This year will mark the 130th anniversary of the birth of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, who was born on August 20, 1890 in Providence, USA.

Widely noted for being one of the best horror writers of all time , along with authors like Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King, and also known as the father of cosmic terror.

Creator of his own mythology, all his short stories were set within the same universe, where monstrous and extremely ancient creatures captivated the imagination of readers for more than a century.

A man as particular as his own stories, it was even known that he roamed cemeteries at night to find ideas for his stories.

If you’re a horror fan, Lovecraft is a must read. And if you have the great happiness of not having read any of his books until now, rejoice, because you are about to enter a terrifying and overwhelming world.

So if you are about to take your first steps, or are looking for recommendations to continue reading this incredible author, we have prepared 10 of the best HP Lovecraft books .

The Shadow over Innsmouth

  • Number of pages: 240
  • ISBM: 978-8492769926
  • Edition year: 2010

One of the author’s most famous stories, written in 1936. It is part of The Cthulhu Mythos and is set in one of the three villages or towns that Lovecraft uses the most in his stories, these are Arkham, Dunwich and in this case, Innsmouth .

The young Robert Olmstead, on his journey through New England, comes across a village that leaves him with a morbid fascination. A place where all the inhabitants bear a certain resemblance and an aspect that is not at all normal.

Intrigued by his mysterious discovery, he decides to inquire with some local residents so that they can tell him the history and gossip of the town. But it’s a futile effort, no one wants to talk to him until he meets the elderly Zadock Allen.

After a couple of drinks that make the old man more expressive, he tells Robert the whole history of the town, how he achieved his prosperity and the reason for the appearance of the inhabitants of Innsmouth.

Only after the story is finished does Robert learn that it was a closely guarded secret that no outsider in the village was meant to know. From then on the young man will have to deal to save his life and flee from such strange beings.

The Pickman model

  • Number of pages: 17
  • ASIN: B006XXBQ1U
  • Edition year: 2012

An excellent starting point to get into Lovecraft’s particular literature. Pickman’s Model was written and published in 1926 and uses many of the ideas that the author himself explains in his essay, The Supernatural Horror of Painting.

In the story, Richard Upton Pickman is a painter of Bosnian origin, capable of creating the most overwhelming illustrations and paintings of the moment.

The story is told by a personal friend of the painter, named Thurber, who, after the disappearance of the eccentric artist, will start an investigation to find him.

In his search, Thurber will discover the exact source of the painter’s inspiration to create such horrible images. It turns out that they did not arise from his imagination, but from contact with indescribable creatures similar to wolves or dogs.

In this story, Lovecraft reveals his admiration for great horror artists, placing Pickman as the latest manifestation of that legacy.

The color that fell from the sky

  • Number of pages: 26
  • ISBM: 978-1977780300
  • Edition year: 2017

This is a story that shows, in an impeccable and monstrous way, the cosmic terror of whom Lovecraft was a master. Published in 1927, it is one of his best works.

The story takes place in one of the three towns of the ” Lovecraft Triangle”. When a meteorite falls on a farm in a remote place called Arkham, all living things around it begin to undergo strange mutations.

Fruits that are too big and taste horrible, animals that change color, plants that are strange colors, and trees that sway even when there is no breeze.

The story is told by an engineer whose job it is to study the town to build a lake. Where he discovers a strange area that produces strange sensations.

The reason is explained to him by an old man who lives in the place, who tells him that the cause is a meteorite that fell on that site. In the end we will come to know that he lives inside the cosmic stone and what horrible consequences result from being so close to him.

A short, dark and terrifying story, as only Lovecraft knew how to do.

The Dunwich Horror

  • Number of pages: 352
  • ISBM: 978-8417430092
  • Edition year: 2018

One of the most important stories within the Cthulhu Mythos and published in 1928. It is set in the third of the three villages that we mentioned before, they are part of the ” Lovecraft Triangle”.

In Dunwich there is a strange family that everyone hates and fears, the Whateleys. The story follows the growth of Wilbur Whateley, a boy who develops excessively fast and who is taken care of by his grandfather, old Old.

Wilbur’s birth is synonymous with the horror created by Lovecraft . His grandfather gave his mother Levinia, to a cult dedicated to strange rites, from which two offspring of the woman emerged.

One is Wilbur, and the other is a little monstrosity. Both are hybrids, products of Levinia and Yog-Sothoth , the Great Old One that appears in this tale and the most important of them.

Old Wilbur’s intention is nothing more than to invoke the primordial god, to bring Cthulhu. For this he uses his grandson and guides him to follow in his footsteps in dark magic and sends him to consult a copy of the infamous Necronomicon at Miskatonic University.

The call of cthulhu

  • Number of pages: 64
  • ISBM: 978-8445006467
  • Edition year: 2019

Undoubtedly the most important and memorable story of Lovecraft’s imagination. The essence of the Cthulhu Mythos and the only book that includes exact details and the first mention of the ” Sleeper”, the primal god Cthulhu.

A cosmic being who, according to this story, lives in the submerged city of R’lyeh somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. A being so indescribable and terrifying that the human mind is not capable of fully understanding it.

