100 books like Wilt

By Tom Sharpe,

Here are 100 books that Wilt fans have personally recommended if you like Wilt. 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 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Tim O'Leary Author Of Men Behaving Badly

From my list on characters you love to hate.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Tim O’Leary and two of my books, Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face–And Other Tales of Men in Pain and Men Behaving Badly, emanate from the minds of protagonists trying to do the right thing the wrong way or evil characters doing the wrong thing they believe to be right. I’m particularly drawn to those wonderful literary psychopaths that draw you in with compelling personalities, while reviling the reader with their heinous actions. 

Tim's book list on characters you love to hate

Tim O'Leary Why did Tim love this book?

I found this book in college, and at the time, I thought it was the most unique book I had ever read.

Thompson’s “Gonzo Journalism” was fresh, funny, and thought-provoking, with a subtext of modern poetry, political activism, and a sense of humor I have never seen replicated.

By Hunter S. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive ..."'

Hunter S. Thompson is roaring down the desert highway to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a surreal succession of chemically enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans.

This stylish reissue of Hunter S. Thompson's iconic masterpiece, a controversial bestseller when…


Book cover of Noir

Crawford Smith Author Of Laughingstock

From my list on hilarious high weirdness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved to read and laugh, and the weirder the humor, the better. It’s a strange and turbulent world out there, and sometimes, it seems like you have to laugh for crying. Fortunately, there are plenty of other talented writers and entertainers out there who share this outlook – and not just authors. Many musicians, actors, and comedians can convey this sense of cosmic absurdity, and I’m a huge fan of most of them. These books just skim the surface of the wild worldviews of kindred spirits who are capable of appreciating just how weird our society really is and can lampoon it to hilarious effect.

Crawford's book list on hilarious high weirdness

Crawford Smith Why did Crawford love this book?

I love Noir because it starts out plausibly enough but quickly starts slipping sideways into stranger realms. Of course, it’s Christopher Moore, so it’s going to be hilarious. I was amazed by the world-building Moore undertakes in creating the seamy underside of late-40s San Francisco. The Raymond Chandler/Dashiell Hammett vibe totally drew me in.

I found Noir’s San Francisco to be not quite realistic and not quite cartoonish, but very engaging. It’s a perfect place for Sammy “Two Toes” Tiffin, a down-on-his-luck bartender who meets the love of his life while the rest of his world goes cuckoo. Adding in twists involving a crashed flying saucer and a secret conspiracy of the wealthy and powerful had me hooked.

By Christopher Moore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

The absurdly outrageous, sarcastically satiric, and always entertaining New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore returns in finest madcap form with this zany noir set on the mean streets of post-World War II San Francisco, and featuring a diverse cast of characters, including a hapless bartender; his Chinese sidekick; a doll with sharp angles and dangerous curves; a tight-lipped Air Force general; a wisecracking waif; Petey, a black mamba; and many more.

San Francisco. Summer, 1947. A dame walks into a saloon . . .

It's not every afternoon that an enigmatic, comely blonde named…


Book cover of The Third Policeman

Crawford Smith Author Of Laughingstock

From my list on hilarious high weirdness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved to read and laugh, and the weirder the humor, the better. It’s a strange and turbulent world out there, and sometimes, it seems like you have to laugh for crying. Fortunately, there are plenty of other talented writers and entertainers out there who share this outlook – and not just authors. Many musicians, actors, and comedians can convey this sense of cosmic absurdity, and I’m a huge fan of most of them. These books just skim the surface of the wild worldviews of kindred spirits who are capable of appreciating just how weird our society really is and can lampoon it to hilarious effect.

Crawford's book list on hilarious high weirdness

Crawford Smith Why did Crawford love this book?

This book continues to astound me. Flann O’Brien puts together such a surreal set of circumstances for his unnamed narrator that the book is hard to put down.

O’Brien doesn’t strike me as the Hunter Thompson type; this book made me wonder what they were brewing into the whiskey on the Emerald Isle. The improbability of the narrator’s criminal activity and the law enforcement response often seems like a fever dream, albeit a very entertaining one. Even though I now know the M. Knight Shyamalan twist, I still can re-read this book, thinking, “What’s next? What’s next?”

