100 books like Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory

By Raphael Bob-Waksberg,

Here are 100 books that Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory fans have personally recommended if you like Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Get in Trouble: Stories

S.G. Browne Author Of Lost Creatures: Stories

From my list on genre-bending literary short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed short story collections. Starting with Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, I became a fan of the short form. And as a burgeoning writer, writing short stories was the best way for me to learn the craft of storytelling. While I started out writing supernatural horror, I gradually found myself combining horror, fantasy, and science fiction with dark comedy and social satire, creating a blend of genres. Several of the short story collections I recommend here were instrumental in my evolution as a short story writer and inspired a number of the stories in my latest collection, Lost Creatures.

S.G.'s book list on genre-bending literary short story collections

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

I love reading novels and stories that make me wish I’d written them, and this collection by Kelly Link made me wish that time and time again. This book also introduced me to the concept of fabulism, a form of magical realism where elements of the fantastic occur in everyday settings, which is something I find compelling both as a reader and as a writer. Link combines humor, fantasy, magical realism, and more than a touch of horror to create a collection of stories that is unique, weird, and wonderful. 

By Kelly Link,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fantastic, fantastical and utterly incomparable, Kelly Link's new collection explores everything from the essence of ghosts to the nature of love. And hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, Ouija boards, iguanas, The Wizard of Oz, superheroes, the pyramids . . .

With each story she weaves, Link takes readers deep into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed universe. Strange, dark and wry, Get in Trouble reveals Kelly Link at the height of her creative powers and stretches the boundaries of what fiction can do.


Book cover of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Kevin J. Fellows Author Of At the End of the World

From my list on fabulist fiction books where the real and unreal collide, leaving us questioning both.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading The Enormous Egg as a child, I’ve been devoted to stories where the strange, the uncanny, and the magical are all elements of the worlds characters must negotiate. I’m most drawn to fiction containing seemingly unreal elements because, in my experience, that is reality. Those moments when the past suddenly feels present, or when you glimpse something at the edge of your vision that feels significant, but you can’t quite catch it. Moments when anything is possible. No surprise that I write fiction that explores those moments of uncertainty and leaves the reader unmoored, thinking about the people and their experiences long after they’ve left the book.

Kevin's book list on fabulist fiction books where the real and unreal collide, leaving us questioning both

Kevin J. Fellows Why did Kevin love this book?

I’m always impressed by how Karen Russell pulls the reader into her stories with no warning about what we’re getting into. No easing into strange situations. She places her characters in what we publicly claim can’t be real but privately know to be true.

To make a fabulist story work, images must cling to the reader’s mind like golden treacle. Each one either grounding us in the familiar or firmly establishing the unfamiliar as quotidian. Russel is a master at this. Her stories flow so easily, and her characters’ unforgettable voices hit the reader in the first paragraph.

By Karen Russell,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Charting loss, love, and the difficult art of growing up, these stories unfurl with wicked humour and insight. Two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search of their dead sister, who set sail in the exoskeleton of a giant crab; a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tragedies is sent to 'Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers' (Cabin 1, Narcoleptics; Cabin 2, Insomniacs; Cabin 3, Somnambulists. . . ); a Minotaur leads his family on the trail out West, and finally, in the collection's poignant and hilarious title story, fifteen girls raised by wolves are painstakingly re-civilised by…


Book cover of Upright Beasts

S.G. Browne Author Of Lost Creatures: Stories

From my list on genre-bending literary short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed short story collections. Starting with Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, I became a fan of the short form. And as a burgeoning writer, writing short stories was the best way for me to learn the craft of storytelling. While I started out writing supernatural horror, I gradually found myself combining horror, fantasy, and science fiction with dark comedy and social satire, creating a blend of genres. Several of the short story collections I recommend here were instrumental in my evolution as a short story writer and inspired a number of the stories in my latest collection, Lost Creatures.

S.G.'s book list on genre-bending literary short story collections

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

When it comes to short story collections I definitely have a type, as Upright Beasts is a blend of fantasy, horror, dark humor, and the surreal. And if we’re talking about genre-bending, no one does it quite like Lincoln Michel. His stories are strange and familiar, funny and sad, whimsical and disturbing, twisted and delightful. Sometimes all at the same time. Much like the other authors and collections I’ve listed here, these stories inspired my own writing and made me want to be a better writer. That’s what I want in the fiction I read: to not only be entertained but challenged.

By Lincoln Michel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Praise for Lincoln Michel: "Lincoln Michel is one of contemporary literary culture's greatest natural resources."-Justin Taylor, Vice Time passes unexpectedly or, perhaps, inexactly at the school. It's hard to remember what semester we are supposed to be in. Several of the clocks still operate, but they don't show the same time. The red bells, affixed in every room, erupt several times each day, yet the intervals between the disruptions wax and wane with an unknown algorithm. The windows are obscured by construction paper murals. Consequently, the sun rises and falls in complete ignorance of those of us attending the school.…


Book cover of Vampires in the Lemon Grove: And Other Stories

S.G. Browne Author Of Lost Creatures: Stories

From my list on genre-bending literary short story collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed short story collections. Starting with Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, I became a fan of the short form. And as a burgeoning writer, writing short stories was the best way for me to learn the craft of storytelling. While I started out writing supernatural horror, I gradually found myself combining horror, fantasy, and science fiction with dark comedy and social satire, creating a blend of genres. Several of the short story collections I recommend here were instrumental in my evolution as a short story writer and inspired a number of the stories in my latest collection, Lost Creatures.

