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Get Booked Episode #4: Haunted by Horror

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

Welcome to Episode 4! This episode is about all things horror, so I’ve brought in an amazing horror expert, librarian Becky Spratford. Becky is a Readers’ Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All and it’s evil twin sister RA for All: Horror and is on the Steering Committee of the Adult Reading Round Table. Becky is also known for her work with horror readers as the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition [ALA Editions, 2012] and is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association.  You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.  


This episode is sponsored by We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean and the Room movie.



Listen to past episodes of Get Booked here!

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Need a book recommendation? Fill out the form at the bottom of the post, or email and we’ll help!


Hey bookriot team 🙂

Through you guys I discovered Bird Box by Josh Malerman and I absolutely loved it. Now, I am looking for similar horror books that, like Bird Box, do not directly depict or vividly describe gore or horror. For my taste Stephen King’s novels for example tend to build up to that point, while I, like many, am much more scared by things that are invisible, or not even there at all. Therefore I am looking for a book that scares you more through the characters reactions and leave you guessing what actually keeps them up at night, maybe even beyond the book’s end. It doesn’t even have to be mainly considered a horror book, it should just make you uneasy and provoke the feeling that something about the story is incredibly wrong and eerie.

Thank you and greetings from Germany! –Constantin


Dear Get Booked

First, I want to say that I love your podcast. I just finished reading Bird Box by Josh Malerman and loved it. Do you have any other scary, spooky, or horror recommendations?





We’re doing a Halloween readathon at our library. All of the librarians are looking for short, scary stories to read aloud. We want the stories to be short enough that people will sit through them without leaving. I’m especially interested in including diverse authors in the mix. Any suggestions that will chill our patrons and introduce them to authors beyond the expected? –April



Dear Amanda, I was hoping you could recommend some well written horror fiction. I am a huge fan of horror movies and I read quite a bit but I usually stick to literary fiction and non-fiction. The only horror novels that I can recall reading are Frankenstein and the “Goosebumps” I read as a pre-teen. I love Poe but never got into King. I can appreciate the cheesiness of a low-budget horror film but I am less amused by bad books. Heeeelp! –Corinna


Hi Get Booked,

Hi Amanda, Every October I like to read horror novels for the entire month in celebration of Halloween. Thanks to Book Riot, I have been making an effort to diversify my reading, and I have noticed that the vast majority of horror novels in my TBR pile are written by white men. Can you please recommend horror novels written by women and people of color? Thanks a lot!  –Sarah


Good morning Amanda & Co-Host,

I love the Fall season and am always looking to fill the months, especially October, with horror and suspense books. I enjoy reading paranormal/supernatural books, but it’s difficult to find something that will give me chills.



Hi Amanda and guests!

I loved the idea of an episode completely dedicated to Halloween / Horror themes!

I need a newbie recommendation because though I think it’s a super fun theme I’ve never actually read any horror novels ’cause I’m too chicken! Lol!!!

But I really want to dip my toes in this bloody water.

So, where should I start? Horror essentials we may call it.

Thanks a million!




Books Discussed on the Show!

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltersman

The Keep by Jennifer Egan

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due

Defy the Dark anthology (esp. Malinda Lo’s “Ghost Town” and “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Dia Reeves)

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Stories in any collection edited by Ellen Datlow

The New Black edited by Richard Thomas (more here)

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle

Slade House by David Mitchell

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

The Darkling by R.B. Chesterton 

Resource one for diversity Question (Write World)

Lesley Conner (adult)– The Weight of Chains and Amy Lukavics (teen)– Daughters unto Devils

Resource two for diversity Question

Wytches by Scott Snyder

The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor

Ghost Radio by Leopoldo Gout 

Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay 

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Ring by Koji Suzuki

Nazareth Hill by Ramsey Campbell

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

The Rising by Brian Keene