100 books like The Janus Cycle

By Tej Turner,

Here are 100 books that The Janus Cycle fans have personally recommended if you like The Janus Cycle. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Left Hand of Darkness

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Book cover of The Left Hand of Darkness

Sara Jo Easton Author Of A Dream of Light

From the list on LGBTQ+ to annoy the people trying to ban them.

Who am I?

My name is Sara Jo Easton, and I’m the bisexual author of the Zarder novels, a fantasy series where a race of dragon-like creatures called Onizards learns to get past their prejudices. When I was at a book signing for my third book, The Blood of Senbralni, a strange man loudly declared I was part of an agenda to turn people to homosexuality and Satan with my evil dragons. To be clear, I am not and will never be affiliated with Satan. I made a vow that every book I wrote from that point forward would have at least one LGBTQ+ romance with a happy ending to annoy people like that man.

Sara's book list on LGBTQ+ to annoy the people trying to ban them

Why did Sara love this book?

If you’re like me, you are a sucker for stories about an outsider finding themselves in a new society and having to struggle and adapt to circumstances they don’t fully understand.

Genly Ai is a man who is sent to the planet Gethen to convince the people there to join a planetary alliance. The problem is Genly is so fixated on his manhood and personal identity that he can’t adapt culturally in a world where everyone is genderfluid.

Genly’s political mistakes get him into a lot of trouble that his lone ally Estraven tries to save him from, and it is only by learning to accept differences and listen to Estraven that Genly finally succeeds in his quest.

You can’t go wrong with the engrossing worldbuilding in this book, and as a bonus the people trying to ban LGBTQ+ books will be extremely annoyed if you read a book where…

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Left Hand of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION-WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY DAVID MITCHELL AND A NEW AFTERWORD BY CHARLIE JANE ANDERS

Ursula K. Le Guin's groundbreaking work of science fiction-winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants' gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an…


Tangle's Game

By Stewart Hotston,

Book cover of Tangle's Game

Allen Stroud Author Of Resilient

From the list on fantasy and sci-fi with fresh takes and characters.

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction writer and academic who is interested in the big themes that challenge us as individuals and as a civilisation. My recent writing explores the representation of disability in science fiction. I want to create characters who readers can identify with and who provide different perspectives on the fictional future I am writing about. These characters are not trying to overcome any limitations, they live and accept who and what they are as we all do. The writers and stories I have chosen in this list do the same, showing us something about the human condition that we may not have thought about before.

Allen's book list on fantasy and sci-fi with fresh takes and characters

Why did Allen love this book?

Tangle’s Game is a clever examination of the near future with an exploration of prejudice that is massively relevant in today’s society. The very best science fiction offers us a mirror to our own circumstances and situations. In the world of Tangle’s Game, we see the cultural behemoths of blockchain technology and social media as even more dominant forces than they are today.

Hotston uses this story to offer an informed and nuanced perspective on the world. Amanda’s descent from conformity highlights the ways in which we are measured and judged.

By Stewart Hotston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tangle's Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nowhere to Run. Nowhere to Hide.

Yesterday, Amanda Back's life was flawless: the perfect social credit score, the perfect job, the perfect home. Today, Amanda is a target, an enemy of the system holding information dangerous enough to disrupt the world's all-consuming tech-a fugitive on the run. But in a world where an un-hackable blockchain links everyone and everything, there is nowhere to run...


The Year's Best Science Fiction

By Gardner Dozois (editor),

Book cover of The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection

Allen Stroud Author Of Resilient

From the list on fantasy and sci-fi with fresh takes and characters.

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction writer and academic who is interested in the big themes that challenge us as individuals and as a civilisation. My recent writing explores the representation of disability in science fiction. I want to create characters who readers can identify with and who provide different perspectives on the fictional future I am writing about. These characters are not trying to overcome any limitations, they live and accept who and what they are as we all do. The writers and stories I have chosen in this list do the same, showing us something about the human condition that we may not have thought about before.

Allen's book list on fantasy and sci-fi with fresh takes and characters

Why did Allen love this book?

