The best anti hero books

Who picked these books? Meet our 130 experts.

130 authors created a book list connected to anti heros, and here are their favorite anti hero books.
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What type of anti hero book?


Original Sins

By Jamie DeLano, John Ridgway,

Book cover of Original Sins

William Meikle Author Of Carnacki: Heaven and Hell

From the list on occult detective collections.

Who am I?

Even before I found Lovecraft and Stephen King and my world turned, I was raised on Doyle, Wells, Hodgson, and Robert Louis Stevenson which gave me both a love of the "gentleman detective" era and a deep love of the late Victorian/early Edwardian historical period in general. Once you merge that with my abiding interest in all things weird and spooky, you can see where a lot of my stories come from. There seems to be quite a burgeoning market for this kind of mixing of detection and supernatural, and I intend to write more... maybe even a lot more.

William's book list on occult detective collections

Discover why each book is one of William's favorite books.

Why did William love this book?

These collected graphic novels set the benchmark for Occult Detectives in comic form. Constantine shows up as a fully realized character from the off, and having him as a rough-and-tumble Brit is a stroke of genius. His adventures tie together modern comic sensibilities with pulp themes to great effect and having 'names' as the writers and artists ensures a high standard of storytelling throughout. This collection is the perfect place to start to follow his journeys. 

By Jamie DeLano, John Ridgway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The very first Hellblazer collection is back in a new edition that includes John Constantine's early appearances in SWAMP THING #76-77 along with HELLBLAZER #1-9. This is the first of a series of new HELLBLAZER collections that put all his adventures in reading order, capturing Constantine at his youthful, anarchic best.

Fall from Grace

By Megan Chance,

Book cover of Fall from Grace

Lori Handeland Author Of Beauty and the Bounty Hunter

From the list on romance for lovers of the show The English.

Who am I?

As an only child of a working mother, I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons with John Wayne. I graduated to movie nights at the theater with Clint Eastwood. My hero-worshipping crush on tough guys combined with my passion for romance novels and my fascination with the history of the American West made me the perfect candidate to write gritty, romantic westerns. My very first book, written over 30 years ago, was a western.

Lori's book list on romance for lovers of the show The English

Discover why each book is one of Lori's favorite books.

Why did Lori love this book?

It has been years since I read this novel and I still vividly remember the “Wow, this is good stuff and I want to write something just like this” feeling it gave me.

Take a strong woman beset by unbelievable odds, add a dark, dangerous, tortured anti-hero. Sprinkle a little vengeance on top, then mess it all up with love.

Oh, baby! Yes, please!

By Megan Chance,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1997.

Lily lost her childhood the day the Sharpe gang murdered her parents and “adopted” her. Soon, she was “Lily the Cat,” a wanted outlaw herself, ruthless and smart. But Lily bided her time and planned her revenge, betraying them all and making her escape, running for the life that should have been hers.

But she reckoned without Texas Sharpe, the man who loved her, married her and defied his father for her. And Texas was about to show Lily just how ruthless a man betrayed could be....

The Hunter

By Richard Stark,

Book cover of The Hunter

Verlin Darrow Author Of Murder for Liar

From the list on psychological thrillers that expand readers' minds.

Who am I?

I’ve always been interested in how people change, and how trauma and difficulties hasten change. After all, if we have to grow and gain new skills to stay alive, we find a way. Originally, personal transformation was a priority because I was terribly unhappy, scared, and had shielded myself from direct contact with the world around me in an effort to stay “safe.” Don’t do this. It doesn’t work. So I asked myself, as an author, how would murders, deception, and sanity-threatening events affect a depressed therapist? Murder For Liar is the product of exploring this.

Verlin's book list on psychological thrillers that expand readers' minds

Discover why each book is one of Verlin's favorite books.

Why did Verlin love this book?

Westlake gets into the head of a successful career criminal, making available the kind of attitude and thinking that most readers would normally abhor.

Somehow, we don’t in the Parker series. Even as the clever, convoluted plot unfolds, we never stop caring what happens to Parker and we root for him against creepier crooks.

