T10T: My Favorite Horror Reads of 2019 (so far!)

October 29, 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s theme is a Halloween freebie! I decided to take advantage of that by letting you ghouls know all about the 10 best horror books I’ve read so far this year. There’s still plenty of time for new favorites, but I digress… ?


1. The Dark Game — Jonathan Janz (review)

A writer’s retreat goes sour when the ten authors involved start dropping off like flies. The body count is so high and this one is so fun. I especially loved the little stories-within-the-story when we got snippets of what the authors were writing about.

2. Dead of Winter — Kealan Patrick Burke (review)

If I had to pick just one favorite single-author short story collection, I think it would be this one. It’s a wintry collection with some holiday themes thrown in, and it’s so ridiculously atmospheric and melancholy and creepy. I can’t wait to reread this in December and I’m even planning on hosting a read-along for it, so keep an eye out for more details if you’re interested!

3. Horrorstör — Grady Hendrix

Is literally anyone surprised that Grady Hendrix landed a spot in this list? His work is so much fun and such a roller coaster, and this one about a haunted IKEA knock-off store was no exception.

4. In the Shadow of Spindrift House — Mira Grant (review)

In typical Mira Grant fashion, this novella is lyrical, haunting, metaphorical, and queer as hell. If you like gay girls in creepy houses by the sea with ghosts and creatures afoot, this one’s for you.

5. Choking Back the Devil — Donna Lynch (review)

I gotta tell you, horror poetry is such an underrated form of storytelling. I’m a sucker for it in the best way, and this is top-tier. It’s chock-full of metaphors for mental illness and trauma, which means my soul is still a little bruised from this beauty, but every time I flip back through my favorite pieces, it’s worth the chills and the lump in my throat.


6. Bones — Andrew Cull (review)

Andy is a genius and a saint, and I’m damn blessed to have him and his work in my life. This collection is short and sweet, with more than a little tragedy and grief woven throughout, and I recommend it at every possible opportunity because I genuinely believe every horror lover needs to read it. (It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited!)

7. The Girl in Red — Christina Henry (review)

Fairytale retellings are great in general, but nothing beats a spooky feminist take on a classic, and that’s exactly what this beauty is. It’s a mixture of horror and dystopia, and it features an effortlessly diverse cast (including its MC, Red, who’s queer, disabled, and biracial). It tackles rape culture and misogyny but never buries the incredible post-apocalyptic base of its plot, and I really just cannot recommend it highly enough.

8. Human Flesh — Nick Clausen (review)

I just picked Human Flesh up on a whim from the KU library one day for something quick and light to pass the time with, and instead, what I got was a fantastically and deliciously creepy wendigo tale, written partially through emails, transcribed voicemails, and  police reports. It’s a fun and incredibly fast read that is absolutely perfect for winter (but worth picking up in any other season, too!).

9. The Fearing: Fire & Rain — John F.D. Taff (review)

I first picked up this novella for a Try a Chapter Challenge post, and if this tells you anything, I read the first chapter and then immediately finished the rest of the novella in the same sitting because I couldn’t put it down. It’s a tale of the beginning of the end of the world, split between multiple groups of people, and it’s just incredible. I can’t wait to binge the rest of the novella series later this fall. (At the time I’m writing this, I’m actually planning on picking up the 2nd installment tonight!)

10. Misery — Stephen King

I’ll be the first to admit that, despite my endless love for his gifts to the world of literature and horror, King’s works are hit-and-miss for me. Misery wasn’t actually high on my radar until Ellyn & I decided to buddy read it, but holy crap, I couldn’t put it down and it’s still stuck in my head ALL THE TIME. This made me want to read more of King’s work ASAP because clearly, I just haven’t been reaching for the right titles!

Did any of these spooky reads catch your eye, or have you read any of them? Let me know in the comments — or suggest a spooky read for ME to add to MY TBR!


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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. Yup, I needed more horror stories on my TBR. You fixed that problem for me. I actually had about half of these on my TBR from previous posts from you I’m pretty sure!

      I actually remember my mum telling me about Misery and even though I didn’t read THAT book it was when I started picking up some of King’s stuff.

    1. I just can’t read Horror. Therefore I am not familiar with the books on your list, except MISERY and I could probably read that one because the monster is human and mentally ill. My Halloween TTT

    1. I was really looking forward to your horror Top Ten Tuesday post today! The most recent scary book I read and enjoyed was Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski! It had some real good spooks in it but also a great story line and characters that I loved. I keep seeing people talk about Horrorstor – I really need to read it!

      1. I really need to read Remember Me soon! Did you read The Wood by her? I can’t remember if we’ve talked about it before. It also had some good eerie vibes but also great characters. ? I can’t wait to read the new book! And yessss, you gotta read Horrorstor!

    1. I really want to read the girl in red! Didn’t know it was scary though, so I should think about that another time, since I don’t do scary very well haah!


    1. I am too chicken to read most of these horror books 😉 However I do love a good, Gothic horror like Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. 🙂 Happy Halloween reading!

    1. Great TTT! The only one that has made it onto my TBR is The Girl in Red! I hope it’s not that spooky because otherwise I’m going to be putting it off for a while seeing as I’m the ultimate chicken ?I do admit being curious about some of the others on this list (like Mira Grant’s books and of course King) but don’t know if I’d ever pluck up enough courage to read them LOL

      My TTT post

    1. I REALLY need to read Horrorstör–I’ve been eying it for so freaking long. It sounds wild. This morning, when I was thinking about putting some books on hold at the local library, I saw a thread of Grady’s on Twitter where he told a story about how there was a man who lived–and died–in their home. If you haven’t seen that thread, definitely go to his Twitter. I was so horrified and intrigued by Grady’s tone, I’m definitely looking to see if Horrorstör is available at my library (or any of his other books) and if it isn’t I’m just taking a plunge and buying them tonight. Felt like a sign!

    1. *adds them all to my tbr* i’m not a big short works fan but the fact that dead of winter is super atmospheric & creepy makes me want to read it. i’ll definitely keep an eye for the readalong! and i obviously have to read the new mira grant. gay girls in creepy houses with ghosts?? sign me up

    1. Horrorstör is on my list after Grady’s creepy ass story thread on twitter the other day, holy hell. Also I forgot I wanted to read The Girl in Red until this moment… I didn’t realize it was spooky. More of a need now! Great list!

    1. Gay girls in a creepy house? Yes pleaaaase! I’m pretty sure almost all of these are already on my TBR because of you, ha.

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