30 books like The Moonlight Sculptor

By Heesung Nam,

Here are 30 books that The Moonlight Sculptor fans have personally recommended if you like The Moonlight Sculptor. 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 Ready Player One

Dave Buschi Author Of Reality Recoded

From my list on science fiction books with an everyman hero.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house of books. Bookcases in almost every room. At an early age, I discovered some great ones that were usually recommended by my dad. The Odyssey. Tarzan of the Apes. Princess of Mars. It is a long, long list, and I won’t give you all my faves—but one thing about it: I was drawn to books with heroes, particularly when those heroes were clearly good. There are no shades of gray for me. I like my heroes to have honor and humility and to always strive to do the right thing.

Dave's book list on science fiction books with an everyman hero

Dave Buschi Why did Dave love this book?

I love stories where the hero is a normal guy that we can all identify with in some way or another and where there is an arc to the story that transforms that normal guy into something extraordinary. 

With just wits and creativity, our hero, Wade Watts, finds a way to survive against all odds. And no matter how bad things get, he never quits. He embodies the best of the human spirit—and by the end of the book, you’re cheering for him. Because he is you (or who you want to be), the "everyman" who stands up to injustice, unfairness, and those powers that are wrecking humanity (which in this case happens to be a trillion-dollar Mega Corporation).

By Ernest Cline,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Ready Player One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that…


Book cover of The Dragon’s Wrath: A Virtual Dream

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

A Virtual Dream is a LitRPG that’s achieved legendary status. The story does so many things right. It establishes a compelling base-building story, gives meaning to NPCs, and pulls us to root for the oddball protagonist, whether or not we agree with him.

Mysteriously, books one and two of The Dragon’s Wrath haven’t been for sale online in years. Nonetheless, the demand for this series continues today and copies of each book still circulate the web, prized like treasures.

This book helped me realize how much more can be done with the LitRPG genre, and even though its story remains unfinished, the third book gives a considerable amount of resolution while leaving you hungry for more.

By Brent Roth,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Solo Leveling, Vol. 1

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

Solo Leveling (or Only I Level Up), in its webtoon form, is one of the peaks of LitRPG storytelling. The scenes are beautifully drawn, elevating the story beyond its original text-only format. You will be hard-pressed to find a more engaging read than this. The webtoon maintains tension incredibly well, and knows how to constantly supply its readers with little dopamine bombs along the way.

Solo Leveling plays with the formula of LitRPG, taking it off the rails by containing the game system inside the main character for much of the story, allowing him to grow stronger. Reading Solo Leveling is an absolute treat—perhaps doubly so for me as several of the niche ideas used in the story are also used in my books.

By Chugong, DUBU (artist),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Solo Leveling, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The official English print publication of the popular Korean webcomic! E-class hunter Jinwoo Sung is the weakest of them all. Looked down on by everyone, he has no money, no abilities to speak of, and no other job prospects. So when his party finds a hidden dungeon, he's determined to use this chance to change his life for the better...but the opportunity he finds is a bit different from what he had in mind!


Book cover of AlterWorld

Kevin Murphy Author Of First Login

From my list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

LitRPG is special. It really is. LitRPG provides authors with some of the most powerful tools in storytelling. Computer-simulated worlds make magic fully believable. They enable giant mysteries, actual monsters, forbidden treasures, and incredibly diverse adversaries. LitRPG can be a love story or a tale of revenge. It can bring hope, despair, or just desserts. It’s a perfect vehicle for modern fantasy—a setting where the apocalypse can be at hand, where humans can fight gods, and where the world itself might be sentient. My love for LitRPG drove me to write an epic containing a series of huge, underlying mysteries that would reveal themselves over the course of the story.

Kevin's book list on LitRPG, graphic novels, and light novels

Kevin Murphy Why did Kevin love this book?

A Russian novel with a top-notch translation, Alterworld is a controversial series, but one that is etched into LitRPG history and is legitimately worth reading.

The story’s terminally ill protagonist cheats death by uploading his consciousness to a game world, trapping himself in-game, and unlocking a whole slew of issues to overcome. Be forewarned: the series is mired in controversy for several reasons, not least of which being the author’s mercurial political stance. Initially hyper-critical of government, the author becomes famous and suddenly changes his tune. If you binge read the series, this jump to pro-national propaganda will stick out like a sore thumb, but it’s a bit like a trainwreck that’s difficult to look away from. It’s odd and serves to make the series that much more interesting.

By D. Rus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A page-turning LitRPG debut in the tradition of Nam Heesung, Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, and Ernest Cline, Ready Player One. Bestseller #1 for years 2013, 2014 and 2015. Bestseller #1 at Audible in 2016. Translated to Korean, German, Polish and Czech languages. A new pandemic - the perma effect - has taken over Earth of the near future. Whenever you play your favorite online game, beware: your mind might merge with the virtual world and dump its comatose host. Woe be to those stuck forever in Tetris! And still they're the lucky ones compared to those burning alive eternally within the…


Book cover of Imagining England's Past: Inspiration, Enchantment, Obsession

Charlotte Mullins Author Of A Little History of Art

From my list on the British landscape.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Yorkshire and spent many happy hours as a teenager wandering about the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, looking at giant Henry Moores in the rolling landscape. I subsequently trained as an art historian and have spent the last thirty years writing about art, from the YBAs to our prehistoric roots. A Little History of Art was borne out of this journey. Increasingly I have been drawn to researching what art can tell us about British history. My bookshelves groan with monographs but these five volumes have helped me think more deeply about Britain’s landscapes and its past. I hope they will do the same for you.

