Top Ten Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I’ve always loved fantasy, and while I don’t always say I’m a horror fan, fantasy and horror are pretty similar genres. I practically grew up on Stephen King novels — the old ones like Firestarter and The Dead Zone. I think some of the best children’s books, like The Wizard of Oz, are the scariest ones. I think that’s because in a well-written book, fear is a journey. It’s not just ghosts and goblins, it’s facing challenges and building strength and finding out something new about yourself.  Scary stories take us out of our own lives and let us experience fear in a non-threatening way.

So, here’s to Halloween, and here are ten books (or authors) to put you in a Halloween kind of mood.

  1. Anything by Stephen King. My own favorite is The Stand, but some of the creepiest are It, Salem’s Lot, Pet Sematary, and The Shining. King’s short stories and novellas are great, and I just finished reading Joyland, which I loved.
  2. The Harry Potter series.  Wizards, magic, good versus evil, and the terrors of high school. What’s not to love?
  3. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Because carnivals are creepy, and this book shows you why. And no one writes like Bradbury.  I’ll never look at a carousel the same way.
  4. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. I just read this, and it’s a fascinating, eerie read that will have you thinking about it long after you finish.
  5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, or anything else by Neil Gaiman. I’ve read Coraline, Ocean, The Graveyard Book, and Stardust, and loved every one.
  6. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett – Book One in the Tiffany Aching series. In this hilarious YA series, you get all the witchcraft and wizardry you could ask for, plus you get the Nac Mac Feagle, a clan of six-inch high blue Highlanders who swear, drink, and fight.
  7. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs – Book One in the Mercy Thompson series. Ignore the horrible cover, this is my absolute favorite urban fantasy series. Vampires, werewolves, witches and more.  And none of them sparkle.
  8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Halloween isn’t just about horror – with this book you get princes and sword fighting and true love. It’s also one of the best book-movie pairings.
  9. The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Also not horror, this is more of a creepy-by-atmosphere kind of story. One of my all-time favorites.
  10. You can’t go wrong with the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Jekyll and Hyde, to start with. All classic books for a reason.

I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones! What are your favorite Halloween reads?

Happy Halloween and please join me this weekend for the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!  I’ll be giving away a couple of new or nearly new books I’ve recently reviewed.

  11 comments for “Top Ten Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

  1. October 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Oh, I have plenty of similar books on my list. I think this week probably every top ten list will have Stephen King on it!

    I did have a lot of classics also, and of course books like The Exorcist and The Omen. They were beyond scary for me. Here’s my list if you want to visit:

    http://nishitak.com/2014/10/28/top-ten-tuesdays-ten-books-i-recommend-for-halloween-reading/

    • October 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks for commenting! I cheated a bit on King and a few others. Too hard to pick just one. I can never limit myself to ten anyway. I never read The Omen and The Exorcist. Happy Halloween!

  2. October 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I picked a few of the same books/authors as you this week. I’m currently in the middle of reading It and it’s pretty darn creepy. I think I’ll have to add Salem’s Lot to my TBR list now.

    • October 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      I loved It — one of his scariest! It probably needed some editing, but he really gets at the things that scare children, random things like birds and clowns and drains. Happy Halloween!

  3. October 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Lise McClendon and commented:
    Looking for a Halloween read? Get inspired over at The Book Stop!

  4. October 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    You covered all the greats on this list. Something Wicked This Way Comes is a book I always want to read in the fall. The Tiffany Aching series is the best.

    • October 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks for commenting! I love the Tiffany Aching series. Especially the little men with their Scottish dialect and all the swearing and drinking. Happy Halloween!

  5. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review
    October 29, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones is my favorite Halloween book. And this year I’m celebrating it and five of her other fantasies on my blog during Witch Week, October 31 to November 6. I hope you’ll stop by!

  6. October 29, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Awesome list! Loved your Harry Potter listing–what not to love, indeed! Glad you liked Joyland–I’ve been hearing about Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the premise reminded me of Joyland. I’m definitely going to read Haunting of Hill House next Oct. Yes, the classics are worthy–I’m a big fan of the Bram Stoker Dracula.

    Happy Halloween!

  7. October 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Great list. I read NEEDFUL THINGS recently, which isn’t one of King’s creepiest, but STILL — the man has a seriously messed-up mind! I still need to read THE SECRET HISTORY and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.

    Happy Halloween!

    Susan
    http://www.blogginboutbooks.com

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