56 books like The Man Who Was Thursday

By G.K. Chesterton,

Here are 56 books that The Man Who Was Thursday fans have personally recommended if you like The Man Who Was Thursday. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Author Of The Transformational Path: How Healing, Unlearning, and Tuning into Source Helped Me Manifest My Most Abundant Life

From my list on completely transforming your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known I was “special” since I was a child. I saw, felt, and heard things that others did not. Eventually I embraced my clairaudient mediumship gifts and turned it into a thriving business, allowing me to live a life of purpose: helping others find their passions and live their most joyful lives. But the journey never ends; I am always on a mission to transform. Consistently, literature has been where I turn when I am seeking wisdom on becoming the best version of myself. I also pursued certification as a Book Therapist - the first thing I’ll recommend to friends, family, or clients is the best book for their dilemma!

Claudia's book list on completely transforming your life

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Why did Claudia love this book?

J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful storytelling is unmatched, and The Lord of the Rings weaves together moral dilemmas and profound philosophical ideas seamlessly, encouraging me to contemplate the nature of power, the importance of preserving the natural world, and the significance of individual choices.

The book's themes of heroism, friendship, sacrifice, and the struggle between good and evil resonate deeply. In addition, each of his characters feels like an aspect of oneself; the introspection it inspires is brilliant!

The Lord of the Rings instills a sense of wonder, ignites the imagination, and imparts timeless wisdom, which heavily transformed my perspective on life, my values, and my understanding of the human condition.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

52 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

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…


Book cover of Flashman

Austin Grossman Author Of Crooked

From my list on set in alternate histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lot of things. I design games. I study literature and theater. I write novels that are messy fusions of literary and genre fiction. I'm endlessly curious. Each of my books starts with when I hear in my head, the voice of a character asking a question. It's always a silly question, and it's always the one that matters more to them than anything else in the world. "Why does being superintelligent make you evil?" became Soon I Will Be Invincible. "What are people who play video games obsessively really looking for?" became You. Answering the question isn't simple, but of course that's where the fun starts.

Austin's book list on set in alternate histories

Austin Grossman Why did Austin love this book?

Flashman does a thing I love, which is to tell the story of another book's least notable character.

Harry Flashman comes from Thomas Hughes's 1850 novel Tom Brown's School Days (the entire basis for the Harry Potter novels), where he's a sub-Draco Malfo figure, a useless bully.

Flashman tells the story of his later years as the Victorian Empire's most cowardly soldier, rattling around British colonies, stumbling through their various atrocities and debacles. I wish the book were even harsher on the Brits, but it's a deeply fun counter-text and a lovely bit of escapism nonetheless.

By George MacDonald Fraser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For George MacDonald Fraser the bully Flashman was easily the most interesting character in Tom Brown's Schooldays, and imaginative speculation as to what might have happened to him after his expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness ended in 12 volumes of memoirs in which Sir Harry Paget Flashman - self-confessed scoundrel, liar, cheat, thief, coward -'and, oh yes, a toady' - romps his way through decades of nineteenth-century history in a swashbuckling and often hilarious series of military and amorous adventures. In Flashman the youthful hero, armed with a commission in the 11th Dragoons, is shipped to India, woos and…


Book cover of Perelandra

Michael Newton Author Of The Origins of Science Fiction

From my list on science fiction books about visiting alien worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a cultural historian, film critic, literary critic, editor, and essayist–and a frustrated fiction writer–fascinated by ‘the fantastic’ in art or in life. Answering that fascination, I wrote Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (2002), and I’ve written two books for the BFI Film Classics series on two great movies of the fantastic, Rosemary’s Baby (2020) and It’s A Wonderful Life (2023). I also edited three anthologies of Victorian and Edwardian fantasy, The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Ambrose Bierce (2010) and Victorian Fairy Tales (2015), and now an anthology, Origins of Science Fiction (2022) for Oxford World’s Classics. 

Michael's book list on science fiction books about visiting alien worlds

Michael Newton Why did Michael love this book?

I recently re-read this book, and it returned me at once to the joy and strangeness of the first time I read it.

