10 books like The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Handmaid's Tale. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

A common favourite amongst many people but for good reason. For me, this is Tolkien’s masterpiece. He has created a world that I imagine to be his own personal utopia. I personally love the depth of this world, from its languages to the cultures of the many beings within it. This story taught me the importance of responsibility, friendship, and above all, the need to do the right thing. Whenever I finish reading this story, I will always feel a sense of longing to return to the beautiful world that Tolkien created.

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

40 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Another common favourite amongst many, but its popularity, in my opinion, is wholly justified. The world of these books is extremely deep, which I love most of all. Its cultures, languages, and relationships between peoples and nations provide a world that is nothing short of immersive and utterly believable. Ironically, these books taught me an extremely important lesson: loyalty should never be given blindly through obligation, tradition, or dictatorship. The second lesson I took from these books was also extremely important: if the game involves gambling, don’t play it.

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


The Dispossessed

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Book cover of The Dispossessed

The clue’s in the title of this one: in Le Guin’s high-concept future (set on the moon of Anarres, though it’s effectively a stand-in for what Earth could one day be like), human beings are…free. Free from materialism, the wage system, resource hoarding, political one-upmanship, rampant industrialism and all those fantastically capitalist things that have turned our planet into a dystopian factory. The anarcho-syndicalism of Anarres may not appeal to everyone’s tastes, but The Dispossessed offers a fascinating look at how a society that puts the collective ahead of personal desires could work in practice.

The Dispossessed

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the very best must-read novels of all time - with a new introduction by Roddy Doyle

'A well told tale signifying a good deal; one to be read again and again' THE TIMES

'The book I wish I had written ... It's so far away from my own imagination, I'd love to sit at my desk one day and discover that I could think and write like Ursula Le Guin' Roddy Doyle

'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER

The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous…


Dune

By Frank Herbert,

Book cover of Dune

I fell in love with Dune because of the worms. Never before had I read a science fiction/fantasy novel in which the world was as deeply thought out and as much a part of the story as the humans themselves. I wanted to know how Arrakis and its worms came about as much as I wanted to know what would happen to the characters. 

That package of people and place fired my imagination, and each time I re-read the story [8 times and counting], I discover something more. To me, that is the hallmark of a truly great book.

Dune

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


The Three-Body Problem

By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (translator),

Book cover of The Three-Body Problem

I admire how this trilogy, which is wide-ranging and complex, remains accessible while posing original problems and quests for solutions.

Ye Wenjie, an astrophysicist, is recruited into a covert military group searching for extraterrestrial life. Independently, she discovers a new method of sending interstellar messages. One of her messages is responded to by an inhabitant of a dying planet. She ignores the warning not to respond, prompting the aliens to locate Earth and launch an invasion. 

The invasion divides humanity into three factions. One group welcomes the threat of the annihilation of the world’s population. A second proposes assisting the invaders in solving the three-body problem which plagues their planet with ‘Chaotic Eras’. A third group advocates helping the invaders in exchange for saving their lives at the expense of the rest of humanity.

The Three-Body Problem

By Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (translator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Three-Body Problem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Read the award-winning, critically acclaimed, multi-million-copy-selling science-fiction phenomenon - soon to be a Netflix Original Series from the creators of Game of Thrones.

1967: Ye Wenjie witnesses Red Guards beat her father to death during China's Cultural Revolution. This singular event will shape not only the rest of her life but also the future of mankind.

Four decades later, Beijing police ask nanotech engineer Wang Miao to infiltrate a secretive cabal of scientists after a spate of inexplicable suicides. Wang's investigation will lead him to a mysterious online game and immerse him in a virtual world ruled by the intractable…


Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury,

Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is the best dystopian novel of the 1950s in which firemen work as enforcers burning books rather than putting out fires because a societal mob claims that the world’s unhappiness and discord are the result of ideas expressed in books. A woke mob that prefers to watch tv rather than read books has determined what is wrong with each book. Blacks are offended by Little Black Sambo so it must be burned. Whites are offended by Uncle Tom’s Cabin so it must be burned. Cigarette companies burn books that portray cigarette smoking as dangerous. There’s bound to be something offensive in every book, so every book is burned. A fireman named Guy Montag decides to fight back. Bradbury’s imaginative work is still fresh today.

Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Fahrenheit 451 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

Over 1 million copies sold in the UK.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic…


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

By Philip K. Dick,

Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I prefer stories that are about life rather than about things that happen in life. PKD’s books are exactly that. Hollywood omitted the humour, spirituality, and craziness in their adaptations of his work and often inverted his meaning entirely; the books are so much better and far more radical. If you want literature that expands the mind try a PKD book, or at least an exact replica of one.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the eagerly-anticipated new film Blade Runner 2049 finally comes to the screen, rediscover the world of Blade Runner . . .

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were…


A Clockwork Orange

By Anthony Burgess,

Book cover of A Clockwork Orange

This is a book that had an air of danger about it when I was at school. Perhaps mostly because the excellent Kubrick adaptation had been banned (although, as I later discovered, it was ‘banned’ by the director himself because of copycat morons and threats towards his family.) The book contains an invented language. Invented words have been used by authors before, of course, from James Joyce to Lewis Carroll, and many sci-fi authors. Here, it is not only fun and poetic, but also builds a prison of alienation around the protagonists. 

A Clockwork Orange

By Anthony Burgess,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked A Clockwork Orange as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Anthony Burgess's influential nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, a teen who talks in a fantastically inventive slang that evocatively renders his and his friends' intense reaction against their society. Dazzling and transgressive, A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil and the meaning of human freedom. This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition, and Burgess's introduction, "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."


The Good Soldier

By Ford Madox Ford,

Book cover of The Good Soldier

In his tragicomic novel The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford’s thickheaded narrator John Dowell trolls, over and over again, through the detritus of his life, searching vainly for the origins of his predicament—namely, that he has been duped by his wife and her lover, his supposedly best friend and the “good soldier” of the novel’s title. When Dowell finally succumbs to the utter hopelessness of his situation, he turns away from his audience in a brash attempt to bargain with a misbegotten universe, and his dreams of an impossible reconciliation with the world become our own: “Is there any terrestrial paradise where, amidst the whispering of the olive-leaves, people can be with whom they like and have what they like and take their ease in shadows and in coolness?” In his greatest moment of anguish and uncertainty, Dowell grasps for the poetry of language to sate his weary soul.

The Good Soldier

By Ford Madox Ford,

Why should I read it?

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


Du côté de chez Swann

By Marcel Proust,

Book cover of Du côté de chez Swann

When it comes to finding inspiration in our memories, Marcel Proust is literature’s gold standard. The French novelist devoted the balance of his life to the art of refracting his memories through the lens of his writerly self. Proust understood implicitly that our memories are triggered by sensory experiences—sights, sounds, smells, and touch, to be sure—but most especially through the pleasures of the text. In Du côté de chez Swann, the first volume of his epic À la recherche du temps perdu, Proust interrogates the ways in which memory is catalyzed by the senses, while comprehending, at the same time, the manner in which the reality of our memories becomes shaped by the ruinous work of nostalgia, of a sentimentality that exists beyond our ken.

Du côté de chez Swann

By Marcel Proust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Du côté de chez Swann as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Du côté de chez Swann est un roman de Marcel Proust, c'est le premier volume de À la recherche du temps perdu. Il est composé de trois parties, dont les titres sont : Combray, Un amour de Swann et Nom de pays : le nom.

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