94 books like The Boughs Withered

By Maura McHugh,

Here are 94 books that The Boughs Withered fans have personally recommended if you like The Boughs Withered. 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 Savage Her Reply

Celine Kiernan Author Of Resonance

From my list on supernatural books written by Irish women.

Who am I?

I was a weird kid. Often accused of ‘thinking too much’, I cut my literary teeth on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, and Shirley Jackson. Raised on their dark milk, I grew up wanting more than hollow scares and mindless eviscerations. Don’t just give me a scary story, give me a scary story that resonates, one that raises a lens to our world, our history, the rules we’re asked to live by. Unsettle me, make me think. Most of all, give me characters worth my precious time. These are the kind of stories I endeavor to write and the ones I most enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy this small selection as much as I have.

Celine's book list on supernatural books written by Irish women

Celine Kiernan Why did Celine love this book?

The Children of Lir is one of Ireland’s best-known myths. Over the years it has been more than a little sanitized, and as a consequence almost entirely relegated to a children’s beloved fairytale. With her rich, poetic prose and unflinching honesty, Deirdre Sullivan brings the story right back into the adult sphere. Her characters emerge, flawed and seething, from the magical fog of myth to hurt and help each other, and to drag the enthralled reader with them through aeons of vengeance, loyalty, and, eventually, peace.

I can’t stress how beautiful this novel is. An epic poem almost, it satisfies my hunger for beautiful prose, and for thematic depth and emotional resonance. If you love gorgeous writing as much as I do, you will love this one.

By Deirdre Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Savage Her Reply 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?

A dark, feminist retelling of The Children of Lir by the author of the multi-award-winning Tangleweed and Brine

'No-one else writes like Deirdre Sullivan. She is lyrical, poetic and thoroughly intoxicating.' Juno Dawson, author of Wonderland

'Unsettling, haunting, and darkly lyrical, Savage Her Reply is a beautiful thing.' Louise O'Neill, author of After The Silence

A retelling of the favourite Irish fairytale The Children of Lir. Aife marries Lir, a chieftain with four children by his previous wife. Jealous of his affection for his children, the witch Aife turns them into swans for 900 years.

Retold through the voice of…


Book cover of Things in Jars

Bridget Walsh Author Of The Tumbling Girl

From my list on crime set in the nineteenth century.

Who am I?

I’m a lover of all things Victorian and an obsessive researcher. Academic libraries are my favourite places in the world and I like nothing more than uncovering some weird nugget of information that forces me to reappraise what I thought I knew. With a PhD in Victorian domestic murder and a fascination with the weirder elements of Victorian life, it was almost inevitable I’d turn my hand to writing crime fiction set in that era. The five books I’ve recommended are some of the best crime novels set in the nineteenth century, but written more recently.

Bridget's book list on crime set in the nineteenth century

Bridget Walsh Why did Bridget love this book?

Things in Jars is positioned at the meeting point of three Victorian obsessions: anatomy, entertainment, and spectacle.

It features Bridie Devine, a female detective tasked with finding a kidnapped child. But the child is not like other children. And Bridie, ‘the finest female detective of her age’ is not like other detectives. Not only is this an outstanding detective novel, at its heart lies a beautifully observed, genuinely moving, if somewhat unconventional love story.

By Jess Kidd,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Things in Jars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may…


Book cover of All the Bad Apples

Celine Kiernan Author Of Resonance

From my list on supernatural books written by Irish women.

Who am I?

I was a weird kid. Often accused of ‘thinking too much’, I cut my literary teeth on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, and Shirley Jackson. Raised on their dark milk, I grew up wanting more than hollow scares and mindless eviscerations. Don’t just give me a scary story, give me a scary story that resonates, one that raises a lens to our world, our history, the rules we’re asked to live by. Unsettle me, make me think. Most of all, give me characters worth my precious time. These are the kind of stories I endeavor to write and the ones I most enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy this small selection as much as I have.

Celine's book list on supernatural books written by Irish women

Celine Kiernan Why did Celine love this book?

More beautifully written magic realism, with compelling characters and a fascinating plot. Fowley-Doyle uses the obliqueness of the supernatural and the compelling tropes of a mystery story to explore Ireland's troubled history with women and children. There's something of the road trip to this one, with a warm, supportive, found-family providing kindness and companionship to the main character in a story that otherwise might be too bleak to bear. Release yourself to the prose and to the experience, let the book carry you. It’ll be worth the journey.

By Moïra Fowley-Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the Bad Apples 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 stunning new novel about silenced female voices, family secrets and dangerous truths from the author of The Accident Season.

'Exquisite . . . This is a book to hold tightly to your chest' Irish Times

'Lyrical . . . Compelling' Guardian

'Beautiful, visceral . . . A primal scream' Louise O'Neill

'Uncompromising, raw, devastating' Publishers Weekly

'I am in absolute awe of it' Melinda Salisbury

On Deena's seventeenth birthday, the day she finally comes out to her family, her wild and mysterious sister Mandy is seen leaping from a cliff. The family is heartbroken, but not surprised. The women…


Book cover of The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Celine Kiernan Author Of Resonance

From my list on supernatural books written by Irish women.

