The best books about cannibalism

Who picked these books? Meet our 43 experts.

43 authors created a book list connected to cannibalism, and here are their favorite cannibalism books.
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What type of cannibalism book?


Four Corners

By Kira Salak,

Book cover of Four Corners: One Woman's Solo Journey Into the Heart of New Guinea

C L Stambush Author Of Untethered: A Woman’s Search for Self on the Edge of India

From the list on solo travel memoirs.

Who am I?

I have a passion for proving women can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone they want! I’ve lived in, worked in, and explored more than 20 countries, traveling by foot, train, truck, bus, boat, camel, donkey cart, and motorcycle. I’m an award-winning creative nonfiction writer and a former National Motorcycle Instructor. My writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Far Eastern Economic Review, Travelers’ Tales, and more. I'm a Hedgebrook Writers’ Colony alumna and hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master’s degree in creative nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Untethered: A Woman’s Search for Self on the Edge of India—A Travel Memoir is my first book.

C L's book list on solo travel memoirs

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

Why did C L love this book?

A story about a white, 24-year-old woman traveling alone in a country where some still practice cannibalism begs to be read. Kira Salak sets out solo in a dugout canoe in Papua New Guinea simply to prove a woman can go anywhere and do anything she wants. In her narrative, she describes the people and wildlife she encounters vividly. I learned a thing or two about hippopotami and concluded I don’t want to run into any in the wild. While she explores her inner thoughts, family life, and what compelled her to do such a thing, it is her physical journey that propelled me to keep reading. I wanted to know what happened next!

By Kira Salak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Following the route taken by British explorer Ivan Champion in 1927, and amid breathtaking landscapes and wildlife, Salak traveled across this remote Pacific island-often called the last frontier of adventure travel--by dugout canoe and on foot. Along the way, she stayed in a village where cannibalism was still practiced behind the backs of the missionaries, met the leader of the OPM--the separatist guerrilla movement opposing the Indonesian occupation of Western New Guinea--and undertook an epic trek through the jungle.

The New York Times said "Kira Salak is tough, a real-life Lara Croft." And Edward Marriott, proclaimed Four Corners to be…

Tender Is the Flesh

By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (translator),

Book cover of Tender Is the Flesh

Leighton Gray Author Of Dream Daddy

From the list on to completely ruin your day.

Who am I?

I like to create silly, fun things. This is not the kind of content I consume. If something makes me feel bad, I generally like it; if it is also beautiful, I will like it a lot. It is through the generosity of the Shepherd team that I was allowed to flip a promo for a gay dad comic into a way for me to peer pressure you into consuming media that will make you feel bad. Consider this list an aperitif for the feel-goodness of Dream Daddy, a delicate shot glass of cyanide after a hearty meal. Bon appetit!

Leighton's book list on to completely ruin your day

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

Why did Leighton love this book?

I would be remiss if I wrote a list of day-ruining books without at least a little bit of cannibalism. Don’t fret though, because this book is nothing but graphic human slaughter and cannibalism! Absolutely no one in this book is having a good time, and you won’t either! I am a filthy meat eater but this book makes a hell of a case for never touching the stuff again. It’s mildly insufferable of me to say, but there are few things that shock me anymore – and this book made me feel physically ill at multiple points. It’s absolutely sickening. It makes you feel alive. It’s great!

By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It all happened so quickly. First, animals became infected with the virus and their meat became poisonous. Then governments initiated the Transition. Now, 'special meat' - human meat - is legal.

Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans - only no one calls them that. He works with numbers, consignments, processing. One day, he's given a gift to seal a deal: a specimen of the finest quality. He leaves her in his barn, tied up, a problem to be disposed of later.

But she haunts Marcos. Her trembling body, and watchful gaze, seem to understand. And soon, he becomes…

Succulent Prey

By Wrath James White,

Book cover of Succulent Prey

David L. Tamarin Author Of Hurting My Toys: Spiritual Suicide

From the list on extreme horror.

Who am I?

My experience and expertise – I am not only a reader of horror, in particular extreme horror, but I am a published writer with several hundred writing credits. I have had hundreds of stories and articles published on many websites, magazines, and anthologies including a story in Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 5. For eleven years I wrote articles on the bizarre and morbid for Girls and Corpses magazine. I have been consistently writing for 20 years, and have also helped write several independent horror films. I have written many reviews and interviews as well, most recently in Phantasmagoria Magazine.

