100 books like Dead Sea Fruit

By Kaaron Warren,

Here are 100 books that Dead Sea Fruit fans have personally recommended if you like Dead Sea Fruit. 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 Cut to Care: A Collection of Little Hurts

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?

Much extreme horror presents us with cardboard characters who are ripped and torn with no real consequence – but Aaron gives us deeply felt people who pulse on the page, which means it really hurts me as a reader when he subjects them to brutal and unforgiving fates.

His fiction aches like unacknowledged truth, displaying an empathy that doesn’t gloss over the horrors of this world and the next, and feels intimately personal whether he's delving into family dramas, failed relationships, queer themes, or sophisticated splatter.

While his work mostly details the horrors we inflict upon each other, even with the best of intentions, it’s too broad to be kept in one box – and if it was, it would surely cut its way out and come for your heart next. 

By Aaron Dries,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An agency that sends social workers into the homes of grieving families to impersonate dead loved ones... The kind old woman who saved a teenager's life but now finds herself haunted by the weight of a cheated suicide... And the daughter of a candlestick maker as she tries to survive a painful existence after her father's execution for making human chandeliers of drunken cowboys... These stories and more-ranging from supernatural to the frighteningly domestic, Splatterpunk to the weird and cosmic-stain the pages of Cut to Care: A Collection of Little Hurts by Aaron Dries. They serve as a timely reminder…


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 My Brilliant Career

Kim Kelly Author Of Her Last Words

From my list on Australian novels about bookish girls.

Why am I passionate about this?

A genuine Aussie bookish girl, I’ve been an editor in the Australian publishing industry for 25 years, and I’ve been writing Australian novels for 15 of them. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m reviewing Australian books – can’t get enough of them! I’ve dedicated my heart and mind to exploring and seeking to understand the contradictions and quirks of the country I am privileged to call home, from its bright, boundless skies to the deepest sorrows of bigotry and injustice. Acknowledging the brilliance of those women writers who’ve come before me and shining a light ahead for all those to come is the most wonderful privilege of all. 

Kim's book list on Australian novels about bookish girls

Kim Kelly Why did Kim love this book?

Every Australian bookish girl knows Sybylla from My Brilliant Career. She is the original feisty heroine, the unashamed young feminist who rejects the isolation and low expectations of the bush and marriage at the turn of the twentieth century, wanting to strike out on her own as a writer. That her yearnings are so irrelevant to those around her and her ambitions unfulfilled act as a dare to all of us, and to me – to have that brilliant career, to tell your truths and have your independence, whether anyone else likes it or not. Equally as vivid, witty, and socially acute as Twain, if you read only one old and dusty novel about Australia, read this one.

By Miles Franklin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1901, this Australian classic recounts the live of 16-year-old Sybylla Melvyn. Trapped on her parents' outback farm, she simultaneously loves bush life and hates the physical burdens it imposes. For Sybylla longs for a more refined, aesthetic lifestyle -- to read, to think, to sing -- but most of all to do great things.

Suddenly her life is transformed. Whisked away to live on her grandmother's gracious property, she falls under the eye of the rich and handsome Harry Beecham. And soon she finds herself choosing between everything a conventional life offers and her own plans for…


Book cover of Dyschronia

Jane Rawson Author Of From the Wreck

From my list on Australian novels for nature and climate.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing about climate change for the past 14 years. I have been the Environment and Energy Editor for the news website, The Conversation, and worked for the government in renewable energy and reducing emissions from transport. Now I work for a conservation organisation, protecting land for nature. My first novel, A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, was set in a climate-changed Melbourne and an idyllic past San Francisco. My most recent novel, From the Wreck, is historical fiction set in the 1870s but is also about modern humans’ history of ecocide. I have also written essays and a non-fiction guide The Handbook: Surviving & Living with Climate Change

Jane's book list on Australian novels for nature and climate

Jane Rawson Why did Jane love this book?

Dyschronia is strange, complicated, overwhelming, frightening, and occasionally enervating – just like climate change. Jen Mills tells the story of a young woman in a small, dying town who can’t stop seeing horrible futures; or, perhaps, the story of a young woman who compulsively lies. You won’t forget the compelling and sickening scene of a town waking up to find the ocean has disappeared. This one is worth wrapping your brain around.

By Jennifer Mills,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD 2019

"There is a poetry in Mills's writing that shimmers like desert air - and in her storytelling, in the way she captures the moods of time, there is something mystical. Daring, original and ambitious." The Australian

An electrifying novel about an oracle. A small town. And the end of the world as we know it...

One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet?…


Book cover of Messy Business: Some Secrets Can't Be Swept Away

Sherryl Clark Author Of Mad, Bad and Dead

From my list on Australian crime to have you on the edge of your seat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading crime fiction as a teenager, so maybe it was inevitable that one day I would start writing it. I began with short stories, but then found an idea for a novel that wouldn’t let me go. One small paragraph about a tape recording left by a dead man. The books I love reading now are often set in small towns and communities, like the one I grew up in, where normal people tend to hide the worst secrets! Hidden motivations and seeing how the past plays out in the present are two elements I love in crime fiction—they help to work out who the killer is.

Sherryl's book list on Australian crime to have you on the edge of your seat

Sherryl Clark Why did Sherryl love this book?

Humour done well in crime fiction is rare, I think, and this novel has plenty. I think you would call it a caper, with things constantly going wrong for Jac, the main character, in bizarre and amusing ways, but Draga, her Croatian housekeeper is hilarious. Draga’s solutions to fixing things are not what any sensible person might agree to, but Jac is desperate. She even resorts to using Draga’s favourite broom herself at one point. This one will keep you on the edge of your seat, yes, but you might also fall off it laughing. I’m hoping there will be a sequel.

