88 books like Tales from the Gas Station

By Jack Townsend,

Here are 88 books that Tales from the Gas Station fans have personally recommended if you like Tales from the Gas Station. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Finding Jimmy Moran: Codicil to The Claire Trilogy

Joe Barrett Author Of Managed Care

From my list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read Lolita as a college freshman and laughed out loud as Nabokov made me love the goofy, intelligent, and clearly sociopathic Humbert Humbert. Nabokov’s fun was palpable; it made me want to write. And knee-jerk criticisms of Lolita drove me crazy – how can people take themselves so seriously as to be offended by fictional characters? To me, an author’s ability to inspire genuine empathy for characters with distorted, irreverent, or socially unacceptable perspectives is both genius and riotously fun (something that people too busy looking for a reason to be offended will unfortunately never appreciate). Hope you enjoy this book list for people who don’t take themselves too seriously!

Joe's book list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously

Joe Barrett Why did Joe love this book?

I loved all of McCaffrey’s The Claire Trilogy books and recommend reading them first, but Finding Jimmy Moran will always occupy a special place in my heart.

McCaffrey is a born storyteller – he pulls you into his world and makes it feel like your own. The book is gritty, hilarious, sometimes gut-wrenching and (while allegedly fiction) it is also one of the most accurate representations of the wild west reckless abandon enjoyed by New York kids growing up in the 1970s and ’80s.

It’s the type of book that makes you want to break out a bottle of good Irish whiskey and read in a single sitting.

By Tom McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Prequel to the bestselling novel, The Wise Ass.

"The Claire Trilogy gives us Jimmy Moran, resurrected mob lawyer turned alien godfather of a crew of mystical misfits, including Claire the Mule. Finding Jimmy Moran shows the world the magical origins that make Jimmy tick. Don't miss this." -Ivy Logan, author of Broken (The Breach Chronicles)

Who is Jimmy Moran? It starts with a lucky penny. Then a muse who bestows a mystical gift. Or maybe a curse? Family, friends, and fights abound as Jimmy breaks the law, looks for love in all the wrong places and experiences loss that transforms…


Book cover of Negotiations with God 2

Joe Barrett Author Of Managed Care

From my list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read Lolita as a college freshman and laughed out loud as Nabokov made me love the goofy, intelligent, and clearly sociopathic Humbert Humbert. Nabokov’s fun was palpable; it made me want to write. And knee-jerk criticisms of Lolita drove me crazy – how can people take themselves so seriously as to be offended by fictional characters? To me, an author’s ability to inspire genuine empathy for characters with distorted, irreverent, or socially unacceptable perspectives is both genius and riotously fun (something that people too busy looking for a reason to be offended will unfortunately never appreciate). Hope you enjoy this book list for people who don’t take themselves too seriously!

Joe's book list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously

Joe Barrett Why did Joe love this book?

Sowrider is so unfiltered that it makes you wonder if he’s even aware that social boundaries exist.

NWG2 is a bizzaro, acid trip karmic rebirth journey through history and while the plot is a lot of fun, what really stands out to me is the author’s voice. He’s like the funniest guy in a high school locker room – taking bawdy right to the point of cringe, never afraid to cross a forbidden line, never failing to crack you up.

I just hope he never gets into any kind of psychological treatment, because it might ruin a perfectly insane author. 

By R.W. Sowrider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Negotiations with God 2 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Apathy and Other Small Victories

Joe Barrett Author Of Managed Care

From my list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read Lolita as a college freshman and laughed out loud as Nabokov made me love the goofy, intelligent, and clearly sociopathic Humbert Humbert. Nabokov’s fun was palpable; it made me want to write. And knee-jerk criticisms of Lolita drove me crazy – how can people take themselves so seriously as to be offended by fictional characters? To me, an author’s ability to inspire genuine empathy for characters with distorted, irreverent, or socially unacceptable perspectives is both genius and riotously fun (something that people too busy looking for a reason to be offended will unfortunately never appreciate). Hope you enjoy this book list for people who don’t take themselves too seriously!

Joe's book list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously

Joe Barrett Why did Joe love this book?

I’ve probably read Apathy and Other Small Victories a dozen times.

The first time was on an international flight, and I was laughing so hard that I was legitimately concerned that the seat next to me was going to call for an air marshal to lock me down. Like a modern-day, more introspective cousin of JP Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, this book will either offend the hell out of you or have you laughing out loud on just about every page. It will always be one of my all-time favorites.

By Paul Neilan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apathy and Other Small Victories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A scathingly funny debut novel about disillusionment, indifference, and one man's desperate fight to assign absolutely no meaning to modern life.

The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist.

When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't…


Book cover of The Other Hotel

Joe Barrett Author Of Managed Care

From my list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read Lolita as a college freshman and laughed out loud as Nabokov made me love the goofy, intelligent, and clearly sociopathic Humbert Humbert. Nabokov’s fun was palpable; it made me want to write. And knee-jerk criticisms of Lolita drove me crazy – how can people take themselves so seriously as to be offended by fictional characters? To me, an author’s ability to inspire genuine empathy for characters with distorted, irreverent, or socially unacceptable perspectives is both genius and riotously fun (something that people too busy looking for a reason to be offended will unfortunately never appreciate). Hope you enjoy this book list for people who don’t take themselves too seriously!

