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Halloween Reads

Halloween Reads

Books our staff are reading this spooky season, from light and witchy to downright horrifying.

Playlist Tags: White Birch Books season: halloween season: fall

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The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

By Sangu Mandanna
Narrated by: Samara MacLaren
Length: 9 hours 59 minutes

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

“This book is a warm cup of tea on a rainy day. From the quirky cast of characters to the less than traditional love story, this book will bloom in you and make you feel whole. Plus, the audiobook narrator is truly excellent!”

Scrawl Books image Leah, Scrawl Books
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Motherthing

By Ainslie Hogarth
Narrated by: Adina Verson
Length: 7 hours 1 minute

Motherthing

“With depravity, psychological acuity, and social commentary in Palahniukan proportions, Ainslie Hogarth secures a spot in the vaulted though admittedly slight canon of the domestic-horror-comedy. Callback jokes become disturbing mantras and prose dips into feverish stream-of-consciousness as our lovers sink deeper into the idic heart of hetero-patriarchal culture, where devotion becomes desperation and the lines between mother, child, and husband grow hazy. Adina Verson's reading is perfect, beginning with the intonation of a quirky girl-next-door and gaining in delirium alongside the narrative, hammering on repeated phrases until they burn into your ears. I had to stop what I was doing for the story's climax, lying on my bed in rapt attention for the last 45 minutes. The tonal fluidity and constantly retooled motifs make each paragraph a surprise, along with the most laugh-out-loud upsetting similes I've ever read. Here, I'll try one: Motherthing is droll, approachable, and on closer inspection, utterly raw, like a New Yorker cartoon drawn in menstrual blood.”

Next Chapter Booksellers image Graham, Next Chapter Booksellers
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Such Sharp Teeth

By Rachel Harrison
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 9 hours 7 minutes

Such Sharp Teeth

“Oh, great. A book that made my heart ache and caused me to cry. Isn’t it the best (worst?) when we pick up a book, expecting a light, campy read, and get hit with a level of character depth and emotional complexity we weren’t ready for? Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison is the story of how Rory, a smart-aleck but secretly tender-hearted young woman, has to live in her own body and maintain her relationships while confronting childhood trauma and supporting her pregnant twin sister…also she just got bitten by a weird monster under the full moon and is turning into what she thinks is a werewolf. A little bit of a love story, a little bit of a horror yarn, a little bit of a late-20’s coming-of-age narrative, Such Sharp Teeth is deeply contemplative present wrapped in some snarky fun. And don’t worry: it’s still campy in a way that elder emos who enjoy light horror and angsty Twilight fans who grew up and never stopped loving werewolf stories will certainly appreciate. Not to mention, the audiobook is narrated extraordinarily by Kristen Sieh, who captures the nature of each character with the slightest of vocal shifts, bringing them all expertly to life. This was a five-star read for me, through and through.”

Raven Book Store image Wulfe, Raven Book Store
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The Dead Romantics

By Ashley Poston
Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
Length: 10 hours 23 minutes

If you enjoyed Meet Me in the Margins, then you’ll love The Dead Romantics.

“A very funny charming take on the rom-com. I expected something a bit darker when the description included a romance ghost-writer who no longer believes in love, a family owned funeral home with a death in the family, and a clash with a new publisher. The protagonist does break the romance wall a bit by mocking her own distrust of HEA and the pull ghostly romantic interests. NO spoilers just a heads up--you will laugh, with fingers crossed!”

Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore image Lindalu, Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
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Hester

A Novel

By Laurie Lico Albanese
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

Hester

“A beautiful and intricately woven story about a young woman's journey across oceans, through society's vicious and shifting mores, love, heartbreak, true friendship, and finding her way home. It gives us a vivid glimpse into life in Salem in the early 1800s as the town strides forward into the future while fleeing the wretched ghosts and legacies of its past. Splendidly written, vividly descriptive, and deftly winding together both micro and macro issues of the time, it shows us women's place in society, the Abolitionist movement, and the booming trade that made Salem thrive. I listened on Libro.fm and Saskia Maarleveld's mastery of accents, tension, and yearning was first-class.”

Wellesley Books image Ashleigh, Wellesley Books
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The Cabin at the End of the World

A Novel

By Paul Tremblay
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

The Cabin at the End of the World

“Wen and her dads are taking a break from everything by visiting a remote cabin for vacation. Wen is studying grasshoppers in their yard when a man comes up and warns her that she and her dads are going to have to make a decision. And that’s about all I can tell you without spoiling the story. This book was so creepy, in a very good way. I’d classify this as horror, but very realistic.”

Jennifer Jones image Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser
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From Bad to Cursed

The Witches of Thistle Grove: Book #2

By Lana Harper
Narrated by: Meg Price
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

Opposites attract in this wickedly charming rom-com by Lana Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Payback’s a Witch.

