10 books like The New and Improved Romie Futch

By Julia Elliott,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The New and Improved Romie Futch. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward,

Book cover of Sing, Unburied, Sing

Lucy Blue Author Of The Devil Makes Three

From the list on hauntings.

Who am I?

As a goth chick from the American South, I’m obsessed with stories of old evil from the past finding its way into the present. I even live in a haunted house, a disintegrating Craftsman built in 1901. Our ghosts are very cozy, two cat-loving maiden ladies who were co-presidents of the local temperance society. We’ve given up on keeping liquor in our liquor cabinet; bottles cracking and leaking, glassware broken for no reason. And we’ve gotten so used to seeing and hearing their famous cat, Tom, we barely react anymore—a huge orange tabby tomcat who runs past our feet and jumps on the foot of our bed. 

Lucy's book list on hauntings

Discover why each book is one of Lucy's favorite books.

Why did Lucy love this book?

Reading this book made me stop writing my own Southern gothic ghost book in the middle, rethink it completely, and start over again from scratch, and I wasn’t even mad about it. It’s just that good. It’s about thirteen-year-old Jojo and his family—his much-loved and very much dying grandmother, his strong, silent, and protective grandfather, his wild child mother, Leonie, his baby sister, Kayla, who looks to Jojo to keep her safe, and his white father, Michael, who just got out of jail. Everybody has secrets, and everybody sees ghosts. This literary novel won the National Book Award, but I promise you, horror readers, it will scare you silly and break your heart. 

By Jesmyn Ward,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2017 ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017 SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW STATESMAN, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, TIME AND THE BBC Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist for the Kirkus Prize Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 'This wrenching new novel by Jesmyn Ward digs deep into the not-buried heart of the American nightmare. A must' Margaret Atwood 'A powerfully…


By Jeff VanderMeer,

Book cover of Annihilation

Dwain Worrell Author Of Androne

From the list on suspenseful science fiction.

Who am I?

To be honest, and this will sound strange, but suspense is the air I breathe. I’m a pretty calm, boring human being, and the only thing that gets my heart pumping are films, TV, books, and video games in this genre. Suspense and thrillers are genres that make up ninety percent of the entertainment that I consume, and one hundred percent of the entertainment that I write.

Dwain's book list on suspenseful science fiction

Discover why each book is one of Dwain's favorite books.

Why did Dwain love this book?

What can I say about Annihilation? It’s a novel where the reader isn’t quite sure what is going on, nor can any two readers agree on what they just read and that’s the amazing part about it.

Hypnosis, genetic deviation, and something utterly alien make this such an intense read. And that suspense is heightened because there is a level of mystery and weirdness in Jeff VanderMeer’s world, where things aren’t quite grounded in the reality that we are used to.

By Jeff VanderMeer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A contemporary masterpiece' Guardian


For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border - an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.

The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.

Now four women embark on the…

Wise Blood

By Flannery O'Connor,

Book cover of Wise Blood

Jon Bassoff Author Of Beneath Cruel Waters

From the list on that are relentlessly twisted.

Who am I?

When I completed one of my early novels, a really demented one called Factory Town, a fellow author emailed me with great concern for my mental health. He was convinced I was heading down a dark cave that I couldn’t be rescued from. But it wasn’t true. Writing and reading these dark novels doesn’t make me depressed. It makes me feel creatively revitalized. Dark literature reminds us that being alive is painful—but it’s also wonderful. I hope to never spend any real time with people as terrifying as the ones I’ve found on these pages. But I’m incredibly thankful they were a part of my imagined world for a time. 

Jon's book list on that are relentlessly twisted

Discover why each book is one of Jon's favorite books.

Why did Jon love this book?

William Faulkner might have been the father of Southern Gothic, but Flannery O’Connor was the master. This is one of those books that makes you thankful for genius. Because everything about this book is genius. The story is about a young man named Hazel Motes who struggles to avoid his relentless fate. O’Connor’s writing is filled with religious extremism, grotesqueness, and mental illness—all the things that make America great. If I could have written a single book—this would be it.  

