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Ssh! Seven Book Recommendations for Fans of "A Quiet Place"

If you’ve just seen director-star John Krasinski’s thriller A Quiet Place, you’re probably still walking on tiptoe. The story about a family struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with creatures that hunt by sound makes everyone in the audience think twice before touching their popcorn too loudly. The edge-of-your-seat suspense, tense atmosphere, and empathetic characters all work to deliver a heart-pounding horror/thriller that has easily earned its place among classics such as John Carpenter’s The Thing and Ridley Scott’s Alien.

If all that adrenaline has left you craving more, our librarians at NYPL have just what you need! Here are seven book recommendations for fans of A Quiet Place. Lucky for us, reading is silent.

Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia

Bird Box book cover

1. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Recommended by Rosa Caballero-Li

Something is out there… something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven insane. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, Malorie and her two young children are forced to leave the abandoned house they’d been hiding in, searching for safety, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

 

Psychological Horror

The Grip of It book cover

2. The Grip of It All by Jac Jemc

Recommended by Erica Parker

All newlyweds Julie and James want is to settle into their house in the country, but the house has different plans for them.The architecture—claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms—becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall—contracting, expanding—and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of bruises; mold spores taint the water that James pours from the sink. Together, the couple embark on a panicked search for the source of their mutual torment, a journey that mires them in the history of their peculiar neighbors and the mysterious residents who lived in the house before Julia and James.

 

Isolation/Survival

Silence of the Dead book cover

3. The Silence of the Dead by Simone St. James

Recommended by Anne Rouyer

In 1919, Kitty Weekes falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. The patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams, but something else is going on at Portis House. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it? When a medical catastrophe leaves patients even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them.

 

Stranded book cover

4. Stranded by Bracken MacLeod

Recommended by Amanda Pagan

Battered by an apocalyptic storm, the crew of the Arctic Promise find themselves in increasingly dire circumstances as they sail blindly into unfamiliar waters and an ominously thickening fog. One by one, the men fall prey to a mysterious illness. Deckhand Noah Cabot is the only person unaffected by the strange force plaguing the ship and her crew. Dismissing Noah’s warnings, the captain of the ship presses on until their ship becomes encased in thick, unbreakable ice. When the fog clears, revealing a faint shape in the distance that may or may not be their destination, Noah leads the last of the able-bodied crew on a journey across the ice and into an uncertain future where they must fight for their lives.

 

 

Classic Horror and Suspense

The Fall of the House of Usher book cover

5. The Fall of the House of Usher by  Edgar Allan Poe

Recommended by David Nochimson

Edgar Allan Poe, poet and master of the short story, wrote tales of mystery and the macabre that still leave readers wide-eyed and tense more than 150 years after the author’s death. Poe’s mastery of atmosphere, suspense, and unexpected twists make his works a must-read for any horror reader. Here is a collection of 14 of the author’s best-known short stories, including “The Fall of the House of User”, in which a visitor to a gloomy mansion finds a childhood friend dying under the spell of a family curse.

 

 

I am Legend book cover

6. I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Recommended by Amanda Pagan

Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him. By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn. But how long can one man survive like this?

 

 

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories book cover

7. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft

Recommended by Amanda Pagan

Aliens, demons, and monsters—Lovecraft has it all! Unpredictable is the best way to describe his short stories and novellas. One thing you can count on: A Lovecraft story will leave you sleeping with the lights on, and make you think twice before visiting New England. His influence on the horror genre cannot be overstated as his haunting use of suspense, atmosphere, and eerie twists leave his readers gasping in terror.

 

 

A very special thank you to my fellow librarians who gave their input and helped putting this list together!

(All summaries adapted from the publisher, except The Fall of the House of Usher and The Thing on the Doorstep.)

 

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