Book Club Nominees

5 More Books From Authors We Love

by @Ahab_atLZ, curator of HOWLS Book Club nominees for July’s “Retreading Hallowed Ground” category

Some things stick with you. Sometimes, our minds take a memory and canonize it—it becomes part of who we are, an anchoring point by which we judge the passage of time, a feeling we may try to recapture. With July’s lists being put forth by OG Howlers, what better time to revisit the discussions and authors of days past? I’ve built this list with that in mind, selecting books from authors in HOWLS’ past whose work has stuck with me. Come, take a stroll down memory lane, retread these hallowed grounds. And if you weren’t here the first time, allow us to introduce you.

Burn You the Fuck Alive by B.R. Yeager

She asks for a light. You reach in your pocket and dig out your Bic, strike the flint, and touch the flame to her cigarette. She inhales. The tip roils cinder. A line of flame draws down the paper, crossing the band, down the filter. It touches her lips and her entire face is a blaze. Engulfing, disappearing her hair, climbing down her throat, down her shoulders and arms and chest and belly, down her pants to her shoes. Washed in pumpkin light. She waves her arms, spinning in circles and howling.

You run.


I joined HOWLS in October 2020 because of the cover art of B.R. Yeager’s novel Negative Space. And the book itself did not disappoint. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have fully committed to my horror journey without Negative Space. I couldn’t resist including his most recent publication, a collection of short stories, on this list.

StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon

The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell

Patrick Torrington’s aunt Thelma was a successful artist whose late work turned towards the occult. While staying with her in his teens he found evidence that she used to visit magical sites. As an adult he discovers her journal of her explorations, and his teenage son Roy becomes fascinated too. His experiences at the sites scare Patrick away from them, but Roy carries on the search, together with his new girlfriend. Can Patrick convince his son that his increasingly terrible suspicions are real, or will what they’ve helped to rouse take a new hold on the world? (StoryGraph)


In February 2021, HOWLS read The Kind Folk. Many of us fell in love with the dense prose and Campbell’s mastery at creating a weird and unsettling atmosphere. I’ve since read a large number of Campbell’s short stories. I have The Kind Folk to thank for that, but I haven’t tried any of his other novels. Maybe now’s the time.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon

The Between by Tananarive Due

When Hilton was just a boy, his aged grandmother saved him from drowning by pulling him out of a treacherous ocean current, sacrificing her life for his. Now, thirty years later, Hilton begins to think his borrowed time is running out. His wife, the only elected African–American judge in Dade County, Florida, has begun receiving racist hate mail from a man she once prosecuted, and Hilton’s sleep is plagued by nightmares more horrible than any he has ever experienced.

As he battles both the psychotic stalking of his family and the unseen enemy that haunts his sleep, Hilton’s sense of reality is slipping away. (StoryGraph)


In March 2021, the HOWLS community voted in our first ever March Madness-style book selection. In April, we read the four winners. We somehow selected four fairly long reads, and for many, April was a test of endurance. Due’s The Good House was the first book that month, and it’s stuck with me for its characters and raw emotional power. I even got my mom, who’s not historically inclined towards horror, to read it (she left a 5-star review). I haven’t read anything else from Due, which seems to fit the pattern of this list perfectly.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon 

Song For the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson

A newborn’s absent face appears on the back of someone else’s head, a filmmaker goes to gruesome lengths to achieve the silence he’s after for his final scene, and a therapist begins, impossibly, to appear in a troubled patient’s room late at night. In these stories of doubt, delusion, and paranoia, no belief, no claim to objectivity, is immune to the distortions of human perception. Here, self-deception is a means of justifying our most inhuman impulses–whether we know it or not. (StoryGraph)


And now I’m breaking my own pattern, because I’ve read quite a bit of Evenson’s work, novels and short stories both. But he’s also the author of Last Days, the book that won when I put together my horror noir list for May 2021. His writing–especially in its short form–consistently leaves me with a feeling of creeping dread that no other author can instill. Another author in a long list that I wouldn’t have read without HOWLS.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon 

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez

Mariana Enriquez has been critically lauded for her unconventional and sociopolitical stories of the macabre. Populated by unruly teenagers, crooked witches, homeless ghosts, and hungry women, they walk the uneasy line between urban realism and horror. The stories in her new collection are as terrifying as they are socially conscious, and press into being the unspoken—fetish, illness, the female body, the darkness of human history—with bracing urgency. A woman is sexually obsessed with the human heart; a lost, rotting baby crawls out of a backyard and into a bedroom; a pair of teenage girls can’t let go of their idol; an entire neighborhood is cursed to death when it fails to respond correctly to a moral dilemma.

Written against the backdrop of contemporary Argentina, and with a resounding tenderness toward those in pain, in fear, and in limbo, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is Mariana Enriquez at her most sophisticated, and most chilling. (StoryGraph)


It surprises me just how much Enríquez’s Things We Lost in the Fire sticks with me. HOWLS read it in January 2022, so it’s been enough time that I can’t remember the specific details of many stories. What I do know is that those stories were doing something important and that they were absolutely chilling. Things We Lost in the Fire might be the most successful use of horror to interrogate complex sociopolitical dynamics that I’ve read. Whether it’s now or later, I know that I need to read more of Enríquez’s work.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon 

And The Winner Is…

Out of these six books, HOWLers voted to read The Between by Tananarive Due. Discussion starts on July 31, and you can read along by joining the Discord!

*The HOWLS affiliate storefront pays a 10% commission to HOWL Society and gives a matching 10% to independent bookstores

Leave a Reply