Chilling Summer Reads

Now that the weather is getting nicer, all I want to do is lay out in the sun with a good book. Some people like to stick to light-hearted romance or fantasy for their summer reading, but personally my favorite way to cool down is with a good spine-chilling horror novel or ghost story. Luckily, there's an abundance of new spooky books coming out this summer. Here are a few that are on my to-read list:

Devolution by Max Brooks (coming out June 16)

A scary sasquatch book? If anyone can pull it off, it's Max Brooks, author of the seminal zombie novel World War Z. In Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, Brooks presents the annotated journal entries of Kate Holland, a Washington State resident who witnesses the bloody wreckage caused by creatures that blur the boundary between man and beast. It's part bloodbath, part scientific exploration, and it might just make you into a Bigfoot believer.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (coming out June 30)

You can't go wrong with some classic Gothic suspense. Set in the Mexican countryside in the 1950s, Mexican Gothic follows glamorous debutant Noemí Taboada as she embarks on a rescue mission after receiving a cryptic letter from her newly married cousin. An isolated mansion called High Place serves as this story's traditional Gothic setting, full of dark family secrets and a violent past. Its sense of creeping horror set in the heat of Mexico makes this the perfect summer read.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (coming out July 14)

Want your horror a little more literary? Stephen Graham Jones' upcoming release has all the critics talking. The Only Good Indians features four American Indian men who participated in an ill-fated elk hunt in their youth. Now a vengeful spirit has come back to turn the tables and make the hunters into the hunted. Amidst all the horror and bloodshed, the novel also explores identity and addresses issues of contemporary American Indian life. Check this one out if you want a book that will make you think, as much as it makes you scream.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (coming out July 21)

This feminist horror-fantasy novel takes its inspiration from the Salem Witch Trials, but puts the power back in the hands of the witches. Immanuelle lives in a dystopian Puritanical society ruled by a horribly corrupt Prophet, where she is regarded as an outcast due to her mother's sins. But when she enters the forbidden Darkwood, Immanuelle encounters the spirits of four witches who show her that the world might be as she was raised to believe. She learns that her town's corruption will soon be its own destruction, unless Immanuelle can find a way to save them. But sometimes to fix something, you've got to start by tearing it all down. Who knew horror could be so empowering?

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus (coming out August 4)

Last but certainly not least is this new tome of a book by horror legend George Romero. Yes, that George Romero, writer and director of the early zombie film Night of the Living Dead. Romero had been working on a zombie novel for decades before his death, though he never quite finished it. That's where renowned horror writer and hardcore fan Daniel Kraus came in—he filled in the blanks, tied up the plot, and turned an unfinished draft into a full-fledged 600-page novel. The Living Dead takes a zoomed-out view of the zombie apocalypse that we only see a small glimpse of in Romero's first film. Starting with one body that won't stay dead, the zombie plague quickly spreads across the country, affecting people from all walks of life. If you're a zombie fan, you do not want to miss this definitive take on the world that Romero created!

Our other summer plans may not quite pan out as we had hoped, but books will always be there for us. Happy reading!

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