The best books about Liverpool

Who picked these books? Meet our 11 experts.

11 authors created a book list connected to Liverpool, and here are their favorite Liverpool books.
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The Love You Make

By Peter Brown, Steven Gaines,

Book cover of The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

Glenn Dixon Author Of Bootleg Stardust

From the list on the Beatles (from someone who loves them).

Who am I?

The first record I ever bought was Magical Mystery Tour when I was no more than twelve or so. It’s what made me want to be a musician myself. I’ve got every Beatle record and I am the kind of guy to study carefully who played what, who wrote what, and how they put it all together. Just before Covid shut down everything, I even went to Abbey Road studios where we recorded some of the songs for my novel (we wrote and recorded all the songs of the fictitious band Downtown Exit). Working in Abbey Road was a dream come true – to record in the same rooms that the Beatles used. Imagine that. It was wonderful.

Glenn's book list on the Beatles (from someone who loves them)

Discover why each book is one of Glenn's favorite books.

Why did Glenn love this book?

The Love You Make is pure pop pablum. It’s almost tabloid-like in its recounting of the Beatle’s relationships, their drug use, and their many petty squabbles. Written by Brian Epstein’s assistant (Brian Epstein, of course, was the Beatles’ manager), Brown has some stories to tell. Full of photos too. This one’s a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.

By Peter Brown, Steven Gaines,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here is the national bestseller that Newsday called “the most authoritative and candid look yet at the personal lives…of the oft-scrutinized group.” In The Love You Make, Peter Brown, a close friend of and business manager for the band—and the best man at John and Yoko’s wedding—presents a complete look at the dramatic offstage odyssey of the four lads from Liverpool who established the greatest music phenomenon of the twentieth century. Written with the full cooperation of each of the group’s members and their intimates, this book tells the inside story of the music and the madness, the feuds and…


Masterpieces of Murder

By Jonathan Goodman,

Book cover of Masterpieces of Murder: The Best True Crime Writing from the Best Chroniclers of Murder

Cathy Pickens Author Of Charlotte True Crime Stories: Notorious Cases from Fraud to Serial Killing

From the list on true crime for those who don’t like true crime.

Who am I?

When I started writing mysteries, beginning with St. Martin’s Malice Award-winning Southern Fried, I wanted to get the medical, investigative, and courtroom details right. What better resource than good first-hand accounts from professionals who do those things every day? I must admit that, over several decades now, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. Real life is full of stories that, if told as fiction, would leave readers rolling their eyes in disbelief. The gruesome and cruel don’t interest me. I’m drawn to the storytellers who can capture the worst moments and turn them into finely written, compelling, accurate stories, showing us the complexity of life. 

Cathy's book list on true crime for those who don’t like true crime

Discover why each book is one of Cathy's favorite books.

Why did Cathy love this book?

This collection features a range of stories, a range of time and places, written by many of the best true-crime writers. Goodman, himself a master storyteller, has pulled together a wide sampling of all manner of crimes stories, all well-told. Goodman wisely included his own likely solution to one of my favorite unsolved crimes, the Liverpool case of Julia Wallace, which has fascinated novelists from Raymond Chandler to Dorothy L. Sayers and P.D. James.

By Jonathan Goodman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More than 32 accounts of murder by crime historians and fiction writers as well as analyses of how criminals are brought to justice, of how others get away with it, a section on executions and executioners, the perils of eye-witness evidence and a discussion of what makes a good murder.


Liverpool

By Quentin Hughes,

Book cover of Liverpool: City of Architecture

Ken Pye Author Of Liverpool: The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of a World Class City

From the list on Liverpool and Merseyside history.

Who am I?

I am a Fellow of Liverpool Hope University, and of the Royal Society of Arts, and have a lifetime of experience in leading and teaching in all professional sectors. I have written 18 books on the history of Liverpool and its City Region, and am currently writing two more, for publication in 2022. I have also produced a series of TV documentaries and a set of audio CDs. However, my second qualification is that I am a Liverpudlian born and bred, and I am deeply proud of both of these facts. I love my city and its people (and its unique history and heritage) with genuine passion but no illusions, and I take the greatest pleasure in sharing this with as many people as possible in every medium available to me.

