The best books that make you think ‘what if…’

Janet Philp Author Of The Lama Drama 2019 (The 3rd Sphere)
By Janet Philp

Who am I?

I am a freelance anatomy educator, artist, author, mother, and dog owner. I like to fill my time by engaging the public with science, meeting them where they are and exploring their boundaries. If they are interested in zombies, or flying unicorns then let's start there and mix fantasy and reality to make them think.


I wrote...

The Lama Drama 2019 (The 3rd Sphere)

By Janet Philp,

Book cover of The Lama Drama 2019 (The 3rd Sphere)

What is my book about?

My book intertwines reality and fantasy in a genre I like to call ‘what if’ or ‘I wonder’ (I think it is officially urban fantasy). I take the reality of every day and add a twist; what if it were like this, with the hope that the readers will ask ‘I wonder.’

The story starts when Jayne dies and realises that not everyone on earth is as full of life as she thought and maybe in the fight between good and evil it's not obvious who is on which side.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

By Neil Gaiman, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Book cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Why this book?

I could have picked many books that make you think ‘what if’ and not leave the bibliography of Neil Gaiman. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is an adult reminiscing on his childhood and the friend, Lettie, who takes him on a fantastical journey which results in ‘things’ crossing realms and plaguing his childhood, or is that just how he remembers it?


The Five People You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom,

Book cover of The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Why this book?

This is a tale of the 5 people you meet in heaven and the effect they had on your life or vice versa.  It follows the death of Eddie, a fairground worker, who meets the 5 people who affected his life the most, some of whom he never even met. It prompts the conversations about who you would meet and why, giving pause to think about the effect of your life on others.


A Heart in the Right Place

By Heide Goody, Iain Grant,

Book cover of A Heart in the Right Place

Why this book?

An action-comedy that surpasses their classic Clovenhoof series. Based around an attempt to plan a weekend away so many twists and turns are added that you wonder where the authors get their imagination from. When assassins and werewolves appear you can't help but keep turning the pages.


The Wolfman

By Nicholas Pekearo,

Book cover of The Wolfman

Why this book?

An interesting twist on a vigilante story that makes you wonder if all monsters are really bad. Marlow Higgins is a Vietnam vet who eventually settles down in a small town only to have his solitude disturbed by a serial killer. The killer didn’t anticipate a werewolf joining the hunt and things go from bad to worse.


The Things We Learn When We're Dead

By Charlie Laidlaw,

Book cover of The Things We Learn When We're Dead

Why this book?

In quite a challenging tale Lorna Love finds herself dead and on a spaceship. As the memories of her life return we find a question being posed; does the way you remember things affect the influence they have on your life? It’s quite a quirky book but generates a lot of thought about the way you view events and the way you let them affect you.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Scottish Highlands, magical realism, and Tennessee?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Scottish Highlands, magical realism, and Tennessee.

The Scottish Highlands Explore 14 books about the Scottish Highlands
Magical Realism Explore 98 books about magical realism
Tennessee Explore 42 books about Tennessee

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like 1984, When You Reach Me, and Hour of the Bees if you like this list.