100 books like A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness,

Here are 100 books that A Discovery of Witches fans have personally recommended if you like A Discovery of Witches. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Testament of Youth

Deborah Carr Author Of The Poppy Sisters

From my list on World War One that live rent free in my head.

Why am I passionate about this?

I discovered my passion for the First World War when researching my great-grandfather’s service history in the cavalry. I also write historical fiction with several of my books being set during the First World War and have spent thousands of hours over the past twenty years researching different aspects of this period, both from the point of view of the V.A.D.s, wounded soldiers, medical staff treating them, as well as grieving families. The stories I’ve come across never fail to haunt me and I can’t imagine I’ll ever tire of wanting to discover more about the people who survived these experiences, or stop needing to write books about them.

Deborah's book list on World War One that live rent free in my head

Deborah Carr Why did Deborah love this book?

I first read this book about twenty years ago and still find it heartbreaking to think it was written by someone who experienced first-hand the horror of the First World War and with it so much pain and grief brought about not only from her experiences as a V.A.D. but also from her own personal losses.

It is a book that helped me understand as much as anything possibly could living in the twenty-first century, how much of a struggle it must have been for ordinary people to keep going and survive that dark time in history.

By Vera Brittain,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Testament of Youth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An autobiographical account of a young nurse's involvement in World War I.

Book cover of A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

Edward G. Gray Author Of Tom Paine's Iron Bridge: Building a United States

From my list on ingenuity and innovation in the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in the American Revolution began with a college course on the French Revolution. I was enthralled by the drama of it all. Being the impressionable late adolescent that I was, I naturally explained to my professor, a famous French historian of the French Revolution, that I wanted to dedicate my life to the study of this fascinating historical period. My professor urged me to reconsider. He suggested I look at a less well-known Revolution, the one British colonists undertook a decade earlier. I started reading books about the American Revolution. Now, forty years on, I’m still enthralled by the astonishing creative energy of this period in American history. 

Edward's book list on ingenuity and innovation in the American Revolution

Edward G. Gray Why did Edward love this book?

Paine, Copley, and Priestley were all beneficiaries of formal institutional associations, mostly through the voluntary scientific and art associations, the American Philosophical Society in America and the Royal Society and Royal Academy in Britain. Martha Ballard, a midwife living during the early years of the American Republic in Maine (at the time a province of Massachusetts), had no formal associations but she did have deep and abiding affiliations. If not with elite academies, sanctioned by kings, and populated by periwigged gentlemen, then with family and community.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale remains the finest study ever written about the generative power of family and community in the early history of the American republic. Ballard’s meticulous diary, nearly 10,000 entries, afforded Ulrich access to the full, grueling realities of this remarkable woman’s life—through her own family’s trials, which included the births of her nine children, and the more than eight…

By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Midwife's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • Drawing on the diaries of one woman in eighteenth-century Maine, "A truly talented historian unravels the fascinating life of a community that is so foreign, and yet so similar to our own" (The New York Times Book Review).

Between 1785 and 1812 a midwife and healer named Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work (in 27 years she attended 816 births) as well as her domestic life in Hallowell, Maine. On the basis of that diary, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich gives us an intimate and densely imagined portrait, not only of the industrious and…

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a romance writer who moved around often as a child. Whenever I started a new school, I’d bring a book with me. Even now, I always run errands with a print book and my Kindle as I’m a writer, wife, and mother of four. Two of my children have medical conditions, and I’ve spent time in various doctor and hospital waiting rooms. I’ve taken books into MRI booths where I’d read while my daughter underwent an MRI. I gravitate toward emotional romances that keep me entertained while possessing a thread of humor or something unique about them so I can lose myself in their world anytime, anywhere. 

Tanya's book list on books to read anywhere, anytime (especially while waiting for your child, your parent, the person ahead of you in line)

Tanya Agler Why did Tanya love this book?

If you are a kindred spirit, you know immediately why I’m recommending this book! I first picked this book up without knowing anything about it when I was a teenager. I immediately fell in love with Anne, Gilbert, Marilla, Matthew, and everyone in Avonlea. I can read this book anywhere and at any time. 

Anne Shirley is an orphan who winds up at Green Gables and is given a trial basis to prove to Marilla Cuthbert why she should keep Anne, who is not a boy. Imaginative, romantic, and funny, this book (and its sequels) kept me laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. Most of all, it reminds me that every morning is the start of a new day with no mistakes in it. 

By L.M. Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked Anne of Green Gables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anne of Green Gables is the classic children's book by L M Montgomery, the inspiration for the Netflix Original series Anne with an E. Watch it now!

