The best books about Cult following

2 authors have picked their favorite books about Cult following and why they recommend each book.

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XX

By Rian Hughes,

Book cover of XX

A hugely ambitious mix of text and graphic design, in which typography is used in bold and disarming ways. It is also a genuinely compelling sci-fi novel about very, very, big ideas. Filled with meta-narratives, in-jokes, artistic references, and mixed media, it’s an interesting alternative to that other oft-cited cult classic House of Leaves. As someone who has worked as both designer and editor, I was blown away by Hughes’s ability to combine a good story with such avant-garde design. The themes communicated will give you much to contemplate – or ramble on about to any friends you successfully corner. A staggering achievement destined to be a future cult classic.

XX

By Rian Hughes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A boundary pushing, extremely inventive sci-? epic of ?rst contact by world-renowned graphic designer and comics creator Rian Hughes

When a signal of extraterrestrial origin is intercepted by one of Earth s most powerful radio satellites, people worldwide, including a small team of tech outsiders at a software engineering ?rm specializing in arti?cial intelligence, race to interpret the message carried by what could be the ?rst communication from an intergalactic civilization. Has humanity made ?rst contact? Is the signal itself an alien life-form? A threat? If so, how will the people of Earth respond?

Supplemented by redacted NASA reports, magazine…

Who am I?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with cultural curiosities, extraordinary eccentrics, secret societies, decadent dandies, rebels, devils, and anything weird and wonderful. I parlayed a love of Word and Image into a career in the arts and worked for places including Tate, Thames & Hudson and the British Library. But to be honest with you, that was just a ruse so I could spend more time delving through interesting books and prints. Some people see the world a little differently; I think we all benefit by spending a bit of time in the company of their art. "It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through."


I wrote...

Graven Images: The Art of the Woodcut

By Jon Crabb,

Book cover of Graven Images: The Art of the Woodcut

What is my book about?

While working in the British Library’s publishing department, I spent happy hours pondering "Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore." At some point, I stumbled on their collection of Early Modern ballads and pamphlets. I was entranced by the crude, bizarre, and often hilarious woodcuts that illustrated them, and set about collecting the most striking and amusing examples. 

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw an explosion of cheap printed materials, made possible by the advent of woodblock printing and mass-produced paper. Unlike expensively bound books, these broadsides were not produced for the intellectual elite, but pasted on walls and distributed among the masses. They uniquely capture the obsessions of the time; namely monsters, witches, alcohol, and scandal.

The Door Into Fire

By Diane Duane,

Book cover of The Door Into Fire: The Tale of the Five, Volume One

The Door into Fire is the first book in the Tale of Five series by Diane Duane. Set in the Middle Kingdoms universe, it follows the adventures of a sorcerous swordsmith who is desperately trying to master the power of the blue Flame while protecting the person he loves from annihilation. The Door into Fire is saga of power, magic, and friendship readers of epic fantasies will love.

The Door Into Fire

By Diane Duane,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

Although I was part of a large family, I frequently felt alone growing up. While my siblings were busy playing sports or running around with their friends, I sat by myself in the basement, reading fantasy stories. Eventually, I began creating my own worlds and published the Riddle in Stone series and Sword of Betrayal. I suppose I’m still trying to find a place where I fit in.


I wrote...

Sword of Betrayal

By Robert Evert,

Book cover of Sword of Betrayal

What is my book about?

Edris wants to be a poet. His father wants him to kill the king's son.

The latest Kings’ Quest has been announced. The adventurer who finds the fabled Sword of Betrayal will win one thousand gold pieces, money Edris could use to start his own life with the woman he loves. Edris’s father, however, has another idea—he wants Edris to undertake the quest so he can kill the king’s son.

Island

By Richard Laymon,

Book cover of Island

Laymon provides the perfect mix of psychological horror and serial killer madness in this cult novel that is part murder mystery and part survival horror. In Island, a family boat trip to a remote island goes horribly awry when someone starts offing family members one by one. It will leave you shocked and satisfied with its overwhelming tension and disturbing ending.

Island

By Richard Laymon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If you've missed Laymon, you've missed a treat' Stephen King.

When eight people are shipwrecked on a deserted island they take solace in the fact that at least they have fresh water, food and firewood. Now all they have to do is sit tight until they're rescued. There's just one problem - they're not alone. In the jungle behind the beach, there's a maniac on the loose and he's plotting to kill them all, one by one...


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.


I wrote...

The Summer I Died: The Roger Huntington Saga, Book 1

By Ryan C. Thomas,

Book cover of The Summer I Died: The Roger Huntington Saga, Book 1

What is my book about?

