10 books like Wise Blood

By Flannery O'Connor,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Wise Blood. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward,

Book cover of Sing, Unburied, Sing

This richly-told journey story revolves around 13-year-old Jojo and his family. Jojo lives with his grandparents, Mam and Pop, his baby sister, Kayla, and his emotionally absent and drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on the small family farm. The many trials Jojo faces while caring for his baby sister on a trip with his neglectful, selfish mother to Parchman Prison to retrieve his father propel him toward maturity. At the beginning of the novel Jojo says he doesn’t understand his mother, but by the end he has developed understanding.

Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sing, Unburied, Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2017 ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2017 SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW STATESMAN, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, TIME AND THE BBC Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Finalist for the Kirkus Prize Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 'This wrenching new novel by Jesmyn Ward digs deep into the not-buried heart of the American nightmare. A must' Margaret Atwood 'A powerfully…


The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat And Other Clinical Tales

By Oliver Sacks,

Book cover of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat And Other Clinical Tales

Emo Phillips once said, “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.” But the brain is fascinating, especially when things start going wrong. Oliver Sacks was a brilliant neurologist who wrote about the cases he’d investigated, including a man who was convinced he had an alien leg, a woman who was unable to perceive anything to her left, and a man who was unable to form new memories. The tales are heartbreaking and fascinating and show us the power of the brain and the danger of assuming in absolute truth.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat And Other Clinical Tales

By Oliver Sacks,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat And Other Clinical Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrating Fifty Years of Picador Books

If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self - himself - he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it.

In this extraordinary book, Dr. Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients struggling to adapt to often bizarre worlds of neurological disorder. Here are people who can no longer recognize everyday objects or those they love; who are stricken with violent tics or shout involuntary obscenities, and yet are gifted with…


The Stories of John Cheever

By John Cheever,

Book cover of The Stories of John Cheever

I have returned to many of these stories over and over again through the years—for Cheever’s prose, for his sense of what makes men tick. On one level, I can’t quite relate to white suburban husbands in upstate New York in the 1950s and 60s. And yet, somehow, they seem profoundly familiar. 

The Stories of John Cheever

By John Cheever,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Stories of John Cheever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Cheever's Collected Stories explores the delicate psychological frameworks of 20th century suburbia.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HANIF KUREISHI

This outstanding collection by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Cheever shows the power and range of one of the finest short story writers of the last century. Stories of love and of squalor, they include masterpieces such as 'The Swimmer' and 'Goodbye, My Brother' and date from the time of his honourable discharge from the Army at the end of the Second World War.


The Unconsoled

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Book cover of The Unconsoled

I’ve always been fascinated by surrealism and expressionism—and The Unconsoled takes those dreamlike images and expresses them in a fascinating and disorienting story. Reading this novel makes you feel like you’re trapped in a terrifying and anxious nightmare—and I mean that in the best possible way. The novel uses dream logic: characters appear out of thin air and morph into other characters. The setting is a strange labyrinth in some nameless European city. If you like David Lynch movies, you’ll dig this. If you’re looking for a linear narrative, stay away!

The Unconsoled

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel Klara and the Sun is now available*

Ryder, a renowned pianist, arrives in a Central European city he cannot identify for a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give . . .

On first publication in 1995, The Unconsoled was met in some quarters with bewilderment and vilification, in others with the highest praise. One commentator asked, 'Has Ishiguro gone for greatness or has he gone mad?' Over the years, this uniquely strange and extraordinary novel about a man whose life has accelerated beyond his control has come to be seen by many as being the…


The Butcher Boy

By Patrick McCabe,

Book cover of The Butcher Boy

Never has a terribly sad book been so much fun to read. Patrick McCabe is the master at creating chillingly unreliable characters, and schoolboy Francis "Francie" Brady is his greatest creation. The narrative is a blend of dirty realism and violent fantasy, and the farther along you get in the novel, the more difficult it is to tell them apart. There are still a handful of scenes that have stuck with me more than a decade after I read it. They made a good movie based on the novel, but the book is what you need. 

The Butcher Boy

By Patrick McCabe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Set in Ireland, this book tells the story of teenage hero Francie Brady. Things begin to fall apart after his mother's suicide - when he is consumed with fury and commits a horrible crime. Committed to an asylum, it is only here that he finally achieves peace. Shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize.


Annihilation

By Jeff VanderMeer,

Book cover of Annihilation

Part one of the Southern Reach Trilogy, this hypnotic book explores a mysterious island with nightmarish qualities. Area X is cut off from everywhere, and nature (or a renewed but ultimately unknowable notion of what nature can be) has supplanted humans there. An expedition exposes a new kind of extra-terrestrial Eden, but mass suicides occur. Later, explorers turn on each other in violence and gunfire; others return not as their former selves and die of cancer. The mystery of the place becomes more powerful and metaphorical for remaining a mystery.

The narrative goes beyond mere storytelling to leave profound imprints on the hippocampus as regards the alien forces that may or may not already be here and inseparable from our ordinary reality.

