90 books like Falling Creatures

By Katherine Stansfield,

Here are 90 books that Falling Creatures fans have personally recommended if you like Falling Creatures. 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 Swallows and Amazons

Katie Munnik Author Of The Aerialists

From my list on characters who assume new names.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was named after my father’s aunt, who moved from Canada to Switzerland in the 1920s to join a travelling church. Family lore remembers she rode a bicycle in the mountains and when she was dying, her sisters sent her maple leaves in the mail to remind her where she started. As a child, I was fascinated by this mysterious other Katie. Why did my father choose her name for me? Would I be like her? Did I get to choose? As a novelist, I love choosing names. Their power is subtle but strong, and when a writer gives a character more than one name, new layers emerge and stories bloom.

Katie's book list on characters who assume new names

Katie Munnik Why did Katie love this book?

I first read Swallows and Amazons lying on my belly beside a swimming pool while my little brother splashed through his lessons. I was caught by the inventive adventuring, the sailing and camping and the sheer—parentless!—freedom of the Walker and Blackett children. And most of all, I loved Nancy Blackett, whose real name was Ruth but changed it because everyone knows the Amazon pirates are ruthless. I’ve since read it with my own children, and the magic continues, though these days, I have more sympathy with the mother who, looking for some quiet, thought to pack her kids off to camp by themselves on an island. 

I should point out the second assumed name in this story. Ransom really did know children who sailed small boats in the Lake District, and one of the boats really was called Swallow—and the other one was Mavis. Hardly a good name for pirates!

By Arthur Ransome,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Swallows and Amazons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The ultimate children's classic - long summer days filled with adventure.

John, Susan, Titty and Roger sail their boat, Swallow, to a deserted island for a summer camping trip. Exploring and playing sailors is an adventure in itself but the island holds more excitement in store. Two fierce Amazon pirates, Nancy and Peggy, challenge them to war and a summer of battles and alliances ensues.

'My childhood simply would not have been the same without this book. It created a whole world to explore, one that lasted long in the imagination after the final page had been read' - Marcus…


Book cover of Alias Grace

Gill Paul Author Of A Beautiful Rival: A Novel Of Helena Rubinstein And Elizabeth Arden

From my list on historical novels based on real people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written fourteen historical novels now and most of them include real historical characters. I particularly like writing about women I feel have been misjudged or ignored by historians, and trying to reassess them in the modern age. Fiction allows me to imagine what they were thinking and feeling as they lived through dramatic, life-changing experiences, giving more insight than facts alone could do. Sitting at my desk in the morning and pretending to be someone else is a strange way to earn a living but it’s terrific fun! 

Gill's book list on historical novels based on real people

Gill Paul Why did Gill love this book?

Most of this novel is narrated by Grace Marks, a servant girl who is supposed to have committed a murder but says she doesn’t remember doing it.

She is being interviewed by a psychiatrist who is trying to jog her memory. But is she telling him the truth? I love this use of a possibly unreliable narrator, based on a true story that remains unresolved to this day. It’s a disturbing and compelling read.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale

Now a major NETFLIX series

Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.' Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.

'Brilliant... Atwood's prose is searching. So intimate it seems to be written on the skin' Hilary Mantel

'The outstanding novelist of our age' Sunday Times

'A sensuous, perplexing book, at…


Book cover of Gentlemen and Players

Katie Munnik Author Of The Aerialists

From my list on characters who assume new names.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was named after my father’s aunt, who moved from Canada to Switzerland in the 1920s to join a travelling church. Family lore remembers she rode a bicycle in the mountains and when she was dying, her sisters sent her maple leaves in the mail to remind her where she started. As a child, I was fascinated by this mysterious other Katie. Why did my father choose her name for me? Would I be like her? Did I get to choose? As a novelist, I love choosing names. Their power is subtle but strong, and when a writer gives a character more than one name, new layers emerge and stories bloom.

Katie's book list on characters who assume new names

Katie Munnik Why did Katie love this book?

