73 books like The Water Witch

By Juliet Dark,

Here are 73 books that The Water Witch fans have personally recommended if you like The Water Witch. 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 American Gods

Terry Madden Author Of Three Wells of the Sea

From my list on mythic fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying Celtic myth and history since I was in college and took a class on Arthurian literature. Drawing heavily from Irish and Welsh lore to build my “land beyond the veil” known as the Five Quarters, I have always been intrigued by the Celtic view of the land of the dead as a distinct world to which we go and then return, like two sides of the mirrored surface of a well. I hope you enjoy these mythic fantasy books as much as I did!

Terry's book list on mythic fantasy novels

Terry Madden Why did Terry love this book?

Gaiman doesn’t just incorporate one myth into his story; he goes for them all and brings all the gods to America.

This novel defies categorizing. I have always been interested in probing the nature of religion and humanity’s invention of gods. How did we first encounter them, and are they still relevant in today’s world? How does the nature of story itself relate to the lives of the gods?

All of these points are dealt with in this unique and entirely new introduction to some very old gods. I found it not only highly entertaining but thought-provoking.

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked American Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a STARZ® Original Series – Season 3 premiere in January 2021

“Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative….American Gods is strewn with secrets and magical visions.”—USA Today

Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text. A modern masterpiece from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman.

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Washington Post) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is the story of Shadow—released from prison just days after…


Book cover of A Monster Like Me

Helen M. Pugsley Author Of The Tooth Fairy

From my list on learning the old legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember being gifted a copy of a fairy tale book for children by someone my dad worked with as a kid. "Wow, these are really close to the originals," Mom murmured under her breath.
"Wait, there are originals?" That set off a chain reaction of a lifelong love of fairy tales, myths, legends, and folk stories. Writing The Tooth Fairy forced me to double-check my lifetime of accumulated knowledge. Plus, being trapped indoors with audiobooks during a global pandemic left me a lot more time to learn! In short: I simply love the old legends.

Helen's book list on learning the old legends

Helen M. Pugsley Why did Helen love this book?

This is a story about a girl with a port-wine stain under her eye. Looking different, people treat her differently. The main character, Sophie, copes by carrying around a book called "The Big Book of Monsters" and identifying the monsters and humans around her. I found Sophie pretty knowledgeable on the subject of old legends! There were a few I hadn't heard of and had to look up myself. I also like her character development, and how she becomes more empathetic. Overall, it was entertaining and informative.

By Wendy S. Swore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Monster Like Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

There are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?

Sophie is a monster expert. Thanks to her Big Book of Monsters and her vivid imagination, Sophie can identify the monsters in her school and neighborhood. Clearly, the bullies are trolls and goblins. Her nice neighbor must be a good witch, and Sophie's new best friend is obviously a fairy. But what about Sophie? She's convinced she is definitely a monster because of the "monster mark" on her face. At least that's what she calls it. The doctors call it a blood tumor. Sophie tries to hide it…


Book cover of Finding Faeries: Discovering Sprites, Pixies, Redcaps, and Other Fantastical Creatures in an Urban Environment

Helen M. Pugsley Author Of The Tooth Fairy

From my list on learning the old legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember being gifted a copy of a fairy tale book for children by someone my dad worked with as a kid. "Wow, these are really close to the originals," Mom murmured under her breath.
"Wait, there are originals?" That set off a chain reaction of a lifelong love of fairy tales, myths, legends, and folk stories. Writing The Tooth Fairy forced me to double-check my lifetime of accumulated knowledge. Plus, being trapped indoors with audiobooks during a global pandemic left me a lot more time to learn! In short: I simply love the old legends.

Helen's book list on learning the old legends

Helen M. Pugsley Why did Helen love this book?

Have you ever had a book actively try to stop you from reading it? This non-fiction book was guarded like all doorways into Fairie. Every time I sat down to read it the kettle would come to a boil, or the phone would ring! I read it cover to cover though. Even finding it again to tell you about it was a challenge.

By Alexandra Rowland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover where faeries and other mythical creatures are hiding in our modern, urban environment with this beautifully illustrated guide to uncovering magical beings.

From the musty corners of libraries to the darkest depths of urban sewers, faeries, boggarts, redcaps, and other fantastical species can be found all around us-but only if we know where to look. And like every other being in the modern world, these wonderous creatures have been forced to adapt to the climate, industrial, and cultural changes of the modern era. Many formerly common creatures from akeki to cave trolls have been driven out by the urban…


Book cover of Kin

Helen M. Pugsley Author Of The Tooth Fairy

From my list on learning the old legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember being gifted a copy of a fairy tale book for children by someone my dad worked with as a kid. "Wow, these are really close to the originals," Mom murmured under her breath.
"Wait, there are originals?" That set off a chain reaction of a lifelong love of fairy tales, myths, legends, and folk stories. Writing The Tooth Fairy forced me to double-check my lifetime of accumulated knowledge. Plus, being trapped indoors with audiobooks during a global pandemic left me a lot more time to learn! In short: I simply love the old legends.

