81 books like Garden Spells

By Sarah Addison Allen,

Here are 81 books that Garden Spells fans have personally recommended if you like Garden Spells. 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 Tuck Everlasting

Jill K. Sayre Author Of The Fairies of Turtle Creek

From my list on realistic fiction with a dollop of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I am extremely interested in the “what if” factor. What if food ingredients could make a person feel specific emotions? What if drinking from a spring in the woods could give you a superpower? What if fairies really do take care of and grow all plants and trees in the world? I love to read and write about ordinary people, living everyday life, who encounter threads of magic. Influenced by reading books in the genre of “magical realism,” I love to explore how a dab of magic can be used in realistic fiction to emotionally affect the characters and story arc.

Jill's book list on realistic fiction with a dollop of magic

Jill K. Sayre Why did Jill love this book?

So, this book was made into two movies, the first in 1981 and the other in 2002, but I first experienced this story by reading the book when I was a young girl in sixth grade in 1978. I remember reading the epilogue over and over again—it broke my heart to think how the greed of one man could ruin something so magical. I pondered whether it was a blessing or a curse to live forever, and the town of Treegap felt like it could exist in any wooded place. Whenever I find myself in a thick forest, I still search for springs that bubble up from the ground, taking me right back to those emotions when reading this great classic.

By Natalie Babbitt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Tuck Everlasting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Winnie Foster is in the woods, thinking of running away from home, when she sees a boy drinking from a spring. Winnie wants a drink too, but before she can take a sip, she is kidnapped by the boy, Jesse Tuck, and his family. She learns that the Tuck family are blessed with - or doomed to - eternal life since drinking from the spring, and they wander from place to place trying to live as inconspicuously as they can. Now Winnie knows their secret. But what does immortality really mean? And can the Tucks help her understand before it's…


Book cover of Hour of the Bees

Carla Kessler Author Of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

From my list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, one of my favorite places was in the top branches of a tree. From up there I could watch the world pass by, remaining invisible. I could make up stories about the world below and no one would challenge me. The second best place for me was inside the story of a book, the kind that took you to magical places where children always found a way to win the day. I knew when I “grew up” I would write one of those empowering books. I became a middle school teacher and have since read many wonderful books for this age. Enjoy my list of favorites.  

Carla's book list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference

Carla Kessler Why did Carla love this book?

Carolina walks a fine line between reality and magic, a state of mind many a struggling child understands.

Stuck with her grandfather, whose mind is failing, she finds a special connection to the fantastical stories he tells of a lake and bees and a tree, all connected with love of family and one’s roots. She forms a special bond with her “crazy” grandfather.

His stories about the tree with the magical power to bring people back together especially rings true. Who doesn’t believe in the magic of trees, especially old trees with deep roots (I still do). When Carolina rescues her grandfather from the old folks home and convinces her parents not to sell the family ranch, everything comes together.

Reality and magic really do belong together.

By Lindsay Eagar,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hour of the Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A beautifully written debut novel that weaves together magic and reality, about a girl's relationship with her mentally ill grandfather.

This powerful debut novel delicately blurs the line between truth and fiction as Carol unravels the fantastical stories of her mentally ill grandfather. When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather's dementia. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather…


Book cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Kelley Skovron Author Of No Filter

From my list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of over 15 novels written for kids, teens, and adults across several genres. The thing all my books have in common is that they are sad and they are dark. My most recent novel is my most distilled, compressed delivery of deliciously dark sadness yet! Oddly, I'm rarely sad in real life. My daughter suggested that I write books to get the darkness out of my head and onto the page, which I think is very insightful (she is my kid, after all). I enjoy the beauty in the breakdown, I savor the sublime catharsis of tragedy, and I want to share that perspective with everyone.

Kelley's book list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary

Kelley Skovron Why did Kelley love this book?

Neil Gaiman has probably had more of an impact on my brain and my writing than any other author. Selecting just one of his many incredible "dark and sad" books was a real challenge for me.

