I’ve spent the last two Octobers reading creepy books. The cooler weather makes it feel good to curl up under a blanket and read something scary.
There will be a couple non-scary reviews in October too. I’m behind with NetGalley reviews and Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach comes out on the 3rd.
I’ve picked out seven for this month:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I read this back in February and have been sitting on the review. It’s not scary, but seems seasonally appropriate given how Frankenstein’s monster is a common Halloween costume.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
I’ve seen both movies—the Swedish original and the American remake—though it’s been a while. I don’t read many vampire books, but this one sounds good. Both movies had some excellent jump scares so I plan to read this with all the lights on.
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
I picked this up after the first season of True Detective, but haven’t read it. I tried the first story, but it was weirder and trippier than I thought it would be.
It by Stephen King
According to my Kindle, this book is 1,477 pages long. What a doorstop! I wouldn’t have put it on my October list if I hadn’t just finished it because I’m not sure I could fit seven reviews into the month if I had to read 1,000+ page books too. The book is more frightening than the movie; many of the most terrifying/disgusting scenes would be hard to put on film without looking campy/cheap. Still though, if you haven’t seen the new movie—you should.
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
The end of this book is strange so it’s been on my reread list since I read it last year. The religious mania in the book creates an uncomfortable, unsettling tone and there are TWO gothic mansions, not just one. That’s twice the fun.
Zero K by Don DeLillo
I wouldn’t call the overall story “horror,” but there was one chapter in the middle that made my blood turn cold. I had to set it down and walk away. Zero K taps into the whole fear-of-death thing, though not so obviously as White Noise. White Noise has a repeated refrain of “who will die first” every time the lead character looks at his wife that similarly got under my skin.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
No ghosts, vampires, or werewolves here—just creepy ol’ Tom Ripley who kills his friend and takes over his life. Yikes.
For some recommendations in the meantime, here are links to reviews from previous years:
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Hell House by Richard Matheson
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Shutter Island by Dennis
Slade House by David Mitchell
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
And don’t forget the most terrifying, skin-crawling vampire book of all time: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. 😛