100 books like The Grief Hole

By Kaaron Warren,

Here are 100 books that The Grief Hole fans have personally recommended if you like The Grief Hole. 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 The Only Good Indians

Michele W. Miller Author Of The Lower Power

From my list on supernatural terror with real-world adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write horror and crime thrillers grounded in my unusual lived experience as an author and attorney who has also overcome poverty, incarceration, and violent crime. I feel most fulfilled when I read a book that both entertains and expands me in meaningful ways, immersing me in lives, cultures, and history I might not otherwise know. So I love Social Horror novels, which feature characters who face significant human adversity beyond my own experience and leave me questioning what was worse, the human or the supernatural.

Michele's book list on supernatural terror with real-world adversity

Michele W. Miller Why did Michele love this book?

After a “massacre” of a herd of elk on a protected reservation forest—a scene which spoke more of frenzied bloodlust than hunting for sustenance—four Blackfoot men become the prey of a creature bent on revenge.

Jones’s narrative satisfied my thirst for wholly original horror while exploring the clash of Native American traditional and contemporary culture. The story touches on the characters’ drive to assimilate, guilt and sense of identity, and the need to move beyond resentments to create a life worth living.

I loved the originality of the beast, the slice of reservation life, and the endearing, flawed characters, all rendered with gorgeous precision.

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Only Good Indians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Thrilling, literate, scary, immersive."
-Stephen King

The Stoker, Mark Twain American Voice in Literature, Bradbury, Locus and Alex Award-winning, NYT-bestselling gothic horror about cultural identity, the price of tradition and revenge for fans of Adam Nevill's The Ritual.

Ricky, Gabe, Lewis and Cassidy are men bound to their heritage, bound by society, and trapped in the endless expanses of the landscape. Now, ten years after a fateful elk hunt, which remains a closely guarded secret between them, these men - and their children - must face a ferocious spirit that is coming for them, one at a time. A spirit…


Book cover of House of Leaves

Stephen M. Sanders Author Of Passe-Partout

From my list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a sci-fi/fantasy fan ever since my dad introduced me to the original Star Trek (in reruns) and The Lord of the Rings in my youth. I’ve always loved thinking about possibilities—large and small—so my work tends to think big when I write. I also write poetry, which allows me to talk about more than just the everyday or at least to find the excitement within the mundane in life. These works talk about those same “possibilities”—for better or worse, and in reading, I walk in awareness of what could be.

Stephen's book list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels

Stephen M. Sanders Why did Stephen love this book?

I love this book's weirdness! Danielewski’s paranormal (and unconventional) story permitted me to write what I wanted and forget other people’s expectations about what a novel “should” be. It freed my work to be as strange as it needed to be.

By Mark Z. Danielewski,

Why should I read it?

22 authors picked House of Leaves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A novelistic mosaic that simultaneously reads like a thriller and like a strange, dreamlike excursion into the subconscious.” —The New York Times

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations,…


Book cover of The Damnation Game

Alan Baxter Author Of Blood Covenant

From my list on novels set outside of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a horror fan since I first read The Fog by James Herbert at much too young an age. Being British-born and now Australian, the horror I write is almost always set outside America (and the UK more and more often), and I’m always on the lookout for good horror fiction set in different places. I’m fascinated by cultural folklore and mythology and how people create stories to understand the world. For three years, I was President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.

Alan's book list on novels set outside of America

Alan Baxter Why did Alan love this book?

Clive Barker is one of my favorite authors and greatly influenced me. This is his first novel but also, in my opinion, one of his best. I love books that blend crime and horror, particularly supernatural horror. I enjoyed the interplay here between the protagonist, recently released from prison, and the wealthy Londoner he starts to work for as a bodyguard.

I was hooked by the slow ramping up of danger throughout the book as the characters get more deeply entangled in the supernatural elements. I love Barker’s lyrical style and amazing use of language, and this remains one of the best horror novels I’ve ever read.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"ONE OF THE BEST HORROR NOVELS IN A VERY LONG TIME...do not miss it!"-USA Today

There are things worse than death. There are games so seductively evil, so wondrously vile, no gambler can resist. Amid the shadow-scarred rubble of World War II, Joseph Whitehead dared to challenge the dark champion of life's ultimate game. Now a millionaire, locked in a terror-shrouded fortress of his own design, Joseph Whitehead has hell to pay. And no soul is safe from this ravaging fear, the resurrected fury, the unspeakable desire of...

THE DAMNATION GAME


Book cover of The Red Tree

Dawn Keetley Author Of Plant Horror: Approaches to the Monstrous Vegetal in Fiction and Film

From my list on the terrifying world of plants.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by horror since childhood–when Scooby-Doo: Where Are You! and Doctor Who were my favorite TV shows. I specifically remember watching the Doctor Who serial, The Seeds of Doom, and the 1962 film Day of the Triffids–both about killer plants! As I finished graduate school and then took jobs in higher education, I gravitated back to horror and the gothic, which I am now fortunate enough to teach and research. I’ve written academically about all kinds of horror (most recently folk horror)–and in 2015, myself and two others founded a website, Horror Homeroom, where I write about horror for more popular audiences.

