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Horror October: My Top Ten Horror Books

For this week’s Horror October post, I’m sharing my top ten horror books with my lovely readers! Have you read any of these?
 


1. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill – more eerie and creepy than outright horrifying, this is not something you want to read at night. I haven’t yet watched the film – it doesn’t look like it’s completely captured the spirit of the book to me. Susan Hill is a master of suspense.

2. The Shining by Stephen King – obviously. A tale of a man’s spiral into madness… or is it? This book is shocking, horrifying and downright scary, making it a perfect Halloween read. The film makes some big changes, so definitely give it a read even if you think you don’t need to after seeing the film!


3. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris – or rather, the whole series for this one. Not particularly plain ol’ horror, it’s about vampires, werewolves, fairies and other mystical creatures, but has a fair amount of horrific moments and gory shocks. I discussed the series a couple of months ago.


4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – this book isn’t just scary because of the vampires/zombies. It’s the effect that isolation has on Neville, and how his human instincts react to that isolation. (my review)


5. Incarnation by Emma Cornwall – a semi-retelling of Dracula told from the point of view of one of his victims, this is a wonderfully written book and one of my hidden gems from last year. (my review)


6. Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin – GRRM, a master of epic fantasy, has also written a pretty awesome vampire novel, set on the Mississippi. Typical of the author, it’s a very dark book.



 
 
7. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – this one seems to have such mixed reviews and ratings on Goodreads, but I personally loved it. It follows the story of a young woman chasing her family’s past and the evil that is connected.
 
8. The Passage by Justin Cronin – another vampire novel, but so, so well done, especially because, like with I Am Legend, the vampirism is a disease and the results are believable. Books like this are always much scarier when they could actually happen to you. I’m still hoping to read the sequel, The Twelve, which came out last year.
 
9. Carrie by Stephen King – another one from the master of horror, Carrie follows the story of a young high school girl who is relentlessly teased at school. One day it just gets too much…
 
10. Ring by Koji Suzuki – I never want to see the film of this one – the book was creepy enough. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story, the film was really big when it came out  seven or eight years ago (I think). If you watch a certain video tape, you get a phone call – and are killed seven days later by a mysterious force. Shame that the tape has become infamous with the local teenagers, who are casually passing it around…
 

This post is part of Horror October, hosted by Leanne at Literary Excursion.

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Misc.

Horror October: Spooky Soundtrack

Previously, I’ve discussed my love for film and video game soundtracks on the blog. They’re something I love to listen to whilst reading – music with lyrics tends to be distracting, but instrumental music is just perfect. So I’ve decided to put together a ‘spooky soundtrack’ for Horror October, organised by Leanne at Literary Excursion. Songs will be a mix of spooky, creepy and tense! They won’t all be from traditional horror, but will be any that I feel fits the mood well.

Here’s the playlist, it’s also available to add or favourite on Spotify!

Here’s my selection, and why I chose them:

