100 books like W the Whore

By Anke Feuchtenberger, Katrin de Vries, Mark David Nevins (translator)

Here are 100 books that W the Whore fans have personally recommended if you like W the Whore. 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 Black Hole

François Vigneault and Jonas Madden-Connor

From my list on graphic novels begging to be on the screen.

Who are we?

We’re a couple of award-winning graphic novel creators who happen to have been friends since middle school. We’ve been enmeshed in films and comic books for our entire lives, and always enjoyed discussing them with each other, sharing hidden gems, and staying up late to pore over what went right (or wrong) when a favorite comic was made into a movie or TV show. We’re in the middle of an ongoing wave of cinematic adaptations, with billion-dollar blockbusters and indie gems alike looking to graphic novels for inspiration. Read these five books now before they show up on a screen near you, and you’ll have the sweet pleasure of pronouncing “The graphic novel was better!”

François' book list on graphic novels begging to be on the screen

François Vigneault and Jonas Madden-Connor Why did François love this book?

Black Hole is a striking tale of a sexually transmitted plague running rampant amongst a community of teenagers in suburban Washington in the 1970s, all illustrated in creator Charles Burns’ almost inhumanly precise and dark art style. Mind-bending and terrifying, this graphic novel has come close to being adapted many times over the year, and its mix of eminently relatable interpersonal drama and existential dread make it a perfect fit for the screen, a horror story with heart and soul.

By Charles Burns,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The best graphic novel of the year” (Time) tells the story of a strange plague devastating the lives of teenagers in mid-1970s suburban Seattle, revealing the horrifying nature of high school alienation—the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety, and the ennui.

We learn from the outset that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways—from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable)—but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

As we inhabit the heads of several key characters—some kids who have it,…


Book cover of My Most Secret Desire

Rikke Villadsen Author Of The Clitoris

From my list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams.

Who am I?

I have been a surrealist since I discovered Salvador Dali and David Lynch at the age of 14. I have been on a path to combine the art world’s depth in style; symbols and metaphors with storytelling. Becoming a comic artist was a natural path and the media is great for expressing the many complex questions in life; what it is to be human and a woman in this world. I have become an artist who revolves around feminism and surrealism, eros and doubt. 

Rikke's book list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams

Rikke Villadsen Why did Rikke love this book?

This comic is a 1:1 dream story. It has the weirdness and absurdity of dreams. It is about Juliet herself and is an autobiographical classic. And it made me wonder how very personal feelings in your dreams are actually universal. It also has feministic potential, being very honest with all its dreamy gender chaos and strangeness. And it’s funny.

By Julie Doucet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Most Secret Desire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Doucet has transcribed her intimate dreams i nto intensely drawn comic book stories, remembering everythi ng from tormenting nightmares to her most secret desires. Th e widely acclaimed young cartoonist offers us a unique psych edelic trip. '


Book cover of Arsène Schrauwen

Rikke Villadsen Author Of The Clitoris

From my list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams.

Who am I?

I have been a surrealist since I discovered Salvador Dali and David Lynch at the age of 14. I have been on a path to combine the art world’s depth in style; symbols and metaphors with storytelling. Becoming a comic artist was a natural path and the media is great for expressing the many complex questions in life; what it is to be human and a woman in this world. I have become an artist who revolves around feminism and surrealism, eros and doubt. 

Rikke's book list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams

Rikke Villadsen Why did Rikke love this book?

Arsène Schrauwen has the simplicity and length to give you this feeling of never being able to escape your sickness or your loneliness. Olivier Schrauwen works with graphic novels as a contemporary artist. His drawings are so precise and weird, they make me think of great folk art as done by Bill Traylor. We realize the inner truth in his simple line and the awkwardness of life. This book is an experience like a dream; both utterly original and strangely familiar.

By Olivier Schrauwen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1947, the author’s grandfather, Arsene Schrauwen, traveled across the ocean to a mysterious, dangerous jungle colony at the behest of his cousin. Together they would build something deemed impossible: a modern utopia in the wilderness — but not before Arsene falls in love with his cousin’s wife, Marieke. Whether delirious from love or a fever-inducing jungle virus, Arsene’s loosening grip on reality is mirrored by the graphic novel reader’s uncertainty of what is imagined or real by Arsene.


Book cover of The Bun Field

Rikke Villadsen Author Of The Clitoris

From my list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams.

Who am I?

I have been a surrealist since I discovered Salvador Dali and David Lynch at the age of 14. I have been on a path to combine the art world’s depth in style; symbols and metaphors with storytelling. Becoming a comic artist was a natural path and the media is great for expressing the many complex questions in life; what it is to be human and a woman in this world. I have become an artist who revolves around feminism and surrealism, eros and doubt. 

Rikke's book list on sweeping you to a strange surreal world of dreams

Rikke Villadsen Why did Rikke love this book?

The Bun Field is a dream journey of a genderless child. It has a strange and nightmarish feel to it; the protagonist is being so vulnerable and kind of hurt, but it is not without a constant dark sense of humor. Dark as the country Finland in wintertime. It has a delicious pencil-smudged style as the school of Feuchtenberger has influenced many northern artists, myself included. 

