100 books like The Master and Margarita

By Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear (translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (translator)

Here are 100 books that The Master and Margarita fans have personally recommended if you like The Master and Margarita. 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 Siddhartha

Marc Lesser Author Of Finding Clarity: How Compassionate Accountability Builds Vibrant Relationships, Thriving Workplaces and Meaningful Lives

From my list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I sometimes describe myself as a stealth Zen teacher working in the business world. I've founded and been CEO of three companies, including the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a company I helped create and launch inside of Google's headquarters. I'm an executive coach and consultant to CEOs and leaders in the corporate and non-profit worlds. Prior to my business career I was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. I'm the author of 5 books.

Marc's book list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life

Marc Lesser Why did Marc love this book?

Siddhartha is a profound exploration of spirituality, self-discovery, and the pursuit of meaning in life.

It encourages readers to seek their own paths, embrace the present moment, and develop a deep sense of interconnectedness with the world around them. The books protagonist Siddhartha encounters various forms of suffering throughout his journey, and he comes to recognize the necessity and inevitability of pain and hardship in life.

The novel teaches that true wisdom and growth can arise from embracing and accepting suffering rather than trying to escape or avoid it.

By Hermann Hesse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here the spirituality of the East and the West have met in a novel that enfigures deep human wisdom with a rich and colorful imagination.

Written in a prose of almost biblical simplicity and beauty, it is the story of a soul's long quest in search of he ultimate answer to the enigma of man's role on this earth. As a youth, the young Indian Siddhartha meets the Buddha but cannot be content with a disciple's role: he must work out his own destiny and solve his own doubt-a tortuous road that carries him through the sensuality of a love…

Book cover of Good Omens

Linda Lee Author Of Cursed

From my list on unconventional YA apocalyptic fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As we watch the news–the increasing number of earthquakes, volcanoes, wars, inflation, the rapid progress of AI, unelected elites deciding they know best for the world, and more–we don’t know how to process it all, and it leaves us feeling anxious. My passion for helping my readers not just escape but actually live better fuels me. I created this retelling of the Book of Revelations from the POV of celestial warriors and fallen angels in the unseen realms of our world to allow my readers to “make more sense” of the world and be at peace.

Linda's book list on unconventional YA apocalyptic fantasy

Linda Lee Why did Linda love this book?

The premise of a fussy angel and a fast-living demon positions the book with humor, which I absolutely loved. As the plot unfolds, we discover that these two figures have been living on Earth for thousands of years and enjoying it. So when the demon receives word that the Apocalypse is upon them, they conspire together to subvert the ancient prophecy that predicts the world's end. LOL

The ingenuity and cleverness of these authors are top-notch, starting with the character names: The demon character is Crawley. If you recall, Satan was made a snake in the Garden of Eden after tempting Adam and Eve. But it doesn’t stop there. Crawley creates a motorway that emanates evil, with all of the issues associated with that. LOL.

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…

Book cover of A Christmas Carol

John R. Dougherty Author Of Holy Terror

From my list on Christian action books allegorical references.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have felt a spiritual call in my life from as early as I can remember having memories as a young child. Being a life-long Christian has always drawn me to try to see God in everything around me, from people I encounter, to creation itself, to songs, to movies, etc. So, reading books which contain Christian allegory – symbols, meanings, underlying Biblical references – is very exciting for me. I enjoy trying to decipher that symbolism and try to understand the undertones that the book’s author is trying to communicate indirectly. I find that to be a personal challenge as I read, but also I find it very inspiring as well!

John's book list on Christian action books allegorical references

John R. Dougherty Why did John love this book?

I simply cannot get enough of this book. I read it every December and watch movie adaptations of it every December, too (Patrick Stewart’s 1999 version is by far the best movie rendition, as far as I’m concerned!).

Many people may not realize that Dickens considered himself a Christian writer and many of his books have Christian allegories buried within the storyline. This book is no exception, and I find it also takes me on a rollercoaster of emotions every time I read it, which helps to make it a new story every time I read it!

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Christmas Carol as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Tom Baker reads Charles Dickens' timeless seasonal story.

Charles Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, has become one of the timeless classics of English literature. First published in 1843, it introduces us not only to Scrooge himself, but also to the memorable characters of underpaid desk clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor family, the poorest amongst whom is the ailing and crippled Tiny Tim.

