100 books like The Last Rainbow

By Parke Godwin,

Here are 100 books that The Last Rainbow fans have personally recommended if you like The Last Rainbow. 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 The Crystal Cave

Tina Zee Author Of Fires of Brigantia

From my list on romantic Celtic Britain: Druids, Romans and female warriors.

Who am I?

I love British history. I am fascinated by ancient roots; legends and myths arising from around the Roman invasion. Stories of Boudicca, Casswallen, Celtic legends, and Arthurian tales hold me in a world of imaginings and anticipation. These exciting stories have been told and retold, but Cartimandua, Warrior Queen of Brigantia is new to me. She, a Yorkshire lass like me – led the largest tribe in Britain. I have become absorbed into the iron-age lives and loves of her Brigantia. The interwoven links between known facts and fantasy intrigue me. My favourite books here encouraged my journey of discovery; the old birthing the new. The legends from Britain grow.

Tina's book list on romantic Celtic Britain: Druids, Romans and female warriors

Tina Zee Why did Tina love this book?

Through the pages of this book, unfolds a tangible reality of the birth and boyhood of Merlin the magician, leading up to his central position in the legend of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

As I read, I saw how Stewart wove a story using some accepted historical facts and myths, to create something new and solid. I saw the way Stewart used mystical moments and magical spells to sit above common logic.

Her ability to write in this imaginative way makes her characters more believable. And I do believe it. I have feelings of satisfaction at the end of the book, which inspired me to write my own historical story.

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Crystal Cave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The spellbinding story of Merlin's rise to power.

Vivid, enthralling, absolutely first-class - Daily Mail

So begins the story of Merlin, born the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess in fifth century Britain, a world ravaged by war. Small and neglected, with his mother unwilling to reveal his father's identity, Merlin must disguise his intelligence - and hide his occasional ability to know things before they happen - in order to keep himself safe.

While exploring the countryside near his home, Merlin stumbles across a cave filled with books and papers and hiding a room lined with crystals. It is…


Book cover of The Return of Merlin

Jim Willis Author Of The Wizard in the Wood: A Tale of Magic, Mystery, and Meaning

From my list on magic, mystery, and meaning in 21st century lives.

Who am I?

I am an author, theologian, musician, historian, and college professor who has written more than twenty books about ancient and alternative history, religion in modern culture, and long-distance, meditative bicycling. My study of the past convinced me that modern life has, for far too many of us, grown one-dimensional. It lacks the magic and mystery that imbued the ancients with the deep and rich mythology which we inherited from them, but then allowed to grow dormant within our sheltered lives. Remembering their vision and experience is a key to restoring our own sense of self-worth and essence. Maybe we all need to meet a “Wizard in the Wood!”

Jim's book list on magic, mystery, and meaning in 21st century lives

Jim Willis Why did Jim love this book?

I have been inspired by Deepak Chopra’s spiritual wisdom for more than thirty years. This is one of his rare novels, a wonderful story of time and magic. Merlin the Magician is the quintessential wizard, inspiring such modern-day spin-offs as Gandalf and Dumbledore. What would happen if he were to return today, bringing a message of earthy magic to a world of informative but increasingly sterile, materialistic science? And what if he has, indeed, done just that already?

By Deepak Chopra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since the 1980s, an increasing number of black writers have begun publishing speculative-fantastic fictions such as fantasy, gothic, utopian and science fiction. Writing into two literary traditions that are conventionally considered separate -- white speculative genres and black literary-cultural traditions -- the texts integrate an African American sensibility of the past within the present, with speculative fiction's sensibility of the present within the future.

Thaler takes stock of this trend by proposing that the growing number of texts has brought forth a genre of its own. She analyzes recent fictions by Octavia E. Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Nalo Hopkinson as…


Book cover of Stonehenge

Jim Willis Author Of The Wizard in the Wood: A Tale of Magic, Mystery, and Meaning

From my list on magic, mystery, and meaning in 21st century lives.

