Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

Posted October 23, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 22 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books to get you in the Halloween spirit. Fun topic! I have a full list of ten for you this week and I will also be highlighting some books I don’t think I have talked about before.

When I think of Halloween, I think of ghost stories, witches, spooky cemeteries, New Orleans and other gothic cities, myths and legends, and anything else similar. I am not a fan of the gory, though I do LOVE zombie books. So you may find one or two of those in my list as well. 

In the interest of full disclosure, Halloween is my favorite holiday. At least it was when I was a kid. But now that I am an adult (and rarely drink or party), there isn’t much to do. So spooky books are pretty much it for me. Oh, and my Department 56 Halloween village when I am not acting lazy and bother to put it up. Anyway, on with the list! Once again, they are in no particular order.

1. Balefire by Cate Tiernan

After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into. 

Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

3. Death Watch by Ari Berk

They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.One night, Silas Umber’s father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos’s brother, Charles.

Even as Silas eagerly explores his father’s town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house—something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father’s disappearance. When Silas’s search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history—and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father—no matter the cost.

4. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

In an exquisitely chilling debut novel, four children unravel the mystery of a family curse – and a ghostly creature known in folklore as Long Lankin.

When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less-than-warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don’t know is that their aunt’s life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries – before it’s too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.

5. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

6. The Enemy by Charlie Higson

They’ll chase you. They’ll rip you open. They’ll feed on you…When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician – every adult – fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive?

Teens battle diseased grown-ups in this post-apocalyptic thriller full of unexpected twists and quick-thinking heroes.

7. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-tute-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.

8. Phantoms by Dean Koontz

They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California. AND CLOSER…
At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.

But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined…

9. Ruined by Paula Morris

A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: TWILIGHT with a ghostly twist.

Rebecca couldn’t feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She’s staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she’s invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he’s got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city.

10. Any Nancy Drew novels, but specifically the yellow-bound classics. These are numbered 1-64 and I want to own them all. You can get the entire set from e-bay for a reasonable price and as soon as I have room on my shelves, I will be doing just that. 

These books bring me back to my childhood and checking them out from the library, but they are also kind of spooky and just plain fun to read. 

So that’s it for my Halloween list! What did you think? Are you reading anything special for Halloween? Please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to visit your post. I may actually be able to visit them this week since I am currently between jobs. Happy reading!

22 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

    • Yes you do, Kat! It’s my favorite zombie book. Based on your blog title, you should know this already! LOLOL!

      Phantoms is fantastic and memorable to me for being utterly scary and fascinating. NOT THE MOVIE THOUGH.

  1. Wow I’m surprised I haven’t heard of so many of these! I’ll have to add them onto my shelves at once, so thanks for the recommendations, Kara!(:

  2. Bahaha, my post isn’t up yet, but I totally don’t know what to do with myself on Halloween now either and commented on that as well.

    techeditor’s comment is weird. Just saying.

    I really should read Balefire, because you recommend it in like 75% of your top ten lists. Same with Death Watch.

    WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF AND THEN THERE WERE NONE? *resists urge to go alter list*

    I’m reading The Diviners right now and I have it on my list as well.

    I started The Enemy, but it had to go back to the library and then I got consumed by my review pile. I should work on that.

    • Right? I’m an adult with no kids and I don’t party. I love Halloween but WTF am I supposed to do with myself??

      Weird comment is weird.

      Yes, read Balefire. But read Death Watch first. It is truly special.

      Don’t alter it! I’ve wanted to so many times!

      Yay for The Diviners!

      You sent it back to the library without finishing? HOW did you manage that? I could not put that book down to save my life!!

  3. Amy

    I love reading Dean Koontz books around Halloween. They are such awesome and creepy thrillers!! I am going to be reading The Diviners really soon!! Can’t wait to read it.

    • I’m not a huge fan of his anymore, but I am a fan of some of his older stuff. Phantoms is definitely one of my faves.

      Have fun with The Diviners. It’s pretty remarkable.

  4. Nancy Drew is always a great choice. I keep thinking I need to go back and reread a few for nostalgic sake.

    By the way, I love your header (or whatever it’s called). Great design!

  5. I haven’t read any of these, but I did just check out And Then There Were None from the library. Also, I should read some Nancy Drew. I never have, but I love children’s books.

    Thanks for sharing!!!!

  6. I am completely in love with this list, Kara. 🙂 Oh Halloween, how I adore you so… Unspoken was great and DEFINITELY put my in the right mood for Halloween; I’m currently reading The Diviners and it’s utterly brilliant, too. 🙂 I still have to read ‘And then there were none’, though! And also, the hardcover Nancy Drew books are the classic ones actually written by Carolyn Keene and they are the best, hands down. I read mostly all of them as a kid, like you.

    • Yes! I love creepy and atmospheric books. To me, those make the best Halloween books. Unspoken and The Diviners both do that nicely.

      I LOVE the original Nancy Drew novels. They can’t be beat! I need to get a set for my library dammit!

  7. Ooh great list, Kara! I adore Halloween. <3 I still have yet to read The Diviners, but will do at some point soon as I’ve heard nothing but good things about it – the same goes to Unspoken! Both have such gorgeous cover don’t they?!

    PS. I only just realized I’m’ not following your blog. Ugh, that mistake has been corrected. 😉

    • The Diviners and Unspoken are both probably going on my end of year favorites list. I love the cover for Unspoken but I actually favor the UK cover for The Diviners. It fits the book much more to me.

      I better check and see if I am following yours! CRAP! 😉

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