100 books like The Shaman

By Piers Vitebsky,

Here are 100 books that The Shaman fans have personally recommended if you like The Shaman. 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 The Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

This is a highly readable and fascinating work that collects all known classical references to this mysterious priesthood that flourished in ancient Gaul and Britain, and nearly caused the province of Britannia to be abandoned under the emperor Nero. I go back to it time and time again for reference and simply for interest. The book is compact and easy to negotiate, and readers will find it hard to put down because of its content and the author’s readable style.

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Readable and well-researched history and practices of the Druids. Illustrated.


Book cover of The Thetford Treasure: Roman Jewellery and Silver

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

In 1979 a magnificent hoard of late Romano-British gold and silver objects was discovered at Thetford, Norfolk. This is an incredibly important archaeological find, partly for the beauty and superb workmanship of the treasure but also for the information its presence provides concerning what was going on in the late Roman period in Britain. The hoard dates from the early 4th century AD, and its place of burial is at almost exactly the same location as, three centuries earlier, the tribe of the Iceni built a huge sacred timber structure, at the time of the Boudican rebellion in AD60. This was also a place of tribal assembly and after the Romans defeated Boudica, their army deliberately dismantled it as though it had never been, so as to erase their near-defeat by a British queen. The treasure itself is fascninating: for me the most intriguing objects were the more than thirty…

Book cover of English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

This well-illustrated and highly readable book (available in hardback and paperback) is a comprehensive discussion of archaeological evidence for sacred buildings in late Iron Age and Roman Britain: ranging from grand Classical public sanctuaries, such as the temple of Claudius at Colchester, to rural, more intimate shrines, such as the temple dedicated to Apollo Cunomaglus at Nettleton in Wiltshire. Many sanctuaries, particularly in south-west England, seem purposefully to have been built within a day’s walk of each other and (sometimes, perhaps) within sight of one another, and it is tempting to see these ‘chains of sanctity’ as pilgrim routes, akin to the Camino trails of southern France and northern Spain. Reconstruction drawings in this book cause the ruins of Roman Britain’s shrines to spring into life, and make it easy to imagine what it must have been like to visit and worship at these holy places. The finds, also, tell…

By Ann Woodward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on new findings over the last 40 years, this book explores the ritualistic and cultic practices in Britain during the transitional period between paganism and early Christianity. A major theme running through the book is the continuity, or otherwise, between the cult sites, symbolism and rituals of the different periods: Iron Age, Roman and post-Roman. In the last 40 years, shrines at Lydney, South Cadbury, Uley, Bath and Maiden Castle and the great Roman cemeteries outside Winchester and Dorchester, have been excavated, together with a great number of other religious sites dating from the Iron Age, Roman and post-Roman…


Book cover of Pagan Celtic Britain

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

This classic and unsurpassed study of iconography and literature pertaining to deities and various types of symbolism found in Celtic myth, I think has often been overlooked by students... as well as by enthusiasts, who inexplicably prefer trying to discern the veracities of topics related to Celtic paganism through online chat rooms, where many posts (including heated arguments and mind-boggling claims and posturing) rarely seem to culminate in any kind of helpful or accurate conclusions. And readers and seekers deserve better!

I would highly recommend that people step away from the phone, and pick up this book! So many of the questions that never seem to get answered on social media are both answered and clarified in this excellent work (which I use myself!). The chapters talk about a variety of gods and goddesses, and mythic themes (with examples from Britain, Ireland, Gaul, and the Continent) including horned gods, the…

By Anne Ross,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Pagan Celtic Britain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although some aspects of pre-Roman and pre-Christian beliefs remain shrouded in mystery, the author of this comprehensive, profusely illustrated volume contends that neither the Roman invasion of Britain nor the coming of Christianity eliminated pagan religious practice. Dr Anne Ross, who speaks Gaelic and Welsh, writes from wide experience of living in Celtic speaking communities where she has traced vernacular tradition. She employs archaeological and anthropological evidence, as well as folklore, to provide broad insight into the early Celtic world. She begins by examining Celtic places of worship, the shrines and sanctuaries in which sacred objects were housed and from…


Book cover of Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman

Karen Martin Author Of The Bringer of Happiness

From my list on writing about death, religion, and spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Our history is spoken through the voice of the conqueror – notably white male. My work seeks to balance our narratives through insight from women’s perspectives. I support my creative writing with extensive research in history, archeology, and myths, and include in situ interpretations of the relevant landscape. There are many truths to be told, not simply one ordained story and I wish to shine the light on stories that have been hidden and/or silenced. The themed series title, Women Unveiled, pertains to this.

