99 books like The Lottery and Other Stories

By Shirley Jackson,

Here are 99 books that The Lottery and Other Stories fans have personally recommended if you like The Lottery and Other Stories. 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 20th Century Ghosts

Kenneth W. Cain Author Of Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction

From my list on short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading short stories in the annual Reader’s Digest books my parents collected, so I’ve always liked the short form. Perhaps that is why I pursued it in college, wanting to know what made them work. So I took a lot of classes in college to do just that, to dissect stories to see what made them resonate with readers. And although I’ve been trying to push myself to write longer fiction, I’ll never be able to fully abandon the short fiction. I love a story you can read in a day and think about all night.

Kenneth's book list on short story collections

Kenneth W. Cain Why did Kenneth love this book?

Besides the fact that Joe Hill is one of my favorite writers at the moment, this collection is 100% solid writing. Also, one of my favorite stories, “Pop Art,” is included in the book. To me, the sense of ambiguity, of using one otherworldly concept to stand for something so plain and simple, addressing current issues through your fiction are all present in that story.

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 20th Century Ghosts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imogene is young, beautiful, kisses like a movie star, and knows everything about every film ever made. She's also dead, the legendary ghost of the Rosebud Theater. Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with a head full of big ideas and a gift for getting his ass kicked. It's hard to make friends when you're the only inflatable boy in town. Francis is unhappy, picked on; he doesn't have a life, a hope, a chance. Francis was human once, but that's behind him now. John Finney is in trouble. The kidnapper locked him in a basement, a place stained with…


Book cover of After the People Lights Have Gone Off

Kenneth W. Cain Author Of Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction

From my list on short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading short stories in the annual Reader’s Digest books my parents collected, so I’ve always liked the short form. Perhaps that is why I pursued it in college, wanting to know what made them work. So I took a lot of classes in college to do just that, to dissect stories to see what made them resonate with readers. And although I’ve been trying to push myself to write longer fiction, I’ll never be able to fully abandon the short fiction. I love a story you can read in a day and think about all night.

Kenneth's book list on short story collections

Kenneth W. Cain Why did Kenneth love this book?

SGJ has such a unique voice, it’s hard to deny this collection its props. Here you have a wide range of themes and unique characterization, and I think there’s a lot to be learned from a collection such as this. Dialogue, character building, tension; this is like a guide to writing good fiction.

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked After the People Lights Have Gone Off as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner, Best Collection of the Year, This Is Horror

Nominated, Best Collection of the Year, Bram Stoker Awards

Nominated, Best Collection of the Year, Shirley Jackson Awards

The 15 stories in After the People Lights Have Gone Off, by Stephen Graham Jones, explore the horrors and fears of the supernatural and the everyday. Included are two original stories, several rarities and out-of-print narratives, as well as a few "best of the year" inclusions. 

In "Thirteen", horrors lurk behind the flickering images on the big screen. "Welcome to the Reptile House" reveals the secrets that hide in our flesh. In "The…


Book cover of Full Dark, No Stars

Mark Fearing Author Of Last Exit to Feral

From my list on horror I read again and again and again.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of the gifts of the horror genre is that the stories use metaphor to examine human behaviors that defy understanding. My favorite horror novels, novellas, and short stories can be read again and again. While my Feral graphic novel series is for middle school readers, I wanted to provide grey areas, perhaps more than the editor always liked! I wanted the adventure, the scares, the questions, the uncertainty that would let the small town of Feral take on a larger-than-life presence for a reader and encourage revisiting it whenever the mood strikes. It's almost pleasant, the rhythm, the anticipation. A little unnerving too.

Mark's book list on horror I read again and again and again

Mark Fearing Why did Mark love this book?

This is a short story collection I return to every few years. There are four novellas in this collection, but each of them was delivered directly to my cerebral cortex. I can recall passages from each story. And I can see the locations.

I feel King is at his best when he's twisting his way through novellas and short stories. After reading "1922", it was weeks before I stopped seeing the well. And weeks before, I stopped shaking my head at what Wilfred James did or the grit of Tess in "Big Driver" or the pettiness of Dave Streeter. This is worth reading every year.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Full Dark, No Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the master of the long story form, the Sunday Times No. 1 besteller, Full Dark, No Stars - described by the Sunday Telegraph as 'an extraordinary collection, thrillingly merciless, and a career high point' - now with a stunning new cover look.

