34 books like Imaginary Friends

By Alison Lurie,

Here are 34 books that Imaginary Friends fans have personally recommended if you like Imaginary Friends. 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 Perfume

Theresa Levitt Author Of Elixir: A Parisian Perfume House and the Quest for the Secret of Life

From my list on perfume and scent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of science who just completed a book on the role of perfume in the quest for the secret of life and vitality. While writing it, I became fascinated with the challenge of translating scent into language. While our nose can recognize a virtually infinite number of odors, there are only a few basic categories of description (“floral,” “woody,” “citrus,” etc.). To fully describe them often requires a poet’s touch – invoking a tapestry of memories, associations, and feelings to create the experience in the reader’s mind. These are some of the best books I’ve encountered for talking about the complex world of scent, and the importance of perfume in human history.

Theresa's book list on perfume and scent

Theresa Levitt Why did Theresa love this book?

A gruesome story of murder and desire that also happens to have the most vivid olfactory descriptions of any genre.

Suskind’s preternatural ability to summon odor from the page makes you feel as if you are there beside him, walking through the flowered hillsides of Provence, or in the back room of a perfume shop on the Pont au Change. His twisted use of classic perfume techniques is as accurate as it is chilling.

By Patrick Suskind,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An erotic masterpiece of twentieth century fiction - a tale of sensual obsession and bloodlust in eighteenth century Paris

'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian

In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today.

It is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts…


Book cover of Little Big Man

Alice Duncan Author Of Domesticated Spirits

From my list on humanity and its often savage inhumanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been blessed (or cursed) with a vivid imagination since childhood. Add to that the fact that my first three years were spent on a farm in Maine with nobody around but my mother and my sister, and I grew into a person who is happy alone and making up stories. After my family moved to California, I went to school with all colors, races, and religions and my sense of inclusiveness is abundant. Most of my stories deal with unfairness imposed upon humans by other humans. Nearly all of my books are funny, too, even when I don’t mean them to be. Absurdity is my pal.

Alice's book list on humanity and its often savage inhumanity

Alice Duncan Why did Alice love this book?

This is the story of Jack Crabbe. Jack was reared by both white and Cheyenne folks.

His story is a masterpiece and describes the destruction of Native Americans along with their way of life (including the bison they relied on). According to Jack, he even participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn and was the only white man who survived.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in American history and who wants to read about it in an entertaining way. There’s no way to disguise the hateful way European settlers wiped out native tribes and/or enslaved Natives and Blacks, but at least this is an engaging account thereof.

By Thomas Berger,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Little Big Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I am a white man and never forget it, but I was brought up by the Cheyenne Indians from the age of ten.' So starts the story of Jack Crabb, the 111-year old narrator of Thomas Berger's masterpiece of American fiction. As a "human being", as the Cheyenne called their own, he won the name Little Big Man. He dressed in skins, feasted on dog, loved four wives and saw his people butchered by the horse soldiers of General Custer, the man he had sworn to kill.

As a white man, Crabb hunted buffalo, tangled with Wyatt Earp, cheated Wild…


Book cover of Nights at the Circus

Katy Darby Author Of The Unpierced Heart

From my list on historical fiction with wanton & wilful women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historical fiction author (one novel published by Penguin, plus several Sherlock Holmes stories with Belanger Books) – and I read it avidly too, although many of the Victorian novels I love were considered frighteningly modern in their day. I’m fascinated by the 19th century as both reader and writer because of the incredible changes (social and technological) it saw, and the resulting dramas and tensions that emerged. Literacy and literary culture exploded during Victoria’s reign, but it was also a time of astonishing contrast: poverty versus huge wealth, outward virtue versus secret vice, prejudice and injustice (especially regarding women’s rights) versus struggles for social progress… sound familiar?

Katy's book list on historical fiction with wanton & wilful women

Katy Darby Why did Katy love this book?

Angela Carter is famous for her sumptuous language, structural playfulness, genre-bending, and seductive, logic-defying plots – and if you like gorgeous lyricism, unforgettable characters, and magical realism (emphasis on the magical), you’ll fall in love with Nights at the Circus. In 1899, journalist Jack Walser meets six-foot-two circus aerialist Fevvers, “the Cockney Venus”. Raised in a brothel and a graduate of freak shows, she’s now a star of the Victorian stage – but are her wings real, as she claims? Walser becomes part of the circus in body and spirit, as, disguised as a clown, he follows Fevvers to St Petersburg and into the wilds of Siberia, where Fevvers must draw on all her cunning and strength to survive – let alone save Walser, too. 

