100 books like The Yiddish Policemen's Union

By Michael Chabon,

Here are 100 books that The Yiddish Policemen's Union fans have personally recommended if you like The Yiddish Policemen's Union. 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 In Cold Blood

Katherine Ramsland Author Of The Serial Killer's Apprentice: The True Story of How Houston’s Deadliest Murderer Turned a Kid into a Killing Machine

From my list on true crime books that teach you about the minds of murderers.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated with true crime since a serial killer operated in my hometown when I was a kid. I’m now an expert on criminal psychology, which I teach at DeSales University. I’ve appeared in more than 200 crime documentaries and was an executive producer on Murder House Flip (my idea) and A&E’s Confession of a Serial Killer: BTK. I’ve published more than 72 books, and over the past 12 years, I’ve penned a blog on the dark side of the human psyche for Psychology Today. Currently, I’m writing a fiction series based on a female forensic psychologist who runs a PI agency and consults on unique death investigations. 

Katherine's book list on true crime books that teach you about the minds of murderers

Katherine Ramsland Why did Katherine love this book?

I think this book is the classic true crime to show the power of using fictional devices for fact-based narratives.

Truman Capote explored the psyches of a killing team, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, as he reported on the 1959 quadruple homicide of the Herb Clutter family in Holcombe, Kansas. He wasn’t a journalist, but he adopted the role, hedging his work as “narrative nonfiction.” I learned a lot about this technique for my own work.

With him was his childhood companion, Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), and she helped Capote gain access to the inside story. He extensively interviewed Perry Smith, giving readers a sense of how and why this convict got involved in the terrible mass murder of a family. 

By Truman Capote,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked In Cold Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly…


Book cover of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Guy Morpuss Author Of Black Lake Manor

From my list on speculative crime.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the crime and thriller books on my parents’ bookshelves. As a teenager I got into science fiction, reading everything I could. Speculative crime fiction mixes the best of both genres. You twist one aspect of the real world, add a dead body, and play with the consequences. I have written two novels that do this: in my first, I imagined a world in which five people share a body, and one of them is trying to kill the others; in my second, a killer who can turn back time. I love books that toy with reality in this way, and read all that I can.

Guy's book list on speculative crime

Guy Morpuss Why did Guy love this book?

For me speculative fiction is about twisting one aspect of the real world, and then playing with the consequences. I love the way that Philip K Dick does this.

Some of his ideas seem absurd, but as a reader you quickly buy into them. This is not a traditional crime novel in any sense, but is about a bounty hunter tracking down escaped androids. As he confronts questions about his own humanity, it raises ethical issues for the reader as to what it is to be human.

Like all Dick’s works it is clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking.

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the eagerly-anticipated new film Blade Runner 2049 finally comes to the screen, rediscover the world of Blade Runner . . .

World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal - the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were…


Book cover of The Gunslinger

Ashton Macaulay Author Of Whiteout: A Nick Ventner Adventure

From my list on heroes you love to hate.

Who am I?

I write about flawed characters as a reflex. I’m more interested in exploring the journey of an alcoholic monster hunter with literal and figurative demons than a white knight. Throughout my life, I’ve seen the effects of substance abuse up close, and while difficult, it helped me find the humanity in flaws. I choose to write about those flaws with a humorous bend, because life is far too long to go through without jokes. As a result, I gravitate towards pithy antiheroes and dark comedy. To feel a character’s pain is human, to laugh in the midst of their darkest moments is divine.

Ashton's book list on heroes you love to hate

Ashton Macaulay Why did Ashton love this book?

Stephen King’s Dark Tower series might be uneven at the end, but the beginning is masterful.

Roland, a dusty old cowboy on the edge of reality, is the prototypical antihero. He doesn’t care much for other people, he’s got a dark past, and I wanted to follow every dusty step of his journey. The broken pieces of Roland are what make The Dark Tower series unique—that and some astral plane travelling shenanigans. With each dark deed or questionable decision, I wanted to know more about Roland and what led him to that point.