Gentlemen and Players is a boarding house story with a dark heart. I picked this one from an aunt’s bookshelf and read it expecting something of the sweetness of Chocolat, but found a far more satisfying story, with twisting questions of identity, class, and revenge. I liked the clever split narrative, which used chess imagery, and the mystery of the Black Pawn, whose identity is deftly concealed until the close of the book. This is a surprising psychological thriller that would make a great book club pick, and I will not forget the rooftop chase nor that bonfire night.

By Joanne Harris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gentlemen and Players as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves, Susan Hill, Nicci French and Val McDermid, this is an astute and intelligent psychological thriller centring around obsession and rage from international multi-million copy seller Joanne Harris. Fast paced with unexpected twists and turns, it will get right under the skin...

'[A] gripping psychological thriller... Harris is one of our most accomplished novelists and Gentlemen & Players, with its pace, wit and acute observation, shows her at the top of her form' -- DAILY EXPRESS
'[A] delicious black comedy ... the plot is so cleverly constructed, the tension so unflagging, you'd think she'd been…


Book cover of Anil's Ghost

Jeannee Sacken Author Of Behind the Lens

From my list on thrilling fiction with brave, gutsy, badass women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like my main character, Annie Hawkins Green, I’m passionate about photojournalism, and we both love to travel the world capturing images that tell our stories. My training as a photographer has led me to write novels that are visual and cinematic, affording readers authentic and immersive experiences in the places Annie takes us—Afghanistan, Milwaukee, wherever. We’re both seriously committed to empowering girls through education and go to great lengths, and some risk, to make that happen. Readers tend to think Annie and I are brave and gutsy and, well, badass. Annie is, for sure—she goes to dangerous places. Okay, I admit that many of her adventures have an autobiographical twist.  

Jeannee's book list on thrilling fiction with brave, gutsy, badass women

Jeannee Sacken Why did Jeannee love this book?

In his most atmospheric and suspenseful novel, Anil’s Ghost, Michael Ondaatje transports readers into the middle of the civil war that splintered Sri Lanka. A brilliant forensic anthropologist who was educated abroad, Anil Tissera bravely returns to her homeland determined to unearth evidence to explain the brutal campaign of murders ravaging the country. With each new discovery Anil makes, at great risk to her own safety, I find myself holding my breath. Although the powerful elite are lined up against her, she stands firm, refusing to let the guns and bombs scare her away. Steeped in centuries of culture and tradition, this is truly one of my favorite books ever. 

By Michael Ondaatje,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Anil's Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient, Booker Prize—winning author Michael Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing.

Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent…


Book cover of The House on the Strand

Kit Domino Author Of White Stones

From my list on supernatural phenomena and why they shouldn’t scare you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t believe in ghosts, but fascination with the supernatural has been with me since childhood, my inquiring mind constantly seeking answers. Research through books and documentaries and talking to people on the subject leads me to conclude there has to be a scientific and rational explanation for every paranormal happening. Theories abound, none are conclusive, but one accepted theory stands out, and this is explored and expanded upon in my novel White Stones. The books chosen here are excellent examples in the world of the supernatural and paranormal and are worth reading whether you believe in ghosts or not. Some just might make you change your mind.

Kit's book list on supernatural phenomena and why they shouldn’t scare you

Kit Domino Why did Kit love this book?

I fell in love with this author’s exploration into the hypothesis of drug-induced time travel written by one of our great English authors, skillfully weaving psychology with science and historical fiction. In it, Dick Young is persuaded by a friend to try a new drug. Dick likes where it takes him, and each time takes more and more. A classic case of addition but the story awakened in me a passion for asking what if… that later turned into a greater passion for the unexplained and paranormal in all its forms, in turn leading me to question whether re-incarnation, deja-vu, ghostly visitations or time travel were possible, and if so, how.