Wild child Isidora Avramov is a thrill chaser, adept demon summoner, and—despite the whole sexy-evil-sorceress vibe—also a cuddly animal lover. When she’s not designing costumes and new storylines for the Arcane Emporium’s... Read more »

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White Horse

A Novel

By Erika T. Wurth
Narrated by: Tonantzin Carmelo
Length: 9 hours 34 minutes

White Horse

“If I had read White Horse on the page, Kari would have sounded exactly in my head the way Tonantzin Carmelo sounds in the audiobook. The main character of White Horse is fierce, sure of herself, and amazingly loving despite everything she’s gone through, and Carmelo captures her subtle intensity with expertise. In fact, White Horse is subtly intense in its entirety. An Indigenous horror novel with heavy homage to Stephen King, White Horse stands out because of its relationship to the supernatural elements of horror. So often in the genre, the point of terror is the supernatural—the ghost phasing through the wall, the whiplash-like visions. But here, the characters exist in a cultural context where the supernatural is often expected and embraced as a guiding factor in life. As a result, the horror of this book is located at more unique nexuses within the history and lives of the main characters and their communities—making it all the more terrifying. White Horse is a cleanly executed horror narrative with excellent pacing and wonderfully three-dimensional characters you won’t forget. (Plus, if you’re a metalhead like Kari and myself, the story is chock-full of rad metal obsession <3)”

Raven Book Store image Wulfe, Raven Book Store
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The Kiss Curse

A Novel

By Erin Sterling
Narrated by: Shannon McManus
Length: 7 hours 45 minutes

The follow-up to Erin Sterling’s New York Times bestselling hit The Ex Hex features fan favorite Gwyn and the spine-tinglingly handsome Wells Penhallow as they battle a new band of witches and their own magical chemistry.


Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven;...

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The Final Girl Support Group

By Grady Hendrix
Narrated by: Adrienne King
Length: 13 hours 49 minutes

The Final Girl Support Group

“What if gruesome murders like that of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre actually took place? What then happens afterward to the girls who survive the ridiculous combination of crazy guy, improvised weapon, and spooky setting? Nearly 2 decades after their respective brushes with death, these “final girls” still meet in an unamusing church basement in hopes of moving on. But when one of their own ends up dead, it’s possible their pasts have finally come for them. The Final Girl Support Group is a frenzied ride through horror movie tropes come to life. Fans of ‘80s and ‘90s slasher films will get a kick out of this satire mixed with realistic characters and topped off with ample servings of crazy. Grady Hendrix has outdone himself with this novel that runs both hard and fast, as well as realistic and over the top. An entertaining commentary on the slasher genre, through and through.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Nicholas, Mysterious Galaxy Books
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The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy

By Megan Bannen
Narrated by: Michael Gallagher & Rachanee Lumayno
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

If you enjoyed Strange Practice, then you’ll love The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy.

“If Timothy Olyphant is your favorite character actor, this one is for you. Hart & Mercy is somehow a mishmash of You've Got Mail, but it's a Western, and there's zombies, but mostly it's a Romance and I'm obsessed because it gets at the heart of the Miscommunication Trope in a very satisfying way. If you like your Ao3 tags to read 'enemies to lovers,' 'the grumpy one falls for the soft one,' and 'identity porn' you have got to read this. The characters are refreshing and enraging and I probably could have spent a hundred more pages with them...”

Wellesley Books image Cassie, Wellesley Books
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Bindle Punk Bruja

A Novel

By Desideria Mesa
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 14 hours 10 minutes

Boardwalk Empire meets The Vanishing Half with a touch of earth magic in this sexy and action-packed historical fantasy set in the luminous Golden Twenties from debut author Desideria Mesa, where a part-time reporter and club owner takes on crooked city councilmen, mysterious and deadly mobsters, and society’s deeply rooted sexism and racism,...

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Plain Bad Heroines

A Novel

By Emily M. Danforth
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 19 hours 27 minutes

Plain Bad Heroines

“Loved this creepy, gothic, queer, centuries-spanning tale about obsession, forbidden love and curses. I hope you aren't afraid of yellow jackets. What's that sound? It's buzzing. Do you hear it?”

A Great Good Place for Books image Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
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My Heart Is a Chainsaw

By Stephen Graham Jones
Narrated by: Cara Gee
Length: 13 hours 3 minutes

My Heart Is a Chainsaw

“Jade isn’t the final girl; she doesn’t fit the requirements for a typical slasher flick. When her town becomes the setting for a real-life slasher case, she fills the role of wise woman to the appropriate final girl.”

Boulder Book Store image April Gosling, Boulder Book Store
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By Kiersten White
Narrated by: Emma Galvin
Length: 8 hours 9 minutes

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“A fast paced and horrific re-imagining of the myth of the Minotaur for anxiety-ridden millennials.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Ren, Bookstore1Sarasota
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