David's book list on extreme horror

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

Why did David love this book?

Wrath is truly the king of extreme horror and this is his best book. The over the top sex and violence will leave you traumatized in this tale of a cannibalistic serial killer. At times erotic and at times disgusting, this book at no point bores the reader and is a good introduction to an amazing writer.

By Wrath James White,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"This is a serial cannibalistic killer’s wet dream come true. The author Wrath James White had written something beyond dark, beyond morbid.” - John Rizo, HorrorNews.Net

"The Resurrectionist by Wrath James White the kind of novel that can unsettle even the most hardened gore fanatic. White writes the kind of horror that gets under your skin, and reading his brand of hardcore fiction may have the unintended side effect of making you feel...wrong. Seriously wrong." - I.E. Lester, Dark Scribe Magazine

Fifteen years ago Joseph Miles was abducted, tortured and almost killed by a serial killer with the taste for…

The Gospel of Blood

By Nico Claux,

Book cover of The Gospel of Blood: The crimes and trial of the Vampire of Paris in his own words

Sondra London Author Of The Making of a Serial Killer

From the list on recent true crime books.

Who am I?

I am a  true-crime author. Most recently, I have released a pair of related books: The Making of a Serial Killer: 2d Ed, by Danny Rolling as told to myself; and Danny Rolling Serial Killer: Interviews. Before that, I published Good Little Soldiers: A Memoir of True Horror. Coauthored with Dianne Fitzpatrick, it relates her tale of murder & mind control under the US Army MK Ultra program. Earlier, I wrote True Vampires, an encyclopedic compendium of bloody crimes, and Knockin' on Joe: Voices from Death Row. I also collaborated with serial killer GJ Schaefer on Killer Fiction, a volume of psychopathic musings he wrote for me.

Sondra's book list on recent true crime books

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

Why did Sondra love this book?

At long last the Vampire of Paris crawls from his crypt, a living legend emblazoned with magical sigils and muttering dire imprecations for 666 searing pages. A world-renowned artist and bold aesthete of the macabre, Nico Claux holds a Japanese cannibal as his role model and calls Satan his homeboy. This reclusive genius goes beyond the pale only to reveal himself as a regular bloke, albeit one with a taste for torture and blasphemy. Meant to be read in the darkest night!

By Nico Claux,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Gospel of Blood is the autobiography of Nico Claux, a French morgue attendant whose morbid obsessions led him to grave robbery, cannibalism and murder in the early 1990s. It is a bone-chilling chronicle of a real-life vampire who prowled the Gothic cemeteries of Paris, unearthing coffins and mutilating the bodies inside. A practicing Satanist, Claux escalated to murder after working for a year in several morgues, receiving orders to kill from the corpses he had autopsied.The Gospel of Blood provides a rare insight into a killer’s tortured mind, as he relates the graphic details of his crimes, including never-before…

The Devourers

By Indra Das,

Book cover of The Devourers

K. Eason Author Of Enemy

From the list on weird-ass (and wonderful) world-building fantasy.

Who am I?

I'm a long-time role-player/gamemaster and reader of SFF, and I've read, created, and played (and written!) a lot of stories. Good stories come from good characters. We all know that. But part of what makes characters good is that they're believable, and to me their believability is inextricable from the worlds they come from. A world-build—setting, weather, technology, magic, science, cultures, and languages—should BE as much of a character as the protagonist(s). While I admit a fond nostalgia for ye olde semi-Euro-medieval setting, I love a world-build that challenges or surprises me, and I love the characters and stories that come out of those worlds. I hope you do too.

K.'s book list on weird-ass (and wonderful) world-building fantasy

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

Why did K. love this book?

This book also haunts me.

It's the story of a "half-werewolf," as told by that half-werewolf to a professor, Alok, in Kolkata, India. There are tales written on skins, and tales of changing skinsthese werewolves, though, they don't just change shape.

They devour, body and soul, their victims, and so change themselves in the process. I love me a good mixed genre, and this one is fantasy, horror, and historical fiction together. And the prose is just beautiful. 

By Indra Das,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The cold day never ends. With nothing but time on his hands, Jake was on a simple drive to visit his brother until he was attacked by a strange convict. Now, he doubts his sanity at every turn as he finds himself decades off course and caged in, with an ancient American evil.

