Books to Read During Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching and you may be in need of something to read. This usually is the time of the year to pick up some horror books. But, as I haven’t read that many books from that genre, I decided to list some of those that I consider appropriate for this time of the year instead of choosing favourites. The books mentioned below all feature either dark, twisted or spooky elements, which are intended to leave the reader feeling uneasy.


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Even if you have never read Frankenstein, you may be familiar with the story it tells. Victor Frankenstein manages to animate lifeless matter, but the creature born of that experiment is nothing like what he expected. This is a book about how a creator deals with the destructive actions of his creation.


The Dumb House by John Burnside  

A dark story is conveyed using beautifully crafted prose in The Dumb House. The main character, Luke, is obsessed with the issue of life and death, the existence of a soul, and questions if language is either learnt or innate. This leads him to a twisted experiment performed on his own children. Continue reading

‘Tinder’ by Sally Gardner

My rating: 4 stars

When I was a little child, all the books I owned had drawings accompanying the words I was learning how to read at school during the day. But as I grew up books with drawings almost completely vanished from my shelves. They have now made a return with Tinder, written by Sally Gardner and illustrated by David Roberts. This is a fairy tale retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Tinderbox, a story I made sure to read beforehand. Themes such as war, love and fear of the other are present in this book, which is an entertaining and, in some occasions, frightening read.

Otto Hundebiss, a soldier who has had enough of war, narrates in the first person the story of his adventures following his meeting with a mysterious half-man, half-beast, who helps him to regain his health and gives him a set of dices which reveal the direction he must take. Along the way, Otto is followed by a cloaked man who can turn into a wolf. While trying to hide from him, Otto meets the brave Safire and falls in love with her. However, they end up being separated and Otto takes as his mission to reunite with her.

As he tries to achieve this undertaking, Otto meets the Lady of the Nail and discovers the power of the tinderbox, as well as acquires a significant amount of gold. What follows involves dark magic, werewolves, violence, blood, dreams and nightmares. But there are also occasional references to current real themes. Some villagers, for example, are quick to blame the one they see as the outsider for some of the incidents that take place. Continue reading