Every October, I scour our collection for a spooky, monstrous, nafarious or spine-tingling reads. With Halloween nearly upon us, I thought we would share a few of them and encourage you to delve into a good boooooook.
The Gates by John Connolly: Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell decide to begin their trick-or-treating three days before Halloween, but when he arrives upon the Abernathy’s house at 666 Crowley Avenue, Samuel discovers they have inadvertently conjured up Satan and Samuel must use science, faith, and love to defeat the evil and save the world. (Funny and pitch perfect for Halloween!)
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King: Contains four short stories by Stephen King, including “1922,” in which James’ wife’s suggestion that they sell the family homestead in Hemingford, Nebraska and move to Omaha leads to a murderous chain of events, along with “Big Diver” and “Fair Extension.”
The Road by Cormac McCarthy: Traces the journey of a father and his son as they walk alone after a great fire has consumed the nation and left everything in ashes. This novel is dark, beautiful, and extremely hard to put down. We also have the movie starring Viggo Mortensen.
From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury: The Eliots, a family of vampires, mummies, and other otherworldly creatures, anxiously await the grand night of Homecoming in their farmhouse in northern Illinois. This is one of my favorite Bradbury novels. He can make you hear and smell the autumnal season as you read.
Stephen King’s N (a Graphic Novel): There is something unearthly and mysterious deep in Ackerman’s Field in rural Maine. There is a Stonehenge-like arrangement of seven stones with a horrifying eye in the center. And whatever dwells there in that strange, windswept setting may have brought about the suicide of one man…and harbor death for the OCD afflicted “N.”, whose visits to the field have passed beyond compulsion into the realm of obsession. Based on the chilling short story from the recent Stephen King collection, Just After Sunset, this adaptation will provide nightmares aplenty.
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike: In a small New England town in that hectic era when the sixties turned into the seventies, there lived three witches. Alexandra Spoffard, a sculptress, could create thunderstorms. Jane Smart, a cellist, could fly. The local gossip columnist, Sukie Rougemont, could turn milk into cream. Divorced but hardly celibate, the wonderful witches one day found themselves quite under the spell of the new man in town, Darryl Van Horne, whose strobe-lit hot tub room became the scene of satanic pleasures.
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk: Reporter Carl Streator teams up with real estate broker Helen Hoover Boyle in an attempt to find and destroy all copies of the anthology “Poems and Rhymes Around the World,” which contains an African lullaby Streator believes has the power to kill when spoken or thought, and is apparently the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The Passage by Justin Cronin: FBI agent Brad Wolgast vows to protect six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte after a government military experiment she was involved in goes bad, unleashing a toxic virus that turns humans into bloodthirsty monsters.
Monster by Frank Peretti: Policeman Reed Shelton searches desperately for his wife, who has mysteriously vanished after the pair had been attacked by a strange being.
Renfield: Slave of Dracula by Barbara Hambly: A re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” that is told from the point of view of Renfield, Dracula’s faithful servant.
Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter by Nancy Atherton: Lori Shepherd, alarmed when her five-year-old twins come home with a story about seeing a cloaked figure with bloodstained lips lurking in the nearby woods, calls upon the ghost of her Aunt Dimity for supernatural help in learning the truth about a mystery that has haunted her Cotswold village for decades.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness: Young scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant in an old and distinguished line of witches, wants nothing to do with sorcery, but while doing research at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, she unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript that causes a stirring in the underworld that only she can calm.
A Year of Disappearances by Susan Hubbard: Half-vampire and half-human fourteen-year-old Ariella Montero’s efforts to fit in with the other teenagers in her town are thwarted by the disappearance of a friend, her father’s decision to leave the family, and the discovery of a murdered teen.