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Spine-Chilling Horror

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Spine-Chilling Horror

spine chilling horror blog

With October around the corner, and Halloween just a few weeks away, it’s the perfect time to start picking out some spooky new reads. Here are some noteworthy horror books published in the past year that you can check out with your Livingston Library card— if you dare…

(Descriptions provided by the publishers)

beast you are

The Beast You Are by Paul Tremblay

The fifteen pieces in this brilliant collection are all monsters of a kind, ready to loudly (and lovingly) smash through your head and into your heart. In “The Dead Thing,” a middle-schooler struggles to deal with the aftermath of her parents’ substance addictions and split. One day, her little brother claims he found a shoebox with “the dead thing” inside. He won’t show it to her and he won’t let the box out of his sight. In “The Last Conversation,” a person wakes in a sterile, white room and begins to receive instructions via intercom from a woman named Anne. When they are finally allowed to leave the room to complete a task, what they find is as shocking as it is heartbreaking. The title novella, “The Beast You Are,” is a mini epic in which the destinies and secrets of a village, a dog, and a cat are intertwined with a giant monster that returns to wreak havoc every thirty years.

Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones

Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho.

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood. Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives–even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed. Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse…

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Some people are haunted in more ways than one. Old denim jackets, ripped jeans, Stephen King novels, and the occasional beer at the White Horse Lounge have defined urban Indian Kari James’s life so far. But when her cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother, it inadvertently calls up both her mother’s ghost and a monstrous entity, and her willful ignorance about her past is no longer sustainable. Haunted by visions of her mother and hunted by this mysterious creature, Kari must search for what happened to her mother all those years ago.

The Wishing Pool and Other Stories by Tananarive Due

American Book Award-winning author Tananarive Due’s second collection of stories ranges from horror to science fiction to suspense. From the mysterious, magical town of Gracetown to the aftermath of a pandemic to the reaches of the far future, Due’s stories all share a sense of dread and fear balanced with heart and hope. In some of these stories, the monster is racism itself; others address the monster within, or other universal struggles set against the supernatural or surreal. All of them are written with Due’s trademark attention to detail and deep characterization. In addition to previously published work, this collection contains brand-new stories, including “Rumpus Room,” a supernatural horror novelette set in Florida about a woman’s struggle against both outer and inner demons.

our share of night

Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez

In 1981, a young father and son set out on a road trip across Argentina, devastated by the mysterious death of the wife and mother they both loved. United in grief, the pair travels to her family home near Iguazú Falls, where they must confront the horrific legacy she has bequeathed. For the woman they are grieving came from a family like no other–a centuries-old secret society called the Order that pursues eternal life through ghastly rituals. For Gaspar, the son, this cult is his destiny. As Gaspar grows up he must learn to harness his developing supernatural powers, while struggling to understand what kind of man his mother wanted him to be. Meanwhile Gaspar’s father tries to protect his son from his wife’s violent family while still honoring the woman he loved so desperately.

Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang

When an accident leaves her parents debilitated, a young woman takes a job at Holistik, a high-end beauty and wellness store in New York City known for its remarkable products and procedures. Her new job affords her entry into a world of privilege and gives her a long-awaited sense of belonging. She becomes transfixed by Helen, the niece of Holistik’s charismatic owner, and the two strike up a friendship that hazily veers into more. All the while, the young woman is plied with products that slim her thighs, smooth her skin, and lighten her hair. But beneath these creams and tinctures lies something sinister.

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle

Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold. Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed “most effective” gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy. And they’ll scare you straight to hell.

Lone Women by Victor LaValle

Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk opens, people around Adelaide start to disappear. The year is 1915, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, forcing her to flee California in a hellfire rush and make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will become one of the “lone women” taking advantage of the government’s offer of free land for those who can tame it—except that Adelaide isn’t alone. And the secret she’s tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing that will help her survive the harsh territory.

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world. Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market. But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…

nineteen claws and a black bird

Nineteen Claws and a Black Bird by Agustina Bazterrica

This collection of nineteen brutal, darkly funny short stories takes into our deepest fears and through our most disturbing fantasies. Through stories about violence, alienation, and dystopia, Bazterrica’s vision of the human experience emerges in complex, unexpected ways–often unsettling, sometimes thrilling, and always profound. In “Roberto,” a girl claims to have a rabbit between her legs. A woman’s neighbor jumps to his death in “A Light, Swift, and Monstrous Sound,” and in “Candy Pink,” a woman fails to contend with a difficult breakup in five easy steps. Written in Bazterrica’s signature clever, vivid style, these stories question love, friendship, family relationships, and unspeakable desires.

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

A contemporary Southern Gothic from a master of modern horror that explores the deep, dark roots of family and in which grandma’s ghost haunting your house may be the least of your worries. In this ordinary North Carolina suburb, family secrets are always in bloom. Samantha Montgomery pulls into the driveway of her family home to find a massive black vulture perched on the mailbox, staring at the house. Inside, everything has changed. Gone is the eclectic warmth Sam expects; instead the walls are a sterile white. Now, it’s very important to say grace before dinner, and her mother won’t hear a word against Sam’s long-dead and little-missed grandmother, who was the first to put down roots in this small southern town. The longer Sam stays, the stranger things get. And every day, more vultures circle overhead…

Haunthology by Jeremy Haun

From creatures of the night to even more terrifying creatures of the day, Haunthology is an anxiety-inducing collection of 28 short stories and vignettes from the mind of Jeremy Haun, the writer and artist behind The Beauty, The Realm, The Red Mother, The Approach, and other nightmarish mindscapes. Whether exploring a claustrophobic old house full of nefarious entities or the heavy thoughts one has during the pending end of the world, this very personal project was written and drawn entirely during the COVID lockdowns.

Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions

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