The best Hero’s Journey books for introverts who love adventure

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a deeply introverted person who has always loved epic stories. The hero’s journey is one of my favorite kinds of books, because it gives the reader a chance to put themselves into someone else’s shoes and experience the full spectrum of life, a complete transformation that can only be found in a journey away from home. I’ve wanted to take on the Hero’s Journey in my own writing for a long time, and got to do this in my most recent book, This One’s for You. The protagonist of this book is an introvert like me. He's one of the many characters that have inspired me to try some adventures of my own. 

I wrote...

This One's for You

By Kate Sweeney,

Book cover of This One's for You

What is my book about?

After their high school graduation, former best friends Cass and Syd are gearing up for their futures. But Cass is keeping secrets. Though his dad has forbidden it, Cass has been playing music, taking trips to San Francisco BART stations to play and make money. But after Syd catches Cass playing at the BART station, and Cass finds out his mom’s old band the Darlas is going on a reunion tour, everything changes. 

Along the way, they’ll untangle the messy threads of how they became “ex”-best friends, experience the power of nature and music, and decide what they really want their lives to be. Maybe, through it all, Cass and Syd can find a way back to each other, too. 
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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Song of Solomon

Kate Sweeney Why did I love this book?

Song of Solomon is the book that made me fall in love with writing.

I have read it many times throughout my life, and each time I do, I come away with new insights and a sense of awe at the masterful storytelling. The hero of this journey is Milkman Dead, a Black man living in Detroit, Michigan during the Harlem Renaissance and early Civil Rights movement.

He becomes both the hero and the anti-hero as he embarks on a journey to the South to find his inheritance and the truth about his family. One of my favorite parts about this book is how it mixes so many genres together.

In many ways, it follows the structure of a classic Greek-style Epic, but it has elements of Historical Fiction and even Magical Realism. This is truly my favorite book ever written. 

By Toni Morrison,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Song of Solomon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Song of Solomon...profoundly changed my life' Marlon James

Macon 'Milkman' Dead was born shortly after a neighbourhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly.

In 1930s America Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, though he is more concerned with escaping the familial tyranny of his own father. So while Guitar joins a terrorist group Macon goes home to the South, lured by tales of buried family treasure. But his odyssey back home and a deadly confrontation…

Book cover of Daisy Jones & The Six

Kate Sweeney Why did I love this book?

This book is an unconventional take on the Hero’s Journey.

It’s the fictional story of an iconic 70s rock band, told in the style of a “Behind the scenes” music documentary. The story is revealed bit by bit, with small, rotating excerpts of interviews with each of the characters.

Reading this drama-filled book feels like listening to celebrities gossiping about one another. Perfect for shy people who love to peek into other people’s lives! The audiobook is especially captivating. Daisy is a complex and interesting hero, and her journey is inspiring and unexpected.

At times I felt my heart pulling for one outcome and my head for another—always the sign of a great story.

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Daisy Jones & The Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



From the author of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO and the bestselling MALIBU RISING

'I LOVE it . . . I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so fun' DOLLY ALDERTON

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation.

Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They…

Book cover of The Electricity of Every Living Thing: A Woman's Walk In The Wild To Find Her Way Home

Kate Sweeney Why did I love this book?

This is another book that changed my life.

It’s the true story of author Katherine May’s journey to hike a 680-mile path in England, while simultaneously processing an adult diagnosis of Autism. My therapist recommended this book while I was dealing with my own adult diagnosis, of OCD and ADD.

So many moments in this book sparked tiny insights for me that made my own journey more bearable. And I’m currently dreaming up my own real-life epic adventure, inspired by May’s bravery. 

By Katherine May,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Electricity of Every Living Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of Wintering writes a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace with our own unquiet minds . . .
In anticipation of her 38th birthday, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted time alone, in nature, to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating; and why the world felt full of expectations she couldn't meet.  She was also reeling from a chance…

Book cover of Marikit and the Ocean of Stars

Kate Sweeney Why did I love this book?

When I became a parent, I was excited to read many of the epic adventure stories of my childhood with my son.

Unfortunately, many of them did not age well, and I find myself longing for something that captures the spirit of the books I used to love with healthier, more contemporary messages about life. Marikit fulfilled this desire for me on every level.

The story is full of magical adventures, with a lovable, brave protagonist and lots of important things to say about friendship, family, and staying true to one’s true self. My son and I were captivated.

By Caris Avendano Cruz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marikit and the Ocean of Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Marikit is used to wearing recycled clothes. Her mother, the best seamstress in the barrio, has become an expert at making due ever since Marikit's father and brother were lost at sea. But for her tenth birthday, all Marikit wants is something new. So when her mother gifts her a patchwork dress stitched together with leftover scraps from her workshop, Marikit vows to never wear it. That is, until the eve of her birthday, when shadow creatures creep into their home and upend the very life she knew.

Marikit discovers that her dress is a map, one lovingly crafted to…

Book cover of An Ember in the Ashes

Kate Sweeney Why did I love this book?

I don’t always love fantasy books, even though the Hero’s Journey is a staple of this genre.

This series, however, hooked me from the start. It starts out in a familiar, Roman Empire-type world and slowly adds layers of metaphysical complexity. The hero, Laia, is tough-as-nails and has earned a place as one of my all-time-favorites.

If you want to read a book that feels like a time machine—where you begin and then suddenly days have gone by and you are surrounded by dirty laundry and dishes and wishing there were just one more book in the series, these books are for you.

I read them during the early days of the pandemic, and the Tahir’s world was like my personal escape pod. 

By Sabaa Tahir,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked An Ember in the Ashes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

'Keeps one reading long after the lights should have been out' - Robin Hobb

Read the explosive New York Times bestselling debut that's captivated readers worldwide. Set to be a major motion picture, An Ember in the Ashes is the book everyone is talking about.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death.

When Laia's grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.

But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant…

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A Sparrow Falls

By Vicki Olsen,

Book cover of A Sparrow Falls

Vicki Olsen Author Of A Sparrow Falls

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Why am I passionate about this?

Author Air Force brat World War 2 junkie Gallivanter Beret-wearing Francophile Book hoarder

Vicki's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In this book set against the backdrop of a changing America, Sarah must find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and come to terms with her future. Sarah, a young woman from the rural town of Tolerance, Arkansas, has endured an impoverished and painful childhood.

But now, as the innocence of the 1950s transforms into the turbulent 1960s, Sarah must find the strength to overcome her traumas, forgive those who have wronged her, and discover her true self. With its moving and often disturbing narrative, A Sparrow Falls is an evocative account of a young woman's journey…

A Sparrow Falls

By Vicki Olsen,

What is this book about?

A moving, sometimes disturbing, beautifully written book...Amazon Customer Review
Set in Arkansas as the innocence of the 1950s morphs into the turbulent ‘60s, A Sparrow Falls is an evocative account of a young woman emerging from an impoverished and traumatic childhood as she finds the inner strength to overcome her past. Te ghosts of the past and come to terms with her future is in the strength to forgive those who have wronged her?
Content Advisory: This book is intended for mature audiences and contains child sexual abuse and disturbing imagery.

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