Included in this collection of the best science fiction from 2013, edited by the late Garner Dozois, is the novella, "The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi" This is a story from the Mistress of Cyberpunk, Pat Cadigan, which is also available for free from Clarkesworld Magazine. Pat Cadigan has been writing thought-provoking science fiction for decades. Girl-Thing depicts a futuristic society where colonisation of our solar system means the transformation of our physiology. The parallel between this and current times is palpable. Cyberpunk has always concerned itself with asking the question, what makes us human? This question is usually explored through the interaction and integration of machines and technology into the organic form. However, in Girl-Thing, there is something else going on. The necessity of form to survive in different environments is combined with an exploration of identity and acceptance.

By Gardner Dozois (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Year's Best Science Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world through their short stories. This venerable collection brings together award winning authors and masters of the field such as Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Damien Broderick, Elizabeth Bear, Paul McAuley and John…


After Atlas

By Emma Newman,

Book cover of After Atlas

Allen Stroud Author Of Resilient

From the list on fantasy and sci-fi with fresh takes and characters.

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction writer and academic who is interested in the big themes that challenge us as individuals and as a civilisation. My recent writing explores the representation of disability in science fiction. I want to create characters who readers can identify with and who provide different perspectives on the fictional future I am writing about. These characters are not trying to overcome any limitations, they live and accept who and what they are as we all do. The writers and stories I have chosen in this list do the same, showing us something about the human condition that we may not have thought about before.

Allen's book list on fantasy and sci-fi with fresh takes and characters

Why did Allen love this book?

The second book in the Planetfall series. Emma Newman writes reflective and profound science fiction with characters trying to find their way in a complex future Earth society. 

After Atlas deals with events on Earth some years after the first colony mission has departed. There is a feeling of hope, and a fusion of science and religion that drives it, but really, the lives of people are as unequal as they are today. The main character, Carlos Moreno is a corporate slave, forced to work as an investigator. He is assigned to a case in a hotel in Dartmoor, England, where Alejandro Casales, leader of the Circle, a religious cult from Texas has been murdered.

Newman’s work echoes Asimov. Her detective is constrained by powerful overseeing forces, but this is a far superior take, with real danger and consequence.

I grew up with Asimov’s Elijah Bailey stories. To read this…

By Emma Newman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man’s murder is much more than it seems—an Arthur C. Clarke Award Nominee.
 
Gov-corp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth…


Forever Endeavor

By Barbara Kellyn,

Book cover of Forever Endeavor

Greta Rose West Author Of Burned

From the list on romance that make you want to move to a small town.

Who am I?

I’ve been a reader all my life. It started with books like Where the Red Fern Grows, and as I got older, I moved on to books like The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and Skipped Parts by Tim Sandlin. Whatever I was reading, it was taking place somewhere in the wilds of the mid and western United States. I’m from a small town, and growing up, everybody knew their neighbor’s business. These are the places I love to read and write about. Add some steamy romance, and I’m there! So when the MMC from my first book, Burned, cowboy Jack Cade, showed up in my head, I knew he was from a small town.

Greta's book list on romance that make you want to move to a small town

Why did Greta love this book?

I wanna live in Janus Lake, and you will too when you read Barbara Kellyn’s Forever Endeavor. She’s my favorite romantic comedy author. Forever Endeavor is funny, charming, and a little angsty. When Billie and Sonny meet, the sparks fly, but so do the quips. Ms. Kellyn is the Queen of Witty Banter. She’ll have you laughing out loud and blushing so hard, you’ll definitely want to move to her small, fictional Midwest town. And her secondary characters fill the pages full of small-town gossip and community. What more could you want from a rom com?

By Barbara Kellyn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Inspiration walked out on bestselling romance author Billie Mustard the day her husband blindsided her with divorce papers, leaving her clouded by writer’s block and soured on happily ever after.

Time-pressed to deliver a new manuscript about everlasting love, Billie embarks on an exotic vacation to find her muse, only to be forced to detour to dinky Janus Lake, a speck on the map known for its fishing and a bizarre statue of a Roman god in the middle of town. It’s bad enough that she’s missed her flight and stranded with a useless suitcase of beachwear, but now she…


The Janus Affair

By Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris,

Book cover of The Janus Affair

Rhiannon D. Elton Author Of The Case of the Captain's Hair

From the list on mystery with layers of clues to leave you thinking.