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The House on the Strand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this haunting tale, Daphne du Maurier takes a fresh approach to time travel. A secret experimental concoction, once imbibed, allows you to return to the fourteenth century. There is only one catch: if you happen to touch anyone while traveling in the past you will be thrust instantaneously to the present. Magnus Lane, a University of London chemical researcher, asks his friend Richard Young and Young's family to stay at Kilmarth, an ancient house set in the wilds near the Cornish coast. Here, Richard drinks a potion created by Magnus and finds himself at the same spot where he…


Book cover of Mistress of Mellyn

Lisa Harris Author Of The Catch

From my list on suspense that will keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid reader growing up, this list of books was influential in not only fostering my love of story, but also for inspiring me to become a writer. These books showed me what makes a page-turning story; from creating a rich setting to developing authentic characters with tension-filled dialogue, to heart-pounding twists and turns. In the end, the readers are taken on a suspenseful journey that will keep them up all night. 

Lisa's book list on suspense that will keep you up at night

Lisa Harris Why did Lisa love this book?

A slight genre shift from the typical romantic suspense novel is the Gothic romance, and Victoria Holt (the pen name for Eleanor Hibbert) was one of the best. Like many of the stories published in this genre, there is a young woman, Martha Leigh, hired on as a governess to a troubled widow whose wife died under mysterious circumstances. Settings—as in all gothic novels—play a strong role in this story with its foreboding mansion and the untamed cliffs of Cornwall.

By Victoria Holt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mount Mellyn stood as proud and magnificent as she had envisioned...But what bout its master--Connan TreMellyn? Was Martha Leigh's new employer as romantic as his name sounded?  As she approached the sprawling mansion towering above the cliffs of Cornwall, an odd chill of apprehension overcame her.  TreMellyn's young daugher, Alvean, proved as spoiled and difficult as the three governesses before Martha had discovered.  But it was the girl's father whose cool, arrogant demeanor unleashed unfimiliar sensations and turmoil--even as whispers of past tragedy and present danger begin to insinuate themselves into Martha's life.  Powerless against her growing desire for the…


Book cover of North Cornwall Fairies And Legends

Anna Chorlton Author Of Cornish Folk Tales of Place: Traditional Stories from North and East Cornwall

From my list on capturing the magic of Cornwall.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to write about the places, folklore, nature, and above all the magic of Cornwall. I have lived in Cornwall most of my life, I learned to crawl along the rockpools of Cornish beaches and I went to school in a moorland village. Now, I live on the edge of Bodmin Moor and write in the Cornish wilds, I live close to both the moors and the sea. I began writing for Cornish folklore project Mazed in 2013 and I have been retelling Cornish Folk Tales and writing poetry and stories inspired by Cornish folklore ever since. 

Anna's book list on capturing the magic of Cornwall

Anna Chorlton Why did Anna love this book?

Enys Tregarthen’s tales have bought Cornish magic into every home for a hundred years.

I have spent a lot of time with her books and retold many tales in my book. North Cornwall Fairies and Legends is a basket full of piskeys, (the Cornish fairy folk.) One of my favourites is the Piskey’s Revenge, which I retold for Cornish storytelling project Mazed. It is illustrated by Steven Lambert, and used in Cornishibai street storytelling.

It tells how Granfer accidentally digs up the piskey beds, in revenge, the piskeys eat all Granfer’s birthday biscuits. Enys writes about the children of Cornwall and what they encounter: they meet piskey friends up on the moors, little stone figures come alive in towns and aways there is an excuse for piskey mischief.

By Enys Tregarthen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked North Cornwall Fairies And Legends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the "public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank…


Book cover of A Year of Marvellous Ways

Anna Chorlton Author Of Cornish Folk Tales of Place: Traditional Stories from North and East Cornwall

From my list on capturing the magic of Cornwall.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to write about the places, folklore, nature, and above all the magic of Cornwall. I have lived in Cornwall most of my life, I learned to crawl along the rockpools of Cornish beaches and I went to school in a moorland village. Now, I live on the edge of Bodmin Moor and write in the Cornish wilds, I live close to both the moors and the sea. I began writing for Cornish folklore project Mazed in 2013 and I have been retelling Cornish Folk Tales and writing poetry and stories inspired by Cornish folklore ever since. 