Throwim Way Leg

By Tim Flannery,

Book cover of Throwim Way Leg: Tree-Kangaroos, Possums, and Penis Gourds

Charlie Walker Author Of Through Sand & Snow: a man, a bicycle, and a 43,000-mile journey to adulthood via the ends of the Earth

From the list on solo adventure.

Who am I?

I started solo travelling as soon as I left school, and since then I’ve spent many years doing so. I came of age while cycling, kayaking, hiking and skiing across distant lands. The bittersweetness of being alone on the road has become a source of constant fascination for me. The on-again-off-again loneliness creates a state of mind where you’re that much more willing to throw yourself in at the deep end, to meet strangers, and to look, listen and learn. At its very best, solo travel writing seamlessly encompasses two journeys: the physical journey in a foreign land, and the psychological journey within the author.

Charlie's book list on solo adventure

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

Why did Charlie love this book?

Throwim Way Leg is an otherworldly account of a country I’ve come to know well in recent years. Biologist Tim Flannery travelled far and wide in this land of mountains and jungle throughout the 80s, when ancient and unsavoury practices were still widespread, or at least existed in very recent memory. The book is a hilarious, non-judgemental, and open-minded account of New Guinean tribal life. Everything from cannibalism to courtship is related alongside a fascinating look at the mammalian life inhabiting some of the world’s deepest recesses of jungle.

By Tim Flannery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Flannery travels to the unexplored regions of New Guinea in search of species that science has yet to discover or classify. He finds many -- from a community of giant cave bats that were supposedly extinct to the elusive black-and-white tree-kangaroo -- and along the way has a wealth of unforgettable adventures. Flannery scales cliffs, descends into caverns, and cheats death, both from disease and at the hands of the local cannibals, who wish to take revenge on his "clan" of wildlife scientists. He eventually befriends the tribespeople, who become companions in his quest and whose contributions to his research…


By Roy Simon,

Book cover of Habitat

Sophie Goldstein Author Of The Oven

From the list on for speculative fiction lovers.

Who am I?

I am a compulsive reader and writer of speculative fiction, in love with the genre’s capacity to extrapolate our present social, economic and technological into horrifying/astonishing futures. That being said, I need strong writing and compelling characters to pull me into a world and make it feel lived in and real. It’s this kind of emotional realism that I seek out as a reader and try to create as an author.

Sophie's book list on for speculative fiction lovers

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

Why did Sophie love this book?

A generational ship fallen to ruin and tribalism? Sign me up! Roy spares no effort in bringing to life his vivid, action-packed book. The fun here is less the characters than the world-building and how artfully the past is revealed plot-point by plot-point like a delicious sci-fi strip-tease. Plus, Roy drew the shit out of this book.

By Roy Simon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

All his life, Hank Cho wanted to join the ranks of the Habsec - the rulers of the orbital habitat his people call home. But when he finds a powerful, forbidden weapon from the deep past, a single moment of violence sets his life - and the brutal society of the habitat - into upheaval. Hunted by the cannibalistic Habsec and sheltered by former enemies, Cho finds himself caught within a civil war that threatens to destroy his world.

A new barbarian sci-fi adventure from SIMON ROY (Prophet, Jan's Atomic Heart, Tiger Lung). Collecting installments originally serialized in ISLAND MAGAZINE…

The Edible Woman

By Margaret Atwood,

Book cover of The Edible Woman

Caroline Hardaker Author Of Composite Creatures

From the list on creepy books with women in the lead role.

Who am I?

Caroline Hardaker is an author, poet, and librettist who writes dark and twisty tales about anything speculative, from folklore to the future. She’s a sporadic puppet-maker and house plant collector, and lives in the northeast of England with her husband, son, and giant cat. Caroline’s debut poetry collection, Bone Ovation, was published by Valley Press in 2017, and her first full-length collection, Little Quakes Every Day, was published by Valley Press in November 2020. Caroline’s debut novel, Composite Creatures, was published by Angry Robot in April 2021.

Caroline's book list on creepy books with women in the lead role

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

Why did Caroline love this book?

Somehow insidious yet funny, The Edible Woman explores emotional cannibalism and the destructive power of man-woman relationships. Our protagonist, Marian, exists in a world of robotic emotions and mechanical compulsions. When faced with her upcoming nuptuals, Marian begins to see food as living and suffering entities, and as this modern fable progresses, we begin to understand the nature of humanity is to eat or be eaten.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancee and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn't count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can't stomach ... The Edible Woman is a funny, engaging novel about emotional cannibalism, men and women, and desire to be consumed.