Lewis offers up the theory that perhaps what we know in this world as myth and archetype exists in reality on other planets. The book brings that thought to vivid life. It detonates all the power and perplexity of the first chapters of "Genesis" and replays "Paradise Lost" on the floating blissful islands of Venus.

Though the endnote is one of glorious joy, few have been as good at depicting evil as Lewis was. Written at the height of the horrors of the Second World War, the Un-Man has haunted my nightmares for much of my life.

By C. S. Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The second novel in Lewis's science fiction trilogy tells of Dr Ransom's voyage to the planet of Perelandra (Venus).

In the second novel in C.S. Lewis's classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus, which turns out to be a beautiful Eden-like world. He is horrified to find that his old enemy, Dr Weston, has also arrived and is putting him in grave peril once more. As the mad Weston's body is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom engages in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of Perelandra...


StairWell

By James Sale,

Book cover of StairWell

James Sale Author Of StairWell

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Poet Entrepreneur Consultant Innovator

James' 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

StairWell is the second volume of The English Cantos, where the Poet leaves the confines of Hell’s hospital ward and enters Purgatory. Following in the footsteps of Dante Alighieri, the Poet must climb the staircase to the Chapel of St. Luke, at once a real place of solace and sacredness in the midst of the blighted hospital, but also a metaphysical plane, accessible only to those who may pass the trials and tribulations of the purgatorial ascent.

On the journey, the Poet will meet figures both from his personal life, and those more well known, all fighting their own battles of self-improvement.

Combining deep psychology with the fantastical grandeur of an Arthurian legend, StairWell explores the fragility and wickedness of the human condition balanced with the transformational powers of Hope and Faith.

StairWell

By James Sale,

What is this book about?

From the misery of Hell’s corrupted wards, to the mountain of personal transcendence…

StairWell is the second volume of The English Cantos, where the Poet leaves the confines of Hell’s hospital ward and enters Purgatory. Following in the footsteps of Dante Alighieri, the Poet must climb the staircase to the Chapel of St. Luke, at once a real place of solace and sacredness in the midst of the blighted hospital, but also a metaphysical plane, accessible only to those who may pass the trials and tribulations of the purgatorial ascent.

On the journey, the Poet will meet figures both from…


Book cover of A Confederacy of Dunces

Toby LeBlanc Author Of Dark Roux

From my list on South Louisiana culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Scott, Louisiana, I didn’t know that everyone else in the United States did not get Mardi Gras off from school and work. I thought everyone knew some French. Crawfish boils were a natural, expectable part of every spring. South Louisiana is a world unto itself. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate my heritage, my Cajun lineage, and the sometimes-befuddling ways we Louisianians look at that world. Between conversations with elders, reading historical documents, and even looking at land transfer maps, I’ve become even more grounded in what being from this little wet corner of the world means. 

Toby's book list on South Louisiana culture

Toby LeBlanc Why did Toby love this book?

This Pulitzer Prize winner remains a time-tested testament to the absurdity that is New Orleans.

I felt like I’d met every one of the characters at least twice in my own walks on the streets of this storied city. I could even taste the Lucky Dogs. This is one of the few books to have me consistently laugh out loud. You can even take a picture with the statue of Ignatius J Reilly (the main character) on Canal Street.

By John Kennedy Toole,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Confederacy of Dunces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE BBC'S 100 NOVELS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD

'This is probably my favourite book of all time' Billy Connolly

A pithy, laugh-out-loud story following John Kennedy Toole's larger-than-life Ignatius J. Reilly, floundering his way through 1960s New Orleans, beautifully resigned with cover art by Gary Taxali
_____________

'This city is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, anti-Christs, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians . . . don't make the mistake of bothering me.'

Ignatius J. Reilly: fat, flatulent, eloquent and almost unemployable. By the standards of ordinary folk he is pretty much…


Book cover of Watchmen

Austin Grossman Author Of Crooked

From my list on set in alternate histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lot of things. I design games. I study literature and theater. I write novels that are messy fusions of literary and genre fiction. I'm endlessly curious. Each of my books starts with when I hear in my head, the voice of a character asking a question. It's always a silly question, and it's always the one that matters more to them than anything else in the world. "Why does being superintelligent make you evil?" became Soon I Will Be Invincible. "What are people who play video games obsessively really looking for?" became You. Answering the question isn't simple, but of course that's where the fun starts.

