The best books for making you lose sleep

Who am I?

I love books that keep me up at night. I'm constantly trying to get into a good, healthy bedtime routine—but I am also constantly sabotaging that effort by finding books that I simply can’t put down. The feeling of being drawn so deep into a story that the hours slip away is easily one of my favorite feelings in the world. I also love books that make me wake up in the middle of the night, books that slide into my brain and plant new ideas there. As an author, I am always striving to write those books. I can think of no higher compliment than “I stayed up all night reading it.”


I wrote...

Just Like Home

By Sarah Gailey,

Book cover of Just Like Home

What is my book about?

“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories—she's come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there, beneath the house he'd built for his family.

Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be? Vera must face the secrets of the notorious Crowder House and find out just how deep the rot goes.

The books I picked & why

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The Violence

By Delilah S. Dawson,

Book cover of The Violence

Why this book?

This book delivers truly striking insight into the nature of fear, the cost of survival, and cycles of violence. Dawson’s writing shines here, grounded and visceral, and deeply honest. Between the propulsive and tense plot, the exquisitely rendered characters, and the unflinching examination of the world we live in, this one kept me up late and woke me up early.


Feed Them Silence

By Lee Mandelo,

Book cover of Feed Them Silence

Why this book?

When I was a kid I was very excited about wolves. Not in the sense that I knew a lot about wolves—I didn’t study them and learn about them—so much as I felt certain, in my heart of hearts, that if I met a wolf, we would understand each other in a way no two creatures ever have. Feed Them Silence is a book that returned me to that sense of certainty, but with a more fundamentally realistic understanding of the nature of animals as existing outside of human understanding. I couldn’t put it down, and the hours slipped right past me.


Hide

By Kiersten White,

Book cover of Hide

Why this book?

Hide feels like a book tailor-made to pull me in and refuse to let go. The pitch—a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek in an abandoned amusement park—is solid gold, and the book delivers so much more than it promises. With relentless, cutting-class commentary and a truly ferocious sense of clarity, Hide excoriates systems of exploitation with incredible efficiency. I found myself sneaking chapters wherever I could.


House of Hollow

By Krystal Sutherland,

Book cover of House of Hollow

Why this book?

This one took me to places I never could have imagined. The Hollow Sisters are exquisite: monstrous, tender, unknowable, and obsessed with each other. Reading this book felt like sitting down to a sumptuous meal and knowing that some of the dishes being served are cooked with human flesh. Nothing in this book is as it seems, nothing is predictable, and yet everything fits together seamlessly. Dark and lush as a night-blooming garden.


Number One Fan

By Meg Elison,

Book cover of Number One Fan

Why this book?

Elison is a master of her craft. With Number One Fan she constructs a multilayered horror story that has given me many sleepless nights. This book explores terror from every conceivable angle, from the physical to the existential, while delivering profound insight into the nature of creativity, fandom, and obsession. There’s a scene in this one that made me clench up into a ball and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully relax again. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in violence, wolves, and amusement parks?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about violence, wolves, and amusement parks.

Violence Explore 33 books about violence
Wolves Explore 69 books about wolves
Amusement Parks Explore 16 books about amusement parks

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Here There Are Monsters, Harrow Lake, and Wilder Girls if you like this list.