100 books like The Wandering Earth

By Cixin Liu,

Here are 100 books that The Wandering Earth fans have personally recommended if you like The Wandering Earth. 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 Dune

Arnie Benn Author Of The Intrepid: Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

From my list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with understanding everything — science and the universe. Now, in this age of the JWST and a burgeoning space industry, I do sub-quantum mechanics research at an international physics think-tank, The Quantum Bicycle Society. My own hard sci-fi novel is intended to help publicize these scientific advances, as well as the behavioral psychology concepts that are the subject of my next nonfiction book, The Animal In The Mirror. The books on this list represent the foundation of inspiration that propelled my formative sci-fi journey, stories that also shine the light of insight onto our shared, instinctive nature.

Arnie's book list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature

Arnie Benn Why did Arnie love this book?

What I loved most about this classic series is the detailed story world the author creates. When you read beyond the first book in the series, you start to get more and more of it — cultural, anthropological, geological, and more. It is a very cool and fully immersive world.

While the new movie series has captured the imagination of many and certainly has super cool production design elements, it does take some license with the story. Allow it to merely whet your appetite for the books. They're better.

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


Book cover of Earth

John Elkington Author Of Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism

From my list on green sci-fi books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by history – and by the future. As a Boomer, born in 1949, I have surfed successive environmental, green, and sustainability waves. Since 1978, I have co-founded four businesses in the field, all of which still exist. I am now Chief Pollinator at Volans. I have served on some 80 boards and advisory boards and spoken at nearly 2000 major events worldwide. And I have authored or co-authored 20 books, including the million-selling Green Consumer Guide series from 1988. Science fiction has been a constant inspiration. The books I have picked are generally optimistic, in contrast to dystopias like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Finally, given the richness of this area of fiction, we can be sure that there are many many other green sci-fi shortlists out there waiting to be published, including ones featuring women like Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood.

John's book list on green sci-fi books

John Elkington Why did John love this book?

Earth, published in 1990, had me dog-earing many, many pages. A sense of our responsibility to the planet is shot through the book. For me this novel was very much in the spirit of a near – but warped – future that I had so enjoyed early on in books like John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar. When I wrote to Brunner to say that his dystopian view of the future struck me as likely, he replied that he was disappointed, having written it as a warning, to minimize the risk of the future being driven off the rails by over-population. 

Earth, overall, is more optimistic. Another novel on related themes by Brin was The Postman, made into a film starring Kevin Costner. Again, I interviewed David early in 2021 for our new Green Swans Observatory—and a key theme was his inspiration by the Judaic concept of…

By David Brin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's fifty years from tomorrow, and a black hole has accidentally fallen into the Earth's core. A team of scientists frantically searches for a way to prevent the mishap from causing harm, only to discover another black hole already feeding relentlessly at the core - one that could destroy the planet within two years.


Book cover of American War

Mal Warwick Author Of Hell on Earth: What we can learn from dystopian fiction

From my list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was twelve years old, my picture appeared in my hometown newspaper. I was holding a huge stack of books from the library, a week’s reading. All science fiction. I’ve read voraciously for the past seventy years—though much more widely as an adult. I’ve also had a life founding several small companies and writing twenty books. But I’ve continued to read science fiction, and, increasingly, dystopian novels. Why? Because, as a history buff, I think about the big trends that shape our lives. I see clearly that climate change, breakthroughs in technology, and unstable politics threaten our children’s future. I want to understand how these trends might play out—for better or for worse.

Mal's book list on dystopian since “Brave New World” and “1984”

Mal Warwick Why did Mal love this book?

The widening partisan divide between Red and Blue in the United States today gives me nightmares.

I read a lot of history, so I know how closely today’s divisions resemble those before the Civil War. Which is why Omar El Akkad’s American War resonates so deeply with me.

In 2074, four Deep South states secede over the passage of new legislation banning fossil fuels—and a Southerner assassinates the President.

The Red and Blue states are now at war again. And that’s my nightmare brought to life. 

By Omar El Akkad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Best Book of the Year: The Guardian, The Observer, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.