Austin's book list on set in alternate histories

Austin Grossman Why did Austin love this book?

This is the book that forever changed how superheroes were written.  

In Watchmen, masked vigilantes started as a craze in the 1930s, and history got slightly bent in the process. We won the Vietnam War, Nixon stayed president, and...you'll have fun picking out all the bits of altered history in the background.

The heart of the book is its unforgettable characters - slightly over-the-hill superheroes brought out of retirement by the murder of one of their own, to face an ever-deepening mystery and their own midlife crises.

By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A hit HBO original series, Watchmen, the groundbreaking series from award-winning author Alan Moore, presents a world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history--the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the Cold War is in full effect.

Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the superhero is dissected as an unknown assassin stalks the erstwhile heroes.

This edition of Watchmen, the groundbreaking series from Alan Moore,…


Book cover of Cryptonomicon

Robert J. Lloyd Author Of The Bloodless Boy

From my list on science-based historical fiction novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write as Robert J. Lloyd, but my friends call me Rob. Having studied Fine Art at a BA degree level (starting as a landscape painter but becoming a sculpture/photography/installation/performance generalist), I then moved to writing. During my MA degree in The History of Ideas, I happened to read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary and fascinating man. My MA thesis and my Hooke & Hunt series of historical thrillers are all about him. I’m fascinated by early science, which was the initial ‘pull’ into writing these stories, but the political background of the times (The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis, for example) is just as enticing. 

Robert's book list on science-based historical fiction novels

Robert J. Lloyd Why did Robert love this book?

About WWII codebreaking, the reason this makes my ‘Best 5’ is that, besides being constantly inventive and informative, it’s also very funny. (I’m that shallow.)

There are similarities, I think, with Catch 22, in the plot’s intelligence, absurdity, and dreamlike turns.

I think Stephenson’s character Bobbie Shaftoe, a soldier who carries out counterintelligence deceptions, is hilarious. Also, Stephenson’s use of real historical characters–he presents believable portraits of Alan Turing, Douglas MacArthur, Karl Dönitz, and Hermann Göring, with a walk-on appearance by Albert  Einsteingave me license to do so in my own fiction.

By Neal Stephenson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With this extraordinary first volume in an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence…


Book cover of Jurassic Park

S.R. Masters Author Of How to Kill with Kindness

From my list on books in which all that glitters is not gold.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been drawn to stories in which all that glitters isn't gold, and all three of my novels contain this theme. They are, at the bottom, tales of hubris, which is why I like them. A character strives to obtain some glittery thing, confident it will be better than what they have. Yet, ultimately, their confidence is misplaced, and their ambition brings about their downfall. Perhaps because I'm someone who's naturally quite risk-averse but also believes little good comes in life without taking chances, stories like this attract me. They allow me to safely hunt for the Aristotelian mean between being overly sensible and irrationally ambitious.  

S.R.'s book list on books in which all that glitters is not gold

S.R. Masters Why did S.R. love this book?

I couldn't resist putting this in here. The book is as much of a treat as a movie and has its own darker vibe. It's the first “grown-up” book I ever read, and it's rewarded re-reads over the years. Like with Ira Levin, it's amazing to see a high-concept pulled off so well, and even now, you have to applaud what Crichton did with it.

It built in me a healthy respect for science and a skepticism of big business, and even now it makes me feel that wonder I had when I first read it. 

By Michael Crichton,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Jurassic Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Crichton's most compulsive novel' Sunday Telegraph
'Crichton's dinosaurs are genuinely frightening' Chicago Sun-Times
'Breathtaking adventure. . . a book that is as hard to put down as it is to forget' Time Out

-------------------------------

The international bestseller that inspired the Jurassic Park film franchise.

On a remote jungle island, genetic engineers have created a dinosaur game park.

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now one of mankind's most thrilling fantasies has come true and the first dinosaurs that the Earth has seen in the time of man emerge.