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They are waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables - but a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead. Feisty and full of spirit, Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter. It's not long before Anne finds herself in trouble, but soon it becomes impossible for the Cuthberts to…

Book cover of Circe

Terry Madden Author Of Three Wells of the Sea

From my list on mythic fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying Celtic myth and history since I was in college and took a class on Arthurian literature. Drawing heavily from Irish and Welsh lore to build my “land beyond the veil” known as the Five Quarters, I have always been intrigued by the Celtic view of the land of the dead as a distinct world to which we go and then return, like two sides of the mirrored surface of a well. I hope you enjoy these mythic fantasy books as much as I did!

Terry's book list on mythic fantasy novels

Terry Madden Why did Terry love this book?

I loved this book as much for the writing itself as the story. Miller creates a lush world of numinous magic.

I could not stop listening to this retelling of the life of Circe. She was the daughter of the sun god and the most feared sorceress of her time. She was given a bad rap by history, but I felt like I understood her and could see into her heart and mind.

In addition, the worldbuilding is wonderful. I felt like I was taken to ancient Greece. 

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…

Book cover of Good Omens

T.G. Sparrow Author Of Being Fiction

From my list on blending humor and heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I didn’t read that much. My school-assigned books felt like enough. The turning point, as I remember it, was my introduction to Terry Pratchett. His Discworld novels were lighthearted and fun, but they still explored serious themes and presented honest reflections on humanity. That blend of levity and sincerity stuck with me and introduced me to the style of storytelling I now aim for in my own work. I find a lighter-hearted approach can make difficult or elusive topics more approachable, and mixing a little humor into the narrative helps us care. It connects us more deeply to the characters and makes a story’s heartfelt moments shine.

T.G.'s book list on blending humor and heart

T.G. Sparrow Why did T.G. love this book?

An angel and a demon work together to stop the antichrist from destroying the world. Simple enough. But things get off to a rocky start when they spend the first eleven years monitoring the wrong child.

I initially read this book on vacation, and while I don’t remember much about the trip itself, I remember the book! An otherwise-normal pre-teen with the power to shape reality takes this story to appropriate (and absurd) extremes, but at its core, it’s a narrative about good and evil, human nature, and free will—and it approaches these themes with sincerity, nuance, and care.

Come for the laughs, stay for the laughs…and for the profound reflection on humanity.

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…

Book cover of Dead Until Dark

Maggie Francis Author Of A Wolf By Any Other Name

From my list on paranormal romance to make you wish magic was real.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading paranormal fiction for as long as I can remember and it’s always been my favorite genre. I love sci-fi and fantasy as well, but keep coming back to paranormal. I’ve been enjoying authors like Terry Pratchett, Phillip Pullman, Guy Gavriel Kay since middle school, and will happily inhale any story that takes me out of reality into a world where magic is real and the princess saves herself. Now that I’m writing my own joyful escapes into this genre, it feels extra special to get to be a part of this club and create my own magical world for readers to enjoy!

Maggie's book list on paranormal romance to make you wish magic was real

Maggie Francis Why did Maggie love this book?

While True Blood saw this series come to life on the small screen, the books are a lighter and deeper option for anyone who loved the show but wants to get more background info. 

I read this series before the show came out and thoroughly enjoyed all the funny bits that weren’t as prevalent in the HBO version. Sookie was funny and fierce as I recall, which is an excellent combo for a leading lady to be.

By Charlaine Harris,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Dead Until Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pretty - she's a very cute bubbly blonde - or not interested in a social life. She really is ...but Sookie's got a bit of a disability. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he's tall, he's dark and he's handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting all her life for. But Bill has…

Book cover of Little Women

Lisa Darcy Author Of The Pact

From my list on books that capture sisterly love, envy, and embracing the unknown.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by sisters, siblings, and my place in the family since I was old enough to realize I had an older sister and a younger brother. I asked my parents a lot of questions. Why am I blonde? Why is my sister taller? Lots of questions my parents didn’t have answers for. At school in biology, we studied genes, familial traits, and nature versus nurture. I was fascinated, and still am today. Why does my sister behave the way she does? Why do I? Is it because of our upbringing, or was she just born with an aversion to cheese? I wanted to know the answers. I’m still searching.

Lisa's book list on books that capture sisterly love, envy, and embracing the unknown

Lisa Darcy Why did Lisa love this book?

I first read this book as a teenager but didn’t appreciate Louisa May Alcott’s gift for storytelling until years later, when I reread it. 

This time, I didn’t want the story to end because I’d fallen in love with the four March sisters Jo, Beth, Meg, and Amy. I laughed. I cried. Though fictional characters and separated by hundreds of years, the March sisters felt real to me, and I was a little bereft at the end of their story. 

Along with universal themes of love, betrayal, anger, lust, revenge, and death, Little Women deftly portrays each sister’s struggles and aspirations and explores the conflicts each sister has between personal ambition, familial responsibility, and wanting to embrace the unknown.  

For one brief moment, I wished I had more than one sister…and then I came to my senses.

