100 books like Vernon God Little

By D.B.C. Pierre,

Here are 100 books that Vernon God Little fans have personally recommended if you like Vernon God Little. 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 A Confederacy of Dunces

Toby LeBlanc Author Of Dark Roux

From my list on South Louisiana culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Scott, Louisiana, I didn’t know that everyone else in the United States did not get Mardi Gras off from school and work. I thought everyone knew some French. Crawfish boils were a natural, expectable part of every spring. South Louisiana is a world unto itself. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate my heritage, my Cajun lineage, and the sometimes-befuddling ways we Louisianians look at that world. Between conversations with elders, reading historical documents, and even looking at land transfer maps, I’ve become even more grounded in what being from this little wet corner of the world means. 

Toby's book list on South Louisiana culture

Toby LeBlanc Why did Toby love this book?

This Pulitzer Prize winner remains a time-tested testament to the absurdity that is New Orleans.

I felt like I’d met every one of the characters at least twice in my own walks on the streets of this storied city. I could even taste the Lucky Dogs. This is one of the few books to have me consistently laugh out loud. You can even take a picture with the statue of Ignatius J Reilly (the main character) on Canal Street.

By John Kennedy Toole,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Confederacy of Dunces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'This is probably my favourite book of all time' Billy Connolly

A pithy, laugh-out-loud story following John Kennedy Toole's larger-than-life Ignatius J. Reilly, floundering his way through 1960s New Orleans, beautifully resigned with cover art by Gary Taxali

'This city is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, anti-Christs, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians . . . don't make the mistake of bothering me.'

Ignatius J. Reilly: fat, flatulent, eloquent and almost unemployable. By the standards of ordinary folk he is pretty much…

Book cover of The Miller's Tale

Alan Daniels Author Of Spank: The Improbable Adventures of George Aloysius Brown

From my list on off-the-wall romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a journalist who worked as a daily newspaper reporter and editor for 40 years for the Daily Mail in London, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, the Sunday Australian in Sydney, and most recently the Vancouver Sun in Canada. My first novel was an erotic comedy, not much in that genre since Chaucer wrote The Miller’s Tale. My second, River Boy is about a skinny Canadian kid who can walk on water. No one has had that gig for 2000 years — and we’re not sure about the last guy. But is River Boy a brilliant illusionist or the long-awaited Second Coming? And if he is the new Messiah, why does the Christian church want to kill him?

Alan's book list on off-the-wall romance

Alan Daniels Why did Alan love this book?

Chaucer didn’t invent erotica, but he must be the all-time bestselling writer of medieval smut. He wrote The Miller’s Tale to entertain fellow travellers on a pilgrimage. I bet they lapped it up. This bawdy celebration of lust and trickery is as rude — and hilarious —  as it was 400 years ago.

By Geoffrey Chaucer, Michael Alexander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Author Michael Alexander: Michael Alexander is Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews, UK. He is a poet and translator and has international experience of teaching English literature, both medieval and modern.
Author Michael Alexander: Michael Alexander is Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews, UK. He is a poet and translator and has international experience of teaching English literature, both medieval and modern.

Book cover of Barney's Version

Norrin M. Ripsman Author Of The Oracle of Spring Garden Road

From my list on novels that nail the endings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Too often, I find that novelists force the endings of their books in ways that aren’t true to their characters, the stories, or their settings. Often, they do so to provide the Hollywood ending that many readers crave. That always leaves me cold. I love novels whose characters are complex, human, and believable and interact with their setting and the story in ways that do not stretch credulity. This is how I try to approach my own writing and was foremost in my mind as I set out to write my own book.

Norrin's book list on novels that nail the endings

Norrin M. Ripsman Why did Norrin love this book?

Okay, this brilliant book doesn’t quite fit with the others. But I had to include it because; 1) I couldn’t write this list without including a Canadian book; and 2) it’s one of my favourite books. Richler’s Barney is every bit as compelling a tragic character as the others I mention here, but he’s written with Richler’s sly, caustic wit.

