71 books like Stiff

By Mary Roach,

Here are 71 books that Stiff fans have personally recommended if you like Stiff. 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 Jane Eyre

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

This is one classic that everyone should read because it’s a pleasure to do so. I read this as a 13-year-old, and it quickly became the yardstick against which I measured every other love story. Yes, it’s a love story, and that is the heart of this book, but it’s not a sappy romantic tale. 

This book explores class structures, mental disorders, and a glimpse into another time. Intense yet leashed emotions form the backbone of the story. As a teen and even now, the brooding, dark quality of this tale really appeals to me.

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…


Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Russia is once again in the headlines, sparking a geopolitical contest between her and the West.

The period immediately following the Second World War can be viewed as a romantic era, marked by new hope for peace and the rebuilding of the world. The establishment of the UN aimed to resolve power struggles at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield. 

These elements are all found in this novel, which delves into the past to shed light on Russia's psyche and how it might shape the future. It effectively connects the past with the near future. House arrest is common in oppressive regimes across the developing world.

What intrigued me was that the protagonist was placed under hotel arrest and restricted, punished for a crime he didn't commit. It was a captivating read, especially given the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for…

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

30 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

Having read this book when I was 22, it helped shape my fear of the danger of complacent societies. Simply but powerfully written, its first-person narrative creates a sense of claustrophobia, a glimpse into the isolating and dehumanizing life of a handmaid. 

Through Offred, the traumas she experiences, and the people she interacts with the whole world of Gilead springs to scary life. While reading the book, it struck me that nothing was totally made up. Every incident in the book was derived from history. These things had already happened, and they could happen again. It showed me that victory is not always heroic and impressive. Sometimes, victory can be just surviving oppression.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

30 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?

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

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 The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London

Janet Philp Author Of Burke - Now and Then

From my list on the supply of cadavers and what they can teach us.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an anatomy educator and doctoral researcher looking at the use of human material in anatomy education. My historical research into the antics of body suppliers has caused me to explore many publications on what we do with the remains of our relatives. This is a subject that can be fascinating but also requires compassionate handling and sometimes asks us questions that we often do not want to ponder.

Janet's book list on the supply of cadavers and what they can teach us

Janet Philp Why did Janet love this book?

An exploration of the suspected murder of an Italian child in London that along with the murders of Burke and Hare, changed how bodies are supplied for medical teaching. Set in London in the 1830s it is a factual look at the way cadavers were supplied for medical teaching at that point in history.

By Sarah Wise,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Towards the end of 1831, the authorities unearthed a series of crimes at Number 3, Nova Scotia Gardens in East London that appeared to echo the notorious Burke and Hare killings in Edinburgh three years earlier. After a long investigation, it became known that a group of body snatchers - two men in particular, John Bishop and Thomas Williams, called the 'London Burkers' - were supplying the anatomy schools with fresh 'examples' for dissection. The case became known as 'The Italian Boy' and caused a furore which led directly to the passing of controversial legislation which marked the beginning of…


Book cover of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Elizabeth Anne Wood Author Of Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story

From my list on coping with the fact that we’re all going to die.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a little bit morbid since childhood. My father died when I was not quite 10 years old, and my mother was a huge fan of horror novels and scary movies. But I became seriously interested in death and dying when my mother got cancer and was facing the end of her own life. I acted as her medical advocate and participated in many aspects of her care. I'm also a sociologist who studies taboo elements of culture and I'm invested in creating a consciousness shift so that the United States is less death-phobic, allowing us all to live our lives more fully by addressing our mortality head-on!

Elizabeth's book list on coping with the fact that we’re all going to die

Elizabeth Anne Wood Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Atul Gawande is a doctor who writes like he’s a warm-hearted friend. I love the way that Gawande weaves stories about his medical practice into the story of his father’s life and death, while making deep insights into how we can improve hospital care, nursing home care, and end-of-life care for all.

I especially loved the chapters focused on re-envisioning health care and housing options for the elderly and ill. I love Gawande’s accessible style and the way he offers hope by looking at these issues from a very human perspective even when revealing problems that seem insurmountable from a distance.

