97 books like The Bone Clocks

By David Mitchell,

Here are 97 books that The Bone Clocks fans have personally recommended if you like The Bone Clocks. 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 Kafka on the Shore

Bobby Palmer Author Of Small Hours

From my list on talking animals for grown ups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British author who has always had a fascination with magical realism and novels that blend the serious with the strange. For that reason, though I write literary fiction for adults, I take so much of my inspiration from children’s literature. There’s something so simple about how kids’ books stitch the extraordinary into the every day without having to overexplain things. I now live not far from the forest that inspired A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, and my latest novel is set in and inspired by this part of rural England–with all the mystery and magic that a trip into the woods entails.

Bobby's book list on talking animals for grown ups

Bobby Palmer Why did Bobby love this book?

Murakami is a magical realist genius, and this book is him at his mystifying, dream-like best. Expect otherworldly portals, sexually voracious ghosts, woodlands afflicted by mysterious fainting episodes, and, of course, an entire cast of talking cats.

What amazes me about Murakami’s writing is his ability to transfuse the mundane with the truly magical and to avoid all whimsy–even when writing about something as inherently whimsical as talking cats.

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Kafka on the Shore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A stunning work of art that bears no comparisons" the New York Observer wrote of Haruki Murakami's masterpiece, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. In its playful stretching of the limits of the real world, his magnificent new novel, Kafka on the Shore is every bit as bewitching and ambitious. The narrative follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his highly simplified life suddenly overturned. Their parallel odysseys - as…


Book cover of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: An Autobiography and Other Recollections

Emma Chapman Author Of First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time

From my list on escape from the darn kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an astrophysicist. I am a mother. I am an author. I am a cleaner of dishes, a cooker of meals. I am a daughter, a friend on the end of the phone, a reader of bedtime stories, and the one who hugs away the tears and kisses it better. But I am also just me. Emma. And the books I read are always to escape or understand the internal fight I have between identities and the feeling that pursuing one is failing all the others. Lift yourself above it all, breathe, and read yourself into a different world.

Emma's book list on escape from the darn kids

Emma Chapman Why did Emma love this book?

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin was a female astronomer who was prominent in the mid 20th century. Cecilia showed that stars are made predominantly of hydrogen, and thus that stars were not simply ‘hot earths’. This point of view was such a blow to the scientific establishment that she was laughed away and, in the end, added a sentence to her thesis saying her results were probably incorrect. Her results were quickly proved right of course... though she was given no credit. She loved astronomy, knitting, her children, her smallholding of chickens, and she wasn’t afraid to speak of the unfairness she faced… and so I feel some very faint parallels from which I drew strength from. Sexism in science has improved so much since her time, but there remain many, many challenges and so her writings are an inspiration.

By Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin became acclaimed in her lifetime as the greatest woman astronomer of all time. Her own story of her professional life, work and scientific achievements is augmented by the personal recollections of her daughter, Katherine Haramundanis, as well as a scientific appreciation by Jesse Greenstein, a historical essay by Peggy Kidwell and, in this new edition, an introduction by Virginia Trimble. Payne-Gaposchkin's overwhelming love for astronomy was her personal guiding light, and her attitude and approach have lessons for all. She received many prestigious awards for her outstanding contributions to science and in 1956 became the first woman to…


Book cover of More Than a Woman

Emma Chapman Author Of First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time

From my list on escape from the darn kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an astrophysicist. I am a mother. I am an author. I am a cleaner of dishes, a cooker of meals. I am a daughter, a friend on the end of the phone, a reader of bedtime stories, and the one who hugs away the tears and kisses it better. But I am also just me. Emma. And the books I read are always to escape or understand the internal fight I have between identities and the feeling that pursuing one is failing all the others. Lift yourself above it all, breathe, and read yourself into a different world.

Emma's book list on escape from the darn kids

Emma Chapman Why did Emma love this book?

Despite the title, I think that any gender can draw something from this book. It is the sequel to her phenomenally successful book “How to be a woman”, which quite frankly changed my life and made me decide to have children. This new book can be read as a stand-alone and charts Caitlin’s thoughts on her late 30s and 40s. It begins with her usual hilarious and irreverent tone, speaking about the pressures put on you by children, parents, work, best friends, basically everything. It suddenly becomes very serious in a way I didn’t expect though, and the message of balance is one that is important for anyone to read in this way. I rarely say this and mean it but… it made me laugh and it made me cry.