Helen's book list on learning the old legends

Helen M. Pugsley Why did Helen love this book?

Holly Black co-wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles and knows her stuff. I found this series of graphic novels extremely entertaining, and chillingly true to the old legends. Black takes old legends from several Eurocentric cultures and has them coexisting in one single city, as just people, trying to make it. Poor Rue, the main character, is only half-human. When she finds out her mother is one of "the good neighbors"-- a fairy princess, she has to venture to her grandfather's realm to find her, meanwhile, a swan maiden is murdered up the street, and nixies steal her boyfriend. The drama of the series was riveting, as were the legends she called upon.

By Holly Black, Ted Naifeh (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kin 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?

From the amazing imagination of bestselling author Holly Black, a mysterious and wonderful teen graphic novel masterpiece.

Rue Silver's mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it's not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn't kill her mother -- instead, he broke a promise to Rue's faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue's mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her -- and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very…


Book cover of The Dreamers

Alexandra Oliva Author Of The Last One

From my list on dark futures with hope.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I was known for hauling genre epics onto the school bus. I would devour tomes meant for adults as we wound through the mountains toward school. At that age, I was especially enthralled by dark, dangerous worlds that contrasted with my bucolic surroundings. The darker the better. Now, however, as I approach middle age, I still like darkness, but I’ve lived enough that I don’t need warnings about how bad things can be pounded into me via fiction. Thus the stories featured here contain more than darkness and danger: They contain hope. At least a note of it, and sometimes a symphony.

Alexandra's book list on dark futures with hope

Alexandra Oliva Why did Alexandra love this book?

A viral epidemic strikes a sleepy college town and makes it exactly that: sleepy. People keep falling asleep and not waking up. Cue uncertainty, quarantine, panic, denial—all these things we are far too familiar with today. (This book was published pre-COVID.) Walker is a lyrical, insightful writer and many of the passages in this novel feel—intentionally, I believe—dreamlike.

By Karen Thompson Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Riveting, profoundly moving' Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
'Beautiful and devastating' Red
'Thought-provoking and profound' Cosmopolitan

Imagine a world where sleep could trap you, for days, for weeks, for months...

She sleeps through sunrise. She sleeps through sunset.
And yet, in those first few hours, the doctors can find nothing else wrong. She looks like an ordinary girl sleeping ordinary sleep.

Karen Thompson Walker's second novel tells the mesmerising story of a town transformed by a mystery illness that locks people in perpetual sleep and triggers extraordinary, life-altering dreams.

One night in an isolated college town in…


Book cover of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Kenneth R. Rosen Author Of Troubled: The Failed Promise of America's Behavioral Treatment Programs

From my list on to get you through troubling times.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist and author and a young father, I’ve come to seek more vigorously things that make me smile, things I can cherish and appreciate. My most recent book is dedicated to “the troubled, in trouble, and once troubled.” In promoting the book, I’ve often said I still feel fairly troubled—which is true. Demons never die, we just live to learn with them. So while reading the below books I’ve discovered hallowed moments which fill a person to the brim. After each of these reads I felt that I could surmount most anything.

Kenneth's book list on to get you through troubling times

Kenneth R. Rosen Why did Kenneth love this book?

I first heard Loory’s mirthful story “The Man and The Moose” while sitting in my car in my southern college town. He read it on an episode of This American LifeIt was a Wednesday ritual of mine, sitting in that car and listening to stories and giving my entire being to be within them, to be completely enraptured and emphatic for at least that one hour. After hearing the story, I told it to whoever would listen. I remember the story and his voice and the way in which the inanimate became animated, the unpersonafiable personified. That story was a treasure and lives with me. It will, as with the others in this collection, live with you, too.

By Ben Loory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people - and monsters and trees and jocular octopi - who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, "Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day" draws us into a world of delightfully wicked…


Book cover of The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life

Deborah A. Lott Author Of Don't Go Crazy Without Me

From my list on impossible childhoods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer who’s always been obsessed with early childhood. No experience we have later in life is any more emotionally charged, resonant, intense, bewildering, or wondrous as those we have as young children. A day can feel like forever; what we imagine can be so vivid as to be indistinguishable from reality; we’re not wholly sure what’s animate and inanimate; we're still at least half-feral. My interest in childhood led me to write about children’s psychology for Psychiatric Times and for the UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. Recently, I designed two related university courses that I teach at Antioch University Los Angeles: Representations of Childhood in Literature and the Trauma Memoir.

Deborah's book list on impossible childhoods

Deborah A. Lott Why did Deborah love this book?

