It’s nearly the spookiest season of them all and it’s high time I recommended you some more books to read. I want to do a spooky book suggestions post for you, but this time it’ll have a bit of a twist. See, I’m fresh out of a reading drought (which can still happen to me sometimes), having to read for college over the last couple of weeks has loosened my mind a little and I’m finding myself craving some decent fiction. This October, I’ve lined up five spooky books to read and if you’d like you can read them with me.
I have been recommended this creepy tale multiple times but have thus far discounted it as maybe being a little gory, or a little ‘style over substance’ as it’s laid out like a furniture catalogue. This book is basically set in a haunted IKEA (Orsk in the world of the book), and after a number of strange nocturnal occurrences three staff members volunteer to pull an all nighter in order to get to the bottom of it all. What could possibly go wrong…? I’m assured that this book is as funny as it is scary, and I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin this Halloween.
I had this novella on my wishlist for over a year before it finally came up in the 99p ebook sale a month or so ago, but from the blurb alone I resolved to keep it to read in October. The tale of a young girl, Marina, who loses both of her parents in an accident so is installed in an orphanage. Such Small Hands is the story of childhood games and rituals but – so much more than that – it is a horror story. It has been said to have echoes of Daphne de Maurier and Shirley Jackson, so I am very much sold.
Yes, that one. And no, I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet either. I think the popularity of this book and author has delayed my reading of The Virgin Suicides, I’ve felt similarly about Stephen King too if I’m honest. Telling people I respect that I haven’t read this book either earns me a disappointed head shake or an excited wish that they could read it for the first time again. I’m looking forward to it, then I think I’ll treat myself to a rewatch of the film.
This sounds like your classic ‘rank outsider being invited into the fold of an unnaturally close clique who get up to some potentially iffy things off campus’ book, which is an incredibly specific genre that I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of. Another big plus that attracted me to this book is the complicated female friendships element… who am I kidding, the main draw was the review I saw on Goodreads that described it as ‘the most demented book I’ve ever read’. I expect to thoroughly enjoy it.
An absolute classic gothic tale set at the famous Manderley. This is a little bit of a cheat entry as I’m re-reading it in advance of the Netflix adaptation which is being released on the 21st. I invite you to re-read it with me, or read it for the first time if you haven’t gotten round to it yet. Trust me, for an atmospheric spooky book it’s hard to beat Rebecca.
As I never seem to be able to limit myself to any arbitrary list amount, I’m going to pop an honourable mention in here for The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Not only is it another atmospherically spooky book, it is also the source material for another Netflix adaptation: The Haunting of Bly Manor. And if The Haunting of Hill House is anything to go by, which contains a jump scare so severe and unexpected that it caused my poor mother to lift out of her seat and throw the beans on toast she was eating across the room, then it’s going to be an absolute stonker.
Thank you for reading this quick rundown and I hope you’ll join me for some, or all, of my spooky read-a-long this coming month. The skies are turning greyer and the nights are drawing in, so pull up a chair, cower under a blanket, or stay up all night with the lights on and enjoy these five of the spookiest books on my to-read list this Halloween month!