It’s a rainy Monday and you probably already had your Halloween parties over the weekend. So, if you’re bored or too old for trick-or-treating, here are some books that you should check out:

 

Final Girl by Lauren Milici

From Nancy Thompson to Sidney Prescott, horror movies have used the “final girl” trope to tell survival stories that center the violent tendencies of men. But in Lauren Milici’s debut chapbook, Final Girl upends the narrative devices associated with the formulaic archetype and subverts them: the speakers wield their vulnerability as armor (I can’t/be trusted to kiss without biting”) & modes of survival against sexual assault, trauma, and body dysmorphia. These scathing poems build upon the tenants of confessional and synthesize them with modern horror metaphor, inventing a new feminist paradigm for our time. The result is a cutting collection that is as much a triumph as it is a terror: “I have always crawled home with split lips & skin. I have bled more than this.“

Horrorstör Grady Hendrix

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

You Can’t Pick Your Genre by Emily O’Neill

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.

Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.

King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle.

Early in the Pandemic, King asked himself: “What could you write that would make you happy?”

“As if my imagination had been waiting for the question to be asked, I saw a vast deserted city—deserted but alive. I saw the empty streets, the haunted buildings, a gargoyle head lying overturned in the street. I saw smashed statues (of what I didn’t know, but I eventually found out). I saw a huge, sprawling palace with glass towers so high their tips pierced the clouds. Those images released the story I wanted to tell.”

 

Anybody Home? by Michael Seidlinger

 

What came first, the home or the desire to invade? 

A seasoned invader with multiple home invasions under their belt recounts their dark victories while offering tutelage to a new generation of ambitious home invaders eager to make their mark on the annals of criminal history. From initial canvasing to home entry, the reader is complicit in every strangling and shattered window. The fear is inescapable.

Examining the sanctuary of the home and one of the horror genre’s most frightening tropes, Anybody Home? points the camera lens onto the quiet suburbs and its unsuspecting abodes, any of which are potential stages for an invader ambitious enough to make it the scene of the next big crime sensation. Who knows? Their performance just might make it to the silver screen.

 

The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson 

A Best Book of the Month for Den of GeekOmnivoraciousMystery & Suspense, and Tor.

Goodreads’ 2020 Readers Choice Nominee for Best Horror, and one of the Best Books of 2020 for The LineupBooked, and Unsettling Reads.

Turner Falls is a small tourist town nestled in the hills of central Oregon. When a terrifying outbreak rapidly develops, this idyllic town becomes the epicenter of an epidemic of violence.

The Loop is a “wild and wonderfully scary novel” (Richard Chizmar, author of Gwendy’s Magic Feather) that offers a “hilarious and horrifying” (Brian Keene, author of The Rising) look at what one team of misfits can accomplish as they fight to live through the night.

 

Creole Conjure by Christina Rosso

Every city has a story.

Behind the veil of tourism, New Orleans drips with hunger, sorcery, and secrets. One of those is Honey Island Swamp, a powerful nexus of magic outside the city limits. Its blue-green water can make you ageless and manifest carnivals out of thin air. Similar to the River Styx, it serves as the gateway between the realms of the living, dead, and in-between. And because of this power, it becomes both a haven and a battlefield for witches, humans, and other magical beings.

 

The Forest by Lisa Quigley

Everyone in Edgewood believes their annual tithes at the fall festival are what purchase Edgewood’s safety, but as Faye and her husband prepare to take over as town stewards—a long tradition carried out by her family for generations—they learn the terrible truth: in order to guarantee the town’s safety, the forest demands an unthinkable sacrifice.

In the midst of everything, Faye is secretly battling debilitating postpartum anxiety that makes her all the more terrified to leave the safe cocoon of her enchanted town.

When everyone turns against her—including her own husband—Faye is forced to flee with her infant son into the forest. She must face whatever lurks there and, perhaps most frightening of all, the dark torments of her own mind.

The Forest is an adult folk horror novel appealing to fans of ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson and Bird Box by Josh Malerman, with a hint of The Changeling by Victor LaValle. It is Quigley’s debut novel.

 

More Bizarro than Bizarro featuring stories by:

Vincenzo Bilof (Editor)Sean Leonard (Editor)Leza CantoralJohn Wayne ComunaleChristoph PaulMandy De SandraDaniel VlasatyPedro ProençaRhys HughesM.P. JohnsonKonstantine ParadiasNicholas DayChris KelsoAdam MillardGrant WamackThomas OlivieriTom LeinsCarter RydyrMatthew J. HallAlexander ZelenyjWilliam CookDavid W. BarbeeNick CatoD.J. TyrerJohn AllenAric Sundquist

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson 

“A fascinating and frightening book” (Los Angeles Times)—the bestselling true story about a house possessed by evil spirits, haunted by psychic phenomena almost too terrible to describe.  

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that, one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property—complete with boathouse and swimming pool—and the price had been too good to pass up.

Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror.