Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Hello! I’ve been super busy lately and I’ve missed the last couple of Top Ten Tuesdays sadly but I had to make time for a Halloween post because it’s a day I always love! Today’s theme is a Halloween freebie so I’m keeping it simple with some recommendations for this spooky time of the year! I don’t read a lot of proper full on horror because I can’t handle the scariness but I love a creepy or atmospheric read, true crime and gothic books so I’ve tried to include a bit of variety!
1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Rebecca is my go-to spooky recommendation because despite it not actually being a violent horror story, it really gets under your skin whilst reading it. It’s an incredibly atmospheric book and a lot of what makes it sinister is that ‘can’t quite put your finger on it’ creepy feeling the writing evokes. It’s a classic that I think most people will enjoy and I’d totally recommend it!
2. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
No one does spooky like Angela Carter and this collection of short stories is just perfect for Halloween! The titular story, The Bloody Chamber, is definitely my favourite but honestly they are all really good and original takes on the dark underbelly of fairytales.
3. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara
I read a lot of true crime and many of them have scared me but none have really given me the creeps the way I’ll Be Gone In The Dark did. I finished it at about 2am and was so freaked out walking around my house that I was too nervous to even look out of the windows into the dark. It’s such a thoroughly impressive piece of investigative research by the sadly now deceased McNamara and it deserves all the hype it got. You can read my review here.
4. Perfume by Patrick Süskind
This one is genuinely scary and somehow in a really beautifully written way. I first read it as a teenager and I just remember it having such an insidious feeling to it. It’s so dark but still really fascinating and enthralling. It’s also got a film adaption which is pretty great too.
5. The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke
This is a more recent one and it’s one of my favourite sinister reads of the past few years. It has it’s basis in the Slenderman case which is seriously creepy enough on it’s own but The Tall Man somehow manages to make it even more other-worldly and spooky. Phoebe Locke’s recent book, The July Girls, is also fantastic. You can read my review of The Tall Man here.
6. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
This was the first of many Karin Slaughter books I’ve read and frankly it was a bit of a shock to the system but totally engrossing at the same time. I feel like I have to warn people I recommend this to that it is brutally violent and absolutely not for the faint-hearted but if you can deal with violence in books then it’s a fantastic thriller for Halloween.
7. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
If you’re looking for something a bit more quirky to read for Halloween then I’d absolutely recommend this slim book that packs a huge punch. It’s dark and affecting but also really rather funny at times. I loved how original this book is and I found it so addictive whilst reading. You can read my review here.
8. The Whisper Man by Alex North
I read this one last month and absolutely loved it – it would be a perfect Halloween read. I had to stop reading it at night because it was giving me chills! It’s a really well-paced and intelligent thriller which crime-lovers will adore. I really can’t wait to read whatever North writes next.
9. In The Woods by Tana French
I’ve loved everything I’ve read from this super talented author and because I have been watching the excellent BBC adaption of In The Woods, which is the first of a series about the Dublin Murder Squad, it popped into my head whilst thinking about spooky books. Of all the books by French I have loved, In The Woods remains the most challenging but also the one with the most unsettling atmosphere to it.
10. The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals by Aaron Mahnke
This is a more light-hearted read for Halloween because whilst it does cover some truly horrific people, it’s written with the author’s signature humour and wit. It’s such a good choice for Halloween as it is made up of lots of different stories about terrible people throughout history and you can dip in and out of it as you please! Such a fun read if you have any interest in the macabre! You can read my review here.
Well that’s it for today – my top ten recommendations for Halloween! I really hope you enjoyed reading and I would love to know your thoughts on my choices and some of your own Halloween favourites so please lets chat in the comments! Happy Halloween week!