95 books like The Mezzotint

By M.R. James,

Here are 95 books that The Mezzotint fans have personally recommended if you like The Mezzotint. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

Valentina Cano Repetto Author Of Sanctuary

From my list on horror books in which the setting is another character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fanatic of horror, especially Gothic horror since I was about eight years old when I read all of Poe’s short stories. It’s the genre I read most often and the one I’m dedicated to writing about. For me, the most effective horror novels have a setting that is as rich and fully developed as any of the characters. You can battle vampires, zombies, and all of the other delightful monsters out there, but how do you battle what’s trapped in the walls around you? How do you fight a home that hates you? Or one that loves you too much to let you go? It’s endlessly fascinating.

Valentina's book list on horror books in which the setting is another character

Valentina Cano Repetto Why did Valentina love this book?

The novel’s prose is breathtaking. Jackson tells us from the start that Hill House is not sane and that sets the tone for the unraveling of the other characters’ minds.

For me, one of the best things about the novel is that it gives the reader space to create their own horrors. Nothing is explicitly stated and that makes it all the more frightening. Add to that an unreliable narrator and this novel captured my mind from the moment I read it. 

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked The Haunting of Hill House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro

Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro's favorites, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ray Russell's short story "Sardonicus," considered by Stephen King to be "perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written," to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and stories…


Book cover of The Apple Tree: A Ghost Story for Christmas

Ian George Author Of Don't Go Home Tonight

From my list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in the supernatural is a consequence of early life contact with the macabre fantasy works of authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, MR James, and HP Lovecraft. Influenced by my father in my early years, these were favourites of his, though I remain unsure if he ever actually read any of their works; I don’t recall seeing any of their titles amongst the textbooks and journals weighing heavily on the well-stocked bookshelves in the study. It was through watching television productions of the author's titles, one of the rare times the family gathered with our father, that linked the author's names in my mind to their works. 

Ian's book list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep

Ian George Why did Ian love this book?

I’m an avid reader of the works of Daphne Du Maurier. Of all her works, I particularly enjoyed the macabre tale of The Apple Tree. It struck a note with me, presenting the reader with the possibility of interpreting the events recounted either as being supernatural or psychological. I'm left asking myself if the mind of the protagonist is disturbed by the heavy burden of guilt or if it is the work of his dead wife seeking a terrible revenge? This resonates with my own conflict between spiritual sceptic and dreamer.

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"[These] miniature books chosen and illustrated by the cartoonist Seth . . . [offer] chills-and charm." -New York Times Book Review

We're thrilled to offer this series of beautifully illustrated, collectible books. Designed and illustrated by the world-renowned cartoonist Seth, they're trimmed to fit the coziest stocking.

A widower admits it only to himself: Midge's death is a relief. Yet now that he's free of her hectoring, he still feels her presence. Does he feel guilty? Or does that weather-beaten tree in the orchard bear an uncanny resemblance to her hunched posture?


Book cover of The Signalman: A Ghost Story for Christmas

Ian George Author Of Don't Go Home Tonight

From my list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in the supernatural is a consequence of early life contact with the macabre fantasy works of authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, MR James, and HP Lovecraft. Influenced by my father in my early years, these were favourites of his, though I remain unsure if he ever actually read any of their works; I don’t recall seeing any of their titles amongst the textbooks and journals weighing heavily on the well-stocked bookshelves in the study. It was through watching television productions of the author's titles, one of the rare times the family gathered with our father, that linked the author's names in my mind to their works. 

Ian's book list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep

Ian George Why did Ian love this book?

This short story reminds me of a disused railway line that my siblings and I took to be a playground when we lived in a small village in North Wales. All that remained of the route was the track ballast. The route was some two miles long and at one point cut into the hillside before entering a long dark tunnel. It was easy to imagine a steam train from bygone years appearing in the mouth of the tunnel, much as the engine that brought the doom of the signalman in Dickens’s tale. 

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"This book is amazing." Halloween might seem like the spookiest time of year, but Charles Dickens felt otherwise. He was among the many authors who set their scariest stories during the dim and shivering days of--yes, Christmas. First published in 1866 for a special yuletide issue of All the Year Round, Dickens' "The Signalman" has since fallen into obscurity. An eerie story of isolation, dread, and supernatural visitation, this book is a small treasure, meant to be read aloud on a cold, dark winter night.


Book cover of The Most Haunted House in England: Ten Years' Investigation of Borley Rectory

Ian George Author Of Don't Go Home Tonight

From my list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in the supernatural is a consequence of early life contact with the macabre fantasy works of authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, MR James, and HP Lovecraft. Influenced by my father in my early years, these were favourites of his, though I remain unsure if he ever actually read any of their works; I don’t recall seeing any of their titles amongst the textbooks and journals weighing heavily on the well-stocked bookshelves in the study. It was through watching television productions of the author's titles, one of the rare times the family gathered with our father, that linked the author's names in my mind to their works. 

Ian's book list on for the twilight period between bed and sleep

Ian George Why did Ian love this book?

