The best screenplay books

Who picked these books? Meet our 22 experts.

22 authors created a book list connected to screenplays, and here are their favorite screenplay books.
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What type of screenplay book?


Let the Old Dreams Die

By John Ajvide Lindqvist, Ebba Segerberg (translator),

Book cover of Let the Old Dreams Die: Stories

Raymond Walker Author Of Moonchild and Other Tales

From the list on short stories told on a dark and stormy night.

Who am I?

I was brought up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by standing stones, crypts, and burial mounds of races turned to dust. I started sending sci-fi tales to mags like Uncanny Tales, New Worlds, Astounding Tales, Amazing Stories when I was thirteen, but none were accepted. I left the wilderness for the city, Edinburgh, the “Athens of the North” when fifteen and entered university. All I yearned to do after that was go home. I never did. A little more experience of life behind me, I was first published in Peoples Own and in the same year in New Worlds and then it worked well for me for a while. 

Raymond's book list on short stories told on a dark and stormy night

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

Why did Raymond love this book?

Mr. Lindqvist is a Swedish author that came to worldwide notice with his novel Let the Right One In and has written many great novels since then. He is not normally a short story author, nor does he particularly enjoy reading short tales, so this is a strange choice for me but Let the Old Dreams Die is so dreadfully different from other recent horror writers that I felt I had to include it here. To date, it is the only book of short tales that Mr. Lindqvist has written. There is a zombie tale (and how many of them have appeared over the years) but should zombies have citizenship? How should the health service care for them? Is it really their fault that they wish to eat people? Can we happily live together?

There is little that has not been covered before in Mr. Lindqvist’s tales but every story…

By John Ajvide Lindqvist, Ebba Segerberg (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let the Old Dreams Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic short story collection from the writer called Sweden's Stephen King that continues the breathtaking story begun in the internationally acclaimed classic Let the Right One In

Because of the two superb films made of John Ajvide Lindqvist's vampire masterpiece Let the Right One In, millions of people around the world know the story of Oskar and Eli and of their final escape from Blackeberg at the end of the novel. Now at last, in "Let the Old Dreams Die," the title story in this absolutely stunning collection, we get a glimpse of what happened next to the pair.…

Book cover of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Sally Page Author Of The Keeper of Stories

From the list on losing yourself in on a rainy day.

Who am I?

I am a writer who will never give you a sad ending! I love books that reflect on life (the good and the bad) but that look for the positive in people. My experience has taught me that there is so much good to find—and as I explore in my debut novel, The Keeper of Stories, everyone has a story to tell. My first novel was published when I was 60, so I am also a believer that you should never underestimate anyone. And I love to see that reflected in books.

Sally's book list on losing yourself in on a rainy day

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

Why did Sally love this book?

This book was written in the 1930s, yet it feels remarkably contemporary – a glorious romp through a world of parties, sex, and drugs. Miss Pettigrew stumbles into this world when she mistakenly turns up for the wrong job. With little money in her purse she has no option but to take the position and finds herself having an awful lot more fun than she ever has before. And for once she is really appreciated.

By Winifred Watson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Don’t let this delightfully frothy drawing-room comedy get lost between the sofa cushions.”—

“Miss Pettigrew is irresistible, a perfect mix of wistfulness and joy, substance and froth.”—Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is perhaps the happiest, most ebullient piece of fiction ever written for adults.”—Newsday

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is now available as an audio book read by Academy Award–winning actress Frances McDormand, who stars in the film as the down-and-out governess Miss Pettigrew, who finds herself caught up in the life of Delysia LaFloss, a glamorous aspiring actress…

Writing for Television

By Yvonne Grace,

Book cover of Writing for Television: Series, Serials and Soaps

Julian Friedmann Author Of Creative Strategies

From the list on for elevating your screenwriting career.

Who am I?