Robert Goolrick does not pretend in this memoir to have overcome or prevailed or found redemption from his horrendous childhood. Instead, he tells us the number of psychotropic prescriptions he must take every day just to be able to function. Something unthinkably awful happens in his seemingly genteel family at the hands of the father who is supposed to protect him, and as a result, he will never be the same. When he tries to tell what happened and seek comfort, let alone redress, his whole family turns on him. Yet Goolrick tells this story with an amazing lyricism and compassion. He unravels his tale slowly, protecting and preparing the reader in a way that no one in his family ever protected or prepared him. 

By Robert Goolrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of the World as We Know It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was the 1950s, a time of calm, a time when all things were new and everything seemed possible. A few years before, a noble war had been won, and now life had returned to normal.

For one little boy, however, life had become anything but "normal."

To all appearances, he and his family lived an almost idyllic life. The father was a respected professor, the mother a witty and elegant lady, someone everyone loved. They were parents to three bright, smiling children: two boys and a girl. They lived on a sunny street in a small college town nestled…


Book cover of Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine

Cassandra Lane Author Of We Are Bridges: A Memoir

From my list on lyrical memoirs from the soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

My writing background started in the newsroom where, as a reporter, my job was to interview and tell the stories of others. At one point in my career, my editors assigned me a bi-monthly column, and while I used this space to write about a variety of issues happening in the community, I also used it occasionally to write personal essays. I love this form because the personal story helps us drill down on an issue and, in essence, make deeper connections with the collective. When I left the newsroom, I continued to study and write in essay and memoir form. In my MFA program, I was able to focus on this form exclusively for two years, and I have spent many years crafting my first book-length memoir into form. 

Cassandra's book list on lyrical memoirs from the soul

Cassandra Lane Why did Cassandra love this book?

Faithful to its title, this brilliant book starts with the body — an unspeakable injury to the narrator’s body, a crime, a horror. Bernard writes with a specificity that is gut-wrenching without being sensational. And all along, running alongside the sensory language is the author’s intellectual river, constantly washing over and over a moment, a scene, a feeling, a thought. This book includes twelve interconnected essays, each building on the other despite how many years – and miles – separate them.

By Emily Bernard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Is the Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably. . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book.” 

In these twelve deeply personal, connected essays, Bernard details the experience of growing up black in the south with a family name inherited from a white man, surviving a random stabbing at a New Haven coffee shop, marrying a white man from the North and…


Book cover of Playing with Fire

Diana Nixon Author Of All My Nevers

From my list on teen depression and adulting.

Why am I passionate about this?

First of all, I’m an incurable addict to dark romance novels. Why stories for teens specifically? Well, I’m a mom of two girls and I never stop thinking about their future, including their high school years that are always filled with worries, problems, and self-judging issues. Teens are always vulnerable and it’s important to teach them how to overcome their problems and show them why it’s important to rely on their families and be there for their friends when they need them. As well as to help them realize that material things are not the only values in life to hold on to. 

Diana's book list on teen depression and adulting

Diana Nixon Why did Diana love this book?

A well-thought-out story about the importance of true values, such as friendship and family. It shows just how little youth nowadays care about non-material things and how much attention they pay to outer beauty and perfections. The story teaches you to look deeper and never judge anyone by their appearance. 

By L.J. Shen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A broken boy on the path to destruction.A scarred girl without direction.A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.She is the strange girl from the food truck.He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.She is invisible to the world.He is the town’s beloved bad boy. She is a reject.He is trouble.When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or…


Book cover of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle

Michael D'Orso Author Of Eagle Blue: A Team, a Tribe, and a High School Basketball Season in Arctic Alaska

From my list on capturing the cultural aspects of basketball.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a narrative nonfiction writer whose subjects range from politics to professional football, from racial conflict to environmental destruction, from inner-city public education to social justice to spinal cord injury. The settings for my books range from the Galapagos Islands to the swamps of rural Florida, to Arctic Alaska. I typically live with and among my subjects for months at a time, portraying their lives in an intimately personal way.

Michael's book list on capturing the cultural aspects of basketball

Michael D'Orso Why did Michael love this book?

While this book mirrors the template of Darcy Frey’s book and my own, following a high school basketball team through an entire season, the setting—an upper-class, genteel community of white suburbanites in Amherst, Massachusetts—is a world away from that of those stories, and, most importantly, the athletes are female. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author, through her elegant writing, brings a piercing understanding of the obstacles these girls face in the wake of Title IX as they prove their toughness, perseverance, and abilities in a sport traditionally dominated by men. 

By Madeleine Blais,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1995 to huge critical acclaim and a finalist for the NBCC Award for Nonfiction, Madeleine Blais's In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle is a modern sports writing classic. Now expanded and updated with a new epilogue, Blais's book tells the story of a season in the life of the Amherst Lady Hurricanes, a powerhouse girls' high school basketball team from a small western Massachusetts college town. The Hurricanes were a talented team with a near-perfect record, but for five straight years, when it came to the crunch of the playoffs, they somehow lacked the scrappy, hard-driving…


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