100 books like Severance

By Ling Ma,

Here are 100 books that Severance fans have personally recommended if you like Severance. 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 War of the Worlds

David E. Gates Author Of The Wretched

From my list on horror books that changed my life and could change yours.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved horror since my early teens, when I first discovered The Rats and Lair and other horror stories by James Herbert. The thing I like about horror, in particular, is that there are no holds barred, no censorship, as to what can be written. I grew up on movies like The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Jaws, Alien, The Thing, etc., but horror writing takes you deeper and gives a more visceral experience than anything any film can do.

David's book list on horror books that changed my life and could change yours

David E. Gates Why did David love this book?

This book is why I became an author. 

I started reading this book in class at school, when I was around thirteen years of age. The class read the first two chapters, and I was so enamoured with it I couldn't wait to get home and read it. I read it in its entirety that very night. I found the language and description used within it quite breathtaking. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter. It had a lasting effect on me and led me to start writing my own stories down. 

By H.G. Wells,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The War of the Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

But planet Earth was not only being watched - soon it would be invaded by monstrous creatures from Mars who strode about the land in great mechanical tripods, bringing death and destruction with them. What can possibly stop an invading army equipped with heat-rays and poisonous black gas, intent on wiping out the human race? This is one man's story of that incredible invasion, from the time the first Martians land near his home town, to the destruction of London. Is this the end of human life on Earth?

Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Teresa M. Schulz Author Of Barbed Wire and Daisies

From my list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a wicked imagination and loved to tell stories. Unfortunately, this had me naively believing in fairy tales and happy endings. Cinderella has a lot to answer for. My kind heart and trusting nature were a magnet for bad men, and boy, did I suffer because of it. The term “Viking Berserker” comes to mind. This is why I have a passion for reading about strong women. I’ve learned (through reading books – such as those on my recommended list) that to survive, you have to have hope for a better future, and inspiring people – within inspiring stories – can often give you that hope.

Teresa's book list on thriller/suspense escapism with strong female protagonists, full of grit, sass, and humour

Teresa M. Schulz Why did Teresa love this book?

As a mother, I could relate to June Osborne’s feelings of panic and rage when her family was pursued and her child ripped from her arms. Someone taking or hurting my kids would be my worst nightmare. I am definitely a protective Mama bear and no enemy could stop me from doing whatever I had to – to rescue my child. That is one of the main reasons this book resonated with me.

The rest of the storyline is not too far fetched these days, with politics as they are. In a world where a few rich have so much power, and the many are basically wage slaves, an apocalyptic world is not hard to imagine.

It was hard to read of the torment her captors put June through, but that had to happen to show the strength of a woman surviving everything they had thrown at her, and never…

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

32 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 A Christmas Carol

Loquacious McCarbre Author Of The Legends of Grimous Ironblood: Curious Bottle Book 1

From my list on fantasy folktale campfire stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and performer, I’ve always loved live storytelling! Stories really come alive when performed and there’s an unexplained magic that bonds an audience with the storyteller and connects us to our collective past. Having performed countless times in plays, murder mysteries, and storytelling, the joy and excitement felt crackling in the air is like nothing else. I’ve plenty of fond memories of storytelling over the years, from terrifying ghost stories around the campfire of Camp Wing in America to the fantastical folktales of my stage play The Storyteller’s Apprentice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So, next time you’re sitting at a campfire, give it a go! 

Loquacious' book list on fantasy folktale campfire stories

Loquacious McCarbre Why did Loquacious love this book?

This Victorian classic sent shivers down my back when the ghost of Jacob Marley rattles his spectral chains to send a dire warning to Ebenezer Scrooge about the perils of his miserly life.

I was gripped from the first word as his tragic life is revealed by the narrator in the most effective and emotive way. I remember feeling anger as Scrooge mistreats his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, dismisses his kind and generous nephew, Fred, and believes Christmas to be a “Bah!” and a “Humbug!” However, as Scrooge was shown the error of his ways by three phantoms, my anger transformed into sadness and pity.

How could someone be given so many chances at redemption and spurn them all? Happily, Scrooge learned his life lesson before it was too late.

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…

Book cover of Fever 1793

Elizabeth Langston Author Of Whisper Falls

From my list on fish out of water” historical novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved learning about the past. Whenever we travel for vacation, my family has become resigned to making a stop at a historical site, especially for Colonial America. It was no surprise to them that I set parts of my first published novel (and series) in 18th century North Carolina. Each novel on my book list is set in a different century and features ordinary people who, when thrown into extraordinary circumstances, respond with strength, courage, and grace. These historical “fish-out-of-water” stories remind us how much people have changed across time—and how they’ve stayed the same. 

