Cozy winter nights may be all the rave for lots of readers, but real explorers know that nothing beats the Fall season. With autumn leaves freely scattering in the wind, there’s never a better time to enjoy the cool breeze than with a book on your lap and the aroma of a pumpkin pie in the oven!
Just like the unpredictable spread of leaves, Fall really doesn’t need a theme for your book choices. Yet, it is a very exciting time to plunge deep into descriptive literary works that will have you pondering on some existential questions. As October draws closer, you’ll need to put on your spooky spectacles and face your fears with some horror literature. Seriously, there’s never a better time for horror books than the Fall season!
Halloween is around the corner, and the entire world has getting ready to go into spooky mode. It’s time to enjoy our favorite horror movies, play terrifying games, and indulge in all sorts of other macabre activities to send shivers down our spines. But why should kids have all the fun? This year, we’re showing you the top 10 best adult books to read this Halloween! So grab your favorite beverage, find the darkest room in your house, and prepare to get spooked!
Dracula by Bram Stoker
One of the best classic horror novels of all time, Dracula by Bram Stoker is a must-read for any horror fan. The novel tells the story of Count Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread his curse of the undead. Along the way, he encounters some brave humans who are determined to stop him. Although it was written over 100 years ago, this book still manages to terrify today’s readers. It has been turned into movies multiple times and is sure to give you nightmares this Halloween season. The story is fast paced with several twists and turns, making it impossible to put down Not only does it offer horrific imagery but also features psychological terror as well. Reading this book will make anyone afraid of sleeping in their own bed after turning off the lights. For those that want a scare without feeling too much fear or gore, this is one of the best books out there.
Although it is considered one of the greatest horror stories ever written, some may be surprised by how short Dracula actually is. The novel is less than 200 pages long and reads fairly quickly. It might be a quick read but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to forget. The book’s imagery will linger in your mind for a long time after you’ve finished reading it.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
It’s known as one of the first works of horror fiction, but there is much more than spooky skeletons and monsters in Frankenstein. The story is seen through many interpretations, not just through themes of science and technology gone wrong, but also by an examination of human nature. Frankenstein explores our ideas about society and ethics while asking what makes a monster (and a human) in society. What was it that so unnerved me when I saw the being near me? What was it that filled my heart with fear when I beheld those lifeless yellow eyes? No breathing came from him, no warmth diffused itself from him; yet I feared him, and turned to flee from his presence. Shelley’s novel asks us whether or not we would dare do anything differently if we were faced with such a creature. If you’re looking for something off-the-wall this Halloween season,. pick up a copy of Frankenstein and find out for yourself what readers have been scared of since 1818. With its often revised depictions on film, from Boris Karloff to Kenneth Branagh, Mary Shelley’s text never seems to go out of style. Aspects of humanity are present in all facets of her story—not just humans like Dr. Frankenstein who create life—so anyone can see themselves in the protagonist. Not only does this classic piece show how mankind has grown and evolved over time, but it speaks volumes about human nature itself: why people act the way they do and how moral standards have changed over time as well.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
If you’re looking for a scary, gothic read this Halloween, then look no further than Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. The novel tells the story of Louis de Pointe du Lac, who is turned into a vampire in 1791 by Lestat de Lioncourt and lives for centuries afterwards in New Orleans as one of the undead. It explores his interactions with various characters, including his own child vampires and the witch Queen Akasha. What makes it different from other vampire stories is that Rice’s vampires are not wholly evil creatures—they too have struggles and uncertainties like everyone else. Rice’s portrayal of life in Louisiana during the antebellum period draws on historical facts about slavery, plantation life, and voodoo, notes Random House. But the author was more interested in making her vampires sympathetic to readers, she said. I wanted them to be romantic, she said. I wanted them to have problems. I wanted them to have doubts. I wanted them to hurt each other. I didn’t want these magnificent creatures walking around being sort of immortal and perfect all the time. And I think it’s much more interesting to deal with people who can do anything and yet still have problems. That’s why my vampires cry and love and sing. That’s why they go mad sometimes or just stand out in the rain waiting for someone to talk to them because they’ve got nobody else.
Carrie by Stephen King
Halloween is the perfect time to curl up with a good horror book, and Carrie by Stephen King is one of the best. King is a master of suspense, and this story about a teenage girl with telekinetic powers is both scary and haunting. The novel follows Carrie’s struggle for high school acceptance and her relationship with her mother (who wants nothing more than for her daughter to stay at home), as well as the devastating revenge she takes on those who wronged her. It is thought-provoking and touching in equal measure. There are plenty of eerie moments, but even though you know it’s coming, when Carrie unleashes her power on everyone who has wronged her it is still shocking. Just make sure you don’t eat any meatloaf before reading!