Who am I?

I was a weird kid. Often accused of ‘thinking too much’, I cut my literary teeth on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, and Shirley Jackson. Raised on their dark milk, I grew up wanting more than hollow scares and mindless eviscerations. Don’t just give me a scary story, give me a scary story that resonates, one that raises a lens to our world, our history, the rules we’re asked to live by. Unsettle me, make me think. Most of all, give me characters worth my precious time. These are the kind of stories I endeavor to write and the ones I most enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy this small selection as much as I have.

Celine's book list on supernatural books written by Irish women

Celine Kiernan Why did Celine love this book?

Beneath the surface of this beautifully written old-style fairytale there lies a compelling examination of free will. This thematic depth adds a delicious, chewy meat to what is already an enjoyable romantic read. I loved the characters here. Jenny’s repeated struggle to overcome the fairytale roles that are imposed upon her, and the properly dark consequences of failure in the fairy realm, make this an excellent YA romance adventure that's hard to forget.

By Ruth Francis Long,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Treachery of Beautiful Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some…


Book cover of Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches About the Unseen World - and Why It Matters

R.J. Wilson Author Of Awakening

From my list on powerful young adults and supernatural worlds.

Who am I?

Reading certain texts in the Bible growing up began my love for all things supernatural. The more I studied the subject and understood the worldview of the biblical authors and of other ancient cultures, the more I began to see these scenes in vivid color. With my passion for theological study (personally and as part of a master’s program), my work as a police officer, and my love for fantasy fiction perfectly positions me to write stories in which deep supernatural elements intersect with the gritty and real space of everyday life.

R.J.'s book list on powerful young adults and supernatural worlds

R.J. Wilson Why did R.J. love this book?

I’ve always wondered what an apocalyptic battle between angels and demons would look like.

Though this book is a theological non-fiction piece, it vastly expanded my imagination, in that realm, as I came to learn more about the supernatural worldview of the biblical authors and of other ancient religions.

What I loved most about the book was the exploration of this theme that hidden, divine beings walk among us.

It captures the fascinating image of the ordinary world being interrupted by that which is extraordinary—and these extraordinary phenomena are a lot closer than we think.

By Michael Heiser,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You may never read the Bible the same way again.

Angelic beings taking human wives. Ancient giants. God holding royal court among other gods. In Supernatural, Dr. Michael S. Heiser tackles these remarkable biblical themes and many more, based on his fifteen years of research into what the Bible really says about the unseen realm. Heiser shines a bright light on the supernatural world--not a new light, but rather the same light in which the original, ancient readers and writers of Scripture would have seen it.


Book cover of Doll

Jacqueline E. Smith Author Of Cemetery Tours

From my list on supernatural books to read all year long.

Who am I?

I am an independent author, photographer, wildlife advocate, paranormal enthusiast, and cat mom living in Dallas, Texas. In 2012, I earned my Master's Degree in Art and Performance from the University of Texas at Dallas and have been pursuing my writing career ever since. I published my first book, Cemetery Tours, in 2013 and it will forever be the book that changed my life.

Jacqueline's book list on supernatural books to read all year long

Jacqueline E. Smith Why did Jacqueline love this book?

I’m a big fan of young adult fiction and I’m also a big fan of supernatural stories that take place in the “real” world. Doll follows a trio of high school students, who, tired of being bullied, seek out the assistance of Tomie’s cousin… who just happens to be a witch. As far as young adult horror goes, Miracle Austin is the best of the best. 

By Miracle Austin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcome to Frost High; I bet you’ve heard about or currently may be attending. Small school, lots of secrets, a popular mean girl, Pepper Fox, and of course a few outcasts--Tomie Dupuy, Sarifena Green, and Opal Dawn--who all shined on Pepper’s tormented list, since junior high. Opal shined the brightest. Tomie, Sari, and Opal made a pact and traveled to Monroe Creek, Louisiana with the goal to end their torment in an untraditional way. Sometimes things don’t end up, as we wish. Fate always possesses a way to redirect everything. Will they finally find the solution to their agonizing problem…


Book cover of Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre: The Best of H. P. Lovecraft

William P. Robertson Author Of Ghosts Revisited

From my list on classic horror story collections.

Who am I?

My Swedish grandmother first introduced me to the horror genre when I was a small boy. Her folktales of trolls and witches really fueled my imagination! Then, when I was in junior high, my father encouraged me to read Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. I didn’t get hooked on things Gothic, however, until I heard the lyrics of Jim Morrison and the Doors in high school. After college, I became a freelance writer. I quickly learned that 80% of my spooky stuff got accepted by magazines while only 10% of my general interest work was published. That said, it’s no wonder I became a horror writer! 

William's book list on classic horror story collections

William P. Robertson Why did William love this book?

The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre showcases some of the weirder stories of the horror genre. “The Rats in the Walls” and “The Thing on the Doorstep” put the “f” in fear! H.P.’s evil space creature, Cthulhu, also makes an appearance in this anthology.

