100 books like Brute

By Emily Skaja,

Here are 100 books that Brute fans have personally recommended if you like Brute. 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 Deathless

Camilla Andrew Author Of When The Stars Alight

From my list on fantasy and cinematic experiences.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I was a maladaptive daydreamer. I could often be found crafting elaborate fantasies in my head featuring fully-fledged worlds and characters that I would actively interact with and speak to as if they were real. I was a strange child, and I kept that strangeness with me when I went into fiction. Since then, I’ve always wanted to encapsulate the feeling of giving a movie-like experience in book form. I want the people who read my work to feel like they’re experiencing something real.

Camilla's book list on fantasy and cinematic experiences

Camilla Andrew Why did Camilla love this book?

Reading this book felt like drinking a pitch-black winter night. That’s the best way I can describe it. Somehow, Valente managed to masterfully bottle the frigid sensation of a bleak midwinter and transport it to the page.

I’ve always loved this book for how mythic and grandiose it feels even in the short amount of pages it has. This is something that I feel would come alive in an animated adaptation where you can really capture the eerie and surrealist imagery used.

By Catherynne M. Valente,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A handsome young man arrives in St Petersburg at the house of Marya Morevna. He is Koschei, the Tsar of Life, and he is Marya's fate. For years she follows him in love and in war, and bears the scars. But eventually Marya returns to her birthplace - only to discover a starveling city, haunted by death. Deathless is a fierce story of life and death, love and power, old memories, deep myth and dark magic, set against the history of Russia in the twentieth century. It is, quite simply, unforgettable.


Book cover of The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories

Camilla Andrew Author Of When The Stars Alight

From my list on fantasy and cinematic experiences.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I was a maladaptive daydreamer. I could often be found crafting elaborate fantasies in my head featuring fully-fledged worlds and characters that I would actively interact with and speak to as if they were real. I was a strange child, and I kept that strangeness with me when I went into fiction. Since then, I’ve always wanted to encapsulate the feeling of giving a movie-like experience in book form. I want the people who read my work to feel like they’re experiencing something real.

Camilla's book list on fantasy and cinematic experiences

Camilla Andrew Why did Camilla love this book?

While more of an anthology than a book, this still encapsulates the theme quite well. Perhaps more suited to a mini episodic format than a feature-length film, Carter still imbues many of her short stories with striking and unforgettable imagery.

I think of the titular story and its ancient castle by the sea or The Erl-King and its inescapable labyrinth of a forest and am left dumbfounded that I have not seen it rendered anywhere other than my own mind’s eye.

By Angela Carter,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Bloody Chamber as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With an introduction by Helen Simpson. From familiar fairy tales and legends - Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires and werewolves - Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.


Book cover of The Rust Maidens

Andrea Blythe Author Of Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

From my list on women reclaiming their own power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated fairy tales, folklore, and horror since I was a child, drawn to these strange stories in which wondrous and terrifying things happen. In many of these tales, the women often lack a sense of agency or control over their lives and work for a better life within the limitations of their situation. The act of retelling these stories provides space to explore this lack of power and how these women might find clever or unusual ways to reclaim it. In particular, I’m interested in the ways characters might make use of the danger or darkness around them to carve their own path in the world. 

Andrea's book list on women reclaiming their own power

Andrea Blythe Why did Andrea love this book?

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1980, The Rust Maidens is about a sudden change that overcomes several teenage girls in the community. Out of nowhere a metamorphosis begins to take place, the teens’ bodies transform into rusted metal and broken glass—reflecting the decaying factories and communities around them. As word of the transformations spread, the event takes on the power of an urban legend, but the girls have their own secret plans, which they share only with themselves.  

What is beautiful and striking about this book is that the body horror at its center becomes a means for these girls to find their own power. Despite the fear of suddenly finding their bodies shifting into a form they cannot recognize as their own, the transformation also provides a means of escape and defiance against a community that would balk at them being anything other than what they are expected to…

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies…


Book cover of I Am Not Your Final Girl

Andrea Blythe Author Of Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

From my list on women reclaiming their own power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated fairy tales, folklore, and horror since I was a child, drawn to these strange stories in which wondrous and terrifying things happen. In many of these tales, the women often lack a sense of agency or control over their lives and work for a better life within the limitations of their situation. The act of retelling these stories provides space to explore this lack of power and how these women might find clever or unusual ways to reclaim it. In particular, I’m interested in the ways characters might make use of the danger or darkness around them to carve their own path in the world. 

Andrea's book list on women reclaiming their own power

Andrea Blythe Why did Andrea love this book?

Much like fairy tales and folklore, horror stories have their own rules and tropes for how the female protagonists or villains are expected to behave within the confines of their own stories. I Am Not Your Final Girl is a powerful collection of horror-themed poetry that gives voice to female characters from horror cinema — the survivors, victims, and monsters who prowl through dark worlds, facing oppression, persecution, violence, and death. Holland’s words provide these women a platform to channel their pain, trauma, and rage into a galvanizing force. These women are survivors and fighters, women who claim their own power and take ownership over their own bodies. They do not give up; they do not relent. 

