October Reads


I don't know about you, but once the calendar flips to October, my thoughts turn to those of horror. One of my favorite things is to transform our house into what I think a suburban vampire family's home would look like, with a graveyard and coffin in the front, creepy critters scattered about, and plenty of skulls, spider webs and misshapen gourds.

An occupational hazard, I often decorate with books and would not miss the chance to make a few piles of scary stories, appropriately topped off with a skull or two. Some of my favorites for this time of year include the following.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.
The Shining by Stephen King.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.

Since I also enjoy the old-school, gothic creepiness and tragedy of Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, I have saved Deborah Lawrenson's The Lantern for October, which I look forward to with eager anticipation.

What are you going to read this month? What are some of your favorite horror or gothic novels?


Kelly Hashway said…
Great choices! I'm reading The Vampire Diaries. I've been putting it off because I watch the TV show, but my sister read the original books back in the early 90's when they came out and loved them, so I got the first book from the library and I'm flying through it. Great read.
Beverly Diehl said…
Horror is not a genre that has ever worked well for me (generally bad, bad nightmares), but if I get brave enough, I want to try Whisper to a Scream. :-)

I also won a copy of Sommer Marsden's We Kill Dead Things, so I'm preparing to lose my zombie cherry on that book. I also have a Debbie Macomber, and Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat & Crowded in my TBR queue.
Kelly, I hear they are really good books.

Beverly, actually, Whisper's title refers a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.

I guess it can be scary, depending on your perspective, but it is not a horror novel, despite my obvious delight in Halloween.

Good luck with the zombies. I have not yet tackled one of those. :)
R. Doug Wicker said…
You might want to try:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Great vampire novel. Went for a seven-figure advance (almost unheard of for a first-timer), and the movie rights sold to Sony for $1.5 million (it's in development).

Not my favorite genre, but this was one well-written work.
Girl Parker said…
Oh man, I stay far away from the scary stuff. I'm finishing "The Art of Forgetting," and starting "The Tears of the Giraffe" and "The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott."
inluvwithwords said…
I don't tolerate horror well. For that reason, October is not my favorite month. Even just the commercials for movies this month gross me out. I do, however, love Jane Eyre!!
R. Doug--I read "The Historian" a few years ago and saw a panel with Elizabeth Kostova at a writing conference. It was funny, everyone else there--James Rollins, David Morrell, the woman who wrote the Sweet Potato Queen novels Jill Connor Brown--they were all talking about how difficult a business this is and how one has to develop stamina for rejection. Kostova had no idea what they were talking about--it was almost sickening. :)
Girl Parker--those sound good, especially book about Alcott.

inluvwithwords--totally understand. I went through a time when I could not read horror, but I am rediscovering the creepy within.

Thanks for reading!
Leah Griffith said…
Karen, right now I'm reading your book and enjoying it. I'm really busy with writing and family stuff so I doubt I'll be reading anything else, besides I'm a real chicken...scary stuff scares me. LOL!!
R. Doug Wicker said…
That IS funny. Speaking of David Morrell (whom I've also met and chatted with), we shared the same agent. I don't know if David is still with him, but I am.
Nice selection for October. I sure want that book of Edgar Allen poems, the cover is super cool. I like horror, but I haven't read a good one in years. These are some good recommendations.
Lena, you can get it at Barnes and Noble. That's where I picked up mine last year.

R. Doug--that's a good agent to have, that is for sure.
angel011 said…
I read (and write) horror during the entire year, whenever I get my hands on some, so October isn't special to me. Right now, though, I'm not reading horror, I'm reading The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk (in some ways, it's similar to Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, complex and hilarious), and I'm planning to read By Night under the Stone Bridge by Leo Perutz, Walpurgis Night by Gustav Meyrink,Old Masters: A Comedy by Thomas Bernhard,an anthology of stories about the apocalypse edited by Goran Skrobonja, and whatever else I manage to read.

As for my favorite horror novels, Misery by Stephen king is one of the scariest I've read, I really enjoyed A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons, and The Pit and the Pendulum by Poe would probably be my favorite gothic. There are many more, those were just the first few I remembered. :)
Thanks for your comments, Leah and angel 011.

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