100 books like Harvest Home

By Thomas Tryon,

Here are 100 books that Harvest Home fans have personally recommended if you like Harvest Home. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Rosemary's Baby

Chin-Sun Lee Author Of Upcountry

From my list on distressed women.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I listened to scary Korean folklore and then devoured all of Grimm’s fairy tales with their themes of good versus evil, disguise and betrayal, sacrifice, and magic. It’s not surprising that as I grew older, my reading tastes skewed toward darkness, mystery, madness, and the uncanny. There’s a penitential aspect to gothic stories, with their superstitious moralism, often with elements of the supernatural manifesting not as monsters but restless spirits—the repressed ghosts of a location’s history. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a place absorbing and regurgitating the histories and sins of its occupants, whether it be a town, a house, or both.

Chin-Sun's book list on distressed women

Chin-Sun Lee Why did Chin-Sun love this book?

Most people are familiar with the movie, and I was, too, before I read the novel—which is shockingly good! Though published in 1967, the prose is modern and restrained.

Rosemary is betrayed by those she trusts, most heinously by her opportunistic husband, but she’s no passive victim; instead, she becomes ferocious. I give props to Levin for channeling the burgeoning feminist rage of the times, which he also did in his 1972 classic, The Stepford Wives. The dream/hallucination scene where Satan impregnates Rosemary and her confrontation with Guy the morning after is so well-written and horrific it made me want to stab him with a pitchfork. 

By Ira Levin,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Rosemary's Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The Swiss watchmaker of the suspense novel' Stephen King

Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor-husband, Guy, move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them; despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to…


Book cover of A Sudden Light

K.D. Burrows Author Of Bittersharp

From my list on horror stories about bad moving decisions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of reading horror stories as perfect armchair adrenalin-thrill-seeking. I prefer horror on the quiet side, dark and thematic, with any depiction of blood and gore in measured quantities. My favorite is historical horror with a moral edge, or underlying theme that explores who we are—good, bad, or in-between—as human beings, and how societal norms have changed from one era to another. The monsters of our imaginations are scary, but for true terror, there's nothing more frightening than the things we've done to each other throughout history. Dress society’s ills or expectations in monster clothes and write a story about them, and I’ll want to read it.

K.D.'s book list on horror stories about bad moving decisions

K.D. Burrows Why did K.D. love this book?

I can never get enough ghost and haunted house stories that have social commentary themes. This is one of the books that helped inspire my own book. Trevor Riddell’s parents are separated, and Trevor and his father move to his lumber-robber-baron grandfather’s mansion in the woods of the northwest, where Trevor’s father and aunt hope to talk their ailing father into a big-money real estate deal involving the house and land.

This book has everything I love: ghosts, intrigue, mystery, history, emotionally-complex antagonists, and epistolary story-telling through letters and journals. Woven into all that, Stein manages to insert a moral about conservation and trees (and other things I’ll let you discover on your own). Ghost stories have a history of being morality tales, and this is a modern version—true to the tradition—that I really enjoyed.

By Garth Stein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Sudden Light as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the million-copy bestselling The Art of Racing in the Raincomes the breathtaking and long-awaited new novel.

This novel centres on four generations of a once terribly wealthy and influential timber family who have fallen from grace; a mysterious yet majestic mansion, crumbling slowy into the bluff overlooking Puget Sound in Seattle; a love affair so powerful it reaches across the planes of existence; and a young man who simply wants his parents to once again experience the moment they fell in love, hoping that if can feel that emotion again, maybe they won't get divorced after…


Book cover of Wylding Hall

Amanda Desiree Author Of Smithy

From my list on creepy epistolary horror novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always admired epistolary novels—stories told in the form of diaries, letters, or other mass media. They seem so real and so much more believable than plain narratives. When dealing with fantastic subjects, like paranormal phenomena, any technique that can draw the weird back into the real world helps me become more invested as a reader. It’s a quality I’ve also tried to capture as a horror writer. Moreover, the epistolary format pairs well with unreliable narrators, often filtering stories so as to make them more ambiguous and disturbing. From the many epistolary works I’ve read over the years, here are my picks for the most compelling—and creepy.

