90 books like A Thousand Notable Things On Various Subjects

By Thomas Lupton,

Here are 90 books that A Thousand Notable Things On Various Subjects fans have personally recommended if you like A Thousand Notable Things On Various Subjects. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of An Instance of the Fingerpost

Robert J. Lloyd Author Of The Bloodless Boy

From my list on science-based historical fiction novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write as Robert J. Lloyd, but my friends call me Rob. Having studied Fine Art at a BA degree level (starting as a landscape painter but becoming a sculpture/photography/installation/performance generalist), I then moved to writing. During my MA degree in The History of Ideas, I happened to read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary and fascinating man. My MA thesis and my Hooke & Hunt series of historical thrillers are all about him. I’m fascinated by early science, which was the initial ‘pull’ into writing these stories, but the political background of the times (The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis, for example) is just as enticing. 

Robert's book list on science-based historical fiction novels

Robert J. Lloyd Why did Robert love this book?

This is the only ‘whodunnit’ on my list, but it’s so much more. (As are all the best ‘whodunnits’.)

For a start, it’s told from four different points of view. My own books use the early history of the Royal Society, its science, and various of its actual ‘Fellows,’ and this book was undeniably an influence. Pears details the politics and religious turmoil of the time and the excitement of new scientific discoveries.

The mid-17th century’s rigid social structure and manners are shown starkly, as is the misogyny. I found it dark, layered, and although complex, it’s immediately engaging. A very satisfying book indeed!

By Iain Pears,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked An Instance of the Fingerpost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A fictional tour de force which combines erudition with mystery' PD James

Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion;Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer…


Book cover of Fingersmith

Rachel Cochran Author Of The Gulf

From my list on queer mystery and crime books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a queer writer who lovers to read and write mystery and crime fiction. The history of these genres is often full of homophobic stereotypes and scapegoating of queer characters. While I think it’s important to show queer characters as flawed, I also want to make sure to celebrate the contributions of queer writers to these messy, wonderful genres.

Rachel's book list on queer mystery and crime books

Rachel Cochran Why did Rachel love this book?

Whenever I’m pressed to name a favorite novel of all time, this is the title I turn to.

It’s so many things all at once: a perfectly plotted slow-burn of a crime caper with several killer surprises, an absorbing lesbian romance that burns with passionate intensity, and a fully realized, deeply immersive historical drama that displays masterful research by leaning into the weirder, hidden corners of its familiar Victorian setting.

As a writer, this book fills me with delicious envy; as a reader, it bowls me over with tension and awe.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Oliver Twist with a twist…Waters spins an absorbing tale that withholds as much as it discloses. A pulsating story.”—The New York Times Book Review

Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a "baby farmer," who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.

One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives—Gentleman, an elegant con man,…


Book cover of The Poems of Robert Henryson

Shirley McKay Author Of Queen & Country

From my list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Hew Cullan stories are historical crime fiction set at the university of St Andrews, Scotland, in the late sixteenth century. I was a student at St Andrews in the 1980s and now live nearby in the East Neuk of Fife, where the imprint of the town and its surrounding landscapes have remained unchanged since medieval times. What interests me most in writing of the past is how people thought and felt, lived and died and dreamt, and I have chosen books which capture that sense of the inner life, of a moment that belongs to a single time and place, and make it true and permanent.

Shirley's book list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past

Shirley McKay Why did Shirley love this book?

The testament of Cresseid, written in Old Scots in the fifteenth century, was framed as a response to Chaucer’s earlier telling of the Troilus storythe ill-fated love between Troilus and Cressida. Henryson imagines what becomes of Cressida where Chaucer’s version ends. I read this poem at school, together with the fables, and loved it straight away. It was a revelation to find a view of Cresseid sympathetically disposed, in language that was vivid and direct; a telling that was startlingly humane. There is humour, heart and feeling in the fables too. It blew away my preconceptions that Scotland in the past was dour and inaccessible, and the language difficult, and replaced them with a fondness and a familiarity lasting to this day.  

