100 books like You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

By Felicia Day,

Here are 100 books that You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) fans have personally recommended if you like You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). 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 A Link to the Past: Stories of Growing Up Gamer

Clark Nielsen Author Of Growing Up Gamer: A Video Game Memoir

From my list on reliving playing video games from your childhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

Video games have always been an important part of my life. I love playing games. I love talking about them. I love (trying) to make them. I love writing about them! Over the years, I’ve realized these various game consoles have been the backdrop to some very important milestones in my life. It’s been fun to go back and piece together which games helped me at which age. It’s been just as fun to explore this gaming relationship from the perspective of other authors/gamers. If you, too, grew up gaming, you’ll appreciate the books on this list.

Clark's book list on reliving playing video games from your childhood

Clark Nielsen Why did Clark love this book?

Of course, I have to recommend Davis’s book; we have similar titles! But in all seriousness, Davis takes a much different approach to the “gamer memoir” by focusing more on the games themselves. He reminisces about his favorite childhood games and/or games that were culturally important and does a great job highlighting what made them work (or not work) without letting modern-day feelings get in the way. Occasionally, Davis will tie the game into some real-world lesson he learned. It’s that aspect that I appreciate the most. I also try to reflect on certain games as being more than just “something fun at the time.”

By Brian J. N. Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Link to the Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In A Link to the Past: Stories of Growing Up Gamer, Brian Davis explores what it meant coming of age when video games went from something young people were expected to grow out of, to being a centrally crucial pillar of development to an entire generation. Starting in the halls of Maniac Mansion, and weaving a path through Skyrim’s majestic landscape, A Link to the Past follows the journey of one young Midwesterner’s search for identity, no matter the super villains, glitches, or threats of social alienation that stood in the way.


Book cover of Going Nowhere: A Life in Six Videogames

Clark Nielsen Author Of Growing Up Gamer: A Video Game Memoir

From my list on reliving playing video games from your childhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

Video games have always been an important part of my life. I love playing games. I love talking about them. I love (trying) to make them. I love writing about them! Over the years, I’ve realized these various game consoles have been the backdrop to some very important milestones in my life. It’s been fun to go back and piece together which games helped me at which age. It’s been just as fun to explore this gaming relationship from the perspective of other authors/gamers. If you, too, grew up gaming, you’ll appreciate the books on this list.

Clark's book list on reliving playing video games from your childhood

Clark Nielsen Why did Clark love this book?

This one’s an intentionally short read, fast-forwarding through Leith’s life at breakneck speed, only stopping to check in every few years to see what game he was into then. The whole thing feels like a strange fever dream or stream of consciousness, particularly in the first few chapters when his childhood memories are probably as fuzzy as the TV he played Planetoid on. Still, it’s a fascinating look at how certain games stick with you over the years. I have my own collection of games that don’t necessarily reflect my favorites of all time but certainly define key moments in my life.

By Sam Leith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Videogames are among the defining artforms of our age. They are variously adored and reviled, but their influence is felt everywhere. Every game is its own little universe – and hundreds of millions of us now spend part of our time living in those universes.
But what does it mean to play them? What does it feel like to be a member of the generation that grew up with them? Where do they take us, and what needs do they serve? In this short memoir, Sam Leith tells the story of his life through his relationship with games.
It’s a…


Book cover of Breakout: Pilgrim in the Microworld

Caleb J. Ross Author Of Suddenly I was a Shark! My Time with What Remains of Edith Finch

From my list on to defend your video game obsession to non-gamers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong video game obsessive. I think about video game worlds and my relationship with them in the ways most people think about family vacations to the beach or a trip with friends to Las Vegas. Every game I play is an opportunity to experience a new world, and a new culture, and to change myself along the way. Video games are a younger industry than either the music industry or the movie industry, but it’s more than 2.5x bigger than those two industries combined! There are reasons humans are so enamored by video games. The books on my list explore those reasons.

Caleb's book list on to defend your video game obsession to non-gamers

Caleb J. Ross Why did Caleb love this book?

David Sudnow’s Breakout: Pilgrim in the Microworld is perhaps the earliest account of a person’s obsession with a video game.

Sudnow’s diary-like approach to his relationship with the 1976 arcade game Breakout is captivating. It reads like improv jazz (which isn’t surprising considering Sudnow himself was an accomplished jazz pianist).