I especially like the authentic feel of the techniques and procedures Parker employs. It’s almost as though Westlake was a criminal himself. His work inspired me to write about what I don’t think most authors have directly experienced—what happens in a therapist’s head.

So I think my books also feel real.

By Richard Stark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You probably haven't ever noticed them. But they've noticed you. They notice everything. That's their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers' work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.They're thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They're pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you're planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is…

The Host

By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of The Host

Sarena Straus Author Of ReInception

From the list on science fiction with kick ass female characters.

Who am I?

I've always loved science fiction, but first developed my love for storytelling as a prosecutor in the Bronx where I would weave the tale of a crime into a coherent story for a jury’s consideration. After several years of prosecuting sex crimes and crimes against children, and publishing a book about that experience, I had enough of the real world and returned to my first love for novel writing. Science fiction is a male-dominated field and most sci-fi heroes are male. My greatest influences are male characters and authors, but I always wished for more diversity in the genre. I’m excited to share this passion and hope it will inspire authors and readers!  

Sarena's book list on science fiction with kick ass female characters

Discover why each book is one of Sarena's favorite books.

Why did Sarena love this book?

I love The Host because it has two female heroes, but one is a parasite inside the other. When a parasitic alien race, the Souls, invades earth, Wanderer is placed in the body of Melanie Stryder. When implanted, Souls are supposed to completely subsume the host, but Melanie Stryder won’t give up her mind or her body that easily. Melanie is a hero because of her strength and willingness to sacrifice anything to maintain her autonomy. Wanderer is a hero because of her empathy and willingness to defy the construct of her society and forge a new path. The book is the most interesting portrayal of the capacity for sentient beings to develop empathy against all odds that I’ve ever read. It’s also a remarkable portrayal of a most imaginative female bond.

By Stephenie Meyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now in the trade paperback edition: New Bonus Chapter and Reading Group Guide, including Stephenie Meyer's Annotated Playlist for the book.Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and…


By Pippa DaCosta,

Book cover of Betrayal

Kay Camden Author Of Unquiet

From the list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance.

Who am I?

I’ll admit I’m a terribly picky reader. My specific taste doesn’t seem to fit in one genre and is sometimes hard to nail down—literary prose with genre tropes, softly-integrated worldbuilding, adventure that leaves room for reflection, and a love story subplot that’s more mental than physical. I love anti-heroes and angst and stories that get a bit dark—but not too dark. When I find it, I’m hooked and obsessed, and I feel like I’m twelve years old again, reading late into the night with a flashlight under the covers. That exprience is what I’m always hunting for, and what I attempt to recreate in my own writing. 

Kay's book list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance

Discover why each book is one of Kay's favorite books.

Why did Kay love this book?

Unrelenting action and snappy dialogue made this book an instant fav. It contains some of the best things: betrayal, revenge, a mouthy and haunted anti-hero and heroine, spaceships, and sexual tension from page one. The way this book blends all those things—and yes, this is sci-fi, not fantasy—makes a wildly entertaining start to a perfect series. I’ve never loved characters and their banter more. This perfect team both hates and loves each other and won't stop getting up no matter how many times they're knocked down. Impossibly high stakes and a plot that pits hero against heroine until their alliance becomes the key to a universe-sized revolution. What an amazing book. I devoured the whole series and can’t wait for the finale. 

By Pippa DaCosta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WARNING. Rated: R. Restricted. Contains space battles, killer AI, intergalactic ass-kicking. Read at your own risk.

She is programmed to kill.
He’ll do anything to survive.

Ex-con Captain Caleb Shepperd believes being good is overrated. All he wants is to smuggle illegal cargo through the nine systems and live a prosperous (likely short) life on the wrong side of the law.

But there's a problem with that plan. The priceless synthetic stowaway on his ship is a distraction he doesn't need.

Torn between selling her and tossing her out the airlock, Shepperd fails to realize the synth is a killer,…

Zero Sum Game

By S. L. Huang,

Book cover of Zero Sum Game

R. E. Stearns Author Of Barbary Station

From the list on looking at the familiar differently.

