Welcome to Halloween Week here on Bookstr! Much like a witch on her broomstick, October has flown by way too fast, and we’re down to the last few days of this month.
This week, we’re talking to some of our favorite Bookstagrammers with a particular taste for thriller, horror, or just plain spooky books! You won’t regret checking out these wonderful Bookstagrammers, and you’re sure to find your next thrilling read in one of their interviews.
Shaley from @2reador2write
Why did you start your Bookstagram account? I read tons of books and I’ve always been that person friends and family go to when they need a good book recommendation, so I thought why not review every book I read and send friends and family over to my page! Once I started I realized how big and supportive the bookstagram community is and there was no going back. It’s been an amazing experience and I love all the friends I’ve made!
Fun fact about you? I am currently in the editing phase of my own book, about an eighty-five-year-old man who runs away to join the circus! It’s been a lot of fun and I’d love to be a published author one day! Also, I’m a part-time bookstagrammer and full-time stay-at-home mom which has been the hardest/most rewarding job I’ve ever had.
What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? This is a loaded question! Thrillers are my go-to, so I have so many favorites! A few off the top of my head are Ruth Ware, Alice Feeney, Alex North, and Riley Sager, Jennifer Hillier, they are all auto-buys for me! Favorite horror/thriller books are In a Dark Dark Wood, Survive the Night, Home Before Dark, The Whisper Man, Turn of the Key, and Jar of Hearts.
Spooky books on your TBR? I’m super excited to read A Southern Bookclub’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup, The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin, and The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz; there truly are so many books and so little time!
What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? The adrenaline rush!! When I read a good thriller/horror/spooky book it can often feel like I’m riding a roller coaster and my eyes can’t read the words fast enough because I HAVE TO KNOW what will happen! I love that feeling! I love when I literally can’t put a book down. You will often see me cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my child with a book permanently attached to my hand- that’s when you know it’s a good one!
Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? If you’re looking for spooky reads this fall, definitely check out Riley Sager, Ruth Ware, or Alex North; they can do no wrong in my opinion! If you’re looking for a haunted house book, read Home Before Dark or Turn of the Key. If you’re looking for a witchy read this season, I loved A Discovery of Witches or The Year of the Witching. If you want horror, The Final Girl’s Support Group! There are so many good ones you can’t go wrong. These recommendations are best enjoyed with a blanket and a hot cup of coffee on a rainy night. With all the lights on.
Follow Shaley on Instagram for more spooky recommendations!
Sadie from @mother.horror
Why did you start your Bookstagram account? I started my bookstagram account 5 years ago to share my love of books with other people around the world who also love books. I saw someone use the bookstagram hashtag so I clicked on it and saw this amazing community of people showing off their collection of books, sharing reviews, and talking about what they were currently reading. It made me so happy.
Fun fact about you? I’ve been a dedicated genre reader since 2018 reading nothing but horror.
What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? So of course I’m a Constant Reader; a Stephen King fan. But indie fiction opened my eyes to a world of horror fiction out there with an endless supply of talent. Favorite authors right now: Stephen Graham Jones, Ania Ahlborn, V. Castro, Paul Tremblay, Josh Malerman, Hailey Piper, Eric LaRocca, Tananarive Due, Cynthia Pelayo, Adam Nevill, and so many more. I have A LOT of favorites.
Favorite books: A Head Full of Ghosts (Paul Tremblay), N0S4A2 (Joe Hill), The Only Good Indians (Stephen Graham Jones), Come With Me (Ronald Malfi), Ghost Summer (Tananarive Due), Goddess of Filth (V. Castro), Pearl (Josh Malerman), The Reddening (Adam Nevill), it’s hard to choose just a few.
Spooky books on your TBR? I’m reading classic horror for October and just finished two books that are fast, scary reads Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, and Psycho by Robert Bloch. These two novels are quintessential to the genre and make me feel proud of horror. They aren’t just good genre books. They’re well-written stories with complicated characters exploring human behavior. I think they should be on everyone’s must-read list but especially right now during the spooky season.
Next up: Legion (the sequel to The Exorcist) by William Peter Blatty, The Other by Thomas Tryon, Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco, and The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons.
What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? I’m a pretty timid, cautious person in real life. I’m not adventurous or risky. I don’t like to do anything that would compromise my safety in any way so I see reading horror as my way of living on the edge a little bit. I like reading things that push me out of my comfort zone and makes me feel unsettled or uneasy. It’s my way of getting a thrill out of life without leaving the house or doing something physically scary.
Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? I’d like to let people know that if they would like to try some horror but don’t know where to start, an anthology is the perfect thing! Pick a subject that interests you like ‘ghosts’ and buy something like the Echoes anthology edited by Ellen Datlow. You’ll find stories from the best authors horror has to offer curated/edited by a multiple award-winning anthologist. If a story really leaves a mark, you know you can buy more from that author.
Follow Sadie on Instagram for great horror suggestions!
Jordaline from @jordaline
When did you start your Bookstagram account? Years and years ago. I started my bookstagram account way before my YouTube channel. I took pictures of books for myself and my like 3 followers.
Fun fact about you? I think I’ve seen a ghost. Maybe. It was either a ghost or a reflection of light that was shaped like a human. I really hope it wasn’t a ghost.
