Suzanne's Staff Picks

By Underground Books

By Underground Books

A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness

$18.00 $16.56

Diana Bishop, an alchemical professor and descendant of a long line of witches, has denied her powers since her parents' death when she was a young child. While researching at Oxford, she meets and falls in love with Matthew, a fierce and mysterious vampire. She quickly becomes aware that there is more supernatural in the world than just witches. She and Matthew must travel through centuries to battle other vampires, witches and daemons as they search the world for missing pages from an enchanted alchemy manuscript called Ashmole 782, that could unleash secrets that the supernatural world would prefer remained unknown. As Diana and Matthew get closer to the truth, she starts to realize and embrace her true potential as a witch, making her a powerful force and the only person that can unlock the secrets of Ashmole 782. This book was such a fun read. I loved the storyline as well as the historical references that made me feel like I was learning while being entertained.

The Fifth Child

Doris Lessing

$14.95 $13.75

Harriet and David are a happy middle class couple in 1960s England who dream of the perfect home and a large family. They quickly have four lovely and charming children and their home is the center of many family gatherings. Then along comes Ben, the fifth child. He is not like the other children. He is large for his age and growing at a rapid pace. Strange and bad things often happen when he is around. Ben terrorizes the children and his unusual appearance and behavior soon drives a wedge between this perfect family. The Fifth Child is disturbing and chilling as it explores how fragile the bonds of family and society can be when forced to deal with something different and unknown.

A Head Full of Ghosts

Paul Tremblay

$16.98 $15.62

Fourteen-year-old Marjorie has a problem. Could it be mental illness or demonic possession? Follow the story of the Barrett family, as told by eight-year-old Merry, the youngest of the Barretts. As Marjorie’s behavior becomes more bizarre and terrifying, her parents turn to psychiatrists, the church and finally an exorcism broadcast on reality television to try and save their rapidly disintegrating family. Paul Tremblay brilliantly combines psychological horror, pop culture and just enough red herrings to leave you scared, entertained and guessing until the very end.

The Bad Seed: A Vintage Movie Classic

William March

$14.95 $13.75

Charming, polite, the perfect picture of innocence…these are all words that come to mind when one first meets eight-year-old Rhoda Penmark. As unexplainable acts of violence start to surround Rhoda, no one suspects that this sweet dear child might be a sociopathic monster, except her mother. This story follows Rhoda’s violent escapades and her mother’s descent into depression as the body count rises and she realizes the possible cause of her daughter’s disturbing behavior may be closer to home than she imagined. Published in 1954, William March’s insights into the mind of a child psychopath are surprisingly modern. These twists and turns will have you turning pages late into the night.

Nos4a2 [tv Tie-In]

Joe Hill

$9.99 $9.19

Welcome to Christmasland! A place of winter delights for good boys and girls where every day is Christmas day...or is it? Charles Manx takes children on a terrifyingly twisted journey in his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith with the promise of gifts under the tree every morning and hot cocoa by the fire every night. Young Victoria has the ability to find lost things with the help of her Triumph bike, an old covered bridge, and her imagination. It’s only a matter of time before her journeys put her in the path of Charles Manx. This is truly one of the most scary yet entertaining horror books I have read. Author Joe Hill has added a creep factor to one of my favorite holidays and I thank him for it.

Annihilation

Jeff VanderMeer

$14.00 $12.88

Creepy, mysterious, and enthralling, Annihilation is the story of four women, known only by their professions, who are sent to explore an ecological phenomenon known as Area X.  They are the 12th expedition sent by the Southern Reach, a research facility whose 11 previous expeditions have ended tragically, shrouded in secrecy and lies.  The story is mainly told from the viewpoint of the Biologist.  Her story of Area X is both captivating and unreliable as nothing is what it seems in this mysterious region.  If you are a fan of The Island of Dr. Moreau or the tv series Lost, then this is the book for you.

The Witching Hour

Anne Rice

$22.00 $19.80

The Mayfair witches are well known in New Orleans, which is where they finally settled after originating in Scotland.  One witch is born into the family each generation.  She is recognized by the large emerald necklace she inherits and the malevolent brown eyed man known as Lasher that is always by her side.  A secret society called the Takamasa have been studying the Mayfairs for hundreds of years.  The cursed family is plagued by unexplained phenomena and tragic deaths. This is the first book of three that center around the Mayfair witches.