By Flann O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A masterpiece of black humour from the renown comic and acclaimed author of 'At Swim-Two-Birds' - Flann O'Brien.

A thriller, a hilarious comic satire about an archetypal village police force, a surrealistic vision of eternity, the story of a tender, brief, unrequited love affair between a man and his bicycle, and a chilling fable of unending guilt, 'The Third Policeman' is comparable only to 'Alice in Wonderland' as an allegory of the absurd.

Distinguished by endless comic invention and its delicate balancing of logic and fantasy, 'The Third Policeman' is unique in the English language.


Book cover of The Book of the Subgenius

Crawford Smith Author Of Laughingstock

From my list on hilarious high weirdness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved to read and laugh, and the weirder the humor, the better. It’s a strange and turbulent world out there, and sometimes, it seems like you have to laugh for crying. Fortunately, there are plenty of other talented writers and entertainers out there who share this outlook – and not just authors. Many musicians, actors, and comedians can convey this sense of cosmic absurdity, and I’m a huge fan of most of them. These books just skim the surface of the wild worldviews of kindred spirits who are capable of appreciating just how weird our society really is and can lampoon it to hilarious effect.

Crawford's book list on hilarious high weirdness

Crawford Smith Why did Crawford love this book?

Forty years on, The Book of the SubGenius continues to mystify. Is SubGenius a joke disguised as a religion or a religion disguised as a joke? Either way, it’s hilarious.

I picked this book out at random at a bookstore and opened it to find a passage reading, “You probably think you may have wandered into a bookstore and picked this book out at random, but it was ordained that you would find this.” Spooky but intriguing.

I was taken in with the hilarious description of the religious teachings of award-winning siding salesman J.R. “Bob” Dobbs. The doctrine of the Church of the SubGenius is an incisive and unapologetic skewing of pop culture and religious dogma. Plus, tons of astounding artwork and demented collages to drive home the weirdness.

By Subgenius Foundation,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Either a hilarious parody of a religious text or an informative collection of totally real stories from a definitely real church that could be the foundation-stone of the promised kingdom of peace and harmony—the decision is yours to make.

What is the Church of SubGenius? Who is J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, and what kind of truths does he know? What is "Slack" and why do you need it? Will aliens truly descend upon our planet, and can you survive its destruction by becoming a member? Does The Book of SubGenius answer any of these questions? There are no straightfoward answers—you just…


Book cover of Colette: Earthly Paradise

Marcia DeSanctis Author Of 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go

From my list on women in France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a former television news producer who worked for Barbara Walters and Peter Jennings at ABC News, and at Dateline NBC and CBS’s 60 Minutes. I was always a journalist, but mid-career, I switched lanes from TV to writing. Since then, I've contributed essays and stories to many publications, among them Vogue, Travel & Leisure, The New York Times, BBC Travel, and others. I mostly write about travel, but also cover beauty, wellness, international development, and health. I'm the recipient of five Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. My book of essays, A Hard Place to Leave: Stories From a Restless Life comes out in May 2022.

Marcia's book list on women in France

Marcia DeSanctis Why did Marcia love this book?

The first time I went to Paris, I found a copy of this book at a bouquiniste on the Quai de la Tournelle. I can honestly say it has never left my bedside. Colette, born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in 1873, was a ferocious talent, a novelist, memoirist, journalist, and colossal French cultural figure until her death in 1954. Earthly Paradise is an autobiography in essays, and hers is an extraordinary story. Born in small-town Burgundy, she was a showgirl at the Moulin Rouge, a traveling performer, was married twice, lived as a lesbian for a decade, had a facelift in the 1920s and at the height of her literary fame, opened a beauty salon in Paris. She was to the core a sensualist and though she claimed to dislike feminism, she was a tower of female strength. But the reason this book—just one of her fifty-five—endures is her achingly gorgeous writing.…

By Colette,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In her own lifetime, and especially outside of France, Colette was best known as a novelist, as the creator of Cheri, Gigi, Claudine; and as such, her place in the ranks of 20th century French fiction is secure and very high, comparable among her contemporaries perhaps to that of Proust. Over the same half century, she published an even larger body of explicit autobiography - memoirs, portraits, notebooks, letters. Barely a decade after her death, it became clear that this aspect of her work, and the personality embodied there, would determine her place in literature. Drawn from some 40 books…


