OooOooO! It’s time for some spooky, scary good reads

By John Hoover

You’re sitting alone in your living room late one night, the only illumination the pool of light produced by your reading lamp. Good Reads1 copyYou’re engrossed in the thriller you’re reading when you hear a creaking sound as if someone is walking on the floor above you. But no. It’s just your imagination, so you return to  your book. Then a distinct moaning sound reaches your ears. Your pulse quickens as your eyes dart to the darkened corners of the room. It’s just the wind you say … or is it?

Dr. SleepStephen King, in his author’s note of his newest book, Doctor Sleep ($30) says, “Nothing can live up to the memory of a good scare, and I mean nothing, especially if administered to one who is young and impressionable.” Since October means Halloween, jack-o-lanterns and scary costumes, apple cider and ginger snaps, we here at Misty Valley Books thought we’d look at books that are scares and good reads.

Bill’s pick is Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart ($5.95). He says this book scared him good.  It is a short story told by a narrator who tries to convince the reader of his sanity, all the while describing a murder he committed. (Professor Michael Palma will be at Misty Valley Books on three more Wednesdays evenings this fall, through Oct. 16, to discuss three poets, among them Poe.)

Jory recommends Zora and Me ($6.99), by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon.Zora and Me Zora and her best friend spend the summer getting to the bottom of a number of deaths in their Florida town. Their suspicion is a crocodile man, which leads to some terrifying night-time adventures. The story is based on fictionalized imaginings of Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Wait Till Helen ComesFor a good young person’s ghost story, Kim recommends Mary Downing Hahn’s Wait Till Helen Comes ($5.99) and A Time for Andrew ($5.95), spooky, but lots of fun. Wait Till Helen Comes is about a newly blended family who moves next door to a creepy old cemetery. A Time for Andrew is more of a time-travel story, where a boy from the present and a boy from the past switch places.

For adult readers, Kim suggests Joe Citro’s Shadow Child ($15.95) and Guardian Angels (14.95). Citro is a Chester native and the stories take place locally, in the fictional town of Atrim, located somewhere between Springfield and Chester. This is straight horror, which usually isn’t my thing, but local names and locations made them extra special for me. Shadow Child

Amanda says: “After the trick-or-treaters have gone home, sit down with Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles ($9).  Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are called to fog-shrouded Dartmoor to solve the deadly legend that haunts the Baskverville family.  Who can resist this classic British mystery with place names like Grimpen Mire?   For the younger set, Katharine Holabird’s wonderful illustrations make Angelina’s Halloween ($6.99) a treat!”

The ShiningI remember vividly the scare I had reading Stephen King’s The Shining ($7.99). Mostly set in a remote Colorado resort hotel where Jack Torrance and his family spend the winter as caretakers. As the malevolent spirits exploit Jack Torrance’s weaknesses, the only one who can really see what is going on is 5 year old Danny Torrance who has “the shine,” a gift that allows him to see and know things he cannot possibly know. King’s newest book mentioned above is a sequel to The Shining.
Next month we’ll take a look at books with fall and Thanksgiving themes.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeGood Reads

About the Author: After a 35-year career as a high school social studies teacher, John Hoover and his wife, Sally, retired to Vermont. He lives in Windham where he serves as a Justice of the Peace and Library Trustee. He works part time as a book-seller at Misty Valley Books, is active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and sings in several choral groups.

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