100 books like Cut to Care

By Aaron Dries,

Here are 100 books that Cut to Care fans have personally recommended if you like Cut to Care. 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 Dead Sea Fruit

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Kaaron is a heavy-hitting award winner and a regular in Ellen Datlow’s anthologies, and here are over two dozen reasons why.

Her stories hum with a dark, merciless truth that makes their often-outlandish nature all the more believable; the worlds we find here are weird indeed, the peoples who populate them lonely and unsatisfied, the fates that await them uncaring and memorable.

But the writing is far from dour, imbued with a wry humour and implacable intelligence, and while it ranges unrestrained across bizarre horror, grim fantasy, and deeply personal SF, Kaaron is always entirely in control.

Lend her your attention and she won’t steer you wrong – her imagination and integrity have been an inspiration to me for many years.

By Kaaron Warren,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Kaaron Warren


Book cover of Hard Places

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Kirstyn is another stalwart of the Australian scene whom I have always admired, and this recent collection of her stellar short work is so overdue it’s almost insulting.

Like the best of our number, she delves deep into the heart of her characters to present tales that never feel rote or disengaged, and her tales have teeth in the most unexpected places.

Her weirdness is never dispassionate, her horror never tame, and she returns from the darkness with gifts of many hues.

These are modern fairy tales for the grimy backstreets and dimly lit suburban kitchens down here at the bottom end of our haunted globe.

By Kirstyn McDermott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Kirstyn McDermott's prose is darkly magical, insidious and insistent. Once her words get under your skin, they are there to stay." -Angela Slatter, author of All the Murmuring Bones and The Path of Thorns


Hard Places collects the very best of Kirstyn McDermott's short fiction written over the past twenty years along with a previously unpublished novella. From unsettling obsessions and brutal body horror to unexpected monsters and ghosts drifting through suburbia, these stories run the gamut of horror and the contemporary gothic. By turns harrowing, provocative and poignant, this collection will haunt you long after the last page is…


Book cover of The Gulp

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Alan is less interested than the preceding authors in distracting poesy and deep characterisation – which is not to say that he is without sophistication, but rather that he prefers to twist the throttle hard and race through his stories like he has a metal gig to catch.

His two-fisted prose pulls no punches in this collection of five linked novellas about an odd Aussie country town, delivering bold thrills, shiversome delights, and wince-worthy kills.

Alan sets an example for myself and other local writers with his upstanding, no-shit attitude and open generosity, and those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally will nonetheless feel welcomed into his world whenever they crack the covers of his books.

By Alan Baxter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Gulp (Tales From The Gulp #1)

Strange things happen in The Gulp. The residents have grown used to it.

The isolated Australian harbour town of Gulpepper is not like other places. Some maps don't even show it. And only outsiders use the full name. Everyone who lives there calls it The Gulp. The place has a habit of swallowing people.

A truck driver thinks the stories about The Gulp are made up to scare him. Until he gets there.
Teenage siblings try to cover up the death of their mother, but their plans go drastically awry.
A rock band…


Book cover of Metamorphosis: Short Stories

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Claire is an irreverent delight in person, but you won’t see much of that persona in her stories – this book is heavy with gooey and bizarre body horror that always has a deeply personal context for her characters.

She’s admitted that writing is a vehicle for talking about her epilepsy, but you don’t need to share that with her to relate to the strange changes that take place on her pages.

This is just her first collection, an opening salvo across the bow of Australian horror, so it will be interesting indeed to see how her work evolves and metamorphosises over time – to meet the creature that crawls, slime-slicked and hungry, from the casing of her next books.

By Claire Fitzpatrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This short story collection includes 17 tales of terror. Madeline will never become a woman. William will never become a man. Does June deserve to be human? Does Lilith deserve a heart? If imperfection is crucial to a society’s survival, what makes a monster?


Book cover of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories

Verity Croker Author Of Jilda's Ark

From my list on YA set in Australia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Australian author and an avid reader. Although I love reading books set in other countries, I particularly enjoy stories that take place in Australia, as I can really identify with them. I especially relate to those set in the Australian outback or small rural towns, as for several years I lived in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. I understand how in small towns it is very difficult to keep secrets, as everybody knows everyone else’s business, and I now realise this is becoming an underlying theme in my writing. I have a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Tasmania.

Verity's book list on YA set in Australia

Verity Croker Why did Verity love this book?

I really enjoyed reading all the #OwnVoice short stories, several of which have intersectional representation, in Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories. The twelve authors demonstrate a wide range of writing styles, writing about different themes in a variety of genres from medieval to contemporary to dystopian. It’s a book you can return to again and again, choosing different stories to read depending on your mood and interests. 

By Michael Earp (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kindred as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Twelve of Australia’s best writers from the LGBTQ+ community are brought together in this ground-breaking collection of YA short stories.

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #LoveOzYA collection, twelve of Australia’s finest writers from the LGBTQ+ community explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us. This inclusive and intersectional #OwnVoices anthology for teen readers features work from writers of diverse genders, sexualities and identities, including writers who identify as First Nations, people of colour or disabled. With short stories by bestsellers, award…


Book cover of Another Country

L.A. Fields Author Of Riot Son

From my list on yearning and revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of over a dozen books featuring LGBT love stories across genres, including novels and short stories, contemporary and historical, young adult and scholarly pastiche. As my writing experience grows, I gain the skill to venture into new areas of literature by consulting quintessential classics like these. This list is about stories of yearning and revolution—books that are either set in times of social upheaval, contain radical personal evolutions, or both. The people portrayed in these stories each pine desperately for something: a better life, a better world, or the one they love. As a collection, these books contain an excellent education in love, loss, and liberty.

L.A.'s book list on yearning and revolution

L.A. Fields Why did L.A. love this book?

Set against the backdrop of the sociopolitical turmoil of the 1960s, James Baldwin’s Another Country captures a diverse group of friends in cities both foreign and domestic (NYC and France) who are struggling with interconnected issues of race, sexuality, gender, and class.

As history repeats itself in the 21st century, there is wisdom in reviewing how people survived the last round of radical social upheaval. They did so without losing themselves, nor their opportunities to forge meaningful human connections in the melee.

How do you learn from ex-lovers? How do you make peace with the dead? How do you stay sane when the world is hassling you over unchangeable characteristics you’re working to embrace rather than despise? These characters are trying to build something real on shifting sands, and their stories are still relatable today.

By James Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A masterwork... an almost unbearable, tumultuous, blood-pounding experience' Washinton Post

When Another Country appeared in 1962, it caused a literary sensation. James Baldwin's masterly story of desire, hatred and violence opens with the unforgettable character of Rufus Scott, a scavenging Harlem jazz musician adrift in New York. Self-destructive, bad and brilliant, he draws us into a Bohemian underworld pulsing with heat, music and sex, where desperate and dangerous characters betray, love and test each other to the limit.

'In Another Country, Baldwin created the essential American drama of the century' Colm Toibin


Book cover of Thorn

Samara Breger Author Of A Long Time Dead

From my list on queer monsters who need a little kiss.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer and performer born and raised in New York City. In my previous life, I was an Emmy-nominated journalist and digital media producer, covering sexual and reproductive health. In addition to writing, I love musical improv, opera, Olympic weightlifting, and spending time with my wife and dog.

Samara's book list on queer monsters who need a little kiss

Samara Breger Why did Samara love this book?

The first time Rowan and the Huntress kissed, I half expected Rowan’s lips to stick to the Huntress’ face like a tongue on a light pole in winter.

Luckily, Rowan—the Belle in this Beauty and the Beast retelling—is a thawing influence, and the kiss progresses as kisses should. And thank goodness, as the Huntress desperately needs to be kissed. Isolated, cursed, and haunted by her own callousness, the lonely Huntress is separated from the world by her own past and a literal mile of frozen water.

But in the Huntress’ fortress of ice, love grows like the petals of a winter rose, and little kisses, like hope, spring eternal.

By Anna Burke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a cold day deep in the heart of winter, Rowan’s father returns from an ill-fated hunting trip bearing a single, white rose. The rose is followed by the Huntress, a figure out of legend. Tall, cruel, and achingly beautiful, she brings Rowan back with her to a mountain fastness populated solely by the creatures of the hunt. Rowan, who once scorned the villagers for their superstitions, now finds herself at the heart of a curse with roots as deep as the mountains, ruled by an old magic that is as insidious as the touch of the winter rose. Torn…


Book cover of Learned Reactions

Leslie Anne Frye-Thomas Author Of Pum Pum Rock—There's No Place Like Homo

From my list on collection of queer themes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Emmy Award-winning writer, wife, and adoptive mother with an unapologetic passion for Black queer stories. I'm also an artist-activist who takes great pride in producing content that sparks honest dialogue and positive change. Life's complexities energize me, and, as a queer artist of color, I'm committed to reflecting these intricacies in my work. I write, produce video, and host allyship seminars as well as art as activism workshops for LGBTQ+ youth. If you're both inspired and entertained by layered depictions of BIPOC queer culture then please check out the recs in my Queer-tastic reading list. Enjoy!

