100 books like When Women Were Dragons

By Kelly Barnhill,

Here are 100 books that When Women Were Dragons fans have personally recommended if you like When Women Were Dragons. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Dr. Caroline Brookfield Author Of The Reluctant Creative: 5 Effortless Habits to Expand Your Comfort Zone

From my list on trying new things even if you are scared.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was driven to become a veterinarian for as long as I could remember. Then, in high school, I developed a love of performance. I felt stuck. Should I choose art or science? I chose science, and despite a great career, I felt like something was missing. When I reconnected with my creativity through stand-up comedy, entrepreneurship and other non-artistic creative outlets, I found out what I had been missing. Why do we drop creativity for science? It was a common story. I dove into the research on creativity, and was blown away by how a bit of creativity can make us happier, more resilient, and make workplaces more effective.

Dr.'s book list on trying new things even if you are scared

Dr. Caroline Brookfield Why did Dr. love this book?

In this book, I loved the way the author explains the creative process and what it takes to engage your muse and catch ideas. In a different way from The War Of Art, I learned what holds us back from expressing ourselves creatively and how we can overcome this fear of being seen.

Elizabeth Gilbert shares stories and philosophies about how to be more creative every day in a funny and optimistic way.

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create…


Book cover of The Thirteenth Tale

Linda Kay Silva Author Of Nothing Fair About It

From my list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of creative writing who knows when readers stop feeling, they stop reading. We all want to feel, to live vicariously. To experience the unimaginable. I’ve lived large. I’ve raced on the back of an ostrich, rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, raced catamarans in the Caribbean, and danced with the Shaka Zulu in Africa. The best books are those that feel like memories…that touch us…that make us feel.

Linda's book list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures

Linda Kay Silva Why did Linda love this book?

The twists in this book pull you in and keep you from putting it down. I love when I get surprised and think “I never saw that coming!”

Well-developed characters, outstanding description, Setterfield draws book lovers (and bookstore lovers) right into the heart of the story. I couldn’t put it down. It was the only novel in our book club that received a unanimous 10/10

By Diane Setterfield,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Simply brilliant' Kate Mosse, international bestselling author of Labyrinth

***

Everybody has a story...

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten.

It was once home to the March family: fascinating, manipulative Isabelle; brutal, dangerous Charlie; and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But the house hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart...

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past, and its mysterious connection to the enigmatic writer Vida Winter. Vida's history is mesmering - a tale of ghosts, governesses, and gothic strangeness. But as Margaret succumbs to the power…


Book cover of Maya and the Rising Dark

Lisa A. Kramer Author Of P.O.W.ER

From my list on that empower women and girls with a touch of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love any book that carries me away into a different world, allows me to feel new possibilities, and makes me think. That is what I call magic. This creative magic has filled all aspects of my life. In addition to writing, I am a theatre artist, a mentor, an advocate for women and girls, and a creativity facilitator. In other words, I believe in the creative powers of people to make a more just and enriched world. My goal is always to inspire others to find their own voice, and to use it to make a difference. That’s what guides my reading, and my book recommendations. Enjoy!

Lisa's book list on that empower women and girls with a touch of magic

Lisa A. Kramer Why did Lisa love this book?

I read books for all ages, because good stories transcend age, gender, race, etc. I love books that teach me something new, especially those with smart, sassy, and determined female protagonists. Maya and the Rising Dark is a delightful middle-grade read, with an empowered 12-year-old girl leading the way. Rich with diversity, I loved journeying into the mythology of the Orisha gods with Maya and her friends

By Rena Barron,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Maya and the Rising Dark 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?

In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya's search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent's Secret.

Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams. Her friends try to find an explanation-perhaps a ghost uprising or a lunchroom experiment gone awry. But to Maya,…


Book cover of Dragonflight

M.B. Strang Author Of Arrow's Flight: A Knights of the Pearl Order Novel

From my list on fantasy dragons from someone who loves them.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since childhood, I have been enthralled by dragons. The stories of these mythical creatures can be told in so many ways, from dragons as pets to bonding with them or even shapeshifting into them. I chose these books because they are memorable, they have stuck with me, and they have fascinated and inspired me for years. All of these writers have influenced my own work, and they are sure to resonate with you, too.

M.B.'s book list on fantasy dragons from someone who loves them

M.B. Strang Why did M.B. love this book?

This book by Anne McCaffrey was the first book to ignite my love of dragons! I related to the characters and immersed myself in their detailed world.

