Click here for some authors we’ve talked to about their books and their process.

And click below for some recommendations from some authors we trust.

 

Micol Ostow

Here are some of my favorite spooky novels (in some cases thrillers or otherwise twisty), and in particular books that influenced me while I was working on Amity!

  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • Shirley Jackson
  • “The ne plus ultimate haunted house story, I like to think of Amity‘s Gwen as sort of a modern spin on Eleanor, a young woman seeing and experiencing ghostly things, whose mind and perceptions can’t be trusted.”

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Shirley Jackson
  • “A slow-burner filled with atmosphere. Merricat is the platonic ideal of an unreliable narrator.”

  • The Shining
  • Stephen King
  • “A suggestible man, prone to violence, isolated in a hotel that exerts evil force over his will… Jack Torrance is to Amity‘s Connor as Hill House‘s Eleanor is to Gwen.”

  • Tighter
  • Adele Griffin
  • “A modern take on The Turn of the Screw, Griffin draws from chilling source material and makes it her own for today’s teen readers.”

  • To Die For
  • Joyce Maynard
  • “A dark and twisty thriller (the movie’s great, too) that serves up multiple POV’s on a platter. I spent a lot of time poring over the many distinct voices of that book.”

  • The Maddaddam trilogy
  • Margaret Atwood
  • “Epic and sprawling, boldly visionary, and still she manages to tie all of her narrative threads together by the series’ conclusion. To spend ten minutes in that woman’s head!”

  • Dangerous Girls
  • Abigail Haas
  • “Pacing, pacing, pacing. Totally un-put-downable.”

  • The Amityville Horror
  • Jay Anson
  • “(That one probably goes without saying.)”

  • We Were Liars
  • E.Lockhart
  • “The pages turn and the ending twists!”

Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner is a guitarist and songwriter and the author of the starkly beautiful debut YA novel The Serpent King (our full review here).

 

  • The First Time She Drowned
  • Kerry Kletter
  • "An absolutely gorgeous, lyrical, and unflinching story about a girl escaping from under the thumb of a toxic mother and living her own life."

  • How to Hang a Witch
  • Adriana Mather
  • "A delightfully spooky, twist-turny, and gripping mystery set in a haunted present-day Salem, Massachusetts."

  • The Love That Split the World
  • Emily Henry
  • "A beautiful and romantic time travel story set in small-town Kentucky."

  • Kids of Appetite
  • David Arnold
  • (out in September) "A hilarious, quirky, and warm story about murder, first love, and families of choice."

  • Everything, Everything
  • Nicola Yoon
  • "A sweet and swoony story about a girl who's allergic to the world."

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  • Becky Albertalli
  • "A hilarious, warm, and wise coming-out and coming-of-age story."

  • More Happy Than Not
  • Adam Silvera
  • "A heartbreaking story about a young man running from his own memory."

Sam Potts

designed this website.  He also designed the JS Worldwide website.  He has also designed all kinds of other stuff, beautifully.

  • Lou Gehrig, Boy of the Sandlots
  • Guernsey Van Riper Jr.
  • I think this is the first book I ever picked out on my own and read by myself. I'm pretty sure it is. I can tell you this for sure: Lou Gehrig always has been and always will be my favorite baseball player. And I'm from Boston, so that's saying something about the influence of this book.

  • What Do People Do All Day?
  • Richard Scarry
  • Before there was the Internet, there was What Do People Do All Day? to describe the whole world and everything in it. Still hours of fun to explore every page.

  • Stuart Little
  • E.B. White
  • He wears a sweater and sails a boat and drives a car and gets dumped on a garbage barge. Oh, and he's a mouse.

  • Paddle To The Sea
  • Holling C. Holling
  • An adventure story starring a carved wooden boat that travels all the way across Canda. A carved wooden boat? you say. That's right: a carved wooden boat! I wished I could be that boat.

  • The Great Brain, Great Brain Series
  • John D. Fitzgerald
  • This book and the other Great Brain books that followed are a handy how-to guide in the arts of scheming, swindling, cheating, and being a younger brother.

  • Tintin Adventures (Series)
  • Herge
  • We just called them "Tintins." I'd say, "Do you have any new Tintins?" and my friend Jamie would say, "I just finished The Black Island. You can borrow it but you have to give it back." YOu always had to give them ack because these books are precious.

