100 books like Space Invaders

By Nona Fernández, Natasha Wimmer (translator),

Here are 100 books that Space Invaders fans have personally recommended if you like Space Invaders. 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 Master of Go

Steven Arntson Author Of The Wikkeling

From my list on short contemporary novels in translation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing career has been in middle grade and YA, but as a reader I’m always trying to branch out. When I was a kid, literature opened the door to the whole world, and as an adult, I’m still exploring. When I read work in translation I can feel the literary connection to other writers and thinkers and simultaneously appreciate the differences that arise through geographic and cultural heritage. I hope my selections here might help readers like myself who enjoy reaching out to new voices and places.

Steven's book list on short contemporary novels in translation

Steven Arntson Why did Steven love this book?

Translated from Japanese, this 182-page novel originally published in 1951 is perhaps a little long to be included as a short novel, and a little old to be considered contemporary . . . but it’s a personal favorite! Both a novel and a piece of journalism, Master describes the final match of a man widely considered to be his generation’s greatest go player. Interwoven into this narrative/character study are arresting details about the game and those who have played it over the centuries. It reads so quickly, you’ll think it was only 100 pages.

By Yasunari Kawabata, Edward G. Seidensticker (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, it is an essential expression of the Japanese sensibility. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and invincible Master and a younger, more progressive challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century.

The competition between the Master of Go and his opponent, Otake, is waged over several months and layered in ceremony. But beneath…


Book cover of Memoirs of a Woman Doctor

Steven Arntson Author Of The Wikkeling

From my list on short contemporary novels in translation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing career has been in middle grade and YA, but as a reader I’m always trying to branch out. When I was a kid, literature opened the door to the whole world, and as an adult, I’m still exploring. When I read work in translation I can feel the literary connection to other writers and thinkers and simultaneously appreciate the differences that arise through geographic and cultural heritage. I hope my selections here might help readers like myself who enjoy reaching out to new voices and places.

Steven's book list on short contemporary novels in translation

Steven Arntson Why did Steven love this book?

Translated from Arabic and 101 pages in length, this wonderful 1958 short novel is the first longer work of this legendary Egyptian writer, activist, and feminist. If you like it, you are in for a wonderful exploration of the life and work of this astounding writer and thinker. Trained as a doctor in Cairo, El Saadawi is also a riveting reporter of her experiences in a world where doctors were almost always men.

By Nawal El Saadawi, Catherine Cobham (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rebelling against the contraints of family and society, a young Egyptian woman decides to study medicine, becoming the only woman in a class of men. Her encounters with the other students mdash; as well as the male and female corpses in the autopsy room intensify her dissatisfaction with and search for identity. She realizes men are not gods as her mother had taught her, that science cannot explain everything, and that she cannot be satisfied by living a life purely of the mind.

After a brief and unhappy marriage, she throws herself into her work, becoming a successful physician, but…


Book cover of Signs Preceding the End of the World

Steven Arntson Author Of The Wikkeling

From my list on short contemporary novels in translation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing career has been in middle grade and YA, but as a reader I’m always trying to branch out. When I was a kid, literature opened the door to the whole world, and as an adult, I’m still exploring. When I read work in translation I can feel the literary connection to other writers and thinkers and simultaneously appreciate the differences that arise through geographic and cultural heritage. I hope my selections here might help readers like myself who enjoy reaching out to new voices and places.

Steven's book list on short contemporary novels in translation

Steven Arntson Why did Steven love this book?

Translated from Spanish and 128 pages in length, Herrera’s short novel is a beautiful evocation of one woman's journey from Latin America to the US. Evoked with the brushstrokes of a fairy tale and suffused with a luminous surreality, the book has stuck with me. This is Herrera’s first novel to be published in English, and it has made quite a splash, giving me hope that more will soon follow.

