HomeFeaturesTBRs/Wrap-UpsSpooky Reads: October 2020 TBR

Spooky Reads: October 2020 TBR

October 2020 TBR

Being a major scaredy-cat who is easily disturbed and prone to overthinking & loss of sleep due to scary scenes … my definition of spooky may be fairly laughable to all you horror fans! But I do love stories with elements of creepy — words like: atmospheric, gothic, haunted, chilling, wind-through-terrifying-forests and apparitions in mirrors and … you get the idea. I like the impression of scare, not the out right description. Spook, not gore is what I always say.

I’m trying to push my comfort boundary just a bit with reads like Home Before Dark and The Graveyard Book and, maybe, Mexican Gothic. My October TBR is a mixture of gothic atmosphere, murder mystery, thriller, witches and light horror … hopefully?

If you followed any of that rambling, yay! You get definite bragging rights … so without more mumble jumble, here are my planned reads for October and a brief description of what I know:


Horrid book coverWritten by Katrina Leno

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A girl who has recently lost her father moves to a dilapidated old mansion bequeathed to her mother in chilly Maine. If you look at the cover, spooky delights should abound. I mean, it’s Maine right? Quintessential fall.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River book coverWritten by Diane Setterfield

Published by Atria Books

One cold night a severely beaten man appears in a tiny English village pub with a dead girl in his arms. Minutes later, the girl comes back to life. Now the village attempts to solve the mystery as to who this mute girl is and explain just how she was brought back to life – science? magic? supernatural? I’m not sure how “Halloween” this is, but it definitely felt moody. No one can deliver on atmosphere quite like Diane Setterfield and this just sounds like my perfect combination of weird-meets historical fiction-meets beautiful writing sweet spot.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Mexican Gothic

Written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published by Del Rey Books

Mexico, 1950. Noemi receives a desperate plea of help from her recently wed cousin to come save her from certain doom at High Place. Upon arrival Noemi discovers three things: her cousin’s husband is as menacing as he is alluring, the patriarch is oddly fascinated by Noemi and the house itself is possessing her and her dreams with visions of blood and doom. Possessed houses? This is a definite theme for my reads this month!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Binding

Written by Bridget Collins

Published by William Morrow

An alternate 19th century England in which people can have their negative memories removed and bound within books by specially trained binders. While most binders use their talents for good, there are those who are more nefarious, with darker ends in mind. And what happens when you discover a book with your name on it? Following along with one young apprentice’s journey to become a binder, this sounds like a creepy book ripe for any book lover.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Graveyard Book

Written by Neil Gaiman

Published by HarperCollins

This classic tale by one of my favourite authors is a guaranteed read for me this month. A young boy is raised in a cemetery by ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens — do I need to continue? While this is often marketed as middle grade, after reading a bit of it I would be wary to just hand this over to your middle grader without checking it out first. It’s pretty dark and the addition of illustrations don’t leave much to imagination!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None book coverWritten by Agatha Christie

Published by William Morrow

Most famous author of all time, most talented whodunnit author of all time, her most highly buzzed and raved about book in her massive collection … definitely on the list this month! What I know: residents arrive at a creepy manor on an isolated island and one by one they start to die …

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Small Spaces

Written by Katherine Arden

Published by Puffin Books

When her bus breaks down returning from a school trip to a nearby farm, the bus driver has one warning for Ollie and the students: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Then her digital watch starts acting funny and reveals an urgent message: RUN. I’m assuming a wonderfully spooky adventure follows!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Hand on the Wall

The Hand on the Wall book coverWritten by Maureen Johnson

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

I’ve really loved this fast paced, amateur detective Truly Devious series and am excited to finish it off this month. I won’t spoil with a synopsis here in case there are those who haven’t read Truly Devious — but if cold case, unsolved mysteries and creepy Vermont campus settings appeal to you … pick this series up this month! Perfectly timed for fall.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Home Before Dark

Home Before Dark book coverWritten by Riley Sager

Published by Dutton Books

Probably the book I am both most looking forward to and nervous for, this read is described as a cross between The Amityville Horror and The House on Haunting Hill — again haunted, possessed houses are a common theme in my TBR this month. Home Before Dark has received a TON of buzz this year, I’m eager to read what if it lives up to it.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Written by V.E. Schwab

Published by Tor Books

My most anticipated book of the year – I really want to walk in blind to be honest. Here’s what I do know: Addie made a deal with the devil to live forever but be forgotten by all she meets, until 300 years later when someone remembers her, all set within 18th century France.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org 

Things in Jars

Things in Jars book coverWritten by Jess Kidd

Published by Washington Square Press

Victorian London, Lady Detective Bridie Devine, is on the case for a missing girl, Christabel. However as this mysterious case unfolds it appears this child isn’t actually the daughter of those who seek her safe return, but rather their prized specimen. Christabel is in fact a merrow (dark, evil mermaid) with the ability to drown people on dry land. With the help of a ghostly companion, detective Bridie must delve deep into a dark and bloody London to solve this difficult case. After reading Himself, (my October book pick) I know Jess Kidd will deliver on the creep factor here … no one does ghosts like her!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Passion of Dolssa

The Passion of Dolssa book coverWritten by Julie Berry

Published by Penguin Books

It isn’t Halloween/October if we don’t talk about witches right? In 13th century France, Dolssa, a mystic with magical abilities, is on the run from her Friar who wants to burn her as a heretic. Taken in by Botille, a peasant who runs a seaside tavern with her two sisters, the women fight to stay one foot ahead of persecution … putting not only their lives, but those of the peaceful village on the line. Julie Berry’s Lovely War was my favourite read of 2019, and I am eager to dive into her luscious writing again!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Phew! It’s an ambitious list, hopefully I can accomplish most of them … I guess there’s always next year!!  Hope you found something you liked to add to your spooky read stacks.

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