Book Recommendations: Spooky Reads for Halloween!

Book recommendations with varian: spooky halloween reads. illustration of varian wearing a unicorn costume.

Happy Halloween week, dear friends! Whether you celebrate Halloween or if it’s just another day for you, I think we can all agree that Halloween is the perfect excuse to recommend some spooky books! Now, if you ask Varian ‘trick or treat!’, they will definitely treat you to a book recommendation! Though it isn’t quite Halloween yet (or, Pond-o-ween here at the Pond), Varian thought they would recommend some books for you to read on the day to get you in the spooky spirit.

Varian is wearing their Halloween costume (a unicorn!) a little early, but that’s not why today’s book recommendation post is a little special. In today’s book recommendation post, Varian won’t be recommending books alone. Varian has recruited Sprout and Cuddle to recommend two books for you all to read during Halloween!

So without further ado, here are the Pond’s book recommendations to read this 31st of October! (And  if you love the idea of the Pond friends dressed up in costumes, make sure you visit the Pond on Halloween. They have a little surprise for you.)

CW’s Recommendations

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

If you don’t like spooky books but love the idea of a light-hearted book with a light spooky but big feminist mood, then allow me to introduce you to Undead Girl Gang! The story follows Mila who, after suspecting suspicious circumstances surrounding her best friend’s death, brings back her friend from the grave — and accidentally brings back two others as well. This story is wickedly funny, celebrates female friendships, has wholesome fat rep and Mexican rep, and has just the right amount of mystery to keep you entertained. I loved this book!

Add Undead Girl Gang on Goodreads.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

If you feel like reading a chocolate box of spooky reads and if you love feminist stories about witches, then you’ll love Toil & Trouble, an incredible, diverse, and empowering anthology about witches. Not only is this anthology about witches – it’s also about women, feminism, and how the potential – and consequences – of the strength of women. The stories range from historical fiction to urban fantasy to westerns, and also from wholesome to heartbreaking to painful.

Add Toil & Trouble on Goodreads.

Joce’s Recommendations

The Book of M by Peng Sherpherd

The Book of M is Peng Shepherd’s debut novel, and is an adult dystopian novel about a spreading phenomenon called The Forgetting, where people’s shadows disappear and they lose all their memories, but gain other powers. Our protagonists Ory and Max are on the run and in hiding in an abandoned hotel until one day Max’s shadow disappears too, and she becomes more and more dangerous to Ory. I highly recommend this book because of the impending sense of urgency and doom, just the right amount of spooky for Halloween, but also not too terribly spooky if you are a scaredy-cat like me!

Add The Book of M on Goodreads.

The Good House by Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due is a criminally underrated Black author of Afrofuturism and fabulist fiction. The Good House is my favorite of her books, and is a twist on a haunted house, following the Toussaint family and their home through many generations. The story starts in 1929, when a 16 year old girl is brought to the house by a group of men, and she is nearing death in need of healing, and Marie Toussaint tells her that healing will come only if she pays a price. The story then jumps to 2001 when her great grandson Corey comes across her spellbook. The Good House is filled with mythology, family secrets, and some horror elements. It is perfect for this time of year!

Add The Good House on Goodreads.

Skye’s Recommendations

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

I don’t usually seek out spooky books because I’m very easily frightened, but when I found out that this book was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses set in a high manor by the sea where the daughters of the duke have been mysteriously dying off one by one, I was sold. And I’m very happy to report that I was PROPERLY spooked by this! The slow tension buildup throughout the story was super compelling, and I was so genuinely enthralled that I devoured this in one sitting. Consider picking this up for Halloween if you’re in the mood for a slower paced read rich with gothic aesthetics, death and dancing!

Add House of Salt and Sorrows on Goodreads.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I’ll be the first to admit that I went into this book biased because I already love the author, but friends, this book filled me with so much yearning. The heart of the book follows a school filled with children who have found doors into fantastical worlds that feel like home, and I just adore the idea of exploring the consequences that arise when a child is forced to leave the world they’ve found to return to their old, mundane existence. This is an older, shorter pick—but the story comes as an easy recommendation for lovers of quicker books, fairytale reimaginings, and whodunnit murder mysteries.

Add Every Heart a Doorway on Goodreads.

We hope you enjoyed today’s book recommendation post and have found a good book to read during Halloween!

A reminder: be sure to visit the Pond on Halloween (31st of October) – the Pond friends have been preparing for their first Pond-o-ween together, and they have some surprises they want to share with you! (And we’d love to have you at the Pond’s first Story Time post.)

  • Have you read any of the book above? What did you think of them?
  • Do you have any recommendations of Halloween?
  • What is your favourite spooky book? Do you like spooky reads? Why or why not? 👀

9 thoughts on “Book Recommendations: Spooky Reads for Halloween!

  1. I thought Undead Girl Gang was okay, way more of a comedy than I was expecting.

    My recs for spoopy/Halloween books are The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, and Power & Magic: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology!


  2. Varian looks adorable in their unicorn costume, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store of Pond-o-ween!

    I loved House of Salt and Sorrows and definitely agree that it’s such an amazing read for this time of year! The rest of the books on this list are all actually already on my TBR for eventually reading if I somehow become immortal. Great recommendations!


  3. I love these recs. I’ve read Seanan’s book & can’t back this up enough. 🖤

    I’d recommend Coraline or The Ocean at the End of the Lane or The Graveyard Book for Halloween book. They’re all spooky as heck and Gaiman is just a master at embracing that feeling.


  4. I’m not big on spooky books, purely because anything undead – or similar – doesn’t quite float my boat. However, one I did enjoy was The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, who’s definitely an author I’m willing to give exceptions to.


  5. Yay for spooky reads! I always do a spooky-themed TBR for October, but this year I didn’t get around to reading all the books on it because things got in the way. I have been reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo this month, which is just the perfect book for this time of year 🙂


  6. I’m totally a scaredy-cat, so I don’t usually seek spooky books to read, even if it’s Halloween. I had decided to try and change that a bit this past month, and give a House of salt and sorrows a try but then I read a negative review and I decided to post-pone it! It’s great to hear Skye has enjoyed it, I might wait a bit longer and read it myself too ^^


  7. I really loved Undead Girl Gang – it’s such a delightful and sweet book, and the way the girls’ friends grew was so beautiful. It’s one of the most heartwarming books I’ve ever read. I really want to read Every Heart a Doorway, and I’ve added The Good House to my tbr – first time I’m hearing about it but it sounds amazing.


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