96 books like The Chrysalids

By John Wyndham,

Here are 96 books that The Chrysalids fans have personally recommended if you like The Chrysalids. 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 Man’s Search for Meaning

Ricardo Sunderland Author Of The Energy Advantage: How to Go from Managing Your Time to Mastering Your Energy

From my list on non fiction mastering your energy.

Why am I passionate about this?

My purpose is to help leaders connect to and manage their energy. I help them bring coherence to how they lead and reach their full societal impact. For more than a  decade, I have coached 300 of the most senior leaders at some of the largest and most recognizable companies in the world. My recommended to-read book list represents crucible moments in my life and my calling to learn about human energy. Representing different lenses, which are key to adding to a mix of ingredients, allows the reader to drink a potion that will exalt all your buckets (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual) of energy holistically. 

Ricardo's book list on non fiction mastering your energy

Ricardo Sunderland Why did Ricardo love this book?

Besides being one of the best psychologists in mankind's history, Viktor is a masterful storyteller. It's as if I was transported to Auschwitz at the time, where Viktor was imprisoned along with thousands of Jews; in a very compelling way, he leaves no hint of a doubt that it was thanks to his meaning in life that he was able to survive, and the minute that others let go of theirs, they let go of life itself.

In addition, Viktor also shares his logotherapy framework and how it was updated after his terrible experience. If you doubt the power of doing the work to search for your life’s meaning, this book is a must-read. 

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.

Book cover of The Lovely Bones

Peggy Webb Author Of Black Crow Cabin

From my list on books about crime that transcend the genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi and discovered the wide world through a movable feast of books provided by the Bookmobile. The hayloft was my favorite reading spot. I could look across the lake to imagine myself in WWII Paris, the frozen tundras of Alaska, or anywhere beyond the pastures where Daddy’s cattle grazed. I fell in love with words when I was eight years old, a dreamer spinning stories inspired by the ones I read between the covers of my beloved books. I still love words and hear their music as they flow onto the pages of the thrillers I currently write.

Peggy's book list on books about crime that transcend the genre

Peggy Webb Why did Peggy love this book?

By Alice Sebold,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Lovely Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The internationally bestselling novel that inspired the acclaimed film directed by Peter Jackson.

With an introduction by Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles.

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for - except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in…

Book cover of Good Omens

Linda Lee Author Of Cursed

From my list on unconventional YA apocalyptic fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As we watch the news–the increasing number of earthquakes, volcanoes, wars, inflation, the rapid progress of AI, unelected elites deciding they know best for the world, and more–we don’t know how to process it all, and it leaves us feeling anxious. My passion for helping my readers not just escape but actually live better fuels me. I created this retelling of the Book of Revelations from the POV of celestial warriors and fallen angels in the unseen realms of our world to allow my readers to “make more sense” of the world and be at peace.

Linda's book list on unconventional YA apocalyptic fantasy

Linda Lee Why did Linda love this book?

The premise of a fussy angel and a fast-living demon positions the book with humor, which I absolutely loved. As the plot unfolds, we discover that these two figures have been living on Earth for thousands of years and enjoying it. So when the demon receives word that the Apocalypse is upon them, they conspire together to subvert the ancient prophecy that predicts the world's end. LOL

The ingenuity and cleverness of these authors are top-notch, starting with the character names: The demon character is Crawley. If you recall, Satan was made a snake in the Garden of Eden after tempting Adam and Eve. But it doesn’t stop there. Crawley creates a motorway that emanates evil, with all of the issues associated with that. LOL.

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…

Book cover of A Christmas Carol

John R. Dougherty Author Of Holy Terror

From my list on Christian action books allegorical references.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have felt a spiritual call in my life from as early as I can remember having memories as a young child. Being a life-long Christian has always drawn me to try to see God in everything around me, from people I encounter, to creation itself, to songs, to movies, etc. So, reading books which contain Christian allegory – symbols, meanings, underlying Biblical references – is very exciting for me. I enjoy trying to decipher that symbolism and try to understand the undertones that the book’s author is trying to communicate indirectly. I find that to be a personal challenge as I read, but also I find it very inspiring as well!

John's book list on Christian action books allegorical references

John R. Dougherty Why did John love this book?

