Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a Halloween freebie, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to recommend some spooky reads. Honourable mentions go to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. They’re a couple of my favourite horror books, especially the former, but you hardly need me to tell you about them. The books I’ve selected are hardly unknowns, but I did try to be a little less obvious (for the most part).
If you’ve got the stomach for gross-out body horror, this is definitely a book worth checking out. It’s about a troop of boy scouts and their troop leader on a camping trip on a small Canadian island who encounter a strange man with an insatiable hunger.
I talk about the work of this manga author and illustrator a lot on this blog, and this is my go-to recommendation for his work. It’s a great long-form story, with episodic chapters that slowly escalate a series of bizarre incidents in a small coastal town haunted by spirals.
This was my first Frighteningly Good Read for this year’s Halloween season, and I just finished it last week. I’ve not had the opportunity to finish up my review for it yet, but I give it a strong recommendation all the same. Not without a few hiccups, it tells a great haunted house story in the vein of The Haunting of Hill House full of suspense and dread.
A better-known entry, I’m sure, I still love this book for how creatively it explores the idea of a global zombie pandemic, the bizarre stories that would emerge from it, and ultimately humanity’s ability to move forward, as it is framed as a collection of oral history compiled after the fact.
Another well known book, this text is just too bizarre and captivating not to include. The book itself is a labyrinthine tome of narrative frames, hidden messages, and clues. At its centre is a tale about a family that moves into a house that is somehow bigger on the inside.
It’s hard not to recommend any Stephen King, though I’ve opted for a short story collection rather than any of a number of his novels that I could include. This is simply a great collection of his earlier short fiction, none of them having been originally published before 1985. Standouts include “The Mist” and, for me personally, “The Raft”.
Skewed a little more Young Adult than other graphic novels included here, I adored reading this book of short horror stories. It includes what has become one of my favourite ever short horror comics, which has an ending that finishes on such a perfectly sinister and abrupt note that it’s burned in my memory.
Easily the best-known book here, I just couldn’t leave it out. It is a paragon of horror written for a younger audience, and if you’ve only seen the film I urge you to read the book as well.
This book is a fantastically original ghost story that explores appropriation and racial injustice spanning generations of American history. Though not without its flaws in how it tackles this subject matter, it’s definitely worth checking out for the unique way the haunting in the story manifests, history of blues music and music collection, and its raw journey into the violence of America’s past and present.
There are perhaps others that could take this spot, but the very fact that this book is specifically a collection of what the author deems his best stories is reason enough to put it above the many others. If you’d like to check out Ito’s work but don’t yet feel like investing the time into his longer stuff, this book is one of the best places to turn.
Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own list down below.