Is it possible to fully know anyone? Even those we love the most? What tips someone over the edge to commit a crime?

In '1922', a story which was adapted into a Netflix original film, a Nebraska farmer, the turning point comes when his wife threatens to sell off the family homestead.

In 'Big Driver', a cozy…


Book cover of The Midwich Cuckoos

J. Martain Author Of Forgetting the Lost

From my list on uncanny children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an uncanny child myself, I always gravitated toward reading about the strange—whether in historical accounts or fiction—and as a passably normal adult, I often write from the perspective of “the other.” I never intentionally mix science fiction and paranormal elements into my work…they just happen to be my characters’ truths! So much of what we humans know about our world is filtered through our collective reality, and I love following the connecting threads and plucking at the flaws. 

J.'s book list on uncanny children

J. Martain Why did J. love this book?

Really, what could be more uncanny than dozens of golden-eyed children conceived while an entire town was unconscious? To say nothing of the not-so-subtle complications of nature versus nurture as their mothers attempt—or avoid—bonding with their strange, unwanted progeny. 

From the mid-century English setting to the focus on male narrative perspectives, Wyndham contrasts what’s normal and abnormal, human and “other,” with a simple tale that spawns (pun intended) a fear of perfect, emotionally disconnected children who cannot—or will not—be loved. A classic, through and through.

By John Wyndham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A genre-defining tale of first contact by one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant—and neglected—science fiction and horror writers, whom Stephen King called “the best writer of science fiction that England has ever produced.”

“In my opinion, [John] Wyndham’s chef d’oeuvre . . . a graphic metaphor for the fear of unwanted pregnancies . . . I myself had a dream about a highly intelligent nonhuman baby after reading this book.”—Margaret Atwood, Slate

What if the women of a sleepy English village all became simultaneously pregnant, and the children, once born, possessed supernatural—and possibly alien—powers? 

A mysterious silver object appears…


Book cover of The Silent Patient

Alice McIlroy Author Of The Glass Woman

From my list on books featuring unreliable narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved unreliable narrators and how they place us as readers into the role of detectives, piecing the "truth" of a story together. The narrators I’ve picked below vary in their intent: some deliberately deceive, and others do so unconsciously or through omission. In several, the twist hinges on the use of an unreliable narrator, while in others, narrative unreliability poses a moral dilemma for the reader. In a few, an added layer of unreliability emerges: the narrator’s perception is distorted by technology. In an age of AI, simulations, and deep fakes, the unreliable narrator is arguably more needed than ever, holding a mirror up to the unreliability of our own world. 

Alice's book list on books featuring unreliable narrators

Alice McIlroy Why did Alice love this book?

Many contemporary thrillers’ ultimate twist hinges on the use of an unreliable narrator. One of the best is Alex Michaelides’ internationally bestselling debut, The Silent Patient. It follows a psychotherapist trying to help his patient, Alicia, recover after she refuses to speak following the murder of her husband.

The novel is a perfect balancing act of suspecting Alicia yet finding her sympathetic in equal measure. I did not, for one moment, anticipate the ending and first-person unreliable narration is key to Michaelides’ masterful twist.

By Alex Michaelides,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Silent Patient as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**

"An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller... A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy."
―Entertainment Weekly

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five…


Book cover of The Girl With All the Gifts

J. Martain Author Of Forgetting the Lost

From my list on uncanny children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an uncanny child myself, I always gravitated toward reading about the strange—whether in historical accounts or fiction—and as a passably normal adult, I often write from the perspective of “the other.” I never intentionally mix science fiction and paranormal elements into my work…they just happen to be my characters’ truths! So much of what we humans know about our world is filtered through our collective reality, and I love following the connecting threads and plucking at the flaws. 

J.'s book list on uncanny children

J. Martain Why did J. love this book?

A dystopian zombie-type tale, this novel focuses on a hyper-intelligent child who is starved for affection—and non-vegetarian protein.

Melanie struggles to control her biological impulses, to be more than what the adults fear and to be seen as human instead of an abomination, because she’s capable of love. Yet, it’s her immense capacity for clear, rational thought that makes her oh-so uncanny. 

I’ve read the book—and watched the film—multiple times. If you don’t mind some gore, this story is much more than just a zombie sci-fi.

