100 books like Sycorax's Daughters

By Kinitra Brooks, Linda D. Addison, Susana Morris

Here are 100 books that Sycorax's Daughters fans have personally recommended if you like Sycorax's Daughters. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Night Shift

Kenya Moss-Dyme Author Of Daymares

From my list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child; but my preferences were witches and haunted houses, rather than princesses and talking frogs. As I developed my own writing, I wanted to tell stories that were reflective of my world but with a dark twist. My first completed story was "Patchwork", about a woman emptying the marital home after the breakdown of her marriage. I went on to participate in several popular horror anthologies. I really enjoy the challenge of writing a great short story because you have to get the reader in a chokehold early and then deliver that gut punch sooner than later.

Kenya's book list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did Kenya love this book?

Originally published in 1978, I was still a bit young to be devouring such dark and twisted tales but this one became my own blueprint for writing short stories.

This wasn't my first SK book, I had previously read his other novels like Salem's Lot and The Stand. But once I discovered Night Shift, it was like getting a different story each and every time I opened the book. 

There are no 'favorites' here because each one is sublime, but if I were forced to select 2-3 out of the 20, I'd go with "Gray Matter", "The Mangler", and "Sometimes They Come Back", mostly because these have quotes that I still see and use here and there, some 40 years later.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stephen King’s first collection of short stories, originally published in 1978, showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination and will "chill the cockles of many a heart" (Chicago Tribune). Night Shift is the inspiration for over a dozen acclaimed horror movies and television series, including Children of the Corn , Chapelwaite, and Lawnmower Man.

Here we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a possessed, evil lawnmower (“The Lawnmower Man”); unsettling children from the heartland (“Children of the Corn”); a smoker who will try anything to…


Book cover of The Savage B's: A Tribute to B-Horror

Kenya Moss-Dyme Author Of Daymares

From my list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child; but my preferences were witches and haunted houses, rather than princesses and talking frogs. As I developed my own writing, I wanted to tell stories that were reflective of my world but with a dark twist. My first completed story was "Patchwork", about a woman emptying the marital home after the breakdown of her marriage. I went on to participate in several popular horror anthologies. I really enjoy the challenge of writing a great short story because you have to get the reader in a chokehold early and then deliver that gut punch sooner than later.

Kenya's book list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did Kenya love this book?

I’m a big fan of themed anthologies! Most horror anthologies I find are similar to Night Shift in that they are all random stories of dark fiction but with no recurring theme. It’s extra fun for the reader (and the writer) when all of the stories reverberate around a single topic or scenario. The Savage B’s: A Tribute to Horror is a proclamation of love for B movies. I remember the fun and splashy gore of movies like The Blob or Swamp Thing. You were horrified at the splatter of brains but also tickled by the sheer absurdity of the splatter of brains. From flesh-eating monsters to toxic spills, each of these stories is finely crafted by authors with their own B movie-style spin. 

By David O'Hanlon, Mya Lairis, Killian Crane , C. Courtney Joyner , Zame Hill , Bert Edens , Bret Bouriseau , Jay Wilburn , Dennis Freeman , Christopher Dowell

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Savage B's as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join 13 authors as they take you on a gory stroll down Memory Lane in this anthology inspired by B-Horror! Relive the good old days of picking up bad movies from your local video store. We've got killer dolls, killer sludge, killer firemen, killer amphibians. This book should come narrated by Joe Bob Briggs if we weren't too low budget to afford him. Buy yourself a copy, because this is one you'll want to rewind and enjoy again!


Book cover of Accursed: A Horror Anthology

Kenya Moss-Dyme Author Of Daymares

From my list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child; but my preferences were witches and haunted houses, rather than princesses and talking frogs. As I developed my own writing, I wanted to tell stories that were reflective of my world but with a dark twist. My first completed story was "Patchwork", about a woman emptying the marital home after the breakdown of her marriage. I went on to participate in several popular horror anthologies. I really enjoy the challenge of writing a great short story because you have to get the reader in a chokehold early and then deliver that gut punch sooner than later.

Kenya's book list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did Kenya love this book?

