On Sep 30 I realized it’s time for HALLOWEEN BOOKS and I wasn’t prepared! So I did a bunch of googling, and came up with a several options, which I promptly put on hold at the library. But one of them is a classic Agatha Christie, and I already own it, so I could dive right in.
A fun fact about me and Agatha Christie is that I got obsessed with them (and Hercule Poirot), bought a bunch of them, read them ferociously, and retained very little. So I know I’ve read this before, and pieces of it feel familiar, but I have no clue who the murderer is. Fun!
It’s not spooky or scary, per se, but it’s called Hallowe’en Party, so this is my first October book.
(Actually, I’ve been reading Margaret Atwood’s new book, The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s also not strictly speaking a Halloween book, but is pretty scary, so maybe I should count that one as well.)
Coming soon to my local library with my name on them:
The Silent Companions
From Amazon: “When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But pregnant and widowed just weeks after their wedding, with her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her late husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure—a silent companion—that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of the estate are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition—that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.
A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, The Silent Companions is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect—much like the companions themselves.”
Update: Haunted house! Enjoyed!
From Amazon: “Haunted is a novel made up of twenty-three horrifying, hilarious, and stomach-churning stories. They’re told by people who have answered an ad for a writer’s retreat and unwittingly joined a ‘Survivor’-like scenario where the host withholds heat, power, and food. As the storytellers grow more desperate, their tales become more extreme, and they ruthlessly plot to make themselves the hero of the reality show that will surely be made from their plight. This is one of the most disturbing and outrageous books you’ll ever read, one that could only come from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk.”
It’s been years since I read Chuck Palahniuk, but he’s definitely stuck in my mind, and this feels like a good opportunity to dive back in.
Update: I read the first story, and I was such a violent combination of horrified and disturbed that I didn’t get any further. It was the short story “Guts,” and originally published in Playboy, and so maybe it was the also the grossest. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it (and cringeing) and I felt like I needed to stop reading so I wasn’t bringing that energy around me.
So to lighten the mood, I read Rosemary’s Baby.
I do not know much about this book, and I want to keep it that way until I read it. I know it’s about a haunted house and I really love stories about haunted houses, so I’m excited for this. (Unfortunately my library doesn’t have this on hand! Kindle store, here I come.)
I have a couple other options but I’m trying to be more reasonable about how much I can actually get through in the next month. This might not be a six or seven book month. Which is okay. I’m excited to read these, and to look for plenty of Halloween stories to read to my kids to establish this tradition with them. I love this time of year.
I do think I’ll try to finish off with a reread of another one of my very favorite haunted house stories…
Update: It was a light read but not as scary as I wanted…and a bit repetitive. Liked not loved.
Update: I didn’t get to The Shining but I did listen to Carmilla (by J. Sheridan Le Fanu) and The Conception of Terror: Tales Inspired by M.R. James.
I also read something that’s been on my kindle for ages: Perfect Days by Raphael Montes. It’s your classic “weird guy falls in love with strange girl, stalks her, kidnaps her, and things go sideways” story. I recommend it.
Happy Halloween! What are you reading this month?