Ken's book list on Liverpool and Merseyside history

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

Liverpool’s Architecture represents all schools, styles, and tastes, and this book captures exactly that using glorious colour plates for each of the 226 buildings in the book. Each image is supported by a readable but detailed write-up on the history of the building, and an analysis of its style and composition. It also talks about the respective architects, and gives dates and other statistical information where appropriate.

I love this book because it is a tour-de-force by a respected historian and architect who loved his work, and who loved his city. This shows in the book.

By Quentin Hughes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Liverpool City of Architecture [Nov 15, 1999] Hugh


Far from the Tree

By Rob Parker,

Book cover of Far from the Tree

Russ Thomas Author Of Nighthawking

From the list on crime novels set in the grim North of England.

Who am I?

There’s a saying in England: It’s grim up north! Largely used pejoratively (by the south), it’s true to say it is generally colder and wetter, the landscape more unforgiving, the people – friendlier in my opinion – are more outspoken and candid. The cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, with their declining industries and rising unemployment, provide fertile ground for crime writers. So when I started my own series following the investigations of DS Adam Tyler and his cold case team it didn’t take long to settle on my adopted home of Sheffield as the setting. Be warned: we’re a long way from the sleepy villages of Agatha Christie here.

Russ' book list on crime novels set in the grim North of England

Discover why each book is one of Russ' favorite books.

Why did Russ love this book?

The first book in Rob Parker’s excellent Thirty Miles Trilogy sees twenty-seven bodies discovered, vacuum-packed, and buried in a woodland trench. DI Brendan Foley and his newly established police force are the ones tasked with cracking the case but is it a coincidence that these bodies have been buried in Foley’s hometown? Set in the historic town of Warrington, located midway between Manchester and Liverpool, the book explores the murky underworlds of the two cities and the consequences of a war between two drug-dealing gangs as it spills out into the surrounding area.

By Rob Parker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Far from the Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brendan Foley has worked to balance the responsibilities of a demanding job and a troublesome family. He's managed to keep these two worlds separate, until the discovery of a mass grave sends them into a headlong collision. When one of the dead turns out to be a familiar face, he's taken off the case. 

Iona Madison keeps everything under control. She works hard as a detective sergeant and trains harder as a boxer. But when her superior, DI Foley, is removed from the case, her certainties are tested like never before. 

With stories of the Warrington 27 plastered over the…


The Gangs of Liverpool

By Michael Macilwee,

Book cover of The Gangs of Liverpool: From the Cornermen to the High Rip - The Mobs That Terrorised a City

Ken Pye Author Of Liverpool: The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of a World Class City

From the list on Liverpool and Merseyside history.

Who am I?

I am a Fellow of Liverpool Hope University, and of the Royal Society of Arts, and have a lifetime of experience in leading and teaching in all professional sectors. I have written 18 books on the history of Liverpool and its City Region, and am currently writing two more, for publication in 2022. I have also produced a series of TV documentaries and a set of audio CDs. However, my second qualification is that I am a Liverpudlian born and bred, and I am deeply proud of both of these facts. I love my city and its people (and its unique history and heritage) with genuine passion but no illusions, and I take the greatest pleasure in sharing this with as many people as possible in every medium available to me.

Ken's book list on Liverpool and Merseyside history

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

Liverpool in the 19th century was actually two cities; one of fabulous wealth (a powerful minority of the population) and the other of grinding poverty and deprivation (the majority of the population). This divide, and the dreadful living and health conditions of the poorer and working classes led to a great deal of crime, often carried out by violent gangs of mostly young men.

This book tells the stories of how this came about, and of the gangs and their members. It pulls no punches, and paints a picture of the dark underbelly of what was then ‘The Second City of The British Empire’ that people often choose to ignore. I love this book for all these reasons!

By Michael Macilwee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Victorian Liverpool was a city of abundant wealth and abysmal poverty. By day the broad streets bustled with wealthy merchants making fortunes from the booming dock trade. By nightfall they were taken over by fearsome gangs from the foul courtyards and overcrowded tenements. Shrieks and screams cut the air, while brawls and brutal muggings were commonplace.

The Gangs of Liverpool is a fascinating tour through a long-forgotten netherworld where armed ruffians fought for territory or pride and no man was safe after dark. From warring Catholic and Protestant mobs of the 1850s with names like the Hibernians and the Dead…


Ill Will

By Michael Stewart,

Book cover of Ill Will

Claire O'Callaghan Author Of Emily Brontë Reappraised

From the list on Brontë sequels, prequels, spin-offs and biographies.

