100 books like When You Are Engulfed in Flames

By David Sedaris,

Here are 100 books that When You Are Engulfed in Flames fans have personally recommended if you like When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ 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 We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

Phillip Lopate Author Of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction

From my list on comic essay collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a champion of the essay form for some time, starting with my popular anthology Art of the Personal Essay and extending to my more recent trio of anthologies of the American essay. At the same time I have written four personal essay collections of my own, and I know I am really cooking when I can still laugh or at least smile at my jokes after the fifth or tenth reading of a piece I wrote. I have to admit that I can only appreciate writing (by myself or others) that is amusing or at least ironic, never solemn: to me the truth of existence is comic, like it or not.

Phillip's book list on comic essay collections

Phillip Lopate Why did Phillip love this book?

This author always cracks me up, with her outrageously candid, sometimes bawdy confessions of awkward slips and romantic misalliances. She is so smart and insightful, yet so down to earth, that you just have to love her. I’m also a big fan of her collection Meaty.

By Samantha Irby,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Irby might be our great bard of quarantine.' New York Times

In this painfully funny collection, Samantha Irby captures powerful emotional truths while chronicling the rubbish bin she calls her life. From an ill-fated pilgrimage to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes to awkward sexual encounters to the world's first completely honest job application, and more, sometimes you just have to laugh, even when your life is permanently pear-shaped.

'I cannot remember the last time I was so moved by a book. As close to perfect as an essay collection can get.' Roxane Gay
'Hilarious. I love it.' Candice…


Book cover of A Dog's Purpose

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Author Of A Dog Like Daisy

From my list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of eleven books for middle-grade readers, including three books from a dog’s point of view. These books have won five state book awards between them, and have been published in other languages. I’ve been writing for young readers for over 20 years. I also live with four furry friends of my own: Cookie (a cockapoo), Myrtle (a pug), Nala (a calico cat), and Daisy (a sweet mutt cat). I miss my big-hearted goldendoodle Lucky every day. And, like my dogs, I can be bribed with cheese.

Kristin's book list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Why did Kristin love this book?

This is an adapted version of the bestselling adult novel, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. It’s a fresh and unique take on why dogs mean so much to us humans, and there are gobs of books in this series (all stand-alone, which is great. Kids can read them in any order, but there are plenty of them for voracious readers).

The kid’s version is illustrated and is a fast, lively read.

By W. Bruce Cameron,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Dog's Purpose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, "A Dog's Purpose" touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved…


Book cover of One for the Money

Mike Player Author Of Hyperloop To Hell

From my list on funny stories (not just barely amusing).

Why am I passionate about this?

I used to make my grandmother laugh at the dinner table, to the annoyance of my mother. My grandmother had a great laugh I can hear to this day. In high school forensics I won the humorous interpretation trophy (first place) for a National Lampoon Parody I performed of the Hardy Boys, beating out 100 other contestants. I knew then, I could do standup, and later, improv. My comedy group in New York was called “wonderful…refreshingly different!” by the NY Post. I produced “The Outlaugh Festival On Wisecrack” years later for MTV’s LOGO network. When we’re all laughing is when we are truly together.

Mike's book list on funny stories (not just barely amusing)

Mike Player Why did Mike love this book?

Okay, Evanovich has written seven million Stephanie Plum mysteries, but they are truly funny. Best start with the first one, when we were all young and had golden hair (highlights?).

The humor is smart and not sophomoric. I’m an improv comic and there is a difference between being juvenile and crude, and being clever. Check her clever Plum series out if you want to laugh. There are so many of them you could also use them to build that upstairs addition you’ve been planning.

By Janet Evanovich,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked One for the Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.

Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000. But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn't easy . . .

And when Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants to be her friend Stephanie soon knows what it's like to be pursued. Unfortunately the best person to protect her just happens to…


Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

By Wendy Lee Hermance,

Book cover of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

Wendy Lee Hermance Author Of Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Wendy Lee Hermance was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) stations with her Missouri Folklore series in the 1980s. She earned a journalism degree from Stephens College, served as Editor and Features Writer for Midwestern and Southern university and regional publications, then settled into writing real estate contracts. In 2012 she attended University of Sydney, earning a master’s degree by research thesis. Her books include Where I’m Going with this Poem, a memoir in poetry and prose. Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat marks her return to feature writing as collections of narrative non-fiction stories.