The story of this story begins with the death of an important professor at Miskatonic University, and about the investigation he was working on and his documents, which mention the attacks carried out by a strange sect.

A cult that, according to later investigations, venerates a terrifying creature that is capable of touching human minds on a subconscious level while they sleep.

The story is told by a young man who, faced with the loss of his grandfather, makes the decision to search through his belongings. What he found left him amazed, it is a bas-relief that portrays the figure of Cthulhu.

Intrigued by his discovery, he begins a search to learn the story behind the figure and its possible origin.

The Dream Quest for the Unknown Kadath and Other Randolph Carter Stories

  • Number of pages: 300
  • ISBM: 978-8477027157
  • Edition year: 2012

It is a story that in turn is divided into five smaller parts in which the narrative unfolds. It is a part of the so-called ” Dream Cycles”, stories created by Lovecraft in which supernatural ideas related to sleep and the subconscious are explored.

The story revolves around Randolph Carter, a scholar who is obsessed with the world of dreams. The story begins with the mysterious disappearance of Harley Warren, his partner, and Randolph’s attempt to explain how it happened.

The longest part of the book recounts Carter’s entrance to ” The Land of Dreams”, a resting place for unimaginable beings and creatures and the enclosure of a city, which due to its sheer wonder, can only be the home of the gods.

Throughout the story we will accompany Carter on his adventure through such an incredible world, and his encounters with all kinds of monsters, some allies, other enemies, until he reaches the mysterious Kadath.

An adventure at times more fantastic than horror, but you will still enjoy the great imaginative power of the author.

In the night of time

  • Number of pages: 160
  • ISBM: 978-8416827626
  • Edition year: 2017

Considered the last of the great stories created by the author of Providence, it was published in 1935, two years before the death of the renowned writer.

In the mists of time, a university professor, Nathaniel Wingat Peaslee, suffers from a severe amnesia attack that makes him lose all contact with his acquaintances and behave strangely.

After recovering from such horrible suffering, he has recurring dreams in which he visualizes alien beings, the Great Race of Yith, creatures capable of time travel and astral living.

In order to travel they need to occupy the minds of other subjects, which they ” store” in their own bodies.

Nathaniel, terrified of having been a victim of one of these beings, begins an investigation of cases similar to his to get to the bottom of the matter. But it all becomes a real ordeal when he no longer has dreams and all that is left is chaos.

The case of Charles Dexter Ward

  • Number of pages: 170
  • ISBM: 978-1519265999
  • Edition year: 2015

This is a somewhat special story, it was a title published after Lovecraft’s death in 1941.

Like many of his books, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is best enjoyed when read a second or third time. When the incredible story sinks into your mind and you get a glimpse of all or most of the details.

The story is about a young man who gives the book its name. Charles Dexter Ward gradually loses his sanity as he learns more about his family history.

His great-great-grandfather was Joseph Curwen, a former businessman who became involved in strange affairs that terrified and alerted the people who lived near him.

The young Charles, after finding a manuscript about his ancestors where his great-great-grandfather was mentioned, feels so intrigued and amazed by what he finds that he decides to abandon his studies at the university and dedicate himself to the study of his family history.

As he delves deeper and deeper into his investigations, the young man’s destiny will be diverted to magic, alchemy, the occult and the study of nameless terrors.

The one who lurks in the dark

  • Number of pages: 200
  • ISBM: 978-8441410213
  • Edition year: 2006

In the small town of Providence there is an evil hidden in plain sight. The writer Robert Blake settles in this place to be able to work on his works, but continually, the black spire of what appears to be a church demands his attention.

Distracted and curious, he decides to find out more about the building. As he proceeds with his investigation, he realizes that everyone around the church avoids her. The people he questions avoid the subject and even flee in terror at the mere mention of it. Even the animals move away from the place.

Without losing his curiosity, Blake learns certain legends that indicate that the church houses an evil being that must not be released under any circumstances. But Robert does not lose his curiosity and goes into the church, thus unleashing horror on himself and the town.

In the mountains of madness

  • Number of pages: 240
  • ISBM: 978-8417430047
  • Edition year: 2018

One of Lovecraft’s landmark works, probably deserving of the same fame as The Call of Cthulhu, and an example of the mastery of the genius of terror to build the ” worlds” of his stories.

On an expedition to the Arctic, Professor William Dyer and his team discover what at first glance appears to be a new prehistoric species, discovered in perfect condition.

In addition to structures and immense architecture, which due to its location, suggests that its antiquity dates back thousands of years. As the exploration continues, the layers of horror and madness take root in the minds of the team members.

And when they discover that the supposed prehistoric beings, dead thousands of years ago, are actually still alive, the excitement of a new find turns into sheer terror.

Definitely Lovecraft deserves and needs to be read several times, to understand what he tried to convey and to capture every little detail that some stories share with others.

Origin of the influence of many works today, both in movies, comics and video games. There is no doubt that, regardless of genre, Howard Phillips Lovecraft is one of the greatest writers of all time.