Who am I?

I am a writer and academic based at Loughborough University specialising in the lives, works, and afterlives of the Brontës. As a Lecturer in English, I teach and research different aspects of the Brontës writings. Alongside my own biography of Emily, I have published widely on the Brontës, including material on Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Emily Brontë’s poetry, and Charlotte's letters. I have also written about how the Brontës inspire contemporary authors, poets, and screenwriters. As well as rereading the siblings’ novels (I love Charlotte’s Shirley!), I’m fascinated by the many biographies and bio-fictions generated about this great Yorkshire family. I hope you enjoy these recommendations!

Claire's book list on Brontë sequels, prequels, spin-offs and biographies

Discover why each book is one of Claire's favorite books.

Why did Claire love this book?

Another incredible rewriting of Wuthering Heights and one that’s as dark and Gothic as Emily’s momentous original. In Ill Will, Michael Stewart picks up Emily’s narrative at the point when Heathcliff, having heard Cathy declare that it would degrade her to marry him, departs the Heights. Stewart unravels the tale of where Heathcliff went during the three years that he was missing from Cathy’s world and imagines what happened to him to make him return in such a vengeful guise. Ill Will is also a rewriting that takes up the issue of race, for here, Heathcliff is a young black man and his departure from the Heights prompts him to trace Mr. Earnshaw’s walk to Liverpool in the hope of finding out who he is. 

By Michael Stewart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An astonishing novel' The Independent

I am William Lee: brute; liar, and graveside thief.

But you will know me by another name.

Heathcliff has left Wuthering Heights, and is travelling across the moors to Liverpool in search of his past.

Along the way, he saves Emily, the foul-mouthed daughter of a Highwayman, from a whipping, and the pair journey on together.

Roaming from graveyard to graveyard, making a living from Emily's apparent ability to commune with the dead, the pair lie, cheat and scheme their way across the North of England.

And towards the terrible misdeeds - and untold riches…


Provocative Therapy

By Frank Farrelly, Jeff Brandsma,

Book cover of Provocative Therapy

Sue Knight Author Of NLP at Work: The Difference that Makes the Difference

From the list on supporting you in growing old (dis)gracefully.

Who am I?

NLP at Work has led me to many different countries and experiences and, most of all, an ability to choose how I live my life. NLP; Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way of studying how we do what we do, especially when we do things that are outstanding. The difference that makes the difference is the strapline, and that difference is invariably some unconscious, intuitive act – often rooted in how we think and what we believe. I have sought to present both the tools to study in this kind of way and some of the results of that – the techniques that can be discovered with NLP.

Sue's book list on supporting you in growing old (dis)gracefully

Discover why each book is one of Sue's favorite books.

Why did Sue love this book?

Learning Provocative Therapy with Frank Farrelly over many years changed my life. Well, more truthfully it enabled me to release the humour and directness that is so very characteristic of the culture of my upbringing in Liverpool. I had studied NLP for several years when I met with Frank and he took ‘coaching and therapy’ to an entirely new level in a shockingly different way. There is very little written about this (I plan to address this in a future book!) and I do have a chapter on this approach in my own book. 'To provoke a healing response' - that is how Frank described it. He could also have added to provoke the truth, laughter, and learning. This book is a history of how this approach evolved inevitably filled with stories of the powerful results that this achieved. This can certainly contribute to growing to any age disgracefully (and…

By Frank Farrelly, Jeff Brandsma,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Provocative Therapy will shock and provoke you as it challenges many traditional assumptions about the limits to be respected by professional communicatiors in the same provocative, earthy and humor-producing style that characterizes Provocative Therapy.
This book is a rich source of examples with extensive commentary as it chronicles the adventurous, warm and humorous journey undertaken by Farrelly in his highly successful quest for tools. These tools have gained for him an ever-growing reputation as a highly effective and dramatic practitioner and teacher of his system of psychotherapy. These tools were forged in the experiences of more than 20 years of…


Liverpool

By George Chandler,

Book cover of Liverpool

Ken Pye Author Of Liverpool: The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of a World Class City

From the list on Liverpool and Merseyside history.

Who am I?

