100 books like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

By Michael Chabon,

Here are 100 books that The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay fans have personally recommended if you like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sarah McArthur Author Of The AMA Handbook of Leadership

From my list on working together towards a bright future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong student of philosophy, leadership, and principled living. Having worked with great leaders of today and being an editor-in-chief of a leadership journal (Leader to Leader), I experience how their leadership continues the principles set forth in days long past, and I publish works by authors who are keeping these principles alive in their writing. I am grateful for the opportunity to recommend books that might help others as we grapple with how to be in the world today to create value for all.

Sarah's book list on working together towards a bright future

Sarah McArthur Why did Sarah love this book?

I'm not sure when I have learned more about humanity than with the books of Yuval Harari.

I recommend this book as it is the first of the series, and I could read it over and over and still not have captured everything that Yuval Harari explores and teaches us.

A great historian who uses history to explore our future, Yuval Harari is one whose books I read every chance I have.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…


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 Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

David’s book came out while I was still searching for the truth about Uncle Lev, and it provided a useful and entertaining overview of the effort to censor comic books—catching Lev directly in its cross-hairs—and the industry code that was implemented as a result. Ultimately, David argues, “the generation of comic-book creators whose work died with the Comics Code helped give birth to the popular culture of the postwar era.”

By David Hajdu,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ten-Cent Plague as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the years between the end of World War II and the mid-1950s, American popular culture was first created in the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books. But no sooner had comics emerged than they were beaten down by mass bonfires, congressional hearings, and a McCarthyish panic over their unmonitored and uncensored content. Esteemed critic David Hajdu vividly evokes the rise, fall, and rise again of comics, in this engrossing history.


Book cover of Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

Amy’s book takes on the same topic, but from the perspective of an academic—and with a more balanced, objective approach. In particular, she examines the role of anti-comics crusader Dr. Fredric Wertham, arguing that his “role in the crusade against comics has been largely misinterpreted by fans and scholars alike, who dismiss his findings as naïve social science, failing to understand how his work on comic books fits into the larger context of his beliefs about violence, psychiatry, and social reform." 

By Amy Kiste Nyberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For the past forty years the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self-regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure.

This book examines why comic books were the subject of controversy, beginning with objections that surfaced shortly after the introduction of modern comic books in the mid-1930s, when parents and teachers accused comic books of contaminating children's culture and luring children away from more appropriate reading material.

It traces how, in the years following World War II, the criticism of comic books shifted to their content, and the reading of…


Book cover of Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

Another readable academic work, Bradford’s book helped me situate the history of comics within the broader narrative of post-war America’s emerging youth, pop, and consumer cultures.

By Bradford W. Wright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As American as jazz or rock and roll, comic books have been central in the nation's popular culture since Superman's 1938 debut in Action Comics #1. Selling in the millions each year for the past six decades, comic books have figured prominently in the childhoods of most Americans alive today. In Comic Book Nation, Bradford W. Wright offers an engaging, illuminating, and often provocative history of the comic book industry within the context of twentieth-century American society. From Batman's Depression-era battles against corrupt local politicians and Captain America's one-man war against Nazi Germany to Iron Man's Cold War exploits in…


Book cover of The Great Comic Book Heroes

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

Jules wrote this book in 1965, so it certainly doesn’t reflect the latest scholarship. But as probably the first critical history of the Golden Age, it’s a valuable read—and a lot of fun!  Jules gives a real sense of what it was like to be alive, in New York City, creating these great works.

By Jules Feiffer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A great book about the super heroes of comic books( Superman, Captain Marvel, Human Torch, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Spectre, Hawkman, Wonder Woman.Sub Mariner, Captain America, Plastic Man, The Spirit, Afterword. All in colorful comics book style. In tub 87


Book cover of A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany

Eric Kurlander Author Of Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich

From my list on Nazism and the occult.

Why am I passionate about this?

I would trace the genesis of Hitler’s Monsters to three distinct influences. The first was my childhood love of Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age comics––Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four––which, as illustrated by the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, are replete with themes of Nazi occultism and border science. The second was a conversation with my thesis advisor early in graduate school, when he noted that he was advising a dissertation on German occultism (Science for the Soul). The third influence was observing the mid-2000s resurgence in rightwing populism across Europe and North America, seemingly fueled by recourse to esoteric and supernatural thinking. The rest, as they say, is history.

Eric's book list on Nazism and the occult

Eric Kurlander Why did Eric love this book?

Although there is no longer a shortage of scholarship on the occult or supernatural before 1945, Monica Black’s Demon Haunted Land is the first major history in English to investigate the afterlife of these cultural and intellectual traditions in the early years of the West German Federal Republic.

Beautifully written and based on extensive archival research, a Demon Haunted Land shows how witchcraft, the occult, and a belief in miracles played an important role, alongside democratic stabilization and the so-called “Economic Miracle”, in helping Germans work through the trauma of defeat and legacies of the Third Reich in a new postwar reality.