Who am I?

I grew up with books like Dinotopia, Goosebumps choose your own adventures, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings, growing me into a lover of intricate world-building. I've always been passionate about magic and science. Interweaving magic into everyday life is part of who I am and I love seeing it in writing. After writing ten fantasy detective novels, buckets of short mysteries, and over a decade of world-building I know a passionate writer when I read it. As an avid audiobook consumer, organizer, and progenitor for the Logan Writers Festival, and twice-a-week professional Dungeon Master, I love the way these books intricately lay down their clues in the places they didn’t think we’d look.

Rhiannon's book list on mystery with layers of clues to leave you thinking

Why did Rhiannon love this book?

This book by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris is one that you skip other books in your TBR pile for! It’s impossible to put it down. The story takes place in an alternate Victorian era  where the world is powered by steam and magic. The plot is filled with so many threads of clues and mysteries weave you into the world and before you know it you’re as tangled as the characters. The secret agent and medium characters are brilliant, and their chemistry is just amazing. The world-building is superb, the steampunk universe is so rich and fascinating. The  balance of mystery, fantasy, and adventure are just perfect. If you love steampunk and mystery,  you have to read this book! It's simply fantastic! 

By Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There's something rotten in the city of London. Women are disappearing - young and old, rich and poor, from all walks of society. The only thing they have in common is their belief that women also deserve the vote. It's up to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurences to find out why these women are vanishing, but agents Books and Braun have their own challenges. There's a turncoat with nefarious plans within the Ministry itself, and the reappearance of an old flame means their growing friendship is threatened. To say nothing of the queen of the underworld, tassassins-attacking-on-ornithopters, and a conspiracy…


Book cover of The 60-Second Sales Hook: How to Stand Out and Sell More Using the Power of Your Story

Chris Orzechowski Author Of Make it Rain: The Secret to Generating Massive Paydays from Your Email List

From the list on copywriting.

Who am I?

I started my adult life as a bouncer and a school teacher. A few years later, I was running one of the most well-known email marketing agencies in the industry. The reason this happened is because I dedicated my life to becoming a master copywriter. Learning how to write copy was the key that unlocked a level of freedom I didn’t know existed, both personal and financial. It’s also allowed me to write two bestselling books on email marketing, work with 250+ brands, and coach 2,200+ students around the world. I hope this list helps you take your writing skills up a notch.

Chris' book list on copywriting

Why did Chris love this book?

In a world of ever-shortening attention spans, you’ve got a minute (maybe even less) to grab your reader’s attention and hook them. How exactly do you do that? Kevin Rogers lays out a simple four-step framework you can use to sell any product in any market with ease. This book has come in handy time and time again. It always helps me get to the essence of the sales argument I’m trying to construct. I use this framework for this book on my websites, in my sales letters, and even in some of my emails. It’s a timeless formula you’ll lean on for years to come. 

By Kevin Rogers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 60-Second Sales Hook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How a nightclub comedian turned a simple joke formula into a million dollar sales hook... and how you can use the same easy 4-sentence formula to stand out from the crowd and connect more deeply with your best customers and prospects.


Say Hi to Hedgehogs!

By Jane McGuinness,

Book cover of Say Hi to Hedgehogs!

Julia Rawlinson Author Of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

From the list on nature and the seasons.

Who am I?

I grew up in London, close to Richmond Park, where I got to know many of the characters who have since popped up in my stories. I bird-watched, caterpillar-collected, and pond-dipped, and my bedroom had a floating population of minibeasts. My first picture book, Fred and the Little Egg, was about a bear cub trying to hatch an acorn, and my stories have continued to reflect my love of nature. My Fletcher’s Four Seasons series follows a kind-hearted fox cub as he explores his wood through the changing seasons. I hope my books will inspire children to explore and care for the natural world too.

Julia's book list on nature and the seasons

Why did Julia love this book?

There’s a leaf-collecting hedgehog in Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, and Say Hi to Hedgehogs! teaches you more about these wonderful animals, following a hedgehog’s story through the seasons. I love everything about this book – the illustrations are beautiful, with a ridiculously cute hedgehog family, magical night scenes, and cosy autumn and winter pages; I learnt some fascinating hedgehog facts from the notes scattered through the story; and the book even includes tips for making your home hedgehog-friendly.

