91 books like The Sound and the Fury

By William Faulkner,

Here are 91 books that The Sound and the Fury fans have personally recommended if you like The Sound and the Fury. 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 Slaughterhouse-Five

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Wildcat: An Appalachian Romance

From my list on big imagination and creative punch.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a happy child until I went to school. When my teacher turned her back, I ran home. My mom sent me back. The umbilical cord broken, I held a grudge. That enmity remained until my ninth-grade English teacher read us Richard Brautigan’s post-apocalyptic, proto-hippie fantasy In Watermelon Sugar. There was much to imagine: a multicolored sun, an infinite garbage dump, and mathematical, parent-eating tigers. Like the narrator, I wanted to live in a shack, not have a regular name, and hook up with a proto-hippie, hot cake-making artist girlfriend who made “a long and slow love” possible. Since then, I have devoured fiction, poetry, art, film, you name it. 

Jeffrey's book list on big imagination and creative punch

Jeffrey Dunn Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Maybe you’ve read this book, but maybe you haven’t. The kids like me who used to carry the 95¢ Dell paperbacks are now dead or thinking about it.

The author, Kurt Vonnegut, was an American prisoner of war and spent 24 hours underground in a meat locker during the Allied firebombing of Dresden, Germany. He said of his experience the bombing “killed 250,000 people in 24 hours and destroyed all of Dresden—possibly the world’s most beautiful city. But not me.” It’s fair to say that this book was his imagination’s way of dealing with the war. “One” acts as a preface, so the novel really begins with “Two,” “Listen:/Billy Pilgrim is unstuck in time,” and then imagination fights its way out.

By Kurt Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked Slaughterhouse-Five as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had…


Book cover of Atonement

Paul Tomkins Author Of London Skies

From my list on heroism and flaws of the English during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lover of fiction since my teens, I only really took an interest in history in my 20s. I’m fascinated with WWII and the 1950s due to family histories and having visited key sites, like Bletchley Park and the Command Bunker in Uxbridge, near where I grew up. I’m not especially patriotic, but I am proud of what Britain had to do in 1940, as well as the toll the war took and the years of recovery. But it’s also the time, albeit decreasingly so, when people still alive today can look back at their youth, and we can all have a nostalgia for that time in our lives.

Paul's book list on heroism and flaws of the English during WWII

Paul Tomkins Why did Paul love this book?

As a huge fan of Ian McEwan’s early novels with their dark drama, especially The Innocent, I initially gave up on this book after the first 70 pages—but then, thankfully, resumed a while later. 

What seemed a genteel novel about manners transforms into something much more sinister and dramatic. I loved the tense atmosphere of it, with much of the story condensed into one hot pre-war summer’s day and then the later serious repercussions from what, at the time, seem fairly harmless childish actions.

By Ian McEwan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a…


Book cover of My Ántonia

Russell Rowland Author Of In Open Spaces

From my list on by women writers in the west.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published seven books, all set in the West, including an anthology, West of 98: Living and Writing the New American West, that features writers from every state west of the Mississippi. For four years now, I have been doing a podcast called Breakfast in Montana, where my partner Aaron Parrett and I discuss Montana books. I also published a book in 2016 called 56 Counties, where I traveled to every county in Montana and interviewed people about what it means to live in this state. So I have a good feel for the people of this region and for the books they love. 

Russell's book list on by women writers in the west

Russell Rowland Why did Russell love this book?

Every discussion about the evolution of writing in ‘the West’ has to start with Willa Cather, who was the first writer from the west to be awarded a major literary award when she won the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, which isn’t even one of her five best novels. Cather wrote openly about alcoholism, domestic violence, and other painful topics, transforming western writing from cardboard cutout characters to real people. My Ántonia has become an American classic, not just in western literature but in all literature. My Ántonia is told from the point of view of a young farm boy who falls in love with the enchanting Ántonia, and it’s beautifully written, taking us into the emotional heart of youth and idealism in the West.

By Willa Cather,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in rural Nebraska, Willa Cather's My Antonia is both the intricate story of a powerful friendship and a brilliant portrayal of the lives of rural pioneers in the late-nineteenth century.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an afterword by Bridget Bennett and original illustrations by W. T. Benda.

Antonia and her family are from Bohemia and they must endure real hardship and loss to establish a new home in America.…


Book cover of Gone Girl

Mirinae Lee Author Of 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster

From my list on villainous heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and grew up in Seoul. My bestselling debut novel has been longlisted for the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2024 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize and shortlisted for the 2024 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. My book is inspired by my great-aunt, one of the oldest women who had escaped alone from North Korea. It is available from Harper Perennial in the U.S. and Virago in the UK. The novel’s translations continue to meet readers worldwide, including in Italy, Romania, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, and South Korea.

