books and reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween

Today’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, centers on books that are best read during Halloween.  Previous posts have been testament to how much I love Halloween (and the month of October), and this week’s top 10 is too good to pass up.

Without further ado:

1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: I loved this book so hard.  My review has yet to be posted on this here blog, but rest assured: this book is smart, scary, and totally worth your time.  Blake’s rendering ghosts and folklore is flawless, fascinating, and terrifying.  Just the right amount of violence and suspense to keep readers up late into the night.

2. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: Although not technically horror, Nova Ren Suma’s creeping, seeping story of two sisters and the mysterious town they reside in is perfect reading for the month of October.  There’s something sinister about the story Suma’s crafted here, and readers won’t be able to shake the feeling that something’s very, very wrong.

3. Tighter by Adele Griffin: A modern retelling of The Turn of the Screw, Griffin’s creepy, twisty tale about a teenage au pair who is being haunted by ghosts (or is she?) takes place during the summer but would be perfect for a spooky night near Halloween.

4. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger: Although many people feel that Niffenegger’s follow-up to the wildly successful The Time-Traveler’s Wife lacks the same impact as her debut, I really enjoyed Her Fearful Symmetry and found it haunting in a very subtle, understated way.  The characters in the book stay with the reader long after the story is finished, and the haunting presence of the ghosts is powerful.

5. The Shining by Stephen King: Even though King’s famous novel takes place over a particularly cold, particularly snowy winter, there’s something about reading the book over the month of October that’s appealing.  The haunted hotel and the terrible things that have happened there make this one of King’s most terrifying novels (I think).  The fact that it’s the first King novel I ever read to completion doesn’t hurt, either.  Oh, nostalgia.

6. The Keep by Jennifer Egan: An ancient European castle and a modern-day prison intersect in this twisty, suspenseful novel by Egan.  Definitely more challenging and less accessible than other novels on this list, this novel will keep the suspense high.

7. Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn: Arguably one of my favorite books from when I was a kid and still one of the scariest stories I remember reading as a child, no one does a ghost story better than Downing Hahn.  If you haven’t read this one, you should.  It’s great.

8. My Dead Girlfriend by Eric Wight: A graphic novel aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers, Wight’s story about a boy and the dead girl he loves is funny, cute, and compelling.  It’s definitely on the lighter side of things to read around Halloween, but the darkly funny story will work for readers who want to get into the spirit without having the pants scared off of them.

9. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: How could I not include this one?  We already know that it’s one of the scariest books I’ve ever read.  Ever.

10. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks: This one speaks for itself.  If you like zombies, and you haven’t read this one yet, you’re…not really a zombie fan.  Get on it.

What’s on your list?  What books should I read before Halloween this year?


12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween

  1. Totally agree with you about Anna! And you’re right that Imaginary Girls does have a spooky vibe. And The Shining is so terrifying! Did you watch the Friends episode where Joey and Rachel had to put their copy in the freezer they were so scared 🙂 My dead girlfriend looks cute. I’ll have to pick it up sometime. Great choices!

  2. Great TTT! I’ve been wanting to read House of Leaves forever. I’ve been trying to find a book to scare be, but I haven’t been successful yet, hopefully it will do the trick. Great blog, new follower 🙂

  3. Oh man, Tighter sounds great! I love The Turn of the Screw, and I never knew there was a retelling.

    Also I’m still mad at World War Z for completely destroying my zombie escape plan (pack my bags and head north into the UP of Michigan). I had to make up a whole new one!

    My Top Ten List is over here if you’d like to stop by! Happy Halloween!

  4. I’ve never heard of Wait Till Helen Comes, but I just might have to add it to my TBR list.

    I’ve been drooling over Anna Dressed in Blood since I first heard about it, and I still haven’t gotten my hands on a copy. It’s depressing, that. But I’ll get it sooner or later, and then I may never be able to read in the dark again!

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