Saving Fish from Drowning

Amy Tan

$17.00 $15.64

Bibi Chen is an art patron in San Francisco who suddenly dies after planning a trip down the Burma Road for herself and eleven others.  Her group decides to take the trip without her and she watches their journey from the perspective of a ghost.  She watches as they make errors such as desecrating a sacred temple to crossing the border at Myanmar where they are captured by tribesmen.  It is different from Tan’s other novels, as it shies away from the mother/daughter theme that she is so well known for.  The novel explores human nature with a touch of humor.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde and Jeffrey Eugenides

$8.94 $8.22

Dorian sells his soul so that his portrait will age instead of him.  He embarks on a hedonistic self-indulgent lifestyle as his portrait becomes hideously unrecognizable. This was assigned reading for me in the 11th grade and now has a permanent home on my favorite bookshelf.

The Haunting of Hill House

Laura Miller and Shirley Jackson

$18.00 $16.56

The Haunting of Hill House is unlike any haunted house book that I have read.  There are no monsters, no gore and no in your face horror.  The horror of this book is psychological, with the realization that there is no hope.  The house will have its way. Dr. Montague, an occult scholar, arranges for three people to spend a weekend at Hill House as part of an experiment.  The house seems to have a malevolent effect on Eleanor and her descent into madness is slow and deliberate, leaving the others helpless to save her. Chilling and disturbing, Hill House is a must read for any horror fan.

World Made by Hand

James Howard Kunstler

$16.00 $14.72

This is a dystopian novel set in Union Grove, NY.  Terrorists have bombed Los Angeles and Washington DC; a flu pandemic has wiped out much of the population and global warming is at its worst.  Oil is scarce and the survivors are left to try and live off the land and rebuild a society that has lost all modern comforts.  The protagonist, Robert Earle, has lost most of his family to illness and his son has left home to explore the country.   What I liked most about this book is that even with the collapse of civilization, there is a feeling of hope for the future.

Fool

Christopher Moore

$14.99 $13.79

I love Christopher Moore and Fool is one of my favorites. It is the retelling of King Lear from the viewpoint of Pocket, the court jester. Of the King’s three daughters, Pocket is closest to Cordelia who has been banished from the Kingdom by her father. His bawdy and dimwitted apprentice, Drool, has been kidnapped. Pocket, who is named for his small stature, schemes to return Cordelia and Drool home. This is a hilarious story of debauchery, bloodshed, witches and even a ghost. I would also recommend The Serpent of Venice, which is Moore’s equally entertaining sequel to Fool.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: 150th Anniversary Edition

Lewis Carroll

$7.99 $7.35

I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and as a child, I would spend an entire day lost in the magical world of Wonderland. It was just as enjoyable to go back as an adult and read it with an adult perspective. Nonsense at its best.

Wuthering Heights (Revised)

Emily Bronte and Diane Johnson

$8.00 $7.36

The dark, tragic and complicated story of Heathcliff and Catherine has always captivated me. It’s a story that is filled with love, class conflict, revenge and death. The Moors is the perfect setting for this gothic tale. There is no happy ending as Emily Brontë depicts love in all its dark and dysfunctional glory.

Lightning

Dean Koontz

$7.99 $7.35

Lightning was my introduction to Dean Koontz and remains my favorite. Stefan Krieger of Nazi Germany participates in a time travel experiment and happens upon the tragic life of Laura Shane. He falls in love with her and makes it his purpose to continuously intervene in her life to right the wrongs that plague her. The extra trips that he makes through time catches the attention of the Nazis and Stefan and Laura run for their lives as they discover the paradoxes of time travel and try to thwart Hitler’s evil plan.

The Shining

Stephen King

$8.99 $8.27

This is by far my favorite Stephen King novel. I saw the movie when I was 12 and could not wait to get my hands on the book. The Overlook Hotel has a fascinating history of murder, madness and malevolent spirits. The Torrance family move in for the winter as caretakers and quickly discover that this is not a normal hotel. Their young son Danny has a special gift that the hotel cook dubs the “shining”. He sees things that others do not and has a not so imaginary friend that speaks to him. His father, Jack, who is a writer, starts his descent into madness as the isolation and spirits start to take hold of him. His wife and son soon realize that they are in danger not only from the hotel but from Jack. Horror is one of my favorite genres and The Shining is at the top of my list.