Mirinae's book list on villainous heroines

Mirinae Lee Why did Mirinae love this book?

Many years ago, when I was sharing several chapters of my book with my then-writing group, I faced harsh criticism from some of its members, mainly due to my protagonist, Trickster.

They found her too violent, too cunning, and without remorse. I read in many of Flynn’s interviews that she had also received a lot of criticism for her vicious main character. Certain readers believed the murderous, unrepenting heroine of this book was a shame to womanhood.

In defense of my violent heroine Trickster, I quoted Flynn’s response to her critics: the notion that women are inherently good and nurturing is itself deeply sexist and limiting toward women.        

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked Gone Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE ADDICTIVE No.1 BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON
OVER 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
THE BOOK THAT DEFINES PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on…


Book cover of Kindred

Hajar Yazdiha Author Of The Struggle for the People's King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement

From my list on understanding revisionist history politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I studied forty years of the political misuses of the memory of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement as a sociologist at USC and the daughter of Iranian immigrants who has always been interested in questions of identity and belonging. My interest in civil rights struggles started early, growing up in Virginia, a state that celebrated the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday alongside Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. I wanted to understand how revisionist histories could become the mainstream account of the past and how they mattered for the future of democracy.

Hajar's book list on understanding revisionist history politics

Hajar Yazdiha Why did Hajar love this book?

I am, to put it lightly, obsessed with the way Octavia Butler revolutionizes the timescape and invites us to speculate about worlds that could be. In this and so many of her books, her vision of Afrofuturism is one that reminds us that our ancestral pasts and our imagined futures are always connected. 

I thought a lot about the future when I wrote my book, and I share Butler’s conviction that there is collective healing and liberation in revisiting and reimagining the past.

I also love that my neighborhood library in Pasadena is the one Octavia Butler used to frequent!

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Parable of the Sower and MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Nebula, and Hugo award winner

The visionary time-travel classic whose Black female hero is pulled through time to face the horrors of American slavery and explores the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”

Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon…


Book cover of Hamlet

Karl F. Zender Author Of Shakespeare and Faulkner: Selves and Others

From my list on the most wonderful American, British, and Irish writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up on a small farm in southern Ohio, I was the first generation of my family to attend both high school and college. Literature, reading it, talking about it, studying it, was my entry into a world of larger possibilities than my family’s somewhat straitened circumstances had allowed me. Faulkner attracted me because the rural enclave in which we lived, and my neighbors, resembled locales and characters in his fiction. Shakespeare attracted me for many reasons, most notably the beauty of his language and the ability of his plays to reveal new meanings as my life experiences changed.

Karl's book list on the most wonderful American, British, and Irish writers

Karl F. Zender Why did Karl love this book?

Hamlet is one of those literary characters, like Faust, who gains an iconic, extra-literary identity. Moody, hesitant, insolent, and wracked by guilt and doubt, Hamlet marked the eruption into Western literature of self-consciousness as a literary trope. 

Understanding that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are agents of Claudius, not his true friends, Hamlet mockingly says, “You would pluck out the heart of my mystery.”  Whether considered in psychological, social, religious, historical, or political terms, that “mystery” has for centuries intrigued readers and audiences. I invite you to share that intrigue, or to return to it.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

7 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 Every Day

M.E. Corey Author Of Out of Blue Comes Green

From my list on coming-of-age self-deprecating narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming-of-age stories fascinate me because they are all so different. While we each experience many of the same events, each person’s story is unique. I like to read about how they first understood love or how they met their best friend. I like to try on their life for a bit, walk around in their shoes, and then return to my reality with the person I’ve worked so hard to become. The more I read other people’s stories of growing up, the more I feel we all harbor the same worries about ourselves and our future. We all struggle with similar problems while becoming who we’re meant to be.

M.E.'s book list on coming-of-age self-deprecating narrators

M.E. Corey Why did M.E. love this book?

I was completely enthralled by Levithan’s main character, A, and how they become a different person every day. The idea of falling in love or having a career or even pursuing an interest—a sport, an instrument, an art form—becomes impossible when you live a life like A does.

I related to the idea that A couldn’t present as an individual, that they could only be whoever they ended up being for the day. Starting over every 24 hours was worse than waking up every morning as the same wrong person. At least I had the benefits of making friends, learning guitar, and having a family. The story made me so sad for A’s loneliness yet made me feel much less alone.

