100 books like Lewis Carroll

By Helmut Gernsheim,

Here are 100 books that Lewis Carroll fans have personally recommended if you like Lewis Carroll. 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 After Such Kindness

Mark Davies Author Of Alice in Waterland: Lewis Carroll and the River Thames in Oxford

From my list on Lewis Carroll and Alice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Oxford local historian, and the only Oxford guide endorsed by the Lewis Carroll Society. I have helped shape Oxford’s annual Alice’s Day since the first one in 2007, and have participated in French, Dutch, Canadian, Brazilian and British TV and radio documentaries, most notably for BBC 2 and BBC Radio 4. My interest is mainly the many Oxford realities which are hidden away within the apparent fantasy of the ‘Alice’ books, an angle which has enabled me to lecture on this internationally famous topic as far away as Assam in India. Subsequently, my appreciation of Carroll’s versatility as a mathematician, photographer, inventor, diarist, and letter writer has grown steadily over the years.

Mark's book list on Lewis Carroll and Alice

Mark Davies Why did Mark love this book?

A teasingly insightful glimpse of the Victorian Oxford of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, the two protagonists – and yet they aren’t! Yes, there is an Oxford University don with a penchant for photography, and yes his favourite subject is a ten-year-old local girl, and yes the text is scattered with subtle Wonderland and Looking-Glass references, but this is otherwise a quite different, very cleverly contrived, story. Structured as the inner thoughts of the main characters, After Such Kindness engagingly explores the dilemmas posed by the unusual friendship between a mature clergyman bachelor – Arnold convincingly captures Carroll’s playful sense of humour – and an inquisitive and trusting young girl, while sustaining a lurking sense of foreboding through to a thought-provoking finale.

By Gaynor Arnold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the writer, Oxford scholar and photographer John Jameson visits the home of his vicar friend, he is entranced by Daisy, his youngest daughter. Jameson charms her with his wit and child-like imagination, teasing her with riddles and inventing humorous stories as they enjoy afternoons alone by the river and in his rooms.

The shocking impact of this unusual friendship is only brought to light when, years later, Daisy, unsettled in her marriage, rediscovers her childhood diaries hidden in an old toy chest.

Inspired by the tender and troubling friendship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, After Such Kindness demonstrates…


Book cover of The Looking Glass House

Mark Davies Author Of Alice in Waterland: Lewis Carroll and the River Thames in Oxford

From my list on Lewis Carroll and Alice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Oxford local historian, and the only Oxford guide endorsed by the Lewis Carroll Society. I have helped shape Oxford’s annual Alice’s Day since the first one in 2007, and have participated in French, Dutch, Canadian, Brazilian and British TV and radio documentaries, most notably for BBC 2 and BBC Radio 4. My interest is mainly the many Oxford realities which are hidden away within the apparent fantasy of the ‘Alice’ books, an angle which has enabled me to lecture on this internationally famous topic as far away as Assam in India. Subsequently, my appreciation of Carroll’s versatility as a mathematician, photographer, inventor, diarist, and letter writer has grown steadily over the years.

Mark's book list on Lewis Carroll and Alice

Mark Davies Why did Mark love this book?

This fictional interpretation of the creation of Alice’s Adventures is seen from the viewpoint of a constant, yet largely unremarked, fixture during these critical years: the Liddell family governess, Mary Prickett. The Oxford context of the time is convincingly depicted, and some of the burning issues of the day – Darwinism and Nonconformism, for instance – are interwoven with the more immediate tensions within the Liddell household, interpreted by an author who has more right than anyone to comment because Tait is the great-granddaughter of the real Alice herself. To sustain the pace she condenses the real events of 1857 to 1863 into a single fictionalised year, drawing on many well-known facts and suppositions – including Carroll’s rumoured amorous interest in Miss Prickett – and some lesser known details from her own family’s archives.