Charlotte's book list on the British landscape

Charlotte Mullins Why did Charlotte love this book?

I read an early proof of this book (it is published on 13 April 2023) and was hooked from the first page.

Owens opens with footfall on medieval castle stairs and the tread of time – only the stairs she walks on are seventeenth-century copies and are part of the ongoing mythologising of England’s past.

She covers King Arthur and the Crusades, Beowulf and Tennyson, Shell tourist guides, and the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. Her excellent earlier book Spirit of Place (Thames & Hudson) is focused more squarely on the British landscape but this new book connects to the myth of England, how it has been and still is constructed in all our minds.

Eye-opening and beautifully written.

By Susan Owens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Imagining England's Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagining England's Past takes a long look at the country's invented histories, from the glamorous to the disturbing, from the eighth century to the present day.

England has long built its sense of self on visions of its past. What does it mean for medieval writers to summon King Arthur from the post-Roman fog; for William Morris to resurrect the skills of the medieval workshop and Julia Margaret Cameron to portray the Arthurian court with her Victorian camera; or for Yinka Shonibare in the final years of the twentieth century to visualize a Black Victorian dandy?

By exploring the imaginations…


Book cover of Tales of Ancient Egypt

Angela Cecil Reid Author Of Nile Cat

From my list on deciphering ancient Egypt.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by a family mystery. Names such as Howard Carter, Tutankhamun, and Didlington Hall permeated my childhood along with phrases such as ‘a mummy’s curse’ and ‘financial disaster’. Something had happened years before I was born, which no one would discuss. As an adult I decided to search for the truth, and on the way found inspiration to fulfil a long held ambition, which was to write. I discovered that my family had played a vital, but often forgotten, role in Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun. Our story is of wealth lost, extraordinary characters, passion and tragedy, but through it all Egypt winds like a twist of golden thread.

Angela's book list on deciphering ancient Egypt

Angela Cecil Reid Why did Angela love this book?

This was my introduction to ancient Egypt. I was twelve when I was given this book. I was immediately entranced by the beautifully told stories not only of the gods, but also of magic, shipwrecks, princesses, and thieves.

Egypt is an extraordinary country entirely reliant for thousands of years on the annual inundation of the river Nile. If the water levels were too low there was starvation, and too high there were devastating floods. In some places, the fertile area is a little wider than the flight of an arrow. With life so precarious, it is not surprising that the afterlife became so important to all Egyptians and that they spun so many myths to explain the inexplicable, and give structure to their world.

This book is a great introduction to understanding the ancient Egyptians for anyone, but particularly for younger readers of 10+.

By Roger Lancelyn Green,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

These stories include the great myths - of Amen-Ra, who created all the creatures in the world; of Isis, seaching the waters for her dead husband Osiris; of the Bennu Bird and the Book of Thoth. But there are also tales told for pleasure about magic, treasure and adventure - even the first ever Cinderella story.


Book cover of The Nibelungenlied

Nicholas Jubber Author Of Epic Continent: Adventures in the Great Stories of Europe

From my list on the greatest epics from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nicholas Jubber has written for the Guardian, Irish Times and Telegraph, amongst other publications. He has won the Dolman Travel Book Award, for which he has been shortlisted three times, and his books have been picked by National Geographic, Wanderlust and the New York Times, amongst other publications, for their books of the year.

Nicholas' book list on the greatest epics from around the world

Nicholas Jubber Why did Nicholas love this book?

Dark and violent, this twelfth-century tale of love and revenge is a compelling vision of medieval values, combining many of the tropes of later pseudo-medieval sagas – treasure, gory battles, a cloak of invisibility, sexual deception and a dragon – with the spiritual angst that the later tales miss. From Siegfried’s brief encounter with a scaly beast to the fire-and-blood blitzkrieg of the climax – a ferocious battle in the hall of Attila the Hun – the story is told with breathless passion. Whether it glamourises war, or warns against its cost, is a matter of enduring debate. The tale has certainly had its share of cranky fans, from the silent movie filmmaker Fritz Lang to Heinrich Himmler, a testament to its provocative power.

