90 books like Mayflower Bastard

By David Lindsay,

Here are 90 books that Mayflower Bastard fans have personally recommended if you like Mayflower Bastard. 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 The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Jason Kersten Author Of The Last Counterfeiter: The Story of Fake Money, Real Art, and Forging the Impossible $100 Bill

From my list on crime books that explode into larger worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a window-seat person. If I’m on a trip, I want to see much more than the device propelling me forward. In crime books, the vehicle is always the crime, but I want that felonious little engine to also propel me through realms where I become more explorer than passenger, where I’ve entered marvelous and unexpected worlds that become characters in themselves. It almost doesn’t matter what that world is, whether it’s 19th-century Chicago architecture, bitcoin cartels or octopus linguistics. As long as it’s well-researched and rendered with depth, precision, and passion, your ticket to a crime gets you at least two books, or even genres, for one!

Jason's book list on crime books that explode into larger worlds

Jason Kersten Why did Jason love this book?

Erik Larson is known for his masterful ability to combine meticulous research with rich prose to breathe life into history. This book, with intersecting narratives of a serial killer and a brilliant architect set at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, painted such a living picture for me that I still felt stuck to the canvas even when I wasn’t reading.

I learned about astonishing true events and characters I barely knew existed. The contrast between the great inventors on the grand stage of the fair and the killer haunting its shadow was superbly done.

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked The Devil in the White City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular- an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once…


Book cover of The Library Book

ACF Bookens Author Of Publishable By Death

From my list on mysteries about books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a book lover from in utero. My mom was an avid and very fast reader, and I grew up finding respite, insight, and understanding in the pages of books. When I went to college, I studied English, and then got a Masters in literature before going on to learn more about writing the books I loved in an MFA program. This formal education just built on what I already knew – books are my first love, my guide through life, and often, the things that save me from the darkest moments of this world.

ACF's book list on mysteries about books

ACF Bookens Why did ACF love this book?

I am a great lover of literary nonfiction, stories of truth that use the elements of fiction to draw us in. Orlean’s book is a brilliant model of the genre as well as an absolute page-turner. The book begins with a massive fire in the Los Angeles Public Library. Orlean begins to look into the fire and discovers, in the process, the depth of her own affection for libraries as well as some serious questions about the person long-believed to have been responsible. A must-read for library lovers.  

By Susan Orlean,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Library Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Susan Orlean’s bestseller and New York Times Notable Book is “a sheer delight…as rich in insight and as varied as the treasures contained on the shelves in any local library” (USA TODAY)—a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries. “Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book” (The Washington Post).

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire was disastrous: it reached two thousand degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished,…


Book cover of The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem

T.M. Blanchet Author Of Herrick's End

From my list on truth that is stranger than fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about magic, witches, and weirdness—and all of it is inspired by the strange and startlingly true stories that hide just below the simmering surface of America’s melting pot. As a former journalist, I learned that everyone has an interesting tale to tell. And as a fiction writer, I’ve learned that all of that truth can be spun into something even more fun and fantastical. Reality, after all, is relative. 

T.M.'s book list on truth that is stranger than fiction

T.M. Blanchet Why did T.M. love this book?

For me, Stacy Schiff’s masterpiece is the end-all, be-all resource when it comes to the history of early America’s witchcraft trials—which, it turns out, extended far beyond the village of Salem. The seed for my own novel came from one tiny line in the book’s “Cast of Characters” index: “Herrick, George, well-born, handsome Salem deputy sheriff in his thirties…Spends 1692 rounding up and transporting witches.”

By Stacy Schiff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is written specifically for family or primary care physicians who encounter substance abuse in their daily practice. A Clinical Guide to Drug and Alcohol Problems provides a comprehensive overview to help diagnose and treat these problems. The first five chapters provide basic information on historical and cultural issues, plus the pharmacology of all abused drugs the physician is likely to come into contact with and the epidemiology and etiology of substance abuse problems. The author then addresses the clinical manifestions and course of addiction; diagnostic techniques; principles of clinical management, treatment, and rehabilitation of addictive and other associated…


Book cover of Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States

T.M. Blanchet Author Of Herrick's End

From my list on truth that is stranger than fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about magic, witches, and weirdness—and all of it is inspired by the strange and startlingly true stories that hide just below the simmering surface of America’s melting pot. As a former journalist, I learned that everyone has an interesting tale to tell. And as a fiction writer, I’ve learned that all of that truth can be spun into something even more fun and fantastical. Reality, after all, is relative. 

T.M.'s book list on truth that is stranger than fiction

T.M. Blanchet Why did T.M. love this book?

Bill Bryson’s other books are more famous, but this one is my favorite. It details the wacky, startling, and sometimes unbelievable stories behind all the common phrases and words we use. I always keep a (lovingly tattered) copy in my car. You can pick it up, turn to any random page, and be happily engrossed for five minutes—or five hours. 

