Halloween Reading List
One of my goals this year was to fit in some more time to read and I’m happy to report that I’m making some serious headway on my list (you can find out more about that here). But this month I want to try to add a few spooky and seasonal titles to my finished list. If you’re like me and trying to cross a few books off your list or just looking for a few ways to include a little more “thrill and chill” into your October, these are my picks for 12 spooky reads to add to your Halloween reading list this month!
I tried to pick a variety of books that hit a few different genres, but are titles that I actually have on my own “Want to Read” list. Horror, suspense, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy….check, check, check!
Some are full of suspense, others are true horror books, and there are even a few monsters, creepy old houses, and ghosts included too. (If you’re not into too many scares, I also included a couple that won’t keep you up all night with the lights on).
In no particular order, here are my picks for some new reads to add to your spooky halloween reading list!
The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig – This book is part horror, part fantasy, and part science fiction. The story follows the family of a cop who moves back to his childhood home that is full of shivers, goosebumps, bad memories, and creepy, unexplained strangeness. Can their family survive the dark past that haunts them still?
Clawing Free by Josh Roberts – What if monsters are real? Years after the murder of her older sister, Lissy discovers another body that’s been torn to pieces. As she searches for answers, she finds herself being lured by something so evil, she thinks she may be the next victim. If you like horror without a lot of grisly details, but still some scares and twists and turns, this title is for you!
The River has Teeth by Erica Waters – When Natasha’s sister disappears, she turns to Della, a local rumored witch, in the hopes that magic will bring her sister home. But Della has secrets to hide. Mystery, fantasy, witches, and the supernatural helped this title earn a place on my spooky halloween reading list! What is Halloween without a witch or two?!
Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena – A twisted family saga always has a place on a good suspense list, and this one is supposed to be a good one! The story follows a family, including a couple who are brutally murdered after an Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated. Or are they? I love a good murder mystery and this one checks all the boxes!
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – This one is written by the same author of “The Southern Book Clubs Guide to Slaying Vampires” (You can add that book to this list too if you haven’t read it yet!). In horror movies, the final girls are the ones left standing when the credits roll. They made it through the worst night of their lives…but what happens after? The story is fast-paced, frightening, and fun and pays tribute to some of the most classic horror films, from chain saws to summer camp slayers. Trying to decide if I should read this one next!
Small Favors by Erin Craig – Classified as a folk horror tale, this story follows a girl living in Amity Falls, surrounded by an impenetrable forest. Her days are filled with predictable sameness until some townsfolk go missing on a trip to fetch supplies. Strange activities begin to plague the town, whispers of creatures that exist in the woods and shared, and it’s clear that something is terribly wrong. A haunting and dark fairy tale full of beasts, blood, and bargains.
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass – I do love a good young adult novel and this one fits well into the Halloween reading list as a horror title. The story follows 16 year old Jake, who is trying to deal with normal high school life, but also has another problem…He sees dead people. After encountering a ghost who starts to haut him, Jake has to figure out how to survive high school and live long enough to graduate. Seems like a fun read that also includes some tough topics and life lessons too. Based on reviews, it has a few scares too!
Rovers by Richard Lange – This one takes place during the summer of 1976 and follows seventy year old brothers who are on the search for their next victim. When they encounter a young woman who disrupts their routine, it forces them to confront their past and throws them into deadly chaos as they try to save her life. If the idea of vampires and blood sucking creatures is your idea of a good time, add this book to your halloween reading list!
The Hollows by Mark Edwards – If you like mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels, add this one to your list. The story follows a father and his daughter who escape to a cabin resort deep in the woods. After learning that the location has a gruesome crime history, they are forced to uncover the truth about it’s dark past or try to get out while they still can. This one is written by the author of “The House Guest” and is described as a creepy, twisty thriller that you won’t be able to put down. Can’t wait to read it!
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – This is the only one I’ve finished on this list so far (lots more to go!), but I did enjoy it. The book takes place in 1950’s Mexico and revolves around an isolated mansion that’s falling apart, a well-to do family, and a brave socialite who is drawn to both the house and the secrets it holds. I’d classify this one as a sci-fi/horror blend. If you love horror, this one is fairly tame (in my opinion), but does contain some gore and spooks. I loved the writing and really enjoyed the read.
Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman – If you love the movie “Practical Magic”, this is the prequel to that tale. The story traces a centuries-old curse and unveils the story of Maria Owens, who is accused of witchcraft in Salem, and also happens to be a member of the amazing Owens line of women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic. I’ve heard it’s an easy read and doesn’t count as a horror book, so if you love magic, witches, and fantasy, this one may be for you!
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave – I’m right in the middle of reading this one, and I’d classify it as a suspense book with zero scares. So if you don’t love horror or things that go bump in the night, this one’s for you. The story follows a wife left in the dark after her husband disappears. She’s left to pull together the pieces and try to figure out what happened, while also trying to craft a relationship with her step-daughter, who may be the only person who holds the key to figuring out what happened. A true life nightmare that leaves you wondering if you really know who you married. An easy read so far and interesting enough to make me want to keep reading!
Which spooky tales do you want to add to your must-read list this month?