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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: The Haunting of My TBR

I'm a little late to the party today, but I didn't want to miss out on TTT. These weekly lists are pretty much all I've been managing to post lately, so...yeah. Today's official topic is Top Ten Typographic Book Covers. I'm not feeling that one; instead, I'm going to go with something more seasonal. Spooky books always appeal to me, but they're even more alluring the closer we get to Halloween. I can't handle anything too gory or horror-y these days as I'm becoming a right wimp in my old age. However, I still enjoy an atmospheric Gothic tale or a shivery ghost story, the kind that are spine-tingling without being nightmare-inducing. My favorite trope by far is the haunted house. Give me a broody old pile with a mysterious past, secrets swirling through the corridors, and plenty of ghosts in the closets (real and/or metaphorical) and I'm a happy reader. The authors I prefer in this genre are: Eve Chase, Carol Goodman, Simone St. James, Riley Sager, Jennifer McMahon, etc. If you've got any suggestions for readalike authors, let me know. In the meantime, I'll share my list of the Top Ten Haunted House Books On My TBR List.

First, though, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give TTT's fearless hostess some love. Then, make your own list and enjoy a fun evening of blog hopping. It's a good time, I promise!

Top Ten Haunted House Books On My TBR List  
-in no particular order-

1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson—For some reason, I still haven't read this classic haunted house novel. It's about four people who gather at a notoriously spook-infested old mansion. Strange happenings occur. 

2. Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti—When human remains are discovered at Hannah Maloney's ancestral castle in the Catskills, she's convinced they're the bones of her sister, who disappeared seventeen years ago. Obsessed with figuring out what really happened all those years ago, Hannah uncovers disturbing secrets from the past.

3. The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell—Two years ago, a young woman left her baby with her mother and headed to a party at a house in the woods. She never returned. In the present, Sophie is strolling through the forest near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just accepted a position. She sees a note that says, "Dig here." Sounds like an intriguing premise...

4. What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie—This is a children's book—how creepy can it possibly be? Probably enough to scare me silly! The story is set in a decrepit old mansion deep in the Michigan woods called Woodmoor Manor. Rumors in the town say it was once the home of a mad scientist whose disturbing experiments roam through the trees, always watching. 

5. The Good House by Tananarive Due—Trying to put her life back together after her son's suicide, Angela Toussaint returns to her ancestral home, the place where her boy took his own life. What she finds is a sentient evil that's causing residents of her town to act out in violence. Is it the same entity her grandmother battled long ago? Just what is it that lurks in her home—and in her family history?

6. Death Overdue by Allison Brook—The first installment in a series, this cozy mystery features a haunted library in Connecticut. When a retired homicide detective who claims to know the murderer of a beloved library aide is killed, the library's new event planner vows to find his killer. 

7. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas—Located deep in the forests of Pennsylvania, Catherine House is an elite, unconventional school that has educated some of the most brilliant minds in America. School policy demands that students leave their outside lives behind and devote three years of their lives to an intense education. Ines is finding herself inside the strange institution when tragedy strikes, making her question everything that's happening at Catherine House.

8. The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen—In an attempt to outrun her past and finish the cookbook she's writing, Ava Collette retreats to an old pile on the coast of Maine. Her peaceful reverie is broken when she starts hearing strange noises in the night. When an apparition appears to her, Ava begins looking into the disappearance of the house's previous renter. Something sinister is going on and Ava intends to get to the bottom of it.

9. The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan—Once a grand Irish mansion, Kilcolgan House is now a crumbling pile filled with broken people and whispering ghosts. When Lord Kilcolgan's oldest daughter is killed, an IRA intelligence officer comes to the home to investigate. As he digs into the secrets of Kilcolgan House, he uncovers secrets galore. Can he use them to find the murderer?

10. The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates—Coates has several books that fit this genre, but this one sounds especially good to me. Plus, I like the symmetry of ending my list with a title similar to the one I began it with. The plot concerns a woman who inherits a creepy old house after the owner, a mysterious recluse, dies. With ominous messages scrawled on the wallpaper, a hidden grave in the backyard, and portraits that seem to watch her every move, the new occupant is understandably unnerved. As she digs into the house's sinister past, she begins to believe every terrifying rumor she's ever heard about the place...

There you go, ten haunted house novels that should make for excellent, eerie Halloween reading. Have you read any of them? What did you think? Can you think of any similar books I might like? I love recs! What books did you feature on your TTT list today? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. I hope you will love the Haunting of Hill House. I did not like it....

    1. Bummer! I've been hesitating to read it. Does that mean I won't like it either? Only one way to find out...LOL.

      Thanks for stopping in, Esther!

    2. Like all Shirley Jackson stories, it's psychological horror ... not so much about actual hauntings and such as unsettling aspects of the mind. I don't like conventional horror but I love her stuff. Maybe it works the other way around too - anyway you will find out if this one is good for you!

  2. I’m not a big fan of gory or gross covers either. But these are all deliciously spooky.

    My post:

    1. I read a lot of horror as a teenager, but I can't stomach the really gory/gross stuff these days. Give me subtly spooky and I'm happy!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

  3. Great list, Susan! So many of these have typographic covers as well ;)

    1. That's true and I didn't even realize it! Extra credit for me this week :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  4. I love this change. The Haunting of Ashburn House looks the scariest to me.

