10 books like The Golden Ass

By Apuleius, P.G. Walsh (translator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Golden Ass. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The War Nerd Iliad

By John Dolan, Homer,

Book cover of The War Nerd Iliad

Don't look for some high-brow version full of pseudo-Shakespearean language. Homer's story is a blood-and-guts tale (literally) of hard-bitten heroes, feuding among spiteful gods and bombastic military commanders. Try John Dolan's version from Feral house publishing, deliberately written as he imagined the story was first told – by soldiers sitting around a campfire exchanging yarns.

The War Nerd Iliad

By John Dolan, Homer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We recognize the names: Achilles, Odysseus, Zeus, and Apollo. We're taught that The Iliad is a foundational text of civilization. But who has really read the text? Until now, The Iliad was hijacked by academics and used to bludgeon schoolchildren as a boring-yet- mandatory reading.

Poet, novelist, essayist, and former teacher John Dolan revisits this ancient tale and restores it to its ancient glory. The Greeks and Trojans are still fighting. The gods are still interfering. But in Dolan's version, you'll be amazed at how funny, raw, and terrifying this doomed world of war really is. He strips away clunky,…


Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

By Plautus, Henry Thomas Riley (translator),

Book cover of Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

Ever wonder where Shakespeare got his ideas from? He plundered the classics, especially Plutarch and Plautus. Plautus can't really complain about that as his plays are mostly re-workings of (now lost) Greek originals. This play is Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, set 1500 years earlier. It's still a good read and should elicit a few giggles. Try Riley's translation on Digireads.

Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

By Plautus, Henry Thomas Riley (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Considered to be Plautus's greatest play, "Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers" is the story of two twin brothers, Menaechmus and Sosicles, who are separated at age seven when their father takes Menaechmus on a business trip. This classic play, which provided the inspiration for Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors", draws heavily on the theme of mistaken identity.


Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

By Sallust,

Book cover of Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

A self-contained description of a war fought in Africa against an ambitious monarch, in which the Roman superpower struggles with an elusive enemy. Roman efforts are badly hampered by corrupt generals and Sallust, writing a generation later makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for the aristocratic establishment which happily pocketed Jugurtha's bribes. A book that reads well and is relevant today. Get the Oxford University Press edition, and get the Catiline conspiracy thrown in for free.

Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

By Sallust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sallust (86-c. 35 bc) is the earliest Roman historian of whom complete works survive, a senator of the Roman Republic and younger contemporary of Cicero, Pompey and Julius Caesar. His Catiline's War tells of the conspiracy in 63 bc led by L. Sergius Catilina, who plotted to assassinate numerous senators and take control of the government, but was thwarted by Cicero. Sallust's vivid account of Roman public life shows a Republic in decline, prey to moral corruption and internal strife. In The Jugurthine War he describes Rome's fight in Africa against the king of the Numidians from 111 to 105…


The Epigrams Of Martial

By Henry George Bohn,

Book cover of The Epigrams Of Martial

With this one I'm not going to recommend an edition, because while Martial is witty, bitingly sarcastic and a keen commentator on his society he can also be breathtakingly obscene. Imagine teenage scrawls on toilet walls - if those scrawls were written by Shakespeare - and you'll be close enough. So pick your edition with care – however broad you imagine your mind to be, an unexpurgated Martial will stretch it a bit more and have you chuckling and nodding the rest of the time.

The Epigrams Of Martial

By Henry George Bohn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


Locos

By Felipe Alfau,

Book cover of Locos: A Comedy of Gestures

Locos is charming and cruel, tragic and hilarious, ambiguous yet direct, and written with clear, poetic prose. The experimental style on display never overwhelms the narrative. Despite the fact that Alfau directly declares the fictive nature of his characters, he made me care about them. The book contains a series of interconnected short stories with characters reappearing throughout and even when they are not featured, a brief mention may act as a dramatic revelation that changes significantly what you read before. And further, some of the characters seem to metamorphosize and serve different roles in subsequent stories.

The entirety manages to hold together as more of a novel than a collection partly thanks to the overlapping characters, partly through the consistent tone and style, and partly because Alfau is always in the background or making appearances as "the author." Some of the stories are quite hilarious, while some are devastating.…

Locos

By Felipe Alfau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The interconnected stones that form Felipe Alfau's novel LOCOS take place in a Madrid as exotic as the Baghdad of the 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS and feature unforgettable characters in revolt against their young 'author' "For them", he complains, "reality is what fiction is to real people; they simply love it and make for it against ray almost heroic opposition" Alfau's "comedy of gestures" -- a mercurial dreamscape of the eccentric, sometimes criminal, habitues of Toledo's Cafe of the Crazy -- was written in English and first published in 1936, favorably reviewed for The Nation by Mary McCarthy, as she recounts…


The Rust Maidens

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Book cover of The Rust Maidens

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1980, The Rust Maidens is about a sudden change that overcomes several teenage girls in the community. Out of nowhere a metamorphosis begins to take place, the teens’ bodies transform into rusted metal and broken glass—reflecting the decaying factories and communities around them. As word of the transformations spread, the event takes on the power of an urban legend, but the girls have their own secret plans, which they share only with themselves.  