Dubbed one of “The Most Intense Horror Novels” ever written by many thriller review sites, The Summer I Died is the first book in the Roger Huntington saga and a cult classic among fans of dark thriller fiction. Best friends, Roger and Tooth, are shooting beer cans at Bobcat Mountain, catching up on lost time, thinking about their futures, when they are suddenly thrust into the middle of a nightmare. Forced to fight for their lives against a sadistic serial killer, they must decide: are heroes born, or are they made? Blumhouse.com says “You’re in for a surprise!” and Bloodydisgusting.com says, “If you want to freak yourself out on your next camping trip, you can’t really do any better than The Summer I Died!”

The Birthday Cake Mystery

By The Tjong-Khing,

Book cover of The Birthday Cake Mystery

The characters in this visual mystery can be followed on each spread in a myriad of storylines that surprise and delight. With so many complex plots, in order to truly appreciate this book, re-reading is a must! Whose birthday is it? What is the mystery? Why is it so difficult to make a cake for the party? Fiascos and disasters abound, a classic illustration style that would keep detail-loving kids reading for hours.

The Birthday Cake Mystery

By The Tjong-Khing,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

From the ages of 1-4, my son Finn deeply rooted himself into the detailed world of Richard Scarry. These books could be such slow reads that we only needed two of them for long airplane rides. Through Finn’s love of Scarry books, I began searching for more books that delighted with detail. And when I did not see my family’s bicycle-rich lifestyle reflected in books, I created Cycle City.


I wrote...

Cycle City: (City Books for Kids, Find and Seek Books)

By Alison Farrell,

Book cover of Cycle City: (City Books for Kids, Find and Seek Books)

What is my book about?

When little Etta the Elephant goes to her Aunt Ellen's house, she takes a journey through bicycle-filled Cycle City, a town filled with bikes of all kinds! At the end of the day, a special surprise awaits Etta—the most amazing bicycle parade imaginable.

Detail-rich illustrations in this fun seek-and-find book paint the colors of this unusual town where everyone rides some kind of bike—whether a penny-farthing, a two-wheeled unicycle, or a conference bike, everyone is on wheels! Packed with prompts and lots to see on every page, this is a sweet story for the sharpest of eyes.

The Making of Star Trek

By Stephen E. Whitfield, Gene Roddenberry,

Book cover of The Making of Star Trek

I have no idea why this book was made. Star Trek was a cult show that was nearly canceled after its second season until the first fan campaign helped it earn one more run. So whose genius idea was it—in the midst of production—to create this book detailing how the show was made from soup to nuts? My thanks to the writers, editors, and publishers who made it happen. Because the result is an extraordinary contemporaneous look at a television show from the 1960s that changed the world. And my life, too. I found Star Trek as a child and this book as an early teen. Its insights made me determined that I, too, would somehow become a part of Star Trek production. Even if the show had finished filming before I was even born. Bless my Trekkie English teacher who had this book on her “borrowing” shelf. 

The Making of Star Trek

By Stephen E. Whitfield, Gene Roddenberry,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

In a life that has thus far led from reader and fan to writers’ assistant to author and journalist to television story writer to editor, these are the books that helped define my passions for storytelling worlds as well as the path of my career and informed me along the way. 


I wrote...

Quotable Star Trek

By Jill Sherwin,

Book cover of Quotable Star Trek

What is my book about?

More than any other single aspect, Star Trek is defined by the strength of its ideas. For decades this television and movie phenomenon has reached out to its audience, spanning generations and inspiring them not simply with the power of its voice, but with the meaning behind it.

Quotable Star Trek demonstrates the truly universal appeal of Gene Roddenberry's extraordinary creation. Words of wit, wisdom, and compelling insight applicable to everyday life from The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation®, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine®, Star Trek Voyager®, and eight Star Trek motion pictures have been meticulously researched and collected in one volume. Intensely thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining, Quotable Star Trek has something for everyone, and is a must-have resource for every devoted fan.

The Wheels on the Bus

By Paul O. Zelinsky,

Book cover of The Wheels on the Bus

As a teacher of 3 year old’s in a nursery school, this is a classroom favorite. Most kids know the song already and here is a small adventure they have gone on – riding the bus. The illustrations are stellar with lots of little stories told only in the illustrations (the box of kittens!) If you put this out in the classroom, get two copies. Sadly the pop-ups don’t survive the love of the students! I keep one pristine in the cabinet to read to the class.

The Wheels on the Bus

By Paul O. Zelinsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this novelty book of a favourite children's song, the music of the song is also included at the end.

