Keaton's Haunted Corner of Horror: New Year, New Fear

Article by keaton

Hello all you boils and ghouls out there! It is my devilish pleasure as your host and Brazos resident curator of creep to welcome everyone back to this latest installment of our semi-regular newsletter of literary terror--Keaton’s Haunted Corner of Horror! This time around, we look forward to the thrills and chills coming soon to our shelves in 2023.

It’s a new year and more than a few new fears await us between the covers of several new releases over the next few months. From diabolical debuts and hotly anticipated titles by huge horror names to a massive South American epic of death cults and dictatorships, it's already shaping up to be a banner year for spooky literature. Oh yes! A veritable bounty of bookish scares will soon shock us out of this still-lingering, zombified state of holiday malaise. But what's more, I have a very special announcement to make at the end of this newsletter that you just might be as excited about as me. So be sure to read on (or, you know, just scroll through) to the very end!

What is it about the new year that lends itself to a seasonal boom in horror? Is it intentional marketing? (…probably.) But could there also be some kind of unconscious draw for readers, moviegoers, and other consumers of story to return to the darkness at this time of year? One we most associate with new beginnings? New chances? As was pointed out in a recent NYT review of Blumhouse’s killer doll/robot vehicle M3GAN, the new year regularly sees a bump in scary movies. And that doesn’t even bring the bevy of New Year’s-themed slashers (e.g. the problematic Terror Train) out there into the equation.

The same goes for horror fiction this time of year. Once the calendar changes over, the critical reins seem to loosen a bit and unbound imagination is given a brief respite to stretch its legs before more serious, awards-oriented fare takes over the book scene completely (at least until Halloween). This year is no exception, as the terror queue is backed right up out the gate with quality spookies, ranging from surefire genre hits to magnum opus type literary offerings. Here’s a couple to keep your eye out for:

January sees the return of new wave horror mastermind, Grady Hendrix and How to Sell a Haunted House. Anyone familiar with Hendrix by this time, either through his previous books like Horrorstör or the series adaptation of My Best Friend's Exorcism, knows he never plays a story straight. A classic trope is bent through a pop-culture obsessive's lens and framed in a way that it becomes something else entirely. For fun, creativity, and hitting all the right horror notes, there’s no one better. 

After that, things get a bit more serious when Argentinian powerhouse, Mariana Enriquez, sees her first novel find its way into English translation. Her previous two story collections, Things We Lost in the Fire and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, were huge hits with both readers and critics, displaying a range and depth of expertise within the genre that I haven’t come across since the great Brian Evenson. Our Share of Night arrives in February, and let me tell you this is going to be something special. Centering around a father and son on the run from both powerful magic cults and an oppressive dictatorship that has no place for those who are different in any way, it sprawls for decades and even lifetimes as Enriquez deftly blends the horrors of this world and the next into a monumental work. Don’t miss it. 

And that finally brings us to a most special announcement! This February will see the debut of a brand new book group at Brazos Bookstore focusing exclusively on the horror genre. It is my sin-cere delight to introduce all of our readers to THE LIVING READ!!!! (as in “dead.”) Join us every last Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm via Zoom for a ghastly good time. It's open to all who seek the darkest regions of fiction. Monsters, ghosts, murderers, and more await all who descend into this lair. And perhaps you’ll even find the authors of these nightmarish works themselves lurking among the shadows! Stay tuned as we announce the upcoming titles for the inaugural season of Brazos Bookstore’s THE LIVING READ horror book group…if you dare!!!!!

As a special sneak peek, February will feature Paul Tremblay’s genre-bending tale of psychological terror, The Cabin at the End of the World! One of the very best working in horror today, Tremblay knocked it out of the park with this locked-room thriller that morphs right before the readers’ eyes into something far more complicated and sinister as each page turns. With a masterful control of character and a relentless ratcheting of suspense, you might just be compelled to read the entire novel in a single sitting like I did. With a film adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan about to find its way onto the big screen, don’t sleep on your last chance to read it before you see it! And what’s more--Tremblay will be in attendance! 

Stay tuned throughout the coming months for more on THE LIVING READ and all of the latest releases in horror fiction at Brazos Bookstore when the Haunted Corner returns! And please feel free to let us know what you think about any of the titles mentioned here.

‘Til next time--stay creepy!!!

How to Sell a Haunted House By Grady Hendrix Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593201268
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - January 17th, 2023

Horrorstor: A Novel By Grady Hendrix Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594745263
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - September 23rd, 2014

My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel By Grady Hendrix Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594749766
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Quirk Books - July 11th, 2017

Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories By Mariana Enriquez Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451495112
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Hogarth - February 21st, 2017

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593134092
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Hogarth - February 1st, 2022

Our Share of Night: A Novel By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by), Pablo Gerardo Camacho (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by), Pablo Gerardo Camacho (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780451495143
Availability: Coming Soon - Pre-Order Now
Published: Hogarth - February 7th, 2023

The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel By Paul Tremblay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062679116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 2nd, 2019

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