100 books like The Picture of Dorian Gray

By Oscar Wilde,

Here are 100 books that The Picture of Dorian Gray fans have personally recommended if you like The Picture of Dorian Gray. 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 Life After Life

Tessa Harris Author Of The Paris Notebook

From my list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a journalist for much of my life and have been passionate about history since I was a child. Ever since I visited a castle at age five, I’ve loved imagining the past and naturally ended up doing a History degree at Oxford. I love fact-based stories and am always meticulous in my research so that I can bring my readers with me on a journey of discovery. But what always brings history to life for me is focusing on the characters, real or imagined, who’ve made history themselves.

Tessa's book list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love

Tessa Harris Why did Tessa love this book?

Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite authors, with a voice that really resonates with me.

This is a ‘what if’ novel that really sets you thinking. It’s witty and stylish, and yet it also tugs at your heartstrings. A roller-coaster ride that had me on the edge of my seat.

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Life After Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula's apparently infinite number…


Book cover of A Game of Thrones

Uri Gatt Author Of Winds of Strife

From my list on morally grey characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in the Middle East, I’ve met all kinds of moral ambiguity. There’s a lot to say about it. How both sides think they’re right, how the ends justify the means and all that. Then there are the consequences. Even the winners often lose things. So I’ve set out to write about grey characters! About people who do bad things for the greater good, and how their life turns up after. And if you like the trope as much as I do, check the recs!

Uri's book list on morally grey characters

Uri Gatt Why did Uri love this book?

This is a multiplayer chess game, each side with their own agenda. Some play for love, others for revenge, others just to survive. 

It’s a treat to cheer for one side, only to find out we chose wrong. No side is pure good, and no side is pure evil. They’re all just people, and it’s impossible to cheer for only one person when in each chapter, someone else does something amazing or terrible.

The best part about this book is the wisdom. Every character clings to their own principles, and the author chooses the best words to describe these principles. Like, a dwarf who’s principle is “Never forget what you are. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.” 

Words to live by.

By George R. R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


Book cover of Rebecca

David Demchuk Author Of The Bone Mother

From my list on chills and thrills on a dark and stormy night.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of Gothic-inflected suspense and horror fiction, I just can’t help it: I love to be scared! We are lucky to be in a time when so many wonderful thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and horror stories are being written and published, but I have a great love for the classics of the genre. These are the books I turn to again and again, not just to marvel at their craft and ingenuity, but to feel the skin prickle on my arms and shoulders and the hairs rise on the back of my neck. Whether for the first or the twentieth time, let these masterworks cast their spells over you.

David's book list on chills and thrills on a dark and stormy night

David Demchuk Why did David love this book?

While I am a tremendous fan of Daphne DuMaurier’s uncanny short stories, in particular, The Birds and Don’t Look Now, I reserve my greatest love and admiration for her modern Gothic masterpiece Rebecca.

While Alfred Hitchcock’s film version is justifiably a classic, it cannot capture the richness of DuMaurier’s prose nor the powerful first-person perspective of the narrator, the unnamed newlywed of a wealthy widower who finds herself cursed to always be in the shadow of his first wife, the eponymous Rebecca. It also can’t quite evoke the oppressive atmosphere of Manderley, silent and secretive, ancient and beautiful, the gilded cage of a mansion ruled over by a domineering housekeeper, the unforgettable Mrs. Danvers. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


God on a Budget: and other stories in dialogue

By J.M. Unrue,

Book cover of God on a Budget: and other stories in dialogue

J.M. Unrue Author Of The Festival of Sin: and other tales of fantasy

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an old guy. I say this with a bit of cheek and a certain amount of incongruity. All the books on my list are old. That’s one area of continuity. Another, and I’ll probably stop at two, is that they all deal with ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—those curveballs of life we flail at with an unfamiliar bat; the getting stuck on the Interstate behind a semi and some geezer in a golf cap hogging the passing lane in a Buick Le Sabre. No one makes it through this life unscathed. How we cope does more to define us than a thousand smiles when things are rosy. Thus endeth the lesson.

J.M.'s book list on showing that somebody has it worse than you do

What is my book about?

Nine Stories Told Completely in Dialogue is a unique collection of narratives, each unfolding entirely through conversations between its characters. The book opens with "God on a Budget," a tale of a man's surreal nighttime visitation that offers a blend of the mundane and the mystical. In "Doctor in the House," readers are plunged into the emotionally charged moment when an oncologist delivers a life-altering diagnosis to a patient. The collection then shifts to "Prisoner 8086," a story about the unlikely friendship that blossoms between a prison volunteer and a habitual offender, exploring themes of redemption and human connection.

