100 books like Tomb of Sand

By Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell (translator),

Here are 100 books that Tomb of Sand fans have personally recommended if you like Tomb of Sand. 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 Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse

Joseph Fasano Author Of The Magic Words: Simple Poetry Prompts That Unlock the Creativity in Everyone

From my list on greatest book-length poems of the past 50 years.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a poet and a novelist, I'm fascinated by the places where these two genres meet, undo each other, and create something new again. That sounds a lot like what love can do, and whenever I read a long poem that achieves a unique aesthetic unity, I feel the writer has found a new way to love the world, to love the reader. And, as usual, both the world and the reader are challenged by that love—to grow.

Joseph's book list on greatest book-length poems of the past 50 years

Joseph Fasano Why did Joseph love this book?

 On the spectrum that ranges from narrative fragmentation to narrative linearity, this verse novel triumphs in its capacity to compel the reader both to turn the page and linger over every fine phrase.

A remarkably contemporary retelling of ancient myth, Autobiography of Red reminds us that the ancient stories are the new ones. As the poet Linda Gregg once wrote, “The singers change, the music goes on.” This is a must-read for all students of poetry and lovers of literary experimentation.

By Anne Carson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this extraordinary epic poem, Anne Carson bridges the gap between classicism and the modern, poetry and prose, with a volcanic journey into the soul of a winged red monster named Geryon.

There is a strong mixture of whimsy and sadness in Geryon's story. He is tormented as a boy by his brother, escapes to a parallel world of photography, and falls in love with Herakles - a golden young man who leaves Geryon at the peak of infatuation. Geryon retreats ever further into the world created by his camera, until that glass house is suddenly and irrevocably shattered by…


Book cover of Annihilation

Dwain Worrell Author Of Androne

From my list on suspenseful science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

What can I say about Annihilation? It’s a novel where the reader isn’t quite sure what is going on, nor can any two readers agree on what they just read and that’s the amazing part about it.

Hypnosis, genetic deviation, and something utterly alien make this such an intense read. And that suspense is heightened because there is a level of mystery and weirdness in Jeff VanderMeer’s world, where things aren’t quite grounded in the reality that we are used to.

By Jeff VanderMeer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A contemporary masterpiece' Guardian

THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ALEX GARLAND (EX MACHINA) AND STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AND OSCAR ISAAC

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border - an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.

The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.

Now four women embark on the…


Book cover of The Hellbound Heart

Richard S. Sargent Author Of The Horror Movie Night Cookbook: 60 Deliciously Deadly Recipes Inspired by Iconic Slashers, Zombie Films, Psychological Thrillers, Sci-Fi Spooks, and More

From my list on delicious horror stories to devour in one sitting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a student of horror since my mother first sat me down in front of the TV to watch the old monster movies with her. It's a genre for the outsiders, the underdogs, which I've certainly felt at several points throughout my life. Good horror is both an escape and a vessel to affect change in the world. Many people in my life believe horror is just boobs and blood, so I feel like it's my job to educate them. This is why I started hosting my horror movie nights, which later developed into my first cookbook. Horror is a major part of my life and I hope it gets the appreciation it deserves.

Richard's book list on delicious horror stories to devour in one sitting

Richard S. Sargent Why did Richard love this book?

It is a beautifully gruesome story about love, desire, and greed. Though I found it to be absolutely frightening, I also found it strangely comforting.

As a young gay man in the early 00s, as the AIDS epidemic was slowing down a bit, Barker's depiction of sexuality and openness was quite refreshing. I can only imagine what it must have been like reading this story for the first time as a gay man in the 1980s.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Hellbound Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic tale of supernatural obsession from the critically acclaimed master of darkness—and the inspiration for the cult classic film Hellraiser

From his scores of short stories, bestselling novels, and major motion pictures, no one comes close to the vivid imagination and unique terrors provided by Clive Barker. The Hellbound Heart is one of Barker’s best—a nerve-shattering novella about the human heart and all the great terrors and ecstasies within its endless domain. It is about greed and love, desire and death, life and captivity, bells and blood. It is one of the most frightening stories you are likely to…


Book cover of The Garden of Secrets

Cyril Wong Author Of This Side of Heaven

From my list on tackling surrealism, memory, and desire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mortality, desire, memory, and time are my favourite themes, not just in my writing but in my life. I also love anything—music, art, literature—that is evocative, bizarre, and surreal. As a meditator, lover, and writer of poetry and poetic prose, I love books that expand our minds and hearts in ways that conventional acts of writing and creative expressions fail to do.

Cyril's book list on tackling surrealism, memory, and desire

Cyril Wong Why did Cyril love this book?

Goytisolo’s narrative is about a fictitious poet. It is also about the truth about storytelling and the fundamental nature of truth. Different perspectives also conjure up a culture of “hysteria and persecution” surrounding the poet. Can we truly ever know anyone? The book is a perfect metaphor and parable for what happens when we mistake lies for undeniable facts.