Dawn's book list on the terrifying world of plants

Dawn Keetley Why did Dawn love this book?

I read Kiernan’s book only recently and found it entrancing. It’s a novel that defies any easy description. In a way, it’s about a grieving writer who takes up residence in an isolated house to try to recover from the death of her partner and to try to start writing again. Nothing more happens except her occasional drives to the local village and walks to the nearby red tree. But the book bursts with richness–with complex storytelling and, we slowly realize, with an increasingly unreliable narrator. As the narrator finds, reads, and transcribes a manuscript of local folklore she found in the house, the novel increasingly blurs the boundaries between past and present, reality and delusion. At times, I found myself unsure of where I was or whose words I was reading. All the stories converge, though, on the red tree, which exerts some force over those that come within…

By Caitlin R. Kiernan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Red Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sarah Crowe left Atlanta—and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship—to live in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house’s former tenant—an anthropologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing on a desolate corner of the property.
 
Tied to local legends of supernatural magic, as well as documented accidents and murders, the gnarled tree takes root in Sarah’s imagination, prompting her to write her own account of its unsavory history.  
 
And as the oak continues to possess her dreams and nearly almost all her waking thoughts, Sarah risks her health…


Book cover of The Mere Wife

Kirstyn McDermott Author Of Perfections

From my list on literary horror that will get under your skin.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I’ve been a voraciously omnivorous reader my whole life, I’ve always been drawn most to stories that take me into the darkest of dark places, and that sometimes leave me there, alone and without a light. Horror, weird fiction, and the contemporary gothic all have a permanent home in my heart, and they’re the genres in which I most like to play as a writer. Most of all, I love those dark stories that stretch boundaries and defy conventions, that wield language as the beautifully vicious weapon it can be, and challenge me to do the same.

Kirstyn's book list on literary horror that will get under your skin

Kirstyn McDermott Why did Kirstyn love this book?

You don’t have to know Beowulf to enjoy this modern-day re-imagining – set in a gated community at the foot of a mined-out mountain with subterranean caves and lakes a plenty – but the novel serves up delicious layers for readers familiar with the Old English epic. Headley weaves a story that is horrific and beautiful in equal measure as she explores the gulf between the experiences of two very different mothers – Dana, an ex-soldier barely surviving in the wilderness with her son Gren; and Willa Herot, suburban royalty living a luxurious if socially pressurised existence, protected her wealthy husband’s power. With writing that oscillates between lyrical poetics and prose that is sparse, blunt, and direct, The Mere Wife is a darkly fabulous novel that I look forward to reading over and over again.

By Maria Dahvana Headley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New Statesman Book of the Year

A fierce, feminist retelling of the classic tale Beowulf.

Gren and his mother, Dana, a war veteran, live on the side of a mountain, next to Herot Hall, a pristine gated community ruled over by Willa and her son, Dylan. Separated by high gates, surveillance cameras, and motion-activated lights, Dylan and Gren are unaware of the barriers erected to keep them apart. But when Gren crosses the border into Herot Hall and runs off with Dylan, he sets up a collision between Dana's and Willa's worlds that echoes the Beowulf story - and…


Book cover of The Troop

Alan Baxter Author Of Blood Covenant

From my list on novels set outside of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a horror fan since I first read The Fog by James Herbert at much too young an age. Being British-born and now Australian, the horror I write is almost always set outside America (and the UK more and more often), and I’m always on the lookout for good horror fiction set in different places. I’m fascinated by cultural folklore and mythology and how people create stories to understand the world. For three years, I was President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.

Alan's book list on novels set outside of America

Alan Baxter Why did Alan love this book?

I love horror novels that center on a group of characters, in this case, a scout troop in the wilds of an island off Canada. I enjoy the dynamics that can be explored when an ensemble cast like this is set against a terrible threat.

Despite my usual preference for supernatural horror, I also enjoyed this one for its scientific explanations of what the troop faces. It was a clever and disturbing exploration of where science can sometimes lead to awful outcomes.

By Nick Cutter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'THE TROOP scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. Not for the faint-hearted' STEPHEN KING

He felt something touch his hand. Which is when he looked down.

For the scouts of Troop 52, three days of camping, hiking and survival lessons on Falstaff Island is as close as they'll get to a proper holiday.

Which was when he saw it.

But when an emaciated figure stumbles into their camp asking for food, the trip takes a horrifying turn. The man is not just hungry, he's sick. Sick in a way they have never seen before.…


Book cover of Let the Right One In

Alan Baxter Author Of Blood Covenant

From my list on novels set outside of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a horror fan since I first read The Fog by James Herbert at much too young an age. Being British-born and now Australian, the horror I write is almost always set outside America (and the UK more and more often), and I’m always on the lookout for good horror fiction set in different places. I’m fascinated by cultural folklore and mythology and how people create stories to understand the world. For three years, I was President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.

