10 books like The Hobbit

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Hobbit. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Odyssey

By Homer, T.E. Shaw (translator),

Book cover of The Odyssey

It doesn’t get any more epic or classic than Homer’s Odyssey. Of the many trials the hero overcomes, outwitting Polyphemus (the Cyclops), and tying himself to his ship’s mast to hear the alluring call of the Sirens, are my two favorites. Everything about this war-weary hero’s saga to return back from Troy to Ithaca is storytelling at its finest. I’ve always loved Greek mythology, and Homer demonstrates the capricious pettiness of the gods as they play games with us mere mortals. When Odysseus finally gets home, everything is changed. He’s changed. At least his dog still recognizes him. Read it and you will understand why this is a story that books are written about.

The Odyssey

By Homer, T.E. Shaw (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Homer's epic chronicle of the Greek hero Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War has inspired  writers from Virgil to James Joyce. Odysseus  survives storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops  and the isle of Circe, the lure of the Sirens' song  and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his  most difficult challenge at home, where treacherous  suitors seek to steal his kingdom and his loyal  wife, Penelope. Favorite of the gods, Odysseus  embodies the energy, intellect, and resourcefulness  that were of highest value to the ancients and that  remain ideals in out time.

In this  new…


Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson,

Book cover of Life After Life

This story is about an upper-middle-class English family who is caught up in the events of WW2. The domestic details are fascinating including the kinds of puddings served. (I love puddings). Where this story differs is that Ursula, the heroine, has to keep reliving parts of her life until she ‘gets it right’. I could not stop thinking about Ursula for a long time. I was so impressed by how the story did not follow any normal pattern but demonstrated the power and flexibility wielded by the author. Kate Atkinson also attached a Pinterest page to her website. The visuals made a huge impact upon me so I added a Pinterest page to my stories.  

Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Life After Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula's apparently infinite number…


The Hero with a Thousand Faces

By Joseph Campbell,

Book cover of The Hero with a Thousand Faces

I have to include this book because, just as it was for the original Star Wars film, it was a direct inspiration for my first novel. To be a good writer, you have to be aware of the existing patterns and how it relates to the collective unconscious. And Joseph Campbell dedicated his life to understanding the impact of storytelling and mythology and how it relates to the growth of civilization. If you’ve never read this book, it may just blow your mind. It is a bit long though, so you may want to find an audiobook version.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

By Joseph Campbell,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Hero with a Thousand Faces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Campbell's classic cross-cultural study of the hero's journey has inspired millions and opened up new areas of research and exploration. Originally published in 1949, the book hit the New York Times best-seller list in 1988 when it became the subject of The Power of Myth, a PBS television special. The first popular work to combine the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, the book creates a roadmap for navigating the frustrating path of contemporary life. Examining heroic myths in the light of modern psychology, it considers not only the patterns and stages…


The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

When writing anything fantasy or fairy-tale-like, it’s hard to avoid the influence of Tolkien. He’s certainly an influence on me in world-building (as is Dune, Star Wars, and a host of others), but the main thing I think I’ve retained from multiple read-throughs of The Trilogy is the focus on maps. I loved looking at the maps that came with the books and imagined where the characters were in relation to everything else. They are integral to the story; even the film/TV adaptations rely heavily on them. As I’ve written more books, the map/geographical aspect of where the different terrain and resident societies are in relation to each other in my world of Aponna has taken a larger part in the storytelling. I hope to publish future books with beautiful, illustrated maps that show trails and paths of the characters, etc.

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked The Lord of the Rings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…


A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Book cover of A Game of Thrones

I’m recommending A Game of Thrones, but for a specific set of reasons. No other series toys with readers’ emotions like this one. In most books, character deaths are either avoided, or predictable. A Game of Thrones completely shatters that mold.

This series taught me what it feels like to have characters I loved torn from me. It taught me how frustrating it is to get invested in a story line only to see it fizzle off into nothingness. In short, it taught me about an author’s responsibility.

There is a lot to love in this series. As an author, there is also a lot to learn here.

A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked A Game of Thrones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.

'Completely immersive' Guardian

'When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground'

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen…


Dune

By Frank Herbert,

Book cover of Dune

Dune is a sci-fi story that really makes you think in the abstract and it poses a lot of deep questions about leadership. While Dune is a tough read with strange protagonists, its worldbuilding is what sucks you because it’s so richly detailed. It’s an immersive book, and I consider it the sci-fi equivalent of Lord of the Rings for setting the standard for sweeping space operas. I read Dune before self-publishing my most recent book, and it made me want to retool the way resource control worked in my book’s universe.

Dune

By Frank Herbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…


The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak,

Book cover of The Book Thief

The story unfolds somewhat mysteriously, in that WWII historians may be a bit confused. The annihilation of Dresden, Germany through intense fire-bombing by the allies leaves little hope that anyone could survive long, yet a young girl is moving through the neighborhoods unscathed. She steals books from the library of a rich, sophisticated lady who has all but surrendered to her fate. The premise provides a nice counter to the book burning by the Nazis in the years leading up to military action. Although the girl is hardly a military hero, her persistence and courage renders her a testament to the raw power of the human spirit. In her own way, she is defiant of the aggressors attacking her home and threatening her life.

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph
___

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT…


The Fifth Season

By N.K. Jemisin,

Book cover of The Fifth Season: The Broken Earth, Book 1

N.K. Jemisin has created a classic in the making with The Fifth Season. We enter a world quite similar to ours today in terms of injustice, prejudice, stereotypes, and the foundations of hatred that have seeded their way into systemic power structures of society when it comes to race. The elements of high fantasy accompanied with Jemisin’s expressive writing are a guaranteed page-turner and will have you connected to characters like Damaya, Syenite, and Essun as they navigate, grow, and rise above the various obstacles in this story. It is dark, it is real, and it is phenomenal. 

The Fifth Season

By N.K. Jemisin,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Fifth Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the end of the world, a woman must hide her secret power and find her kidnapped daughter in this "intricate and extraordinary" Hugo Award winning novel of power, oppression, and revolution. (The New York Times)

This is the way the world ends. . .for the last time.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land…


East

By Edith Pattou,

Book cover of East

This is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, and it’s a world that I love to disappear into year after year. East challenged me to see beyond the surface of my circumstances and gave a glimpse of the treasure that was only waiting for me to have the eyes to see it. It’s the book that convinced me that the reality of grief wasn’t the end of my family’s story.

East

By Edith Pattou,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Full of fear and excitement, Rose, a young woman, journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear, only to find that her journey has just begun, in a retelling of the classic tale, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." Jr. Lib Guild. An ALA Notable Book & Top Ten Best Books for Young Readers. Reprint.


Wonder

By R.J. Palacio,

Book cover of Wonder

In a society that puts so much emphasis on looks, what can you do if your appearance attracts immense negative attention? This is the problem ten year-old Auggie must deal with due to a genetic condition that disfigured his face. There are two kids in his class brave enough to be his friend, but at great cost to their own acceptance.

This story is authentic in its portrayal of the emotional roller coaster a child like this endures. Auggie so wants to fit in, but being “normal” is never going to happen. But then is “normal” the only value marker in life? In Auggie’s case he’s the bravest child in the whole school—just for getting out there and for accepting himself “as is”.

Quote: “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

Wonder

By R.J. Palacio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Has the power to move hearts and change minds' Guardian

'Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power' Sunday Express

'An amazing book . . . I absolutely loved it. I cried my eyes out' Tom Fletcher

Read the award-winning, multi-million copy bestselling phenomenon that is WONDER in this new tenth anniversary edition.

'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other…


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