100 books like White Noise

By Don DeLillo,

Here are 100 books that White Noise fans have personally recommended if you like White Noise. 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 American Psycho

Travis Jeppesen Author Of Settlers Landing

From my list on when you need a heavy dose of satire.

Who am I?

Given the state of the world today, laughter truly is the best coping mechanism. The best satire is all about excess in design, intention, characterization, and deployment of attitude. The more extreme, the better; leave restraint to the prudish moralists! 

Travis' book list on when you need a heavy dose of satire

Travis Jeppesen Why did Travis love this book?

Why didn’t anyone think of it sooner? I’m guessing it took the excesses of the 1980s for a novelist to draw a direct connection between the psychopathic behavior of Wall Street traders and serial killing.

Greed and senseless violence are two vices that America seems to have something of a monopoly on, and this macabre tale, alternatively hilarious and disgusting, proves it. 

By Bret Easton Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Patrick Bateman is 26 and works on Wall Street. Handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent, he is also a psychopath.


Book cover of Trainspotting

Raf Beuy Author Of Iron Curtain 1987

From my list on stories set in the '80s (of the 20th century).

Who am I?

I'm a child of the 80s. Growing up in West Berlin, when Allied soldiers patrolled the streets, had a huge impact on my view of the world. There was this underlying feeling of uneasiness. I was well aware that Russian soldiers with tanks and nuclear weapons were waiting on the other side of the wall. Fascinating, terrifying times indeed. To convey this atmosphere to my readers is my foremost drive to write stories set within the framework of the cold war. Cheers and nastrovje!

Raf's book list on stories set in the '80s (of the 20th century)

Raf Beuy Why did Raf love this book?

Self-abandonment. Haud oan a second. Ah wanted tae see Jean-Claude smash up this arrogant fucker.

You don't understand a word? Don't worry; you'll get the hang of it. Scotland is far from the rest of the world, as you can tell by the language. But in a way, this book is about what's happening in the world. It's about how to get lost and not find yourself again in the world. Just like Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo a decade earlier. It is a series of short stories that show the lives of people who follow no career path, who have no specific plot in mind for themselves, and end up with only random snippets of life, decay, and death—glimpses into the sad lives of people who get a fix when everything no longer makes sense. The stories are sometimes hard to take, but Welsh's writing style makes them worthwhile. 

By Irvine Welsh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An unremitting powerhouse of a novel that marks the arrival of a major new talent. Trainspotting is a loosely knotted string of jagged, dislocated tales that lay bare the hearts of darkness of the junkies, wide-boys and psychos who ride in the down escalator of opportunity in the nation's capital. Loud with laughter in the dark, this novel is the real McCoy. If you haven't heard of Irvine Welsh before-don't worry, you will' The Herald


Book cover of A Time to Kill

David Rohlfing Author Of Cold Consequences

From my list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing.

Who am I?

I have always been a voracious reader of murder mysteries and thrillers. My business career took me to all but one continent and countless countries, mostly living and working in large metropolitan areas. After retiring, I moved to a small Midwest city and found it an excellent setting for a murder mystery when I sat down to write. Since I started, I've written two books in the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series, and I'm currently writing the third. The first book, Deliberate Duplicity, won a 2021 American Fiction Award. The second book in the series is Cold Consequences. I've been pleased with the reviews on Goodreads and other platforms.

David's book list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing

David Rohlfing Why did David love this book?

A Time to Kill is the first book of a four-book fiction series written by world-renowned author John Grisham featuring Clanton, Mississippi, lawyer Jake Brigance. Grisham is one of my favorite authors, and although the titles in this series may not be as well known as many of his other books, A Time to Kill is an exciting introduction to this young lawyer. Set in a  time in the South that endured blatant racial injustice, Jake fights tirelessly for his client accused of avenging the rape of his daughter. Grisham's extraordinary storytelling shines through and takes you on a journey that defines his main character in this first book, which you'll enjoy reading in his subsequent books. I highly recommend A Time to Kill.

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Time to Kill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

______________________________
THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

John Grisham's first and most shocking novel, adapted as a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the violent racists who raped his ten-year-old daughter, the people of the small town of Clanton, Mississippi see it as justice done, and call for his acquittal.

But when extremists outside Clanton - including the KKK - hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice. A national media circus descends on Clanton.

As…


Book cover of Polar Star

Raf Beuy Author Of Iron Curtain 1987

From my list on stories set in the '80s (of the 20th century).

Who am I?

I'm a child of the 80s. Growing up in West Berlin, when Allied soldiers patrolled the streets, had a huge impact on my view of the world. There was this underlying feeling of uneasiness. I was well aware that Russian soldiers with tanks and nuclear weapons were waiting on the other side of the wall. Fascinating, terrifying times indeed. To convey this atmosphere to my readers is my foremost drive to write stories set within the framework of the cold war. Cheers and nastrovje!