Elizabeth's book list on fish out of water” historical novels

Elizabeth Langston Why did Elizabeth love this book?

When I first read Fever 1793—set in Philadelphia during a yellow fever epidemic—I thought it was a well-written and thought-provoking glimpse into how people would respond in a crisis. After re-reading it post-pandemic, I would now add “prophetic.” Mattie is a typical grumpy teen who would rather have fun than work in her family’s coffee house. But there is a deadly fever rapidly spreading through the city. Desperation unleashes her inner strength, allowing her to prevail over disease, fear, food shortages, unscrupulous thieves, and well-intentioned but poorly-managed medical science.

By Laurie Halse Anderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Fever 1793 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?

Synopsis coming soon.......

Book cover of Parable of the Sower

Michael J. Albert Author Of Navigating the Polycrisis: Mapping the Futures of Capitalism and the Earth

From my list on books that help us make sense of the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lecturer in Global Environmental Politics at the University of Edinburgh. My work is driven by the conviction that we need more thorough and realistic maps of possible futures in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world. Ever since learning about the intersections between climate, energy, and economic crises, I have been fascinated by the question of how our future will unfold and how we might create more just and liveable futures from the wreckage of the present world. And I have been driven to bring down artificial disciplinary divides in order to integrate knowledge across the sciences and humanities in ways that can illuminate the possible pathways ahead. 

Michael's book list on books that help us make sense of the future

Michael J. Albert Why did Michael love this book?

The recent Octavia Butler renaissance means that the book needs no introduction. It remains a prescient, gripping, ominous, yet inspiring narrative that transports us into a future ravaged by climate change and neo-fascism.

The book is ruthlessly brutal in its account of what a collapse trajectory would look like in a future “United States” (existing in name and memory only). It anticipated a Trump-like figure coming to power well before this was remotely considered by mainstream American political scientists.

While dark, the book is also inspiring in that it shows how the breakdown of our current world could seed the emergence of new movements of mutual aid, solidarity, and earth-based spiritualities. 

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked Parable of the Sower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The extraordinary, prescient NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling novel.

'If there is one thing scarier than a dystopian novel about the future, it's one written in the past that has already begun to come true. This is what makes Parable of the Sower even more impressive than it was when first published' GLORIA STEINEM

'Unnervingly prescient and wise' YAA GYASI


We are coming apart. We're a rope, breaking, a single strand at a time.

America is a place of chaos, where violence rules and only the rich and powerful are safe. Lauren Olamina, a young woman with the extraordinary power to…

Book cover of The Marrow Thieves

Rebecca Rosenblum Author Of These Days Are Numbered: Diary of a High-Rise Lockdown

From my list on community and connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been deeply interested in how people connect to those around them—it is something I write about constantly. My first novel, So Much Love, was about how a community reacts to terrible loss and uncertainty, and my recent book of nonfiction, These Days Are Numbered, is about how my own community—and I—reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am always looking at how humans human, separately and especially together. That is one of the joys of narrative fiction for me—the way we can use it to examine our behaviour and interactions, and how we form relationships and communities. I hope these books enthrall you as much as they did me.

Rebecca's book list on community and connection

Rebecca Rosenblum Why did Rebecca love this book?

There are so many things to love about this extremely beloved YA adventure novel about a futuristic world where a pandemic has ravaged most people’s ability to dream…except for Indigenous people, who are hunted for their bone marrow, which is believed to contain their dreaming ability.

It’s a haunting, exciting, eerie, and important book, but of the many things it underlines is the importance of found family, of learning to trust and find solace and protection and strength from the people we choose to be with. A beautiful lesson in a book full of good ones. 

By Cherie Dimaline,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Marrow Thieves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden-but what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.

"Miigwans is a true hero; in…

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Ellie Ember Author Of Paper Castles

From my list on dystopian books every twenty-something should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved dystopian books ever since my mom handed me The Giver when I was in the fourth grade. My high school English teacher ignited this passion further when she suggested I read Fahrenheit 451 during Banned Books Week. I would later pursue this interest in university when I wrote my thesis on the political use of language in dystopian literature. Now, my love for the genre motivates me to write dystopian books of my own. This list includes the most engaging and evocative dystopian books I urge every twenty-something to read–if only so I can talk about them with more people!

Ellie's book list on dystopian books every twenty-something should read

Ellie Ember Why did Ellie love this book?

The world of The Hunger Games is eerily similar to our own, making readers think about “just war” and the spectacle of violence through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl. While Katniss Everdeen is a teenager, I still pick up this book (more than) annually, and each time I revisit it, I come away with new insight into the real world.

