Halloween Treats: Book Recs & All Hallow’s Read

23 10 2013

mc_cover[a guest blog from LC Hu]

Happy almost-Halloween! And cheers to Justine for hosting me today!

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Neil Gaiman’s All Hallow’s Read, but I love the new tradition. The idea, in a nutshell–give someone a (scary!) book for Halloween. I love candy myself, but a book is better for the mind AND body, of course.

This year, I’m working with a group of amazing people to put out the short story anthology The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only, and in a way I feel a little like that’s our Halloween gift to the world. But, you’ll argue, you have to pay for a copy. So in the spirit of All Hallow’s Read, I’d like to give away a copy to one random person–all you have to do is comment below with a recommendation for a good, creepy read.

And to get you started, here are some of my favorite scary, creepy or just plain paranormal reads!

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
I’m sure you’ve seen the movie, but you should definitely read the book. I really enjoy Harris’s writing style (he does an odd thing where he shifts from past to present tense, which is typically a no-no, but he pulls it off) and of course Clarice Starling is one of my favorite characters of all time. Oh, and Hannibal, too, of course.

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
I. Love. This. Book. I love it and will probably never stop recommending it to people. Werewolves, after a fashion, in beautiful, terse, vivid text. Their loves, battles and loves.

IT by Stephen King
I was torn between which book of King’s to recommend, because I love so much of his work. In the end it was a tossup between this or The Black House, which I also love. But this was probably my first (or very near my first) King book, and will always be one of my favorites. Creepy clowns, childhood friendships, epic battles between good (?) and evil.

The Ghost Drum by Susan Price
Though I believe it’s aimed at a YA audience, this book is a lovely read for all ages. It feels like a fairytale or a myth, it’s so rich and full of depth. Really need to reread this one–it’s about that time of year, chill and full of bones.

Spirit Houses by Die Booth
It’s hard to pin a genre on this book, which I like. By turns horror, steampunk, adventure, and romance, this story is full of incredible characters and a fascinating world I’d like to read a lot more about.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Warped, in an utterly wonderful way, follows a twisted sixteen year old named Frank and what happens after his brother escapes the psychiatric hospital. Would read, have read, this over and over again.

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L.C. Hu co-edited and contributed to the anthology Re-Vamp and The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only. To learn more about The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only, available this Halloween, visit maddocsoflit.com or find L.C. Hu at elsiewho.wordpress.com!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Other participating bloggers are:
Elizabeth Black (blog may contain adult content)
A Novel Friend (Trisha Wooldridge)
Whimsical Words (Vonnie Winslow Crist)

You are encouraged to visit them as well.

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3 responses

23 10 2013
Mary Jolles

A children’s book that I think fits the bill of a “tale of the supernatural” is “The Children of Green Knowe,” by L. M. Boston. It is one of my all time favorite children’s books. A lonely seven-year-old boy, Tolly, is sent to live with his great-grandmother at her ancestral home, Green Knowe. His arrival at the ancient house by boat, in the dark, during floods and fog, is reminiscent of Harry Potter arriving at Hogwarts. It is not clear whether his great-grandmother actually knows who he is, since she calls him by distant ancestors’ names from time to time. Tolly’s vivid imagination seizes upon a family story surrounding a seventeenth-century painting of three children– Toby, Linnet and Alexander– and their pets. It seems the children and their mother died suddenly of the plague. The garden is haunted by the spirit of a large yew cut and trimmed in the shape of a gargantuan human figure…the moat is inhabited by an ugly, gigantic carp which the great-grandmother says belonged to Toby… Tolly’s solitude and unanswered questions create a tense dynamic between reality and fantasy, which reaches a crescendo during a violent thunderstorm. The book is definitely not in the spirit of Stephen King, but the scene in which Tolly, eyes closed, creeps into the empty stall where Toby’s horse, Feste, was stabled centuries before, and hears the blowing breath of the phantom horse– feels the horse’s warm lips on his hand as he feeds it an apple– does raise the hair on the back of the neck. Tolly opens his eyes and the stall is empty. Was the ghost horse really there? Or is it all his imagination?

24 10 2013
LC Hu

Thank you so much for the recommendation! That sounds lovely. I really think you can have so much fun with a children’s story, to be creepy and imaginative!

Also! As you’re the lone commenter, you win a copy of The Midnight Carnival ebook! If you drop a line to elsiewho at. gmail dot com, with your preferred format, I will send you a copy!

24 10 2013
justinegraykin

That is wonderful! And so vividly described! Thank you so much for responding, Mary, in such detail. Congratulations on qualifying for the Midnight Carnival ebook.

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