Wendy's book list on why Portugal is weird

What is my book about?

Weird Foods of Portugal describes the author's first years trying to make sense of a strange new place and a home there for herself.

Witty, dreamlike, and at times jarring, the book sizzles with social commentary looking back at America and beautiful, finely drawn descriptions of Portugal and its people. Part dark-humor cautionary tale, part travel adventure, ultimately, Hermance's book of narrative non-fiction serves as affirmation for any who wish to make a similar move themselves.

Weird Foods of Portugal: Adventures of an Expat

By Wendy Lee Hermance,

What is this book about?

"Wendy Lee Hermance describes Portugal´s colorful people and places - including taxi drivers and animals - with a poet´s empathy and dark humor. Part travel adventure, part cautionary tale, Weird Foods of Portugal is at it´s heart, affirmation for all who consider making such a move themselves."


Book cover of The Prince of Minor Writers: The Selected Essays of Max Beerbohm

Phillip Lopate Author Of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction

From my list on comic essay collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a champion of the essay form for some time, starting with my popular anthology Art of the Personal Essay and extending to my more recent trio of anthologies of the American essay. At the same time I have written four personal essay collections of my own, and I know I am really cooking when I can still laugh or at least smile at my jokes after the fifth or tenth reading of a piece I wrote. I have to admit that I can only appreciate writing (by myself or others) that is amusing or at least ironic, never solemn: to me the truth of existence is comic, like it or not.

Phillip's book list on comic essay collections

Phillip Lopate Why did Phillip love this book?

I love Max, he always makes me laugh because he is so naughty and mischievous. He is utterly unafraid of going against the grain of social propriety, or admitting to his own selfish motives, jealousies, and contrariety. He has a wonderfully conversational style that engages the reader without pandering. (I should also admit that I wrote the introduction to this collection).

By Max Beerbohm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AN NYRB CLASSICS ORIGINAL
 
Virginia Woolf called Max Beerbohm “the prince” of essayists, F. W. Dupee praised his “whim of iron” and “cleverness amounting to genius,” while Beerbohm himself noted that “only the insane take themselves quite seriously.” From his precocious debut as a dandy in 1890s Oxford until he put his pen aside in the aftermath of World War II, Beerbohm was recognized as an incomparable observer of modern life and an essayist whose voice was always and only his own. Here Phillip Lopate, one of the finest essayists of our day, has selected the finest of Beerbohm’s essays.…


Book cover of The Most of Nora Ephron

Phillip Lopate Author Of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction

From my list on comic essay collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a champion of the essay form for some time, starting with my popular anthology Art of the Personal Essay and extending to my more recent trio of anthologies of the American essay. At the same time I have written four personal essay collections of my own, and I know I am really cooking when I can still laugh or at least smile at my jokes after the fifth or tenth reading of a piece I wrote. I have to admit that I can only appreciate writing (by myself or others) that is amusing or at least ironic, never solemn: to me the truth of existence is comic, like it or not.

Phillip's book list on comic essay collections

Phillip Lopate Why did Phillip love this book?

No one who reads Nora on her breasts or her neck will ever forget her hilarious takes on her own insecurities. Her style seems effortlessly casual, but the closer you look, the more you see how cunningly put together these essays are. A superb combination of vignette and rumination, these pieces rescue the detritus of everyday life and show how absurd our American reality is.