By Caitlin Moran,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked More Than a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

'Exceptionally brilliant and powerful' Marina Hyde

'This book is a hilarious memoir, a passionate polemic, and a moving manifesto on how to be a decent person and try, in the face of countless stresses, to live a full open-hearted, joyous life' Sunday Times

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran thought she had it all figured out. Her instant bestseller How to Be a Woman was a game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy, and the general 'hoo-ha' of becoming a woman. Back then, she firmly believed 'the difficult bit' was over, and her forties were going…


Book cover of Activate Your Life: Using Acceptance and Mindfulness to Build a Life That Is Rich, Fulfilling and Fun

Emma Chapman Author Of First Light: Switching on Stars at the Dawn of Time

From my list on escape from the darn kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an astrophysicist. I am a mother. I am an author. I am a cleaner of dishes, a cooker of meals. I am a daughter, a friend on the end of the phone, a reader of bedtime stories, and the one who hugs away the tears and kisses it better. But I am also just me. Emma. And the books I read are always to escape or understand the internal fight I have between identities and the feeling that pursuing one is failing all the others. Lift yourself above it all, breathe, and read yourself into a different world.

Emma's book list on escape from the darn kids

Emma Chapman Why did Emma love this book?

This is the first self-help book I have ever read, and I read it in 2019. I have always been honest about my battle with my mental health, from anxiety to depression. This book was recommended to me by an excellent expert in the field and it changed my view of my relationship with mental health as a battle. It sounds corny putting it into words but when you learn to accept the different parts of your personality and how they help and protect you, then it is easier to say “not right now, I need to make dinner, not crawl into bed”. The analogy that stuck with me was pulling a rope opposed by a character representing anxiety on the other side, and a pit in the middle. You can pull and pull, trying to avoid the pit, or you can… let go of the rope and accept that…

By Joe Oliver, Jon Hill, Eric Morris

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ACTivate Your Life focuses on helping people to be more open, connected and engaged with their lives, demonstrating how Acceptance Commitment Therapy can be used to tackle a range of problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, anger and depression, as well as providing skills for life enhancement and self-development.

Readers are encouraged to consider what matters to them and will learn techniques to set life directions based on meaningful values. Readers will also be introduced to mindfulness and learn how to use it in everyday life to connect with their actions, experiences and the people around them. The ACT approach…


Book cover of The Poisonwood Bible

Kevin Chen Author Of Ghost Town

From my list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have 7 sisters and 1 brother. I was the 9th child in my family. To get a son who would carry on the family heritage, my parents tried 7 times without any success. After 7 unwanted daughters, my brother finally arrived. Then they had me as the second boy in the family. The plot twist was: I am gay. I turned out to be the 8th unwanted daughter because of my sexuality. Coming from this small-town big family full of superstitions and secrets, I am naturally drawn to dramatic family stories with many dark and psychological twists.

Kevin's book list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets

Kevin Chen Why did Kevin love this book?

At first, I was scared by the thickness of the book. More than 600 pages? I didn’t think I would have the patience and time to finish it. My book club chose the book as a reading challenge for everyone. A challenge indeed. But a colorful one.

I remember carrying the book with me everywhere I went. As I finally reached the last page of this riveting family saga set in Africa, I felt older and wiser. Wow, I actually finished the thick novel. It was a great achievement.

I was never bored or tired. I did not want the story to end. It could have been 6000 pages and I still would have thrown myself into this epic story.

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Poisonwood Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**NOW INCLUDING THE FIRST CHAPTER OF DEMON COPPERHEAD: THE NEW BARBARA KINGSOLVER NOVEL**

**DEMON COPPERHEAD IS AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER**

An international bestseller and a modern classic, this suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and their remarkable reconstruction has been read, adored and shared by millions around the world.

'Breathtaking.' Sunday Times
'Exquisite.' The Times
'Beautiful.' Independent
'Powerful.' New York Times

This story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959.

They carry with them everything they believe they will…


Book cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Kelley Skovron Author Of No Filter

From my list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of over 15 novels written for kids, teens, and adults across several genres. The thing all my books have in common is that they are sad and they are dark. My most recent novel is my most distilled, compressed delivery of deliciously dark sadness yet! Oddly, I'm rarely sad in real life. My daughter suggested that I write books to get the darkness out of my head and onto the page, which I think is very insightful (she is my kid, after all). I enjoy the beauty in the breakdown, I savor the sublime catharsis of tragedy, and I want to share that perspective with everyone.

