The best books about dreams

19 authors have picked their favorite books about dreams and why they recommend each book.

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The History of Last Night's Dream

By Rodger Kamenetz,

Book cover of The History of Last Night's Dream: Discovering the Hidden Path to the Soul

This book introduces the reader to Marc Bregman - a postman turned dream interpreter whose approach breaks through intellectual interpretations of dreams to the emotional experience of your predicament in life. Dreams show you the path out of your predicament – usually through connecting with what used to be called “your inner child” but here is redefined as being childlike in your sense of adventure and mystery in life. 

The method shown in this book goes far beyond dream interpretation to using a dream to heal your life, your relationships, your career confusions, and more. The images in the dream are medicine and can be recalled to offer healing in your waking life. Full disclosure – Marc Bregman was my dream therapist for several years, I found him through this book.


Who am I?

I am a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in ADHD. My passion for dreams overlaps with my interest in ADHD which is commonly associated with daydreaming. I have intensively studied dreams in courses, conferences, experiential dream groups, and in years-long therapy that focused only on dream interpretation. I have seen dreams offer insights and at times solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems in my client's lives and also in my own life. I am an author writing on ADHD, executive functioning, and depression including the books The Gift of Adult ADD and The Six Super Skills for Executive Functioning. Dreams can offer insights into all of these conditions suggesting perspectives and healing actions.


I wrote...

Six Super Skills for Executive Functioning: Tools to Help Teens Improve Focus, Stay Organized, and Reach Their Goals

By Lara Honos-Webb,

Book cover of Six Super Skills for Executive Functioning: Tools to Help Teens Improve Focus, Stay Organized, and Reach Their Goals

What is my book about?

Do you have trouble paying attention? Do you miss important deadlines? Do you ever feel “scattered” or unorganized? You’re not alone. Between friend drama, social media, dating, smartphones, and a changing body and brain, most teens need a little extra help staying focused. The good news is there are real skills you can learn now to help you stay on track—in school and in life. This book includes six super simple skills to help you stay focused & reach your goals! The six super skills are finding gifts, setting goals, chunking, boosting motivation, mood management, and the science of attention management.

In this fun and easy guide, you’ll discover six powerful “super skills” to help you pay attention, stay organized, and get stuff done—so you can be your very best. 

Dream Work

By Jeremy Taylor,

Book cover of Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams

I picked Dream Work because it is “one-stop shopping” meaning it is a comprehensive and thorough review of many different approaches to dream interpretation. I particularly like the quick tips he offers if you don’t want to delve into theory. For example, he recommends you create a title for a dream which is effective in increasing your insight quickly. He also has guidance for working with fragments of dreams and offers a powerful case study of how one small dream fragment of remembering “pastel” colors opened up a new career direction for a dreamer. While many dreamers find dream fragments to be frustrating he shows how these can be condensed and edited “telegrams.” Other quick tips he offers are asking questions about a dream such as “What might happen if I did this in the real world?”


Who am I?

I am a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in ADHD. My passion for dreams overlaps with my interest in ADHD which is commonly associated with daydreaming. I have intensively studied dreams in courses, conferences, experiential dream groups, and in years-long therapy that focused only on dream interpretation. I have seen dreams offer insights and at times solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems in my client's lives and also in my own life. I am an author writing on ADHD, executive functioning, and depression including the books The Gift of Adult ADD and The Six Super Skills for Executive Functioning. Dreams can offer insights into all of these conditions suggesting perspectives and healing actions.


I wrote...

Six Super Skills for Executive Functioning: Tools to Help Teens Improve Focus, Stay Organized, and Reach Their Goals

By Lara Honos-Webb,

Book cover of Six Super Skills for Executive Functioning: Tools to Help Teens Improve Focus, Stay Organized, and Reach Their Goals

What is my book about?

Do you have trouble paying attention? Do you miss important deadlines? Do you ever feel “scattered” or unorganized? You’re not alone. Between friend drama, social media, dating, smartphones, and a changing body and brain, most teens need a little extra help staying focused. The good news is there are real skills you can learn now to help you stay on track—in school and in life. This book includes six super simple skills to help you stay focused & reach your goals! The six super skills are finding gifts, setting goals, chunking, boosting motivation, mood management, and the science of attention management.

In this fun and easy guide, you’ll discover six powerful “super skills” to help you pay attention, stay organized, and get stuff done—so you can be your very best. 