By Vanessa Tait,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Oxford, 1862. Poor, plain Mary Prickett takes up her post as governess to the daughters of the Dean of Christ Church. When Mary meets Charles Dodgson, a friend of the family, she is flattered by his attentions and becomes convinced he plans to propose marriage. But it is also clear that he is drawn to the little girls in Mary's care, and on a boating trip one sunny day Mr Dodgson tells the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland a curious tale about the precocious Alice Liddell

As Mary waits for her life to change, she becomes increasingly suspicious of…


Book cover of Lewis Carroll's England

Mark Davies Author Of Alice in Waterland: Lewis Carroll and the River Thames in Oxford

From my list on Lewis Carroll and Alice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Oxford local historian, and the only Oxford guide endorsed by the Lewis Carroll Society. I have helped shape Oxford’s annual Alice’s Day since the first one in 2007, and have participated in French, Dutch, Canadian, Brazilian and British TV and radio documentaries, most notably for BBC 2 and BBC Radio 4. My interest is mainly the many Oxford realities which are hidden away within the apparent fantasy of the ‘Alice’ books, an angle which has enabled me to lecture on this internationally famous topic as far away as Assam in India. Subsequently, my appreciation of Carroll’s versatility as a mathematician, photographer, inventor, diarist, and letter writer has grown steadily over the years.

Mark's book list on Lewis Carroll and Alice

Mark Davies Why did Mark love this book?

Although this guide to the many English towns and cities associated with Charles Dodgson, the author of Alice, is now more than 20 years old, it remains the most accessible and comprehensive Carrollian guide for the literary tourist. Lovett, a former President of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, provides admirably clear directions accompanied by over 200 illustrations and photographs, many coming from his own extensive collection. To quote from the cover text, Lovett takes the reader ‘from the tiny Cheshire village of Dodgson’s birth to the Surrey hillside that provides his final resting place … on a journey through Victorian Britain like no other’. True enough, and in between come locations in, most importantly, Yorkshire, Rugby, Oxford, London, the Isle of Wight, and Eastbourne.

By Charlie Lovett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lewis Carroll's England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Lewis Carroll's Diaries: The Private Journals of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

Mark Davies Author Of Alice in Waterland: Lewis Carroll and the River Thames in Oxford

From my list on Lewis Carroll and Alice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Oxford local historian, and the only Oxford guide endorsed by the Lewis Carroll Society. I have helped shape Oxford’s annual Alice’s Day since the first one in 2007, and have participated in French, Dutch, Canadian, Brazilian and British TV and radio documentaries, most notably for BBC 2 and BBC Radio 4. My interest is mainly the many Oxford realities which are hidden away within the apparent fantasy of the ‘Alice’ books, an angle which has enabled me to lecture on this internationally famous topic as far away as Assam in India. Subsequently, my appreciation of Carroll’s versatility as a mathematician, photographer, inventor, diarist, and letter writer has grown steadily over the years.

Mark's book list on Lewis Carroll and Alice

Mark Davies Why did Mark love this book?

Actually, it is ten books, covering 1855 to 1897 (with a reconstruction of the missing journals of April 1858 to May 1862 – their disappearance being the cause of countless conspiracy theories!). These diaries are the principal source of practically every piece of Lewis Carroll/Alice analysis that has ever been published, and provide a uniquely revealing chronology of the genesis of one of the world’s classic works of literature. These volumes mean that the enigmatic genius of Lewis Carroll is not the sole preserve of academics or historians; through them, he becomes accessible to us all. Transcribed and fully indexed by Edward Wakeling, a renowned world expert, whose extraordinarily detailed and insightful bibliographical and contextual notes provide an unparalleled insight into Victorian Oxford (London, Surrey, Yorkshire, Sussex, and more).

Some of these volumes are hard to get, but there are some remaining copies at the Lewis Carroll Society if interested. 

Book cover of 52 Nature Craft Projects

Jacob Rodenburg Author Of The Book of Nature Connection: 70 Sensory Activities for All Ages

From my list on rekindling our connection to nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an educator and author with more than 35 years of experience in outdoor education, I’ve come to realize that children need nature more than ever.  I wonder if children are more lonely today because they feel disconnected from the very life systems that nourish us all. There are rising levels of anxiety, depression, and mental health concerns. At the same time, more studies are showing the tremendous health benefits of time spent outside. I hope that all of us take the time to connect to our “neighbourwood,” and that we come to recognize that our community is more than the buildings, houses, and streets and also consists of plants, animals, insects, birds, water, and air. Let us create spaces where both people and nature can thrive so we can create a greener, healthier tomorrow.

Jacob's book list on rekindling our connection to nature

Jacob Rodenburg Why did Jacob love this book?

What an imaginative, colourful and fun way to engage children with nature!  This book helps children look at nature with fresh eyes by showing them how you can create beautiful crafts using only natural materials.

Eye-catching photography and clear descriptions help readers to easily follow the steps involved in creating each craft. There is a nature craft for every week of the year!

