Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scary Books!

Every year my front yard turns into a graveyard for the month...
 
I decided this month to spend my entire month reading books that had some sort of connection to Halloween...so here goes, my first ever theme month!
 
  1. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield - This was very much a throwback to the type of Gothic ghost stories that I fell in love with during college.  I heard of it well over a year ago on a Halloween episode of Books On The Nightstand, and it's one of the first books I thought of when I decided to do a theme month.  Moody, sorrowful, elegant, eerie...it was quite simply a gorgeous book, if occasionally overwrought.  (but then, it is Gothic, and aren't Gothic novels supposed to be overwrought?!) A reclusive, bookish young woman is hired to write the biography of a reclusive famous authoress with a mysterious past....what's not to love?!  As a bonus, I honestly didn't see what was coming at the end....  This one is for people who love ghost stories which aren't scary.
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  3. The Twelve, Justin Cronin  - Wow.  I've been waiting (not so patiently) for this sequel to Cronin's The Passage for quite some time, and I'm quite happy to report that it was more than worth the wait.  My only complaint - it's now been announced that this is the second in a trilogy, so I will have to wait again!  (That's bad....very, very bad!)  There are sooo many things I could say, but I'll keep it brief.  One, Cronin's female characters are incredible.  Two, not only does he take us right into the heart of the apocalypse, he also takes us way beyond.  Three, his vampire/zombie outbreak is original enough as to make the whole thing feel new and fresh. 
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  5. Kiss the Dead, Laurell K. Hamilton - the most recent Anita Blake novel.  Yep, I'm still reading them...thanks to my library.  Don't judge.  The writing has certainly gone downhill (this is book 20ish, and they stopped being good after the first ten or so), but there's something to be said for a quick and easy mindless read once in a while.  Plus, it's fun to read books set in a city I know!
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  7. The Walking Dead, books 1, 2 and 3, Robert Kirkman - Yep, Sean and I LOVE the show.  I finally got around to checking the books out from the library.  The bad news is that the library has volumes 1-7 (I have put a hold on 4-7) but then skips up to volumes 12 and above.  That's going to be VERY frustrating.  Must admit, I may never have gotten around to reading them had Aisha Tyler not interviewed Kirkman on her podcast, Girl on Guy.  Kirkman was fascinating, and he left me wanting to know MORE.  Yep, the comics are absolutely nutballs...but Kirkman has managed to make everything seem absolutely plausible.  Plus, the zombies aren't the scariest thing out there...
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  9. The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly - Books on the Nightstand referenced this book a few weeks ago during a podcast which gave tribute to the legacy of the Grimm Fairy Tales.  I was intrigued, because as everyone knows I love fairy tales more than almost anything else!  To my surprise I then stumbled on it in iBooks Halloween sale page...and so of course I had to buy it.  (A $2 book is a fabulous thing!)  While yes some really scary things happened in the book, I am a bit confused as to why it was grouped with horror novels.  What it really is is a phenomenal book that uses traditional fairy tales, twisted just a wee bit, to tell a coming of age story about a boy coming to terms with the death of his mother.  It was so very beautiful....and I have to admit that I cried at the very end.  This one is for sure going on my best of 2012 list.  As a special bonus, at the end Connolly has included the traditional versions of the fairy tales he used in the book. 
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  11. The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova - Honestly, I just started reading it today.  It came up on a couple of Halloween book lists on various websites, and when I found out that it too was on sale through ibooks I had to have it!  Fun fact, Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of my favorite books of all time.  I'm also a total sucker for writers who take traditional works and repurpose them.  My plan is to tuck into bed this evening with this book just as soon as I can....

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