I managed to read 15 books in October. I’m really happy with this number as October is often a stressful month for me!
I like to read books with darker themes in October in the run-up to Halloween as I wouldn’t usually read much of the horror/thriller genre any other time. So I’m surprised that I found so many new favourites this month! Maybe my reading tastes are darker than I thought.
The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
This was my first experience of Sherlock Holmes and I really liked it! The supernatural/Gothic elements mixed in with the traditional detective story made for a really interesting read. Holmes wasn’t exactly endearing but I loved Watson and it was nice to hear things from his perspective.
The Thing on the Doorstep and other weird tales by H. P. Lovecraft
There wasn’t a single story in this collection that I didn’t like! Obviously, some were better than others but I enjoyed the recurring themes; Lovecraft certainly knows how to write a monster! My favourite stories were The Dunwich Horror and Under the Pyramids – both were awesomely weird and the plot development was perfect.
The Raven: Tales and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe
It breaks my heart to say it but I didn’t love this as much as I’d hoped I would! I really liked Poe’s poetry but I struggled with some of his stories; the language was quite difficult and a lot went way over my head at times. I think trying to read so much of Poe’s work in one go was the wrong approach and that a better way to go about it would be to try it in small chunks at a time. However, there were some gems in there; I loved Hopfrog and obviously the titular poem is fabulous.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Another triumph from Queen Shirley! Last year, I read The Haunting of Hill House and loved it; this year, I picked her final work. I can see why this book is so famous and it is a fantastic exploration of the psyche.
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Hell’s Teeth and Crescent Moon by James Fahy
I finally got round to reading some of James Fahy’s work this month and I hate myself for waiting so long! This series is fantastic and contains loads of elements I love – I’m now desperate for the third instalment! You can read my double review of the first two books here.
Daughters of the Oak by Becky Wright
Becky’s spooky offering was perfect for this time of year and I really loved her take on the Manningtree witch trials and witchfinder Matthew Hopkins. My full review of her extended short story is here.
The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I’m so glad because I had been really wanting to read it! And I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed. It was my first read of the month and a great start to October. It reads like a traditional fairytale and has a great sinister atmosphere that had me hooked. You can read my full spoiler-free review here.
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
This was my book club’s pick for the month and it was an enjoyable middle-grade read. There were both comic and more poignant moments that I hadn’t expected, and I need the next book after that cliffhanger! My full spoiler-free review can be found here.
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
This was my last read of the month and one of my favourites. After reading The Lie Tree with my book club last year and loving it, I had to get my hands on Hardinge’s newest book when it was released at the end of September. I’ll be reviewing this one in full soon!
Other Books I Read
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
It’s no secret that I love circus books and while this one is a bit darker than I would normally read, I still really enjoyed it! There were some really creepy moments but overall this was an endearing coming-of-age story. And (shock horror) I preferred this one to Fahrenheit 451!
Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
This one really surprised me! I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much but it had some surprisingly creepy moments and I absolutely raced through it. I’d definitely be interested in reading the prequel Charlotte Says which came out earlier this year.
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Having seen the movie of the same name a few years ago, I had some idea of what this book was about – but it still managed to surprise me! It’s a short read but it packs a punch (even if I was picturing the protagonist as Will Smith the entire time..) The blending of horror and science fiction was fantastic.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Another instance where I had seen the movie before reading the book (what is happening to me, normally I hate that!?) This was a fast and creepy read with a very unsettling ending and I’m looking forward to reading more Susan Hill in future.
Poems Dead and Undead from the Everyman’s Library collection
I collect the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets and last year I read Poems Bewitched and Haunted. Poems Dead and Undead was the obvious choice this year. Who knew there were so many poems about zombies, vampires and ghosts?! A great little collection with some real gems.
So tell me: what was your favourite read of October? Did you read any spookier books to get in the Halloween mood? What was your total? Link me to your wrap-up posts and I’ll check them out!