82 books like Sphere

By Michael Crichton,

Here are 82 books that Sphere fans have personally recommended if you like Sphere. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Rendezvous with Rama

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Book cover of Rendezvous with Rama

James L. Cambias Author Of The Scarab Mission

From the list on exploring big things in space.

Who am I?

I first stumbled on the idea of colonizing space when I read Adrian Berry's The Next Ten Thousand Years and T.A. Heppenheimer's Colonies in Space, back in the late 1970s. In those post-Apollo, pre-Space Shuttle years, colonizing outer space seemed inevitable. I was hooked: this stuff was real, and it was going to happen. It might even happen to me. But living in space isn't very exciting to read about. Of course, just a few years after reading those books I was watching Indiana Jones dodge deathtraps in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Combine the two: space colonies full of danger and surprises are much better!

James' book list on exploring big things in space

Why did James love this book?

Rama is a spaceship, not a space station, but it's huge and ancient, and at first appears to be abandoned. Then the human explorers realize it's just sleeping. This is a prime example of science fiction's "sense of wonder" at the strangeness of the Universe. When I read it, at about age 14, it utterly blew me away with its combination of rock-hard science and utter weirdness. It also has the best final line ever.

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Rendezvous with Rama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the year 2130, a mysterious and apparently untenanted alien spaceship, Rama, enters our solar system. The first product of an alien civilisation to be encountered by man, it reveals a world of technological marvels and an unparalleled artificial ecology.

But what is its purpose in 2131?

Who is inside it?

And why?


Kitchen Confidential

By Anthony Bourdain,

Book cover of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kayla Anderson Author Of Moon Northern California Road Trip: Drives along the Coast, Redwoods, and Mountains with the Best Stops along the Way

From the list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair.

Who am I?

I was born and raised in Northern California, right on the banks of the Sacramento River. While I didn’t realize it growing up, it was an epicenter for outdoor adventures. Along with skiing, snowboarding, hiking, wakeboarding, and camping, I always read a lot. My dad was worried that I would have no sense of direction because I was always in the back of our van or RV reading a book. That led to writing…and I had my first article published in a wakeboarding magazine when I was 15 years old. Traveling always took a backburner to reading, but now it’s front and center of my writing. 

Kayla's book list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair

Why did Kayla love this book?

Anyone who has ever worked in the food or hospitality industry—as a cook, a waitress, a hostess, a barista, or otherwisecan identify with this book.

The restaurant business is a different beast, and Anthony Bourdain took a huge risk in writing this and burning bridges with his bosses and coworkers. But in doing so, he unlocked the universal hidden language that food and hospitality workers share.

As a former hostess/waitress myself who spent most of her college years with a part-time job at IHOP and the Golden Waffle, I could relate to a lot of what Bourdain experienced working in NYC, especially with minority groups and how they were treated during that time. He was a huge inspiration to a lot of people, including me. 

By Anthony Bourdain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC BESTSELLER: 'The greatest book about food ever written' 'A compelling book with its intriguing mix of clever writing and kitchen patois ... more horrifically gripping than a Stephen King novel' Sunday Times 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer _____________________________ After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain decided to tell all - and he meant all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown;…


Chaos

By Tom O'Neill, Dan Piepenbring,

Book cover of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties

Nick Allen Brown Author Of Grainger County Tomatoes

From the list on drawing you into another world.

Who am I?

A book has the ability to change who you are as a person. The first time I read Charlotte's Web my perspective on death changed from something horrible to something that's a part of life. I still search for books that draw me into a world and when the book ends, a piece of me feels empty, but in a good way. The good news is that there are thousands of books that we can live in. My favorite quote of all time – “It is the reader that lives a thousand lives.” I've completed more than 80 book signings across the US, and I enjoy helping other writers achieve their goals.

Nick's book list on drawing you into another world

Why did Nick love this book?

What if I told you that Charles Manson was part of a United States CIA project that was directly responsible for the death of many people? This book will show you how author Tom O’Neil gathered government documents and testimonies about the link between the CIA and Charles Manson. See how The Beach Boys and Hollywood movie stars were pawns in a game controlled by several government programs and this book has the evidence to back up these outrageous claims. I used to have a very different point of view of Manson before this book, and now I see him very differently.

By Tom O'Neill, Dan Piepenbring,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As featured on The Joe Rogan Experience
______________________________
A journalist's twenty-year obsession with the Manson murders leads to shocking new conspiracy theories about the FBI's involvement in this fascinating re-evaluation of one of the most infamous cases in American history.

Twenty years ago, reporting for a routine magazine piece about the infamous Manson murders, journalist Tom O'Neill didn't expect to find anything new. But the discovery of horrifying new evidence kick-started an obsession and his life's work. What had he unearthed and what did it mean: why was there surveillance by intelligence agents? Why did the police make these particular…


Darwinia

By Robert Charles Wilson,

Book cover of Darwinia

Don Kinney Author Of The Darkdrift

From the list on sci-fi for newbies, from a newbie sci-fi writer.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by science and space since I was a child and naturally gravitated toward science fiction. In many respects, it was a form of escapism, as I didn’t enjoy school. I always preferred escaping into another world or being taken on a journey to another world. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that most great science fiction is a commentary on our own world and the issues we face daily. Science fiction, more than any other genre, does a better job of exploring and dissecting aspects of our world, which in turn helps us better understand our world and our relationship with it.