It’s difficult to stay grounded in a world with interdimensional travel and monsters, but I always felt like I had one foot planted in humanity through Roland.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Dark Tower is now a major motion picture starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.

'The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.' The iconic opening line of Stephen King's groundbreaking series, The Dark Tower, introduces one of his most enigmatic and powerful heroes: Roland of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger.

Roland is a haunting figure, a loner, on a spellbinding journey toward the mysterious Dark Tower, in a desolate world which frighteningly echoes our own.

On his quest, Roland begins a friendship with a kid from New York named Jake, encounters an alluring woman and faces…


Book cover of The Golem and the Jinni

Alison Levy Author Of Magic By Any Other Name

From my list on a mythical creature’s point of view.

Who am I?

I love mythological creatures! I grew up gravitating toward fantasy books but because I have a narcissistic parent, I got teased for reading them. To avoid the teasing, I ended up reading a lot of mythology because that was a “safe” fantasy option; reading mythology was “educational” rather than “silly.”  When I got older, I discovered that there’s a whole category of fantasy books that retell myths from alternative points of view. This subgenre opened new doors of understanding and empathy for me. Reading old stories from new perspectives opens my eyes to a myriad of different types of people and broadens my view of the world. And I’ve been reading them ever since.

Alison's book list on a mythical creature’s point of view

Alison Levy Why did Alison love this book?

The story of two mystical creatures stuck in 1899 New York who have to make their own way in the world.  Despite their different natures, they become unlikely friends and have to work together to survive. 

While I enjoyed the perspective of both supernatural beings in this book, I found the golem especially engaging. Through her eyes, the reader gets an amazingly detailed view of turn-of-the-century New York as well as the intricacies of human behavior. 

The jinni faces different challenges—he’s lost a chunk of his memory—but he also has to adapt to life among people. Wrapped in a rich tapestry of historical details, the story walks us through their processes of acclimating to human society and facing the dangers of their pasts.

By Helene Wecker,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Golem and the Jinni as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of only two novels I've ever loved whose main characters are not human' BARBARA KINGSOLVER

For fans of The Essex Serpent and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

'By far my favourite book of of the year' Guardian

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in…


Book cover of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Dwain Worrell Author Of Androne

From my list on suspenseful science fiction.

Who am I?

To be honest, and this will sound strange, but suspense is the air I breathe. I’m a pretty calm, boring human being, and the only thing that gets my heart pumping are films, TV, books, and video games in this genre. Suspense and thrillers are genres that make up ninety percent of the entertainment that I consume, and one hundred percent of the entertainment that I write.

Dwain's book list on suspenseful science fiction

Dwain Worrell Why did Dwain love this book?

I can only speak from my experience and, wow, this book hooked me right at the end of that first chapter, “but it’s happening faster.” Now to go into what that means, I will remain spoiler-free, but my jaw dropped. And the story only ramped up after that.

I love stories where the protagonist finds themselves in genuine peril, and Claire puts Harry August in a particular type of peril that truly had me terrified for his well-being in every chapter. The best type of suspense escalates in every chapter and it escalates here in this book in the best possible ways.

By Claire North,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'ONE OF THE FICTION HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DECADE' Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Book Club

Featured in the Richard and Judy Book Club, the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club
Winner of the John W. Campbell Award
Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award

SOME STORIES CANNOT BE TOLD IN JUST ONE LIFETIME

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before.

Nothing ever changes - until now.…


Book cover of The Underground Railroad

Ciera Horton McElroy Author Of Atomic Family

From my list on historical fiction featuring strong women.

Who am I?

I may be only 27, but I’ve spent years researching the Cold War. Mostly because it’s very personal to me…my grandfather was a scientist at a top-secret hydrogen bomb plant in the 1960s. I began researching to understand his work and how it affected my family. I didn’t expect to become so consumed by the sixties. The more I learned about the nuclear arms race and the protests that were led, largely, by women, the more I felt convinced that there was a story here. I’m passionate about the often untold stories of resistance—resilience—endurance. Especially women’s stories. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do! 