By Barbora Kurcova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 52 Nature Craft Projects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Take a leaf out of this book and combine connecting with nature with crafting at home. Using materials foraged sustainably from the great outdoors, Barbora Kurcova shows you how to create beautiful, visually inspiring art, gifts, and home accents and accessories.
This collection of clever ideas is packed with small, no-fuss projects that are demonstrated using step-by-step photography, with one engaging project for each week of the year - all of which are easily achievable and great for family crafting.


Book cover of Proust in the Power of Photography

Eric Karpeles Author Of Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to in Search of Lost Time

From my list on Marcel Proust and expanding your grasp of him.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first read Swann’s Way when I was seventeen. Throughout the following five decades, In Search of Lost Time has always remained within reach, a parallel universe more enriching than words can express. As a painter, I’m drawn to Proust’s subtle use of paintings to reveal and mystify the relationship between what we see and what we know. I’ve spoken on Proust at Berkeley, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Houston, and was invited to give the annual Proust lecture at the Center for Fiction in New York as well as the Amon Carter Lecture on the Arts at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin.

Eric's book list on Marcel Proust and expanding your grasp of him

Eric Karpeles Why did Eric love this book?

When the Hungarian-French photographer Brassai arrived in Paris in 1924, he taught himself French by reading Proust. As a photographer, he was fascinated by a similarity between his own impulse to make pictures and how the novelist used the photographic process as a metaphor for establishing or obscuring his character’s inner and outer worlds, as if both he and Proust were developing images in their respective darkrooms. Proust, Brassai saw, “used his own body as an ultra-sensitive plate, managing to capture and register thousands of impressions.” He was like a reporter with a camera—sometimes a portraitist, a landscapist, and, “sometimes Proust rivals the paparazzi.”

By Brassaï, Richard Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Proust in the Power of Photography as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most original and memorable photographers of the 20th century, Brassai was also a journalist, sculptor and writer. He took great pride in his writing, and he loved literature and language - French most of all. When he arrived in Paris in 1924, Brassai began teaching himself French by reading Proust. Captured by the sensuality and visual strategies of Proust's writing, Brassai soon became convinced that he had discovered a kindred spirit. Brassai wrote: "In his battle against Time, that enemy of our precarious existence, ever on the offensive though never openly so, it was in photography, also…


Book cover of American Photography (Oxford History of Art)

Mick Gidley Author Of The Grass Shall Grow: Helen Post Photographs the Native American West

From my list on American photography.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a hopeless photographer. But I have a passion for looking at photographs, for trying to understand how good ones work. They are not just momentary slices of life but structured artefacts, sometimes technically interesting, that in myriad ways reflect the society that produced them. I studied aspects of US cultural history at three universities. After devoting the first part of my academic career to American literature, in the second half – during which, supported by wonderful fellowships, I spent much time rooting in archives – I gave myself up to American photography. I have learnt much from each of the books I commend here. 

Mick's book list on American photography

Mick Gidley Why did Mick love this book?

This book is a lively, questioning, and comprehensive survey of American photography, from its beginnings to the present. It analyzes achievements in each of the genres, from portraiture, through landscape, to documentary, fashion, etc. It treats individual photographic artists, from Avedon to Weegee, from the views of New York taken by Berenice Abbott to J.T. Zealy’s likenesses of enslaved Africans. American Photography is always concerned to underscore what photographs have to tell us about major aspects of American culture: race and ethnicity, gender and identity, business and technology, religion, and region. It also has numerous well-reproduced images; illuminating sidebars and boxes on such topics as the daguerreotype or picture magazines; a helpful timeline; and notes on further reading and viewing. The book was expanded and retitled as Photography in America in 2015, but the first edition still holds up. 

By Miles Orvell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Photography (Oxford History of Art) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lively new survey offers fresh insights into 150 years of American photography, placing it in its cultural context for the first time. Orvell examinines this fascinating subject through portraiture and landscape photography, eamily albums and memory, and analyses the particularly 'American' way in which American photographers have viewed the world around them. Combining a clear overview of the changing nature of photographic thinking and practice in this period, with an exploration of key concepts, the result is the first coherent history of American photography, which examines issues such as the nature of photographic exploitation, experimental techniques, the power of…


Book cover of Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

Mona Simpson Author Of Commitment

From my list on books that tell a story of life with mental illness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Mona Simpson, the author of seven novels. I grew up with a mentally ill parent who struggled to support me, her only child, as a single mother. I saw firsthand the toll living in the world cost her. One of my first experiences of adulthood was a sense of relief in discovering that staying above water was manageable, even easy. Walking home from my first real job, seeing all the other people’s backs and legs hurry ahead of me, I liked being one of the many. I wondered if my mother could have ever felt that ease if there had been an alternative.

