The day after Thanksgiving is a much advertised shopping holiday here in the States: Black Friday. It’s a day full of sales and, if you’ve ever worked retail, full of awful people who don’t know what they want and/or don’t know how to be nice about it. Depending on the side of the fence you are on, it can be a dark day full of dark deeds. To get us all in the spirit of this terrible and wonderful day, we’ve put together a cheeky little list of books you could be reading instead of being yet another warm body crushed into the mall. This list is part horror, part horrifying, part oddly hopeful: just like the holiday season.
1. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
Scary monsters to haunt your nightmares from beyond the stars and below the sea. What could be worse than not finding the perfect gift this holiday season? Well, let Mr. Lovecraft tell you.
2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Coraline is a curious young lady exploring her family’s new apartment. What she finds is at first wonderful and strange. Then, it’s just strange. Maybe even dangerous and strange.
3. Fallen by Lauren Kate
Fallen angels, True Loves, and high school. What else do you need in your life? A Toaster?
4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark
In a world that is not our world two men try to restore magic in England. Don’t you wish there was magic in the world and you could just flick a wand and you’d be done Christmas shopping?
5. Dear John by Nicolas Sparks
This book might be the worst thing that ever happened to me. It’s hours worth of reading I can never get back. I don’t actually recommend reading it but if you wanted to know what real horror looks like to me its this: a lifetime trapped in Nicholas Sparks’ terrible and cliched prose.
6. Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula is a blood sucking fiend. Shopping is a soul sucking endeavor. You get the metaphor.
7. Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano
John Constantine is the anti-hero’s anti-hero. He’s a terrible person. Hell, he’s more unlikeable than likeable. And, yet he’s necessary and compelling and chain smoking. If you’re seeing the devils of commerce everywhere, you may need a little Constantine in your life.
8. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
This is technically the second book in the cycle, but I’m not sure you’d actually miss the first book. Will Stanton must fight the Black Rider and a blizzard at the holiday season and find the six sign symbols. He’s only eleven years old, can he do it?
9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Forgotten why we’re all doing this? Let Charles Dickens remind you in this classic tale. Bonus: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is the stuff of nightmares.