By Claire C. Holland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Your Final Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now an Elgin Award-nominated book!

"There is nothing else in this world / like realizing / you’re going to live / and not being sure / you can."

From Claire C. Holland, a timely collection of poetry that follows the final girl of slasher cinema - the girl who survives until the end - on a journey of retribution and reclamation. From the white picket fences of 1970s Haddonfield to the apocalyptic end of the world, Holland confronts the role of women in relation to subjects including feminism, sexuality, violence, and healing in the world of Trump and the MeToo…


Book cover of The Hurting Kind

Caroliena Cabada Author Of True Stories

From my list on poetry during catastrophe.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher, I often talk with my students about current events and highlight how disasters can spiral. Wildfire seasons are worsening, storms are getting stronger, wars are starting and never-ending, and sometimes, my students express some despair in the face of such cycles. Though it’s not a cure-all for this anxiety, I encourage my students to try and create something from this existential worry. Rather than scrolling through all the bad things that cross our screens, creativity can help us imagine a better world to work towards. Poetry about disasters can help us see them through. 

Caroliena's book list on poetry during catastrophe

Caroliena Cabada Why did Caroliena love this book?

What I love most about this collection is how it begins with an ending: printed on the inside jacket flap of the book is the end poem, 'The End of Poetry,' which demands an end to the intangibles of poetic clichés and calls instead for physical sensation.

The intense desire to be touched is heightened with the COVID-19 pandemic hanging over each poem; the pandemic is never named, but I felt the ache of social distancing. The pandemic is another kind of catastrophe, one that is tenderly and vividly captured in this book.

By Ada Limón,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An astonishing collection about interconnectedness-between the human and nonhuman, ancestors and ourselves-from National Book Critics Circle Award winner, National Book Award finalist and U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limon.

"I have always been too sensitive, a weeper / from a long line of weepers," writes Limon. "I am the hurting kind." What does it mean to be the hurting kind? To be sensitive not only to the world's pain and joys, but to the meanings that bend in the scrim between the natural world and the human world? To divine the relationships between us all? To perceive ourselves in other beings-and…


Book cover of Pillow Thoughts

Maria Tzoutzopoulou Author Of something like

From my list on poetry where you can find pieces of you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have created art from an early age. Years later, my studies in civil engineering allowed me to combine my love for the arts with my belief in an orderly world. Meanwhile, reading and writing have always been my favorite pursuits. While collaborating as an editor with other authors, assisting them in their writing endeavors, in 2014, I wrote and published my first book. Sharing my writing on Instagram gave birth to the idea of my first poetry book, something like, published in 2018. Since then, two more poetry collections have been published: A TriAngle in 2019 and something like in reverse in 2020.

Maria's book list on poetry where you can find pieces of you

Maria Tzoutzopoulou Why did Maria love this book?

This is a book full of enthusiasm and optimism, even when describing the darkest parts of life. Honestly, the pain hurt less after reading this book. 

It was a one-sitting read, and I thought there was a conversation between Courtney Peppernell and me the whole time. 

It felt as if my best friend and I were talking.

By Courtney Peppernell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Make a cup of tea and let yourself feel.

Pillow Thoughts is a collection of poetry and prose about heartbreak, love, and raw emotions. It is divided into sections to read when you feel you need them most.


Book cover of I Hope You Stay

Penelope Chaisson Author Of Penelope's Purple Passions

From my list on how to turn life’s tragedies into victories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of Penelope’s Purple Passions. I've been in love with writing poetry since I was a little girl. I would go under the bunk bed at night with my flashlight and write all these poems about love, not that I knew anything about love, but what I did know was how writing poetry made me feel. I believe love is truly the most valuable gift we can give to another soul in our lifetime. I want my poetry to empower people and be that beacon of light in people’s lives.  Poetry is the avenue where I can spread love and hope globally to anyone who picks up my books.

Penelope's book list on how to turn life’s tragedies into victories

Penelope Chaisson Why did Penelope love this book?

This book was chosen because of the deep, profound love that is displayed throughout the book. It speaks to how vulnerable a person makes themselves when they love deeply and how scary that can be. It also speaks to how you can feel so totally lost in loving another person that you forget to love yourself. I could identify with loving so intensely also and having my heart broken. I also identified with the journey of coming to loving oneself again and with that being open to finding someone better. 

By Courtney Peppernell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Hope You Stay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the spirit of her bestselling series, Pillow Thoughts, Courtney Peppernell returns with a new, empowering collection of poetry and prose. From heartbreak to dreaming of and finding a new love to healing the heart to ultimately finding peace, the themes in this book are universal but also uniquely individual to readers.

