100 books like The Lost Apothecary

By Sarah Penner,

Here are 100 books that The Lost Apothecary fans have personally recommended if you like The Lost Apothecary. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692

Laurie Lico Albanese Author Of Hester

From my list on female magic, witches, potions and spells.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love historical fiction because it brings history and people from the past to life, showing us their struggles and their secrets—especially the women! Since my first historical novel, The Miracles of Prato, I've been paying attention to the women whose stories haven't been told. When I realized Hester Prynne is our first American historical feminist heroine—indeed, our American Eve and our original badass single mom—I knew I had to let her tell her story.  

Laurie's book list on female magic, witches, potions and spells

Laurie Lico Albanese Why did Laurie love this book?

A fascinating exploration of the Salem witch trials that illustrates how the New England girls whose accusations lead to the wrongful execution of thirteen innocent women and imprisonment of some two hundred more were victims of war trauma in the Maine woods. During the so-called King Phillip’s War, Puritan immigrants who seized land as part of their Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter waged horrific, brutal battles with Native Americans defending their land from coveters and invaders. Their wives and children were there to witness and suffer it. This book was a key to my greater understanding of the land seizure and other events that led to and fueled the Salem Witch trials. 

By Mary Beth Norton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In the Devil's Snare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning historian Mary Beth Norton reexamines the Salem witch trials in thisstartlingly original, meticulously researched, and utterly riveting study.

In 1692 the people of Massachusetts were living in fear, and not solely of satanic afflictions. Horrifyingly violent Indian attacks had all but emptied the northern frontier of settlers, and many traumatized refugees—including the main accusers of witches—had fled to communities like Salem. Meanwhile the colony’s leaders, defensive about their own failure to protect the frontier, pondered how God’s people could be suffering at the hands of savages. Struck by the similarities between what the refugees had witnessed and what the…


Book cover of The Ruin of All Witches: Life and Death in the New World

Laurie Lico Albanese Author Of Hester

From my list on female magic, witches, potions and spells.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love historical fiction because it brings history and people from the past to life, showing us their struggles and their secrets—especially the women! Since my first historical novel, The Miracles of Prato, I've been paying attention to the women whose stories haven't been told. When I realized Hester Prynne is our first American historical feminist heroine—indeed, our American Eve and our original badass single mom—I knew I had to let her tell her story.  

Laurie's book list on female magic, witches, potions and spells

Laurie Lico Albanese Why did Laurie love this book?

This new and acclaimed book about the first witch trial in America in 1651 Springfield, Massachusetts, reads like a novel in which two outsiders, Hugh Parsons and his vision-seeing wife Mary (who probably suffered from paranoid schizophrenia or post-partum psychosis) become the target of an entire town. Puritan laws and Old World medieval folk tales contribute to the sense of darkness and foreboding that prevail over the town and its inhabitants, reminding us that New England was a dark land, isolated and full of enemies, hungry and poor and primed to be swept up by diabolical accusations and actions. Read this for a deep understanding of the causes and consequences of the American witch trials. 

By Malcolm Gaskill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*A TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES AND BBC HISTORY HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021*

'The best and most enjoyable kind of history writing' Hilary Mantel

'A bona fide historical classic' Sunday Times

Simply one of the best history books I have ever read' BBC History

In the frontier town of Springfield in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Precious food spoils, livestock ails and property vanishes. People suffer fits and are plagued by strange visions and dreams. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics, and the community becomes tangled in a web of spite, distrust…


Book cover of Rebecca

S.R. Masters Author Of How to Kill with Kindness

From my list on books in which all that glitters is not gold.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been drawn to stories in which all that glitters isn't gold, and all three of my novels contain this theme. They are, at the bottom, tales of hubris, which is why I like them. A character strives to obtain some glittery thing, confident it will be better than what they have. Yet, ultimately, their confidence is misplaced, and their ambition brings about their downfall. Perhaps because I'm someone who's naturally quite risk-averse but also believes little good comes in life without taking chances, stories like this attract me. They allow me to safely hunt for the Aristotelian mean between being overly sensible and irrationally ambitious.  

S.R.'s book list on books in which all that glitters is not gold

S.R. Masters Why did S.R. love this book?

Daphne Du Maurier has made a permanent mark on my soul. Whether it was Hitchcock's adaptation of The Birds, which I watched when I was far too young, or the wrecked ships of Jamaica Inn, her imagery and ideas are unforgettable. 

