100 books like We

By Yevgeny Zamyatin, Gregory Zilboorg (translator),

Here are 100 books that We fans have personally recommended if you like We. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Daniel J. Barrett Author Of Efficient Linux at the Command Line: Boost Your Command-Line Skills

From my list on quirky people and their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a nonfiction author, I’ve always been mystified by fictional character development. What qualities make one character fascinating and another a dud? How do great writers make us fall in love with their creations? If I had one wish as an author, it would be to create one truly beloved character. I particularly like quirky nonconformists who forge their own paths, making mistakes along the way, yet they remain sympathetic. When I finish reading the story, I miss their company. My five recommended books include some of my favorite characters in modern literature.

Daniel's book list on quirky people and their adventures

Daniel J. Barrett Why did Daniel love this book?

I found Count Alexander Rostov to be a fascinating character with real depth. Sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life, he outwits his opponents at every turn. I love how he changes the lives of everyone around him, whether they are his friends or his jailers, and ultimately how he is changed by them.

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Dan Savery Raz Author Of The Qwerty Man

From my list on dystopian books that could actually happen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer and drawn to books that look through a window into the "other world." These novels, often dubbed dystopian, are reflections or exaggerations of our own world, and this always appealed to me. Like the question, "What if?”. The premise of “What if we lived in a world where you had to pay for words?” inspired my first novel, The Qwerty Man. Although I love fiction, I’m more of a nonfiction reader these days and interested in Buddhism (as an education, not religion), geography, and history. I’ve also written travel guidebooks for Lonely Planet and a children’s travel poetry book called Rhyme Travels.

Dan's book list on dystopian books that could actually happen

Dan Savery Raz Why did Dan love this book?

I read this book relatively recently, not at school or when I was in my twenties, but when I was in my late thirties. I had heard of the novel, and the concept of burning books was all-too familiar as I studied a module on Holocaust literature at university. However, the premise of Ray Bradbury’s novel, written in 1953, was so simple yet so powerful.

It echoes with our own reality today, as although books are not being burned, we are seeing the art of writing itself being "burned" or minimized by tools such as AI or social media. The virtual burning of honest reportage or poetry for opinionated views and algorithms is one symptom of today’s fast-paced society. 

There were some great quotes in Fahrenheit 451, too; the one that really stuck out was, “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies… A child or a book or a…

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Fahrenheit 451 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

Over 1 million copies sold in the UK.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic…


Book cover of 1984

Paul Tomkins Author Of London Skies

From my list on heroism and flaws of the English during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lover of fiction since my teens, I only really took an interest in history in my 20s. I’m fascinated with WWII and the 1950s due to family histories and having visited key sites, like Bletchley Park and the Command Bunker in Uxbridge, near where I grew up. I’m not especially patriotic, but I am proud of what Britain had to do in 1940, as well as the toll the war took and the years of recovery. But it’s also the time, albeit decreasingly so, when people still alive today can look back at their youth, and we can all have a nostalgia for that time in our lives.

Paul's book list on heroism and flaws of the English during WWII

Paul Tomkins Why did Paul love this book?

While not specifically about WWII, this is obviously a product of the conflict that Orwell, or Eric Arthur Blair, had just lived through and the psychological terrors of conflict, propaganda, double-speak, and brainwashing.

I grew up in Hayes, on the outskirts of London, where Orwell worked as a teacher in the 1930s. I later drank in the same pubs that he did. I often wondered if the woods in this book were the ones in which I had played. 

The novel seems to be even more relevant now,  40 years after 1984 and almost twice as far into the future as the year 1984 was in 1948. Also, as scary as rats are, I’m glad Orwell didn’t choose tarantulas. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

43 authors picked 1984 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU . . .

1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair. As he writes the words 'DOWN WITH BIG…


Book cover of The Giver

Jesse Maas Author Of Not for the Faint of Heart

From my list on fiction books that capture the meaning of simply being human.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about writing books that put good into the world and highlight meaningful and inspiring themes, which, in turn, means I am also passionate about reading books that do the same. I love to write and read books that leave the reader feeling like there is still good in the world, even when it seems to be very dark around us. If people read my books or any on this list, I sincerely hope they feel encouraged and inspired and enjoy them as much as I do.

