What Should You Read This Halloween?

Whether you like it or not, the shops are already plastered with Halloween decorations, costumes and countless different types of Trick or Treat sweets. Soon enough, all television stations will be showing something spooky too – it’s pretty hard to avoid.

You gotta believe me here, it’s practically impossible to ignore. I spent 20 years of my life trying to avoid anything that was Halloween related. I never dressed up. I didn’t watch scary TV shows. I didn’t go Trick or Treating. Most years, I just used to head up to my bedroom and put nice, happy movies on so things like The Exorcist didn’t accidentally start playing straight after something I was watching. This happened to me once and I never, ever recovered!

This year, although I’m still a massive scaredy cat, I’m trying to embrace Halloween. I still don’t think it’s a holiday with a point, but if I can dress up in costume, wear face-paint and bake spooky looking treats then sign me up.

Guess what!? I’m even going to a Halloween party!

What Should You Read This Halloween?

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On top of all that jazz, I’m going to step up my reading game and create a themed book list – the theme, Halloween. How did you guess?

Here are six books that I think would be perfect for a Halloween read:

Misery by Stephen King:

“Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader – she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.”

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey:

“Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius.’

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.”

You can read my review of The Girl With All The Gifts here.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

“At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.”

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton:

“From breathtaking stop-action animation to bittersweet modern fairy tales, filmmaker Tim Burton has become known for his unique visual brilliance – witty and macabre at once. Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children – misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds.

His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and the tragedy of these dark yet simple beings – hopeful, hapless heroes who appeal to the ugly outsider in all of us, and let us laugh at a world we have long left behind (mostly anyway).”

Dracula by Bram Stoker:

“The aristocratic vampire that haunts the Transylvanian countryside has captivated readers’ imaginations since it was first published in 1897. Hindle asserts that Dracula depicts an embattled man’s struggle to recover his “deepest sense of himself as a man”, making it the “ultimate terror myth”.”

The Completely Tales of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allan Poe:

This single volume brings together all of Poe’s stories and poems, and illuminates the diverse and multifaceted genius of one of the greatest and most influential figures in American literary history.

The Raven:No poem has ever received the kind of immediate and overwhelming response that Poe’s “The Raven” did when it first appeared in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845. It made Poe an overnight sensation (though his great fame never brought him much wealth) and the poem, a powerfully haunting elegy to lost love, remains one of the most beloved and recognizable verses in the English language.

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Will you be reading anything over Halloween this year?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

9 thoughts on “What Should You Read This Halloween?

  1. Dracula is honestly one of my favorite classics. I think Bram Stoker was a literary genius.

    Halloween really shouldn’t be for public consumption; it’s actually a very serious religious holiday (or a religious holiday falls on Nov. 1st or 2nd) for a lot of people. And it kind of irks me that we have little kids being encouraged to dress up as skeletons and monsters. :/

    My oldest gave up trick or treating last year. He always went with non-scary, historical costumes — a pirate, knight, ninja, etc. Last year he was a Creeper from Minecraft. That made me laugh.

    I couldn’t ever watch The Exorcist – I did manage to read most of the book – but I couldn’t ever bring myself to check it out – I had to keep returning it to its shelf in the library and coming back every day on my lunch break until I finished it there.

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    • In comparison to Christmas and Easter, I’ve never seen much reason for Halloween – but, then again, I don’t know much about it. It seems to have been compressed into a giant fancy dress contest!
      That’s great :). I love seeing small (well, they used to be) games like MineCraft having a massive influence.

      I think it’s madness that you were unable to bring yourself to check out the book. I’ve heard stories of people throwing the book away, freezing it etc. Too afraid to keep it with them. I always presumed it was an over-exaggeration. Then again, I’d never dare read it myself!

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      • Honestly, to this day, I’m not sure what made me decide to read The Exorcist – when I am a scaredy cat and not about to hide that, and I don’t read anything with even more than a little bit of horror in it. Partly it was an incredibly slow year at college, and I was sooo bored, I just tried something different. 😛

        Most people aren’t aware of the real reasons for Halloween, or the history of it. Part of my misspent youth, we could say. 🙂 Now I get really cynical about people going to fancy dress contests and the like, without understanding what the people at Stonehenge, etc. are truly celebrating.

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  2. I don’t like books like that. I do have however read Edgar Allen Poe and which was quite good actually. Otherwise I am not into Halloween at all, we never celebrated in my childhood and I see it just as moneymaking theme.

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