Two blog posts in one week, you say? I know. I’m feeling like an overachiever. Or maybe I’m just feeling like I don’t want to fix horrible rough drafts any longer. I want to do some fun writing instead…
It’s almost October! In fancy letters on my calendar for Saturday it says “Put up Halloween Decorations!!” So of course (always a slave to my calendar), I will be getting all the macabre things out of cabinets this weekend and putting them all over the house. I’m very excited about it. Items are deeply tied to memories for me, so I will be thrilled to see the village go up, and the pumpkins collect on my bookshelves again as if they were old friends.
This has me thinking of Halloween reads, of course. Even if it is 100 degrees here in California, I can still read creepy literature and eat cinnamon flavored things while lolling about in the air conditioning. Here are some of my creepiest favorites so you can join me:
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black:
Tana wakes up from a party to realize that her entire high school has been murdered in the living room, and a vampire (who probably wasn’t responsible) is tied up in the back bedroom waiting certain death when the sun rises enough to come in the window. Rescuing him brings her a world of trouble, especially when she agrees to enter a quarantined “Cold Town” where humans and monsters mingle in a nebulous line between predator and prey. Getting in is easy, getting out impossible, and the whole thing will be broadcast as reality TV for the world – and Tana’s family – to watch.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman:
Neglected Coraline hates the new apartment her parents moved the family to, complete with creepy neighbors. Until she discovers the door in the living room that leads to a utopian version of the life she hates, complete with mouse circus and perfect parents. But then Coraline’s Other Mother asks her to stay. All she has to do is let them sew buttons into her eyes…
The Diviners by Libba Bray:
Evie finds her small town too hot to handle when her ability to divine the past from touching personal objects means she knows a bit too much. So her parents pack her off to her uncle in New York who runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Evie is thrilled to be among the speakeasies, the Ziegfeld girls, and the opulence of the 1920s. Until something calling himself Naughty John awakes and begins a spree of murdering that maybe only Evie and her pals can stop.
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe:
Seriously, this guy has the creepy thing down. And he’s been the most consistent October read of mine. I always sit down to some of his short stories in October. There are a million collections out there, so pick one that looks good and read away (I pulled the linked one because it’s all of them). My favorites are The Cask of Amontillado, the Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, I could go on forever… In fact, here: http://poestories.com/stories.php
Sunshine by Robin McKinley:
It was probably dangerous for Sunshine, baker extraordinaire at her step-dad’s diner, to drive out to the lake in the world post-war where everyone now knows that vampires and were-beasts are real. She didn’t expect to be kidnapped and chained in a room with an imprisoned vampire. She didn’t expect to be able to save them both, linking them inexplicably together. And now she’s been drawn into the middle of an ancient vampire war that cannot be won, and she has to pretend it’s all fine lest she frighten the humans or attract the attention of the Feds who would certainly kill her allies.
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black:
A dark Faerie tale in which Kaye, drifter and groupie for her semi-talented mother’s band, discovers she’s actually a changeling Pixie when they move back to her family home in New Jersey. Kaye falls in love with the most dangerous knight in the evil Unseelie court, and now she must play a game of identities, both human and pixie, as she tries to keep herself from becoming the traditional Samhain sacrifice.
All links are Amazon Affiliate links. Happy reading!!