100 books like The Writer's Journey

By Christopher Vogler,

Here are 100 books that The Writer's Journey fans have personally recommended if you like The Writer's Journey. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Odyssey

By Homer, T.E. Shaw (translator),

Book cover of The Odyssey

Sylvia Kelso Author Of Everran's Bane

From the list on journeys in them.

Who am I?

As a child, I wanted to be either a chook (chicken) farmer or an archaeologist. In high school, my Latin teacher gave me a copy of The Hobbit and changed my passion to travel, which, for Australians, mostly means, Overseas. In second year University, The Lord of the Rings cemented that longing, and I have "travelled" Overseas almost annually ever since. But a long research trip for a historical novel taught me that the best travel is a journey: travel with a purpose. And whether or not I'm on a plane, train, bus, or foot myself, some of my favourite reading has always been books with journeys at their heart. 

Sylvia's book list on journeys in them

Why did Sylvia love this book?

Journeys are most often linear – Here to There – or circular – "There and Back Again." The Odyssey is actually a return leg in the most traumatic and perennial circular journey: going to war, and then, getting back. "Wily" (in modern terms, read, "sneaky," "trickster")  Odysseus left Troy a famous warrior, but takes seven years to get home. The fabulous episodes of that journey, the Cyclops, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, Circe, and Calypso, the wreck in Phaeacia that leaves him bereft even of clothes, have grounded the Western imagination. But the concluding little things – the recognition scenes, the dog that dies, and the nurse who doesn't – push that epic past into a close, human Now.

By Homer, T.E. Shaw (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Homer's epic chronicle of the Greek hero Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War has inspired  writers from Virgil to James Joyce. Odysseus  survives storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops  and the isle of Circe, the lure of the Sirens' song  and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his  most difficult challenge at home, where treacherous  suitors seek to steal his kingdom and his loyal  wife, Penelope. Favorite of the gods, Odysseus  embodies the energy, intellect, and resourcefulness  that were of highest value to the ancients and that  remain ideals in out time.

In this  new…

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Marge Pellegrino Author Of Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing

From the list on creative jump starts whatever your medium.

Who am I?

As a kid, I loved how words on a page transported me. Later, I was astounded by how the words I wrote myself could help me solve problems, deepen my understanding, and expand my thinking. Over time, that writing offered clarity and built my confidence. And in my most challenging times, writing has saved me over and over again. Learning to observe like a writer or an artist continues to help me be more present in my life. Sharing expressive writing experiences with others, during a 35-year career as a writer and workshop facilitator, allowed me to witness how this creative engagement offers a respite while building resilience and joy in others too.

Marge's book list on creative jump starts whatever your medium

Why did Marge love this book?

When I first heard about The Artist’s Way, I doubted that this was a book for me. Was I wrong! Over the next year, I met monthly with a visual artist to process each chapter. We discussed prompts, our artist date, or what we wrote from the suggested journaling. The invitations at the end of each chapter led me to work that fed my spirit. Transforming theory into action exercised my creative muscles. The variety of creative engagements encouraged a rich body of work and a new confidence, while the book’s quotes introduced me to other thinkers. Artist’s-Way work not only strengthened my words on the page, but my nonprofit and library work flourished as well. I credit The Artist’s Way for pushing my work into award-winning territory.

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the 'I'm not talented enough' conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist. Its step-by-step approach enables you to transform your life, overcome any artistic blocks you may suffer from, including limiting beliefs, fear, sabotage, jealousy and guilt, and replace them with self confidence and productivity. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. Whatever your artistic leanings, this book will give you the…

Book cover of The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Robert B. Marks Author Of Re: Apotheosis

From the list on writing for new (and even established) fiction writers.

Who am I?

