Suzanne's Staff Picks

By Underground Books

By Underground Books

Book of Night

Holly Black

$27.99 $25.75

Four words: Holly Black Adult Fantasy!! Where have you been and where can I get more? Charlie is no role model heroine. She is a thief and con-artist that is trying to do better, but gets drawn into a scheme to find the "Book of Night", said to be filled with the darkest shadow magic and rituals. This book has Holly's trademark snarky main character, blood drinking shadows and a cat name Lucipurrr! Sequel, please??

The Death of Jane Lawrence

Caitlin Starling

$27.99 $25.75

I LOVE gothic horror and The Death of Jane Lawrence does not disappoint! Set in an alternate post-war Britain, Jane Shoringfield is an intelligent level headed accountant who is approaching spinsterhood. That is, until she sets her sights on a marriage of convenience to Dr. Augustine Lawrence. He is the local doctor/surgeon and in need of an accountant, so he agrees to the marriage with the stipulation that Jane never stay the night at his ancestral home, Lindridge Hall. This goes awry after a storm on their wedding night keeps Jane from returning to town. Cue the ghosts, the sinister magic and the madness. Jane soon learns that there is much more to her husband and his past than she ever imagined. She is determined to learn every dark secret by any means necessary, even if it leads to her demise. This book can be chaotic and messy but you won't want to miss one page turning moment.

The Witch's Heart

Genevieve Gornichec

$17.00 $15.64

This Norse mythology-inspired fantasy is one of those magical books that stays with you long after you've put it down. The witch Angrboda has the power to see the fate of the gods but refuses to share this power with Odin. He has her burned and her heart removed. As she is resurrected and hiding in the woods, Loki appears and returns her heart. This is a reimagining of their relationship, their three unusual children and the events leading up to Ragnarok, the end of times. Angrboda proves that there is no power stronger than a mother's love and willingness to sacrifice anything for her children

Girl in Pieces

Kathleen Glasgow

$10.99 $10.11

As a mother, this was an extremely difficult book to read. I knew going in that writing a recommendation would be hard but necessary. In the United States, 15% of adolescents have reported that they have self-harmed at some point in their life (MHA). Girl in Pieces offers a very honest and open look into the life of seventeen year old Charlotte (Charlie) as she deals with more heartbreak and pain than most people see in a lifetime. From a dysfunctional family to homelessness to sexual abuse and self-harm, she has experienced it all. It provides insight into some of the reasons for self-harm, the treatment and recovery. There were times I found myself forgetting that I was reading fiction as the story of Charlie pulls you in and you find yourself crying for her and ultimately pulling for her as she struggles to find a place for herself in a world that has caused her so much pain. Author Kathleen Glasgow is very forthcoming with her own battle with self-harm in the notes at the back of the book, providing resources and a discussion guide.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

Iain Reid

$15.99

This is a brilliantly written book that you should read and then read again because you are going to have questions. You will be doubting everything you just read. I'm not going to spoil the book by discussing the content except to say this is a story of girl meets boy, girl thinks of ending things with boy and then the insane journey begins...

Reminders of Him

Colleen Hoover

$15.95 $14.67

There are three constants when reading a Colleen Hoover novel. 1) There will be tears. 2) There will be spice. 3) You will put the book down feeling like your emotions have just run a 5k. Reminders of Him is the story of Kenna, a young mother that has just been released from prison after serving a 5 year sentence for a horrible accident that she caused. She gives birth prematurely in prison and has never seen or held her daughter. She returns from prison hoping to connect with her child, who is being raised by the father's parents. Did I mention that it was her child's father that was killed in the accident? This is a heart wrenching story of a mother's desperation to see her child and a parent's grief over losing their only beloved son and their desire to protect their grandchild from the woman that took him away.

The Silent Patient

Alex Michaelides

$26.99 $24.83

This psychological thriller pulls you in and does not let go until the crazy twisty end. Alicia is a famous painter that mysteriously shoots her husband in the face five times and never speaks again. Theo is a criminal psychotherapist that thinks he can change that. In the mental institution, Alex is speaking through her paintings and as Theo interviews her friends and family, dark secrets are revealed, including some Theo would rather remain secret. Enjoy the ride because this book is ALL about the ending!

