28 books like The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena 2nd Edition

By John Michell, Bob Rickard,

Here are 28 books that The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena 2nd Edition fans have personally recommended if you like The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena 2nd Edition. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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True Hallucinations

By Terence McKenna,

Book cover of True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author's Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil's Paradise

Guido Mina di Sospiro Author Of Forbidden Fruits: An Occult Novel

From the list on extra-canonical voyages that will challenge you.

Who am I?

I learned the Western Canon at school and from various teachers during my youth; all along, I was yearning for something other, different, and, possibly, truer. Since my early twenties I've been exploring another canon, which exists in opposition to the Aristotelian-Euclidean-Cartesian-Newtonian-Darwinian/Spencerian one. While the western world in the 21st century is free from alacritous canon-enforcing enterprises such as the Holy Inquisition, it nevertheless operates by a canon that remains very much the mentioned Aristotelian-Euclidean-Cartesian-Newtonian-Darwinian/Spencerian one, inculcated into us all from kindergarten to the grave, echoed not only by schools of all levels, but by governments, the media, official institutions and nonofficial entities, and, last but not least, by the entertainment industry. 

Guido's book list on extra-canonical voyages that will challenge you

Why did Guido love this book?

More on the wacky side, and far more entertaining, is Terence McKenna’s True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise. For those who will never try “heroic doses” of psilocybin mushrooms deep in the Colombian jungle, this is a wild, vicarious ride, an amalgam of science, literature, myth, and exotica from an adventurer whose genuine inquisitiveness in things psychedelic goes hand in hand with mythomania—what an exuberant explosion of literary and philosophical high kitsch! If not persuaded, there follows the endorsement from The New York Times: “The polysyllabic sentences he lards with intellectual references are an attempt to lend credibility to the otherwise debunked subject of drugs.” Yes, a hatchet job from The New York Times could not make for a more valuable endorsement.

By Terence McKenna,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked True Hallucinations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Describes the search for a mushroom that could reveal the secrets of consciousness.

Fingerprints of the Gods

By Graham Hancock,

Book cover of Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization

Jerry Davis Author Of Amazing Mysterious Places: Geography Trivia Quiz

From the list on ancient mysteries that popular culture loves to explore.

Who am I?

I’ve been an explorer since I was young. My first short trip was to Cahokia Mounds, a site so little is known about that researchers have yet to discover the name of the people who built the famous city of mounds. As I grew into an adult, I was drawn to visit the Pyramid of Chichen Itza in Mexico and Stonehenge in England. As a writer, I decided the one thing missing from the mysterious places field was a fun way to learn about them. So I wrote a mysterious places book in a trivia game format, as learning something new is always more fun when presented as a  game.  

Jerry's book list on ancient mysteries that popular culture loves to explore

Why did Jerry love this book?

Graham Hancock's book has inspired me to learn more about mysterious places like Stonehenge and Machu Pichu.

Graham is a former newspaper reporter, which is evident when reading his works. He goes to the site and gives you a report on what he saw and learned about the place. He includes history, native beliefs, and mainstream archaeological theory to help the reader develop a clear understanding of the mystery and the differing viewpoints about the mystery.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in mysterious places. 

By Graham Hancock,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Fingerprints of the Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Could the story of mankind be far older than we have previously believed? Using tools as varied as archaeo-astronomy, geology, and computer analysis of ancient myths, Graham Hancock presents a compelling case to suggest that it is.
“A fancy piece of historical sleuthing . . . intriguing and entertaining and sturdy enough to give a long pause for thought.”—Kirkus Reviews
In Fingerprints of the Gods, Hancock embarks on a worldwide quest to put together all the pieces of the vast and fascinating jigsaw of mankind’s hidden past. In ancient monuments as far apart as Egypt’s Great Sphinx, the strange Andean…

Forbidden Archeology

By Michael A. Cremo, Richard L. Thompson,

Book cover of Forbidden Archeology

Ken Goudsward Author Of Fermi's Paradox Is Bullshit: the Evidence for Extraterrestrial Life

From the list on rational UFO stories.

Who am I?

