I’m sorry. Halloween isn’t my favourite holiday. I don’t really like dressing up, I don’t really care for bite-sized candy, and I’m not a fan of horror movies. That being said, I’m a sucker for a good spooky book in October. I can’t handle reading anything too scary, because when I read I hear the words in my head and that’s really disconcerting when it’s a super violent/terrifying book, but I can sit with the spooky aesthetic. So here’s my Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish): Ten Great Halloween Reads (Especially If You Don’t Like Getting Super Scared).
The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle
I just finished this fantastic story, and I’ll be posting a full review on Thursday (link will be here when that goes live). This book is enchanting from page 1, and the magic is wonderfully menacing. This book was just published this month, and has fewer than 300 ratings on Goodreads, so you should definitely pick it up so you can be one of the hipsters who read it first.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
If you like witches, strong, intelligent women, vampires, daemons, history, or just a great read, you definitely need to get into the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Full review here.
If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio
This is a great read if you’re looking for something dark and sinister, but you don’t want anything supernatural. Academics, Shakespeare, murder, secrets – it’s all in there. Full review here.
Omens by Kelley Armstrong
The Cainsville series starts off with ritualistic murder, and is chock full of omens (good and bad), gargoyles, and a legend that seems to be repeating itself.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
I know that this is a middle-grade book, but I honestly found it really creepy. Orphans start working at a house that’s been taken over by a massive tree, and the life seems to be seeping out of the family that lives there. Full review here.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This is a collection of graphic short stories (like a graphic novel, but short stories instead of one continuous plot). And it is disturbing. I loved it. It’s excellent.
Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
This series is about twins with complementary abilities – one of them fights the spirits of the dead, the other communicates with them. A perfect read while you’re waiting for the trick-or-treaters to come to your door.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
This one was so disgusting and graphic that I threw my phone across the room to get it as far away from me as possible (I was listening to the audiobook, it was a kneejerk reaction, I try not to throw things while I read). Full review here.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This story isn’t spooky at all. But if you like the magical element of Halloween, and you’re big on aesthetic, you should take a trip to the Cirque Du Reves.
Classic Tales of Horror by Edgar Allan Poe
Poe’s stories are classic (as suggested in the collection title) – if you’re accustomed to the old-timey language they’re a lot of fun. I’d definitely encourage you to give one of his short stories a shot if you feel like the language won’t be a barrier. Or you could just check out Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party/Gala for Friends Potluck on Youtube. (Please just do this anyway – if you’re a literature fan you’ll love it.)