The best books that will creep you out in the best possible way

Who am I?

I’m a writer and a bookstore owner and a lover of all things dark and strange. I grew up reading books that I often had to put in the freezer at night so that they wouldn’t haunt my dreams and I never grew out of it.  I have a book club called The Fantastic Strangelings so I am constantly reading, and always looking for new and wonderful stories to share.


I wrote...

Broken (in the Best Possible Way)

By Jenny Lawson,

Book cover of Broken (in the Best Possible Way)

What is my book about?

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Mexican Gothic

Jenny Lawson Why did I love this book?

A lonely mansion. A strange aristocrat. A fascinating socialite. A secret that lurks in the dark. This is a gorgeously written novel that is weird, wonderful, and creepy while also exploring racism, eugenics, and misogyny. Like if Lovecraft met Wuthering Heights if Wuthering Heights was in 1950s Mexico. Glamour and horror collide in a fantastic way that will keep you turning the pages.

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

13 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…


Book cover of Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation Into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin

Jenny Lawson Why did I love this book?

I know you’re probably expecting novels on my list but this is the true story of a librarian’s investigation into the science and history of books bound in human skin (for real). More fascinating than creepy, this book sucked me in from the very beginning. If you like Mary Roach (Stiff, Spooked) or Caitlin Doughty (Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?) then you will love Megan Rosenbloom

By Megan Rosenbloom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom, a medical librarian and a cofounder of the Death Salon, seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind this anthropodermic bibliopegy. Dozens of these books still sit on the shelves of the world's most famous libraries and museums. What are their stories? Dark Archives exhumes their origins and brings to life the doctors, murderers, mental patients, beautiful women, and indigents whose lives are bound together in this rare, scattered, and disquieting collection. It also tells the story of the scientists, curators, and librarians like Rosenbloom - interested in the full complicated histories behind these dark…


Book cover of Horrorstör

Jenny Lawson Why did I love this book?

Is it weird to call a creepy horror tale hilarious? Because it kind of is. A clever and fast-paced read unraveling the mystery of the three employees who volunteer to work a dusk to dawn shift and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.  Basically, it’s like if Ikea was haunted during a lock-in. And Grady Hendrix does horror in such an amazing way it’s a gateway to his other books, like The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, which is also very good.

By Grady Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Horrorstör as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's a classic old-fashioned haunted house story - set in a big box Swedish furniture superstore. Designed like a retail catalogue, Horrorstor offers a creepy read with mass appeal-perfect for Halloween tables! Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Bracken glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofabeds-clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-til-dawn shift-and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature…


Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

Jenny Lawson Why did I love this book?

Listen, if you like creepy books and you don’t already know Shirley Jackson then I am about to change your life. All of her books are fantastic but this one is probably the greatest haunted house story of all time. Four seekers arrive at the notoriously Hill House, including Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a haunting. They are not prepared for what they find.

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Haunting of Hill House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro

Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro's favorites, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ray Russell's short story "Sardonicus," considered by Stephen King to be "perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written," to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and stories…


Book cover of Through the Woods

Jenny Lawson Why did I love this book?

Five terrifying but lovely graphic novel stories that explore the dark, terrible woods in this sinister fairy tale of a book. These vignettes entice while also terrifying and the illustrations are the perfect mix of dark and sinister that makes me think of Tim Burton or Edward Gorey.

By Emily Carroll,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Through the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...


You might also like...

Book cover of Wand

Landra Jennings Author Of Wand

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Overthinker Chocolate eater Mom Cautious adventurer

Landra's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Eleven-year-old Mira wishes everything could go back to the way it was. Before she changed schools and had to quit gymnastics. Especially before Papa died. Now she spends her days cooking and cleaning for her stepsisters and Val—who she still won’t call mom and still won’t forgive for the terrible thing she did.

When a mysterious girl named Lyndame appears wielding a powerful wand, she makes Mira an offer she can’t refuse: she will grant Mira three wishes. What if magic isn’t just pretend after all? What if these wishes could fix everything? But in the quiet town of Between, Georgia, where secrets lurk and rumors swirl of strange creatures, nothing is as it seems, and everything comes at a price

Wand

By Landra Jennings,

What is this book about?


A dazzling story of grief and found family wrapped in a spellbinding fairy tale, perfect for fans of Anne Ursu and Jodi Lynn Anderson.

Eleven-year-old Mira wishes everything could go back to the way it was. Before she changed schools and had to quit gymnastics. Especially before Papa died. Now she spends her days cooking and cleaning for her stepsisters and Val-who she still won't call mom and still won't forgive for the terrible thing she did.

When a mysterious girl named Lyndame appears out of the woods wielding a powerful wand, she makes Mira an offer she can't refuse:…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in haunted houses, fairy tales, and the paranormal?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about haunted houses, fairy tales, and the paranormal.

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