Predictably, this week's Top 10 Tuesday prompt asked for our recommendations for books with that spooky Hallowe'en feel to them. Less predictably, you would NOT BELIEVE how long and hard I had to rack my brain to come up with a full 10 for this list! Talk about finding out where your comfort zones are, and how infrequently you stray outside of them! Clearly, this is an area where I could afford to keep a slightly more open mind when making my reading selections. I could think of several books off the top of my head that I could blythely suggest, but I felt I should stick to books I've ACTUALLY READ personally, so that narrowed it down almost to nothingness. I also included a couple that I personally couldn't stand, because (1) they fit the genre, and (2) I obviously have a certain prejudice against this genre, so maybe I need to work on that. Anyway, here is my list, such as it is.
10. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin--The scene in which the mystery in this book begins is set near Hallowe'en, with characters trying to scare each other by telling ghost stories. Very fitting.
9. I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett--The latest Tiffany Aching book, or as I prefer to think of them, the latest WEE FREE MEN book. (I love those little blue nut jobs!) Witches, lynch mobs, fires, the landed gentry--what more do you need?
8. Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis--This may seem an odd choice, but I found the hero's duel of wits with the Devil plenty creepy, thank you very much.
7. The Mummy, by Anne Rice--I found this book to be a collossal disappointment. What it did have, however, was plenty of mummies, the undead, inexplicable magical events, that sort of stuff. If you like a nice yuck! factor in your sex scenes, you'll especially enjoy this one.
6. The Haunted Mesa, by Louis L'Amour--Famous for his Westerns, of course, Louis L'Amour didn't do a lot fantasy, paranormal type writing. When he DID decide to do weird, though, he clearly felt that anything worth doing is worth going to the mattresses for. Mondo bizzarro!
5. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle--Although I didn't like the ending of this book as well as those for each of the other books in the series, I think it would make a great Hallowe'en night read-aloud, with its stormy, windy nights, witches and unicorns and all kinds of cool stuff. Boo!
4. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley--Once again, this is really not a favorite of mine generally speaking, but honestly, it's one of the classics of semi-horror, after all. What better to read for Hallowe'en?
3. The Deeds of the Disturber, by Elizabeth Peters--Oh, I do LOVE a good Amelia Peabody mystery! Hell, I even enjoy the mediocre Amelia Peabody mysteries, which do happen occasionally. Since I just adore Egyptology, this installment of the series is not my favorite (not much Egypt time). But for sheer fun and overall Hallowe'en deliciousness, complete with curses, corpses and culprits, you can't beat it.
2. The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allen Poe--All I have to say--and I say it from experience--is do yourself a favor, and don't read Poe after midnight.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by J.K. Rowling--C'mon, you had to have seen this one coming (and I'm sure I'm not the only one that included Harry on this list). Nobody throws a Hallowe'en party like Hogwarts, complete with TROLLS!