In my teenage imagination, not only could I fly on a dragon's back, but the powerful creature could be my friend! This was just what I needed at that age. 

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Dragonflight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Volume I of The Dragonriders of Pern®, the groundbreaking series by master storyteller Anne McCaffrey

On a beautiful world called Pern, an ancient way of life is about to come under attack from a myth that is all too real. Lessa is an outcast survivor—her parents murdered, her birthright stolen—a strong young woman who has never stopped dreaming of revenge. But when an ancient threat to Pern reemerges, Lessa will rise—upon the back of a great dragon with whom she shares a telepathic bond more intimate than any human connection. Together, dragon and rider will fly . . . and…


Book cover of The Female Brain

Lisa A. Kramer Author Of P.O.W.ER

From my list on that empower women and girls with a touch of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love any book that carries me away into a different world, allows me to feel new possibilities, and makes me think. That is what I call magic. This creative magic has filled all aspects of my life. In addition to writing, I am a theatre artist, a mentor, an advocate for women and girls, and a creativity facilitator. In other words, I believe in the creative powers of people to make a more just and enriched world. My goal is always to inspire others to find their own voice, and to use it to make a difference. That’s what guides my reading, and my book recommendations. Enjoy!

Lisa's book list on that empower women and girls with a touch of magic

Lisa A. Kramer Why did Lisa love this book?

This might seem like a strange book to include in a list that has a touch of magic, but in many ways this book sparked my first novel. I am a firm believer that women can (and should) do whatever they want. I also accept that there are differences between men and women based on things like brain structure and biology. These differences are not limitations, but rather things to celebrate. 

As I read, I began to ask questions. What if women have more access to their brain’s abilities than men? What if our connection with creative power were seen as more important than physical strength? My characters became my answers. That, in itself, is magic—because magic is simply answering the question “what if,” with “anything is possible.”

By Louann Brizendine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since Dr. Brizendine wrote The Female Brain ten years ago, the response has been overwhelming. This New York Times bestseller has been translated into more than thirty languages, has sold nearly a million copies between editions, and has most recently inspired a romantic comedy starring Whitney Cummings and Sofia Vergara. And its profound scientific understanding of the nature and experience of the female brain continues to guide women as they pass through life stages, to help men better understand the girls and women in their lives, and to illuminate the delicate emotional machinery of a love relationship.

Why are women…


Book cover of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

David Ciminello Author Of The Queen of Steeplechase Park

From my list on quirky wisdom filled love stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up queer and Italian in suburban New Jersey in the late 1960s and early 70s, it was the passionate love of food and family that got me through the tough times. I learned to cook from my mother and my grandmothers. I gardened and picked tomatoes with my grandfathers. There was always a pot of simmering tomato gravy and magic meatballs on the stove. My mother’s chicken parmigiana, my paternal grandmother’s homemade ravioli, my maternal grandmother’s stuffed clams, my great aunt’s baked chicken. As a writer, it became my mission to share these secret family recipes and the loving life lessons that saved me.

David's book list on quirky wisdom filled love stories

David Ciminello Why did David love this book?

Through a series of tall tales told by an impish old lady to a lost, lonely woman visiting a nursing home, Fannie Flagg whisks the reader back to the deep south circa 1929 to an off-beat love story between two women who run a cozy café, and a rich mystery that gives the lost woman the courage to make heroic changes in her life.

This delectable book was a huge inspiration for me when writing my debut novel. I love how the wisdom-filled folk-tale-like chapters are quilted together to tell a larger story. And, like my own book, it contains a bucket full of tasty recipes!

By Fannie Flagg,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a now-classic novel about two women: Evelyn, who’s in the sad slump of middle age, and gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode, who’s telling her life story. Her tale includes two more women—the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering good coffee, southern barbecue, and all kinds of love and laughter—even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present will never be quite the same again.
 
Praise for Fried Green Tomatoes at…


Book cover of Six of One

Linda Kay Silva Author Of Nothing Fair About It

From my list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of creative writing who knows when readers stop feeling, they stop reading. We all want to feel, to live vicariously. To experience the unimaginable. I’ve lived large. I’ve raced on the back of an ostrich, rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, raced catamarans in the Caribbean, and danced with the Shaka Zulu in Africa. The best books are those that feel like memories…that touch us…that make us feel.

Linda's book list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures

Linda Kay Silva Why did Linda love this book?

I rarely read a book twice. I read this one three times. The romance between Ramelle and Celeste always makes me swoon and reminds me of the kind of love I want in my life.

