100 books like The Horse Goddess

By Morgan Llywelyn,

Here are 100 books that The Horse Goddess fans have personally recommended if you like The Horse Goddess. 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 Circe

Judith Lindbergh Author Of Akmaral

From my list on historical fiction with eponymous titles.

Why am I passionate about this?

When we authors name our characters, we gift them with meaning—a single word that somehow encompasses everything they will experience on the page. The name of my heroine, Akmaral, hails from Kazakhstan and means “white deer.” It resounds with the sound of hooves on the ancient Central Asian steppes and the deep connection to the natural world of the nomadic people who once lived there. Names bear unconscious expectations—hopes for strength and wisdom, dreams of triumph, beauty, and love. I hope that someday, hearing “Akmaral” will bring to mind vast, windswept steppes and a strong woman on horseback, head held high, contemplating her journey from warrior to leader.

Judith's book list on historical fiction with eponymous titles

Judith Lindbergh Why did Judith love this book?

It doesn’t hurt to be a goddess—even a minor goddess—that is, unless you are condemned to live alone on an enchanted island for eternity. I love the magic and herbology woven into Circe's character. (I love anything that has to do with harnessing nature’s powerful, innate wisdom.)

Circe’s suffering at the hands of gods and men is as intense as if she were a human woman. Yet she is immortal. Is there no end to it? Thankfully, even a goddess can grow. 

By Madeline Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The international Number One bestseller from the author of The Song of Achilles, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction

Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens…

Book cover of The Penelopiad

Gourav Mohanty Author Of Sons of Darkness

From my list on lifting the patriarchal veil off ancient heroines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I daylight as a lawyer, moonlight as a stand-up comic and gaslight as a storyteller. A connoisseur of mythology and momos, I have often wondered how our ancient tales might have unfolded if narrated from women’s perspectives - a curiosity kindled since I listened to my grandmother’s grievances even as she regaled me with these stories. In the same breadth, I could not help but see how harmful and reductionist “evil” labels can be especially when history is chronicled only by victors. It is this quest of humanizing the vanquished and the vilified while honouring the essence of a timeless epic that led me to play a medieval matchmaker by wedding Indian Lore to Italian Renaissance.

Gourav's book list on lifting the patriarchal veil off ancient heroines

Gourav Mohanty Why did Gourav love this book?

Talking about Penelope brings me to the Penelopiad. This book could have been more accurately called the Trial of Odysseus.

Odysseus here feels like an ancient Andrew Tate. Picture the ancient soap opera: Penelope, the ever dutiful, saintly wife, is left holding the fort while Odysseus sails off on a ten-year vacation fighting the Trojan War, followed by another decade of epic escapades and sexscapades.

And meanwhile Penelope is using her twelve maids to let themselves be used and abused by her suitors to buy time till Odysseus returns. Well, the suitors are killed, naturally. But the maids…Honor killing is still an epidemic in parts of India, and to see it from the POVs of the maids, who have so far been overlooked as extras in a play, felt like redemption.

The best thing in the book that worked for me was the way it is structured as a conversation…

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Penelope. Immortalised in legend and myth as the devoted wife of the glorious Odysseus, silently weaving and unpicking and weaving again as she waits for her husband's return.

Now Penelope wanders the underworld, spinning a different kind of thread: her own side of the story - a tale of lust, greed and murder.

The Myths series brings together some of the world's finest writers, each of whom has retold a myth in a contemporary and memorable way. Authors in the series include Karen Armstrong, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt, David Grossman, Natsuo Kirino, Alexander McCall Smith, Philip Pullman, Ali Smith and…

Book cover of The Antelope Wife

J. Baird Callicott Author Of American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study

From my list on American Indian worldviews and ecological wisdom.

Why am I passionate about this?

