18 books like Ghostways

By Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood, Dan Richards

Here are 18 books that Ghostways fans have personally recommended if you like Ghostways. 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 Bad Island

Darrel Perkins Author Of The End Is At Hand

From my list on to read as the world crumbles around us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I started to think about the end of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of learning how to bake sourdough bread, I read stories and made art about the apocalypse. The true and catastrophic experiences of people throughout history interested me so much that the project turned into a book. My background in printmaking and illustration has formed my approach to visualizing narrative scenes using crisp black and white linocut prints. My current position as a studio art professor has given me practice in providing information concisely. I try to entertain as much as inform. 

Darrel's book list on to read as the world crumbles around us

Darrel Perkins Why did Darrel love this book?

Prefer something a bit more visual as the world falls apart? Stanley Donwood fills a book with full-page black and white linocut illustrations, the same medium I use for my illustrations. Without relying on any text, Donwood is able to use classic sequential art techniques to move us through the continual destruction of a wild and devolving island habitat. You may recognize his work from his decades-long collaboration with Radiohead, but his distinct style of storytelling and art stands alone.

By Stanley Donwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A wild seascape, a distant island, a full moon. Gradually the island grows nearer until we land on a primeval wilderness, rich in vegetation and huge, strange beasts. Time passes and man appears, with clubs, with spears, with crueler weapons still-and things do not go well for the wilderness. Civilization rises as towers of stone and metal and smoke choke the undergrowth and the creatures that once moved through it. This is not a happy story, and it will not have a happy ending.

Working in his distinctive, monochromatic linocut style, Stanley Donwood achieves with his art what words cannot…


Book cover of Kid A Mnesia: A Book of Radiohead Artwork

Marcus Amaker Author Of Hold What Makes You Whole

From my list on an everlong fire of musical obsession.

Why am I passionate about this?

“Big Butt.” That’s all you need to know about me. It was the first song I wrote and recorded on a dusty cassette tape in 1986. I was 10 years old and an obsessive Prince fan. On the back of his records, he wrote some variation of “written, recorded, produced and performed by Prince.” Those words empowered me to be an artist. More specifically, here’s what I wrote as a 10-year-old: “When I grow up, I want to be a rock star like Prince.” Five years later, I started writing poetry, and all of the poems I wrote felt like songs. Music is the fuel for all that I create.

Marcus' book list on an everlong fire of musical obsession

Marcus Amaker Why did Marcus love this book?

I’ve always loved mysterious musicians. Musicians who seem otherwordly. Musicians who make magic in the studio and take you to magical places. 

I used to never want to know the process behind that magic. But as I get older, I’ve enjoyed learning about the human behind the magician. 

Thom Yorke is a wizard. I’ve been a fan since 1993, so it’s fascinating to take a look at some of his process in the Kid A Mnesia book. It’s gorgeous. Weird. And yes… magical. 

Stanley Donwood’s art is fantastic, and is just as important as the music. I heard the albums differently after flipping through these pages.

By Thom Yorke, Stanley Donwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Whilst these records were being conceived, rehearsed, recorded and produced, Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood made hundreds of images. These ranged from obsessive, insomniac scrawls in biro to six-foot-square painted canvases, from scissors-and-glue collages to immense digital landscapes. They utilised every medium they could find, from sticks and knives to the emerging digital technologies.

The work chronicles their obsessions at the time: minotaurs, genocide, maps, globalisation, monsters, pylons, dams, volcanoes, locusts, lightning, helicopters, Hiroshima, show homes and ring roads. What emerges is a deeply strange portrait of the years at the commencement of this century. A time that seems an…


Book cover of The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets: Cowley. Denham. Milton. Butler. Rochester. Roscommon. Otway. Waller. Pomfret. Dorset. Stepney. J. Philips. Walsh. Dryden

Willard Spiegelman Author Of Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt

From my list on the lives and works of English and American poets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my life both in the classroom (as a university professor) and out of it as a passionate, committed reader, for whom books are as necessary as food and drink. My interest in poetry dates back to junior high school, when I was learning foreign languages (first French and Latin, and then, later, Italian, German, and ancient Greek) and realized that language is humankind’s most astonishing invention. I’ve been at it ever since. It used to be thought that a writer’s life was of little consequence to an understanding of his or her work. We now think otherwise. Thank goodness.

Willard's book list on the lives and works of English and American poets

Willard Spiegelman Why did Willard love this book?

This is where it all started. The beginning of modern criticism.


