The best novels with metaphysical themes that plunge you into the surreal

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have the power to do so much more than to simply entertain. I believe it’s my job as a fiction writer to condense research of complex subjects into understandable language and then play it out in story. My Enter the Between fiction series introduces readers to the world of metaphysics—the bridge between the seen and the unseen, science, and spirituality—which serves as a key to understanding consciousness, death, and the meaning of life. I’ve spent twenty years researching contemporary paganism, holistic theory, quantum mechanics, and transpersonal psychology to come up with stories that bridge science and spirituality with paranormal, supernatural underpinnings, and contemplative messaging that aims toward a kinder, wiser, more peaceful world.


I wrote...

Between Will and Surrender

By Margaret Duarte,

Book cover of Between Will and Surrender

What is my book about?

Marjorie Veil has been conditioned to ignore her own truth, to give away her power, to subjugate in relationships with others, and to settle for the path of least resistance. But she has many surprises in store, for there are synchronistic forces at work in her life that, if she listens, will lead to her authentic heart and happiness. The seemingly impossible happens in the Los Padres National Forest where Marjorie goes on retreat to make sense of her life when she believes she is going insane. The innocence of the Native American orphan Marjorie befriends, as well as more mystery and adventure than she bargained for, show her how love can heal in what turns out to be a transformative spiritual quest.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Alchemist

Margaret Duarte Why did I love this book?

The Alchemist is a perfect example of visionary/metaphysical fiction that transcends the boundaries of the five senses and opens readers to new thoughts and ideas. Combining the visible with the invisible, the ordinary with the sacred, The Alchemist tells the inspiring story of a shepherd boy’s journey to self-actualization. As a reader, I experienced first-hand the wisdom of the adage, “Listen to your heart” and was reminded that there is opportunity all around me if only I open my mind and heart to the omens scattered along my life path.

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked The Alchemist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global phenomenon, The Alchemist has been read and loved by over 62 million readers, topping bestseller lists in 74 countries worldwide. Now this magical fable is beautifully repackaged in an edition that lovers of Paulo Coelho will want to treasure forever.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. This is such a book - a beautiful parable about learning to listen to your heart, read the omens strewn along life's path and, above all, follow your dreams.

Santiago, a young shepherd living in the hills of Andalucia, feels that there is…


Book cover of The Big Dark Sky

Margaret Duarte Why did I love this book?

I’m willing to bet that Dean Koontz would be the first to admit that, like many of his characters, he’s a little weird. But in a good way. Weird like those knowledgeable about quantum physics, synchronicity, and artificial intelligence. Weird like those into Edgar Allan Poe, T.S. Eliot, Werner Eisenberg, and Carl Jung. And weird like authors who use the last line of their stories to leave their readers with unsettling questions long after the reading is through. In my opinion, this very quality, this weirdness, applied to the art of fiction, results in tales that not only entertain but make a captivating read. The Big Dark Sky is an example of both, with its unforgettable characters, especially Jimmy Two Eyes and Artimis (the most intriguing—and scary—of them all), and the thought-provoking scientific, psychological, and philosophical concepts woven into the tale.

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A group of strangers bound by terrifying synchronicity becomes humankind's hope of survival in an exhilarating, twist-filled novel by Dean Koontz, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

As a girl, Joanna Chase thrived on Rustling Willows Ranch in Montana until tragedy upended her life. Now thirty-four and living in Santa Fe with only misty memories of the past, she begins to receive pleas-by phone, through her TV, in her dreams: I am in a dark place, Jojo. Please come and help me. Heeding the disturbing appeals, Joanna is compelled to return to Montana, and to a strange…


Book cover of Chocolat

Margaret Duarte Why did I love this book?

I love stories about women who stand up for themselves against manipulative authoritarians, especially women who can do so with a sense of humor. Add to that, a bit of magic, and you’ve got me hooked. Chocolat does both in such a satisfying way that it has become one of my all-time favorite reads.

By Joanne Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even before it was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate.

In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows.

Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne's uncanny perception of its buyer's private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch?

Soon the parish no longer cares, as it abandons itself to temptation,…


Book cover of Drawing in the Dust

Margaret Duarte Why did I love this book?

I’m drawn to novels that combine the ordinary with the extraordinary, the mundane with the spiritual, and Drawing in the Dust does both. By turns, suspenseful, mysterious, and thought-provoking, this transformative story provides insight into the world of biblical excavation—with a twist! Archaeologist Page Brookstone discovers the bones of prophet Jeremiah locked in an embrace with the bones of a mysterious woman. Amazing stuff, especially for me, who has loved archeology since my days in college. I categorize Drawing in the Dust as visionary/metaphysical fiction, the genre I write and most love to read, a genre that bridges science and spirituality with paranormal and supernatural underpinnings.

By Zoe Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

UNFORGETTABLE DEBUT NOVEL IS A RICHLY EVOCATIVE AND BOUNDLESS LOVE STORY THAT REVERBERATES FROM BIBLICAL TIMES TO THE MODERN WORLD.

Brilliant archaeologist Page Brookstone has toiled at Israel's storied battlegrounds of Megiddo for twelve years, yet none of the ancient remnants she has unearthed deliver the life-altering message she craves. Which is why she risks her professional reputation when a young Arab couple begs her to excavate beneath their home. Ibrahim and Naima Barakat claim the spirits of two lovers overwhelm everyone who enters with love and desire. As Page digs, she makes a miraculous discovery-the bones of the deeply…


Book cover of The Angel's Game

Margaret Duarte Why did I love this book?

I’ve read the first sentence of The Angel’s Game over and over, never tiring of the simple wisdom—and truth—of protagonist David Martin’s words: “A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story…” And for the rest of the novel, I’m caught in the web of an author whose prose is as pleasurable to read as the story itself. The Angel’s Game is an example of visionary/metaphysical fiction, a little-known genre under the umbrella of speculative fiction containing paranormal and/or supernatural elements that don’t exist in the real world. Carlos Ruiz Zafon, however, makes the unreal seem real and the impossible seem possible, a sign of a truly gifted writer.

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The stunning new novel from the internationally bestselling author of THE SHADOW OF THE WIND.

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man - David Martin - makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books, and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a…


You might also like...

Melody and the Pier to Forever: Parts Five and Six

By Shawn Michel De Montaigne,

Book cover of Melody and the Pier to Forever: Parts Five and Six

Shawn Michel De Montaigne

New book alert!

What is my book about?

A young adult and epic fantasy novel that begins an entire series, as yet unfinished, about a young girl named Melody who discovers that the pier she lives near goes on forever—a pier that was destroyed by a hurricane that appeared out of blue skies in mere moments in 1983.

Melody doesn't know it, but a king has been searching for her for more than twenty years—longer than she's been alive. His kingdom is readying for the day when they may return to the world found beyond the end of that very pier, a world cast into darkness by an…

Melody and the Pier to Forever: Parts Five and Six

By Shawn Michel De Montaigne,

What is this book about?

Melody Singleton is a bright 13-year-old girl who loves math, classical music, her mom, her best friend Yaeko, and her dog. To her classmates that makes her a nerd, and they cruelly treat her as such. After being expelled from the advanced algebra class for not paying attention, she meets her new teacher, Mr. Conor, who gives her a very strange homework assignment. You see, she got kicked out because she was distracted by a symbol that the rest of us can't see, a beautiful sigil that, incredibly, Mr. Conor can see too, because it's on the assignment he gave…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Spain, metaphysics, and Montana?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Spain, metaphysics, and Montana.

Spain Explore 195 books about Spain
Metaphysics Explore 95 books about metaphysics
Montana Explore 77 books about Montana