100 books like Hopeland

By Ian McDonald,

Here are 100 books that Hopeland fans have personally recommended if you like Hopeland. 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 Sevenoaks

Stan Mack Author Of Janet & Me: An Illustrated Story of Love and Loss

From my list on graphic auto-fiction, from memoir to magic realism.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was starting out as an illustrator, I stumbled into two art director jobs, first at the innovative New York Herald Tribune and then at The New York Times. Working with great journalists gave me the startling idea that a comic strip could have no better subject matter than real life. This led me to create my popular comic strip “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies,” which ran in The Village Voice and reported on the rowdy New York city of the '70s and ‘80s. Back then, I was alone in combining real-life stories with comics; today many artist-writers use the comic strip format to tell complex and multilayered true stories of the human experience.

Stan's book list on graphic auto-fiction, from memoir to magic realism

Stan Mack Why did Stan love this book?

I met Kevin Sacco when he was an advertising storyboard artist. Kevin knew how to sell the story of an ad simply and dramatically in a series of graphic panels with an economy of words. In Sevenoaks, I see the same brain at work. His book is based on his life: a ‘60s-era New York City high school kid sent to an elite private school outside London. Sacco’s distinctive elongated and restrained figures, beautifully drawn geometric and airy cityscapes, and genial pace can lull one into a sense of calm, so that his moments of high and even magical drama slice more deeply into the emotions. One might be surprised to discover an unexpected tear.

By Kevin Sacco,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1966, aspiring artist Kevin Sacco learns that his family is moving from New York City to London-and that he will be attending

Sevenoaks, a traditional boarding school in the English countryside.

At first considered a "Yank" outsider with limited academic or sports acumen, Sacco gradually comes to experience and understand this life of rugby, cold showers, new friendships and discipline. Letters between Sacco and his best friend in New York serve to compare his cloistered life at Sevenoaks to the life that he would be living back home: a life touched by drugs, anti-war sentiments and…


Book cover of The Seven Lives of Grace

Astrid V. J. Author Of The Companion's Tale

From my list on uplifting and transformational stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning and USA Today bestselling South African author, social anthropologist, and transformational life coach. Human transformation and the question of human social nature are key themes in all of my writing, which explores the experiences of people on the margins or with a background of overlapping cultures. I am a book dragon who loves reading adventures in almost every genre and that broad scope of my reading explorations has wormed its way into my writing style which, though broadly defined as fantasy, encompasses elements from other styles in a rich and ‘aromatic’ blend.

Astrid's book list on uplifting and transformational stories

Astrid V. J. Why did Astrid love this book?

This charming contemporary romance with a touch of magical realism totally hit the spot. It’s all about Grace’s transformation from an overworked, underpaid, unappreciated individual into a person who achieves her potential and flourishes. It’s one of those beautiful allegorical tales about finding your true self so you can become who you were meant to be. Totally uplifting and left me with all the warm and fuzzies.

By Elena Shelest,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She has only seven days to choose her destiny...

Grace leads a fairy-tale-free existence in the rainy Seattle, struggling to provide for her frail mother and younger sister. But when a mysterious package arrives from her eccentric aunt, she is suddenly thrown into a whirlpool of unusual events.

Named the next "carrier of the gifts", she has only one week to sort through her supernatural inheritance or lose it all.

But in this story crystal slippers don't fit, "fairy godmothers" don't show up, and prince might not be so easy to charm.

As Grace blunders through unpredictable magic that challenges…


Book cover of In Darkling Wood

Jasbinder Bilan Author Of Asha and the Spirit Bird

From my list on magical lands you never knew you wanted to visit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in a stable close to the Himalayas in India. The family farm was buzzing with animals and one of the most wonderful was a wild monkey called Oma who adopted our family and insisted on living with us. This is where the magic in my life began. My Grandmother was the storyteller in my family, so even after we emigrated to England when I was only 18 months old, our house was filled with magical stories, many with roots in India. So when I became a children’s author it was this magic that I wanted to bring to my stories and it was this magic that drew me to reading.

Jasbinder's book list on magical lands you never knew you wanted to visit

Jasbinder Bilan Why did Jasbinder love this book?

Imagine if you could meet someone from the past without realising? This is what drew me to this magical book. When you are young there are things you just don’t question and this is what I was like. I saw things that adults would have said weren’t there. But I didn’t believe them. I only believed in the power of my imagination. For me anything could appear; a small creature under a tree in the garden or Santa’s sleigh flying through the sky at Christmas – it was all so real I could reach out and touch it. In Darkling Wood is one of those stories that wrap themselves around you and whisk you away, where you’ll leave believing in magic!