He’s the lovable rogue who fritters away all three of his wives, including love-of-his-life Miriam, while being accused of killing his best friend. Amidst Richler’s sly critique of the modern world, we witness Barney’s slow descent into dementia and desolation. The ending, however, fits this sardonic novel like a glove and left me with a big smile on my face.

By Mordecai Richler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Barney's Version as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before his brain began to shrink, Barney Panofsky clung to two cher-ished beliefs. Life was absurd, and nobody ever truly understood any-body else. Even his friends tend to agree that Barney is 'a wife-abuser, an intellectual fraud, a purveyor of pap, a drunk with a pen-chant for violence and probably a murderer'. But when his sworn enemy threatens to publish this calumny, Barney is driven to write his own memoirs, rewinding the spool of his life, editing, selecting and plagiarising, as his memory plays tricks on him - and on the reader. Ebullient and perverse, he has seen off 3…

Book cover of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Julie Ma Author Of Love Letters

From my list on diverse characters as main characters, not just stereotypes or sidekicks.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I were a supermarket pie, my label would say, ‘Made in the UK with Chinese ingredients.’ Born in Wales to parents from Guangzhou and Hong Kong, my Cantonese is appalling, I’m bad at maths, and I can barely ride a bike without falling off. In short, I am an example of a real-life person and not a cliché or stereotype from the sorts of books we used to have to read if we wanted to see diverse characters. It’s about time the stories we read and the shows we watch become so effortlessly diverse that we don’t even notice. I hope my novels are playing a part in making that commonplace.

Julie's book list on diverse characters as main characters, not just stereotypes or sidekicks

Julie Ma Why did Julie love this book?

This is another book I read that made me think that the story of immigration into a provincial, rather than big city, setting was something people would read. It also made me think, that all parents, immigrants or not, have a massive calling to be deeply embarrassing.

Marina’s story to publication is an inspiring one, too. She was fifty-eight when this, her debut novel, was published.

Concealed inside this comic tale of an octogenarian newly widowed father, finding romance with a much younger Ukrainian barmaid is a lesson that all immigrants must one day learn. Just because someone else is from the old country too, it does not necessarily mean they have your best interests at heart.

By Marina Lewycka,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianis bestselling author Marina Lewycka's hilarious and award winning debut novel.

'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.'

Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin…

Book cover of Sizzling Sex for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Maximize Erotic Pleasure at Any Age

Laurie Mintz Author Of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters--And How to Get It

From my list on improving your sex life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before children, I had a robust sex drive. When my second daughter was born, poof—it disappeared. Upon asking, I discovered that my friends were also struggling. I immersed myself in the research literature and found solutions—yet was dismayed that this information wasn’t readily available to women. So, I translated the scientific literature into an accessible self-help book. My passion was ignited. I immersed myself in sex education and therapy, publishing my second book based on the experiences of students in a university-level human sexuality course I teach. I find deep meaning translating sexual science for the lay public and helping people gain knowledge and comfort with sex.

Laurie's book list on improving your sex life

Laurie Mintz Why did Laurie love this book?

I wish more people in general and men in specific knew about this book. It includes an enormous amount of information, all based in science (which is really important when it comes to sex education), yet written in a compassionate, clear, and understandable way. 

While this book is written to help men with their sexuality, the women in their lives will no doubt benefit from what they learn. I truly think that if all men read this book, both they and their partners would have fewer sexual issues and much more pleasure and connection.

By Michael Castleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sizzling Sex for Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Castleman, the world's most popular sex expert, has written the most comprehensive, authoritative, reassuring, and practical guide to lifelong pleasure for men and the women who love them. Library Journal calls him "one of the nation's top health writers."
Medical journalist Michael Castleman has answered more than 12,000 sex questions throughout his career, including on his website GreatSexGuidance.com, through his "All About Sex" blog on Psychology Today, or even when he used to answer all the sex questions for Playboy's "Advisor" column in the '90s. From his numerous years of experience comes this, the most thorough consumer sexuality guide…

Book cover of The Book of Extraordinary Deaths: True Accounts of Ill-Fated Lives

Flavia Z. Drago Author Of Leila, the Perfect Witch

From my list on picture books only Mexican authors could have made.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello! My name is Flavia Z. Drago and I'm a Mexican picturebook maker currently living with my partner and my cat in the UK. As a child, most of the books that I read came from foreign countries, particularly Europe and the US, and these have had a huge influence on my work as an author and illustrator. However, now that I'm in charge of making the books that I would have liked as a child, I enjoy adding details of my Mexican culture whenever possible. To some extent, the books that I've shared with you collect some of the stories, experiences, and emotions that as a Mexican have impacted my life.

