbers than to material designed primarily to make me laugh. Then, in my 50s, I made an unexpected turn to detective fiction, with a series shaped like traditional, serious mysteries but with satirical undertones and, hopefully, plenty of smiles along the way. My new career made me start thinking more attentively about how comedy and crime worked together, how my work built on what came before, and how it differed from it.

Howard's book list on comic crime that inspired comic crime movies

Howard Michael Gould Why did Howard love this book?

Like Dortmunder, Grimm is an idea man, and his idea for the perfect bank robbery is a doozy: he’ll dress as a clown, hold all the workers and customers in the vault, shoot out the video cameras, negotiate with the cops, take off the clown suit and makeup, “release” himself and his two accomplices as “hostages,” and waltz out of the bank and right past the entire NYPD. The only problem is, getting out of the city proves a lot harder than getting out of the bank. Cronley owes a lot to Westlake, but I picked Quick Change because he repays that debt and then some, with a smirking wit that lights up every page. 

By Jay Cronley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Grimm was the only one in town who knew he had them where he wanted them - overconfident."" The hero of Quick Change is just twenty minutes into a bank robbery, and so far everything is going according to his brilliant, meticulously thought-out plan. The bank's employees and customers are in the vault, the security cameras have all been shot out, and he's bagged close to a million dollars. But the police and a SWAT team are already outside. Can Grimm get out of the bank and out of New York, with the money and his two accomplices, and pull…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in deadpan humor, the working class, and London?

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