By H. P. Lovecraft,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”—Stephen King

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”—H.P. Lovecraft

This is the collection that true fans of horror fiction must have: sixteen of H.P. Lovecraft’s most horrifying visions, including:

The Call of Cthulu: The first story in the infamous Cthulhu mythos—a creature spawned in the stars brings a menace of unimaginable evil to threaten all mankind.
The Dunwich Horror: An evil man’s desire to perform an unspeakable…


Book cover of The Secret Life of Puppets

Brandon R. Grafius Author Of Lurking Under the Surface: Horror, Religion, and the Questions that Haunt Us

From my list on horror and religion.

Who am I?

I’ve been a fan of horror since I got sucked into Scooby-Doo as a three-year-old. When I started my academic career, I kind of kept that passion tucked inside as something to be embarrassed about – after all, I wanted to do serious work, and horror movies aren’t serious, right? Graduate school made me rethink that assumption, and pushed me towards seriously considering the engagement of horror and religion. I wrote my dissertation on a chapter of the Book of Numbers as a slasher narrative, and I haven’t looked back since.

Brandon's book list on horror and religion

Brandon R. Grafius Why did Brandon love this book?

Nelson’s book is a revelation in how it explores the work that both religion and popular culture can do – her readings of Lovecraft’s work are particularly evocative. I’m not on board with the sharp line she draws between high and low culture, but it’s one of those books that’s fascinating even when you disagree with it.

By Victoria Nelson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret Life of Puppets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this work, Victoria Nelson illuminates the deep but hidden attraction the supernatural still holds for a secular mainstream culture that forced the transcendental underground and firmly displaced wonder and awe with the forces of reason, materialism, and science. In a backward look at an era now drawing to a close, "The Secret Life of Puppets" describes a curious reversal in the roles of art and religion: where art and literature once took their content from religion, we came increasingly to seek religion, covertly, through art and entertainment. In a tour of Western culture that is at once exhilarating and…


Book cover of Holy Sweat

Pamela Christian Author Of Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies

From my list on intellectual understanding with spiritual realities.

Who am I?

Realizing I had made a complete mess of my life—being the farthest from my life’s hopes and dreams ever, I cried out to the God I learned about as a little girl. On that very dark night, with complete abandon, I sought God, desperately hoping He was real. I learned He, in fact, is real and everything and more, the Sunday School teacher explained. I was transformed in an instant. I have never come close to the despair and hopelessness of that night ever since. Now, I live my life helping others discover and live in the same life-giving Truth, leading people to balance rational thought with spiritual realities.

Pamela's book list on intellectual understanding with spiritual realities

Pamela Christian Why did Pamela love this book?

After making it through the difficult extended season of life, I needed to regroup.

The “Ten Keys” the author presents are to unlock the Kingdom of God within each one of us to embrace our God-given purpose. “Start, vision, goals, courage, teamwork, excellence, the ability to fail, perseverance, joy, and giving it all away” provided not only ten keys to success, but a path forward.

Anyone who leads and works closely with others will benefit from this book which helps us capture God’s vision, know our mission, and helps others replicate the process. Any person who is struggling to stretch an area of his or her life in a positive direction is a peak performer if we simply stay engaged in the process.

By Tim Hansel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Suggests ten keys to reaching one's peak performance, tells how to develop one's inner, spiritual life, and argues that faith is the foundation of a successful life


Book cover of Who Fears the Devil (Planet Stories 24)

William Meikle Author Of Carnacki: Heaven and Hell

From my list on occult detective collections.

Who am I?

Even before I found Lovecraft and Stephen King and my world turned, I was raised on Doyle, Wells, Hodgson, and Robert Louis Stevenson which gave me both a love of the "gentleman detective" era and a deep love of the late Victorian/early Edwardian historical period in general. Once you merge that with my abiding interest in all things weird and spooky, you can see where a lot of my stories come from. There seems to be quite a burgeoning market for this kind of mixing of detection and supernatural, and I intend to write more... maybe even a lot more.

William's book list on occult detective collections

William Meikle Why did William love this book?

Silver John, a balladeer with a silver-stringed guitar, crisscrosses rural USA encountering all manner of supernatural entities, and does it with a song in his heart. There's a deep love of ancient folklore that shines through in this wonderful collection. It's far removed from Carnacki or Silence's cozy sitting rooms and libraries, but every bit as tied to a desire to get to the root of ancient mysteries. There's an almost Bradburyesque sense of wonder in these tales that lifts you up and carries you alongside John on his travels.

By Manly Wade Wellman, Mike Resnick, Karl Edward Wagner

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Fears the Devil (Planet Stories 24) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There's a traveling man the Carolina mountain folk call Silver John for the silver strings strung on his guitar. In his wanderings, John encounters a parade of benighted forest creatures, mountain spirits, and shapeless horrors from the void of history with only his enduring spirit, playful wit, and the magic of his guitar to preserve him. Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John is one of the most beloved figures in fantasy, a true American folk hero of the literary age. For the first time the "Planet Stories" edition of "Who Fears the Devil?" collects all of John's adventures published throughout Wellman's…


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