By Flannery O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wise Blood, Flannery O'Connor's first novel, is the story of Hazel Motes who, released from the armed services, returns to the evangelical Deep South. There he begins a private battle against the religiosity of the community and in particular against Asa Hawkes, the 'blind' preacher, and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter. In desperation Hazel founds his own religion, 'The Church without Christ', and this extraordinary narrative moves towards its savage and macabre resolution.

'A literary talent that has about it the uniqueness of greatness.' Sunday Telegraph

'No other major American writer of our century has constructed a fictional world so energetically…


By William Gay,

Book cover of Twilight

Lee Rozelle Author Of Ballad of Jasmine Wills

From the list on contemporary Southern Gothic.

Who am I?

I was lucky enough to land a job teaching English at the University of Montevallo, a small public liberal arts college where I have had the opportunity to explore my strange academic interests and teach classes with titles like “Am I Human?” and “Southern Neogothic II: Disability, Hicksploitation, Meat.” When I got tenure, I also had the time and freedom to try my hand at writing the kind of Southern Gothic, Bizarro, and Horror tales that I have always adored. From Mad Magazine to MaddAddam, I have always craved dark satire, body horror, and the grotesque. It’s in my blood. 

Lee's book list on contemporary Southern Gothic

Discover why each book is one of Lee's favorite books.

Why did Lee love this book?

It’s fitting that the creepiest novel on my list begins with a wagon full of corpses and a rural graveyard pocked with exhumed caskets. William Gay’s Twilight revolves around the dreadful plots of Fenton Breece, a dapper, well-spoken mortician whose ghoulish habits will keep even the heartiest reader up at night. After witnessing the undertaker stealing a family burial vault, young Tyler and his sister Corrie discover that Breece has been mutilating the bodies of the people he buries. A blackmail plot ensues, an assassin hired. Then things get really, really bad. 

By William Gay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Suspecting that something is amiss with their father's burial, teenager Kenneth Tyler and his sister Corrie venture to his gravesite and make a horrific discovery: their father, a whiskey bootlegger, was not actually buried in the casket they bought for him. Worse, they learn that the undertaker, Fenton Breece, has been grotesquely manipulating the dead. Armed with incriminating photographs, Tyler becomes obsessed with bringing the perverse undertaker to justice. But first he must outrun Granville Sutter, a local strongman and convicted murderer hired by Fenton to destroy the evidence. What follows is an adventure through the Harrikin, an eerie backwoods…

Black Lies

By Alessandra Torre,

Book cover of Black Lies

Andrea Smith Author Of Murders on the Ridge: Mystery in Briar County

From the list on 'who-dun-it' fiction.

Who am I?

My passion for true crime fiction started in 2016 with the murders of eight family members in a neighboring county in Southern Ohio. The case made international news, and five years later there are still more questions than answers. I felt the victims of this heinous crime deserved some closure which the legal system has not yet provided. So, writing a fictional version of this story was my way of providing closure - at least in my own mind.

Andrea's book list on 'who-dun-it' fiction

Discover why each book is one of Andrea's favorite books.

Why did Andrea love this book?

I personally love twisted relationship books, especially when the antihero is hard to distinguish. This book deals with a marriage that is far from typical. I can't say more without spoilers, but take my word that this makes for a fabulous suspenseful read. If you read a book that makes you want to kick and scream when you finally "get it" then this is a perfect read for you. All I can say about Black Lies is expect the unexpected!

By Alessandra Torre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brant: Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for 3 years.Has proposed 4 times. Been rejected 4 times.Lee: Cuts grass when he’s not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his cock. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost 2 years, whether he knows it or not.Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails.If you think you’ve heard this story before, trust me – you haven’t.


By Marissa Meyer,

Book cover of Renegades

Taylor Ellwood Author Of Learning How to Fly

From the list on how to save the day from the villain.

Who am I?

