82 books like The West Wing

By Edward Gorey,

Here are 82 books that The West Wing fans have personally recommended if you like The West Wing. 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 My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Betty Rocksteady Author Of Soft Places

From my list on story told in an unconventional manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love straight-up fiction and read plenty of novels, I’ve always been just as interested in art as I have been in writing. The further into my writing career I get, the more it becomes obvious that art and illustration are just as vital to the way I want to tell my stories. I did the covers for my first few books and started experimenting with illustrating them as well with The Writhing Skies, creating a very strange blend of splatterpunk horror and Betty Boop-inspired illustration. Soft Places is a further step in the direction of telling stories in a way that’s a little different. 

Betty's book list on story told in an unconventional manner

Betty Rocksteady Why did Betty love this book?

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is described as a graphic novel, but it takes the form of the notebook of a 10-year-old girl who is obsessed with monsters. The art is terrific and the story is haunting and mysterious. I’ve always been a notebook person myself, filling up stacks of sketchbooks through my childhood and teens, so the way the main character processed her life by scribbling on a page really resonated with me. This book is super unique, from the way the character always draws herself as a werewolf, to the mysterious death of her upstairs neighbor, and the way she remembers conversations by drawing them as comics.

By Emil Ferris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Favorite Thing Is Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.


Book cover of Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization

Betty Rocksteady Author Of Soft Places

From my list on story told in an unconventional manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love straight-up fiction and read plenty of novels, I’ve always been just as interested in art as I have been in writing. The further into my writing career I get, the more it becomes obvious that art and illustration are just as vital to the way I want to tell my stories. I did the covers for my first few books and started experimenting with illustrating them as well with The Writhing Skies, creating a very strange blend of splatterpunk horror and Betty Boop-inspired illustration. Soft Places is a further step in the direction of telling stories in a way that’s a little different. 

Betty's book list on story told in an unconventional manner

Betty Rocksteady Why did Betty love this book?

This book is absolutely wild. It purports to be an adaption of an over-the-top gorefest of a movie, plagued by conspiracy theories. Full of footnotes and behind-the-scenes anecdotes and autobiographical details about how the book itself came to be, it not only supposedly adapts a film but tells a far darker hidden story and is overall a lot of dark and spooky fun.

By Jonathan Raab, Benjamin Holesapple (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI is one of the most infamous slasher-movie sequels of the 1980s. Known for its over-the-top gore effects, bizarre and psychedelic campground killer plot—and its legacy as a lightning rod for conspiracy theories concerning everything from UFOs and alien abductions to 9/11 and a secret cabal at the heart of world power. This book contains a complete, authorized adaptation of the infamous cult slasher movie as well as the secret history of the behind-the-scenes drama and high-strange events that inspired the filmmakers, complete with footnotes and autobiographical anecdotes. Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization…


Book cover of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes

Betty Rocksteady Author Of Soft Places

From my list on story told in an unconventional manner.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I love straight-up fiction and read plenty of novels, I’ve always been just as interested in art as I have been in writing. The further into my writing career I get, the more it becomes obvious that art and illustration are just as vital to the way I want to tell my stories. I did the covers for my first few books and started experimenting with illustrating them as well with The Writhing Skies, creating a very strange blend of splatterpunk horror and Betty Boop-inspired illustration. Soft Places is a further step in the direction of telling stories in a way that’s a little different. 

Betty's book list on story told in an unconventional manner

Betty Rocksteady Why did Betty love this book?

This is a more modern pick that is very quickly becoming a cult classic. Told entirely through emails and message board postings, it lays out a very dark story of psychological manipulation between two women. I love found footage horror movies, and this book gives you that same feeling of discovering something you aren’t meant to see (or read).

By Eric LaRocca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones. Winner of the Splatterpunk Award for Best Novella.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s-a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.

A couple isolate themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from…


Book cover of Griffin & Sabine

Dan Saks Author Of We Share This School: A Community Book

From my list on proving humans are more creative than AI.

Why am I passionate about this?

I make music. I write books. I’m drawn to scenarios in which people make music or books or art collaboratively, often spontaneously. I enjoy making music with kids because of how they can be creative spontaneously. Sometimes adults pretend to be creative in a way that a child might relate to, but a child can generally sniff out a pretender. And a pretend pretender can be unpleasant company for children and adults alike. These books were written by adults who know their inner child. Wonder, play and a tangential regard for social norms are their baseline to share the stories they’ve chosen to share.

Dan's book list on proving humans are more creative than AI

Dan Saks Why did Dan love this book?

Human creativity is on full peacock feathers out display with this one.

The story is laid out as a series of postcards and letters written between two people. Many of them are letters, on separate pieces of paper tucked inside envelopes that are inside the book. This one will be over the head of younger kids but because of the interactive nature, the colorful pictures, and the solve-a-mystery vibe of the story it could be a fun one to read with slightly older kids. 

For me, I started it one night with my six-year-old and then continued to dig through the letters on the floor next to their bed long after they fell asleep. It feels voyeuristic reading through it. Who are these people? What’s inside this next envelope? Do they know I am reading their letters? It’s clever as hell and a lot of fun to read.

