92 books like The Hill of Dreams

By Arthur Machen,

Here are 92 books that The Hill of Dreams fans have personally recommended if you like The Hill of Dreams. 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 Dreamers of Decadence

Nina Antonia Author Of Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood

From my list on decadence & the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

A cult author who has survived by the skin of her wits. Nina has spent her adult years in London though many believe she is from New York, which sounds like a lot of travelling for someone who has spent the majority of her life in the dream land of writing. What does being a cult author entail? It is to be a literary Will o’ the Wisp, possessing a gem like glimmering in a mist of obscurity, loved by the rarified few. After writing many critically acclaimed books on various nefarious rock n’ rollers, her ardor dimmed with the passing years as those she had loved were no more and so she returned to her first love, which is the strange and supernatural.

Nina's book list on decadence & the supernatural

Nina Antonia Why did Nina love this book?

This bejeweled guide to Fin de Siècle art and aesthetics is like a moonlit walk in one of King Ludwig II fairytale castles, populated by androgynous chimeras, drowned princes, and erotic vampires carrying John the Baptist’s head on a platter designed by Moreau. As fabulous and tragic as the author, whose drag mode was that of a convincing English Spinster, Philipe Jullian was born to write this book which has influenced my work since I bought it aged 18, with not a clue about life. For over 40 years I have endeavored to keep a torch burning for the extraordinary decorative aesthetics of the author. Few books are as complete as Dreamers of Decadence for not only does Jullian explore the artists of that curious oeuvre, he also introduces the best of the literature as well as the movement’s strange obsessions and themes, each chapter revealing new facets of the…

By Philippe Jullian, Robert Baldick (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There have been few movements in the history of Western art as strange as that of the Decadents of the last quarter of the 19th Century. While public attention was preoccupied with the Impressionists, many painters were reacting in a totally different...and more imaginative way...to the grim horrors of the new industrial society around them. The roots of the Decadents, as these artists came to call themselves, were to be found in the poetic visions of the English Pre-Raphaelites of the 1850s. Their first great Continental exponent was a brilliant and neglected painter of the fantastic, Gustave Moreau; their most…


Book cover of Our Lady of the Flowers

Scott Alexander Hess Author Of The Butcher's Sons

From my list on LGBTQ with lush prose and rich settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up gay in Missouri in the 1970s, it was LGBTQ novels that opened the door to the unraveling and discovery of my best self, my true queer identity. Initially potboilers with side gay characters (I hid my copy of Valley of the Dolls from the nuns in grade school) I soon discovered writers that unlocked worlds I did not know existed representing choices, loves, and adventures I would later make my own. As a writer, it was risk-taking, gorgeous LGBTQ novels that urged me along in my literary journey and helped me find and define my voice. 

Scott's book list on LGBTQ with lush prose and rich settings

Scott Alexander Hess Why did Scott love this book?

The fact that this queer masterpiece was written entirely in the solitude of a prison cell is only the first of many awe-inspiring truths about the book and its author. The drag queen Divine, a pimp named Darling Daintyfoot and Our Lady populate the book (published in 1943) offering a glimpse into a voluptuous Parisian fringe world. It was the thrilling—at times disturbing—story that first drew me in as a budding writer, but ultimately it was my realization that a book can be at once highly artful and literary as well as deeply erotic. It opened up a new freedom that I draw on every day as a novelist. 

By Jean Genet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Our Lady of the Flowers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jean Genet's masterpiece, composed entirely in the solitude of his prison cell. With an introduction by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Jean Genet's first, and arguably greatest, novel was written while he was in prison. As Sartre recounts in his introduction, Genet penned this work on the brown paper which inmates were supposed to use to fold bags as a form of occupational therapy. The masterpiece he managed to produce under those difficult conditions is a lyrical portrait of the criminal underground of Paris and the thieves, murderers and pimps who occupied it. Genet approached this world through his protagonist, Divine, a male…


Book cover of A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures

Nina Antonia Author Of Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood

From my list on decadence & the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

A cult author who has survived by the skin of her wits. Nina has spent her adult years in London though many believe she is from New York, which sounds like a lot of travelling for someone who has spent the majority of her life in the dream land of writing. What does being a cult author entail? It is to be a literary Will o’ the Wisp, possessing a gem like glimmering in a mist of obscurity, loved by the rarified few. After writing many critically acclaimed books on various nefarious rock n’ rollers, her ardor dimmed with the passing years as those she had loved were no more and so she returned to her first love, which is the strange and supernatural.

Nina's book list on decadence & the supernatural

Nina Antonia Why did Nina love this book?

