The best ghosty best friends books

Why am I passionate about this?

I was five when we moved to Australia, and soon after I discovered two things: I am the seventh child of a seventh child, with magic powers including the ability to see ghosts. My mother’s brother Dennis drowned when he was six. Naturally I started talking to him. Mind you, Mum also told me if the wind changed my face would stay like that, so the ghost thing probably wasn’t true either. Technically she only brought two of us to term. Dennis and I still talk, but we don’t have much in common anymore. With that in mind, please enjoy my ghosty best friends book recommendations.

I wrote...

The Ghost and Ms Cox

By Alexandria Blaelock,

Book cover of The Ghost and Ms Cox

What is my book about?

I started writing this story for the centenary of the end of the First World War (2018). The disastrous Gallipoli campaign was significant for Australia, the characteristics of the soldiers, coming to define the national character, and the point where it started to become its own nation rather than a part of Britain.

At the time, I was watching a documentary about the rise of spiritualism and ghostly soldier sightings during and after the war, it made me wonder what happened to the spirits. Were they friendly, sad, or royally pissed off? And what if, for some reason, they got stuck here?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Canterville Ghost

Alexandria Blaelock Why did I love this book?

When I grew up, we had a very small bookcase filled with very special books, including a family a bible, a very large dictionary, and the complete works of Oscar Wild. I badgered my Dad into teaching me to read, and Oscar was one of the first books I read cover to cover. I don’t know where the others are, but that compendium is still one of my most treasured possessions.

I was very taken with it because we emigrated to Australia, and while I didn’t find a ghost in the house, my imaginary friend was Dennis. We learned to keep our chins up, to keep moving forward, and most importantly, keep our watercolours safe. 

By Oscar Wilde,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Canterville Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Despite warnings from Lord Canterville that their new home is haunted and that several family have fled form it in the middle of the night the Otis family chooses to go forward with their relocation. Almost immediately the Otis Family discovers that the stories are true and that their house is haunted by the ghost of Sir Simon. It is Sir Simon's intent not to share the house with anyone, but the Otis family is not like previous families that Sir Simon has scared off in the past. Narrated by the ghost himself, this Gothic ghost story takes the reader…

Book cover of The Phantom Lover

Alexandria Blaelock Why did I love this book?

Okay, so this one is a cheat, because the ghost isn’t actually dead, only wishes he was dead. When I was a teenager I borrowed this one from one of my mother's friends, not long after it was published, and “forgot” to give it back I liked it so much.

Regency romances can be a little overwrought, but I read it again recently, and it holds up to the passage of time. But, it tells us, that no matter how bad things seem, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Life is what you make it, even if it takes all your courage, you have to keep adjusting and moving forwards. 

By Elizabeth Mansfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The fascinating stranger who visits a young lady in the dead of night is no ghostly spirit in this spellbinding Regency romance by award-winning author Elizabeth Mansfield

After scandalizing London with her improper behavior and jilting two suitors, Nell Belden is about to do it again. This time she rejects the very wealthy, utterly insufferable nobleman her financially strapped guardians have been pressuring her to marry. Banished to their isolated Cornwall estate, Nell is awakened one night by an unusual apparition.
But her midnight visitor is no phantom. He is Captain Henry Thorne, sixth Earl of Thornbury. The new Lord…

Book cover of The Children of Green Knowe Collection

Alexandria Blaelock Why did I love this book?

I received the whole collection as a birthday gift, though I don’t remember which birthday or who gave them to me, but I’m sure they’d be pleased I still have them. I wanted to marry Toseland (sigh), and I use this name to anonymise my male friends when I talk about them in my blog posts. Perhaps he’s why Dennis came into my life.

I thought it would be nice to live in a house your family had lived in for generations. The feeling of lacking roots is apparently something many first and second-generation immigrants share. Perhaps home really is where you make it. 

By Lucy M. Boston,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Children of Green Knowe Collection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Children of Green Knowe Collection brings the Lucy Boston classics The Children of Green Knowe and River at Green Knowe together in one beautifully packaged edition.

These enchanting, haunting stories from Carnegie winner Lucy M. Boston have become modern classics, beautifully evoking all the magic and wonder of childhood. Now The Children of Green Knowe and River at Green Knowe are available in one edition.

Children of Green Knowe
Tolly's great grandmother isn't a witch, but both she and her old house, Green Knowe, are full of a very special kind of magic. There are other children in the…

Book cover of City of Ghosts

Alexandria Blaelock Why did I love this book?

I found out about this one via Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s monthly reading list, and it was the first version of a more modern Green Knowe book, and it was amazing!

In the meantime I’d forgotten my fascination with ghosty best friends, and this one brought all the others rushing back. And of course, Dennis. Plus it’s set in Edinburgh, a town that has some significance to my father’s family.

Good for reminding you that you can’t know or do everything on your own. 

By Victoria Schwab,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked City of Ghosts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't
like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates
the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits.
Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they're about to get much

When Cass's parents start hosting a TV show about the world's most
haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here,
graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless
phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her "gift,"…

Book cover of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Alexandria Blaelock Why did I love this book?

I found this one in a charity shop and read it in a day. It was a while after that I saw the tv series, and a while after that the movie. And it’s another one I still have in my bookshelves.

It’s another story about finding your place in the world, but at the same time, it’s about a timid widow, mother of two, finding herself through the mentorship of the ghost of a well travelled sailor. One who’s there waiting for her at the end of her life, not her bloody husband! 

By R.A. Dick,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Ghost and Mrs. Muir as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The basis for Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s cinematic romance starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison.
Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg. Through the struggles of supporting her children, seeking out romance from the wrong places, and working to publish the captain's story as a book, Blood and Swash,…

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A Theory of Expanded Love

By Caitlin Hicks,

Book cover of A Theory of Expanded Love

Caitlin Hicks Author Of A Theory of Expanded Love

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My life and work have been profoundly affected by the central circumstance of my existence: I was born into a very large military Catholic family in the United States of America. As a child surrounded by many others in the 60s, I wrote, performed, and directed family plays with my numerous brothers and sisters. Although I fell in love with a Canadian and moved to Canada, my family of origin still exerts considerable personal influence. My central struggle, coming from that place of chaos, order, and conformity, is to have the courage to live an authentic life based on my own experience of connectedness and individuality, to speak and be heard. 

Caitlin's book list on coming-of-age books that explore belonging, identity, family, and beat with an emotional and/or humorous pulse

What is my book about?

Trapped in her enormous, devout Catholic family in 1963, Annie creates a hilarious campaign of lies when the pope dies and their family friend, Cardinal Stefanucci, is unexpectedly on the shortlist to be elected the first American pope.

Driven to elevate her family to the holiest of holy rollers in the parish, Annie is tortured by her own dishonesty. But when “The Hands” visits her in her bed and when her sister finds herself facing a scandal, Annie discovers her parents will do almost anything to uphold their reputation and keep their secrets safe. 

Questioning all she has believed and torn between her own gut instinct and years of Catholic guilt, Annie takes courageous risks to wrest salvation from the tragic sequence of events set in motion by her parents’ betrayal.

A Theory of Expanded Love

By Caitlin Hicks,

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