Spooky Season Book Recommendations

 

Horror gurus Will & Steven have put their ghoulish heads together to provide you a highly curated list of books for a spine-tingling October.

 


Note: All recommendations are listed at the bottom of the page! 

Stephen King is neck-and-neck with honorable mentions Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews for the title of bestselling horror novelist of all time. Don't be too cool for mass appeal, though. His often meandering, folksy storytelling belies some truly vicious shots to the amygdala and a penchant for mind-bending narrative landscapes and vast, overlapping universes of terror. Among his 90+ published works, three not-too-be-missed are: The ShiningThe Stand, and 11/22/63.

His kid Joe Hill ain't no slouch, neither. His depiction of a haunting in Heart-Shaped Box is legitimately skin-crawling.

Clive Barker led the invasion of the avant-garde, British goths in the mid-80s. His stories are a loving embrace from the castoffs, runaways, freaks, and weirdos living on the fringes of society. He draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Brontë, and the Marquis de Sade, taking disturbing philosophical positions and twisting them until they become horrible to behold, and, more often than not, bizarrely erotic. Try The Hellbound Heart, Cabal, or Books of BloodMy man writes YA novels, too! Check out the Abarat series about Candy Quackenbush's epic journey to save Chickentown, USA.

Shirley Jackson brought gothic Americana into the 20th Century with her gripping tales of psychological suspense and calculated madness. With a tendency to skirt the supernatural, her heightened, atmospheric character dramas reveal the humanity's potential for evil when faced with desperate circumstances. My recommendations are: The Lottery and Other StoriesThe Haunting of Hill House, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Victor LaValle lends a contemporary voice to the timeless archetypes of the horror genre. Drawing comparisons to Ken Kesey and John Kennedy Toole for his nihilistic humor tinged only slightly with hope, his characters are sympathetic, vulnerable, and, when they need to be, strong enough to slay monsters. Pick up The Devil in SilverThe Changeling, or The Ballad of Black Tom.

Octavia Butler is primarily known for her sprawling space operas and pioneering works of Afrofuturism, but don't sleep on her wildly imaginative horror fiction. Her protagonists are normal people in extraordinary situations, often operating under unfathomable belief systems. Imagine an episode of Tales From the Darkside written by a certified genius with galaxies in her brain. For your Butler starter pack, go with: KindredBloodchild and Other Stories, and Fledgling.

Splatterpunk superstar Billy Martin, better known by his pen name Poppy Z. Brite, is not for the faint of heart. He hemorrhaged onto the literary scene in the early 90s along with peers in carnage like Jack KetchumJoe R. Lansdale, and Caitlín R. Kiernan. His characters punish the boundaries of human experience, but they are written with such obvious lyricism and craft that Martin's contribution to the horror canon are undeniable. If you're up to the challenge, here are three of his best: Exquisite CorpseDrawing Blood, and Lost Souls.

V. Castro's work is always a wonderful exploration of character and mythology. Dark, atmospheric and very deeply about the Latinx experience, no matter the world she's writing about. Try Goddess of FilthQueen of the Cicadas, or Aliens: Vasquez.

Both beautiful and visceral, Hailey Piper's prose paints a perfect picture of what her characters are going though in their lives. I have no doubt her novels will be considered some of the best horror of their respective years as they come out. Start out with Queen of TeethYour Mind Is a Terrible Thing, and The Worm and his Kings.

Eric LaRocca is one of the strongest new voices in LGBTQ+ horror. Vicious, unflinching, and really clever, his stories have been amazing to watch break into the horror scene this year: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last SpokeThey Were Here Before Us, and You've Lost a Lot of Blood.

Deep, dark, personal horror. Max Booth III so often explores the fear of loss and stability one can go through as a family falls apart but often in the most extreme and horrifying ways. Consider Maggots ScreamingTouch the Night, or We Need to Do Something.

Whether the blues playing in a southern gothic nightscape or revolutionary poetry in a country fraught with turmoil, the thrum of cosmic horror and man’s darkness play through all of John Hornor Jacobs's words. Often missed on the shelves he’s one of the new masters of horror that not enough people know about. I suggest Southern Gods, A Lush and Seething Hell, and Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales

Adam Nevill can give you all you need to be frightened of with just his background descriptions. In a lot of ways that’s the art of his writing. Every stained pebble or gouged tree that leads you a violent, bloody climax. Brace yourself for The Vessel, The Reddening, and Last Days.