The only book I've listed which claims to be a true story. My father owned several volumes written by Harry Price and by far the most interesting to me as a boy was the story of Borley Rectory. Though I now view Price’s narrative through more skeptical eyes, it still sends a chill down my spine when I read his claims of ghostly writing and sightings of the mysterious nun walking on the moonlit grounds. Alas that the building has long disappeared…I'm certain that I would have been drawn to it. Thinking about it, perhaps it is better that it has gone…I may be a cynical observer, but irrational fear of the unknown lives just as actively in the sceptic as it does in the convinced. 

By Harry Price,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Most Haunted House in England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Price, Harry


Book cover of A Tale Dark & Grimm

Mary DeSantis Author Of Grimmfay: The Circus of Fairy Tales and Dreams

From my list on retelling that tangle multiple fairy tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a steady diet of Disney movies, and while I knew they didn’t stay true to the original tales, that didn’t stop me from loving them. Fast-forward through an MFA in genre fiction from Seton Hill University, and I landed a gig writing study guides for fiction novels, where I put my love of fairy tales to good use. In particular, retellings fascinate me because they bring something new to something old. The books on this list stayed with me because of their deep ties to stories that shaped who I am, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Mary's book list on retelling that tangle multiple fairy tales

Mary DeSantis Why did Mary love this book?

I read this a few years ago, thought it was cute, and moved on. I recently reread it on a much deeper dive, and I found a story that was so much more than it appeared initially.

Gidwitz’s humor is excellent—I laughed out loud reading this. But he also touches on so many themes that are present throughout fairy tales while not shying away from either the darkness or the light.

I loved the way he combined some of the lesser-known tales with Hansel and Gretel to make something that was more than any one story had been before. It was something I wanted to replicate in my own way, and he does it so well.

By Adam Gidwitz, Hugh D'Andrade (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Tale Dark & Grimm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.


Book cover of The Magic Circle

Tara Gilboy Author Of Unwritten

From my list on middle grade for kids who love fairy tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with stories and storytelling ever since I learned to read, which is probably why fairy tales, some of the oldest stories around, play a huge role in Unwritten. What I love most about fairy tales is how exciting they are: they have magic, wicked witches, abandoned children, magical transformations…. And yet, the original fairy tales are often simply “story skeletons” –some are only a few pages (or even paragraphs) long. Still, they have endured over hundreds of years and are constantly evolving. I love studying what makes these tales continue to resonate with readers and thinking about how I can use these elements in my own work.

Tara's book list on middle grade for kids who love fairy tales

Tara Gilboy Why did Tara love this book?

The Magic Circle is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel from the witch’s point of view. (I absolutely adore all of Donna Jo Napoli’s fairy tale retellings, so it was hard to pick just one!) I love how she is able to take an evil character from the original fairy tale and completely humanize her, writing her backstory and making her so sympathetic that by the time we get to that fateful scene with the oven, I was in tears. Not only are the characters brilliantly drawn, but the book is set in Medieval Europe and meticulously researched, bringing this time and place to life.

By Donna Jo Napoli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Magic Circle 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?

From the author of Zel, Stones in Water, and The Prince of the Pond.
 
Deep in the woods lives the old witch called Ugly One. All she wants is to forget—the she was once a loving mother and a healer, blessed and powerful within her magic circle, and not a witch, claimed by the devils. Then one day she hears the footsteps she dreads. Then real voices—children’s voices. The Ugly One longs to take care of sturdy, sensible Gretel and her young brother Hansel. They are such good children, such delicious, beautiful children. But demons’ voices scream in her head:…


Book cover of Coraline

Jay Miles Author Of The Mariverse: Guardians

From my list on the multiverse that dives through worlds beyond worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Multiverse had been my deepest passion of interest for a long time. Experiencing crossover stories in various mediums, both official and fan-made, especially fan-made. To see how two different worlds would meet. I spent hours reading fanfictions involving crossovers, as well as conjuring up my own. I considered the multiverse as a grand bedrock to create any story, hence why I wrote The Mariverse, followed by The Mariverse: Guardians, to create my own bedrock for my writing career.

Jay's book list on the multiverse that dives through worlds beyond worlds

Jay Miles Why did Jay love this book?

This book explores a parallel world, a familiar world like the protagonist’s but a mixture of a better and worse one, what could keep her there, and wanting to get out.

I watched the adapted film first then read the book, in a way, seeing them both is like looking at two different universes like I’ve been looking at the Other Coraline book. I recommend reading the book if you have seen the film, to spot differences but still enjoy a journey.

And it is a great journey even if the book is your first exploration in the story.

By Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Coraline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"Sometimes funny, always creepy, genuinely moving, this marvellous spine-chiller will appeal to readers from nine to ninety." - "Books for Keeps". "I was looking forward to "Coraline", and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was enthralled. This is a marvellously strange and scary book." - Philip Pullman, "Guardian". "If any writer can get the guys to read about the girls, it should be Neil Gaiman. His new novel "Coraline" is a dreamlike adventure. For all its gripping nightmare imagery, this is actually a conventional fairy story with a moral." - "Daily Telegraph". Stephen King once called Neil Gaiman 'a treasure-house…


Book cover of The Heart of a Devil: A Horror Villains Anthology

Michelle Mellon Author Of Down by the Sea: and Other Tales of Dark Destiny

From my list on fate dealing its infamously fickle hand.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s natural for humans to wonder who or what might have power over our actions. We’ve clawed our way to the top of the food chain, channeled the power of the elements, and tamed much of nature to our whim. What if something out there was the architect—or more—of our successes and failures? It’s something I’ve explored since I first began writing: fed by the adventures of living as an “Army brat” with a new life every two years, in keeping with my natural inclination to solve puzzles, and spurred by my fear of death and the equally frightening possibility that someone is or isn’t pulling the strings…

Michelle's book list on fate dealing its infamously fickle hand

Michelle Mellon Why did Michelle love this book?

This is an anthology that falls most recognizably into the theme of this list. It’s the “what if…” premise that examines how villains are made. Nurture versus nature. Fate at its most cruel and cunning. There are 33 stories in this book by different authors working to show you what is and make you wonder what might have been. (And spoiler alert: this collection includes my origin story for the wicked witch from Hansel and Gretel.)

By Amber M. Simpson (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What makes someone a villain? What makes a person "evil"? What drove them to their actions? Were they good once, or have they always had a heart full of darkness? See things from the other side as these 33 stories explore just what makes a villain tick.

Featuring 33 stories by Steven S. Hood, Devin Lagasse, T.C. Cumberland, Jesse Weiner, Michelle Mellon, M A Smith, Alex Collingwood, Eddie D. Moore, Jesse Sprague, A.P. Sessler, Helen Mihajlovic, Lionel Ray Green, J.G. Formato, Ville Merilainen, Nicole Tanquary, J. Patton, P.J. Reed, Kristyl Gravina, Chad A. Clark, S. Locke, Jared Zygarlicke, Paul Tanner,…


Book cover of The Peace of Christmas Eve

Wesley B. Turner Author Of The Astonishing General: The Life and Legacy of Sir Isaac Brock

From my list on answers to your questions about the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my childhood, I loved to read and as I passed through school, I became increasingly fascinated by the lives and activities of people in the past. History became my passion during my high school years when I learned how to research and write historical accounts. During my thirty-eight-year teaching career, I focused my research and writings on pioneer life in Canada, immigration, and the war of 1812. I’m the author of six books, 17 biographies, and numerous articles and chapters in books. My experience as an editor began in high school with the school’s yearbook and has continued through my teaching years and into retirement. With history, there’s always more to learn.

Wesley's book list on answers to your questions about the War of 1812

Wesley B. Turner Why did Wesley love this book?

The ending of that war by one of the most remarkable peace treaties ever signed, deserves the detailed treatment it receives in The Peace of Christmas Eve. When the United States declared war in June 1812, its government and people were deeply divided on the wisdom or necessity of such a course of action. Once begun and pursued, a way had to be found the end the conflict. The reader will find the who, how, and why clearly set out in Engelman’s book.

Book cover of Mistress Masham's Repose

Hester Velmans Author Of Slipper

From my list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

At the age of seven, already a devoted bookworm, I came upon a large stack of early-20th century children's magazines filled with stories, poems, and especially fairy tales, some the classic kind, and some weird, scary or unfamiliar. I don't know where those dog-eared, well-thumbed annuals came from, or what happened to them afterward – they were lost or given away when our family moved, I suppose. But I have never forgotten them, or the effect they had on my imagination and longings. I've been searching for those long-lost tales ever since... and it finally led me to decide I would just have to write a few of my own.

Hester's book list on forgotten fairy tales every adult should read

Hester Velmans Why did Hester love this book?

My inner child is still captivated by the Lilliputian world of T.H. White's Mistress Masham's Repose every time I read it. I don't know why the idea of discovering a secret miniature kingdom is so alluring: I think it may have something to do with my love for dollhouses when I was a child. T.H. White was best known for The Once and Future King and The Sword in the Stone, based on the Arthurian legends; he was a master at taking an old story (Gulliver's Travels in the case of Mistress Masham's Repose) and making it truly his own.

By T. H. White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mistress Masham's Repose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

'One of the finest, most magical and extraordinary children's books ever written.'
- Anne Fine, author and former Children's Laureate

Ten-year-old orphan Maria lives in her ancestors' crumbling mansion. Exploring the grounds one day, Maria discovers a wild, half-forgotten island in the middle of a neglected lake - and an extraordinary secret. For the island is home to a community of tiny people - the Lilliputians that Gulliver first met on his famous travels.
But as Maria grows closer to her new friends, her own life is in grave danger. Her wicked governess and the cruel vicar are plotting to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in fairy tales, magic-supernatural, and fairies?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about fairy tales, magic-supernatural, and fairies.

Fairy Tales Explore 291 books about fairy tales
Magic-Supernatural Explore 606 books about magic-supernatural
Fairies Explore 131 books about fairies