Leslie's book list on collection of queer themes

Leslie Anne Frye-Thomas Why did Leslie love this book?

I've always loved a steamy MM romance, so the bogus boyfriend premise was an easy sell for me. However, as a foster mom turned adoptive mother, I'll forever have a special place in my heart for BIPOC navigating child protective services. Whether the narrative focused on Carlton's traumatized niece and the therapy she so desperately needed or the number of hoops that the LGBTQ+ community jumps through to even be considered for adoption, this story hit home on multiple fronts.

It was inspiring to watch Carlton and Deion navigate the many facets of queer culture, including their newfound fatherhood. Mainly because while stories like theirs happen every day, we don't see them nearly enough. Faux couple or not, Carlton and Deion were the safe space that Olivia needed and the mainstream representation that readers like myself consistently crave.

By Jayce Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The friends-to-lovers trope feels fresh in Ellis’s hands, in part because it’s underpinned by a lovingly drawn depiction of Black family dynamics.” —Publishers Weekly

Carlton Monroe is finally getting his groove back. After a year playing dad to his nephew and sending him safely off to college, it’s back to his bachelor ways. But when his teenaged niece shows up on his doorstep looking for a permanent home, his plan comes to a screeching halt. Family is everything, and in the eyes of social services, a couple makes a better adoptive family than an overworked bachelor father. A fake relationship…


Book cover of The Sound of Stars

Aella Black Author Of Lock Down

From my list on YA about experiments gone wrong.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former book editor turned writer and a lover of literature in all forms. Young adult literature will forever be my favorite. Though I’m no longer “young,” I have two teenagers who love YA as much as I do and we bond over these stories. Since one prefers contemporary & urban fantasy, and the other likes dystopian & epic fantasy, I read a lot of everything! I particularly enjoy books with characters who triumph over extreme adversity, and if you do too, then you'll like the books on this list.

Aella's book list on YA about experiments gone wrong

Aella Black Why did Aella love this book?

This review perfectly summed up this book but neglected to mention it has a spectacular cover, which I’ll admit was the first thing that drew my eye. The story also features a bi-racial main character, and since my children are multi-racial, I love seeing this representation. Because I’m an unapologetic book nerd, I adored the many literary references. And I always love a good road trip! All in all, this is one character-driven YA novel you won’t want to miss.

By Alechia Dow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“This debut has it all: music, books, aliens, adventure, resistance, queerness, and a bold heroine tying it all together. ”—Ms. Magazine

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an Ilori who loves pop music work together to save humanity?

When a rebel librarian meets an Ilori commander…

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the death of one-third of the world’s population. Today, seventeen-year-old Ellie Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules…


Book cover of Carmilla and Laura

Lianyu Tan Author Of Captive in the Underworld: A Dark Lesbian Romance Novel

From my list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved books as a kid, especially fantasy books, but could never find anyone like me within their pages. I’m a lesbian Chinese writer who adores stories about messed-up, complicated queer people. I’m thrilled by the range of books available now that feature queer, messy characters. We all deserve representation, and to me that means representation that’s complex, that encompasses the ugly and the beautiful. One of my goals as an author is to make you fall in love with monsters—brutal, flawed women who may not deserve love, but who demand it all the same.

Lianyu's book list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics

Lianyu Tan Why did Lianyu love this book?

This novella is a close retelling of Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, which is the OG sapphic vampire story. It recasts the ending to give the leads a happy ever after, and ups the sapphic content to modern standards, adding a bit of steaminess. Simper’s version retains Laura’s initial ambivalence and horror towards Carmilla, the historical setting, and the gothic flair. It’s a must-read for fans of the original who are looking for a more modern interpretation.

By S. D. Simper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the late 19th century, Laura lives a lonely life in a schloss by the forest, Styria, with only her doting father and two governesses for company. A chance accident brings a new companion, however – the eccentric and beautiful Carmilla.

With charm unparalleled and habits as mysterious as her history, Carmilla’s allure is undeniable, drawing Laura closer with every affectionate touch and word. Attraction blossoms into a temptation Laura fears to name, a tantalizing passion burning brighter than the fires of hell. But when a mysterious plague begins stealing the lives of young women in her home and the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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