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. 🙂

Book List: My Favorite Contemporary Romances

Book List: My Favorite Contemporary Romances

Howdy, friends!

Prepare yourselves – today you’re getting your very first book list! I’ve prepped a list of some of my very favorite contemporary romances, for those of you just falling in love with the genre (pun intended) or those looking to reread some of the best. Without further ado, the best of the best!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I’m sure it’s a surprise to absolutely no one that I’m putting The Hating Game first on my list. Despite never writing a full review of this incredible romance, I reference it regularly when I’m trying to judge books critically…because it’s just the best. This is the book I recommend to friends when I want them to get hooked on the genre. I love the tropes of an office romance and an enemies-to-lovers, and you literally can’t top the wit, warmth, and humor of Sally Thorne. Also, OMG THEY’RE MAKING A MOVIE??

You can order a copy of this masterpiece from a local indie bookstore here (Jeff Bezos doesn’t need your money friends. If you don’t want to buy from my local indie bookstore, buy from yours! <3).

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

I remember picking up Fix Her Up at Barnes & Noble and thinking, “I’m probably not even going to like this.” I think we all know I hate a silly heroine, and Georgie being a *literal* clown didn’t exactly entice me to pick it up. But, I liked every other book on the romance display, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I might love this one too. So I took it home, and literally devoured it in a few hours.

Tessa Bailey is one of those rare, consistent winners. The first one on this list, in fact: every book I’ve read of hers has been amazing and held that same humor and feel from the previous book. They’re just wonderful, enjoyable reads, and Fix Her Up is the one that got me absolutely hooked.

Grab a copy here.

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Noticing now that the trend for this list is “consumed all the words in less than eight hours”…”shirked all worldly responsibilities in order to read”…”the book that helped me see the sunrise for once”.

And of course, The Friend Zone is no different. Literally couldn’t stop myself from consuming Kristen and Josh’s story at record pace. Abby Jimenez has put out tons of more awesome books since, so don’t miss those either, but start with The Friend Zone if you want to absolutely fall in love. I should mention, most of her books should have a trigger warning for some sad content. Read the description to see what I mean, and buy a copy of your own, right here.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Oh my god, the first book on this list I actually have a full review for! It’s a miracle!! And surprising, too, as The Bromance Book Club is actually a little older than some of the reads on this list. However, I actually got hooked on Lyssa Kay Adams a bit late in the game. I grabbed this gem, and within 24 hours I was driving my ass back to Target to pick up Undercover Bromance, desperate for my next fix of Lyssa.

This series is a rare thing: not only feminist romance, but feminist romance almost entirely from the male perspective! The premise is a bunch of celebrities, sports players, and other powerful Nashville men start a romance book club so that they can better understand the women in their lives. Do I really need to say anything more??

Get your copy here, and read my full review of this book (and subsequently, every other one in the series!) here.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

You Deserve Each Other was my very first review on this blog!! Way back in August of 2019 this book kept me up until the sunrise, laughing and crying. Hogle wrote with such a personal touch, it felt painfully real and emotional to read. This one hit on that same enemies-to-lovers trope, with the same humor as The Hating Game, and it felt so reminiscent of it that it took up special residence in my heart. The antics had me laughing out loud as I read, and I rarely do that!

Get your copy of this awesome read here, and read my full review here!

If you’re looking to get into the genre and looking for new favorites, start with these incredible authors. One thing I absolutely adore about modern romance is the feminist angle: one thing I pick up on as I look over the list of my favorites is how badass these women are! If your leading ladies need to be as tough as you are for you to sink into a good romance, you’ve come to the right place. I love that the characters on these lists have lives *beyond* their love lives, and the glimpse we get through these novels highlights strength and a well-rounded character.

If you were writing a list of your favorite romances, where would you start? What would make it on your list? I want to hear them! (Almost certainly because they should also be on my to-read list!!). I had to seriously cut this down just to get it to five books…the first list was so much longer! Let me know if you want another one with all my honorable mentions. 😉

Have a wonderful weekend friends!