Karen's book list on writing about death, religion, and spirituality

Karen Martin Why did Karen love this book?

This book provided a great opportunity for me to step outside of my entitled white Caucasian colonial skin and read the lived experience of someone who was treated as an ‘Other’ and who, when returning to his community, undertook and shared (through his book) his Initiations. I incorporated aspects of his shamanic experience with books on the Eleusian Mysteries (rituals for Demeter and Persephone), as well as interviews with women who had undergone shamanic experiences – both here in Australia with Indigenous elders and in South America.

By Malidoma Patrice Some,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Water and the Spirit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maliodoma Patrice Some was born in a Dagara Village, however he was soon to be abducted to a Jesuit school, where he remained for the next fifteen years, being harshly indoctrinated into european ways of thought and worship. The story tells of his return to his people, his hard initiation back into those people, which lead to his desire to convey their knowledge to the world. Of Water and the Spirit is the result of that desire; it is a sharing of living African traditions, offered in compassion for those struggling with our contemporary crisis of the spirit.


Book cover of Urban Shaman

Fannie Price Author Of After the Flesh

From my list on urban fantasy and paranormal mystery featuring POC.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of creature features movies and the old classic horror stories since childhood. Once I discovered urban fantasy it became my new genre of choice as far as reading. I love each author’s storytelling, worldbuilding, character development, etc. I find it helps me to read the negative reviews. Readers know when a writer is being authentic in their work vs when they are phoning it in. Listening to readers and understanding what puts them off, helps me craft a better story by avoiding the pitfalls that become cliché or annoying.

Fannie's book list on urban fantasy and paranormal mystery featuring POC

Fannie Price Why did Fannie love this book?

Ms. Murphy takes her time with the world building, in a universe where the supernatural is not known but discovered, and it is a treat to discover this world through the eyes of the protagonist. It’s also a switch that in this story at least, there is not a romance element. I also appreciate that Native American culture and folklore were not exploited in order to make a better story. I enjoyed this was not your typical werewolf, vampire, witch read and brought in something new, or at least something not often written about.

By C. E. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed Wild Hunt.

No worries. No pressure. Never mind the lack of sleep, the perplexing new talent for healing herself from fatal wounds, or the cryptic, talking coyote who appears in her dreams.

And if all that's not bad enough, in the three years Joanne's been a cop, she's never seen a dead body—but she's just come across her second in three days.

It's been a bitch of a week.

And it isn't over yet.


Book cover of The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From my list on religious experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

Imagine a Martian landing on planet Earth, meeting with people in Europe and the USA, and writing about it. Part of this book is filled with such freshness of vision and its cuts through the problems and vices of our civilization; the other part is no less of an extraordinary tale of a religious leader brought up in the Amazon who seems to move effortlessly between the natural and supernatural realms.

By Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Nicholas Elliott (illustrator) , Alison Dundy (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Falling Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest--a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.

In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road…


Book cover of Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

Bryan S. Turner Author Of The Body in Asia

From my list on making you wish you lived in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an undergraduate at the University of Leeds in the 1960s the principal influence on my life and thinking was Trevor Ling an Anglican Priest and Buddhist who eventually became a Professor of comparative religion at the University of Manchester. He was the start of my research on Islam and Asia and my peripatetic career having lived in Scotland, Germany, Holland, America, Australia and Singapore. I became a professor of the sociology of religion in the Asia Research Center at the National University of Singapore. I have published two books on Singapore, a handbook of religions in Asia, and several works on the body, medicine, ageing and human vulnerability.

Bryan's book list on making you wish you lived in Asia

Bryan S. Turner Why did Bryan love this book?

