96 books like Zos Speaks!

By Kenneth Grant, Steffi Grant,

Here are 96 books that Zos Speaks! fans have personally recommended if you like Zos Speaks!. 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 Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

This is an unreliable but very readable book from occult writer Kenneth Grant. I used to find the title mysterious; it really means images and oracular worlds, and I remember seeing great heaps of this book remaindered in the 1980s, little knowing it would go on to fetch £300 a copy. Fortunately, Fulgur have since produced an affordable edition.

Grant’s depiction of Spare is heavily influenced by his reading of popular fiction writers like Arthur Machen, Sax Rohmer, and H.P. Lovecraft, and he gives us Spare, the black magician seduced in childhood by an elderly witch, who launches “an amphibious owl with the wings of a bat” into a conflict between magical groups. This is really the book that started the “Spare Mythos.”

By Kenneth Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Images and Oracles remains one of the most influential works on esoteric magick and mystical art produced in the last thirty years. Part One discusses Spare's life and biographical anecdotes while Part Two provides Kenneth Grant' important analysis and co


Book cover of Michelangelo in a Teacup

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

A warm, down-to-earth amateur biography of Spare, which is also a memoir of the author’s friendship with him. A mildly eccentric man who went on to run a secondhand bookshop in Hastings, Letchford sought Spare out in 1937, when he was a twenty-one-year-old shop assistant, after reading about him in a newspaper, and went on to become his most loyal friend.

At the opposite pole to Grant (they only met at Spare’s deathbed), this is Spare the canny, opinionated Cockney and South Londoner, but there is not much magic in it. Spare valued both Grant and Letchford, although he had a couple of rows with Grant. In the end, he might have felt closer to Letchford, leaving him “first choice” of pictures in his will and Grant second.

By Frank Letchford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Michelangelo in a Teacup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Letchford, Frank


Book cover of The Exhibition Catalogues of Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

This complete compendium of Spare’s exhibition catalogues has been put together by the great Robert Ansell, a pioneering figure in Spare research. Running from 1907 to 1955, complete with their catalogue essays and some related bits of ephemera, the facsimile catalogues slowly change in their period feel and give the real trajectory of Spare’s career, all the way through to his late shows in pubs.

The book has a generous additional colour section of pictures, and it is all surprisingly readable and even vivid: “Not long now!” says the flyer for an upcoming exhibition in the Mansion House Tavern pub in south London: “The show you’ve been waiting for!” 

Book cover of Two Tracts on Cartomancy

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

This is a marvellous little book that delves into Spare’s engagement with fortune-telling by cards, particularly the story of his 1930s ‘Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards,’ which he sold through a small ad in the Exchange and Mart magazine.

They are quintessentially Spare, perhaps more than the recently discovered Spare tarot (juvenilia, in comparison, from before he went beyond conventional occultism). Along with previously unseen photos and Spare’s own essay "Mind to Mind and How" (“By a Sorcerer”), the heart of the book is Gavin’s "A Few Leaves from the Devil’s Picture Book." 

This was a milestone in Spare research, back when what little was known about him was unreliable, and it is also a beautiful piece of writing–I borrowed a line from it to close my own book on him. 

By Austin O Spare, Gavin Semple (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Two Tracts on Cartomancy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edited by Gavin Semple. Previously unpublished writing and very important for Spare studies.


Book cover of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley

Phil Baker Author Of City of the Beast: The London of Aleister Crowley

From my list on the beast.

Why am I passionate about this?

I used to love Dennis Wheatley’s Satanic pulp fiction when I was about twelve—like a gateway drugand graduated on to read my first Crowley biography a year or two later. I was gripped. As the years went by I developed what might seem like more serious interests in reading about psychoanalysis, Buddhism, and surrealism, but it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about the mind, and inner experience, and Crowley remains one of its towering figures. 

Phil's book list on the beast

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

Weighing in at somewhere over 300,00 words across over 700 pages, this is the most comprehensive Crowley biography. Stylistically is it no great treat for the reader, but it was obviously a staggering amount of work and demands respect: assembling this much material is an achievement. The effect—with generous backup detail on minor figuresis often like a gigantic Wikipedia entry. Kaczynski is one of the Crowley faithful, and he tends to look on the bright side. Consequently the book can be rather pious, as well as occasionally naive (Kaczynski quotes Freud’s supposed lauding of occult artist Austin Osman Spare, for exampleone of Spare’s tall talesas if he really said it, to which you can only say “As if…”). Still a very useful work of reference. 

By Richard Kaczynski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A rigorously researched biography of the founder of modern magick, as well as a study of the occult, sexuality, Eastern religion, and more
 
The name “Aleister Crowley” instantly conjures visions of diabolic ceremonies and orgiastic indulgences—and while the sardonic Crowley would perhaps be the last to challenge such a view, he was also much more than “the Beast,” as this authoritative biography shows. 

Perdurabo—entitled after the magical name Crowley chose when inducted into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—traces Crowley’s remarkable journey from his birth as the only son of a wealthy lay preacher to his death in a…


Book cover of Jade

S. A. Gibson Author Of In the Horde's Way

From my list on where different cultures mix in a fantastical world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated by how people communicate. I enjoy when different cultures clash and cooperate. Coming from another country and growing up in California exposed me to my first taste of different groups. Traveling around the country and the world has allowed me to see the vast variety of people and I continue to wonder how we can get along together.

S. A.'s book list on where different cultures mix in a fantastical world

S. A. Gibson Why did S. A. love this book?

Jade is a being of mysterious power who has traits of shifter, witch, fae, and others. She serves the police force in Winston, in a world in which supernatural beings are everywhere, but are discriminated against. She must solve a mystery and fight to protect herself and her friends. I enjoyed this story. I think you will enjoy it if you like fantasy.

