Starbucks is serving pumpkin spice which can mean only one thing: it’s almost Halloween! I don’t know about you but I’ve been planning my costume since June, I’ve covered my door in spiderwebs, and I may or may not have bought myself a giant bag of fun sized snickers and eaten it while binge watching American Horror Story. But if you really want to get in the mood for the most spookalicious of holidays, it’s time to hit the library. Here are some books that should be on your reading list to get that spine tingling!
1. Dracula – Bram Stoker
The book that started it all. If you haven’t read the original, you’re missing out. Yeah, yeah, I know most old books are like reading about paint drying, but Dracula is a classic for a reason and it holds up astonishingly well. It’s written like a series of letters and reads like a modern thriller. There’s romance, action, and some serious creepitude.
2. Spook – Mary Roach
Most famous for her book Stiff (a close runner up and also a good Halloween read), Mary Roach is a special combination of hilarious and fascinating. Spook is nonfiction, and is basically an exploration of science’s attempts to study the supernatural. This includes things like ghost hunting, out of body experiences, and even going to a school for psychics.
3. It – Stephen King
Stephen King + clowns = nightmares forever and ever. The book is pretty huge, but Stephen King is a great enough writer that things move quickly and it’s hard not to get sucked in and wake up three days later having read the entire thing.
4. World War Z – Max Brooks
Yes it’s a zombie story, but it’s a zombie story told so intelligently it feels like a historical document. World War Z takes the form of a series of interviews with people after the zombie apocalypse. It explores every area of society from pharmaceutical companies to astronauts to Japanese gamers. World War Z is zombies all grown up.
5. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Before there was the movie that gave a whole generation nightmares, there was a book that gave a whole generation nightmares. The other mother remains terrifying, and I still can’t even with button eyes.
6. Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist
Another vampire story, but a weirdly sweet one. Let The Right One In is a strange combination of Dracula and Bridge to Terabithia, but Swedish. If that sounds interesting, it is.
7. Complete Tales and Poems – Edgar Allen Poe
I couldn’t pick one story, too many are too good to miss, so I’m going to recommend reading everything Poe has ever written. He manages to capture a vast array of nightmares and his language is plush enough to roll around in.
8. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark – Alvin Schwartz
I recently found a copy of this at a goodwill, and it brought back so many memories. Whether it’s the simple prose or the seriously disturbing illustrations, Scary Stories has a special place in the heart of every child of the 90s.
9. Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice
Before there were Twilight‘s sexy vampires, there were the sexy vampires of Anne Rice. Her first and (in my opinion) her best is Interview With A Vampire, and once you’re done ogling Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the movie, go ahead and fall for very bad boy Lestat in the book.
10. John Dies At The End – David Wong
This book is just plain weird. Any attempt to summarize it would end in you looking at me funny and me trailing off into silence. It’s also kind of genius and a blast to read. The author writes for Cracked, so imagine taking the Cracked website (all of it) and throwing it in a blender with H.P. Lovecraft’s bibliography and adding a sprinkling of Trainspotting and you’ll get a vague idea of what John Dies At The End is.
So, now that you know what you should be reading, what are you doing to get into the Halloween spirit?