Happy SPOOKY SEASON, also known as THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR. For me Spooky Season starts on September 1st and ends sometime around the end of November, so I’ve got a good three months to tackle this TBR, but even so, it’s extremely ambitious and it’s highly unlikely I will read all of these unless my slumpy mood suddenly improves rapidly and significantly. (Also, there are a bunch of season new releases coming out in the next few months that may impact this TBR. We shall see.)
Also, I’m doing something slightly different this year, in an attempt to make a dent in the books I physically own, so the majority of these books are off my physical TBR! I kind of went through my bookshelves and picked out all the books I need to read that are seasonally appropriate.
This is one of my absolute favorite posts to make; I love thinking about what seasonal books I’m going to read for my favorite time of the year, and I’m really excited about all of these books I’ve chosen!
I got this in a book box subscription just when vampires started becoming cool again, but I never got around to it. Most of the reviews have said there’s not actually that much vampire activity, but it’s still set in 19th-century New Orleans and features a murder mystery, so that’s good enough for me!
A Long Fatal Love Chase
So, I DNF’d Little Women within the first like ten pages, but apparently Louisa May Alcott also wrote this gothic romance about a woman who sells her soul to the devil, I think? It sounds very dramatique, much more interesting than Little Women.
I read one Megan Chance book years and years ago but really enjoyed it — her writing is particularly lovely — and this one sounds like it gives off Gothic vibes. A disgraced young woman is sent to take care of an ailing man in a crumbling Venetian palazzo. Chance’s other book was set in Venice too, and I remember it being super atmospheric and clearly superbly researched.
I’m not entirely sure what this is about and I don’t recall why I purchased it, but it’s an illustrated horror novella. Something about speaking to the dead? This book is, I believe, out of print, because I recall having to hunt it down, so there must have been something about it that compelled me very strongly, but I have no idea what that something was.
The Little Stranger
I’ve read (1) Sarah Waters book despite owning every single one of her works, so it’s high time I read another one. Happily, my book club decided to read this for the month of October!
I was assigned to read this in a college class and…didn’t, but I’m really excited to give it another go now! It’s a veritable classic of vampire literature, after all; I see quotes from this book around all the time. And I’ve gotten better at reading classics in general, so reading such a short one should be no problem.
Companions of the Night
I tried to read this when I was a young teen, at the height of my vampire obsession, but for some reason I couldn’t get through it! I think maybe it wasn’t…exciting or sensational enough for me at the time, but I think I’d appreciate it more now. Plus it’s very short, so even if it’s a bit boring, I can probably get through it. It’s one of those oldie vampire YA classics to I really want to ~experience it.
The Black Castle
I have to be honest, mostly I bought this for the super rad vintage cover. It’s about a pair of brothers, one a vampire and one an inquisitor, but is the vampire actually the good guy in this scenario? What is the meaning of good and evil, etc, etc. Also a love triangle I guess? Competing over the “love and body of a pretty witch” according to the summary, so this is probably going to be a bit ridiculous (it was published in 1978 too!), but I’m here for it.
The Fourteenth Letter
I bought this book so long ago, at the height of my Victorian England obsession, that I don’t even remember what it’s about anymore. I think it’s a murder mystery of sorts? It has middling reviews but the summary sounds so intriguing!
My Plain Jane
This is the second book in the Lady Janies series. I liked the first one well enough, and then I got this one in a book subscription box. It’s supposed to be about Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte, only they…are both real and actually meet? I think? These books are comedic, so I think I’ll probably have a lot of fun with this (way more fun than I had with the actual Jane Eyre, anyway).
The Affair of the Mysterious Letter
This was one of my most anticipated books of 2019; it’s a bizarre spin on Sherlock Holmes that takes place in an alternate world, with some Lovecraftian and Carcosian influences.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism
This book was mostly a cover buy, to be honest; I just love the 80s vibe of the cover. I’ve procrastinated it because I read Grady’s vampire book and did not love it, and especially did not love how gross it was. I heard this was similar in terms of grossness, but I still really want to get to it.
Burn the Dark
This has been described as Supernatural meets Stranger things and it just!!! Sounds so fantastic!! It’s about a YouTuber who hunts ghosts and is tracking down the witches who wronged her mother. I want so badly to love this!
The Girl in Red
I’ve never read any of Christina Henry’s books, but she’s a pretty popular name in the horror/thriller genres. I believe this is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. Her work is supposed to be pretty gory!
The Way of All Flesh
I actually bought this totally randomly from The Strand! It’s another Victorian novel, only it’s set in Edinburgh, and it’s about a doctor, a medical student, and a housemaid who try to solve the mystery of gruesomely murdered young women. Sounds right up my alley.
Okay, so I want to read this particular Waters book before reading the book right below, which follows a very similar plot structure, to the point where it has to have been inspired by this book! So I’d like to read the two in tandem.
I loooooved Laura Purcell’s debut The Silent Companions so I immediately purchased her second book, but then I decided I wanted to read Affinity first, so this has been languishing on my shelf for years. Hopefully this will finally be the year I get to it.
Give the Dark My Love
I gotta work in one YA fantasy here, right? I bought this book totally on a whim off BookOutlet, and I probably would not buy it again today because of my general jadedness with YA fantasy, but this has gotten some good reviews from people whose opinions I trust, so hopefully I’ll like it! It’s about necromancy, so it’s seasonally appropriate. And hey, if I don’t like it, that’s another book I can unhaul.
This is being described as for fans of Anne Rice, The Historian, and The Night Circus, so in theory I should love this Victorian vampire novel about siblings, even despite the ridiculously low rating it has (3.25!). I’m hesitant to read the negative reviews so my opinion isn’t influenced, because the summary sounds so bomb: “In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.” Does that not sound SO COOL? I also really love this cover.