Brown is an outstanding story-teller, and I loved all of the Southern malpropisms, traditions, and memes scattered throughout the novel. I enjoyed the romance, the mystery, and the characterization of the South, this book pushed me to visit Savannah, where her words came to life.

Just a delightfully fun read I couldn’t put down.

By Rita Mae Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Perched right on the Mason-Dixon line, tiny Runnymede, Maryland, is ripe with a history almost as colorful as the women who live there—from Celeste Chalfonte, headstrong and aristocratic, who murders for principle and steals her brother’s wife, to Fannie Jump Creighton, who runs a speakeasy right in her own home when hard times come knocking. Then of course, there’re Louise and Julia, the boldly eccentric Hunsenmeir sisters. Wheezie and Juts spend their whole lives in Runnymede, cheerfully quibbling about everything from men to child-rearing to how to drive a car. But they never let small-town life keep them from chasing…


Book cover of How to Kill Your Family

Linda Kay Silva Author Of Nothing Fair About It

From my list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of creative writing who knows when readers stop feeling, they stop reading. We all want to feel, to live vicariously. To experience the unimaginable. I’ve lived large. I’ve raced on the back of an ostrich, rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, raced catamarans in the Caribbean, and danced with the Shaka Zulu in Africa. The best books are those that feel like memories…that touch us…that make us feel.

Linda's book list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures

Linda Kay Silva Why did Linda love this book?

I love a sassy, bright, independent female protagonist, and that’s what I got with Grace Bernard. I love dysfunctional family dynamics, but Grace’s point of view had me laughing out loud. Funny villains are my jam, and Bella delivers one in the middle of a shitstorm that had me reading into the middle of the night.

By Bella Mackie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Kill Your Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'I loved this book' RICHARD OSMAN

'Funny, sharp, dark and twisted' JOJO MOYES

'Chilling, but also laugh-out-loud funny. Another corker' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

They say you can't choose your family. But you can kill them.

Meet Grace Bernard.
Daughter, sister, serial killer...
Grace has lost everything.
And she will stop at nothing to get revenge.

------------------------------

'Funny and furious and strangely uplifting. Grace is a bitter and beguiling anti-hero with a keen eye for social analysis - even in her most grisly deeds, you never stop rooting for her' PANDORA SYKES

'Deliciously addictive...brilliantly executed' i PAPER…


Book cover of Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan

Bret Hinsch Author Of The Rise of Tea Culture in China: The Invention of the Individual

From my list on Chinese history that will surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my life to the study of Chinese history. I received a Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard and have spent my career teaching Chinese history at universities in Taiwan. I am the author of eleven books and many academic articles and book reviews about Chinese history. As an American who has spent decades lecturing about Chinese history in Mandarin to Taiwanese students, I have an uncommon perspective on the subject.  

Bret's book list on Chinese history that will surprise you

Bret Hinsch Why did Bret love this book?

Even though this is a work of anthropology, it also provides unique insights into rural history. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Margery Wolf did fieldwork in a poor village in rural Taiwan. At that time, modernization was just beginning to affect the countryside, so most aspects of village life were still traditional. Although Taiwanese society differed from the mainland in certain ways, in most aspects of life there carried on the traditions of Chinese village life. This book looks at rural society from a female perspective. Due to poverty, both women and men had few options. They did whatever it took to survive. Many of the people the author interviewed seem very discontent with their lives, but they usually had no other choice.

By Margery Wolf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Studies of Chinese society commonly emphasizze men's roles and functions, a not unreasonable approach to a society with patrilineal kinship structure. But this emphasis has left many important gaps in our knowledge of Chinese life.

This study seeks to fill some of these gaps by examining the ways rural Taiwanese women manipulate men and each other in the pursuit of their personal goals. The source of a woman's power, her home in a social structure dominated by men, is what the author calls the uterine family, a de facto social unity consisting of a mother and her children.

The first…


Book cover of Flyover Lives: A Memoir

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

This book is a memoir that demonstrates the power and joys of gratitude through the author’s memories of her childhood in Moline, Illinois. 

Diane Johnson demonstrates much gratitude for her childhood, but she is no midwestern hickster. Johnson is a Hollywood film writer who has worked with such directors as Francis for Coppola and Sydney Pollack. She has traveled the world, and yet she reveals how the gratitude for her youth has sustained her through life.

By Diane Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Smart . . . perceptive . . . Flyover Lives is a memoir of the Midwest sure to charm readers.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR

From the New York Times bestselling author of Le Divorce, a dazzling meditation on the mysteries of the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us

Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: “Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t really know where you’re…


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