Our Halloween reading list
It’s that time of year again: jack-o’-lanterns, ghosts and black cats hiding under flaming autumn leaves. Why not get in the mood? From ghost stories to thrillers, we’ve got your ghoulish literary cravings covered.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
A newlywed arrives at her new home and slowly finds out about her husband’s previous wife and her suspicious demise. Rebecca is the “ghost” in the cupboard, the shadow of the past that makes everything dark. The new Mrs. de Winter will need to deal with it or die trying. (Lilia)
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
Florence is a ghostwriter who also sees ghosts. Death is a family business, and she’s comfortable with it until her hunky new editor starts talking to her as a ghost. How do you fall in love with a dead man? Full of life and death, Florence needs to deal with all of her ghosts—the dead ones and the ones in her heart. (Lilia)
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
The title is this book’s first mystery—it denotes a period of punishment rather than a grammatical structure, yet it refers to writing—which is also a clue to the setting of the novel: a bookstore in Minnesota.
A frequent bookstore customer dies but will not go away. She leaves little messy clues around the store, disrupting book order, facing books the wrong way out and generally haunting the bookseller, who is led to solve the mystery behind the habitation and so serve out the sentence.
A many-layered book about anger, grief, tribal roots and the question of what is owed to the dead and to the living, Erdrich writes with humor and grace. From the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author, this is a book to read twice to fully absorb its rich layers and vivid descriptions. The second time around is just as pleasurable as the first. (Lynn)
New and noteworthy
Fairy Tale by Stephen King
The latest thriller by the legendary “King of Horror” Stephen King tells the story of a teenage boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are battling it out in a high-stakes war. Vintage King, The Guardian’s Alison Flood calls Fairy Tale “a transporting, terrifying treat born from multiple lockdowns which, in true King style, puts its finger right on that tender point which is the threshold between childhood and growing up.” (Lauren)
- Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca
- The House at Phantom Park by Graham Masterton
- The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe (an old title but a beautiful new edition from Penguin’s Little Clothbound Classics)
- The Pallbearers’ Club by Paul Tremblay
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
You’ve likely seen the movie. Now read the book.
- The Shining by Stephen King
- Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
- The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
- The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
- The Vampire Chronicles (First Trilogy) by Anne Rice
- World War Z by Max Brooks