November is a month of darkness and rain. And what better activity to do on a day like that than sit in your house and read? Here are six books that are perfect for curling up with on a dark and stormy night.
Halloween may be over, but November is still a spooky month. And what better to read during a storm than something scary? Both Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw are haunted house stories short enough to be read in a single night. They are also the two inspirations for the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. In Hill House, Dr. Montague, Theodora, Eleanor, and Luke stay in the infamously haunted house to investigate the paranormal activity. In The Turn of the Screw, an unnamed governess goes to Bly Manor to take care of two children, Miles and Flora, and begins to see ghosts around the estate. Both stories are deeply psychological and can perhaps be considered more Gothic than horror. But they’ll give you that gleeful feeling of terror when reading them home alone at night!
A dark, rainy, November night also fits perfectly with the dark academia aesthetic. M. L. Rio’s If We Were Villains focuses on a group of students studying Shakespearean theater at the elite Dellecher Classical Conservatory. As they perform productions of Macbeth and Julius Caesar, tensions run high, rivalries start to form, and one of them ends up dead. Carol Goodman’s The Lake of Dead Languages moves between the past and present of Jane Hudson, who lived through a dark tragedy as a student at Heart Lake School for Girls and is now watching it unfold again as a Latin teacher. Both books deliver mysteries and twists perfect for a night of stormy reading along with all the elite college/boarding school vibes your heart could wish for.
And what’s a dark night without some creepy magic? Erin A. Craig’s Gothic retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” House of Salt and Sorrows takes place in a seaside manor that a group of sisters sneaks out of to dance at midnight balls. But Annaleigh starts to believe that whatever caused their four older sisters to die may want the rest of them dead as well. Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a historical fantasy set during the Napoleonic Wars. Magic has been absent from England until two magicians rise up, first as partners then as rivals. Though these are two very different books, both feature eerie atmospheres and haunting acts of magic that will leave you shivering in the November night.