Samuel Johnson was the first and greatest English literary critic, whose life and work were memorably recorded by his friend James Boswell.
Johnson himself, an exemplary, even obsessive, man of letters, wrote these 52 short biographies of figures, many still canonized today (John Milton, John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, William Congreve, but no women, alas) and he shows with sympathy and good sense how an understanding of a writer’s life helps us to understand his work as well.

Johnson was luminous. His prose is dazzling. He was a prodigious writer and thinker.

By Samuel Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.


Book cover of The Keeper of Stories

Hazel Prior Author Of How the Penguins Saved Veronica

From my list on characters who have something important to say.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by people, especially people who don’t follow the herd, who lurk on the edges of society, who are strongly individual. Their opinions often seem wiser than those of society and the media, and I find it refreshing to climb into their shoes… That’s why my fictional characters might be obsessively making harps, counting everything in sight, or embarking on a mission to save penguins! The books I’ve listed here contain a range of eccentrics. Molly The Maid, Harold Fry, Iona Iverson, Noman Foreman, and Janice are all marvellous characters who made me laugh, cry and ponder. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

Hazel's book list on characters who have something important to say

Hazel Prior Why did Hazel love this book?

Again, here is a fantastic cast of characters: the bold Mrs. B, the swearing Fox terrier, Decius, and the unassuming protagonist, Janice. Quiet, kind, thorough, outwardly unremarkable, Janice is a cleaner. She is also a wonderful listener. What a joy it is when, with a little help from her friends, she finally unlocks her own story and transforms her life.

Here’s the moment when Janice grasps how much hope can be found in stories: "She looks around at the shelves of books, every one of which she has handled, and she begins to think there may be a way. A way of finding that hope. She is, after all, a collector of stories and a storyteller. Maybe she could tell her story as she has told other stories?"

By Sally Page,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'I absolutely loved it! So different, clever, funny and charming' Sunday Times bestseller Katie Fforde

'Funny, wise, moving and full of lovely moments...The characters are endearing and unforgettable' Hazel Prior, author of the Richard & Judy Book Club Pick Away with the Penguins

'Janice is a wonderful woman whose authenticity pulls you along...the breadth and originality of supporting characters makes this debut an immersive delight' Dorset Magazine

'Absolutely spellbinding...a warm-hearted, thoughtful, funny and yet deeply poignant' Celia Anderson, author of 59 Memory Lane

'A treasure of a book. Beautiful, emotional and heartfelt with a cornucopia of characters you'll love spending…


Book cover of Telling the Seasons: Stories, Celebrations and Folklore around the Year

Allison Galbraith Author Of Dancing with Trees: Eco-Tales from the British Isles

From my list on environmental storytelling for folklore freaks.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I spent summers looking for adders on the Common and winters walking through snowstorms pretending to be a Hobbit in Tolkien's Middle Earth. My travels and studies taught me the importance of respecting different cultures and our planet. Glasgow Libraries gave me my first storytelling work in 1992, and I have a Master's degree in Scottish Folklore. I live in Scotland, sharing stories through writing and storytelling. Having collected hundreds of traditional folktales about our ancestors' wisdom and folly, I co-authored my first book, Dancing With Trees, Eco-Tales from the British Isles, to reflect our need to understand nature's wisdom and help us live sustainably on Earth.

Allison's book list on environmental storytelling for folklore freaks

Allison Galbraith Why did Allison love this book?

This book is like a plump pie filled with seasonal treats, one delicious slice for every month of the year.

Rooted in Somerset, England, Maudsley skilfully presents folklore, beliefs, and happenings that pay homage to Britain and Ireland's nature, rural culture, and changing seasons. He carefully includes folk customs and stories from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

However, this book's natural juice and joy lie in Maudsley's knowledge of rural traditions and stories he shares in his work with Common Ground, an environmental and community organisation based in England. There are rhymes, songs, and food & drink recipes, all intricately woven into each month, season, and local harvest.

Everyone interested in living harmoniously with the natural world will enjoy this celebratory description of calendar customs and living traditions.

By Martin Maudsley, Alison Legg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Telling the Seasons takes us on a journey through the twelve months of the year with stories, customs and celebrations. Drawing on the changing patterns of nature and the rich tapestry of folklore from the British Isles, it is a colourful guide into how and why we continue to celebrate the seasons.