By David Levithan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Every Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day…


Book cover of Little Fires Everywhere

Katie K. May Author Of You're on Fire, It's Fine: Effective Strategies for Parenting Teens with Self-Destructive Behaviors

From my list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey from a teen struggling with self-harm, drug use, and overwhelming emotions to a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Clinician™ and director of Creative Healing, Teen Support Centers, uniquely positions me to understand the deep emotional challenges teens face. Having navigated my own tumultuous youth and now parenting a "Fire Feeler" teen, I use my personal and professional insights to guide thousands of teens and their parents. I am passionately committed to creating environments where teens are supported while the entire family learns skills to improve and work together.

Katie's book list on healing family dynamics and generational trauma

Katie K. May Why did Katie love this book?

I love this book for its intricate examination of how past secrets and traumas shape our current selves.

The book's deep dive into the complexities of motherhood and identity against a suburban backdrop made me reflect on my own family dynamics and the silent, unseen forces at play. It’s a heart-wrenching tale of what it means to be a mother in all forms and how our children reflect these struggles back to us.

By Celeste Ng,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller!

"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." -Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning

"To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears." -Reese Witherspoon

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Our Missing Hearts comes a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their…


Book cover of A Visit from the Goon Squad

Kevin Clouther Author Of Maximum Speed

From my list on literary fiction about the passage of time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I live in the past, even as the wellness industry tells me to be present. I try to be present! Of course, I also worry about the future. Time for me, inexorably, moves both backward and forward. I’m always writing things down, scared of forgetting. How do other people do it? That’s why I read fiction (or one of the reasons). As Philip Roth said of his father in Patrimony, “To be alive, to him, is to be made of memory—to him if a man’s not made of memory, he’s made of nothing.”

Kevin's book list on literary fiction about the passage of time

Kevin Clouther Why did Kevin love this book?

When Jennifer Egan published “Found Objects” “Safari,” and “Ask Me If I Care” in The New Yorker I knew she was onto something, but I wasn’t prepared for the cumulative effect of A Visit from the Good Squad, which bounces between past and present (and, occasionally, into the future).

One character asks, “Time’s a goon, right?” Time is, though I hadn’t considered how until surrendering to Egan’s vision, which spans from NYC to Africa to PowerPoint. Whether this is a collection of linked stories or novel or some other hybrid form is irrelevant; the book is pure sorcery.

It was one of the thrills of my career to bring Egan to Omaha in 2019 to lecture to the University of Nebraska MFA in Writing.

By Jennifer Egan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Visit from the Goon Squad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2010

Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other's pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.

We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist's couch in…


Book cover of Conversations with Friends

Karl F. Zender Author Of Shakespeare and Faulkner: Selves and Others

From my list on the most wonderful American, British, and Irish writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up on a small farm in southern Ohio, I was the first generation of my family to attend both high school and college. Literature, reading it, talking about it, studying it, was my entry into a world of larger possibilities than my family’s somewhat straitened circumstances had allowed me. Faulkner attracted me because the rural enclave in which we lived, and my neighbors, resembled locales and characters in his fiction. Shakespeare attracted me for many reasons, most notably the beauty of his language and the ability of his plays to reveal new meanings as my life experiences changed.

Karl's book list on the most wonderful American, British, and Irish writers

Karl F. Zender Why did Karl love this book?

This, Sally Rooney’s first novel, was greeted with widespread critical acclaim. Fresh, witty, knowing, and au courant in its exploration of present-day sexual and romantic entanglements, the novel was clearly the work of a major talent. 

Both Conversations and Rooney’s highly popular second novel, Normal People, have been adapted for television. Perhaps you’ve seen one or both and have read the novels as a result. If not, I urge you to do so, beginning with Conversations

I haven’t yet watched either adaptation, but I believe that watching and reading have different sorts of advantages. Against the immediacy and vividness of watching TV shows, reading the novel will allow you to move at your own pace, to savor Rooney’s verbal dexterity, to revisit earlier scenes, and to discover their added significance. Watch (if you haven’t already), read, enjoy!

By Sally Rooney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***NOW ON BBC THREE AND iPLAYER***

'This book. This book. I read it in one day. I hear I'm not alone.'
- Sarah Jessica Parker (Instagram)

'Brilliant, funny and startling.' Guardian

'I really like Conversations with Friends. I like the tone [Rooney] takes when she's writing. I think it's like being inside someone's mind.' - Taylor Swift

'A sharp, darkly funny comment on modern relationships.' Sunday Telegraph

Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed and observant. A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend.…


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