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this sequel to his history of the English language, "Mother Tongue", Bryson takes an informed and fond look at the history of Americans through their popular culture and language. He explains why they drive on the right, say "lootenant", and call a certain type of sandwich a "hamburger".


Book cover of Beyond the Bright Sea

Kate McCarroll Moore Author Of Elinormal

From my list on navigating middle school years with honesty & empathy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former middle school teacher and librarian, I know first-hand the power of story to motivate and teach. Over the years, I have also been lucky enough to facilitate several mother-daughter book groups and have found that books that show characters wrestling with decisions about doing the right thing, and recovering from bad choices, help to show children that there is always hope. Middle school is a time of such challenge and change, and stories that show authentically drawn characters navigating this tough terrain can act as guideposts. Becoming independent, finding your voice, growing empathy, and cherishing family and friends are necessary steps to becoming confident and healthy humans.

Kate's book list on navigating middle school years with honesty & empathy

Kate McCarroll Moore Why did Kate love this book?

I read this book with my mother-daughter book group and we all loved it!

The story focuses on the quest for twelve-year-old Crow to discover where she came from and who she truly is. It’s a story filled with suspense and intrigue fueled by Crow’s insatiable curiosity. There are powerful lessons here for Crow and for the lucky readers who follow her journey. The writing is hauntingly beautiful!

By Lauren Wolk,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Beyond the Bright Sea 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?

'Harper Lee has a worthy successor. Wolk is a big new talent' - The Times

Crow has lived her whole life on a tiny, starkly beautiful island. Her only companions are Osh, the man who rescued her from a washed-up skiff as a baby and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their neighbour across the sandbar. But it is only when a mysterious fire appears across the water that an unspoken question of her own history forms in Crow's heart, and an unstoppable chain of events is triggered. Crow sets out to find her lost identity - and, ultimately, to learn…


Book cover of Of Plimoth Plantation

John G. Turner Author Of They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty

From my list on the Mayflower Pilgrims and their beliefs, practices, and habits.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about the often contentious role of religion in U.S. history, from modern evangelicals to nineteenth-century Latter-day Saints to the Pilgrims of the Mayflower. In many history books these religious men and women function either as saints or sinners. Instead of resorting to caricatures, it’s worth taking the time to get to know people of the past in all the marvelous strangeness of their beliefs, practices, and habits. I am a professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

John's book list on the Mayflower Pilgrims and their beliefs, practices, and habits

John G. Turner Why did John love this book?

If you want to learn about the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, the most essential source is Mayflower passenger and longtime governor William Bradford’s own history. Bradford explains the circumstances that led a portion of his congregation to transplant themselves to the New World, then goes year by year through the colony’s first three decades. His annals aren’t dry, though. Bradford also has a wicked sense of humor. If would-be colonists weren’t tough enough for what awaited them in New England, they should remain across the Atlantic “till at least they be mosquito proof.” You shouldn’t only read Bradford. He’s a partisan in this contentious history, after all. But you shouldn’t pass on one of the great works of seventeenth-century American non-fiction.

Book cover of Pollyanna

Darlene Foster Author Of Amanda in France

From my list on children’s adventures on strong female protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a farm on the Canadian prairies where my only entertainment was books. This was before TV and the internet. Reading about girls who overcame obstacles such as being orphaned, dealing with homelessness or a disability, helped me realize that girls can overcome anything with the right attitude and by being brave. These attitudes of fearlessness, positive thinking, and resourcefulness shaped my life and helped me realize many of my dreams, including being a published author. Books with strong female characters help girls realize their own dreams.

Darlene's book list on children’s adventures on strong female protagonist

Darlene Foster Why did Darlene love this book?

The orphan girl Pollyanna moves in with her strict aunt in New England. Despite a difficult start, Pollyanna's exuberance and positivity affect everyone who meets her, and she spreads joy and love wherever she goes. I loved Pollyanna when I read it as a young girl and patterned my life after her positive thinking. Pollyanna, like myself, often finds her optimistic attitude tested, but she always learns to find happiness in every situation.

By Eleanor H. Porter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pollyanna as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Brought to you by Puffin.

As soon as Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she begins to brighten up everybody's life. The 'glad game' she plays, of finding a silver lining in every cloud, transforms the sick, the lonely and the plain miserable - until one day something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn't know how to feel glad about it.