Here are magical myths of the sun and moon, earthy tales of walking stones and talking trees and lively legends of the spirits of each season. Original drawings, sayings, songs, recipes and rhymes, combine into a 'spell-book' of the seasons. Martin Maudsley tells tales around the year to…


Book cover of The Perfect Hero

Nicky Abell-Francis Author Of Rekindling Connections: A Bittersweet Journey of Lust, Love and Choices

From my list on good old romance and humorous escapades.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a little humor from romantic trysts or tales of woe of that one love that got away. Divulged conversations and gossip on the therapy couch can be fascinating (massage work relaxes the body and mind). Clients worldwide find choosing their ideal partner a lottery. Inspiration struck me to look more closely at how marriage choices are made through the heart or the mind. We all search for the perfect soul mate. Learning how others met was intriguing by chance or manipulated. Clearly showing, fate did seem to be at play in most cases. I love creating escapism to let your wild romantic dreams be a possibility.

Nicky's book list on good old romance and humorous escapades

Nicky Abell-Francis Why did Nicky love this book?

Adored this novel. Set in Dorset within the film industry, this is one story that, if you like a romantic genre, it's endearing. Highlighting every situation in life comes down to stereotypical characters. The drama queen, the hopeless romantic, the dashing hero. It looks at how our self-esteem and parenting affect us so much in terms of communication skills later in life.

When romance is involved, we always think we know best for ourselves and others. The obvious is never on our radar. This demonstrates the ethos of friendships: how the hero we aspire to and fall for can come in many disguises. 

For Jane Austen fans, this will intrigue you as you step into the creation of some of her characters within the storyline. It is a relaxing and enjoyable read for romancers amongst us. Lyme Regis may well be deluged with visitors. 

By Victoria Connelly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Have not been able to put this novel down! A lovely story brought to life with characters you want to meet. Loved every page.' Reader review

The sparkling follow-up to A Weekend with Mr Darcy from Victoria Connelly - set to become the Richard Curtis of the chick-lit world!

Die-hard romantic, Kay Ashton, uses her inheritance to open a B&B in the seaside town of Lyme Regis and is dumbstruck when the cast and crew of a new production of Persuasion descend, needing a place to stay. Kay can't believe her luck - especially when she realises that heart throb…


Book cover of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

Kathleen Boston McCune Author Of Assignment Love: The Writer and Her Agent

From my list on when needing excitement or the comfort of a caress.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a woman of four and seventy years who thankfully doesn’t yet resemble that person to those who haven’t met me. I'm a mother of two who both have their own businesses in the fields of their natural talents, I've been Deputy Treasurer to the State of Kansas, written 22 books but think younger than I did at 20, and am enjoying the best sex life to date! Life is precious and should not be limited to us based on our age, but on our interests, knowledge, and what we have to offer. Writing about that which I've experienced and the recorded history of family are my passions and hopefully for my readers as well.

Kathleen's book list on when needing excitement or the comfort of a caress

Kathleen Boston McCune Why did Kathleen love this book?

I recommend Lost Memoirs for finally giving us a love story from an author we all have enjoyed since 5th grade. A true artist in “putting us in her life,” Syrie James accomplishes this while giving us readers the feeling of friendship with Jane Austen within these pages of her lost memoirs...

This book is of the recently found letters and diaries of Jane Austen of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility fame in not only books, but movies made over the years. It begins with the Austen Family Tree, which revealed that Jane had not only her sister, Cassandra, but six brothers, all either clergymen or military men with titles and at least a modicum of wealth. This was quite enlightening to me, who has read her forever, but somehow I’d missed this important aspect of her life, which gives her insights into the minds of men, better…

By Syrie James,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hidden in an old chest in her brother's attic, Jane Austen's memoirs are uncovered after hundreds of years, bricked up behind an old wall. Written shortly before her death, one volume was preserved immaculately, and its contents both shocked and thrilled readers. Detailing a love affair the author was apparently determined to keep secret, Jane's memoir offers readers untold insights into her mind and heart. Many rumours abound about a mysterious gentleman said to be the love of Jane's life - finally, the truth may have been found.


Book cover of The Whalebone Theatre

Tessa Harris Author Of The Paris Notebook

From my list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a journalist for much of my life and have been passionate about history since I was a child. Ever since I visited a castle at age five, I’ve loved imagining the past and naturally ended up doing a History degree at Oxford. I love fact-based stories and am always meticulous in my research so that I can bring my readers with me on a journey of discovery. But what always brings history to life for me is focusing on the characters, real or imagined, who’ve made history themselves.

Tessa's book list on WW2 novels featuring loners we love

Tessa Harris Why did Tessa love this book?

I fell in love with the three-year-old Cristabel Seagrove from the first page. I laughed with her, cried with her, and spent many years with her as she navigated her way into adulthood in the company of her equally engaging siblings.

