Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I love reading scary books, and I’m clearly not alone in that. What makes horror so attractive? People who study children’s literature say that scaring ourselves is a way to process what’s truly scary in life. It’s non-threatening because it’s not real. That makes sense because I definitely prefer my horror on the fantastic side.
When I thought about my favorite scary reads, I had trouble naming one particular book from these authors. So, by author:
- Stephen King. Having just watched Stranger Things, I loved how much that series evoked the old Stephen King books and movies. I grew up on 70s King, so my favorites are still The Stand, Firestarter, The Dead Zone, and Salem’s Lot. Scariest reads: It and Christine (for me personally). The Gunslinger is a cool book but most of his newer books lack something for me.
- J.K. Rowling. All the Harry Potter books. These are children’s books that are truly wondrous and terrifying at the same time. And I love how she ages each one. I wish I’d grown up with these books. And her Cormorant Strike mysteries are great Halloween reads, too.
- Shirley Jackson. Her books are truly chilling, especially We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
- Ray Bradbury. More science fiction than horror, maybe, but all of his books are amazing. Something Wicked this Way Comes is one of the creepiest books I’ve read.
- Neil Gaiman. The more of his books I read, the more I like him. Try Coraline or The Ocean at the End of the Lane or The Graveyard Book.
- Patricia Briggs. Because urban fantasy IS horror by a different name, but there isn’t a lot of really good urban fantasy out there. Briggs is one of my favorites, especially her Mercy Thompson series. Start with Moon Called.
And then a few single-book recommendations:
- Slade House by David Mitchell. He’s not a horror writer although I recommend everything he’s written. This book is really, really creepy.
- The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. Parts of this book are really disturbing but the whole thing is worth a read.
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A more intellectual, thoughtful take on the apocalypse.
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. More sad than creepy, but beautiful.
- The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Like Station Eleven, more intellectual horror. Folktales come to life. I loved this book.
Those are my Halloween horror recommendations! What are yours?