Small Spaces

Katherine Arden

$8.99 $8.27

Katherine Arden's debut novel for middle grade readers is perfect for all ages and a great introduction into horror for young readers. Eleven year old bookworm Ollie and her friends are just trying to survive a field trip to the local farm that turns into a creepy run for your life night full of ghosts and scarecrows. So many scarecrows! It's a little creepy but there are so many sweet moments sprinkled in with Ollie and her dad. I can't wait to dive into book two of this quartet!

Verity

Colleen Hoover

$16.99 $15.63

Sexy, disturbing, chilling, uncomfortable, this book brought all the feels, including a few what the hells?! When Verity, the author of a successful but unfinished thriller series, is incapacitated in an accident, her husband, Jeremy, makes Lowen, a struggling author on the verge of eviction, an offer she can't refuse: come to their mansion, go through years of Verity's notes, and finish her series. When Lowen discovers an autobiographical manuscript written by Verity, she realizes the secrets it contains could destroy what is left of the Crawford family. Even more disturbing, Lowen finds herself getting closer to Jeremy…and things in the Crawford house are not as they seem. If you think you have Verity figured out, think again. Prepare to be thoroughly [email protected]#ed.

The Last House on Needless Street

Catriona Ward

$27.99 $25.75

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is my favorite horror story of the year. It is a trauma story inside of a horror story. If you like psychopaths and lesbian bible reading cats, then stop reading this blurb and buy the book! This book has so many disturbing twists and turns that I could barely keep up. Avoid reading the afterword before you finish the book, as it contains spoilers. Trust me, you want to discover each horrifying secret for yourself.

Flyaway

Kathleen Jennings

$19.99 $18.39

There is a saying that you can't judge a book by its cover but with Flyaway, you can throw that out the window. With artwork by author Kathleen Jennings, Flyaway is as beautifully crafted on the inside as it is on the outside. Set in Western Queensland, Flyaway is a gothic tale, interwoven with Australian folklore, that follows Bettina Scott as she searches for answers about her missing brothers, all while living under the thumb of her gaslighting mother. Everyone has secrets, and as they begin to unfold, Bettina realizes that there is much more to the Outback than she ever imagined.

Ninth House

Leigh Bardugo

$17.99 $16.55

Galaxy (Alex) Stern has had a hard life so when she is offered the chance to attend Yale free of charge, she is immediately suspicious. There is only one catch. She must join the mysterious Lethe House, which is tasked with monitoring the occult activities of the eight secret societies that are housed on campus. There is a reason that the members of these houses are rich and powerful. It's up to Alex and her mentor, Darlington to keep these societies in check, but it's a difficult task, as these Ivy League elite's use of dark magic knows no bounds.

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.

Rebecca

Daphne du Maurier

$8.99 $8.27

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a gothic classic. It starts out slowly but stay with it! You will be rewarded with a haunting tale, told by the second wife of Maxim de Winter. She is young and innocent and in no way prepared for the secrets and horrors that await her as they arrive at his Cornish mansion, Manderley. It soon becomes apparent that her new husband and the malevolent housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers are keeping secrets regarding the death of his first wife, the mysteriously beautiful Rebecca. As she begins to investigate the house and grounds of Manderley, everything begins unraveling as she discovers the truth behind Rebecca's untimely death and her husband's part in it.

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.

A Head Full of Ghosts

Paul Tremblay

$16.99 $15.63

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.

Annihilation

Jeff VanderMeer

$16.00 $14.72

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.

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte

$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 Bronte depicts love in all its dark and dysfunctional glory.

The Fifth Child

Doris Lessing

$16.00 $14.72

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.

The Haunting of Hill House: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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.

The Bad Seed: A Vintage Movie Classic

William March

$15.95 $14.67

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.

The Witching Hour

Anne Rice

$22.00 $20.24

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.

Fool

Christopher Moore

$16.99 $15.63

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.

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

$8.95 $8.23

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.