100 books like The Sirens of Titan

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Here are 100 books that The Sirens of Titan fans have personally recommended if you like The Sirens of Titan. 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 Complete Stories

Audrey Wick Author Of Seeing Us

From my list on classic and contemporary Southern women’s fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a full-time English professor at Blinn College, I always try to choose stories for the literature classes I teach which will resonate with students. Likewise, as an author myself, I aim for that same approach with fiction writing: I want people to remember and reflect on what they read. Memorable settings can help achieve that, so it’s my pleasure to share some of these in America's South that span both the classic side of the spectrum as well as the contemporary side.

Audrey's book list on classic and contemporary Southern women’s fiction

Audrey Wick Why did Audrey love this book?

Georgia-born Flannery O’Connor gifted the world with dozens of stories, which can be read individually or collectively.

Set on farms, in small towns, and off-the-beaten path, she colorfully explores both people and places, inviting readers along to do the same. Some stories are folksy, some are humorous, and some are dark, but one thread is constant: her highly individualized style is built on strong literary conventions.  

By Flannery O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction.

There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death―is a…


Book cover of Tenth of December: Stories

Giselle Leeb Author Of Mammals, I Think We Are Called

From my list on genre-bending stories to fire your imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had no expectations about what the first short stories I wrote would end up being like. Although I’d read mostly realistic literary fiction before starting to write, most of my stories included fantastical elements. This set me off reading and writing stories categorised as weird, cross-genre, slipstream, magical realist, fantastic, fabulist, horror, soft sci-fi, and surreal. The thing that struck me was how slippery these categories are. But what unites them is their openness to unbounded imagination. Like a lens concentrating a fire, their strange and fantastical techniques amplify feelings and reality in unique ways, while always paying attention to language. It’s been a thrilling, exciting ride!

Giselle's book list on genre-bending stories to fire your imagination

Giselle Leeb Why did Giselle love this book?

One of my top short story writers, the word ‘unique’ was invented for Saunders. Selling in the literary category, he has a vernacular style all his own. His stories comment on American society and the horrors of capitalism but never shove a message down your throat. Saunders is simply immersed in these concerns and it comes out naturally in his writing. His stories contain sci-fi and futuristic elements, and use these, as well as a deadpan surrealism, to comment on the now. The story I will never forget from this collection is "The Semplica Girl Diaries", in which ‘Semplica Girls’, women from ‘third-world’ countries, are trafficked to be used as human lawn ornaments. Saunders faces things head-on, with dark hilarity.

By George Saunders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

**ESCAPE FROM SPIDERHEAD NOW STREAMING ON NETFLIX - STARRING CHRIS HEMSWORTH AND MILES TELLER** The prize-winning, New York Times bestselling short story collection from the internationally bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo 'The best book you'll read this year' New York Times 'Dazzlingly surreal stories about a failing America' Sunday Times WINNER OF THE 2014 FOLIO PRIZE AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2013 George Saunders's most wryly hilarious and disturbing collection yet, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for…


Book cover of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges: Stories

Andrew Ridker Author Of Hope

From my list on Jewish life in America.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an American, a Jew, and a novelist—though not necessarily in that order—I’ve always been interested in Jewish-American literature, and the Jewish-American experience in general. What was it like for the first Jews in America? What accounted for their success? What were the costs of assimilation? And where are they—we—headed? These books are a great starting point for anyone looking for answers to these questions. But be warned: in keeping with the Jewish tradition, they often answer those questions with more questions. Not, to quote the Jewish sage Jerry Seinfeld, that there’s anything wrong with that.

Andrew's book list on Jewish life in America

Andrew Ridker Why did Andrew love this book?

The story of many American Jews is a story of tension: between assimilation and continuity, universalism and particularism, Jewishness and Americanness.

The stories in Nathan Englander’s debut collection, a number of which are set in the sealed-off world of Orthodox Jews, center on tensions between the spiritual and the secular, the sacred and the profane.

To wit: the title story is about a Hasidic Jew whose rabbi permits him to see a sex worker “for the relief of unbearable urges.” Englander, who grew up Orthodox himself, is a master of the short story form, and his work gives readers a glimpse into a complex, cloistered corner of American Jewish life.

