Dragons, I’m still trying really hard to like horror. But if I’m being totally honest – I’ve only read five horror novels and comics since last October (that’s like 2% of my total reading in the past year). This can only mean that it’s time to resurrect Scaretober and immerse myself in in all things horror for one whole month.
Last year, I focused on horror comics so this year I’m going to change things up and focus on prose. This isn’t exactly a recommended reading list because I haven’t read most of the books on it yet, but I’m pretty confident that it’s going to be a solid set of books to read during October. I’m being a little less adventurous this year by sticking with authors and themes that I know I’ve enjoyed in the past.
It by Stephen King
Last year I listened to The Shining as an audiobook and I loved it, so I figured let’s do It this year! I liked the new movie version well enough to try the book. Unfortunately, the audiobook is forty-five hours long. FORTY-FIVE HOURS. I’m going to give it a shot, but I doubt I’m going make it through the whole thing in the month of October.
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
One of my favorite books last year Stephen Graham Jones’s werewolf story, Mongrels. When I learned that he’d published a novella this year (through my beloved Tor novella program no less) I knew that I had to get my hands on it. I’ve been saving it to read during October because I’ve heard from friends who read it during Sci-Fi July that it’s a pretty chilling ghost story.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Last year I read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, so this year I’m going to go even further back to the original badass broad of horror — Mary Shelley herself. This will technically be a reread for me, but it’s been over a decade since I last read Frankenstein so I don’t really remember much other than liking it a lot. As a huge added bonus I’ll be attending a Frankenstein Bicentennial conference at Washington University in St. Louis on October 13th. This feels like the ultimate Scaretober event for me — smart people talking about scary stories in an academic setting! If you happen to be visiting St. Louis next month, you can register for the conference here.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
The first contemporary horror novel I ever read was an Ikea parody by Grady Hendrix called Horrorstör. It was a lot of fun and very clever and didn’t completely scare me away from reading more horror! I’ve heard My Best Friend’s Exorcism described as “Mean Girls meets The Exorcist” which sounds totally up my alley (as much as any horror thing is up my alley).
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Two of the five horror novels I’ve read in the past year were technically novellas — The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle and Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan. Both of these stories deal directly with Lovecraftian themes, which is evidently something that I really enjoy. At this point, I have no desire to actually read Lovecraft but I’m super interested in continuing to read contemporary sci-fi/fantasy/horror authors remixing his themes. I’ve heard great things about Ruff’s Lovecraft Country AND Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele and Get Out fame) is adapting it as a new series for HBO! Totally looking forward to this one.
Clean Room by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt
This one is a bit of a cheat because I’ve already read volume 1, so it’s not a totally new comic for me. BUT it is a totally creepy comic and perfect reading for Scaretober. It’s also a comic where I’m not 100% sure what exactly is going on — demons? aliens? evil interdimensional beings? Perhaps things will be cleared up in volume 2. I do know that if it’s anything like the first volume I’m in for lots of body-horror and other gross visuals!
Dragons, what scary stories are you reading next month? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, find the stories that make you stronger. #WorkOutNerdOut