And like the titular character of Rebecca, part of me still roams the halls and grounds of Manderley. I first encountered the story at a transitional moment in early adulthood. Having been a child drawn to spooky stories about ghouls and spectres, this book marked the moment I came to understand that not every haunted house has a ghost. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of Educated: A Memoir

Christine Amoroso Author Of Bare Naked in Public: An earnest and humorous account of one modern American woman trying to have it all

From my list on memoirs that evoke inspiration empathy compassion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always believed that everyone has a story to tell. I have connected to people throughout my life because I chose to sit, listen, and share stories. I do this in my own neighborhood and on my travels worldwide. I do it with people I don’t have anything in common with and people I think I might not like. Every time, without exception, I learn something. Often, I am inspired. These experiences have tested and grown my compassion, empathy, kindness, and understanding capacity. I suppose this is why I love reading. It’s like meeting strangers and sharing stories. 

Christine's book list on memoirs that evoke inspiration empathy compassion

Christine Amoroso Why did Christine love this book?

The survivalist family drama, paranoia, and isolation seemed an impossible life for Tara Westover to escape. This memoir had a suspense and thriller aspect that I loved. I could not put it down.

Her ability to stand up to her parents and an abusive older brother without means showed true grit. She is an admirable and inspirational human being. I love stories where humans overcome great adversity.  

By Tara Westover,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER

Selected as a book of the year by AMAZON, THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, NEW YORK TIMES, ECONOMIST, NEW STATESMAN, VOGUE, IRISH TIMES, IRISH EXAMINER and RED MAGAZINE

'One of the best books I have ever read . . . unbelievably moving' Elizabeth Day
'An extraordinary story, beautifully told' Louise O'Neill
'A memoir to stand alongside the classics . . . compelling and joyous' Sunday Times

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the end of the world. She was never put in school, never taken to the doctor. She did not even have a birth certificate…


Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Emerald Dodge Author Of Battlecry

From my list on take place in America’s deep South.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Virginia, so I am very familiar with America’s southern lands and culture. The South—also known as the Deep South—is a unique part of America’s tapestry of identities, and I love books set in this locale. Southern literature tends to focus on themes such as racial politics, one’s personal identity, and rebellion. When I wrote my book, I knew the story would have to take place in the southern states. 

Emerald's book list on take place in America’s deep South

Emerald Dodge Why did Emerald love this book?

Remember a few years ago when this book was everywhere? I do! And it was deserved—Delia Owens created a memorable heroine in Kya, a loner who lives in the tidal lands of the North Carolina coast.

Owens, a zoologist, calls upon her impressive knowledge of flora and fauna as she sets up a murder mystery, and the novel's finale is both satisfying and memorable. I’ve never read another book quite like this one.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

46 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…


Book cover of In the Woods

Raemi A. Ray Author Of A Chain of Pearls

From my list on unique, moody settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and became hooked on the Fear Street books by RL Stine. In college, I took a class on suspense and mystery and was introduced to the greats: Chandler, Hammett, Collins, Christie, Doyle… I could go on and on. As I consumed more, I became enamored with mysteries that were more than just stories about victims but also used crime as a vehicle to comment on the region’s social and economic issues. My favorite mysteries are more than the sum of its body parts. They also scrutinize the worlds where these heinous crimes were allowed to occur.   

Raemi's book list on unique, moody settings

Raemi A. Ray Why did Raemi love this book?

French’s Dublin Murder Squad series introduces readers to the Dublin-based Gardai, who investigate and solve violent crimes in and around Dublin, Ireland. What I love most about this series is that each book follows a different detective within the same unit and their unique relationships with Dublin and the surrounding areas. French explores not just the crime but also the men and women who solve it. I love how these people are flawed, and they make mistakes while doing their jobs. 

In this installment, Rob Ryan returns to the site of his own childhood trauma to investigate a repeat of a twenty-year-old crime. I love a facing-one-demons plot, and this one doesn’t disappoint. 

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).

"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." -The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only…


Book cover of The Blackhouse

Raemi A. Ray Author Of A Chain of Pearls

From my list on unique, moody settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and became hooked on the Fear Street books by RL Stine. In college, I took a class on suspense and mystery and was introduced to the greats: Chandler, Hammett, Collins, Christie, Doyle… I could go on and on. As I consumed more, I became enamored with mysteries that were more than just stories about victims but also used crime as a vehicle to comment on the region’s social and economic issues. My favorite mysteries are more than the sum of its body parts. They also scrutinize the worlds where these heinous crimes were allowed to occur.   

Raemi's book list on unique, moody settings

Raemi A. Ray Why did Raemi love this book?

The Black House is a Scottish-based mystery featuring the remote Hebridean island of Lewis. I loved how May captures the essence of this island in this trilogy and uses actual historical and cultural events to weave the plot. Each of the Scottish Isles has its own unique culture, and I love how May explores this through the interactions between the characters from Lewis and mainland Scotland. 

