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Westerly Sun Column

September 23rd:

By Nina Wright, Reference Librarian 

Halloween is just over a month away, so now is the time to select a spooky novel to hunker down with and get into the Halloween spirit. I don’t specialize in the horror genre, but occasionally it is a lot of fun to curl up under a blanket and get caught up in a scary story. There are lots of great lists out there on the Internet for book lovers—here’s a tip for you—if you love thrillers or historical fiction or biographies, and aren’t sure what to read next, simple searches on the Internet for terms such as “best new thrillers” or “best historical fiction of the year” can help you figure out what your next book is going to be. My search for the best horror fiction of 2019 has led me to some very intriguing new books I can’t wait to get my hands on! 

First up for a creepy tale is “The Hunger” by Alma Katsu. This book is a fictionalized account of the Donner Party, the group of pioneers heading west that were trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains over the winter and forced to resort to cannibalism to survive. The author reimagines their ordeal and makes it even more terrifying, adding in some supernatural twists. Horror master Stephen King himself says this book is deeply disturbing and shouldn’t be read after dark! 

“Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage is described as one of the most original books in the horror genre, which is a strong statement considering how creative many horror books can be. This book made many of the lists of best horror books of 2018 and has been optioned for a movie. Mom Suzette’s daughter Hanna is waging a campaign of terror with Suzette as her target. Suzette’s husband, however, sees no evidence of what his wife reports and is ready to defend his daughter, who is violently opposed to sharing her father with anyone. I have just requested this book and am looking forward to it—it is on so many lists for Best Summer Books, Must-Reads, etc. it should be good! 

The last book I will recommend is “Elevation” by Stephen King. This one didn’t appear on most official lists of best horror books, however, it blew all of the others away when the readers voted! Readers elected this book the best horror novel of 2018 by a huge margin. It is an “eerie tale of a small town with big troubles”, but it doesn’t sound too scary. However, its excellent reviews and huge number of votes for best horror book have prompted me to add it to my “to read” list.

So…. if you are interested in reading any of these, now is the time! Immerse yourself in a good creepy and engrossing tale for Halloween. And, as always, don’t forget the library! We are here to help you find these books or any others you may be interested in.