As promised, here is part two of my Summer Scares anthology series! And I hope all of you are taking some time to curl up with a good book and have the bejeebers scared out of you! The weather has finally become warm enough (when it’s not raining) for me to read outside again. And fortunately, those man-eating mosquitos have kept themselves at a safe distance. I usually head inside before it gets too dark, so I’ve not yet heard the howl of the werewolves, nor felt the hot breath of a vampire breathing down the back of my neck. But, if you’re looking for just such a feeling, then I have a feeling that you’ll very much enjoy these books!

Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Tales of Horror (Lincoln Michel)

I get it. You’re busy. You don’t have time to do a lot of reading. Or, you want to be scared a little bit, but not scared for 400 pages at a time. So, that’s why this book is such a perfect pick. Featuring quick, bite-sized tales that are only a few pages apiece, readers can easily find a quick and scary story to keep them occupied for a few minutes.

Bringing together 42 tales of terror, these compelling and dreadful tales have something for everyone, so no matter what scares you, you’ll be able to find a chiller or two to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

Screams from the Dark (Ellen Datlow)

I love a good monster story, don’t you? In fact, I think I would go so far as to say that I prefer a good monster in my horror novels to a good human villain. There’s something so deliciously chilling about them. The titles in this collection, gathered by Ellen Datlow, feature all kinds of fearsome creatures, from werewolves and vampires to demons and aliens. Featuring 29 tales by the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen Graham Jones, Caitlín R. Kiernan, these monstrous stories are sure to appeal to readers who (like me) enjoy a creature feature in their literature.

Other Terrors (Vince A. Liaguno)

While most of the books featured on this list are strictly short stories, Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology contains not only stories, but poetry as well. Most of the titles included in this collection come from writers from underrepresented backgrounds, making for a deliciously devious, dark, and diverse collection. Fans of Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, Tracy Cross, Gabino Iglesias, and Tananarive Due will definitely want to check out this collection. Focusing on the concept of the “other,” this book draws upon experiences of different cultures, religions, races, and more, all the while keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

Shining in the Dark (Hans-Åke Lilja)

Hans-Åke Lilja, the Stephen King superfan responsible for the site Lilja’s Library shares some of his favorite horror stories, including six which were written specifically for this collection (including one by Stephen King) and aren’t to be found anywhere else! With contributions from legendary horror writers like Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, John Ajvide Lindqvist, and even Edgar Allan Poe, this terrifying collection is sure to please not only Lilja’s personal fans, but those of classic horror as well.

Poe (Ellen Datlow)

Even if you’re not a fan of Poe, as a horror reader, you’ve certainly read some of his works. And you can’t deny this author’s influence on the genre. Not only did Poe pioneer the detective novel, but he is also one of the most famous horror writers of all time. This collection, edited by Ellen Datlow, is a collection of 19 chilling tales all inspired by the works of the master. Turn off the lights and prepare for some deadly retellings of “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Published in celebration of Poe’s 200th birthday, this collection includes the writings of Gregory Frost, Laird Barron, Kim Newman, and more!

Scream and Scream Again (R.L. Stine)

This collection is ideal for the younger horror-heads in your life. Written and edited with children in mind, this collection of scares was assembled by none other than R.L. Stein of Goosebumps fame. Of course, being written for children doesn’t prevent this book from still be shocking and scary and a whole lot of fun. So, if you’re feeling brave enough, consider picking up this collection, featuring stories of time travel, haunted houses, witches, and even wicked ice-cream trucks! Featuring the talents of Heather Graham, Doug Levin, Joseph S. Walker, and of course, R.L. Stein, this book will make you scream–and scream again!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.