Who am I?

As an author/illustrator of 26 books for children and a full-time teacher of 3 year old’s in a nursery school. I read 1-2 books to a classroom of little critics every day. I’m also a lover of adventure although most of my adventures take place in my mind, the library or museum! As a storyteller, I love seeing the adventures books can take young readers on. 


I wrote...

Road Trip! a Whiskers Hollow Adventure

By Steve Light,

Book cover of Road Trip! a Whiskers Hollow Adventure

What is my book about?

When Bear’s old truck needs a new headlight, there’s just one thing to do: organize a road trip to find a new one. And a road trip wouldn’t be complete without friends! Bear brings along Rabbit, who wants assurances that there will be snacks; timid, cautious Mouse; and ever-positive Donkey. After a day of adventure and misadventure, will the four friends find what they need? Head over to Whiskers Hollow—the whimsically detailed new world from Steve Light—and hop in with Bear and friends for a fun adventure to Elephant’s Old Junk Tree. 

I am very proud of this book and the characters represented in this story. I used animals and did not use any pronouns in this book hoping that any child can relate to the characters. 

The Suicide Shop

By Jean Teulé, Sue Dyson (translator),

Book cover of The Suicide Shop

A funny book about suicide, what more do you want? If like me you’re prone to those dark thoughts, you really do have to laugh about it. This book is absurd yes but also has so much to say about human nature and spirit. It’s a cult classic that’s about life, not death, that will make you feel hopeful, the same way I hope my book does.

The Suicide Shop

By Jean Teulé, Sue Dyson (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the twenty-first century just a distant memory and the world in environmental chaos, many people have lost the will to live. And business is brisk at The Suicide Shop. Run by the Tuvache family for generations, the shop offers an amazing variety of ways to end it all, with something to fit every budget. The Tuvaches go mournfully about their business, taking pride in the morbid service they provide. Until the youngest member of the family threatens to destroy their contented misery by confronting them with something they've never encountered before: a love of life.

Who am I?

Hi there, I’m Lucie and I’m a writer (allegedly) but before that I’m a human and I know how hard it is to be a human. It’s a constant battle with yourself, the people around you, the world, and it’s exhausting and sometimes it can be too much but we find ways to keep going and books help me do that (as well as crying, screaming, potatoes). I find life absurd most of the time so I have to laugh about it or I’d go insane. And I’m still alive, despite constantly being in a fight with my brain, so I think I’ve got this.


I wrote...

Sad Janet

By Lucie Britsch,

Book cover of Sad Janet

What is my book about?

A black-hearted comedy for anyone who’s dreaded Christmas. Thirty-something misfit Janet works at a rundown dog shelter in the woods trying to block out how sad the world is. Everyone around her pretends to be happy (because they’re all on drugs) and they want her to be happy too, but she’s fine how she is. When a pharmaceutical company claims they’ve created a new pill to make Christmas tolerable, Janet, out of boredom mostly, decides to take the leap. Over the next few months, Janet takes part in a trial of this new drug with hilarious and profound consequences for everyone around her. A misanthropic tale goes awry in this depression comedy with a Fleabag-esque antihero at the centre.

Zazie in the Metro

By Raymond Queneau, Barbara Wright (translator),

Book cover of Zazie in the Metro

I bought an English version of this French novel about Paris while actually in that city as a starving backpacker, and have forever associated the wacky joyfulness of the book with the pleasures of that trip. Originally written in a high-energy, idiomatic, slangy, bawdy version of French that scandalized many conservative readers, the plot involves a young country girl named Zazie, obsessed with the Parisian subway system called the Metro, though she’s never seen it. Finally allowed to visit her uncle in the city, she is outraged to find the Metro closed, its workers on strike. She runs away, roaming the crowded city streets, her hilarious extended tantrum not only upsetting her befuddled uncle’s safe and settled lifestyle, but also spreading a generalized craziness throughout Paris. 

Zazie in the Metro

By Raymond Queneau, Barbara Wright (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Impish, foul-mouthed Zazie arrives in Paris from the country to stay with Gabriel, her female-impersonator uncle. All she really wants to do is ride the metro, but finding it shut because of a strike, Zazie looks for other means of amusement and is soon caught up in a comic adventure that becomes wilder and more manic by the minute. In 1960 Queneau's cult classic was made into a hugely successful film by Louis Malle. Packed full of word play and phonetic games, Zazie in the Metro remains as stylish and witty as ever.

Who am I?