The heart of the book continues with "The Reunion," a touching narrative about high school sweethearts reuniting, stirring up poignant memories and unspoken feelings. "The Therapy Session" adds a lighter touch, presenting a serio-comic exchange between a therapist and a challenging patient. In "The Fishing Trip," a father imparts crucial life lessons to his daughter during an eventful outing, leading to unexpected consequences. "Mortality" offers a deeply personal moment as a mother shares a cherished, secret story from her past with her son.

The collection then takes a romantic turn in "The Singles Cruise," where two individuals find connection amidst shared stories on a cruise for singles. Finally, "Jesus and Buddha in the Garden of Eden" provides a satirical, thought-provoking encounter in the afterlife between two spiritual figures. The book concludes with "The Breakup," a nuanced portrayal of a young couple's separation, told from both perspectives, encapsulating the complexities of relationships and the human experience.

God on a Budget: and other stories in dialogue

By J.M. Unrue,

What is this book about?

Nine Stories Told Completely in Dialogue is a unique collection of narratives, each unfolding entirely through conversations between its characters. The book opens with "God on a Budget," a tale of a man's surreal nighttime visitation that offers a blend of the mundane and the mystical. In "Doctor in the House," readers are plunged into the emotionally charged moment when an oncologist delivers a life-altering diagnosis to a patient. The collection then shifts to "Prisoner 8086," a story about the unlikely friendship that blossoms between a prison volunteer and a habitual offender, exploring themes of redemption and human connection.

The…


Book cover of The Left Hand of Darkness

Sara Jo Easton Author Of A Dream of Light

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Sara Jo Easton 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…


Book cover of Frankenstein

David Demchuk Author Of The Bone Mother

From my list on chills and thrills on a dark and stormy night.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of Gothic-inflected suspense and horror fiction, I just can’t help it: I love to be scared! We are lucky to be in a time when so many wonderful thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and horror stories are being written and published, but I have a great love for the classics of the genre. These are the books I turn to again and again, not just to marvel at their craft and ingenuity, but to feel the skin prickle on my arms and shoulders and the hairs rise on the back of my neck. Whether for the first or the twentieth time, let these masterworks cast their spells over you.

David's book list on chills and thrills on a dark and stormy night

David Demchuk Why did David love this book?

I have been a fan of Gothic and melodrama since I first watched the 1931 film Frankenstein with Boris Karloff–and I was delighted to discover that the book is even better and so much more than what we’ve ever seen on screen.

Frankenstein’s monster is articulate and soulful in Mary Shelley’s atmospheric, dread-filled original novel, and his plight is all the more moving because of it. She wrote it when she was just 18 years old, still grieving over the death of her first child two years earlier. I feel her aching sorrow on every page. 

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

40 authors picked Frankenstein 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'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…


Book cover of The Color Purple

Hari Ziyad Author Of Black Boy Out of Time

From my list on loss and grief from a certified death doula.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, author and screenwriter, my work has always pondered loss and grief. I think this has something to do with the fact that of my mother’s religion; she was a convert to Hinduism and started conversations about the inevitability of death and how the soul and the body aren’t the same when us children were at a very young age. It probably also has something to do with the constant presence of death within my family and communities as a Black and queer person in a violently anti-Black and queerantagonistic world. I currently volunteer at a hospice, and provide community-building programming to death workers from diverse communities.

Hari's book list on loss and grief from a certified death doula

Hari Ziyad Why did Hari love this book?

This novel is a soul-stirring journey of resilience and self-discovery.

Reminding us that loss of connection to a loved one shares many of the same aspects as death, The Color Purple is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, particularly in the face of adversity. Along the way, you’ll come to a deeper understanding of gendered violence, the healing power of sisterhood and the enduring nature of love.

By Alice Walker,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Color Purple 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?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alice Walker's iconic modern classic is now a Penguin Book.

A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug…


Book cover of Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

HP Newquist Author Of Behemoth

From my list on horror masterpieces from a horror writer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by scary movies, creature features, and books that tell tales of the strange and supernatural. Years later, my own books explored those things that scare us, from monsters of the deep and the ways we die to the mythology of blood. Research for those books led me into realms that explained why we fear the things we do. Many of those fears are found in horror novels, which provide an endless source of fright, release, and entertainment within their haunting pages. I can’t think of any other genre of writing that takes its readers on such a joyously terrifying ride.

HP's book list on horror masterpieces from a horror writer

HP Newquist Why did HP love this book?

