Spooky Season Reads to Get Excited About

A sparse summer that’s seen more thick fog and heavy downpours than actual sunshine so far has already got me in a cosy state of mind, and that’s only been heightened by all the incredible book releases that have been announced for one of my favourite times of year… spooky season!

As a huge fan of anything gothic, ghostly or grizzly, the whole month of October (and the surrounding months, let’s be real) is just a fantastic excuse for me to fill my TBR with deliciously weird and wonderful books – and this year seems set to be one of the best yet. I’m already wondering how I’m going to get through the stack of books I have my sights set on.

If you’re looking forward to, or already planning your autumnal reading list, or you just want some fantastic books to pre-order, here’s a few of the spine-tingling stories that I cannot wait to get my hands on!

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke

One of my favourite reads of last year was C. J. Cooke’s The Nesting. I listened to it on audio book and it was just so atmospheric, gothic, spooky and compelling. I loved it, and so I cannot wait for the release of The Lighthouse Witches, a story about “two sisters [who] go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found–but she’s still the same age as when she disappeared.”

Cooke said “if you like reading about gothic landscapes, witches, motherhood, lighthouses, sisterhood, whales, & doppelgängers, I’d say you should hit the pre-order button pronto.”

It’s like she read my mind.

Due for Release: 30th September 2021

The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers by Jen Campbell

An immediate pre-order for me as I’m a big fan of Jen Campbell’s videos on YouTube. Jen always has fantastic book recommendations and her series which delves into the history of well-known folk and fairy tales is so interesting.

Jen talks more about The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers in this video, and gives a great preview the book. Featuring art by Adam De Souza, it looks absolutely stunning and it puts the gruesome elements back into classic fairy tales from around the globe. It also, importantly, includes queer and disabled characters and positive representation of disfigurement. I can’t wait!

Due for Release: 12th October 2021

The Haunting Season: Nine Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights by Various Authors

Okay, if I wasn’t already interested by the words “ghostly tales”, the gold sprayed edges of the Waterstones exclusive edition absolutely sold this book to me. The Haunting Season is perfect reading for the month of October as it features gothic tales from eight bestselling authors including Bridget Collins, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Elizabeth Macneal. I am very much loving ghost stories at the moment (and always) so to get eight of them is a real treat!

Due for Release: 21st October 2021

Writing the Uncanny, edited by Dan Coxon & Richard V. Hirst

This book just has my name written all over it. As someone who loves and wants to write the uncanny, I can’t wait to read and take inspiration from this book. It’s also great that it’s being released by one of my favourite indie publishers, Dead Ink.

Writing the Uncanny brings together “some of the best contemporary authors [to] explain what drew them to horror, ghost stories, folklore and beyond, and reveal how to craft unsettling fiction which resonates.” If you want to write strange stories, this is the book for you.

Due for Release: 23rd September 2021

Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar

As someone who would usually go to see a ballet show with my nan each Christmas, I was excited to hear about Midnight in Everwood, which offers a gothic twist on the story of The Nutcracker.

This debut novel “focuses on a young Northern ballerina and the mysterious toymaker whose sinister magic holds out the promise of fulfilling all her dreams” and the Waterstones exclusive edition (yet again!) is absolutely stunning with its sprayed edges.

Due for Release: 28th October 2021

Chouette by Claire Oshetsky

You know I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to shout about how much I LOVE this book. Yes, I have already read it but I am so excited for it to spread its wings and be released into the world. I cannot recommend pre-ordering this book enough, it’s so perfectly weird and wonderful.

Chouette is described as “a fierce, dark fable about motherhood that will grip you in its talons and never let you go” and well, as far as I am concerned, that is absolutely true. It’s a disconcerting and viscious fever-dream type tale about a woman who becomes pregnant with an owl-baby and she has to learn to live with, and love, her new child. This book far surpassed my expectations and firmly placed itself on my top books of 2021 list.

Due for Release: 4th November 2021

What will you be reading this spooky season?

I have my fingers crossed that more exciting reads will be announced in the coming weeks so I can stack my TBR pile even higher!

Let me know which books you’re excited for and if you’re already planning the books you’ll be picking up pre-Halloween to get you in the spooky spirit! I’d love to hear about them, and let me know if you’d like any particular recommendations as I’d love to share.


  1. The Haunting Season sounds fab and so does Writing the Uncanny! I love books about books and writing! I’ve actually had an idea floating around in my head about a blog post on the topic so it might be a good one to pick up.

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