Tuesday, October 25, 2016

10 Good BOOks for Halloween Reading

Happy Halloween! In honor of the spookiest day of the year, this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is about Halloween books. What exactly makes a book suited for Halloween reading? I narrowed down three different attributes: supernatural characters, a dark-and-stormy-night or magical atmosphere, and a downright creepy plot.
1. Written in Red by Anne Bishop
(my review -- 4.5 stars)
This book has it all -- vampires, shapeshifters and more, plus a wonderfully cozy atmosphere and great characters.

2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
(my review -- 5 stars)
Part of this book even takes place on Halloween! It's got witches, vampires, daemons, and the cozy and esteemed Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

3. Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
(my review of book 2 in the series, but with a summary of this book -- 4 stars)
Even if you gave up on Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, I suggest giving the Wicked books a try when you need some fluffy, fun reading. This series has a delightful tinge of the supernatural.

4. The Passage by Justin Cronin
(my review -- 5 stars)
"The Passage," book one in a trilogy, was one of the best books I read in 2013. It's a post-apocalyptic epic that features monsters that are like a cross between vampires and zombies.

5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
(my review -- 5 stars)
This is the ultimate book to curl up with on a cold, rainy night.

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
(my review -- 3.75 stars)
This paragraph from my review sums it right up: "The venue is the Night Circus, a fantastical and mysterious traveling circus of dreams, open only at night with a magical black-and-white color scheme. There are the usual acts -- a contortionist, an illusionist, acrobats, a maze, mirrored rooms, a fortune teller -- but they're all elevated, different, special, unique... magical. Because they all involve the very real magic of Marco and Celia as they play out the game, the stakes of which they have no idea."

7. The Moor by Laurie R. King
(4 stars)
Scenes of the dreary, spooky English moor are contrasted with lovely images like this one: "I pulled one of the armchairs up to the fire, threw some logs onto the red coals, kicked off my shoes, and drew my feet up under me in the chair. It was very pleasant, sitting in the solid, patient old house, in the wood-panelled room with the threadbare, sprung-bottomed furniture. The fire crackled to itself, the cat slept on the bench, the fox and hounds ran across the carved fireplace surround, and occasional voices came from the other end of the house. Sighing, deeply content, I began to read." This is the fourth book in King's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery series, but I think it could be enjoyed without having read the previous installments.

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
(3.5 stars -- but still worth a read)
"Rebecca" -- "the classic tale of romantic suspense" -- takes place at Manderley, a rambling old estate near the Cornwall coast, and du Maurier's writing can make even the loveliest of azalea gardens seem sinister.

9. You by Caroline Kepnes
(my review -- 4 stars)
This book is about a scarily skilled stalker -- a very charismatic sociopath, a brilliant and manipulative guy who knows every which way to dig into a woman's life -- and her mind. It'll have you wanting to check your social media privacy settings posthaste!

10. Horns by Joe Hill
(my review -- 4 stars)
This was my very first Joe Hill book, and it's probably the most suited for Halloween but any of his novels would fit the bill. The narrator wakes up after a very rough night to find he has sprouted horns on his head -- horns that look to be of the devilish variety -- and he suddenly has, among other talents, the ability to encourage people to act on their most sinful and hidden desires. There are also creepy references to an old foundry, fire, snakes and the like. But there's way more to the story than horror -- it's also a murder mystery.


  1. Nice to offer up books for those of us who don't do scary. Thirteenth Tale is a great idea.


  2. Great books. Of course I automatically love any list that features that Anne Bishop book! I read Horns years ago and really enjoyed it even though I hate snakes. I also watched the movie and despite staring Daniel Radcliff, I was not really impressed with it. I have been wanting to read The Thirteenth Take and the Wicked series sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing and adding to the TBR!

  3. Great list! I totally agree with A Discovery of Witches. I'm reading Book of Life right now, finally finishing the series!

  4. This looks like a great list. I'm not much for scary book, but loved The Night Circus!

  5. I am super excited to see A Discovery of Witches on this list. I can't wait for the new spin off!

  6. A couple of these are on my TBR.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/top-ten-tuesday-80/

  7. I didn't care for Rebecca...Nice list!
    My ttt

  8. I'm reading ADOW for the third or fourth time now, with the ADOW Real-Time Read-Along. And I loved The Night Circus! Definitely a good choice for Halloween. One of these days I should read The Thirteenth Tale. The Moor and Rebecca are also atmospheric, though The Moor isn't among my favorite Russell & Holmes books. Another good one for this time of year is Naomi Novik's Uprooted. Great list!


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