Amanda's book list on creepy epistolary horror novels

Amanda Desiree Why did Amanda love this book?

This phantasmagorical oral history unfolds during one of my favorite time periods, the psychedelic late 60s/early 70s. It also fuses two of my favorite sub-genres, folk horror and haunted houses.

I could easily visualize the setting and the different characters as I read their statements and tried to piece together the reality of what happened during the band’s infamous time at Wylding Hall.

By Elizabeth Hand,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Wylding Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the tragic and mysterious death of one of their founding members, the young musicians in a British acid-folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with its own dark secrets. There they record the classic album that will make their reputation but at a terrifying cost, when Julian Blake, their lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again. Now, years later, each of the surviving musicians, their friends and lovers (including a psychic, a photographer, and the band s manager) meets with a young documentary filmmaker to tell his or her own version…


Book cover of The Uninvited

Linda Griffin Author Of Stonebridge

From my list on good old-fashioned haunted house.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe because I grew up in San Diego, a city that boasts what ghost hunter Hans Holzer called the most haunted house in America, I’ve always loved ghost stories. I never encountered a ghost when I visited the Whaley House Museum, as Regis Philbin did when he spent the night, but I once took a photograph there that had an unexplained light streak on it. Although I conceived a passion for the printed word with my first Dick and Jane reader and wrote my first story at the age of six, it took me a few decades to fulfill my long-held desire to write a ghost story of my own.

Linda's book list on good old-fashioned haunted house

Linda Griffin Why did Linda love this book?

This book had the greatest influence on my desire to write my own ghost story.

I liked the stalwart Brit characters, Roderick and Pamela, even though they were a bit slow putting together the clues. I figured out the secret before they did, which only added to the fun. The writing style is old-fashioned enough to add to the atmosphere, and the story is beautifully told.

By Dorothy Macardle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A gothic, bone-chilling Irish ghost story first published in 1941 and now brought back into print. The title benefits from an introduction by well-known academic Professor Luke Gibbons and Martin Scorsese and various critics, including William K. Everson and Leonard Maltin, regard The Uninvited as one of the best ghost stories ever filmed.


Book cover of Starve Acre

Stephanie Ellis Author Of The Five Turns of the Wheel

From my list on the dark delights of folk horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an isolated rural pub in England. My love of folk horror was born of a strong nostalgia for that time and it has fed into both my writing and my reading. I understood isolation, small communities, the effect of strangers, as well as the sense of ‘otherness’ in the atmosphere of the countryside – the calm before the storm, the liminal twilight. It also meant that I could tell when a writer had captured the ‘essence’ of folk horror. When the author weaves a story between the landscape and man, blends traditions and mythology they take me to that place I know.

Stephanie's book list on the dark delights of folk horror

Stephanie Ellis Why did Stephanie love this book?

I have a real thing about needing the setting to be pretty much a character in itself in the folk horror I read.

For me, it is that which brings out the atmosphere, the sense of otherworldliness, critical to such stories. Starve Acre, a haunting tragedy, set in bleak moorland offers no rural idyll. The desolate setting perfectly mirrors the disintegrating marriage of a couple who are trying come to terms with the loss of their young son.

Whilst the wife turns to the spirit world, the husband researches a legend, uncovering the sinister story of the demonic Jack Grey as he does so. Bringing the legend to life and turning it into delusion, culminates in one of the most disturbing final scenes I’ve come across, certainly gave me chills. 

By Andrew Michael Hurley,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Starve Acre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby's son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.

Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.