By Nathan Englander,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked For the Relief of Unbearable Urges as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ruchama, a wigmaker from an ultra-orthodox Brooklyn enclave, journeys into Manhattan for inspiration, frequenting a newsstand where she flips through forbidden fashion magazines. An elderly Jew with a long, white beard reluctantly works as a department store Santa Claus every year - until he can take it no longer. And a Hasidic man, frustrated by his wife's lack of interest, gets a dispensation from a rabbi to see a prostitute for the relief of unbearable urges.


Alpha Max

By Mark A. Rayner,

Book cover of Alpha Max

Mark A. Rayner Author Of Alpha Max

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Human shaped Pirate hearted Storytelling addict Creatively inclined

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Maximilian Tundra is about to have an existential crisis of cosmic proportions.

When a physical duplicate of him appears in his living room, wearing a tight-fitting silver lamé unitard and speaking with an English accent, Max knows something bad is about to happen. Bad doesn’t cover it. Max discovers he’s the only human being who can prevent the end of the world, and not just on his planet! In the multiverse, infinite Earths will be destroyed.

Alpha Max

By Mark A. Rayner,

What is this book about?

★★★★★ "Funny, yet deep, this is definitely worth venturing into the multiverse for."

Amazing Stories says: "Snarky as Pratchet, insightful as Stephenson, as full of scathing social commentary as Swift or Voltaire, and weirdly reminiscent of LeGuin, Alpha Max is the only multiverse novel you need this month, or maybe ever."

Maximilian Tundra is about to have an existential crisis of cosmic proportions.

When a physical duplicate of him appears in his living room, wearing a tight-fitting silver lamé unitard and speaking with an English accent, Max knows something bad is about to happen. Bad doesn’t cover it. Max discovers…


Book cover of Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories

Thersa Matsuura Author Of The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales

From my list on a mix of wry humor and real horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t remember a time I haven’t been drawn to and fascinated by the link between absurdity/humor and horror. Both genres involve setups and payoffs. The tension built up needs to be released in either a gasp or a laugh. In my own writing, I try to make myself giggle in joy at the ridiculousness of a situation and then recoil at the underlying horror that anchors it to the real world. It’s a balance I constantly try to reach and that I personally find is a joy to read.

Thersa's book list on a mix of wry humor and real horror

Thersa Matsuura Why did Thersa love this book?

I read somewhere that Franz Kafka would laugh so loud when writing his stories that he woke up his neighbors. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I get it. It’s not what is commonly thought of when someone talks about Kafka’s stories. I mean, his name has come to mean a certain style. “Kafkaesque” is used to describe stories that are absurd, nightmarish, offensive, and heavy with bureaucratic pretentiousness and deceit.

Where is the humor? Oh, it’s there. I think sometimes readers get caught up in the horror and bizarreness of it all that they miss the subtle, absurdist, dark, and very dry humor dripping in all these stories in this collection.

By Franz Kafka, Nahum N. Glatzer (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE TRIAL; THE CASTLE; AMERICA- Both Joseph K in THE TRIAL and K in THE CASTLE are victims of anonymous governing forces beyond their control. Both are atomised, estranged and rootless citizens deceived by authoritarian power. Whereas Joseph K is relentlessly hunted down for a crime that remains nameless, K ceaselessly attempts to enter the castle and so belong somewhere. Together these novels may be read as powerful allegories of totalitarian government in whatever guise it appears today. In AMERICA Karl Rossmann is 'packed off to America by his parents' to experience Oedipal and cultural isolation. Here, ordinary immigrants are…


Book cover of Siren's Song

C. Y. Croc Author Of Matched to Xycho

From my list on sci-fi romance and fantasy with unearthly beings.

Why am I passionate about this?

UK-born CY Croc started her career in the health industry, but later changed professions after obtaining a postgraduate degree in teaching. It was while teaching she discovered her dream profession. An author was invited to the school to showcase her latest book. Inspired, CY wrote over 30 books in the next 3 years in contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal romance. She loves to include positive subliminal messages in her stories about body image, prejudice, and love from a higher realm and always practices inclusion in her writing. Her main characters practice autonomy and come from all races. CY believes everyone should experience love, and that's why some of her protagonists are not of this world.

C. Y.'s book list on sci-fi romance and fantasy with unearthly beings

C. Y. Croc Why did C. Y. love this book?

This story follows the blossoming romance of a half-blood siren Adelle and a nine-hundred-year-old dragon, who is commissioned with the task of protecting her while he helps her to tease out and control her siren song. This enemy-to-lover romance has fantastic world building that continues throughout the series with Adelle’s sister’s stories.

