It’s dark and spooky out there. And only going to get darker and spookier.
Why not stay inside in a nice warm room and read? I’ve got some suggestions here for some perfect books to fit the season. Let’s start with the family friendly stuff before getting into the truly terrifying, shall we?
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Honestly, my kids found this much less scary when they were young. But when they got older – that sewing on buttons instead of eyes?! Pretty freaking horrifying.
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane, also by Neil Gaiman. More atmospheric than truly scary, but a lovely ending. Perhaps more late summer than fall.
- The Thief of Always by Clive Barker. All four seasons in one day. Sounds charming, but maybe a little too possessive?
- Full Tilt by Neil Shusterman. An evil carnival. Still appropriate for this time of year, and as a bonus, let me include Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury if you’ve never read that one. Both get right inside your head.
- Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Odd sees ghosts. Mostly it’s guys like Elvis. But sometimes they’re not so friendly.
- The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. This one makes you think more than scares you, but it’s so good that it’s worth reading.
- Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Timely and terrifying.
- The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. Who are they and why do they come in winter?
- The Keep by Paul F. Wilson. When even the Nazis are afraid, you know there’s trouble.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker. If you haven’t read the original, you’ve got to do it. So. Creepy.
That’s my list for this time of month. None of them are very new, with the exception of Lovecraft Country, but there good scary reads all the same. What’s on your list?
Title: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Short stories and myths
When I was younger, I couldn’t understand how the Norse could live with gods that would die. How could they stand a mythology that included an end of the world where the gods lost and the world ended and the bad guys won? Nobody else really had that, as far as I understood. Well, I’m glad I read this book, because I get it now.
It helps that I’m older and, I hope, a little wiser now. I understand that sometimes old things have to come to an end to make room for new things. Death has a purpose. Things start off new and fresh, full of promise and bright beginnings, then mature, then start to decay. Eventually they wither and fade. Death is just a natural conclusion. It’s necessary.
Not to be a downer. Most of this book is about the crazy things the gods do. Like the Romans or Greeks or Persians, these gods are pretty human – they are jealous, petty, vengeful, proud, in short, just like us. But they can be capable of great things too. And they’re pretty funny sometimes.
It’s just that ending that bothered me. And now that I’ve read Gaiman’s book, I get it. It’s not so much an ending as a new beginning. And that’s something I can really appreciate. 4.5 stars
Some characters you love, some you hate, some you love to hate, but then there’s characters that just made you cry. Here’s my picks. (Might be some spoilers!)
- Auri – Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. Ari is sweet, vulnerable, and elusive. Her story, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, was simply magical and yet completely heartbreaking.
- Rosemunde – Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. No spoilers here, but Rosemunde is a little girl in the 14th century. Trust me, it’s a tearjerker.
- Sabriel – trilogy by the same name by Garth Nix. This was a great series, but it pushed the emotional buttons.
- Cedric Diggory – HP4 by J K Rowling. Sure, there were other deaths that were worse, but this was the first.
- James Herriot – All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. This one was not so much this character as all the situations and clients he meets. If you haven’t read this series, you really need to.
- Nobody Owens – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I loved this one. I don’t remember if I actually teared up, but I did get emotional.
What was on your list? Which characters made you cry?