S.G.'s book list on genre-bending literary short story collections

S.G. Browne Why did S.G. love this book?

I couldn’t leave out this second collection of stories from Karen Russell. Similar to her debut collection but wholly unique, Vampires in the Lemon Grove is the darker, haunted sibling of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Even though many of the stories lean more toward horror than fantasy, there remains a sense of wonder, magic, and humor throughout. The story about the rules of Antarctic tailgating for the Food Chain Games pitting Team Whale against Team Krill is one of my favorites.

By Karen Russell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vampires in the Lemon Grove as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the novel Swamplandia!—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—comes a magical and uniquely daring collection of stories that showcases the author’s gifts at their inimitable best.

Within these pages, a community of girls held captive in a Japanese silk factory slowly transmute into human silkworms and plot revolution; a group of boys stumble upon a mutilated scarecrow that bears an uncanny resemblance to a missing classmate that they used to torment; a family’s disastrous quest for land in the American West has grave consequences; and in the marvelous title story, two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove…


Book cover of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Marcia Aldrich Author Of Studio of the Voice

From my list on compelling books about the trouble between mothers and daughters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a woman-centered household, the youngest with two older sisters. I was the only child of my mother’s second marriage, and a space of ten and twelve years separated me from my sisters. My sisters and mother always felt like an intense unit that didn’t include me, and that yearning and outsider status defined my life and made me a lover of books about mothers and daughters and the female world.

Marcia's book list on compelling books about the trouble between mothers and daughters

Marcia Aldrich Why did Marcia love this book?

This is a quirky, hilarious, autobiographical coming-of-age story about a lesbian who grows up in a repressive English Pentecostal community.

Winterson’s creation of the mother is the most unique mother I’ve ever encountered—damaged, oppressive, deeply misunderstanding of her genius daughter. I found lots of commonalities between the conflicts Jeanette had with her difficult mother and my own experience, even though we live countries apart.

Winterson’s gusto and humor are inspiring.

By Jeanette Winterson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Key Features:



Study methods
Introduction to the text
Summaries with critical notes
Themes and techniques
Textual analysis of key passages
Author biography
Historical and literary background
Modern and historical critical approaches
Chronology
Glossary of literary terms


Book cover of Fat Tuesday

Kay Acker Author Of Leaving's Not the Only Way to Go

From my list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe deeply that, as messy and painful as life is, there is always joy, and usually humor, to be found. The book I wrote, Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go, pulls from some of the painful experiences I’ve had, and I often find myself following my description of the book, about two women who meet in a grief group, with “but it’s not a downer!” It’s true, because Leaving is also inspired by all the joy and connections I’ve made for myself, even in the midst of loss. I learned how to balance the two sides of life through books like the ones on this list. 

Kay's book list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times

Kay Acker Why did Kay love this book?

Fat Tuesday is the book that taught me what a lesbian was and what a joyful possibility that could be for me.

It’s about a high school senior named Rusty who decides, despite all the desperate circumstances of her life, to travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with her sick mother and dysfunctional friends.

Rusty and company are obsessed with soap operas as an escape from their current reality, and as their road trip proceeds, their reality becomes more and more like a soap opera plot, with all the drama, dramatic twists, and exaggerated exuberance that soap operas are known for! 

By Susan Vaught,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What does Rusty Quinn do when her mom loses touch with reality, her best friend's dad explodes over a kiss, her other best friend gets committed to a psych ward, and the sanest person she knows is an egotistical Finnish exchange student who swears in a language nobody understands? She could write a soap opera, of course - or go to Mardi Gras. In fact, she could do both!

Funny how destiny comes down to single choices, focused moments, and split-second decisions. Can running away to Mardi Gras really change four lives forever?


Book cover of Simply the Best

Kay Acker Author Of Leaving's Not the Only Way to Go

From my list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe deeply that, as messy and painful as life is, there is always joy, and usually humor, to be found. The book I wrote, Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go, pulls from some of the painful experiences I’ve had, and I often find myself following my description of the book, about two women who meet in a grief group, with “but it’s not a downer!” It’s true, because Leaving is also inspired by all the joy and connections I’ve made for myself, even in the midst of loss. I learned how to balance the two sides of life through books like the ones on this list. 

Kay's book list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times

Kay Acker Why did Kay love this book?

Simply the Best is a romance set after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and it doesn’t flinch from the pain that era has inflicted on us all. Kallmaker set out to grapple with the question of how we find joy and love after experiencing such devestation, and why trying to find joy and love at all still matters.