The Sign of the Cannibal

By Geoffrey Sanborn,

Book cover of The Sign of the Cannibal: Melville and the Making of a Postcolonial Reader

Wyn Kelley and Christopher Sten Author Of "Whole Oceans Away": Melville and the Pacific

From the list on understanding Herman Melville’s itch for adventure.

Who are we?

We approached our book, theme, and recommendations as readers and lovers of Melville’s work who were inspired by following in his footsteps to places “whole oceans away,” as he describes the Pacific in Moby-Dick. Melville traveled widely and kept up his travels throughout a lifetime of further exploration, as well as voluminous writing. We want to share the exhilaration of traveling with a writer: that is, by reading of Melville’s travels, traveling to the places he visited, and also hearing from people who know those places too. We hope our book gives readers contact with the many dimensions of global travel, in whatever form they find for themselves.

Wyn and Christopher's book list on understanding Herman Melville’s itch for adventure

Discover why each book is one of Wyn and Christopher's favorite books.

Why did Wyn and Christopher love this book?

Sanborn’s is one of the best books for tracing a thought process experienced by Melville, or many a Western traveler in the Pacific trying to make sense of challenging cultural differences. Focusing on the taboo topic of cannibalism, Sanborn breaks down Western anxieties and fears of the unknown, showing how Melville balanced different cultural perspectives against his own experience. The result is a profoundly informative guide to how one may rethink cultural norms and how Melville’s later works reflected on his foundational early experiences and travels.

By Geoffrey Sanborn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In The Sign of the Cannibal Geoffrey Sanborn offers a major reassessment of the work of Herman Melville, a definitive history of the post-Enlightenment discourse on cannibalism, and a provocative contribution to postcolonial theory. These investigations not only explore mid-nineteenth century resistance to the colonial enterprise but argue that Melville, using the discourse on cannibalism to critique colonialism, contributed to the production of resistance.
Sanborn focuses on the representations of cannibalism in three of Melville's key texts-Typee, Moby-Dick, and "Benito Cereno." Drawing on accounts of Pacific voyages from two centuries and virtually the entire corpus of the post-Enlightenment discourse on…

Solitary Man

By Eric Landfried,

Book cover of Solitary Man

Daphne Self Author Of When Legends Rise

From the list on captured my ADD personality.

Who am I?

I love to read. Reading since I was 3 years old, devouring book after book. As I grew, my taste expanded. Yet it was the sci-fi book, The Black Hole, by Disney that I discovered in second grade that captured my passion for writing and storytelling. I cannot count how many books I've read, but I can tell you the ones that have left a lasting impression on me. Because of that, I began to write my own stories. I've seven books written and published, the newest one releasing soon. While my tastes in books vary, only one thing remains consistent: finding the best books that capture me and hold me hostage!

Daphne's book list on captured my ADD personality

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

Why did Daphne love this book?

Eric Landfried put a new spin on a dystopian setting. I’ve always enjoyed the movies Mad Max and Book of Eli. With Solitary Man (and yes, I start singing the Johnny Cash song!), I got the same vibe as those movies, yet with a twist! From zombie-like cannibals to a super-enhanced military general, the character was hard-pressed to survive. I just couldn’t put this book down!

By Eric Landfried,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ten years after a brutal war, cannibals and humans fight over the pieces of a hardscrabble existence.

Former Navy SEAL Doyle has been prowling the broken remnants of a devastated America for years. Alone in an armored bus loaded with weapons and supplies, he's grateful for his solitude. Being alone makes it easier to survive, as others can become a liability in the end of the world. But when a particularly brutal attack leaves Doyle in need of fuel and repair, he has no choice but to venture into the nearest settlement.

Jonathan has been pastoring a small church of…

Book cover of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Tyrolin Puxty Author Of Esteemed Vampire Cat

From the list on middle grade books adults and kids can laugh at.

Who am I?

Look, it’s simple really. Peter Pan visited me when I was young, abducted me, and showed me that remaining a big kid is much more beneficial than becoming a boring adult with too many responsibilities. I’ve published multiple MG books and prefer this genre’s colourful, exciting stories. I’m also Australian, and we have a weird sense of humour, so I’m not sure if that classifies as expertise on this particular subject, but let’s go with that. 