In the tradition of one of my favorite television shows, Friday the 13th, this anthology brings alive the idea that objects really do carry the spirits of their journeys. This one ranks up there with my faves because it’s packed full of stories about haunted objects, everyday things that you just might have lying around your home. From dentures to typewriters to mixing bowls, every cursed item has a story to tell about its past and its future. I can’t pick a favorite here because there are so many great pieces and I was so impressed with how well the authors weaved their evil objects into “day in the life” settings and let the magic do its thing. 

By Jonathan Lambert, Lori Titus, Angelique Fawns , Michelle von Eschen , Mya Lairis , Jordan Kerns , Justin Guleserian , Patsy Pratt-Herzog , Jami Baumann , Jeannie Warner , Sophie Kearing

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Accursed items. Some people believe in them, some people don’t. With a truly cursed item, belief doesn’t matter. It’s gonna get you anyway. You might survive. Or you might not. Maybe you'll be compelled to do things you never would without its influence. Maybe it helped you at the casino. Did you think that was free? There’s always a price to pay, and one you can’t afford. That little lucky charm in your pocket may be doing more damage than good. Sometimes it’s not even an item, it’s a person or a situation. Be careful what you pick up. Be…


Book cover of Monster Brawl!

Kenya Moss-Dyme Author Of Daymares

From my list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child; but my preferences were witches and haunted houses, rather than princesses and talking frogs. As I developed my own writing, I wanted to tell stories that were reflective of my world but with a dark twist. My first completed story was "Patchwork", about a woman emptying the marital home after the breakdown of her marriage. I went on to participate in several popular horror anthologies. I really enjoy the challenge of writing a great short story because you have to get the reader in a chokehold early and then deliver that gut punch sooner than later.

Kenya's book list on horror that deliver the most bang for the bite

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did Kenya love this book?

Did someone say monsters? As much as I love the stories about the dark sides of human souls, there is nothing quite better than actual monsters. And this anthology packs them in, I’m talking the literal stuff of nightmares! Creatures designed by writers who obviously love monsters as much as the readers; demons with frames and features that only a mother could love. This parade of monsters was a lot to absorb in one sitting, which is the whole point of my list – collections that give you so much to dig into that it leaves you breathless. Short of being an all-out gore-fest, Monster Brawl! is so well curated that you might be surprised to find that you care about a few of them. 

By Ben Howels, Joshua Skye, Patrick Loveland , Mya Lairis , Hunter Shea , Scott Harper , Jennifer L. Barnes , T. R. North , Paul M. Feeney , Sergio C. Pereira

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monster Brawl! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time to let the monsters loose!

For this book, we collected stories of monsters doing epic battle with other monsters! The beasts could be classical by design with a unique twist, or they could be spawned straight from the author's imagination. The only rule: there must be a clear-cut winner at the end of each story; one of the creatures had to die!

Some of the stories in this collection pit a single monster against another, while others are all-out gang warfare. Some are campy, some serious, but all a fight for the ages!

It's time to get your…


Book cover of Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror

Daniel Olivas Author Of Chicano Frankenstein

From my list on books by BIPOC writers that will scare the living daylights out of you.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my 25 years of writing short stories, novels, and plays, I have explored my Mexican and Chicano roots in a variety of genres, from literary fiction to horror to magical realism to science fiction and everything in between. In the end, I do not discriminate when it comes to genre because a well-told story is key for me, regardless of the mode chosen by the author. My most recent novel, Chicano Frankenstein, is a case in point. In it, I blend genres: horror, science fiction, political satire, and a bit of romance. So, too, I love reading fiction that bravely challenges conventional storytelling.

Daniel's book list on books by BIPOC writers that will scare the living daylights out of you

Daniel Olivas Why did Daniel love this book?

When a bookseller handed Jordan Peele’s anthology to me, I smiled and said: “I’ll take it!” Perhaps best known for his hit film, Get Out, I trusted Peele’s sense of horror. And I was not disappointed.

This collection brings together 19 tales by some of our best Black horror writers. It begins with a hilarious and grim story by the great N. K. Jemisin about a Black cop who abuses his power with the help of supernatural visions that assist him in targeting his next victim.

The horror hits just keep coming as we read frightening tales by the likes of Lesley Nneka Arimah, Violet Allen, and L. D. Lewis. I would not be shocked if this anthology gets adapted as a television series.