By Emma Carroll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Darkling Wood 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?

For fans of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Jack Cheng’s See You in the Cosmos, here is “a haunting and poignant exploration of family, loss, and redemption” (Booklist, Starred Review).
 
   When Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother Nell’s house, there’s nothing good about it, except the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of the garden—but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace. She even finds a friend, a girl named Flo. But Flo doesn’t go to the local school, and no one in town has heard…


Book cover of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Ash Watson Author Of Because Japan

From my list on nostalgic stories set in Japan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British Author who spent two years living and working in Tokyo. I have always had a strong love for the country, and while there I observed and experienced daily life while navigating many hardships and overcoming even more life lessons. Upon reflection, I am able to look back on the things I gleaned with a sense of proud nostalgia. The list of books I have compiled all centre around the same warm and familiar theme of nostalgia—with a heavy focus on life in Japan. 

Ash's book list on nostalgic stories set in Japan

Ash Watson Why did Ash love this book?

This book is a collection of small, powerful but sentimental stories around serious and personal themes that will tug at your heartstrings. Each story left me wanting more as the characters are forced to wrap up their quick journey into the past before their coffee gets cold. The sense of longing, loss, nostalgia, and community are central themes of this book, and it certainly made me reminisce about people and memories dear to my heart. 

By Toshikazu Kawaguchi,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Before the Coffee Gets Cold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*NOW AN LA TIMES BESTSELLER*

*OVER ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD*

*AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*

If you could go back in time, who would you want to meet?

In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time.

Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of making that journey. But time travel isn’t so simple, and there are rules that must be followed. Most…


Book cover of Ethel & Ernest

Lucia Wilson Author Of The Adventures of Cedric the Bear

From my list on thought-provoking social themes for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is nothing more gratifying when you are reading your own books to a group of children to see that they are eager to know what is going to happen next. My top priority is to create a story that is a page-turner. My second wish is to include social topics that provoke ideas and questions. After I read to a group of schoolchildren, I like to encourage them to discuss the themes in the story; the children are always keen to give their views. Nonetheless, adding social topics to my children’s books needs to evolve naturally; ultimately, for me, the story is king! 

Lucia's book list on thought-provoking social themes for children

Lucia Wilson Why did Lucia love this book?

I really admire Raymond Briggs’ work; he’s a wonderful storyteller and a fantastic artist with a great eye for colour. Ethel & Ernest is a beautiful book. The strip-cartoon format works well and makes for an intense reading experience. Whilst this book has lots of humour and light, it also features some dark topics such as the Second World War, mental illness, and bereavement. It is generally considered unsuitable for children under the age of twelve. It’s a charming love story and a vivid social record. I find it heartbreaking at times. It becomes even more touching when you remember that it is based on Briggs’ own family.

By Raymond Briggs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A marvellous, life-enhancing book for all ages, now a major animated film starring Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn and Luke Treadaway

Utterly original, deeply moving and very funny, Ethel & Ernest tells the story of Raymond Briggs' parents' marriage, lady's maid Ethel and milkman Ernest, from their first chance encounter in 1928, through the birth of their son Raymond in 1934, to their deaths, within months of each other, in 1971.

Told in Brigg`s unique strip-cartoon format, Ethel and Ernest live through the defining moments of the twentieth century: the darkness of the Great Depression, the build up to World War…


Book cover of The Last Witch

L.W. King Author Of Carrie's Legacy

From my list on supernatural with a sprinkling of realism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From an early age, I have been fascinated with anything supernatural and occult. My Aunt would read my palm, and then, as a teenager, I would visit clairvoyants to see what the future held for me. As I grew older, I found I had an ability, a gift of seership, and after reading many books, embarked on my pagan journey, from which I have never looked back, and am now studying Druidry,which is very much nature-based. I hope you love the books on this list as much as I do!  

L.W.'s book list on supernatural with a sprinkling of realism

L.W. King Why did L.W. love this book?

This was another of my lockdown reads, and again, I became completely immersed in the story from the word go. There are some incredibly dark moments, which, however, balance beautifully with many heartfelt moments. It was most definitely an emotion-inducing story for me.

I loved the fast pace and the author's ability to keep me literally on the edge of my seat, mustering all kinds of feelings, from frustration and anger to great joy. I found the characters strong, and the magic thought-provoking, and this was another story that I was so sad to say goodbye to.

By M J Lawrie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Obsession. Magic. Revenge.