Julian Friedmann is co-owner of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency and was the publisher of ScriptWriter magazine. At the agency, he has represented both book and scriptwriters for over 40 years and also acts as Executive Producer for and with clients. Julian is a TEDx speaker and is the author of the Make Money Screenwriting series, co-author of The Insider’s Guide to Writing for Television, and editor of two volumes on Writing Long-Running Television series. He has taught at universities and film schools all over the world. He designed the MA in Television Scriptwriting at De Montfort University, and PILOTS (for developing long-running television series) for the EU MEDIA Programme. 

Julian's book list on for elevating your screenwriting career

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

Why did Julian love this book?

There are numerous books on writing for TV but Yvonne’s book is eminently practical covering the basics and also the more complex and nuanced aspects like the relationship between writers and script editors. Given the importance of the streamers writing for TV is more important than ever.

By Yvonne Grace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A no-nonsense, direct down-the-lens look at the television industry written from the point of view of a television drama producer who's been there, done it, fought some battles and won the odd award. Written in an engaging, anecdotal tone, Writing for Television provides advice on:

Getting an agent

The type of writer television's looking for The tool kit a television writer needs The writer /script editor relationship How to structure a storyline How to write good treatments and outlines

Packed full of useful insights, links and information, the book includes interviews with successful television writers working today, pointers on how…

Deaf Sentence

By David Lodge,

Book cover of Deaf Sentence

Corinne Maier Author Of The Conquest of the Red Man

From the list on tongue-in-cheek about social classes and clashes.

Who am I?

I am a french writer, I like to write satires and tongue-in-cheek books about society. Work, children, France, social classes... When you find the right angle almost everything can be funny. With my writing I want to entertain, but give the reader something to think about. I hope this list will make you laugh as much I did. 

Corinne's book list on tongue-in-cheek about social classes and clashes

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

Why did Corinne love this book?

Desmond, a retired teacher, is embarrassed by increasing deafness which he tries to hide. Hearing loss is a constant source of domestic friction with his busy wife and of social malaise, leading Desmond into mistakes and follies, and to find himself in incongruous situations. Comes Alex, a student whom Desmond has agreed to help after a misunderstanding at a party… Despite sensitive topics (deafness, confrontation with death), Deaf Sentence manages to be deeply entertaining with a lame love story and a disillusioned portrait of contemporary society. I recommend it to everyone, because we all feel overwhelmed from time to time. 

By David Lodge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The subject of enthusiastic and widespread reviews, David Lodge's fourteenth work of fiction displays the humor and shrewd observations that have made him a much-loved icon. Deaf Sentence tells the story of Desmond Bates, a recently retired linguistics professor in his mid-sixties. Vexed by his encroaching deafness and at loose ends in his personal life, Desmond inadvertently gets involved with a seemingly personable young American female student who seeks his support in matters academic and not so academic, who finally threatens to destabilize his life completely with her unpredictable-and wayward-behavior. What emerges is a funny, moving account of one man's…

The Runaway Jury

By John Grisham,

Book cover of The Runaway Jury

John L. DeBoer Author Of The Girl from Belgrade

From the list on thrillers that don’t skimp on character development.

Who am I?

I’m a retired surgeon and have no expertise in espionage, law enforcement, or the legal system. But I enjoy thriller novels that feature these things, and I follow the adage, “Write what you like to read.” But I do have medical/surgical expertise and have followed another adage: “Write what you know,” so I have inserted medical situations into many of my stories and one of my published books is a medical thriller. What I like about thrillers is the ability to show each side of the conflict. The good guys against the bad guys, neither side knowing what the other is doing. But the reader knows, and this adds to the suspense.

John's book list on thrillers that don’t skimp on character development

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

Why did John love this book?

I’ve enjoyed most of Grisham’s novels, but I’m picking this legal thriller (as are most of his books) because of the fascinating plot. It’s a David vs. Goliath story, in which the underdogs are seeking righteous justice from a huge corporation by using the legal court system. The planning involved to make it happen and the attempts by the opposition to destroy the effort gives an inside-baseball look at how multi-million dollar lawsuits are put together. The book also made a great movie!