By Rose Montague,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she…


Book cover of The Lost Apothecary

Raemi A. Ray Author Of A Chain of Pearls

From my list on unique, moody settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and became hooked on the Fear Street books by RL Stine. In college, I took a class on suspense and mystery and was introduced to the greats: Chandler, Hammett, Collins, Christie, Doyle… I could go on and on. As I consumed more, I became enamored with mysteries that were more than just stories about victims but also used crime as a vehicle to comment on the region’s social and economic issues. My favorite mysteries are more than the sum of its body parts. They also scrutinize the worlds where these heinous crimes were allowed to occur.   

Raemi's book list on unique, moody settings

Raemi A. Ray Why did Raemi love this book?

In this book, the protagonist escapes to modern-day London and uncovers a centuries-old mystery. The story is told in parallel timelines juxtaposing modern-day and Victorian London, and it’s such a cool vibe. I loved how the FMC, Caroline, walks the same roads and travels the same paths as the long-dead apothecary and how their stories of women in a misogynist society mirror each other.  

I loved following Caroline as she pieced together the story of the poisoners and the “crimes” they committed and how she stepped into her own and found her confidence.

By Sarah Penner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Hello! magazine, Oprah.com, Bustle, Popsugar, Betches, Sweet July, and GoodReads!

March 2021 Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick

“A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised…


Book cover of Weyward

Caren Simpson McVicker Author Of Henderson House

From my list on believing in magic again.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a debut novelist at the age of fifty-seven, I’ve spent most of my life as a reader, not an author. My love of reading began with The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and flourished when I discovered the genre of fantasy with The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. Is it any wonder I giggle with delight when I stumble upon a book that makes me believe in magic again? When an author weaves the supernatural into their story in a natural way, my expectations shift, and my heart opens to the power of the unknown to teach me something new and take me somewhere extraordinary.

Caren's book list on believing in magic again

Caren Simpson McVicker Why did Caren love this book?

Isn’t it wonderful when you pick up the right book at the right time? That’s exactly how I felt about this book.

I inhaled this novel, reading it in just a few sittings over two days. I loved how the three female protagonists were linked through time by their connection to Weyward Cottage and their exceptional connection to nature.

This novel moves effortlessly between points of view in 1619, 1942, and 2019. Hart ties the three women’s stories together beautifully at the end, making this read as satisfying as a perfect cup of tea on a cold winter’s day.

By Emilia Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An Indie Next March 2023 Pick • A LibraryReads March 2023 Pick • An Amazon "Best Books of the Year So Far" 2023 Pick

"A brave and original debut, Weyward is a spellbinding story about what may transpire when the natural world collides with a legacy of witchcraft." ––Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The London Séance Society

I am a Weyward, and wild inside.

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the…


Book cover of Puffball

Karen E. Stokes Author Of The Healing

From my list on inspiring reads as both a writer and a reader.

Why am I passionate about this?

My literary interest began in childhood when my love for rhyme encouraged me to write limericks and poems. In 2009, my first novel, An Ordinary Life was published, which I considered to be a therapeutic exercise to see where it would lead, and here I am, much wiser, but still learning. Becoming an author has greatly enhanced my appreciation of the written word and how powerful it can be, hence, my book choices – a personal literary journey.  

Karen's book list on inspiring reads as both a writer and a reader

Karen E. Stokes Why did Karen love this book?

Reading Fay Weldon for the first time played on my imagination with her unconventional style and interpretation.

I was always a daydreamer at school and remember being able to relate to the innocence of the main character. She led you on a journey where you didn’t quite know what to believe and for this reason, I fell in love with her work. 

By Fay Weldon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A novel of urban deceit and rural passion, of doctors, witches, birth and death.

'Many people dream of country cottages. Liffey dreamed for many years, and saw her dream come true one hot Sunday afternoon, in Somerset, in September... A trap closed around her. The getting of the country cottage, not the wanting - that was the trap.'

Richard and Liffey, a young married couple, follow their dream of moving out of London to a country cottage in the middle of Somerset. Richard continues to live and work in London, coming to stay with Liffey only on weekends.

Pregnant Liffey…


Book cover of Trapped in Time: A Modern-Historic Love Story

Tonya Penrose Author Of Venetian Rhapsody

From my list on featuring a time-travel romance or relationship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated with time travel since I was young, and that's been a few moons. When the idea came to write books that play with time and space and cloak them in a romantic comedy, I got in my favorite writing chair to see who showed up with a story. I want to entice readers to take the journey, pondering suppose we could time travel? I think time is malleable, at least in my characters' hands. And they've done an excellent job of keeping me intrigued with their escapades in the past and present. I hope you enjoy the books I chose to recommend as much as I did. 

Tonya's book list on featuring a time-travel romance or relationship

Tonya Penrose Why did Tonya love this book?

Trapped in Time is the quincentennial weekend escape.

Thanks to a bump on Emma’s head, the story takes you on a time-travel excursion back to the Victorian era, where modern-day Emma suddenly finds herself. With no way back to reality, she navigates and manipulates her way into the arms of the aristocratic John to serve a secret purpose.

But as Emma confronts the struggles of women in this era, she faces critical decisions of mind and heart. This story resonated on many levels to see the hard won progress as women we’ve made and that our path continues with batons held high.

By Denise Daye,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the day she and her mother escaped her cruel father, Emma Washington vowed to never fall in love. 

Now, Emma is a back-to-school PhD student with bigger and better things to worry about. That is, until one night, exhausted, slightly tipsy, and on her way home from a party, the glaring white light of a car comes crashing toward her, changing her life forever. Instead of waking up in a 21st-century hospital, she finds herself waking up in the backwaters of London, Victorian England, 1881… 

Trapped in a time where everything she once knew is considered witchcraft, Emma discovers…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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