(I’m experimenting with a way that people can open or collapse the header if they don’t feel like reading it [Philistines!] or don’t want to have to scroll through it every time on mobile. Click the little + sign if you want to read about some books and see some kitties.)
Awhile back I went on a literary horror shopping spree on Amazon thanks to a conversation on the OT. Here are some of the books purchased (though mostly not yet read), modeled by my very patient cats and brought to you by Chase Sapphire.
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories, by Carmen Maria Machado
“Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. . . . In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.
A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella “Especially Heinous,” Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.”
The House Next Door, by Anne Rivers Siddons
“An unparalleled picture of that vibrant but dark intersection where the Old and the New South collide.
Thirtysomething Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in a charming, peaceful suburb of newly bustling Atlanta, Georgia. Life is made up of enjoyable work, long, lazy weekends, and the company of good neighbors. Then, to their shock, construction starts on the vacant lot next door, a wooded hillside they’d believed would always remain undeveloped. Disappointed by their diminished privacy, Colquitt and Walter soon realize something more is wrong with the house next door. Surely the house can’t be haunted, yet it seems to destroy the goodness of every person who comes to live in it, until the entire heart of this friendly neighborhood threatens to be torn apart.”
Infidel, by Pornsak Pichetshote
“A haunted house story for the 21st century, Infidel follows an American Muslim woman and her multi-racial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia.”
The Face That Must Die, by Ramsey Campbell
This “daring look into the mind of a psychotic killer was published in truncated form in 1979; an expanded edition was later published in 1982. The paranoid outlook of the book’s main character, Horridge, is a grim commentary on a bleak Liverpool suburb and Thatcher-era England.”
Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand
“After the tragic and mysterious death of one of their founding members, the young musicians in a British acid-folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with its own dark secrets. There they record the classic album that will make their reputation but at a terrifying cost, when Julian Blake, their lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again. Now, years later, each of the surviving musicians, their friends and lovers (including a psychic, a photographer, and the band s manager) meets with a young documentary filmmaker to tell his or her own version of what happened during that summer but whose story is the true one? And what really happened to Julian Blake?”
A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay
“The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.
To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.
Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.”
The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle
“Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.
A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?”
♫ and the rest ♫
Dawn: Xenogenesis, by Octavia Butler
Those Across the River, by Christopher Buehlman
Carrion Comfort: A Novel, by Dan Simmons
Minion: A Vampire Huntress Legend, by L. A. Banks
Exquisite Corpse, by Poppy Z. Brite
Feed, by Mira Grant
The Red Tree, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson
The Best of Joe R. Lansdale, by Joe R. Lansdale (duh)
Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, by M. R. James
The Willows, by Algernon Blackwood
Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll
Falling in Love with Hominids, by Nalo Hopkinson
The Hunger, by Alma Katsu
Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3, by Clive Barker
Bloodchild and Other Stories, by Octavia Butler
The Walking, by Bentley Little
Forget the Sleepless Shores: Stories, by Sonya Taaffe
Have a spooktacular night, everyone!