Neil Gaiman’s Magical Reading List

Award-winning writer Neil Gaiman describes himself as a “feral cat who was raised in libraries.” From a young age, he devoured everything from science fiction classics to comics to spooky children’s stories. His output as a writer is just as wonderfully varied, and, as his reading list can attest, he has never lost that sense of wonder for the written word that first captured him all those years ago.

If you’re excited about the upcoming TV adaptation of Gaiman’s acclaimed American Godstake a look at his reading list and the books that have inspired him through the years:

Lud-in-the-Mist

No fairies had appeared in the Free State of Dorimare and its picturesque capital, Lud-in-the-Mist, for generations. For fans of great fantasy writing, all that changed when the mayor’s 12-year-old son got mixed up with some. Gaiman calls Hope Mirrlees’ classic “one of the finest [fantasy novels] in the English language,” and it’s hard to argue with him.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Ray Bradbury’s dark masterpiece tells the tale of a chilly night when a sinister carnival brings Halloween to a Midwestern town a week early. Two boys are entranced by the spectacle, making wishes that they soon wish they’d never made.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Over the years, the second book in C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia has been elevated to classic literature, capturing the imaginations of readers of all ages. If only we all could travel to a magical land by simply stepping through a wardrobe door.

Also available as an audiobook.

Mary Poppins

Long before Disney’s screen version of Mary Poppins was dazzling generations of viewers, P.L. Travers’ original work was making magic and make-believe come alive in the most delightful way. From the moment a most unusual nanny is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.

Also available as an audiobook.

Cruddy

Lynda Barry’s dark and darkly funny tale weaves two gripping narratives — think Easy Rider meets the Wizard of Oz — with expert attention to detail and dialogue. A Nevada girl’s wild ride from adolescence to teenager is part fairy tale and part horror movie, and chock full of characters you’ll not soon forget.

Neil Gaiman says we have “an obligation to imagine,” and his reading list can you help you do just that.


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