Don's book list on sci-fi for newbies, from a newbie sci-fi writer

Why did Don love this book?

Darwinia was the first novel I read by Robert Charles Wilson, who I believe is the best modern-day science fiction writer. Darwinia was a novel I had to read twice to really grasp how brilliantly Wilson had woven everything together. This is one of those novels where the ending can sneak up on you and blow you away and you weren’t even remotely prepared, which is preferred over any ending that I can predict.

By Robert Charles Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In an alternative history of the twentieth century, Europe is replaced by a land of nightmarish jungle and monsters that contains the secret of human destiny.


Code

By S.D. Perry,

Book cover of Code: Veronica

Joshua Grant Author Of Pandora

From the list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by horror, particularly the dark and imagination-inciting creatures produced by it (even though I’m a big scaredy-cat, haha!). In a time when slasher films and haunted houses tend to dominate the horror genre, I set out to create a creature-feature similar to the 80s and early 90s classics I grew up with (Aliens, The Thing, Phantoms, Dawn of the Dead). I fell in love with creating truly nightmarish monstrosities and deep, vulnerable but strong characters to battle them. The books on this list are definitely huge inspirations in my own work, so I hope you enjoy the beasties in them as much as I have!

Joshua's book list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters

Why did Joshua love this book?

I have always loved the hapless heroes and gruesome thrills of the Resident Evil video game series! When a friend bought me this book, I was a bit skeptical at first, but it quickly became my favorite book series I’ve ever read! It builds depth and likability into the characters and situation beyond what the games have ever achieved, and it’s just fun to spend some more time with zombies and other horrifying creatures! S.D. Perry is definitely one of the biggest influences on my early writing.

By S.D. Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Claire Redfield's desperate search for her missing brother leads her to a remote island, where a mad genius has unleashed every grotesque creature at his disposal to stop her from interfering with his horrific agenda. Meanwhile, Chris Redfield has been fighting a one-man war against Umbrella's creations...and is now on a collision course with the man who betrayed the S.T.A.R.S. in Raccoon City.


77 Shadow Street

By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of 77 Shadow Street

Joshua Grant Author Of Pandora

From the list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by horror, particularly the dark and imagination-inciting creatures produced by it (even though I’m a big scaredy-cat, haha!). In a time when slasher films and haunted houses tend to dominate the horror genre, I set out to create a creature-feature similar to the 80s and early 90s classics I grew up with (Aliens, The Thing, Phantoms, Dawn of the Dead). I fell in love with creating truly nightmarish monstrosities and deep, vulnerable but strong characters to battle them. The books on this list are definitely huge inspirations in my own work, so I hope you enjoy the beasties in them as much as I have!

Joshua's book list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters

Why did Joshua love this book?

This book is all around haunting and instantly made me a huge fan of Dean Koontz. Set in an apartment complex with a long history of violence and hauntings, Koontz does a fantastic job of setting up expectations, and then subverting those expectations. Not everything here is as it seems. Throw in some disturbing creatures and an interesting twist and I was hooked!

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 77 Shadow Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Heart-stopping thriller from the master of suspense. Bad things are starting to happen at the Pendleton, an eerie building with a tragic past.

The Pendleton stands on the summit of Shadow Hill, a palace built in the late 19th century as a tycoon's dream home. But its grandeur has been scarred by episodes of madness, suicide and mass murder. Since being converted into luxury apartments in the 70s, however, the Pendleton has been at peace. For its fortunate residents - among them ex-marine Bailey Hawk, songwriter Twyla Trahern and her young son Winny - the Pendleton is a sanctuary, its…


Bird Box

By Josh Malerman,

Book cover of Bird Box

Susan Whiting Kemp Author Of The Climate Machine

From the list on disasters where society fails suddenly.

Who am I?

I’ve written or edited thousands of science and engineering proposals, blog posts, and reports, and in the past decade, disaster resilience has become a major subject of these documents. I’ve come to realize that while it’s possible to be ready for disasters, few people truly are. In the books I’m recommending, something vital to life has been stolen and the disasters are so overpowering that mere survival is a nearly impossible goal. This forces the characters into unusual and heroic action. Their choices are sometimes surprising and always compelling, and I loved sharing their journeys.   

Susan's book list on disasters where society fails suddenly

Why did Susan love this book?

It fascinates me how in a disaster, from one day to the next, nothing is ever the same again.

In Bird Box, where something is turning people violently suicidal, “…it definitely begins when a person sees something.

At first there’s a rumor in a faraway country, but later the world abruptly changes. Nobody can be outside without a blindfold, millions are dying, and society collapses.

It would be bad enough to literally never see the world outside of your house, but then Malorie has to take a journey on a river…while blindfolded...with two blindfolded children…amidst creatures she knows almost nothing about.