By Jordan Peele (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Out There Screaming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times Bestseller

Jordan Peele, the visionary writer and director of Get Out, Us and Nope, curates this anthology of brand new stories of Black horror, exploring not only the terrors of the supernatural but also the chilling reality of injustice that haunts our world.

'A glorious showcase of Black American horror' - Guardian

Featuring an introduction by Jordan Peele and an all-star roster of beloved writers and new voices, Out There Screaming is a masterclass in horror, and - like his spine-chilling films - its stories prey on everything we think we know about our world, and…


Book cover of Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

Darien Gee Author Of Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World

From my list on women of color finding their stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author, editor, and woman of color, I celebrate stories that reflect a diversity of voices. Good storytelling allows us to catch a glimpse into lives that may be similar or different from ours, that champion what makes us unique while reminding us that we are not alone.  

Darien's book list on women of color finding their stories

Darien Gee Why did Darien love this book?

In this anthology, twenty-one Black women writers, including Jesmyn Ward, Gabourey Sidibe, Lynn Nottage, and Tayari Jones, write about the first time they saw themselves reflected in literature. This moving collection of essays is at once a love letter to books and an exploration of the intersection of race, gender, and the written word.    

By Glory Edim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Well-Read Black Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Required reading.' - Cosmopolitan
'This should be read as a sacred text. Here, you will bear witness to a perpetual salvation song.' - Jason Reynolds

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives - but not everyone regularly sees themselves reflected on the pages of a book.

In this timely anthology, Glory Edim, founder of the online community, Well-Read Black Girl, brings together original essays by some of America's best black women writers to shine a light on how…


Book cover of Life on Mars: Poems

DeMisty D. Bellinger Author Of Peculiar Heritage

From my list on poetry inspired by history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I care about social justice, equality, and history, as well as beauty and art. As an African-American woman who was raised working class and who understands how history informs the present, I have fallen in love with the depiction of history in poetry and prose. Not all of my writing has something to do with race or gender or class, but all of my writing is about justice in some way. I want to get to the good of people.

DeMisty's book list on poetry inspired by history

DeMisty D. Bellinger Why did DeMisty love this book?

This book mixes personal poetry and history and art and space. It is a wonder! Smith looks at the Hubble Telescope and all of its marvels along with one of its engineers, her father Floyd Smith. 

Smith mixes stars, David Bowie, mass shootings, love, racism, sexism all in this poetry collection and somehow, it works. It more than works. It explodes! 

I don’t know if this work has much to do with my own; there is history, yes, and there is social commentary. But mostly, there is excellent poetry that is exemplary for any poet writing today.

By Tracy K. Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this brilliant collection of new poems, Tracy K. Smith envisions a sci-fi future sucked clean of any real dangers, contemplates the dark matter that keeps people both close and distant and revisits kitschy concepts like 'love' and 'illness', now relegated to the museum of obsolescence. With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars imagines a soundtrack for the universe, accompanying the discoveries, failures and oddities of human existence and establishing Smith as one of the best poets of her generation.


Book cover of Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies

John Ernest Author Of A Nation Within a Nation: Organizing African American Communities before the Civil War

From my list on early African American community activism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Good question. Why would a white guy be passionate about nineteenth-century African American community building and activism? It’s a long story, but the short version is that by the time I reached graduate school, I could no longer avoid the realization that I had been dramatically miseducated about American history, and that the key to American history—one important key, anyway—is African American history. You can’t understand what it means to be an American if you don’t know this history, and you can’t understand our own very troubled times, or how to respond to these times, how to turn frustration into action, unless you know this history. So I developed my expertise over the years. 

John's book list on early African American community activism

John Ernest Why did John love this book?

