The days have been growing shorter, and now it’s dark by the time the kids go to bed. There’s a brisk chill in the air too. Fall is announcing itself.
Late the other night, I sat up working on our monthly newsletter. I was grasping for time in between my one-year-old daughter’s separation anxiety screaming fits. Her twin brother hasn’t exhibited her recent behavior, thank goodness, but she virtually howls.
Roger had asked Cindy to help me compile the Halloween booklist for adults. I love a good thriller and and have read far too many of them, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read a full-fledged horror novel. I was sifting through new titles to include when I opened Cindy’s email.
Cindy, as you know, has rung up hordes of titles at the front counter and always has her finger on the pulse of what customers like. She took Roger’s charge seriously, and her suggestions went above and beyond the scope of the list I was trying to cultivate. So I felt it was only appropriate to share her deeper thoughts on the blog as to what you should be reading for Halloween. Her list was so good that I nearly woke my peacefully sleeping husband just so I didn’t feel so alone in the house. With my daughter finally silent, I felt like shrieking myself. The very names of some of Cindy’s books sent chills up my spine, as I began to picture ghosts, murderers, and vampires roaming in my backyard.
First Cindy gave me this list of authors:
Edgar Allen Poe
Ray Bradbury (The Halloween Tree)
Joe Hill (20th Century Ghosts, Horns, Heart-Shaped Box, NOS4ATU)
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
Stephen King (Dr. Sleep)
Peter Stenson (Fiend)
Adam Mansbach (The Dead Run)
Then she went more specific with these titles:
The Turn of the Screw
Woman in Black
Interview with the Vampire
Haunting of Hill House
Ghosts: Recent Hauntings
Poe’s Children (ed., Peter Straub)
The Big Book of Ghost Stories (ed. Otto Penzler)
I used to read horror novels under the covers with a flashlight when I was a teenager, long after I was supposed to be asleep. I read all the early Stephen King and Flowers in the Attic like that and scared myself sick. It may have been a long time ago, but just thinking about reading some of the books on Cindy’s list brought back those memories. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. And when my daughter started a fresh round of screaming, I nearly screamed with her.
Halloween is coming. Lock your doors and read yourself into a tizzy. It’s kind of fun.