93 books like The Coma Monologues

By Mario Milosevic,

Here are 93 books that The Coma Monologues fans have personally recommended if you like The Coma Monologues. 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 Like Water for Chocolate

Jennifer J. Chow Author Of Ill-Fated Fortune: A Magical Fortune Cookie Novel

From my list on books that combine food and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a foodie at heart and grew up working in a family restaurant. I currently live in Los Angeles, where I’m delighted to have access to all sorts of edible goodies. As a writer, I insert food into my books, specifically in my culinary cozy mysteries, which have murder—and recipes! I also adore the idea of the fantastical; as a kid, I often created entire imaginary worlds during playtime. I’m happy to combine both loves in my newest series, the Magical Fortune Cookie books.  

Jennifer's book list on books that combine food and magic

Jennifer J. Chow Why did Jennifer love this book?

Honestly, I first picked up this novel because of the abundance of recipes within its pages!

I also enjoyed the fanciful idea that food can have power over emotions. And Like Water for Chocolate is a tale full of feeling, offering me a roller coaster experience as I journeyed with Tita, hoping for love and redemption for her in the end. Esquivel also wrote about strong ties to family and tradition, which resonated with me. 

By Laura Esquivel,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Like Water for Chocolate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTOXICATING INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ABOUT LOVE, COOKING AND MAGIC. PERFECT FOR FANS OF JOANNE HARRIS AND ISABEL ALLENDE.

'This magical, mythical, moving story of love, sacrifice and summering sensuality is something I will savour for a long time' MAUREEN LIPMAN

Like Water For Chocolate tells the captivating story of the De la Garza family. As the youngest daughter, Tita is forbidden by Mexican tradition to marry. Instead, she pours all of her emotions into her delicious recipes, which she shares with readers along the way.When Tita falls in love with Pedro, he is seduced by the magical food she cooks.…


Book cover of Journey of the Pink Dolphins

Kim Antieau Author Of Church Of The Old Mermaids

From my list on bringing the mythic realm into our modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Michigan where I was outdoors in the woods most of the time, running around with my imaginary friends. I built an entire world in my imagination where girls and women were powerful and ruled the world. I wrote stories about that world, and I’ve never stopped writing or reading myths, folklore, and fairy tales. Stories are the best way to bring the mythic and hidden realms of our existence out into the open. When I catch a glimpse of other worlds through storytelling, it always feels healing. It gives me hope that there is more to our existence than what we ordinarily see.

Kim's book list on bringing the mythic realm into our modern world

Kim Antieau Why did Kim love this book?

The author went on a journey to discover all she could about the pink dolphins (the botos) of Brazil, but she soon found herself immersed in the folklore and myth of this very real animal. She learns that people who live with the botos believe the dolphins are shapeshifters who live human-like lives in an amazing underwater world—the Encante—where everything in life is better. Even so, they come out of the water as human beings to visit our world and interact with the locals. They can only be recognized by the hats they wear to cover the blowholes in the tops of their heads. I love the feeling this book gives that we are constantly walking with the enchanted.  

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey of the Pink Dolphins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the acclaimed author of The Soul of an Octopus and the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig.

When Sy Montgomery ventured into the Amazon to unlock the mysteries of the littleknown pink dolphins, she found ancient whales that plied the Amazon River at dawn and dusk, swam through treetops in flooded forests, and performed underwater ballets with their flexible bodies. But she soon found out that to know the botos, as the dolphins are locally called, you must also know the people who live among them.

And so in Journey of the Pink Dolphins, Montgomery-part naturalist, part poet, part…


Book cover of Grandmothers of The Light: A Medicine Woman's Sourcebook

Kim Antieau Author Of Church Of The Old Mermaids

From my list on bringing the mythic realm into our modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Michigan where I was outdoors in the woods most of the time, running around with my imaginary friends. I built an entire world in my imagination where girls and women were powerful and ruled the world. I wrote stories about that world, and I’ve never stopped writing or reading myths, folklore, and fairy tales. Stories are the best way to bring the mythic and hidden realms of our existence out into the open. When I catch a glimpse of other worlds through storytelling, it always feels healing. It gives me hope that there is more to our existence than what we ordinarily see.

Kim's book list on bringing the mythic realm into our modern world

Kim Antieau Why did Kim love this book?