Raf's book list on stories set in the '80s (of the 20th century)

Raf Beuy Why did Raf love this book?

Glasnost. Honestly, I was expecting to pick Gorky Park for this list. The first installment of the Arkady Renko series made a significant impression on me as a teenager, as I was completely immersed in the gritty life in the Soviet Union. But then I found Polar Star in my library and remembered what I loved about this story. It is as tightly woven as the weirs of the net spun by the fishing boat where the murder investigator Renko now has to work. It's set on a fishing boat that mimics Russian society. And even during the liberalization of the late eighties, it becomes clear: the Soviet Union is the Soviet Union is the Soviet Union.

By Martin Cruz Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Don't miss the latest book in the Arkady Renko series, THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA by Martin Cruz Smith, 'the master of the international thriller' (New York Times) - available to order now!

AN ARKADY RENKO NOVEL: #2

'One of those writers that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' Val McDermid

'Makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin' Independent

***
Arkady Renko, former Chief Investigator of the Moscow Town Prosecutor's Office, made too many enemies and lost the favour of his party. After a self-imposed exile in Siberia, Renko toils on the…


Book cover of The Magic Kingdom

Carol LaHines Author Of Someday Everything Will All Make Sense

From my list on funny books about serious subjects.

Who am I?

For me, the most affecting stories are those that are leavened with a sardonic sensibility. Italo Calvino, one of my favorite writers, notes “th[e] particular connection between melancholy and humor,” speaking of how great writing “foregrounds [with] tiny, luminous traces that counterpoint the dark catastrophe.” I’ve always veered toward the great literary comic writers—from Cervantes to Laurence Sterne to Pynchon, with a particular reverence for Nabokov. For me, there is no greater exposition of the underbelly of love and madness than Lolita; of artistic obsession than Pale Fire.  Nabokov believed that the best writing places the reader under a spell, enchanting them with the magic of words — and I concur!

Carol's book list on funny books about serious subjects

Carol LaHines Why did Carol love this book?

Eddy Bale becomes a crusader for children after the death of his own young son and decides to take a group of terminally ill children to Disneyland for a holiday. The antic hyperbolic tone of the narration is utterly at odds with the grave subject matter and the novel is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.  

By Stanley Elkin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abandoned by his wife and devastated by the death of his twelve-year old son, Eddy Bale becomes obsessed with the plight of terminally ill children and develops a plan to provide a last hurrah dream vacation for seven children who will never grow-up. Eddy and his four dysfunctional chaperones journey to the entertainment capital of America--Disney World. Once they arrive, a series of absurdities characteristic of an Elkin novel--including a freak snowstorm and a run-in with a vengeful Mickey Mouse--transform Eddy's idealistic wish into a fantastic nightmare.


Book cover of Mostly Dead Things

Carol LaHines Author Of Someday Everything Will All Make Sense

From my list on funny books about serious subjects.

Who am I?

For me, the most affecting stories are those that are leavened with a sardonic sensibility. Italo Calvino, one of my favorite writers, notes “th[e] particular connection between melancholy and humor,” speaking of how great writing “foregrounds [with] tiny, luminous traces that counterpoint the dark catastrophe.” I’ve always veered toward the great literary comic writers—from Cervantes to Laurence Sterne to Pynchon, with a particular reverence for Nabokov. For me, there is no greater exposition of the underbelly of love and madness than Lolita; of artistic obsession than Pale Fire.  Nabokov believed that the best writing places the reader under a spell, enchanting them with the magic of words — and I concur!

Carol's book list on funny books about serious subjects

Carol LaHines Why did Carol love this book?

This book is a more recent addition to the oeuvre of grief tragicomedy. In the novel, a third-generation taxidermist deals with the aftermath of her father’s suicide. The details are hilarious—lots of minutia about the family business—but the book is also heartbreaking, as Jessa tries to hold herself and her family together in the wake of her father’s sudden demise.  The novel, both morbid and irreverent, tackles themes of death, preservation, and how we honor those who have passed.   

By Kristen Arnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Messed-up families, scandalous love affairs, art, life, death and the great state of Florida in one delicious, darkly funny package. Kristen Arnett is a wickedly talented and a wholly original voice' Jami Attenberg

What does it take to come back to life?

In the wake of her father's suicide, Jessa-Lynn Morton has stepped up to manage his failing taxidermy business while the rest of the Morton family falls apart. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make alarming art with stuffed animals; and while her brother Milo withdraws, his wife, Brynn - the only person Jessa's ever been in…


Book cover of Under the Whispering Door

Maria Vale Author Of Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death

From my list on stories of death personified.