Ciera's book list on historical fiction featuring strong women

Ciera Horton McElroy Why did Ciera love this book?

I am including The Underground Railroad as it’s both historical fiction and magical realism—a beautiful surrealist imagining of Civil War history. This inventive novel follows Cora, who is enslaved on a plantation in Georgia. When Cora hears of the underground railroad, she plots her escape—but in this book, the railroad is more than a secret network. It is a real, physical, underground train. Cora must fight for her life and her freedom on a harrowing journey north, evading the slave hunter Ridgeway as he seeks to track her down. Cora’s strength and independence make her a character that will stick with you.

By Colson Whitehead,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Underground Railroad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES BY BARRY JENKINS (COMING MAY 2021)

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017
WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD 2017
LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2017
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER 2016

'Whitehead is on a roll: the reviews have been sublime' Guardian

'Luminous, furious, wildly inventive' Observer

'Hands down one of the best, if not the best, book I've read this year' Stylist

'Dazzling' New York Review of Books

Praised by Barack Obama and an Oprah Book Club Pick, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award 2016 and the…


Book cover of His Majesty's Dragon

Sarah Chislon Author Of Tattoo of Crimson

From my list on fantasy featuring magical animal companions.

Who am I?

Ever since I read The Chronicles of Narnia as a child, the concept of magical, sentient animals and their relationship with humans fascinated me, so it was no surprise that when I started to write the Blood of the Fae series, a massive, mysterious feline sauntered onto the pages and carved out a significant role in the story. Over the years, I’ve found many new favorite animal companions in the pages of books, and I’m working on building up a real-life collection of animal companions including ducks, chickens, a sweet kitty, and many more lovable critters to come (alas, none of them show signs of developing magical abilities)!

Sarah's book list on fantasy featuring magical animal companions

Sarah Chislon Why did Sarah love this book?

Though I don’t ordinarily read military-focused fantasy, the alternate history concept and the unfolding relationship between the dragon Temeraire and his rider Laurence drew me into this tale.

The growing bond between dragon and rider and the exploration of what rights sentient creatures like dragons might be entitled to, along with the complexities of their interactions with humans, made for an intriguing read. Though it’s been years since I read the book, it still remains vivid in my mind!

By Naomi Novik,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked His Majesty's Dragon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Naomi Novik's stunning series of novels follow the adventures of Captain William Laurence and his fighting dragon Temeraire as they are thrown together to fight for Britain during the turbulent time of the Napoleonic Wars.

As Napoleon's tenacious infantry rampages across Europe and his armada lies in wait for Nelson's smaller fleet, the war does not rage on land and water alone. Squadrons of aviators swarm the skies - a deadly shield for the cumbersome canon-firing vessels. Raining fire and acid upon their enemies, they engage in a swift, violent combat with flying tooth and claw... for these aviators ride…


Book cover of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Christopher Shevlin Author Of The Spy Who Came in from the Bin

From my list on making you laugh and feel better.

Who am I?

I write books that I hope will make people laugh and feel better – so far, they are the three Jonathon Fairfax novels and a novella called The Pursuit of Coconuts. I suffer from depression, and have always found the world quite a difficult and confusing place, so – ever since I learned to read – I’ve escaped into books. Reading is so soothing and absorbing, and there’s something oddly intimate about joining an author inside a book. When a book’s genuinely funny, it feels as though – in a flash – it reveals the essential foolish absurdity of the world. I’ve listed five of the books that have worked that little miracle on me.

Christopher's book list on making you laugh and feel better

Christopher Shevlin Why did Christopher love this book?

Looking through the small ads in the back of my parents’ newspaper (we got really bored before the internet), I saw one for a holistic detective agency – ‘missing cats and messy divorces a speciality’. My sister dared me to call. When I did, I heard a message saying, ‘This is Dirk Gently. If you’d like to leave a message, you can’t.’ It then revealed the existence of the book, which of course I bought.