I simply cannot get enough of this book. I read it every December and watch movie adaptations of it every December, too (Patrick Stewart’s 1999 version is by far the best movie rendition, as far as I’m concerned!).

Many people may not realize that Dickens considered himself a Christian writer and many of his books have Christian allegories buried within the storyline. This book is no exception, and I find it also takes me on a rollercoaster of emotions every time I read it, which helps to make it a new story every time I read it!

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…

Book cover of The Bell Jar

TP Wood Author Of 77° North

From my list on stirring your heart and imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s Saturday, 5 p.m. If you could peer back in time to the late ’60s, you’d find me plunked in front of our new colour RCA Victor, a Swanson TV dinner steaming before me, and the theme…da-da-DAAA-da-da-da-da-DAAAA, announcing my favourite show: Star Trek. I absorbed the logic of Mr. Spock, the passion of Dr. McCoy, and the fantastical world of Klingons, wormholes, and warp drives. Add to that a degree in history and English, and it set the stage for my passion to read and write in genres of science fiction and magical realism. I hope you find these books as stimulating and thought-provoking as I did.  

TP's book list on stirring your heart and imagination

TP Wood Why did TP love this book?

In The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath unscrews the top of her skull and invites us to peek inside. This is one of my favourite first-person narratives.

Considering Plath’s struggle with depression and her ultimate suicide, the book portrays the tribulations of a tortured artist in New York’s beatnik fifties. Plath’s lyrical language infuses the prose which appeals to my love of poetry.

By Sylvia Plath,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Bell Jar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther's life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women's aspirations seriously.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath's only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria…

Book cover of 1984

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?

Humans are always curious about what the future will look like. They are also concerned about the state impinging on their privacy and interfering with their lives. George Orwell masterfully combined these two human impulses in his classic novel. He wrote the book in 1949 to present his view of the future.

I read this book when I was in my mid-20s. I found it an interesting read, especially since many of his predictions did not come true. I was curious to know how past generations viewed our generation. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…

Book cover of Never Let Me Go

Suzanne Heywood Author Of Wavewalker: A Memoir of Breaking Free

From my list on coming-of-age that will rip your heart out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm fascinated by these books about coming of age because they all share elements of my own experience. While I was growing up, I was told by my parents that my life on board our boat Wavewalker was ‘privileged’ and that I was lucky not to live a ‘boring’ life like other children. It took me a long time to question this view, and even longer to find an escape. As an adult looking back, I now know that many of the things I was told by my parents were not true. That experience of growing up and discovering that what you have been told is not right is deeply disturbing, while also being liberating.

Suzanne's book list on coming-of-age that will rip your heart out

Suzanne Heywood Why did Suzanne love this book?

I love Kazuo Ishiguro’s work and this is my favourite book of his.

Never Let Me Go is the fictional story of a childhood that initially seems acceptable, despite the early indications that something strange is going on. As the story proceeds, however, it becomes clear that this is a horrific world, one in which children are being grown for their organs.

But the power of the story for me is not the revelation itself but the way in which it is revealed, layer by layer, as the characters become older and more knowing. That experience of becoming aware that all is not right with your world, and then trying to come to terms with that, is something I can resonate with.

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Never Let Me Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most acclaimed novels of the 21st Century, from the Nobel Prize-winning author

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now thirty-one, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense…

Book cover of Lazarillo de Tormes / The Guide Boy of Tormes

Richard Zimler Author Of The Last Kabbalist in Lisbon

From my list on outsiders and misfits.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 31 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. When I discovered the Lisbon Massacre of 1506, in which 2,000 forcibly converted Jews were murdered and burnt in the city’s main square, I asked my Portuguese friends what they could tell me about it. They all replied, “What Massacre?” I found out then that this crime against humanity wasn’t taught in Portuguese schools. It had been nearly completely forgotten. That made me furious, so I decided to write a novel about it (The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon). When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on outsiders and misfits

Richard Zimler Why did Richard love this book?

Published way back in 1554, this revolutionary novel is irreverent, amusing, and gloriously critical of the hypocrisy of 16th century Spanish society and, by extension, our own times. The main character is a destitute scoundrel named Lazarillo who seeks to better his fortunes while in the service of a brutal priest and host of other unseemly characters. By creating an anti-hero who is a witty misfit and outcast, and by portraying Spanish society as morally bankrupt, the author earned the wrath of the Spanish monarchy – which banned the novel – and the Catholic Church, which placed it on its Index of forbidden literature. My novel is also on the Church’s list of forbidden books, so I feel a special kinship with the unnamed author of this groundbreaking work.    

