10 books like The Green Mile

By Stephen King,

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

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Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer,

Book cover of Into the Wild

Perhaps no one—including Kerouac—embodies this characteristic restlessness more purely than Chris McCandless, the subject of Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. McCandless’s story has captured the imagination of legions of readers, myself included (not everyone is on board; there are those who consider McCandless a fool). I’m sure I’m not the only one who read the book in one sitting, unable to set it down. What’s so mesmerizing about McCandless’s story, for those who can’t resist it, is his utter belief (saintly in its way) that the physical journey is in fact a quest, a kind of soul-searching that leads to enlightenment. That his journey ends badly somehow seems to validate his belief. McCandless dared to go to the limits, even if it meant there was no return.

Into the Wild

By Jon Krakauer,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Into the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Krakauer’s page-turning bestseller explores a famed missing person mystery while unraveling the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.

"Terrifying... Eloquent... A heart-rending drama of human yearning." —New York Times

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all…


The Fatal Shore

By Robert Hughes,

Book cover of The Fatal Shore

I thought I’d finish my list with something a little different. Everyone else in the books I’ve chosen made some kind of personal decision to take their life in a different direction, but the people in this last book didn’t. The Fatal Shore is about the earliest convicts, banished to Australia to start new lives in unfamiliar, hostile territory. The first chapter alone is fascinating, documenting peoples from a ‘civilised’ part of the world struggling for survival while aboriginal ‘savages’ thrived. It’s more than just a story of survival in a new world, but also a fantastic example of where we went wrong, turning our backs and our noses up to indigenous knowledge in the assumption that we know best. This book is a brilliant example of where Western civilisation went wrong, and how dangerous assumptions can be. 

The Fatal Shore

By Robert Hughes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An award-winning epic on the birth of Australia

In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonise Australia.

Documenting the brutal transportation of men, women and children out of Georgian Britain into a horrific penal system which was to be the precursor to the Gulag and was the origin of Australia, The Fatal Shore is the definitive, masterfully written narrative that has given its true history to Australia.

'A unique phantasmagoria of crime and punishment, which combines the shadowy terrors of Goya with the tumescent life of Dickens' Times


The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of The Road

I can’t say enough about this apocalyptic horror novel. The prose is beautiful, the realism adds to the tragedy, and the terror created is truly gut-wrenching. Everything that occurs in this story is realistic and powerful. This novel is so well done that the main characters don’t even need names for the reader to feel their pain. By reading this book, I learned exactly what high-level horror could truly be. If done right, horror can transcend into timeless art.

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…


The Stranger in the Woods

By Michael Finkel,

Book cover of The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

The very idea that someone could abandon modern life and live for so long in the middle of a wood in Maine, in the USA, for close to 30 years, without being found, I find incredible. What Christopher Knight decided to do here isn’t a million miles from Chris McCandless in my earlier book recommendation, but he lasted a lot longer and was undoubtedly more successful. It takes a very special kind of person to become a true hermit, but at some time in our lives, almost all of us will wonder what it’s like to disappear, just to leave everything behind and live the most simplest and natural of lives. Christopher may well not be the last hermit – we’ll never know how many are out there, if we’re honest – but what he achieved makes for fascinating reading, a chance to taste what this sort of mystical life…

The Stranger in the Woods

By Michael Finkel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*

Could you leave behind all that you know and live in solitude for three decades? This is the extraordinary story of the last true hermit - Christopher Knight.

'This was a breath-taking book to read and many weeks later I am still thinking about the implications for our society and - by extension - for my own life' Sebastian Junger, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm

'A wry meditation on one man's attempt to escape life's distractions and look inwards, to find meaning not by doing, but by being'
Martin Sixsmith, bestselling author of Philomena…


Kitchen Confidential

By Anthony Bourdain,

Book cover of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

This is a nonfiction book, but it’s the late Anthony Bourdain’s expose on what goes on in restaurants from the chef’s perspective. It was both fascinating and shocking to learn about the almost savage relationships between the members of the kitchen staff, from the chef to the line cooks to the dishwashers and servers. There is a tragic foreshadowing, since Bourdain is candid about his drinking and substance abuse during his time as a professional cook. After reading this book, I no longer used jarred garlic because I recall Anthony’s scathing criticism of those who don’t use the fresh kind. It definitely gave me a totally new appreciation for those involved in the restaurant business.

