5 Scary Reads in Honor of Halloween
Kemper Donovan, Author, The Decent Proposal
“I read this when I was young, and like many books we read when we’re young, it’s stuck with me over the years. You could call The Collector “nasty, brutish, and short,” and the Hobbes-ian reference would be apt in more ways than one…. The first half is narrated by a man who wins the lottery, using his newfound wealth to kidnap a young woman—the object of a long-time obsession. The woman remains imprisoned in his cellar for many months, narrating the second half of the book. It does not end well. This is one of those simple stories with the rare, onion-like ability to offer layer upon layer of thematic complexity for anyone willing to dive into the murky depths of these two characters’ internal thoughts, as well as their interactions together. And the result is chilling. Nothing, of course, is simple—if it’s well-told.”
Sarah Kuhn, Author, Heroine Complex
Feed by Mira Grant is a book that got under my skin and stayed there. Offering a rich, detailed look at a truly terrifying zombie-plagued future, the book nimbly mashes up horror and sci-fi as it follows a trio of enterprising bloggers covering an unexpectedly gruesome presidential campaign. Feed is undeniably creepy, building suspense and tension in every brilliantly-paced page—I had to read it with the lights on. But what really makes it stand out from the horde of zombie stories is the nuance of the characters. Each one is so layered, so expertly crafted, so unique in voice, I had to know what happened to them—even though I knew that might scare me even more.
Nadine Nettmann, Author, Decanting a Murder (A Sommelier Mystery)
Halloween is my favorite holiday so I was delighted to be asked my favorite scary book. I spent my childhood reading scary short stories — the collection of Short and Shivery retold by Robert D. San Souci was my favorite and is still on my bookshelves — but as for my favorite scary book now, I would have to go with The Shining by Stephen King. Although it’s one of only three Stephen King books I can handle without too many nightmares, I love the way he paints the picture of both Jack Torrance and the Overlook Hotel. If you’ve only seen the 1980 movie, I highly recommend reading the book as they are different.
Sherri L. Smith, Author, Pasadena
When I was a senior in high school, I read my first Stephen King novel– Pet Semetary. It scared the bejeesus out of me. So much so that I wouldn’t check it out of the school library. Instead, I would take my study hall in the library every day and read it 40 minutes at a time. I figured, if I was lucky, someone else would check it out and spare me from having to finish it. No one did. By the end, I wasn’t impressed. Not so scary after all. But that night… I dreamt there was a cat sitting on my chest. I woke up screaming and didn’t sleep well for a week!
D.B. Reynolds, Author, Shifter Planet and Vampires In America series
Your favorite scary book has to be the one that scared you the most, right? Well, it’s almost a cliché, but I can remember, very clearly, reading The Exorcist, by Peter Blatty, for the first time. It was winter at the beach, cold and wet outside, nighttime, of course. And I felt compelled, for the first time ever while reading a book, to check over my shoulder. The movie was well done, but there’s nothing like the imagination to create true fear, and that’s where a good scary book comes in.
What’s your scariest read? See you at Book’d!
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