Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Spooky Special: My Halloween Reading List.

The Halloween season is one of my favourite reading times of year. I've always been a huge fan of horror and psychological terror (fun, I know!) and as the nights get longer, so my reading tastes get darker. I'm very much a seasonal reader; summer is all about romantic contemps and sunny beach settings, but winter is all about the scares. 

I have a huge list of dark and scary books I want to read over the next couple months. I've made a Halloween List on Goodreads if you want to check it out. And I'm always on the lookout for scary reading suggestions - so if you have any recommendations for scary books I need to read, let me know in comments. 

What's the  scariest book you've ever read?

I'm hoping to get some scares from my top five (in no particular order) Halloween reads for 2013. 

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>> I loved the eerie, gothic brilliance of Diane Setterfield's debut novel The Thirteenth Tale and have been eagerly awaiting her next book ever since I read that one way back when it first released. Bellman & Black sounds perfect for Halloween, with it being a ghost story and all. This one has a lot to live up to after the success of The Thirteenth Tale, so if you've already read it, I'd love to know what you thought of it. Bellman & Black is currently available for request on Netgalley.



UK Cover
ONE MOMENT IN TIME CAN HAUNT YOU FOREVER.

Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget...

Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.

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>> The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman is possibly more violent than what I'm usually drawn to reading wise (I'm all about the gothic, not the gore), but I think the synopsis sounds awesome and I've wanted to read this one ever since I first heard of it last year. The synopsis calls Stephen King to mind, and also Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts. Speaking of Dark Inside - whatever happened to the third book in that series?  



UK Cover
They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.

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>> Séances and spirit photographers and...I'm sold. I've heard so many amazing things about In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters and I can't wait to read it one of these cold, cold nights. I received this one for review back in April (I think) but I've been saving it to read until now. It just seems like a Halloween book to me. Cat will be featured on the blog in October via a guest post she's kindly writing for me, so keep an eye out for that. 



In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

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>> So, I knew as soon as I read the synopsis of this book that I had to have it. I mean, history and witchcraft and grave robbers and caged graves inspired by a pair of real caged graves in present-day Catawissa.  So cool. I can't wait to read this one! As far as I know, this is a US only release. I picked up a copy on Amazon (UK) but it's also available on The Book Depository.




17-year-old Verity Boone expects a warm homecoming when she returns to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867, pledged to marry a man she has never met. Instead, she finds a father she barely knows and a future husband with whom she apparently has nothing in common. One truly horrifying surprise awaits her: the graves of her mother and aunt are enclosed in iron cages outside the local cemetery. Nobody in town will explain why, but Verity hears rumors of buried treasure and witchcraft. Perhaps the cages were built to keep grave robbers out . . . or to keep the women in. Determined to understand, Verity finds herself in a life-and-death struggle with people she trusted.

Inspired by a pair of real caged graves in present-day Catawissa, this historical YA novel weaves mystery, romance, and action into a suspenseful drama with human greed and passion at its core.

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>> I've heard that Sweet Damage by Rebecca James has a ton of plot twists and I can't wait to find out all about that! I loved Beautiful Malice and have been saving this one for a couple months now. I actually had to order this one from Australia as I couldn't track it down on The Book Depository and it doesn't release in the UK until 2014 - April, I think.  If anyone has read Sweet Damage already, I'd love to know what you thought. Beautiful Malice is a great favourite of mine! So twisted! :)



'I still dream about Anna London's house. In my dreams it's as if the house itself has sinister intentions. But in real life it wasn't the house that was responsible for what happened. It was the people who did the damage ...'

When Tim Ellison finds a cheap room to rent in the perfect location in Sydney it looks like a huge stroke of luck. In fact the room comes with a condition, and the owner of the house, the mysterious Anna London, is unfriendly and withdrawn. When strange and terrifying things start happening in the house at night, Tim wonders if taking the room is a mistake. But then his feelings for Anna start to change, and when her past comes back with a vengeance, Tim is caught right in the middle of it.

A thrilling rollercoaster of a story - read it with the lights on!


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Ah, read it with the lights on - those are words I love to hear! So, that's my top list of books I'll be reading for Halloween. I have many, many more on my list and hope to get to as many as I can.

What are your top reads for Halloween? If you've ever read a book that really, really scared you and stayed with you long after  you'd finished reading it, I'd love to hear about it. I'm always looking for scary reading recommendations - the scarier the better! 

 



8 comments :

  1. ChristinaBookAddict2 October 2013 at 15:35

    Fantastic list! You know I am a bit of a baby when it comes to scary reads, but I can stand a few. I really want to read The Caged Graves. I met Dianne Salerni a few times (she lives near me) and she is so nice! I liked her previous book, so I definitely want to check out her latest...especially since I have been to Catawissa! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on all of these books!

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  2. What a fun list! I do actually have Bellman & Black, but haven't gotten to it yet. I need to read The Waking Dark, too.

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  3. Oh, that is so cool! Have you seen the caged graves? I haven't read any of Salerni's other books - I'll have to check them out, but I just knew as soon as I saw this one that I had to have it!

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  4. Sounds good! I haven't read either of those! (Yet!)

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  5. I'm hoping for great things from Bellman & Black since I loved The Thirteenth Tale SO much!

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  6. I read your review for Red Hill - definitely sounds like a good read for Halloween!

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  7. I'd love to! My contact info is on my blog (http://diannesalerni.blogspot.com/). Send me an email and we can discuss a topic and a date!

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  8. Great! I'll be in touch in the next day or two. :)

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