Who am I?

I am an author, theologian, musician, historian, and college professor who has written more than twenty books about ancient and alternative history, religion in modern culture, and long-distance, meditative bicycling. My study of the past convinced me that modern life has, for far too many of us, grown one-dimensional. It lacks the magic and mystery that imbued the ancients with the deep and rich mythology which we inherited from them, but then allowed to grow dormant within our sheltered lives. Remembering their vision and experience is a key to restoring our own sense of self-worth and essence. Maybe we all need to meet a “Wizard in the Wood!”

Jim's book list on magic, mystery, and meaning in 21st century lives

Jim Willis Why did Jim love this book?

Why was Stonehenge built? What was its function? Cornwell offers a new interpretation that is both eminently possible and completely believable. Transporting us back to a time long forgotten, he makes us believe. And that is no easy task! When I first gazed in person upon Stonehenge, my thoughts, like those of almost everyone else, were consumed with “Why” and “How.” But this book takes us further into the mystery by asking “Who?” What motivated the first builders, and those who followed after them for thousands of years? They were “just folks,” like us. But they must have been motivated by something that we, sad to say, are lacking.    

By Bernard Cornwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bernard Cornwell's brilliant novel, reissued for fans to find out the story behind the stones. This is the tale of three brothers and of their rivalry that created this great temple.

One summer's day, a dying stranger carrying great wealth in gold comes to the settlement of Ratharryn.

The three sons of Ratharryn's chief each perceive the great gift in a different way. The eldest, Lengar, the warrior, harnesses his murderous ambition to be a ruler and take great power for his tribe. Camaban becomes a great visionary and feared wise man, and it is his vision that will force…


Book cover of The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry

Jim Willis Author Of The Wizard in the Wood: A Tale of Magic, Mystery, and Meaning

From my list on magic, mystery, and meaning in 21st century lives.

Who am I?

I am an author, theologian, musician, historian, and college professor who has written more than twenty books about ancient and alternative history, religion in modern culture, and long-distance, meditative bicycling. My study of the past convinced me that modern life has, for far too many of us, grown one-dimensional. It lacks the magic and mystery that imbued the ancients with the deep and rich mythology which we inherited from them, but then allowed to grow dormant within our sheltered lives. Remembering their vision and experience is a key to restoring our own sense of self-worth and essence. Maybe we all need to meet a “Wizard in the Wood!”

Jim's book list on magic, mystery, and meaning in 21st century lives

Jim Willis Why did Jim love this book?

Combining some of the greatest conspiracy subjects ever put forth, this book offers a fresh take on the familiar, compelling secret history of what might have been, rivaling even Dan Brown in the process. How might the Templars have interacted with the Shroud? What might they have done with it? What are the secrets of Freemasonry that were known to so many of America’s Founding Fathers, and why is the world still interested? This is a book that made me think. And, more importantly, wonder! 

By Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2000 Barnes Noble hardcover, Knight, Christopher; Lomas, Robert (Uriel's Machine). Is the Shroud of Turin genuine? That is the question that Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas set out to answer in the follow-up to their ground-breaking first book, The Hiram Key. For over 700 years the world thought the shroud bore the image of the crucified Christ, but results of carbon dating have shown that the fabric could not have predated 1260. The authors have produced new evidence that conclusively proves that it is not a fake-yet neither is it the image of Jesus Christ. - Amazon


Book cover of The Untuning of the Sky: Ideas of Music in English Poetry 1500-1700

Lawrence Lipking Author Of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England

From my list on the arts as crucial elements of human life.

Who am I?

I am a chameleon scholar. Though my first love is poetry, I have written about all the arts, about 18th-century authors (especially Samuel Johnson), about theories of literature and literary vocations, about Sappho and other abandoned women, about ancients and moderns and chess and marginal glosses and the meaning of life and, most recently, the Scientific Revolution. But I am a teacher too, and The Ordering of the Arts grew out of my fascination with those writers who first taught readers what to look for in painting, music and poetrywhat works were best, what works could change their lives. That project has inspired my own life and all my writing.