Tyrolin's book list on middle grade books adults and kids can laugh at

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

Why did Tyrolin love this book?

Children will find this funny. How could they not, when the entire book is through the perspective of an actual imaginary friend, getting up to mischievous antics? For adults though, it's more like Toy Story 3 as you realise the imaginary friends are contemplating their own mortality, wondering how they could possibly survive when their friends literally disappear once the human stops 'believing' in them. So, look, 50/50 from a comedic level. Solid 90 for overall enjoyment. 

By Matthew Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Budo is Max's imaginary friend. He and his fellow imaginary friends watch over their children until the day comes that the child stops imagining them. And then they're gone. Budo has lasted a lot longer than most imaginary friends - four years - because Max needs him more. His parents argue about sending him to a special school. But Max is perfectly happy if everything is just kept the way it is, and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Unfortunately, something out of the ordinary is going to happen - and then he'll need Budo more than ever...

Fatal Passage

By Ken McGoogan,

Book cover of Fatal Passage: The Story of John Rae, the Arctic Hero Time Forgot

Alastair Scott Author Of Tracks Across Alaska

From the list on the Far North.

Who am I?

For five years I hitchhiked round the world, for the most part in a kilt. I cycled 5000 miles behind the Iron Curtain before it fell and took a dog team across Alaska. I’ve sailed solo round Ireland and endured storms off Greenland. Currently, I’m cycling in stages from North Cape to Cape Town.  Unconventional travel has been a part of my life for forty years.  As a writer I try to inform and entertain, and my eye is drawn to quirky detail and humour.  I’m inspired by wild places and the people who live in them:  their customs and intrinsic wisdom.  In particular I’m fascinated by the Far North and have travelled extensively throughout this region.

Alastair's book list on the Far North

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

Why did Alastair love this book?

Scotsman John Rae was the greatest explorer of the Canadian Arctic that ever lived. Yet he was vilified in the press, his reputation sullied. For ten years he was denied the £10,000 reward that was rightfully his for discovering the fate of the Franklin expedition and the knighthood awarded to lesser achievers was cruelly withheld. Why?  Because he ‘went native’ and adopted Inuit survival techniques considered ‘uncivilised’ in Victorian Britain - but above all because he discovered, and had the temerity to announce, that the Franklin survivors had resorted to cannibalism. This book is an enthralling account of Rae’s life. I had actually set out to write a biography myself, unable to believe that such a story had not been written up, when McGoogan’s book appeared. I have nothing but reverence for his work, and imagine ‘Sir’ John Rae as I believe he will one day be, would be equally…

By Ken McGoogan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

John Rae's accomplishments, surpassing all nineteenth-century Arctic explorers, were worthy of honors and international fame. No explorer even approached Rae's prolific record: 1,776 miles surveyed of uncharted territory; 6,555 miles hiked on snowshoes; and 6,700 miles navigated in small boats. Yet, he was denied fair recognition of his discoveries because he dared to utter the truth about the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew, Rae's predecessors in the far north. Author Ken McGoogan vividly narrates the astonishing adventures of Rae, who found the last link to the Northwest Passage and uncovered the grisly truth about the cannibalism of…

A Tale Dark & Grimm

By Adam Gidwitz, Hugh D'Andrade (illustrator),

Book cover of A Tale Dark & Grimm

Mary DeSantis Author Of Grimmfay: The Circus of Fairy Tales and Dreams

From the list on retelling that tangle multiple fairy tales.

Who am I?

I grew up on a steady diet of Disney movies, and while I knew they didn’t stay true to the original tales, that didn’t stop me from loving them. Fast-forward through an MFA in genre fiction from Seton Hill University, and I landed a gig writing study guides for fiction novels, where I put my love of fairy tales to good use. In particular, retellings fascinate me because they bring something new to something old. The books on this list stayed with me because of their deep ties to stories that shaped who I am, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Mary's book list on retelling that tangle multiple fairy tales

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

Why did Mary love this book?

I read this a few years ago, thought it was cute, and moved on. I recently reread it on a much deeper dive, and I found a story that was so much more than it appeared initially.

Gidwitz’s humor is excellent—I laughed out loud reading this. But he also touches on so many themes that are present throughout fairy tales while not shying away from either the darkness or the light.

I loved the way he combined some of the lesser-known tales with Hansel and Gretel to make something that was more than any one story had been before. It was something I wanted to replicate in my own way, and he does it so well.

