In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I’ll feature a variety of atmospheric books that I’ve read and would recommend to readers. The books vary in genre and the type of atmosphere they foster; a good number are spooky reads that would be ideal to pick up this month. However, I wanted to broaden the scope from that so there is something here for all readerships… so fantasy, historical and cozy readers… there are books here for you too!
Let’s check out the books that made it to today’s Top Ten Tuesday list!
The Trail is a book I read recently and it has been released at the perfect time to catch on to readers who like to pick up something spooky in October!
If you would like to read my review of this book, then I’ll provide a link to it here. In summary, it’s a small-town and sinister read involving an old disappearance case. When Jess goes back to where her mother disappeared she finds resistance at every turn. Long buried secrets try to stay buried…
When a family move to an idyllic house on the edge of a wood, they get far more than they bargained for.
Pet Sematary is a great read for fans of horror. I read this book when I was relatively new to the genre and fell in love with it very quickly! It fits the ‘spooky read’ aesthetic perfectly with its dabblings in topics like life and death… or… something else.
Most parents dismiss the ramblings of children and their imaginary friends… but sometimes you shouldn’t. Imaginary Friend is a chunky read, yet over its page count it slowly weaves a darker tale into what begins a seemly innocuous child’s life.
I’d especially recommend this to fans of Stephen King as well. I found the method and pace of storytelling quite similar.
The Taking of Annie Thorne
The Taking of Annie Thorne gave me chills at the end, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The Taking of Annie Thorne is my second C.J. Tudor read. I thought The Chalk Man would be a tough act to follow, but apparently not! Both were candidates for this Top Ten Tuesday post and I would honestly recommend either.
This horror/thriller also involves children, and features the titular Annie Thorne, who goes missing for 48 hours. However, when she returns, her brother swears she isn’t the same girl who disappeared that short time ago…
This book is very cleverly written to keep readers guessing at every revelation. It’s a dark, sinister narrative… and I loved it!
The Hunger Games
All my fantasy reads in this section of my Top Ten Tuesday post have dystopian themes. I confess that The Hunger Games came to mind quite quickly as I’ve watched the first two films on Sky in the last week or so. They happened to be on and I enjoy them. I now want to revisit the books though!
The oppression and stark discrimination, paired with brief glimmers of hope are integral to the setting, characters and plot of this series. That’s why I’m featuring them in this post. They are so well done that the reader cannot help but route for those oppressed to thrive!
Red Rising is actually quite similar to The Hunger Games… so if you’d like to read the premise of that book in a sci-fi setting, then Red Rising is perfect for you.
Darrow and his kin risk their lives every day to mine a precious resource that will one day help colonise the planet. However, he learns that he and his people are being lied to and kept in effective slavery to those of higher caste.
In order to exact revenge, he infiltrates his oppressors and plots to take them apart from the inside.
This final book in The Raven’s Mark series is fraught with desperation, and the setting, plot and characters all come together in a last ditch attempt to save humanity. Even the Gods are losing power to a mightier force than they. What hope does Ryhalt have of stopping the incoming tide of minions of the Deep Kings?
That’s the premise of this dystopian and war torn setting… and the atmosphere of danger and desperation is palpable throughout.
As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow
In As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow, there is stark contrast between the love a woman has for her home country as it was growing up versus the war ravaged landscape she struggles to live in every day.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of indifference with foreign news, but it is books like As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow that make us open our eyes to the devastation. Salama works in a hospital, stitching up the countless innocent victims caught up in the war. She is far from safe. Hospitals are targets.
In this harrowing tale of a fight for survival, the stress of the war and the choices Salama has had to make in her duties literally haunt her.
Historical – Non-Fiction
The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in World War II to escape the anti-Semitic treatment her people are exposed to. They are ultimately discovered in their annex and their fate is sealed. However, until such time, we relive the frustrations of living in a restricted lifestyle and confined space with multiple people. The underlying fear punctuates each entry, highlighting how it became a part of Anne’s (and her family’s) everyday life.
What makes the atmosphere most stark is that the words in Anne Frank’s diary spell out this young woman’s experience of real life events.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
Finally, I’ve chosen a completely different tone to round off this Top Ten Tuesday post.
The House in the Cerulean Sea, in summary, is about a man who doesn’t really belong in his world. As a special social worker, it is his duty to ensure the safekeeping of magical children. In his line of duty, he is sent to assess the most top secret orphanage. He expects to find chaos and danger – not the meaning of family and belonging.
Those are my atmospheric reads in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post. Have you read any of the books I featured today?