Who am I?

I’ve always read speculative fiction for its new perspectives on reality. Now that I write it too, I appreciate the fabulous minds that create these unique views of our universe even more. Experience in higher education and instructional design led me to appreciate organization that flows at the speed and direction of thought. I adore a well-turned phrase and a well-built world, and I hope this list leads you to a new experience of that same joy.

R. E.'s book list on looking at the familiar differently

Discover why each book is one of R. E.'s favorite books.

Why did R. E. love this book?

Many readers fear math, and this action-packed adventure may give you new reasons to fear it. The protagonist’s superpower is super-fast mental calculation that lets her dodge bullets and kick incredible quantities of butt in a fight. Even more devious minds are opposing her. If you’ve ever wondered what use your high school physics and calculus classes were, this novel offers some explanation, although you can appreciate the story without them. This is, and I cannot stress this enough, a fun and exciting tale that treats math like magic and totally gets away with doing so.

By S. L. Huang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ZERO SUM GAME Best of Lists:
* Best Books of the Month at The Verge, Book Riot, Unbound Worlds, SYFY, & Kirkus
* The Mary Sue Book Club Pick
* Library Journal Best Debuts of Fall and Winter

A blockbuster near-future thriller, S.L. Huang's Zero Sum Game introduces a math-genius mercenary who finds herself being manipulated by someone possessing unimaginable power…

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she'll take any job for the right…


By Harlan Coben,

Book cover of Win

Michael Craven Author Of Fearless

From the list on sidekicks in crime fiction.

Who am I?

I am a British crime writer with a love of American crime fiction, particularly books with dark plots and quirky, unique characters. I am the author of the Sunday Times bestselling, multiple award-winning, Washington Poe series and the new Ben Koenig series but am first a reader—I read over a hundred books a year. I love discovering a new-to-me series that has a back catalogue for me to work through, and I appreciate recommendations. I’ve been a full-time author since 2015 and, as I suspected, it’s my dream job.

Michael's book list on sidekicks in crime fiction

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

Windsor Horne Lockwood III, otherwise known as Win, is Myron Bolitar’s psychotic sidekick in Coben’s long-running series. Win is pure antihero.

He and Myron have been best friends since they roomed together at college. Win is from ‘old money’ and doesn’t try to hide it, he runs Lock-Horne Investments & Security, and is an expert in martial arts and weapons. Other than Myron and Myron’s business partner, Esperanza, and maybe half a dozen others, he has no emotional attachment to humans.

Despite his psychopathy, Win is a very funny character, and his loyalty to his few friends is absolute. Win is the second book on the list in which the sidekick has gotten a book all to themselves and it was a joy to read.

By Harlan Coben,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the #1 bestselling author and creator of the hit Netflix series The Stranger, Gone For Good and The Innocent comes a riveting new thriller, starring the new hero Windsor Horne Lockwood III - or Win, as he is known to his (few) friends ...
Over twenty years ago, heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family's estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors, and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now.

On New York's Upper West Side, a recluse is found…

The Dying Trade

By Peter Corris,

Book cover of The Dying Trade

Katherine Kovacic Author Of The Shifting Landscape

From the list on Australian crime fiction.

Who am I?

I’m an Australian crime writer and I love reading crime with a real sense of place and/or time. Growing up in Australia, most of the time I read international authors, so finding fabulous books by local authors was a thrill every time, and that excitement has never left me. This list crosses the genre from cosy to hard-boiled crime, which hopefully means something for everyone. If nothing here grabs you, there’s a lot more fantastic Australian crime fiction to discover (did you know Australian author Charlotte Jay won the first ever Edgar Award in 1954?) and I can passion-talk about it anytime!

Katherine's book list on Australian crime fiction

Discover why each book is one of Katherine's favorite books.

Why did Katherine love this book?

