written by Lília

Halloween may be over, but we’re still in a ghostly mood. If you’re looking for some horror recommendations to counter all that holiday good cheer, read on…

Syarah, from Amsterdam, recommends Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz. Set in Edinburgh in 1817, it tells the story of Hazel, who wants to become a surgeon but is of “the wrong gender” to follow lectures. She might be able to continue her medical career with one condition: she must pass her medical exam studying independently. She will need corpses, and for that, she gets the help of a resurrection man, a grave robber.

Lília, ABC’s romance buyer in The Hague, recommends The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston—a ghostly romance. The main character has a special talent: she can see ghosts. She works as a ghostwriter for a very famous author, and when her new hunky editor does not give her an extension to her deadline, she thinks her career will die. Because of a family emergency, she needs to go back home and to her family’s funeral parlor. While there, she starts seeing her now-dead editor and they actually hook up. Our main character needs to deal with the ghosts in her head and also those she sees.

We have two recommendations for Stephen King books, both from colleagues in our Amsterdam store.

  • Floris just read Salem’s Lot and thoroughly enjoyed it. According to Floris: “A book that started as a reaction to classic vampire stories became a classic vampire story in itself.”
  • Jilles, an avid horror reader, recommends this beautiful gift edition of a classic King trio: Three Novels, which includes Carrie, The Shining and Salem’s Lot.

(FYI: Stephen King is such a popular author among our customers that we have a separate section just for his books! Why not check it out?)

Iris recommends the spooky young adult (YA) Sixteen Souls by Rosie Talbot. A popular bookstagrammer on BookTok, Talbot marks her book debut with Sixteen Souls. As a seer, Charlie (surprise) sees ghosts. He’s a loner and doesn’t usually get involved with many people—until some of his ghostly friends start disappearing. With the help of a new seer in town, Charlie ends up trying to solve the mystery of their disappearances. They unravel a plot even more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

Iris also recommends the biography Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire. A bookseller at Sotheran, an antiquarian bookstore in London established in 1761, Oliver planned to work there for just one year but ended up falling in love with the place and now has put some of his hilarious memories into book form. And even though working in an antiquarian bookstore might be quite different from working at the ABC, there are many similarities, meaning all us booksellers—and maybe even you regular patrons—should read it!

Luke recommends the new Acting Class by Nick Drnaso. It’s a graphic novel that tells the story of a group of people in an acting class and how their lives develop through their time spent together. Drnaso also wrote Sabrina, published in 2018, the first graphic novel to have been nominated for a Man Booker Prize.

Emma V., from The Hague, recommends Cackle by Rachel Harrison, a story somewhere between fantasy and horror, a bit witchy and with some scary elements but not gory or horrific. After a break-up, Annie decides to move from Manhattan to a “small village upstate” and discovers that life there is not as simple as she expected. She finds witches, magic and danger, but also her own feminine strength. Perfect for lovers of all things witchy and feminist!

Sywert, the buyer for Amsterdam’s horror section, recommends Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu. It’s just been reissued in a beautiful hardcover edition. “Pre-dating Dracula by twenty-six years, Carmilla is the original vampire story, steeped in sexual tension and gothic romance,” say its publishers. This classic vampire tale that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula tells the story of Laura, a woman living as a recluse in the Austrian forest with her sick father. One night they receive an unexpected visitor, Carmilla, and the two women become friends. As their friendship progresses, Laura gets prone to nightmares and starts to grow weak…

Sywert also recommends Mary, the debut horror novel by Nat Cassidy. Unremarkable middle-aged Mary suddenly starts hearing voices that tell her to do “unspeakable things.” Moving back to her hometown, she begins to have terrible visions and blackouts, just as the murders begin.

And last but not least – and not a horror-related item: Dog Lover by David Short. It’s a card game about looking after your dog, where the person who cares the best for their canine wins.

Stay tuned for our December Staff Picks focusing on the holiday gift season!