Reading Recap: October

Halloween, the best night of the year, is finally upon us! I am so excited, my friends and I are going to play an extra spooky session of D&D to celebrate, plus I have plenty of pumpkin snacks at hand. Halloween isn’t just a holiday, at least not for me. It’s a state of mind. Yeah, I’m aware that sounds lame but it’s true. 

I did make a list of horror/autumnal books to read this year but I didn’t finish all of them. This is in part due to a passing in the family that is still fresh. It is taking a serious toll on us. I am going to try an catch up next month.

Sorry for being a bit of a downer there, let’s talk books. 

Pumpkin Everything by Beth Labonte

I am not a romance reader, but I saw the cover and thought it looked decent. 

Horror writer Amy Fox is nursing a broken heart while trying to fight the demon that is writer’s block. After her now ex ditched her writing ground to a halt. Unfortunately, her beloved grandfather gets into a bit of an accident so Amy runs home to care for him and help him live in his old home.

Returning to her hometown of Autumnboro, she runs into the very reason she left years ago, Kit Parker. Kit is her childhood best friend and first love but they ended on less-than-ideal terms. The two start to reconnect but a secret might destroy the blooming bond.

It was cute, with likeable enough characters and more autumnal vibes than you can fit into a pumpkin spice latte.

The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

Since I adore the movie adaptation of this novella, I thought it was high time to try the original for size.

If you have seen Hellraiser, then you know the plot. There isn’t much of a difference outside of Kirsty being his friend rather than his daughter like she was in the adaptation. Frank Cotton is bored of all worldly pleasures so he tries to get something new from a magical box, letting him enter another world with out-of-this-world delights. It doesn’t go as planned.

A while later, his brother and wife move into his house while he is considered missing. After his brother spills some blood on accident, Frank finds a way to escape hell. With the help of his brother’s wife, Julia, who had an affair with him they start to resurrect him. Things only get worse from there. 

Honestly, I still prefer the movie but the book is still good in its own right. 

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy 

I am still not over this book. In a way, I’m Glad My Mom Died is more frightening than the horror novels I’ve read because these awful events happened in real life. 

Jennette bravely recounts her life and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother, the woman who was meant to protect her. She also talks about the toll of fame on a growing girl and the slimy inner workings of show business. She was cheated out of a normal childhood so her mother could pocket her pay and live vicariously through her instead of letting her live her own life. 

The hype around this book is more than justified since it is brilliant but upsetting. 

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury 

This novel is bizarre but fun. 

A group of boys are trying to enjoy Halloween but are worried about their dear friend not feeling too well. Said friend gets spirited away so the boys, with help from the strange Mr Moundshroud, set off to rescue him. To do so, they travel through time to learn the history of Halloween on the way. 

A cute quick read filled with Halloween spirit and a sweet message about sacrifice for loved ones. 

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

Including this novel is somewhat cheating since I have one last chapter to go, but I am saving that for the special night itself. 

Right from the start, this book is weird as hell. After all, the protagonist is none other than Jack the Ripper’s guard dog. That isn’t even the weirdest part of this novel. Several famous figures are competing in a game that concludes on Halloween night, where many will die. 

Each chapter is a night in October. It’s a yearly tradition for me at this point to read the corresponding chapter every night this month. This is my fourth year re-reading this classic. It is bonkers but fun. 

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