The topic of this Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I love to be creeped out. But I do not love a lot of traditional horror or gore. And it turns out, I don’t read that many books that fit the bill this week. So I tried to get a little creative.
1. Lynn Flewelling- The Bone Doll’s Twin This was the first thing I ever read by Flewelling and it majorly creeped me out. I personally don’t feel like the rest of the series lives up to this first book in terms of creepiness. The Tamir Triad is good high fantasy, but The Bone Doll’s Twin in particular is dark fantasy. The first chapter still gives me shivers every time I read it.
2. Neil Gaiman- Coraline For my money, this is Gaiman’s creepiest book, perhaps because it explores the darker side of mother/daughter relationships.
3. Sheridan Le Fanu- Carmilla This is commonly referred to as a lesbian vampire novella. I dislike grafting modern definitions–particularly of sexuality–onto literature from previous centuries, but the two characters do have a very charged relationship. For an interesting modern twist, check out Holly Black’s “Millcara” in Rags and Bones.
4. Mary Shelley- Frankenstein Ya’ll knew I had to include this one. It’s pretty much my favorite book. I actually don’t find it particularly frightening or creep worthy, but Frankenstein’s monster is such a Halloween staple. (And it is a way, way better book than Dracula, although Dracula wins out in the classic monster movies front I think).
5. Justin Cronin- The Passage/The Twelve A modern vampire-as-plague saga that is just really. Really. Really. Good.
6. Meredith Ann Pierce- The Darkangel Long before I had met my angsty vampire love Angel, or read anything by Anne Rice, and way before the Twilightification of vampires, I had The Darkangel, a cursed, winged vampyre prince (really) collecting a harem of brides.
7. Edith Wharton- The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton Some good old fashioned turn-of-the-century ghostly tales.
8. Jane Austen- Northanger Abbey So once upon a time, Jane Austen made a parody of popular gothic literature with a heroine who gets a little too invested in fictional worlds. Hmm. I wonder if anyone in the bookternet can relate.
9. Gillian Flynn- Dark Places I love Gillian Flynn. She does warped human nature really well. Dark Places creeps me out more than her others.
10. Paula Gurnan, ed- The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2014. There is some really, really great stuff in this anthology.