Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: scary-books
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-07-05 07:33
Some doors should not be opened
Coraline - Neil Gaiman

"Coraline" continues my love affair with Neil Gaiman's books on audio. I love his voice so much. It's soothing but also keeps my mind focused on the story. I think that he endows his words with all the emphasis, power and creative energy they should have. He's really great with different voices as well. "Coraline" might be a short book on audio, but it's so rich and fulfilling.

I freely admit I had ghoulish tastes in books when I was a girl. I read every scary or dark fantasy novel in the children's section, and some multiple times (The Gruesome Green Witch I'm looking at you!). I would have loved this book if it had been written when I was a young girl. It's nicely scary and intense, but also suitable for a child (and adults like me). The "Other Mother" seethes with menace, and the use of subtle details (like her button eyes, penchant for eating beetles, and hair that waves as though a breeze is blowing although it isn't.) There are even gruesome touches, such as the fact that some of the inhabitants of the world the "Other Mother" created are barely formed, gelatinous blobs. I agree with another reviewer who said that they admired how brave Coraline was (and she's brave in the real sense, doing something in spite of her fears). She's really an awesome young girl (but also realistic in her flaws).

I think that Gaiman has a sense of childhood that has not faded with his age. He understands the joy and the disappointments of it. Coraline is a young girl surrounded by adults, and that's a tough situation. She seethes with physical and mental energy, and while appropriate in development for her age, she's also mature and capable of taking care of herself to a degree. But like any other child, she yearns for the love and attention of parents who care about her. Luckily, she is able to see through the "Other Mother" and realizes that her parents are exactly what she needs and not a figment of her imagination with a menace beneath the wish fulfillment.

I would have to give this one 4.5 stars because it doesn't quite meet the high standards of The Graveyard Book in comparison. But it really is an outstanding book. The movie is pretty good, if you get a chance to watch it. I saw it first, and I plan to re-watch it and compare it since I watched it years ago and I'm just now reading the book.

If you can get this on audio, I highly recommend it.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2014-10-30 01:54
Halloween Nostalgia: Five Books That Frightened Me as a Kid, But Not So Much I Did Not Love Them
Grandpa's Ghost Stories - James Flora,James Flora
Scary Stories Treasury: Three Books to Chill Your Bones [Paperback compilation] - Alvin Schwartz,Stephen Gammell
Whistle in the Graveyard - Maria Leach,Ken Rinchiari
The Bunnicula Collection - James Howe
Dying of Fright: Masterpieces of the Macabre - Les Daniels

October is my favorite month; here in Minnesota, the whether is often at a perfect, temporary median between hot, humid summer and frigid, icy winter. For the most part, of course; sporadic warmer periods (so-called “Indian Summer”) is perfect for a last chance to enjoy some kayaking, and  how could we forget the Halloween of 1991? The leaves are just at the peak throughout most of the state during the month, and a variety of regional seasonal treats are also at peak; apples, pumpkins, candy… wait, what was that last one?


I think I can say it; as a kid, I loved the season, for the most part, because of Halloween. It was always a favorite American holiday of mine, for reasons I’m not quite sure about. I was always a very easily frightened child; my sister would torment me at the video store by passing me titles from the horror section, and the very idea of blood would upset me for days. I guess a few bloodied scarecrows and dripping vampire fangs were worth a night of going wild in costumes (dinosaur, bird watcher, Scotsman were a few of my best ones), scrambling for candies, watching spooky cartoon specials and listening to ghost stories. Something about the macabre, imaginative vibe of the day,


In adulthood, even if I am not able to keep on trick or treating and nobody’s going to be knocking on my apartment door, either, I try to keep the “spirit” of the season in mind; reading spooky books, listening to my dorky little playlists, and making a lot of stuff with pumpkin in it. If I can visit a haunted house or a Halloween party, that’s awesome. As was discussed in yesterday’s Obsessed Podcast with Joseph Scrimshaw and Nika Harper, I am not quite sure what I find so aesthetically pleasing about cats, pumpkins, and witches, but it still a very nostalgic time for me, even more so than Christmas I’d have to say.


Speaking of nostalgia, here I will share a few of my favorite childhood Halloween nostalgia books, titles I enjoyed reading around October (or anytime else I needed to feel spooked), ranked in order of my discovery of them.