After “the environmental crisis” came to popular attention in the 1960s, American Indians were portrayed as having a legacy of traditional environmental ethics. We wanted to know if this were true. But how to gain access to ideas of which there is no written record? Answer: analyze stories, which have a life of their own, handed down from one generation to the next going all the way back to a time before European contact, colonization, and cultural, as well as murderous, genocide. And the stories do reveal indigenous North American environmental ethics (plural). That’s what American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study demonstrates.

J.'s book list on American Indian worldviews and ecological wisdom

J. Baird Callicott Why did J. love this book?

The spiritual worldview so beautifully rendered in Black Elk Speaks reflects the landscape of the North American Great Plains.

The Four Winds emanate from the cardinal points of the compass, and above is Father Sky and below is Mother Earth all united in one Great Spirit. The spiritual worldview of the Ojibwa reflects the landscape of the woodlands surrounding the Great Lakes. It’s an animate, shape-shifting world of the Trickster/Culture Hero Nanabushu and Wendigo, the cannibal spirit of the hard and lean winter months.

In this magical-realist novel, Louise Erdrich, a writer of Ojibwa ancestry, weaves together the star-crossed lives of her fictional characters with the fluid human and animal (and animal-human) characters of the traditional Ojibwa worldview. Erdrich thus breathes new life into the Old World of the North Woods and brings that Old World to bear on the New. 

By Louise Erdrich,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Antelope Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Past and present combine in a contemporary tale of love and betrayal from Louise Erdrich, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, 2012

'Everything is all knotted up in a tangle. Pull one string of this family and the whole web will tremble.'

Rozin and Richard, living in Minneapolis with their two young daughters, seem a long way from the traditions of their Native American ancestors. But when one of their acquaintances kidnaps a strange and silent young woman from a Native American camp and brings her back to live with him as his wife, the connections they all…

Book cover of The Living Goddesses

Helen Benigni Author Of The Myth of the Year: Returning to the Origin of the Druid Calendar

From my list on the Goddess for a journey of self-exploration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been interested in feminine figures since I was a small, Catholic child presented with the Virgin Mary! Further down the road in graduate school and in my teaching career as an English Professor at a small Liberal Arts college, I began to research comparative mythology and the study of archetypes with a particular emphasis on the female divine. Now, after publishing three books and several articles on the goddesses, I'm happy to help others in their journey of discovery. I believe a good way to approach that study today is to focus on how our contemporary women writers portray goddesses in their works of fiction and non-fiction.

Helen's book list on the Goddess for a journey of self-exploration

Helen Benigni Why did Helen love this book?

Marija Gimbutas’ The Living Goddesses is a great place to start your study of goddesses.

Gimbutas is a major researcher in the field of goddess studies, and her book is quoted more than often. Instead of reading other scholars’ work that quotes Gimbutas, why not read the original study of Paleolithic and Neolithice archetypes and their descendents in several Bronze and Iron Age cultures.

Additionally, Gimbutas postulates how those archetypes have evolved in contemporary culture. Matrilineal social structure as mirrored in religion and myth is the basis of Gimbutas’ gift to women today.

By Marija Gimbutas, Miriam R. Dexter (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Living Goddesses crowns a lifetime of innovative, influential work by one of the twentieth-century's most remarkable scholars. Marija Gimbutas wrote and taught with rare clarity in her original--and originally shocking--interpretation of prehistoric European civilization. Gimbutas flew in the face of contemporary archaeology when she reconstructed goddess-centered cultures that predated historic patriarchal cultures by many thousands of years. This volume, which was close to completion at the time of her death, contains the distillation of her studies, combined with new discoveries, insights, and analysis. Editor Miriam Robbins Dexter has added introductory and concluding remarks, summaries, and annotations. The first part…

Book cover of The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts

Luke Eastwood Author Of The Druid`s Primer

From my list on Druids and Druidry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of Druidry since the mid-1990s and I have also had a passion for history and mythology since I received a children’s version of “The Twelve Labours of Hercules” when I was around 7 years old. I’ve read pretty much all the major stories and texts in relation to Celtic myth and Druid lore (particularly from Ireland). I have spent the last 20 years studying the remains of Irish Druidism and how to incorporate it into modern practice is a respectful but relevant way.