In this captivating recording, Tom Baker delivers a tour-de-force performance as he narrates the story. The listener…

Book cover of Quarantine

Jonathan Trigell Author Of The Tongues of Men or Angels

From my list on fiction with Jesus as a character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of five extremely different novels: Boy A (which was made into an award-winning film), Cham, Genus, The Tongues of Men or Angels, and Under Country. They share almost nothing in subject or setting. Ranging from first-century Judaea to a future London. From ski resort workers in France to young offender prisons in Britain. My latest work - Under Country - is about the 1984 Miners’ Strike and its still lingering scars in the North East pit villages. Yet, I suppose, if there were a unifying theme between them, it would be that each, in its own way, is influenced by and fascinated with Christianity.

Jonathan's book list on fiction with Jesus as a character

Jonathan Trigell Why did Jonathan love this book?

Written long before quarantines became so fashionable, Jesus in Jim Crace’s novel is an almost peripheral player, because set during Christ’s forty days in the wilderness six other people share in the inhospitable desert caves, miracles, and hallucinations. Each character has their own troubles and trials; their own battles with demons to resolve; which they hope isolation and fasting will accomplish. And for each, in ingenious ways, it does… I am a big fan of Crace’s style, rhythm, and invention, and this is one of his finest works.

By Jim Crace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With an introduction by Stuart Evers

So this is happiness, she thought. Or this, at least, is what adds up to happiness. The prospect of never running after men and camels any more, of being Miri without shame or hesitation, of letting drop her headscarf for a change so that nothing intervened between her and the sky.

Five travellers venture into the Judean wilderness in search of redemption. Instead, amidst the barren rocks, they are met by a dangerous man, Musa, and fall under his dark influence. As the unforgiving days and bitter nights erode their resolve, it becomes clear…

Book cover of Ever Since Darwin: Reflections on Natural History

Brian Villmoare Author Of The Evolution of Everything: The Patterns and Causes of Big History

From my list on former English majors who like science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a college professor and paleoanthropologist–I study human fossils and the evolution of the human lineage. My field site is in the Afar region of Ethiopia, and I regularly spend a month or so wandering across the desert, picking up fossils. I view myself very much as a scientist and believe that the scientific view is the most reliable in some important ways. However, I came to science fairly late in life–I was an undergraduate philosophy and English literature student and didn’t go to graduate school until I was 30. Because of my liberal arts background, I have always felt it was important to bridge the science-humanities divide. 

Brian's book list on former English majors who like science

Brian Villmoare Why did Brian love this book?

My father gave me a copy of this book when I was in 6th grade and it introduced the world of natural science to me. This was the first in a series of volumes that collected his monthly essays written for Natural History magazine.

Gould has an eye for unusual scientific phenomena that illuminate a deeper truth about the relationship between humanity and the natural world. He was not afraid to tackle moral issues, such as eugenics and the science of IQ, recognizing the importance of the popular scientist as more than just a translator.

But the most important thing for the 11-year-old me was that he was such a clear writer–I could follow all of his arguments without knowing anything about genetics, statistics, or anatomy. I still have the copy my father gave me–it is dog-eared, and the spine is long broken, but when I thumb through it, I…

By Stephen Jay Gould,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever Since Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould's first book, has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. Like all succeeding collections by this unique writer, it brings the art of the scientific essay to unparalleled heights.

Book cover of Catch-22

Daniel Fryer Author Of How to Cope with Almost Anything with Hypnotherapy: Simple Ideas to Enhance Your Wellbeing and Resilience

From my list on boost your wellbeing and heal your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I could say I’ve had a hard life (and I have), but who hasn’t? Life is one adversity after another, and we need all the help we can get. Without that help, moods suffer, hope falters, and our souls are diminished. During my own personal journey through this quagmire called life, I have often been lifted up and out of the mud whilst reading the books I suggest below and more. These books either made me laugh and cry, made me think, or made me change the way I approached things. Quite often, they did all four at the same time. Their insights were invaluable. 

Daniel's book list on boost your wellbeing and heal your soul

Daniel Fryer Why did Daniel love this book?

Whilst on humour (including satire): it is an important part of REBT. Humor is another one of those character strengths in positive psychology (again, good for you when used appropriately). It’s not for nothing that laughter is called the best medicine (in fact, I wrote my MSc dissertation on the use of humor in psychotherapy).