I also really enjoyed the character arc and the prodigal-son-esque storyline of jaded detective Fin Macleod returning home. As he solves the murders, he has to face his own dark past.  

By Peter May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

BOOK ONE IN THE MILLION-SELLING LEWIS TRILOGY.
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER. A RICHARD & JUDY PICK.
WINNER OF THE USA'S BARRY AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR.

PETER MAY: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT MURDER TO THE OUTER HEBRIDES
'One of the best regarded crime series of recent years' Independent

A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.

A MURDER

Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.

A SECRET

Something…


Book cover of Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

Ana Veciana-Suarez Author Of Dulcinea

From my list on bringing to life the forgotten Baroque Age.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became fascinated with 16th-century and 17th-century Europe after reading Don Quixote many years ago. Since then, every novel or nonfiction book about that era has felt both ancient and contemporary. I’m always struck by how much our environment has changed—transportation, communication, housing, government—but also how little we as people have changed when it comes to ambition, love, grief, and greed. I doubled down my reading on that time period when I researched my novel, Dulcinea. Many people read in the eras of the Renaissance, World War II, or ancient Greece, so I’m hoping to introduce them to the Baroque Age. 

Ana's book list on bringing to life the forgotten Baroque Age

Ana Veciana-Suarez Why did Ana love this book?

I was introduced to Brooks’ writing by a fellow journalist because I very much wanted to read a novel by a reporter turned fiction writer.

The writing and the plot of the 1666 plague in this book didn’t disappoint. It was like sinking into a time and place so different from my own, but at the same time so familiar because Brooks is what I call a surround-sound writer. She is able to totally immerse you in a foreign world.

By Geraldine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Year of Wonders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'March' and 'People of the Book'.

A young woman's struggle to save her family and her soul during the extraordinary year of 1666, when plague suddenly struck a small Derbyshire village.

In 1666, plague swept through London, driving the King and his court to Oxford, and Samuel Pepys to Greenwich, in an attempt to escape contagion. The north of England remained untouched until, in a small community of leadminers and hill farmers, a bolt of cloth arrived from the capital. The tailor who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the damp…


Book cover of Orphan Train

Victoria Arendt Author Of Broken Pencils

From my list on historical fiction set in the 1930s and 1940s.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, the carefree days of childhood are brought to a halt with the passage of time and the death of loved ones. As a wistful, dreamy, and introspective person, I wished to revisit the past, if only for a moment, to see what my grandparents experienced in their earlier lives. Currently, I’m under the spell of the 1930s and 1940s, and historical fiction books are an engaging way to learn about these marvelous decades.  

Victoria's book list on historical fiction set in the 1930s and 1940s

Victoria Arendt Why did Victoria love this book?

The Orphan Train is a novel about forgotten and neglected children left to fend for themselves in an antiquated welfare program. The story weaves memories of an old woman with the naiveté of a present-day teenager teaching the reader that everything is not as it appears.

Christina Baker Kline breathes life into a horrible moment of American history making us rip the bandage off, look at our past and see the unexpected silver lining.

By Christina Baker Kline,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

“A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they…


Book cover of The Lost Letter

Meredith Jaeger Author Of The Pilot's Daughter

From my list on dual-timeline historical stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by historical fiction since I was a child when I read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and it absolutely captivated me. I appreciate how history cautions us to examine the present, so we don’t repeat the same injustices. After failing to get a literary agent for not one, but two contemporary novels, I decided to shift my focus to historical fiction. Inspired by dual-narrative structure, I wrote a novel set in both present-day San Francisco and 1876 San Francisco. That book, my debut, The Dressmaker’s Dowry, became a USA Today bestseller. I’ve since gone on to write two more novels, Boardwalk Summer and The Pilot’s Daughter. 

Meredith's book list on dual-timeline historical stories

Meredith Jaeger Why did Meredith love this book?

This is a heartbreaking, yet uplifting novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. It takes place in both 1989 Los Angeles and 1938 Austria. I love this book because of Jillian’s beautiful writing, and her strong sense of place. I felt transported to WWII Austria, where I became deeply invested in the love story between Kristoff and Elena. I also enjoyed that the modern-day story takes place pre-internet, where a newly divorced woman, Katie, does hands-on research to learn more about an unusual WWII-era stamp. Both narratives weave together seamlessly. I was lucky to read this book while visiting my family in Switzerland, surrounded by the beauty of the Alps.

By Jillian Cantor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Letter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

“A gorgeous and thrilling novel… Perfect for book clubs and fans of The Nightingale.” –PopSugar

A historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. A heart-breaking, heart-warming read for fans of The Nightingale, Lilac Girls, and Sarah's Key.
 
Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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