By Angela Carter,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Nights at the Circus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction

From the master of the literary supernatural and author of The Bloody Chamber, her acclaimed novel about the exploits of a circus performer who is part-woman, part-swan

Sophi Fevvers-the toast of Europe's capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec-is an aerialiste extraordinaire, star of Colonel Kearney's circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers's true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of…


Book cover of The Outsider

Christopher Wilson Author Of Cotton

From my list on mavericks and oddballs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some authors plan a book then write it. I can’t. I need to find a fresh surprise every day as I discover the book by writing it. And it’s been mavericks, oddballs, and outsiders that have drawn me in. I’m a maximalist. I enjoy the extreme and exotic. I empathise with outsiders. Having trained as a psychologist I developed an interest in oddities of experience and behaviour. And this focus on the maverick matches the potentials of fiction. Novels are great at depicting the inner lives of their characters, their motivations and worldviews, and the diverse ways to be human.

Christopher's book list on mavericks and oddballs

Christopher Wilson Why did Christopher love this book?

I read voraciously as a kid and this is one of those early books that influenced me most.

Once I’d started writing fiction—late, in my thirtiesI focused on mavericks and oddballs. They don’t match our familiar categories. They’re exotic - richly different. They may have intriguing and startling inner lives. They have a deal to say about identity, sense of self, and motive. They also highlight convention, albeit in negative image. And they share a stance with writers themselves, who are often detached, peering in on life from the outside. 

It might have been many other writers, but it was Camus (through The Outsider and The Fall) who first impressed me with confessional voice and narration. It’s all established in the opening lines, slapping you with Meursault’s chilling, oddball indifference. “My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.”

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A peerless work of philosophical fiction that is as shocking today as when it was first published, the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Albert Camus' The Outsider is translated by Joseph Laredo.

Meursault will not pretend. After the death of his mother, everyone is shocked when he shows no sadness. And when he commits a random act of violence in Algiers, society is baffled. Why would this seemingly law-abiding bachelor do such a thing? And why does he show no remorse even when it could save his life? His refusal to satisfy the feelings of others only increases his guilt…


Book cover of The Flying Saucers Are Real

Michael Brein Author Of The Road to Strange: UFOs, Aliens and High Strangeness

From my list on bringing you up to speed on the subject of UFOs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Michael Brein earned a Ph.D. in social psychology and titles himself a “UFOlogist” as well as “The Travel Psychologist.” For a time, he has been the State Director for Hawaii for the MUFON UFO research organization, the largest investigative group in the U.S. to investigate UFOs (or UAP). He was also appointed Ambassador-at-Large for MUFON. As such, Michael Brein publishes books in two noteworthy series: 1) The Road to Strange (important books on UFOs and the paranormal) and 2) True Travel Tales (books on the psychology of travel emphasizing safety and security).

Michael's book list on bringing you up to speed on the subject of UFOs

Michael Brein Why did Michael love this book?

This book provides an early history of the modern UFO era by a credible U.S. Military Officer. Read this book or another book you can find by Donald E. Keyhoe.

I recommend Major Donald E. Keyhoe’s book on flying saucers because of the personal passion he has exhibited for the subject, especially for the reality and importance of it. I recall viewing in a video showing how he was on TV telling viewers how important the subject of flying saucers was, while at the same time his TV broadcast was right then and there being censored off the air. Someone like Keyhoe… right in the act of being censored, well, I think, it doesn’t get more emotionally moving than that!

Major Kehoe investigated many of the earliest encounters allegedly between U.S. Air Force pilots and UFOs (so-called “flying saucers”). Keyhoe believed the Air Force was actively investigating these close encounters,…

By Donald Keyhoe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flying Saucers Are Real as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Book cover of Armada

Michael Loring Author Of Welcome to LEGEND

From my list on books inspired by video games.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a young writer who loves many genres such as mystery, romance, horror, and most notably Sci-Fi. My two greatest passions have always been writing and gaming. I’ve logged in thousands of hours across multiple platforms of gaming, specifically RPGs. My recent novel, Welcome to LEGEND, tells the story of two people finding love through their mutual obsession with video games. Right now, I’d like to introduce to you my top picks for books that are heavily inspired by the video games I love so much.

