I can’t believe we’re near October’s end! I guess you could say it’s OctOVER? (hahah) Seems like just yesterday I was singing (badly, of course) “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day…
Many of you requested a list of spooky/Halloween recommendations, and I was also inspired by a handful of other bloggers to compile this list. However, rather than including just YA books, this list also encompasses classics and short stories. So without further ado…
Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
Thoughts: Stalking Jack the Ripper is currently at the top of my tbr list, after my lovely friend Alex recommended it to me. You know it’s going to be good if it’s at the top of my list of recs, and I haven’t even read it yet!
Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Synopsis: First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
Thoughts: I read this few years ago, and it remains my favourite murder mystery. It had me guessing until the very end, and I highly recommend And Then There Were None to those who crave intense mysteries and high levels of suspense. See if you can be Sherlock Holmes and figure out the culprit!
Title: The Tell-Tale Heart
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Synopsis: A Gothic short story classic written by the master of macabre, The Tell-Tale Heart is told through the perspective of an unnamed narrator who suffers from insanity and commits a murder but attempts to convince the reader that he is sane. Whether his attempt is successful or not…is entirely up to you.
Thoughts: I read this for school a few years back, and I think it’s absolutely perfect for the upcoming spooky season. It’s far more bone-chilling than The Cask of Amontillado. If you’re looking for a short, spooky read, this is it!
Side note: Authored Adornments‘ October subscription box theme is Edgar Allan Poe! Make sure to use code BOOKSHOP to receive 10% off your order!
Title: The Shining
Author: Stephen King
Synopsis: Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr. Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.
As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?
Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…
Thoughts: You may have heard of The Shining, arguably one of the best horror films out there, directed by Stanley Kubrick. But did you know that it was based on a Stephen King novel? If you’re looking for a truly scary, horror fiction story, you should definitely pick up The Shining! (And this is coming from a scaredy-cat.)
Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
Thoughts: I’m currently reading this, and to be honest, I flipped out when I saw the first series of vintage photographs–they were so strange and creepy! Now that I’m further into the book, things are turning out to be rather interesting…
Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Synopsis: Idealistic young scientist Henry Jekyll struggles to unlock the secrets of the soul. Testing chemicals in his lab, he drinks a mixture he hopes will isolate – and eliminate – human evil. Instead it unleashes the dark forces within him, transforming him into the hideous and murderous Mr. Hyde.
Thoughts: All right, where are my morally ambiguous scientists? If you’ve already read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, you may want to pick this one up! Like Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll is a struggling scientist. However, Jekyll’s struggle is different–a clash between good and evil–that releases his inner persona.
Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Synopsis: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
Thoughts: I finished TSS a couple of months ago with my book club, The Literary Lions. You’ll be happy to know that there’s NO romance, plenty of action, and full of musical references–August plays the violin!
Of course, there are many other wonderful books to read this spooky season, but these are a few of my favourites. (hahah, I already know I’m going to love Stalking Jack the Ripper) Let me know your own scary story/spooky book recommendations!
TLDR: Stalking Jack the Ripper, And Then There Were None, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Shining, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, This Savage Song