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Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Days of Horror: Day 6-- Booklist’s Top 10 Horror of the Year

Yesterday I mentioned that Guest Blogger Jonathan Janz’s novel Children of the Dark was named on the Top 10 Horror of 2016 by Daniel Kraus in Booklist.

Well today, I have the entire list. Half of the titles link to reviews I wrote, but I can vouch for that fact that all are very good and perfect for public libraries. Use this list to make displays, add titles to your collection, or even just use the annotations to book talk them.

And, don't forget past year's lists. They are even more useful because you probably have many of the titles sitting on your shelves.

Booklist's Top 10 Horror from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011 [no list online for 2012]

Top 10 Horror: 2016.

Kraus, Daniel (author).

FEATURE.  First published August, 2016 (Booklist).

Greetings, fright fans, and unwell-come to another dead-ition of “Tales from the Booklist Crypt.” These fang-tastic tomb-tomes rep-resent our top 10 select-shuns reviewed between August 2015 and July 2016. Without further a-grue, here are some nov-ills to go mad over! 

children of the dark.jpgChildren of the Dark. By Jonathan Janz. 2016. Sinister Grin, $16 (9781944044145).
Rising horror star Janz introduces penniless young ballplayer Will, possibly the least likely person to lead his small Indiana community in a battle for their lives. In this pulpy shocker, old-school tropes like ancient evils and serial killers are imbued with startling new lives.

The ConsultantBy Bentley Little. 2015. Cemetery Dance, $25 (9781587675003).
Little’s long career hits a piercing high note with this over-the-top take on workplace-as-hell. A new office consultant’s deluge of thousands of e-mails is worrisome enough. But the gory PowerPoints? The rusty-knife blood drives? And let’s not even talk about “termination.”

The Doll-Master: And Other Tales of Terror. By Joyce Carol Oates. 2016. Mysterious, $24 (9780802124883).
Oates’ forays into horror are ever formidable, and this collection of six stories is a master class in spare, noose-tightening tension. Even the titles are enough to send chills: “The Doll-Master,” “Big Mama,” “Gun Accident.” The appeal bleeds over to the Gillian Flynn crowd, too.

The FiremanBy Joe Hill. 2016. Morrow, $28.99 (9780062200631).
Hill makes a second bid to be America’s preeminent penner of horror epics with this crypt-sized take on apocalypse. A fungus has people spontaneously combusting, and only the mysterious Fireman can help. But is his help what we think it is? Brisk, infectious, and endlessly readable.

The Gods of H.P. LovecraftEd. by Aaron J. French. 2015. JournalStone, $24.95 (9781942712565).
Another Lovecraft tome? By Cthulhu’s tendrils, yes! Editor French assigned such authors as Jonathan Maberry, Joe Lansdale, and Christopher Golden one of Lovecraft’s deities and told them to go wild. And they did: this is rich, immersive, and often terrifying.

Mr. SplitfootBy Samantha Hunt. 2016. Houghton, $24 (9780544526709).
Loosely based on alleged real-life mediums the Fox sisters, Hunt’s latest uses tricky, deconstructed prose to spin the tale of two foster-home children whose staged séances lead them to a talent agent—as well as an obsessed zealot.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism. By Grady Hendrix. 2016. Quirk, $19.99 (9781594748622).
Abby and Gretchen are 1980s teens rocking Jordache jeans (bitchin’!) when an LSD drop leads to Gretchen being possessed by a demon (not bitchin’). Hendrix nails the stagnant air of suburbia in this darkly funny mix of John Hughes and The Exorcist.

Pressure. By Brian Keene. 2016. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $25.99 (9781250071347).
Carrie free-dives deep underwater to help determine why the ocean floor is collapsing. As if that’s not scary enough, she encounters a creature that destroys everything in its path. A gory, winning horror thriller—a different kind of beach read, you might say. 

Security.jpgSecurity. By Gina Wohlsdorf. 2016. Algonquin, $25.95 (9781616205621).
In this giallo-inspired story of the about-to-open Manderlay Resort, someone is watching—and it’s not just the murderer roaming the halls. A security camera operator is observing everything (depicted in literary split-screen). But why isn’t he helping? A brilliant premise savagely handled. 

We Eat Our OwnBy Kea Wilson. Aug. 2016. Scribner, $26 (9781501128318).
Inspired by the 1980 exploitation hit Cannibal Holocaust, Wilson’s debut imagines the sweaty, scuzzy behind-the-scenes story of the actors and crew on location in Colombia. Nonlinear chapters viscerally bring home sickening disorientation, grueling violence, and moral quagmires.

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