31. Short Story Club: Horror Story by Carmen Maria Machado and spooky book recommendations

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing “Horror Story” by Carmen Maria Machado for this season’s installment of Short Story Club. Each quarter, we choose a short story that’s widely available and discuss its genre, themes, and important moments before recommending books to pair with it. For spooky season, we decided to go with a fresh, new voice we both love. This super short “micro story” felt like the right balance of spookiness for two readers who don’t love horror. Of course, we end up taking a bit of a deep dive into the horror genre anyway. If you read the story and join us for this mini book club, please let us know what you think of the story!

Our discussion includes:

  • Machado’s striking imagery and sparse prose
  • What does the horror genre do? Why is it popular?
  • Gaslighting in horror stories
  • Deeper themes and metaphors

Plus, as always, we’re recommending six pairings,  including a modern gothic novel and a few scary short story collections. 

Books mentioned:

In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Shop the pairings:  https://bookshop.org/lists/novel-pairings-for-horror-story

Chelsey’s Pairings:

Sara’s Pairings:

Also mentioned:

Gaslight (1944)

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