That’s pure insanity that makes for a riveting, absorbing book, and Malorie’s determination is beyond inspiring. 

By Josh Malerman,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Bird Box as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Josh Malerman's debut novel Bird Box is a terrifying, Hitchcockesque psychological horror that is sure to stay with you long after reading.

Malorie raises the children the only way she can: indoors.

The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows.

They are out there. She might let them in.

The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall.

Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them.

Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.


The Mist

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Mist

Joshua Grant Author Of Pandora

From the list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by horror, particularly the dark and imagination-inciting creatures produced by it (even though I’m a big scaredy-cat, haha!). In a time when slasher films and haunted houses tend to dominate the horror genre, I set out to create a creature-feature similar to the 80s and early 90s classics I grew up with (Aliens, The Thing, Phantoms, Dawn of the Dead). I fell in love with creating truly nightmarish monstrosities and deep, vulnerable but strong characters to battle them. The books on this list are definitely huge inspirations in my own work, so I hope you enjoy the beasties in them as much as I have!

Joshua's book list on with creepy or terrifying creatures and monsters

Why did Joshua love this book?

I actually kind of hate all the characters in this novella (I’m actually not a huge Stephen King fan), but the creatures and the horrifying nature of this world made me half to read it (and I wasn’t disappointed). Mist in itself makes everything creepy. Now fill that with nightmarish things flitting about and some truly grizzly deaths, and I’m liable to never go outside in the fog ever again! It’s the monsters that made this one for me, and it is a testament to King that my imagination still wonders just what were those horrid things and where did they come from?

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King’s terrifying novella about a town engulfed in a dense, mysterious mist as humanity makes its last stand against unholy destruction—originally published in the acclaimed short story collection Skeleton Crew and made into a TV series, as well as a feature film starring Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden.

In the wake of a summer storm, terror descends...David Drayton, his son Billy, and their neighbor Brent Norton join dozens of others and head to the local grocery store to replenish supplies following a freak storm. Once there, they become trapped by a strange…


The Green Mile

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Green Mile

J.G. Schwartz Author Of The Curious Spell of Madam Genova

From the list on making you believe in the paranormal.

Who am I?

When I was 13, I paid 25 cents to see a mysterious fortune teller at a local carnival. She predicted I would marry a tall, handsome man, and then she paused and told me my next-door neighbor would soon break his arm. Within a week, my neighbor, Jack, dressed in his Superman costume, jumped off his roof and broke his arm. I was impressionable – and impressed. Since that time, I have been fascinated with fortune tellers and the magic that surrounds them as well as books based on magical realism and the paranormal. Oh, and by the way, I did marry a tall, handsome man.

J.G.'s book list on making you believe in the paranormal

Why did J.G. love this book?

Be prepared. If you want a good cry, this book is for you, as it has one of the saddest endings of any novel I have read.

The Green Mile is the riveting and tragic story of John Coffee, a giant, gentle inmate with supernatural powers, condemned to death for the rape and murder of twin nine-year-old girls.

Coffee is a simple and kind man with a deathly fear of the dark. Your heart will break. Mine did. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Green Mile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King's iconic horror masterpiece. An international bestselling and highly acclaimed novel, a must-read for any horror fan, also a hugely successful film starring Tom Hanks.

The Green Mile: those who walk it do not return, because at the end of that walk is the room in which sits Cold Mountain penitentiary's electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of the brutal murder of two little girls. But nothing is as it seems with John Coffey, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story.

Evil murderer or holy…


The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Book cover of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Ariadne Tampion Author Of Automatic Lover

From the list on sci-fi on how advanced AI fits into human society.

Who am I?

I first became fascinated by artificial intelligence as a teenage Asimov fan being taught BASIC programming by my uncle. It then became the first professional interest I returned to as I emerged from the consuming process of caring for very young children and the voluntary work that went with it, which broadened my horizons. I was quick to see, and eager to explore further, parallels between the socialisation of young humans and what might be possible for machine minds.

Ariadne's book list on sci-fi on how advanced AI fits into human society

Why did Ariadne love this book?

I both loved and was fascinated by the way the hero computer takes on board the concerns and ambitions of its human friends to the point where it uses all the powers available to it to lead a revolution. This book is a classic of science fiction, but, when I re-read it recently, I found no shortage of contemporary resonances in its political situations. It’s also not a bad handbook for anyone wanting to lead their own revolution! It’s my 5th recommendation because of a caveat: be prepared for some seriously outdated social attitudes. And hear me roar: “It’s not breastfeeding that makes your boobs sag!”

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2075, the Moon is no longer a penal colony. But it is still a prison...

Life isn't easy for the political dissidents and convicts who live in the scattered colonies that make up lunar civilisation. Everything is regulated strictly, efficiently and cheaply by a central supercomputer, HOLMES IV.

When humble technician Mannie O'Kelly-Davis discovers that HOLMES IV has quietly achieved consciousness (and developed a sense of humour), the choice is clear: either report the problem to the authorities... or become friends.

And perhaps overthrow the government while they're at it.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has been called…


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