100 books like The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

By Angela Carter,

Here are 100 books that The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman fans have personally recommended if you like The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Austin Dragon Author Of A Cruel Cyber Summer Night

From my list on cyberpunkish sci-fi books that are worth the hype.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name’s Austin Dragon, and I’m the author of over 30 books in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror. My works include the sci-fi noir detective Liquid Cool series, the epic fantasy Fabled Quest Chronicles, the international futuristic epic After Eden series, the classic Sleepy Hollow Horrors, and the upcoming military sci-fi Planet Tamers series. Sci-fi and mystery thrillers drew me into writing and I’m passionate about creating great stories with amazing characters in many my different worlds of fantastic fiction.

Austin's book list on cyberpunkish sci-fi books that are worth the hype

Austin Dragon Why did Austin love this book?

The late American master sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, or just PKD, wrote 44 novels and some 121 short stories. Even if you have never read one of them, you’ve seen the many movies and TV Series based on them.

This novella was the inspiration for Ridley Scott’s classic movie Blade Runner (the original). Like the movie, it portrays sci-fi as the mirror opposite of the bright Star Trekian sci-fi. Here we get cyberpunk (or tech-noir)—ubiquitous neon lights barely illuminate the dark shadows of this future world.

Mankind has been forced off-world, but those who remain on Earth collect any living creature. Those who can’t afford them can buy them from companies who create animals so realistic they are indistinguishable from the real thing–horses, birds, cats, and…sheep. But these companies can build humans, too. Earth bans these “replicants,” and our protagonist, Rick Deckard, is a bounty hunter commissioned to hunt…

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

13 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…


Book cover of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Andrea Lani Author Of Uphill Both Ways: Hiking toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail

From my list on women in the wild.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Colorado gal living in Maine, where I make the most of the long winters and gloomy springs by spending as much time as I can outside in our 20 acres of woods and fields. I hiked the Colorado Trail twice, in 1996 with my husband and in 2016 with my husband and three kids. My book tells the story of this second hike, as well as the natural and environmental history of Colorado. I’m a Maine Master Naturalist, and I’m passionate about connecting people to the natural world through nature journaling and nature writing workshops.

Andrea's book list on women in the wild

Andrea Lani Why did Andrea love this book?

Until I discovered this book in my early twenties, most of my reading about the natural world had come from male writers who encountered that world in a spirit of discovery and domination.

Dillard’s relationship with the creek she visited seemingly daily was a different approach entirely—she came as an acolyte, ready to watch, listen, and learn what the wild things of that stream had to teach her. Her writing is introspective and contemplative, and it swings wildly between esoteric readings and embodied experiences on the ground, creating a breathless, mind-body reading experience.

By Annie Dillard,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Pilgrim at Tinker Creek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek has continued to change people's lives for over thirty years. A passionate and poetic reflection on the mystery of creation with its beauty on the one hand and cruelty on the other, it has become a modern American literary classic in the tradition of Thoreau. Living in solitude in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke, Virginia, and observing the changing seasons, the flora and fauna, the author reflects on the nature of creation and of the God who set it in motion. Whether the images are cruel or lovely, the language is memorably beautiful and poetic,…


Book cover of The Fictions of Bruno Schulz: The Street of Crocodiles and Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass

Mike Russell Author Of Nothing Is Strange

From my list on surreal, magical, and mind-expanding stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on surreal, magical, and mind-expanding stories

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

Long ago, I watched a dream of a movie called Street of Crocodiles by the Quay Brothers. It was based on a story by someone called Bruno Schulz. I bought the book. Though there are only two Bruno Schulz books, it is as if there are a thousand Bruno Schulz books hidden between their words. His stories are often unable to contain themselves and his writing bursts out into reverie. Shot dead by a Nazi officer at the age of fifty, his writing displays a sensitivity that is the antithesis of something as brutal as firing a bullet into a human being. He creates a mood of receptivity. You may find the world more magical, wonderful, and deep after reading Bruno Schulz.

By Bruno Schulz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The stories in these pages comprise all the surviving fiction of a man described by John Updike in the introduction as 'one of the great transmogrifiers of the world into words'. They portray the doom-ridden yet comic world of a small Polish town in the years before the war, a world brought vividly to life in prose as memorable and as unique as are the brushstrokes of Marc Chagall.


Book cover of The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography

Mike Russell Author Of Nothing Is Strange

From my list on surreal, magical, and mind-expanding stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello. My name is Mike Russell. I write books (novels, short story collections and novellas) and make visual art (mostly paintings, occasionally sculptures). I love art and books that are surreal and magical because that is the way life seems to me, and I love art and books that are mind-expanding because we need to expand our minds to perceive just how surreal and magical life is. My books have been described as strange fiction, weird fiction, surrealism, magic realism, fantasy fiction… but I just like to call them Strange Books.

Mike's book list on surreal, magical, and mind-expanding stories

Mike Russell Why did Mike love this book?

