93 books like Wild Abandon

By Jen Barclay,

Here are 93 books that Wild Abandon fans have personally recommended if you like Wild Abandon. 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 Mermaid Singing

Tony Spawforth Author Of What the Greeks Did for Us

From my list on travel in Greece, ancient and modern.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about ancient Greece as a teenager when I studied the ancient languages and history at school. I was also lapping up ancient Greece on film—back then the so-so Burton-Taylor Cleopatra really impressed. I got enthused by historical novels too, Mary Renault’s especially. My first visit to Greece as a university student hooked me on modern Greece as well. Since then, I’ve become a professional academic specialising in ancient Greece and have been lucky enough to develop a lifelong relationship with modern as well as ancient Greeks. I lived in Greece for six years in my twenties, and have gone back repeatedly ever since. I’ve published widely on Greece’s ancient history and archaeology.

Tony's book list on travel in Greece, ancient and modern

Tony Spawforth Why did Tony love this book?

Clift creates a sympathetic and highly informative picture of the islanders of Kalymnos in Greece’s Dodecanese.

She lived here with her family in the 1950s, when the island’s males made their dangerous living from diving for sponges. Clift brilliantly captures the suspended animation of the families left behind by the diving fleet, loved ones who could only hope that fathers and sons would return alive and intact.

I’m familiar with today’s Kalymnos, its port choc-a-bloc with tourist boats. It’s salutary to be reminded of the hardships of traditional island life and how modern tourism can be a benefit, not a blight.

By Charmian Clift,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1951 the Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston left grey, post-war London for Greece. Settling first on the tiny island of Kalymnos, then Hydra, their plan was to live simply and focus on their writing, away from the noise of the big city. The result is two of Charmian Clift's best known and most loved books, the memoirs Mermaid Singing and Peel Me a Lotus. Mermaid Singing relays the culture shock and the sheer delight of their first year on the tiny sponge-fishing island of Kalymnos. Clift paints an evocative picture of the characters and sun-drenched rhythms of…


Book cover of The Magus

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Author Of The Lizard

From my list on thrillers with beautiful settings and mind-blowing twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been born in Fiji and lived in Cyprus, Austria, and Nigeria, I have always had a strong sense of wanderlust and a keen eye for my surroundings – both natural and man-made. I’ve always been open to "what might happen next," which makes sense as to why I became a professional storyteller – an actor, writer, and director. I am thrilled by not knowing what lies ahead, and I’ve always felt there is possible adventure at every turn in life, which is why I am so fond of the evocative and thrilling books I have listed.

Dugald's book list on thrillers with beautiful settings and mind-blowing twists

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Why did Dugald love this book?

I love suspense thrillers with a strong opening hook, and this spell-binding and intoxicating adventure into a Greek Heart of Darkness kept me guessing up to the last page and beyond (everyone disagrees about the enigmatic ending).

An almost Faust-like adventure, set in, to me, the most intoxicating landscape on the planet. I found it an utterly mind-bending mystery that blended reality with fantasy, love, and fear like no other. It made me want to move to Greece.

By John Fowles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Magus is the story of Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching assignment on a remote Greek island. There his friendship with a local millionaire evolves into a deadly game, one in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated, and Nicholas must fight for his sanity and his very survival.


Book cover of Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story

Judy Reeves Author Of When Your Heart Says Go: My Year of Traveling Beyond Loss and Loneliness

From my list on by women who travel the world in search of themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father introduced me to the world as we paged through his old pre-WWII atlas. We traced borders and rivers with our fingers and he spoke names that were magical incantations and invitations to a world more exciting and mysterious than our midwestern home. As a reader, I was drawn to books about travel and as a budding writer, I was inspired by the adventures of “Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter” featured in the Sunday comics of my youth. I packed my bags early and my passport is never out of date. I continue to read traveloirs, and I write in my journal every day. Oh! The places I will go. 

Judy's book list on by women who travel the world in search of themselves

Judy Reeves Why did Judy love this book?

This is a dual memoir and each woman is on a quest to redefine herself. Sue Monk Kidd as a writer and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor as she asks the age-old question: “what to do with my life.” 

Written in alternating chapters, mother and daughter write of their experiences and insights as they visit sacred sights in ancient lands, places rich with myth and legend and the sacred feminine. My journey too was as a seeker, a woman thick with an urgency to write as Sue was, and as a single woman exploring “now what?” 

While I traveled alone and these women traveled together, each of us was on our own individual journey, exploring, discovering, asking questions, and seeking answers that can often only be found when we travel within.

By Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Kidd Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling memoir of pilgrimage and self-discovery by Sue Monk Kidd, the author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Book of Longings, and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor

Sue Monk Kidd has touched the hearts of millions of readers with her beloved novels and acclaimed nonfiction. Now, in this wise and engrossing dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, chronicle their travels together through Greece and France at a time when each was on a quest to redefine herself and rediscover each other.

As Sue struggles to enlarge a vision of swarming bees into a…


Book cover of The Flight of Ikaros: Travels in Greece During the Civil War

Dana Facaros Author Of Northern Greece

From my list on evocative travel about Greece.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Greece 50 years ago, when I had the good fortune of spending a summer on my father’s native island of Ikaria. I bagged my first writing job four years later when I wrote a guide to all the Greek islands. As a travel writer I tend to fall in love with all the places I write about! But Greece is where I feel most at home, and it has inspired some truly memorable travel books. I hope you like some of my all-time favorites.

Dana's book list on evocative travel about Greece

Dana Facaros Why did Dana love this book?

In 1947, archaeologist Kevin Andrews went to the Peloponnese on a Fulbright fellowship to study the Crusader castles and found a country in the midst of a civil war. He was one of the few foreigners there at the time, which his book vividly brings to life.. after a first rather idyllic description of stomping on grapes with friends on Paros he enters another world. Yet he was so moved by the humanity of the villagers in a period of great poverty, suspicion, and turmoil that he made Greece his home, and wrote numerous other books about Greece, but this is his best… about a period I hope is never repeated.  

By Kevin Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"One of the great and lasting books about Greece."—Patrick Leigh Fermor

"An intense and compelling account of an educated, sensitive archaeologist wandering the back country during the civil war. Half a century on, still one of the best books on Greece as it was before 'development.'"—The Rough Guide to the Greek Islands

"He also is in love with the country…but he sees the other side of that dazzling medal or moon…If you want some truth about Greece, here it is."—Louis MacNeice, The Observer

"One of the best and most honest books about the modern Greeks."—E. R. Dodds

"Kevin Andrews experienced…


Book cover of Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe

Dana Facaros Author Of Northern Greece

From my list on evocative travel about Greece.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Greece 50 years ago, when I had the good fortune of spending a summer on my father’s native island of Ikaria. I bagged my first writing job four years later when I wrote a guide to all the Greek islands. As a travel writer I tend to fall in love with all the places I write about! But Greece is where I feel most at home, and it has inspired some truly memorable travel books. I hope you like some of my all-time favorites.

Dana's book list on evocative travel about Greece

Dana Facaros Why did Dana love this book?

I came across this book while researching my guide to Northern Greece. Kapka Kassabova is a Bulgarian writer now living in the Scottish Highlands, who returned to the land she knew as a child: the once heavily militarized border between Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Her account of the places and people she meets in this forgotten corner of the world are uncanny, full of wonder, tragedy and horror, comedy and beauty, in a place where even in the 21st-century magic and the supernatural still live on.  

By Kapka Kassabova,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Remarkable: a book about borders that makes the reader feel sumptuously free.” —Peter Pomerantsev

In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the “Red Riviera” on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose…


Book cover of Windhaven

H.J. Reynolds Author Of Without a Shadow

From my list on unique and memorable magic systems.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read almost any genre, but fantasy is what I love most, both reading and writing. Stories are magic, but when they have actual magic in them, I’m hooked. Having studied both Film and Creative Writing at university, I love to go in-depth on storytelling and have reviews aplenty on my website if you want further recommendations. The books I’ve chosen for this list have incredibly unique worlds full of bizarre magic. When I enter a new world, I want it to be exactly that: new and exciting with a touch of the surreal. To me, these books showcase magic at its most vivid and creative. 

H.J.'s book list on unique and memorable magic systems

H.J. Reynolds Why did H.J. love this book?

I loved the atmosphere of this book; it’s so quiet and understated, and I really felt like I was growing up with the main character. I loved how her perception of the magic changed over time. She’s at first wonderstruck by the beauty of flight, then hungry to earn her wings, and then we see her crushed by the weight of responsibility as she becomes a mentor to the next generation.

There’s such a thoughtful balance between excitement at the magic and critique of how that magic is ‘gifted.’ Plus, it’s a standalone, so there's no waiting around for that next brick in the series (I’m looking at you, Winds of Winter). 

By George R. R. Martin, Lisa Tuttle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Told with a true storyteller’s voice: clear, singing, persuasive, and wonderfully moving . . . a truly wonderful book.”—Jane Yolen
 
From #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and acclaimed author Lisa Tuttle comes a timeless tale that brilliantly renders the struggle between the ironbound world of tradition and a rebellious soul seeking to prove the power of a dream.
 
Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms, to bring news, gossip,…


Book cover of The Flying Beaver Brothers: Birds vs. Bunnies

Lauren Stohler Author Of Gnome and Rat

From my list on early graphic novels with unique vibes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author/illustrator of picture books and early graphic novels! I love stories that are immersive, transformative, and moody. Some of my favorite vibes come from: smelling freshly-shaved pencils in autumn, hearing a great song for the first time, and finding exactly the right book when you need it!

Lauren's book list on early graphic novels with unique vibes

Lauren Stohler Why did Lauren love this book?

The vibe is:  wildly witty action-adventure!
The Flying Beaver Brothers series moves at lightning speed through compelling (and often dastardly) plots!  Packed with laugh-out-loud non-sequiturs, 4th wall breaks, and recurring characters, this book is densely rewarding to readers. Lucky for you, there are lots of books in this series, and you'll want them close at hand after you finish the first!