By Atul Gawande,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Being Mortal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

'GAWANDE'S MOST POWERFUL, AND MOVING, BOOK' MALCOLM GLADWELL

'BEING MORTAL IS NOT ONLY WISE AND DEEPLY MOVING; IT IS AN ESSENTIAL AND INSIGHTFUL BOOK FOR OUR TIMES' OLIVER SACKS

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's…


Book cover of Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ

Bryn Nelson Author Of Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure

From my list on the real scoop on poop, waste, and sanitation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a trained microbiologist who received my doctorate from the University of Washington and who has long been fascinated by the natural world—whether microscopic or gigantic, within us or all around us. For more than 20 years, I’ve also been an award-winning science writer who has written for publications like The New York Times, Nature, Wired, and Scientific American. Ever since I wrote about the incredible ability of fecal transplants to cure a deadly bacterial infection, I’ve been obsessed with books that explore how the seemingly gross or ordinary things we often dismiss as lacking value have the power to transform both us and the planet.   

Bryn's book list on the real scoop on poop, waste, and sanitation

Bryn Nelson Why did Bryn love this book?

This book not only provides a fascinating look at how we actually digest food, pluck out essential nutrients, and produce poop from the leftovers passing through the gut, but also includes charming and witty illustrations of many of these steps by the author’s sister, Jill.

An entire book about the gut? Yes, and it’s so interesting, with some gentle humor and well-thought-out analogies that help demystify what you’ll come to believe is a superhero of an organ.

I made notes, highlighted particularly illuminating sections, and found myself saying, “Wow! I didn’t know that!” throughout the book. It definitely gave me a new sense of wonder and appreciation for the intricate abilities of my own body.

By Giulia Enders, Jill Enders (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Everything you ever wanted to know about the gut (and then some).”
—SELF

Discover the secrets of your digestive system—and how to hone a healthy gut—plus new research on the mind-gut connection.

With quirky charm, science star and medical doctor Giulia Enders explains the gut’s magic, answering questions like: What’s really up with gluten and lactose intolerance? How does the gut affect obesity? What's the connection between our microbiome and mental health? Why does acid reflux happen? In this revised edition of her beloved bestseller, Enders includes a new section on the brain-gut connection,…


Book cover of From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

Ashby Kinch Author Of A Cultural History of Death

From my list on re-imagining death, dying, and grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a literary and cultural historian who has been studying death for three decades. But I am, first and foremost, a human who has suffered the loss of loved ones and grief and found my immediate culture an inhospitable place to experience, transform, and share those emotions. We have an urgent need to “re-imagine” the way we prepare for our own deaths, as well as experience the deaths of others. I hope my work, both as a scholar and a public citizen, will inspire people to form communities of conversation and action that will reshape the way we think about death, dying, and grief.

Ashby's book list on re-imagining death, dying, and grief

Ashby Kinch Why did Ashby love this book?

I am so impressed with Caitlin’s work on demystifying funeral practices (The Smoke Gets in Your Eyes) and opening up our eyes to new possibilities through her writing and her Order of the Good Death. With this book, I was so engaged with the sheer variety of the death and funeral practices that she details.

We need this kind of writing: engaging, funny, and grounded while teaching us that we are not as bound as we might think we are. I left this book more resolved than ever that we can die differently, and especially if we can use our imaginations better to explore alternatives. The world is wide and beautiful: this book teaches us that we can see that beauty even in—maybe especially in—death. 

By Caitlin Doughty,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked From Here to Eternity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty embarks on a global expedition to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Zoroastrian sky burials to wish-granting Bolivian skulls, she investigates the world's funerary customs and expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with dignity. Her account questions the rituals of the American funeral industry-especially chemical embalming-and suggests that the most effective traditions are those that allow mourners to personally attend to the body of the deceased. Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the…


Book cover of Reincarnation Blues

S.G. Browne Author Of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

From my list on supernatural dark comedies related to death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a fan of dark comedies. Fargo. Heathers. Fight Club. There’s something about being able to laugh about tragedy that feels both cathartic and as if you might get struck down by lightning. But I also grew up on a steady diet of supernatural horror à la Stephen King, Peter Straub, and early Dean Koontz. So combining the supernatural and dark comedy into my writing seemed like a natural fit. While I’m drawn to dark comedies of all sorts in both fiction and film, I have a soft spot for those with a supernatural element that involves death, either in the literal sense or as a character.

