October's Shelf: Spooky Edition
Since everyday is Black History Month for The Floor Mag, we've decided to spice up this month's shelf with some thriller/horror/mystery reccs. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris Recently adapted for TV, Zakiya Dalila Harris's The Other Black Girl, sees editorial assistant and the only Black employee at Wagner Books , struggle when another Black employee, Hazel-May McCall joins the company. While Hazel seems supportive in their personal interactions, Nella soon finds herself sidelined and her relationships at Wagner strained due to Hazel's advice and interference. When Nella receives an anonymous notes ordering her to leave Wagner, she begins to suspect that Hazel is not what she seems, and searches for answers about both Hazel's and Wagner Books's dark pasts. Purchase here
Out There Screaming edited by Jordan Peele Jordan Peele, the visionary writer and director of Get Out , Us , and Nope , and founder of Monkeypaw Productions, curates this groundbreaking anthology of brand new stories of Black horror, exploring not only the terrors of the supernatural but the chilling reality of injustice that haunts our world. Featuring an introduction by Jordan Peele and an all-star roster of beloved writers and new voices, Out There Screaming is a masterclass in horror, and – like his spine-chilling films – its stories prey on everything we think we know about our world, and redefine what it means to be afraid. Very afraid . . . Purchase here When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighbourhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbours she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbour Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbours may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalise the community may be more deadly than advertised. Purchase here My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede's long been in love with him, and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other... Purchase here All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson Verity is telling lies... And that's why she's about to be arrested for attempted murder. Serena has been lying for years. . . And that may have driven her daughter, Verity, to do something unthinkable... Poppy's lies have come back to haunt her . . . So will her quest for the truth hurt everyone she loves? Everyone lies. But whose lies are going to end in tragedy? Purchase here Beloved by Toni Morrison Sethe is now miles away from Sweet Home - the farm where she was kept as a slave for many years. Unable to forget the unspeakable horrors that took place there, Sethe is haunted by the violent spectre of her dead child, the daughter who died nameless and whose tombstone is etched with a single word, 'Beloved'. A tale of brutality, horror and, above all, love at any cost, Beloved is Toni Morrison's enduring masterpiece and best-known work. Purchase here Jackal by Erin Adams It's watching. Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn't exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward, passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the couple's daughter, Caroline, disappears--and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood. It's taking. As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: A summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She's seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in Liz's high school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart removed. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can't be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town's history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls. It's your turn. With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness. Purchase here Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead To his customers and neighbours on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time. See, cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn't ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa - the 'Waldorf of Harlem' - and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes. Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs? Purchase here
This month's shelf is all about the scare factor. From a horror anthology edited by Jordan Peele to Toni Morrison's best known work.