Your Halloween “spooky- reads”…sorted.

Dear Friends, Halloween is around the corner.

And though in my religion, it’s celebrated under another name and another way- the spirit (literally and figuratively) is same.

So not wasting another minute, I’d delve into my “curated” horror reading-list for you, to consume, when ghost and ghouls are having merry time outside.

[The Chill-O-Meter is there in the place of actual rating]

Halloween book-list.jpg

 

1. Periodical horror

 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Goodread link: This way

There was a fascinating French series called “The Returned” (Season 1: highly recommended) which I binge-watched a few moons ago.

The whole theme revolved around – how a small, sleepy French town got devastated when the deads started coming back to their respective families.

 

The Winter People” revolves around the same theme- traversing back-and-forth, spanning more than 100 years.

Apart from historical horror and missing persons, there are-

  • savage winter,
  • poverty ravaging a family,
  • a mother’s maniacal love and
  • an eerie farmhouse.

 

Chill-O-Meter: 3.5 / 5

 

 2. Gothic horror

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Goodreads link: This way

For starters, I’m not a fan of this seminal work by Shirley Jackson.

It could’ve been so much better” was my first thought once I finished it off.

But still, I’d encourage you to give this Gothic, atmospheric horror a shot.

 

The haunting of hill house.jpg

Why?

  • The “unreliable” narrator part (my favorite thing in a horror/thriller book). It would make you think –

 

was it horror or one woman’s descending into insanity?

 

  • The atmosphere. Who could resist the lure of a gothic manor with secrets, sighs, and creaks in every nook and corner and a bunch of Ghostbusters? Not me!

 

  • The simmering sexual tension between the two female leads.

     Given it’s published in 1959, that was “lesbian” love unfolding before you, you ignorant readers of 50s.

 

 

  • The climax (* taking out hanky and wiping away fat rolls of tears* level sad).
  • The just-released “Netflix” series based on this book.

 

Chill-O-Meter: 3 / 5

 

3. Scandinavian Horror (‘cause why should British and American ghosts have all the fun?)

Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Goodreads link: This way

To me, “Let The Right One In” is a romance novel in the garb of a vampire novel.

Set in a Swedish suburbia, this book is-

  • magical,
  • repulsive,
  • heart-breaking,
  • gut-wrenching.

 

It tackles with-

  • School bullying ( “13 Reasons Why” level of brutal)
  • Coming-of-age loneliness
  • Single parenthood
  • Pedophilia ( even if the vampire is a tiny 12-year old who lived through hundreds of years and an older man falls for her, I’d count it as pedophilia), and most importantly
  • Love

 

I hate to repeat *that* cliche but

this is a way better love story than “Twilight”.

 

And that ending!

Chill-O-Meter: 4.5 / 5

 

4.Vampire horror

‘Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King

Goodreads Link: This way

The world may go gaga over “IT” but to me, ‘Salem’s Lot is Stephen King at his finest.

I was compelled to read this book 3-4 times, much to my embarrassment.

I mean, when you’re over 25, then you should read Yuval Noah Harari and not mooning over a quaint town infested with vampires.

Anyway, this is a bloody ( Mary-the drink) level good.

Fit for Halloween readathon.

'Salem's Lot.jpg

P.S. –

Just imagine, your sister turning into a vampire, scratching the window in the middle of the night and begging you to let her welcome in!

This was the dream I had after wrapping up the book, told my sister, and got whacked.

Chill-O-Meter: 4 / 5

 

5. Fucked-up Family horror

A Head full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay  

Goodreads link: This way

 

A discordant family is in itself a source of horror, according to me.

What’s scarier when you throw in paranormal stuff in it?

But above all the paranormal shit,  this book is special ‘cause it has shown:

 

what happens when your family doesn’t understand that you’re suffering from acute an mental disorder.

 

-A head full of ghosts- quote.jpg

This lingering sadness stood out for me through the pages.

This is slow-burning horror at it’s best.

Chill-O-Meter: 3.98 / 5

 

 

6. Dystopian horror

Bird-Box by Josh Malerman

Goodreads link: This way
I will keep it very, very short. But reading “Bird-Box” had been an “experience”.

Bird-Box book

 

The horror was almost-

  • palpable,
  • physical and
  • visceral.

 

Two words: Read it.

 

Chill-O-Meter: 5 / 5

(see that’s why I don’t hand out 5-stars like lollipops. You need to save them up for really good ones.)

 

Do you like the horror genre? What are your favorite books in it?

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22 thoughts on “Your Halloween “spooky- reads”…sorted.

  1. Becky Ginther says:

    These choices all sound interesting! I’m a scaredy cat so I’m not super into horror, but if I want a bit of a creepy/ghost type story I turn to a classic: Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier.

  2. Jenny Capper says:

    I love the quote from Bird Box. That definitely intrigued me, as I feel it is so applicable to so many things. With your recommendation and my love for dystopian novels, I’m all over that one. I’m also very interested in Salem’s Lot. You can’t ever go wrong with a good vampire story. Thanks so much for the recommendations!

  3. Kim says:

    Thanks for sharing this list. I love a good horror novel and haven’t actually read any on this list! I’m looking forward to checking out Let the Right One In and Salem’ s Lot.

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