In these strange and unusual times, the default may be to glue ourselves to our phones and televisions to pass the time. As rewarding as it may feel to binge a whole season in just one day, I don’t know about you but I’ve been trying to wean myself off the electronics for activities like stress cleaning, paint-by-numbers, puzzles and, my personal favorite: reading.
Also See: Essential Quarantine Listening: Let’s Go to Court!
If you are a book lover and are in the market for a fresh and spooky read then you are in luck! Below are ten books that are absolute essentials on any horror fan’s bookshelf. These mentioned book are also available as audiobooks if that’s more your style. Shop small business, happy reading, and stay safe!
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Soon following the death of his mother, twelve year old David spends his days hiding in his attic bedroom coping with his Father suddenly remarrying and having another child. He is angry. He is alone. He blames himself entirely for the illness that took his mother away. But at least he has his precious books to turn to. At night the tomes whisper to him, slowly blending his reality and imagination into one. This results in David being thrown into the middle of a foreign land plagued by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by an ill king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book called The Book of Lost Things.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty
Best selling author and funeral director Caitlin Doughty has gotten a lot of questions about death throughout her career. She’s found that the best questions come from kids. In her latest book, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Caitlin uses her knowledge as a mortician to set the record straight about common misconceptions surrounding death by offering hilarious and canid answers to thirty-five questions raised by her youngest fans, such as: What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Do people poop when they die? And Can Grandma have a Viking funeral?
I’m Traveling Alone by Samuel Bjork
A special homicide unit is re-opened immediately following the discovery of a deceased six year old who is found in the countryside, hanging by a tree, dressed like an old fashioned doll and with a sign hanging from her neck that reads “I’m Traveling Alone.” When brilliant but haunted investigator Mia Kruger gets wrapped up in the case, she discovers the number ‘one’ carved into the dead girl’s fingernail, the only conclusion is that this killer is just getting started and it doesn’t take long to figure out the motivation behind these killings is personal.
Chase Darkness With Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders by Billy Jensen
Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common- they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there. Justice was not served. But following the death of a friend, fellow crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy reached his breaking point. He decided he would no longer stand by as all of these unsolved cases landed on his desk, he came up with a plan: to solve the murders himself, with or without assistance from the police.
In this true and emotional story, readers get to ride shotgun as Billy revisits the events surrounding his decision and walk through how he solved the case of the missing girl in the California Redwoods and much more.
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The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth: And Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine by Thomas Morris
Okay. So maybe The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth isn’t scary in the traditional sense, but just picture it; you’re walking alone, minding your business and all of a sudden you feel a sharp pain in your tooth. This pain is different though. It’s unlike any toothache you’ve ever experienced. It’s simply excruciating. Maybe you even have to double over from the pain. Then all of a sudden, there is a crack, like a rock shattering a glass window. Your tooth has exploded and burst into fragments that are beyond repair.
While this condition is extremely rare and was last reported in the 19th century it’s still terrifying! Thomas Morris explores medical anomalies just like this, as well as plethora of other marvels and their suggested treatments that would be quickly banished by modern day practices in his book, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth.
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Fans of the hit podcast Welcome to Nightvale will be all too familiar with secondary character The Faceless Old Woman (voiced by Mara Wilson). This old woman secretly lives in everyone’s home but no one knows how she got there or where she came from or what her motivations are…until now. Told in a mix of eerie flashbacks that take place in 19th century Europe and her current day dealings with a Nightvale resident named Craig, whom she haunts, is particularly cruel to and sabotages every chance she gets.
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Set in 18th century France, Perfume follows a lowly man named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who is born with an incredible sense of smell. It’s only natural that he grows up to be a perfume maker. However, genius Grenouille quickly grows bored with traditional perfume-making and ventures into using his talents to capture the scent of objects. Soon he grows bored of that as well and stumbles across a scent that leads him on a horrifying quest to created the ultimate perfume, the scent of a beautiful young virgin.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Lord of the Flies meets your favorite slasher in Battle Royale. During a school trip, a junior high class is ambushed and taken to a deserted island where they are equipped with tracking collars, given weapons, and forced to kill each other until there is only one student left standing.
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
In this timeless and terrifying read by America’s best true crime writer, Ann Rule documents her time with her former co-worker Ted Bundy. He was handsome. He was sensitive. He was very charming. And he would go on confess to killing thirty six young women from across the US. But the number of victims is believed to be much, much higher.
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Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Through a series of never-before-heard stories that touch upon their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia openly recount their biggest fears, mistakes and the life events that led them to become two of the most followed voices in the podcast world thanks to My Favorite Murder.