By Nora Ephron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE ULTIMATE NORA EPHRON COLLECTION, PACKED WITH WIT, WISDOM AND COMFORT, WITH A FOREWORD FROM INDIA KNIGHT

'It's got a little bit of everything, from witty essays on feminism, beauty, and ageing to profiles of empowering female figures' ELLE

'The perfect introduction to the iconic writer' STYLIST

INCLUDING:

* Nora's much-loved essays on everything from friendship to feminism to journalism

* Extracts from her bestselling novel Heartburn

* Scenes from her hilarious screenplay for When Harry Met Sally

* Her favourite recipes

* The complete text of her play, Lucky Guy

PRAISE FOR NORA EPHRON

'So bold and so vulnerable…


Book cover of Essays of Elia

Phillip Lopate Author Of To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction

From my list on comic essay collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a champion of the essay form for some time, starting with my popular anthology Art of the Personal Essay and extending to my more recent trio of anthologies of the American essay. At the same time I have written four personal essay collections of my own, and I know I am really cooking when I can still laugh or at least smile at my jokes after the fifth or tenth reading of a piece I wrote. I have to admit that I can only appreciate writing (by myself or others) that is amusing or at least ironic, never solemn: to me the truth of existence is comic, like it or not.

Phillip's book list on comic essay collections

Phillip Lopate Why did Phillip love this book?

This classic of nineteenth-century English literature never dates, because Lamb is so refreshingly human and humane, and makes fun of himself so irreverently. Whether he is writing about his lack of musical gifts in “A Chapter on Ears” or spoofing the scholars in “A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig” or lamenting his own bachelorhood in “Dream Children,” he has set the standard for comic poignancy, for that paradox of laughter through tears. 

By Charles Lamb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Charles Lamb was considered the most delightful of English essayists in the middle of the 19th century. Essays of Elia is a collection of his finest work. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Pomona Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.


Book cover of If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won't)

Michelle Muto Author Of The Book of Lost Souls

From my list on fun reads to read in dark times.

Why am I passionate about this?

Do you trust anyone without a sense of humor? Neither do I. I’ve always had an odd sense of humor. Laughter is good for the soul. I don’t know if I’m an expert, but I’ve certainly spent decades watching and reading comedies. And while I love writing serious and dark fiction, something cute and funny now and then feels like a nice balance. My personal taste runs from slapstick to standup to snappy scenes and witty dialog. I like smart humor, and because I had the wittiest dad, I can even appreciate a well-done dad joke. 

Michelle's book list on fun reads to read in dark times

Michelle Muto Why did Michelle love this book?

I read just about anything – dark fiction, cozy mysteries, thrillers,  and even plenty of non-fiction. But, while I rarely read memoirs, I will if it’s someone I truly admire.

Enter Betty White. I’ve always been a fan of her quick, one-liner wit, and this book doesn’t disappoint. But even the non-witty parts are packed with a punch. Betty’s wisdom is heartfelt and spot-on.

By Betty White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If You Ask Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller from the beloved actress and Hollywood icon who's made us laugh on shows from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Golden Girls to Saturday Night Live!

In this candid take on everything from the unglamorous reality behind red-carpet affairs to her beauty regimen ("I have no idea what color my hair is, and I never intend to find out"), Betty White shares her observations about life, celebrity, and love (for humans and animals). Filled with photos, If You Ask Me is funny, sweet, and straight to the point-just like Betty.


Book cover of No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality

Michelle Muto Author Of The Book of Lost Souls

From my list on fun reads to read in dark times.

Why am I passionate about this?

Do you trust anyone without a sense of humor? Neither do I. I’ve always had an odd sense of humor. Laughter is good for the soul. I don’t know if I’m an expert, but I’ve certainly spent decades watching and reading comedies. And while I love writing serious and dark fiction, something cute and funny now and then feels like a nice balance. My personal taste runs from slapstick to standup to snappy scenes and witty dialog. I like smart humor, and because I had the wittiest dad, I can even appreciate a well-done dad joke. 

Michelle's book list on fun reads to read in dark times

Michelle Muto Why did Michelle love this book?

I came to the book recently, only after watching Apple TV’s Still, about Michael J. Fox.

I grew up watching his movies and have always adored him. Years ago, I read another of his books, Always Looking Up, and enjoyed it. This book opens like a NYT bestselling novel and just keeps going. Brilliantly written. Emotional and above all, inspiring. If you’re looking for role models in darker times, look no further. 