As a child, I was fascinated with astronomy but discouraged from investigating the UFO phenomenon due to religious reasons. Not until I was in my forties, did I begin to see the strange Biblical hints of what ended up in my writing my book UFOs In The Bible. Along the way, my research led me to diverse related topics including Sumerian mythology and astrobiology which have resulted in a few more books (and more to come). I see logic as a fundamental tool for this line of investigation, and so, I embrace books that engage with the evidence logically. I firmly believe we must all make room for experiencers to tell their stories without recrimination.

Ken's book list on rational UFO stories

Why did Ken love this book?

This book is not about UFOs. It is not even clear if Cremo believes in UFOs or not. However, one of the tenets of the ancient alien hypothesis is that not only are UFOs a real phenomenon now, they (and we) have been here for thousands upon thousands of years. To this end, it is tangentially interesting to dig into suppressed archaeology and out-of-place artifacts. Forbidden Archaeology is the go-to for those topics, with over 900 pages of painstakingly researched and presented evidence from the geological record that mainstream archaeologists deny, ignore, or rely on handwaving to dismiss. A must-have for any ancient aliens fan.

By Michael A. Cremo, Richard L. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Forbidden Archeology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over the centuries, researchers have found bones and artifacts proving that humans like us have existed for millions of years. Mainstream science, however, has suppressed these facts. Prejudices based on current scientific theory act as a 'knowledge filter', giving us a picture of prehistory that is largely incorrect.

Scientific Establishment Found Guilty of Witholding Evidence

The evolutionists’ “knowledge filter” at work over the last 200 years has left us with a radically altered view of our human origins and antiquity. Since 1993, when the controversial book, Forbidden
Archeology, was first published it has shocked the scientific world with its extensive…

Book cover of Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga

Daniel Pinchbeck Author Of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

From the list on a metaphysical perspective on the apocalypse.

Who am I?

I started my career as a New York magazine editor and cynical journalist writing about art, celebrities, and show designers. Eventually I had an existential meltdown where I realized I was trapped in reductive materialism. I didn’t believe in a soul or a spirit or anything that wasn’t tangible. I decided to explore psychedelics and wrote my first book, Breaking Open the Head, after visiting indigenous cultures in Africa and South America where I took Iboga, ayahuasca, and mushrooms in initiation ceremonies. I learned we are facing an ecological and geo-political meta-crisis. I tried to find the roots of this, hoping to save humanity from extinction by unifying us around a mystical realization of oneness. 

Daniel's book list on a metaphysical perspective on the apocalypse

Why did Daniel love this book?

An Italian aristocrat who led a magical order in the 1920s, Evola is a fascinating and controversial figure who has become influential in the New Right. Even though I am a Leftist, I find many of his ideas important and helpful—along with his fellow “traditionalists.” Rene Guenon and Fritjof Schuon. Evola believes we are in a period of accelerating decline known as the Kali Yuga, the age of iron and materialism, where the true spiritual knowledge has been almost entirely lost. He argues there is no way to stop the destruction of this civilization and it is best to focus on self-transformation through alchemical and magical practices. His books on Buddhism, eroticism, tantra, and alchemy are also fascinating! 

By Julius Evola,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Revolt Against the Modern World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No idea is as absurd as the idea of progress, which together with its corollary notion of the superiority of modern civilization, has created its own "positive" alibis by falsifying history, by insinuating harmful myths in people's minds, and by proclaiming itself sovereign at the crossroads of the plebeian ideology from which it originated. In order to understand both the spirit of Tradition and its antithesis, modern civilization, it is necessary to begin with the fundamental doctrine of the two natures. According to this doctrine there is a physical order of things and a metaphysical one; there is a mortal…

Book cover of The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Sam Kean Author Of The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science

From the list on the wonders of biology.

Who am I?

Sam Kean is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including The Bastard Brigade, The Dueling Neurosurgeons, and The Disappearing Spoon. He edited The Best American Nature and Science Writing in 2018, and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and Slate. His work has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab,” “Science Friday,” “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air,” and his podcast, The Disappearing Spoon, debuted at #1 on the iTunes charts for science podcasts.

Sam's book list on the wonders of biology

Why did Sam love this book?

Imagine a medieval bestiary of whimsical creatures, but with a twist. Instead of being imaginary, the animals here really exist. The book moves alphabetically from axolotl to zebrafish, with a new delight on every page. It’s a perfect reminder of what biologist J.B.S. Haldane once said: that the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.

