Friday, October 2, 2015

13 Mysterious & Scary October Reads for Book Club

It's that time again! October creeps up on us every year and it's time to heat up the cider, put on the cozy socks, and pull out a good ol' scary read. And if you're not into the creepy-crawly stuff, October is the perfect time for a mysterious novel. Whether it's a classic mystery or a new horror novel, everyone should read one of these books this fall (though you may have to make sure all the doors are locked and you have your loved ones nearby . . .)

Below is a summary of each book. Since we've done most of these books for book club, I also included a link for decorating and food ideas to have your own scary book club night!

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson - Written in 1959, this book was one of the first horror novels written by a woman. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. 
Find out more about this book and how to make a CREEPY book club here

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

The Diviners by Libba Bray - The creep factor on this one is super high. If you like the 1920s and novels with a dark side are right up your alley, this book is right for you. Synopsis: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.” Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. 
Read more about what we liked about this book and what food we ate to accompany our book club night here.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

Blood Moon by Teri Harman - Witches and magic and true love, oh my! The entertainment and creepy factor on this one is just the right mix for a fall read. Blood Moon is the first installment in The Moonlight Trilogy. It completely reinvents the modern concept of witches and magic. With its authentic translation of the history of witches into a fresh and entertaining package with unprecedented characterization, Blood Moon is sure to capture readers from the first page. 
Also, check out some great book club ideas here

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

The Shining by Stephen King - This masterful author shouldn't be ignored. If you're only going to read one scary book this fall, King's won't disappoint. The synopsis: Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. 

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? 
Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

Dracula by Bram Stoker - This 1897 classic horror story is the root of almost all vampire books out there. Stoker's writing has influenced  books from Interview With a Vampire to The Twilight series. Why not start where is all began? Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - This is one of the world's best-selling mysteries with over 100 million copies sold! Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…
We had a blast at this scary book club. Check out what we thought and how we celebrated this book here.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - This might not be the first book you think of as a scary read, but it's so magical and mysterious, it perfect October read for those that don't like horror novels. Synopsis: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 
This book made for an amazing book club - check it out here.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

Shutter by Courtney Alemeda - we just did this horror book for book club (check it out here)! There's monsters, gore, creepy twists, and even a little love story. The Synopsis: Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat -- a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.
Lock, stock, and lens, she's in for one hell of a week.
We just had our book club meeting for Shutter, see the recap HERE.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - We liked Agatha Christie so much that we decided we had to read another one of her books for this upcoming book club next week. We love a good mystery! The Synopsis: Just after midnight, a snowstorm stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks in the middle of Yugoslavia. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for this time of year. But by morning there is one passenger less. A 'respectable American gentleman' lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside . . . Hercule Poirot is also aboard, having arrived in the nick of time to claim a second-class compartment -- and the most astounding case of his illustrious career.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - This novel isn't a traditional "scary" book, but the mystery that surrounds it, is. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only novel written by Oscar Wilde and at the time of publication in 1891, it offended the moral sensibilities of the British. The novel tells the story of Dorian Gray, who sells his soul so that his beauty will never fade. Check out what we did for out book club here.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other. The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel. 

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write. 
Check out the book club we did on this one here.

13 Mysterious and Scary October Reads for Book Club

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - Written in 1859, it is considered to be among the first mystery novels and is widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of "sensation novels". The story is sometimes considered an early example of detective fiction with the hero, Walter Hartright, employing many of the sleuthing techniques of later private detectives. The use of multiple narrators draws on Collins's legal training, and as he points out in his Preamble: "the story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness". In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed The Woman in White number 23 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time", and the novel was listed at number 77 on the BBC's survey The Big Read. 
Check out our book club ideas here

Two other Gothic Halloween books to consider reading are REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier and NINE COACHES WAITING by Mary Stewart. We read both for book club in years past and loved them both.

I hope these books totally creep you out this October!


Teen Spy Novels


Unknown said...

Really great list. Thank you for posting this up. I plan to check a few of those out in the coming months.
My top recommendation for fall reading this year would be Ghost On The Lake from Alex Alexander.
A man goes missing on the lake and is presumed dead but the reality is something very different and far darker.
I can't say too much without spoiling the story because there are some really cool, unexpected twists. I can't think a more perfect read for this time of year. I've become a huge fan of this author from reading this book and I'm super excited to read the next in the series.
I strongly recommend looking this one up and giving it a shot.

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