Joe's book list on people who don’t take themselves too seriously

Joe Barrett Why did Joe love this book?

The Other Hotel was my first Jack Stroke book and after the first few pages I was hooked.

The writing is easy, authentic, and unpretentious – reading it quickly made me feel like I was hanging out with an old friend. The plot is twisted, the characters are off-the-hook, and Stroke has the unique capacity to inject a sense of apathetic calm into situations where all hell is breaking loose – making the book a tremendous amount of fun.

I highly recommend the whole series.

By Jack Stroke,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Amity & Sorrow

Isabel Ashdown Author Of 33 Women

From my list on sinister sisters and strange sisterhoods.

Why am I passionate about this?

In both reading and writing fiction, the inciting incident – the murder, accident, or main event of a story – is less fascinating to me than the rich characters that surround it. I’m deeply interested in the lives of women and the ties between them, be they family or not. Whether we’re talking about familial sisters or sisterhood as a broader concept, the tensions, fierce loyalties, oppressions and liberations of women are where my interests will always lie. To my own sister and every one of the wise women who have cheered me on and helped shape my life so far, power to you all! I hope you enjoy these recommendations.

Isabel's book list on sinister sisters and strange sisterhoods

Isabel Ashdown Why did Isabel love this book?

When this book first came out, telling the story of a woman and her teenage daughters fleeing across rural America in the wake of a suspicious fire at a fundamentalist cult, I knew I’d love it. Who isn’t intrigued by the idea of closed communities and coercive control–and escape?

Four long days into the women’s getaway, they crash the car, and the three of them – strange-looking and terrified–are stranded at a dusty gas station with nothing and no one to turn to. I loved how the writer gradually allows us to piece together the disturbing events of the preceding years, showing the two sisters discovering a world of difference outside the confines of the sect walls. This is a story of resilience and silent hopes and of the bond between women across generations.

By Peggy Riley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AMITY & SORROW is a story about God, sex, and farming. It's THE LOVELY BONES meets WITNESS: an unforgettable journey into the horrors a true believer can inflict upon his family, and what it is like to live when the end of the world doesn't come.

In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her children and flees from the cult where her children were born and raised. Now she is on the run with no one but her barely-teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, neither of whom have ever seen the outside world, to help her. After four days…


Book cover of The Hunted

Michelle Prak Author Of The Rush

From my list on thriller books set In eerie, isolated settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in the world’s most isolated capital city – Perth, Western Australia. Ever since my family packed up and drove across the vast Nullarbor Plain to relocate to South Australia, I’ve been fascinated by our eerie, wide-open spaces. There’s no doubt that family folklore fed into this. My Finnish mother arrived as a ten-year-old, recalling that when she first felt the heat, she thought: “This is hell.” My father and his family arrived from the Netherlands. I love my country, but this continent presents dangers in its arid isolation – all captivating to a storyteller.

Michelle's book list on thriller books set In eerie, isolated settings

Michelle Prak Why did Michelle love this book?

From chapter one, my heart was in my throat as I prayed that old Frank and his granddaughter Allie would come out of this story alive… Frank owns a remote Australian roadhouse and he’s used to living alone. I loved reading about his silent routine and the way he moves about his premises without even turning a light on. There’s nothing outside his windows but scrub and rusted farming equipment.

While the isolated setting may seem tranquil, tension instantly oozes from the pages. Suspicious visitors soon arrive, and from then on, the action is relentless!

By Gabriel Bergmoser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide - an electrifying, heartpounding, truly unputdownable thriller - a bestselling debut from talented newcomer, Gabriel Bergmoser.


'A truly terrifying, breathlessly exciting novel. It gut punches you in the first few pages and doesn't let you recover until the final, thrilling climax. An extraordinary book.' M W Craven

'An original and high-octane read, it makes Deliverance look like Picnic at Hanging Rock.' The Times/Sunday Times Crime Club

Frank is a service station owner on a little-used highway who just wants a quiet life. His granddaughter has been sent to stay with him to fix her…


Book cover of Dewey Bob

Phaea Crede Author Of Jet the Cat (Is Not a Cat)

From my list on animals trying on new identities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always identified as a weirdo and felt misunderstood, which led to lots of wasted time “trying to fit in.” As an adult, I’ve learned to love myself for exactly who I am, but it took a lot of work and self-reflecting. Looking back, I realize there were actually many kids who felt the same way as me and we just never managed to connect with each other! Finding people who “get you” is an important task—but I truly believe self-love and self-acceptance is the greatest goal for all humans. I hope my books speak to the “weirdos” and non-weirdos a like, and encourages all readers to love themselves just the way they are.

Phaea's book list on animals trying on new identities

Phaea Crede Why did Phaea love this book?

Dewey Bob is a cute raccoon who turns trash into treasure and is ostrazied by the other raccoons for being so neat and sweet. I identified with Dewey and his quiet, artistic, and dramatic qualities, and rejoiced at his finding the perfect friend at the end of the story. He is also finally accepted by the other animals, but Dewey already loves himself!