Sometimes, you have to get your horror in small bites. When I have a limited amount of time to read (like waiting in an airport), I go straight to the original horror master, Edgar Allan Poe. No one else compresses so many terrifying emotions into so few pages. Fear, dread, loathing, anxiety, unease, and panic are something I expect–and am rewarded with–every time I read Poe.

I started reading his work in grade school, and when I found this collection in college, it became one of my prized possessions. There’s a familiarity in Poe’s tales that I have with very few other authors. I still keep this on my bookshelf for short reads like Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Pit And The Pendulum.

By Edgar Allan Poe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This single volume brings together all of Poe's stories and poems, and illuminates the diverse and multifaceted genius of one of the greatest and most influential figures in American literary history.


Book cover of Hamlet

Carly Stevens Author Of Laertes

From my list on dark academia novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sometimes, you just want to feel like you’re reading in an old library during a storm, you know? Because I’ve read so widely and studied so many Classics, I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in old books in a way that many others haven’t. Take that obsessive bookishness and add a love for magical, literary, character-driven stories, and voilà! I’m lucky I got to write my own dark academia novel for people looking to have that experience. Hopefully these books make you just as cozy and melancholy as they make me.

Carly's book list on dark academia novels

Carly Stevens Why did Carly love this book?

I’ve taught Hamlet for over ten years and keep finding new revelations in it. The language is rich and beautiful, the story is painful, and the themes are relevant even today. It’s the kind of story that makes you want to memorize it, even though the main character is terrible sometimes.

My friends can tell you that I get excited any time I see a Hamlet reference or hear about a new version of the play. It’s famous for a reason. It shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does. My favorite Shakespeare play!

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The Mona Lisa of literature' T. S. Eliot

In Shakespeare's verbally dazzling and eternally enigmatic exploration of conscience, madness and the nature of humanity, a young prince meets his father's ghost in the middle of the night, who accuses his own brother - now married to his widow - of murdering him. The prince devises a scheme to test the truth of the ghost's accusation, feigning wild insanity while plotting revenge. But his actions soon begin to wreak havoc on innocent and guilty alike.

Used and Recommended by the National Theatre

General Editor Stanley Wells
Edited by T. J. B.…


Book cover of The Count of Monte Cristo

Paul Wood Author Of How to Escape from Prison

From my list on escaping prison and helping you change your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was imprisoned for murder as an 18-year-old. I was a high school dropout who was addicted to drugs and didn’t have any hope for the future. Each of the books recommended contributed to my own journey of transformation. I read them all while I was in prison. Some of them while I was in maximum security or solitary confinement. Each recommendation helped me escape that life and its horrors. 

Paul's book list on escaping prison and helping you change your life

Paul Wood Why did Paul love this book?

I read this adventure novel when I was feeling vengeful against society. When I still hadn’t managed to get past being labeled as a murderer.

It focuses on the themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It made me think about the future and that the mindset I had at that moment wasn’t helpful to me. Nor was it one I needed to hold on to. It also taught me about the difference between being ignorant and dumb. This gave me hope for my own future and helped motivate me to get educated.

By Alexandre Dumas, Robin Buss (translator),

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Count of Monte Cristo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The epic tale of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge, in its definitive translation

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to use the treasure to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized…


Book cover of The Time Traveler's Wife

Paul Burman Author Of The Snowing And Greening Of Thomas Passmore

From my list on time-bending that turn reality inside-out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of three novels, several short stories and quite a few articles about writing and literature. While I’ve haven’t aimed to write for a specific genre—all three of my novels are different in this respect—my plots usually focus on a mystery. I enjoy novels with strong, credible characters, which are based in a recognisable, everyday reality, but where bizarre events can turn the world upside down.

Paul's book list on time-bending that turn reality inside-out

Paul Burman Why did Paul love this book?

I enjoy the occasional romance, but often want something more than a traditional linear structure with predictable character trajectories, and The Time Traveler’s Wife won me over completely.

Not only does it play with the concept of time, pitting two characters in a relationship with one another at various non-sequential points in their lives (Henry meets Clare when she’s six and he’s thirty-six, they get married when she’s twenty-two and he’s thirty!), but it does it oh-so-convincingly. What’s more, it tells a superb love story at the same time—one of the best.

By Audrey Niffenegger,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked The Time Traveler's Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a series on HBO starring Rose Leslie and Theo James!

The iconic time travel love story and mega-bestselling first novel from Audrey Niffenegger is "a soaring celebration of the victory of love over time" (Chicago Tribune).

Henry DeTamble is a dashing, adventurous librarian who is at the mercy of his random time time-traveling abilities. Clare Abshire is an artist whose life moves through a natural sequential course. This is the celebrated and timeless tale of their love. Henry and Clare's passionate affair is built and endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap…


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