    1. It's definitely the darkest of the covers. My guess is that's because it's the scariest! LOL. We'll see.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  5. These covers scream spooky atmospheric reads for sure. You could also try A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay if you haven't before, it would probably be right aligned with the themes here!

    1. Oooh, I haven't heard of A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS before, but it sounds like something I would like. I'll check it out. Thanks for the rec!

      Thanks for popping in, Jennifer!

  6. Oh, I love me a good spooky thrill ride as long as it's not out and out gore or horror. And these all have really fun spooky covers.

    1. Same! I can't stomach too much gore and horror stuff. I definitely prefer spooky, atmospheric reads.Subtly scary is more my style.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alex!

  7. Loving the twist up for TTT. I also wasn't feeling the prompt, so I went with books on my TBR the longest. Have a nice week.

    1. You chose a fun topic! I don't actually know what's been on mine the longest since I tend to change up my Goodreads TBR list every few years. There are definitely books I've been meaning to read for years (even decades) and STILL haven't gotten to. *Sigh* So many books, so little time...

      Thanks for stopping in, Brenda!

  8. The Darcy Coates cover is freaking me out Susan! Great picks!!🤗📚💜

    1. Ha ha. It is creepy, isn't it? Hopefully, the book won't be TOO scary!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Susan!

  9. Don´t know any of your books but some will maybe go on my wishlist. Although I am not a fan of too spooky books *lol*

    1. Same! I want a *little* spooky, but not scary enough to give me nightmares. Hopefully, at least some of these books fit the bill.

      Thanks for popping in, Inkvotary!

  10. I've got a few of these on my TBR but I also suggest One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig - it's dark and Gothic and a little spooky but not too scary. Perfect for spooky season!

    1. Oooh, ONE DARK WINDOW sounds perfect! I hadn't heard of it before, so thanks for the rec. I'm adding it to my TBR list right now.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

  11. Perfect list for the season! What Lives In the Woods especially sounds like something I would enjoy. And I have Death Overdue on my bedside table. I love the idea of a haunted library. I am planning to read that one next after I finish Death on the Nile. :-)

    1. WHAT LIVES IN THE WOODS shouldn't be as scary as the rest, right? I mean, it's written for kids so it should work for wimpy adults as well. LOL. I'm going to pick up DEATH OVERDUE at the library today. I hope we both enjoy it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Meezan!

  12. I loved The Night She Disappeared. It was one of my favorites of 2021.

    1. Oh, good! That makes me even more excited to read it. Glad you enjoyed it so much. I'm sure I will, too.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Tanya!

  13. You really did find some great examples of spooky, atmospheric book covers.

    1. I love book covers with haunted houses on them. The broody/atmospheric ones are my favorite, but I like the scarier ones as well. Like I said, it's one of my favorite spooky tropes :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Anne!

  14. I do love a good spooky read! I liked both the first and last books on your list; and there are several others I now intend to check out. :D

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed those two. We'll see how I feel about them. I'm hoping these will all be great spooky reads for the Halloween season.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  15. They look good. I like a bit of Gothic Fiction, but like you say nothing that will give me nightmares - I value my sleep too much!!

    Have you read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell? That's a good one. A story with a mansion with silent companions in (they are actually a real thing!!). I want to read another Laura Purcell at some point (preferably over Halloween).

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    1. Ha! Same. I enjoy sleeping. No nightmares, please!

      I hadn't heard of THE SILENT COMPANIONS, but I just looked it up and it sounds perfect. I'm adding it to my TBR list right now.

      Thanks for the rec and, as always, for coming by and commenting!

  16. Tis the season, but I'm a buzzkill. I don't really read scary books. I have read some atmospheric books (Fowley-Doyle, mostly)

  17. I am loving your selection of books for this weeks topic. I see some on here I need to read. My pile is already groaning so what's a few more? :)

  18. Fantastic topic! I just listened to The Night She Disappeared and it was so good! The Allison Brook series is fun and I love The Haunting of Hill House. Now I need to go look up the other books you mention!

  19. I just read a different Darcy Coates book and loved it! Nice list😁

  20. A great choice for TTT, Susan. I didn't do this weeks topic either, I did last week's because I missed it. These are definitely Halloween spooky covers.

  21. If a topic doesn't speak to us, that's just what it is. I really enjoyed it this week.

    I like the cover of The Haunting of Hill House. The Night She Disappeared could have almost gone on a typographic list.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week.

  22. I struggle with spooky/horror books but I've been tempted so many times by that cover of Catherine House!! Great topic & list. :)

  23. Love your topic, and I'm right there with you. I love this atmospheric books this time of year, but I just can't get too dark and scary. Love your list! I'm looking forward to the newest Simone St. James.

  24. I can't handle stuff that is too gory or scary at this point either. Haunted houses (in real life) are something I skip, so I would probably skip them in books too. I do love the covers of these, though!

  25. My goodness. I don't know these books or the authors! Where the heck have I been?!

  26. I really want to read The Good House. But it is a tome, it's so long! I am a bit intimidated by it. I hope you get a chance to read these.

  27. I'm a big scaredy cat, so I'd probably start with a cozy mystery like Death Overdue :) Hope you'll enjoy all of these when you get to them!

  28. The Night She Disappeared was a great read for me. One of my favorites from Lisa Jewell so far. I hope all of these are great reads for you!


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