 


 

Staff Pick Badge
The Shining By Stephen King Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780345806789
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Anchor - August 27th, 2013

Stephen King is neck-and-neck with honorable mentions Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews for the title of bestselling horror novelist of all time. Don't be too cool for mass appeal, though. His often meandering, folksy storytelling belies some truly vicious shots to the amygdala and a penchant for mind-bending narrative landscapes and vast, overlapping universes of terror. 


The Stand By Stephen King Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780307947307
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Anchor - August 7th, 2012

Stephen King is neck-and-neck with honorable mentions Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews for the title of bestselling horror novelist of all time. Don't be too cool for mass appeal, though. His often meandering, folksy storytelling belies some truly vicious shots to the amygdala and a penchant for mind-bending narrative landscapes and vast, overlapping universes of terror. 


11/22/63: A Novel By Stephen King Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781451627299
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Gallery Books - July 24th, 2012

Stephen King is neck-and-neck with honorable mentions Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews for the title of bestselling horror novelist of all time. Don't be too cool for mass appeal, though. His often meandering, folksy storytelling belies some truly vicious shots to the amygdala and a penchant for mind-bending narrative landscapes and vast, overlapping universes of terror. 


Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel By Joe Hill Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061944895
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - December 22nd, 2009

His kid Joe Hill ain't no slouch, neither. His depiction of a haunting in Heart-Shaped Box is legitimately skin-crawling.


Staff Pick Badge
The Hellbound Heart: A Novel By Clive Barker Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061452888
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Harper Perennial - October 2nd, 2007

Clive Barker led the invasion of the avant-garde, British goths in the mid-80s. His stories are a loving embrace from the castoffs, runaways, freaks, and weirdos living on the fringes of society. He draws inspiration from Edgar Allan PoeCharlotte Brontë, and the Marquis de Sade, taking disturbing philosophical positions and twisting them until they become horrible to behold, and, more often than not, bizarrely erotic.


Cabal By Clive Barker Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780743417327
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Gallery Books - January 1st, 2001

Clive Barker led the invasion of the avant-garde, British goths in the mid-80s. His stories are a loving embrace from the castoffs, runaways, freaks, and weirdos living on the fringes of society. He draws inspiration from Edgar Allan PoeCharlotte Brontë, and the Marquis de Sade, taking disturbing philosophical positions and twisting them until they become horrible to behold, and, more often than not, bizarrely erotic.


Clive Barker's Books of Blood 1-3 By Clive Barker Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780425165584
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Berkley - October 1st, 1998

Clive Barker led the invasion of the avant-garde, British goths in the mid-80s. His stories are a loving embrace from the castoffs, runaways, freaks, and weirdos living on the fringes of society. He draws inspiration from Edgar Allan PoeCharlotte Brontë, and the Marquis de Sade, taking disturbing philosophical positions and twisting them until they become horrible to behold, and, more often than not, bizarrely erotic.


Abarat By Clive Barker, Clive Barker (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Clive Barker, Clive Barker (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780060596378
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - August 31st, 2004

My man writes YA novels, too! Check out the Abarat series about Candy Quackenbush's epic journey to save Chickentown, USA.


The Lottery and Other Stories (FSG Classics) By Shirley Jackson, A. M. Homes (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, A. M. Homes (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374529536
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 16th, 2005

Shirley Jackson brought gothic Americana into the 20th Century with her gripping tales of psychological suspense and calculated madness. With a tendency to skirt the supernatural, her heightened, atmospheric character dramas reveal the humanity's potential for evil when faced with desperate circumstances.


The Haunting of Hill House By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143039983
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Penguin Classics - November 28th, 2006

Shirley Jackson brought gothic Americana into the 20th Century with her gripping tales of psychological suspense and calculated madness. With a tendency to skirt the supernatural, her heightened, atmospheric character dramas reveal the humanity's potential for evil when faced with desperate circumstances.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Afterword by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Afterword by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143039976
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Penguin Classics - October 31st, 2006

Shirley Jackson brought gothic Americana into the 20th Century with her gripping tales of psychological suspense and calculated madness. With a tendency to skirt the supernatural, her heightened, atmospheric character dramas reveal the humanity's potential for evil when faced with desperate circumstances.


The Devil in Silver: A Novel By Victor LaValle Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812982251
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: One World - September 10th, 2013

Victor LaValle lends a contemporary voice to the timeless archetypes of the horror genre. Drawing comparisons to Ken Kesey and John Kennedy Toole for his nihilistic humor tinged only slightly with hope, his characters are sympathetic, vulnerable, and, when they need to be, strong enough to slay monsters.   


