Welcome to our Ten Book Challenge where our favorite authors share their “Book-It List”—a book bucket list with 10 of their most beloved and memorable reads—from the books with their favorite covers and best opening lines, to the reads they gift and the bookstores they frequent. This is a peek into your favorite authors’ perfect bowl of literary comfort food. We hope you discover something delicious!

There’s nothing like a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale to close out the month of October: A chill is in the air, night claims the day increasingly earlier, and horror fans rejoice with never-ending scary décor and streaming movie choices. Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth mixes it up for us as a type of ghost-punk noir novella, steeped in Japanese myth and legends, unexpected twists, and a brutal teasing of the senses. Khaw’s writing has been likened to a “nightmare ballet”, “Hill House for this century”, and “bite-size horror on a stormy night”—and we can’t wait for other horror fans like us to dig in. Malaysian-born Cassandra Khaw works as a horror and science fiction writer for video games, tabletop RPGs, short stories and novels; and they won’t disappoint with Nothing But Blackened Teeth.

In Nothing But Blackened Teeth, an abandoned Heian-era mansion rests upon the bones of a bride, its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company. So, of course, a group of horror-fan friends and thrill seekers think it’s the perfect wedding venue for upcoming nuptials. What could possibly go wrong? After an evening of drinks, games, dinner and dancing spirals into a nightmare, the friends will soon find out. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart . . . and she gets lonely down there in the dirt.

Don’t miss our exclusive interview with author Cassandra Khaw about the horror authors they’re reading, how writers influence how they see things, and whether they visit supernatural spots for fun. 

The Book I……

I last bought/am currently reading: The Least of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones

I recommend to everyone: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja

That was my favorite to read last year, and why: The City We Became. As for why, I, here, this short story will explain it all.

Whose author I would love to have lunch with: Clive Barker, hands-down.

That made me realize language had power: A Face Like Glass, by Frances Hardinge.

I’d like to see adapted to the screenButcher Bird or Heart-Shaped Box.

That made me laugh out loud—or cry—while reading it: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk (It’s sort of The Breakfast Club set in Hell)

That has the most gorgeous cover: The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

With the best opening lineThe Wasp Factory by Iain Banks: “I had been making the rounds of the Sacrifice Poles the day we heard my brother had escaped.”

Bookstore that I frequent/is my favorite: When I’m in San Francisco, Green Apple Books.