If you find yourself switching off all the lights and pretending you’re not home on Hallowe’en, you are not alone, my friend. Give me a good book over trick or treating (and trick or treaters) any day of the week. However, if you want to get into the spirit a little bit, why not pick up one of the books from this list, lock the door, and hide away for the night. Pair with a flavoursome red wine, a hoodie, and a blanket – keeps you warm AND you can hide under it when it all gets a bit too much.
Dracula , by Bram Stoker
The original vampire story, forerunner to many a vampiric offshoot and guaranteed to ensure that Whitby remains on the literature lover’s pilgrimage route forever. I read this quite a few years ago now; and I remember enjoying it but finding it quite slow at times – perfectly acceptable, given it was first published in 1897. It’s incredible to think that it’s enjoyed 120 years in print this year. Hats off to you, Mr Stoker.
The Historian, by Elizbeth Kostova
“To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…”
Ooooh how can you possibly walk past a book with a quote like that on the front cover?! Answer: it’s simply not possible. The Historian is a modern-day update of Dracula, and one of my all-time favourite books. I first read it during my second year of university, and have re-read it many times since then. There is a review in the Observer which describes The Historian as a cross between Dracula and The DaVinci Code, and I think that is as accurate a description there is! This book has everything I love – universities, libraries (and librarians), Eastern European travel, and mystery. I urge you to read it – you will not regret it.
Six Stories, by Matt Wesolowski
A more recent publication, Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski was released earlier this year.
The first book by Wesolowski, a Newcastle-based author, Six Stories is unique in its form; taking the format of a series of six podcasts which aim to uncover the truth behind the death of teenager Tom Jeffries several years before. You can read my full review of the book here – I promise you that you’ll never look at moorland the same way again!
Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
Well, you’ve got to have a bit of Christie in there, haven’t you? The first (and so far, only) of her books that I’ve read; Murder on the Orient Express evokes the era of sophisticated, indulgent train travel and the wildness of snow-ridden mountains. Who is the murderer, and just where are they hiding? Now is your chance to read the book before the film version, complete with Kenneth Brannagh et al, is released next week.
The Harry Potter Series
Come on… you can’t have a Hallowe’en reading list without the ultimate witches and wizards story, can you! Harry, Ron and Hermione have been my companions for many, many years, and I couldn’t possibly pass them by now. Pick up your favourite of the series, or start from the very beginning once again. Accio blanket!
So there are my top five picks for some Hallowe’en reading – now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll get started on The Historian again!