Book List: My Favorite Horror

Book List: My Favorite Horror

Naturally, my second book list had to be my favorite horror novels! I read that perfectly odd combination of romance and horror on the regular, so my two favorite genres had to be my first lists of recommendations. This list will hopefully give you a great combination of amazing classics and new favorites.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

I read The Whisper Man years ago, but it stuck with me because of the eerie feeling that follows you long after you finish it. I felt the same way about The Shadows, which I read earlier last month. There’s something so perfect about the way it’s crafted. Mid-read, I was sitting on my couch home alone in the dark, and I couldn’t even stop myself from checking over my shoulder. It just gave me the creeps! North also has the masterful combination of supernatural and a horrible reality – his villains are real, but the magic remains. You’ll see what I mean!

Grab your copy!

The Mist by Stephen King

I read The Mist mid-pandemic. Which was a mistake…or possibly smart as heck, because it made it all the more terrifying. No, I don’t mean to relate COVID-19 to the mist that overtakes the small Maine town, bringing with it creepy creatures that eat people. Very different scenarios. Buuut…the townspeople’s reaction to the mist? Not taking it seriously? Risking the safety of others to hold a certain bravado? That hit hard. Almost comical to read, if it wasn’t so horribly true. Glad to know it doesn’t matter what the national disaster is, there will always be non-believers and cynics.

While this is one of King’s shorter novels, it’s one of my personal favorites. King is a masterful writer, but the more pages you give him, the more he feels the need to drone on about things I tend to not think are important. His shorter books (Gwendy’s Button Box, Elevation, Carrie) are my favorites. It was awesome, don’t get me wrong, but omg it took me like a year, if I’m being honest.

Order a copy from Gibson’s…but prepare yourself to cringe.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

Hangsaman is one of those really weird titles I can only recommend to people once I get a good feel for what they read. Jackson was under-appreciated in her own time, which is a shame, because her writing is absolutely incredible, and Hangsaman, in my opinion, is her masterpiece. When Jackson writes, you sense it’s personal. Her books are raw with a feeling of being an outsider, wronged by the world, and it’s even more tragic to know she was very depressed and these works were truly her release. Hangsaman haunts me to this day. It’s a wild ride but it’s something you finish and immediately want to pick up again and reread because you couldn’t possible have absorbed it all.

Jackson’s works aren’t horror in the typical sense, but you will reach the end and feel deeply disturbed. Particularly with this one, practice self care while reading. Grab a copy here (and as it’s one of my personal favorites, be sure to get in touch and tell me what you think).

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

I feel like the natural choice of Grady Hendrix for this list would be The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, which of course, you should also read. But no one picks up My Best Friend’s Exorcism first, which is a darn shame! The girl power, the perfect capture of an 80’s nostalgia vibe, and the utter creepiness of this novel are an amazing blend. It feels like Stranger Things meets The Exorcist, and I can’t recommend it enough. It was my first Hendrix, and sure as heck not my last. Hendrix is a master, and as we all know, one of my absolute favorite authors of both horror and just in general!!

Order yours here.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Did you like The Haunting of Hill House? The show, not the (also amazing) book by Shirley Jackson. Then you need to read Home Before Dark. It has the same vibe, and it made my skin prickle with the creepiness of it. I love a good haunted house, and this book does it perfectly. Sager has a knack for making you afraid of what lurks around every corner. I’m a pretty dedicated reader of his by now, and you can certainly catch me with every new publication. Home Before Dark was the book that got me hooked, and it still remains my favorite! Everything Sager writes reads like a horror movie you’re watching unfold on screen, and being a horror movie fan as well (of course!), I simply can’t resist.

Get your copy from Gibson’s here.

The awesome thing about this list is that I can easily recommend not just these titles but the authors themselves. If you’re a horror lover, of both the classics and these modern marvels, these are my go-to authors. Are you a horror lover? Have you read the titles on my list? What would make it on yours?

Have an awesome weekend, peeps. 🙂

Bookstore Review: Bookery Manchester

Bookstore Review: Bookery Manchester

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hello again friends! I’m back with another bookstore review for you, this time of Bookery Manchester on Elm Street in Manchester, NH.

The moment you walk into this store you’re met with this hip, book-lovers’ heaven of decorating. They have incredible honeycomb shelves to highlight new releases and favorites, open tables of displays everywhere, light fixtures made of book pages, walls of windows, cozy nooks for kiddos, and tables everywhere to sit with your coffee and read – including outside on their patio. It’s a great use of the space they have, and it feels both clean and simple, but also cozy.

One big thing I’ve noticed about the Bookery is that you can’t come with a list in mind. The Bookery doesn’t tend to carry current bestsellers, or books you see on bookstagram – but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. They’ve got a really cool collection of books that are well curated and fit the vibe. I definitely feel like if I pick up a book, the staff has put extra care into making sure it’s quality or indie, or maybe they’ve even read it themselves. I love that, and I love that it tends to highlight the kind of staff working in a store as well, based on their selections.

That being said, I don’t read like the staff at the Bookery, lol. I did find some books I wouldn’t have found otherwise, but not everything in the collection speaks to me and my reading taste. The books I’ve picked up at the Bookery over the past few years have been books I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise: not to say that they’re bad, but if you read like me, you might find yourself in the same situation.

I was feeling extremely blessed that Thursdays are my days off when I saw recently that the Bookery has a BUILD YOUR OWN PB&J BAR on Thursdays. Obsessed. I dragged my sister and my mom along for this excursion, and we were all very excited for sandwiches. The food I’ve had at the Bookery before was fantastic (bacon avocado wrap, anyone??) and their coffee is absolutely mouthwatering. This trip, I enjoyed a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich with one of their specialty brews: a Fangirl iced latte in honor of bookstore romance day! It was STELLAR. Our sandwiches were so full of peanut butter, though, we could hardly finish them. No joke. Yummy, but filling!

Speaking of bookstore romance day, they had an AWESOME display out with some of their favorite romance books, all COLOR-CODED and marked with the corresponding trope!! Thought that was awesome. Some of my favorite book blogs over the years have broken down their reviews to their tropes, particularly of romances where it really matters to readers. It was awesome to be able to pick something up and already sort of know what I was going to get. I grabbed one off the table on my way to the register simply for this reason! I had read most of the books on the table so I was pretty confident they were all great picks. I’m super excited to read this one.

During my trip to Bookery Manchester, my book haul included Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam, and Gory Details: Adventures from the Dark Side of Science by Erika Engelhaupt. Stay tuned for those reviews!

So, to summarize: love the staff, love the thoughtfully curated collection, and of course: love the food and coffee. I think, for the store’s size, its thoughtful picks make more sense than stuffing it to the brim with bestsellers or “the next big thing”, but I do miss the ability to walk in and get exactly what I’m looking for. Bookery Manchester remains to be a book shopping experience I enjoy on occasion or for browsing, but I wouldn’t seek it out as my regular haunt. Hope that adds up!

Check out the Bookery online or in store on Elm Street in Manchester!