But, as always, there is a…


Book cover of His Majesty's Dragon

Shannon Fay Author Of Innate Magic

From my list on fantasy novels that will make you look at history in a new way.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and also a history nerd. I love historical fiction—learning about the past through a story just makes the world come alive in a way that non-fiction doesn’t. As I child, I was entranced by middle-grade historical novels like The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and The Shakespeare Stealer. But I also love fantasy novels and how they use magic to make the truths of our world bigger and bolder, turning the elephant in the room into a dragon that can’t be ignored. Mixing history and fantasy together is my book version of peanut butter and chocolate.

Shannon's book list on fantasy novels that will make you look at history in a new way

Shannon Fay Why did Shannon love this book?

Have you ever wished you knew what your pet was thinking? That you could communicate with them with words or even with the power of your mind? I know I have.

This book is basically a chronicle of the Napoleonic Wars…but with dragons! When British naval Captain Will Laurence forms a bond with the dragon Temeraire, it changes both of their lives. The two are pressed into service, fighting against Napoleon’s own squad of dragon-riders.

The air battle scenes are thrilling, but the real heart of the book is the bond between Will and Temeraire. It is a daring adventure tale but also a fabulous, cozy read. Reading it makes me wish I had a dragon pal that I was telepathically bonded to (though I’m not too keen to have to square up with Napolean). 

By Naomi Novik,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked His Majesty's Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Naomi Novik's stunning series of novels follow the adventures of Captain William Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire as they are thrown together to fight for Britain during the turbulent time of the Napoleonic Wars.

As Napoleon's tenacious infantry rampages across Europe and his armada lies in wait for Nelson's smaller fleet, the war does not rage on land and water alone. Squadrons of aviators swarm the skies - a deadly shield for the cumbersome canon-firing vessels. Raining fire and acid upon their enemies, they engage in a swift, violent combat with flying tooth and claw... for these aviators ride…


Book cover of The City & the City

Joseph Pitkin Author Of Exit Black

From my list on fantasy-science fiction books that explore class and inequality.

Why am I passionate about this?

My science fiction and fantasy writing is concerned with the values I was exposed to growing up. As a lifelong Quaker, I have struggled—often unsuccessfully—to live out Quakerism’s non-conformist, almost utopian commitment to equality, simplicity, peace, and community. Not only have I tried to bear witness to those values in my writing, but those ideals led me to my career as an instructor at a community college, one of America’s great socioeconomic leveling institutions. My background as a speculative fiction writer has also made me into a teacher of science fiction and fantasy literature at my college, where I read and came to love the books I recommend here. 

Joseph's book list on fantasy-science fiction books that explore class and inequality

Joseph Pitkin Why did Joseph love this book?

This tightly-plotted murder mystery takes place in one of the most compelling imagined settings I’ve ever encountered: a double city somewhere in the Balkans where the inhabitants of each half are required by law not to see the inhabitants of the other half.

Equal parts Kafka and Philip K Dick, Miéville’s The City and the City offers a thought-provoking meditation on the haves and have-nots, as well as life in the Balkanized cities of the world, those “double places” where one-half of the population conspires not to notice the other half.

By China Miéville,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, the multi-award winning The City & The City by China Mieville is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

'You can't talk about Mieville without using the word "brilliant".' - Ursula Le Guin, author of the Earthsea series.

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlu of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to…


Book cover of Something Wicked This Way Comes

Bryan L. Young Author Of A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination

From my list on morbidly curious kids and their adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a nerd for the morbid for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I tore through all the books on the shelves in my house, whether they were appropriate for my age group or not. I started tearing into Stephen King books at 8 or so. I remember vividly copying language out of Christine when I was about 10 on the playground and getting in a lot of trouble for it. But I turned out okay. I really do believe that kids have a fascination for things above their age range, and adults enjoy it, too, and I still love all of these.

Bryan's book list on morbidly curious kids and their adults

Bryan L. Young Why did Bryan love this book?

There’s something deliciously attractive about this book.

The language Bradbury uses draws me in every time I visit it, and it keeps me hooked. This was another book I found as a kid, and it left its hooks in me from when I was young.

Is it morbid? There are definitely morbid parts to it. And it deals with life-and-death situations, but it’s just so good. I never wanted it to end.

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Something Wicked This Way Comes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Ray Bradbury’s best-known and most popular novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, now featuring a new introduction and material about its longstanding influence on culture and genre.

For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all…


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