Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Fears and Phobias

Dracula - (ISBN: 978-1450586665)

by Bram Stoker

Try rereading this classic tale of horror and vampires. What other creatures does Stoker use to inspire fear in its characters and readers? Why does this book continue to be a favorite?

Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseurs Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories - (ISBN: 978-0802719713)

by Michael Sims

Victorian terror, creaky houses, extreme sorrow, and, yes, old style vampires populate these riveting tales. How do depictions of vampires in today’s popular literature differ from the ones in these classic, grisly tales?

False Memory - (ISBN: 978-0553580228)

by Dean Koontz

Martie’s best friend Susan is a victim of agoraphobia, so Martie gladly helps her get to appointments outside of her safe area. When several other acquaintances begin to develop “nervous” complains and show signs of mental illness, Martie suspects something is up, and she herself becomes afraid of her own image. For a compelling journey through things that are not as they seem, try this offering from the very popular Dean Koontz.

Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness - (ISBN: 978-0393326024)

by Donald L. Bartlett

This biography tells the story of the famous Hughes, a man so obsessed by phobias that he did not go out, eat well, or even follow patterns of normal hygiene at the end of his life. Despite the self-imposed limitations of his later years, he managed to leave a fortune of millions and a legend of unbelievable accomplishments. Think of other great men and women whose visions have seemed obscure, but who have stuck to their dreams to accomplish their goals.

The Pleasure of My Company: A Novella - (ISBN: 978-0786888016)

by Steve Martin

This skillfully crafted narrative first tells the story of Daniel, whose life is controlled by his obsessive behavior and strict adherence to routine. He copes well with his fears and phobias, but when he starts to babysit for his therapist’s young son, his rituals are destroyed. Gradually he learns to function with chaos and unpredictability!

Fear Itself - (ISBN: 0743446518)

by Jonathan Nasaw

Fear of Mirrors - (ISBN: 978-1900850100)

by Tariq Ali

Nothing to Fear - (ISBN: 978-0340920268)

by Matthew D'Ancona

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook - (ISBN: 978-1572244139)

by Edmund J. Bourne

Activities for this Theme

Learn more about how to deal with phobias


Watch The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio, to see more of the life of the eccentric Howard Hughes.


Make a list of popular movies that feature characters with phobias, one of which is As Good as It Gets with Helen Hunt. Watch and compare the characters.


Read some Sherlock Holmes stories online. A lot of Holmes’ odd behavior is due to his personal phobias. Which quirks can you trace to an odd fear?