The Influence of Horror: A Poe-Inspired Reading List

Happy Birth Month, Edgar Allan Poe! 


Poe was an American writer, editor, and literary critic who lived from 1809 - 1849. He is best known for his work concerning the mysterious and macabre, and thus too his influence on the coming generations of authors who would explore those topics. His work extends to the reaches of contemporary genres including horror ( “The Tell-Tale Heart” and many others ), detective fiction, (“Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Purloined Letter”), and even science fiction and dystopia ( “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall”, “The Colloquy of Monos and Una”). 


In honor of his writing, we’re throwing a Poe birthday party on January 19 at 7pm! Join us for mysterious and eerie crafts, games, and a dramatic reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart”.



In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite "mysterious and macabre" books from the last year.

It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780062476050
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 17th, 2017

Though IT DEVOURS is derived from a popular podcast, knowledge of the series isn't necessary to enjoy this book.

Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider to the town of Night Vale. Working for Carlos, the town's top scientist, she relies on fact and logic as her guiding principles. But all of that is put into question when Carlos gives her a special assignment investigating a mysterious rumbling in the desert wasteland outside of town. This investigation leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and to Darryl, one of its most committed members. Caught between her beliefs in the ultimate power of science and her growing attraction to Darryl, she begins to suspect the Congregation is planning a ritual that could threaten the lives of everyone in town. Nilanjana and Darryl must search for common ground between their very different world views as they are faced with the Congregation's darkest and most terrible secret. 


You Should Have Left Cover Image
By Daniel Kehlmann, Ross Benjamin (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781101871928
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon Books - June 13th, 2017

This fascinating tale of a writer's emotional collapse was a favorite with Ben, Brazos' General Manager.

"It is fitting that I'm beginning a new notebook up here. New surroundings and new ideas, a new beginning. Fresh air."

This passage is from the first entry of a journal kept by the narrator of Daniel Kehlmann's spellbinding new novel. It is the record of the seven days that he, his wife, and his four-year-old daughter spend in a house they have rented in the mountains of Germany--a house that thwarts the expectations of the narrator's recollection and seems to defy the very laws of physics. He is eager to finish a screenplay for a sequel to the movie that launched his career, but something he cannot explain is undermining his convictions and confidence, a process he is recording in this account of the uncanny events that unfold as he tries to understand what, exactly, is happening around him--and within him.


The Job of the Wasp Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593766801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - January 9th, 2018

This one is brand new! After its debut just last week, JOB OF THE WASP is already on Operating Manager Mark and Marketing Director Sara's bookshelves.

A coming-of-age tale, a Gothic ghost story, and a murder mystery all in one, The Job of the Wasp is a bloodcurdling and brilliantly subversive novel about paranoia, love, and the nightmare of adolescence.

A new arrival at an isolated school for orphaned boys quickly comes to realize there is something wrong with his new home. He hears chilling whispers in the night, his troubled classmates are violent and hostile, and the Headmaster sends cryptic messages, begging his new charge to confess. As the new boy learns to survive on the edges of this impolite society, he starts to unravel a mystery at the school's dark heart. And that's when the corpses start turning up.


Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

This book made its way into multiple Brazos Staff Top Ten Lists at the end of 2017! In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism.

A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella "Especially Heinous," Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment.


Fever Dream Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780399184598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - January 10th, 2017

Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel. It's been a staff favorite since its release.

We are lucky to have the author, Samanta Schweblin, visit Houston on March 26 with the Inprint Reading Series. Take a look!


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