When I say to you ‘Religions of Asia’ you will automatically think of the usual suspects: Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and so on. Here is something different from Prof Eliade one of the great scholars of his generation. Shamanism is a major influence across the whole of the northern hemisphere from Canada through Siberia and into eastern and central Asia. The cover of the paperback has an Eskimo ceremonial mask. The shaman is medicine man, magician, miracle worker, priest, mystic and poet. We immediately think of the drum and the ecstatic body, but think also of eagle feathers, rattle, and robe of an animal. Shamanism is still practiced but has suffered from commercial exploitation and the general erosion of native cultures. As a religion of fire and ice, climate change may be its final blow.

By Mircea Eliade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The foundational work on shamanism now available as a Princeton Classics paperback

Shamanism is an essential work on the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. The founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Mircea Eliade surveys the tradition through two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia-where shamanism was first observed-to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the shaman-at once magician and medicine…


Book cover of The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia

Sharon Hudgins Author Of T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East

From my list on Siberia for those with insatiable wanderlust.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sharon Hudgins is the award-winning author of five books on history, travel, and food; a journalist with more than 1,000 articles published worldwide; and a former professor with the University of Maryland's Global Campus. She has spent two years in Russia, teaching at universities in Siberia and the Russian Far East, and lecturing on tours for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Viking, and other expedition companies. Endowed with an insatiable wanderlust, she has lived in 10 countries on 3 continents, traveled through 55 countries across the globe, and logged more than 45,000 miles on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Sharon's book list on Siberia for those with insatiable wanderlust

Sharon Hudgins Why did Sharon love this book?

My favorite book about reindeer and their relationship with the nomadic native people who herd them over the tundra of northern Siberia. The author is not only a renowned anthropologist at Cambridge University, but also a gifted writer who brings his field research to life on the page. He writes beautifully about the history of reindeer in northern Asia, their lives from birth to death, their uses by the herders who care for them, the disastrous attempts by the Soviets to collectivize the herders' lives and livelihood, the spiritual significance of reindeer to many native Siberians even today, and why people have long believed that reindeer can fly. As one reviewer wrote, "Like the reindeer themselves, this book takes wings."

By Piers Vitebsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A voyage of discovery into the life of a remote aboriginal community in the Siberian Arctic, where the reindeer has been a part of daily life since Palaeolithic times. The reindeer, along with the dog, was probably the first species to be drawn into a close relationship with man. This book, by an eminent British anthropologist, is the beautifully written story of how that relationship works and of the intimacy between the nomadic reindeer people and the landscape they inhabit. What to the Western eye looks like a vast, uninhabited Arctic wilderness is in fact filled with animals, humans and…


Book cover of The Loom of Destiny: Book One

Martin Schiller Author Of The Faceless Man

From my list on spy/detectives with strong female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

There is an adage that urges the writer to write about what they know, and I have followed this to the letter. In addition to being an author, I have worked as a private investigator. I have also trained at two martial arts schools that specialize in Ninjutsu; Genbukan Yamato Dojo, and Bujinkan. Moreover, as a patrolman, and an ambulance driver, I have had the privilege of serving with female partners, lending me a valuable insight into the struggles that they face in otherwise male-dominated fields. But this is not all; I am also an occultist, making me familiar with things that most people would not even believe exist.😊

Martin's book list on spy/detectives with strong female characters

Martin Schiller Why did Martin love this book?

Another research source for my book, this series lent me a valuable insight into Celtic mysticism--on steroids, and it gave me an insight into what was possible with my male character, Sir Thomas Blackthorne (although I chose to take things in a radically different direction). I heartily recommend the audio version of this book, as narrated by the talented Rebecca McKernan.

By Gerry C Starnes, Stephanie Reynolds (editor), Ray Carter (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Their relationship forbidden by the ancients.
They are destined to change the world.

Druid Twilight: The Loom of Destiny is an epic journey to first century Ancient Britain, a fictional story set in a pivotal historic time.

By the authority of Emperor Claudius, four Roman legions invade the island for the second time under the command of a cunning and ruthless Governor. The Generals decide that the best way to subdue the warring tribes is to destroy the cultural and spiritual support offered by the Druids. What they do not know is that there is not one, but two Druid…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in shamanism, shamans, and Siberia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about shamanism, shamans, and Siberia.

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