Alan's book list on novels set outside of America

Alan Baxter Why did Alan love this book?

I’m often not a huge fan of vampire fiction as it’s been done so much, but occasionally something really different comes along. I love fiction that deals with family, especially when it explores working class people and addresses issues of existential angst and social isolation.

This kind of thing is one of the horrors I enjoy the most, and I loved the way those themes were woven into this novel set in a working-class suburb of Stockholm, Sweden. I found this novel truly disturbing and particularly enjoyed the varied and unpleasant cast of characters.

By John Ajvide Lindqvist,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let the Right One In as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s international bestseller Let the Right One In is “a brilliant take on the vampire myth, and a roaring good story” (New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong), the basis for the multi-film festival award-winning Swedish film, the U.S. adaptation Let Me In directed by Matt Reeves (The Batman), and the Showtime TV series.

It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at…


Book cover of The Ritual

Alan Baxter Author Of Blood Covenant

From my list on novels set outside of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a horror fan since I first read The Fog by James Herbert at much too young an age. Being British-born and now Australian, the horror I write is almost always set outside America (and the UK more and more often), and I’m always on the lookout for good horror fiction set in different places. I’m fascinated by cultural folklore and mythology and how people create stories to understand the world. For three years, I was President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.

Alan's book list on novels set outside of America

Alan Baxter Why did Alan love this book?

This is one of the few novels that genuinely scared me. I was so tense during the first half of the book when the friends were hiking in a remote Swedish wilderness and being hunted by… something. Nevill does an amazing job of keeping the tension through this part of the book pulled so taut that I was mesmerized.

Then I was completely caught out by the turn the novel takes around the middle and it started to appeal to everything I love about folk horror and the supernatural, and it appealed to my love of heavy music. One of my all-time favourite books, I didn’t want it to end.

By Adam Nevill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now a Netflix Original Movie!

The Ritual is Adam Nevill's horror novel depicting a group of friends lost in a remote wilderness in Sweden where something supernatural lurks.

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare…


Book cover of The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Griselda Heppel Author Of The Fall of a Sparrow

From my list on ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write adventure and mystery stories for children aged 9 - 13, involving battles with mythical creatures, dangerous pacts with demons, and other supernatural chills. My first book, Ante’s Inferno, won the People’s Book Prize and a Silver Wishing Shelf Award. For The Fall of a Sparrow, I drew on my love of ghost stories, not just for their scariness but also for their emotional complexity: ghosts don’t haunt just for the sake of it. They need something only the main character can give. Friendship, perhaps, a companion in their loneliness… or something much darker. Here’s my choice of classic stories in which ghosts pursue a wide – and sometimes terrifying – variety of agendas.

Griselda's book list on ghost stories

Griselda Heppel Why did Griselda love this book?

What I love about the ghost story genre is how it can lend itself to comedy as well as spookiness. Here the plight of poor James, moving to a new house only to find himself seized on as Apprentice to ghostly 17th century apothecary Thomas Kempe, is irresistibly funny. No one will believe it’s not him scrawling advertisements for ‘Sorcerie, Astrologie, Geomancie, Alchemie, Recoverie of Goodes Loste and Physicke’ on notice boards outside his house and all over the village. Lively’s accurate use of 17th century English heightens both the humour and historical realism in this beautifully written book. 

By Penelope Lively,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ghost of Thomas Kempe 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?

The classic ghost story from Penelope Lively, one of the modern greats of British fiction for adults and children alike.

James is fed up. His family has moved to a new cottage - with grounds that are great for excavations, and trees that are perfect for climbing - and stuff is happening. Stuff that is normally the kind of thing he does. And he's getting blamed for it. But it's not him who's writing strange things on shopping lists and fences. It's not him who smashes bottles and pours tea in the Vicar's lap. It's a ghost - honestly. Thomas…


Book cover of Sir Simon: Super Scarer

Lenny Wen Author Of Wolfgang in the Meadow

From my list on picture books with creepy and cute ghosts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of horror stories since I was a kid. As an introverted and shy kid, I used to joke with my best friend about how I felt like a ghost and wished I had the power to be invisible. After I became a children’s book author/illustrator, I became fascinated with ghost picture books and started collecting them. Ghost picture books not only fulfilled my spooky necessities but also gave me warmth and heartfelt emotions.

Lenny's book list on picture books with creepy and cute ghosts

Lenny Wen Why did Lenny love this book?

This book is super funny. Sir Simon’s expressions are priceless. I love how Sir Simon looks grumpy but kind inside.

The layout and comic-like style make this book dynamic and fun to read. Cale’s artwork is super expressive, vibrant, and funny.

By Cale Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Sir Simon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A delightful, funny story of friendship, ghost chores, a spooky house and a professional haunter.

Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He's a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house. And just in time! He was getting tired of haunting bus stops and forests and potatoes. And to top it off, this house is occupied by an old lady -- they're the easiest to haunt!

But things don't go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady. Chester spots Simon immediately and peppers him with questions. Simon is exasperated. . . until he…


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