By Robert Henryson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the first serious attempt to produce a critical text for all Henryson's poems. The text is based on all available material. There is a commentary and a glossary, and an introduction discusses Henryson's life and the sources of his poems.


Book cover of They Were Defeated: The Classic Novel Set in the Reign of King Charles I

Shirley McKay Author Of Queen & Country

From my list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Hew Cullan stories are historical crime fiction set at the university of St Andrews, Scotland, in the late sixteenth century. I was a student at St Andrews in the 1980s and now live nearby in the East Neuk of Fife, where the imprint of the town and its surrounding landscapes have remained unchanged since medieval times. What interests me most in writing of the past is how people thought and felt, lived and died and dreamt, and I have chosen books which capture that sense of the inner life, of a moment that belongs to a single time and place, and make it true and permanent.

Shirley's book list on connecting with the thinking, feeling past

Shirley McKay Why did Shirley love this book?

I first read They Were Defeated over thirty years ago, and recently reread to see if it had the power to move me still today. It does. Set in 1641, in Devonshire and Cambridge at the very brink of the Civil War, it reads like a love letter to a lost world, where the poets and Platonists are illuminated in already fading light, beautifully and tenderly observed. Rose Macaulay wrote that she had done her best "to make no person in this work use in conversation any word, phrase or idiom" not used at the time. "Ghosts of words," she calls them, after Thomas Browne. An astonishing feat in the pre-digital age. Yet the language of her ghosts is clear and true and natural. And the still moment, at the very heart of her heart-breaking story, transcends the factions that surround it and stays fixed for all time. This is…

By Rose Macaulay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked They Were Defeated as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THEY WERE DEFEATED begins in 1640 at a harvest festival - but religious persecution is in the air, and the idyllic rural scene is soon darkened by the threat of a witch hunt...Rose Macaulay interweaves the lives of Robert Herrick and other contemporary poets with those of a small group of fictional characters. Their lives, and in particular the life of her heroine Julian, are set vividly before us against a period which was one of the most dramatic and unsetttled in English history. Skilfully intertwining tragedy, comedy and beauty, THEY WERE DEFEATED was Rose Macaulay's only historical novel, and…


Book cover of Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025)

Jonathan Harris Author Of Byzantium and the Crusades

From my list on Byzantium from superpower to downfall.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first came across Byzantium when I read Robert Graves' Count Belisarius and studied as much of its history as I could while at King's College London. Later I taught English in Turkey and was able to visit the Byzantine sites of Istanbul, Iznik, and Cappadocia. I now teach medieval and Byzantine history at Royal Holloway, University of London. For those living outside eastern Europe and Russia, Byzantium may appear to be rather remote and exotic: that is part of its appeal! But just because it is strange and different does not mean that we should not try to understand it on its own terms. That is what I have tried to do in my books and teaching.

Jonathan's book list on Byzantium from superpower to downfall

Jonathan Harris Why did Jonathan love this book?

Basil II, who ruled as emperor from 976 to 1025, is an enigma. On the face of it, his reign was a great success which saw the Byzantine borders extended further than they had been for centuries. Yet no one at the time seems to have celebrated that success and we only know about his reign from accounts written a long time afterward by people who were either too young to remember his reign, like Michael Psellus, or who were not even born. It is this enigma that Holmes grapples with by analysing our most detailed source for Basil’s reign: the historian John Skylitzes who was writing around 1100. Her subtle uncovering of the cultural values that underlie the text reveal Basil not so much as a great conqueror but as a shrewd politician who knew exactly how to get what he wanted as much by persuasion as by force. 