Kelley's book list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary

Kelley Skovron Why did Kelley love this book?

Neil Gaiman has probably had more of an impact on my brain and my writing than any other author. Selecting just one of his many incredible "dark and sad" books was a real challenge for me.

I settled on this one, in part because it is the perfect bookend to my previous recommendation, Doll Bones, in that it eloquently expresses the quiet joys, fears, and sorrows of childhood, as seen through the eyes of an adult who knows full well the meaning of loss, and the cost of things we can barely recognize, much less understand, when we are young.

Like the narrator of the book, I feel the ever-widening gulf between myself and my own memories. I also see it beginning for my offspring, who have both recently entered adulthood, and my heart breaks for all three of us.

By Neil Gaiman, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Ocean at the End of the Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 'BOOK OF THE YEAR'

AN ACCLAIMED WEST END THEATRE PRODUCTION *****

'Neil Gaiman's entire body of work is a feat of elegant sorcery. He writes with such assurance and originality that the reader has no choice but to surrender to a waking dream' ARMISTEAD MAUPIN

'Some books just swallow you up, heart and soul' JOANNE HARRIS

'Summons both the powerlessness and wonder of childhood, and the complicated landscape of memory and forgetting' GUARDIAN

---

'My favourite response to this book is when people say, 'My childhood was nothing like that - and it was as if…


Book cover of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Rohit Prasad Author Of The Pilgrim: Inferno Redux

From my list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in the US, and particularly lived and worked in New York, for many years. How the events of 9/11 changed the city, its people, and the perceptions of the people all around the country and the world has always intrigued me. 9/11 has put up a prism through which experiences have emanated out in a kaleidoscopic range of stories. A banker by day and a cynical blogger by night, I have traveled the world and have met many interesting people with compelling backgrounds and have experienced many peculiar and beautiful things. I love to explore the confluence of fascinating narrative arcs and life-altering events. 

Rohit's book list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives

Rohit Prasad Why did Rohit love this book?

A precocious and inquisitive child Oskar goes on a treasure hunt around New York to solve a mystery left behind by his father who had died on 9/11.

In his quest, you see a child seeking to stay close to his father a little while longer. In his streams of consciousness and hyperactive imagination, you feel him trying to fill the void left behind by a supportive father figure.

With the sheer weight of his innocence, he gets strangers to open up to him, let him into their lives, and add to their life stories. In a moving manner, the narrative follows the path that Oskar, his mother and his grandfather take in dealing with trauma and finding closure in their own personal ways.

By Jonathan Safran Foer,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

ADAPTED INTO A FEATURE FILM WITH TOM HANKS

From the critically acclaimed author of Here I Am, Everything is Illuminated and We are the Weather - a heartrending and unforgettable novel set in the aftermath of the 9/11

'Utterly engaging, hugely involving, tragic, funny and intensely moving... A heartbreaker' Spectator

'The most incredible fictional nine-year-old ever created... a funny, heart-rending portrayal of a child coping with disaster. It will have you biting back the tears' Glamour

'Pulsates with dazzling ideas' Times Literary Supplement

'It's a miracle... So impeccably imagined, so courageously executed, so everlastingly moving' Baltimore Sun…


Book cover of Middlesex

Eric Schlich Author Of Eli Harpo's Adventure to the Afterlife

From my list on dysfunctional family novels about mythmaking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a debut novelist who loves a good family drama. I’m a fiction professor at the University of Memphis, where I teach a course on the dysfunctional family novel featuring books on this list. I’m also an atheist, a bisexual, and a father to a one-year-old—all of which influenced my book. In addition to the novel, I’ve written a story collection called Quantum Convention. My stories have aired on Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts and appeared in American Short Fiction, Gulf Coast, and Electric Literature, among other journals. I also have a new essay up at Lit Hub about channeling my bisexuality through queer characters.

Eric's book list on dysfunctional family novels about mythmaking

Eric Schlich Why did Eric love this book?

When it comes to family sagas turned myth, it’s hard to top Calliope Stephanides tracing the passage of the hermaphroditic gene—transforming Callie into Cal—through three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family.