Jesse's book list on fiction books that capture the meaning of simply being human

Jesse Maas Why did Jesse love this book?

While I don’t always love mainstream classics, The Giver is a classic for a reason, and, in my opinion, it rightfully deserves its place on the shelf.

I love the emotional draw of this book and the invitation to think deeper about the meaning of life and the burden it can take on us. I love books that challenge us to think about the bigger concepts of life and all they entail: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

By Lois Lowry,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Giver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift.

Now available for the first time in the UK, THE GIVER QUARTET is the complete four-novel collection.

THE GIVER: It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders.

Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is…


Book cover of Station Eleven

Eric Porter Author Of A People's History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport

From my list on airports teaching us about society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long had an ambivalent relationship with airports. They have been the starting point for my adventures, but I have also known well the discomfort, boredom, stress, surveillance, bad food, and other unpleasantries that often define airport experiences. Despite my ambivalence, I’ve found airports to be fascinating places where differently situated people (travelers and workers) encounter one another. I’ve learned that those encounters, as well as airport operations and design, tell us something about the places where they are located and the broader societies in which we live. I’ve since become aware that reading (and writing) about airports are also great ways to gain such insights. 

Eric's book list on airports teaching us about society

Eric Porter Why did Eric love this book?

In addition to eerily anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic—thankfully, our pathogen was not nearly as virulent and lethal—this post-apocalyptic novel offers interesting commentary about airports as microcosms of society.

The airport that figures prominently here is the gateway to and manifestation of a “secure” society structured as much by those it excludes as by those it includes. It is also the archive of a society defined, for better and for worse, by its relationship to technology. 

By Emily St. John Mandel,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked Station Eleven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Best novel. The big one . . . stands above all the others' - George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

Now an HBO Max original TV series

The New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
National Book Awards Finalist
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in…


Book cover of V for Vendetta

Kawika Miles Black Author Of Saga of the Nine: Origins

From my list on dystopia that is more relevant than ever.

Why am I passionate about this?

For ten years I’ve been perfecting my own dystopian saga, and with that has come a great love for the genre as I’ve studied and dissected it. Having been involved in the political arena as well, the utopian language politicians have always caused some great concern for me, and through my study of dystopias, these great authors have not only seen dark futures of their respective countries and times, but they’ve always tried to bridge the gap between fiction and societal reality, which I am a great admirer of.  

Kawika's book list on dystopia that is more relevant than ever

Kawika Miles Black Why did Kawika love this book?

Although technically a “graphic novel”, Moore’s novel has nonetheless been a relevant warning on both complacency and ignorance. Powerful entities not only use the “shove it under the rug” to their advantage, but they both incentivize and negatively reinforce behavior to promote this kind of mindset.

This is a story about re-empowering the individual, not only for their self-worth and pride, but to have the courage to stand against tyranny in order to choose true freedom over the chains of oppression. People should never be afraid of their governments, but rather the governments should remain fearful of their people.

By Alan Moore, David Lloyd (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked V for Vendetta as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the near future, England has become a corrupt, totalitarian state, opposed only by V, the mystery man wearing a white porcelain mask who intends to free the masses through absurd acts of terrorism.


Book cover of War and Peace

Shobana Mahadevan Author Of A Marriage Knot: A Tangled Love Story

From my list on classical books that teach you about psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading classical books at a very young age. Granted, I did not understand a lot of things then. Rereading the same books again after years made me realize that more than what the author was trying to convey, my maturity made a world of difference when reading a book. It was the same text but with entirely different contexts and perspectives. I love old books. Books that take me back a century or more. It gives me an insight into how people lived, thought, and felt back then. It helps me connect with people across centuries.

Shobana's book list on classical books that teach you about psychology

Shobana Mahadevan Why did Shobana love this book?

Do I need a reason to love this book? There are too many characters, too many subplots, too many deaths, and the ruins of beloved characters. And yet, the entire picture it presents is beautiful. That is how life is– unpredictable and chaotic.

