Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Tell Us Your Fears and We’ll Recommend a Book To Make Them Worse

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

What are you afraid of? Everyone is afraid of something. Or many somethings. But hypothetically, if you had to pick one thing, what would it be? See a ghost or be buried alive? Be buried alive or swim with sharks? Swim with sharks or be covered in snakes? These are fun — and frightening — things to think about. And great distractions! Horror, as a genre, is more popular than ever these days, that’s because many people enjoy being scared. Not just being scared but being taken away from the realities of the world, which are scary enough. This is why we want to help you distract yourself with this horror quiz by having you tell us your fears, and we’ll recommend a book to make them worse!

Reading is fun, educational, and entertaining. And it’s a great escape from our daily problems. So why not use books to scare yourself silly? That will take your mind off other things. Go ahead — frighten yourself! We’re not your mom; we’re not going to hold your hand. So, are you ready to be scared? Just answer these several questions about the things that scare you, and receive a recommendation for a great book that will not alleviate your fears in the least. You’re welcome.

Here’s a List of All the Books Included In This Quiz:

the cover of Drowning by T.J. Newman

Drowning by T.J. Newman

If you have a fear of flying, this novel won’t help to calm those fears. AT ALL. Not only does the plane crash right after takeoff, but it sinks into the ocean with passengers still trapped on board.

Book cover of The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of your own actions. The friends in this book were involved in something bad when they were younger, and now it has come back to bite them in the butt. And by “bite them in the butt,” we mean “murder them horribly.”

cover of Whalefall by Daniel Kraus; image of a whale swimming up to swallow a diver

Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

Are you afraid of things in the water? Then imagine being accidentally swallowed by an eighty-foot whale and having only one hour of oxygen left. Maybe stick to the shallow end.

cover of Boys in the Valley; illustration of young men with weapons facing a large building

Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi

If you maybe watched The Exorcist one too many times, and you’re worried about demons taking over your body, then pick up this book. It’s like a plague of evil, hopping from one victim to the next.

The Hatching book cover

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

Spiders. Lots of them. Skittering and crawling with their eight legs and bazillions of eyes. Slowly climbing over you while you sleep. Taking over the whole planet. Need we say more?

cover of The Good House by Tananarive Due, featuring a scary house with a scary tree behind it

The Good House by Tananarive Due

It may be called The Good House, but whatever is inside it is bad, bad, bad. If you’re scared of the past lingering in your home, pick this one up.

cover of Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Many, many people are afraid of clowns. And how do you think that makes the clowns feel? Sad. And bad. Real bad. As in, “murder a whole bunch of people” bad.

American Predator book cover

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan

If your biggest fear is straight-up being murdered by a serial killer, you will be terrified by this true story of one of the most frightening humans to ever live.

cover of Bad Cree: A Novel by Jessica Johns; red tinted photo of birch trees against the sky

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns

Do you have nightmares? Imagine if they started to come true. That’s what happens in the novel, where a woman starts manifesting things she dreams about — like dead birds.

Book cover of Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Vampires are a long-held source of fear and fascination. Imagine if these bloodsuckers overran your town. Or worse, if you had to join forces with one to save yourself. It’s a good thing vampires aren’t real…right?