By Jane McGuinness,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Say Hi to Hedgehogs! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With words and pictures by a debut author-illustrator, this is a new Nature Storybook about a very popular little animal - the hedgehog.

A delightful Nature Storybook about hedgehogs from debut author-illustrator Jane McGuinness. There's someone we'd like you to meet - someone small and spiky. Say hi to Hedgehog! Follow this lovely little creature through the year and learn what hedgehogs like to eat, how they hunt for their food, where they build their nests, the time it takes for them grow from tiny hoglets into healthy adults and, as the seasons turn, how they prepare for hibernation. The…


The Lesser Dead

By Christopher Buehlman,

Book cover of The Lesser Dead

Jasper Kent Author Of Twelve

From the list on vampires of the past, present and future.

Who am I?

My love of vampire stories can be put down to two men: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing—Dracula and Van Helsing. I can’t remember how old I was, but undoubtedly too young to be allowed to sit up and watch late-night Hammer movies on the BBC. I was into science fiction too, particularly Doctor Who, and it was that, in part, which inspired me to become a scientist, studying physics at Cambridge. It may seem odd that someone so grounded in what is real should so enjoy writing about the impossible. But it’s reassuring to know that what I write can never actually be. Probably.

Jasper's book list on vampires of the past, present and future

Why did Jasper love this book?

The Lesser Dead is set in the past, but it’s not what you’d expect from an historical vampire novel. The setting is New York City, 1978, and so the atmosphere is more like the American police movies and TV shows that I grew up with than a gothic shocker.

Told by an unreliable narrator with an authentic, claustrophobic voice, the story follows an internecine conflict between two groups of the undead beneath the streets of Manhattan. Buehlman expertly mixes a twisting plot with believable vampires, who both disturb the reader and elicit their compassion, making this my favourite vampire novel of the 21st century.

By Christopher Buehlman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION’S BEST HORROR NOVEL OF THE YEAR

“As much F. Scott Fitzgerald as Dean Koontz” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs), Christopher Buehlman excels in twisting the familiar into newfound dread in his “genre-bending” (California Literary Review) novels. Now the acclaimed author of Those Across the River delivers his most disquieting tale yet...

The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.
The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry...

New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die.…


The Wizard of Us

By Jean Houston,

Book cover of The Wizard of Us: Transformational Lessons from Oz

Ngan H. Nguyen Author Of One Million Steps: Lessons From A Legendary Hike

From the list on that get you thinking.

Who am I?

I'm fascinated by how our world operates, from the macro-level to the microlevel and metaphysics. It creates more depth and makes life infinitely colorful and exciting, even in the most mundane things. I've been studying personal development and spirituality for almost 20 years now, and I find the journey of growth and becoming to be rewarding. Books that help me expand my horizon and think differently enable this process, and I find that to be exciting.

Ngan's book list on that get you thinking

Why did Ngan love this book?

For anyone growing up in western culture, you’ve probably have heard of the story of The Wizard of Oz or are familiar with pieces of it. The excellent storyteller and teacher, Jean Houston, whom I’ve had the opportunity to study with and a good friend of my dear mentor, Mary Morrissey, shares insights that make this story personal. It is a story of transformation, of Dorothy traversing a new land, conquering her adversaries, and finally discovery the path home by tapping her feet together three times. Why, she asked the good witch why she wasn’t just told that in the beginning, the good witch’s response was, “because you wouldn’t have believed me anyway.” Maybe the journey is part of the process that enables us to build the awareness to open our doors.

By Jean Houston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Take the journey of a lifetime with Human Potential visionary Jean Houston as she guides you through mythic Oz to become an essential human for the new world.

Learn how to expand your mind, open your heart, and find the courage to connect with your own life journey with The Wizard of Us, an accessible guide to help you envision the world as you choose to create it.

With specific and easily understandable exercises and epiphanies, The Wizard of Us harkens to the classic tale and defines the hero’s journey through the skills and internal qualities that live within each…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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