By John Grisham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever wonder what happens in the jury room, a place where the lawyer's aren't heard and the judge is not welcome? Who controls a jury when the door is locked and the deliberations begin? John Grisham returns to the legal world and weaves another gripping tale of intrigue and power play. With a combination of taul suspense and high drama this novel will once again show John Grisham as the master storyteller of our generation.

Hold Back the Night

By Axel Blackwell,

Book cover of Hold Back the Night

Armand Rosamilia Author Of Shake Down

From the list on tropical author thrillers.

Who am I?

I am such a huge fan of Thrillers. Always have been, since I started reading Dean Koontz at 12. The Tropical Authors listed are some of my favorites, but they are a stepping stone to other great authors who write unique thrillers as well. I hope you’ll check them out, and let me know if you find a new favorite. I also love suggestions as well. (Of other authors, please don’t be tacky and suggest your own book!) 

Armand's book list on tropical author thrillers

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

Why did Armand love this book?

The author’s work with Dawn Lee McKenna might be more fighting for this list (check out The Stillwaters Suspense Series) but I absolutely love this series because the main characters are fun to follow along with. They are so multi-dimensional, and the dialogue is outstanding. I could read chapter after chapter of them chatting about nothing, and still enjoy it. The action is well-written and not hokey, which I love. The twists and turns will leave you wanting more, and I cannot wait to read more from Axel in the future. You should, too! 

By Axel Blackwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

4:23 a.m. The phone rings. The officer on the other end says, “It’s a bad one, Darren. Can you come?” Darren McDaniel has worked dozens of homicides in his years as a detective. It’s a dark and gritty business, and he’s prepared to handle whatever it throws at him. Or so he once believed.The pre-teen girl is dead, dressed in a white princess gown, lying on a bus stop bench. There’s a steel chain clamped to her ankle. A cryptic message scrawled across the booth’s dusty glass wall may be the only clue.As McDaniel plunges into the case, he isn’t…

Book cover of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You'll Ever Need

Valerie Howard Author Of Deep Blue Sea

From the list on for indie authors working to improve their craft.

Who am I?

I have been a published indie author since 2011, and I enjoy reading and studying the craft to make my work the best it can be. I have a passion for indie authors and indie publishing, and I love the flexibility this type of authorship gives me while I homeschool my two young boys, run a non-profit organization, and volunteer at my church.

Valerie's book list on for indie authors working to improve their craft

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

Why did Valerie love this book?

This book teaches the secrets of storytelling and story structure from a popular screenplay perspective. When I start a new novel, this is the first book I reach for every time. It teaches how to keep your story engaging to readers and how to best structure the overall plot so your story flows beautifully throughout and ends with satisfaction.

By Jessica Brody,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Save the Cat! Writes a Novel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel-writing guide from the best-selling Save the Cat! story-structure series, which reveals the 15 essential plot points needed to make any novel a success.

Novelist Jessica Brody presents a comprehensive story-structure guide for novelists that applies the famed Save the Cat! screenwriting methodology to the world of novel writing. Revealing the 15 "beats" (plot points) that comprise a successful story--from the opening image to the finale--this book lays out the Ten Story Genres (Monster in the House; Whydunit; Dude with a Problem) alongside quirky, original insights (Save the Cat; Shard of Glass) to help novelists craft a plot…

Book cover of Strangers and Brothers

Robin Hawdon Author Of Number Ten

From the list on lone heroes and threats to national security.

Who am I?

My writing is eclectic and covers many topics. However, all my books tend to have a thriller element to them. Perhaps it's my career as an actor and playwright which has instilled the need to create suspense in all my writings. I sometimes feel that distinguished authors can get so carried away with their literary descriptions and philosophical insights that they forget to keep the story going! It is the need to know what happens next that keeps the reader turning the pages. Perhaps in achieving that some subtlety has to be sacrificed, but, hey, you don't read a political thriller to study the philosophical problems of governing nations!

