Mutated rats. A cataclysmic virus. A possessed lawnmower. A reclusive alcoholic’s gruesome transformation. And many more. After writing over 50 bestsellers and inspiring some of the greatest, scariest movies of all time, Stephen King’s first collection of short stories showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant and twisted mind.
An instant New York Times bestseller, Wilder Girls is a feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. Rory Power’s debut, which has earned four starred reviews, is a thrilling, mind-bending, beautiful novel unlike anything you’ve read before.
Octavia E. Butler
Maybe you’re obsessed with Kindred or The Parable of the Sower, or maybe you’re exploring Octavia Butler for the first time. Either way, you’re bound to be captivated by Fledgling, the last novel published by the MacArthur genius award winner, a book that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human. Here you’ll come face to face with an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Now what? And who must pay?
Celebrated as the Stephen King of YA, Danielle Vega is back with a new paranormal novel about dark family secrets and the horrifying truth that evil often lurks in the unlikeliest of places. In The Haunted, Hendricks and her family settle in a new town, looking for a clean slate and an escape from a traumatic past. Hendricks soon hears rumors that their new fixer upper is haunted, but she’s not if the demons haunting her are the ones of the past—or the present. Voices whisper in her ear as she lays in bed. Doors lock on their own. And, then, one night, things take a violent turn. With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts… if they don’t take her first.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
A literal monster of a New York Times bestseller, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein has been awarded an NPR Best Book of the Year and Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year. The latest from international bestseller Kiersten White is an exquisitely disturbing reimagining of the Frankenstein tale. In this stunning and dark novel, you’ll meet Elizabeth Lavenza, who hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she’s on the verge of being thrown into the streets… until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything—except a friend.
Trump is gone, but Brexit is complete, as is Frexit. There’s a global financial crisis, armed conflict, and mass migration, and an ultrapopulist movement governs in Germany. Britta, a wife, mother, and successful businesswoman, ignores the daily news and concentrates on her family and her work running a clinic specializing in suicide prevention. But her legitimate business is connected to a secret and far more lucrative operation known as The Bridge, an outfit that supplies terrorist organizations looking to employ suicide bombers. Part suspenseful thriller, part wickedly effective social satire, Empty Hearts is a novel for our times, examining urgent questions of morality, politics, and culture and presenting a startling vision of a future where empathy is a thing of the past.
Celebrate the life and work of the late Toni Morrison by reading (or re-reading) Beloved, one of the great and enduring works of American literature. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this unforgettable novel is the story of Sethe, who was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, yet is still held captive by memories of her past and the destructive ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. When a mysterious teenage girl arrives, calling herself Beloved, Sethe’s terrible secret explodes into the present.
A Cosmology of Monsters
Noah Turner’s father saw monsters—and built a shrine to them with The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the whole family operates. His practical mother has caught glimpses of terrors but refuses to believe. And his eldest sister won’t admit to seeing anything but the beckoning glow of the spotlight… until it swallows her up. Noah sees monsters, but unlike his family, he chooses to let them in. Find out why Shaun Hamill’s A Cosmology of Monsters is being celebrated by Stephen King and earned a spot on Esquire’s “The Best Fall Books of 2019.”
Sleep No More
P. D. James
With crimes, sometimes the question is, “Whodunnit”? Other times, the questions are more complex, and their answers more frightening: Why and how? What’s the formula to the perfect crime? What about those who know the identity of the murderer but keep the information to themselves? Explore these queries, and the inner lives of perpetrators, in Sleep No More, a collection of six peerlessly thrilling and entertaining short stories from the incomparable P.D. James.
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek
Bleak Creek boasts a cheerful facade, but the town’s teens live in constant fear of being sent to the Whitewood School, a local reformatory with a history of putting unruly youths back on the straight and narrow—a record so impeccable that almost everyone is willing to ignore the mysterious deaths that have occurred there over the past decade. When a girl is sent there as punishment, her best friends go on a mission to piece together the mystery. What they find will leave them battling an evil beyond their wildest imaginations—one that will shake Bleak Creek to its core.
The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals
From the host of the Lore podcast comes a chilling illustrated volume of the real-life monsters who remind us that truth can be more terrifying than fiction. Aaron Mahnke introduces us to William Brodie, a renowned Scottish cabinetmaker whose rampant criminality behind a veneer of respectability inspired Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There’s H.H. Holmes, the con artist who, at the 1893 World’s Fair, invited unwitting guests into his “hotel” of horrors… never to be seen again. And no best-of-the-worst collection would be complete without the likes of Bela Kiss, the Hungarian tinsmith with a taste for the occult and a collection of gasoline drums with women’s bodies inside.
“What’d you do you this weekend?” I asked my friend after Labor Day.
“Decorated my apartment for Halloween.”
Maybe you think it’s outrageous to prep for the holiday in AUGUST. Or maybe you, like my friend, want to extend the Halloween season as looooong as possible. If you’re the latter, explore this list ASAP.
We’ve got a feminist Lord of the Flies. A haunting reimagining of the Frankenstein tale. The first collection of short stories from Stephen King. And so many more ghoulish, thrilling, bone-chilling reads. Don’t wait to pick up one of these scary Halloween books: November will be here before you know it.
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