Reviews and Essays, Seasonal

Spooktober Book Essentials!

Hi all! Halloween season is in full swing for me these days, so I wanted to share some of my favourite Hallloween-season reading materials, which I am so looking forward to this year.

I’m currently reading Cherie Priest’s new book, Agony House, and I suspect it will make it to my list next year. High hopes (Book review coming real soon)! But, if I’m being honest, there is absolutely no way I could create a concise list of all the books I’d want to consume in October. The list would never end! Instead, I’ve narrowed down it down to a few categories, and you can all feel free to add to the lists in the comments!

Short and Spooky

For a quick fix, creepy, short stories are a must in October! What’s great is that, since they are short, you can return to them again, and again. And I do.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Other Classics

Classic horror books

Disney isn’t fooling anyone, the source material for those classic films are GRUESOME. The original Grimm tales are perfect for reading by candlelight. Cantebury’s Classics collection of horror stories is another great option for a quiet October night in.

Podcast Companion: A lot of the original Grimm Tales have been retold with a modern twist on Myths and Legends.

The Bloody Chamber

The Bloody Chamber

This book of short stories is just oozing with horrors spun out of cherished fairy tales from our childhoods. In fact, they are all inspired by the original Grimm tales. The stories have an extra layer of sinisterness since they often deal more blatantly with the horrors of being a woman in a patriarchal “fairytale” world.

Horror Graphic Novels

Horror comics

You can’t go wrong with anything Dark Horse really, but some of my faves overall are:

  • From Hell (Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell)
  • The Dark Horse Book of Monsters (Various contributors)
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s Spirits of the Dead (Richard Corben)
  • Through the Woods (Emily Carroll)
  • Nocturnals (Dan Brereton) – Actually, this is still on my TBR list (tsk, tsk), but it looks great!

Long Dark Road

If I am looking to settle in with more of a journey of horrors, there are no shortage of novels to choose from. Some of my favourite dark books would be great to return to this time of year.

Gothic Classics

Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)

Frankenstein book

Science fiction meets horror in this classic gothic novel. Even if you don’t dig horror, you can get lost in the beautifully eerie passages all throughout. It’s a truly fascinating experience.

Podcast Companions: To unravel the mysterious history of doctors who may have inspired Frankenstein, check out The (Maybe) Real Dr. Frankenstein on Sawbones and Who Was the Real Dr. Frankenstein on Stuff You Missed in History Class. For a dive into the fateful night that Mary Shelley brought her Frankenstein story to life (…see what I did there?), check out The Birth of Frankenstein and the Vampyre, also from SYMHC.

Dracula (Bram Stoker)

Dracula Stoker

If gothic lit is your thing, this is another obvious choice. If nothing else, the imagery is simply wonderful.

Podcast Companion: If gothic lit makes you feel a bit, sluggish (as it can for me), you might want to check out Jason Weiser’s 3-part retelling on Fictional. It’s really enjoyable, and is a completely different, condensed, experience.

Interview With the Vampire (Anne Rice)

Interview with the Vampire book

The Mother of the Modern Gothic, Anne Rice released the first of her Vampire Chronicles in 1977, and the film adaptation went on to become a 90s icon. The New Orleans setting is still lovely to get lost in.

Modern Chills

Misery (Stephen King)

Misery (King book)

Surprisingly, I haven’t read a lot of King. I find his writing style too distracting with its overwhelming monotony that is randomly followed by run on sentences that pop up out of nowhere. And a lot insignificant chatter. My personal opinion aside, this book definitely kept my attention. It’s terrifying.

Let the Right One In (John Lindqvist)

Let the Right One In book cover

One of my all-time favourite books, this is a unique take on vampirism with a nice dash of 80s nostalgia. But, I warn anyone who hasn’t read it yet – it’s incredibly, uncomfortably (at times) dark.

Omens (Kelley Armstrong)

Omens Armstrong

The first book of the Cainsville series is excellent for Halloween vibes. The character is just beginning to take notice of her uncanny ability to read omens, and they are everywhere in the small, hidden town she finds herself in.

YA Spooks

Coraline (Neil Gaiman)

Coraline Book

A truly haunting tale that if far more grotesque and far more bone chilling than the film adaptation.

Check out my book review here.

A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)

A Monster Calls book

This book is haunting, in more ways than one. As is often the case, the monster in this story works mainly on the level of metaphor, but is a monster no less. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.

Comic Book Companion: Though I haven’t read it myself, the movie I Kill Giants was based on a comic book of the same name. The film (which I love!) deals with similar themes as A Monster Calls, so the source material might be worth a try.

I Kill Giants comic

I Am Princess X

I Am Princess X

I love, love, love this mystery novel. The suspense is very compelling, and the plot is well-paced. Not to mention, it’s interspersed with really neat illustrations that are woven into the fabric of the story itself.

Preist’s next book, Agony House, is a ghost story, and I suspect it will be an even better Halloween pick! (I’m currently reading it, so stay tuned:))

Agony House

Spooktober Reads from My TBR List:

Since October is only 31 days (way too short, in my opinion), I rarely make even a dent in my Spooky-Themed TBR list. Here are a few that are currently calling out to me.

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Kerri Maniscalco), My Soul to Keep (Tananarive Due), The Devil in the White City (Erik Larson), The Diviners (Libby Bray), Stolen (Kelley Armstrong), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (JK Rowling).


That’s all I have for now – resisting the urge to fall down the rabbit hole with this post!

Do you have any Halloween TBRs or October Go-Tos? Please shout them out in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Spooktober Book Essentials!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s