2074. America's future is Civil War. Sarat's reality is survival. They took her father, they took her home, they told her lies . . .

She didn't start this war, but she'll end it.

Omar El Akkad's powerful debut novel imagines a dystopian future: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague and one family caught deep in the middle. In American War, we're asked to consider what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and…


Book cover of The Ministry for the Future

Michael J. Albert Author Of Navigating the Polycrisis: Mapping the Futures of Capitalism and the Earth

From my list on books that help us make sense of the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lecturer in Global Environmental Politics at the University of Edinburgh. My work is driven by the conviction that we need more thorough and realistic maps of possible futures in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world. Ever since learning about the intersections between climate, energy, and economic crises, I have been fascinated by the question of how our future will unfold and how we might create more just and liveable futures from the wreckage of the present world. And I have been driven to bring down artificial disciplinary divides in order to integrate knowledge across the sciences and humanities in ways that can illuminate the possible pathways ahead. 

Michael's book list on books that help us make sense of the future

Michael J. Albert Why did Michael love this book?

For those looking for a more hopeful account of how climate activism and progressive policy can co-create a more just and sustainable future beyond capitalism, look no further than this book. It is rightfully celebrated as an essential utopian novel of our time.

Most utopian visionaries merely describe the future they want without describing how we might actually get there. In contrast, Robinson shows us how we might cross what he calls the “Great Trench” that separates the current world from the hoped-for future.

This is not a starry-eyed utopian book: it clearly recognizes the intense political struggles, the worsening climate shocks, the suffering, the setbacks, and the violence that would inevitably accompany any transformation of capitalism.

By Kim Stanley Robinson,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Ministry for the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“The best science-fiction nonfiction novel I’ve ever read.” —Jonathan Lethem
 
"If I could get policymakers, and citizens, everywhere to read just one book this year, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future." —Ezra Klein (Vox)

The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us. Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favorite…


Book cover of Waste Tide

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Author Of The Ten Percent Thief

From my list on science fiction novels exploring the near future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a novelist and game designer from Bangalore. I’ve been a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy. Growing up, I almost never encountered futures that included people like me—brown women, from a country that isn’t the UK/ US, and yet, who are in sync with the rapidly changing global village we belong to. Over the last decade, though, I've found increasing joy in more recent science fiction, in which the future belongs to everyone. The Ten Percent Thief is an expression of my experiences living in dynamic urban India, and represents one of our many possible futures. 

Lavanya's book list on science fiction novels exploring the near future

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Why did Lavanya love this book?

I picked this novel because, for lack of a better phrase, it’s too real. In an entirely believable and horrifying future lies Silicon Isle, an island made of trash. It’s where the world dumps all its electronic waste, for generations of poor, marginalized people to sort through, while pollutants make the tiny world they call home uninhabitable and hostile.

It also happens to be where a powerful biological weapon is hidden, unknowingly discovered by Mimi, one of the novel’s protagonists. It transforms her. Class disparities come to the fore, leading to revolution. This is classic cyberpunk, refreshingly set in a future outside the UK/ US, translated from the original Chinese by Ken Liu.

By Chen Qiufan, Ken Liu (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Guardian Science Fiction Book of the Year.

Mimi is drowning in the world's trash.

She's a 'waste girl', a scavenger picking through towering heaps of hazardous electronic detritus. Along with thousands of other migrant workers, she was lured to Silicon Isle, off the southern coast of China, by the promise of steady work and a better life.

But Silicon Isle is where the rotten fruits of capitalism and consumer culture come to their toxic end. The land is hopelessly polluted, the workers utterly at the mercy of those in power. And now a storm is gathering, as ruthless local…


Book cover of The Telling

Ashish Kothari Author Of Pluriverse – A Post-Development Dictionary Ashish Kothari

From my list on utopian fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

With a passion for animal rights transforming into one for ecological issues, when I was in high school, I’ve been involved in activism research for 40+ years. Recently this has translated into an intense search for radical alternatives to ‘development’ and all the structures of inequality and unsustainability underlying it, including capitalism, state-domination, and patriarchy. I’ve been documenting many ‘living utopias’ where communities are forging pathways of well-being without trashing the earth or creating abysmal inequalities. Many groups & networks I’ve helped start, including Kalpavriksh, Vikalp Sangam, and Global Tapestry of Alternatives, focus on these issues. So it's always fascinating also to see how fictional utopias relate to these!

