In a Halloween Mood: Reading for the Season

Spiders and bats prevail this time of year as days get shorter and leaves begin to blow. If you're looking for books with a Halloween feel without being overtly about Halloween, then these are some selections that set an eerie atmosphere and can be readily found in bookstores or on library shelves.

Vampires, witches and mummies are not strangers to Anne Rice who is still writing up a storm. Try Blackwood Farm: The Vampire Chronicles for a scary read. In this, one of Rice's more recent offerings, the author combines vampire legend with witch lore for a fascinating tale of the haunted South.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl is a horrific thriller set in nineteenth-century Boston but is reminiscent of Dante's Inferno, a classical tale set in hell. This gloomy read involves a group of literary scholars who must race to solve a series of murders modeled on descriptions once related by Dante.

In The Lamplighter, author Anthony O'Neill delivers a nightmarish thriller set in Edinburgh, Scotland. A young girl watches a suspicious man beneath the street lamps from her orphanage window. Years later, a series of murders connects the two amidst ghastly circumstances.

The Fig Eater by Jody Foster is a gripping tale of Vienna in 1910. A murder near the Imperial Palace sets off a hunt for a killer through the glittering streets of the capital city during a tumultuous time in its history.

If you're looking for recently published non fiction, try The Immortal Count: The Life and Times of Bela Lugosi by Arthur Lennig. This new biography of the film legend reveals the life and career of our favorite Dracula.

If you're brave enough for some very dark reading, the acclaimed Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial by Penny Coleman might be right up your dark alley. This book explores the cross-cultural practices of burial and art associated with death…the perfect coffee table book for your Halloween party!

One could always pick up a book on tape or CD—try The Collected Storied of Edgar Allan Poe and pair it with pumpkin carving night.

Any one of the above books might make an excellent choice for you Fall book discussion groups. A great novel to get your group talking is Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. This highly atmospheric novel set on the Victorian London streets features thievery and madness. This one will certainly keep you up past bedtime.

Seasonal reading is a great way to add to your holiday celebrations. Check with your local library for more scary tales, but give a few of these a try!




author: Jennifer Young

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