Corris and his protagonist, the hard-scrabble private detective Cliff Hardy, are quintessentially Australian. The Dying Trade introduces Cliff (smoker, drinker, ex-boxer) and sets the standard for all the books that follow in this series. It’s dry and laconic, with a wonderful sense of place (a very gritty 1980s Sydney). There’s a definite nod to the greats— Chandler and Hammett in this series; you know Cliff Hardy probably shouldn’t take this job, it’s odds-on he’ll cop a beating along the way, possible he’ll find love and lose it again. I enjoy the author’s economy with words and the moral complexity of his characters. If you like hard-boiled crime, this series is worth a look!

*Note: Sydney is much nicer than it may seem when you walk in Corris’s shoes!

By Peter Corris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Cliff Hardy. Smoker, drinker, ex-boxer. And private investigator.

The Dying Trade not only introduces a sleuth who has become an enduring Australian literary legend—the antihero of thirty-seven thrillers—but it is also a long love letter to the seamy side of Sydney itself.

Book cover of The Complete Chronicles of the Jerusalem Man

Ronald A. Geobey Author Of Gods of Kiranis

From the list on sci-fi fantasy novels for immersive worldbuilding.

Who am I?

While Dune, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica (1980s), and other SF staples laid the foundation for my love of SFF, I was also reading about the universe from a young age. Along came Star Trek: The Next Generation in the ‘90s and the stage was set. Completing Bachelor’s Degrees in Ancient History & Archaeology; Religions & Theology; and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies copper-fastened my passion for the ancient world and the history of religion, and along with reading historical fiction and fantasy, everything merged into the almost allegorical universe you’ll find in Kiranis. Lovers of all the above will find something here.

Ronald's book list on sci-fi fantasy novels for immersive worldbuilding

Discover why each book is one of Ronald's favorite books.

Why did Ronald love this book?

This is my bible, the book I’ve read more times than any other. It’s three books in oneWolf in Shadow, The Last Guardian, and Bloodstone. There’s clearly some direct inspiration here in relation to the mystical power source that keeps cropping up (no spoilers). Some things just get in your head and reintroduce themselves when you least expect it. Jon Shannow is my favourite literary creation, Gemmell my favourite author. Overall, heroic and epic fantasy has had the most influence on my writing style, but I’ve merged it with contemporary language and the vision of large-scale sci-fi. I learned a lot from reading Gemmell, and The Jerusalem Man’s post-apocalyptic setting sees the sharp-shooting anti-hero face darkly religious demagogues, mutated creatures, and insidious megalomaniacs. Shannow is a troubled soul trying to be good in a world of relentless evil, but Gemmell’s writing is sharper, less…

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Chronicles of the Jerusalem Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jon Shannow is a brigand killer who seeks the lost city of Jerusalem, centuries after the fall. This omnibus features 'Wolf in Shadow', 'Last Guardian' and 'Bloodstone'.

Book cover of Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die?

Loren Rhoads Author Of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die

From the list on about cemeteries.

Who am I?

I grew up down the road from the little graveyard where my grandfather was buried. By accident, I discovered the glorious Victorian-era Highgate Cemetery in 1991. A friend sent me to explore Paris’s Pere Lachaise Cemetery – and I was hooked. I’ve gone from stopping by cemeteries when I travel to building vacations around cemeteries I want to see. I’ve gone out of my way to visit cemeteries in the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Japan, Spain, Singapore, and across the United States. At the moment, I’m editing Death’s Garden Revisited, in which 40 contributors answer the question: “Why is it important to visit cemeteries?”

Loren's book list on about cemeteries

Discover why each book is one of Loren's favorite books.

Why did Loren love this book?

Any collection of famous people’s gravesites is going to be idiosyncratic. Ask 10 people whose graves they would like to visit and you will get 100 different answers. That said, this is the most entertaining and reasonably comprehensive encyclopedia of the graves of the famous that you will find outside of Find-a-Grave. I’ve gotten hours of fun from it.

Since it contains very few grave monument photographs, Where Are They Buried? includes a whole lot of people whose ashes have been scattered. I would have loved to leave a rose at the grave of John Lennon, but the Strawberry Fields mosaic in Central Park will have to do.