Flavia's book list on picture books only Mexican authors could have made

Flavia Z. Drago Why did Flavia love this book?

Death by tortoise shell, a lifeless head, excess of dance, or playing a concert? Based on true stories, in this impossible to catalogue book, you can find out the tragic, sometimes funny, but always incredible deaths of famous, and ordinary, people alike. 

What I love about this book is Cecilia’s sensitivity and witty sense of humor to deal with the illustrations. While some of the deaths depicted are brutal in nature, the images are never violent or morbid, but they are rather whimsical, poetic, and rather intriguing.

By Cecilia Ruiz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Book of Extraordinary Deaths introduces readers to the bizarre demises of thinkers, writers, monarchs, artists, and notable nobodies throughout history. Beginning in the fifth century BC with the morbidly unusual death of Aeschylus and journeying chronologically to identical twins - who died on the same day - in the present day, readers will learn of people they may or may not have ever heard of, but will forever remember for their memorable final moments. With Ruiz's witty descriptions and beautiful illustrations, her characters come to life on the page even as they reach their demises.

Book cover of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

T.L. Bodine Author Of River of Souls

From my list on with zombie main characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a life-long horror lover and author of dark fiction. I've been reviewing films and video games for Ravenous Monster ezine for nearly a decade, and my Wattpad horror novel The Hound is currently being adapted for film. My favorite thing is the intersection of the horrifying and fantastic with the mundane, and that's what appeals to me so much about zombies: in all of their multitudinous representations, they've always held up a mirror to humanity. No monster can so easily reflect the many facets of humanity as a zombie. Because, after all, the dead were once just like us – and if we're not careful, we might end up just like them in the end.

T.L.'s book list on with zombie main characters

T.L. Bodine Why did T.L. love this book?

Imagine coming back from the dead only to realize the world doesn't want you: You move in with parents who are disgusted by you, random strangers on the street throw food or pull mean jokes on you and your friends, and being caught out past your curfew sends you to the dog pound. That's the life that Andy Warner reanimates into after a fatal accident. It's not all bad, though. At least he's got some friends at the Undead Anonymous support group, including the dead-sexy Rita, and Ray, a guy whose “venison” seems to come with some miraculous healing abilities. This is a darkly comedic book filled with a colorful cast, and you can't help but delight in the tragic spiral of the characters as they become increasingly inhuman. After all, can you blame them? 

By S.G. Browne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Christopher Moore, a hilarious debut novel about life (and love) after death.

Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence.

But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an…

Book cover of Hit List

Why am I passionate about this?

When I decided to write about psychopathic killers, I studied real stories and facts about these people. I also read about 80 novels a year as well as writing crime thriller novels. I’ve won more than a few awards and keep studying my craft. Makes me feel young. I love stories with action that make you think and are a little different and unique. I want to make a reader cry and laugh, which is what I look for in a good novel. So, when I write about serial killers, I try to keep it real. I love it!

Mike's book list on serial killer novels that are unique, thought-provoking, action-filled, and that you won't forget

Mike Slavin Why did Mike love this book?

Keller is a nice guy; everyone likes him. His only fault is he kills people for money. He is, by definition, a serial killer, but for him, it’s all business. Yes, he kills people, but for him, no big deal, just making a living.

Most of the book is about everything else in his life, his apartment, his girlfriend, and going to an art show. His stamp collection, etc. It’s like a look behind the curtain. Fascinating! 

I liked his cute conversations with his boss lady too. Funny.

By Lawrence Block,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sequel to Block's previous work, Hit Man, a gripping insight into the life of a paid assassin who finds his way on to someone else's hit list.