Michael's book list on books inspired by video games

Michael Loring Why did Michael love this book?

Every nerd’s dream is to one day be swept away into adventure, and in this book it actually happens for Zack Lightman. Video game mechanics are used as the basis for interstellar combat, and the main protagonist gets to use his epic skills to save the world. How can any self-respecting gamer hate that?

It’s written by the author of Ready Player One, but instead of that, I chose this because this is much more singularly inspired by gaming. You learn that video games were specifically created in order to prepare humanity for a potential threat, and the better you are at gaming the better humanity’s chances are at winning. I know I’ve had that fantasy at least dozens of times growing up. It’s epic, funny, and has great music. What’s not to love?

By Ernest Cline,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

PRE-ORDER NOW - READY PLAYER TWO: THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SEQUEL TO READY PLAYER ONE
_____________

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom-if he can make it that long without getting suspended again.

Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

At first, Zack thinks he's going crazy.

A minute later, he's sure of it. Because the UFO he's staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight…


Book cover of How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth

Neil Nixon Author Of UFOs, Aliens and the Battle for the Truth: A Short History of UFOlogy

From my list on making you an expert on UFOs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing for publication since I was a student, crudely the writing has been a way of medicating the fact I’m incurably curious about a range of things and I’ve also suffered from an over-production of ideas my whole life. Wrestling this under control into writing and live speaking where the subjects must fit within a title, word limit, or running time for a talk has been helpful, beyond which the whole writing career has been a trade off between things I’ve chosen to do because they matter a lot to me, and the occasional accepting of an offer I thought too good to refuse.

Neil's book list on making you an expert on UFOs

Neil Nixon Why did Neil love this book?

A clear and well-argued account of how the planet became obsessed with stories of alien encounters and what they might mean to us.

An essential read for anyone curious about the subject largely because it considers the whole planet, not just the truly UFO-obsessed United States. It frequently presents the best and most challenging UFO cases with a clarity that gets to the heart of each claim, and never forgets that one thing driving the enduring popularity of the subject is that – whatever the truth behind each claim – we’re dealing with incredible claims that make for great stories.

By David Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How UFOs Conquered the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A history of the various manifestations and shifting meaning of the Twentieth Century's single great contribution to mythology: the UFO.

Neither a credulous work of conspiracy theory nor a sceptical debunking of belief in 'flying saucers', How UFOs Conquered the World explores the origins of UFOs in the build-up to the First World War and how reports of them have changed in tandem with world events, science and culture. The book will also explore the overlaps between UFO belief and religion and superstition.


Book cover of The Hynek UFO Report: The Authoritative Account of the Project Blue Book Cover-Up

Michael Brein Author Of The Road to Strange: UFOs, Aliens and High Strangeness

From my list on bringing you up to speed on the subject of UFOs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Michael Brein earned a Ph.D. in social psychology and titles himself a “UFOlogist” as well as “The Travel Psychologist.” For a time, he has been the State Director for Hawaii for the MUFON UFO research organization, the largest investigative group in the U.S. to investigate UFOs (or UAP). He was also appointed Ambassador-at-Large for MUFON. As such, Michael Brein publishes books in two noteworthy series: 1) The Road to Strange (important books on UFOs and the paranormal) and 2) True Travel Tales (books on the psychology of travel emphasizing safety and security).

Michael's book list on bringing you up to speed on the subject of UFOs

Michael Brein Why did Michael love this book?

Dr. J. Allen Hynek was the official astronomy consultant to the U.S. Air Force’s Project Bluebook, ostensibly a project tasked with the legitimate study of and explanation of the early UFO cases in the modern UFO era (the 1940s onward). However, Dr. Hynek, a well-known scientist with a stellar reputation, became disenchanted with the Air Force’s penchant to explain away possibly legitimate UFO cases almost at any cost to the point of being, on some occasions, patently ludicrous. Fittingly, Dr. Hynek went on to become the "Father of Modern-day UFOlogy.”