By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Signs Preceding the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there's no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to…


Book cover of “Muslim”

Steven Arntson Author Of The Wikkeling

From my list on short contemporary novels in translation.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing career has been in middle grade and YA, but as a reader I’m always trying to branch out. When I was a kid, literature opened the door to the whole world, and as an adult, I’m still exploring. When I read work in translation I can feel the literary connection to other writers and thinkers and simultaneously appreciate the differences that arise through geographic and cultural heritage. I hope my selections here might help readers like myself who enjoy reaching out to new voices and places.

Steven's book list on short contemporary novels in translation

Steven Arntson Why did Steven love this book?

Translated from French, this beautiful 101-page narrative reads like a poetic meditation. Our character once lived a deeply rural life in North Africa, a cultural and linguistic outsider. Now, as a refugee plunged into a new world of identities, she has been informed that she is Muslim. But what does it mean, this word, across languages and cultures? Deep questions about the interlacing of culture, religion, and geopolitics are posed here with startling urgency in a style that evokes not only the machinations of the state, but the deeply interior world in which we define ourselves to ourselves.

By Zahia Rahmani, Matt Reeck (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Muslim" A Novel is a genre-bending, poetic reflection on what it means to be Muslim from one of France's leading writers. In this novel, the second in a trilogy, Rahmani's narrator contemplates the loss of her native language and her imprisonment and exile for being Muslim, woven together in an exploration of the political and personal relationship of language within the fraught history of Islam. Drawing inspiration from the oral histories of her native Berber language, the Koran, and French children's tales, Rahmani combines fiction and lyric essay in to tell an important story, both powerful and visionary, of identity,…


Book cover of Bread, Justice, and Liberty: Grassroots Activism and Human Rights in Pinochet's Chile

Debbie Sharnak Author Of Of Light and Struggle: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Accountability in Uruguay

From my list on human rights in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked at the International Center for Transitional Justice in 2009 when Uruguay held a second referendum to overturn the country’s amnesty law that protected the police and military from prosecution for human rights abuses during the country’s dictatorship. Despite the country’s stable democracy and progressive politics in the 21st century, citizens quite surprisingly rejected the opportunity to overturn the state-sanctioned impunity law. My interest in broader accountability efforts in the world and that seemingly shocking vote in Uruguay drove me to want to study the roots of that failed effort, ultimately compelling a broader investigation into how human rights culture in Uruguay evolved, particularly during and after its period of military rule. 

Debbie's book list on human rights in Latin America

Debbie Sharnak Why did Debbie love this book?

So many books about the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile focus on the particularities of violence during that awful period in the country’s history.

Yet, Bread, Justice, and Liberty looks at a longer trajectory of the struggle for human rights in the country that focuses on socioeconomic justice that began long before the coup of September 11, 1973, and also continued much further afterward.

It is a beautifully written monograph that focuses on shantytown communities’ experiences and activism and expands our understanding of Chilean politics and human rights. 

By Alison Bruey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the SECOLAS Alfred B. Thomas Book Award
Named Best Social Science Book, LASA Southern Cone Studies Section

In Santiago, Chile, poverty and state violence have often led to grassroots resistance movements among the poor and working class. Alison J. Bruey offers a compelling history of the struggle for social justice and democracy during the Pinochet dictatorship. Deeply grounded by both extensive oral history interviews and archival research, Bread, Justice, and Liberty provides innovative contributions to scholarship on Chilean history, social movements, popular protest and democratization, neoliberal economics, and the Cold War in Latin America.


Book cover of Buying Into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States

Allyson Brantley Author Of Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors and Remade American Consumer Activism

From my list on boycotts & consumer activism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Colorado-raised and California-based historian, professor, and writer. I recently published my first book, Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors and Remade American Consumer Activism, which explores the history of one of the longest-running consumer boycotts in American history – the boycott of Coors beer. In telling this particular history, I became fascinated with the boycott as a tool of protest and activism. The boycott is an iconic and regular feature of American politics and history, but it is often dismissed as ineffective or passive. The books on this list (as well as many others) have helped to convince me that the boycott and consumer activism can be powerful forms of solidarity-building and protest.

Allyson's book list on boycotts & consumer activism

Allyson Brantley Why did Allyson love this book?

