It’s Halloween and what can be better than some spooky historical fiction reads? In case you couldn’t tell from my post last week, my particular fave are fiction books about witches and magic. What can I say? I love a good, powerful woman. But I promise, I will not allow my favorite witch books to dominate this list completely. My Halloween Book Lists for Adults are adequately weighed with all the spooks and creepy. So here we go!
Starling House by Alix. E. Harrow
This is a brand new book out just this month. It was my Book of the Month pick. I will admit I found Alix E. Harrow because of my witch book obsession with her fantastic book The Once and Future Witches.
Starling House lives up to Harrow’s mastery as well. It can be described as a modern gothic fantasy. See the full description below.
See the full description below:
I dream sometimes about a house I’ve never seen….
Opal is a lot of things—orphan, high school dropout, full-time cynic and part-time cashier—but above all, she’s determined to find a better life for her younger brother Jasper. One that gets them out of Eden, Kentucky, a town remarkable for only two things: bad luck and E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth century author of The Underland, who disappeared over a hundred years ago.
All she left behind were dark rumors—and her home. Everyone agrees that it’s best to ignore the uncanny mansion and its misanthropic heir, Arthur. Almost everyone, anyway.
I should be scared, but in the dream I don’t hesitate.
Opal has been obsessed with The Underland since she was a child. When she gets the chance to step inside Starling House—and make some extra cash for her brother’s escape fund—she can’t resist.
But sinister forces are digging deeper into the buried secrets of Starling House, and Arthur’s own nightmares have become far too real. As Eden itself seems to be drowning in its own ghosts, Opal realizes that she might finally have found a reason to stick around.
In my dream, I’m home.
And now she’ll have to fight.
Weyward by Emilia Hart
This was my Book Club pick this month and it was a fantastic read! It also provided a rich conversation and analysis.
See below for description.
“A brave and original debut, Weyward is a spellbinding story about what may transpire when the natural world collides with a legacy of witchcraft.” ––Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The London Séance Society
I am a Weyward, and wild inside.
2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.
1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.
1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family’s grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.
Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart’s Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
If you haven’t read a Grady Hendrix book yet, you’re missing out. I first became familiar with Hendrix after reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. It was disgusting, terrifying, hilarious and absolutely fabulous! How to Sell a Haunted House is Hendrix’s newest book and it very much lives up to Hendrix expectations.
Read below for full description.
New York Times bestselling author Grady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—and your family—can haunt you like nothing else.
When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. Louise doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…
Like his novels The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and The Final Girl Support Group, How to Sell a Haunted House is classic Hendrix: equal parts heartfelt and terrifying—a gripping new read from “the horror master” (USA Today).
Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Canas
I love Isabel Canas books. Her lyrical language and supernatural versions of classic genres are no short of pure magic. I first discovered her when I read The Hacienda last year. The Hacienda is Rebecca set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence and was a true gothic story.
Vampires of El Norte is Canas version of a supernatural Western.
See a full description below.
Vampires and vaqueros face off on the Texas-Mexico border in this supernatural western from the author of The Hacienda.
As the daughter of a rancher in 1840s Mexico, Nena knows a thing or two about monsters—her home has long been threatened by tensions with Anglo settlers from the north. But something more sinister lurks near the ranch at night, something that drains men of their blood and leaves them for dead.
Something that once attacked Nena nine years ago.
Believing Nena dead, Néstor has been on the run from his grief ever since, moving from ranch to ranch working as a vaquero. But no amount of drink can dispel the night terrors of sharp teeth; no woman can erase his childhood sweetheart from his mind.
When the United States invades Mexico in 1846, the two are brought abruptly together on the road to war: Nena as a curandera, a healer striving to prove her worth to her father so that he does not marry her off to a stranger, and Néstor as a member of the auxiliary cavalry of ranchers and vaqueros. But the shock of their reunion—and Nena’s rage at Néstor for seemingly abandoning her long ago—is quickly overshadowed by the appearance of a nightmare made flesh.
And unless Nena and Néstor work through their past and face the future together, neither will survive to see the dawn.
What are your favorite haunted reads and which books on my Halloween Book List for Adults will make your reading list?
If you enjoyed this book list, make sure you check out Joyana’s other Book Lists HERE!
Find more ways to spoil your inner bookworm!
Are you a VIP Member yet? If you’re interested in seeing Joyana’s Bonus content and ALL of her past newsletters make sure you sign up today! JOIN HERE.
Have you read my FREE Triangle Short Story? Get your copy HERE!
Check out the Amaryllis Co. Shop, fully stocked with custom designs perfect for every book loving Amaryllis Girl! From shirts, mugs, wine glasses, and more, I have curated a shop with all of my favorites! SHOP HERE!