Ashish's book list on utopian fiction

Ashish Kothari Why did Ashish love this book?

We live in a world where freedom of thought and expression is constantly threatened by those who would like to be unquestioned rulers. Le Guin’s Aka planet is one such, where those in power have attempted to erase history and ban books. But as in so many of Le Guin’s books, a utopian streak comes shining through here in the form of an underground movement keeping alive memory through the sacred act of telling. I loved the subversive current in the story, The Telling of which is itself an act of hope and inspiration.  

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book celebrates the art of storytelling - whether the making of myth or the stories we tell ourselves to bring narrative and shape to the lives we lead. These fine narrative pieces in lyric form showcase the poetic talents of some of the most interesting emerging poets from Wales, the UK and the world.


Book cover of States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China

Graeme Gill Author Of Revolution and Terror

From my list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about this subject when I was at university and I realised that so many revolutions that were conducted in the name of high ideals ended up involving considerable suffering and death on the part of the ordinary people. And not just the ordinary people, but the revolutionaries as well. Why, I wondered, was this the case, and did it mean, as many in the 1960s and 1970s argued, that revolution was ultimately self-defeating? The quest to answer these questions remains on-going, but the books I have suggested have helped me to make some headway towards a resolution.

Graeme's book list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”

Graeme Gill Why did Graeme love this book?

This is a terrific book that transformed our thinking about revolution. A comparative study of France, Russia, and China, it adopts a structural approach to revolution rather than seeing it as a result of the actions of particular revolutionaries.

What I found stimulating about this book was the way it brought together the role of the state and the impact of international factors in bringing about revolution. Its argument, while not without shortcomings, moved our understanding of revolution onto a richer and more complex theoretical basis than it had been before. A major work bringing the study of the state and the study of revolution together in an intellectually exciting way.

By Theda Skocpol,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

State structures, international forces, and class relations: Theda Skocpol shows how all three combine to explain the origins and accomplishments of social-revolutionary transformations. Social revolutions have been rare but undeniably of enormous importance in modern world history. States and Social Revolutions provides a new frame of reference for analyzing the causes, the conflicts, and the outcomes of such revolutions. It develops a rigorous, comparative historical analysis of three major cases: the French Revolution of 1787 through the early 1800s, the Russian Revolution of 1917 through the 1930s, and the Chinese Revolution of 1911 through the 1960s. Believing that existing theories…


Book cover of The Book of Roast: The Craft of Coffee Roasting from Bean to Business

Robert W. Thurston Author Of Coffee: From Bean to Barista

From my list on US, China, Britain, France, and Nicaragua coffee.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have found coffee, or in fact just about any aspect of it, from pour-over to espresso, to be endlessly challenging and rewarding. My first visit to coffee farms was in 2004, to Ethiopia and Kenya. Since then I’ve been to dozens of farms in nine or ten countries. There is something about coffee people; they are wondrously generous about sharing their expertise, if they think you care and if you know the right questions to ask. Before going deeply into coffee, I was a professor of history, and I've continued to publish on topics as diverse as Stalin, the witch hunts in Europe and North America, and the body in the Anglosphere, 1880-1920.

Robert's book list on US, China, Britain, France, and Nicaragua coffee

Robert W. Thurston Why did Robert love this book?

Anyone who would like to understand how coffee flavors develop, which is key to raising your level of sophistication about coffee, should pick up this book. Roasting green coffee beans is an art and science for which people are always trying new methods. The Book of Roast provides a detailed look at the history of roasting, from stovetop to massive machines, and tells why the best roaster takes such meticulous care in handling the beans. The latest and best methods of roasting and preparing coffee beverages are covered. In places, the book becomes a bit technically challenging, but it remains quite readable. For me, it was a great exploration of science plus taste. As one coffee expert put it to me, you can reveal the flavors in good beans (and you can ruin them quickly while roasting), but you can never improve upon them.