An epic origin story that moves from Asia Minor to Detroit, Michigan, complete with incest and a nuanced exploration of gender identity. It also has one of my all-time favorite novel openings ever. “Sing now, O Muse, of the recessive mutation on my fifth chromosome!”

By Jeffrey Eugenides,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974.'

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and her truly unique family secret, born on the slopes of Mount Olympus and passed on through three generations.

Growing up in 70s Michigan, Calliope's special inheritance will turn her into Cal, the narrator of this intersex, inter-generational epic of immigrant life in 20th century America.

Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


Book cover of A Stranger in Olondria

Polly Schattel Author Of The Occultists

From my list on modern fantasy for people who dislike modern fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Polly Schattel, and I’m a novelist, screenwriter, and film director. I wrote and directed the films Sinkhole, Alison, and Quiet River, and my written work includes The Occultists, Shadowdays, and the novella 8:59:29. I grew up loving fantasy—Tolkien, Moorcock, Zelazny—but phased out of it somewhat when I discovered writers like Raymond Carver, EL Doctorow, and Denis Johnson. Their books seemed more adult and more complex, not to mention the prose itself was absolutely transporting. In comparison, the fantasy I’d read often felt quite rushed and thin, with get-it-done prose. I drifted away from genre fiction a bit, but dove back to it with my first novel, the historical dark fantasy The Occultists.

Polly's book list on modern fantasy for people who dislike modern fantasy

Polly Schattel Why did Polly love this book?

For a more traditional take on fantasy, Sofia Samatar’s A Stranger in Olondria is lovely and immersive, a fascinating new world worthy of Ursula Le Guin and Gene Wolfe.

Reportedly, she created Olondria from a combination of regions in Turkey and North Africa, and it feels absolutely fresh and instantly powerful. A teenage merchant becomes haunted by the ghost of a young girl and must find a way to put her to rest.

But the story is really about the power of books and stories and language itself. It’s a love letter to adventure and open seas, harbors, and alleys, and snowy mountains in the distance.

Ms. Samatar holds several advanced degrees in language and literature, including Arabic and various African dialects, and you can feel the joy of her verbal artistry dancing on the page.

Stranger is not to be missed.

By Sofia Samatar,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Stranger in Olondria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jevick, the pepper merchant's son, has been raised on stories of Olondria, a distant land where books are as common as they are rare in his home. When his father dies and Jevick takes his place on the yearly selling trip to Olondria, Jevick's life is as close to perfect as he can imagine. But just as he revels in Olondria's Rabelaisian Feast of Birds, he is pulled drastically off course and becomes haunted by the ghost of an illiterate young girl. In desperation, Jevick seeks the aid of Olondrian priests and quickly becomes a pawn in the struggle between…


Book cover of Mystic and Rider

Lena Nguyen Author Of We Have Always Been Here

From my list on sci-fi and fantasy books with unusual found families.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and independent game developer, I’ve always adored “families of choice:” motley crews of strangers drawn together by circumstance and whose bonds are strengthened to an indestructible degree by the trials they face together. This passion has manifested both in my favorite stories (The Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect) as well as the ones I write myself! After teaching writing at Cornell University, where I also earned my MFA in Fiction, I turned my sights on my own creative projects, all of which invariably feature weird found families (a robot crew and the human misfits accompanying them; two assassins and an escaped mind-reading slave; et cetera). 

Lena's book list on sci-fi and fantasy books with unusual found families

Lena Nguyen Why did Lena love this book?

I absolutely love Sharon Shinn’s writing, both her luscious, sophisticated prose and the way she writes relationships between characters. She hits the perfect balance between well-planned, interesting plots, rich fantasy worlds, and the exact right amount of romantic subplot and character development.

This bookwhich follows a group of magic-wielding mystics and the reluctant, militaristic King’s Riders assigned to protect them as they travel the land, investigating a rise in anti-magic sentimentis my favorite of her books, not least because it has some of the coziest found family dynamics and campfire friendships to be found outside of classics like The Lord of the Rings!

By Sharon Shinn,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mystic and Rider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gillengaria seethes with unrest. In the south, hostility toward magic and its users has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such mystics are to be tolerated. It is whispered that he issued the decree because his new wife used her magic powers to ensnare him…

The King knows there are those in the noble Twelve Houses who could use this growing dissent to overthrow him. So he dispatches the mystic Senneth to assess the threat throughout the realm. Accompanying her is a motley band of magic-users and warriors including Tayse, first among the King’s Riders—who…


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