⇒No offense to all the other months, but October is my favorite! So I decided to celebrate my favorite month and the Halloween season with some spooky reads – muhahahaha! ⇐
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Yes, over Christmas, over Independence Day, and even over Thanksgiving. There’s so much I love about Halloween but one of the main things is that it gives me an excuse to wear costumes in public! Plus, it’s a great season to find all those horror/thriller books on your shelves and settle in for some spooky reading.
I’m doing double duty this month by cracking open some truly creepy books AND continuing my shelf-discipline challenge by choosing books from my personal shelves that fall into horror/thriller/mystery categories. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I’ll be thoroughly freaked out BUT my shelves will be a little bit lighter!
Here’s a look at the October TBR that I started building in September:
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
NOS4A2 (pronounced “Nosferatu”) is the third novel by American author Joe Hill. The book focuses on a woman trying to save her son from a vicious, supernatural killer who has set his sights on him. The novel is called NOS4R2 in the United Kingdom. (Wikipedia)
I have wanted to read this book for so long! When I finally found it on sale at Half-Price Books I snapped it up and immediately knew that I would add it to my October TBR.
Apparently, NOS4A2 is currently in development to become a 10-episode TV miniseries in 2019 on AMC, so I’m glad to go ahead and read this before it hits the little screen.
BROKEN MONSTERS by Lauren Beukes
Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies, but this one is unique even by Detroit’s standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams? If you’re Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you’ll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe–and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world. (Goodreads)
I remember picking this book up randomly somewhere and it has been on my shelf for a while now, but it originally caught my interest because it seems to mix horror with fantasy. I love it when genres merge and create something more fantastic and freaky!
A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. (Goodreads)
I will admit to having read a few reviews by Goodreads friends about this book, so I feel kind of prepared to be scared. I’m not expecting the next Great American Novel here, but I am looking forward to some genuine scares.
PHANTOMS by Dean Koontz
CLOSER… They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California. AND CLOSER… At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease. AND CLOSER… But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined… (Goodreads)
One of the scariest images is an abandoned town existing where there should be the hustle and bustle of people, activity and… life. Dean Koontz is a masterful storyteller and I used to read his books much more often than I do now. Here is my chance for redemption since two Dean Koontz books show up on my October TBR…
PRODIGAL SON (FRANKENSTEIN, BOOK #1) by Dean Koontz & Kevin J. Anderson
Every city has secrets. But none as terrible as this. His name is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who’s traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself. Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner Michael Maddison would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just may be where this case ends up. For the no-nonsense O’Connor is suddenly talking about an ages-old conspiracy, a near immortal race of beings, and killers that are more—and less—than human. Soon it will be clear that as crazy as she sounds, the truth is even more ominous. For their quarry isn’t merely a homicidal maniac—but his deranged maker. (Goodreads)
I’ve read some pretty amazing new interpretations of classic literary treasures this year. Why not in the horror genre too? Dean Koontz works with Kevin J. Anderson to deliver the first in a series of thrilling Frankenstein-ian stories that may have me looking over my shoulder before I finish reading.
HAUNT ME STILL by Jennifer Lee Carrell
Caught in a web of evil, Kate Stanley tangles with a legendary curse, a witch-haunted blade, and all-too-modern murder. What price genius? Macbeth is so famously cursed that many actors refuse to name the play aloud. Kate Stanley, Shakespearean scholar and theater director, dismisses the curse as superstition, but–as the cast begins rehearsals at the foot of Scotland’s Dunsinnan Hill–evil begins to stir. Actors go missing, and a trench is found filled with blood. Then Kate discovers a local woman dead in circumstances that suggest ancient pagan sacrifice. Marked as either suspect or future victim, Kate races to find a dangerous, alternate version of Macbeth said to contain actual rituals of witchcraft–and Shakespeare’s darkest secret. (Goodreads)
A haunted play and a legendary curse are apparently all it takes to get my attention in a bookstore when I’m hunting for books to beef up the scare factor for my October TBR.
THE LITTLE STRANGER by Sarah Waters
One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his. (Goodreads)
A ghost story wrapped in the cloak of historical fiction, The Little Stranger may give me more than I’m expecting from my spine-chilling list this month, and that works for me. Even that cover looks eerie – maybe that’s why I tucked it in the back of my bookshelf until now, you know… for safety…
BLAZE by Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., was always a small-time delinquent. None too bright either, thanks to the beatings he got as a kid. Then Blaze met George Rackley, a seasoned pro with a hundred cons and one big idea. The kidnapping should go off without a hitch, with George as the brains behind their dangerous scheme. But there’s only one problem: by the time the deal goes down, Blaze’s partner in crime is dead. Or is he? (Goodreads)
I started reading this several years ago but never got very far into it before being distracted by other books. Now is the perfect time to pick it up again and delve back into King’s world (which always proves to be more than a little bit twisted and sinister).
So there it is, my October TBR in a nutshell. Will I have any put-the-book-in-the-freezer moments (Friends fans, raise your hands)? Maybe. But I’m determined to get through as many of these as I can – and maybe I can plug in a few chilling audiobooks as well along the way. Let’s celebrate the season book lovers!
HAPPY OCTOBER READING!