For example, here’s Sudnow describing the moments before starting the final phase of his longest game so far: “I feel the attempted seduction of the long lobbing interim, a calm before the storm, the action so laid back that I’m consciously elaborating a rhythm to be ready, set, go for a slam.”

Sudnow shows us that what might seem like simple bleeps and bloops to most people can instead be a life-affirming awakening to others. And how can something so powerful not warrant respect?

Tell your non-gaming friends: video games are poetry!

By David Sudnow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Just as the video game console market was about to crash into the New Mexico desert in 1983, musician and sociologist David Sudnow was unearthing the secrets of “eye, mind, and the essence of video skill” through an exploration of Atari's Breakout, one of the earliest hits of the arcade world.

Originally released under the title Pilgrim in the Microworld, Sudnow's groundbreaking longform criticism of a single game predates the rise of serious game studies by decades. While its earliest critics often scorned the idea of a serious book about an object of play, the book's modern readers remain fascinated…


Book cover of Gamelife: A Memoir

Caleb J. Ross Author Of Suddenly I was a Shark! My Time with What Remains of Edith Finch

From my list on to defend your video game obsession to non-gamers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong video game obsessive. I think about video game worlds and my relationship with them in the ways most people think about family vacations to the beach or a trip with friends to Las Vegas. Every game I play is an opportunity to experience a new world, and a new culture, and to change myself along the way. Video games are a younger industry than either the music industry or the movie industry, but it’s more than 2.5x bigger than those two industries combined! There are reasons humans are so enamored by video games. The books on my list explore those reasons.

Caleb's book list on to defend your video game obsession to non-gamers

Caleb J. Ross Why did Caleb love this book?

Where David Sudnow’s Breakout: Pilgrim in the Microworld focused on the flamboyant poetry of gaming, Michael W. Clune’s Gamelife opts for minimalism.

Clune himself describes the book as a memoir about computer games, which is true, and that description alone warrants inclusion in my list. Why? Any topic that can be a lens through which to reflect on one’s own life is noteworthy.

Clune isn’t a game developer recounting a life spent developing games. Clune isn’t a games industry executive doling out business advice. Clune is a gamer with a childhood he’s able to better understand when filtered through video games.

Tell your non-gaming friends: video games are therapy!

By Michael W. Clune,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In telling the story of his youth through seven computer games, critically acclaimed author Michael W. Clune (White Out) captures the part of childhood we live alone.

You have been awakened.

Floppy disk inserted, computer turned on, a whirring, and then this sentence, followed by a blinking cursor. So begins Suspended, the first computer game to obsess seven-year-old Michael, to worm into his head and change his sense of reality. Thirty years later he will write: "Computer games have taught me the things you can't learn from people."

Gamelife is the memoir of a childhood transformed by technology. Afternoons spent…


Book cover of I'm Glad My Mom Died

Jiordan Castle Author Of Disappearing Act: A True Story

From my list on resilience for young adults and adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in stories about becoming. Whether it’s a coming-of-age story, a story about overcoming adversity, or a story about discovery or recovery, I find that the best books about becoming also tend to be books about resilience. For me, the lure of a book is often more about its themes and perspective than it is about where it’s categorized and shelved. Having written a memoir in verse for an upper young adult reading group, this is especially true of my experience as an author. Each of the books on this list has something profound and singular to offer young adult readers and adult readers alike.

Jiordan's book list on resilience for young adults and adults

Jiordan Castle Why did Jiordan love this book?

With a codependent mother relationship that feeds into various forms of abuse (CW: eating disorders being one of them) and Hollywood as the backdrop for this coming-of-age story, this is an important, unforgettable memoir.

It’s a gift to be so darkly funny and honest as a nonfiction writer, particularly when your own deep vulnerability is in service of something larger. Written in short numbered passages that span McCurdy’s life from early childhood into adulthood, this true story is a perfect rollercoaster.

Both laugh-out-loud funny and deliriously sad, there’s never a moment you won’t feel held by this book and this writer.

By Jennette McCurdy,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked I'm Glad My Mom Died as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor-including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother-and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother's dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called "calorie restriction," eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while…


Book cover of Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Author Of Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story

From my list on to help you discover what makes people tick.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I think of who I am, as a writer and a human being, I remember the words of prolific Portland poet Dan Rapheal, who wrote the foreword to my book of poetry, Blue Reverie in Smoke: “...the reader must look carefully to get a full picture of the poet herself—tender, no nonsense, quietly observing and juggernauting to make things as she thinks they should be.” I’ve never forgotten Dan’s astute appraisal of me, and it surprised me. It seems that's how I’ve always beensomeone who quietly observes, never unmoved by what I see, just trying to make sense of it, sometimes successful in that endeavor, and oftentimes, not successful at all. 