Discovering the art of Alejandro Jodorowsky helped me to remove limitations from my own art. It was a joy to discover his work and it was a further joy to discover that his life has been just as uncompromising, surreal, and magical as his art. He has hung out with circus people, shamans, great artists (Marcel Marceau, Leonora Carrington, Jean Giraud… the list goes on). His novels, autobiographies, comic books, movies, and pictures are all fantastic. 

By Alexandro Jodorowsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Not a traditional autobiography composed of a chronological recounting of memories, Dance of Realityrepaints events from Jodorowsky's life from the perspective of an unleashed imagination. Like the psychomagic and metagenealogy therapies he created, this autobiography exposes the mythic models and family templates upon which the events of everyday life are founded. It reveals the development of Jodorowsky's realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree and explains, through vivid examples from his own life, particularly interactions with his father and mother, how the individual's road to true fulfilment means casting off the phantoms projected by parents on their…


Book cover of You Belong: A Call for Connection

Mike Albo Author Of Another Dimension of Us

From my list on putting you in a trance (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

As a queer teenager, I loved reading because it transported me away from my oppressive reality and into another one. My friend, writer Virginia Heffernan, calls it ‘The Trance’—when you’re so into a book, time and space fall away. Recently I learned about the work of cognitive neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf, who writes that “deep reading” of dense, poetic works (not the “skimming” we’re always doing now in our digital culture) uses, remarkably, all areas of the brain—carving neuronal pathways, engendering empathy, imagination, self-reflection, and more. No-brainer: reading is really good for you. While there’s no lack of classics that can do this, here are obscurer titles that have put me in a trance.  

Mike's book list on putting you in a trance (in a good way)

Mike Albo Why did Mike love this book?

There’s no end of books out there on mindfulness and meditation. What I love about meditation teacher, writer, and thinker Sebene Selassie’s book is how funny, personal, awkward, and honest she is about her journey. Each chapter delivers a new perspective on how you—how we all—are connected, how disconnection is at the core of our suffering, and how the one way to get back to a sense of belonging is through the body, the breath, and presence. Selassie is that friend who gently leads you to look inward and understand the power and joy of connection.  

By Sebene Selassie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A POWERFUL WORK OF SPIRITUALITY AND ANTI-RACISM"-Publishers Weekly

"IF YOU READ ONE BOOK IN 2020, MAKE IT THIS ONE."-Tricycle

From much-admired meditation expert Sebene Selassie, You Belong is a call to action, exploring our tangled relationship with belonging, connection, and each other

You are not separate. You never were. You never will be.

We are not separate from each other. But we don't always believe it, and we certainly don't always practice it. In fact, we often practice the opposite-disconnection and domination. From unconscious bias to "cancel culture," denial of our inherent interconnection limits our own freedom.

In You Belong,…


Book cover of My Life

Mike Albo Author Of Another Dimension of Us

From my list on putting you in a trance (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

As a queer teenager, I loved reading because it transported me away from my oppressive reality and into another one. My friend, writer Virginia Heffernan, calls it ‘The Trance’—when you’re so into a book, time and space fall away. Recently I learned about the work of cognitive neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf, who writes that “deep reading” of dense, poetic works (not the “skimming” we’re always doing now in our digital culture) uses, remarkably, all areas of the brain—carving neuronal pathways, engendering empathy, imagination, self-reflection, and more. No-brainer: reading is really good for you. While there’s no lack of classics that can do this, here are obscurer titles that have put me in a trance.  

Mike's book list on putting you in a trance (in a good way)

Mike Albo Why did Mike love this book?

Published in 1980, Hejinian’s breakthrough book of poetry asks for your full attention—not in a demanding way—more like how the aroma of coffee or perfume softly takes you back to your past. It’s a poetic record of her life, year by year. There’s no linear narrative, rather the sentences build upon each other, rub up against the next sentence, lead the mind from one thought to the next like memories do. This book absolutely changed the way I perceive. It allowed me to relax, and let my memories wash in and out. It will coax you to float in the ocean of your existence. 

By Lyn Hejinian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recognized today as one of the great works of contemporary American literature, My Life is at once poetic autobiography, personal narrative, a woman’s fiction, and an ongoing dialogue with the poet and her experience. Upon its first publication by Sun & Moon Press (the edition reprinted here) the publication Library Journal described the book as one that "is an intriguing journey that both illuminates and perplexes, teases and challenges, as it reveals an innovative artist at work."

Lyn Hejinian is the author of The Cell, The Cold of Poetry, Writing Is an Aid to Memory and A Border Comedy. She…


Book cover of Accelerando

Mike Albo Author Of Another Dimension of Us

From my list on putting you in a trance (in a good way).

Why am I passionate about this?

