On Monday, news of actress Catherine Coulson's death from cancer saddened the Twin Peaks fan community. Coulson was best known for her role as the Log Lady on David Lynch and Mark Frost's early-1990s drama series, but she also worked behind-the-scenes as assistant director on Lynch's 1977 body horror film, Eraserhead. In a statement released Monday, Lynch called her "one of [his] dearest friends," noting that "Catherine was solid gold." There has been no word yet as to whether Coulson's passing will delay production of Showtime's Twin Peaks revival, but she will be greatly missed.
Twin Peaks rose to cult-classic status after a two-season run on ABC beginning in 1990. The series featured longtime Lynch-collaborator Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper, a quirky F.B.I. agent assigned to investigate the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the titular logging town of Twin Peaks, WA. For the last 25 years, the show's foggy Pacific Northwest setting, idiosyncratic characters, and small-town intrigue have charmed fans and earned homages in entertainment media of all stripes.
The following 15 books are perfect for any Twin Peaks fan. I don't believe anything can recreate the balance Lynch and Frost achieved with their ABC drama, but each of these novels captures some aspect of the surreal soap opera masterpiece. So load up Twin Peaks on Netflix, cuddle up with your log, and read one or two of these while you mourn Coulson and prepare for the upcoming series revival.
So maybe this is cheating just a little, but what better way to start off this list than with an official Twin Peaks book? If you loved Cooper's self-recording habit and theorized with friends about who Diane really is, this is the book for you.
So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman
When journalist Stacy Flynn writes a report on domestic violence following the disappearance and murder of 19-year-old Wendy White in Haeden, N.Y., precocious 15-year-old Haeden resident Alice Piper begins her own investigation of the case, confronting the darkness her small dairy town refuses to acknowledge.
Needful Things by Stephen King
Leland Gaunt sets up his titular shop in Castle Rock, M.E., selling the exact rarities every person in town is looking for at fire sale prices. The only catch: each customer must play a small prank on another person in town. But Gaunt's requests prey upon the town's deepest jealousies and disputes, and as Castle Rock grows increasingly violent, the stakes escalate to eternal heights.
Who in Hell Is Wanda Fuca? by G.M. Ford
In G.M. Ford's first novel, Seattle hippie-turned-private investigator Leo Waterman takes on the task of locating a mobster's missing granddaughter. Waterman's investigation uncovers a battle between eco-terrorists and toxic waste dumpers, part of a war in which there are no heroes, only crooks and villains.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Be honest: You knew Gone Girl would be on this list. Laura Palmer may not be a conniving phony intent on ruining the lives of everyone who loves her, but there are enough twisted characters in the Twin Peaks population to make Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel appear Lynchian by comparison.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
In House of Leaves , Mark Z. Danielewski creates an engrossing meta-fiction centered on a documentary film that even the novel's first protagonist can't seem to find. It's a brilliant and haunting work that requires effort to understand, in much the same way as Twin Peaks.
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
Titled after a mistranslation of Chinese philosophy, The Lathe of Heaven is a 1970s imagining of Portland in 2002. Protagonist George Orr's dreams have the power to change reality, the consequence of which is that only the dreamer himself remembers the way things used to be.
Mink River by Brian Doyle
Everything in Neawanaka has a voice, and they harmonize to tell Mink River 's story. From a poetic-waxing crow named Moses to an opera-loving policeman, the idiosyncrasies of this little village on the Oregon coast would blend seamlessly into Lynch and Frost's Washington setting.
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
In this Agatha Christie-inspired YA novel, invitations to a secret party beckon 10 teens to a weekend island retreat. But a DVD soon reveals their mysterious host's sinister intentions, and its discovery sets off a chain of murders, coinciding with a freak storm that cuts off Henry Island from the rest of world.
Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton
S.E. Hinton's novel centers on Jamie Sommers, an amnesiac patient in a psychiatric hospital who quickly becomes the pet project of the asylum's director. Through a series of interviews, Jamie and the doctor uncover what brought him to Hawkes Harbor, DE and what evils he endured there.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
A widower convict joins a con artist deity on a road trip to recruit the living embodiments of humanity's oldest gods for an upcoming war. That's the essence of American Gods , Neil Gaiman's award-winning 2001 novel. Much like Twin Peaks, this title is dark and smoky, and nothing in it is as it seems.
The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin
The Flannigan brothers don't live stable lives. When a drunk driving accident results in the death of a teenage boy, the brothers set out on the lam. Guilt and family struggles soon set in, however, and the Flannigans are caught on a dismal roller coaster ride that might never end.
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
In David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars , a Japanese-American man's murder trial rocks a Washington island in the midst of a postwar blizzard. The island's only newspaper journalist, a wounded veteran, reports on the event, but finds himself falling in love with his ex-lover, who happens to be the defendant's wife.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
This strange novel from Haruki Murakami shifts between two contrasting dystopian narratives. A cyborg narrates the science fiction "Hard-Boiled Wonderland," while the fantasy "End of the World" centers on a new resident in a town where no one has a shadow. The two stories are connected, of course, but you'll have to read to find out how.
Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
Leo Liebenstein's wife has disappeared, but he's the only one to notice. Rema has left behind a perfect copy of herself that can fool everyone else, but not Leo. In Atmospheric Disturbances , Rivka Galchen's narrator will go to the ends of the earth to find his missing wife.
Image: Lynch/Frost Productions