I really enjoy superhero fiction, especially superhero fiction that challenges the usual norms of the superhero genre. I’ve always liked reading comics and moving onto superhero novels has only deepened my love of the genre. The list I’ve created is just the tip of the iceberg for superhero fiction and I highly recommend you check out these books for interesting takes on superheroes and villains. 

Taylor's book list on how to save the day from the villain

Discover why each book is one of Taylor's favorite books.

Why did Taylor love this book?

The renegades are a superhero organization that policies all superpowered people, but one of their new members has a secret mission of her own and she’ll do whatever it takes to bring the Renegades down.

But the last thing she expected was to fall in love with one of the Renegades and now she has to choose her mission or her love.

This was a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. 

By Marissa Meyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Secret identities. Extraordinary powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies-humans with extraordinary abilities-who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice-and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a…

The Brit

By Jodi Ellen Malpas,

Book cover of The Brit

Emma Perle Author Of Much Ado About Benedict

From the list on romance to make your toes curl and your heart race.

Who am I?

I am a British writer and avid reader of a wide range of genres who’d harbored a life-long ambition to be an author. It wasn’t until I became addicted to seductive romance that I found my own writing flow. I love books that have the power to transport you. Indulging in an adult ideal for a few minutes (or hours) in a day, when your body reacts viscerally to the words on a page, makes you swoon, your cheeks flush and your heart race is my reading and writing heaven. I hope you will experience the same delicious escapism in my book choices as I have. 

Emma's book list on romance to make your toes curl and your heart race

Discover why each book is one of Emma's favorite books.

Why did Emma love this book?

I want to include a fellow British writer in my list and JEM is my favorite for suspenseful steamy stories. The Brit is the first in the Unlawful Men series. Dark and broken, mafia anti-hero Danny Black is brooding and bad. He is not supposed to fall in love with the women he takes as ‘collateral’ in a deadly game of power. Rose Cassidy has learnt to be tough to survive. Danny sees her as the mirror of himself. Their twisted attraction is not for the feint-hearted but I loved it!

By Jodi Ellen Malpas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Pleasure has never been so deadly.

Rose Cassidy doesn't truly live; she just exists. Numbing herself to fear and pain is the only way she can survive in this cruel world. So when she's taken as collateral by the notorious Danny Black in a deadly game of power, she's thrown by the deep fear she feels rising within her. And, worse than fear, a profound desire. She's heard tales of The Brit. He's callous. Coldblooded. But no one ever said he was wickedly beautiful and darkly captivating. He sees past her mask, giving her a cruel sense of hope. But…


By Neven Iliev, Daniel Gonzalez S. (illustrator), Nicholas Coulson (illustrator)

Book cover of Morningwood

Shemer Kuznits Author Of Life Reset

From the list on engaging LitRPG.

Who am I?

I’ve been a huge fan of D&D and RPG games since I’ve been old enough to play them. The idea of grooming a character, growing it in terms of strength and levels until it becomes powerful enough to take on gods always captured my imagination. LitRPG is a relatively new book genre, and reading it (the good ones at least) makes you feel like you’re playing those games yourselves. Following a new protagonist growth and journey, often illustrated by actual numeric values you can easily keep track of (like skills and levels) is so much fun, and I think more people should be aware it exists.

Shemer's book list on engaging LitRPG

Discover why each book is one of Shemer's favorite books.

Why did Shemer love this book?

This is a great, innovative new type of storytelling – that from the side of a monster protagonist. He’s more than just an antihero, he’s a certified, evil, people eating, gold grabbing, demon rising monstrosity – that you can’t help but route for. Prepare for having the meaning of the words ‘shinny’ and ‘tasty’ change forever in your eyes. This is a very different type of story told from the perspective of a greedy, evil, man-eating monster, and you can't help cheer for him along the way. Boxy is the funniest, most uncomplicated-complex character I've ever read, and as he meanders through life, causing a cataclysm event in his wake all he really wants is shiny and tasty things.

By Neven Iliev, Daniel Gonzalez S. (illustrator), Nicholas Coulson (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Large chests are said to encompass all manner of hopes and dreams. Men covet them. Women envy them. But one fact holds true - everyone wants to get their hands on some big ones.

