October is one of my favorite months. In the south, the weather is finally starting to feel like fall. The leaves are turning their warmest colors. There’s no place you can walk without that satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot. My morbid soul comes to life as I watch the plastic and inflatable un-dead rise from lawns. And there’s little better than the smell of burning leaves, an open invitation to snuggle into your favorite hoodie and gather around the bonfire to read ghost stories.
Yeah, October is one of my favorite months. While I’ve never been a big celebrator of Halloween, I do love the holiday. A few years back I started a bookish tradition of reading only horror and ghostly books during October. A little bit of honoring the holiday, a little bit of having an excuse to read horror (not that one needs an excuse). I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish every book on this list as I’m releasing Of Secrets and Sound this month (Friday the 13th). Even so, I’m optimistic. Here is this year’s reading list:
May Bird and the Ever After (Jodi Lynn Anderson)
This isn’t actually horror but it is one of the best ghost stories I’ve ever read. May’s accidental journey into the afterlife with her cat is whimsical and disturbing in equal measures. The friendships, world building, and characters make this an excellent read for all ages.
A God in the Shed (J-F. Dubeau)
The small town of Saint-Ferdinand has been plagued by a serial killer. Thanks to the efforts of Inspector Stephen Crowley, the killer is now behind bars. But a dark entity shows itself to young Venus McKenzie, revealing the twisted past of the town and murders. This book promises to be everything I look for in horror with a touch of weird fiction.
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
I have a fondness for classics. I think there’s something lovely about a Victorian era gothic. Of course, Dracula is one of the most famous. Vampires have always been my preferred paranormal creature, and this is the book that brought them into the spotlight. We all know the story, a young man goes to help Dracula arrange things for his move to England. Strange and unsettling things happen, and our hero starts to think his host isn’t quite human. Romance, drama, and horror. I’ll spare you the vampire pun, but I’m quite looking forward to reading this one.