Trick or Treat

The main trick I’ve heard of so far seems to be all the snow dumping itself on New York and points farther up the Northeastern part of the U.S. In October, no less. Trick indeed. Hope everyone in that neck of the woods is keeping toasty warm.

Of course, whether you’re snowed in or not, this is a weekend for Halloween fun. Parties, candy, costumes, and spooky tales are all on the agenda. And while I can’t throw you a party from here, and I draw the line at sending candy-grams, I’ll gladly offer up some suggestions for holiday-themed reading.

In general, I’m not a big fan of scary movies or books. I enjoy them, but it takes a lot to scare me these days, which is just as well since I’m in no hurry to lose any sleep. What does generally frighten me are the things I can see happening in real life, no matter how twisted and exaggerated they’ve become for the sake of a plot. But regardless, I admire the ability to build suspense to that level, whether through fantastical creatures, reality, or a mix of the two. Anyone looking to work on their suspense-building skills might find reading a few good horror stories a fun way to hone their skills.

So, book thoughts? I’m a fan of the classics, like DRACULA and THE TURN OF THE SCREW, as well as more modern works, particularly books by Stephen King, such as THE SHINING, ‘SALEM’S LOT, THE STAND. I recently read Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE, and that made for a few squirmy moments. Right now I’m reading Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS — more magic, less scares. For Halloween, I’ve got a copy of THE LAST WEREWOLF by Glen Duncan.

As you can see, I’ve a pretty broad definition of what I consider Halloween reading. Below I’ve included some links to some other people’s ideas of what to read this time of year. And how about all of you? What’s on the nightstand in honor of Halloween? Or do you keep your to-read list business as  usual?

Top Ten Scariest Books of All Time

Critics Picks October: An Apocalypse Edition

Ten Tales by Ray Bradbury to Get You in the Halloween Spirit