There is a world of difference between the fairies of folk-lore and the ‘airy-fairy’s’ to use one of Katherine Brigg’s descriptions that infest popular media. Disney’s depiction of Peter Pan & Tinkerbelle as ordinary kids who happen to have wings bears no relation to the fairies of folklore. The moment a fairy character is absorbed into capitalist entertainment, their magic is lost. The unsurpassable fairy lore of Katherine Briggs 1898-1980, takes up an entire shelf on my bookcase and includes The Anatomy of Puck, The Fairies in Tradition and Literature, The Vanishing People, and A Dictionary of Fairies. The one-time president of the English Folklore Society, her books are so authoritative and imaginative, they bring to life the incredible inhabitants of the otherworldly realm. All the best books on the subject were written before 1970, the later ones tending to be cribbed from Briggs and that other great…

By Katharine M. Briggs,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Come Hither, Vol. 1: A Collection of Rhymes and Poems for the Young of All Ages

Nina Antonia Author Of Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood

From my list on decadence & the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

A cult author who has survived by the skin of her wits. Nina has spent her adult years in London though many believe she is from New York, which sounds like a lot of travelling for someone who has spent the majority of her life in the dream land of writing. What does being a cult author entail? It is to be a literary Will o’ the Wisp, possessing a gem like glimmering in a mist of obscurity, loved by the rarified few. After writing many critically acclaimed books on various nefarious rock n’ rollers, her ardor dimmed with the passing years as those she had loved were no more and so she returned to her first love, which is the strange and supernatural.

Nina's book list on decadence & the supernatural

Nina Antonia Why did Nina love this book?

Rather than saying that he edited Come Hither, the poet, and author, Walter De La Mare (1873-1956) describes himself as having ‘made’ the anthology. Given the enticing notes to the poems and the selection of verses more than validates De La Mare’s assertion. Indeed the anthology of poetry is like a house designed to the finest detail by Mr. De La Mare, who might be considered the Poe of Poetry, as his verses tended towards the odd, ghostly and ineffable.

He was one of the last of the romantic school and Come Hither reflects his taste, Walter De La Mare is long out of fashion like many of the verses on offer, but that is what makes it all the sweeter, from the speech of The Wandering Spectre by unknown to my very favorite poem Tom O’ Bedlam (another marvel by ‘anon’) to more recognized names, such as William…

By Walter De La Mare (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Against Nature (A Rebours)

John Andrew Fredrick Author Of The King Of Good Intentions Part Three

From my list on reads if your rock ‘n’ roll party days are over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a perfect of exemplar of an author whose party days are decidedly not over, but I’m doubtless at the age/stage where I’m bloody contemplating at least paring down my intakes plural. Not that I’m still at it like a Sophomore or anything but I’m hanging in there. I get a great, tingly buzz (you had to have seen this coming!) recommending great books to keen readers. I live in a library—essentially—and friends who visit for a beer or a spliff most often leave with a book I’ve given them. Now you lot are gonna ask me to lend you some scratch! Now you’ve gone and done it, John! Haha.

John's book list on reads if your rock ‘n’ roll party days are over

John Andrew Fredrick Why did John love this book?

I like to recommend difficult books—everyone needs a challenge once in a while and the nihilist Huysmans kind of throws down a literary gauntlet here in that he’s sort of daring you to go with him to the abysses of the modern soul. 

This book is indeed way more psychedelic than any 60’s Beat guy or girl ever penned or dreamed.

By Joris Karl Huysmans, John Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Against Nature (A Rebours) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Against Nature (A Rebours)By Joris-Karl Huysmans, John Howard (Translated by)


Book cover of Carrie'S Story

Candace Blevins Author Of Quinacridone

From my list on kinky stories published before the internet was a thing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fifty-five years old, and I’ve been active in the BDSM lifestyle since my early twenties. My Safeword series was written because, at the time, most of the BDSM hitting the ebook market was clearly written by people who’d never felt the sting of a whip. I was certain I could do better, and eventually, after six attempts, I wrote something I thought a publisher might be interested in. Fifteen years later, I write mostly paranormal romance, but a fair amount of kink and power exchange still sneaks in. Vampires and werewolves aren’t known for submitting to others, after all.

Candace's book list on kinky stories published before the internet was a thing

Candace Blevins Why did Candace love this book?

I’m actually recommending two books here: Carrie's Story and Safe Word – a duet telling the full story.

Whether these came before the internet was a “thing” is arguable, but they were certainly published before ebooks had a chance to change the publishing industry.

They are well written, and once again come clearly from someone who understands the lifestyle. These books are highly recommended, and come towards the end of my list mainly because I’m doing this (up to this point) chronologically.

By Molly Weatherfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Carrie'S Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Carrie's Story is regarded as one of the finest erotic novels ever written- smart, devastatingly sexy and, at times, shocking, Molly Weatherfield has penned a book that is standing the test of time alongside The Story of O and Justine in this new era of "BDSM romance," a la 50 Shades of Grey the whips and cuffs are out of the closet and "chateau porn" has given way to mommy porn. Carrie's Story remains at the head of the class, literally. Imagine The Story of O starring a Berkeley PhD candidate in comparative literature, who moonlights as a bike messenger,…


Book cover of The White People and Other Weird Stories

James Stoorie Author Of AfterWitch

From my list on supernaturally troubled teenagers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As long as I can remember I have found the world a terrifying yet magical place. My first memories are of reading ghost stories, the best mirrors for my emotional experiences. As a teenager supernatural tales continued to inspire me and still do. Sometimes a starkly realistic approach can prove too dull or intrusive; far better to process or confront issues by presenting them as fantastical. When I return to these books, or discover similar stories, I listen hard to what they are trying to tell me. I won’t learn overnight for, as the villain in The Doll Maker states: “the life so short, the craft so long to learn.”

