Wednesday, October 24

Halloween Hangover - Book Recommendations

by Theresa Dillon

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Spooky decorations everywhere, pumpkin everything and horror films upping the game on all streaming platforms for everyone’s viewing delight. And let’s not forget the return of The Shape on the big screen this Halloween season.
But when November 1st hits, Halloween is officially over and Christmas takes over. (Poor, wonderful Thanksgiving).

If you’re like me and not ready to say goodbye to this awesome time of year and are Netflixed/Shuddered out, I’ve got you covered with 5 killer books to curl up with on the couch.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado 

Published in 2017, I was drawn to this book thanks to the adult-version of the short story “The Green Ribbon” from In a Dark, Dark Room; a book I read as a child. That story has been transformed into the beautifully written “The Husband Stitch.” I’m already dreaming of a female filmmaker to pick up this story for a short film. Other standouts from this collection include “Inventory,” “Real Women Have Bodies,” and “The Resident.” Without giving anything away, each story is unique and leaves the reader (more specifically female) mesmerized

Pretty Little Monsters by Kelly Link 

If you’re into the fantastically weird, you need to check out Kelly Link. Her short story collection for young adults was my introduction to this fantastic writer but any age will enjoy this collection. If you want a story that will leave you with chills, read “Monster.” For the fun and fantastical, read “The Faery Handbag.” To end the collection on a high note, Link’s novella “Pretty Little Monsters” takes you back to the teen years of fitting in with the crowd but with a howling-good twist. 

Nocturnes by John Connolly 
Connolly is most well-known by mystery/thriller readers for his Charlie Parker series. I, however; fell in love with his other writings, specifically his horror/comedy series The Creeps. I’m going to take you on a spookier journey though by recommending his first volume of scary short stories, Nocturnes. If you’re a Richard Matheson fan, I think this collection is right up your alley. While it may not include the killer twists Matheson was known for, it draws you in and offers a variety of macabre tales. I especially loved “The Erlking,” “The New Daughter,” “The Furnace Room” and “The Inkpot Monkey.” Note: If you read before bed like me, some of these tales can induce nightmares so be prepared.

The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn 

Touted as a cross between Blue Velvet and Basic Instinct, this book starts off at a shimmer but boils over with crazy revelations. Ahlborn is a master at crafting her characters and this is a great intro to her writing. Another amazingly, creepy book by Ahlborn is Seed but as it actually terrifies me the further I read, I have yet to finish it as it’s too scary for me personally to read at night. Check it out if The Neighbors is too tame for you.

The Hunger by Alma Katsu 

Do you enjoy reading about tragic historical events? This is the book for you! Katsu takes you on a trip with The Donner Party in this historical fiction account of what happened while driving out West to achieve the “American dream.” With various supernatural elements, thoroughly researched details and characters you root for, this take is haunting and will partially satiate your inner historian.

14 and The Fold by Peter Clines 

Here’s a 2 for 1 for you. Clines’ 14 and The Fold actually tie together and are a fun read for H.P. Lovecraft fans. Start with 14, the first of this unique series. Both books are on the lighter reading end so if you’re looking for Lovecraft intensity, you won’t find that here but you will get a glimpse into a new view of Cthulhu with interesting scenarios, crazy science, and lovable characters.

Do you like my list? Maybe you have your own recommendations? You can reach me on Twitter @theresadillon for any comments. 

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