By Adam Gidwitz, Hugh D'Andrade (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Tale Dark & Grimm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

The Rituals of Dinner

By Margaret Visser,

Book cover of The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners

Carolyn Steel Author Of Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World

From the list on how food shapes our lives.

Who am I?

Food and architecture have been dual passions in my life for as long as I can remember. My grandparents had a hotel in Bournemouth, and I can still recall my fascination with the way everything changed as I passed through the green baize doors between the service areas and the public rooms. I became an architect, but food was always there in the background, and much later, I realised how I could bring the two together in order to describe the world in a completely new way. This led to my first book, Hungry City, and its follow-up Sitopia, both of which have changed the way I see the world. 

Carolyn's book list on how food shapes our lives

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

Why did Carolyn love this book?

The Rituals of Dinner opened my eyes to the power and complexity of eating with other people – something we all do throughout our lives – and the profound ways in which this affects our relationships with friends and strangers alike.

The book delves into the history of the shared meal, dissecting various rituals which, despite regional differences, nevertheless have common threads across the world, for example in the deep, often hidden power that lies in the relationship between host and guest (words that both derive from the same root, ghostis) and the strong, even life-changing implications of knowing how to behave at dinner.

This is a fascinating and beautifully written book that will have you thinking about the way we eat long after you have finished it. 

By Margaret Visser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With an acute eye and an irrepressible wit, Margaret Visser takes a fascinating look at the way we eat our meals. From the ancient Greeks to modern yuppies, from cannibalism and the taking of the Eucharist to formal dinners and picnics, she thoroughly defines the eating ritual.

"Read this book. You'll never look at a table knife the same way again."-The New York Times.


By Herman Melville,

Book cover of Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life

Nanine Case Author Of Cannibal King

From the list on adventure capturing the challenges of the unknown.

Who am I?

Some look through the glass and admire what lies beyond. I look beyond the glass and imagine what's ahead. What is an adventure? It's an encounter with the unexpected, an exquisite moment in time that can never be repeated, those memorable chapters in our personal story that cause us to go to the attic and lift the lid of the trunk. I've lived the experiences in my books because I walked the beaten paths where those stories were born and embraced the culture that colors the pages. I'm an intrepid traveler and adventurer with still a few personal chapters to write. As I look beyond the glass, I wonder… Will my trunk ever be full?

Nanine's book list on adventure capturing the challenges of the unknown

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

Why did Nanine love this book?

Typee is Herman Melville’s account of his sojourn on the Marquesan Island of Nuku Hiva in the 1800s. It nearly replicated my distant relative’s story, making it a must-read.

Melville was a young sailor with an adventurous spirit. Disenchanted with his hard life on a whaling ship he deserted and escaped to Nuku Hiva’s Bay of Taipaivi where he was captured by a cannibal tribe. For four months, he lived and survived among savages. 

After Melville returned to civilization he later wrote Typee – the story that forever changed how I view savages. A century-plus later, I stepped freely off a boat onto Nuku Hiva’s distant shore. Visions of the impetuous and foolhardy sailor relative whose footprints I was about to trace made my scalp tighten with anticipation.  

By Herman Melville,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Melville, Herman, Typee

The Last Plague

By Rich Hawkins,

Book cover of The Last Plague

David Moody Author Of Dawn

From the list on the inevitable bleakness of the apocalypse.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing about the end of the world for years, so I know my way around the apocalypse! It’s not as dark as it sounds – it’s not the end of the world itself that I find fascinating, it’s imagining the reactions of the people who inhabit these nightmare scenarios. I’m a people watcher at heart, and these days it seems we’re increasingly restricted by the polarization of society, almost forced to pick a side. Come the apocalypse, all the preconceptions and regulations will be stripped away, and folks will behave as they genuinely want to, not how they think they should. Now that would really be something to behold!

David's book list on the inevitable bleakness of the apocalypse

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

Why did David love this book?

Take the body horror nightmare of John Carpenter’s The Thing and substitute the remoteness of that film’s Antarctic setting for the densely populated familiarity of the UK. When a deadly infection strikes, four friends must cross a chaotic, war-torn England to reach their families. The infection turns people into vile, cannibalistic monsters that are almost Lovecraftian in their grotesqueness. There’s something about the juxtaposition of the normality of UK life and the unrelenting horror of the infection that really hits home. This is a vicious book that pulls no punches and spares no one. Beautifully written, and bleak as hell.