Writing is in my blood – my grandmother wrote poetry, my mother writes novels, and over the last twenty-plus years I’ve written just about everything (and now I teach writing at my local university). I’ve loved stories for as long as I can remember. While my fiction career may be newly revived, I spent over 20 years as a pop culture commentator, poking at the minutia of the stories I love. I think stories may be one of the most important things in our culture – they inspire us, they brighten our day, they bring us to tears, and sometimes when we are lost they show us the way.

Robert's book list on writing for new (and even established) fiction writers

Why did Robert love this book?

This will be one of my more controversial picks – there are plenty of people who disagree with Campbell as a folklorist, a mythographer, and with his depiction of the Hero’s Journey. But, what is important about Campbell is his exploration of why the elements that appear in stories have the impact they do on our psyche, and how they fit together. One may not agree with all of Campbell’s conclusions, but I don’t think there’s a writer out there who won’t benefit from his exploration of the subject. I know I did.

By Joseph Campbell,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Hero with a Thousand Faces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joseph Campbell's classic cross-cultural study of the hero's journey has inspired millions and opened up new areas of research and exploration. Originally published in 1949, the book hit the New York Times best-seller list in 1988 when it became the subject of The Power of Myth, a PBS television special. The first popular work to combine the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, the book creates a roadmap for navigating the frustrating path of contemporary life. Examining heroic myths in the light of modern psychology, it considers not only the patterns and stages…

On Writing

By Stephen King,

Book cover of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Melanie Deziel

From the list on how writers can avoid being replaced by AI.

Who am I?

Professionally, I’ve been a journalist, author, speaker, marketer, adjunct professor, consultant, startup founder, and more; but at my core, I’m a storyteller and a lifelong student. I read voraciously about creativity, writing, media, marketing, psychology, and design, and I’m fascinated by drawing connections between these things. (I’m still allowed to say “read” when I mostly consume audiobooks, right?) I’m currently focused on helping other creators and storytellers master their craft, refine their big ideas, and figure out their unique differentiators, through The Creator Kitchen, the mastermind program I run with fellow creator Jay Acunzo.

Melanie's book list on how writers can avoid being replaced by AI

Why did Melanie love this book?

This book is a mix of memoir and advice, taking you inside the life, mind, and writing processes of one of the most successful fiction writers of our time. It’s an oldie-but-a-goodie, having come out in 2000, but the advice on craft is timeless.

Much like Everybody Writes, this book also serves as a great case study in making your writing distinctive and leaning into your lived experiences when you write. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of the horror genre, but I’d wager that this quick read is almost as compelling and thrilling as many of his other works. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked On Writing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twentieth Anniversary Edition with Contributions from Joe Hill and Owen King


Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the…

The Elements of Style

By William Strunk, E.B. White,

Book cover of The Elements of Style

Randall H. Duckett Author Of Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing: 41 How-To Tips for Creators

From the list on learning how to write effectively.

Who am I?

I love language and its power to inform, inspire, and influence. As I wrote Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing, I researched what others have said about writing well and honed it down to these resources, which I quote. During my decades as a journalist and marketer, I developed and edited scores of publications, books, and websites. I also co-wrote two travel guides—100 Secrets of the Smokies and 100 Secrets of the Carolina Coast. I’ve written for such publications as National Geographic Traveler and AARP: The Magazine. A father of three women, I live in Springfield, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, with my wife, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. 

Randall's book list on learning how to write effectively

Why did Randall love this book?

This book is old, like early 1900s. It was first drafted by William Strunk, Jr., who distributed a version to his students at Columbia University in 1919. E.B. White (author of Charlotte’s Web) modernized it in the ’50s. It went on to sell millions of copies and become one of the most influential guides to English. Why the history lesson? Because it’s remarkable how relevant it remains in 2022. It can feel dusty and literary, but it offers nuggets of wisdom like “omit needless words” that influence writers like me today. I shamelessly ripped off the concept of “elements” for my book. The “little book” is short—the fourth edition is 42 pages—but mighty. It deserves a spot on your physical or virtual bookshelf.    

By William Strunk, E.B. White,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Elements of Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.

