Top Ten Tuesday (10/16/2012)

Over at The Broke and The Bookish Kelly posted her Top Ten Favorite Historical Fiction and Fantasy Authors because this week’s theme “lets you choose your favorite authors in a specific genre, be it sci-fi, romance, nonfiction….anything that strikes your fancy! This should be VERY easy!”

Since it is October and the theme this week is top ten genre writers I thought that I would pick horror since the blog has been really devoid of any spookiness so far this month. So from most recently youngest to oldest, here are my picks.

It Insomnia

Steven King – Honestly, it is his early stuff which creeps me out. Back when he still wrote effective short stories and knew how to end a book, the man could tear me up. “Boogeyman” is one of my all time all-the-lights-in-the-house-on stories and It and Insomnia still have two of the most wigged out monsters ever.

Ghost Story Lost Boy, Lost Girl: A Novel

Peter Straub – Two words: Ghost Story

Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles) The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches)

Anne Rice – Back before all her personal crap got in the way, she wrote great horror. She wrote vampires who would have torn out Edward’s throat, maybe.  They might have turned Bella and watched as she did it, while drinking wine and looking fabulous. They were glamour and danger and truly horrible.

I Am Legend and Other Stories Richard Matheson's Hell House

Richard Matheson – I read this wonderful novel/novella once called “I Am Legend.” It was pitch perfect. If you have only seen the movie with Will Smith, please pretend that was something else that happened to have the same title. Then go read this. Really, go do it now.

Psycho: A Novel American Gothic

Robert Bloch – Even better, one word: Psycho

The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics) We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Shirley Jackson – Yes, she wrote “The Lottery” which you read in Middle School, but she also wrote The Haunting of Hill House which you might have read but probably only saw a bad movie adaption.* But have you read We Have Always Lived in the Castle which is a novel about true evil?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) At the Mountains of Madness: And Other Tales of Terror

H.P. Lovecraft – Stephen King called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” What can I add?

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems with Selected Essays

Edgar Allan Poe – Honestly, he’s my favorite. Screwed up and weird and an odd death mystery and stories and poems full of creep and obsession and murders and longing and horror. Yup, by far my favorite.

Dracula (Dover Thrift Editions) Bram Stoker's Lair of the White Worm

Bram Stoker – An Irishman who wrote Gothic horror novels, including The Lair of the White Worm? Yes! An Irishman who wrote possible the best Gothic horror novel ever? Yes, please! 

Frankenstein (Second Edition)  (Norton Critical Editions) The Last Man

Mary Shelley – She was a political radical who wrote an apocalyptic novel “The Last Man” and was married to Percy Bysshe Shelley. She spent a summer with her husband and Lord Byron, John Polidori, and Claire Clairmont in Switzerland, where she began her novel Frankenstein. Frankenstein which is one of the most famous monsters to this day. And if you have never read the book, I bet you still think the only monster in the book is the one that Victor created.

*Unless it was the 1963 version “The Haunting” which scared the holy crap out of me

All Hallow’s Read – 13 Classic Horror

  1. The Monk: A Romance (1796) by Matthew Gregory Lewis
  2. Faust (1808) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  3. Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley
  4. Stories (early to mid 1800s) by Edgar Allan Poe
  5. In a Glass Darkly (1872) by Sheridan Le Fanu
  6. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson
  7. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) by Oscar Wilde
  8. The Great God Pan (1894) by Arthur Machen
  9. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) by H.G. Wells
  10. Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker
  11. The Turn of the Screw (1898) by Henry James
  12. The Wendigo (1910) by Algernon Blackwood
  13. At the Mountains of Madness (1931) by H.P. Lovecraft

All Hallow’s Read – 13 Horror Stories for Teen Readers

The Girl has graduated to the young adult section of the public library.  I pretty much give her unfettered access there.  Soon when she moves to the adult section I am going to have to go back to checking books for appropriateness. But right now she reads all kinds of books found in YA.  Her favorite these days, however seems to be Paranormal/Supernatural.  She and I read a lot of the same books. The Iron King, Beautiful Creatures, and Hex Hall to name a few.  I am not sure if she is completely ready for true horror but supernatural monsters are up our alley.

  1. Teeth edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  2. Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer
  3. Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black
  4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  5. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
  6. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
  7. A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy
  8. I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan
  9. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  10. Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Death and Dementia by Edgar Allan Poe and Gris Grimly
  11. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and Gris Grimly
  12. Malice by Chris Wooding
  13. Lord Loss By Darren Shan

All Hallow’s Read – 13 Graphic Novels

My love for graphic novels is recent.  I think I picked up The Sandman after reading American Gods, so I would place it about 2004-ish. Since then I have read much of what I have found interesting in the public library’s collection while slowly collecting the series which I want to read over and over, including The Sandman and Fables. I tend to read many of the same genres in graphic novels as novels, so I have read a pretty good selection of creepy, spooky scary stories.  Here are my top 13 Horror Novels for All Hallow’s Eve.