By Amanda Vahamaki,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An introduction to the work of a new artist not to be missed
Characterized by an intriguing disjointed rhythm and delicious pencil-smudged style, The Bun Field is defined by a surreal ebb and flow, possessing a deep sense of foreboding and hurt, yet maintaining a biting sense of humor. Amanda Vähämäki’s first graphic novel is infused with a sense of abbreviated adolescence and a kind of gray-sky banality.
In this story, a young girl dreams of a dinosaur eating Donald Duck; wakes to find a bald, hulking stranger sharing her breakfast; leaves to take a car trip with a bear;…


Book cover of Wall: The Inside Story of Divided Berlin

Brian Ladd Author Of The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape

From my list on understanding 20th-century Berlin.

Who am I?

I am a historian of cities and the ways people shape them. Living in Berlin, both before and after the Wall came down, made me aware of how the shared experiences and memories of particular places give meaning to civic life. (And for a historian it was thrilling to find a place where history was taken very seriously.) Although I have since written broader studies—of cars and cities (Autophobia) and of earlier street life (The Streets of Europe)–it was the experience of living in Berlin while learning its history that enabled me to see the layers of meaning embedded in buildings and streets.

Brian's book list on understanding 20th-century Berlin

Brian Ladd Why did Brian love this book?

This book is unjustly neglected because it was published just days before the Berlin Wall fell, an event the author, like the rest of us, failed to foresee. Wyden, a prolific writer who grew up Jewish in Hitler’s Berlin, uses his knowledge of the city to situate stories of highwire diplomacy and sensational escapes against a backdrop of ordinary lives marked by grim repression. 

By Peter Wyden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discusses the events surrounding the erection of the Berlin Wall, the Wall's devastating effect on those living near it, and its major impact on East-West relations


Book cover of Music for Wartime: Stories

Randy Kraft Author Of Rational Women

From my list on short stories for smart women.

Who am I?

I’ve loved short stories since I was a young girl introduced to Edgar Allen Poe. There’s something especially exciting about a complete story in few words, and once I had to balance work, children, and personal relationships, stories became all the more cherished for short takes. I especially like tales about and by women, relating to our real challenges, and I review them often so other busy women discover better writers and interesting tales. There is nothing like a short story any time of day, especially in the evening, to soothe the soul. 

Randy's book list on short stories for smart women

Randy Kraft Why did Randy love this book?

Of the several great works of fiction by this National Book Award-winner, this story collection is my favorite. Every character seems like someone I might know, or would like to know, and every story rings true. She is a master of description and dialogue, and the situations are as humorous as dark. Every story of course relates in some way to music – from a violinist to composer to a wanna-be, and a contemporary character named Bach – in settings from Berlin to an unnamed country. In the end, each tale has to do with relationships, as great fiction does, and the soundtracks that define them. I just love this collection. 

By Rebecca Makkai,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A short-story collection from the acclaimed author of The Great Believers

Named a must-read by the Chicago Tribune, O Magazine, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and The L Magazine

Rebecca Makkai's first two novels, The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, have established her as one of the freshest and most imaginative voices in fiction. Now, the award-winning writer, whose stories have appeared in four consecutive editions of The Best American Short Stories, returns with a highly anticipated collection bearing her signature mix of intelligence, wit, and heart.

A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, even…


Book cover of The Berlin Wall

Katja Hoyer Author Of Blood and Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Empire; 1871-1918

From my list on German history that aren't about the Nazis.

Who am I?

I was born in East Germany and experienced the disappearance of that country and the huge changes that followed as a child. My history teachers reflected this fracture in the narratives they constructed, switching between those they had grown up with and the new version they had been told to teach after 1990. It struck me how little resemblance the neat division of German history into chapters and timelines bears to people’s actual lives which often span one or even several of Germany’s radical fault lines. My fascination with my country’s fractured memory has never left me since. 

Katja's book list on German history that aren't about the Nazis

Katja Hoyer Why did Katja love this book?

As someone who was born in East Germany, I have experienced, studied, read, and heard a fair bit about the German Democratic Republic and the famous Wall that separated it from the West. As the fault line of the Cold War, it’s hard to overestimate the symbolic significance of this structure and it is therefore hardly surprising that so much has been written about it. Taylor’s book stood out to me because it is about people as well as politics. The many anecdotes that lace his book shed light on the personal stories behind this inanimate object as well as making it a great read.

By Frederick Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The astonishing drama of Cold War nuclear poker that divided humanity - reissued with a new Postscript to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the wall.