I am a Fellow of Liverpool Hope University, and of the Royal Society of Arts, and have a lifetime of experience in leading and teaching in all professional sectors. I have written 18 books on the history of Liverpool and its City Region, and am currently writing two more, for publication in 2022. I have also produced a series of TV documentaries and a set of audio CDs. However, my second qualification is that I am a Liverpudlian born and bred, and I am deeply proud of both of these facts. I love my city and its people (and its unique history and heritage) with genuine passion but no illusions, and I take the greatest pleasure in sharing this with as many people as possible in every medium available to me.

Ken's book list on Liverpool and Merseyside history

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

Published originally in 1957, this is a definitive history of the Town and later City of Liverpool. It gives a detailed overview of the many facets of Liverpool’s history, in a well-researched, fully referenced, and eminently readable form. It gives details that cannot be found in other publications, and provides the researcher, historian, or simply interested reader an exciting and informative insight into the place and its people.

I love this book because George Chandler loved and cared for the City, and yet was an unbiased observer. He writes with clarity and detail that is informed and driven by that love, and it is a joy to read. It is also well illustrated with many unique images, maps, and sketches.

By George Chandler,

Why should I read it?

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


In the Footsteps of Peter Ellis

By Robert Ainsworth, Graham Jones,

Book cover of In the Footsteps of Peter Ellis: Architect of Oriel Chambers and 16 Cook Street, Liverpool

Ken Pye Author Of Liverpool: The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of a World Class City

From the list on Liverpool and Merseyside history.

Who am I?

I am a Fellow of Liverpool Hope University, and of the Royal Society of Arts, and have a lifetime of experience in leading and teaching in all professional sectors. I have written 18 books on the history of Liverpool and its City Region, and am currently writing two more, for publication in 2022. I have also produced a series of TV documentaries and a set of audio CDs. However, my second qualification is that I am a Liverpudlian born and bred, and I am deeply proud of both of these facts. I love my city and its people (and its unique history and heritage) with genuine passion but no illusions, and I take the greatest pleasure in sharing this with as many people as possible in every medium available to me.

Ken's book list on Liverpool and Merseyside history

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

Beautifully and fully illustrated with photographs, sketches, charts, and maps, this tells the triumphant yet tragic tale of a genuine unsung hero of Liverpool and British architecture. Ellis was a many genuinely ahead of his time who built the first building with a steel frame and skeleton, encased in stone cladding. This enabled the creation of the first ‘skyscrapers. His work inspired this major development in building construction, yet he was scorned, castigated, and drummed out of his profession by fellow architects.

I love this book because it tells Ellis’s story fully, and celebrates his work, skill, craftsmanship, and inspiration.

By Robert Ainsworth, Graham Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Footsteps of Peter Ellis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


My Name Is Why

By Lemn Sissay,

Book cover of My Name Is Why

Jools Abrams Author Of Girl in the Mirror

From the list on un-miserable memoirs with tricky family history.

Who am I?

I’ve been a life writer since I kept my first Mary Quant, Daisy diary in 1973. Reading and writing memoir, I’ve written thirty as a ghostwriter in the last six years and am working on my own. I’m fascinated by life stories. After an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, I won the Wasafiri Life Writing Prize, which led to a novel in biographical form, based on the life of my nan in the last century, Girl in the Mirror. I write stories, short and long, for adults and children, performing nationally and in London, was Writer in Residence for Talliston House, and have been published by Walker Books and Mslexia.

Jools' book list on un-miserable memoirs with tricky family history

Discover why each book is one of Jools' favorite books.

Why did Jools love this book?

Mixing official documents with real, remembered events, Lemn Sissay’s memoir is a search for identity, for his true name. Left in a home in Liverpool for unmarried mothers, he is moved between a series of foster and care homes, until he is given access to all his records in 2015, after a thirty-year campaign to find them. He finds who he really is. It’s an honest, poignant, unsettling, and heartfelt journey, revealing how a small boy’s life is shaped by ‘the authority’ and the faceless state. Complimented with inspiring poems and useful resources, this is a hopeful and helpful book. 

By Lemn Sissay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Name Is Why as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE
A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, DAILY TELEGRAPH, SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER, NEW STATESMAN, METRO, DAILY MAIL, SUNDAY EXPRESS and HERALD

How does a government steal a child and then imprison him? How does it keep it a secret? This story is how.

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and…


Book cover of Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam

Gareth M. Winrow Author Of Whispers Across Continents: In Search of the Robinsons

From the list on social and family history.

Who am I?

