Oct 25, 2011

Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween

The Broke and the Bookish, a brilliant book blog, 
hosts a weekly top ten list meme.

I like this meme because I like lists. I like this meme because it reminds me of the Top 5 lists from High Fidelity (by Nick Hornby as a book, starring John Cusak as a movie). And I like this meme because it causes me to think long and hard about book-related topics. So here goes:

Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween 

1. Darling Jim by Christian Moerk

I know I've talked about this book before, but it still holds place as the best kind of creepy yet not gory, spine-tingling but not nightmare-inducing, gothic yet contemporary, fantastical yet set-in-reality novel I've ever read. My review of it is here. I may just have to reread it myself.

2. Edgar Allen Poe


3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Perfect for both adults and children who want a bit of creepy, a lot of mystery, and the touch of reality to make it all the more shiver-inducing. The photographs that inspired this book are real pictures, though the story Ransom Riggs has concocted to explain them is a beautiful, dark fantasy. Read my review of it here.

4. The Lady in the Water by M. Night Shyamalan

Really wish this was a longer novel for adults, though I do love its picture book format. Check out the movie as well.

5. For kids (and adults): Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected From American Folklore by Alvin Schwartz, illustrated by Stephen Gammell

These stories scared the pants off me as a kid. Granted, I was a sensitive child, but to this day, as much as I love fireplaces, I'm still a little creeped out by an empty one and keep expecting a severed head to roll out from it.

6. For teens: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This one because it's so gruesome! The teens are really being tortured, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's the first book in a trilogy, and though The Scorch Trials (I recently reviewed it here) tones it down somewhat, there's still this penetrating fear that not everything ends up well in the end. That's what really makes it creepy, to me. When things get too scary, I like to disconnect a little and think, Everything's going to be alright in the end, because it's a book, and more than that, it's a YA book, but people keep on dying, they keep on getting hurt, that eventually I start thinking, Maybe it really won't be alright, and that's when the fear really sets in. Read my short review of it here.

7. For kids: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

By contrast, one of the things I love most about this book is that it doesn't have a pervasive fear, even though it deals with some pretty creepy topics. The main character, Nobody (Bod for short), has no fear himself, so there isn't this impending sense of doom with every page. Great for a sensitive kid who still wants to read something a little spooky. Read my review of it here.

8. Hocus Pocus (movie)

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be suggesting books, but really this movie starring Bette Midler, a young Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy is such a children's classic that I had to mention it.

9. & 10. I'm leaving these blank for you - suggestions?


  1. Nice list. Darling Jim sounds so good - added it to my ever expanding list of books to be read :-)

  2. Sarah - I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)
    Tanya - you really must. I don't recommend books I don't stand behind. That one's totally worth it.

  3. Miss Peregrin's Home sounds super interesting. I'll need to check that out! And I have Scary Stories on my list as well. Scared me when I was little and those drawings still scare me now!

  4. I am starting Miss Peregrine today. I love the cover! Here is my list http://wp.me/pzUn5-D1

  5. Miss Peregrin seems like it's tailored for this list! and Hocus Pocus is always a legit suggestion.

  6. Oh cool, I didn't know M. Night Shyamalan had done a picture book! I'll have to look for it. :D

    I've been debating getting The Maze Runner since it came out - your note on it here actually makes me more interested...


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