  • Dubliners
  • James Joyce
  • Yeah it's James Joyce, but so what? He ain't so tough. The beauty of these stories is in their simplicity. You'll be able to taste the peas with vinegar and pepper in "Two Gallants." Read this when your friends are reading Catcher in the Rye. (And read that one, too.)

  • Ficciones
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • A character named Borges comes across an encyclopedia of a fictional land. Pierre Menard rewrites bits of Don Quixote verbatim, by coincidence. Funes remembers everything that happened, ever. Amazing. Worth re-reading about every five years or so.

  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Essays and Arguments
  • David Foster Wallace
  • If you get far enough to read about the toilets in the title essay, you'll probably go on to read every word Wallace ever wrote. This book also contains the most terrifying description of baton-twirling you could ever read.

  • Anatomy of a Typeface
  • Anthony Lawson
  • For the serious typographer as well as the font enthusiast: histories of all the classic typefaces from the days when fonts weighed about 50 pounds (because they were made out of lead). Simply indispensable.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

  • Where The Wild Things Are
  • Three words: "The Wild Rumpus!" It doesn't get much better than that!

  • James and the Giant Peach
  • This book has everything — adventure, bugs . . . and a giant peach!

  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • When I was a kid, I wished that I had a mouse who could ride a motorcycle. And now that I'm a grown-up, I still do!

  • The Chocolate Touch
  • I’m a huge chocolate fan, but this book sure made me think twice about what I wished for!

  • The Celery Stalks at Midnight, Bunnicula
  • A cute bunny that sucks vegetables dry? Yikes! These books kept me at the edge of my seat.

  • Fudge-a-mania
  • Start with a Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and read all the way through the books until you get to Double Fudge. These books are hysterical and relatable!

Elizabeth Patridge

Elizabeth Partridge is the author of over a dozen books for children and adults, among them the highly celebrated Marching to Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary, as well as biographies of Dorothea Lange, Woody Guthrie, and John Lennon. Her books have received many honors, including National Book Award Finalist, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Michael L. Printz Honor, SCBWI Golden Kite Award, SLJ's Battle of the Books, and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award.

Her story, "Mojo, Moonshine, and the Blues," appeared in the fifth volume of the Guys Read library: True Stories.

Elizabeth is on the core faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

The following is a list of books she's either loved reading with her two boys, or that she just thinks are fantastic.

 

  • Robot Dreams
  • Sara Varon
  • I love this wordless graphic novel. A dog builds a robot and they become friends, but the robot rusts and can't move after he goes in the water at the beach. Both funny and sad.

  • American Born Chinese
  • Gene Luen Yang
  • The Monkey King, a Chinese folk hero, messes with the main character who is trying to fit in at his all-white school. Graphic novel.

  • The Graveyard Book
  • Neil Gaiman
  • How can you resist a book with these first two lines: "The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade sharper and finer than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you'd been cut, not immediately."

  • One-Eyed Cat
  • Paula Fox
  • What if you found a gun and were told never to shoot it, and one evening you shot at a flickering shadow, and you thought you might have hit a cat, right in the eye? How would you deal with the cat, and your guilt, fear, and shame?

  • Robin Hood
  • Get the biggest, fattest version of this book you can find from the library. It should come in at 150-200+ pages. Total adventure and high jinx.

  • Danny, the Champion of the World
  • Roald Dahl
  • Danny and his father feed rum-soaked raisins to the pheasants on the estate where they are never allowed to go hunting. They set out to poach a record number of pheasants from the dreaded estate owner. Dahl is the guy who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Fantastic Mister Fox.

  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
  • Steve Sheinkin
  • Why were 50 sailors, all African American, tried for mutiny by the US Navy during WWII when they refused to go back to work after an explosion killed 300?

  • Kinda Like Brothers
  • Coe Booth
  • Jarrett's mother takes in two foster kids: one a baby, one a boy a year older than Jarrett. As it says on the back cover: "Kinda like enemies. Kinda like friends. Kinda like brothers."

  • Revolution, (The Sixties Trilogy #2)
  • Deborah Wiles
  • This book is a hybrid. It's a novel that takes place during Freedom Summer in 1963, and yet it is full of photographs and real quotes. Mesmerizing.

  • Eleanor and Park
  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Two smart, funny, quirky misfits find each other. This book has one of the most tender love scenes ever, so go get a copy right away.