By Roast Magazine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Compilation Of New and Past Roast Magazine Articles


Book cover of Years of Red Dust: Stories of Shanghai

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom Author Of Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink

From my list on twentieth-century Shanghai.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by history since I spent a year in Britain as a ten-year-old. I became hooked on novels set in ancient Greece and Rome and found it incredibly exotic to walk through old buildings and imagine the lives of the people who had walked through those same doors. In college, I began studying history in earnest and grew intrigued by China, especially Chinese cities during periods of upheaval and transformation. My first passion was Shanghai history, and I spent time there in the mid-1980s before the soaring Pudong skyscrapers that are now among its most iconic structures were built. I have since shifted my attention to Hong Kong, a city I had enjoyed visiting for decades but had not written about until after I completed my last book on Shanghai. My fascination with cities that are in China but enmeshed in global processes and are sites of protest has been a constant.

Jeffrey's book list on twentieth-century Shanghai

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom Why did Jeffrey love this book?

There is a lot of wonderful fiction set in Shanghai, so I wanted to make sure to include one such work. Figuring out which wasn’t easy, as there are good short stories and novels by a range of important authors, from deceased writers like Mao Dun, Eileen Chang, and J.G. Ballard, whose partly autobiographical Empire of the Sun was based on his Shanghai childhood, to living ones like Wang Anyi. I chose this collection of vignettes by Qiu Xiaolong (who is best known for his Inspector Chen Shanghai-set police procedurals and grew up in Shanghai and now lives in the United States) because it pairs so well with Shanghai Homes. You can read it as a fictional cousin to Jie Li’s book, as this work by Qiu, in which his famous detective does not appear, is made up of tales set in a single alleyway neighborhood. Reading them together,…

By Qiu Xiaolong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Published originally in the pages of Le Monde, this collection of linked short stories by Qiu Xiaolong has already been a major bestseller in France (Cite de la Poussiere Rouge) and Germany (Das Tor zur Roten Gasse), where it and the author was the subject of a major television documentary. The stories in Years of Red Dust trace the changes in modern China over fifty years―from the early days of the Communist revolution in 1949 to the modernization movement of the late nineties―all from the perspective of one small street in Shanghai, Red Dust Lane. From the early optimism at…


Book cover of Coffee: A Global History

Robert W. Thurston Author Of Coffee: From Bean to Barista

From my list on US, China, Britain, France, and Nicaragua coffee.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have found coffee, or in fact just about any aspect of it, from pour-over to espresso, to be endlessly challenging and rewarding. My first visit to coffee farms was in 2004, to Ethiopia and Kenya. Since then I’ve been to dozens of farms in nine or ten countries. There is something about coffee people; they are wondrously generous about sharing their expertise, if they think you care and if you know the right questions to ask. Before going deeply into coffee, I was a professor of history, and I've continued to publish on topics as diverse as Stalin, the witch hunts in Europe and North America, and the body in the Anglosphere, 1880-1920.

Robert's book list on US, China, Britain, France, and Nicaragua coffee

Robert W. Thurston Why did Robert love this book?

Jonathan, with whom I worked on an earlier book on coffee with authors from around the world, presents the history of coffee in a wonderfully readable way. His book is filled with charming and informative photos and graphics. A professor at the University of Hertfordshire and a truly nice guy, Jonathan is an expert above all on Italian coffee. He is in demand, particularly for talks on coffee’s past and present in Europe.

By Jonathan Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Coffee is a global beverage: it is grown commercially on four continents, and consumed enthusiastically in all seven. There is even an Italian espresso machine on the International Space Station. Coffee's journey has taken it from the forests of Ethiopia to the fincas of Latin America, from Ottoman coffee houses to `Third Wave' cafes, and from the simple coffee pot to the capsule machine. In Coffee: A Global History, Jonathan Morris explains how the world acquired a taste for coffee, yet why coffee tastes so different throughout the world.

Morris discusses who drank coffee, as well as why and where,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in China, earth, and France?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about China, earth, and France.

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