The same holds true for one intrepid adventurer - a strapping young lad by the name of Himmel. Armed with his grandfather’s trusty longsword and the dream of being the strongest, he sets out on the journey of a lifetime! It is sure to be a long and dangerous road, fraught with danger! And it all starts with a simple test - reach Level 5 in…


By Pippa DaCosta,

Book cover of Betrayal

Kay Camden Author Of Unquiet

From the list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance.

Who am I?

I’ll admit I’m a terribly picky reader. My specific taste doesn’t seem to fit in one genre and is sometimes hard to nail down—literary prose with genre tropes, softly-integrated worldbuilding, adventure that leaves room for reflection, and a love story subplot that’s more mental than physical. I love anti-heroes and angst and stories that get a bit dark—but not too dark. When I find it, I’m hooked and obsessed, and I feel like I’m twelve years old again, reading late into the night with a flashlight under the covers. That exprience is what I’m always hunting for, and what I attempt to recreate in my own writing. 

Kay's book list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance

Discover why each book is one of Kay's favorite books.

Why did Kay love this book?

Unrelenting action and snappy dialogue made this book an instant fav. It contains some of the best things: betrayal, revenge, a mouthy and haunted anti-hero and heroine, spaceships, and sexual tension from page one. The way this book blends all those things—and yes, this is sci-fi, not fantasy—makes a wildly entertaining start to a perfect series. I’ve never loved characters and their banter more. This perfect team both hates and loves each other and won't stop getting up no matter how many times they're knocked down. Impossibly high stakes and a plot that pits hero against heroine until their alliance becomes the key to a universe-sized revolution. What an amazing book. I devoured the whole series and can’t wait for the finale. 

By Pippa DaCosta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WARNING. Rated: R. Restricted. Contains space battles, killer AI, intergalactic ass-kicking. Read at your own risk.

She is programmed to kill.
He’ll do anything to survive.

Ex-con Captain Caleb Shepperd believes being good is overrated. All he wants is to smuggle illegal cargo through the nine systems and live a prosperous (likely short) life on the wrong side of the law.

But there's a problem with that plan. The priceless synthetic stowaway on his ship is a distraction he doesn't need.

Torn between selling her and tossing her out the airlock, Shepperd fails to realize the synth is a killer,…

Most Wanted

By James David Victor,

Book cover of Most Wanted

K.B. Thorne Author Of Bad Blood

From the list on if first person snark is your style.

Who am I?

I’ve adored reading a good snarky first-person story since I first read Bloodlist, so long as the snark doesn’t go too far and become total unlikeable jerk… It can be a fine line! I hope I stay on the right side of it, but having read it enough and written in it for years with my Blood Rights Series, I feel qualified to say I’m a…snark connoisseur. (If you ask my family, this is how my own internal/life narrator speaks! My mother says that my character Dakota is me if I “said everything aloud that I think in my head.” She’s probably right, and I’m okay with that.)

K.B.'s book list on if first person snark is your style

Discover why each book is one of K.B.'s favorite books.

Why did K.B. love this book?

Gotta love a hero/antihero with a great wit and a fast mouth. Most Wanted is the first book in a sci-fi series that may remind you a bit of Firefly, and I don’t use that comparison lightly. The narrator’s wit definitely puts this book on this list, but “that’s us, out here on the raggedy edge” is the soul of the book that makes the series for me. Not the best, not the brightest, not the richest or strongest, but a group doing what they can to get by and be there for each other. Maybe accidentally right some wrongs along the way.

By James David Victor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They’ve plundered their way across the galaxy and just found the score of a lifetime.

All they have to do is steal from the most ruthless crime lord in the galaxy. What could possibly go wrong?

Yan and his band of rogues are intent on plundering their way to fame and fortune. When they stumble across the score of a lifetime, they quickly go all in for one last job. With everything on the line, there’s no way they can fail. At least that’s what they’re hoping. In the end, they just might have gotten into something bigger than they…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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