The characters who inhabit their Dorset stately home before and during the Second World War are both engaging and infuriating. It’s an absolute gem of a book. 

By Joanna Quinn,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Whalebone Theatre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'THE BOOK OF THE SUMMER' Sunday Times

'A tour de force' Sarah Winman, author of Still Life

This is the story of an old English manor house by the sea, with crumbling chimneys, draping ivy and a library full of dusty hardbacks. It's the story of the three children who grow up there, and the adventures they create for themselves while the grown-ups entertain endless party guests.

This is the story of a whale that washes up on a beach, whose bones are claimed by a twelve-year-old girl with big ambitions and an even bigger imagination. An unwanted orphan who…


Book cover of The Wild Places

Scott Chaskey Author Of Soil and Spirit: Cultivation and Kinship in the Web of Life

From my list on our human relationship with the natural world.

Why am I passionate about this?

For decades, I have been identified as a poet-farmer—I have a friendship with the earth forged through many seasons of cultivation, husbandry, and harvest. Enrolled in an MFA program abroad in creative writing, I found my way to Ireland, Oxford, and eventually to Cornwall, England, where I learned the art of cliff meadow farming. Returning to America, I became part of an agricultural revival called Community Supported Agriculture. I continued to write and teach poetry, enlivened by literature and the silt-loam soil of the Long Island peninsula. The language of the garden and the language of poetry and prose in sympathy with the earth, for me, are inseparable.

Scott's book list on our human relationship with the natural world

Scott Chaskey Why did Scott love this book?

I have admired Macfarlane’s exquisite prose through book after book, though this book, his second, holds a special place in my heart.

Having lived for 10 years in the UK—on a rather wild peninsula—I have traveled through some of the landscapes the author describes with a passion that is personal, universal, precise, and magical. I share with Macfarlane a love for what he calls “the lost words,” as well as a reverence for words he has “found” in this book: beechwood, moor, river-mouth, ridge, and holloway.

I am drawn instantly to a writer who begins a book with, “The wind was rising, so I went to the wood.” It was a joy to travel with this eloquent writer as he rediscovers wildness, a search I imagine as possible, day by day.

By Robert Macfarlane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Wild Places" is both an intellectual and a physical journey, and Macfarlane travels in time as well as space. Guided by monks, questers, scientists, philosophers, poets and artists, both living and dead, he explores our changing ideas of the wild. From the cliffs of Cape Wrath, to the holloways of Dorset, the storm-beaches of Norfolk, the saltmarshes and estuaries of Essex, and the moors of Rannoch and the Pennines, his journeys become the conductors of people and cultures, past and present, who have had intense relationships with these places. Certain birds, animals, trees and objects - snow-hares, falcons, beeches,…


Book cover of Priory

Paulette Kennedy Author Of Parting the Veil

From my list on haunted houses where setting is a character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by haunted houses and the lore behind them ever since childhood. I spent my summers walking our neighborhood cemetery and devouring novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Shirley Jackson. It was only natural, then, that my debut novel had to be a haunted house story—my own love letter to the genre. Having lived in a haunted house myself, the experiences I had within those walls did little to discourage my fascination with the paranormal. While I may have left my ghosts behind me, you can still sense their lingering presence inside Parting the Veil.

Paulette's book list on haunted houses where setting is a character

Paulette Kennedy Why did Paulette love this book?

I love a classic, gothic haunted house story with an unexpected twist, and Priory delivers. When Oliver Hardacre returns to his namesake home, located outside the gloriously atmospheric Yorkshire town of Whitby, he opens the door to his past. The narrative is told from Oliver’s modern perspective and his mother’s point of view in the 1970s, when Oliver and his brother were children at Hardacre Priory. Replete with dark, twisted secrets and multi-layered, complex characters, Wright’s sentient, menacing estate comes alive under her masterful touch. This is a short read, easily finished in one sitting. Crack it open on a foggy morning, with a spot of tea and a blanket to cut the chill.

By Becky Wright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book 1 in The Ghosts of Hardacre series.

Memories are like ghosts. They linger in doorways, whisper with the howling wind when lightning strikes. They are the dark phantoms of my youth. My mind buried my memories for good reason, and I spent forty years believing I could escape them.

Until with one phone call, I found myself in my childhood home: Hardacre Priory.

I knew from the first step through the door that it was all over. The forgotten events of 1979 leapt to the surface and screamed their truths. Everything I thought to be true was a lie.…


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