By Nick Bantock,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Griffin & Sabine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

unpaginated. Beautifully illustrated in Nick Bantock fashion. Signed by the author on title page


Book cover of The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories

Charlotte Greene Author Of Gnarled Hollow

From my list on haunted houses to scare the bejesus out of you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of sapphic horror and romance fiction, and a professor of nineteenth and twentieth literature and Women’s and Gender Studies. I’ve been an avid reader of ghost-focused fiction since I was a little kid. This fascination was, in part, encouraged by my horror-loving parents, but I think I’ve just always loved being scared, and for me, the scariest thing imaginable is a haunted house. I’ve read widely in the genre, by turns spooked, thrilled, and baffled, and this reading eventually encouraged me to write my own haunted house novels. If you love a chilling tale, you’re going to love the books on this list.

Charlotte's book list on haunted houses to scare the bejesus out of you

Charlotte Greene Why did Charlotte love this book?

While there are haunted house-like novels before James’s 1898 classic, this in many ways is a granddaddy of modern haunted tales. An isolated country estate? Check. A creepy housekeeper? Check. Two even creepier children, possibly possessed? Check, check! When the unnamed narrator is hired as the new governess in a remote country home in England, she arrives to find that her two young wards are already nearly corrupted by the ghosts of the former governess and groundskeeper. As she works to save them, the narrator herself is threatened, both by the ghosts and by the children she’s meant to save. The psychological possibilities of this book, however, linger at the edges of the text, threatening to undermine the whole notion of what this haunting really is.

By Henry James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A young, inexperienced governess is charged with the care of Miles and Flora, two small children abandoned by their uncle at his grand country house. She sees the figure of an unknown man on the tower and his face at the window. It is Peter Quint, the master's dissolute valet, and he has come for little Miles. But Peter Quint is dead.

Like the other tales collected here - `Sir Edmund Orme', `Owen Wingrave', and `The Friends of the Friends' - `The Turn of the Screw' is to all immediate appearances a ghost story. But are the appearances what they…


Book cover of A Sudden Light

K.D. Burrows Author Of Bittersharp

From my list on horror stories about bad moving decisions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of reading horror stories as perfect armchair adrenalin-thrill-seeking. I prefer horror on the quiet side, dark and thematic, with any depiction of blood and gore in measured quantities. My favorite is historical horror with a moral edge, or underlying theme that explores who we are—good, bad, or in-between—as human beings, and how societal norms have changed from one era to another. The monsters of our imaginations are scary, but for true terror, there's nothing more frightening than the things we've done to each other throughout history. Dress society’s ills or expectations in monster clothes and write a story about them, and I’ll want to read it.

K.D.'s book list on horror stories about bad moving decisions

K.D. Burrows Why did K.D. love this book?

I can never get enough ghost and haunted house stories that have social commentary themes. This is one of the books that helped inspire my own book. Trevor Riddell’s parents are separated, and Trevor and his father move to his lumber-robber-baron grandfather’s mansion in the woods of the northwest, where Trevor’s father and aunt hope to talk their ailing father into a big-money real estate deal involving the house and land.

This book has everything I love: ghosts, intrigue, mystery, history, emotionally-complex antagonists, and epistolary story-telling through letters and journals. Woven into all that, Stein manages to insert a moral about conservation and trees (and other things I’ll let you discover on your own). Ghost stories have a history of being morality tales, and this is a modern version—true to the tradition—that I really enjoyed.

By Garth Stein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of the million-copy bestselling The Art of Racing in the Raincomes the breathtaking and long-awaited new novel.

This novel centres on four generations of a once terribly wealthy and influential timber family who have fallen from grace; a mysterious yet majestic mansion, crumbling slowy into the bluff overlooking Puget Sound in Seattle; a love affair so powerful it reaches across the planes of existence; and a young man who simply wants his parents to once again experience the moment they fell in love, hoping that if can feel that emotion again, maybe they won't get divorced after…


Book cover of Spirits of the Cage: True Accounts of Living in a Haunted Medieval Prison

Sylvia Shults Author Of Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories

From my list on for paranormal enthusiasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a paranormal investigator (a paranormal reporter, actually) for over a decade. One of the very best parts of my job is that I get to gorge myself on books of true accounts of the paranormal. It's exciting to see what else is out there, and what other people have experienced – both historically, and personally. I'm so grateful for the chance to add to this body of work; there are many renowned investigators and writers out there, and I'm thrilled to be counted among them. And someday, someone will read about my experiences and be terrified and intrigued and inspired by them.

Sylvia's book list on for paranormal enthusiasts

Sylvia Shults Why did Sylvia love this book?

I will read absolutely anything that Richard Estep writes. He has written books about the Villisca Ax Murders, Malvern Manor, and other crazy-haunted places. This one, about a site in his native England, is utterly terrifying. Estep writes with a very straightforward, matter-of-fact style (his writing reminds me much of my own style), and the evidence he presents for this haunted site is deeply chilling -- especially since his team is one of the groups that has investigated the Cage. 