By Rich Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A pestilence has fallen across the land. Run and hide. Seek shelter. Do not panic. The infected WILL find you. When Great Britain is hit by a devastating epidemic, four old friends must cross a chaotic, war-torn England to reach their families. But between them and home, the country is teeming with those afflicted by the virus - cannibalistic, mutated monsters whose only desires are to infect and feed. THE LAST PLAGUE is here.

Off Season

By Jack Ketchum,

Book cover of Off Season

Ryan C. Thomas Author Of The Summer I Died

From the list on testing the endurance of the dark and disturbed.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a fan of horror because a good scare makes the adrenaline flow. Personally, I don’t think ghosts and demons are real, and they don’t scare me. But humans…humans can be downright evil. This is why I gravitate toward serial killer and slasher fiction when I’m looking for a scare. Sometimes I just want to test my endurance for the dark side of human nature. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to write a really depraved book without taking the time to make the reader care about the characters, which is why these novels are my favorite works of darkness. These are great, disturbing books with genuine pathos.

Ryan's book list on testing the endurance of the dark and disturbed

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

Why did Ryan love this book?

Ketchum’s classic survival horror novel about cannibals attacking a cabin of vacationers is pure 80s slasher goodness. It was perhaps the darkest book of its kind for a long time and pulls no punches with the intensity of its chase scenes. Ketchum’s economical writing style makes it a very easy read, one where you will root for the good guys, and be left emotionally drained by the end.

By Jack Ketchum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River―off season―awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall…

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface…and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.

This novel contains graphic content and is…

Holmes on the Range

By Steve Hockensmith,

Book cover of Holmes on the Range

Fedora Amis Author Of Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James

From the list on that bring a touch of humor to the Old West.

Who am I?

I love history and I love to laugh. That’s why I brand myself as a writer of Victorian Whodunits with a touch of humor. I’ve spent decades learning about 1800s America. I began sharing that knowledge by performing in costume as real women of history. But I couldn’t be on stage all the time so I began writing the books I want to read, books that entertain while sticking to the basic facts of history and giving the flavor of an earlier time. I seek that great marriage of words that brings readers to a new understanding. As Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” 

Fedora's book list on that bring a touch of humor to the Old West

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

Why did Fedora love this book?

Steve Hockensmith is a hoot. I love this book. It features Sherlock Holmes wannabe Old Red and boyish galoot Big Red as the Huck Finn version of Watson. Steve’s books are raucously funny while offering a brand new perspective on the last decade of the 19th century.

By Steve Hockensmith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Somewhere due west of Deadwood, a pair of unlikely cowboy sleuths investigate murder just like their hero, Sherlock Holmes. 1893 is a tough year in Montana, and any job is a good job. When Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at the secretive Bar- VR cattle spread, they're not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire around which they can enjoy their favourite pastime: scouring Harpers J,Veekly for stories about the famous Sherlock Holmes. When another ranch hand turns up in an outhouse with a bullet in his brain, Old…

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of The Road

Stefán Máni Author Of Deathbook

From the list on losing faith in humanity but having a good time.

Who am I?

I'm Stefán Máni, the Dark prince of Nordic noir. I was an avid book reader from an early age but I didn’t believe I could become a writer myself one day. I dropped out of school at the age of 17, worked in the fishing industry, and travelled to Europe and the United States. I started writing at the age of 23, published my first book at the age of 26, and my first best-seller at the age of 34; the thriller Black’s Game that became a popular movie in 2012. Since then I've written many best sellers and created the most popular character in Icelandic literature; detective Hordur Grímsson.

Stefán's book list on losing faith in humanity but having a good time

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

Why did Stefán love this book?

This is one of the bleakest books I have ever read. And then I read it again, and again.

Why? Because it is scary as hell, and extremely well written. It sets its claws into you and it won’t let go.

The Road is a dystopian masterpiece. The World has ended and what is left is mostly nothing but also horror almost beyond comprehension.

Murder, starvation, cannibalism, you name it. The book is scary because this could happen.

You are also deeply worried about the protagonists; the father and son of the story. In a World without hope, they manage to find it and keep it alive in their hearts. I still have not seen the movie and I do not want to. I love the book too much.

A well-written story creates magic in your brain. This book is magical. A must-read. But a tough one. 

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…