Grandpa’s Ghost Stories by James Flora


I still have vivid memories of being read this story with a bunch of other kids by some guy in a basement somewhere, and being deliciously creeped out; awesome trippy ‘70s illustrations, absurdist storytelling, and skeletons, witches, and ghosts and other things "too terrible to tell," make this a great childhood relic; still out of print, though, so check out this Youtube interpretation.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz


The mother lode; these collections of condensed urban legends and folklore had a hallowed place in many grade school Halloween parties; partly due to the chilling tales included inside that any second grader could use to terrorize their classmates, but Steven Gammell's terrifying illustrations were what really stuck with us (I hear that they have done away with them for later editions. Really??). Truly the standard that all scary stories need be compared. 


Whistle in the Graveyard by Maria Leach


Found this in my elementary school library; another out of print one, sadly, Whistle in the Graveyard is a slightly less traumatizing collection of spooky folktales (specializing in Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritimes) than Alvin Schwartz' work, but there are definitely things here to curdle the blood; one particular tale still gets to my sister these decades later. Cauld, cauld, forever cauld, and you shall be cauld forever more! 


Bunnicula series by James Howe


While not exactly scary, even for children, the Bunnicula series always entertained us, with its childish whimsy, effective animal characters, and smart wit, parodying many horror and mystery tropes with the erstwhile Watsonian sheep dog Harold investigating the vampiric rabbit Bunnicula with the high strung, paranormal researching cat Chester. May have been my first exposure to a lot of classic monster movie motifs.


Dying of Fright: Masterpieces of the Macabre by Les Daniels


I think this one is out of print too, but I recently requested it from the library and my high school library came back to me with that old library smell wafting up from the pages. This was my first exposure to a lot of "classic" Anglo-American horror short fiction from the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Algernon Blackwood, and, of course, H.P. Lovecraft. Seems to be a pretty good anthology of the "essentials." Not a bad place to start!


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2013-10-29 14:16
All Hallow's Read 2013: ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties from Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman started a new Halloween tradition in 2010 that involves giving scary books as gifts. As he explains it: 



"Obviously, we support bookshops and authors, but more than that, this is about making a holiday tradition of book-giving. So feel free to give second-hand books or books from your own shelves. And feel just as free to buy a beautiful new book from a small independent bookseller, or from online or… look, there’s no wrong way to buy a book. You can even gift it to their Kindle … If you do not know what scary book to give someone, talk to a bookseller or a librarian. They like to help. Librarians will not mind even if you admit that you are not planning to take out a book, but instead you are going to buy one and give it to someone."


For more info from Gaiman himself, and to see his video, go to his site at www.allhallowsread.com


Source: www.allhallowsread.com.
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2013-10-10 12:45
Day 10, A Book that Reminds You of Home
Ghost Story - Peter Straub
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
The Amityville Horror - Jay Anson
Summer at Willow Lake - Susan Wiggs

Really?  Okay, I lived in 3 different homes as a child, so let’s go with one for each:







Not in any particular order, though Amityville fits best with the house we lived in when I was age 10 until I left for college. In addition to being haunted, it was very old, difficult to maintain and a huge money suck. Other than that,  I don't wish to elaborate on my choices.  But if I am allowed to extend the definition of home to something more like, “home is where the heart is,” I can go with:


And consider Kickapoo Kamp, near Kerrville, Texas, my home.  The Texas hill country has always felt like home to me.  I felt safe there and free to be a kid and let loose and play and have fun.  I miss the lake and the hills and the hawks flying and the deer that were everywhere.  I’ve been back a few times.  Even went to college in Austin just to be near it but it wasn’t the same.  You can’t go home again.  Not really.  In Summer at Willow Lake, the heroine is restoring the summer camp her family owns and much of it is told in flashbacks.  The heroine wasn’t able to recreate the camp she had to deal with in the present time to exactly the camp she remembered and it turns out she really didn’t want to, anyway.  Plus she finds love of course and that's what’s the nice about books like Summer at Willow Lake.  It reminded me of all the good parts of camp and it reminded me that it wouldn’t be the same if I went back there but that it doesn’t matter, because I still have my good memories of camp plus all the good things that have happened to me as an adult.

Also, I have not lived in any home I would consider haunted since I stopped living with my parents. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2013-10-10 02:38
Adding Something to the 30 Day Book Challenge

We are doing this in October. October has 31 days but the challenge only has 30.  And the challenge has no category for scary books.  What better day could there be than Halloween to share favorite scary books?  So I am adding an extra day to this challenge on the 31st:  Day 31 - Favorite Book that Scared the Snot Out of You.  At least for myself. I hope a lot of people join me because I really want to know your favorites in this category.


Edited because I had a really stupid typo in the title.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?