One of the things I like most about this series is that the jokes are multi-dimensional and not 'made easier' for kids...they're full-strength funny! My second favorite thing? The ridiculously inventive sound effects. (First in a series!)

By Maxwell Eaton III,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flying Beaver Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

In their fourth adventure, the Flying Beaver Brothers set off in their sailboat to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation at nearby the island. But the birds and bunnies who live on Little Beaver Island have other ideas. Before long, Ace and Bub find themselves embroiled in an all-out war between the feathers and the fuzz. Can the Flying Beaver Brothers bring peace to Little Beaver Island?


Book cover of The Mysterious Island

Clemens P. Suter Author Of Rebound

From my list on people with guts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Clemens P. Suter is an author of adventure novels. His books deal with people that overcome impossible, life-changing situations. These are entertaining adventure books, with dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and Scifi elements.

Clemens' book list on people with guts

Clemens P. Suter Why did Clemens love this book?

Verne has written many books about survival, exploration, and technical innovation. In many aspects, he was far ahead of his time, a nineteen century Sci-Fi wonder boy. He was a masterful storyteller, providing an expert rhythm of action scenes followed by contemplative paragraphs. The Mysterious Island deals with a group of people that has landed in an impossible situation: they are castaways on a deserted island. In most books of this genre, the subjects will succumb or barely manage to survive, but not so for Verne’s engineer and his companions. Through the combination of scientific knowledge, the sheer power of man’s muscles, and unwavering optimism, they quickly turn nature to their benefit and remodel the island to their liking. A thrilling adventure story!

By Jules Verne,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With an Introduction by Alex Dolby.

Translation by W.H.G. Kingston.

Jules Verne (1828-1905) is internationally famous as the author of a distinctive series of adventure stories describing new travel technologies which opened up the world and provided means to escape from it. The collective enthusiasm of generations of readers of his 'extraordinary voyages' was a key factor in the rise of modern science fiction.

In The Mysterious Island a group of men escape imprisonment during the American Civil War by stealing a balloon. Blown across the world, they are air-wrecked on a remote desert island. In a manner reminiscent of…


Book cover of The Little Island: (Caldecott Medal Winner)

Eoin McLaughlin Author Of The Hug

From my list on children's stories exploring empathy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading allows us to climb inside other people’s heads, to think their thoughts and feel their feelings. For children, in particular, books can be a way to understand new emotions. To name them and start to think about where they come from. As my son started to grow up, I wanted to write a story that helped him think about other people’s feelings. And that’s what The Hug and its follow-ups are all about.

Eoin's book list on children's stories exploring empathy

Eoin McLaughlin Why did Eoin love this book?

This beautiful picturebook won the Caldecott Medal in 1947, but it’s as timeless as they come. It’s a shame you don’t see it around that much these days. It tells the story of an island throughout the four seasons, including crabs, seals and a visiting cat who can’t handle the island’s deepest secret. It seems like a simple book, but there’s a whole lot going on beneath the surface. The way the world appears is all to do with who’s looking at it.

By Margaret Wise Brown, Leonard Weisgard (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Little Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Children’s book icon Margaret Wise Brown – author of the cherished classic Goodnight Moon – and Caldecott Medal-winner Leonard Weisgard bring young readers an enduring picture book about the magic of nature.
 
Winner of the 1947 Caldecott Medal, this beautifully moving story centers around a little island in the midst of the wide ocean, and the curious kitten who comes to visit. As the seasons pass, the island and the creatures who call it home witness an ever-changing array of sights, smells, and sounds – proving that, no matter how small, we are all an important part of the world.


Book cover of The Teatime Islands: Adventures in Britain's Faraway Outposts

Simon Michael Prior Author Of The Coconut Wireless

From my list on remote tropical islands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon Michael Prior loves small islands, and has travelled to remote countries in search of unique island experiences. He inflicts all aspects of life on himself so that readers can enjoy learning about his latest exploits. During his forty-year adolescence, he’s lived on two boats, sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food, and paper bags; visited fifty countries, lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; learnt to wakeboard; trained as a Marine Rescue skipper, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

Simon's book list on remote tropical islands

Simon Michael Prior Why did Simon love this book?

As an Englishman, I’m very taken by books which combine travel with English history. Ben Fogle takes us through the last remnants of the British Empire, tiny islands that have refused independence and resolutely fly the Union Jack. His adventures in Tristan da Cunha, Diego Garcia, and St Helena took me to three places I had never been to. Like me, Fogle is an islandophile and I recommend this for anyone wanting to know about these islands that are in many ways more British than Britain.

By Ben Fogle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcomed with open arms, derided as a pig-ignorant tourist and occasionally mocked mercilessly for his trouble, Ben Fogle visited the last flag-flying outposts of the British Empire. With caution, dignity and a spare pair of pants thrown to the wind, he set out to discover just exactly who would choose to live on islands as remote as these and - more importantly - tried to figure out exactly why. Landing himself on islands so isolated, wind-swept, barren and just damned peculiar that they might have Robinson Crusoe thinking twice, Fogle: almost becomes lunch on the appropriately named Carcass Island; gets…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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