I became interested in social and family history when my Turkish friend, Ahmet Ceylan, told me amazing stories about his family. An academic by training, I used my expertise in the history of Turkey to explore the archives and uncover extraordinary details about the lives of the Robinsons. My field research took me to the wolds of Lincolnshire, the side streets of Istanbul, and the foothills of the Himalayas. I am keen to learn more about my own family, and for my next book, I am exploring the lives of people who owned/occupied the land/property where I live in Oxford, UK.

Gareth's book list on social and family history

Discover why each book is one of Gareth's favorite books.

Why did Gareth love this book?

I found this to be an engrossing and detailed account of the life of the founder of arguably the first mosque in Victorian England in Liverpool. The author closely examines the adventures of the controversial and charismatic Quilliam and his family. Given his relationship with Hannah Rodda/Robinson, which is actually scarcely mentioned by Geaves, Quilliam is a key character in my book on the lives of the Robinsons. The lawyer and self-styled sheikh cultivated close ties with the Ottoman Sultan and was regarded with great suspicion by the British authorities.

By Ron Geaves,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the first full biography of Abdullah Quilliam (1856-1932), the most significant Muslim personality in nineteenth century Britain. Uniquely ennobled as the Sheikh of Islam of the British Isles by the Ottoman caliph, Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1893, Quilliam, as a charismatic preacher, created a remarkable community of Muslims in Victorian Liverpool, which included a substantial number of converts.A successful solicitor, Quilliam fought for the rights of the city's poor and, in the high noon of European colonialism, defended the Ottoman caliphate and independent Muslim states through his two international publications, "The Crescent" and "The Islamic World". After…


Book cover of The Illustrated History of Liverpool's Suburbs

Ken Pye Author Of Liverpool: The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of a World Class City

From the list on Liverpool and Merseyside history.

Who am I?

I am a Fellow of Liverpool Hope University, and of the Royal Society of Arts, and have a lifetime of experience in leading and teaching in all professional sectors. I have written 18 books on the history of Liverpool and its City Region, and am currently writing two more, for publication in 2022. I have also produced a series of TV documentaries and a set of audio CDs. However, my second qualification is that I am a Liverpudlian born and bred, and I am deeply proud of both of these facts. I love my city and its people (and its unique history and heritage) with genuine passion but no illusions, and I take the greatest pleasure in sharing this with as many people as possible in every medium available to me.

Ken's book list on Liverpool and Merseyside history

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

It is easy to look at the history of the City of Liverpool and forget that the original town was comparatively tiny, consisting of only seven streets. The modern city is the sum of many parts ~ each of these originally townships or villages in their own right, surrounding the emerging town. As Liverpool grew in size and population it swallowed up these places, and they became the suburbs of Liverpool. This book tells brief histories of many of these and puts them all in context with their dominating conurbation.

I love this book because it is not only fascinating and informative, but it is fun. Its pictures bring the text to life.

By David Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Illustrated History of Liverpool's Suburbs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Illustrated History of Liverpool’s Suburbs is the first single-volume history of the development of the residential areas of the city. The author chronicles the growth of the suburbs and illuminates the lives of people who lived in them. His fascinating book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the story of Liverpool. The narrative is illustrated with more than 200 photographs, drawings and maps from Liverpool Record Office – most of which have never been published before. David Lewis shows how the countryside, farms and villages developed into the urban streets, residential areas, shopping districts and industrial estates…


The Lost Child

By Caryl Phillips,

Book cover of The Lost Child: A Novel

Claire O'Callaghan Author Of Emily Brontë Reappraised

From the list on Brontë sequels, prequels, spin-offs and biographies.

Who am I?

I am a writer and academic based at Loughborough University specialising in the lives, works, and afterlives of the Brontës. As a Lecturer in English, I teach and research different aspects of the Brontës writings. Alongside my own biography of Emily, I have published widely on the Brontës, including material on Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Emily Brontë’s poetry, and Charlotte's letters. I have also written about how the Brontës inspire contemporary authors, poets, and screenwriters. As well as rereading the siblings’ novels (I love Charlotte’s Shirley!), I’m fascinated by the many biographies and bio-fictions generated about this great Yorkshire family. I hope you enjoy these recommendations!

Claire's book list on Brontë sequels, prequels, spin-offs and biographies

Discover why each book is one of Claire's favorite books.

Why did Claire love this book?