Luke's book list on Druids and Druidry

Luke Eastwood Why did Luke love this book?

This is an enjoyable read, almost like a detective story, but it is full of information about the ancient Greeks and their contacts with the Druids of Gaul, and most likely Britain and Ireland, indicated by now lost ancient texts that remain in a few scant references.

This will help any reader gain a better understanding of the ancient Pagan world and Druidry in its original form, long before it was revived.

By Philip Freeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the first book to fully explore one of the great journeys of the ancient world. Celtic studies are an increasingly popular topic at academic level and Philip Freeman is acknowledged as one of the foremost scholars in this field. It is accessibly written to appeal to every level of reader. It provides widespread review coverage. Serialisation is under negotiation. In the first century B.C., the Celts were famed throughout the ancient world for their savagery, reputed to be cannibals and headhunters. A young Greek philosopher called Posidonius decided to discover the truth about the Celts for himself and…

Book cover of Gods and Myths of Northern Europe

James Lovegrove Author Of The Age of Odin

From my list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like Neil Gaiman, I came to Norse mythology via the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Marvel comics route. And when I explored the material further I was struck by the darkness and unsanitised oddity of many of the stories. They clearly reflected the Vikings’ view of the world as a cold, hostile, sometimes absurd place that must be met with a strong arm and a hearty laugh if one is to survive not only physically but mentally. There’s something refreshingly honest about such an approach, and when I came to write the third novel in my Pantheon series, The Age of Odin, which recast the myths as a modern military-SF thriller, I leaned heavily into the aspects I found the most appealing as well as the most dramatic, not least the snowy apocalypse that is Ragnarök, while injecting some appropriately ribald humour too.

James' book list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics

James Lovegrove Why did James love this book?

This is less about the myths themselves and more about the culture that spawned them. Ellis Davidson’s analysis of Nordic pre-Christian religion is sober but accessible, and comparisons are made with other contemporary belief systems such as the Celts’ and the ancient Britons’. The book nicely ties together the disparate tales much as the world tree, Yggdrasil, is said to have tied together the Nine Realms.

By H.R. Ellis Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gods and Myths of Northern Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Surveys the pre-Christian beliefs of the Scandinavian and Germanic peoples. Provides an introduction to this subject, giving basic outlines to the sagas and stories, and helps identify the charachter traits of not only the well known but also the lesser gods of the age.

Book cover of The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

This is an incredibly useful and totally indispensable resource that provides excellent translations of well-known and lesser-known writings about the Celts from the Iron Age and the Medieval Era.

Many people don't realize that there are really bad translations of some of these materials floating around the internet, and there's no need for that. The editors and translators of this classic anthology are top-notch, and whether the accounts or texts come from Greek, Latin, Gaulish, Old Irish, or Middle Welsh sources, students and enthusiasts can rely upon them.

Because it is a sourcebook, it doesn't provide any commentary, so that's important to know upfront (and fear not: see below). As such, some of the material may not make sense to some readers - or can lead to erroneous claims and inaccurate conclusions - if one doesn't know the history of the text, the historical context, and the secondary studies that…

By John T. Koch (editor), John Carey (editor),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Celtic Heroic Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new edition of an invaluable collection of literary sources, all in translation, for Celtic Europe and early Ireland and Wales. The selections are divided into three sections: the first is classical authors on the ancient celts-a huge selection including both the well-known-Herodotos, Plato, Aristotle, Livy, Diogenes Laertius, and Cicero-and the obscure-Pseudo-Scymnus, Lampridius, Vopsicus, Clement of Alexandria and Ptolemy I. The second is early Irish and Hiberno-Latin sources including early Irish dynastic poetry and numerous tales from the Ulster cycle and the third consists of Brittonic sources, mostly Welsh.