(c) Eleanor Porter 1994 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


Book cover of A Little Princess

Joyce Yarrow Author Of Sandstorm

From my list on coming of age with a cutting edge.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who grew up way too fast (don’t we all!) I was an avid reader of books about out-of-the-ordinary young people, the more eccentric or challenged the better. Every day I saw acts of violence committed in my neighborhood but I also saw how much people can help each other in times of crisis. All the books on my list speak to this contradiction in human nature. If you have already read some of them, I hope you decide to revisit a few of them as I have. Creating this list has brought many memories to life and deepened my understanding of why I became a writer. 

Joyce's book list on coming of age with a cutting edge

Joyce Yarrow Why did Joyce love this book?

I read A Little Princess when I was only ten, with no idea that it was a classic. All I knew was that I totally identified with Sarah, the protagonist, as she was buffeted by the vicissitudes of fortune. The issues of class portrayed in this book were already on my young mind, since I grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Bronx but also spent a lot of time in the wealthy environs of Manhattan and the contrast was immense. I was impressed by Sarah’s resilience and her ability to empathize with others in spite of the awful hand that had been dealt to her.

By Frances Hodgson Burnett,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Little Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.

'Whatever comes,' she said, 'cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside.'

'A Little Princess' tells the story of Sara Crewe, beloved daughter of the revered Captain Crewe. Sent to board at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, Sara is devastated when her adored father dies. Suddenly penniless, Sara is banished to an attic room where she is starved, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this exceptionally intelligent girl uses the only resources…


Book cover of Dragon Slippers

Eileen Troemel Author Of Marelo

From my list on dragons for all ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

Oh, Dragons. They have invaded my life. They’re in every room in my house – it gets crowded in the bathroom but there are a couple in there. They feature in my meditations and once I started reading fantasy, they feature in many of my books. I’m always happy to look at a book with dragons in it. If I could turn into a dragon – I would. 

Eileen's book list on dragons for all ages

Eileen Troemel Why did Eileen love this book?

Here’s another sacrifice for the girl to improve the family fortunes story. Creel’s aunt sets her up to be sacrificed to a dragon but no one really thinks a dragon will show up. When one does everything changes. Creel is stuck with an old brown dragon who doesn’t want to be bothered with fighting a dragon. Creel offers a trade – she wants something from his hoard to bring her good fortune. Again, we have a heroine who is tired of her life and seeks out her fortune in another way. I love the strong female lead and I love how clueless she is about something. I also enjoy the way the author breaks away from the typical tropes about princes

By Jessica Day George,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dragon Slippers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

This enchanting tale of dragons, betrayals, and the power of friendship is the first in a charming and thrilling series by New York Times bestselling author Jessica Day George.

Creel can't believe her aunt wants to sacrifice her to the local dragon. It's a ploy to lure a heroic knight so that he will fight the dragon, marry Creel out of chivalrous obligation, and lift the entire family out of poverty. Creel isn't worried. After all, nobody has seen a dragon in centuries.

But when the beast actually appears, Creel not only bargains with him for her life, she also…


Book cover of The Gray House

Kayleigh Nicol Author Of Crystal Awakening

From my list on found family in fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

There's a song lyric I've fallen in love with that sums up my feelings on found families perfectly: “Soulmates aren't found, they're made.” To me, it means that no one is tailor-made to fit any one person's every whim and need. Instead, relationships are about compromise, communication, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder when it's time to circle the wagons. Relationships are about facing the fire together and coming out stronger—and in a genre like fantasy, that fire isn’t just metaphorical! The best found family stories are about individuals finding something that unites them, bringing them closer together than any one of them thought possible, and becoming stronger because of that bond. Because families aren't found, they're made.

Kayleigh's book list on found family in fantasy

Kayleigh Nicol Why did Kayleigh love this book?

Most found family stories involve individuals coming together, seeing them forged in fire to become something new, something whole, and unbreakable. The Gray House is a twist on found family in that it begins with strong family bonds already in place, so the true story becomes: What happens when a found family breaks apart? The Gray House is a home and school for disabled children and teenagers, where they need to rely on each other for everything—even things as basic as getting dressed in the morning. And while the shifting perspectives and timelines do tell the story of family bonds forged among individuals, the threat of Graduation Day looms over the house’s seniors, heralding an ending, rather than a beginning. With a low fantasy setting that I can’t describe without spoiling the story, I can only assure you that this book will take you on a completely unexpected journey.

By Mariam Petrosyan, Yuri Machkasov (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Gray House is enigmatic and fantastical, comic and postmodern...Rowling meets Rushdie via Tartt...Nothing short of life-changing." -The Guardian

The Gray House is an astounding tale of how what others understand as liabilities can be leveraged into strengths.

Bound to wheelchairs and dependent on prosthetic limbs, the physically disabled students living in the House are overlooked by the Outsides. Not that it matters to anyone living in the House, a hulking old structure that its residents know is alive. From the corridors and crawl spaces to the classrooms and dorms, the House is full of tribes, tinctures, scared teachers, and…


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