Treat Yo’ Shelf: Books We’re Reading This November
If you’re anything like us, then your BTR (Books To Read) stack is probably reaching dangerous heights. We’re nothing if not wicked enablers, so here’s what the staff of Dear Darkling has their bookmarks in this month. Here’s hoping you find your new favorite page-turner.
The Haunting of Hill House
By Shirley Jackson
“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” (Amazon)
Here we have a true titan of the haunted house genre, which is the basis for the new show on Netflix everyone’s been buzzing about. Eerie and poignant, the book follows four people on a paranormal investigation that soon takes an unforeseen turn. Amazon//$10.48+
By Wilder Poetry
“Nocturnal is a collection of words and imagery inspired by darkened skies and sleepless nights. it is a journey of healing and self-discovery whether love stays or leaves. it is dreaming with your eyes wide open while the rest of the world is hiding.” (Amazon)
This beautiful collection of poetry and artwork is perfect for anyone who finds beauty in the night. Amazon//$5.77+
War for the Oaks
By Emma Bull
“Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk―and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.
By turns tough and lyrical, fabulous and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy novel that’s as much about this world as about the other one. It’s about real love and loyalty, about real music and musicians, about false glamour and true art. It will change the way you hear and see your own daily life.” (Amazon)
This urban fantasy, which combines faeries with rock and roll, plus a clever plot to boot. It is a great read whether you’re revisiting it or just picking it up for the first time. Amazon//$19.45+
A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials
By Frances Hill
“This acclaimed history illuminates the horrifying episode of Salem with visceral clarity, from those who fanned the crisis to satisfy personal vendettas to the four-year-old “witch” chained to a dank prison wall in darkness till she went mad.” (Amazon)
The Salem Witch Trials were at the center of a tragic period in American history that continues to intrigue. This book delves into some of the more gruesome aspects of those events. Amazon//$16.99+
Making Stuff and Doing Things: DIY Guides to Just About Everything
Edited by Kyle Bravo
“When you’re young, broke, and in search of a life of adventure, Making Stuff and Doing Things is the most useful book on the planet. It’s been called “more important than the Bible.” It’s an indispensable handbook full of basic life skills for the young punk or activist, or for anyone who’s trying to get by, get stuff done, and live life to the fullest without a lot of money. The book started as a series of zines, with dozens of contributors setting down the most important skills they knew in concise, often hand-written pages. If you want to do it yourself or do it together, this book has it all, from making your own tooth paste to making your own art and media, feeding, clothing, cleaning, and entertaining yourself, surviving on little, living on less, and staying healthy on all your life’s adventures. You’ll never be bored again.” (Microcosm Publishing)
As you may have already deduced, we here at Dear Darkling are huge fans of DIY. This extremely handy book is a must-own for anyone looking to make things themselves, from craft projects to day-to-day items. Microcosm Publishing//$14.95
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
By Ruth Ware
“On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.” (Amazon)
The latest from Ruth Ware is equal parts drawing room mystery and quick-paced thriller. The young, cash-strapped tarot reader at the center of the story is about to stumble upon several twisted secrets in the late Mrs. Westaway’s chilly Gothic mansion. Amazon//$14.86+
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
By Mary Roach
“’What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that’s that―the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?’ In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.” (Amazon)
Mary Roach, author of the bestseller Stiff, looks at various ongoing research projects that seek to determine once and for all whether or not there is an afterlife. Join her as she visits laboratories, enrolls in medium school, and handles archived ectoplasm, among other things. No matter what your stance is, Roach’s adventures are, as usual, delightful. Amazon//$13.55+
The Midnight Assassin: The Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer
By Skip Hollandsworth
“In nineteenth-century Austin, Texas, a ruthless murderer terrorized the city in what would soon become a story more shocking than any fiction.
In the late 1800s, just as Austin was on the cusp of emerging from an isolated western outpost into a truly cosmopolitan metropolis, a series of brutal murders rocked the burgeoning city and shook it to its core. At the time, the concept of a serial killer was unknown and unimaginable, but the murders continued, the killer became more brazen, and the citizens’ panic reached a fever pitch.” (Amazon)
This book covers a series of Ripper-style murders that happened in 19th century Austin. Not only does it tell the tale of the desperate search for a serial killer, it also provides a fascinating look at the establishment of Austin as a major city. Amazon//$11.55+
Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles
By Taisia Kitaiskaia
“With a strange, otherworldly style, poetic clarity, and striking honesty, Ask Baba Yaga contains beautifully skewed wisdom to be consulted in times of need … In age-old Slavic fairy tales, the witch Baba Yaga is sought out by those with a burning need for guidance. In contemporary life, Baba Yaga—a dangerous, slippery oracle—answered earnest questions on The Hairpin for years. These pages collect her most poignant, surreal, and humorous exchanges along with all-new questions and answers for those seeking her mystical advice.” (Amazon)
Looking for guidance? Baba Yaga will help guide you at moral crossroads and matters of the heart in her own distinct way. Plus, this book features absolutely gorgeous illustrations throughout! Amazon//$10.39+
A God in the Shed
By J-F. Dubeau
“The village of Saint-Ferdinand has all the trappings of a quiet life: farmhouses stretching from one main street, a small police precinct, a few diners and cafés, and a grocery store. Though if an out-of-towner stopped in, they would notice one unusual thing―a cemetery far too large and much too full for such a small town, lined with the victims of the Saint-Ferdinand Killer, who has eluded police for nearly two decades. It’s not until after Inspector Stephen Crowley finally catches the killer that the town discovers even darker forces are at play.
When a dark spirit reveals itself to Venus McKenzie, one of Saint-Ferdinand’s teenage residents, she learns that this creature’s power has a long history with her town―and that the serial murders merely scratch the surface of a past burdened by evil secrets.” (Amazon)
The discovery of a strange entity in the woods near a small Canadian village leads to murder, warring guilds, and the theft of countless eyeballs. Amazon//$14.39+
Featured image via NPR