Dreadful, Dark, and Dreary: The Anti-Spring Reading List

The sun is now shining, the daffodils have bloomed, and everywhere you look there are rabbits in (dare I say it?) aBUNdance. It seems as if the Midwest has finally decided that, yes, it is Spring. 

So what better time to read dark and dreadful books?!

Here are some of the books on my "To Be Read" shelf that will help to get me through the endless sunny days and warm weather that is sure to come. While everyone will be outside "enjoying nature" (what???), I will be hidden indoors, slathered up in SPF, reading and dreaming of the days when it rains and it's foggy and gross and generally spooky. 

Image result for addams family gifThe Dumb House 

The unnamed narrator in this brutal little book is obsessed with a Persian myth in which Akbar the Great decides to experiment on newborn babes to figure out whether language is innate or learned. So obsessed, in fact, that he decides to recreate his own Dumb House with his children. John Burnside is also a poet and I've heard this book is horrible, yet beautiful, which is totally my jam. 

The Hole 

I have been meaning to read this psychologically gripping horror novel since Eli first mentioned it who-knows-when. A man wakes up after being in a coma, only to discover that he caused a car accident that killed his wife and left him paralyzed. His caretaker is his mother-in-law, who spends all her time digging mysterious holes in the back yard. This gives me major Misery feels, and I am here for it. 

Strange Practice 

Greta Helsing is a doctor to the undead and other supernatural creatures of London - a descendant of the Abram Van Helsing (the old dude from that one vampire novel), she has been trained to follow in her family's highly unusual footsteps. Then, of course, as in any good book, some weird stuff starts to happen and we have a plot! This one should be super fun. 

From Here to Eternity 

This one is all about death and death practices throughout the world. So, you know, a pretty cheerful read. I just can't get enough of Caitlin Doughty after reading her crematorium memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. This is not a subject I thought I would be interested in reading about, but honestly now it's kind of obvious considering all of the other books I like to read. 

The Silent Companions 

A Victorian ghost story in which we have a recently widowed protagonist who now has to live in her dead husband's terrifying manor home. Inside this creepy abode, there is a room with a locked door, and within that locked room there is a painted wooden figure that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie, our bereaved heroine. She thinks nothing of the figure... Until its eyes start to move, that is. 

Frankenstein in Baghdad 

Hadi lives in U.S.-occupied Baghdad, and he collects human body parts and sews them together. (So far we are off to a great start.) And because this is a Frankenstein retelling, the corpse goes missing, and then there are reports of a horrifying and unstoppable creature that just keeps going around killing people. The second I found out this book existed, I knew I had to read it. 

Get Well Soon 

I have been oddly fascinated by plagues and medical history ever since I learned about the black death when I was a small child. (Yes, I myself have always been strange and unusual.) This fascination has carried in into adulthood, so when a co-worker alerted me to a book about the worst plagues in history... Well, you can bet how I reacted. Kind of inappropriately, considering the subject matter.

The Book of Lost Things 

For this one, you might be asking yourself, "but what is so dark about fairy tale retellings?" Oh you poor, naive, spoiled-by-Disney fool. Fairy tales are about the darkest stories you can possibly get. I mean, have you read any original fairy tales? Talk about GRIMM. (I am so sorry. I promise that is the last time I will ever make that joke. It WILHELM not happen again, I assure you.)

The Incarnations 

A twisty-turny novel in which a taxi driver starts receiving eerie letters from someone who claims to be his soulmate. The letters detail all his past lives and how brutally they ended. The letters appear seemingly out of nowhere, so obviously the guy gets pretty freaked out. The plot for this book sounds so fantastically creepy, and I've only heard good things.


A domestic drama / literary thriller about a man drowning in debt whose parents come to live with him after something terrible happens to them and they can no longer live on their own. His parents have never been affectionate towards him, so of course there is conflict. This book gives off major Vegetarian vibes, and since that is one of my favorite novels of all time, I'm pretty sure I will love this one as well.

Image result for addams family book gif

-Kimberly Lopez is a Reader Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.