By Cynthia Diamond,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Siren's Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She refuses to give into her nature. He’s built tough walls around desire. Will they survive the heat of a scorching affair?

Adelle Constance buries her feelings for good reason. Despite needing her sister to rescue her from her vampire ex, the half-blood siren doesn’t dare risk unleashing her own terrifying powers. But she hates being saddled with a cranky fire-breathing guardian to teach her the art of control.

Jack swore to stay away from heartbreak. So when he’s tricked into a vow of protection over his ex-girlfriend’s imperiled cousin, the nine-hundred-year-old dragon can’t wait to get her trained and…


Book cover of Sirens

Russ Thomas Author Of Nighthawking

From my list on crime novels set in the grim North of England.

Why am I passionate about this?

There’s a saying in England: It’s grim up north! Largely used pejoratively (by the south), it’s true to say it is generally colder and wetter, the landscape more unforgiving, the people – friendlier in my opinion – are more outspoken and candid. The cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, with their declining industries and rising unemployment, provide fertile ground for crime writers. So when I started my own series following the investigations of DS Adam Tyler and his cold case team it didn’t take long to settle on my adopted home of Sheffield as the setting. Be warned: we’re a long way from the sleepy villages of Agatha Christie here.

Russ' book list on crime novels set in the grim North of England

Russ Thomas Why did Russ love this book?

The first in Knox’s Manchester-set Detective Aidan Waits series, Sirens sees disgraced cop Waits looking to redeem himself by rescuing the teenage daughter of a prominent politician. Waits finds himself forced into an undercover operation to infiltrate the shady world of Zain Carver, an enigmatic figure who lures young women into his world only for them to disappear. Dark, gritty, and gruesome, this is Northern Noir at its best.

By Joseph Knox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Brooding, blistering. Sirens is a remarkable literary thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin and James Lee Burke' AJ Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

WATERSTONES THRILLER OF THE MONTH

I stopped going to work. I went missing. We still live in a world where you can disappear if you want to. Or even if you don't.

Detective Aidan Waits is in trouble

After a career-ending mistake, he's forced into a nightmare undercover operation that his superiors don't expect him to survive.

Isabelle Rossiter has run away again

When the teenage daughter of a prominent MP joins Zain…


Book cover of To Kill a Kingdom

K.J. Cloutier Author Of Beyond The Horizon

From my list on young adult fantasy with pirates and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved magic and pirates. As I kid, I made up games incorporating the two. As a teenager, I wanted to read about them. But at the time, I couldn’t find anything that had both pirates and magic, so I decided to write one myself. As the years blurred past and the young adult book scene exploded, more and more books with pirates and magic have been published and of course, I try to read them all! I read them not only to study books similar to my own, but because I love them and I can’t get enough. 

K.J.'s book list on young adult fantasy with pirates and magic

K.J. Cloutier Why did K.J. love this book?

Imagine The Little Mermaid but the mermaid is actually a killer siren and the prince is actually a siren hunter/pirate, and you’ve got To Kill A Kingdom.

If you’re not sold by that alone (because I certainly was) well, this standalone fantasy also has seafaring action, a variety of vibrant kingdoms, strong character arcs, morally grey characters, dashing pirates, siren magic, and of course, a slow burn enemies to lovers romance (you may have noticed I’m a sucker for those.)

I only wish this was a series and not a standalone.

By Alexandra Christo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked To Kill a Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A TIKTOK sensation!

An unforgettable dark romantic YA fantasy about the siren with a taste for royal blood and the prince who has sworn to destroy her.

"Stellar world building and nonstop action will keep readers hooked on this twisted reimagining of 'The Little Mermaid'." Booklist Online

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing…


Book cover of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty

Kathleen Stone Author Of They Called Us Girls: Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men

From my list on family biographies with regional history as a role.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read (and write) biography as much for history as for an individual life story. It’s a way of getting a personalized look at an historical period. When the book is a family biography, the history is amplified by different family members' perspectives, almost like a kaleidoscope, and it stretches over generations, allowing the historical story to blossom over time. The genre also opens a window into the ethos that animated this unique group of individuals who are bound together by blood. Whether it's a desire for wealth or power, the zeal for a cause, or the need to survive adversity, I found it in these family stories.  

Kathleen's book list on family biographies with regional history as a role

Kathleen Stone Why did Kathleen love this book?