This romance is, despite its serious circumstances, as funny and pleasurable as all Kallmaker novels are. 

By Karin Kallmaker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Simply the Worst…Alice Cabot’s only great love is science, but a lapse in judgment has exiled the New York journalist to the glitzy Gallerias and vapid bubble-babble of Beverly Hills. The assignment to do a flattering feature series on Simply the Best and the superficial nonsense it sells threatens to crush what little is left of her spirit.

Simply the Best...Pepper Addington can’t believe she’s moved up from grunt intern to personal assistant for Helene Jolie, the celebrity socialite founder of SimplytheBest.com. Succeeding at the job she worked so hard to get is her only priority. Keep a cynical know-it-all…


Book cover of The World Unseen

Kay Acker Author Of Leaving's Not the Only Way to Go

From my list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe deeply that, as messy and painful as life is, there is always joy, and usually humor, to be found. The book I wrote, Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go, pulls from some of the painful experiences I’ve had, and I often find myself following my description of the book, about two women who meet in a grief group, with “but it’s not a downer!” It’s true, because Leaving is also inspired by all the joy and connections I’ve made for myself, even in the midst of loss. I learned how to balance the two sides of life through books like the ones on this list. 

Kay's book list on sapphic about finding happiness in hard times

Kay Acker Why did Kay love this book?

Another classic lesbian novel.

Two Asian women living in South Africa in the 1950s meet and take hold of a beautiful opportunity to care for each other, despite both personal struggles and the broader challenges of trying to build a life during Apartheid.

There is tragedy and loss, and also hope and defiance; the two of them have little victories, both personal and political, that build toward a promising future, even if they haven’t quite made it there yet.

By Shamim Sarif,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1950's South Africa, a free-spirited café owner falls for a young wife and mother. Their unexpected attraction pushes them to question the cruel rules of a world that divides white from black and women from men, but a world that might just allow an unexpected love to survive.


Book cover of Every Day

M.E. Corey Author Of Out of Blue Comes Green

From my list on coming-of-age self-deprecating narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming-of-age stories fascinate me because they are all so different. While we each experience many of the same events, each person’s story is unique. I like to read about how they first understood love or how they met their best friend. I like to try on their life for a bit, walk around in their shoes, and then return to my reality with the person I’ve worked so hard to become. The more I read other people’s stories of growing up, the more I feel we all harbor the same worries about ourselves and our future. We all struggle with similar problems while becoming who we’re meant to be.

M.E.'s book list on coming-of-age self-deprecating narrators

M.E. Corey Why did M.E. love this book?

I was completely enthralled by Levithan’s main character, A, and how they become a different person every day. The idea of falling in love or having a career or even pursuing an interest—a sport, an instrument, an art form—becomes impossible when you live a life like A does.

I related to the idea that A couldn’t present as an individual, that they could only be whoever they ended up being for the day. Starting over every 24 hours was worse than waking up every morning as the same wrong person. At least I had the benefits of making friends, learning guitar, and having a family. The story made me so sad for A’s loneliness yet made me feel much less alone.

By David Levithan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Every Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day…


Book cover of Keturah and Lord Death

Maria Vale Author Of Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death

From my list on stories of death personified.

Why am I passionate about this?

The 14th century had it all: the 100 Years' War, near-constant famines, and, of course, the Black Plague. As a medievalist studying the art of the time, I was struck by the representations of Death that emerged from this near-perfect storm of misery. Yes, Death was often portrayed accompanied by demons and devils, lumped willy-nilly with evil. But it was more often portrayed in the Danse Macabre as a skeletal partner, leading everyone—Pope and Emperor, Lord and Laborer—on a merry dance. I know it was meant as a warning, but I found the Danse Macabre to be oddly comforting, a vision of an ultimate democracy, with Death the final partner and companion to us all.

Maria's book list on stories of death personified

Maria Vale Why did Maria love this book?

Leavitt’s story is a fairytale and like all good fairytales, there is a handsome prince except this one is played by Lord Death himself.

I love Keturah. She is brave enough not to be afraid and big-hearted enough to see beyond Death’s terrifying purpose to the underlying sadness of the feared and hated outsider. Through the course of the book, she also comes to appreciate the meaning he brings to life.

“It was Death who…made her see the sun in the blue sky and hear the trees in a spring wind. He made her see how much she loved her friends…Made her love the breath in her lungs. She knew she had never been truly alive as when she met him. Never so happy and content with her lot until she was touched by the sorrow of him.”

By Martine Leavitt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Keturah and Lord Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

National Book Award Finalist

A young woman makes a bargain with Death himself-and only true love can set her free-in this spellbinding YA fantasy romance for fans of Robin McKinley.

For most of her sixteen years, beautiful Keturah Reeves has mesmerized the villagers with her gift for storytelling. But when she becomes hopelessly lost in the king's forest, her strength all but diminished, she must spin the most important of tale of life. With her fate hanging in the balance, she charms Death himself-a handsome, melancholy, and stern lord-with a story of a love so true that he agrees to…


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