Robin's book list on lone heroes and threats to national security

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

Why did Robin love this book?

This is an almost forgotten series of books which had a huge impact back in the 1950s and 60s, depicting as they did in fictional form the inside story of politics, science, and academia in Britain at the time. Snow was himself a distinguished chemist and academic, who often acted as an advisor to the UK government. He used his experience and inside knowledge of the corridors of power (a phrase which he coined) to brilliant effect in his novels. Again, as with the previous authors I have mentioned, it is that detail that comes with direct experience of the subject matter, and the personalities involved, which renders the writing authentic and captivates the reader.

By C.P. Snow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Contains: The Masters, The New Men, Homecomings, and The Affair.

Book cover of Memoirs of an Invisible Man

Christopher Andrews Author Of Paranormals

From the list on putting a different spin on a popular genre.

Who am I?

I absolutely love stories—books; TV shows; movies—that take a familiar topic, and either turn it on its ear or examine its full potential. For me, The Empire Strikes Back is one of the best sequels of all time because it did not just repeat what Star Wars did before it, but expanded upon it. As a reader, I seek this; as a writer, I emulate this. If a superhuman can produce kinetic shockwaves, what else might one do with this ability? If a vampire can turn into mist, what are the furthest implications of this supernatural skill? Don’t settle for a trope, explore it!

Christopher's book list on putting a different spin on a popular genre

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

Why did Christopher love this book?

I was floored by this fantastic thriller. Most “invisible man” stories cast the invisible character as the villain, but Memoirs flips the script, and the result is magnificent. The protagonist, Nick, is the victim of a scientific accident, and must go on the run from the corrupt government agents who want to capture him. The result demonstrates that Nick missed his true calling—he should have been a secret agent himself. Saint’s protagonist is clever and resourceful as he navigates through every attempt to trap him. And the best part of this different take on the genre: It leaves you asking yourself, “What would I do?” I’ve read it three times, and I spend the intervening years wondering how I would have survived in Nick's shoes. An absolute must-read.

By H.F. Saint,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a freak accident leaves stock analyst Nick Halloway completely invisible, he is pursued by intelligence agents, amasses a fortune, and battles against desperate loneliness

A Woman of Substance

By Barbara Taylor Bradford,

Book cover of A Woman of Substance

Jessica Russell Author Of Hot Winter Sun

From the list on character-driven historical suspense with romance.

Who am I?

My first experience with historical fiction was reading The Witch from the Sea by that iconic author, Victoria Holt. This sparked a 40-year-long love affair with that genre that’s still burning intensely. I’ve been immersed in such fiction for a lifetime and have read the works of virtually every great author in this genre. I started my own series in 2020 because I feared this type of no-fluff fiction was becoming obsolete. There were 17th Century English characters making noise in my head so I used my creative writing background to bring them to life on the pages of my books, under the pen name Jessica Russell. 

Jessica's book list on character-driven historical suspense with romance

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

Why did Jessica love this book?

This book took me into the heart and mind of a woman in a transparent way that made me feel as if I was there with her, as a young girl working as a maid to the high-powered woman she became, when women weren’t supposed to have power! It was a true saga the way I believe they were always meant to be written, where every dramatic scene and experience of the heroine’s life are rich and multidimensional. This story had truly unusual and unforgettable characters who never did or said exactly what you expected!

By Barbara Taylor Bradford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The unputdownable multi-million copy bestseller charting the rags to riches story of Emma Harte

With new Foreword from Fern Britton.

In the brooding moors above a humble Yorkshire village stood Fairley Hall. There, Emma Harte, its oppressed but resourceful servant girl, acquired a shrewd determination. There, she honed her skills, discovered the meaning of treachery, learned to survive, to become a woman, and vowed to make her mark on the world.