It’s my favourite Douglas Adams: set in the real world, but standing at a finely calculated distance from reality. There’s the character who’s killed early on, but continues regardless. There’s the software that tells you why it’s a good idea to do whatever it is you want to do (the Pentagon uses an outdated version). There’s the sofa that gets wedged in a staircase in contravention of all known physics.

Then there’s Dirk himself, a…

By Douglas Adams,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Douglas Adams, the legendary author of one of the most beloved science fiction novels of all time, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, comes a wildly inventive novel of ghosts, time travel, and one detective’s mission to save humanity from extinction.

DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY
We solve the whole crime
We find the whole person
Phone today for the whole solution to your problem
(Missing cats and messy divorces a specialty)

Douglas Adams, the “master of wacky words and even wackier tales” (Entertainment Weekly) once again boggles the mind with a completely unbelievable story of ghosts, time travel,…


Book cover of Tea From An Empty Cup

Aaron Conners Author Of Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect

From my list on combining science fiction and detective stories.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the Hardy Boys, then Sherlock Holmes, then Hammett and Chandler. I’ve always been fascinated by mysteries and the process of solving them. This led me to create my own interactive murder mysteries, then a career designing and writing videogames. Two of the games, featuring a 1940’s-style P.I. living in the post-apocalyptic 2040s, won “Adventure Game of the Year” awards, and spawned a series of four (so far) novels. The stories, which combine light sci-fi with detective noir and a lot of humor, have been influenced by many different movies, tv shows, and books, including the five in this list. I hope you enjoy them!

Aaron's book list on combining science fiction and detective stories

Aaron Conners Why did Aaron love this book?

Cyberpunk Noir isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (sorry), and this story is dark and downbeat, with two female protagonists who aren’t especially sympathetic, so readers tend to love this book or hate it. For me, the kinetic writing style, crackling dialogue, and richly-detailed descriptions of cyberspace—as well as the fresh take on the “locked-room murder” (a virtual reality parlor in this case)—makes it a highly-recommended read.

By Pat Cadigan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tea From An Empty Cup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To find what they seek, Konstantin, a hardened cop investigating a series of grisly murders, and Yuki, a woman searching for her missing lover, must delve deep into the dark world of cyberspace, an artificial world where the lines between virtual and real have become blurred. Reprint. LJ.


Book cover of The Caves of Steel

Guy Morpuss Author Of Black Lake Manor

From my list on speculative crime.

Who am I?

I grew up reading the crime and thriller books on my parents’ bookshelves. As a teenager I got into science fiction, reading everything I could. Speculative crime fiction mixes the best of both genres. You twist one aspect of the real world, add a dead body, and play with the consequences. I have written two novels that do this: in my first, I imagined a world in which five people share a body, and one of them is trying to kill the others; in my second, a killer who can turn back time. I love books that toy with reality in this way, and read all that I can.

Guy's book list on speculative crime

Guy Morpuss Why did Guy love this book?

I grew up reading Isaac Asimov, and it must be at least forty years since I first read this.

Far in the future, a New York detective is partnered with a robot to investigate the murder of a leading citizen. At the heart of the book is an intriguing murder mystery. However, what makes this a favourite of mine is the growing relationship between the two investigators.

Asimov wrote this to prove that crime and science fiction are not incompatible genres – and succeeded brilliantly, paving the way for those who have followed him.

By Isaac Asimov,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Caves of Steel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Isaac Asimov's Robot series - from the iconic collection I, Robot to four classic novels - contains some of the most influential works in the history of science fiction. Establishing and testing the Three Laws of Robotics, they continue to shape the understanding and design of artificial intelligence to this day.

In the vast, domed cities of Earth, artificial intelligence is strictly controlled; in the distant Outer Worlds, colonists and robots live side by side.

A Spacer ambassador is found dead and detective Elijah Baley is assigned to find the killer. But with relations between the two cultures in the…


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