Give books.  Read books. (And have candy while you do it.)

  1. The House On the Borderland by Simon Revelstroke, William Hope Hodgson, Richard Corben & Alan Moore
  2. The Walking Dead, Book 1 by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
  3. Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
  4. From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
  5. Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon
  6. Frankenstein The Graphic Novel by Jason Cobley, Mary Shelley, Clive Bryant &  Declan Shalvey
  7. Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson
  8. The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
  9. Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
  10. Baltimore,: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola &  Christopher Golden
  11. Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman
  12. Bram Stocker’s Dracula: The Graphic Novel by Gary Reed & Becky Cloonan
  13. The Beast of Chicago: The Murderous Career of H. H. Holmes (A Treasury of Victorian Murder) by Rick Geary

All Hallow’s Read Week here in WV

Regular readers might know about my tiny little obsession with Neil Gaiman. He is all things wonderful and my top ten favorite book list could be all Gaiman all the time if I was honest. He is a staunch supporter of many things which earn even more respect from me such as Open Rights Group and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. In his quest to keep reading pertinent, last year he started All Hallow’s Read.  He suggested that instead of candy perhaps we should give people books, scary books preferably, but any books would do.

This year things are moving along.
He has made video promoting it.

There is poster competition
.
He has a list if you don’t know where to start.

I thought I would help. This week will be a week of lists and reviews which will help celebrate All Hallow’s Read. Since Neil’s list neglected picture books I thought I would start there.

Give books.  Read books. (And have candy while you do it.)

Top 13 (Mostly) Scary Picture Books in WVRedReads’ House
(in no particular order)

  1. Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann
  2. The Bones of Fred McFee by Eve Bunting
  3. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
  4. The Banshee by Eve Bunting
  5. Old Devil Wind by Barry Root
  6. Bony-Legs by Joanna Cole
  7. The Flying Witch by Jane Yolan
  8. Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting
  9. The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
  10. Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
  11. Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci
  12. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (I Can Read) by Alvin Schwartz
  13. The Tailypo: A Ghost Story by Joanna C. Galdone

Hallowe’en Books, Day 2

Today’s book is the fabulous Scary Godmother. My youngest, the one I refer to as The Wee One, is not an avid reader.  She doesn’t have the bug.  I am not sure why.  I have some theories, but really, since she can read and can read above her grade level I am trying hard not to push her.  What I have discovered is that she loves the graphic novel.  She will sit and read and re-read one of them.  Other books she wants to be read to her, but graphic novels she will read to herself. That is why our reading bag from the library is often full of age appropriate graphic novels.  Which is a long introduction to Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson.

Let’s start with Jill Thompson.  I have been following her, both figuratively through her work and literally through twitter, for a while now. Some of the amzing things she has none include her illustrative work on The Sandman: Brief Lives (Sandman), Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Beasts of Burden, and Magic Trixie to name a few. I love her use of color, her lines and her details. And while I like the work she has done for others, Wee One loves Thompson’s stories.  No sooner did we finish Scary Godmother than she asked “Are there more?” I have seen seen her read it at least twice this week alone.  For a non-reader, this is high praise.

The story is charming.  Hannah Marie is going to get to go Trick or Treating with the big kids for the first time without her mom or dad.  When her cousin Jimmy devises a foolproof plot to get her to want to go home, Hannah Marie surprises him be being braver than he thought.  Helped out by her Scary Godmother, and her arsenal of friends, including the bats, skeletons, and a basement monster, Hannah Marie turns the tables and teaches the older kids a lesson of their own. So key points here for the Wee One: brave youngish girl, hallowe’en themed bravery, Scary Godmother who wears a cool skirt (she is now convinced she must have one, skirt and godmother) and finally a younger one who can give as good as she gets. Key points for the Momma, my kids is reading.

A Month of Hallowe’en

I love Hallowe’en.  It is by far my favorite of all the holidays.  You can keep your Christmas and Easter so long as I can keep my crunchy leaves, hot cider, chill in the air Hallowe’en.  In honor of this, all October  I am going to be posting my favorite, mostly children’s, Hallowe’en books.

I read this for the first time last year and to be honest if you have easily frightened children, I would take a past on this one.  Last year the Wee One (aged 6 at the time) asked if we could not read it again before bedtime.  But this year we have read it a dozen times already. The scary tale centers on Terry who is half asleep when he hears the “Scree, Scree” of the Banshee outside his house.  Scared for his brother Liam, Terry sneaks out to alert his Ma to the danger.  When she dismisses his concerns, he decides to sneak out into the cold Irish evening to leave a present for the Banshee in hopes that she will pass over his house. A fine spooky story to kick off the spooky month of October.  Eve Bunting, the highly prolific author of many of our favorite picture books (Pirate Boy; Little Badger, Terror of the Seven Seas; December; The Man Who Could Call Down Owls) teams here with Emily Arnold McCully to create a wonderfully chilling story which may or may not have a Banshee.