In the wake of tragedy she rose from poverty to magnificent wealth as the iron-willed force behind a thriving international enterprise.…

Last One at the Party

By Bethany Clift,

Book cover of Last One at the Party

Caraline Brown Author Of The Candlelit Menagerie

From the list on set in a post apocalyptic future.

Who am I?

I love writing historical fiction. I enjoy the research and creating long-lost worlds filled with little-known historical accuracies that intrigue my readers. It is no surprise then that I enjoy reading about the future - the other side of the coin. I always find it interesting to see how writers create a post-apocalyptic society. What was the catastrophic event? (TCE) What caused it and how do the different characters react to adversity when their old world is taken away from them? Inevitably they have to survive in the new system but will they have learned their lesson or will they return to their old ways?  

Caraline's book list on set in a post apocalyptic future

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

Why did Caraline love this book?

TCE here is a virus that leaves just one woman alive. I found this quite irritating at first because the law of averages would say there HAD to be at least a handful of other survivors. The story features a woman who would take to her bed for the day if she broke a fingernail. I enjoyed seeing a female character in this role although she has a tendency to be a bit wet. She spends the first few weeks post-TCE breaking into nightclubs, drug dens, and museums and getting smashed. Set in London, it’s a great travelogue for this brilliant city.  I started to warm towards her when she finally pulls herself together and we watch as she learns the skills needed to survive. 

By Bethany Clift,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last One at the Party as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


It's December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM ('Six Days Maximum' - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself).

But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.

Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company,…

Yours Truly, Thomas

By Rachel Fordham,

Book cover of Yours Truly, Thomas

Regina Scott Author Of Never Doubt a Duke

From the list on historical romances sure to make your smile.

Who am I?

As the author of more than 50 works of warm, witty historical romance, I love seeking out stories that will make me smile. I’m a firm believer in happy endings, in the books I write, and the books I read. I’m also a bit obsessed with history, having driven a carriage four-in-hand, learned to fence, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research.

Regina's book list on historical romances sure to make your smile

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

Why did Regina love this book?

There’s nothing like the antics of a pet to bring a lady and a gentleman together. A beloved dog with the improbable name of Honeysuckle does just that in this charming novel. A letter that ended up at the Dead Letter Office leads Honey’s pretty owner to a small town in Iowa to find the man who writes words she can’t forget. You’ll find yourself remembering them too.

By Rachel Fordham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly…

No Other Life

By Gary Young,

Book cover of No Other Life

B.L. Bruce Author Of The Weight of Snow: New & Selected Poems

From the list on contemporary nature poetry.

Who am I?

My name is Bri Bruce, writing as B. L. Bruce, and am an award-winning poet and Pushcart prize nominee from California. Over the last decade and a half, my work has appeared in dozens of literary publications. I am the author of four books and Editor-in-Chief of nature-centric magazine Humana Obscura. I was raised with a wildlife biologist/avid gardener for a mother and a forestry major/backpacker/fisherman as a father. Both my parents instilled in me at a young age a love of nature. A lifetime spent outdoors inspires my work—so much so that I’ve been called a “poetic naturalist” and the “heiress of Mary Oliver.”

B.L.'s book list on contemporary nature poetry

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

Why did B.L. love this book?

No Other Life combines three of Gary Young’s books into one volume. There is such unique style and quiet beauty to Young’s work. I am truly inspired by it. He has a knack for capturing the extraordinary in the mundane in brief but deep prose poems that grip the soul. 

Young was one of my professors in college and was a driving force for why I pursued a creative writing degree and chose to continue to write after graduating. His work will always hold a special place in my nature-loving creative heart.