I settled on this one, in part because it is the perfect bookend to my previous recommendation, Doll Bones, in that it eloquently expresses the quiet joys, fears, and sorrows of childhood, as seen through the eyes of an adult who knows full well the meaning of loss, and the cost of things we can barely recognize, much less understand, when we are young.

Like the narrator of the book, I feel the ever-widening gulf between myself and my own memories. I also see it beginning for my offspring, who have both recently entered adulthood, and my heart breaks for all three of us.

By Neil Gaiman, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Ocean at the End of the Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 'BOOK OF THE YEAR'

AN ACCLAIMED WEST END THEATRE PRODUCTION *****

'Neil Gaiman's entire body of work is a feat of elegant sorcery. He writes with such assurance and originality that the reader has no choice but to surrender to a waking dream' ARMISTEAD MAUPIN

'Some books just swallow you up, heart and soul' JOANNE HARRIS

'Summons both the powerlessness and wonder of childhood, and the complicated landscape of memory and forgetting' GUARDIAN

---

'My favourite response to this book is when people say, 'My childhood was nothing like that - and it was as if…


Book cover of Secondhand Spirits

Daryl Wood Gerber Author Of A Flicker of a Doubt

From my list on mysteries that will make you wonder whodunit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by paranormal stories for years. One of the first books I truly loved was A Wrinkle in Time. I loved the Dragons of Pern, as well. As a girl, I read more stories featuring witches and magical creatures than one ought. But I also loved mysteries—Nancy Drew, as well as all the Agatha Christie books. At present, I’m working on my fifth Fairy Garden Mystery, and I recently completed a mystery novella featuring an elf. To round out the experience, I have personally crafted over fifty fairy gardens. I’m pretty certain a fairy spirit had something to do with my obsession... or perhaps it all started when I kissed the Blarney Stone.

Daryl's book list on mysteries that will make you wonder whodunit

Daryl Wood Gerber Why did Daryl love this book?

I love this series.

Lily Ivory, who owns a vintage clothing shop in San Francisco, wants to fit in somewhere and conceal her “witchiness”.

She is spiritual and stylish and has a charming sense of humor. Just when life seems normal, she stumbles onto a spooky murder.

This book ticks off all the boxes for a fun and mentally stimulating read. Lily’s familiar is an adorable, witty pig. There’s a sexy myth buster who is enticing. And there’s a powerful warlock who is her nemesis.

Such a fun read!

By Juliet Blackwell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Secondhand Spirits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Love the vintage- not the ghosts

Lily Ivory feels that she can finally fit in somewhere and conceal her "witchiness" in San Francisco. It's there that she opens her vintage clothing shop, outfitting customers both spiritually and stylistically.

Just when things seem normal, a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area. Lily has a good idea that some bad phantoms are behind it. Can she keep her identity secret, or will her witchy ways be forced out of the closet as she attempts to stop the phantom?


Book cover of The Astonishing Color of After

Jill K. Sayre Author Of The Fairies of Turtle Creek

From my list on realistic fiction with a dollop of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I am extremely interested in the “what if” factor. What if food ingredients could make a person feel specific emotions? What if drinking from a spring in the woods could give you a superpower? What if fairies really do take care of and grow all plants and trees in the world? I love to read and write about ordinary people, living everyday life, who encounter threads of magic. Influenced by reading books in the genre of “magical realism,” I love to explore how a dab of magic can be used in realistic fiction to emotionally affect the characters and story arc.

Jill's book list on realistic fiction with a dollop of magic

Jill K. Sayre Why did Jill love this book?

Fifteen-year-old Leigh is struggling to deal with the mental illness of her mother, that ultimately led to her suicide. A talented artist, Leigh deals with her sorrow by keeping away from others, including her best friend, Axel. Yes, this starts out as a sad story about loss, but the emotional journey Leigh embarks on is full of the stunning culture of Taiwan as she gains a deeper understanding of herself and her mother’s life. Not only is the diction wonderful in this gorgeously written book, but the symbolism behind the red bird who comes to Leigh repeatedly, whom she believes is her mother, is mystically poignant. When I finished this book, I returned from a world far from Dallas and was left with a true feeling of hope.