What is beautiful and striking about this book is that the body horror at its center becomes a means for these girls to find their own power. Despite the fear of suddenly finding their bodies shifting into a form they cannot recognize as their own, the transformation also provides a means of escape and defiance against a community that would balk at them being anything other than what they are expected to…

The Rust Maidens

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies…


The Unlimited Dream Company

By J.G. Ballard,

Book cover of The Unlimited Dream Company

Published in 1979, but it reads like 1960s psychedelia. The hero, Blake, descends—literally—on the sleepy riverside town of Shepperton (where Ballard himself lived), and conjures it and its inhabitants into a sensual Amazonian Eden. I imagine Ballard walking the streets each day and seeing visions: flamingos perched atop the filling station, orchids overrunning the hardware store, his neighbours throwing off their business suits and coupling naked in their front gardens. Seeing, like his hero’s namesake, "a world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wildflower." The rich prose, evocative but never repetitive, works the same magic on the reader.  

The Unlimited Dream Company

By J.G. Ballard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a new introduction by John Gray and striking new cover from the artist Stanley Donwood, the author of 'Cocaine Nights' brings you the story of suburban London transformed into an exotic dreamworld.

When a light aircraft crashes into the Thames at Shepperton, the young pilot who struggles to the surface minutes later seems to have come back from the dead. Within hours everything in the dormitory suburb is surreally transformed. Vultures invade the rooftops, luxuriant tropical vegetation overruns the quiet avenues, and the local inhabitants are propelled by the young man's urgent visions through ecstatic sexual celebrations towards an…


The Invasion

By K. A. Applegate,

Book cover of The Invasion

The Animorphs series combines two things I was fascinated with as a child—aliens and animals! In The Invasion mind-controlling aliens called Yeerks invade Earth. A group of teens accidentally sees proof of this invasion and are given the power to turn into animals in order to fight the Yeerks! Most adventure series take you to different worlds, but I really enjoyed how The Invasion was set in the real world. While Jake, Cassie, Marco, Rachel, and Tobias struggle with a powerful alien force bend on world domination, they’re also dealing with the typical challenges and stresses of teenage life like exams, parents, and prom! The Invasion also offers fascinating viewpoints of what it might be like to live as the animals that surround us. 

The Invasion

By K. A. Applegate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Earth is being invaded, but no-one knows about it. When Jake, Rachel, Tobias, Cassie and Marco stumble upon a downed alien spaceship and its dying pilot, they're given an incredible power they can transform into any animal they touch. With it, they become Animorphs, the unlikely champions in a secret war for the planet. And the enemies they're fighting could be anyone, even the people closest to them. So begins K.A. Applegate's epic series about five normal kids with a limitless amount of forms and abilities.


Shiver

By Maggie Stiefvater,

Book cover of Shiver

This is a beautifully written story that has stuck with me for more than a decade. It says a lot about a story when you only read it once (or twice, maybe) but specific details about it pop up in your mind years down the road. One of the reasons I loved it so much is because it’s a paranormal story that reminded me how desperately fragile we are as humans, and how lucky. We don’t live in packs, but we do live in family groups (whether our family is related to us or not) and those people are often our strength. This story reminded me of the power of love.

Shiver

By Maggie Stiefvater,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 bestselling Shiver in the Shiver trilogy,
rejacketed for a new generation of fans.
This chilling love story will have you hooked from the
very first page.

When a local boy is killed by wolves, Grace's small town becomes
a place of fear.

But Grace is fascinated by the pack, and finds herself drawn to
a yellow-eyed wolf. There's something about him - something
almost human.

Then Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her
breath away...



Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author
of the novels Shiver, Linger, and Forever.

Her novel The Scopio…


Cobra and Maitreya

By Severo Sarduy,

Book cover of Cobra and Maitreya

Two of Sarduy’s most extraordinary writings from the 1970s, these twin works chart a territory of radical transformation. In the first part of the book, Cobra makes their gender transition with the support of a slew of unusual characters who also shape-shift via the mysterious and violent rites of a motorcycle gang and a group of Tantric Buddhist lamas. Metamorphosis continues in the second half of the book, wherein a Cuban-Chinese cook reincarnates as the Buddha, in the midst of the Cuban revolution. The wild tales create a distinctive space for being otherwise.

Cobra and Maitreya

By Severo Sarduy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The late Severo Sarduy was one of the most outrageous and baroque of the Latin American Boom writers of the sixties and seventies, and here bound back to back are his two finest creations. Cobra (1972) recounts the tale of a transvestite named Cobra, star of the Lyrical Theater of the Dolls, whose obsession is to transform his/her body. She is assisted in her metamorphosis by the Madam and Pup, Cobra's dwarfish double. They too change shape, through the violent ceremonies of a motorcycle gang, into a sect of Tibetan lamas seeking to revive Tantric Buddhism.

Maitreya (1978) continues the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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