By Caspar Henderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Axolotl to Zebrafish, discover a host of barely imagined beings: real creatures that are often more astonishing than anything dreamt in the pages of a medieval bestiary. Ranging from the depths of the ocean to the most arid corners of the earth, Caspar Henderson captures the beauty and bizarreness of the many living forms we thought we knew and some we could never have contemplated, inviting us to better imagine the precarious world we inhabit.

A witty, vivid blend of pioneering natural history and spiritual primer, infectiously celebratory about life's sheer ingenuity and variety, The Book of Barely Imagined…

The Gruffalo

By Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (illustrator),

Book cover of The Gruffalo

Patricia Cleveland-Peck Author Of You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car

From the list on children’s rhyming picture texts.

Who am I?

I am passionately keen on poetry of many types because, whether rhyming or not, most poetry employs rhythm which is something that has a subconscious appeal to human senses. For children, rhyme provides an easy introduction to poetry and I enjoy using it because children themselves love it. Mums tell me that they are asked to read the same book time and time again – and not to try to skip any spreads! At the age of three, before she could read, my son’s goddaughter knew the whole of You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus by heart. The rhymes children hear when very young remain with them, sometimes forever. 

Patricia's book list on children’s rhyming picture texts

Why did Patricia love this book?

Julia Donaldson is the supremo of rhyming. I am certainly not the only writer she has inspired. All her books are really well crafted and the fact that she is a singer and very musical can be felt by reading her exemplary rhyme.  

I recommend this book, the first which made her name in this genre, because it has all the qualities of a best rhyming text. It tells a story to which children can relate, is never boring, and has an unerring and satisfying beat.

By Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Julia Donaldson's trademark rhyming text and Axel Scheffler's brilliant, characterful illustrations come together in this perfect read aloud-a perfect gift for any special occasion!

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end…

Book cover of The Onion Book of Known Knowledge: A Definitive Encyclopaedia of Existing Information

David P. Murphy Author Of Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead

From the list on absurdity.

Who am I?

It is said that Michelangelo could see a statue inside of a block of marble. I believe I have a similar gift – I can find the most idiotic angle to any given story or event and free it into the world. Okay, so some gifts are better than others but this “talent” has afforded me the ability to stay relatively sane in a completely nutso era. Relatively. And to underscore my qualifications, I would ask the reader to take a gander at my sample title below. I rest my case.

David's book list on absurdity

Why did David love this book?

This is one of those books you can open to any page and immediately start laughing. It resembles an encyclopedia but every given subject is shredded with wit and insight. Personally, I’m eternally grateful to the folks at The Onion for trying to keep up with the organically occurring absurdity in modern life that now has rendered most satire obsolete. It must be a whole lot like dogpaddling. In Jell-O. In the dead of winter.

By The Onion,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you a witless cretin with no reason to live? Would you like to know more about every piece of knowledge ever? Do you have cash? Then congratulations, because just in time for the death of the print industry as we know it comes the final book ever published, and the only one you will ever need: The Onion's compendium of all things known. Replete with an astonishing assemblage of facts, illustrations, maps, charts, threats, blood, and additional fees to edify even the most simple-minded book-buyer, THE ONION BOOK OF KNOWN KNOWLEDGE is packed with valuable information-such as the life…

Seven Deadly Wonders

By Matthew Reilly,

Book cover of Seven Deadly Wonders

Alana Woods Author Of A Legal Affair

From the list on suspense intrigue thrillers.

Who am I?

I'm a career editor living in the place I love most in the world, Australia's federal capital, Canberra. It's a small city encircled by mountains and populated with so many trees it's affectionately known as The Bush Capital. I love reading most genres but contemporary suspense intrigue above all. I know these books generally fall under the larger Thriller genre but I often feel that's a misnomer, and I think that applies to my novels. I love the range of stories this genre encompasses: it can take you anywhere in the world, into any situation, and follow any type of person as they attempt to come to grips with, and usually right, the wrongs of the world.

Alana's book list on suspense intrigue thrillers

Why did Alana love this book?