Annihilation

By Jeff VanderMeer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A contemporary masterpiece' Guardian

THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ALEX GARLAND (EX MACHINA) AND STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AND OSCAR ISAAC

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border - an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.

The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.

Now four women embark on the…


The Killer Inside Me

By Jim Thompson,

Book cover of The Killer Inside Me

As in all the best noir fiction, of which The Killer Inside Me is the very darkest, we know the journey can end in only one way. Before it ends, however, a lot of people besides Lou Ford, the protagonist, are going to die. The most terrible thing about this blood-soaked trip is that Lou takes us with him every step of the way. There’s no distance between the reader and Ford, who describes his violent acts in such intimate detail that we become almost complicit in them. We might begin by thinking that Lou Ford is the “Other”, not part of us, so alien that he could never fit into any group or society. But he does fit in, all too easily, and in some deep, well-hidden part of our reptilian brain we know that we share at least some bit of humanity with him. A chiller, not for…

The Killer Inside Me

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Killer Inside Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small Texas town, patient and thoughtful. Some people think he's a little slow and boring but that's the worst they say about him. But then nobody knows about what Lou calls his 'sickness'. It nearly got him put away when he was younger, but his adopted brother took the rap for that. But now the sickness that has been lying dormant for a while is about to surface again and the consequences are brutal and devastating. Tense and suspenseful, The Killer Inside Me is a brilliantly sustained masterpiece…


Quartet In Farewell Time

By Mary B. Durant,

Book cover of Quartet In Farewell Time

Mary Durant was my mother. This was her first novel, published in 1963. When I read it, the proverbial light bulb popped to life in my very young head: I recognized the real-life people and events upon whom the characters and plot were based, and because of that familiarity, saw the way my mother had changed things around, invented circumstances, conversations and fashioned composite characters to create a story. It was a behind-the-scenes crash course in the art of fiction-writing, the marvelous synthesis by which the novelist spins fact and invention into literature. And I understood that really good fiction, though technically a "made up" story, is always imbued with Truth with a capital "T," and that great writing and Truth are inextricably intertangled.

My mother was a first-rate writer and reader, and because of her, I was initiated into the quasi-secret bandwidth of real literature. The key: it’s all…

Quartet In Farewell Time

By Mary B. Durant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quartet In Farewell Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Shark Net

By Robert Drewe,

Book cover of The Shark Net: Memories and Murder

This is a memoir by a great Australian writer of literary fiction. Set in Perth in the late 40s, the 50s, and early 60s, this book is not fiction, but it’s as profoundly satisfying as a fine novel, and the author uses, with great artistry and authority, certain conventions of fiction. It’s coming-of-age interwoven with the chilling true-crime story of a lurking serial killer, who turns out to have close ties to the author’s own family; one of the victims is a boy the author knew. Perth, on the southwest coast of Australia, bordered by the Indian Ocean on one side and the vast Australian outback on the other, is often called the most isolated city in the world. It’s known for being a bland, safe place with a low crime rate, making it the perfect sundrenched-but-sinister setting for scandal, murder, and awakening sexuality. Drewe is a powerful writer, and…

The Shark Net

By Robert Drewe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Robert Drew has written a moving and unpretentious memoir of a precocious youth, a bittersweet tribute to youth's optimism."-Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

A "spiced and savory memoir" (The New York Times) of the dark life hidden in a sunny seaside Australian community.

Written with the same lyrical intensity and spellbinding prose that has won Robert Drewe's fiction international acclaim, The Shark Net is set in a city haunted by the menace of an elusive serial killer. Drewe's middle class youth in the seaside suburbs of Perth, Australia-often described as the most isolated city in the…


One Good Turn

By Kate Atkinson,

Book cover of One Good Turn

Atkinson is a Scottish author who blends the murder mystery genre with superb writing. The result is startling, and not quite like anything we’ve seen before. As a murder mystery, this novel has it all. Set in Edinburgh, it’s rich with suspense, wild plot twists, a cast of truly memorable and unruly characters who are all, mostly unbeknownst to them, in an elaborate dance with one another. Atkinson tantalizes us with wicked secrets until the very last page. Darkly comic humor permeates throughout, and as we aficionados of dark humor know, it is the flip side of deep empathy for poor struggling, suffering humanity. Her rendering of a man dying from a blow to the head, told from the point of view of the victim in the last seconds of his life, could not have been written better by James Joyce himself.

One Good Turn

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Atkinson's bright voice rings on every page, and her sly and wry observations move the plot as swiftly as suspense turns the pages of a thriller."-San Francisco ChronicleTwo years after the events of Case Histories left him a retired millionaire, Jackson Brodie has followed Julia, his occasional girlfriend and former client, to Edinburgh for its famous summer arts festival. But when he witnesses a man being brutally attacked in a traffic jam - the apparent victim of an extreme case of road rage - a chain of events is set in motion that will pull the wife of an unscrupulous…


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