As a kid, I wrote a series of plays with my family as characters. Everyone (even the dog and cat) had lines that demonstrated their quirks, except me—the sane and reasonable one. When I performed these playlets for my mother (performing all parts, since no one else would co-operate) she laughed so hard she cried, and it’s fair to say my subsequent writing career has been an attempt to recapture the feelings that experience generated. Beginning as a joke writer (including a stint working for Jay Leno), I now focus on literary fiction, though humor is always a part of my work.


I wrote...

Rude Baby

By James W. Morris,

Book cover of Rude Baby

What is my book about?

Rude Baby is a literary comedy set in the near future, in a supermarket so big it contains an entire world. A snarky store-brand baby freed from its packaging seeks wisdom from those he meets, refusing to grow up until someone can prove the effort worthwhile. Are any important truths to be found in Canned Goods? What about Frozen Foods? And who is the man with the sword? Why is he covered in blood?

Book cover of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes

This is a more modern pick that is very quickly becoming a cult classic. Told entirely through emails and message board postings, it lays out a very dark story of psychological manipulation between two women. I love found footage horror movies, and this book gives you that same feeling of discovering something you aren’t meant to see (or read).

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes

By Eric LaRocca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones. Winner of the Splatterpunk Award for Best Novella.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s-a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.

A couple isolate themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from…

Who am I?

While I love straight-up fiction and read plenty of novels, I’ve always been just as interested in art as I have been in writing. The further into my writing career I get, the more it becomes obvious that art and illustration are just as vital to the way I want to tell my stories. I did the covers for my first few books and started experimenting with illustrating them as well with The Writhing Skies, creating a very strange blend of splatterpunk horror and Betty Boop-inspired illustration. Soft Places is a further step in the direction of telling stories in a way that’s a little different. 


I wrote...

Soft Places

By Betty Rocksteady,

Book cover of Soft Places

What is my book about?

Soft Places is a novella/graphic novel hybrid, with the story alternating between standard prose and comic book sections.

Johnna is found naked, wandering the streets with a mysterious head injury. Seemingly psychotic, she's forced into the care of perverted psychiatrist Dr. Gonne. Recommended for adult audiences.

Investing for Growth

By Terry Smith,

Book cover of Investing for Growth: How to Make Money by Only Buying the Best Companies in the World - An Anthology of Investment Writing, 2010-20

Some people love to make successful investing seem more complicated than it really is. In this anthology of essays and letters written between 2010–20, Terry Smith makes the case for simply buying the best companies in the world. These are businesses that generate large amounts of cash and know what to do with it in the form of sound capital allocation. The result is a powerful compounding of returns for the long term.

This book serves as a good reiteration of the thinking and principles underpinning Smith’s investing approach, including his three-step investment mantra: “Buy good companies. Don’t overpay. Do nothing.” It also highlights the nuances of the process, including why Smith favors return on capital employed (ROCE) and free cash flow (FCF) yield as metrics for assessing companies and why Smith is less enamored of measures such as earnings per share (EPS).

Investing for Growth

By Terry Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buy good companies. Don't overpay. Do nothing.

Some people love to make successful investing seem more complicated than it really is. In this anthology of essays and letters written between 2010-20, leading fund manager Terry Smith delights in debunking the many myths of investing - and making the case for simply buying the best companies in the world.

These are businesses that generate serious amounts of cash and know what to do with it. The result is a powerful compounding of returns that is almost impossible to beat. Even better, they aren't going anywhere. Most have survived the Great Depression…

Who am I?

I am the Founder of Stellar Wealth Partners, a SEBI-registered Research Analyst firm and small case manager for investors in the Indian stock market. I am the author of the international best-seller on value investing, The Joys of Compounding. Once a strong foundation is created for a business, owners don’t work for money. Rather, money works for them. As an investor, your money is working for you 24/7. You are becoming wealthier with each passing second, alongside the increasing intrinsic value of your businesses. An investor builds earnings power through a business ownership mindset. 


I wrote...

The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning

By Gautam Baid,

Book cover of The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning

What is my book about?

Value investing is not just a system for success in the market. It's also an intellectual toolkit for achieving a deeper understanding of the world. In The Joys of Compounding, Gautam Baid builds a holistic approach to value investing and philosophy from his wide-ranging reading, combining practical approaches, self-cultivation, and business wisdom. Baid integrates the strategies and wisdom of preeminent figures whose teachings have stood the test of time. Drawing on the work of investing greats like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Ben Graham, as well as philosophers and scholars, he artfully interweaves the lessons learned from his many teachers. Baid demonstrates their practical applications in the areas of business, investing, and decision making and also shows that these ideas can be applied to one’s own life with just as much reward.

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