Lawrence's book list on the arts as crucial elements of human life

Lawrence Lipking Why did Lawrence love this book?

Hollander's wonderful book is a tribute to the power of music, which can transform ideas and myths into rhythms and feelings that immediately touch the heart. 

A fine poet himself, he relishes the quests of poets and musicians to turn mere words and notes into something divine, as if we could hearken to the gods (whether Christian or pagan). The analysis of particular works of art is always scholarly and penetrating; but more than that, it conveys a poet's love of what great artists have done.

By John Hollander,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

1970 W. W. NORTON & CO. SOFTCOVER


Book cover of The Final Pagan Generation: Rome's Unexpected Path to Christianity

Charles Matson Odahl Author Of Constantine and the Christian Empire

From my list on the 4th century Roman world.

Who am I?

Charles M. Odahl earned a doctorate in Ancient and Medieval History and Classical Languages at the University of California, San Diego, with an emphasis on Roman imperial and early Christian studies. He has spent his life and career traveling, living, and researching at sites relevant to his interests, especially in Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey Israel, Egypt, and Tunisia. He has taught at universities in Britain, France, Idaho, and Oregon, and published 5 books and 50 articles and reviews on Roman and early Christian topics.

Charles' book list on the 4th century Roman world

Charles Matson Odahl Why did Charles love this book?

Dr. Watts, a prolific author on Roman history, gives a detailed survey of the lives and careers of some of the last prominent pagan intellectuals who lived from the time of Constantine's conversion to Christianity to Theodosius' outlawing of paganism. He shows the intellectual, social, and religious changes in the fourth century as the Roman world was transformed from a pagan to a Christian society. A fascinating story brilliantly told.

By Edward J. Watts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A compelling history of radical transformation in the fourth-century--when Christianity decimated the practices of traditional pagan religion in the Roman Empire.

The Final Pagan Generation recounts the fascinating story of the lives and fortunes of the last Romans born before the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. Edward J. Watts traces their experiences of living through the fourth century's dramatic religious and political changes, when heated confrontations saw the Christian establishment legislate against pagan practices as mobs attacked pagan holy sites and temples. The emperors who issued these laws, the imperial officials charged with implementing them, and the Christian perpetrators of…


Book cover of The Two Dantes, and Other Studies

George Corbett Author Of Dante's Christian Ethics: Purgatory and Its Moral Contexts

From my list on Dante and his religious world.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by Dante since my first years at university. For me, reading Dante was the beginning of a journey, opening up a rich world of theology, philosophy, art, literature, science, and culture. As Professor of Theology at the University of St Andrews, I especially enjoy facilitating students’ first encounters with Dante, and seeing how Dante so often leads them, also, to a deeper appreciation of some of the greatest thinkers and makers of our civilisation, from Aristotle and Virgil to Aquinas and Giotto. 

George's book list on Dante and his religious world

George Corbett Why did George love this book?

This book was a revelation to me in first studying Dante. Here was an author taking Dante’s questions, and his answers to those questions, seriously. A brilliant Cambridge Italianist and a Dominican priest, Kenelm Foster is passionately engaged with the theology of Dante.

In this book, he provides his celebrated account of the ‘Two Dantes,’ one overly committed to paganism, the other devoted to Christianity. He also develops his comparison between Aquinas’s theory of implicit faith (according to which pagans may be saved) and Dante’s strange invention of a section of limbo in which virtuous pagans are, it seems, eternally damned. Although I do not hold now to all of Foster’s provocative assumptions or conclusions, I still find his mode of questioning Dante, and reading Dante historically and theologically, inspirational and exhilarating.  

Book cover of The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From my list on religious experience.

Who am I?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   

Miguel's book list on religious experience

Miguel Farias Why did Miguel love this book?