During the night of 12-13 August 1961, a barbed-wire entanglement was hastily constructed through the heart of Berlin. It metamorphosed into a structure that would come to symbolise the insanity of the Cold War: the Berlin Wall. Frederick Taylor tells the story of the post-war political conflict that led to a divided Berlin and unleashed an East-West crisis, which lasted until the very people the Wall had been built to imprison breached…


Book cover of Kieslowski on Kieslowski

Kieron Connolly Author Of Dark History of Hollywood: A century of greed, corruption and scandal behind the movies (Dark Histories)

From my list on moviemaking.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved movies. In my 20s, I went to film school – perhaps you can still find a couple of the short films I wrote with animator Matthew Hood on Vimeo (Hourglass and Metalstasis) – and I worked a little in the UK film industry reading scripts for Film4, among others. I’ve also interviewed filmmakers, including Nicolas Winding Refn, Christopher Hampton, Life of Brian producer John Goldstone and editor Anne V. Coates. And I’ve always found a romance, despite the seedy aspects, of Tinseltown being developed out in Hollywoodland, a place of orange groves and pepper trees where people from the Midwest went to retire in the sun.   

Kieron's book list on moviemaking

Kieron Connolly Why did Kieron love this book?

In contrast to Hollywood, Krzysztof Kieslowski worked under Polish Communism for the first 20 years of his career, before he became better known in the West with the Three Colours Trilogy. In Poland, it wasn’t the box office that determined a filmmaker’s fate but what the state censors thought. His film Blind Chance wasn’t released for six years because it suggested that a person’s political affiliation – whether they become a dissident or party member – was up to, well, blind chance. This is a wonderfully thoughtful book not only about film-making, but working under Communism, what it is to be a creative artist, and, if I may, life.

By Krzysztof Kieslowski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Decalogue, The Double Life of Veronique and his trilogy, Three Colours, earned Kieslowski his reputation as a world-class film-maker. Kieslowski was notoriously reticent, and even dismissive of his work and talent, but these frank and detailed discussions show a passion for film-making and a career which was often threatened by political and economic change within Poland. In the book he talks at length about his life: his childhood, disrupted by Hitler and Stalin; his four attempts to get into film school; and what Poland and its future meant to him at the time of writing, before his death in 1996.


Book cover of The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

Graeme Brooker Author Of 50/50 Words for Reuse: A Minifesto

From my list on interior architecture and reuse of buildings.

Who am I?

Graeme Brooker is a Professor and Head of Interior Design at the Royal College of Art London. He has written and published fifteen books on the histories and theories of inside spaces, many of which focus on the reuse of existing artefacts, buildings, and cities. Apart from teaching and writing, when he isn’t cycling, he is often staring intently at the sea in Brighton, where he currently lives.

Graeme's book list on interior architecture and reuse of buildings

Graeme Brooker Why did Graeme love this book?

This book is a provocative and stimulating read, offering a series of stories on and about interior spaces and the buildings they are situated in. The stories of buildings and their changes are fascinating, providing boundless enthusiasm to communicate the ideas and stories of each space. Hollis states that many conversations are started and that maybe not all of them are ever finished, this book provides an inspired beginning for any person who wants to begin an exploration of the art of adapting and altering existing buildings. 

By Edward Hollis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The plans are drawn up, a site is chosen, foundations are dug: a building comes into being with the expectation that it will stay put and stay for ever. But a building is a capricious thing: it is inhabited and changed, and its existence is a tale of constant and curious transformation. In this radical reimagining of architectural history, Edward Hollis tells the stories of thirteen buildings, beginning with the 'once upon a time' when they first appeared, through the years of appropriation, ruin and renovation, and ending with a temporary 'ever after'. In spell-binding prose, Hollis follows his buildings…


Book cover of Wall Disease: The Psychological Toll of Living Up Against a Border

D.W. Gibson Author Of 14 Miles: Building the Border Wall

From my list on understanding borders in a globalized world.

Who am I?

For over a decade I’ve been writing about the lines that define us. Whether it’s the work we do or the communities we live in, we all create “borders” in our everyday lives. I’ve interviewed thousands of people from all walks of life to gain a better understanding of the lines we use to carve out our identities and our place in this world, whether it’s on the individual level, within a small community, or on a national scale. My work is always getting at how these lines of separation function, practically speaking, particularly in an increasingly globalized, interconnected world. 

D.W.'s book list on understanding borders in a globalized world

D.W. Gibson Why did D.W. love this book?

We know a lot about the hot-button issues surrounding borders – family separations, deportation, smuggling but borders also have wildly underestimated psychological effects on individuals. Wapner impressively synthesizes data and research collected on the effects of border barriers from some of the most volatile regions in the world including India and Pakistan, Mexico and the U.S., and both sides of the peace lines of Northern Ireland. The mental health issues caused by militarized borders are alarming and almost entirely unrecognized in today’s world; Wapner brings these shocking and revelatory dynamics to light.

By Jessica Wapner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking investigation into the hidden mental health effects of border walls, revealing the harm they bring to all who live near them.

Today, there are at least seventy border walls: from the US-Mexico border to the seventeen thousand miles of barbed wire that wall off Bangladesh from India, as well as the five-layer fence between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Border walls protect us, the argument goes, because they keep danger out. But what if the walls themselves endanger everyone who lives near them - on both sides?

In this thoroughly reported, eye opening work, science journalist Jessica Wapner reveals…


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