Book cover of Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting

Carleton Eastlake Author Of Monkey Business

From the list on what Hollywood is really like.

Who am I?

Having been a Hollywood writer for thirty years, and now written a novel that although satirical still accurately describes the creation of a TV series, I’ve long been amazed at how many Hollywood stories – including films made in Hollywood – offer fantasies that have even less to do with the reality of love and work in film and television than Game of Thrones does with the real Middle Ages. I’ve written fantasy myself, but for people fascinated by Hollywood, or who want to work in film and TV, there’s a reason too to read books that capture the reality, especially when like the books listed here, they do so astonishingly well.

Carleton's book list on what Hollywood is really like

Why did Carleton love this book?

This book coined the maxim far and away the most quoted in Hollywood to this day: “Nobody knows anything.” I first read it the year before I broke in. My copy is heavily annotated with yellow highlighter and red pen; a black paperclip still marks the second of Goldman’s two capitalized maxims, “Screenplays are structure.” The value of this book to anyone wanting to understand – or survive in – Hollywood is that, ironically, Goldman, one of the most successful screenwriters and novelists in Hollywood history, knew almost everything, not only about screenwriting, but also the psychology, cautious care, and perilous feeding of actors, directors, executives, and the rest of the Hollywood zoo. It’s both a textbook and survival guide, illustrated with a veteran’s vivid stories about life behind the tinsel.

By William Goldman,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Adventures in the Screen Trade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now available as an ebook for the first time!

No one knows the writer's Hollywood more intimately than William Goldman. Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter and the bestselling author of Marathon Man, Tinsel, Boys and Girls Together, and other novels, Goldman now takes you into Hollywood's inner sanctums...on and behind the scenes for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men, and other films...into the plush offices of Hollywood producers...into the working lives of acting greats such as Redford, Olivier, Newman, and Hoffman...and into his own professional experiences and creative thought processes in the crafting of screenplays. You get…

The Hobbit

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Book cover of The Hobbit

Z.S. Diamanti Author Of Stone & Sky

From the list on fantasy adventure filled with fun, magic, and hope.

Who am I?

Creativity can lead to beautiful things. As a child I needed glasses and didn’t know it. Instead of reading books, my brother and I would tell stories to each other while we were supposed to be sleeping in our bunk beds at night. Eventually, I did get glasses and found that all the fantastical things that my mind came up with gave me quite the propensity toward fantasy. And once my eyes were set, it was game on! Over the years, I’ve authored numerous pieces in other genres, but my first books were always going to be fantasy. And that’s how the Stone & Sky series was born.

Z.S.'s book list on fantasy adventure filled with fun, magic, and hope

Why did Z.S. love this book?

When I was young, I had a terrible problem. I hated reading. Apparently, I needed glasses but never knew it. I would lay my head down on books (the only way I could get my eyes to move to the next line) and eventually get in trouble for laying down. It became a punishment and a chore. That is, until a copy of The Hobbit was placed in my hand.

I blazed through the magical adventure of the unknowing Bilbo Baggins and his zany companions. I couldn’t put it down. And for the first time ever, my brain and heart were ignited by the magic of books! The Hobbit will forever hold a place in my heart as the book that started me on this unexpected journey.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…

The Wizard of Oz

By L. Frank Baum,

Book cover of The Wizard of Oz

Samantha Caprio-Negret Author Of Rainbow Crystal

From the list on children’s fantasy with friendship, magic, and adventure.

Who am I?

I have an expertise for middle-grade and fantasy because I’ve been writing in those genres for over fifteen years. However, it’s my passion for that age group and theme that has me writing for them to begin with. I feel that the age group of about nine to thirteen is just such a magical, free time. They’re not too young to get it yet, but not old enough to have been tainted either. They’re in that beautiful state of curiosity, play, adventure, exploring where they fit in. Just the fact that there’s still this possibility of magic, then there’s hope. And with hope, there’s still a possibility of magic.

