Nightfire Staff Picks: What to Read in Self-Isolation - Tor Nightfire

Nightfire Staff Picks: What to Read in Self-Isolation

It’s a scary world out there. Hopefully you’re reading this safe at home (I’m writing this from my couch) and observing proper social distancing protocols. If you’ve found yourself on this site, my guess is that you’re already a reader with an unmanageable TBR list like the rest of us – but just in case, the Nightfire staff has put together a reading (and viewing) list so you’ve got plenty to keep you occupied during self-isolation. Please leave your own suggestions in the comments, and stay safe and healthy!

Jordan Hanley, Marketing Manager

Monster, She Wrote, Lisa Kroger & Melanie R. Anderson

I’m celebrating Women’s History Month by remembering the women who came before us. Not only is this non-fiction compendium beautifully designed, it’s also a great source of historical and new novels to add to your TBR list. Running from the 18th century to the present, Monster She Wrote provides a holistic look at the horror genre. I’m interested in how we got to where we are now and this book was a fascinating lens of looking at horror. This was a perfect escape from our present reality for me.

Apple | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Kristin Temple, Assistant Editor

Rules for Vanishing, Kate Alice Marshall

Forever laughing because the parameters were (rightly!) something that’s already on sale. As an editor, I’m in a constant state of reading stuff that’s not out yet. BUT this gave me the perfect excuse to crack open one of the books on my TBR that I’ve been dying to read for ages: Rules For Vanishing. It’s been a year since Sara’s sister, Becca, vanished without a trace. When a mysterious text message invites Sara and her friends to enter the woods and find local ghost legend Lucy Gallows, it sounds like Sara’s best chance of finding her sister. But Sara and her friends have barely spoken since Becca went missing. And now they have to rely on each other to make it out of the woods alive.
So a story about sisters, ghosts, friendship, and creepy woods? This book is like a buffet of all my favorite horror tropes. Very, very excited to be finally digging in!

Apple | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Emily Hughes, Blog Editor

The Girl From Rawblood, Catriona Ward

A twisty, scary gothic tale told across multiple generations of a cursed family. The Villarcas are a dying line – they’re haunted by a phantom presence, known only as “her,” who strikes when a member of the family falls in love. Iris, the youngest and final Villarca, lives a sheltered life under her father’s watchful eye as he tries to protect her, and through alternating chapters we learn about her father’s fateful scientific experiments, her mother’s strange and tragic life, and her own twisting future. Also featured: a genuinely terrifying cave, misty moors, an Edwardian asylum, Victorian pseudoscientific experiments, and a horrifying phantom whose power reaches across time.

Apple | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Theresa DeLucci, Sr. Assoc. Director of Marketing

Anaïs Nin at the Grand Guignol, Robert Levy

A decadent novella about infamous author Nin getting caught in the snares of a demon at the even more notorious Parisian theater is just the short, dark, erotic distraction my mind needs right now. Levy perfectly captures Nin’s intimate, analytical voice and reading such well-crafted smut is totally CDC-approved!

Apple | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Molly McGhee, Assistant/Office Queen

From The Shadows, Juan José Millás

A man finds himself accidentally trapped in the home of a small, idyllic family in Spain. As any person would, he then pretends to be the ghost of the homeowner’s long-dead twin brother. I absolutely loved this weird book and I read it in one sitting. The story is equal parts psychotic, suspenseful, and tenderly funny. I can’t think of a better quarantine read that’s not about quarantines: this novel forever changed how I feel when I’m home alone.

Apple | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Kelly Lonesome, Senior Editor

Wilder Girls, Rory Power

I didn’t know anything about the book before picking it up, and it begins with a group of young girls quarantined (due to a “Tox”) on the island where their school is, so readers be warned! I really love the author’s voice and the way she reveals the hard-knock survival skills of these girls left to fend for themselves, promised a cure that doesn’t seem to be coming. The Tox doesn’t just make you sick — it changes your body with X-Men-like mutations, and can kill you in the process. There’s plenty of body horror to go with the intense dread of watching these girls navigate the daily dangers of this new world, and I’ve inadvertently chosen a book that sometimes feels a little Too Real. However, I’m finding hope in its message that even when authority fails the most vulnerable, it’s our found families that will help us get through even the most dystopian times. 

Apple | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Diana Gill, Editor

I’m pondering rereading The Stand, but think this self-isolation is the perfect time to finally settle in and watch Kingdom – a Joseon-era drama with zombies? WHEEE!


Tell us what you’re reading, watching, and playing in the comments!

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