The Marrow Thieves

By Cherie Dimaline,

Book cover of The Marrow Thieves

The Marrow Thieves was a smash hit in its publication year and explores the continued colonial exploitation of Indigenous people. It may be the most well-known of the post-apocalyptic Indigenous speculative fiction novels that have come out recently, setting Indigenous peoples in a not-so-distant future where traditional knowledge is the key to their survival. The author, Cherie Dimaline, is from the Georgian Bay Métis Nation, a part of the Métis Nation of Ontario. 


Who am I?

Having grown up on S.E. Hinton, I love a good, gritty young adult novel that doesn’t pull any punches! In my book, Black Chuck, four misfit teens suddenly find themselves cast adrift after the very charismatic Shaun dies, leaving them to navigate their way to adulthood without their leader. All the books on this list are coming-of-age stories about kids growing up in tough circumstances, finding love, making mistakes, getting hurt, and ultimately finding joy in a world that at times seems set against them.


I wrote...

Black Chuck

By Regan McDonell,

Book cover of Black Chuck

What is my book about?

In this dark, gritty coming-of-age novel about small-town kids from the wrong side of the tracks, tough guy Réal and quiet loner Evie find strange comfort in each other in the aftermath of their closest friend’s death. 

Shaun was the king, the lynchpin that kept their small, close-knit group of friends together. He was the sun they’d all spun around. And in the days after his sudden, violent death, Réal looks to Evie to atone for his sins, and Evie looks to Ré to forget about her own. But each of them is keeping a secret—about Shaun, and the night he died—secrets that might just tear these friends apart forever.

In the Night Kitchen

By Maurice Sendak,

Book cover of In the Night Kitchen

The best book ever of all time, for instructing humans how to be more human is Where the Wild Things Are. I think you probably already know that those pages are complete perfection. So I will now turn your attention to Mr. Sendak’s other completely perfect pages of In the Night Kitchen. Maybe the second-best book ever of all time.

Who am I?

My books may never be a child’s favorite nighty-night story, but I think they offer fresh minds opportunities to visit some unusual places. There are goblins in the forest; so let’s go there together, in delight, holding hands. My poems and illustrations have been featured in numerous books and magazines and honored by the National  Council of Teachers of English and the Society of Illustrators. I live with my youngest son in upstate New York, in a house filled with bikes and balls, color, and music.


I wrote...

A Song

By James Christopher Carroll,

Book cover of A Song

What is my book about?

A girl hears a song and follows its call into the woods where she happens upon a wild band of animals, and receives a wondrous gift that changes her life forever. The story serves as an example to those who have forgotten how to listen to their lives, how to discern music from noise, how to follow the path of mystery and adventure set before them. A Song is an encouragement for readers to listen and to follow their passions in life.

The Psychology of Dreaming

By Josie Malinowski,

Book cover of The Psychology of Dreaming

This book, written by an actual dream researcher, presents a smart and easy-to-read introduction to the psychology of dreams. Covering topics like the history of dreaming, how dreams are scientifically studied, how to work with dreams for personal insight, the possible functions of dreams, lucid dreaming, nightmares, and what the future of dream research may hold, Malinowski does a commendable job of introducing the reader to a wealth of information about dreams. Complete with personal examples, eye-opening insights, and a thoughtful discussion of ethical questions surrounding emerging dream-related technologies, this delightful book is sure to please those looking for an engaging introduction to dreams.


Who am I?

Although I had many intriguing dreams during my childhood, including fantastic flying dreams, the idea of becoming a sleep scientist never crossed my mind. All that changed during my first year in college. It was then that I experienced an exceptionally long and vivid lucid dream that changed my life; it was because of this dream that I decided to become a dream researcher. Today, I’m a professor of psychology at the University of Montreal, director of the department’s Dream Research Laboratory, and have published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters on sleep and dreams. I don’t have as many flying dreams as I once did, but I do have a really cool job while awake. 


I wrote...

When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

By Antonio Zadra, Robert Stickgold,

Book cover of When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

What is my book about?

Questions on the origins and meaning of dreams are as old as humankind, and as confounding and exciting today as when nineteenth-century scientists first attempted to unravel them. Why do we dream? Do dreams hold psychological meaning or are they merely the reflection of random brain activity? What purpose do dreams serve?