By Lucia Nardo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The week begins like any other in Jacqueline Burne's messy life. And it just gets worse. Jac's business is in trouble, her husband is up to no good, and her eccentric housekeeper, Draga, is nagging her with unsolicited advice. Then Jac's annoying teen stepson lands on her doorstep and wants to stay. 

Jac devises a plan to regain control of her life, but Draga jumps in to help and it goes horribly wrong. They soon find themselves on the wrong side of the law, where handcuffs and prison jumpsuits become a real possibility. As Jac juggles her many problems, dark…


Book cover of Ten Pound Poms: Australia's Invisible Migrants

Wendy Webster Author Of Mixing It: Diversity in World War Two Britain

From my list on migrants and refugees in twentieth-century Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian and writer and worked in universities all my life. I love writing and everything about it—pencils, pens, notebooks, keyboards, Word—not to mention words. I started writing the histories of migrants and refugees in twentieth-century Britain (and their entanglement with the history of the British Empire) in the 1980s and then kept going. When I studied history at university, migrants and refugees were never mentioned. They still weren’t on historians’ radar much when I started writing about them. Here I’ve picked stories that are not widely known and histories that show how paying attention to migrants and refugees changes ideas about what British history is and who made it. 

Wendy's book list on migrants and refugees in twentieth-century Britain

Wendy Webster Why did Wendy love this book?

This may seem an odd choice, but many British who migrated to Australia subsequently returned to Britain and some, nicknamed ‘boomerang migrants,’ had lives of to and fro between Australia and Britain. I’ve chosen it because the experiences of migrants who don’t settle but either return or migrate onwards are often missing from histories. In Ten Pound Poms, the voices of people who returned or boomeranged are prominent, talking about intense homesickness, but also about a kind of reverse homesickness since the place they return to doesn’t match the way they imagined it while they were away and has changed during their absence. The book reminds us that people’s attachment to particular places and landscapes and soundscapes can be powerful, and that migration often involves complex feelings of belonging and unbelonging.

By A. James Hammerton, Alistair Thomson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More than a million Britons emigrated to Australia between the 1940s and 1970s. They were the famous 'ten pound Poms' and this is their story. Illuminated by the fascinating testimony of migrant life histories, this is the first substantial history of their experience and fills a gaping hole in the literature of emigration.

The authors, both leading figures in the fields of oral history and migration studies, draw upon a rich life history archive of letters, diaries, personal photographs and hundreds of oral history interviews with former migrants, including those who settled in Australia and those who returned to Britain.…


Book cover of Clear to the Horizon

Sherryl Clark Author Of Mad, Bad and Dead

From my list on Australian crime to have you on the edge of your seat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading crime fiction as a teenager, so maybe it was inevitable that one day I would start writing it. I began with short stories, but then found an idea for a novel that wouldn’t let me go. One small paragraph about a tape recording left by a dead man. The books I love reading now are often set in small towns and communities, like the one I grew up in, where normal people tend to hide the worst secrets! Hidden motivations and seeing how the past plays out in the present are two elements I love in crime fiction—they help to work out who the killer is.

Sherryl's book list on Australian crime to have you on the edge of your seat

Sherryl Clark Why did Sherryl love this book?

I’ve never been to Broome in northwest Australia, but it’s renowned for the heat, the flies, and the beaches—but look out for crocodiles. I enjoyed Warner’s previous novel based on a series of murders in Perth in the 90s that, back then, had never been solved, so it was great to see his two detectives get together on a case that eventually circles back to the Perth killings. There’s something about the past catching up with us that I enjoy as a plot and character strength, and this book moves between past and present really effectively. The landscape is so barren that it’s almost like being on another planet!

By Dave Warner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clear to the Horizon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1999, a number of young women go missing in the Perth suburb of Claremont. One body is discovered. Others are never seen again. Snowy Lane (City of Light) is hired as a private investigator but neither he nor the cops can find the serial killer. Sixteen years later, another case brings Snowy to Broome, where he teams up with Dan Clement (Before It Breaks) and an incidental crime puts them back on the Claremont case. Clear to the Horizon is a nail-biting Aussie-style thriller, based on one of the great unsolved crimes in Western Australia's recent history. Its twists…


Book cover of For Kicks

Kate Watterson Author Of The Lake House

From my list on steep cliff page-turners.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kate Watterson is the author of thriller novels for various publishers, and has always been a fan of the suspense genre. Good tension and a bit of danger balanced by an investigator who is on the trail, and she turns pages into the night. It is all about the hunt and the solution in her opinion, and of course, being perched on the edge of your seat.

Kate's book list on steep cliff page-turners

Kate Watterson Why did Kate love this book?

When Daniel Roke takes on an unusual job he does it for monetary and personal reasons and has no idea he is risking his life. Dick Francis takes you from Australia to the world of English horseracing with a clever plot that is unexpected and has a really wicked twist. He also can deliver some villains that inspire visceral dislike like no other author and doesn’t let you down in this intense novel. Well done and kept me doing the infamous reading into the night.

By Dick Francis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Common sense said that the whole idea was crazy . . . but when offered huge sums of money to move to England and help the Earl of October uncover a suspected racehorse dope scandal, Danny Roke finds the proposal intriguing.

Swapping his job as proprietor of an Australian stud farm to work undercover as a stable hand in Yorkshire, Danny soon has his hands full. Whilst the Earl's attractive daughters Patricia and Elinor draw his attention, he finds himself ever more deeply involved with the vicious swindlers he is out to entrap. And if neither the money nor the…


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