Spooky Season

by Zach

When you need a spooky autumnal portal into another world, these books can be perfect.


Butler, Octavia E.

SCIENCE FICTION Butler, Octavia E.

Fledgling, Octavia Butler's new novel after a seven year break, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted - and still wants - to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of "otherness" and questions what it means to be truly human.

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I only just started reading this book yesterday, but already I think it exemplifies the feelings of fall and its horrors. It's not a book for everyone, and I recommend you look for content warnings before reading it. Butler's works often are filled with violence of many kinds.
- Zach

The Saturday Night Ghost Club : a novel

Davidson, Craig, 1976- author.

FICTION Davidson Craig

In the 1980s, Niagara Falls is a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place. Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and Calvin decides to initiate them all into the "Saturday Night Ghost Club." But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly light-hearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. -- adapted from back cover

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I also started this book recently, and it's less of a spooky read and more of an appreciation of childhood and our mysticism then versus now. Curiosity and fear come across in an interesting way, as does friendship and growth.
- Zach

The ghost variations : one hundred stories

Brockmeier, Kevin, author.

FICTION Brockmei Kevin

"The author of the acclaimed novel The Brief History of the Dead now gives us one hundred funny, poignant, scary, and thought-provoking ghost stories that explore all aspects of the afterlife. A spirit who appears in a law firm reliving the exact moment she lost her chance at love, a man haunted by the trees cut down to build his house, nefarious specters that snatch anyone who steps into the shadows in which they live, and parakeets that serve as mouthpieces for the dead--these are just a few of the characters Kevin Brockmeier presents in this extraordinary compendium of spectral emanations and their wildly various purposes in (after) life. These tales are by turns playful, chilling, and philosophical, paying homage to the genre while audaciously subverting expectations. The ghosts in these pages are certain to haunt you well after you've closed the book"--

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I've read a few of these short stories for a class on creative writing, and they were beautifully told. I want to read the whole collection this October!
- Zach


King, Stephen, 1947-

FICTION King, Stephen

Welcome to Derry, Maine ... It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real ... They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.

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What other book exemplifies the overlap between adulthood and childhood better than this masterpiece. I will admit, and any King fan will agree, that King's endings are not the strongest. The ending to this book in particular is really weird, and may be something you should look up a content warning for, but the rest of the book, while scary, is pretty mild as far as I remember. Spooky and perfect for autumn and Halloween!
- Zach

Nicola traveling around the demons' world

Miyanaga, Asaya, author, artist.

jMANGA Miyanaga Nicola

Nicola never really felt like she fit in around other humans so she came to the demons' world instead and, together with her demon friend Simon, she travels far and wide, meeting many monsters and having lots of adventures.

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I read this whole series so quickly. It was so sweet and the art was beautiful. I want to share it with everyone of all ages.
- Zach


Walker, Suzanne (Suzanne Wakeen), author.


Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers? bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

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What's better than a book about werewolves and witches for the beginning of the Halloween season? The relationships in this graphic novel were lovely, and while the plot was somewhat thin, I think the characters made the novel.
- Zach

Reaper man

Pratchett, Terry.

SCIENCE FICTION Pratchett, Terry

Death is missing - presumed... er... gone. Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn. Meanwhile, on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe. There's a harvest to be gathered in...

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My favorite book by Sir Terry Pratchett. Any book in the death series is amazing and strong, but this is the best.
- Zach

The thief of always : a fable

Barker, Clive, 1952-

FICTION Barker, Clive

After a mysterious stranger promises to end his boredom with a trip to the magical Holiday House, ten-year-old Harvey learns that his fun has a high price.

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Clive Barker is known for his creepy writing style, and the art in this book helped reflect that.
- Zach

The once and future witches

Harrow, Alix E., author.


"In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow's powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement. In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters -- James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna -- join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote -- and perhaps not even to live -- the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There's no such thing as witches. But there will be"--

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Another great witch story, also about women's rights! I had a fun time reading this, I truly couldn't put it down.
- Zach

Interview with the vampire

Rice, Anne, 1941-

FICTION Rice, Anne

This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even "settle down" for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia's struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are. Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires--a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

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One of the staples of the vampire sub-genre, this book is a must read for those needing a spooky read for the season. I'm reading "The Vampire Lestat" right now and am loving it too.
- Zach

Gideon the ninth

Muir, Tamsyn, author.


Muir's Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cutthroat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

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And for the last book (for now), I want to highlight Gideon the Ninth. A truly wonderful gothic mystery in the guise of necromantic space opera. I loved this book more than words can say. And it's a great read to recognize that October is also Queer History Month.
- Zach