You’ll never look at table grapes the same after reading Tinsman’s excellent Buying into the Regime. Her book takes a different approach from the texts above – instead of looking at a single movement, she focuses on a single industry (Chilean grapes) in multiple contexts: cultivation in Chile, Cold War consumption in the United States, and consumer activism and grape boycotts in both nations. The result is a remarkable transnational history that underscores how consumption itself is a “terrain of political struggle.” Tinsman’s expansive perspective, which engages a number of different fields, also offers lessons for activists in the age of globalization, notably that building transnational alliances is incredibly difficult work.

By Heidi Tinsman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Buying Into the Regime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Buying into the Regime is a transnational history of how Chilean grapes created new forms of consumption and labor politics in both the United States and Chile. After seizing power in 1973, Augusto Pinochet embraced neoliberalism, transforming Chile's economy. The country became the world's leading grape exporter. Heidi Tinsman traces the rise of Chile's fruit industry, examining how income from grape production enabled fruit workers, many of whom were women, to buy the commodities-appliances, clothing, cosmetics-flowing into Chile, and how this new consumerism influenced gender relations, as well as pro-democracy movements. Back in the United States, Chilean and U.S. businessmen…


Book cover of By Night in Chile

Chana Porter Author Of The Seep

From my list on to shock, expand, and engulf you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writer and essayist Agnes Borinsky called my debut novel The Seep, A swift shock of a novel that has shifted how I see our world.Here are five short, urgent novels that continue to live with me in the months and years after reading them. These are some of my most beloved books, all of which happen to be under 200 pages, which ache with the inner mystery of what is hidden, and what is revealed. These books are my teachers, each a precise masterclass in world building, suspense, and purposeful storytelling. Enjoy these ‘swift shocks!’

Chana's book list on to shock, expand, and engulf you

Chana Porter Why did Chana love this book?

Im also a playwright, so I really admire a full story told in propulsive first-person monologue. This novella is a confession of Father Urrutia from his deathbed, beginning with the line I am dying now, but I still have many things to say.As he speaks, the priest untangles the twisted, uncomfortable agreements between artists and institutions in Chile under Pinochet. I often recommend this book for people who have not yet read Bolaño and might feel intimated by the length of his major works. 

By Roberto Bolaño, Chris Andrews (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By Night in Chile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As through a crack in the wall, By Night in Chile's single night-long rant provides a terrifying, clandestine view of the strange bedfellows of Church and State in Chile. This wild, eerily compact novel-Roberto Bolano's first work available in English-recounts the tale of a poor boy who wanted to be a poet, but ends up a half-hearted Jesuit priest and a conservative literary critic, a sort of lap dog to the rich and powerful cultural elite, in whose villas he encounters Pablo Neruda and Ernst Junger. Father Urrutia is offered a tour of Europe by agents of Opus Dei (to…


Book cover of The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability

Tom Gething Author Of Under a False Flag

From my list on covert ops in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m always delighted when a reader asks, “Did you work for the CIA?” It tells me I achieved the verisimilitude I was striving for in Under a False Flag. I’m also proud that my novel has been included in a university-level Latin American history curriculum. That tells me I got the history right. No aspect of modern history is more intriguing or controversial than the role covert action played, for better or worse, in the Cold War. With the exception of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which took us to the brink of nuclear disaster, the Cold War in Latin America was mostly fought in the shadows with markedly ambivalent achievements.

Tom's book list on covert ops in Latin America

Tom Gething Why did Tom love this book?

The 1973 coup in Chile violently destroyed the freely elected Marxist government of Salvador Allende and installed the brutal 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. For years afterward suspicions swirled that the U.S. was behind the event. But evidence was largely anecdotal. What is so impressive about this book is Kornbluh’s persistence deploying the Freedom of Information Act to obtain thousands of classified documents related to the coup. Kornbluh connects the dots and reveals the smoking guns. Through facsimiles of actual cables, telexes, and phone memos (many still highly redacted) this dossier allows you to draw your own conclusions about what really happened in Chile.

