What to Read Next? | 17 Book Recommendations

Looking for some reading recommendations? Look no farther. Here you’ll find fiction of all sorts (but especially speculative fiction), helpful non-fiction, and fantastical poetry as well!

Many moons ago, I started a page on this blog called The Shelf which was dedicated to books, poems, and essays that I read and recommend.

The page has been in need of an update as I’ve read many more books since I started the page and since many of the recommendations were things I’d been able to think of at the time (and I couldn’t remember many other good books—sometimes I forget my best recommendations right when I need them).

In addition to updating this page, I’ve started a Goodreads full of book recommendations.

You can see some of the books I’ve added in the Goodreads portion in the sidebar to the right of this post (or under the post on mobile).

Goodreads is also embedded on The Shelf page so all my books recommendations are in one spot.

My favorites are all on The Shelf while Goodreads is a rolling list of what I’ve read recently.

Right now, most of the titles in Goodreads are a smattering of what I’ve read over my lifetime (in no particular order), but my intention is to update it as I finish titles.

I’ll only be adding titles to Goodreads that I recommend—I’m not here to rag on books I didn’t like. So all of my ratings are 3 stars or higher. And even within that, there’s wiggle room; one book that got five stars may be better than another book that got five stars. It’s just a general rating system. All the books are ones that I found some positive aspect to and where the positives of the title outweighed any critiques I may have.

With all that said, here are my favorites! And check out my Goodreads for up-to-date recommendations!

There are 17 books here total – not counting lone poems or essays.

Writing Craft:

The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers – Matt Bird

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott


Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead – Orson Scott Card

Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Mistborn series (3 books) and Wax & Wayne series (3 books with a 4th coming) – Brandon Sanderson

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

Creative Non-Fiction:

“Consider the Lobster” – David Foster Wallace

“Me Talk Pretty One Day” – David Sedaris


“Instructions” – Neil Gaiman

Life on Mars – Tracy K. Smith

Classic Literature:

To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What are your recommendations? Comment with your favorite books, poems, or essays!

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