Who am I?

The 14th century had it all: the 100 Years' War, near-constant famines, and, of course, the Black Plague. As a medievalist studying the art of the time, I was struck by the representations of Death that emerged from this near-perfect storm of misery. Yes, Death was often portrayed accompanied by demons and devils, lumped willy-nilly with evil. But it was more often portrayed in the Danse Macabre as a skeletal partner, leading everyone—Pope and Emperor, Lord and Laborer—on a merry dance. I know it was meant as a warning, but I found the Danse Macabre to be oddly comforting, a vision of an ultimate democracy, with Death the final partner and companion to us all.

Maria's book list on stories of death personified

Maria Vale Why did Maria love this book?

What’s unique about Klune’s psychopomp, is that he is human.

Hugo Freeman is able to interact with the dead but unlike the usual eternal beings, he is alive, has a backstory, and the ability to empathize with the fears and regrets of his reluctant clients, most recently, the jerk-lawyer, Wallace Price.

The action is circumscribed, taking place entirely within Charon’s Crossing, which serves as a teahouse for the living and a waystation for the dead. And as any fan of Klune’s work will anticipate, the hearth that gathers a found family. 

By TJ Klune,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Under the Whispering Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop's owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn't ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo's help, he finally starts to learn about all the things he…


Book cover of The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse

Elizabeth Marshall Author Of The Drinking Curriculum: A Cultural History of Childhood and Alcohol

From my list on alcohol and childhood between horror and humor.

Who am I?

I am a lover of champagne and popular culture and am fascinated with how humor can be used to confront taboo topics and subvert familiar orthodoxies. As a cultural critic, I study how visual artists challenge notions of childhood innocence by adding images of drinking and drunkenness to their adaptations of children’s texts and childish objects. Through these re-imaginings, we see how children’s culture is drinking culture. The most important lessons about alcohol and childhood in the drinking curriculum walk a fine line between humor and dread. My other books include Graphic Girlhoods: Visualizing Education and Violence and Witnessing Girlhood: Toward an Intersectional Tradition of Life Writing (with Leigh Gilmore).

Elizabeth's book list on alcohol and childhood between horror and humor

Elizabeth Marshall Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This picture book is one of the only contemporary books for children that shows drinking for pleasure.

After a mouse gets eaten up by a wolf, he meets a duck that lives in “the belly of the beast.” The two become fast friends and live happily in the wolf’s stomach. Together they make soup, dance to records, and enjoy the finer things in life.  When the wolf complains of a stomachache, the duck calls up a cure for him—advising that he eat a hunk of good chess, a flagon of wine, and some beeswax candles.

After the wolf does so, mouse and duck don top hats, tuxedo jackets, bow ties and sit down to feast, raising their glasses of wine to the health of the wolf. Ultimately, duck and mouse save the wolf’s life and in return he grants them their wish to return to their home in his stomach.…

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

They may have been swallowed, but they have no intention of being eaten... A new comedy from the unparalleled team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

"A subversive delight ... an unexpected, hilarious collaboration" Guardian

Early one morning a mouse met a wolf and was quickly gobbled up...

When a woeful mouse is swallowed up by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it's pretty nice inside the belly of the beast - there's delicious food, elegant table settings and,…


Book cover of The Humans

Luke Coulter Author Of City of Mann

From my list on seeing the world how it’s never been seen before.

Who am I?

Growing up in Ireland with a lot of Pink Floyd records, an active imagination, and no TV, I was almost destined to have a seemingly endless number of questions about the universe, our existence, and the purpose of it all. Finding that much could be learned from the tip of a pen (including that blue flavor is the best one) I began to read and make shapes and draw words of my own. Then, questioning the reasons I had questions, and seeking what could not be found, I found the answer to a single one—that there is far more to this world than we can ever see, and we indeed, are not alone.

Luke's book list on seeing the world how it’s never been seen before

Luke Coulter Why did Luke love this book?

While much more recent than all the others on my list, its story, told from the perspective of an alien who has recently possessed a human's body, takes a look at the world and its inhabitants in such a hilariously honest and unfiltered manner, that I think would never be able to be done if told merely by a human.

Lighting a fascinating spark of questioning why I consider normal to be normal, I found this book to be a whimsical and thoughtful insight into how delightfully strange our species must seem to anyone but ourselves.

By Matt Haig,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Humans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. OR IS THERE?

After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where he is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, Professor Andrew Martin is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst an alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he's a dog.

Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race . . . ?


Book cover of A Confederacy of Dunces

Toby LeBlanc Author Of Dark Roux

From my list on South Louisiana culture.

Who am I?

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?

ONE OF THE BBC'S 100 NOVELS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD

'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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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