The best books that show our monstrous, horror filled hearts

Rachel Eve Moulton Author Of Tinfoil Butterfly
By Rachel Eve Moulton

Who am I?

In middle school, I wrote my first novel called Children of the House. It pulled inspiration from the likes of Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, William Shakespeare, and Leo Tolstoy. I was attempting to explore family dynamics while also describing bloody stains on the hallway carpet that would never quite go away. When I read, I would travel from literary fiction to horror with ease until I began to realize the distinction was unimportant. Horror reflects the struggles of the every day in a heightened fashion. Books of this genre often have more freedom to explore the deepest issues that plague us and to do so in a way that will reach a wider audience.


I wrote...

Tinfoil Butterfly

By Rachel Eve Moulton,

Book cover of Tinfoil Butterfly

What is my book about?

Emma is hitchhiking across the United States, trying to outrun a violent, tragic past, when she meets Lowell, the hot-but-dumb driver she hopes will take her as far as the Badlands. But Lowell is not as harmless as he seems, and a vicious scuffle leaves Emma bloody and stranded in an abandoned town in the Black Hills with an out-of-gas van, a loaded gun, and a snowstorm on the way.

Tinfoil Butterfly is a seductively scary, chilling exploration of evil—how it sneaks in under your skin, flaring up when you least expect it, how it throttles you and won't let go. The beauty of Rachel Eve Moulton's ferocious, harrowing, and surprisingly moving debut is that it teaches us that love can do that, too.

The books I picked & why

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The Bus on Thursday

By Shirley Barrett,

Book cover of The Bus on Thursday

Why this book?

The Bus on Thursday introduces the reader to Eleanor Mellett who, after recovering from breast cancer, travels to a remote town in Australia to teach primary school. The horrors that ensue are both hilarious and terrifying. From a new lover who fights kangaroos in the middle of the night to body parts in the local lake, it is a wild ride. One that reveals the horrors of an isolated small town just as much as it does the potential horrors of the kind of isolation that a cancer diagnosis or experience can cause. Bartlett’s voice is one of the strongest I’ve read in quite some time—she writes with energy and venom, creating a fairly unlikable main character that the reader can’t help but entangle themselves with.

The Bus on Thursday

By Shirley Barrett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bus on Thursday as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Intoxicating' Jeff VanderMeer, author of Annihilation

'Barrett's brilliant second novel plummets headlong into a darkly funny tale' Mail on Sunday

Bridget Jones meets Twin Peaks in this black comedy about a woman's retreat to a remote Australian town and the horrors awaiting her.

It wasn't just the bad breakup that turned Eleanor Mellett's life upside down. It was the cancer. And all the demons that came with it.

One day she felt a bit of a bump when she was scratching her armpit at work. The next thing she knew, her breast was being removed by an inappropriately attractive doctor,…


The Devil Takes You Home

By Gabino Iglesias,

Book cover of The Devil Takes You Home

Why this book?

This book is a dark ride into the worst grief a human being can imagine—the loss of a child. Mario loses his four-year-old daughter to illness, and as a complication of his grief, his marriage also falls apart. Debt drives him into further dark places, and Mario takes on a series of unsavory jobs. The ghouls and ghosts in Mario’s life become more and more tactile as the novel progresses. Iglesias’ use of Spanish throughout the novel is brilliant even to the non-Spanish speaker. He welcomes the reader into the darkest corners of the human psyche, places we may later wish we hadn’t gone, and yet, the writing, the story, the poetry of all that pain, is so expertly rendered that you can’t help but fall in love with the novel even as it rips you apart.

The Devil Takes You Home

By Gabino Iglesias,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil Takes You Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From an award-winning author comes a genre-defying thriller about a father desperate to salvage what's left of his family—even if it means a descent into violence.

Buried in debt due to his young daughter’s illness, his marriage at the brink, Mario reluctantly takes a job as a hitman, surprising himself with his proclivity for violence. After tragedy destroys the life he knew, Mario agrees to one final job: hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico. Along with an old friend and a cartel-insider named Juanca, Mario sets off on the near-suicidal mission, which will leave him with either…


Ghost Eaters

By Clay McLeod Chapman,

Book cover of Ghost Eaters

Why this book?

Ghost Eaters is a deep dive into the horrors of addiction. While the focus is largely on substance abuse, the book also explores love addiction and grief in fresh ways. Erin, the protagonist, loses her graduate school friend and love to an overdose. As she tries to explore the details of Silas’ final days, she finds herself mixed up in a new drug—one that allows the user to communicate with the dead. Discovering what happened to Silas, leads Erin to learn far more about herself and her own addictive personality than it does about Silas or his final days.  

Ghost Eaters

By Clay McLeod Chapman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ghost Eaters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Gothic-punk graveyard tale about what haunts history and what haunts the human soul. An addicting read that draws you into its descent from the first page. Chuck Wendig, New York Times best-selling author of The Book of Accidents. From the acclaimed author of The Remaking and Whisper Down the Lane, this terrifying supernatural page-turner will make you think twice about opening doors to the unknown. Erin hasn t been able to set a single boundary with her charismatic but reckless college ex-boyfriend, Silas. When he asks her to bail him out of rehab again she knows she needs to…


Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Book cover of Mexican Gothic

Why this book?

Silvia Moreno-Garcia does an amazing job of sucking the reader into a brand-new gothic place where the mind and body can no longer be trusted. Setting always plays a big role in my own novels—finding a place that seems to be haunted by a yet-to-be-identified story—and Moreno-Garcia does this brilliantly. Those who love Edgar Allen Poe or the Bronte sisters will adore this fresh take on gothic horror. Noemí is a fantastic female character, strong and willful and curious. And yet, she is no match for the molding mansion and the family that inhabits it. 

Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Mexican Gothic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but…


The Grip of It

By Jac Jemc,

Book cover of The Grip of It

Why this book?

The Grip of It is among the best-haunted house novels out there. A young couple flees their city life—as well as some potentially life-ruining gambling habits. Julie and James are hopeful, as new homeowners often are, until things begin to go wrong. Odd sounds. Inexplicable spots of decay. Hidden rooms. The novel has all the best markers of a haunted house story while also piling on a sense of unique and unending claustrophobia and suspense that I don’t think I’ve read at quite this level before. It is a brilliant journey into the interior of the human mind. I loved every page.

The Grip of It

By Jac Jemc,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Grip of It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Chicago Review of Books Fiction Award, Dan Chaon's Best of 2017 pick in Publishers Weekly, one of Vol. 1 Brooklyn's Best Books of 2017, a BOMB Magazine "Looking Back on 2017: Literature" Pick, and one of Vulture's 10 Best Thriller Books of 2017.

Jac Jemc's The Grip of It is a chilling literary horror novel about a young couple haunted by their newly purchased home

Touring their prospective suburban home, Julie and James are stopped by a noise. Deep and vibrating, like throat singing. Ancient, husky, and rasping, but underwater. “That’s just the house settling,” the real…


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