As a queer teenager, I loved reading because it transported me away from my oppressive reality and into another one. My friend, writer Virginia Heffernan, calls it ‘The Trance’—when you’re so into a book, time and space fall away. Recently I learned about the work of cognitive neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf, who writes that “deep reading” of dense, poetic works (not the “skimming” we’re always doing now in our digital culture) uses, remarkably, all areas of the brain—carving neuronal pathways, engendering empathy, imagination, self-reflection, and more. No-brainer: reading is really good for you. While there’s no lack of classics that can do this, here are obscurer titles that have put me in a trance.  

Mike's book list on putting you in a trance (in a good way)

Mike Albo Why did Mike love this book?

Unlike Hejinian’s book, this one demands your attention, almost obnoxiously. It’s strange, confusing, tough, but worth it. If you can let your mind enter into it fully, you may miss subway stops like I did while reading it. As Neuromancer was for cyberspace, Accelerando is the game changer for transhumanism—the philosophical movement claiming we will soon have the ability to escape our bodies as information. Science fiction requires extraordinary world-building, but Stross creates an entirely new universe in a series of interconnected stories about three generations of the Macx family before and after the Singularity. Characters download themselves and re-manifest, there’s an evil sentient scam called The Slug, and a mass of uploaded lobster brain scans is floating in space demanding amnesty. It’s a trip.

By Charles Stross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

His most ambitious novel to date, ACCELERANDO is a multi-generational saga following a brilliant clan of 21st-century posthumans. The year is some time between 2010 and 2015. The recession has ended, but populations are ageing and the rate of tech change is accelerating dizzyingly. Manfred makes his living from spreading ideas around, putting people in touch with one another and leaving a spray of technologies in his wake. He lives at the cutting edge of intelligence amplification technology, but even Manfred can take on too much. And when his pet robot cat picks up some interesting information from the SETI…


Book cover of Fire

Ellen Jensen Abbott Author Of Watersmeet

From my list on fantasy in which you can’t pick your family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a reader of fantasy, folklore, and fairy tales through childhood into adolescence and even studying these genres as a college student and adult. To this background, I also bring a complicated family—adopted children, step-siblings, divorce, career—and lifestyle changes. As the youngest of a sprawling clan, I was often left to reconcile my vision of family members with the vision of others. Understanding our family of origin is central to who we are, as my main character in Watersmeet discovers as she goes on a quest to find her father, and then must dig deep to understand what he means to her. 

Ellen's book list on fantasy in which you can’t pick your family

Ellen Jensen Abbott Why did Ellen love this book?

I reread Fire regularly because I love the heroine, Fire, and her conundrum: how can she love herself when her beauty is so destructive, when it inspires such terrible behavior in the people around her? We think of beauty as an asset, sure that we would be happier, more confident, more liked if we were more beautiful, and Cashore explores the limits of beauty in this novel. She also digs deep into a very problematic father/daughter relationship as Fire deals with the lessons her father, Cansrel, taught her about how to use her beauty for power, and decides to forge her own path. Like so many of these hard family relationships, Fire must reconcile her love for her father and her hatred of what he’s become. 

By Kristin Cashore,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Fire 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?

A must-read title for all fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Trudi Canavan, Fire will have you hooked on its gripping action, political intrigue, and beautiful central relationship.

'The book is REALLY good. Reading it made me very, very happy!' Tamora Pierce

Set in a world of stunningly beautiful, exceptionally dangerous monsters, Fire is one of the most dangerous monsters of all - a human one. Marked out by her vivid red hair, she's more than attractive. Fire is mesmerising.

But with this extraordinary beauty comes influence and power. People who are susceptible to her appeal will do anything for her…


Book cover of Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults

Richard Abanes Author Of One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church

From my list on cults, world religions, and extremist faiths.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young man, I wanted to do good. And I believed the best way to do that was to increase the commitment I’d made to my faith. So, I joined a church that appeared genuine. But much to my shock, not everything was as it seemed—I’d fallen into a cult. Deception, authoritarianism, and hypocrisy abounded. This led me on a decades-long search for answers: How could leaders do this? Why would members stay loyal? What could be done about it? I eventually found my answers and began doing what I’d always wanted to do—help others. I did it by becoming a journalist/author specializing in religion. 

Richard's book list on cults, world religions, and extremist faiths

Richard Abanes Why did Richard love this book?

As someone who personally knows this author, I can say with absolute certainty that this is one of the best go-to books for anyone interested in cult structure and the dynamics of cult involvement. If you’ve ever been perplexed by how someone could possibly get involved in not just a religion-based cult, but also a politics-based cult, then this is the volume for you. It’s intriguing, as well as informative.  

By Steven Hassan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Combating Cult Mind Control as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults:
This 2018, 30th-anniversary edition honors the 40th anniversary of the tragedy in Jonestown, Guyana. On November 18th, 1978, over 900 people including a U.S. congressman Leo Ryan died because of Cult Leader Jim Jones. Over 300 were children forced to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid by their parents who believed they were doing God’s will. The techniques of undue influence have evolved dramatically, and continue to do so. Today, a vast array of methods exist to deceive, manipulate, and indoctrinate people into closed systems of obedience…


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