The Changeling: A Novel By Victor LaValle Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812985870
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: One World - March 6th, 2018

Victor LaValle lends a contemporary voice to the timeless archetypes of the horror genre. Drawing comparisons to Ken Kesey and John Kennedy Toole for his nihilistic humor tinged only slightly with hope, his characters are sympathetic, vulnerable, and, when they need to be, strong enough to slay monsters.   


The Ballad of Black Tom By Victor LaValle Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250817556
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Tordotcom - September 6th, 2022

Victor LaValle lends a contemporary voice to the timeless archetypes of the horror genre. Drawing comparisons to Ken Kesey and John Kennedy Toole for his nihilistic humor tinged only slightly with hope, his characters are sympathetic, vulnerable, and, when they need to be, strong enough to slay monsters.   


Staff Pick Badge
Kindred By Octavia E. Butler Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807083697
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Beacon Press - February 1st, 2004

Octavia Butler is primarily known for her sprawling space operas and pioneering works of Afrofuturism, but don't sleep on her wildly imaginative horror fiction. Her protagonists are normal people in extraordinary situations, often operating under unfathomable belief systems. Imagine an episode of Tales From the Darkside written by a certified genius with galaxies in her brain.


Fledgling By Octavia E. Butler Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780446696166
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 2nd, 2007

Octavia Butler is primarily known for her sprawling space operas and pioneering works of Afrofuturism, but don't sleep on her wildly imaginative horror fiction. Her protagonists are normal people in extraordinary situations, often operating under unfathomable belief systems. Imagine an episode of Tales From the Darkside written by a certified genius with galaxies in her brain.


Bloodchild and Other Stories By Octavia E. Butler Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781583226988
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Seven Stories Press - October 4th, 2005

Octavia Butler is primarily known for her sprawling space operas and pioneering works of Afrofuturism, but don't sleep on her wildly imaginative horror fiction. Her protagonists are normal people in extraordinary situations, often operating under unfathomable belief systems. Imagine an episode of Tales From the Darkside written by a certified genius with galaxies in her brain.


Exquisite Corpse By Poppy Z. Brite Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780684836270
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Gallery Books - August 20th, 1997

Splatterpunk superstar Billy Martin, better known by his pen name Poppy Z. Brite, is not for the faint of heart. He hemorrhaged onto the literary scene in the early 90s along with peers in carnage like Jack KetchumJoe R. Lansdale, and Caitlín R. Kiernan. His characters punish the boundaries of human experience, but they are written with such obvious lyricism and craft that Martin's contribution to the horror canon are undeniable.


Drawing Blood: A Novel By Poppy Brite Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780440214922
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Dell - October 1st, 1994

Splatterpunk superstar Billy Martin, better known by his pen name Poppy Z. Brite, is not for the faint of heart. He hemorrhaged onto the literary scene in the early 90s along with peers in carnage like Jack KetchumJoe R. Lansdale, and Caitlín R. Kiernan. His characters punish the boundaries of human experience, but they are written with such obvious lyricism and craft that Martin's contribution to the horror canon are undeniable.


Lost Souls By Poppy Brite Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780440212812
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Dell - September 10th, 1993

Splatterpunk superstar Billy Martin, better known by his pen name Poppy Z. Brite, is not for the faint of heart. He hemorrhaged onto the literary scene in the early 90s along with peers in carnage like Jack KetchumJoe R. Lansdale, and Caitlín R. Kiernan. His characters punish the boundaries of human experience, but they are written with such obvious lyricism and craft that Martin's contribution to the horror canon are undeniable.


Goddess of Filth By V. Castro Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781951971038
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Creature Publishing, LLC - March 30th, 2021

V. Castro's work is alwaV. Castro's work is always a wonderful exploration of character and mythology. Dark, atmospheric and very deeply about the Latinx experience, no matter the world she's writing about. ys a wonderful exploration of character and mythology. Dark, atmospheric and very deeply about the Latinx experience, no matter the world she's writing about. 


Staff Pick Badge
The Queen of the Cicadas By V. Castro Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781787586017
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Flame Tree Press - June 22nd, 2021

V. Castro's work is always a wonderful exploration of character and mythology. Dark, atmospheric and very deeply about the Latinx experience, no matter the world she's writing about. 


Aliens: Vasquez By V. Castro Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781803361116
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Titan Books - November 8th, 2022

V. Castro's work is always a wonderful exploration of character and mythology. Dark, atmospheric and very deeply about the Latinx experience, no matter the world she's writing about. 


