Our time is here, witches! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back. There’s a crisp breeze in the air. It is SPOOKY SEASON. The only thing more important than planning our costume for Halloween is planning the PERFECT TBR for Spooky Season. We wait all year for this opportunity. We need to set the scene, cue the ambiance, have spooky vibes oozing through our veins and onto our pages. Let's make sure we don’t waste one moment of our precious time and create the most perfect Spooky Season TBR. It’s easy! Just pick one book (or more!) from each category and TADA: SPOOKY PERFECTION.
Related: 12 Halloween Horror Books Set on the Spookiest Night of the Year
The Haunting of Hill House
If you want something timeless & iconic: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson — “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.”
One of my favorite books of all time. I have three editions of it. That’s how much I love it. Or I’m crazy. Either way, this is a classic for a reason.
The Good House
If you want a fresh take on a haunted house: The Good House by Tananarive Due — “Angela Touissant’s Fourth of July party began well enough, but no one would remember that because of the way it would end.”
I recommend this book a LOT. It’s scary, it’s set in the Pacific Northwest (where I’m from, hehe) and there are demonic forces at work, what more could you ask for?
If you want something gothic with a Mexican backdrop: The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas — “The low sweep of the southern horizon was a perfect line, unmarred by even the smudge of horses tossing their heads in the distance.”
If you loved Mexican Gothic or Rebecca, you will fall in love with this “debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...” This book is definitely going to be in my top reads of 2022.
If you want a classic: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King — “Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.”
Salem’s Lot brings us the iconic vampire known as Barlow. There are some seriously chilling scenes. I’ll probably never look out a window at night again.
If you want a literary spin on the vampire trope: Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda — “The guy from Kora is standing outside the building in the sun.”
Woman, Eating is also on my spooky season TBR this year. I kept seeing it on Instagram and the cover called to me. It’s described as “tragic, funny, eccentric and so perfectly suited to this particularly weird time.” — Okay, I’m sold.
Suffer the Children
If you want something that’ll give you nightmares: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie — “The children were driving Joan Cooper bananas.”
OMG, I was not prepared for how good this book was going to be. In this story of apocalyptic fiction, there’s an illness that is killing children around the world BUT they quickly come back to life and there’s one thing they’re after… BLOOD!
Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn — “Before I leave you in this world, my dear, I aim to record what came to pass when your momma rode from the Nebraska territory to Louisiana to the frozen Badlands to bring to justice the monster who murdered your father.”
Hands down the best dark witchy fiction I’ve ever read. Please read it.
The Year of the Witching
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson — “She was born breech, in the deep of night.”
A perfect blend of culty AND witchy. That’s right.
White Is for Witching
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi — “Miranda Silver is in Dover, in the ground beneath her mother’s house.”
You’re in for a treat with this quirky little number. You’ll be alternately mesmerized and confused but in the best way.
A Twist on a Classic
What Moves the Dead
If you want a spin on Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Fall of the House of Usher: What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher — “The mushroom’s gills were the deep-red color of severed muscle, the almost-violet shade that contrasts so dreadfully with the pale pink of viscera.”
Please don’t shame me but I’ve never read Poe’s story. With that being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed T. Kingfisher’s novella. It was short and sweet and delightful.
The Children on the Hill
If you want a spin on Frankenstein: The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon — “Her smells sends me tumbling back through time to before.”
At this point in our lives, I’m sure we’re aware that the real monsters are human… or are they?
If you want a spin on Shirley Jackson’s, "The Lottery": Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt — “No one knew where Halloween came from.”
This book is such a fun read. It’s super short and I think it’s perfect to reread every Halloween. It is strange but that’s part of the charm.