When Brains Dream addresses these core questions about dreams while covering the most up-to-date science in the field. Co-written with my long-time friend and fellow sleep and dream researcher, Robert Stickgold, this book debunks common myths about dreams, reveals recent discoveries about the sleeping brain, explains the many ways in which dreams are psychologically and neurologically meaningful, and details how dreams can facilitate creativity and be a source of personal insight. Making an engaging case for why the human brain needs to dream When Brains Dream offers compelling answers to age-old questions about the mysteries of dreams.

The Great Good Thing

By Roderick Townley,

Book cover of The Great Good Thing

“Slyvie had an amazing life, but she didn’t get to live it very often . . .” There are several fantasies about fictional characters breaking out of their books, but Roderick Townley’s is my favorite because it’s the most surprising. I loved this book because of the way it expresses the beauty and joy of reading and because of its exploration of what it means to break out of the outlines that other people draw for you and discover in yourself something completely new. 


Who am I?

I’ve always been a daydreamer – I spent a lot of my childhood imagining the different places I could go if I just crawled through some magical crack in the universe or discovered a hidden tunnel under my bedroom floor. So fantasy has been at the top of my reading list forever. Fantasy does what all great books do, just more explicitly – they take you somewhere new, and by leaving this world behind, they give you a fresh perspective on everything that’s old and familiar. My favorite fantasies take big ideas and play them out in language rich enough to make me love that new and alien place with a passion. 


I wrote...

Blue Window

By Adina Rishe Gewirtz,

Book cover of Blue Window

What is my book about?

Five siblings fall into Ganbihar, where thought can turn into reality and where the edges of what’s real blur dangerously. Thrust into a conflict between two powerful forces, their love for each other and their desire to get home will be tested by the wonders and the terrors that they encounter in the midst of an ancient society heading toward all-out war.

The Snowman

By Raymond Briggs,

Book cover of The Snowman

The Snowman needs no introduction. And it also deals with bereavement in a more oblique way: the boy’s snowman melts in the final image of the final page, essentially dying. But the boy doesn’t feel the loss of an inanimate object, he feels the pain and loss of losing a friend with whom he’s shared games and adventures. The wordless narrative also allows parents to supply their own dialogue, or let the reader ask questions of their own. 


Who am I?

I’ve illustrated and written over 50 children’s picture books and now teach the subject of writing and illustration for all stages up to University level. I’m particularly interested when a student presents a challenging theme a publisher might balk at on commercial grounds: we have plenty of books about pirates, fairies, dinosaurs, and monsters under the bed, but relatively few on the important lessons that life can throw at a child. Race, abuse, depression, or disability (with which I have personal experience) are subjects rarely seen in book stores and can be difficult starting points for a successful children’s book. But the restrictions themselves can often be the source of great creativity.    


I wrote...

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma's Wardrobe

By Diane Fox, Christyan Fox,

Book cover of The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf, and Grandma's Wardrobe

What is my book about?

If you think you know the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, think again! Cat is trying to read the much-loved classic children’s fairy tale to Dog – parents will sympathise with Cat as she suffers question after question from inquisitive Dog. Minimal words and pictures combine to create a powerfully funny book, with two new delightful, engaging, and appealing characters in a perfect debut. The humour is very funny throughout… the simplicity of the drawings, the meta-fiction element, and laugh-aloud dialogue will delight six-year-olds and upwards.

This book was chosen by Julia Eccleshare as one of “the best of 2014” in The Guardian in December 2014.

The Changeling

By Victor LaValle,

Book cover of The Changeling

The setting is New York, and the central character, Apollo, is a young man with a Ghanaian mother and a white, ex-cop, father. Apollo spends his time searching for rare books. On the day of his greatest find, his wife attacks him and kills their son, or so it seems. But the story is far more complex.

The central themes are masculinity and the changing nature of fatherhood. It also looks at motherhood, childbirth, love, and paranoia, while dealing with cyber-stalking, immigration, witches, wishes, revenge, and trolls (both kinds). It is a deeply human tale about what can go wrong psychologically and emotionally when a couple becomes parents.

Tradition and high-tech-modernity mesh seamlessly in the story, bridging the mundane and the magical.


Who am I?

I'm an anarcho-feminist who has a special interest in magic; I consider it my guilty pleasure. I write dark and gritty stories that delve into gender, trauma, and mental illness, yet discover hope and freedom in the pit of darkness. I'm best known as a horror writer, but it’s more accurate to say that I create dark-fantasy and speculative fiction. My themes reflect the darkness which feels ubiquitous in the world, especially now in this age of extremes and pandemics, but I always search for the glimmer of light, the flame of hope that we can make a better future. I've always been fascinated by the Goth aesthetic and enchanted by post-punk threnodies.