By Emily X. R. Pan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Astonishing Color of After as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

"Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."
--John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
An instant New York Times bestseller, this stunning, heartbreaking novel about grief, love, and family is perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to…


Book cover of Abby Cooper

Kris Neri Author Of Magical Alienation

From my list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having heard Celtic legends as a kid made me want to either become a leprechaun or a goddess with the power to remake the world’s worst parts. Although I didn’t achieve either, I write about both, as well as other quirky people who march to the rhythm of delightfully offbeat drummers. I so adore eccentric people and jaunty environments, I’ve built a career out of writing them. That has allowed me to capture the sassy voice of the daughter of madcap Hollywood stars, the outrageous garments worn by a cheerfully fake psychic, and the journey of a brokenhearted chef who can’t quote an adage normally to save her life.

Kris' book list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted

Kris Neri Why did Kris love this book?

I’ve loved mysteries since Nancy Drew led me into a life of crime. Mixing in magic adds such zing to the mystery puzzle.

I especially enjoyed the charming Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye. A series of misadventures with a guy cause Abby to become entangled with the local PD, which allows her to bring some pretty bad guys to justice. I love Abby’s engaging voice and her spirited outlook. Especially appealing is that she believes herself to be different from others, someone who doesn’t fit in. Yet she also sees herself as shockingly normal compared to the oddballs who come to her for readings. Yet Abby finds humor in the irony of her situation.

If you like your magic mixed with mysteries, you’ll find this book fun.

By Victoria Laurie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients-or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

 


Book cover of Nazaré

Kris Neri Author Of Magical Alienation

From my list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having heard Celtic legends as a kid made me want to either become a leprechaun or a goddess with the power to remake the world’s worst parts. Although I didn’t achieve either, I write about both, as well as other quirky people who march to the rhythm of delightfully offbeat drummers. I so adore eccentric people and jaunty environments, I’ve built a career out of writing them. That has allowed me to capture the sassy voice of the daughter of madcap Hollywood stars, the outrageous garments worn by a cheerfully fake psychic, and the journey of a brokenhearted chef who can’t quote an adage normally to save her life.

Kris' book list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted

Kris Neri Why did Kris love this book?

Nazaré is a charming fable, showcasing the pursuit of justice in an authoritarian world. Kin, a young homeless boy, originally accused of sorcery and forced to flee, eventually leads a band of revolutionaries pitted against their oppressive dictator. His army is made up of delightful misfits, along with a variety of wild animals.

I love the rebels in this parable for the modern world. How could any writer or reader not appreciate revolutionaries who, while living rough in the countryside, impose a reading hour on their members. There is such beauty in the author’s language, unexpected humor throughout, and the most appealing charm.

If you believe in magic, as well as the the power of right to prevail against tyranny, despite impossible odds, this is the novel for you.

By JJ Amaworo Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nazaré tells the story of a peasants’ revolt in the polyglot city of Balaal. The story begins with a miracle. A homeless boy sees a whale washed up on the beach. He alerts the local fishermen, and soon the whole town is trying and failing to push it back into the ocean. With just the boy left to accompany the whale now in its dying throes, a freak wave pulls the creature back into the sea. This is an omen. Change is coming.

The boy and the washerwoman who adopts him cobble together a ramshackle army of fishermen, shopkeepers, lapsed…


Book cover of Charlotte and the Demons

Kris Neri Author Of Magical Alienation

From my list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having heard Celtic legends as a kid made me want to either become a leprechaun or a goddess with the power to remake the world’s worst parts. Although I didn’t achieve either, I write about both, as well as other quirky people who march to the rhythm of delightfully offbeat drummers. I so adore eccentric people and jaunty environments, I’ve built a career out of writing them. That has allowed me to capture the sassy voice of the daughter of madcap Hollywood stars, the outrageous garments worn by a cheerfully fake psychic, and the journey of a brokenhearted chef who can’t quote an adage normally to save her life.