By M.R. Carey,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Girl With All the Gifts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'ORIGINAL, THRILLING AND POWERFUL' - Guardian
'HAUNTING, HEARTHBREAKING' - Vogue
The phenomenal million-copy bestseller that is also a BAFTA Award-nominated movie

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the…


Book cover of Where the Forest Meets the Stars

J. Martain Author Of Forgetting the Lost

From my list on uncanny children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an uncanny child myself, I always gravitated toward reading about the strange—whether in historical accounts or fiction—and as a passably normal adult, I often write from the perspective of “the other.” I never intentionally mix science fiction and paranormal elements into my work…they just happen to be my characters’ truths! So much of what we humans know about our world is filtered through our collective reality, and I love following the connecting threads and plucking at the flaws. 

J.'s book list on uncanny children

J. Martain Why did J. love this book?

Vanderah’s novel is an outlier on my list, because it’s actually a beautiful tale of found family—but that makes it a poignant counter to the others. 

Has Ursa, the uncanny child, merely assumed her “otherness” as a protective guise? Even by the end of the book, I found myself wondering whether the neatly wrapped up (and satisfying) story would have ended differently had the child been the narrator.  

More literary fiction than speculative, I recommend this novel for the lingering “what-ifs” that brought me back for a second read.

By Glendy Vanderah,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Where the Forest Meets the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestseller, and a Goodreads Choice Award finalist.

In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot…


Book cover of Friday Black

Steven Sherrill Author Of The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break

From my list on short stories to send your mind into the sublime.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most of my public success has been as a novelist. My MFA, from the Iowa Writers Workshop, is in poetry. When I grow up, I want to be a short story writer. The dirty truth is, though, I’ve been making trouble with stories since I was a kid. During my first attempt in 10th grade, I wrote a story that got me suspended for two weeks. No explanation. No guidance. Just a conference between my parents, teachers, and principal (I wasn’t present), and they came out and banished me. I dropped out of school shortly after. I reckon that experience, both shameful and delicious, shaped my life and love of narrative.

Steven's book list on short stories to send your mind into the sublime

Steven Sherrill Why did Steven love this book?

Such a rule breaker. A complete disregard for the laws of nature. That can’t happen! I shouldn’t feel so for those characters! And yet, and yet! The characters that people these pages are real and convincing. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah takes us in and out of realities. His world is dark sibling to our everyday world, but even his most flawed characters resonate with dignity, and through skillful well-crafted revelation, the reader comes to understand why these characters struggle—often against societal forces larger/older/engrained—and even when his characters make bad decisions (lord knows a misbehaving character is what good fiction is about) a glimmer of the potential for human goodness is exposed. This a contemporary voice, fierce and fresh, and worth paying attention to.

By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The instant New York Times bestseller
'An unbelievable debut' New York Times

Racism, but "managed" through virtual reality

Black Friday, except you die in a bargain-crazed throng

Happiness, but pharmacological

Love, despite everything

A Publisher's Weekly Most Anticipated Book for Fall 2018

Friday Black tackles urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explores the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In the first, unforgettable story of this collection, The Finkelstein Five, Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unstinting reckoning of the brutal prejudice of the US justice system. In Zimmer Land we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of…


Book cover of Drood

Julie Kusma Author Of The Many Worlds of Mr. A. Skouandy and Other Stories from Oakwood Sanatorium

From my list on with plot twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by the mind-body-spirit’s impact on our human experience. Especially the aspect of mind, because deep within us resides the shadow-self described by Carl Jung. Most of us spend our lives hiding this part, but it’s there, waiting to pounce. These are the stories I tell, and with my background in Health and Wellness and in Creative Writing, I write paranormal, supernatural, and horror stories containing the simple truths about our human experience. All are designed to bring out the shadow lurking within and expose it to the light. As a counterpoint to these dark tales, I write evocative poetry, uplifting children’s stories, and some educational books with my writing partner, Derek R. King.  

Julie's book list on with plot twists

Julie Kusma Why did Julie love this book?

First of all, Drood is a fantastic trip into the macabre. And, because I love to weave actual truths into my stories, either real-life experiences or real encounters, I am fascinated that Simmons based his novel on the last five years of Charles Dickens's life. Whether this is entirely speculation or otherwise, this novel draws on the character found in Dickens's last and unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Simmons does precisely what I hope to do with my stories; draw the reader into my world and leave them wondering what parts were based on unexpected truths. 

By Dan Simmons,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research ...or something more terrifying?Just as…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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