Mona's book list on books that tell a story of life with mental illness

Mona Simpson Why did Mona love this book?

Oliver Sack’s forward to this book, which was first published as The Lost Virtues of the Asylum, stopped me cold when I first read it. It was a revelation and started my mind turning. I read the piece dozens of times and then found the source materials Sacks quoted from and read those books, too.

I came of age during the era of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and it was a long unwinding to begin to consider that an institution, a state institution on the order of a large mental health hospital, could do good. But I’d grown up with a mentally ill parent who struggled to survive and bring me up safely. I saw firsthand the toll our life took on her. I began to tamper with my assumption that she’d been better off in the harrying world.

The photographs by Alexander Payne are haunting.…

By Christopher Payne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Powerful photographs of the grand exteriors and crumbling interiors of America's abandoned state mental hospitals.

For more than half the nation's history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients. The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendant Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas. Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings…


Book cover of The Travel Activity Book

Joni Hilton Author Of Family Funbook

From my list on family activity books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love playing with my kids. When my eldest was eight and we were sitting on the porch together he said, “On my last day of being playful, I want to play with you the whole day. I sure hope it’s on a Saturday.” My kids know that I turn most things into a game, that I’ll screech and stop for a tarantula on the road because it’s educational, that I'll get them to sing their quiz answers, and that I’ll sculpt a cake into almost anything for a school project. I believe learning should be fun, so we would drink lemonade out of measuring cups, guess how many hops from the bed to the closet, and have Whipped Cream Spray Wars every summer (outside, thank you). I also think families would spend more time together if they had a great collection of cool—and easy—stuff to do together. As a writer I’m creative, and never run out of fun ideas. Why not share them with the world?

Joni's book list on family activity books

Joni Hilton Why did Joni love this book?

Traveling is a time when you often need to entertain a bored child on a train, plane, or in a car. This book has tons of great games, puzzles, stickers, and even cultural information that will educate your child. Lots of photography and illustrations to entertain, as well. A good mix of education and fun.

By DK Publishing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Travel Activity Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Make car and plane trips a blast with these fun, educational travel activities for kids. The interactive games and travel journal will keep kids busy during vacations and school holidays.

Doodles to draw, puzzles to solve, games to play, and stickers to find--children will be entertained whether the family is traveling by car, plane, or even just hanging poolside. The Travel Activity Book includes a unique blend of illustrations and photography for lots of visual fun. The book also highlight facts and information about real destinations and monuments, so children can discover life and culture around the world. Learns about…


Book cover of Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art

Philip Gefter Author Of What Becomes a Legend Most: A Biography of Richard Avedon

From my list on for understanding photography as art.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in photography began as a student at Pratt Institute, a preeminent art school, and I have worked in the field my entire adult life, not as a photographer but as a picture editor and photography critic. I was the Page One Picture Editor of The New York Times and wrote regularly about photography for the paper. I have published two biographies: one on Richard Avedon, among the more significant artists of the 20th century, and another on Sam Wagstaff, one of the earliest collectors who established the art market for photography; a book of collected reviews and essays called Photography After Frank; and essays on individual photographers for museum catalogues and artist’s monographs. I produced the 2011 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York.

Philip's book list on for understanding photography as art

Philip Gefter Why did Philip love this book?

As the legendary curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, John Szarkowski was instrumental in elevating photography’s stature to an equal among the fine arts. He is eloquent in his explanation about the meaning of photography and illuminating in his descriptions of each of the one hundred photographs published in this book from MoMA’s sterling collection of photographs. There is no better guide to an awakening of your own eye than Szarkowski.

By John Szarkowski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

`This is a picture book, and its first purpose is to provide the material for simple delectation', wrote curator John Szarkowski in this first survey of The Museum of Modern Art's photography collection. Since 1930, when the Museum accessioned its first photograph, it has assembled an extraordinary and wide-ranging collection of pictures for preservation, study and exhibition. A visually splendid album, Looking at Photographs is both a treasury of remarkable photographs and a lively introduction to the aesthetics and the historical development of photography. This reissue, with new digital duotones, enhances a classic volume and makes it available to a…


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