Kitchen Confidential

By Anthony Bourdain,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Kitchen Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC BESTSELLER: 'The greatest book about food ever written' 'A compelling book with its intriguing mix of clever writing and kitchen patois ... more horrifically gripping than a Stephen King novel' Sunday Times 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer _____________________________ After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain decided to tell all - and he meant all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown;…


Chaos

By Tom O'Neill, Dan Piepenbring,

Book cover of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties

What if I told you that Charles Manson was part of a United States CIA project that was directly responsible for the death of many people? This book will show you how author Tom O’Neil gathered government documents and testimonies about the link between the CIA and Charles Manson. See how The Beach Boys and Hollywood movie stars were pawns in a game controlled by several government programs and this book has the evidence to back up these outrageous claims. I used to have a very different point of view of Manson before this book, and now I see him very differently.

Chaos

By Tom O'Neill, Dan Piepenbring,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As featured on The Joe Rogan Experience
______________________________
A journalist's twenty-year obsession with the Manson murders leads to shocking new conspiracy theories about the FBI's involvement in this fascinating re-evaluation of one of the most infamous cases in American history.

Twenty years ago, reporting for a routine magazine piece about the infamous Manson murders, journalist Tom O'Neill didn't expect to find anything new. But the discovery of horrifying new evidence kick-started an obsession and his life's work. What had he unearthed and what did it mean: why was there surveillance by intelligence agents? Why did the police make these particular…


Sphere

By Michael Crichton,

Book cover of Sphere

The setup of this story is captivating. A psychologist, a marine biologist, an astrophysicist, and a mathematician are called to a crash site in the middle of the ocean. What unfolds gives you, the reader, a chance to live in an underwater habitat as the crash site happens to be a spacecraft at the bottom of the ocean. I love the sense of claustrophobia this book gives me as it is both unsettling and comforting at times.

While the movies I watch tell me that an extra-terrestrial encounter would include little green men, this story gives us an alternative to that. Instead of a being, humanity is instead confronted with an entity. I felt genuine fear while reading this book.

Sphere

By Michael Crichton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Ingenious and beguiling.”
—Time

“Crichton keeps us guessing at every turn in his best work since The Andromeda Strain.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Sphere may be Crichton’s best novel, but even if it ranked only second or third, it would be a must for suspense fans.”
—Miami Herald

A classic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Crichton, Sphere is a bravura demonstration of what he does better than anyone: riveting storytelling that combines frighteningly plausible, cutting edge science and technology with pulse-pounding action and serious chills. The gripping story of a group of American scientists sent to the…


Across The Dark Continent Bicycle Diaries from Africa 1931-1936

By Kazimierz Nowak,

Book cover of Across The Dark Continent Bicycle Diaries from Africa 1931-1936

I’ve long been fascinated with travelers and explorers, the wonder of the unknown, and how we push ourselves to our limits, and because of my own work I have a particular interest in how some of the earliest explorers stepped into the unknown to make their way through the African continent. I thought I’d read it all, but recently came across an incredible Polish explorer by the name of Kazimierz Nowak. Poland is hardly known for its explorers, but Kazimierz has the most incredible stories to tell as he cycled and pushed his bicycle across Africa.

Wonderful stories of a time consigned to history, accompanied by some brilliant photographs of the places he and his bike ended up – not to mention plenty of punctures! - make for a lovely read. Forget Stanley and Livingstone for a while. For me, this is the most unusual and memorable example of how…

Across The Dark Continent Bicycle Diaries from Africa 1931-1936

By Kazimierz Nowak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Across The Dark Continent Bicycle Diaries from Africa 1931-1936 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Andromeda Strain

By Michael Crichton,

Book cover of The Andromeda Strain

‘Write of what you know best’ is a caveat often shared to aspiring writers, but in Andromeda Strain, Mr. Crichton stepped far beyond this by incorporating research and imagination to create an alien villain that challenged human sensibilities. The suspense in the novel is more to do with the emotional vulnerabilities of its characters than the transformation of the alien matter that threatened them.

The Andromeda Strain

By Michael Crichton,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Andromeda Strain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes a captivating thriller about a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism, which threatens to annihilate human life.
 
Five prominent biophysicists have warned the United States government that sterilization procedures for returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, a probe satellite falls to the earth and lands in a desolate region of northeastern Arizona. Nearby, in the town of Piedmont, bodies lie heaped and flung across the ground, faces locked in frozen surprise. What could cause such shock and fear? The terror has begun, and…


The Thief of Always

By Clive Barker,

Book cover of The Thief of Always: A Fable

Clive Barker is generally an author of adult horror, but this novel was written for young adults. When I read this as an adult, it brought me full circle, back to my R.L. Stine days, and I remembered why I fell in love with young adult horror in the first place. This book also showed me that young adult horror could be more than just thrills and suspense. It could also be deep and powerful. I loved every minute of this short novel.

The Thief of Always

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The horror story your students have been asking you for! The only children's story by the master of horror.


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