This is a book I have been waiting to read until after I’d read Dracula, which I did last year, so yay! It sounds absolutely bizarre: Queen Victoria marries Vlad Tepes and a vampire is trying to solve the Ripper Murders and characters from Victorian Gothic literature feature. I really, really, really want this to be good!!!
Certain Dark Things
I don’t own this yet, but I have it pre-ordered, so I will own it soon! I love this colorful and bizarre cover, and this Moreno-Garcia’s foray into the vampire genre, so I’m super duper excited! She is one of my favorite authors and there has yet to be a novel of hers I haven’t loved (and I’ve read all but three of her novels, and that includes this one and the one that just came out a few days ago).
Vintage vampire short stories, apparently: “19 archetypal tales written between 1820 and 1910”. So some short vampire classics for me. Some really random names in here, so we’ll see if I actually like this.
The Hollow Places
I loved Kingfisher’s other horror novel and have been meaning to get to this since before it came out! I still have the eARC! I just keep putting it off for some reason, but hopefully this October will be its time.
I think I added this to my TBR because it features a lesbian woman in Victorian London who is sent to an asylum because of her sexuality. It’s supposed to be very YA, though, so that has made me hesitant about it. I don’t actually own this own; I have an ebook from the library, so that means no guilt if I do DNF it.
I have such a pretty naked hardback of this! I had fully planned to read it immediately, but then the show came out, and I stalled for some reason. I haven’t seen a single episode of the show, even though I do have HBO, but that’s because I’d really like to read the book first!
House of Hollow
I tend to really enjoy YA horror and I’ve heard great things about this book, which actually just came out this year! I liked the sound of it so much I bought a copy (from a bookstore in Maine, funnily enough, when I was on vacation!). It’s supposed to be a creepy tale of three sisters who went missing and don’t recall what happened to them.
Creatures of Want and Ruin
Absolutely loved the first book in this series, so I’ve been wanting to read the follow up for a long time! I’m just really bad at reading series, even though this is not really a sequel, it’s a companion novel. It features the same worldbuilding, but takes place in a different time period.
This author is well-known for her award-winning horror. This one is about scary mushrooms. I’ve seen some great reviews that say they’re never gonna look at mushrooms the same way again, which is all I need to know.
Survive the Night
I don’t own this, but I do have an eARC, and I’ve heard so much about this from so many people that I’d really like to read it myself, especially considering reviews are SO divisive. It was also one of my most anticipated releases of the year!
The Thirteenth Tale
I have been meaning to read this book for YEARS. It’s always touted as a gorgeously written Gothic tale, and I think I’d really, really love it, so I have no idea why I’ve put it off for so long!
The Jasmine Throne
Not exactly a spooky read, but I’m planning a buddy read of this with a friend for mid-September. I’ve been dying to read it, but because I’ve been kind of slumpy, have been afraid to start it. Hopefully my mood will improve in September! Gotta complete the Sapphic Trifecta.
This is such a random choice; I’m not sure what prompted me to go get it from the library last week! I’ve been aware of this book for a while, and it’s certainly been on my list, but I’m not sure why I chose to prioritize it now. It’s supposed to be really beautiful and sad and also…about Jesuits and space exploration? I’ve heard such good things!
In The Shadow of the Gods
The eagle-eyed among you might notice that this slot used to belong to another book, but I DNF’d that book, so I came back to replace it. This is really only on this list because I’ve just gotten it out of the library, and, well, I need to include a few fantasy books on this list, even if they’re not really seasonally appropriate. This book has been vaguely on my radar for years, and even though it has a pretty low Goodreads rating I’m very intrigued by the summary, and I will always try a grimdark fantasy book written by a woman, especially if it’s relatively short!
Miserere: An Autumn Tale
This book has made it to several TBRs and for some reason I never get around to it. I think it’s because I’m associating it as inspiration for a new project I want to work on, so I keep procrastinating until I get around to that project, but I think this project is coming sooner rather than later, so maybe I can read this in November! It’s about a dude who deserted his lover in Hell to save his sister, but said sister actually wants to bring about hell on Earth, or something. Sounds very unique!
This book sounds so bizarre. Here’s the description: “A funny, fantastically entertaining debut novel, in the spirit of Wodehouse and Monty Python, about a famous poet who inadvertently sells his wife to the devil–then recruits a band of adventurers to rescue her.” I just love how insane this sounds, and the cover is dope.
9 thoughts on “35 Books for a Spooky Season TBR!”
Great list! The Sparrow is fantastic, and also extremely creepy, so it fits well here. Affinity is just in another league from The Corset (loved the former, hated the latter) so I’d definitely agree that you should read it first.
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ooh, I didn’t even realize The Sparrow was creepy, that makes me happy!
Interesting re: Affinity/The Corset! I’m definitely super excited to compare the two!
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I love this! House of Hollow was a great read and I’ve added a few new spooky books to my tbr from your list!
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yay, I keep hearing such great things about House of Hollow; I’m super excited to read it!
Glad to be adding to your TBR, haha!
you cannot go wrong with Sarah Waters (the audiobooks in particular are SO well performed!!). i recently read Affinity and its the perfect spooky read 👌👌👌 also definitely gonna be coming back to this post because so many of these books sound amazing 👀
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oooh NICE, sadly I can’t do audiobooks because I cannot focus but I’m excited to read more Sarah Waters!!
YAY love adding to people’s TBRs lmao
The Little Stranger is one of my favourite novels – it’s fantastic – and I adore Carmilla, too. Happy reading!
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