James' book list on supernaturally troubled teenagers

James Stoorie Why did James love this book?

“I wanted to be alone in my room and glad over it all to myself.” In the framing story, two Victorian gents struggle to decipher the hidden meanings of a teenage girl’s diary they have recently uncovered. Partially written in a secret language, that could equally derive from folklore sayings or teen slang, the contents appear to hint at an inauguration into pagan rituals and witchcraft in the nearby woods. A unique attempt to conjure a dark magic out of the missing memories of childhood, this novella explores both the excitement and peril of keeping your first secrets. “I was afraid something had happened to me…”

By Arthur Machen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The White People and Other Weird Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Machen's weird tales of the creepy and fantastic finally come to Penguin Classics. With an introduction from S.T. Joshi, editor of American Supernatural Tales, The White People and Other Weird Stories is the perfect introduction to the father of weird fiction. The title story "The White People" is an exercise in the bizarre leaving the reader disoriented and on edge. From the first page, Machen turns even fundamental truths upside-down, as his character Ambrose explains, "there have been those who have sounded the very depths of sin, who all their lives have never done an 'ill deed'" setting the stage…


Book cover of Things in Jars

Tonya Mitchell Author Of The Arsenic Eater's Wife

From my list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Gothic fiction since I was a teen, though back then, I didn’t know it was Gothic. I just liked the creepiness, the often-isolated heroine, and the things-aren’t-what-they-seem murkiness of the stories. One of my first reads was Jane Eyre, which has remained a favorite. Though I didn’t like history in school (too much memorization!), I read several historical fiction books from different eras that fascinated me. These things, combined with another genre favorite—mystery/thriller, led to my first book. It turns out that all those things I’d gravitated to in my decades of reading became the things I most wanted to write about - mystery/thriller historical fiction with elements of Gothic. 

Tonya's book list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps

Tonya Mitchell Why did Tonya love this book?

Nobody does characters like Jess Kidd. Every person in this story is bizarre—a monster, misfit, or malefactor—yet not one feels contrived. I adored Bridie Devine, a small, rotund, pipe-smoking detective who begins to see the same ghost everywhere she goes.

Bridie’s quarry is a strange girl who’s been kidnapped and might (depending on who you ask) have supernatural powers or be a “lovely grotesque” who’s caught the eye of collectors. I fell in love with Kidd’s imaginative Victorian London, where nothing is as it seems, and evil lurks around every bend.

By Jess Kidd,

Why should I read it?

5 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 Jade

S. A. Gibson Author Of In the Horde's Way

From my list on where different cultures mix in a fantastical world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by how people communicate. I enjoy when different cultures clash and cooperate. Coming from another country and growing up in California exposed me to my first taste of different groups. Traveling around the country and the world has allowed me to see the vast variety of people and I continue to wonder how we can get along together.

S. A.'s book list on where different cultures mix in a fantastical world

S. A. Gibson Why did S. A. love this book?

Jade is a being of mysterious power who has traits of shifter, witch, fae, and others. She serves the police force in Winston, in a world in which supernatural beings are everywhere, but are discriminated against. She must solve a mystery and fight to protect herself and her friends. I enjoyed this story. I think you will enjoy it if you like fantasy.

By Rose Montague,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she…


Book cover of The Time of the Ghost

James Stoorie Author Of AfterWitch

From my list on supernaturally troubled teenagers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As long as I can remember I have found the world a terrifying yet magical place. My first memories are of reading ghost stories, the best mirrors for my emotional experiences. As a teenager supernatural tales continued to inspire me and still do. Sometimes a starkly realistic approach can prove too dull or intrusive; far better to process or confront issues by presenting them as fantastical. When I return to these books, or discover similar stories, I listen hard to what they are trying to tell me. I won’t learn overnight for, as the villain in The Doll Maker states: “the life so short, the craft so long to learn.”

James' book list on supernaturally troubled teenagers

James Stoorie Why did James love this book?

“Perhaps if I ask myself questions, my memory will come back?” The story opens with a now grown-up girl returning to her childhood home, only to realise on route that she is a ghost. But why did she die so young? Her mission must be to go back in time and warn her younger self of impending danger, however when she reaches her destination she can’t remember which of four sisters she is, as they all seem annoying. And what exactly is the disaster she is trying to avert? Could it be related to the pagan rituals the sisters are conducting to Monigan, the creepy doll they keep in the garden shed? What do you think? A thoughtful timeslip tale about trying to make sense of your childhood self.

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Time of the Ghost 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?

Can a ghost from the future save a life in the past? A chilling tale of dark forces and revenge...

The ghost turns up one summer day, alone in a world she once knew, among people who were once her family. She knows she is one of four sisters, but which one? She can be sure of only one thing - that there's been an accident.
As she struggles to find her identity, she becomes aware of a malevolent force stirring around her. Something terrible is about to happen. One of the sisters will die - unless the ghost can…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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