Book cover of Accidental Gods: On Men Unwittingly Turned Divine

Christina Ward Author Of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

From my list on the hidden history of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, history is always about individuals; what they think and believe and how those ideas motivate their actions. By relegating our past to official histories or staid academic tellings we deprive ourselves of the humanity of our shared experiences. As a “popular historian” I use food to tell all the many ways we attempt to “be” American. History is for everyone, and my self-appointed mission is to bring more stories to readers! These recommendations are a few stand-out titles from the hundreds of books that inform my current work on how food and religion converge in America. You’ll have to wait for Holy Food to find out what I’ve discovered.

Christina's book list on the hidden history of America

Christina Ward Why did Christina love this book?

Anna Della Subin’s quiet triumph of a history expands our focus beyond the United States, but we feel the impact and meaning to and in America. In Accidental Gods, she masterfully explores—opposite of self-appointed messiahs—what happens when deification is thrust upon someone. In doing so, she uncovers the bizarre characters and absurd events that lead to banal and sometimes cruel outcomes. The book transcends the facts of history and becomes a meditation on the many ways to be human.

By Anna Della Subin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A provocative history of race, empire and myth, told through the stories of men who have been worshipped as gods - from Columbus to Prince Philip

Spanning the globe and five centuries, Accidental Gods introduces us to a new pantheon: of man-gods, deified politicians and imperialists, militants, mystics and explorers. From the conquistadors setting foot in the New World to Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, elevated by a National Geographic article from emperor to messiah for the Rastafari faith, to the unlikely officers hailed as gods during the British Raj, this endlessly curious and revelatory account chronicles an impulse towards deification…


Book cover of Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology

Giselle Leeb Author Of Mammals, I Think We Are Called

From my list on genre-bending stories to fire your imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had no expectations about what the first short stories I wrote would end up being like. Although I’d read mostly realistic literary fiction before starting to write, most of my stories included fantastical elements. This set me off reading and writing stories categorised as weird, cross-genre, slipstream, magical realist, fantastic, fabulist, horror, soft sci-fi, and surreal. The thing that struck me was how slippery these categories are. But what unites them is their openness to unbounded imagination. Like a lens concentrating a fire, their strange and fantastical techniques amplify feelings and reality in unique ways, while always paying attention to language. It’s been a thrilling, exciting ride!

Giselle's book list on genre-bending stories to fire your imagination

Giselle Leeb Why did Giselle love this book?

I’d been writing for a few years, when I came across this book. It was an exciting discovery because it introduced me to a type of story I’d never read before, stories that did weird things I hadn’t thought possible, and included brilliant writers I hadn’t heard of, like Kelly Link and Aimee Bender. I was also excited by the inclusion of writers who were considered literary, who no one would usually put in the strange category, like George Saunders and Michael Chabon. The sheer range of stories and styles was mindblowing. It broadened my ideas about what stories could be, and what I could do in my writing. The introduction by the editors is titled "Slipstream, the Genre That Isn’t," and for me that says it all.

By James Patrick Kelly (editor), John Kessel (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If it is true that the test of a first-rate mind is its ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time, then we live in a century when it takes a first-rate mind just to get through the day. We have unprecedented access to information; cognitive dissonance is a banner headline in our morning papers and radiates silently from our computer screens. Slipstream, poised between literature and popular culture, embraces the dissonance.

These ambitious stories of visionary strangeness defy the conventions of science fiction. Tales by Michael Chabon, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, Carol Emshwiller, George Saunders, and…


Book cover of Sisters

Tara Lynn Masih Author Of How We Disappear: Novella & Stories

From my list on how we disappear.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I began compiling stories for my collection, I noted the theme of disappearance throughout. I’m not sure why that’s the case. Perhaps because I’ve dealt with disappearance on a personal level. Perhaps almost all stories deal with the theme. I have also always been fascinated by people who disappear (such as Agatha Christie), especially into the wild. As a former book editor, my reading standards are very high. The books I’ve recommended are superb and still resonate with me years after I’ve read them. I hope you explore this list and that the characters in these unique and well-crafted stories linger on, even after you’ve finished the last page.