Which version to read? The Penguin edition, translated by A.T. Hatto and published in 1965, offers a very readable prose version that captures the tale’s fiery…

By Unknown, A.T. Hatto (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by an unknown author in the twelfth century, this powerful tale of murder and revenge reaches back to the earliest epochs of German antiquity, transforming centuries-old legend into a masterpiece of chivalric drama. Siegfried, a great prince of the Netherlands, wins the hand of the beautiful princess Kriemhild of Burgundy, by aiding her brother Gunther in his struggle to seduce a powerful Icelandic Queen. But the two women quarrel, and Siegfried is ultimately destroyed by those he trusts the most. Comparable in scope to the Iliad, this skilfully crafted work combines the fragments of half-forgotten myths to create one…


Book cover of Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends

Kieran Fanning Author Of Irish Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends

From my list on Irish fairytales, myths, and legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Ireland, where I was surrounded by stories, modern and ancient. Irish myths and legends formed the basis of the history curriculum for most children beginning the subject. Irish children are incredibly familiar with "The Children of Lir" and legendary heroes like Cúchulainn – we even have a rollercoaster named after him in our only proper theme park! As a teacher, I continued to retell these stories to my young, receptive audiences. When I was given the opportunity to write my own book of fairy tales, myths, and legends, I jumped at the chance. The research, including the reading of the books on this page, was almost as much fun as writing my book! 

Kieran's book list on Irish fairytales, myths, and legends

Kieran Fanning Why did Kieran love this book?

This is possibly the best collection of Irish myths and legends that I’ve read. It’s as comprehensive as Lady Gregory’s book but much more palatable. It charts the mythology of Ireland from the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann, right up to the arrival of Christianity. Written in clear, no-nonsense prose, this was one of my prime reference texts when writing my own book.

By Marie Heaney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'These legends are the action-packed stories - of ancient heroes, huge battles, attempted invasions, prophecies and spells, clashes between the underworld and the real world, abductions, love affairs and feasts - which have fascinated the Irish mind for more than 2,000 years . . . Most of them have an extraordinary, stark narrative sweep, with a marvellous sense of detail . . . Heaney writes directly and fluently . . . with great tact and skill.' Sunday Times


Book cover of The Nine

Brandon Crilly Author Of Catalyst

From my list on fantasy where the gods (maybe) can’t be trusted.

Why am I passionate about this?

Pantheons and worship are elements of culture I’ve always found fascinating, partly from being a mostly secular person with relatives who are very religious. I read a lot of epic fantasy when I was younger that featured gods, like Erikson, and I love finding more recent works that play with how deities might affect a world, and vice versa. But I also picked some of the books below because they inject cli-fi or solarpunk into their worlds – something I’ve been adding to my second-world fantasy lately. Because why not create the same sort of aesthetic in other worlds? 

Brandon's book list on fantasy where the gods (maybe) can’t be trusted

Brandon Crilly Why did Brandon love this book?

This book was a serious inspiration for me when my debut novel was in an earlier draft. Tracy crafts this cool theology where “God” is a scientist and the world his Experiment, but not everyone agrees on whether that Experiment should be allowed to run free. What if God gets tired of playing and throws out the ant farm, or decide it’s not working…? The Nine centers on a motley-found family of characters, many of whom have rich backstories with each other that we get bits and pieces of, which is like catnip to me as a reader (and writer).

By Tracy Townsend,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the dark streets of Corma exists a book that writes itself, a book that some would kill for... Black market courier Rowena Downshire is just trying to pay her mother’s freedom from debtor's prison when an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares. Rowena escapes with her life, but the strange book she was ordered to deliver is stolen. The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, and when Rowena shows up on his doorstep, frightened and empty-handed, he knows better than to turn her away. What he…


Book cover of Virginia Folk Legends

Pamela K. Kinney Author Of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales

From my list on paranormal to scare up myths and legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I began writing my first fictional story and way before I researched for my first nonfiction paranormal book, I gave up ignoring the voices in my head and began writing horror, fantasy, and six nonfiction books on the paranormal in Virginia. Besides learning a new piece of history or legend I never knew before, the research for my nonfiction books and articles inspired me to incorporate it into my horror or fantasy fiction. I enjoy writing fiction, but I believe I learn as much as my readers when I write nonfiction. 

Pamela's book list on paranormal to scare up myths and legends

Pamela K. Kinney Why did Pamela love this book?

This book is a collection of legends and folklore gathered by field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA that languished for decades in the libraries of the University of Virginia. It took folklorist Thomas E. Barde to put them in a book endorsed by the American Folklore Society. It helped me discover the witch stories told in the past until the 40s in the western part of Virginia, as I researched for the witch chapter of my own book. I enjoyed these tales and believed other armchair folklorists would enjoy them, too. 

By Thomas E. Barden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What do devil dogs, witches, haunted houses, Daniel Boone, Railroad Bill, "Justice John" Crutchfield, and lost silver mines have in common? All are among the subjects included in the vast collection of legends gathered between 1937 and 1942 by the field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA. For decades following the end of the project, these stories lay untouched in the libraries of the University of Virginia. Now, folklorist Thomas E. Barden brings to light these delightful tales, most of which have never been in print. Virginia Folk Legends presents the first valid published collection of Virginia…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in legends, folklore, and Rome?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about legends, folklore, and Rome.

Legends Explore 29 books about legends
Folklore Explore 343 books about folklore
Rome Explore 320 books about Rome