Spooky Reads for October 2021October 1, 2021
Happy first of October!
I’ve always been a voracious reader, so I’ll be spending much of my free time this month cozied up on the couch with a good book, a soft blanket, the perfect fall cocktail, and my favorite candle. With leaves turning golden, nights drawing in and fires being lit, autumn is the perfect time to settle down with a good book. A lover of mysteries, thrillers, and Gothic literature, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recommendations below for this spooky time of year.
The Bone Houses
Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the deeply-buried truths about themselves. Equal parts classic horror novel and original fairy tale, The Bone Houses will have you spellbound from the very first page.
A Lesson in Vengeance
The history of Dalloway School lives in the bones it was built on. Five violent deaths in the first ten years of its existence. Sometimes you can still smell the blood on the air.
It wasn’t until Felicity enrolled that she fell in love with the dark. And now she’s back to finish her senior year after the tragic death of her girlfriend. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the five Dalloway students who died there—girls some say were witches.
It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no.
Dalloway’s occult lore is everywhere, and the new girl won’t let Felicity forget it. But when the past begins to invade on the present, Felicity needs to decide where she stands. The soil under her feet is bloody with Dalloway’s history. But so is the present. Is it Dalloway—or is it her?
House of Salt and Sorrows
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last–the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge–and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who–or what–are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family–before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Be careful who you dance with…
The Hazel Wood
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
Other Book Recommendations
The Ring – Koji Suzuki
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab
The Good Daughter – Karen Slaughter
The Guest List – Lucy Foley
Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The Girl in the Mirror – Rose Carlyle
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Dracula – Bram Stoker
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
IT – Stephen King
In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware
Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist
Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
White is for Witching – Helen Oyeyemi
Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
Come Closer – Sara Gran
The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allen Poe
Fledgling – Octavia E. Butler
The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson
That’s Not What Happened – Kody Keplinger
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
Night Film – Marisha Pessl
Penpal – Nathan Auerbach
Haunted – Chuck Palahniuk
The Ruins – Scott Smith
Bird Box – Josh Malerman
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