Did I scare you? Hey, I'm a little frightened by how long it's been since we've had a book post! Given that it's October, I figured it might be a good moment to talk about spooky books.

As it happens, I'm pretty much a wimp when it comes to scary books (or movies or whatever). I still remember the summer day when I was about 16 and I decided to read Jurassic Park because I had nothing else to do. I got through more than half the book that first day, and I then had nightmares about dinosaurs that night. I finished the book the following day and never picked up anything in that vein again!

At least I am able to handle scary picture books. Here are a few recent favorites:
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, illus. Peter Brown
Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds, illus. Peter Brown
Hailey's Halloween by Lisa Bullard, illus. Holli Conger
Hallowilloween by Calef Brown
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illus. Christian Robinson

So what have you been reading since the last book post? Anything scary?

31 thoughts on “BOO-ks!”

  1. The only thing scary is that I've actually been reading books recently. Also, that this Monday book day is coming on a Tuesday.

    First up was Democracy in Chains, which:

    'FZ' SelectShow
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    Jumping out of the non-fiction world, I Old Man's War by John Scalzi, which was very enjoyable and a pretty quick and easy read. I'm now about 2/3 of the way through The Ghost Brigades. I'd followed Scalzi on twitter for awhile but hadn't read anything by him, but I'm glad I finally got started.

    In between those, I read The Three Body Problem, which was a pretty unique take on a "first contact" type of tale.

    1. I really enjoyed the two Scalzi books you mention; I really can't see to point to reading his third book which "parallels" the Ghost Brigade book, though.

      While I've ready many books I've enjoyed better than Liu's trilogy, I have to admit that he sure introduces several new (to me) ideas throughout them.

    2. I did The Three Body Problem on audiobook. It was a very interesting take on the scenario. I did seem some parallel to Speaker For The Dead

      Actual Spoiler SelectShow
  2. On DG's recommendation I read Rosewater which was fantastic. It has been too long since I've read scifi, and I enjoyed it immensely.

    I finished The Black Stallion with the kids. It moved pretty slow, but was enjoyable overall. We started Wonder last week, and I think we're in for a treat. Lots of emotions already. It's about a boy with medical issues that have severely affected his appearance, and about his starting school and trying to fit in. I think it'll serve my kids well.

    1. I happen to have the picture book companion to Wonder, We Are All Wonders, with me right now--I'm headed to the library to return it. It wasn't one that my boys were particularly into, but I could see it being used in classrooms as part of an anti-bullying lesson.

      Philo, your kids may enjoy The One and Only Ivan as another readaloud.

      1. Was not aware that there was a companion book. I wonder if the three year old might enjoy that more.

      2. Random - For her birthday this past summer, I sent my 9-year-old niece The One and Only Ivan, as well as The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Selected almost purely based on the Newbery awards they'd rec'd.

        1. Good choices! I read The Girl Who Drank the Moon this summer, and I quite enjoyed it. I appreciated both the storyline and the writing. It's also the first fantasy book to win the Newbery in quite a long time. If you're interested, you can check out Kelly Barnhill's Newbery acceptance speech here.

    2. Glad you enjoyed Rosewater.

      Tade Thompson (author of Rosewater) has a horror novel that was just released this month (appropriate for the post's theme) The Murders of Molly Southbourne. I'm excited to check that one out, since I've enjoyed everything else of his that I've read.

  3. Lots of reading lately, all of it fiction which is quite unusual for me. I devoured Graeme Macrae Burnet's His Bloody Project. I never expected to be so riveted by a book about a triple homicide in the far reaches of Scotland in the nineteenth century. It was excellent and the best of the three.

    Also read Philip Roth's American Pastoral, and while it was extremely well-written, it was just missing something for me.

    Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall was also very good (I know surprisingly little about the Tudors for some reason), and I have the follow-up on hold at the library to pick up later this week.

    1. I thought His Bloody Project did an amazing job of manipulating the reader's perception. Or maybe I'm just a sucker. Either way, it was a really interesting book to read.

  4. Not the scariest book I've read, but I read Dean Koontz' Intensity when I was in undergrad in Winona and I lived alone in an apartment. It was like 12:30 in the morning and I was at a particularly intense part of the book when there was a loud knock on my door. I just about shit myself. Turns out it was a Domino's guy who went to the wrong address.

    1. One of the things I enjoy is finding an award that consistently leads me to new books that I enjoy. But the Nobel has never really inspired me to read its winners (exception was Mo Yan, who I found to be just OK).

      My favorite award in this vein is the Whiting Award. Thanks to that one, I've discovered:

      Leopoldine Core,
      Azareen van der Vliet Oolomi,
      Alan Heathcock,
      Anthony Marra,
      Hanna Pylvainen,
      Ocean Vuong,
      Eduardo Corral,
      Ciaran Berry,
      Padget Powell,
      and there are a bunch of older winners that had already become favorites before I knew they won (Denis Johnson, Ben Marcus, Victor LaValle, Adam Johnson, ....)

  5. Not scary as much as soul-sucking, there are two books that I wish I could unread:

    J. Saramago's Blindness.

    C. McCarthy's The Road.

    Both had a sense of the unravelling of the veneer of civilization - that We might resort to This given the right circumstances. And of course they are probably right.

    1. NBB, how goes the Booker reading list this year?

      I read Exit West last month and enjoyed it. A short little story, but powerful and timely.

      I also read Lincoln in the Bardo a while ago and found it ... very Saunders-ian (kind of weird, and just a bit upsetting). I'm hopeful that he'll try again at the novel format and come up with something better.

      1. Saunders wins the Man Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo. Meh.

        The book is ambitious, I'll give it that. But I guess it worked better for others than it did for me.

        1. Having just written a short story about Lincoln dealing with his kid's death, I find myself compelled by the story (and it is soooo ambitious, even apart from the approach Saunder's took). And Praire Home Companion featured a reading from it this week, which was interesting, but didn't really move me like I thought it would.

        2. The only finalist I have read, History of Wolves was very meh. Last year's winner, The Sellout, was hilariously amazing.

          1. Interestingly, I have a coworker who read History of Wolves recently and loved it. She's also a fan of Saunders, but she had trouble with Lincoln in the Bardo.

    2. It might have been the fact that it sat on my nightstand for a year before I finally read it, but I really liked The Road. I focused more on the father-son relationship than everything around them.

        1. MagUidhir MAY 2, 2016 AT 2:40 PM
          "Blood Meridian" is the third McCarthy book I'd read, after "No Country" and "The Road". Man, bleak doesn't even begin to describe it, even for him.

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