By Gary Young,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Other Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No Other Life gathers in a single volume two earlier books by Gary Young, Days and the award-winning Braver Deeds, with the final book in his trilogy, If He Had. Utilizing a radically brief prose poem that in its spare lucidity leaves after images burned into the readers imagination, Young weaves a pattern of compelling and often harrowing correspondences that Ethan Paquin described in Quarterly West as an exploration of thresholds, of levels of human endurance. Although every poem stands as an independent utterance, each book suggests a discrete poetic unit, and the entire trilogy can be read as a…

Book cover of Television Development: How Hollywood Creates New TV Series

Emmanuel Oberg Author Of Writing a Successful TV Series: How to Pitch and Develop Projects for Television and Online Streaming

From the list on developing TV series (and the art of running a TV show).

Who am I?

I’m a professional screenwriter with a passion for story structure. I’ve worked on film & TV projects for more than 25 years – not only as a writer for independent producers and studios such as Warner and Universal – but also as a development exec and creative consultant. Over time, I was shocked to see how many talented storytellers felt stuck between prescriptive paradigms and a “seat-of-the-pants” approach. So I set out to fill that void and defined a more flexible yet powerful method in my first book, Screenwriting Unchained, which I’ve now enthusiastically applied to TV series. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Emmanuel's book list on developing TV series (and the art of running a TV show)

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

Why did Emmanuel love this book?

Navigating the TV industry can be intimidating. Bob Levy does an amazing job of providing an overview of the U.S. TV development process, from a producer’s point of view.

He gives a very clear and detailed explanation of the industry, the processes, and the culture. I love how he explains the terminology, the timelines, the people involved, yet never makes it boring. Levy has worked in the TV industry for more than 30 years, and it shows.

By Bob Levy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Development is a large and central part of the American TV industry, and yet the details of how it works - who makes development decisions and why, where ideas for new shows come from, even basics like the differences between what TV studios and TV networks do - remain elusive to many.

In this book, lecturer and acclaimed television producer Bob Levy offers a detailed introduction to television development, the process by which the Hollywood TV industry creates new scripted series. Written both for students and industry professionals, Television Development serves as a comprehensive introduction to all facets of the…

Handling the Undead

By John Ajvide Lindqvist,

Book cover of Handling the Undead

T.L. Bodine Author Of River of Souls

From the list on with zombie main characters.

Who am I?

I'm a life-long horror lover and author of dark fiction. I've been reviewing films and video games for Ravenous Monster ezine for nearly a decade, and my Wattpad horror novel The Hound is currently being adapted for film. My favorite thing is the intersection of the horrifying and fantastic with the mundane, and that's what appeals to me so much about zombies: in all of their multitudinous representations, they've always held up a mirror to humanity. No monster can so easily reflect the many facets of humanity as a zombie. Because, after all, the dead were once just like us – and if we're not careful, we might end up just like them in the end.

T.L.'s book list on with zombie main characters

Discover why each book is one of T.L.'s favorite books.

Why did T.L. love this book?

Lindqvist already reimagined vampires with Let the Right One In, and Handling the Undead is his answer to the zombie apocalypse. Unlike some of the other books on this list, where the zombie protagonists are sympathetic and mostly retain their humanity, the characters who come back from the dead in this book are deeply unsettling. The main focus is on the still-living family members whose lives are turned upside down by the dead coming to life. Following multiple story threads as many families throughout Stockholm struggle to cope with their newly resurrected loved ones, this book is equal parts heartfelt and utterly chilling. 

By John Ajvide Lindqvist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Reminiscent of Stephen King at his best. Best read by sunlight' Independent on Sunday
Something very peculiar is happening in Stockholm. There's a heatwave on and people cannot turn their lights out or switch their appliances off. Then the terrible news breaks. In the city morgue, the dead are waking up.
What do they want?
What everybody wants: to come home.

Madeleine's Ghost

By Robert Girardi,

Book cover of Madeleine's Ghost

Kathryn Knight Author Of Ghost Moon

From the list on romantic ghost stories.