What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? I LOVE Michael McDowell, he’s our queer horror queen. 10/10. I also really love Scott Smith, Sergio Gomez, Tananarive Due, Victor LaValle.
Spooky books on your TBR? Too fuckin’ many. Some I’m very excited for are: Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell, Goth by Otsuichi, Cackle by Rachel Harrison.
What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? The potential of terror. I love a book that can really creep me out. I am very rarely scared by books but when they do… ooof. It’s good. Furthermore, I love horror because it is often a darker reflection of ourselves. It’s a genre for the misfits and freaks. AND there are so many kinds of horror, that even if you think you’re not reading horror or you don’t like it, you are reading some kind of horror. There is, truly, something for everyone.
Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? Can we normalize reading Halloween books after or before Halloween? I have like 10 Halloween-themed books and there’s no way in hell I can read all of them in October.
Follow Jordaline on Instagram for Halloween books all year round!
Taylor from @thrillerbookshelf
Why did you start your Bookstagram account? Before I started my Bookstagram I just didn’t know what book to read next. I would scroll through the hashtag #thrillerbooks to figure out what book everyone was raving about. I loved looking at all the aesthetic and creative photos of books on Instagram. A year or so later in 2020 I decided that I wanted to be a part of the bookstagram community. I wanted to create friendships and have discussions with people all over the world. I wanted to share with the world the books that I have read and the thoughts that I had developed after reading a book.
You know that feeling when you read a 5-star book and you just need someone to talk to about it? It literally digs under your skin until you’re able to discuss a brilliant plot twist that you never saw coming! The feeling you get after reading a book that blows your mind is just indescribable.I just wanted and needed to have an outlet that was a place that felt safe and comforting where I could do that. I’m so glad that I decided to create a bookstagram account. I have a place where I can express my creativity and thoughts. I have created so many friendships through bookstagram that I am so thankful for.
Fun fact about you? I am obsessed with scary movies! Scary movies are literally my favorite! Other than reading watching scary movies Is my other favorite thing to do! Some of my favorite scary movies are Sinister, Halloween Nightmare on Elm Street, IT, Get Out, Us, The Strangers, The Blair Witch Project, Jeepers Creepers, The Conjuring, Insidious and so many more!
What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? My favorite book of all time is called Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney. I read it a couple of years ago and I will never forget that book or the feeling I had after I finished reading it. To this day I still cannot wrap my head around the ending to Sometimes I Lie it literally blew my mind! When anyone ever asks me for book recommendations I always recommend ‘Sometimes I lie’ Some of my other favorite books are Behind Closed Doors, The Silent Patient, Pretty Girls, YOU, The Girl in the Mirror, The Good Daughter, Then She was Gone and My Dark Vanessa.
Spooky books on your TBR? My TBR list is very long and it continues to grow every single day! A few of the spooky books on my TBR list is The Haunting of Leigh Harker, Hex, The Book of Accidents, Chasing the Boogeyman, Chloe Cates is Missing, Last Girl Ghosted, Kill Creek, The Mary Shelley Club, The Last House on Needless Street and so many more!
What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? What I enjoy most about horror/thriller/ spooky books is that feeling I get while reading them. You know that feeling where your heart is beating so fast and you have goosebumps all over your body? You literally can’t turn the pages fast enough because you have to know what’s going to happen next. It’s so thrilling and exciting to not know where a book is going or how many twists and turns you are going to uncover. Reading horror/thriller/mystery books is just a way for me to escape from the real world.
Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? I have some very exciting news! I am opening my very first Etsy shop! My Etsy shop is going to contain spooky bookmarks that I have created. This has been such a fun and creative process! I can’t wait to share my bookmarks with the world! My Etsy shop is going to be named the same as my Bookstagram account which is called ‘thrillerbookshelf’ I will be opening my Etsy shop soon so, be on the lookout for posts and updates!
Follow Taylor on Instagram for great recommendations! And keep an eye out for her new Etsy shop!
Trish from @booktrishandmagic
Why did you start your Bookstagram account? I started my Bookstagram account during the pandemic. I worked at a bank and the lobbies were closed, so we had nothing to do except read. I started looking on Bookstagram to find more books to read!
Fun fact about you? I think the most fun fact about me is that I am obsessed with Disney. Half of my body is covered in Disney tattoos done by my husband! We even got engaged in Magic Kingdom and honeymooned there.
What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? My favorite horror/thriller authors are Lars Kepler, Jo Nesbo, Tessa Wegert, Ragnar Jonasson, and Grady Hendrix. Favorite books would be Lazarus by Lars Kepler and Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix.
Spooky books on your TBR? Most of my TBR is spooky books, but I specifically picked out some Halloween-themed books for October. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, Halloween Party by R.L. Stine, Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates, Trick R Treat the graphic novel, Mrs. Clause and the Halloween Homicide by Liz Ireland, and The Lost Village by Camilla Sten.
What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? I think I enjoy horror/thriller the most because there’s no emotions involved. I can escape from reality and not have to feel or think. Solving the puzzle also helps calm my anxiety and OCD. Honestly, the scarier the book, the more relaxed I feel.
Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? I love to collect all things spooky and macabre. I even have a huge collection of animal skulls and taxidermy (all cruelty-free, of course!) Living with a tattoo artist, you tend to have more interest in the spooky side of things, especially Halloween. We’re pretty much decorated all year round!
Follow Trish on Instagram for more Halloween reads!