This is Paula Gunn Allen’s modern-day retelling of many Native American tales. They feature talking animals, shape-shifting bears, and creation stories. Here, we see how the underneath comes to the surface in wondrous and awe-inspiring ways. The ordinary walks with the extraordinary. In fact, the ordinary is extraordinary. Allen sees power in these tales for women, and that’s what I loved about this book. These stories are part of a female shamanic tradition; they are in many ways medicinal. 

By Paula Gunn Allen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This extraordinary collection of goddess stories from Native American civilizations across the continent, Paula Gunn Allen shares myths that have guided female shamans toward an understanding of the sacred for centuries.


Book cover of Jack the Giant-Killer

Kim Antieau Author Of Church Of The Old Mermaids

From my list on bringing the mythic realm into our modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Michigan where I was outdoors in the woods most of the time, running around with my imaginary friends. I built an entire world in my imagination where girls and women were powerful and ruled the world. I wrote stories about that world, and I’ve never stopped writing or reading myths, folklore, and fairy tales. Stories are the best way to bring the mythic and hidden realms of our existence out into the open. When I catch a glimpse of other worlds through storytelling, it always feels healing. It gives me hope that there is more to our existence than what we ordinarily see.

Kim's book list on bringing the mythic realm into our modern world

Kim Antieau Why did Kim love this book?

Once again, the ordinary and the extraordinary are nearly one and the same. In this book, as in all of Charles’s books, the Otherworld—in this case the faery world—is with us now. Charles is a pioneer of urban fantasy and always writes entertaining and amazing books. I love his characters. They are alive and fascinating. He plays with names and gender: for example, Jack is a woman. He invites us to pay attention to the Otherworld. He also shows us that giving the faery realm its due is not running away from reality. In this novel, stories help us to heal and live in the here and now with joy and vigor.

By Charles de Lint,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jack the Giant-Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

De Lint at his best. When Jacky's boyfriend walks out, her life changes more than she could ever imagine. In a fit of angst she chops off her long blond hair then goes out to wander the streets of Ottawa. She's startled out of her reverie by a faceless gang of bikers attacking a small man whose body disappears, leaving behind only a red cap. The cap shows Jacky an unimaginable side of Ottawa and sets her on an impossible quest to save the good fairies from their evil counterparts.

Luck, magic, and love bring to life a perilous, rollicking…


Book cover of In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams

Andrea Rugh Author Of Simple Gestures: A Cultural Journey into the Middle East

From my list on Middle Eastern culture written by outsiders.

Why am I passionate about this?

My quest after culture began as a child reading National Geographic and wondering about exotic peoples. Later with a PhD in anthropology and living decades in the Middle East, I had a chance to immerse myself in the lives of people going about their normal activities. Eventually their thinking became almost as familiar as my own. The anthropologist Edward Hall says culture is elusive, “and what it hides it hides most effectively from its own practitioners.” He suggests that detached outsiders sometimes see cultures more clearly than local observers who have difficulty viewing themselves dispassionately. As outsider-writers, they validate insights much like anthropologists do, through comparisons of cultural values across time and space. 

Andrea's book list on Middle Eastern culture written by outsiders

Andrea Rugh Why did Andrea love this book?

In the 2000s, Tahir Shah travels around Morocco collecting traditional wisdom stories and relying on the hospitality of local people for shelter and food. Shah is an outsider in a different way from the rest of the outsider authors here. Although growing up in the West, he nonetheless absorbs the Afghan culture of his family. From his Afghan father especially he learns the importance of storytelling as a way of passing on cultural values. The Moroccans know he is a foreigner but see him as an Anglo-Afghan more sympathetic than the normal Westerner. As a result, they reveal facets of their lives not normally shared with outsiders. The book shows how those seeking to understand culture must be open to finding it in all sorts of places.