By Michael J Fox,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Time Like the Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The book is great: moving but also properly funny.' Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

'A memoir with an unusual sense of purpose. . . pithy, highly readable' The Times

The entire world knows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the teenage sidekick of Doc Brown in Back to the Future. His two previous bestselling memoirs, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up, dealt with how he came to terms with the illness, all the while exhibiting his iconic optimism.

In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, ageing, the strength…


Book cover of The Mammals of Australia

Danielle Clode Author Of Killers In Eden: The True Story of Killer Whales and their Remarkable Partnership with the Whalers of Twofold Bay

From my list on Australian animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for animals since I was nine years old and wrote my first ‘book’ on animals for a school library competition. I went on to study animal behavior at university and complete a doctorate in conservation biology and seabirds in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. I’ve worked in zoos and museums, written twelve books on animals as various as killer whales and koalas, extinct megafauna, and marine reptiles. Learning more about the natural world, the people who study it, and the importance of protecting it, has been the driving force behind all of my books and a joy to share with readers. 

Danielle's book list on Australian animals

Danielle Clode Why did Danielle love this book?

The Mammals of Australia is one of the go-to books on my bookshelf. It covers all the mammals in Australia with great pictures, maps, simple summaries, and readable and interesting facts. When it was published, it summarized all the latest information in one place and has been an invaluable reference ever since. Every time I pick it up I find myself reading about some other fascinating species as well as the one I was looking up.

It covers everything from koalas and quolls to dugongs and dingoes, to monotremes and marsupial moles. It covers bats and seals and introduced mammals (although not whales). I wish I had a book like this for every major taxonomic group. 

By Ronald Strahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written in a style readily understood by the general reader, this book surveys the rich and varied world of Australian mammals, including such creatures as koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, dingos, and wombats. Because of the continent's isolation, Australian mammals have developed as no where else on earth. The native fauna is composed largely of marsupials (pouched mammals) and monotremes (egg-laying mammals).
A magnificent photographic record, this book provides an account of every native species as well as introduced species now living in a wild state. Each species account summarizes behavior and habitat, diet, reproduction and growth, and factors that lead…


Book cover of Oi Cat!

Patricia Cleveland-Peck Author Of You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car

From my list on children’s rhyming picture texts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionately keen on poetry of many types because, whether rhyming or not, most poetry employs rhythm which is something that has a subconscious appeal to human senses. For children, rhyme provides an easy introduction to poetry and I enjoy using it because children themselves love it. Mums tell me that they are asked to read the same book time and time again – and not to try to skip any spreads! At the age of three, before she could read, my son’s goddaughter knew the whole of You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus by heart. The rhymes children hear when very young remain with them, sometimes forever. 

Patricia's book list on children’s rhyming picture texts

Patricia Cleveland-Peck Why did Patricia love this book?

This is the sort of nonsense book which I absolutely love. It is one of a series that began with Oi Frog. The books all defy the usual advice that picture books, whether rhyming or not, need a proper story. In these books the only concern of the animal characters is on what they should sit. Here rhyme is king. The sillier the better, "dingoes sit on flamingos," "hogs sit on clogs," etc. They are all great fun but this is my favourite because I love the cat and her sarcastic asides.

This book is simply fun and will make children laugh.

By Kes Gray, Jim Field (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Oi Cat! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

The laughter never ends with Oi Frog and Friends!

This absurdly funny, rhyming read-aloud picture book is guaranteed to get children giggling!
From the bestselling, multi-award-winning creators of Oi Frog. *Over 1 million copies sold*

According to Frog ...
Cats sit on gnats,
Dogs sit on logs,
Alpacas sit on cream crackers,
Armadillos sit on pillows and
Chicks sit on bricks.

But wait! Cat doesn't like sitting on gnats, they keep biting his bottom! Will Frog and Dog help him change the rules?

'This animal rhyming silliness goes from strength to strength.' The Guardian
'Will have children in fits of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Tokyo, Japan, and gay men?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Tokyo, Japan, and gay men.

Tokyo Explore 87 books about Tokyo
Japan Explore 477 books about Japan
Gay Men Explore 120 books about gay men