By Peter Kornbluh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Pinochet File reveals a record of complicity with atrocity by the U.S. government. The documents, first declassified for the original edition of the book, formed the heart of the campaign to hold Gen. Pinochet accountable for murder, torture and terrorism. The New York Times wrote of the original 2003 edition, 'Thanks to Peter Kornbluh, we have the first complete, almost day-to-day and fully documented record of this sordid chapter in Cold War American History.' With this 40th anniversary edition, the record is even more complete and up-to-date.


Book cover of Where the Bird Sings Best

Libbie Grant Author Of The Prophet's Wife: A Novel of an American Faith

From my list on historical fiction featuring gorgeous prose.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a bestselling author of historical fiction—some readers might recognize my pen name, Olivia Hawker, under which I wrote One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow, along with several other novels. My greatest passion is literary fiction, especially when it intersects with historical fiction. Along with my books, I continue to explore new modes of storytelling and new uses for story in my podcast, Future Saint of a New Era.

Libbie's book list on historical fiction featuring gorgeous prose

Libbie Grant Why did Libbie love this book?

I was first intrigued by Jodorowsky’s bizarre, unforgettable films. I only discovered his fiction later, but I’m glad I did. Where the Bird Sings Best is a semi-fictional account of the author’s family history, incorporating the magical-realism tradition of Latin American literature with factual details of one family’s immigration and resettlement half a world away from their original homeland. As in Jodorowsky’s filmmaking, the images within his novel are haunting, weird, and leave the reader with the impression that she has only grasped one-tenth of the real meaning.

By Alexandro Jodorowsky, Alfred MacAdam (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where the Bird Sings Best as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The magnum opus from Alejandro Jodorowsky—director of The Holy Mountain, star of Jodorowsky’s Dune, spiritual guru behind Psychomagic and The Way of Tarot, innovator behind classic comics The Incal and Metabarons, and legend of Latin American literature.

There has never been an artist like the polymathic Chilean director, author, and mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky. For eight decades, he has blazed new trails across a dazzling variety of creative fields. While his psychedelic, visionary films have been celebrated by the likes of John Lennon, Marina Abramovic, and Kanye West, his novels—praised throughout Latin America in the same breath as those of Gabriel…


Book cover of Madwomen: The Locas Mujeres Poems of Gabriela Mistral

Chriselda Barretto Author Of The Creep: A First of Its Kind Narrative Poetry in a Thriller Genre!

From my list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chriselda is a multi-genre, prolific author, and speaker, with a background in Business Administration and Chemistry/Microbiology. She speaks 5 languages & has published over 50 books. Her expansive writing covers poetry, horror, thriller, romance, children’s illustration, educational... but she enjoys telling a story in narrative poetry the most. Currently, she is working on her next dark poetry book Me and Him, where she will invoke one of the greatest poets – EA Poe. In her effort to promote more learning, she is also wrapping up the fourth book in her - Sigils, Symbols and Alchemy Series. Her passion for writing, lifelong learning, creativity, and her curiosity all help spark her innovative mindset.

Chriselda's book list on poetry from the world's greatest female poets

Chriselda Barretto Why did Chriselda love this book?

Gabriela was a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator, and humanist, who became the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. Her poetry often focuses on dark, humane themes that undoubtedly reflect on traumatic episodes that she had personally endured. 

Gabriela has the knack of scratching the surface, which is potent enough to get all your senses actively experiencing the emotions and character she puts forth. The poems resonate on a deep level, offering a compelling clarity of life with its tragedy and complications. The women depicted here are anything but mad; some would say entirely strong-willed and intense, with a collected control and a modernistic sense of independence.

By Gabriela Mistral, Randall Couch (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) is one of the most important and enigmatic figures in twentieth-century Latin American literature. The Locas mujeres poems collected here are among Mistral's most complex and compelling, exploring facets of the self in extremis - poems marked by the wound of blazing catastrophe and its aftermath of mourning. Madwomen promises to reveal a profound poet to a new generation while reacquainting Spanish readers with a stranger, more complicated 'madwoman' than most have ever known.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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