Katniss is strong, caring, and resilient in the face of all the challenges of her environment. As an adult, I can learn from her strengths and even from her flaws. She inspires me to watch the world around me with a careful eye, to understand how the powers that be shape my experiences, and ultimately, to always watch out for my fellow human beings.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked The Hunger Games 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?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...

Book cover of The Dog Stars

Mark Wish Author Of Necessary Deeds

From my list on gruesome murders and genuine love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had the passion to write Necessary Deeds because: 1) as someone who'd spent 20+ years writing novels, dealing with untrustworthy literary agents, and book-doctoring other writers’ novels in order to pay rent, I'd come to know betrayal (“best friend” writers who stole drafts of mine and called them their own, novelists who backstabbed me after I helped them land agents and book contracts, and so on); 2) like many people who lived through the drug-and-alcohol-laced Eighties, I had a long relationship with someone that ended because they cheated on me. So I never doubted that, as I wrote Necessary Deeds, my heart knew well what motivated its characters.

Mark's book list on gruesome murders and genuine love

Mark Wish Why did Mark love this book?

This book leans a bit more toward the literary fiction category than do most books I read these days, but it’s among my top five because of two elements it develops, and poignantly so: 1) the constant threat of death for not only the narrator but also others he knows, and 2) a love story.

And the love story, much as it got to me emotionally, never once struck me as sappy. Instead, it was very realistic. Very human. Very no-b.s. As a result, altogether, this novel offers terrific storytelling.

By Peter Heller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE ROAD - but with hope. Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, and eventually the temptation to find out who else is still alive becomes irresistible. So he takes his plane over the horizon, knowing that he won't have enough fuel to get back. What follows is scarier…

Book cover of Station Eleven

Eric Porter Author Of A People's History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport

From my list on airports teaching us about society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long had an ambivalent relationship with airports. They have been the starting point for my adventures, but I have also known well the discomfort, boredom, stress, surveillance, bad food, and other unpleasantries that often define airport experiences. Despite my ambivalence, I’ve found airports to be fascinating places where differently situated people (travelers and workers) encounter one another. I’ve learned that those encounters, as well as airport operations and design, tell us something about the places where they are located and the broader societies in which we live. I’ve since become aware that reading (and writing) about airports are also great ways to gain such insights. 

Eric's book list on airports teaching us about society

Eric Porter Why did Eric love this book?

In addition to eerily anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic—thankfully, our pathogen was not nearly as virulent and lethal—this post-apocalyptic novel offers interesting commentary about airports as microcosms of society.

The airport that figures prominently here is the gateway to and manifestation of a “secure” society structured as much by those it excludes as by those it includes. It is also the archive of a society defined, for better and for worse, by its relationship to technology. 

By Emily St. John Mandel,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked Station Eleven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Best novel. The big one . . . stands above all the others' - George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

Now an HBO Max original TV series

The New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
National Book Awards Finalist
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in…

Book cover of The New Wilderness

Christine Grillo Author Of Hestia Strikes a Match: A Novel

From my list on engaging in world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved to dip into speculative worlds as a way of gaining a new perspective on conundrums in the real world. In the real world, so many of us are plagued by concerns or frustrations having to do with connection and commitment, and those concerns transcend whatever place or moment we’re living in. So, by dropping those concerns into a surreal setting, I get another way to tussle with them.

Christine's book list on engaging in world-building

Christine Grillo Why did Christine love this book?

As a writer who’s interested in what comes next—after climate change, after fascism—I love how Diane Cook uses broad brush strokes to show us the future, without going into too much history or detail.

Instead of hyper-focusing on what the future holds for us, Cook directs our attention to one small, outlier community that’s doing weird things. This is a great technique: she paints a picture of a future world by painting a picture of a fringe group that’s trying desperately to be different from the main one.

A mother-daughter drama drives the plot forward, and we learn about the rules and ruminations of the fringe group as the characters sort out their power struggles.

By Diane Cook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'THE ENVIRONMENTAL NOVEL OF OUR TIMES.' Lemn Sissay, Booker Prize judge

From an acclaimed Guardian First Book Award finalist comes a debut novel 'brutal and beautiful in equal measure' (Emily St. John Mandel)

Longlisted for the DUBLIN Literary Award 2022

A Guardian Best Science Fiction Book of the Year

A 'Best Book of the Year 2020' according to BBC Culture * An Irish Times Best Debut Fiction of 2020

Bea's daughter, Agnes, is slowly wasting away, her lungs ravaged by the smog and pollution of the overpopulated metropolis they call home.

The only alternative is to build a life in…

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