Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

Books that go bump in the night

I don't know why, but I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to horror novels. I find myself horrified by most, but I can't seem to stop reading. I guess I'm just drawn to the creepy and horrifying.

If you, too, enjoy the creepy and horrifying, you'll be happy to know that there are numerous horror novels available at Willard. One of the creepiest, in my opinion, is Bird Box. It takes place in an apocalyptic world where something terrifying is lurking outside. One glimpse of this mysterious creature, and you will be driven insane. No one knows what it is or where it came from. The story follows Malorie and her two young children. In the hopes of finding safety, Malorie sets out on a journey down a nearby river, blindfolded. It is a disturbing, psychological thrill-ride that will stick with you years after you've finished it!

The author of Bird Box, Josh Malerman, has an interesting backstory. He is a singer/songwriter for the Detroit rock band, The High Strung. It was while on the road touring that he wrote the rough drafts of his novels. It was after encouragement from an old high school friend, that Malerman sent his growing collection of works on to the publishing world. In 2014, his hit novel, Bird Box was released and not too long after picked up as a Netflix series, starring Sandra Bullock. Since Bird Box, he has published a number of novels and short stories, including Black Mad Wheel, Unbury Carol, and Inspection. A sequel to Bird Box is due out in the spring.

Up next on my to-read list is The Whisper Man by Alex North. Tom Kennedy and his son have just moved to Featherbank after the death of Tom's wife. They hope to start a new life in this quiet town. However, they soon discover that Featherbank has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer would lure residents out of their homes by whispering at their windows at night. The "Whisper Man," Frank Carter, was finally captured after he abducted and murdered five victims. As Tom and his son settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. The abduction is eerily similar to Frank Carter's crimes. But Frank Carter is still in prison. The race is on to find the boy before it's too late. Soon Tom's son starts acting strangely. He hears whispering at his window …The Whisper Man is a spine-tingling thrill ride that will keep you guessing until the very end.

I love the cover art for my next pick, The Toll by Cherie Priest. It depicts a rickety old bridge leading into darkness. Live oak trees loom overhead, their long tendrils nearly meeting the ground. The subtitle labels the work as "southern gothic horror with a contemporary twist." Just glancing at this cover gives me the chills! As for the plot; a newlywed couple, Titus and Melanie are on their honeymoon traveling to Okefenokee Swamp for a canoe trip. Just before they reach their destination, the road suddenly narrows, and they are forced onto an old bridge with room for only one car. Everything goes black. Titus wakes much later, lying in the middle of the road. There is no bridge in sight, and Melanie is missing. When Titus calls the police for help, they tell him there is no bridge on Route 177. Can you say creepy?

Lastly, Joe Hill, author of the novel-turned-TV series, NOS4A2, has released a collection of short horror stories. Full Throttle features horrifying tales of faceless truckers, horrors that lurk in the water, and a librarian who delivers books to the dead in an antique bookmobile. Of course, I can't wait to read the one about the librarian.

Willard also carries classic horror novels such as Dracula, The Shining, IT, Frankenstein and Silence of the Lambs. We'd be more than happy to place you on hold for any of the titles mentioned. Give us a call or visit

Happy reading!

April is currently listening to "The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs" by Katherine Howe.

Cozy up with some young adult books this fall
Teens discovering their dreams


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Wednesday, 27 October 2021