Kris' book list on magic to make you feel happy and even enchanted

Kris Neri Why did Kris love this book?

Although I don’t usually read dark fantasy, Charlotte and the Demons has become one of my favorite books.

Young Charlotte’s father is an abusive alcoholic, causing his kids’ lives to fall apart. Suddenly, the floor of Charlotte’s closet opens into a gateway to hell. Charlotte’s soon meeting the underworld’s worst baddies. She crushes on Ezequiel, a clerk who does secretarial work for the Old Guy, the Prince of Darkness who seems to have lost control over his underworld.

A plot that turns in the most unexpected ways, the richness of the humor, and the engaging voices of an imaginative range of characters make this novel creative and unique. I wasn’t sure how it would end, but the last chapter absolutely made my heart fill with joy. You’ll love it.

By Alethea Eason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She prayed for an angel, but demons entered her life.

Nine-year old Charlotte lives in Las Vegas amid a hellish scenario of domestic violence. A vision of a beautiful woman on a screen door appears, and she prays for a guardian angel.

She's convinced the vision is of the Virgin Mary.

No dice.

It's the demon Lilith in disguise.

One night, Ezequiel, a fledgling demon of 16, strikes a match in her closet. He steps into her bedroom adorned with both horns and halo. He warns that satanic forces are headed her way, but he can only do so much…


Book cover of Book Lovers

Christina Ford Author Of In Search of Mr Darcy: Lessons Learnt In The Pursuit of Happily Ever After

From my list on believing in the existence of love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about life, love and being single in my blog, A Broad In London, and I am a semi-regular guest on a Week In Review on BBC Radio London. 

Christina's book list on believing in the existence of love

Christina Ford Why did Christina love this book?

I love a great, happily-ever-after love story that makes you work for it. And that is what this book does. It is not so much the groundbreaking story of boy meets girl—girl hates boy—and then girl finds she has misunderstood boy all along.

It's a little like Pride and Prejudice meets When Harry Met Sally. I love that this book does for me what a great rom-com does: you know how it is going to end, but you lean in and thoroughly enjoy the journey.

By Emily Henry,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Book Lovers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“One of my favorite authors.”—Colleen Hoover

An insightful, delightful, instant #1 New York Times bestseller from the author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily ∙ Today ∙ Parade ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Bustle ∙ PopSugar ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ Book Bub ∙ SheReads ∙ Medium ∙ The Washington Post ∙ and more!

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming...

Nora Stephens' life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream…


Book cover of First Frost

Tina Wainscott Author Of Until I Die Again (Love and Light)

From my list on to escape into another world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by things paranormal and supernatural. There is so much in the “real” world that we don’t understand and can’t prove their existence, but there is enough video and photos, as well as stories, that I don’t see how we can say there’s not more beyond our five senses. Many of my own books center on paranormal abilities and events, and I do love reading about them as well!

Tina's book list on to escape into another world

Tina Wainscott Why did Tina love this book?

This book is also set in an ordinary world in a small Georgia town (I think it’s Georgia!), with an extraordinary family whose lineage has women with magical powers. The townsfolk know about the “odd” family, but they aren’t wholly shunned. Each woman has her own vulnerabilities and life journey. I loved the magic and cranky apple tree!

By Sarah Addison Allen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Readers fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen's debut novel, GARDEN SPELLS. Now the tale of the Waverley women is to be revisited with a magical sequel.

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beaten-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. But the Waverleys have enough trouble on their hands. Quiet Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies, but it's nothing like she thought it would be, and it's slowly taking over…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in North Carolina, sisters, and magic-supernatural?

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