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Little Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Louisa May Alcott shares the innocence of girlhood in this classic coming of age story about four sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy are responsible for keeping a home while their father is off to war. At the same time, they must come to terms with their individual personalities-and make the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It can all be quite a challenge. But the March sisters, however different, are nurtured by their wise and beloved Marmee, bound by their love for each other and the feminine…

Book cover of Storm Front

Bill Hiatt Author Of Haunted by the Devil

From my list on How bargaining with supernatural beings can ruin your whole day.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved reading ever since I learned how. Sometimes, that can be inconvenient. I now own over 8000 books, not including ebooks, so storage space is an issue. Fortunately, my heart space is not as constrained as my physical space. Anyway, given my keen interest in reading, it’s no surprise that I began to write. Though my reading tastes are wide, I mostly write in fantasy, my favorite genre. It’s an opportunity to explore new worlds and to use them to reflect upon our own. We may not make literal pacts with demons, but we all face temptation. Figuring out how to navigate our desires is a crucial part of life.

Bill's book list on How bargaining with supernatural beings can ruin your whole day

Bill Hiatt Why did Bill love this book?

I find the combination of mystery and fantasy in the Harry Dresden books irresistible, and Storm Front is certainly no exception. A typical detective has to watch out for the as-yet-undiscovered killer. Harry has to watch out for the killer—as well as the White Council, the organization of wizards that is profoundly suspicious of him and more than ready to execute him if he takes one step out of line. And then there are various supernatural creatures who want either to kill humans or to use them for their own purposes.

Butcher’s imaginative humor is second to none. I have to laugh every time I think about Bob, the skull animated by an air spirit, or Toot-Toot, the wyldfae who serves Harry in exchange for pizza. Butcher seamlessly blends such touches of original humor with pulse-pounding excitement.

By Jim Butcher,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Storm Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden’s investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago…

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play well with humans. And those that do enjoy playing with humans far too much. He also knows he’s the best at what he does. Technically, he’s the only at what he does. But even though Harry is the only game in town, business—to put…

Book cover of The Bear and the Nightingale

Melanie K. Moschella Author Of Iron-Bound Flames

From my list on bingeable book series for escapist readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been an escapist reader. From fantasy to historical fiction, my favorite books have transported me from my life—providing me with the adventure and romance that I crave. I’m a lover of series, specifically, because they offer a longer, more immersive experience. As a writer, I hope to offer my readers the same respite from reality that my favorite series have offered me, and I’m publishing my completed five-book series, The Raek Riders series all at once in an effort to do just that. They will be available March 19th, 2024, ready for escapist readers to binge from start to finish. 

Melanie's book list on bingeable book series for escapist readers

Melanie K. Moschella Why did Melanie love this book?

Set in medieval Russia, The Winternight Trilogy is sure to transport you out of your current location into a land of snow and ice, rich with fairytale lore.

What I remember most about these books is the captivating scenery—I was completely drawn into the enchanted forest and harsh, winter wonderland detailed within. Vasya was a strong, female character that I could root for, and I heartily enjoyed coming of age with her and fighting her battles.

These books are best enjoyed on a blustery winter’s day under a plush blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. 

By Katherine Arden,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Bear and the Nightingale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beware the evil in the woods...

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods. . .

Atmospheric and enchanting,…

Book cover of Magician: Apprentice

Trudie Collins Author Of The Guide

From my list on fantasy to read again and again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a huge fan of fantasy since I was a child, starting off with high fantasy before trying out urban. The genre helps me escape from the real world for a while and fires my imagination. I write fantasy books because there is no limit on what you can do with characters and storyline. I write for pleasure and I hope others get enjoyment out of my work. I read a lot, not to get ideas, but just for the pure pleasure of reading. There is just something about the feeling of turning the pages of a printed book you can’t get anywhere else.

Trudie's book list on fantasy to read again and again

Trudie Collins Why did Trudie love this book?

This is the first book in a series that goes on and on, following the life of a couple of characters as the world changes around them. Spanning two different worlds, this first book builds up a number of characters you want to keep reading about. As the series continues through time, new threats to the two worlds introduce new characters. What I like most about this series is it keeps moving the worlds forward instead of stagnating.

By Raymond E. Feist,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the westernmost province of the Kingdom of the Isles, upon the world of Midkemia, an orphan kitchen boy named Pug was made apprentice to the magician Kulgan.

Here starts an adventure that will span lifetimes and worlds. Discover where the story begins.

The world had changed even before I discovered the foreign ship wrecked on the shore below Crydee Castle, but it was the harbinger of the chaos and death that was coming to our door.

War had come to the Kingdom of the Isles, and in the years that followed it would scatter my friends across the world.…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in witches, alchemy, and vampires?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about witches, alchemy, and vampires.

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