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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Holiday Gift Guide: 13 Great Books for the Horror Fan

‘Tis the season of gift giving, but when it comes to books, the choices can be overwhelming. This year has unleashed an endless selection of great options to fill those bookshelves, from fiction to graphic novels to nonfiction. Where do you even begin, you might be wondering?

These 13 books are excellent gifts for you or the horror-loving reader in your life… 

Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives by Adam Cesare

Quinn, Rust, and Cole are still reeling from their traumas of surviving the Kettle Springs massacre when it seems to be starting anew. It’s a breakneck slasher sequel that doesn’t waste any time getting to the action and suspense. Cesare understands slashers- and, more importantly, slasher sequels- and crafts a strong narrative around the hardened survivors from the first novel. In true slasher sequel style, the body count is higher along with the brutal deaths that hurt. Whereas Clown in a Cornfield was a fun YA slasher, this sequel is a more mature, robust, and thrilling continuation that improves upon its predecessor. If you need another reason to grab this book: its predecessor is getting a film adaptation, increasing the likelihood this will too.

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel 

Cult horror with a side of trauma serves as the perfect recipe for a compulsive read. The last time Maeve saw her cousin was when she escaped the cult that raised them. She spent two decades carefully curating an everyday life for herself, then her cousin suddenly reappeared. The two quickly become inseparable, but the more time they spend together, the more Maeve’s repressed memories bubble to the surface. Confronting her horrifying memories might help her prepare for the nightmare ahead.

The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias

A compelling genre-bender fueled by unbridled and sometimes righteous wrath. An inciting tragedy transforms a protagonist into a ruthless killer, sending him on a dangerous journey with threats real and fantastical. It’s part horror, part crime thriller, and pure terror. Iglesias uses a fresh perspective to cast an unflinching eye on social issues, racism, and feelings of Otherness. More ingenious is how the author uses his deeply flawed protagonist to immerse the reader and confront them with social commentary. It’s a bleak thrill ride with no easy answers and no easy outs for any of its characters until its bittersweet end. You don’t want to miss this one, especially with an adaptation in the works.

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, think they’ve begun an idyllic vacation at a remote cabin with no neighbors. That is until the arrival of four strangers bearing strange weapons. The strangers present the family with a choice that begins a tumultuous tale of sacrifice, paranoia, survival, and the fate of the world. Tremblay’s home invasion novel was published in 2018, but you’ll want to catch up ahead of its film adaptation, Knock at the Cabin, releasing early next year.

The Ghost That Ate Us: The Tragic True Story of the Burger City Poltergeist by Daniel Kraus

Penned as a true crime novel that assembles interviews, evidence, footnotes, and accounts of a fast food haunting, The Ghost That Ate Us is full of surprises. It examines the bizarre case of a Burger City fire that claimed the lives of multiple victims and implicated another as the murderer. But Kraus digs deep to uncover the paranormal truth in an engaging novel that blends supernatural spookiness with the humorous absurdity of a poltergeist interfering with a burger joint. Because of the level of detail in the true crime formatting, this one is best enjoyed with a physical copy.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

Mike Flanagan isn’t the only one taking on twisted retellings of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” T. Kingfisher’s ability to weave vivid, haunting tales of cosmic and Lovecraftian horror makes for a unique reimagining of Poe’s story. When retired soldier Alex Easton receives word that their friend Madeline Usher is dying, they rush to the Ushers’ countryside home. There they find weird fungal growths, possessed animals, and Usher family members behaving strangely.

The Keeper by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, illustrated by Marco Finnegan

Aisha must move to Detroit to live with her ailing grandmother after her parents die in a tragic car accident. Death isn’t done with the poor girl, though. Shortly after moving in, her grandmother’s health deteriorates, and she summons a dark spirit to watch over Aisha with her dying breath. The Keeper does as promised in watching over Aisha, but it comes at a deadly price. Aisha will have to defeat the spirit or die trying in this dread-soaked graphic novel full of heart, hope, humanity, and horror.

The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night — Book 1 by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda

The creative team behind the award-winning Monstress is back with a new chilling series. The first installment in The Night Eaters trilogy introduces Chinese American twins Milly and Billy. The twins’ mother enlists their help cleaning the house next door, once the site of a grisly murder. Bizarre supernatural occurrences point to the house being haunted. A gorgeously illustrated graphic novel filled with dark humor, generational ghosts, violence, and a horrific new spin on the haunted house. It will leave you eager for what’s next.

The Garbage Pail Kids Cookbook by Elisabeth Weinberg and Matt Stine, illustrations by Joe Simko

The official Garbage Pail Kids cookbook to entice the budding horror fan. Learn to eat like a real Garbage Pail Kid with more than 35 trading card-inspired recipes that may look and sound gross but promise to taste good. Aside from easy to follow recipes like “Cheesy Charlie’s Pizza Snotcorn,” look for fun science experiments too.

Shudder’s Creepshow: From Script to Scream by Dennis Prince

The official behind-the-scenes book for Shudder’s “Creepshow” series. It features a foreword by Stephen King and an afterword by Metallica’s lead guitarist and horror aficionado Kirk Hammett. With gorgeous illustrations and deep dives into the series’ production and SFX, this collectible book is perfect for both series fans and special makeup effects aficionados. 

Speaking of which…

Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume 2 by Heather Wixson

The second in the four-volume series from Heather Wixson celebrates the makeup effects industry and the artists responsible for so many wonderful movie memories. Volume 2 features 20 in-depth conversations with some legendary artists, including Academy Award winners Christopher Nelson (the Halloween franchise, Suicide Squad), Phil Tippett (Jurassic Park, the Star Wars franchise), Michèle Burke (Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula), Kazu Hiro (Darkest Hour, Men in Black) and Chris Walas (David Cronenberg’s The Fly, Gremlins).

Masters of Make-Up Effects: A Century of Practical Magic by Howard Berger and Marshall Julius 

A celebration of makeup artists and acclaimed makeup effects from the world of film and television, co-authored by a SFX legend. This stunning hardcover features a foreword by Guillermo del Toro, an afterword by Seth MacFarlane, and contributions from more than 50 makeup effects legends. Expect tons of never-before-seen illustrations with this SFX celebration, making it a must for collectors.

Reign of Chucky: The True Hollywood Story of a Not So Good Guy by Dustin McNeill and Travis Mullins

An exhaustive and comprehensive deep dive into the seven-film franchise. Reign of Chucky chronicles everything from Don Mancini’s original Blood Buddy script and its evolution into Child’s Play to the latest sequels and the television series as well. Packed with behind-the-scenes details and anecdotes from extensive research and more than thirty new interviews with the franchise’s filmmakers, it’s a must for fans of the killer Good Guy doll.

The post Holiday Gift Guide: 13 Great Books for the Horror Fan appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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