By Tod Benoit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Where Are They Buried? has directed legions of fervent fans and multitudes of the morbidly curious to the graves, monuments, memorials, and tombstones of the nearly 500 celebrities and antiheroes included in the book.

The most complete and well-organized guide on the subject by far, every entry features an entertaining capsule biography full of little-known facts, a detailed description of the death, and step-by-step directions to the grave, including not only the name of the cemetery but the exact location of the gravesite and how to reach it. The book also provides a handy index of grave locations organized by…

I Am Eve

By Nicolina Martin,

Book cover of I Am Eve

Nikita Slater Author Of Sanctuary's Warlord

From the list on post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.

Who am I?

I’ve had a passion for post-apocalyptic/dystopian tales from the moment I could read as a child growing up on the west coast of Canada. As I got older, I devoured the stories faster and faster, alongside the romances I began reading as a teenager. I enjoy big, explosive action, and I love the idea of building a new world on the ashes of a fallen civilization. Throw in some zombies and a romance and I’m in story heaven. From Stefano Raffaele’s Loving Dead comics, the 2007 independent zombie horror film, The Signal to The Last of Us video game, I will watch, read, and play as much post-apocalyptic material as I can get my hands on. 

Nikita's book list on post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction

Discover why each book is one of Nikita's favorite books.

Why did Nikita love this book?

Nicolina Martin is an excellent indie author who hits all the genres I love with this book: post-apocalyptic/dystopian, romantic suspense, dark romance, action. I love this book because the characters are well-developed and interesting, the world-building is excellent, and the story is engrossing. This book pulls you in with its drama and storytelling and the reader is left more than satisfied by the happily-ever-after romance. 

By Nicolina Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I survived the fall of civilization, but I didn’t live… until I met him.

Adam is not a good man. He’s a criminal. A warlord. Someone who takes without asking. He is guarded and cold.

But that’s not all he is. He’s also a father. A leader. A battered soul who refuses to stop fighting.

I’m blind, but I see the real man behind the wounded, world-weary façade, and I want him more than I’ve ever wanted anything. His touch sets my skin ablaze. He fills my house with laughter and light, and then leaves me with a gift that…

The Long Goodbye

By Raymond Chandler,

Book cover of The Long Goodbye

Michelle Hillen Klump Author Of Murder Served Neat

From the list on putting you in the mood for a good cocktail.

Who am I?

I’m a former reporter turned mystery novelist with a fondness for classic cocktails. I’ve always been fascinated by the art of cocktail making, and how a great mixologist knows exactly what ingredients pair well with others to create new and surprising flavors. As a reader, I like a book that engages all of my senses. In the same way that a great description can draw a reader into a scene, the mention of a certain cocktail can evoke specific moods or memories. In each of these books, cocktails contribute to the atmosphere, offering readers something to savor, like a perfectly made Sazerac.

Michelle's book list on putting you in the mood for a good cocktail

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

The Long Goodbye, the sixth novel in Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe series, is a classic noir with gritty gangsters, brutal cops, femme fatales, and plenty of cocktails.

Marlowe drinks his way through the novel on his quest to find out who killed his friend’s wife. In one scene, a character instructs the bartender how to make a proper gimlet using only gin and Rose’s lime juice, leaving you to wonder what bitter truths the man is trying to dilute with the overly sweet concoction.

As you ponder the forces of good and evil in American society, you can look forward to a twist at the end that is worthy of a good French 75. 

By Raymond Chandler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in a powerful and atmospheric full-cast dramatisation of Raymond Chandler's classic noir novel. The first time Marlowe sets eyes on Terry Lennox, he is lying drunk in the passenger seat of a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. The next time, he's on Skid Row. After they share a few Gimlets, Marlowe thinks he seems like a nice guy, but he's had a hard life - his white hair and scarred face testify to that. Or could it be marriage to Sylvia Lennox that has turned him prematurely grey? Although beautiful and rich, she plays the field…


By Marissa Meyer,

Book cover of Renegades

Taylor Ellwood Author Of Learning How to Fly

From the list on how to save the day from the villain.