Caryl Phillips’s The Lost Child is a poignant novel that brings together a rewriting of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights with a reimagining of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, as well as a quick visit to the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth. In a bookended narrative, Philips gives us the backstory of how Heathcliff came to be in Liverpool before being taken to Wuthering Heights by Mr. Earnshaw. In the centre, however, is the story of Monica Johnson, a young woman living in Windrush Britain whose marriage to Julius, an African-Caribbean graduate with whom she has two children, causes a fracture with her family. An outcast like Heathcliff, The Lost Child examines Monica’s struggle to raise her sons in the north of England, showing her family’s experience with racism, trauma, and mental ill-health. Philips’s storytelling gets to the heart of what it means to be an outcast in society.

By Caryl Phillips,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its center is Monica Johnson—cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner—and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. Phillips intertwines her modern narrative with the childhood of one of literature's most enigmatic lost boys, as he deftly conjures young Heathcliff, the anti-hero of Wuthering Heights, and his ragged existence before Mr. Earnshaw…


Weaveworld

By Clive Barker,

Book cover of Weaveworld

Ryan Leslie Author Of The Between

From the list on portal fantasy that will take you to hidden worlds.

Who am I?

I grew up addicted to portal stories, where fantastical lands full of magic and adventure are accessible from our mundane world if you just know where to look. Stories like The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, and The Chronicles of Narnia. My first novel, The Between, is a portal story like those but written more for adults–at least, for adults who are still young at heart. If you, too, like to daydream about slipping from your work cubicle into someplace strange and weird–and perhaps a little dangerous–here are books I think you might love.

Ryan's book list on portal fantasy that will take you to hidden worlds

Discover why each book is one of Ryan's favorite books.

Why did Ryan love this book?

That antique rug on the floor over there. What if a secret world is hidden within its countless knots and dyed threads? What if a fraying corner lets lose a creature trapped within? What if you step on it just so… and slip into a hidden world?

I read Weaveworld back in high school, shortly after it came out. It was my first Clive Barker novel and first adult, Alice in Wonderland-style, hidden world novel. I picked it up on a whim, and that whim changed the course of my life in many ways. I began writing in my spare time, inspired by Barker’s brilliant twists of words and by his surreal and haunting worlds.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1988. Set in contemporary England, two friends discover a secret magical world and are drawn into a battle between good and evil. From the author of EVERVILLE.


Book cover of The Sins of the Fathers

Nel Ashley Author Of Dandelion Time: A Romance Through Time

From the list on transport you into mystery, adventure and romance.

Who am I?

I’ve always had a fascination with the past and how it interacts with the present. I grew up playing in the house and grounds of a spooky old house that was a convalescent home for World War One soldiers and had stood there for centuries before that. At university my essays always strayed into the supernatural. I studied time slips and gothic fiction in English Literature and my history dissertation was about people who believed their children were fairy changelings. When I’m not combining my passion for historical mysteries and ghostly goings on in my writing, I collect old postcards and explore crumbling cemeteries for inspiration.

Nel's book list on transport you into mystery, adventure and romance

Discover why each book is one of Nel's favorite books.

Why did Nel love this book?

This is a brilliantly written fast-paced time travel adventure, mystery, and romance, all rolled into one. Conway’s descriptive writing style brings the characters and settings of 1912 and present-day vividly to life. The history field trip scene reminded me so much of my own university field trip to a local cemetery that I wondered if we’d been on the same course. However, this story is set in Birmingham rather than Liverpool, but the similarities were uncanny.

The author has really done his research too, but where a less skilled author might inform the reader through info-dumping, Conway conveys the sights, sounds, and historical details of Edwardian Moseley through action and dialogue. You feel as though you have travelled back in time with Rachel and Danny and are experiencing the story with them. There are so many twists and turns and unexpected reveals that you can’t help but keep reading. But…

By Andy Conway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One touch... and you're who knows when? A brilliant paranormal mystery that launches this bestselling saga with an Edwardian thriller that blends science fiction with historical adventure.
2018 UPDATED AND EXPANDED EDITION.

In a small corner of Birmingham, England, a pair of mismatched History students from opposite sides of the tracks find their lives thrown together when an old gravestone catapults them back into their neighbourhood’s dark Edwardian past, where they have just three days to prevent the murder of a teenage girl.

In 1912, they find that every action has an unforeseen consequence that can ripple through generations... and…