Humor, especially satire, and wordplay have helped me a lot in life. Regarding those two things, this book is the best bar none. Both funny and tragic (which sums life up pretty well), considering how much saber rattling is happening today, it’s as relevant now as it has always been.

I'm sure this book will change you for the better. It may also have you challenging authority a little more than you currently do (which alone will work wonders for your mental health and well-being). 

By Joseph Heller,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Catch-22 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.

Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the…

Book cover of The Blue Flower

David Blackbourn Author Of Germany in the World: A Global History, 1500-2000

From my list on German history for people who love to read novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in England, live in America, and write history books about Germany. I’ve published eight books in all (and co-edited two others), and I’m proud that two of them won prizes. I review books, too, in publications like the Guardian and the London Review of Books. History is how I make my living, but it is also a calling and a passion. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have always enjoyed reading literature and find I am reading even more avidly since the pandemic. There are so many German novels I love it was hard to choose just five. I hope you enjoy my choices.

David's book list on German history for people who love to read novels

David Blackbourn Why did David love this book?

Reading this book made me feel as if I was watching a great magician perform several impossible tricks.

It is both clever and funny, it teems with wonderful characters but never seems overstuffed, and it does what very few historical novels manage to do. We absolutely believe that the people are living their lives in the past (this really is Germany in the 1790s), but we also recognize them as our contemporaries.

I find it a magical book, lighter than air, a poignant, gorgeous love story that also satisfies the historian in me.

By Penelope Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Penelope Fitzgerald's final masterpiece.

One of the ten books - novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography - that make up our Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

The year is 1794 and Fritz, passionate, idealistic and brilliant, is seeking his father's permission to announce his engagement to his 'heart's heart', his 'true Philosophy': twelve-year-old Sophie. His astounded family and friends are amused and disturbed by his betrothal. What can he be thinking?

Tracing the dramatic early years of the young German who was to become the great romantic…

Book cover of Collected Fictions

Ogi Ogas Author Of Journey of the Mind: How Thinking Emerged from Chaos

From my list on the great and marvelous mystery of consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an artist and mathematical neuroscientist. I’ve spent my life cracking some of reality’s greatest mysteries, including consciousness, self-consciousness, language, music, suffering, pain, anesthesia, compassionate love, extraterrestrial communication, and autism.

Ogi's book list on the great and marvelous mystery of consciousness

Ogi Ogas Why did Ogi love this book?

To fathom the mystery of consciousness, one needs to be ready to violate the entrenched convictions of conventional mindscience and let your mind roam freely over more inventive and limber perspectives.

Such as the literary inventions of Jorge Borges. His short stories/essays (it’s never really clear which category is more appropriate) are all wildly creative and astute models of sentience. I learned more about consciousness from “The Library of Babel,” “Tlön," Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” and “The Lottery of Babylon” than I did from any neuroscience text.

By Jorge Luis Borges, Andrew Hurley (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

All of Borges' dazzling fictions have been freshly translated and gathered for the first time into a single volume - from his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through the immensely influential collections Ficciones and the The Aleph, to his final and never before translated work from the 1980s, Shakespeare's Memory.

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 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Rebecca Hazell Author Of The Sweeper: A Buddhist Tale

From my list on to cheer you up and get you to look around.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in suburbia—or urban sprawl—with fairytales and children’s nonfiction series like Lands and Peoples. My passion for reading (and history and art museums) nurtured my sense of wonder and awe at the richness of the world. I was inspired to write nonfiction about heroic people by my own children, whose social studies education lacked dazzle and examples of heroism. I had already been creating educational materials for schools, but I wanted to inspire their wonder about and appreciation of the world. My kids are grown, but I’m still writing for young readers. An avid world traveler and historian, I've always aspired to bring other people, places, cultures, and times to life.

Rebecca's book list on to cheer you up and get you to look around

Rebecca Hazell Why did Rebecca love this book?

I have never tired of Alice’s outrageous, surreal romp through the world of imagination.

It transports me to the magical strangeness not only of Wonderland but also of this world. I love the way unlikely adventures can happen, how odd friendships can arise, how reality can shift just as fantasy does. It empowers my own imagination and channels it into creativity and wonder.

By Lewis Carroll,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel by English author Lewis Carroll (the pseudonym of Charles Dodgson). It tells of a young girl named Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into a subterranean fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children.

One of the best-known and most popular works of English-language fiction, its narrative, structure, characters and imagery have been enormously…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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