Who am I?

I really enjoy superhero fiction, especially superhero fiction that challenges the usual norms of the superhero genre. I’ve always liked reading comics and moving onto superhero novels has only deepened my love of the genre. The list I’ve created is just the tip of the iceberg for superhero fiction and I highly recommend you check out these books for interesting takes on superheroes and villains. 

Taylor's book list on how to save the day from the villain

Discover why each book is one of Taylor's favorite books.

Why did Taylor love this book?

The renegades are a superhero organization that policies all superpowered people, but one of their new members has a secret mission of her own and she’ll do whatever it takes to bring the Renegades down.

But the last thing she expected was to fall in love with one of the Renegades and now she has to choose her mission or her love.

This was a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. 

By Marissa Meyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Secret identities. Extraordinary powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies-humans with extraordinary abilities-who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice-and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a…

The Sweetest Oblivion

By Danielle Lori,

Book cover of The Sweetest Oblivion

N.J. Adel Author Of The Italian Marriage

From the list on arranged marriage mafia romance.

Who am I?

As a woman who comes from a culture that normalizes arranged/forced marriages, turning it into a more delicious fantasy in books rather than a bitter harsh reality has become an obsession of mine. Now, as I’ve written an entire series in the trope, I read and enjoy many by other awesome authors, too. I hope you enjoy the books on the list as much as I have.

N.J.'s book list on arranged marriage mafia romance

Discover why each book is one of N.J.'s favorite books.

Why did N.J. love this book?

You can’t mention the arranged marriage mafia trope without mentioning this book. Even though it’s relatively old, TikTok made it so popular now. You can’t help falling in love with these characters and what they do for each other. As you read, Nico and Elena are just meant for each other despite their history. He’s over the top jealous, possessive antihero, which is exactly how I love my fictional men.

By Danielle Lori,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.They say first impressions are everything . . .In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and…

Lord Foul's Bane

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Book cover of Lord Foul's Bane

Tamara Weed Author Of Time Lifted

From the list on where the author hits a home run with sci-fi.

Who am I?

I’m a huge fan of books where time is a factor. Time intrigues me, as does a good science fiction or science fiction fantasy book. I have a crazy imagination that looks at an object or event and sees it as a possibility for a sci-fi character or time travel event. I write and read to escape from the every day to new worlds where the possibilities are endless. I’m a development coordinator for a multi-family housing development company, a mom, a grandma, a caretaker of an elderly parent, and I write whenever possible. I grew up in Michigan, moved to NM for about 30 years, and now reside in NC.  

Tamara's book list on where the author hits a home run with sci-fi

Discover why each book is one of Tamara's favorite books.

Why did Tamara love this book?

This book has it all—well rounded characters that you come to love and root for, an alternate world that will make you yearn to be there yourself, and a hero, cursed with a disease that makes him an outcast in his own world but a hero in the new world he finds himself in. A hero who can’t believe that he might be able to make a difference if he only knew how, because to believe in the world and the people therein is a dangerous step that a leper dare not make. Giants, horses, people of amazing abilities and an arrogant villain who is only too happy to destroy everything good. Lord Foul’s Bane is the first book in the first trilogy of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this epic story.

By Stephen R. Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Lord Foul's Bane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Comparable to Tolkien at his best' WASHINGTON POST

Instantly recognised as a modern fantasy classic, Stephen Donaldson's uniquely imaginative and complex THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, THE UNBELIEVER became a bestselling literary phenomenon that transformed the genre.

Lying unconscious after an accident, writer Thomas Covenant awakes in the Land - a strange, beautiful world locked in constant conflict between good and evil.

But Covenant, too, has been transformed: weak, angry, and alone in our world, he now holds powers beyond imagining and is greeted as a saviour. Can this man truly become the hero the Land requires?


By Kade Cook,

Book cover of Grey: The Covenant of Shadows

Kayla Krantz Author Of The Council

From the list on creative magical realms in fantasy.