Here we have fragments of the lives of female and male hermits living in the Egyptian desert, trying to live the Christian life away from the temptations of cities. Colourful depictions of their relationships, experiences with angels and demons, and the techniques used to move closer to God and conquer human frailty. These accounts are a superb antidote to today’s mindfulness which feels rather mind-numbing compared to these accounts of meditation.    

By Various, Benedicta Ward (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Desert Fathers were the first Christian monks, living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. In contrast to the formalised and official theology of the "founding fathers" of the church, the Desert Fathers were ordinary Christians who chose to renounce the world and live lives of celibacy, fasting, vigil, prayer and poverty in direct and simple response to the gospel. Their sayings were first recorded in the 4th century and consist of spiritual advice, anecdotes and parables. The Desert Fathers' teachings and lives have inspired poetry, opera and art, as well as providing spiritual nourishment and…


Book cover of Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Author Of Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

From my list on spiritual formation and Christian virtue.

Who am I?

As a moral philosopher, I ask practical questions: What kind of person am I becoming? What kind of life will I live? What loves, hopes, and fears drive my choices and shape my relationships? Character formation moves us from vice to virtue. It starts with self-reflection and moves toward intentional practice. Over time, those practices shape us and add up to a way of life. You will be formed—but how? Glittering Vices, like my job, combines my passions for character development and wise teaching. Enduring the fiery furnace of cancer treatment made formation an urgent, life-changing topic for me. I hope these books open your life to renewal too.

Rebecca's book list on spiritual formation and Christian virtue

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Why did Rebecca love this book?

I love Barton’s personal and practical approach to a key cluster of spiritual disciplines in this accessible overview. She explores how to encounter God in Scripture and in prayer, how to practice solitude, self-examination and discernment, how to honor the body and keep sabbath. Individual chapters are framed by an introduction to spiritual formation and book-ended by combining them into a single rule of life. Think of this book as a fresh update of Richard Foster’s classic, Celebration of Discipline. (See her Transforming Center website for more.)

By Ruth Haley Barton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it? Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God's transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a "rule of life" that allows for regular space for the practice of spiritual disciplines, Ruth Haley Barton takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas…


Book cover of Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Author Of Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

From my list on spiritual formation and Christian virtue.

Who am I?

As a moral philosopher, I ask practical questions: What kind of person am I becoming? What kind of life will I live? What loves, hopes, and fears drive my choices and shape my relationships? Character formation moves us from vice to virtue. It starts with self-reflection and moves toward intentional practice. Over time, those practices shape us and add up to a way of life. You will be formed—but how? Glittering Vices, like my job, combines my passions for character development and wise teaching. Enduring the fiery furnace of cancer treatment made formation an urgent, life-changing topic for me. I hope these books open your life to renewal too.

Rebecca's book list on spiritual formation and Christian virtue

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Why did Rebecca love this book?

This is the most “how-to” book on the list. Whether we are reflective about it or not, our character will be shaped and our lives transformed into something—the only question is In what way? and For what end? John Stott once said that “Spirituality is not a condition into which we can drift.” Steve’s book teaches you how not to drift through life. 

Steve’s ministry (Leadership Transformations) helps Christian leaders and laypeople live renewed and beautiful lives. This book walks you through a process of self-reflection and intentional choice to create a “rule of life”—an intentional rhythm or pattern of our days that primes us for spiritual growth and attentiveness to God.

By Stephen A. Macchia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crafting a Rule of Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your personal rule of life is a holistic description of the Spirit-empowered rhythms and relationships that create, redeem, sustain and transform the life God invites you to humbly fulfill for Christ's glory. All of us have an unwritten personal rule of life. We wake at certain times, get ready for our days in particular ways, use our free time for assorted purposes and practice rhythms of work, hobbies, and worship. There is already a rule in place that you are following. Isn?t it time to give up your unwritten rule and prayerfully write one that more closely matches the heartbeat…


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