By Juan Goytisolo, Peter Bush (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over three weeks twenty-eight story-tellers - one for each letter in the Arabic alphabet - meet in a Marrakesh garden to tell the story of a poet, Eusebio, arrested in Melilla in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. Eusebio, a friend of Garcia Lorca and his Circle, escapes assassination and his life then escapes the control of a single destiny. Some tales embroider his shadowy life with stories from Djemaa-el-Fna - the pasha's cook, the slave-market, Aysha and the stork... Does Eusebio betray his Fascist friends by confessing in a show-trial that they indulged in orgies with the…


Book cover of 1971: A People's History from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India

Sayeed Ferdous Author Of Partition as Border-Making: East Bengal, East Pakistan and Bangladesh

From my list on South Asian history and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach anthropology but find my niche in the blurred zone of history and anthropology. My research interests include South Asian Studies; Historiography; Memory/Forgetting, and Postcolonial Nation, State, and Nationalism. My book Partition as Border-Making draws upon ethnographic details, using oral historical accounts from the Bengal borderland and archival materials. Focusing upon the significance of the mundane in history and its presentness, this research contributes to understanding postcolonial South Asia beyond “indocentrism.” At present, I am co-editing a Bangladesh Reader. In 2021, I jointly conducted a research project on the Partition migrants to Dhaka in partnership with Goethe Institute, Bangladesh.

Sayeed's book list on South Asian history and culture

Sayeed Ferdous Why did Sayeed love this book?

This book is probably among the first ones written by a Pakistani author on the history of the 1971 war, aka Liberation War of Bangladesh, which thrilled me as a reader. It challenges not only the statist-nationalist accounts of Pakistan but those from India and Bangladesh as well.

Anam, the author, accomplished commendable work by talking to people across the cartographies and bringing up diverse and contradictory perspectives about the pretexts and events of 1971-related politics. While after all these years, both the state and society of Pakistan and Bangladesh remained taboo to each other, such a venture appears to be the silver lining of knowledge sharing between the entities in the two territories.

Unsettling for the conformists, nationalists, and statists, this piece of work is a must-read for everyone interested in the region.

By Anam Zakaria,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1971 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year 1971 exists everywhere in Bangladesh-on its roads, in sculptures, in its museums and oral history projects, in its curriculum, in people's homes and their stories, and in political discourse. It marks the birth of the nation, its liberation. More than 1000 miles away, in Pakistan too, 1971 marks a watershed moment, its memories sitting uncomfortably in public imagination. It is remembered as the 'Fall of Dacca', the dismemberment of Pakistan or the third Indo-Pak war. In India, 1971 represents something else-the story of humanitarian intervention, of triumph and valour that paved the way for India's rise as a…


Book cover of Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

Karen Gershowitz Author Of Wanderlust: Extraordinary People, Quirky Places, and Curious Cuisine

From my list on making you want to travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been traveling since age seventeen when I boarded a plane and headed to Europe on my own. Over the next three years I lived in London, took weekend jaunts across the continent, and became completely bitten by the travel bug. Since then, I’ve traveled to more than 95 countries. I’ve lost and gained friends and lovers and made a radical career change so that I could afford my travel addiction. Like my readers, I am an ordinary person. Through travel I’ve learned courage and risk-taking and succeeded at things I didn’t know I could do. My goal in writing is to inspire others to take off and explore the world.

Karen's book list on making you want to travel

Karen Gershowitz Why did Karen love this book?

I think of myself as an adventurous traveler, but Dervla Murphy travels in a way that I would never even consider.

So, it’s a pleasure to sit in a comfortable chair and read about places I’ll never visit and people who I’d love to meet, but never will. Murphy writes so vividly I feel as though I am right beside her as she fends off wolves, struggles to drag a bicycle uphill through mountain snow, and shares tea with nomads.

This was her first book and every book that follows is equally compelling.

By Dervla Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Braving hunger, heat exhaustion, unbearable terrain and cultures largely untouched by civilization, Dervla Murphy chronicles her determined trip through nine countries, through snow and ice in the mountains and miles of barren land in the scorching desert. Full Tilt is a highly individual account by a celebrated travel writer based on the daily diary Murphy kept while riding through Yugoslavia, Persia, Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan and into India. Murphy's charm and gracious sensitivity as a writer and a traveler reveals not only civilizations of exotic people and places but the wonder of a woman alone on an extraordinary…


Book cover of Days and Nights in Calcutta

Peggy Payne Author Of Sister India

From my list on sensuous literature of India.

Why am I passionate about this?

About thirty years ago, I spent three months on an Indo-American Fellowship in Varanasi taking notes on daily life in this holy city where my novel Sister India is set. That winter felt like a separate life within my life, a bonus. Because all there was so new to me, and it was unmediated by cars, television, or computers, I felt while I was there so much more in touch with the physical world, what in any given moment I could see, hear, smell…. It was the way I had felt as a child, knowing close-up particular trees and shrubs, the pattern of cracks in a sidewalk.

Peggy's book list on sensuous literature of India

Peggy Payne Why did Peggy love this book?