I wrote...

Starblood: The Graphic Novel

By Carmilla Voiez,

Book cover of Starblood: The Graphic Novel

What is my book about?

Satori, an arrogant yet alluring Chaos Magician, is heartbroken when Star tells him it is over. He performs a magical ritual to win her back, but accidentally brings Lilith, Mother of Demons, to Earth. How can Satori survive the demon’s wrath and reclaim the heart of his beloved?

Beautiful and vulnerable, Star has yet to discover her own power and strength. When she falls in love with the enchanting Lilith, her world descends into madness and violence. Satori’s strange world threatened her sanity, what then of Lilith’s? A sensuous story, full of dark fantasy and horror, that offers readers a glimpse into the seedier side of the Gothic subculture in Britain.

Dreamhunter

By Elizabeth Knox,

Book cover of Dreamhunter

Elizabeth Knox is a world-class writer with an exceptional imagination and her fantasy novel, Dreamhunter, is a great introduction to her work. Set in an alternative past, dreamhunters harvest dreams which are transmitted to the public for entertainment and therapy – or worse. Fifteen-year-old Laura Hame must enter The Place of Dreams to uncover what happened to her missing dreamhunter father and in the process reveals how the government has used dreams to control an ever-growing population of convicts and political dissenters. Those who love Philip Pullman or Garth Nix won’t be disappointed.


Who am I?

I love Aotearoa New Zealand books! Our writers are brave, feisty, original - and living in ‘the land of the long white cloud’ at the bottom of the globe gives us a unique take on the world that permeates through everything we write. But we struggle to get our voices heard internationally, so far from the rest of you! This is your chance to push out your boundaries and explore stories that derive from a culture very different from your own, while sharing the same human emotions that bring us all together. As one of these writers, I challenge you to check us out – you won’t be disappointed!


I wrote...

Singing Home The Whale

By Mandy Hager,

Book cover of Singing Home The Whale

What is my book about?

The extraordinary story of how the arrival of a baby orca whale threatens to tear apart a fishing community and forever changes the life of the boy who finds it.

Will Jackson is hiding out, a city boy reluctantly staying with his uncle in small town New Zealand while he struggles to recover from a brutal attack and the aftermath of a humiliating Youtube clip gone viral. After he discovers a young abandoned orca his life is further thrown into chaos when he rallies to help protect it against hostile locals. The boy and whale develop a unique bond, forged by Will’s love of singing. An exciting plot-driven story full of drama, tension, and romance, this magical book captures both heart and mind from start to finish.

The Dream Master

By Roger Zelazny,

Book cover of The Dream Master

The Dream Master was originally published in Amazing (Jan/Feb 1965) titled, He Who Shapes. The novella won Roger Zelazny a Nebula Award in 1966. I have re-read this novel several times over the years, and subconsciously I think it influenced the premise for Dream Phaze. Some of the tech is a little outdated by today’s terms, but the overall idea is still fresh.

Who am I?

Everyone dreams, even if you don’t remember them, you dream. I have researched dreams and stories concerning dreams for decades. There are more than a handful of dream fiction books I admire and would recommend, but here are five that I think should be singled out. I am a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams to try to keep my finger on the pulse of peer-reviewed papers concerning the ‘yet-to-be-explained’ purpose of dreaming. I wrote this story because I can see a future where dreams become mainstream entertainment, it is just a matter of time and technology.

I wrote...

Dream Phaze - Germination

By Matt Watters,

Book cover of Dream Phaze - Germination

What is my book about?

Everyone dreams. All Saxon Zynn wanted to do was dream, not for himself, but for everyone. Back in 2037, Saxon stated, "Dreaming is a reality to be experienced." A decade of research later and his Dream Immersion technology is poised to become the major entertainment medium of the 21st century, but will unforeseen obstacles prevent him from achieving his purpose?

Dream Phaze is about the inception of engineered dreams and the evolution of indulgence. Set at the crossroads of alternative realities in the near future, it plunges into a world where every human desire, no matter how heroic or evil, can be fulfilled. Dream Phaze – Germination is a “Global Ebook Award” winner - Bronze 2021 Sci-fi category.

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