Who am I?

I’m a fan of all things spooky! I especially love ghost stories, which is probably abundantly clear from my own novels. I’ve been known to frequent old graveyards, seek out haunted places, and sneak into abandoned buildings for inspiration—and the adrenaline rush! This fascination started when I was a young girl and my dad brought me a YA ghost mystery home from the library—every week, he would have the librarian help him pick out books for me, and I would devour the stack immediately, then re-read until the next library day! My favorite ghost stories have a mix similar to what I write—a tension-filled romance combined with a spooky, suspenseful haunting. 

Kathryn's book list on romantic ghost stories

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

Why did Kathryn love this book?

I read this book almost 30 years ago, but it’s still one of my all-time favorites—an enthralling blend of romance, history, and paranormal suspense.

For me, this book checks all the boxes: a mysterious haunting, intriguing history, fascinating settings, and star-crossed former lovers who come back into each other’s lives. Madeleine’s Ghost shifts between the past and the present, revealing secrets and layers to the story along the way.

The characters came to life for me, and I relished traveling with them between New York City’s colorful East Village and the sultry bayous and boisterous streets of New Orleans. 

By Robert Girardi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madeleine's Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brooklyn needs a saint. Ned Conti needs a stipend. So the struggling young historian agrees to trace the mysterious past of a Brooklyn nun for evidence of miracles. Trapped in a neighborhood of cheap rents and failed promise, in a rent-controlled apartment suddenly, inexplicably seized by a beautiful and angry ghost, Ned's only refuge is the F train to Manhattan's East Village bars, where he and his friends drown their sorrows in drink....

But Ned is about to heed another call, the siren song of New Orleans, where the history of countless lost souls seems to rise from the steaming…

Billy, Me & You

By Nicola Streeten,

Book cover of Billy, Me & You: A Memoir of Grief and Recovery

Danny Noble Author Of Shame Pudding: A Graphic Memoir

From the list on comics that let you sneak into someone else’s brain.

Who am I?

I was a funny little anxious kid, and still remember the relief of coming across friends who opened up and told their darkest thoughts and silliest moments. This is what I seek out in books and try to show in my own stories. To say...Look! We’re all deeply weird! You are not alone! Comics and graphic novels have such a unique and immediate way of whispering into your heart and it amazes me that so many people haven’t yet discovered what a wonderful art form they are. 

Danny's book list on comics that let you sneak into someone else’s brain

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

Why did Danny love this book?

When I was halfway through Billy, Me, and You, I got off the tube I was riding, cancelled my plans, and took the book to a pub to give it my full attention. That was the power it had. So submerged in its world I was unable to put it down. It's so beautifully written and big and painful, it held my hand in my own grief and somehow radiated such warmth and hope like a magic thing.

By Nicola Streeten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Billy, Me & You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A moving, surprisingly funny, and inspiring graphic memoir by a woman who lost her two-year-old son after heart surgery, Billy, Me & You is a bracing and memorable account of recovery after bereavement. Nicola Streeten’s little boy, Billy, was two years old when he died following heart surgery for problems diagnosed only a few days earlier. Ten years later, Streeten revisited her diaries and notebooks made at the time: this wonderfully vibrant narrative recounts how she and her partner recovered. Gut-wrenchingly sad at times, her graphic memoir is an unforgettable portrayal of trauma and our reaction to it – and,…

Book cover of The Monty Python's Life of Brian (of Nazareth): Screenplay

Jass Richards Author Of The Blasphemy Tour

From the list on that dare to make fun of religion and/or gods.

Who am I?

I was raised to be a Roman Catholic. I was not raised to think very deeply, but I did anyway. Eventually.  When I was around fifteen, I started asking questions that irritated my parents. They referred me to our priest. Who basically patted me on the head and showed me the door. When the Pope said 'no contraception,' the shit really hit the fan. I haven't looked back. And I'm quite vocal about it because, damn it, religious beliefs and religions do damage, not the least of which involves hurting and killing people. (As for being funny, that's just icing on the cake.)