Reilly, unlike my first two picks, is still alive and producing books.  And he's Australian so I'm giving him a plug! On top of that, he's an international bestseller who is now turning his attention to directing films based on his own books. Keep an eye out for Interceptor starring Elsa Pataky in early 2022 on Netflix. Seven Deadly Wonders is the first of a seven-book series following the exploits of hero Jack West Jr. If you like fast-paced then Reilly's stories are for you. He hits the ground at full speed and doesn't slow; you find yourself having to stop reading to catch your breath! Incredibly enjoyable reading.

By Matthew Reilly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bestselling author Matthew Reilly takes you on a thrilling treasure hunt in Seven Ancient Wonders.

It is the biggest treasure hunt in history with contesting nations involved in a headlong race to locate the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

4500 years ago, a magnificent golden capstone sat at the peak of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was a source of immense power, reputedly capable of bestowing upon its holder absolute global power. But then it was divided into seven pieces and hidden, each piece separately, within the seven greatest structures of the age.

Now, the coming of a…

Forces of Nature

By Ammi-Joan Paquette, Laurie Ann Thompson,

Book cover of Forces of Nature: Two Truths and a Lie

Joyce Grant Author Of Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts

From the list on to improve kids’ critical thinking.

Who am I?

I’m a journalist and a social media prof. I talk to thousands of kids every year about what they read on the Internet. And frankly, they’re confused—as we all are—about what’s true online and what isn’t. To spot misinformation, kids have to become better critical thinkers. That’s why I wrote Can You Believe It? and it’s why I’m recommending these great books. It’s also helpful to know what credible journalism looks like. My TeachingKidsNews.com (TKN) is a kid-friendly news source that kids and teachers can trust. In addition to publishing TKN, I’ve authored six children’s books and I have a Master’s degree in Creative and Critical Writing. 

Joyce's book list on to improve kids’ critical thinking

Why did Joyce love this book?

This series is critical thinking on steroids. The reader is given three fact-filled stories and has to figure out which one isn’t true. Is there really a pit in Turkmenistan that has been burning for 40 years? Are there radioactive boars in Japan? Did Edgar Allan Poe carry his dead wife’s remains around in a snuffbox? The reader has to find facts and think critically to figure them out. There are three books in the series each with 27 stories, nine of which aren’t true. I recommend younger readers have an adult handy because the book is a bit more complicated to navigate than, say, a novel. End matter provides additional information including websites to help the reader analyze each article. Oh, and the three facts? Yes, yep and heck no.

By Ammi-Joan Paquette, Laurie Ann Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Crazy-but-true stories about the natural world make this acclaimed nonfiction series perfect for fans of curiosities and wonders—and anyone looking to explore ways to separate fact from fiction. This nonfiction chapter book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 7 to 9 who are reading independently. It’

Did you know that too many fidget spinners spinning in the same direction could have an adverse effect on Earth’s gravitational field? Or that the remains of a deceased loved one can be turned into a diamond? Or that the loudest known sound in history was made…


By Donna Kossy,

Book cover of Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief

Michael Tau Author Of Extreme Music: From Silence to Noise and Everything In Between

From the list on absolutely arcane corners of human existence.

Who am I?

Following mysterious trails and uncovering esoteric stories: it’s what I love to do, and it’s also what I love to read about. Before I released Extreme Music, I wrote extensively about unusual music subcultures and audiological anomalies, for example artists who put out hourlong blocks of unchanging white noise. I’ve learned that the most interesting ideas – and tales – exist in these outer fringes.

Michael's book list on absolutely arcane corners of human existence

Why did Michael love this book?

I promise you my publisher isn’t strong-arming me into including this (now long out of print) book – which I stumbled upon years before I linked up with them. A spin-off of Kossy’s zine of the same name, Kooks is a kind-spirited examination of several conspiracy theorists, aspiring cult leaders, and miscellaneous cranks. In each profile, Kossy does her best to meticulously research her topic, digging deep into piles of rambling documents so that you don’t have to. Who can forget Francis E. Dec, sworn enemy of the Mad Deadly Worldwide Communist Gangster Computer God, who mailed out unintelligible hand-typed diatribes to media outlets for years?

By Donna Kossy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A rich compendium of looniness!

5 book lists we think you will like!

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