Theresa's book list on to help you discover what makes people tick

Theresa Griffin Kennedy Why did Theresa love this book?

Along with being extremely well written, this book details the horrific murder of a celebrated actor, a man blitzed in his sleep, a decent man who dealt with mundane foibles many men experience. But Crane always continued on, heading to work, embracing a hopeful and positive outlook on his abilities and the future. Bob Crane may well have never awoken from the cowardly assault that took his life in 1978, leaving his 4 children fatherless. A couple of years ago, I got to know Robert David Crane, Bob Crane’s son, via social media and it was one of the oddest occurrences of my life. I’d never have predicted it. I’ve found him to be insightful, generous, accomplished, and genuine. I loved this book because it is about the murder of a man who I grew up seeing.

Yes, I too watched Hogan’s Heroes and absolutely loved the character played by…

By Robert Crane, Christopher Fryer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On June 29, 1978, Bob Crane, known to Hogan's Heroes fans as Colonel Hogan, was discovered brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment. His eldest son, Robert Crane, was called to the crime scene. In this poignant memoir, Robert Crane discusses that terrible day and how he has lived with the unsolved murder of his father. But this storyline is just one thread in his tale of growing up in Los Angeles, his struggles to reconcile the good and sordid sides of his celebrity father, and his own fascinating life. Crane began his career writing for Oui magazine and spent…


Book cover of Funny Girl

Beth Morrey Author Of Clover Hendry's Day Off

From my list on books set in the world of television.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked in television as a development producer for twenty years, designing game shows, reality shows, formatted documentaries, all sorts of programming. One of the prerequisites of working in telly is to watch a lot of it, and that has always been a joy for me, as I love the medium. Even after I left the profession to become an author, I’ve retained my passion for the small screen and write a regular blog on what I’m watching. So, for me, a combination of books and television is something to be savored and celebrated. 

Beth's book list on books set in the world of television

Beth Morrey Why did Beth love this book?

Nick Hornby is one of my favorite writers, and About a Boy is one of my favorite books of all time.

I love how his prose is pared down but so profound; every sentence, however simple, carries weight, and his characterization is wonderfully human. In this book, Hornby champions mainstream entertainment, something I’m passionate about, as I can’t stand cultural snobbishness.

It’s an homage to a golden age of light entertainment, and, like television comedy, this is a book that "makes us all part of something."

By Nick Hornby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER SOON TO BE A TV SERIES STARRING GEMMA ARTERTON AND RUPERT EVERETT

'Simply unputdownable' Guardian

'Hilarious' Daily Telegraph

'Highly entertaining' Sunday Times
_________________

Make them laugh, and they're yours forever . . .

Barbara Parker is Miss Blackpool of 1964, but she doesn't want to be a beauty queen. She wants to make people laugh.

So she leaves her hometown behind, takes herself to London, and overnight she becomes the lead in a new BBC comedy, Sophie Straw: charming, gorgeous, destined to win the nation's hearts.

Funny Girl is the story of a smash-hit TV show and…


Book cover of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Andrew Hook Author Of Candescent Blooms

From my list on fictional stories featuring real life people.

Why am I passionate about this?

The central themes in my own writing have always encompassed those of identity, the nature of reality, and variations on immortality. The lives of ‘celebrities’ touch upon all those themes, albeit through a distorted kaleidoscope where their own lives and the public’s perceptions of their lives intersect and are amplified and a third ‘character’ – that of the composite person, is then brought into existence. I find it fascinating how we can all be myriad people dependent upon who we interact with, and this is heightened when layered over the notion of ‘celebrity’ and fame by association. The books I've chosen act as mirrors to celebrity, but also work as great storytelling.

Andrew's book list on fictional stories featuring real life people

Andrew Hook Why did Andrew love this book?