If you think that literary societies have nothing to do with African American community activism, then this book will make you think again. African Americans were excluded from schools, libraries, and most of the usual publishing outlets—but they still developed a vibrant culture that produced newspapers, pamphlets, and books, and they developed libraries and literary societies committed to reading these and other productions. McHenry expertly guides us through this relatively unknown but central culture of reading, tracing the rise of African American literary societies, the work of the Black Press, and the vital connection between reading, writing, and social reform efforts. These efforts were supported by broader African American organizational efforts, the creation of churches and mutual aid societies that provided refuge for readers and forums for writers, and McHenry explores the social and intellectual networks that developed from these efforts, as African Americans read their way to new visions…

By Elizabeth McHenry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over the past decade the popularity of black writers including E. Lynn Harris and Terry McMillan has been hailed as an indication that an active African American reading public has come into being. Yet this is not a new trend; there is a vibrant history of African American literacy, literary associations, and book clubs. Forgotten Readers reveals that neglected past, looking at the reading practices of free blacks in the antebellum north and among African Americans following the Civil War. It places the black upper and middle classes within American literary history, illustrating how they used reading and literary conversation…


Book cover of Briefs

Ran Walker Author Of The Library of Afro Curiosities: 100-Word Stories

From my list on microfiction for those with limited time to read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of ten collections of microfiction and poetry. I came to microfiction after having written several novels and short story collections. I just felt that I was saying more than I wanted to say. Microfiction has allowed me to completely distill my stories to the essence of what makes them tick. Of the 26 books I have written, the microfiction collections are my favorites because every word and idea is carefully measured. I am presently working on my next collection of microfiction and have no immediate plans to return to writing at longer lengths. Oddly, writing small has freed me up so I can experiment with various genres, structures, and ideas. I honestly feel microfiction has made me a much better writer.

Ran's book list on microfiction for those with limited time to read

Ran Walker Why did Ran love this book?

John Edgar Wideman is the first African-American writer I can clearly point to who took microfiction seriously enough to write an entire collection. His stories are filtered through the lens of Blackness, but that is not the major reason why I like this book. Wideman does things with language that force me to completely step back and rethink things. I find myself reading his words aloud, simply because they feel as though they transcend the page. If it were not for Wideman, I would not feel as comfortable revealing the authenticity of my experience in my work.

By John Edgar Wideman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

BRIEFS is a groundbreaking new collection of "microstories" from celebrated author John Edgar Wideman, previous winner of both the Rea and O. Henry awards saluting mastery of the short story form. Here he has assembled a masterful collage that explodes our assumptions about the genre. Wideman unveils an utterly original voice and structure-hip-hop zen-where each story is a single breath, to be caught, held, shared and savored. A relief worker's Sudan bulletin, a jogger's bullet-dodging daydreams, your neighbor's fears and fantasies, an absent mother's regrets-Wideman's storytellers are eavesdroppers and peeping Toms, diarists and haiku historians. The characters and compass points…


Book cover of Aberrations in Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique

Merrill Cole Author Of The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality

From my list on queer theory to gain an understanding of the field.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been pondering philosophical questions and trying to understand my queer sexuality since childhood. While checking out The Portable Nietzsche in my high school library, the librarian warned me the philosopher was “a bad man.” Then I had to read the book, which not only taught me to become critical of all forms of authority, but also, perhaps paradoxically, empowered me to embrace my queerness. As a college and graduate student, I studied many of the American academic movements based in Continental philosophy grouped under the rubric, “theory.” When queer theory emerged in the early 1990s’, I found a place for myself. I'm convinced that we should never stop putting our identities under critique.

Merrill's book list on queer theory to gain an understanding of the field

Merrill Cole Why did Merrill love this book?

Aberrations in Black is not the only important early queer of color intervention in queer theory, but I find it the most rewarding.

Showing how signal works in the African-American literary tradition pose important challenges to social norms and to the sociological discourse of their times, Ferguson advances an intersectional critique that forefronts race and also attends to gender, sexuality, and class.

The book’s brilliant close readings, such as the reading Toni Morrison’s Sula in the context of The Moynihan Report particularly stand out. The book is a corrective to the apparent colorblindness of much of early queer theory.

By Roderick A. Ferguson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aberrations in Black as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hard-hitting look at the regulation of sexual difference and its role in circumscribing African American culture

The sociology of race relations in America typically describes an intersection of poverty, race, and economic discrimination. But what is missing from the picture-sexual difference-can be as instructive as what is present. In this ambitious work, Roderick A. Ferguson reveals how the discourses of sexuality are used to articulate theories of racial difference in the field of sociology. He shows how canonical sociology-Gunnar Myrdal, Ernest Burgess, Robert Park, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and William Julius Wilson-has measured African Americans's unsuitability for a liberal capitalist…


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