From being the consummate eminent scientist who espoused the official Air Force line (and lie) that the flying saucers were all bunk to becoming the future “Father" of modern UFOlogy (flying saucers). Well, I think, you seriously need to stop for a moment and ponder the importance of that! My God! There really must be something to this, if this…

By J. Allen Hynek,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ultimate guide to Project Blue Book by one of the lead astronomers for the US Air Force program to investigate UFO sightings—and featured in History Channel’s Project Blue Book.

Originally released in 1977, this new edition by the world's foremost authority on UFOs distills 12,000 sightings and 140,000 pages of Project Blue Book evidence into a coherent explanation. A US Air Force–sponsored UFO-basher for years, Hynek had completely changed his tune by the late 1960s. Whether you believe in little green men or an official government cover-up policy, The Hynek UFO Report is required reading.

Have UFOs really been…


Book cover of On the Way Home,

Sally Grindley Author Of Shhh!

From my list on picture books with scary things.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a children’s author for over 35 years, had over 150 books published, and won a number of awards. But I began my professional life as Editorial Director of a major children’s book club, during which time I read thousands of books for young readers, from tiny tots to teenagers. As for scary books, I’ve written quite a number and read them to hundreds of children during school visits. I know what works, and I understand how to control scariness so that it delivers a delightful frisson that leaves children wanting to experience more of the same over and over again.

Sally's book list on picture books with scary things

Sally Grindley Why did Sally love this book?

This book is another great classic full of scary characters dreamed up by a young girl to explain her hurt knee. On the way home, she bumps into one friend after another and to each of them she provides an even more dramatic description of what happened. Did a wolf try to snatch her for his tea? Did a crocodile knock her over? Was it the witch, the snake, the dragon, the flying saucer that was responsible for her injury? This is such a great story for encouraging children to fire up their own imaginations – and to think about description. It encapsulates how they sometimes exaggerate events to make them appear more impressive or to feel better about what has happened to them. Finally, when the young girl gets home to Mum we discover how she actually hurt her knee, and Mum supplies the all-important plaster to make everything…

By Jill Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Way Home, as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Filled with a little girl's inventive stories, On the Way Home is by Jill Murphy, the author and illustrator of the bestselling Peace at Last and Whatever Next!

Claire has hurt her knee so she sets off home to tell her mum all about it. On the way she meets her friends and tells them how the fall happened. But just how did it happen . . .? Was she dropped by a wolf, a slithering snake, an enormous dragon or a hairy gorilla?!

On the Way Home is a fantastic journey of the imagination that every small child who…


Book cover of Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us about Life

Tina Proffitt Author Of Come Back: How Past Lives with Animals Changed the Way I Think about Death

From my list on reincarnation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tina Proffitt is a former educator in love with writing romance novels, who believes there’s nothing more romantic than reincarnating with those she loves. After her first one-on-one past life reading with Dr. Doris E. Cohen, she was hooked and has never looked back. (Pun intended) She wants to share her passion for living a life free from fear and full of love. She writes reincarnation romance novels in the genres of mystery, science fiction, contemporary, and YA.

Tina's book list on reincarnation

Tina Proffitt Why did Tina love this book?

While James Van Praagh’s book titled Unfinished Business: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Life is not strictly dealing with reincarnation, but rather, what those who have passed over want us to know, it is founded on the same principle—that life and death are not about punishment and reward but compassion and love. Told on a case-by-case basis, the book aims a spotlight on just how important our earthly relationships are. And those souls, who have moved out of their bodies, are determined to have their messages heard, whether to right wrongs, settle debts, or, as in most cases, to ask for simple forgiveness from those they wronged on earth.

By James Van Praagh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“He helps a lot of people. He really is a healer. I think he’s basically on this earth right now at this time and place to heal. He is the real thing. I can’t tell you how many times he’s been right with me.” — Shirley MacLaine

“It has such a hopeful message. Even though he’s telling stories of the dead, it’s really about living your life better and inspiring people to not have unfinished business.”
— Jennifer Love Hewitt

James Van Praagh, world-famous medium, co-executive producer of the primetime series Ghost Whisperer, and author of the New York Times…


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