By Tahir Shah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortly after the 2005 London bombings, Tahir Shah was thrown into a Pakistani prison on suspicion of spying for Al-Qaeda. What sustained him during his terrifying, weeks-long ordeal were the stories his father told him as a child in Morocco.
Inspired by this, on his return to his adopted homeland he embarked on an adventure worthy of the mythical Arabian Nights, going in search of the stories and storytellers that have nourished this most alluring of countries for centuries. Wandering through the medinas of Fez and Marrakech, criss-crossing the Saharan sands and tasting the hospitality of ordinary Moroccans, he collected…


Book cover of Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar

Benjamin Radford Author Of Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore

From my list on (real-life) monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by monsters. Growing up I saw television shows and read books about famous ones like Bigfoot and Nessie, and always wanted to search for them and discover the truth. That led me to a degree in psychology to learn about human cognition and perception, and a career in folklore to understand how legends and rumors spread. But I also wanted field experience, and spent time at Loch Ness, in Canadian woods said to house Sasquatch, to the Amazon, Sahara, and the jungles of Central America looking for the chupacabra. Along the way became an author, writing books including Tracking the Chupacabra, Lake Monster Mysteries, Big—If True, and Investigating Ghosts

Benjamin's book list on (real-life) monsters

Benjamin Radford Why did Benjamin love this book?

While some people may not think of genies (or jinn) as monsters in the same category as Bigfoot or dragons, from a cultural and folkloric point of view they definitely are.

Most Americans probably think of the wisecracking genie in Disney’s Aladdin, but belief in genies is both serious and widespread. In his book Legends of the Fire Spirits journalist Robert Lebling describes how the creatures appear in the Koran (hint: it’s closer to the recent film Three Thousand Years of Longing).

They are in some ways the Muslim equivalent of Christian angels, imbued with magical powers and viewed by the devout not as real and tangible as you or I. What I love about this book is how Lebling reveals the real stories of jinn—in both their wonder (granting wishes) and terrible vengeance (mass murder).

As with all monsters, whether you believe in them or not is…

By Robert Lebling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Legends of the Fire Spirits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the magical tale of Aladdin in "The Arabian Nights", the genie that suddenly appears out of the lamp is powerful, playful and utterly mysterious. Supernatural, shape-shifting figures have been given many names over the ages - genie, demon, spirit, ghoul, shaitan and jinn. Those who have seen them believe jinn shadow us in our daily lives, causing endless mischief, providing amazing services and sometimes inducing sheer terror. "Legends of the Fire Spirits" explores the enduring phenomenon of the jinn. From North Africa to Central Asia, from the Mediterranean to sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, this riveting book draws on long-forgotten…


Book cover of Every Rising Sun

Kathleen B. Jones Author Of Cities of Women

From my list on women forgotten, misunderstood, or hidden from history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my college days, I majored in dance and political science. It was the 1960s, so marrying art with politics made countercultural sense. After realizing I wouldn’t become the next Martha Graham, I chose to pursue a doctoral degree in political science. But I never abandoned my first love, the arts. Following a more than twenty-year career teaching about women and politics at several universities, I returned to school myself, completed an M.F.A. in creative writing, and published my debut novel, Cities of Women

Kathleen's book list on women forgotten, misunderstood, or hidden from history

Kathleen B. Jones Why did Kathleen love this book?

Readers may be familiar with The Arabian Nights, the source material behind this fascinating novel. Yet, what distinguishes Jamila Ahmed’s retelling is her focus on the famed storyteller, Shaherazade, whose exposure of the Seljuk king’s wife’s infidelity sets in motion a violent chain of events in twelfth-century Persia.

In lush, sensuous prose, Ahmed fills this vividly imagined, action-packed novel with compelling characters and labyrinthine tales within tales populated with mythical adventurers and creatures with magical powers.

The elaborate, psychologically complex portrait of Shaherazade at the heart of the novel celebrates the power of storytelling while paying homage to the agency of the storyteller.

By Jamila Ahmed,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of 2023 by NPR

In this riveting take on One Thousand and One Nights, Shaherazade, at the center of her own story, uses wit and political mastery to navigate opulent palaces brimming with treachery and the perils of the Third Crusade as her Persian homeland teeters on the brink of destruction.

In twelfth century, Persia, clever and dreamy Shaherazade stumbles on the Malik’s beloved wife entwined with a lover in a sun-dappled courtyard. When Shaherazade recounts her first tale, the story of this infidelity, to the Malik, she sets the Seljuk Empire on fire.

Enraged at…


Book cover of The Perfect Assassin

Jasmine Gower Author Of Moonshine

From my list on fantastical civic design.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having previously worked in the Urban Affairs side of academia and drawing heavily on my own experience living in the city of Portland, OR while writing my book, Moonshine, I’ve become very interested in how fantasy authors find creative ways to incorporate the supernatural elements of the genre with the extremely mundane aspects of urban planning and civics. I find that the most immersive fantasy worlds are the ones that concern themselves with the gritty details of how their societies operate on a basic logistical level, and I think a well-written fantasy city can very much shine as a character in its own right.