Jass' book list on that dare to make fun of religion and/or gods

Discover why each book is one of Jass' favorite books.

Why did Jass love this book?

Many people will be familiar with Monty Python’s The Life of Brian – the movie. But the screenplay has actually been published as a book!  Available online for less than twenty bucks! So you can have a permanent reference for all your favourite lines!  And if by chance you haven’t heard of it, The Life of Brian has to be on any list about poking fun at religion and gods. To this day, whenever I think of "Always look on the bright side...," I burst into giggles.

By Graham Chapman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monty Python's Life of Brian (of Nazareth) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When The Life of Brian was first released in 1979 it was hailed by most as Monty Python's finest parody and denounced by a few as the most blasphemous film of all time. With its unforgettable song, 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life', and its infinitely quotable script The Life of Brian has since gone on to become an enduring cult classic.

Scene of the Crime

By Anne Wingate,

Book cover of Scene of the Crime: A Writer's Guide to Crime Scene Investigation

Max Griffin Author Of Timekeepers

From the list on writing fiction.

Who am I?

A dozen years ago, I decided to publish short stories. I figured it’d be easy. After all, I’d published textbooks and countless research papers. It turned out I was wrong. Writing fiction is hard. My stories read like my math publications, but without the math. Then I had the good fortune to join a writing group that included experienced, published authors. Their guidance taught me the basics of the craft. I supplemented their mentorship by reading books on writing. It was like going to graduate school all over again. This list of books is the distillation of those dozen years of learning. I’m still learning. I expect I’ll never quit.

Max's book list on writing fiction

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

Why did Max love this book?

I love both science fiction and mysteries, so naturally I’ve written novels that combine the two. I know enough science to realize how annoying it is when an author gets a simple thing wrong, like confusing a measure of distance (ahem, a parsec) with a unit of time. When I needed to write about a detective investigating a crime scene, I knew I needed better background than watching Lenny on Law and Order. That’s where this book comes in. Wingate is a former cop and CSI investigator in addition to having a PhD in English, and provides detailed and practical notes, drawn from personal experience, on the scene of the crime. Besides pointing out an excellent reference, the point of this recommendation is to do the research and get the details right no matter the genre.

By Anne Wingate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Provides information on how evidence is measured, collected, identified, and analyzed, the timetable of activity at a crime scene, and technical terms and professional techniques used.

Steering the Craft

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Book cover of Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew

Mark David Gerson Author Of Writer's Block Unblocked: Seven Surefire Ways to Free Up Your Writing and Creative Flow

From the list on unlikely books to help you through creative blocks.

Who am I?

Ask successful authors how they started writing, and many will tell you that they always wanted to write. Not me! In fact, through most of my first 35 years, I resisted engaging with anything even remotely creative. I wouldn’t have called it “writer’s block” back then because, having no conscious desire to be a writer, how I could I be blocked? Yet writer’s block is what it was. That I was ultimately able to recognize it as such and get past it has given me a unique perspective on others’ writing challenges, as well as the skill and compassion to help them free up their innate creative potential.

Mark's book list on unlikely books to help you through creative blocks

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

Why did Mark love this book?

As with Madeleine L’Engle, everything I’ve read by Ursula K. Le Guin—fiction as well as nonfiction—has radically influenced my writing and my teaching of writing. In fact, her impact on my creative awakening was so profound that I sent her a copy of my first book as a thank you! Steering the Craft is filled with wisdom and exercises for both new and seasoned writers, but perhaps the most liberating for blocked writers is her controversial view that “story” is defined by “change” not “conflict.” That’s especially welcoming for writers who feel hemmed in (and, perhaps, blocked) by the traditional definition.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ursula K. Le Guin generously shares the accumulated wisdom of a lifetime's work.