I’m one of those people who loves a good list of book recommendations. I will immediately go to my Goodreads to look up books so I can add them to my “want to read” shelf. I love that one thing almost all readers have in common is that desire to tell others about that great book we just read. In fact, I need someone to make me a t-shirt that reads, “Did you even read a book if you didn’t tell anyone about it?”
Here are some more obscure books that I have enjoyed for one reason or the other (I’ll tell you exactly why) that I don’t see other people talking about enough. For each book on this list, I’ll let you know who needs to pick it up and if you see yourself in that description, please let me know if you decide to try and you end up enjoying it. That’s my favorite thing in life.
This book is for all you readers out there making lists like “10 books that make you say WTF?” or “Here are some truly disturbing books."
A spot on the wall in a man’s house ultimately grows into a creature that needs to be fed. This book is wild and weird. I know there is an audience out there for this book, they just need to find it!
You need this book if you enjoy reading about toxic, messed up, depraved, mother/daughter relationships. Karen Runge's talent shines bright in this pitch-black horror story of real monsters and their prey.
The story is very uncomfortable so make sure you check in with yourself before trying this out but considering I see readers making lists of tragic, dark books every day, I know this one should be more widely read.
When Darkness Loves Us
This is two novellas in one book and I honestly could not pick a favorite. They’re both so good. The first one is about a woman who gets trapped underground and must learn to live in the darkness. The second is about a handicapped woman named Martha and it’s just…I can’t say too much but it’s an amazing character study/psychological thriller.
I can’t do this book justice without spoiling reader discovery, you just need to try this for yourself. Grady Hendrix isn’t wrong! And neither am I!
The Best of Both Worlds
How does this book not make every list out there about messed up families doing messed up things together? This is a brother and sister who live together and their lifestyle is not normal. A classic tale of “hurt people, hurt people”. It’s a painful journey. Miskowski even brings some supernatural elements into the plotline that I think rubs against the ‘true crime’ style narrative and makes it shine.
There are fourteen stories and a novella. Each story is a showcase of Due’s ability to draw readers into a provocative narrative across a variety of genres. I recommend this collection to any reader who enjoys, historical fiction horrors, strong female protagonists, and brave, curious children told by a voice with powerful convictions.
Murder House is about this couple who move into a, well, a murder house; seriously bad stuff happened here. Brent is a broke-ass writer trying to resurrect his career by writing a true crime novel about the grisly events. Author C. V. Hunt writes horror of a different color. While most horror falls somewhere on a familiar spectrum of styles, tropes, and sub-genres, Hunt's horror is wildly unpredictable. I've come to expect the unexpected when I pick up one of her books and that's the only thing her books have in common with each other.
These Evil Things We Do
Garris is the host of a popular podcast called Post Mortem which is part of FANGORIA’S family of podcasts. He co-wrote the screenplay for Hocus Pocus and directed a slew of horror movie blockbusters and cult classics.
These Evil Things We Do is made up of four novellas about “awful people” and a brand new novel titled Salome. In all of these stories, there was a moment where either my jaw dropped open or I audibly gasped.
Andersen Prunty is a goddamn storytelling genius. I love his weirdo brain. This collection floated me for months during a global pandemic. "The Man With a Face Like a Bruise" is one of the most shocking, memorable stories I’ve read. This short story collection is a perfect jumping-off point if you haven’t read any Prunty and if you have, this is a must! Either way, buy it.
Dead Girl Blues
Sodergren expertly blends together notes of a noir mystery/thriller with the violence of a slasher horror for a wicked and exhilarating reading experience. Dead Girl Blues 100% tore through all my red flag warnings and kept me turning the pages all the way to the end despite my best efforts to look away, to unsee what I saw. The suspense and intrigue are undeniably addicting.
Whispers in the Ear of a Dreaming Ape
These stories range from traditional storytelling to something a little more atypical to downright strange. The first story, “Letters to the Purple Satin Killer,” is straight-up brilliant. An epistolary story told by women writing letters to a convicted murderer. I recommend this one to fans who want to dive deeper into fresh, bizarro, experimental horror and a change of pace.
The MC is best friends with a boy who becomes her boyfriend when they are about 13 or 14 years old.
They are neighbors, they ride the school bus together and their parents are friends.
One day, Bobby gets into a van with a strange man and never comes back. This tale is gripping, haunting, and horribly creepy. It’s unsettling and filled with anxiety and tension and an overwhelming compulsive need to know what will happen. I dare you to not finish this in one sitting.