Who am I?

I’m a writer of all genres that’s found a lot of love, particularly in fantasy and thrillers. My love for epic fantasies first began when I was young, and like all young readers, was introduced to Harry Potter and the Magic Tree House series. The idea of being whisked away to a magical world captivated me, and so, I started to create my own stories to keep that magic alive. 

Kayla's book list on creative magical realms in fantasy

Discover why each book is one of Kayla's favorite books.

Why did Kayla love this book?

In Grey, Gabrian doesn’t believe in magic. She’s a psychologist, and proud to be one. She bases her life on logic, but when things start to happen that she can’t explain, she finds herself in a whirlwind of magic. The way that Gabrian slowly comes to the truth is probably my favorite part of this book. As a Borrower, she’s considered not just a magical being, but a dangerous one. At first, she doesn’t handle this well and takes on the role of an anti-hero, nearly villain which was an interesting way to not only build Gabrian’s character but to introduce the truth of the magical world as well.

By Kade Cook,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enchantments will fail.

Closet doors will open.

And skeletons—all dressed in their finest secrets—will come out to dance.

Raised in urban downtown New York, Gabrian holds no grand illusions of how life really works. And legends of magic and vampires, nothing more than a bunch of hocus pocus stuffed within book pages or painted on the big screen.

But when a woman, no one else can see, enters her office and delivers a riddle filled warning about her intended fate, Gabrian's grip on sanity takes a big hit—terrified she is falling into madness.

As Gabrian untangles secrets of her past,…


By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Book cover of Frankenstein

Noreen Herzfeld Author Of The Artifice of Intelligence: Divine and Human Relationship in a Robotic Age

From the list on the dangerous future of AI.

Who am I?

I’m a theologian who started out as a computer scientist. Teaching classes on AI got me wondering, not just whether we’d ever be able to create a human-like AI, but why we wanted to do so in the first place. It seemed to me that computers were the most helpful when they did the things we are not very good at—crunching big calculations, or exploring Mars—stuff we can’t do. That got me thinking that there might be something spiritual going on, that in a world where we increasingly no longer believed in God or angels, we were lonely. That we didn’t want a tool but a companion.  

Noreen's book list on the dangerous future of AI

Discover why each book is one of Noreen's favorite books.

Why did Noreen love this book?

Who’d expect a book written almost 150 years before computers were invented to be one of the best books to help us think about AI? In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores how good motivations can quickly go bad.

Scientist Frankenstein builds a monster with the best of intentions yet fails to foresee what could go wrong and to take the necessary precautions when what he has produced does go wrong. Then he tries to duck responsibility, ending up futilely trying to stop things from getting worse in a desperate bid to stop a chain reaction of destruction. 

Sounds like Silicon Valley? Yup. This is a cautionary tale (and not at all like the Bela Lugosi movies) for our age.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

38 authors picked Frankenstein 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'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…

Rain Will Come

By Thomas Holgate,

Book cover of Rain Will Come

Elle Mitchell Author Of Another Elizabeth

From the list on dark fiction serial killer.

Who am I?

My interest in serial killers began when I was a teen watching horror movies with my mom. I learned all I could about them—even became a horror special-effects makeup artist. Eventually, I had to quit due to my connective tissue disorder (Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). It put me on a path of writing. I love digging into the darker side of humanity—murder or mental illness. The story of a serial killer who could challenge the reader to see disability in a new light came to me, and I had to write her story, if not just so I could dive into the psyche of another serial killer.

Elle's book list on dark fiction serial killer

Discover why each book is one of Elle's favorite books.

Why did Elle love this book?

The biggest strength of this book is a large spoiler, which is a shame. I’d love to gush about it. You (should you choose to read it) get to learn about it as the work unfolds, though. For that, I’m jealous. Who doesn’t love to enjoy something so fun for the first time? The choice of victims and the reason for the kills makes the serial killer so compelling I rooted for the detective to always be one step behind. I loved him, don’t get me wrong. He is flawed and damaged, and I wanted him to succeed eventually. Thomas Holgate makes it easy to do that—want them both to “win”—as both have a point-of-view. The book was fun, interesting, and just a little brutal. 

