What We’re Reading: October 30

What We’re Reading: October 30

Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations; have you read any of them? Tell us in the comments what you’ll be reading this weekend! If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Fall Previews.

Everything I Left Unsaid

Reading slumps are the worst. I’ve written about how to overcome them, but I think every reader has their own personal trick they like to use. For me, I always pick up romance. A good love story with some drama, tension, and a happy ending helps to ensure a truly enjoyable reading experience and always helps me get over the worst of slumps. Since I feel one coming on right now, I’m picking up this new adult book we featured in our Fall Romance preview. —Kelly


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

It’s Halloween week and I always pick up this trilogy from my past. It’s an excellent collection of urban legends and folklore tales to prepare you for that night of mischief and candy. It’s difficult to pick favorites, but if I had to choose, mine always were “The Hook” from book one, “The Bride” from book two, and “The Red Spot” from book three. After rereading them, they conjure up the same feelings I had at eight years old, reading these stories for the first time. The new covers don’t do the series justice, though. I always preferred the original cover art. The stories are amazing, and the illustrations are a definite highlight. If you are looking for that quick read and midnight chill, I couldn’t recommend anything better. —Matt


The Witches: Salem, 1692

I’ve long been fascinated by supernatural stories, especially those about witches. What makes this book really interesting is that it’s a nonfiction work about the Salem witch trials. It’s perfect Halloween reading. —Bob


I’m not a fan of horror—I never get into all the slasher films released around Halloween, and I hate the genre of torture porn in its entirety. But stories that deal with creepy things, little worlds and situations where some important element is just slightly out of place—disturbingly out of place—have always been appealing. I love the spookiness of Poe, of Saki, of Audrey Niffenegger herself, the hints of other truths behind the veils of the mundane. These stories, which tend toward the intimate, the spooky, the disturbing, rather than the terrifying, are a perfect treat for the season. And Niffenegger’s own art enhances the experience. It’s an uncanny pleasure. —Joe

Rudyard Kipling’s Tales of Horror & Fantasy

Every year at this time I read my favorite ghost story, Rudyard Kipling‘s “They.” It’s subtle and moving and beautifully written. Flawless tale craft, and Kipling puts new life into the English country-house spook tale, partly by capturing the excitement people felt at the start of the automobile age. The story begins with this excitement, as the narrator sets out for a weekend drive in his new car: “One view called me to another; one hill top to its fellow, half across the county, and since I could answer at no more trouble than the snapping forward of a lever, I let the country flow under my wheels.” A southern England landscape is conjured in pitch-perfect prose, and then slowly, slowly, an uncanniness enters the tale as the narrator drives into unfamiliar terrain. If only Kipling wrote a whole ghost novel! But he did write a number of other brilliant spooky tales, and happily they are anthologized here, with an introduction from Neil Gaiman. —Phil


Monster: A Graphic Novel

This is a book that most people my age read while they were in school. I never did, and I wish that I had. It’s the sort of story that I think would’ve rattled me in the best of ways. As an adult reader, I already know that guilt and innocence are complicated and nuanced things. I know that race plays a role in sentencing in ways that it shouldn’t. Still, I’m glad that I finally was able to check this off of my list. The graphic novel format was nice, but I think I’ll one day pick up the original. —Kelly


After Alice

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland, I’m picking up this retelling by Gregory Maguire—the author of Wicked and other classic fairy tale retellings. —Bob







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