Days and Nights in Calcutta is a fascinating dual view of the same time and place by a husband and wife, both highly esteemed writers. The couple has returned to her family home in the famously complex and crowded Indian city and this is the account-in-two-voices of their year there. His feels full of wonder and surprise; it has a sunlit quality. Hers feels full of intensity and concern; it is tightly wrought. The book shows me not just India, a place I love to see and feel, but the importance of everyone’s story and view.

By Clark Blaise, Bharati Mukherjee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Days and Nights in Calcutta as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Blaise, Clark, Mukherjee, Bharati


Book cover of Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

Shenaaz Nanji Author Of Child of Dandelions

From my list on stories every teen must read before they turn 18.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer with multiple cultures and heritage. I believe stories are magical, they touch our hearts and change the way we think and behave. Having lived in different continents around the world, my book list reflects stories with diversity of cultures and story settings around the world, and how the impact of these stories reverberated with me for a long time after reading them.

Shenaaz's book list on stories every teen must read before they turn 18

Shenaaz Nanji Why did Shenaaz love this book?

The story is set in the Cholistan Desert in Pakistan near the border between Pakistan and India. I so admired the young 11-year-old girl Shabanu, who is strong-willed, independent, and ‘wild as the wind.’ It tore my heart to read about the tragic encounter with a wealthy landowner that ruined Shabunu’s older sister’s plan of marriage and when Shabanu was called upon to sacrifice all her dreams. A girl in a Muslim family always obeys her father’s wishes so when Shabanu is betrothed to an older man, I was anxious to find out if she would honor her family and heritage or follow her heart and flee.

By Suzanne Fisher Staples,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shabanu 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?

The Newbery Honor winner about a heroic Pakistani girl that The Boston Globe called “Remarkable . . . a riveting tour de force.” 

Life is both sweet and cruel to strong-willed young Shabanu, whose home is the windswept Cholistan Desert of Pakistan. The second daughter in a family with no sons, she’s been allowed freedoms forbidden to most Muslim girls. But when a tragic encounter with a wealthy and powerful landowner ruins the marriage plans of her older sister, Shabanu is called upon to sacrifice everything she’s dreamed of. Should she do what is necessary to uphold her family’s honor—or…


Book cover of Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China

Susan K. Harris Author Of Mark Twain, the World, and Me: Following the Equator, Then and Now

From my list on blending memoir, travel, and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed books that introduce me to faraway places, cultural narratives, and the writers behind the stories. After retiring from college teaching, I decided to write one myself. I’m a Mark Twain scholar, so I followed Twain’s lecture tour through Australasia, India, and South Africa. One of my goals was to expose my research methods to my readers, and writing in the first person made that easy. What I hadn’t foreseen was how much the process would force me to confront my own past—exposing the radical differences between Mark Twain and Me. 

Susan's book list on blending memoir, travel, and history

Susan K. Harris Why did Susan love this book?

This is a first book, covering Aiyar’s years in China as a political correspondent for the Indian Express and The Hindu. Because she is Indian, Aiyar’s perspective differs from Americans’ viewpoints, which drew me, as I’ve been to both India and China. Aiyar tracks the impact of rapid growth on her informants’ sense of self and place—and then compares China’s growth to India’s. It’s a fast-paced, lively book featuring lots of interaction between Aiyar and her students, their families, and other informantsa thoughtful portrait of a culture shifting from tradition into an unknowable future, written by a journalist constantly aware of the radical differences between Indian and “new Chinese” values and sensibilities.  

By Pallavi Aiyar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


India and China share a 3500-km border and have interacted with each other for over 2000 years. It is remarkable then that their people know so little of each other: what they think, how they live, their language, customs and philosophy.Or even their cuisine. Pallavi Aiyar was very much the average Indian in her knowledge of China when she set out for Beijing in 2002. Over the next five years, she became a fascinated observer of a country undergoing relentless change. This book is an intimate look at a society evolving at double-digit pace. In the process, Pallavi Aiyar breaks…


Book cover of Curfewed Night

Andrew Otis Author Of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper

From my list on non-fiction journalism and history in India.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the author of Hicky's Bengal Gazette: The Untold Story of India's First Newspaper I have great interest in journalism and history in the Indian subcontinent. There are relatively few books that explore these topics in a narrative nonfiction way. It is my hope that this shortlist will help readers find a few good books to start with.

Andrew's book list on non-fiction journalism and history in India

Andrew Otis Why did Andrew love this book?

An elegant first-person tale of loss and change in the Kashmir Valley. I compare this book to the feeling one gets when mist descends on a grey, foggy day, and old long-forgotten memories recur with a vengeance. Peer’s work is remarkable for his pristine and exact memory of events, starting in the troubled 1990s, and ending in 2005 with the forlorn hope of peace in Kashmir.

By Basharat Peer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since 1989, when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir, more than 70,000 people have been killed in the battle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Born and raised in the war-torn region, Basharat Peer brings this little-known part of the world to life in haunting, vivid detail..

Peer reveals stories from his youth as well as gut-wrenching accounts of the many Kashmiris he met years later, as a reporter. He chronicles a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches as her son is forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Pakistan, surrealism, and India?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Pakistan, surrealism, and India.

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