It being October and our options for celebration being a touch limited, I’ve been reading and watching and listening to all sorts of spooky tales. It doesn’t seem right this year to not read something grim and dark and a little terrible — the light is not for us, in this strange and chaotic year. We all sink into darkness grateful for the promise of rest.
So if you want something to read while the wind blows outside, or a story to listen to while you rake the leaves and plant the bulbs of a future that might be brighter, I’ve got some recommendations. Many of these stories aren’t new, they’re just new to me. Enjoy, my dears.
I greatly enjoyed Cherie Priest’s The Family Plot, and have had this book on my TBR for a while. I wasn’t disappointed, and I’m hopeful that the author will revisit some of these characters again. The Toll was a delightful read about a little town called Staywater, where ghosts are more than just stories and monsters take and take and take….
It’s really something when you find a story written in the words of your grandparents. I think a lot of folks take that for granted, but very rarely does something speak to my bones the way Old Gods of Appalachia has. And if you like this podcast, check out my post on Lovecraftian capitalist critique.
The big release that I was looking forward to this month, The Hollow Places is by T. Kingfisher, who also wrote The Twisted Ones, featured in last year’s post on Halloween reads. It was pretty awesome to see a male and female lead who had absolutely no interest in one another that way work to support one another. Overall I definitely recommend this book, and it might be the thing that scared me most on this list.
Angela Slatter is not a new author for me, but this collection is a little hard to come by. There’s always darkness in Slatter’s tales, but there’s a certain kind of logic too. The stories feature a lot of folks who are fundamentally human, neither good nor evil, or maybe all a little evil and all a little good. Princes become monsters become kind kings; witches become girls in love and witches again; fairy godmothers judge if you are worthy. Each of these stories is like a minor chord, and many of them lingered with me long after I was finished reading.
I’ll be taking a break from posting next week because I’m feeling a little ragged, but don’t worry. We’ll be back in November, for better or worse! Take care of yourselves this week, folks.