I won’t lie, you can be pretty miserable and grey. (I don’t blame you — I’m pretty miserable and grey sometimes, too.) One of the loveliest things about this time of year, though, is the rampant enthusiasm about the upcoming festivities. And I’m being pretty generous about the term ‘upcoming’. Even though Halloween is all the way at the end of this month (and let’s not even talk about Christmas) (83 days to go), it’s like a switch is flipped on the world on October 1st. Everything is suddenly spookier — nights are darker, the wind feels chillier and is that a bird or a bat in the distance?
Witches: a book or character that is magical
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is one that comes to mind. If you’re in the mood for something just slightly spooky, this is perfect
Werewolves: a book best read in the middle of the night
Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl. It’s a collection of his short stories and some of them will have you chilled. I particularly recommend The Landlady, Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat, and Genesis and Catastrophe.
Zombies: a book you picked up for the second time/continued after not finishing it
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Mostly because I forgot it at home when I left for university, but also because I had heard too many opinions whilst reading it and needed a break.
Mummies: a book or character you can’t wrap your mind around
Merricat from We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson. Her mind was difficult to burrow into, and it’s quite an unsettling place once you’re there.
Ghosts: a book you easily predicted a twist or ending
I’m actually quite bad at guessing where books are going. But if you’re looking for an unexpected and creepy twist, I’d recommend The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. It’s a Hercule Poirot story.
Vampires: a book, series, or author you can’t live without
Prepare for an enormous surprise: it’s Harry Potter. Is it a cliché? Yes. But is it true? Infinitely.
Skeletons: a book or character that chilled you to the bone
The main character of Perfume by Patrick Suskind. I got so creeped out by him, I put the book down and haven’t dared pick it up since.
Frankenstein: a book that truly shocked you
The book I’m reading right now, Lullaby by Leïla Slimani. The story is provocative and visceral, human and inhuman, all at the same time.
Scarecrow: a book or character that scares you
Apart from fictional horrors like Perfume, other books that scare me are ones like Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh and Maus by Art Spiegelman, based on historical events. It’s scary that real people existed who really did those things.
Goblins: a greedy character
One of the characters from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (I won’t name them in case you haven’t read it), who tries to take advantage of Cath’s writing skills for their own benefit.
Ghouls: a book that left you hungry
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman left me wanting more.
Grim Reaper: a character you loved/hated that died
So many from A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. So many tears.
Devil: a dark, evil character
Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter. Absolutely no redeemable qualities in that woman.
What are some of your spooky reads for the season? I would love some recommendations!
I’m blogging every day this month. Take a look at the introduction to the series here.
Thank you for reading and until next time.