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Halloween Reads IV: The Repass


It's that time of year again, when Halloween book and media picks are falling like harvest leaves. Here's a small, but spooky, selection.

For Kids

Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage
"In this Halloween countdown book, ten orange pumpkins are each carried off by a witch, a ghost, a spider, and other Halloween creatures until there's just one."

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
Carrots are orange just like pumpkins, but they never seemed especially creepy to me, until now...

Frankenstein by Ludworst Bemonster
A Madeline-parody with little monsters in two straight lines.

Spooky Buddies (DVD) Adorable golden retriever puppies must stop Warwick the Warlock on Halloween night with the help of a ghost beagle named Pip.

The Perfect Pumpkin Hunt by Gail Herman. Disney Fairy Prilla needs to find the perfect pumpkin in time for the Fall Ball.

For Young Adults

See NYPL librarian Andrea Lipinski's posts for YA books that are "dark, creepy, scary, spooky crossover books" or the newest in "tall, dark and deadly" vampire fiction for teens!

For Adults

Ben H. Winters's The Last Policeman is the first of a new trilogy, followed by Countdown City. Despite my highlighting it for Halloween, it's not really horror but rather, unsettling and Kafka-esque, as was Bedbugs. It's a strange melding of foreshadowed disaster and noir mystery, or as one reviewer ("sit_walk") put it, an "excellent pre-apocalyptic police procedural." Published by Quirk books, who also published Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and its newer sequel Dawn of the Dreadfuls as Quirk Classics.

Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam is the third installment in her trilogy that started with Oryx and Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood. Though more speculative fiction than horror, her genetically-engineered creatures get more and more outlandish. Here she explains the palindrome title; and here she explains why she dislikes the genre title of "science-fiction" when describing her work.

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep was published in September and revisits Danny Torrance, the boy from The Shining, now a middle-aged man. Stephen King has said that the film version of The Shining is not his favorite film adaptation, possibly because it is a departure from the book and focuses on the character of Jack Torrance. The film has inspired some scholars to question whether director Stanley Kubrick had some subtext to the film's imagery and has even led to a documentary film: Room 237. Others, including Leon Vitali, an aide to the director, say many of the filming decisions were impromptu and that attributing any meaning to them is "balderdash." On October 28th at 6PM come view Kubrick's The Shining at Jefferson Market and decide for yourself.

For more recommendations, check out Halloween Reads, Halloween Reads II: The Re-Ordering and Halloween Reads III: Trick or Treat.


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Hallowe'en Reads

Could we have some suggestions for those interested in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Something scholarly and authentic, please.

scholarly works on Samhain

I've done only a little research for personal purposes, and I didn't have much luck, but you might start with something like this: and look in the bibliography for references? This book does specifically highlight the four "pagan" holidays of Samhain, Beltane, Imbolc, and Lughnasagh, so there might be something there. Good luck! Come back and let us know if you find anything!

Halloween origins

I focused on fiction in this post, and I'd have to put more thought into nonfiction recommendations. Another great Halloween read is Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree.

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