Superficially, John Keller - the urban lonely guy of assassins - leads a normal life despite his profession. He has an office manager, the breezily efficient Dot, who organises his "jobs" and reassures his grumbling conscience. He is an obsessive stamp collector. In a blackly comic twist, he even gets called for jury service. Laid back, couldn't care less, morally distanced from his vocation, Keller is an intriguing character. A visit to an…

Book cover of The Big Book of Hell

Eric Sporer Author Of A Man Eating Chicken

From my list on to laugh in the face of insanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a joker at heart and was always the class clown. I currently write on my own humor website, A Man Eating Chicken. I started drawing comics in grade school and grew into writing comedic prose in high school. There was never a goal for any of this; it was all pre-internet, so I didn’t realize that humor could be published anywhere. As I got older, I was able to find some books that really spoke to my sensibilities. The books on this list really showed me the power and possibilities of humor and influenced my own writing.

Eric's book list on to laugh in the face of insanity

Eric Sporer Why did Eric love this book?

The Big Book of Hell is the holy grail of dark humor, packaged perfectly in a comic format. Growing up as a sarcastic kid from Brooklyn, this was the first humor book I read that I felt was aimed directly at my sensibilities. It has a very unique “substance-over-style” aesthetic that is striking and somehow managed to become widely identifiable. It dances around subjects, poking fun at the absurdities of the world it was written in. It really showed me that you don’t need to be a conventionally great artist to publish comics and that there is a market for dark humor comics. The book, which reads almost like a variety show, opened my eyes to ways to play with structure of an individual comic and a whole book.

By Matt Groening,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A bumper collection of the classic Life in Hell cartoon strips from the 80s and 90s which were the basis for The Simpsons. Painstakingly assembled and rigorously organized by that master of clutter, Matt Groening, this is not another mini-jumbo, hard-to-read, abreviated compendium in that seemingly endless series of discourses on hell bu a gargantuan historical extravaganza of ten years' worth of the ever-popular Life in Hell cartoon strip, which looks uncannily like The Simpsons if you keep your eyes closed and have a sufficiently fertile imagination. Includes: The birth of Bongo! Binky's arrival in Los Angeles! Akbar and Jeff's…

Book cover of Say Goodbye When I'm Gone

John Bowie Author Of Weston-super-Nightmare: A Hellbent Riff Raff Thriller

From my list on gritty noir full of poetic lines and dark humour.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of the Black Viking and Hellbent Riffraff Thrillers and several volumes of dirty realism poetry. I am also the Founder and editor-in-chief of Bristol Noir, an indie publisher and ezine specialising in curiously dark fiction and crime noir. Since 2017 Bristol Noir has been publishing up-and-coming and best-selling authors from around the world. I’m a writer originally from Northumberland in Northern England. In the late 90s, I studied in Greater Manchester when the IRA bomb went off and during the infamous years of the Hacienda club. I now live in Bristol. I’ve devoted my writing to exploring my heritage and the environments I’ve been in.

John's book list on gritty noir full of poetic lines and dark humour

John Bowie Why did John love this book?

Stephen J. Golds is a prolific powerhouse of dirty realist poetry and gritty modern crime fiction. I’ve been lucky enough to work with him on a number of projects now and admire his mind and words greatly. 

Say Goodbye When I’m Gone is a breakthrough work of art for someone well-studied in his craft. It’s punchy, atmospheric, and brutal…but also, so sensitively poetic and soulful.

Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, and his other books generally, are prime examples of how a masterwork doesn’t have to be a doorstop in page length. Like The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain, these gems of noir fiction are often in novella format. Soulful, concise, sharp, and lean. Like the best poetry, which Golds happens to be unsurprisingly masterful with too.

By Stephen J. Golds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Say Goodbye When I'm Gone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1949: Rudy, A Jewish New Yorker snatches a briefcase of cash from a dead man in Los Angeles and runs away from his old life, into the arms of the Boston mob.

1966: Hinako, a young Japanese girl runs away from what she thought was the suffocating conformity of a life in Japan. Aiming to make a fresh start in America, she falls into the grip of a Hawaiian gang dubbed 'The Company'.

1967: Rudy and Hinako's lives collide in the city of Honolulu, where there is nowhere left for either of them to run, and only blood to redeem…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dark comedy, Mexico, and New Mexico?

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