And if you’ve read ‘It’ or ‘Misery’, both also by King, then you’ll be glad to hear that Carrie has a happy ending! A truly disturbing yet heartwarming tale of outcast who proves herself a hero, Carrie will have you on the edge of your seat while simultaneously bringing tears to your eyes. If you’re looking for an intense, thrilling read this Halloween season, this is the book for you.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book and escape into another world. If you’re looking for a book that’s engaging, suspenseful, and downright scary, then explore American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. From the beginning until the end, Ellis’s masterful writing will keep you on the edge of your seat as we follow Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker who leads a secret life as a serial killer. In first person narrative, the novel examines the crazed psyche of a man living in 1980s’ New York City. The tension builds relentlessly as Mr. Bateman takes us inside his mind where he confides in us about his violent murders and gives details of what he feels while committing them. American Psycho is an extremely graphic novel so it might not be suitable for everyone but if you are looking for a dark, twisted read this season, it doesn’t get any better than this. You can find American Psycho at most libraries or buy it online. Happy reading!
Something Wicked This Way Comes By Ray Bradbury
A book that embodies the Fall season in its own unique way, this is an exciting read for anyone that enjoys a good dose of mystery combined with some classic Coming of Age shenanigans. Published all the way back in 1962, its title is inspired by a line from the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is a pretty dark tale that involves the lives of two 13-year old boys that encounter a traveling carnival in their home of Green Town, Illinois during Halloween. The way this book combines the fantasy and horror elements is splendid, leaving you gasping at certain points.
One thing you’re going to be grappling with while reading this book is definitely how it exposes the conflicting nature of good and evil within all people. Rather than coming off as preachy, you really get to feel its narrative embody this line of thought with the characters. All the townspeople have secret desires that will be shocking to witness. By the end of it, you’re going to feel more conscious of life’s bigger questions.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold By Toshikazu Kawaguchi
When time travel is a central theme in a book, there’s always a looming fear of it becoming kind of cliché. With this book, that concern really doesn’t need to be on your mind. The way Kawaguchi presents the story ensures this. Everything takes place within a narrow back alley café, and we get to experience the events through the lens of five characters. These include Kazu, a barista and four customers.
If you’re wondering how exactly we can draw a time travelling adventure from this, we’ve got you. The name of the novel is a pretty spot on hint towards how the time travelling works. It turns out that the café has the ability to allow customers to travel to a time of their choosing as long as they follow some specific rules. One of the rules also states that they need to return to the present time before their cup of coffee gets cold.
As we encounter the characters, we watch them try to make amends, forge a better future or reminisce on better days with memories of loved ones.
Practical Magic By Alice Hoffman
When there’s a book that centers on family dynamics, you’re bound to feel engrossed with the day to day lives of its members. In Practical Magic, the family at center stage is the cursed Owens sisters. Living in a musty house in Massachusetts, they are often taunted for their lifestyle, especially thanks to the black cats loitering around and the mysterious potions that seem to rest on the shelves of the place. Their elderly aunts act as their primary caretaker. However, the girls seem to want to escape this lifestyle by any means necessary, and eventually they do. Yet, things aren’t as they seem and the sisters are once again drawn to the house years later.
The way Practical Magic does an amazing job of being descriptive is something that is missed in many modern books. With the brilliant writing style from Alice Hoffman, you feel like a present fly on the wall in every step of their adventures. There’s even an entire book series for Practical Magic, so you can get a full dose of their lifestyle.
Northanger Abbey By Jane Austen
A coming of age novel that also acts as a good satire of Gothic novels, Jane Austen definitely had herself giggling a few times while working on this one. The stories centers around Catherine Morland, a young protagonist who is on a journey towards a better understanding on the world around her. She begins to carry out this quest for enlightenment by getting involved with high society. With a vivid imagination, she sometimes gets more than she bargained for in her encounters.
Catherine eventually befriends Isabella who ups the ante with her affinity for Gothic romance themes. Some other fun characters to observe in the novel are members of the esteemed Tilney estate, Henry and Eleanor Tilney.
The way this book explores high society just feels right with the Fall theme, especially with the Gothic backdrop of its setting.
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
It isn’t spooky season without some amazing imagery from Edgar Allen Poe. This short story is one that you will definitely feel connected with in this season. With a narrator trailing on the edge of sanity, we get to see a beautiful tale that centers on the murder of an old man with a pale blue “vulture eye”.
Along the lines of the story, the old man in question has the events leading up to his murder dissected in an eerie embodiment of the perfect crime. This goes on to involve the events after the crime including the dismembering of his body and other little details. It’s a very odd read if you’re not in the right mood. It might also be one of those things that will always leave your stomach turning with just how descriptive it can be.
If you’re a sucker for analyzing a story to dig out the hidden themes and multiple perspectives, you’ll feel right at home reading this.
Whether you’re looking for a spine-tingling thriller, a chilling horror story, or just a lighthearted read to get you in the Halloween spirit, we’ve got you covered with our list of the top 10 best adult books to read this Halloween. There’s no shortage of tales that will keep you up at night and make your skin crawl, but there are also plenty of heartwarming reads perfect for snuggling up with as the leaves start changing colors and it gets chilly outside. Grab one (or more) of these spooky reads to get into the mood for All Hallows’ Eve!
So get cozy in your favorite pumpkin-print onesie, grab a nice hot cup of cider or mug of hot cocoa, and turn off all those lights. It’s time to curl up with a book—or ten—this Halloween!
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