By Monica Black,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Demon-Haunted Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Evocative. . . . Epic. . . . Chock-full of colorful anecdotes and charismatic figures, A Demon-Haunted Land not only offers a brilliant rethinking of postwar German history, but also asks us to see the irrational as an integral part of modernity.” ―Boston Review

In the aftermath of World War II, a succession of mass supernatural events swept through war-torn Germany. A messianic faith healer rose to extraordinary fame, prayer groups performed exorcisms, and enormous crowds traveled to witness apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Most strikingly, scores of people accused their neighbors of witchcraft, and found themselves in turn hauled…


Book cover of The Stories of John Cheever

Sameer Pandya Author Of Members Only

From my list on men who can’t get their sh*! together.

Why am I passionate about this?

For whatever reason, I have always been interested in sad men. Successful men can be boring. It is failure, and how men manage it when success is the primary marker of masculinity, that I find interesting as a subject for fiction. Even when I was in my 20s, I liked reading novels about men suffering mid-life crisis. And now that I am squarely in middle age, novels that were about the future are now novels about the present.    

Sameer's book list on men who can’t get their sh*! together

Sameer Pandya Why did Sameer love this book?

I have returned to many of these stories over and over again through the years—for Cheever’s prose, for his sense of what makes men tick. On one level, I can’t quite relate to white suburban husbands in upstate New York in the 1950s and 60s. And yet, somehow, they seem profoundly familiar. 

By John Cheever,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Stories of John Cheever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Cheever's Collected Stories explores the delicate psychological frameworks of 20th century suburbia.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HANIF KUREISHI

This outstanding collection by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Cheever shows the power and range of one of the finest short story writers of the last century. Stories of love and of squalor, they include masterpieces such as 'The Swimmer' and 'Goodbye, My Brother' and date from the time of his honourable discharge from the Army at the end of the Second World War.


Book cover of Short Stories: Five Decades

Robert Trachtenberg Author Of Red-Blooded American Male: Photographs

From my list on pretending you live in 1940s Manhattan.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve been obsessed with the romance and “bygone world” of Manhattan in the 40s and 50s since I was a kid. Working in bookstores through high school and college, I quickly gravitated towards The New Yorker magazine which introduced me to John Cheever, Irwin Shaw, and many wonderful authors. Whether it was books or magazines, I couldn’t imagine a more interesting career than working in the New York publishing world - until I went there for job interviews and heard how little they paid. Back in Los Angeles, I figured out how to join from afar without having to live with six roommates on the Lower East Side.

Robert's book list on pretending you live in 1940s Manhattan

Robert Trachtenberg Why did Robert love this book?

Like Cheever, Shaw was a fellow New Yorker contributor but his work is grittier than Cheever’s and was best summed up in The New York Times: “[Shaw] has a primitive skill possessed by very few sophisticated men.” Winner of two O. Henry awards, I would say he is the “meat and potatoes” short story master - but it’s Prime USDA.

By Irwin Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Featuring sixty-three stories spanning five decades, this superb collection-including "Girls in Their Summer Dresses," "Sailor Off the Bremen," and "The Eighty-Yard Run"-clearly illustrates why Shaw is considered one of America's finest short-story writers.


Book cover of Manhattan, When I Was Young

Amanda Schuster Author Of Signature Cocktails

From my list on making it there from anywhere in New York City.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a lifelong New Yorker and author of two books about drinking in the city—New York Cocktails and Drink Like a Local New York—these are the books about bygone days of city living that I would tell you to read if we met in a bar. You already know the ones by E.B. White, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, or possibly Pete Hamill or Walt Winchell. Those books are fantastic, but these are some “deep cuts” New York City appreciation books that you should also get to know.  

Amanda's book list on making it there from anywhere in New York City

Amanda Schuster Why did Amanda love this book?

The book is an engaging memoir about what it was like in the 1950s for a single woman just out of college to balance life and relationships while starting a career in magazine publishing in the Big Apple and follows her career and family relationships through to the 1970s.

Though things like finding an apartment in a trendy neighborhood back then were significantly easier than they are in modern day, the hilarious accounts about the challenges of adapting to small living conditions still ring true.

It’s an entertaining glimpse into the golden age of the print magazine industry, but it’s also a brutally honest account of women’s mental health issues, and what it’s like to seemingly have it all but still feel the constraints imposed by choosing to live in NYC. Any aspiring writer should read this book. 

By Mary Cantwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Manhattan, When I Was Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mary Cantwell arrived in Manhattan one summer in the early 1950s with $80, a portable typewriter, a wardrobe of unsuitable clothes, a copy of The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, a boyfriend she was worried might be involved with the Communists and no idea how to live on her own. She moved to the Village because she had heard of it and worked at Mademoiselle because that was where the employment agency sent her.

In this evocative unflinching book Cantwell recalls the city she knew then by revisiting five apartments in which she lived. Her memoir vividly recreates both a…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cartoonists, New York State, and coming of age?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cartoonists, New York State, and coming of age.

Cartoonists Explore 46 books about cartoonists
New York State Explore 709 books about New York State
Coming Of Age Explore 1,213 books about coming of age