By Thomas Holgate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A thrilling, page-turning debut about a twisted killer and a broken cop-both with nothing to lose.

Paul Czarcik, the longest-tenured detective in the Illinois Bureau of Judicial Enforcement, puts the rest of the team to shame. Ruthless and riddled with vices, Czarcik always gets his man. And fast. Until now...

A double slaying isn't the open-and-shut case of urban crime he's used to. Connecting it to a high-profile Texas judge, Czarcik realizes something bigger is going on. It's the work of a serial killer for whom Chicago is just the beginning. Now he's inviting Czarcik to play catch-me-if-you-can on a…

Black as Death

By George G. Gilman,

Book cover of Black as Death

Jack Nevada Author Of A Man Called Bone

From the list on the Wild West from London and Playboy.

Who am I?

It would be fair to say that the deconstruction has firmly taken hold of the Western genre in movies. But while an appreciation of Sergio Leone is omnipresent to the point of cliché for cinema buffs, in literature, Louis L’Amor, Zane Grey, and William W. Johnstone reign supreme. Cormac McCarthy’s apocalyptic Western horrors being the exception that makes the rule.

But Western books have their own subversion, and I wanted to spotlight those. The men’s adventure, the pulp fiction, the outright smut. These are the books that inspired my own novel, A Man Called Bone, and I hope it does right by its muses.

Jack's book list on the Wild West from London and Playboy

Discover why each book is one of Jack's favorite books.

Why did Jack love this book?

Before settling into the chronicle of the title character, this first entry in the Undertaker series (from the author of the much longer-running Edge books as well) follows a circuitous course involving an unfaithful wife and a vengeful husband. I won’t spoil the surprises along the way, but the Undertaker himself pushes the Western antihero to its limit. He’s all but emotionless, very nearly a sociopath, but with a certain competence and honor that gives him an appeal. (Even though he’s further saddled by the lame catchphrase ‘Bye-bye.’) I actually find his semi-autistic callousness more bearable than Steele’s more willful nastiness, since it seems the Undertaker was simply born the way he is, rather than choosing it.

You’ll recognize certain plot points from these books remixed into my book, though I found the Undertaker’s continued lack of character development a bit grating from one book to the next. That’s the…

By George G. Gilman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

mass market paperback book

Dawn of Assassins

By Jon Cronshaw,

Book cover of Dawn of Assassins

Austin Crawley Author Of A Halloween Tale

From the list on great horror and dark fantasy off the beaten track.

Who am I?

I've been reading Horror and Dark Fantasy books since I was twelve and prefer this genre over any other. The depths of the human psyche explored in these genres expose the core of storytelling itself and the themes that make the best stories really come alive!

Austin's book list on great horror and dark fantasy off the beaten track

Discover why each book is one of Austin's favorite books.

Why did Austin love this book?

Fedor insists they are thieves, not assassins, but his mentor and a ravenglass dagger say otherwise.

This is a fascinating Dark Fantasy series with magical weapons and wyverns with personality and dark secrets, not least of all their association with the Assassins Guild. Two unlikely anti-heroes get deeper and deeper into trouble with protection gangs, a totally insane assassin who chooses Fedor to replace himself, and a brutal world where danger lurks behind every choice.

By Jon Cronshaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fedor is a thief…

…not a killer.

But when a master assassin recruits him as his next apprentice, he is forced into a life he does not want and cannot escape.

If he leaves, he will die.

But if he stays, he must kill.

Can he survive the master’s relentless evaluation?

From the best-selling author of The Ravenglass Chronicles, comes a gritty young adult dark fantasy adventure featuring a new cast of unforgettable characters.

With fast-paced action, swashbuckling, and witty banter, Dawn of Assassins is perfect for fans of roguish fantasy in the tradition of Michael J. Sullivan, Scott Lynch,…