Tara's book list on how we disappear

Tara Lynn Masih Why did Tara love this book?

Daisy Johnson is a force of her own. I’ve read all three of her books and was the most taken with her more recent novel, Sisters. This has a moody, gothic feel to it. Very well narrated by one of the two sisters, and is the ultimate story about disappearance, and the traumatic effect it can have on a loved one. Brutal, surreal, and with a setting as real as its characters: a crumbling moldy cottage, near the shore, that lives and breathes with the characters. And includes a twist you won’t see coming.

By Daisy Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The electrifying novel from the Booker shortlisted author of Everything Under.

'A short sharp explosion of a gothic thriller' Observer

Something unspeakable has happened to sisters July and September.

Desperate for a fresh start, they move across the country to an old family house that has a troubled life of its own. Noises come from behind the walls. Lights flicker of their own accord. Sleep feels impossible, dreams are endless.

In their new, unsettling surroundings, July finds that the fierce bond she's always had with September - forged with a blood promise when they were children - is beginning to…


Book cover of 1066 and All That

Christopher Shevlin Author Of The Spy Who Came in from the Bin

From my list on making you laugh and feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write books that I hope will make people laugh and feel better – so far, they are the three Jonathon Fairfax novels and a novella called The Pursuit of Coconuts. I suffer from depression, and have always found the world quite a difficult and confusing place, so – ever since I learned to read – I’ve escaped into books. Reading is so soothing and absorbing, and there’s something oddly intimate about joining an author inside a book. When a book’s genuinely funny, it feels as though – in a flash – it reveals the essential foolish absurdity of the world. I’ve listed five of the books that have worked that little miracle on me.

Christopher's book list on making you laugh and feel better

Christopher Shevlin Why did Christopher love this book?

This was among the first (and by far the best) of my parents’ books that I borrowed.

The premise is charming: after a long and careful study of British history, your memory will retain only a small quantity of garbled nonsense; so why not save time by just reading the garbled nonsense? At its best, it’s so freewheelingly, surreally silly that I still vividly remember crying with laughter. There were bits – like the names of the Wave of Pretenders – that made me laugh every time I read them.

It was a revelation to me that adults – and even adults from the past – could have brains that were just as silly, odd, and obscure as children’s.

By W C Sellar, R J Yeatman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1066 and All That as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Canute began by being a Bad King on the advice of his Courtiers, who informed him (owing to a misunderstanding of the Rule Britannia) that the King of England was entitled to sit on the sea without getting wet." 1066 And All That is a book that has itself become part of our history. The authors made the claim that "All the History you can remember is in the Book" and, for most of us, they were probably right. But it is their own unique interpretation of events that has made the book a classic; an uproarious satire on textbook…


Book cover of Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog

David Baboulene Author Of Ocean Boulevard

From my list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I only read humour, and it was my passion to write humour. When I was lucky enough to find myself travelling the world and working on cargo ships, the source material presented itself, and I took my chance. Publishers were wary of the crudity inherent to a sailor’s life, so I present myself as if P.G. Wodehouse himself had gone to sea. I am the butt of all the pranks, and horrified by what I see around me. So I was able to write a book that addresses the truth of a shipboard life… but leaves the suggested extremes to your imagination!

David's book list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories

David Baboulene Why did David love this book?

Growing up, I only read humour.

I just love to laugh and when a book has you making the pictures in mind for yourself and laughing out loud, there really is nothing better. And Three Men in a Boat sends me directly to the floor every time I read it, and I will never stop reading it as long as I live.

It is rightly a classic and still in the shops nearly 140 years later. My book is a homage to Three Men in a Boat. I followed the style and form, and acknowledge Jerome K Jerome in my front-matter.

My book is really 15 Men in a Boat, and if it is even 10% as good as Three, I will rightly be very proud of myself (if not my mathematics).

By Jerome K. Jerome,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Three Men in a Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), published in 1889, is a humorous account by English writer Jerome K. Jerome of a two-week boating holiday on the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back to Kingston. The book was initially intended to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history along the route, but the humorous elements took over to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages seem a distraction to the comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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