I saw the film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood before reading the book. And I loved the film, one of Tarantino’s best, where – as in Inglourious Basterds – he uses fictional characters to create a world in which factual characters might exist, to the extent that the reality of the script and the reality of real life become inevitably intertwined, in ways in which reality can be distorted to a better end. This playing of fantasy and reality and the myths (the Once Upon A Time…) that storytelling can distort, is ably rendered by this book which I understand Tarantino wrote after the film was finished. There’s greater expansion on the back stories of the stuntman and his double, and less around the Manson murders, but for a film buff the book is a delight in which Tarantino’s fascination for cinema shines through, and therefore is well worth…

By Quentin Tarantino,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE DELUXE HARDBACK EDITION FEATURING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS, BONUS MATERIAL & AN EXCLUSIVE BOUNTY LAW SCRIPT BY QUENTIN TARANTINO

Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited first work of fiction - at once hilarious, delicious, and brutal - is the always surprising, sometimes shocking new novel based on his Academy Award-winning film.

The sunlit studio back lots and the dark watering holes of Hollywood are the setting for this audacious, hilarious, disturbing novel about life in the movie colony, circa 1969.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of washed-up actor Rick Dalton. Once Rick had his own television series, a famous western…


Book cover of All the Feels

Sonja Griffing Author Of A Butter Brickle Debacle

From my list on subversive main characters that speak to us.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing motto is life & love in between the margins of a page. I believe that every character has a story that matters, so I write fully realized protagonists with real-life issues and life-defining relationships. I want my readers to see parts of themselves in my stories, and while I can’t write everybody, I can recommend the following character-driven books. Subversive means ‘seeking to undermine the power and authority of an established system.’ All these titles have characters that break the mold. They are unapologetically fat or queer. They are criminals and lore. They are trope-twisters and game-changers and everything you want in a well-written and satisfying tale.

Sonja's book list on subversive main characters that speak to us

Sonja Griffing Why did Sonja love this book?

As someone who spent her first 30+ years in a smaller body and the past decade in a fat body, I have experienced the differences in how people are treated in relation to body size and have seen that mirrored in literature. Fat jokes and fatphobia run rampant, and fat characters are portrayed as bullies, loud, or lazy. When main characters, their goals tend to focus on weight loss and food shaming. Enter—quite joyfully—Olivia Dade and her fat heroines. In All the Feels, the main character Lauren is capable, confident, and sexy. This hilarious and steamy rom-com doesn’t focus on Lauren’s size but on her journey. It’s swoon-worthy, heart-warming, and exactly what every person in a fat body needs to remind themselves that size is only a descriptor.

Contains: fat main characters

By Olivia Dade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An absolutely witty, swoon worthy behind the scenes romp! Delightful from beginning to end!' Julie Murphy, No.1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin'

Olivia Dade returns with another utterly charming romantic comedy about a devil-may-care actor - who cares more than anyone knows - and the no-nonsense woman hired to keep him in line.

Alexander Woodroe has it all. Charm. Wealth. A starring role on the biggest show on TV. But the showrunners have wrecked his character, he's hounded by old demons and his future remains uncertain. When all that reckless emotion explodes into a bar fight, the tabloids…


Book cover of A Del of a Life

Tony Flood Author Of My Life with The Stars: Sizzling secrets spilled!

From my list on the secrets of showbiz and sports stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love comedy, showbusiness, mystery and fantasy stories, and sport—and these varied interests have resulted in me writing in various genres as both a journalist and author. My books have all been thoroughly researched and that has helped my crime thrillers receive glowing endorsements from best-selling writer Peter James in the case of Triple Tease and national newspaper journalist Stuart Pink in the case of Stitch Up! - Killer or Victim? My other books have also received excellent endorsements and reviews—fantasy adventure Secret Potion and Laughs and Tears Galore Short Stories and Poems With Twists, written jointly with my wife Heather Flood, best known for her children's books.

Tony's book list on the secrets of showbiz and sports stars

Tony Flood Why did Tony love this book?

What appeals to me most is Sir David Jason telling how playing characters such as Derek Trotter, Granville, Pop Larkin, and Frost changed his life in all sorts of ways. I like his quote that: “With any luck, some of these thoughts and observations will chime with episodes and challenges you have faced, or are facing, in your own life. And if they don't... well, hopefully, at the very least you'll get to have a good old laugh at my expense.”

By David Jason,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Del of a Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER: a hilarious and heartfelt new autobiography from the national treasure Sir David Jason

'There are British telly icons and then there is Sir David Jason. This book is such gold . . . an absolute delight' ZOE BALL
___________________________

'During my life and career I have been given all sorts of advice and learned huge amounts from some great and enormously talented people. I've been blessed to play characters such as Derek Trotter, Granville, Pop Larkin and Frost, who have changed my life in all sorts of ways, and taught me lessons that go far…


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