Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!
This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five Halloween book recommendations. Since this list is for Halloween, I was trying to think up some good ghost stories to put on here. However, as I was picking books for this topic, I was shocked to realize that I haven’t actually read all that many ghost/monster stories. This is insane because I absolutely love a good, creepy and otherworldly tale. So, since I am severely lacking in the ghost story department, I simply picked five generally creepy novels or stories that I’ve read.
I am a huge thriller/horror fan. I have read a lot of mysteries and psychological thrillers, and I love watching any spooky or thriller type movies. Many of the stories I write usually fall somewhere in the realm of horror as well. I’ve never really gotten scared by any books or movies so far, however, these are all novels that definitely sent a shiver down my spine! Though the books on this list do not all involve a supernatural storyline, they are all still perfect for this spooky time of year.
5. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
I read this graphic novel around this time last year and enjoyed it so much. It is a collection of five eerie and enthralling horror stories. Emily Carroll has crafted a wonderful collection of ghostly tales that feel sort of likes myths or legends that people might pass around. The artwork, matching the tone of the stories perfectly, is hauntingly beautiful; out of all the graphic novels I’ve read, this had one of my favorite art styles. Through the Woods was such an enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend giving it a try. These dark and chilling tales will definitely put you in the Halloween mood.
4. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
I tried to change things up and pick novels for this list that weren’t on my list yesterday, but this is one that I just had to mention again. It is a classic thriller novel, one of the best for all time in my opinion, and is bone-chilling without the use of ghosts and monsters. In fact, stories like this one, where the true monster is human, can make for the most compelling and frightening reads of all.
Basically anything by Edgar Allan Poe makes for a perfect Halloween read. Poe is a master at crafting beautifully written and thoroughly haunting tales that will stay with you long after you read them. My personal favorite stories of his are The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Tell-Tale Heart.
2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Back when Coraline first came out, a family member of mine gave it to me as a gift. My mom read it before I did, and it creeped her out so much that she actually hid the book from me. And of course, me being me, I subsequently snuck into her room, found it, and read it anyway without my parents knowing…but that’s beside the point! This is one of the most disturbing and unique books I have ever read, and I absolutely adore it. It is the book that first made me a fan of Neil Gaiman, who has been a huge inspiration to me in my own writing. His stories are quite strange and they are probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think that they are just fantastic and definitely perfect for Halloween!
1. The Shining by Stephen King
What Halloween reads list would be complete without one of the best horror novels of all time? This hair-raising and unsettling horror classic, written by one of the masters of the genre, is an absolute must-read. The Shining is genuinely terrifying, by far the scariest book that I’ve ever read, and it is one of my long-time favorites. I cannot recommend it highly enough! Though I do enjoy the original film as well, I would highly suggest, if you want to watch a production of this novel, watching the miniseries version from the 90’s with Steven Weber. Stephen King played a much bigger role in the making of this adaptation, so it is a lot closer to the actual novel itself.
What are your top favorite Halloween reads? Do you have any scary/spooky novels or short stories that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!