101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED is essential reading for all of the fictioneers out there that either love speculative fiction, or want a curated introduction to the phenomenal horror fiction that has come out since the year 2000.
As Josh Malerman writes in his foreword to the book: “Welcome to modern horror.”
Sadie Hartmann’s 101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED adds urgency to the hunt for new great reading, as the renowned writer of a gargantuan amount of horror book reviews excitedly offers up the very best she has come across in the last 23 years.
There are horror indie books, self-published titles, and best-selling novels too.
Sadie Hartmann provides accessible literary criticism for the bevy of books in 101 that are clearly near and dear to her heart, even if some of them were so terrifying they made her sleep with the lights on.
My To-Be-Read (TBR) list grew by dozens, as I perused Hartmann’s meticulous work and found exciting insight tailored to my interests.
I could not put 101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED, or my Goodreads app, down!
There is a book for everyone in here and the way 101 is organized and explained makes for both fascinating and illuminating reading.
Each book falls under one of five categories: Paranormal, Supernatural, Human Monsters, Natural Order Horror, and Short Story Collections.
Each category is explained thoroughly with wit, knowledge, and relatable candor.
Paranormal is for Hartmann, “freaky shit that defies explanation,” and she is one-hundred percent right.
And then there are subcategories, like Supernatural’s Demons and Possession.
Two brilliant sections are given to each book review and were pivotal for me: the “At A Glance” section to the right of the review and the “Quote” section at the top of the review.
I LOVE quotes, even just one line in a work of literature, be it horror, non-fiction, or poetry; I find they are so revealing as to the book’s voice and the author’s writing.
Hartmann painstakingly searched for not just a good quote, but an impactful one that represented what the work and its author’s writing are about. It is genius.
On top of the Quote, Hartmann gives us the At A Glance map to the novel where you can read about the work’s specific Themes, Tone, Style, Setting, and the Publisher; and all of which I find very helpful when determining what might interest me to delve further into a book or to run shrieking into the night, because there are clown dolls in the tale, combining two of my worst fears.
Readers, authors, horror experts and novices alike will revel in learning so much from Sadie Hartmann’s 101+ horror books.
Wait, did I just say 101+ horror books?! What is with the +?
Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann’s 101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED goes above and beyond analyzing the books themselves and hits on the very genres, tropes, triggers, and myriad nuances that give such books so much power to move, thrill, and scare the hell out of us.
And yes, though Hartmann states that this is a book of the modern age of great horror and that she is not reviewing foundational figures such as Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, or Bram Stoker, but, and I mean BUT, you may find a wonderful surprise as you go along and read about each of the 101, because many of the featured authors and genres lend themselves to what these classic authors have done in literature and so, for example, there may be a few mentions of THE EXORCIST by Blatty that slip past Hartmann’s portcullis before the book is closed.
And though the 101 book is limited to 101 reviewed titles, there are also ten author spotlights throughout the book, because all of these authors’ works need to be read (so we have a plethora of great titles), and each of them, from Adam Nevill, Alma Katsu, Ania Ahlborn, Christopher Buehlman, Grady Hendrix, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Tananarive Due to V. Castro pick their own their three all-time favorite horror books for 101!
There also essays from other exceptional authors in the modern genre that feature their books too: Cassandra Khaw, Hailey Piper, Eric LaRocca, R.J. Joseph, and Daniel Kraus give their own thoughts on important aspects in horror.
So, what are some examples of the 101 modern horror gems in the book?
I am not telling.
Go and discover what graces the shadowy pages inside 101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED for yourselves. Ideally, do it before you’re murdered.
Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann is an author, is the Bram Stoker-nominated editor-in-chief of publisher Dark Hart Books, the owner/publisher of the horror fiction subscription service Night Worms (which is sooo much fun), and she is an epic reviewer of books.
The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)
“101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED Is Essential” Was Written By R.J. Huneke.
Catch Sadie Mother Horror Hartmann on her book tour NOW!
Sadie Hartmann was kind enough to give TFF an extra copy of 101 and we are giving it away after we see Philip Fracassi at an upcoming signing in NYC and he signs his own book review in 101! You can enter the GIVEAWAY free on any of TFF’s social media or FB here.
Speaking of Mr. Fracassi’s Book Tour, TFF’s own R.J. Huneke will be interviewing Philip Fracassi prior to his stop at the Mysterious Bookshop in New York LIVE on Facebook (the video will be on Youtube the next day), so be sure to tune in!