Book cover of The World of the Celts

Sheila Finch Author Of A Villa Far From Rome

From my list on Roman Britain and the Celts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sheila Finch is best known as a Nebula-winning author of science fiction, but on a visit back to her first alma mater in Chichester, UK, she encountered a mystery that wouldn’t let her go. Who built the nearby magnificent Roman palace that was just now being excavated at Fishbourne, and why? Months of research later, she came up with a possible explanation that involved a sixteen-year-old Roman mother, a middle-aged Celtic king of a small tribe, and Emperor Nero’s secret plans:

Sheila's book list on Roman Britain and the Celts

Sheila Finch Why did Sheila love this book?

The difference between an account of history and historical fiction is in the sensory images the writer conjures up for the reader --"You are there!" Searching for everyday details to “set the scene” for the novel, I found a wealth of material in this scholarly discussion of Celtic life, dwelling places and weaponry, clothing, technology, history and culture. Lots of useful illustrations here that brought family bonds and Celtic society to life for me.

By Simon James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The full story of the Celts from the seventh century BC to the Celtic renaissance in post-Roman times

Book cover of Celtic Devotions: A Guide to Morning and Evening Prayer

Betsy Duffey Author Of More Love

From my list on Christian devotional books to build your faith.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have been an important part of my faith journey. I set aside time each morning to read scripture, and devotional material, to meditate and pray. As I read about the experiences of others my faith increases and I know God better. As a writer I express my own faith through words and invite others to know God better by experiencing Him with time set aside in the mornings. More Love is part of a series of small books that I have created to give readers experiences to connect with God and to know His love. 

Betsy's book list on Christian devotional books to build your faith

Betsy Duffey Why did Betsy love this book?

This beautiful book includes thirty morning and evening readings of Celtic prayers, poetry, and quotations. I love the fresh look at nature and God through the eyes of the Celts. Readings are from Psalm 119 and from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of traditional Gaelic Songs.  A lovely and inspirational way to start and end your day. 

By Calvin Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sunrise and sunset. Morning and evening. Waking and resting. Your days are busy and unknown: each contains unexpected moments of joy and pain, struggle and hope. The time between your rising and sleeping is new each day. The same was true for the Celts, though their lives looked different from yours. And in the midst of the uncertainty of days, they chose to meditate on truth, to draw near to the One who holds the sun and moon in his hands. Calvin Miller invites you to do the same in Celtic Devotions. This thirty-day guide provides morning and evening readings…

Book cover of Stone Heart

Katherine Black Author Of Leverage

From my list on dark and twisted psychological thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing for a long time and reading even longer. I enjoy intelligent books that are well written—not overwritten or over punctuated—and as we all do both of those, I mean that it’s been well edited. And I understand the struggle which is why four of my five choices are from indie authors like myself.

Katherine's book list on dark and twisted psychological thrillers

Katherine Black Why did Katherine love this book?

I loved this book. If I had to describe this novel in one word it would be intelligent. Set in Celtic Ireland in the Iron Age, the language is rich and expressive and Merrigan takes you into his world until you feel you belong there. You are drawn into a time where everything is governed by the gods. The story takes you through the training of the young warriors and druids. With the ongoing conflict over land, and with the people’s lives steeped in superstitious beliefs, we come to care that the outcome falls well with our tribe.

Fionn is born into a simple rural tribe. His life is sweet as he grows to double figures playing with his sisters in the fields. At the age of ten, he is called to serve, and the boys of fighting age are gathered from across the land, taken from their families, and…

By Peter J Merrigan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ireland, 279 BC. A nation at war. For two boys, it will be gruelling. For Ireland . . . it will be bloody.

When the first raiding skirmishes of a foreign army are crushed and Ireland mourns her dead, one king knows their newfound peace is destined to fail. As Overking of Ailigh, Keeper of the North, he calls for the boys of his Celtic tribes to train as formidable warriors under his command.

For Aed, it begins as a fantastical quest. For Ronan, it helps him escape a cruel chieftain. Together, they must train and grow in strength and…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Celts, Europe, and presidential biography?

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