By Anonymous,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lazarillo de Tormes / The Guide Boy of Tormes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Los mejores libros jamás escritos

Edición de Florencio Sevilla Arroyo, catedrático de Filología Española en la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

El Lazarillo de Tormes inauguró el género de la novela picaresca. Relata las desventuras que un joven de origen humilde sufre al servicio de sus amos, entre los que se cuentan un ciego, un clérigo y un hidalgo pobre. Los avatares por los que pasa Lázaro son un magnífico pretexto para plasmar una ácida crítica a la sociedad de la época. Asimismo, el tratamiento de la anécdota, el lenguaje sobrio y eficaz, y una nueva concepción en el uso de…

Book cover of A Wizard of Earthsea

Nick Stevenson Author Of Nethergeist

From my list on compelling world building in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been intrigued by fantastical world-building that is complex, detailed, forensically credible, and immeasurably encyclopedic in scope. It should propel you to a world that feels almost as real as the world you leave behind but with intricate magic systems and razor-shape lore. Ironically, some of my choices took a while to love, but once they “sunk in,” everything changed. Whenever life gets too much, it has been cathartic, essential even, to transport to another universe and find solace in prose dedicated to survival, soul, and renewal.

Nick's book list on compelling world building in fantasy

Nick Stevenson Why did Nick love this book?

I read this book as a child and was immediately captivated by the rugged island nations and the rich cultural tapestry the inhabitants live within. The evocation of mist, mountains, remote shores, isolated villages, and their bleating goats form the backdrop to the story of Ged, the would-be wizard on his voyage to become a mage.

The self-discovery he faces at the wizard school (long before Hogwarts) when he unleashes a malevolent force through youthful ego and determination to prove his magic vitality leads him on a journey of self-discovery through the lands and within his own soul, pursued by the darkness he freed. It’s a rite of passage that culminates in him facing this shadow and what it truly is. The imagery is stark, and the haunting world-building is compelling. Perhaps it’s still my favorite fantasy to this day.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked A Wizard of Earthsea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The first book of Earthsea in a beautiful hardback edition. Complete the collection with The Tombs of Atuan, The Furthest Shore and Tehanu

With illustrations from Charles Vess

'[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking' Neil Gaiman

'Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it' David Mitchell

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge,…

Book cover of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Julie Anderson Author Of The Midnight Man

From my list on evocative stories set in a hospital.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical crime fiction, and my latest novel is set in a hospital, a real place, now closed. The South London Hospital for Women and Children (1912–1985) was set up by pioneering suffragists and women surgeons Maud Chadburn and Eleanor Davies-Colley (the first woman admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons) and I recreate the now almost-forgotten hospital in my book. Events take place in 1946 when wartime trauma still impacts upon a society exhausted by conflict, and my book choices also reflect this.

Julie's book list on evocative stories set in a hospital

Julie Anderson Why did Julie love this book?

This book’s celebration of rebelliousness of spirit and anti-institutionalism is why I like it.

Set in a psychiatric hospital, like Regeneration, its medical staff are closer in spirit to Dr. Yealland in that book, who prefers inflicting pain in order to cure than to the humane Dr. Rivers. I enjoyed the humour and the scandalous behaviour of McMurphy, the sane con-man in the asylum who battles the authoritarian and controlling Nurse Ratched. It is very much in the spirit of the anti-establishment 1960s when it was written.

Other inmates rebel too and draw down Ratched’s ire upon themselves, leading to suicide, and McMurphy attacks Ratched because, however rebellious, he cannot stomach this tragedy. There is a sad and bleak end for him, as ‘authority’ wins out. The ending is one of hope, but not for McMurphy. Like the other books on my list so far, this, too, was filmed.

By Ken Kesey,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's 1962 novel has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Now in a new deluxe edition with a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk and cover by Joe Sacco, here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in telepathy, mutation, and nuclear holocaust?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about telepathy, mutation, and nuclear holocaust.

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Nuclear Holocaust Explore 13 books about nuclear holocaust