By Judy Schachner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dewey Bob 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?

A sweet raccoon character stars in this endearing tale of unexpected friendship from the creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones

Dewey Bob Crockett is a durn cute raccoon who lives by himself in a house filled to the brim with the wonderful objects he collects. Buttons, wheels, furniture and bricabrac adorn his cozy quarters and keep him busy as he finds and fixes, turning trash into treasures. But there’s something missing from Dewey’s collections—a friend! He tries gathering up some critters and bringing them home in his shopping cart, but that doesn’t work out so well. In the end, a…


Book cover of Are You a Cheeseburger?

Judy Lea Author Of Please Don't Go in the Dryer!

From my list on laugh out loud children’s books about pets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a semi-retired music teacher and grandmother of two. When my kids were little, we would devour books like they were delicious candy, reading our favourites over and over again. I still love reading out loud, using various inflections, accents, and voices for the different characters. I’ve read hundreds of children’s books and the ones I enjoy most have a great message, are fun to read out loud, and also make me laugh. And they must have beautiful, colourful illustrations! My first book is a spoken word piece from my WCMA-nominated CD, Too Much Work To Do. It’s been asking me to dream it into a book for years! 

Judy's book list on laugh out loud children’s books about pets

Judy Lea Why did Judy love this book?

A heartwarming book with a hilarious premise. Grub, a raccoon, meets Seed (a seed) in the same garbage can one night. Grub, who’s been dreaming of finding one, asks Seed, “Are you a cheeseburger?” Seed is unsure and asks what a cheeseburger is. “Something very good and very special,” says Grub. Unsure, Seed replies, “We will just have to wait and see.” While they wait, Grub describes the 3 best cheeseburgers ever and Seed describes 3 wonderful worms. When Seed eventually sprouts, they celebrate: Grub plays banjo and Seed secretly wonders what will happen if she isn’t actually a cheeseburger. 

The illustrations of this book are simple and magical. Like me, you may find the ending to be “something very good and very special” too. 

By Monica Arnaldo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Are You a Cheeseburger? 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?

A Kids' Indie Next List pick! Laugh-out-loud humor and a tender friendship blossom in author-illustrator Monica Arnaldo's charming picture book about a lonely raccoon and a glowing seed, and the world's most important question: Can this seed grow cheeseburgers?

Grub is a lonely racoon. Rumbling in the trash. Looking for food.

Seed is, well, a seed! Patiently waiting in the trash. Hoping someone will plant it.

When the two finally meet, they realize they might be able to help each other! Grub has just one big question first: What will Seed grow? Could Seed grow Grub's favorite food, mouthwatering cheeseburgers?…


Book cover of Rascal

Deb Aronson Author Of How to Raise a Rhino

From my list on humans bonding with wild animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion is writing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, rather than famous people or people with some unusual skill, like being a math genius or something. This passion led me to Anna Merz’s story and my growing appreciation of the power of the animal/human connection and how much communication can take place without language.

Deb's book list on humans bonding with wild animals

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

This is a charming book that I treasured when I was a young reader.

The narrator/author is telling a true story from his childhood about adopting a wild raccoon he named Rascal. It harkens back to a simpler time [also a little warning, he and a friend take the baby raccoons from their nest, which is not cool these days!].

The reader gets to see how smart and mischievous Rascal is and all the adventures the two have together.

By Sterling North,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rascal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Rascal is only a baby when young Sterling brings him home. He and the mischievous raccoon are best friends for a perfect year of adventure—until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.

A Newbery Honor Book


Book cover of Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery

Cristy Burne Author Of Ultra Violet: Down to Business

From my list on funny graphic novels for kids when you need a mood boost.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love inventing inventions and experimenting with experiments–all in aid of blending science and story to inspire innovation and positive change. My career covers six countries, 15+ novels for primary-aged children, and jobs that include science journalism at CERN (home of the Large Hadron Collider), exploding things at Questacon (as part of a science circus), and collecting bins in the back of a ute (as a garbage analyst). I write for children because I believe (and it’s scientifically proven) that our children are the future. 

Cristy's book list on funny graphic novels for kids when you need a mood boost

Cristy Burne Why did Cristy love this book?

I love anything that mixes science and creativity, and this book does this seamlessly. Set in a museum, the story is a real mystery, so kids can collect clues and uncover the secrets.

I also love that there are real science facts and ideas woven into the narrative, so while I’m laughing, I’m also learning (without even realizing 😉).

By Renee Treml,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

An action-packed graphic novel mystery with gentle humor and Bad Guys–style illustrations, perfect for dinosaur-loving emerging readers.

Hi there, I'm Sherlock Bones.

Who is Sherlock Bones, you ask? Well, I don’t like to brag, but my trusty side-kick Watts says I’m the greatest detective in our whole museum. 

Don’t you, Watts? 

Watts . . . ?

Sherlock Bones and his sidekick, a stuffed parrot named Watts, live in a natural history museum. So when the precious Royal Blue Diamond goes missing, they are first on the case. What they don’t expect is Grace, a silly, new-to-the-scene raccoon who keeps getting…


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