Mike Thorn’s Favorite First Reads of 2021

Bleedthrough and Other Small Horrors, by Scarlett R. Algee (2020)

The Flowers of Evil, by Charles Baudelaire [edited by Marthiel and Jackson Mathews, multiple editors] (1857)

The Unnamable, by Samuel Beckett (1953)

Selling the Splat Pack: The DVD Revolution and the American Horror Film, by Mark Bernard (2014)

The Brigadier and the Golf Widow, by John Cheever (1964)

On the Heights of Despair, by E. M. Cioran [translated by Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston] (1933)

The Trouble with Being Born, by E. M. Cioran [translated by Richard Howard] (1973)

Porno Valley, by Philip Elliott (2021)

Less Than Zero, by Bret Easton Ellis (1985)

The Rules of Attraction, by Bret Easton Ellis (1987)

American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)

The Informers, by Bret Easton Ellis (1994)

Glamorama, by Bret Easton Ellis (1998)

Lunar Park, by Bret Easton Ellis (2005)

Imperial Bedrooms, by Bret Easton Ellis (2010)

The Shards, by Bret Easton Ellis (2021)

Carmilla, by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)

The Queer Art of Failure, by J. Jack Halberstam (2011)

In the Presence of Schopenhauer, by Michel Houellebecq [translated by Andrew Brown] (2017)

Humanimus, by David Huebert (2020)

The Damned, by J. K. Huysmans [translated by Terry Hale] (1891)

The Europeans, by Henry James (1878)

Washington Square, by Henry James (1880)

The Bostonians, by Henry James (1886)

Ghost Stories, by Henry James (1898)

Billy Summers, by Stephen King (2021)

The Wingspan of Severed Hands, by Joe Koch (2020)

Straydog, by Kathe Koja (2002)

The Blue Mirror, by Kathe Koja (2004)

Dark Factory, by Kathe Koja (2022; forthcoming)

I’m from Nowhere, by Lindsay Lerman (2019)

Shock!, by Richard Matheson (1961)

The Birds and Other Stories, by Daphne du Maurier (1952)

The Running Trees, by Amber McMillan (2021)

The Seventh Mansion, by Maryse Meijer (2020)

Circles, by Josiah Morgan (2020)

The Barrens, by Joyce Carol Oates (2001)

1984, by George Orwell (1949)

White is for Witching, by Helen Oyeyemi (2009)

The World as Will and Representation, Volume I, by Arthur Schopenhauer [translated by Judith

Norman and Alistair Welchman] (1818)

Wes Craven: Interviews, edited by Shannon Blake Skelton (2019)

Of One Pure Will, by Farah Rose Smith (2019)

The Secret History, by Donna Tartt (1992)

A History of Touch, by Erin Emily Ann Vance (2022; forthcoming)

Miss Lonelyhearts, by Nathanael West (1933)

The Ax, by Donald E. Westlake (1997)

Influences on Shelter for the Damned: Novels About Obsession (Guest Post on Where the Reader Grows)

Obsession is a primary driving force in Shelter for the Damned, as the novel’s protagonist, Mark, becomes intensely fixated on a shack he discovers in a suburban field. As the Shack begins revealing its weird sentience, Mark’s interest grows. His relationship to the Shack eventually becomes horrifically parasitic, evoking the nature of debilitating addiction.

While writing Shelter for the Damned, I was conscious of several other books focused on obsession and dependency. I was especially interested in novels that used first-person or quasi-omniscient style to depict their protagonists’ experiences. I have provided snapshots for some of the most overt influences on Shelter for the Damned below…

Read the guest post.

Q&A with Mike Thorn on Hellnotes

  1. What authors influenced you growing up? Who are you reading now?

As a young kid, I was really excited by J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and R. L. Stine. Discovering Stephen King as a preteen was a big deal, and the same goes for encountering Hubert Selby Jr. in my teens.

These days, I try to read as widely as possible. I’m currently making my way through Drawn Up from Deep Places, by Gemma Files, which is terrific. I was recently floored by two Henry James novels—The Portrait of a Lady and The Bostonians.

Read the full Q&A.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