Twelve Days Of Book-Mas: Seven Creepy Reads (Day 7)

Posted December 19, 2020 by stuckint in 12 Days of Book-mas / 7 Comments

Hello everyone and welcome back to the third round of Twelve Days of Bookmas, a festive series of posts where we are counting down to Christmas book recommendation style!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that bookworms who love horror novels do not solely read them at Halloween, but year around. So of course, I have a plethora of books I didn’t get to in October or that I have been saving for th colder weather which made putting this list together, quite straightforward.

On the seventh day of Book-mas I found under the tree: seven creepy reads!l

Stranded by Bracken MacLeod
Published by Tor Books on August 29, 2017
Pages: 368

In the spirit of John Carpenter's The Thing and Jacob's Ladder comes Stranded -- a terrifying, icebound thriller where nothing is quite what it seems by Bracken MacLeod.
Badly battered by an apocalyptic storm, the crew of the Arctic Promise find themselves in increasingly dire circumstances as they sail blindly into unfamiliar waters and an ominously thickening fog. Without functioning navigation or communication equipment, they are lost and completely alone. One by one, the men fall prey to a mysterious illness. Deckhand Noah Cabot is the only person unaffected by the strange force plaguing the ship and her crew, which does little to ease their growing distrust of him.
Dismissing Noah's warnings of worsening conditions, the captain of the ship presses on until the sea freezes into ice and they can go no farther. When the men are ordered overboard in an attempt to break the ship free by hand, the fog clears, revealing a faint shape in the distance that may or may not be their destination. Noah leads the last of the able-bodied crew on a journey across the ice and into an uncertain future where they must fight for their lives against the elements, the ghosts of the past and, ultimately, themselves.
This edition of the book is the deluxe, tall rack mass market paperback.

Why I Want To Read It

I bought this book a few winter’s ago because the idea of an Arctic expedition gone horribly wrong seemed like my cup of tea- or ice coffee rather because that is my drink of choice. Beverages aside, Stranded sounds like the survival/pandemic hybrid novel that we all need this time of year.

Horrid by Katrina Leno
on September 15, 2020
Pages: 336

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.
Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone...and more tormented.
As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all--it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears....
Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more...horrid?

Why I Want To Read It

There is a poem at the beginning of this novel that I have heard half a dozen times since reading it at the beginning of this book which goes like this:

There was a little girl,

Who had a little curl,

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good,

She was very, very good,

But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Author Unknown

I don’t know what it says about that I occupy spaces where this eerie nursery rhyme is used but I’m not ashamed. It only makes me want to dive into this haunting filled (maybe?) story.

Ararat by Christopher Golden
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 21, 2018
Pages: 320

NYT bestselling author Christopher Golden's supernatural thriller about a mountain adventure that quickly turns into a horrific nightmare of biblical proportions.
Christopher Golden's Ararat is the heart-pounding tale of an adventure that goes wrong...on a biblical scale. When an earthquake reveals a secret cave hidden inside Mount Ararat in Turkey, a daring, newly-engaged couple are determined to be the first ones inside...and what they discover will change everything.
The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah's Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses. Inside the coffin they find an ugly, misshapen cadaver--not the holy man they expected, but a hideous creature with horns. Shock and fear turn to horror when a massive blizzard blows in, trapping them thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain. All they can do is pray for safety. But something wicked is listening to their prayers...and it wants to answer.

Why I Want To Read It

Like Stranded, the cover of Ararat just screams winter reading. I have not read a single Christopher Golden novel, but it’s never too late to start right? The synopsis of this one vaguely reminds me of The Anomaly, which was a favorite of mine a few years ago because of my obsession with the horror movie The Descent. I promise and read and watch stuff other than horror- well some of the time.

Hatch (The Overthrow) by Kenneth Oppel
on September 15, 2020

Why I Want To Read It

I adored Bloom when I read it last year. I knew it was an MG horror novel but Oppel went for it with plenty of grotesque body horror and I was absolutely blown away. In many ways it reminded me of a middle grade version of The Troop in some scenes. I have high hopes for book 2 and recently purchased it in my latest book haul. I cannot wait to dive in!

The Return by Rachel Harrison
on March 24, 2020

An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.
Julie is missing, and the missing don't often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she'll come back. She's right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she's been or what happened to her.

Why I Want To Read It

I know that as many times as The Return appears on a best of list, a reviewer on Goodreads feels compelled to post how profoundly they disliked this book. It is quite polarizing and while I don’t love controversy in other aspects of my life, I adore a divisive book and reading it to find out. Also, I think the cover is deliciously creepy.

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher
Published by Gallery / Saga Press on October 6, 2020
Pages: 352

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel.
Pray they are hungry.
Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.

Why I Want To Read It

I absolutely loved T. Kingfisher’s The Twisted Ones and so I have been looking forward to the release of The Hollow Places with plenty of excitement. While I don’t love cosmic horror I am willing to take a chance on this title.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman
Published by William Morrow on October 20, 2020
Pages: 619

A highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls—a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit.
Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, The Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.
Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded-Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.
A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period illustrations, Plain Bad Heroines is a devilishly haunting, modern masterwork of metafiction that manages to combine the ghostly sensibility of Sarah Waters with the dark imagination of Marisha Pessl and the sharp humor and incisive social commentary of Curtis Sittenfeld into one laugh-out-loud funny, spellbinding, and wonderfully luxuriant read.

Why I Want To Read It

I received a physical ARC of this novel from the publisher and am ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read it. I think the only thing that is holding me back is the size. This book is a beast, clocking in at nearly 700 pages. However, reviewers and bookish podcasters that I trust have said this book is amazing. I am also intrigued by the layers of the story that make up the meat of this book.

What About You?

Do you read horror year around? What is your favorite wintry horror novel? What do you think of my picks? Let me know in the comments!

7 responses to “Twelve Days Of Book-Mas: Seven Creepy Reads (Day 7)

  1. Deepika Neelakantan

    Ararat and stranded sound amazing!!! Speaking of horror movies, have you watched As above, so below? I watched it recently and it’s sooo good! I’ve already got horrid on my TBR and I just borrowed Plain Bad Heroines from my library.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.