Horror, Reading TBR

TBR Spotlight: Instagram Book Discoveries

Summer is a brilliant time for horror fans on Instagram with two themed tags popping up during July and August. #LadiesOfHorrorFiction and #SummerOfFright, and since both of these events are wrapped up I thought I would share some of the favourites that have ended up on my TBR thanks to Instagram.

Naturally, a lot of these books are generally very pretty in the cover department. I did discover them through Instagram after all. I know not to judge a book by its cover so when a book catches my eye on something like Instagram I always look up what it is about before deciding if I want to read it or not. So I have based this list more on the blurb of the book sounding interesting rather than how pretty the book is.

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The Seance by John Harwood

Wraxford Hall, a decaying mansion in the English countryside, has a sinister reputation. Once, a family disappeared there. And now Constance Langton has inherited this dark place as well as the mysteries surrounding it. Having grown up in a house marked by the death of her sister, Constance is no stranger to mystery, secrets, and the dark magic around us. Her father was distant. Her mother was in perpetual mourning for her lost child. In a desperate attempt to coax her mother back to health, Constance took her to a seance hoping she would find supernatural comfort. But tragic consequences followed, leaving her alone in the world– alone with Wraxford Hall. Saddled with this questionable bequest, she must find the truth at the heart of all these disappearances, apparitions, betrayal, blackmail, and villainy, even if it costs her life. John Harwood’s second novel delivers on the great promise proven by his first with this gripping mystery set in the heart of Victorian England. “


This is a book that sounds right up my street. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Gothic horror, so this book sounds amazing. I also love everything to do with old fashioned seances. This has a lot of potential to be a great read for a blustery October night.

The Experimental Film by Gemma Files

Experimental Film is a contemporary ghost story in which former Canadian film history teacher Lois Cairns-jobless and depressed in the wake of her son’s autism diagnosis-accidentally discovers the existence of lost early 20th century Ontario filmmaker Mrs. A. Macalla Whitcomb. By deciding to investigate how Mrs. Whitcomb’s obsessions might have led to her mysterious disappearance, Lois unwittingly invites the forces which literally haunt Mrs. Whitcomb’s films into her life, eventually putting her son, her husband and herself in danger. Experimental Film mixes painful character detail with a creeping aura of dread to produce a fictionalized “memoir” designed to play on its readers’ narrative expectations and pack an existentialist punch. “


Is it just me or does there need to be more haunted technology in books? True, this book is about haunted films but I really would like to see more of it. It sounds a little like what I wanted Night Film by Marisha Pessl to be.

I think since I read The Ring I have just been itching for more film based horror novels.

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The Visitors by Catherine Burns

“Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side. “


I only have one reason for wanting to read this book:  I want to know what is in the cellar.

It is probably a person. I am getting some prisoner in the basement vibes from this but I guess I wont know until I read it.

Cockblock by C.V Hunt

“After the daily grind at their jobs all Sonya and Callie want is to enjoy a quiet night out together at a new restaurant. But making it to their reservation is proving to be a challenge. A few men on the street near their destination verbally assault them. And the situation quickly escalates into a nightmare. Once within the safety of the restaurant the two women discover it’s not just the men outside who’ve lost their minds, men everywhere have gone insane. And they believe they’ve found the origin of the mayhem. A radio in the kitchen is playing a hate filled message against women and it’s being delivered by the President. There’s only one way to stop the men from attacking women and logic tells them they need to terminate the chaos at its source.”


What originally caught my attention with this book is the title. Cockblock is such an odd name for a book.

I am slightly cautious about this one. The whole gender based horror could be done really poorly, but if done well it could be promising. I haven’t heard of  or read a novel like this before so I think I will give it ago.

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Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach

“Eric disappeared when he was three years old. Ben looked away for only a second at the grocery store, but that was all it took. His brother was gone. Vanished right into the sticky air of the Florida Panhandle.

They say you’ve got only a couple days to find a missing person. Forty-eight hours to conduct searches, knock on doors, and talk to witnesses. Two days to tear the world apart if there’s any chance of putting yours back together. That’s your window.

That window closed five years ago, leaving Ben’s life in ruins. He still looks for his brother. Still searches, while his stepmother sits and waits and whispers for Eric, refusing to leave the house that Ben’s father can no longer afford. Now twenty and desperate for work, Ben takes a night stock job at the only place that will have him: the store that blinked Eric out of existence.

Ben can feel that there’s something wrong there. With the people. With his boss. With the graffitied baler that shudders and moans and beckons. There’s something wrong with the air itself. He knows he’s in the right place now. That the store has much to tell him. So he keeps searching. Keeps looking for his baby brother, while missing the most important message of all. That he should have stopped looking. “


This is a book that has been all over the book part of Instagram. I haven’t heard anything negative about it so far and it generally sounds like an awesome read. Missing child cases always capture the darker part of the imagination and any horror to do with children I will eat right up. The fact that this book is set in a grocery store makes it that bit more interesting because I haven’t really seen that before, except for maybe Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix.

Widow’s Point by  Richard T. Chizmar and Billy Chizmar

“Longtime residents of Harper’s Cove believe that something is wrong with the Widow’s Point Lighthouse. Some say it’s cursed. Others claim it’s haunted.

Originally built in 1838, three workers were killed during the lighthouse’s construction, including one who mysteriously plunged to his death from the catwalk. That tragic accident was never explained, and it was just the beginning of the terror. In the decades that followed, nearly two dozen additional deaths occurred in or around the lighthouse including cold-blooded murder, suicide, unexplained accidents and disappearances, the slaughter of an entire family, and the inexplicable death of a Hollywood starlet who was filming a movie on the grounds.

The lighthouse was finally shuttered tight in 1988 and a security fence was erected around the property. No one has been inside since. Until tonight.”


There is something about lighthouses and horror that just go hand in hand. I think they are great settings for creepy, dark tales. They are isolated, open to lots of atmosphere setting weather conditions and usually very historical. Lighthouses are great.

When I first saw this book online I thought the cover was gorgeous and, after reading the blurb, I felt like it would be a perfect read for a cold night.

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The Nameless Dark by T.E Grau

“The Nameless Dark: A Collection is the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated debut of a major new voice in contemporary Weird fiction. Within these pages, you’ll find whispers of the familiar ghosts of the classic pulps – Lovecraft, Bradbury, Smith – blended with Grau’s uniquely macabre, witty storytelling, securing his place at the table amid this current Renaissance of literary horror.”


Seize the Night by Various Authors

“A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.”


It wouldn’t be Autumn without some good horror collections to read. This year I am hoping to get my hands on these two, The Nameless Dark and Seize the Night. I have slightly higher hopes for The Nameless Dark simply because I automatically lower my expectations when it comes to vampire stories. I love me some vampires but lets face it, they can suck when done badly. Pun intended.

 

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5 thoughts on “TBR Spotlight: Instagram Book Discoveries”

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