Starve Acre is a devastating…


Book cover of The Wicker Man

Stephanie Ellis Author Of The Five Turns of the Wheel

From my list on the dark delights of folk horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an isolated rural pub in England. My love of folk horror was born of a strong nostalgia for that time and it has fed into both my writing and my reading. I understood isolation, small communities, the effect of strangers, as well as the sense of ‘otherness’ in the atmosphere of the countryside – the calm before the storm, the liminal twilight. It also meant that I could tell when a writer had captured the ‘essence’ of folk horror. When the author weaves a story between the landscape and man, blends traditions and mythology they take me to that place I know.

Stephanie's book list on the dark delights of folk horror

Stephanie Ellis Why did Stephanie love this book?

I love the film The Wicker Man (released in 1973) and was delighted to discover this novelisation from its director and screenwriter.

Full of pagan religion and ritual sacrifice on remote Summerisle, it is wonderfully creepy. Nor is it a flat retelling of the film but an expansion of the character of poor Sergeant Howie. Set up by Lord Summerisle to be the May sacrifice, he is tormented and abused as he searches for a missing child and on film is shown as priggish and cold.

Yet in the book, he is brave, vulnerable, doggedly trying to do the right thing in the face of adversity. He also performs a touchingly heroic act at the end of the book even as he suffered - I admit to shedding a tear. 

By Robin Hardy, Anthony Shaffer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1978, five years after the release of the classic horror film from which it is adapted, The Wicker Man by director Robin Hardy and screenwriter Anthony Shaffer, is a gripping horror classic.

A novelization of the haunting Anthony Shaffer script, which drew from David Pinner's Ritual, it is the tale of Highlands policeman, Police Sergeant Neil Howie, on the trail of a missing girl being lured to the remote Scottish island of Summerisle. As May Day approaches, strange, magical, shamanistic and erotic events erupt around him. He is convinced that the girl has been abducted for human…


Book cover of The Ceremonies

Ben Monroe Author Of The Seething

From my list on scary stories to bring on vacation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of horror stories as long as I can remember. The sense of building dread, and the moment of release when the terrible thing happens. I love stories about people put in impossible situations, and seeing how they overcome them, and that’s what good horror brings to the table. Being an avid reader I always have a book with me. To me, picking the right book to take on a holiday is as important as choosing the right clothing. I certainly hope this list gives you some ideas for your next vacation read.

Ben's book list on scary stories to bring on vacation

Ben Monroe Why did Ben love this book?

Spending the summer in a cabin in the woods? Then The Ceremonies is a darn fine choice. The first time I read it was on a camping trip, and I was captivated by the way Klein describes the empty, lonely wilderness surrounding the Poroth Farm (the main location of the tale).

The protagonist of the book is an English professor who’s writing a book on the Gothics, and through the course of the book name drops a ton of classic horror novels and stories from the early 20th century. This book is not only a tremendous cosmic/folk horror novel, but sort of a treatise on classic gothic literature.

Not only is The Ceremonies a truly unsettling horror novel in its own right, but it could inspire a whole new reading list for you!

By T.E.D. Klein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Graduate student Jeremy Freirs and aspiring dancer Carol Conklin, summering in the New Jersey village of Gilead, are trapped in a nightmare of terror, with an evil force emanating from a place once called Maquineanok, the Place of Burning


Book cover of Grimoire of the Four Impostors

Stephanie Ellis Author Of The Five Turns of the Wheel

From my list on the dark delights of folk horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an isolated rural pub in England. My love of folk horror was born of a strong nostalgia for that time and it has fed into both my writing and my reading. I understood isolation, small communities, the effect of strangers, as well as the sense of ‘otherness’ in the atmosphere of the countryside – the calm before the storm, the liminal twilight. It also meant that I could tell when a writer had captured the ‘essence’ of folk horror. When the author weaves a story between the landscape and man, blends traditions and mythology they take me to that place I know.

Stephanie's book list on the dark delights of folk horror

Stephanie Ellis Why did Stephanie love this book?

Coy Hall is a newer writer on the scene but the work he has produced so far has been of exceptional quality.

