Slightly Spooky Reads // Letters to October (13)

Dear October,

There are many things I like about you. The way the leaves glint copper and bronze in the sun. How there are fewer bugs around. And the countdown to Halloween… to some extent. As fun as the anticipation and festivities are, I’m not so fond of the actually scary parts of Halloween. Anything that remotely looks like it might have a jump scare or a girl with hair dangling across her face and I’m done. (In this context, ‘done’ means my bags are packed and I’ve moved to the other side of the planet.)

So, as today is Friday the 13th, here are some slightly spooky (and some not at all spooky) books for my fellow scaredy cat readers.

1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This story is narrated by Katherine ‘Merricat’ Blackwood, who lives with her sister Constance and their uncle. Years ago, the rest of their family was killed in an incident involving arsenic and now, the Blackwoods are something like outcasts in society. Apart from necessary trips to the village, they manage to live in their little bubble until one day, an arrival from a distant relative starts to unravel their peaceful existence.

At the start of this book, you will likely get the sense that something is not quite right. There’s a sense of unease and tension from the very beginning, which only grows until the horrifying climax.

Spooky rating: 4/5 non-spooky ghosts
2222

Continue reading “Slightly Spooky Reads // Letters to October (13)”

7 Things About Autumn // Letters to October (7)

Dear October,

This evening I stood on my balcony and looked up at the stars. A train trundled by in the distance, then all was quiet. There, in the darkness mingling with the light of my bedside lamp, I felt torn. I’m both leaving home and going home tomorrow — leaving my family home and going back to England. I’ll be back soon, but even that reassurance is fleeting.

I looked at the apartment buildings facing ours. Lit kitchens and living rooms with families enveloped within. TVs turned on, people sitting around tables. It reminded me of a time when I was in that secure bubble. In a way, I’m lucky enough to still be in that bubble. I come home from time to time and enjoy the comforts of a child on holiday from school. But then I have to leave again, and real life begins.

It’s easy to forget in the long months of summer, but there’s something particularly ambivalent about repeating this pattern in the late months of the year. The murky sky seems to seep the energy from my bones. But the house seems cosier as the air turns chilly.

But because I don’t want every letter to be quite so pensive, here are a few things I really like about autumn.

Continue reading “7 Things About Autumn // Letters to October (7)”