Keri Holmes, owner, the Kaleidoscope, Hampton, Iowa

Joe Hill seriously interferes with my sleep. He kept me up until 2:30 a.m. reading Heart-Shaped Box. Now, just when I think I've recovered, comes his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts (HarperCollins, Oct.). As Christopher Golden says in the intro, “I wasn't likely to run across [these stories] casually,” so this collection does a wonderful thing for Joe Hill fans. “Best New Horror” should delight lovers of that genre, while romantics will adore the title piece. Other stories explore relationships, differences and fate. Hill's stories are beautiful, terrible, realistic and askew—sometimes simultaneously. That takes skill. When a story creeps me out—like “The Cape” or “My Father's Mask”—and I immediately return to its beginning and reread it, I know I'm hooked. This collection left me at a loss for words, but not ideas: I plan to cross-promote 20th Century Ghosts with Heart-Shaped Box this Halloween.