This particular book contains short stories which interlink yet standalone. Hall’s Grimoire of the Four Imposters has its folk horror set against the historical backdrop of the 16th and 17th centuries. I freely admit to being a history fan and seeing this mixed with a favourite subgenre is a delight.

The stories are dark and menacing, vibrant with character, and melding folklore and the occult into a showcase of storytelling. They show that folk horror can be done differently. 

Book cover of The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night

Catherine Ann Cullen Author Of The Song of Brigid’s Cloak

From my list on children’s stories with a song connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, children’s writer, and songwriter from Drogheda, Ireland. Ballads were always part of my family life. My favourite uncle, Gerry Cullen, is a song collector and singer who was central to the revival of folk singing in Drogheda. It was only when I embarked on a Creative Writing PhD in 2015 that I fully recognised the influence of ballads on my work. This has brought me deeper into ballad studies and I have just begun a postdoctoral fellowship at University College Dublin to reclaim lost street poets and tenement balladeers of 19th-century Ireland. For me, the ballad is a peerless narrative form: compact, rhyming, rhythmic, and memorable.  

Catherine's book list on children’s stories with a song connection

Catherine Ann Cullen Why did Catherine love this book?

In 1961, American illustrator Peter Spier won a Caldecott Honor for his version of this ancient song, and in 2014 he revisited his book, turning the black and white illustrations into glorious colour. As a scholar of ballads, I’m thrilled by their persistent popularity. The first evidence of “The Fox” is in a manuscript in the British Library from the second half of the fifteenth century, with its chorus—“Pax vobis, quoth the fox, for I am going to the town.” It’s clearly the same song, just missing the ‘o’ after town. What’s the attraction? Besides Spier’s shimmering double spreads of Americana, there’s tight storytelling with great visual details, a tune, a chorus, and a hero’s journey with a happy ending—for Fox and his family, at least! 

By Peter Spier,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

This Caldecott Honor book from beloved illustrator Peter Spier is a spirited take on a classic American folk song.

"[Spier's] finely detailed, action-packed New England autumn vistas are almost startlingly beautiful."—The New York Times 
 
Over fifty years after he won a Caldecott Honor for The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night, legendary illustrator Peter Spier went back to this time-honored favorite in 2014 to paint the half of the book that was originally printed in black and white. In this glowing, restored vision of Spier’s beloved classic, follow the wily fox as he roams a sleepy New England town…


Book cover of The Lace Reader

Muna Shehadi Author Of The First Wife

From my list on knocking you off your ass-umptions.

Why am I passionate about this?

People either love or hate surprises, but in a book, done well, they’re always welcome—whether we race to the last page to find them or they hip-check us along the way. I started my career writing comedy romance—comfort reads but with few surprises. Now in my novels, I make sure to give readers plenty they don’t expect, whether it’s a character who isn’t what s/he seems, a contradictory situation gradually made clear, or a jaw-dropping twist. Pulling off a successful surprise is one of my favorite parts of writing—therefore my love of books that take me somewhere I didn't expect.

Muna's book list on knocking you off your ass-umptions

Muna Shehadi Why did Muna love this book?

This book has everything, Mystical Irish lace, touches of magic, a lovely romance, chilling family dysfunction, and a fabulous extra character in the guise of Witchtown, USA—Salem, Massachusetts. Towner Whitney comes back to Salem for the funeral of a beloved relative and ends up having to cope with demons from her past in a gorgeous, evocative seaside setting. The ending was a complete surprise to me, one of those Whaaaat? moments that are so rare and so thrilling, and which I keep trying to get to in my own books!

By Brunonia Barry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawn by family. Driven by fear. Haunted by fate.

Would knowing the future be a gift or a burden? Or even a curse...?

The Whitney women of Salem, Massachusetts are renowned for reading the future in the patterns of lace. But the future doesn't always bring good news - as Towner Whitney knows all too well. When she was just fifteen her gift sent her whole world crashing to pieces. She predicted - and then witnessed - something so horrific that she vowed never to read lace again, and fled her home and family for good. Salem is a place…


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