October 29, 2021

10 Books to Read this Halloween




The Bloodless Boy by Robert J. Lloyd


Technically this one doesn’t come out until Tuesday, but we’re already spotting it on shelves in a lot of stores. Part Wolf Hall, part The Name of the Rose, this riveting literary thriller is set in Restoration London, with a cast of real historic figures, set against the actual historic events and intrigues of the returned king and his court. A creepy, atmospheric page-turner.
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The Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell


A dark, gothic novella of thwarted love and a family curse that vividly illustrates the social tensions of Victorian England. The purposeful slaying of lonely Bridget’s beloved dog unleashes a torrent of rage that surges down through the generations. In her desire for revenge, Bridget utters a fearsome curse upon the dog’s killer: All that the murderer loves most, he will lose.
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Ghosts of Berlin by Rudolph Herzog


In these hair-raising stories from the celebrated filmmaker and author Rudolph Herzog, millennial Berliners discover that the city is still the home of many unsettled—and deeply unsettling—ghosts. And those ghosts are not very happy about the newcomers.
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The Horla by Guy De Maupassant
This chilling tale of one man’s descent into madness was published shortly before the author was institutionalized for insanity, and so, The Horla has inevitably been seen as informed by Guy de Maupassant’s mental illness. While such speculation is murky, it is clear that de Maupassant was at the peak of his powers in this innovative precursor of first-person psychological fiction.


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The Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell

What do you do when you wake up hung over and late for work only to find a stranger on your couch? And what if that stranger turns out to be an Adversarial Manifestation—like Satan, say—who has brewed you a fresh cup of fair-trade coffee? And what if he offers you your life’s goal of making the bestseller list if only you find his missing Lucky Cat and, you know, sign over your soul?

If you’re Billy Ridgeway, you take the coffee.

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The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft


H. P. Lovecraft proclaimed his Dunwich Horror “so fiendish” that his editor at Weird Tales “may not dare to print it.” The editor, fortunately, knew a good thing when he saw it.


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The Castle in Transylvania by Jules Verne


Before Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jules Verne wrote this eerie tale of the supernatural set in a forgotten valley in the mountains of Transylvania. In a tiny village, cut off from the outside world, unnatural events are menacing the populace. A visitor to the region, a young count, vows to liberate the town from this thrall-pitting his reason against the forces of evil and superstition. Yet he too must confront the limits of reason when he views, in the depths of the castle, his long-dead love…


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Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge


In the fictional Chinese city of Yong’an, an amateur cryptozoologist is commissioned to uncover the stories of its fabled beasts. These creatures live alongside humans in near-inconspicuousness—save their greenish skin, serrated earlobes, and strange birthmarks. Part detective story, part metaphysical enquiry, Strange Beasts of China engages existential questions of identity, humanity, love and morality with whimsy and stylistic verve.


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Rules for Werewolves by Kirk Lynn


Narrated in the shifting perspectives of the pack, this is the story of a restless group of young squatters who’ve run away from their families and their pasts, roaming the half-empty suburbs of America. They’re building a new society with new laws, and no one will stand in their way.


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The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato


One minute insanely famous pop singer Molly Metropolis is on her way to a major performance in Chicago, and the next, she’s gone, her cell phone found abandoned. Has she been kidnapped? Gone into hiding? Suspenseful and wildly original, The Ghost Network is a novel about larger-than-life fantasies


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Amelia Stymacks is the former director of digital marketing at Melville House.