By Catherine Holmes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first book-length study in English of the Byzantine emperor Basil II. Basil II, later known as 'Bulgar-slayer', is famous for his military conquests and his brutal intimidation of domestic foes. Catherine Holmes considers the problems Basil faced in governing a large, multi-ethnic empire, which stretched from southern Italy to Mesopotamia. Her close focus on the surviving historical narratives, above all the Synopsis Historion of John Skylitzes,
reveals a Byzantium governed as much by persuasion as coercion. This book will appeal to those interested in Byzantium before the Crusades, the governance of pre-modern empires, and the methodology of…


Book cover of Midnight Crossroad

Kirsten Weiss Author Of Bound

From my list on witch mysteries that treat paranormal seriously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that magical systems and worlds based on folklore and existing magical practices feel more “real” to the reader... and are a lot more interesting. As an avid Tarot reader, I’ve taken some deep dives into the esoteric magical traditions and symbols behind the cards. I’m still coming up for air on the topic. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to channel this arcane (and let’s face it, not otherwise very useful) knowledge into my own witch and paranormal mysteries. I hope you enjoy the witchy mystery novels on this list!

Kirsten's book list on witch mysteries that treat paranormal seriously

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Midnight Crossroad builds on existing mythology and folklore as well as on her more famous Sookie Stackhouse series. The Midnight books have a slightly heavier vibe than the prior series, and I love seeing another aspect of her “Trueblood” world, this time set in a small town in Texas. I found myself rooting for every member of this darkly quirky cast of characters—supernatural and otherwise.

By Charlaine Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Midnight Crossroad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The quirky paranormal murder mystery about a small town where only outsiders fit in . . . now a major TV series

From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse, the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a new, darker world - populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that's how the locals prefer it.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There's a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is…


Book cover of The Coarse Witchcraft Trilogy

Melusine Draco Author Of Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore

From my list on real old-fashioned witchcraft.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Initiate of traditional British Old Craft and the Khemetic Mysteries. My own teaching methods and writing draw on historical sources supported by academic texts and current archaeological findings; endorsing Crowley’s view that all magic is an amalgam of science and art, and that magic is the outer route to the inner Mysteries. I have been a member and later Principal of the Coven of the Scales since 2000 having inherited it on the deaths of Bob and Meriem Clay-Egerton and author of some 60 fiction and non-fiction books on the subject of magic and Old Craft in order to shape the reader’s understanding of this particular tradition. 

Melusine's book list on real old-fashioned witchcraft

Melusine Draco Why did Melusine love this book?

This book is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it but it represents a small but important time-capsule of traditional British Old Craft history that we have been lucky enough to preserve for the next generation of witches. This collection of true anecdotes mirrors the goings-on within an Old Craft coven and reveals the humour and sense of the ridiculous that is part and parcel of many traditional covens that I’ve come across.

By Melusine Draco,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Coarse Witchcraft is a squint-eyed look at what passes for Craft in many modern groups and just how much of the teaching has been dumbed down so that everyone can acquire rank and have a "crack at the priesthood". This blind grope for titles, rank and public acclaim have replaced the enlightened quest for genuine wisdom and ability, while the old Witch-magic is practised by fewer and fewer of those who would call themselves Witches. There are also those who insist on being recognised as instant Adepts in a system that takes years of study and preparation - but book-learning…


Book cover of The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe

Bryan Le Beau Author Of The Story of the Salem Witch Trials

From my list on the story behind the Salem Witch Trials.

Why am I passionate about this?

A native of Massachusetts and married to a descendent of two of the accused, the Salem witch trials have long fascinated me. Armed with a Ph.D. in American studies from New York University – focused on American history, literature, and religion – a significant portion of my academic career has been devoted to research, publications, classes, and public lectures on the Salem witch trials, reflected in the third edition of my book, The Story of the Salem Witch Trials. The book is only one of several books and many articles I have published on various aspects of American cultural history, many of which relate in some way to what happened in Salem in 1692.  

Bryan's book list on the story behind the Salem Witch Trials

Bryan Le Beau Why did Bryan love this book?

Brian Levack is the leading authority on the history of witch-hunts in Europe.

Anyone seeking to fully understand the events of 1692 in Salem, needs to begin with a study of the 250 years of witch-hunts in Europe that preceded the outbreak in New England, which came late in the game but followed what occurred in many ways what preceded it. 

Levack’s book, now in its fourth edition, is the best source on this subject.  It includes information on the Salem witch trials in context of what happened in Europe. 