Queen of Teeth By Hailey Piper Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781946335418
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Rooster Republic LLC - August 1st, 2021

I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Hailey Piper’s work. Both beautiful and visceral, her prose paints a perfect picture of what her characters are going though in their lives. I have no doubt her novels will be considered some of the best horror of their respective years as they come out. 


Your Mind is a Terrible Thing By Hailey Piper Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781737463351
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Off Limits Press LLC - May 7th, 2022

I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Hailey Piper’s work. Both beautiful and visceral, her prose paints a perfect picture of what her characters are going though in their lives. I have no doubt her novels will be considered some of the best horror of their respective years as they come out. 


The Worm and His Kings By Hailey Piper Cover Image
$13.00
ISBN: 9780578779799
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Off Limits Press LLC - November 15th, 2020

I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Hailey Piper’s work. Both beautiful and visceral, her prose paints a perfect picture of what her characters are going though in their lives. I have no doubt her novels will be considered some of the best horror of their respective years as they come out. 


Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes By Eric LaRocca Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781803361499
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Titan Books - September 6th, 2022

One of the strongest new voices in LGBTQ+ horror. Vicious, unflinching, and really clever, Eric LaRocca's stories have been amazing to watch break into the horror scene this year. 


They Were Here Before Us By Eric Larocca Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9798218015329
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bad Hand Books, LLC - October 25th, 2022

One of the strongest new voices in LGBTQ+ horror. Vicious, unflinching, and really clever, Eric LaRocca's stories have been amazing to watch break into the horror scene this year. 


You've Lost a Lot of Blood By Eric Larocca Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781088025758
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Eric Larocca - March 11th, 2022

One of the strongest new voices in LGBTQ+ horror. Vicious, unflinching, and really clever, Eric LaRocca's stories have been amazing to watch break into the horror scene this year. 


Maggots Screaming! By III Booth, Max Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781943720682
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Ghoulish Books - April 12th, 2022

Deep, dark, personal horror. Max Booth III so often explores the fear of loss and stability one can go through as a family falls apart but often in the most extreme and horrifying ways. 


Touch the Night By III Booth, Max Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781943720477
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing - June 16th, 2020

Deep, dark, personal horror. Max Booth III so often explores the fear of loss and stability one can go through as a family falls apart but often in the most extreme and horrifying ways. 


We Need to Do Something By III Booth, Max Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781943720453
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing - May 8th, 2020

Deep, dark, personal horror. Max Booth III so often explores the fear of loss and stability one can go through as a family falls apart but often in the most extreme and horrifying ways. 


Southern Gods By John Hornor Jacobs Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781597802857
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Night Shade - August 1st, 2011

Whether the blues playing in a southern gothic nightscape or revolutionary poetry in a country fraught with turmoil, the thrum of cosmic horror and man’s darkness play through all of John Hornor Jacobs's words. Often missed on the shelves he’s one of the new masters of horror that not enough people know about. 


Staff Pick Badge
A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror By John Hornor Jacobs, Chuck Wendig (Introduction by) Cover Image
By John Hornor Jacobs, Chuck Wendig (Introduction by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062880826
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - October 8th, 2019

Whether the blues playing in a southern gothic nightscape or revolutionary poetry in a country fraught with turmoil, the thrum of cosmic horror and man’s darkness play through all of John Hornor Jacobs's words. Often missed on the shelves he’s one of the new masters of horror that not enough people know about. 


Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales By John Hornor Jacobs Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781950305391
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: JournalStone - June 26th, 2020

Whether the blues playing in a southern gothic nightscape or revolutionary poetry in a country fraught with turmoil, the thrum of cosmic horror and man’s darkness play through all of John Hornor Jacobs's words. Often missed on the shelves he’s one of the new masters of horror that not enough people know about. 


The Vessel By Adam Nevill Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781739788612
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ritual Limited - October 31st, 2022

Adam Nevill can give you all you need to be frightened of with just his background descriptions. In a lot of ways that’s the art of his writing. Every stained pebble or gouged tree that leads you a violent, bloody climax. 


The Reddening: A Folk-Horror Thriller from the Author of The Ritual. By Adam Nevill Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781916094116
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Ritual Limited - October 31st, 2019

Adam Nevill can give you all you need to be frightened of with just his background descriptions. In a lot of ways that’s the art of his writing. Every stained pebble or gouged tree that leads you a violent, bloody climax. 


Last Days By Adam Nevill Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250018182
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - February 26th, 2013

Adam Nevill can give you all you need to be frightened of with just his background descriptions. In a lot of ways that’s the art of his writing. Every stained pebble or gouged tree that leads you a violent, bloody climax.