Samantha's book list on children’s fantasy with friendship, magic, and adventure

Why did Samantha love this book?

This book is the best book in helping you to discover that you never really have to go on an outward journey or to look to others for the answers to find what is inside you all along. They are always within.

However, it’s the characters and journey along the way that usually guide us to discover what those weaknesses and strengths are. It’s a story of friendship, adventure, hope, and home (and the answers) are ultimately where the heart is. I love stories that give the readers hope; the rainbow is the symbolism of hope. There is a rainbow at the end of a storm. Never give up. 

By L. Frank Baum,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Wizard of Oz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics.

'"Come along, Toto," she said. "We will go to the Emerald City and ask the Great Oz how to get back to Kansas again."'

Swept away from her home in Kansas by a tornado, Dorothy and her dog Toto find themselves stranded in the fantastical Land of Oz. As instructed by the Good Witch of the North and the Munchkins, Dorothy sets off on the yellow brick road to try and find her way to the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz, who can help her get home.…

Write Away

By Elizabeth George,

Book cover of Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life

Catherine Maiorisi Author Of A Matter of Blood

From the list on mysteries that feature two detectives.

Who am I?

I write the NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli Mystery series featuring Corelli and her partner Detective P.J. Parker. Most mysteries have a single main character so I’m passionate about finding other authors who write mysteries with two professional investigators as main characters. It’s fascinating to see how authors writing the same type of characters handle them and what they do about character growth over the course of the series. To me, watching two characters react to each other, seeing their relationship change over the course of a book or a series is much more interesting than reading about a single detective.

Catherine's book list on mysteries that feature two detectives

Why did Catherine love this book?

When I sat down to write my first novel I knew I wanted to model my characters on George’s Lynley and Havers but I couldn’t even start writing because I had no idea how to structure a novel, particularly a mystery. As fate would have it, George released her book on writing, Write Away, around that time. In it, she described her process with examples from her own books and it was exactly what I needed. This book provided the essential tools I needed to write. 

By Elizabeth George,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Elizabeth George is one of the most successful writers of crime fiction in the world. Her twelve novels have appeared on bestseller lists in the UK, USA and Australia, and several of them have been dramatised by BBC Television as the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. She has also written a collection of short stories and edited a crime anthology.

Now she shares this wealth of experience with would-be novelists, and with crime fiction fans. Drawing extensively on her own work, and that of other bestselling writers including Stephen King, Harper Lee, Dennis Lehane and many others, she illustrates her points about…

The Anatomy of Story

By John Truby,

Book cover of The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

David Baboulene Author Of The Primary Colours of Story

From the list on how stories work and how to write your story.

Who am I?

I was lucky enough not only to get published in my thirties, I also got a film deal for those first two books. I was flown to Hollywood and it was all very grand. However, what they did to my stories in translating them into film scripts horrified me. And ruined them. And the films never got made. I started to look deeper into what ‘experts’ did, and it was awful. I became obsessed with how stories work, developed my own ‘knowledge gap’ theory, proved it through my Ph.D. research, and became a story consultant in the industry. Story theory has completely taken over my life and I love it!

David's book list on how stories work and how to write your story

Why did David love this book?

This book is different. After a slew of books all pedaling the same material based on the dreaded Hollywood formula, it was really good to find something that bucked the trend. 

Truby focuses on morality in stories. He maintains that every story is actually a moral argument, and gives his practical steps for harnessing that morality and using it to create a strong story. 

I feel there is a lot to be said for this. The only real flaw is that there are actually twelve sensible bases for a story and although the moral argument is undeniably one of those that generates a strong story, it is important for writers to understand all of them.

By John Truby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"If you're ready to graduate from the boy-meets-girl league of screenwriting, meet John Truby . . . [his lessons inspire] epiphanies that make you see the contours of your psyche as sharply as your script."
―LA Weekly

John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood's most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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