An eerie, mysterious little book with a setting you’ll want to wander through as much as run from.
recommended if you like: haunted houses, fish
A look at the Troubles in Ireland through the lens of one woman’s disappearance, this is a true story that hits with the details and stays with you.
I adore this creepy little book. Even if I can never look at buttons the same way again.
recommended if you like: haunted houses
Just about the most Russian thing ever. Also one of the weirdest, best books I’ve ever read. Surreal, moving, and hilarious. Plus, there’s a talking cat.
recommended if you like: honestly there's nothing like it
Norse mythology is dark and full of death but chaos and fun as well. Gaiman’s voice is vibrant and perfect for bringing these all too human gods to life.
recommended if you like: trickster gods and giant hammers
Beautiful, heartwarming, gentle, and just dark enough. Childhood me loved this book. Adult me still does.
recommended if you like: tiny creatures with big hearts
Pink apples! Green apples! Apples shaped like stars! Biology is amazing and this book makes me so happy.
recommended if you like: apples
Lee is a blockbuster adventure that’s fun to read. Her joyous, inclusive escapism engages with its historical setting while maintaining its buoyant heart. This swashbuckler, with ambitious, brilliant felicity at the helm, is proof that you can have your cake and eat it too.
recommended if you like: Avoace rep!! Pirates! Victorian medicine!!
Cool magic (she uses bells to battle spirits from the river of the dead) and one of my favorite magic animal familiars ever! Epic, intimate and dark without being hopeless, this is a perfect adventure!
recommendd if you like: Miyazaki movies, snow
A heartfelt story of family, a gripping mystery, fascinating magic. Honestly this book has everything. Oh, also, a great love story. Honestly, just please read it!
recommended if you like: Mystery! Love! Ghosts!
Everyone has drama, half of them have the same names and the only thing more volatile than the emotions is the weather. All introduced by the most out-of-his-depth city boy to ever wander across a moor. I love this book.
recommended if you like: chaos, reality TV, storms
A unique and empathetic exploration of art, storytelling, and our fascination with true crime. The full force of Darnielle’s narrative creeps in over time, refracting and retracing old patterns until it forms something new.
recommended if you like: True Crime, the Mountain Goats
Yes this is the size of two bricks put together. But they are very good bricks! Dickens at his sharpest with a critique of society and law that holds up all too well. Also, people catch fire.
recommended if you like: not needing a new book for a while
Greene is the master of weak-willed characters who hate themselves and question everything, which… same. But he finds ways to push through all the mess of living in search of hope. Adultery in the wreckage of war-ravaged London almost feels like salvation.
recommended if you: have Catholic guilt (or any guilt)
I could recommend any Ishiguro book. They are all stunning, thought-provoking and gorgeously melancholy, but this one gave me nightmares and I haven’t stopped thinking about its quiet horror and unraveling reality years later.
recommended if you like: stress dreams, losing your way
A super fun, atmospheric noir set in 1970s Mexico City. Both classic and fresh with engaging characters and a setting so vivid you can feel it!
recommended if you like: neo-noir
A writer and his fictional muse battle in his pages as he keeps killing his female characters. Sharp, witty, and brutal as a fairy-tale, this is a love story with teeth.
recommended if you like: Into the Woods
Precisely observed historical fiction (including the slow start) meets sci-fi in a novel that transforms so quietly that by the time it has a death grip on your heart it’s far too late. Also, pirates.
recommended if you like: very, very slow burns
A book that refuses to take the easy route, this story of a woman reckoning with her past abuse is dark, troubling, and deeply human. This one stuck with me.
recommended if you: have read Lolita
There’s a reason so many books get compared to this. We’re all chasing the high of reading it for the first time. Dark, intimate, and gloriously sordid, The Secret History outdoes all its imitators.
recommended if you like: Bacchanalian rites, toxic friends
Orwell’s nonfiction is as thought-provoking and dry-witted as his fiction. His experiences in Spain hugely influenced his later work and his observations on how fights are won and news is covered are as trenchant as ever.
A fascinating exploration of the evolving concept of “the North” that covers the expected (Vikings), the unusual (way more Atlantis than I expected) and the harrowing (WWII co option of Nordic myth). Brunner is dry, sharp and engaging.
recommended if you like: weird pockets of history, ice
Essential life skills.
recommended if you like: drinking your tea without arsenic
Tana French excels at narrators who win you over and unsettle you in equal measure. This is one of her most poignant and unsettling. Also, the writing’s gorgeous.
recommended if you like: Lucy Foley
The original everyone wants to riff off. Highsmith has a gift for deliciously skin-crawling antiheroes and going deep into the darkest corners of ambitious, violent minds in a way that drags you right down with her.
recommended if you like: Hitchcock
Lovely, thoughtful, and warm-hearted. If you’re tired of grim dark, or the real world, this is the perfect antidote.
recommended if you like: found family
These are some incredibly flawed, compelling characters and the action is among the best I’ve read! Gutting, complex, and visceral, this whole series is a heart-racing wonder!
recommended if you like: martial arts, family dynamics
Lesbian necromancers in space. The book lives up to its pitch. Hilarious, dark, gory and threaded with genuine heart. These idiots wrecked me in this and the sequel.
recommended if you like: Ui from Arcane, bones
Russian folklore meets the Communist Revolution. A gloriously imaginative tour-de-force that’s as sexy, dark, bloody and weird as the best fairy tales. So weird. So good.
recommended if you like: marrying the God of Death