FREEDOM AND LOVE HAVE NEVER BEEN SO DEADLY.

My ex-lover is a psychopath, hunting me down for revenge.
I am falling in love with his enemy.
And I am the last Arcane Witch left alive, destined to return magic to the modern world.

My whole life, I have been a prisoner.
Starved. Beaten. Hated.
By my own family!
But most of all, I am feared.
I am feared because I am the most powerful woman in the world.
Most want me dead.
Some want to control my magic for their own, dark desires.

To others, I am…


Book cover of The Invention of Morel

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From my list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Martin B. Reed Why did Martin love this book?

A friend recommended this book when I told her about my Shepherd theme. A neurotic fugitive, hiding on a deserted island, discovers that he is not alone. This novella is classed as magical realism—there’s a foreword by Borges—but like my book it eventually provides a scientific explanation for the strange occurrences. And like almost all my other choices, it’s a first-person narration, so we are kept wondering how much is true. It flags a bit after the initial premise, but once the revelations start, it grips you. Amazingly for a book written in 1964, its speculations address issues at the forefront of digital technology and science today. I won’t say more, except: don’t read the introduction or foreword, which contain plot spoilers!     

By Adolfo Bioy Casares, Ruth L. C. Simms (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jorge Luis Borges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy's novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.

 

Inspired by Bioy Casares's fascination with the movie star Louise Brooks, The Invention of Morel has gone on to live a secret life of its own. Greatly admired by Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, the novella helped…


Book cover of Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time

E M Graham Author Of An Ignorant Witch

From my list on fantasy with flawed main characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a multi-genre writer, a passionate reader, and, like all of us, a flawed human being. The stories that truly speak to me are the ones with a main character who is imperfect. I may not like the protagonist at first, but as the author develops the story and the hero’s challenges, the character grows, we see inside them and learn to love them, as they also learn to love and accept themselves, flaws and all. They use this growth to make a better world. And that’s what fiction is all about. Of course, it helps if they’re funny too. I love humor.

E M's book list on fantasy with flawed main characters

E M Graham Why did E M love this book?

Kelsey stifles her creative side, for she’s struggling to pay the bills and has to be practical. But in the hidden garden next door, she finds the answers to who she really is, and learns to embrace her creative side and value her gifts. I want to give a copy of this book to every creative person I know, to everyone who has been touched by the imposter syndrome (it’s a real thing with all artistic endeavors!) In this exquisite book, Higley shored up my inspiration as she gently shows us that all of our gifts are welcome.

By Tracy Higley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kelsey dreams of a life filled with creativity.
She's about to stumble into far more than she imagined...

Kelsey Willoughby doesn’t have time to pursue her dream of writing a novel. Imagination doesn’t pay the bills, and she’s busy saving her beautiful bookshop from online competition, hotel developers, and the sneaking suspicion that nobody reads anymore.

Not to mention all those voices telling her she doesn’t have talent.

But then the vacant lot of weeds next door starts to shimmer.

When Kelsey stumbles into a luminous nighttime garden party, larger than the vacant lot that holds it and filled with…


Book cover of The 13th Witch

L.W. King Author Of Carrie's Legacy

From my list on supernatural with a sprinkling of realism.

Why am I passionate about this?

From an early age, I have been fascinated with anything supernatural and occult. My Aunt would read my palm, and then, as a teenager, I would visit clairvoyants to see what the future held for me. As I grew older, I found I had an ability, a gift of seership, and after reading many books, embarked on my pagan journey, from which I have never looked back, and am now studying Druidry,which is very much nature-based. I hope you love the books on this list as much as I do!  

L.W.'s book list on supernatural with a sprinkling of realism

L.W. King Why did L.W. love this book?

I was genuinely devastated when I finished the book, which took only two days to finish. It filled my thoughts constantly and was my saving grace through the beginning of the COVID lockdown. I found that absorbing myself into the story and characters was an amazing source of escapism for me.

I loved the way the author introduced the magical realism and locations of the story. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and I laughed a lot along the way!

By Mark Hayden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 13th Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Did you know that the gods can use mobile phones?
They can, and Odin has a message for Conrad

Conrad Clarke, former RAF pilot and alleged gangster gets a text – and a visit – from The Allfather.
Odin has a challenge for Conrad: sign up to protect England from wild magick and get a commission in the King’s Watch.
All he has to do is find a missing witch. Simple.
Conrad never could resist a challenge. Before you can say “Ragnarok”, he’s plunged into a world of gods, mages, witches, dwarves and one very aggressive giant mole.
But the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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