S.G.'s book list on supernatural dark comedies related to death

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

Not only is this novel about death and dying (10,000 times, to be exact), but it also features Death as a main character. So it gets bonus points for hitting both of those marks when it comes to my love of dark comedies about death. But it’s also a story about finding a reason for living, that reason being the aforementioned Death, who just so happens to be the main character’s love interest. It’s complicated. At turns both thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny. Reincarnation stories have always intrigued me and this one does it in a fashion unlike any other.

By Michael Poore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A wildly imaginative novel about a man who is reincarnated over ten thousand lifetimes to be with his one true love: Death herself.

“Tales of gods and men akin to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman as penned by a kindred spirit of Douglas Adams.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

First we live. Then we die. And then . . . we get another try? 

Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything.
    
Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn…


Book cover of Lullaby

S.G. Browne Author Of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

From my list on supernatural dark comedies related to death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a fan of dark comedies. Fargo. Heathers. Fight Club. There’s something about being able to laugh about tragedy that feels both cathartic and as if you might get struck down by lightning. But I also grew up on a steady diet of supernatural horror à la Stephen King, Peter Straub, and early Dean Koontz. So combining the supernatural and dark comedy into my writing seemed like a natural fit. While I’m drawn to dark comedies of all sorts in both fiction and film, I have a soft spot for those with a supernatural element that involves death, either in the literal sense or as a character.

S.G.'s book list on supernatural dark comedies related to death

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

It’s not often you read the opening chapter of a novel (in this case the Prologue) and go back to read it again before continuing with the rest of the novel because you’ve never read anything like it before. And the book just gets better from there. Combine an African culling song with a tortured journalist investigating crib deaths and a heroine real estate agent who sells haunted houses, then put that all in the hands of Chuck Palahniuk, and you have a supernatural horror dark comedy/satire unlike anything you’ll ever read. Except maybe another Chuck Palahniuk novel. After reading this, I was inspired to write Breathers.

By Chuck Palahniuk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Carl Streator is a reporter investigating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for a soft-news feature. After responding to several calls with paramedics, he notices that all the dead children were read the same poem from the same library book the night before they died. It's a 'culling song' - an ancient African spell for euthanizing sick or old people. Researching it, he meets a woman who killed her own child with it accidentally. He himself accidentally killed his own wife and child with the same poem twenty years earlier. Together, the man and the woman must find and destroy all copies…


Book cover of A Dirty Job

S.G. Browne Author Of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

From my list on supernatural dark comedies related to death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a fan of dark comedies. Fargo. Heathers. Fight Club. There’s something about being able to laugh about tragedy that feels both cathartic and as if you might get struck down by lightning. But I also grew up on a steady diet of supernatural horror à la Stephen King, Peter Straub, and early Dean Koontz. So combining the supernatural and dark comedy into my writing seemed like a natural fit. While I’m drawn to dark comedies of all sorts in both fiction and film, I have a soft spot for those with a supernatural element that involves death, either in the literal sense or as a character.

S.G.'s book list on supernatural dark comedies related to death

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

Christopher Moore is one of those rare authors who can actually make you laugh out loud, and there are plenty of those moments to be found here. Secondhand store owner and beta-male Charlie Asher becomes a death merchant, retrieving soul vessels before those souls end up in the hands of the forces of darkness. Set in San Francisco, A Dirty Job features a colorful collection of characters that includes Goth teens, Buddhist monks, and the Emperor of San Francisco. This was the first of Moore’s books that I read and it remains one of my favorites.

By Christopher Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy with a normal life, married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. They're even about to have their first child. Yes, Charlie's doing okay—until people start dropping dead around him, and everywhere he goes a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Charlie Asher, it seems, has been recruited for a new position: as Death.

It's a dirty job. But, hey! Somebody's gotta do it.


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