By Vanessa Mitchell, Richard Estep,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When single mother Vanessa Mitchell moved into a historic cottage in Essex, she had no idea that a paranormal nightmare was about to unfold. The cottage, known as the Cage, used to imprison those accused of witchcraft back in the 1500s. From her first day living there, Vanessa saw apparitions walk through her room, heard ghostly growls, and was even slapped and pushed by invisible hands. Unable to handle the dark phenomena after three years, Vanessa moved out and paranormal investigator Richard Estep moved in. Spirits of the Cage chronicles the years that Vanessa and Richard spent in the Cage,…


Book cover of The Damned

Louis Arata Author Of Dead Hungry

From my list on horror where the world becomes askew.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up watching the old Universal horror movies, which led me to read Frankenstein, Dracula, and other horror classics. It wasn’t until I read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre that I started asking myself what it is that I find truly frightening. Not so much monsters but rather what is unsettling – A recognizable world that suddenly turns askew. Dead Hungry grew out of that: What if there were people who simply had to eat the dead?

Louis' book list on horror where the world becomes askew

Louis Arata Why did Louis love this book?

Another haunted house story, with a similar emphasis on atmosphere. A sister and brother visit a friend whose house is infected with competing ghostly forces. A constant sense of dread permeates the atmosphere. Blackwood keeps the reader on edge, waiting for the shoe to drop. And that’s it. It may pale by today’s standards of horror, but the novel excels at how ghostly presences vie for dominance.

By Algernon Blackwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How is this book unique?
Font adjustments & biography included
Unabridged (100% Original content)
Illustrated

About The Damned by Algernon Blackwood
The Damned by Algernon Blackwood is a great haunted house story along the lines of Turn of the Screw and the Haunting of Hill House. A brother and sister spend some time with a recently widowed friend. Her deceased husband was a strict fire and brimstone preacher who damned everyone who didn't believe like him to hell. His less strong-willed wife fell under his spell, but now the house seems to be haunted by...a shadow? Goblins? Ghostly pagans? Or…


Book cover of Angel Manor

JG Faherty Author Of The Wakening

From my list on evil houses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of horror books since I was old enough to read, and one of my favorite subgenres has always been the haunted/evil house. Ghosts, demons, unnamed forces – I love it. One of the first books I ever wrote was about a demonic carnival, and I’ve returned to the theme of the haunted/evil house or place many times in both my long and short fiction. Even in real life, I have a fascination for visiting so-called haunted places: abandoned asylums, murder houses, etc. So it’s no surprise that I’d create a list of my favorite evil house books. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

JG's book list on evil houses

JG Faherty Why did JG love this book?

Although this book is only a few years old, it should be considered a classic in the genre of evil houses. A young woman inherits her mother’s childhood home and decides to convert it into a hotel. Only the place comes with some surprises: ghosts, demons, and an ancient evil that has been locked away in the dark basement. Now that evil is loose again, and the bloodshed and death are just beginning. Author Chantal Noordeloos doesn’t hold back with the frights or the blood, as person after person suffers a horrible death while poor Freya discovers her true destiny is not what she planned, and that the place they call Lucifer Falls might never let her go. 

By Chantal Noordeloos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A beautiful house – with a dark and deadly secret.

When Freya inherits her mother's childhood home, she sees it as an opportunity. A chance for a new life with her best friends, as they convert the crumbling mansion into an exclusive hotel.

Instead, they'll be lucky to escape with their lives.

As the first hammers tear through the bricked up entrances, a dark, terrible and ancient evil stirs beneath the house. An evil that has already laid claim to Freya and her companions' souls.


Book cover of Maybe This Time

Susan B. James Author Of Time and Forever

From my list on romances with seasoned heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

My real name is Susan Berger and I'm a certified bookaholic. I'm also an actor and I love my work. Being older has been very lucky for me. I wrote children’s books as Susan J Berger. COVID closed my publisher and I'm not actively submitting at the moment. I write romance as Susan B James because I didn’t want my children to have to acknowledge that their mother knew anything about sex. Falling in love and living happily ever after is an ageless state. But in romance novels heroines are mostly under thirty. I happen to be chronologically gifted myself. And many of my favorite romances feature older heroines. I think we need more.

Susan's book list on romances with seasoned heroines

Susan B. James Why did Susan love this book?

Jennifer Crusie writes some of the funniest heroines I ever met. I adore her voice and I wanted to add her to my list. When I went to Jen’s blog ArghInk to ask her which of her heroines was over forty. She said Andie.

Andie’s ex-husband North wants one last favor from her as closure. Help him settle the two delinquent orphans he inherited from a distant relative. He knows Andie can handle anything.

Her new fiancée isn’t pleased. When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children, Carter and Alice, aren't your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. What's worse, Andie's fiancé thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back, and he may be right.

I read…

By Jennifer Crusie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Andie Miller is ready to move on with her life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, North asks one last favor: Since the death of a distant cousin, he's become the guardian of two orphans who have already driven away three nannies. North needs someone to take care of the situation―and he knows Andie can handle anything.

Carter and Alice aren't your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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