By Brian P. Levack,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, now in its fourth edition, is the perfect resource for both students and scholars of the witch-hunts written by one of the leading names in the field. For those starting out in their studies of witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials, Brian Levack provides a concise survey of this complex and fascinating topic, while for more seasoned scholars the scholarship is brought right up to date. This new edition includes the most recent research on children, gender, male witches and demonic possession as well as broadening the exploration of the geographical distribution of witch prosecutions to…


Book cover of Cinders and Sparrows

Jennifer Frances Adam Author Of The Last Windwitch

From my list on middle grade fantasy featuring birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been passionate about horses – in fact, I’ve adopted five wild mustangs over the years and ride often – so it’s no surprise that they often find their way into my stories. But birds and feathers tend to be important elements of my books, too. I live on a working family farm surrounded by hawks, bald eagles, blue herons, swans, owls, and countless others… but I suspect the true reason there are birds in my books has to do with the little sparrows who like to perch on my windowsill as I write!

Jennifer's book list on middle grade fantasy featuring birds

Jennifer Frances Adam Why did Jennifer love this book?

When Zita Brydgeborn, an orphan employed as a cranky widow’s maid, receives an unexpected letter delivered by a scarecrow she is thrust into the heart of a mysterious battle between good and evil. Discovering that she might be the only living heir to a dynasty of witches, she must learn more than spells and charms if she hopes to survive the foe who claimed her family’s souls. With a clever crow and two castle servants as her closest friends, Zita confronts a tangle of family secrets and sinister magic to break a deadly curse. This book is a delightfully creepy read with all the elements of my favorite stories: a brave girl with a hidden past, bird imagery, witchcraft, fiercely loyal friends, and family secrets. It’s beautifully written and strikes the perfect balance between spooky danger and gentle humor.

By Stefan Bachmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cinders and Sparrows 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?

"Readers won't be able to turn the pages fast enough."-Soman Chainani, New York Times-bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil series

"An entertainingly witchy world."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A suspenseful tale of witches, family, and magic from internationally bestselling author Stefan Bachmann. When a twelve-year-old orphan unexpectedly becomes the mistress of a seemingly abandoned castle, she is thrust into a mysterious plot involving murderous spells, false identity, and a magical battle of wills between the living and the dead. Readers of Kate Milford's Greenglass House, Victoria Schwab's City of Ghosts, and Diana Wynne Jones will be riveted.


Twelve-year-old…


Book cover of The Inner Temple of Witchcraft

Mat Auryn Author Of Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation

From my list on the psychic witch.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a witch, professional psychic, occult teacher, and multi-award-winning author of the international bestselling book Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide To Meditation, Magick, and Manifestation. I have been fascinated with the topics of magick and psychic ability since a young age and have been researching both topics and how they intersect since about eight years old. I've had the honor of studying under some of the most prominent witchcraft teachers, elders, and witchcraft traditions. I’m constantly asked by readers which other books I recommend after reading mine, so here are the top picks I feel are essential for every psychic witch’s library that have been highly influential on my work.

Mat's book list on the psychic witch

Mat Auryn Why did Mat love this book?

The Inner Temple of Witchcraft is one of the most influential books I have ever read. The book lays a fantastic foundation for any witch, starting with going inward and developing meditation and psychic skills to enhance your magick. In the dedication in my book, I wrote that Psychic Witch was sort of my love letter to The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, and it truly is. The Anniversary Edition includes expanded material and a foreword by Laurie Cabot, whose work, particularly her book Power of the Witch, has also been immensely influential on both of us as authors. Christopher once told me that my book was to The Inner Temple of Witchcraft what The Inner Temple of Witchcraft was to Laurie's Power of the Witch, and you can see a line of influence on these topics from Laurie to Christopher to my book. This was one of…

By Christopher Penczak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Expand your Inner Temple - your personal sacred space where there are no boundaries and all things are possible. This four-CD set helps open the door by calming your mind and guiding the visualisations vital to magickal success. It is designed to complement the study course: The Inner Temple of Witchcraft. Each CD allows you to experience the book's lessons on a deep and personal level, with an experienced teacher guiding the way.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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