Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween-Adjacent Books

This week’s topic was a Halloween freebie so we decided to highlight some of our favorite books that aren’t necessarily Halloween-related but give off similar scary vibes. Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for carrying on the Top Ten Tuesday tradition! 

Pete’s Five

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

We just finished this one, and we loved its grim, eerie vibe. Necromancers and tons of animated skeletons make for a disturbing and magical read.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Ghosts, dead children, and the place between life and death—this extremely unusual historical novel is a great book to get you in the Halloweeen mood.

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

While few of its creatures and concepts fit traditional Halloween tropes (or tropes of any kind), this is an absolutely terrifying read filled with unforgettable images.

The Keep by Jennifer Egan

There’s nothing supernatural here, but secrets of the titular keep and its darkest corners make for a wonderful setting filled with fantastic characters.

How to be both by Ali Smith

Perhaps the most unusual ghost story ever written, this two-part novel is printed in two different orders, but both of them contain a centuries-old ghost. Ali Smith at her best (though isn’t she always?).

Indiana’s Five

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Cornelia Funke and Guillermo del Toro

This is a chilling mix between a fairy tale and a historical fiction thriller. I read it in a single sitting. 

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh 

A slim but packed tale; it’s well-told and leaves one wanting more. There’s old magic and new love, tragedy and forest-filled adventure. 

I make the argument that it’s a good one for Halloween because there’s plenty of magic to stir the mind and it’s short enough to pore through after an evening of trick-or-treating. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Maybe this one is a bit obvious but there are several scary or nearly scary scenes in this classic; like when Jane “meets” Bertha Mason for the first time. 

Caroline by Neil Gaiman 

I know, I know, I put this book on so many Top Ten Tuesday lists, but it really is perfect for this topic. It can be swallowed in a single sitting and it’s packed with hair-raising moments. 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I’m apparently in a Gaiman mood lately! This is another obvious pick in some ways but it remains a delightful and chilling read.

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