Just as moving and endearing as Peppernell's previous books, I Hope You Stay is a reminder of the resilience and hope needed after heartache and pain. The book is divided into five sections, with poems ranging from free verse to short form. These words are a light in…


Book cover of Why Won't You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts

Dr. Edrica D. Richardson Author Of This Isn't Working for Me: A Practical Guide for Making Every Relationship in Your Life More Fulfilling, Authentic, and Intentional

From my list on books for stellar mental growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, deeply committed to healing intergenerational trauma and fostering healthy relationships. My passion for this field stems from witnessing the transformational power of understanding and addressing the roots of personal and relational issues. Having navigated the complex dynamics of family systems both professionally and personally, I've seen firsthand how unearthing and healing old wounds can lead to profound growth and stronger bonds. This fuels my dedication to guiding others on their journeys toward self-discovery and improved mental health. The books I recommend are ones that have not only enriched my professional practice but have also offered me invaluable insights into the psychology of human connections.

Dr.'s book list on books for stellar mental growth

Dr. Edrica D. Richardson Why did Dr. love this book?

It revolutionized the way I view apologies and relationships. This book opened my eyes to the power of a sincere apology and how it can mend even the deepest of rifts.

Lerner’s insights into why people struggle to apologize genuinely were enlightening, offering me clarity on past conflicts and how to approach them differently. It didn’t just make me reevaluate my actions but also brought a sense of healing and closure to lingering issues. The book helped me improve my relationships and understand the complex dynamics of apologies and forgiveness.

It's concise, impactful, and truly transformative.

By Harriet Lerner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Why Won't You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger sheds new light on the two most important words in the English language, "I'm sorry," and offers a unique perspective on the challenge of healing broken relationships and restoring trust. Dr. Harriet Lerner has been studying apologies for more than two decades, namely, why some people won't give them. Now she offers compelling stories and solid theory that demonstrates the transformative power of making amends and what is required for healing when the damage we've inflicted (or received) is far from simple. Readers will learn how to craft a meaningful…


Book cover of Who's in Your Room?: The Question That Will Change Your Life

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino Author Of The Change Guidebook: How to Align Your Heart, Truths, and Energy to Find Success in All Areas of Your Life

From my list on to implement and manage change.

Why am I passionate about this?

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is the founder of The Best Ever You Network and co-founder of Compliance4. Through these companies, she has helped individuals and organizations around the world be their best and achieve world-class excellence with gratitude-based behavior and belief systems. She is one of America's foremost personal and corporate development consultants specializing in mindset, change management, strategy, leadership, and taking action. Elizabeth is also the author of the award-winning personal development book PERCOLATE - Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House) and multiple children’s books as a contributor and author. Elizabeth lives her daily life with life-threatening food allergies. Elizabeth and her husband live in Maine with their four sons and three rescued cats. 

Elizabeth's book list on to implement and manage change

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Dr. Ivan Misner is the father of modern networking. It stands to reason he knows a thing or two or three about change. When you are trying to make changes in your life or be successful, it is very important to surround yourself with the right people to foster your growth and success. This book shows you just how to do that. This is one of my favorite books to recommend to people when they feel stuck.

By Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, Rick Sapio

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who's in Your Room? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People may be out of your life, but they're still in your head. Learn how to control the ongoing psychological impact of all your relationships and achieve happiness, success, and fulfillment.

Who’s in Your Room? is a metaphor and a method for understanding how our relationships, past and present, impact our lives.
 
Imagine that you live your entire life in one room. Inside are all the people with whom you have ever had a relationship. The room is infinitely large, and anyone you let in will be in your room for the rest of your life. Neurologists report that as…


Book cover of Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel

G. Samantha Rosenthal Author Of Living Queer History: Remembrance and Belonging in a Southern City

From my list on genre-bending books on queer pasts and futures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a queer transgender woman living in the Appalachian South. When I moved here in 2015 I threw myself into doing community-based LGBTQ history. I co-founded the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project, an ongoing queer public history initiative based in Roanoke, Virginia. As a historian and an avid reader, I am fascinated by how queer and trans people think about the past, how we remember and misremember things, and what role historical consciousness plays in informing the present and future. 

Samantha's book list on genre-bending books on queer pasts and futures

G. Samantha Rosenthal Why did Samantha love this book?

Trans sci-fi? Yes, please. This delightful collection of short stories—which I have read twice now—consistently wows with its relatable queer and trans body-suffering, body-shifting protagonists. It is not so much a book about queer futures as it is a futurist rendering of the past twenty years, including climate disaster, endless wars, gentrification, digital subcultures, and a bit of high school nostalgia. A trans gay boy enters a portal in the woods; a young menstruating person pulls a screwdriver from their vagina; job opportunities on the moon entice anti-capitalist, ennui-filled teenagers. If Muñoz imagined queerness as a utopian space-time rupture, Jarboe reminds us that our queer dystopia is inescapably here. We wrestle now in our flesh in this fucked-up world. 

By Julian K. Jarboe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, this collection of body-horror fairy tales and mid-apocalyptic Catholic cyberpunk, memory and myth, loss and age, these are the tools of storyteller Jarboe, a talent in the field of queer fabulism. Bodily autonomy and transformation, the importance of negative emotions, unhealthy relationships, and bad situations amidst the staggering and urgent question of how build and nurture meaning, love, and safety in a larger world/society that might not be "fixable."


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