Jasmine's book list on fantastical civic design

Jasmine Gower Why did Jasmine love this book?

Harsh environments provide a compelling opportunity for fantasy authors to explore how otherworldly magic or technology can help populations build functioning civilizations and survive in such conditions. The Perfect Assassins setting of Ghadid, a desert city built upon massive platforms that rise above the dunes, does exactly this with an ancient plumbing system that provides its residents with water that not only fills their cups but also fuels the magic of their healers. While the water supply allows the residents of Ghadid to survive in such a harsh climate, its limitations further inform how the city handles farming, commerce, medicine, its calendar, and—most pertinently to the story—the threat of malevolent spirits from the sands below.

By K. A. Doore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The assassins of Ghadid serve a higher power, dispensing justice in the shadows. Or so Amastan has been taught.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, fellow assassins are being killed off. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders. Even worse, the jaan of the murdered start roaming the dusty streets of Ghadid: restless spirits seeking any body to possess.

Time is running short, and Amastan must find this perfect assassin or become their next target.


Book cover of The City of Brass

L.J. Stanton Author Of The Dying Sun

From my list on non-western fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a disabled author and podcaster who loves fantasy, but wanted more out of the genre than the Eurocentric Lord of the Rings model. I grew up watching Aladdin, reading Egyptian mythology, and one of my most prized books is an illustrated Shahnameh. There are brilliant stories set in deserts and rainforests, with intense magic and danger, and I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I do. 

L.J.'s book list on non-western fantasy

L.J. Stanton Why did L.J. love this book?

Nahri is a con artist with dreams of becoming a doctor, if only she can ever make enough money to get out of Cairo. When a con goes terribly wrong, she realizes the magic that she’s always scoffed at is real–and deadly. The only way to get the target off her back is to get to Daevabad, the City of Brass.  

I have loved Egypt since I was a small girl, and Chakraborty’s mystical world of djinn encapsulates everything I ever wanted from an Egyptian-inspired story. There is magic, intrigue, and absolutely incredible religious inclusion and diversity. There’s a little slow-burn romance too, to top it off. While the story starts in a real-world Cairo, it quickly heads towards the fantastical setting of Daevabad.

By S. A. Chakraborty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The City of Brass 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?

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she's a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by-palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing-are all tricks, both the means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary tale: across hot,…


Book cover of The Arabian Nightmare

Gretchen McCullough Author Of Shahrazad's Gift

From my list on books influenced by Thousand and One Nights.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a fiction writer and currently live in Cairo, where I have lived for over twenty years. I noticed that the way I started telling stories was influenced by learning Arabic and by listening to the stories of the people in the city. My interest in Arabic also led me to read Arabic literature, like A Thousand and One Nights.   

Gretchen's book list on books influenced by Thousand and One Nights

Gretchen McCullough Why did Gretchen love this book?

I loved this quirky, surreal novel, which is set in Cairo during the time of the Mamluks. Alternating between dreams and fables, the novel also takes us on a tour of Cairo. He uses the mock diary of a traveler for every section of old Cairo, but then diverges into the individual stories of characters in the city. 

Balian, a British pilgrim who has come to visit St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, is really a spy sent by European powers to scout out the power of the Mamluk force, as well as the political intentions of the Sultan. Soon over his head, he finds himself meeting a variety of flamboyant characters. An Italian spy, Giancristoforo, is soon arrested and disappears into state custody. Balian has bizarre dreams at night, but even during the daytime he can’t distinguish between dream and reality.

Arabian Nightmare is a book which has hung around…

By Robert Irwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

' ...a classic orientalist fantasy tells the story of Balian of Norwich and his misadventures in a labyrinthine Cairo at the time of the Mamelukes. Steamy, exotic and ingenious, it is a boxes-within-boxes tale featuring such characters as Yoll, the Storyteller, Fatima the Deathly and the Father of Cats. It is a compelling meditation on reality and illusion, as well as on Arabian Nights-style storytelling. At its elusive centre lies the affliction of the Arabian Nightmare: a dream of infinite suffering that can never be remembered on waking, and might almost have happened to somebody else.' Phil Baker in The…


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