Friday, October 1, 2021

All Hallow's Read 2021

  The first thing the Ghost did to prepare for this October that is now among us is make a list for All Hallow's Read. 

 All Hallow's Read, for those who may not know, is the idea that writer Neil Gaiman started back in 2010, that has morphed in a tradition for readers each October. The concept is simple. In October, give people-- friends, family-- a scary book. To celebrate Halloween, spread the joy of reading-- and make it scary. 

All Hallow's Read poster by Amy Houser

 Over the last decade, the Internet has taken to this custom, and I have partaken to different degrees, going as far as giving out black wrapped packages with orange ribbons. Last year, not exactly related to All Hallow's Read, I had made a reading list for the fall, to try and read as many seasonally appropriate books as I could. I was spurred on partially by the pandemic, and the eccelerated rate at which I was reading. My list last year was 15 books, and I managed to read all but three. 

   This year, starting in the end of September, I made a more ambitious list, and am going to try the best my haunted heart can to get to them all. For someone who loves reading, and loves Halloween, the idea of only picking a select few titles-- from my all time favorites, from titles I have wanted to revist, and books I have yet to read-- was incredibly difficult. I tried my best to be mindful about what I picked-- to not overload with classics I've already read, but not add too many new books, either. Reviews will be posted as I finish them. 

All Hallows Read Poster by Kat Michaelides

 Here, reader, is my 2021 All Hallow's Read Reading List, along with a few short reasons why each title was picked. 

 2021 All Hallow's Eve Reading List

"Books of Blood Volume One", by Clive Barker. For many years, I was aware of Clive Barker only as the writer of the book the film "Hellraiser" is based on, having not read the novel. Over the last two years or so, I discovered his "The Thief of Always," and fell in love with his writing. A tale of a boy who finds a way to live years and seasons and holidays all in a day, I was entraced by his style, and his unique flare for the macabre. I followed this up with "The Hellbound Heart," (the basis for Hellraiser), and was, quite properly, horrified by this absolutely beautiful writing. I chose "Books of Blood" to add some of Barker's distrubing horror-- written gorgeously-- to my Halloween season. 

"Clown in a Cornfield," by Adam Cesare. I have been meaning to read this for quite some time, having seen its popularity grown in the last year. And with a title like this and reviews stating its the perfect teen slasher in novel form-- how could I not pick this one. 

"Dracula," by Bram Stoker. Last year for the season, I read David Skal's mammoth, immersive biography of Stoker, and have been meaning to read this titan of horror literature-- and one of my personal favorite novels-- ever since. 

"Frankenstein," by Mary Shelley. I also read more than one book about Shelley in the last year, and it is only right and natural I revisit this immortal-- and undead-- classic this fall. 

"Harvest Home," by Thomas Tryon. I frankly know little about this book, other than the fact that I own a copy of the author's "The Other," and fell in love with this novel's original cover-- and synopsis. 

"Hex," by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I don't know much about this apparently divisive novel-- but it is witches, and I love witches and need them on my reading list. 

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers," by Jack Finney. I've never read this novel the classic film is based on, and I feel it is time I should. 

"Pet Semetary," by Stephen King. I've read this deeply disturbing masterwork of modern horror long ago, in high school, and seeing that the audiobook is read by Michael C. Hall, who I have enjoyed other narrations from immensely, I decided to revisit this story by the King in audio form for Halloween. 

"Something Wicked This Way Comes," by Ray Bradbury. I have to reread at least one of my favorites by Bradbury, one of if not the greatest Halloween writer in history. 

"The Book of Magic," by Alice Hoffman. The latest in the Practical Magic series about the Owens family of witches, I am reading an advance copy right now, and loving every page. 

"The Graveyard Book," by Neil Gaiman. Because this is one of my favorite novels, and it has been years, and I need more Gaiman and graveyards in my life. 

"The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells. Because I have never read this classic, either. 

"The Lottery and Other Stories," by Shirley Jackson. Because I recently discovered a record recording of Jackson herself reading these immortal stories. 

"The Night of the Ripper," by Robert Bloch. Because I did not know the author of "Psycho" wrote a Jack the Ripper novel, and I found it in a Little Free Library this past summer. 

"The Only Good Indians," by Stephen Graham Jones. Because of all the hype. 

"The Ritual," by Adam Neville. Because I loved the film. 

"The Wendigo," by Algernon Blackwood. Because I have been meaning to read this since high school, and need some old school horror writers represented more. 

"Young Goodman Brown," by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Because the devil made me do it. 

 Yes, this list is long. But the Ghost is going to try. Happy, Haunted Reading! And visit All Hallow's Read-- and, more importantly, give a scary book this Halloween. 

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