I learned a lot about war, the mentality of people who go to fight, and the mentality of the people left behind. Above all, it was such a good feeling to finish the big book–probably one of the biggest books I had read and loved! 

By Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear (translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (translator)

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked War and Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov comes this magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's masterwork.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

War and Peacebroadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both…


Book cover of The Moon and Sixpence

Shobana Mahadevan Author Of A Marriage Knot: A Tangled Love Story

From my list on classical books that teach you about psychology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading classical books at a very young age. Granted, I did not understand a lot of things then. Rereading the same books again after years made me realize that more than what the author was trying to convey, my maturity made a world of difference when reading a book. It was the same text but with entirely different contexts and perspectives. I love old books. Books that take me back a century or more. It gives me an insight into how people lived, thought, and felt back then. It helps me connect with people across centuries.

Shobana's book list on classical books that teach you about psychology

Shobana Mahadevan Why did Shobana love this book?

The book gives a wonderful insight into the mind of a very talented artist. What is ‘normal’ or ‘different’ to a normal person does not influence how the artist looks at the world and behaves. He does not need to conform to the regular mindset. In fact, the fundamental point is that there is no ‘normal.’ There are only different points of view.

I loved this book and was so inspired by the central character that I used it as the basis for a character in one of my own books.

By W. Somerset Maugham,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Moon and Sixpence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1919, W. Somerset Maugham’s “The Moon and Sixpence” is an episodic first person narrative based on the life of Paul Gaugin. At the center of the novel is the story of Charles Strickland, an English banker who walks away from a life of privilege, abruptly abandoning his wife and children, in order to pursue his passion to become an artist. Strickland leaves London for Paris and ultimately Tahiti, mirroring the life of Gaugin who would also split with his wife to pursue a life of painting eventually immigrating to Tahiti. The title of the novel, which is…


Book cover of Animal Farm

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From my list on malevolent beasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Ben H. Winters Why did Ben love this book?

When we think of scary animals we think of gnashing teeth and tearing claws, but obviously Orwell’s famous parable presents a very different kind of malevolence: that of overweaning ambition and our deep-seated instinct to control.

The pigs that present themselves as heroes and then slowly, greedily, inexorable turn into murderous dictators, forcing the other animals to do their bidding and then slaughtering them when they become too old, are of course not really pig-like at all—they are human-like, and therefore all the more terrifying. 

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Animal Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perfect edition for any Orwell enthusiasts' collection, discover Orwell's classic dystopian masterpiece beautifully reimagined by renowned street artist Shepard Fairey

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the…


Book cover of The Memory Police

Akil Kumarasamy Author Of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea

From my list on weird sci-fi to reimagine the world around you.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ursula K. Le Guin said science fiction is a metaphor of the now. It allows us to defamiliarize ourselves with the issues around us, so we can see everything from a new lens. As someone who worked in tech spaces and once wrote a poetry-generating program, I am interested in how people use language to write about technology, at all levels. I appreciate the blend of older forms of technology like phonographs along with newer forms like ChatGPT. Languages interest me: how we translate to speak to machinery or people, and how translation itself can feel like a kind of wormhole into another world. 

Akil's book list on weird sci-fi to reimagine the world around you

Akil Kumarasamy Why did Akil love this book?

The novel really captures the nature of memory and what it means to love and care about others.

Frightening stuff happens in the book—things are disappearing—but it’s told with a warm and light tone, almost as if you’re sailing down a river. Ogawa captures quiet moments like friends eating a slice of cake with such luminosity.

Even when the world is falling apart, there is time for conversations with friends and meals together. 

By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020, an enthralling Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance from one of Japan's greatest writers.

'Beautiful... Haunting' Sunday Times
'A dreamlike story of dystopia' Jia Tolentino
__________

Hat, ribbon, bird rose.

To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.

When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dystopian, George Orwell, and Russia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dystopian, George Orwell, and Russia.

Dystopian Explore 564 books about dystopian
George Orwell Explore 34 books about George Orwell
Russia Explore 364 books about Russia