When Cornelius Vanderbilt died in 1877, he was the richest man in America. Two generations later, the family parlayed their wealth into social status in the city's newly defined class structure.

Anderson Cooper, CNN news anchor, and his co-author trace the city's social history, beginning with Anderson's ancestor who emigrated to the small Dutch colony at the tip of Manhattan as an indentured servant. The story ends with Anderson's mother Gloria, the last Vanderbilt to have known the family at the peak of its wealth and social clout before lavish spending took its toll.

Most affecting are Anderson’s memories of his mother that have nothing to do with money and everything to do with sharing life with someone we love.

By Anderson Cooper, Katherine Howe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty-his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

One of the Washington Post's Notable Works of Nonfiction of 2021

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires-one in shipping and another in railroads-that would…


Book cover of Murder at Marble House

Dianne Freeman Author Of A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder

From my list on female sleuths of the Gilded Age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the Countess of Harleigh Mystery series. I’ve been fascinated by the Gilded Age/Victorian Era/Belle Epoque since reading my first Edith Wharton novel, The Buccaneers, which followed the lives of four American heiresses of the late 19th century, who crossed the Atlantic to marry British lords. Love and marriage almost never went together in Wharton’s world, but with all the loveless marriages, the social climbing, and the haves and have-nots, I find it makes an excellent setting for a mystery.

Dianne's book list on female sleuths of the Gilded Age

Dianne Freeman Why did Dianne love this book?

This series is actually set in Newport, Rhode Island but New York’s elite had to have somewhere to go when the summer heat settled on the city. Reporting on all the Newport society news is Emma Cross, second cousin to Cornelius Vanderbilt. I have to admit that I’m fascinated by the lives of these uber-wealthy characters. Their homes, wardrobes, and entertainments are almost shocking in their opulence. I love that many of the characters are real people. In this book, Alva Vanderbilt loses any hope of winning the Mother-of-the-Year award as she browbeats her daughter Consuelo into marrying heir to the Duke of Marlborough. If money can’t buy happiness, maybe a title will.

By Alyssa Maxwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder at Marble House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the dawn of the twentieth century, the fortunes of the Vanderbilts still shine brightly in glittering Newport, Rhode Island. But when a potential scandal strikes, the Vanderbilts turn to cousin and society page reporter Emma Cross to solve a murder and a disappearance . . .
 
Responding to a frantic call on her newfangled telephone from her cousin, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Emma Cross arrives at the Marble House mansion and learns the cause of her distress—Consuelo’s mother, Alva, is forcing her into marriage with the Duke of Marlborough. Her mother has even called in a fortune teller to assure Consuelo…


Book cover of Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

David David Katzman Author Of A Greater Monster

From my list on shattering the conventions of what a novel can be.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, artist, and actor throughout my life, I’ve explored and enjoyed many artistic forms. While I appreciate books across many genres, I elevate to the highest level those works that manage to break conventional boundaries and create something original. In my own work, I have always challenged myself to create something unique with a medium that has never been done before. At the same time, I have sought to discover a process and resulting work that inspires readers’ own creativity and challenges them to expand their imagination. 

David's book list on shattering the conventions of what a novel can be

David David Katzman Why did David love this book?

First published in 1959, Naked Lunch was shocking then, and it still retains its power today. Both in content and structure, Naked Lunch is powerful and wholly original.  In effect, it becomes more than a work of fiction, it becomes an experience. Burroughs invented a technique called the “cut-up method,” where he cut up his coherent storyline into paragraphs, scenes, and even sentences, then reordered them both randomly and editorially. The disorder thematically represents the chaos of existence and the universe, and it also disrupts the reader. Like the book or not, it shakes you into realizing that there are possibilities beyond the conventional.

Burrough’s language is honed to a razor’s edge, and I find that many of the sentences in Naked Lunch burn like fire. The meaning of the title as Burroughs explains it is to bare the naked truth of reality on the end of a fork. From…

By William S. Burroughs Jr., James Grauerholz, Barry Miles

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since its original publication in Paris in 1959, Naked Lunch has become one of the most important novels of the twentieth century.

Exerting its influence on the relationship of art and obscenity, it is one of the books that redefined not just literature but American culture. For the Burroughs enthusiast and the neophyte, this volume—that contains final-draft typescripts, numerous unpublished contemporaneous writings by Burroughs, his own later introductions to the book, and his essay on psychoactive drugs—is a valuable and fresh experience of a novel that has lost none of its relevance or satirical bite.


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