Anna's book list on capturing the magic of Cornwall

Anna Chorlton Why did Anna love this book?

Ninety-year-old Marvellous is a river goddess, her whole being is immersed in a Cornish creek, she lives in a caravan beside the water and loves a swim.

Marvellous lives on in my imagination. Nature is an organic part of the novel, time and seasons move with the tide; the reader knows it is spring because the ransoms (wild garlic) are out. I love rivers, they wind their way into my own writing, West Looe River is often my muse as a poet. 

I met Sarah Winman when I stumbled upon her book signing at my local bookshop. I only had enough money to buy Marvellous Ways or shoes to wear to an awards ceremony that evening. I realized no one would notice my old shoes so I bought the book and loved every page.

By Sarah Winman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Year of Marvellous Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS is the unforgettable and completely captivating new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT.

Marvellous Ways is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she's taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it.

Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying…


Book cover of Notes from an Exhibition

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

This novel has everything in it that I love about Cornwall – the life and work of its artists, an incredible sense of the scenery and atmosphere, and the limpid light cast over its beauty. 

It’s also an absorbing story about the price that may have to be paid for following your star. Successful artist Rachel Kelly values creativity and self-expression, but all too often she places these above the happiness of her partner and children. Is she right or is she wrong? 

By Patrick Gale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Notes from an Exhibition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The new novel from the bestselling Patrick Gale tells the story of artist Rachel Kelly, whose life has been a sacrifice to both her extraordinary art and her debilitating manic depression. When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies painting obsessively in her attic studio in Penzance, her saintly husband and adult children have more than the usual mess to clear up. She leaves behind an extraordinary and acclaimed body of work -- but she also leaves a legacy of secrets and emotional damage it will take months to unravel. A wondrous, monstrous creature, she exerts a power that outlives her. To…


Book cover of My Cousin Rachel

Rachel Hore Author Of The Hidden Years

From my list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a UK bestselling writer of historical fiction who has often used Cornwall as a setting. I wrote about a lost garden and a colony of Edwardian artists in The Memory Garden, about the Second World War in A Gathering Storm and The Hidden Years. My father was Cornish, which meant wonderful childhood holidays spent in the county. I fell in love with its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes - rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, expansive sandy beaches where the sea thunders in. I’ve feasted on its history and legends, and on stories of danger, romance, and adventure set in the region. It’s fulfilled a dream to have written my own.    

Rachel's book list on making you fall in love with Cornwall again

Rachel Hore Why did Rachel love this book?

I love gothic novels. As an impressionable and moody teenager visiting Cornwall I used to walk the cliffs alone in stormy weather imagining myself as a romantic heroine. 

Du Maurier’s best-known novel is Rebecca, but I loved My Cousin Rachel better, not least because its heroine shared my name. I say ‘heroine’, but actually, for much of the book we don’t know what to think of Rachel. She enters Philip Ashley’s life after the death of his older cousin and guardian Ambrose, and Philip discovers to his dismay that Ambrose has left all his property to his new wife Rachel. 

I love the way that Philip becomes mesmerized by Rachel and embroils the reader in his confusion. Is Rachel telling the truth about herself? Is she good or evil?

By Daphne Du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Cousin Rachel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING RACHEL WEISZ AND SAM CLAFIN

'Du Maurier is a storyteller whose sole aim is to bewitch and beguile' NEW YORK TIMES

'Du Maurier has no equal' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

' One of her best novels, ingeniously contrived as to plot, successfully realized as to characters' KIRKUS REVIEWS

'I threw the piece of paper on the fire. She saw it burn . . . '

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Cornwall, the supernatural, and Victorian?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Cornwall, the supernatural, and Victorian.

Cornwall Explore 68 books about Cornwall
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Victorian Explore 152 books about Victorian