6 Creepy Backlist Books to Read in October


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I am always espousing the joys of seasonal reading and frequently even will dub myself a “seasonal reader.” But I have a bit of a confession: I really only like to read seasonally in the Fall. This fact about myself only came to light recently when I started keeping an electronic “to be read” (TBR) list and it organically developed a “books to save for Fall” sub-category. I do have a few other sub-categories on my TBR list. They are: “audio books, books to read out loud with my kids” and “food books.” But as it pertains to reading a book during a certain time of the year, no other sub-categories including seasons were listed. I briefly considered adding the other seasons as sub-categories and then scrapped that idea in favor of just, ya know, embracing how I want to freaking read! What a concept!?

Seasonal reading quirks aside, I have recently been lamenting the fact that the book talk on social media and really in the book world in general seems to focus pretty much solely on new releases. I love new releases and want to stay a part of that conversation, but recently I have been working pretty hard to shine light on older, non-new release titles sometimes called “backlist” books (see this post). To my delight, some of my book friends are engaging in similar efforts through book challenges and hashtags on Instagram – #readwhatyouown, #fallintomybacklist, #backlistbookstagram – to name a few, and it could not have come at a better time for my reading life.

To be sure, the list of books that I have earmarked for Fall reading is ridiculously ambitious (read: its super long and I will never get through it in a million years much less in the next month or two), but here are the six books I have prioritized at the top.

The Outsider by Stephen King (Scribner): This one slotted in at #1 on my list and THEN my library hold for the audio came up in early September, so I have already read this one (I am SO ahead of the game!) As a rule, I don’t love all of King’s books, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and was especially enthralled with the talent of the audio narrator (MUST listen to more audio books narrated by Will Patton STAT). It starts off like many run-of-the-mill thrillers or police procedurals as a heinous murder of a young boy is being investigated in a small Oklahoma town. The problem is the evidence points to a popular little league coach and all-around good guy in town who also has an air-tight alibi. As the shocking truth unfolds about the murder, details emerge that are weird, creepy and could not possible have happened. Or could they?

The Whisper Man by Alex North (Celadon Books): One might not consider this one “backlist” as it was very recently released, but it was so good that I could not resist. That’s right, I already have this one under my belt as well, and I cannot say enough good things about it. A tense story combining a serial killer with some really interesting underlying themes about the father-son relationship, it is also the first of two books on this list with the word “Man” in the title. A coincidence or is there a creepy trend on the horizon?

The Missing Season by Gillian French (HarperTeen): I think what creeps me out the most about this one is the presence of a villain the local folk call “the mumbler,” but the story actually taking place around Halloween helps. It’s classified as Young Adult (YA) which is not always my preferred genre, but I have a soft spot for YA when it comes to scary stories.

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup (Harper): A psychopath is on the loose in this book from the creator of the Scandinavian TV show, The Killing. I loved that show and this story about two police detectives following the twisted clues of a psychopathic murderer sounds perfect for Fall reading.

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox (Graydon House): Old world witches and a family in disgrace escaping to their (haunted) country estate: what could go wrong? This just sounds too Halloween-ish to pass up. (And also excited to check out her new release, The Widow of Pale Harbour.)

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay (William Morrow): Friends, I am actually a little scared of this one. A home invasion tale including a remote cabin and a small family = might be a little too close for comfort for this mom in the suburbs. I maintain that I like scary reads that are not TOO real, but sometimes one has to go out on a limb, no?

Have you read any of these books? What books are on YOUR Fall reading list?

2 thoughts on “6 Creepy Backlist Books to Read in October

    1. Thanks Susan! I am super curious about that one and her new one that just came out. “Read eventually” has become its own category of my TBR. So many books!!

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