Saturday, 12 April 2008

Horror books to read

My sister at Lady P's Cozy Corner kindly asked "what horror books should I read?" in her comment to my post yesterday, so I thought I'd give some books I've read over the past few years that I recommend, and also list some I am looking to read.
So, herewith, are some more horror and/or ghost stories I recommend:
- "A Winter Haunting" by Dan Simmons - very scary haunting book, except for the ending which is a bit of a letdown and yet still chilling. May make in onto my all-time ghost story list eventually, certainly highly recommended.
- "song of Kali" - " it's been years since I read it. A good horror novel.
- "lost boy lost girl" by Peter Straub - this book still haunts me. It may make onto my all-time horror list. There are scenes in this book that really terrify, and the whole premise is chilling, and based on Henry Holmes, Chicago's serial killer from 1900 (not him, but something he does....can't say more or will give it away)....
- "The Uncanny" by Andrew Klavan - gothic and chilling
- "The Dwelling" by Susie Maloney - a really good haunted house story. Just the ending was a bit weak, yet the story has haunted me for several years now, especially what happens to certain kinds of people who live there. Very creepy.

Some horror novels I really want to read and are on my 'to buy' list:
- "The Woman in White: a Ghost Story" by Susan Hill - I still haven't read this one!!! Now I can't find it....
- "The Terror" by Dan Simmons - his latest horror book, looks superb
- "In the Night Room" - Peter Straub - his sequel to "lost boy lost girl", got even better reviews
- "Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz - the first in what is becoming a series, and it sounds so good!
- "The Heart-Shaped Box" by Joe Hill - so many of you have read and reviewed it, Gently Reader, and now it's won 'best first novel' at the Bram Stokers...I'm very curious about this, and the winner for 2007:
- "The Missing" by Sarah Langan

The rest of Saturday morning beckons, a very rainy day, a good day for book buying I think!! I will go through my books read to see if I can find any other scary stories to recommend, and if you have any, Gentle Reader, please please let me know, I - and I know other readers too! - are always looking out for books we have missed!!! Especially good ghost stories.

*Note: thanks to Raidergirl3, here is a link to last year's reviews of books read at RIP2 challenge - quite a few good horror and ghost stories reviewed here.

12 comments:

raidergirl3 said...

I'd look here, since I can't think of anything off the top of my head other than King (bow down to the master) : http://ripingyarns.blogspot.com/

The links are not visible, but if you click 'here' like it says, all the reviews are there.

hmm, The Thirteenth Tale and Neverwhere were good, but maybe spooky more than horror. I really like spooky books. I want to read The Heart Shaped box as well.

Susan said...

raidergirl3: thank you very much! I've just checked the link,and got all the reviews - it looks like a good place to start! I'll pass it on..... Neverwhere is now on my immediate list of books to get, and Thirteenth Tale I might try from the library. thanks very much for giving what you prefer. Ghosts v horror... I might keep a tally of this too.....

Cheryl said...

Read both The Terror by Dan Simmons and Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill and both novels are wonderful.

Do not be intimidated by the fact that The Terror is almost 600 pages long as it is well worth it.

Emily Barton said...

Oh my! Did you have to do this to me? I just bought ODD THOMAS but have yet to read any of these others, although many of them are in my TBR tome. It seems I must get to them soon, no? (Don't worry. You're not the only one who hasn't read THE WOMAN IN WHITE. I seem to have a hard time finding that one. Should probably just order it online.) Actually, though, I should be saying "thank you for your recommendations," being one of those weird masochists who takes great joy in being scared out of her wits. And now to check out raidergirl3's link...

Chris said...

The only one I've read is Heart Shaped Box and honestly, it was just ok for me...though I may get hanged for saying that :p Some of it was just too cheesy for my taste...the whole goth rock star thing was entirely too overdone and it was a bit predictable for me. And I just don't scare all that easily. But honestly, I did still enjoy it...just didn't live up to it's hype for me. But I guess that's the downfall of having that much publicity about your book.

Nymeth said...

Thanks for this post! Although I do enjoy a good horror book I am more or less a newbie in the genre, so I really appreciate the recommendations.

Lost Boy Lost Girl sounds awesome. And joy of joys, I mooched a copy just last week and it's currently on its way to me. I'm looking forward to it even more now!

I'm one of the people who loved Heart-Shaped Box. I hope you enjoy it too!

Susan said...

cheryl: I am so looking forward to reading the Terror now!!! Since Stephen King and Peter Straub can't always write under 600 pages, it's not a problem!

emily: I hope you found more good books over at raidergirl3's link. I'm going to try to get Odd Thomas for this year's RIP challenge. There are now two other books in the series, and they sound so thrilling and creepy....can you find Woman in White online? Maybe, if enough of us haven't read it yet, we should do a Woman in white reading group in October to get ready for my favourite time of year, Hallowe'en and autumn :-) !! I have to be really good and not shop for books online - much too easy to get into trouble that way! Way too much trouble....so what's your favourite horror writers/books since you 'enjoy being scared' too?? :-)

chris: I've heard mixed things about Heart-Shaped Box. To be honest because it involved music I didn't really try hard to get it t read - I'm not a big music fan - yes, I love music! I'm just not someone who is up on the music scene. I once dated a guy who was in the set-up crew for a band! (very briefly, I might add, we dated....) but unless it's an integral part of the story like in de Lint's work (and even then I sometimes skip over the music part,) I don't need it in my books. So, when I'm in the mood, I'll pick this one up - probably for the RIP challenge this year, like Odd Thomas. Interesting that The Historian scared you so much (you say in the post previous to this one)....you have to try Dan Simmons "A Winter Haunting", which is truly scary in places. :-) I'm with Emily, I like books that scare me!!!

nymeth: Heart-Shaped Box has certainly got everyone having an opinion about it, which is good. I'm anxious to see what camp I fall into! Did you read The Historian yet? If not, it's worth a read, it was the big seller over here and in Britain last year, and it is frightening in places, and very well done. I hope you like lostgirl lost boy, it is a one of a kind kind of book. Isn't horror fun to read - good horror, that is :-) Have you read Woman in White yet?

heather (errantdreams) said...

"what horror books should I read?"

That's always such a hard question to answer unless you know someone's tastes well, because horror is defined in such different ways by different people!

Some of your picks sound interesting; I'll have to look into them.

Susan said...

Hi Heather - just checked out your site, I've added it to my blog. I love your Muse t-shirts!! thanks for dropping in, its' a pleasure to meet you :-)

heather (errantdreams) said...

Thank you for the link, and I'm glad you like the shirts! I had way too much fun making them. :D

Emily Barton said...

I'm so far behind in answering all your questions! No, I couldn't find The Woman in White, either. You know why? It's because it's The Woman in BLACK. I guess we just have the classic too much in our heads. As far as favorite horror goes, I like Stephen King, but then, who doesn't really? I like him best when he isn't resorting to lots of blood and gore, though. For old stuff, Arthur Machen, whom I just discovered, is great. I also love Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James, and Edith Wharton for ghost stories. What has always scared the living daylights out of me is THE EXORCIST, both the movie and the book.

Susan said...

Emily: I forgot all about the Exorcist! You're right! Both are so creepy and horror-filled. The noise in the attic always gives me the heebie-jeebies no matter how many times I hear it/read it. Thanks for mentioning it! And Woman in White is Wilkie Collins and I've read it at least twice! You're right....it's Woman in Black by Susan Hill, and once again I was at the bookstore and forgot to ask about it. MR James....it's been a while. I've never read edith Wharton's ghost stories, so I will look out for them. Thanks for all your recommendations and ideas!