  • Going In by Marc Streitenfeld, from Prometheus – I loooooooved this film, despite its total lack of sense. This track is the one that plays when they first go into the mounds, and it’s really eerie, very foreboding of what is yet to come…
  • The Night’s Watch by Ramin Djawadi, from Game of Thrones – if you watch or read this series, you know what the Night’s Watch are there for. And you know it’s pretty terrifying.
  • Leaving Earth by Clint Mansell, from Mass Effect 3 – maybe not a traditional choice, but the scene to which this is set is truly scary, plus the juxtaposition between the piano score and the sound of the Reapers is great.
  • The Ardat Yakshi by Cris Velasco, from Mass Effect 3 – at a certain point in this game, you meet enemies called Banshees. Enemies which, unsurprisingly, let you know that they’re coming for you by their loud and incredibly terrifying shrieks. This is the song to go with that moment…
  • Bill’s Lament by Nathan Barr, from True Blood – this whole soundtrack is pretty brilliant for a ‘spooky’ soundtrack, but this track in particular is a great low-key creepy one. Nathan Barr uses a lot of cello throughout the entire score, and it works so well.
  • Those We Don’t Speak Of by James Newton Howard, from The Village – even though I knew the ‘spoiler’ for The Village when I watched it, it was still creepy as hell and music like this just increases the atmosphere ten times over.
  • Rising From The Mud by Marco Beltrami, from The Woman In Black – I haven’t seen the film yet, but this song is from the creepiest part of the book (at least for me).
  • Inferi In The Firestorm by Nicholas Hooper, from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – those strings! When I saw the film in the cinema with my best friend, we both told each other we’d never jump when the Inferi appeared because we knew it was going to happen. We jumped right out of our seats.
  • Cannibal by Two Steps from Hell – I just discovered this one when deciding on which of their songs fitted best! They apparently have an entire Halloween album with loads of super creepy things on. They do awesome music for film and game trailers, definitely check them out if you get a chance.
  • Possessed Gramophone by Two Steps from Hell – another one from their Halloween album. This kind of freaked me out…
  • Bathilda Bagshot by Alexandre Desplat, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One – it doesn’t matter if you know she’s about to turn into a giant snake that wants to bite Harry’s head off. This scene is still scary, and I blame this song!
  • Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, from The Exorcist – and now for the more traditional stuff. This song sends chills down my spine, even though I’ve never seen the movie and refuse to…
  • Main Theme/Murder by Bernard Herrmann, from Psycho – just one tiny bit of this theme has become synonymous with serial killers and murderers, so it’s got to go on the Horror October playlist (and you know which bit of the theme I mean!)
  • The Omen – Ave Santani by Jerry Goldsmith, from The Omen – don’t worry, I’ve included some Latin chanting to keep away the demons. You’re safe now!
  • Decapitation Variations by Jay Gruska and Christopher Lennertz, from Supernatural – a fun electric guitar variation on a horror theme, from an awesome TV show. Oh, and don’t forget the strings!

What do you think of my playlist? What would you have on your Horror October playlist?

Misc.

Horror October: Introduction Post

Horror October

Horror October is here! An event organised by Leanne at Literary Excursion, you can read more about the event on her blog, or read my announcement post.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m 22, from the UK and currently working as a medical receptionist. I’m working to save for my Masters degree, so I can go on and become a museum curator – however I really enjoy my current job too, which is a bonus! I studied ancient history and archaeology for my undergraduate degree, and graduated last summer.

 
Apart from reading I also love discovering all sorts of things about ancient cultures and archaeology, listening to music 24/7 (you can sample my tastes here), playing video games/talking out loud to video game characters/obsessing over Alistair with Paola, wasting far too much time on the internet and catching up with a million and one TV shows I still need to finish (here’s looking at you, Supernatural). I also volunteer at a local museum, where I record finds (I love finds!) on the database, and create handouts for the exhibits.

2. Why did you decide to join Horror October?

Leanne is part of Sci-Fi Month, which is how I got to know her, and I saw a few weeks ago that she was organising a similar event. I organised Sci-Fi Month to spread the love of the genre, but also to meet fellow like-minded bloggers, so I’d love to be able to do the same with this event. I was originally only going to maybe do one post, but then Leanne mentioned that she was also including supernatural and paranormal fiction, as well as traditional horror, meaning I had more to speak about.

3. What horror books have you read and loved?

The Shining by Stephen King, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (review) come to mind when I think of more traditional horror. In terms of supernatural/paranormal fiction, I loved Incarnation by Emma Cornwall (review), Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin and the Sookie Stackhouse novels (discussion about the series). I also absolutely loved the Goosebumps series as a child!

4. What are your plans for Horror October?
  • 1st October: introduction post
  • 8th October: giveaway
  • 15th October: a guide to True Blood/The Sookie Stackhouse Novels
  • 22nd October: my top ten horror books
  • 29th October: post exploring the different representations of vampires in media

Eric will be back in two weeks!
Top Lists

Top Ten Tuesday #1: Books To Get Into The Halloween Spirit

toptentuesday

I’m joining in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s theme is:

Top Ten Books To Get Into The Halloween Spirit

1. The Shining by Stephen King
Most likely a very popular choice on this Top Ten! I don’t think I need to explain this one. I love the book but I just can’t bring myself to watch the film…

2. Let the Right One In by John Lindqvist
One of the few books that has actually made me feel physically sick. It is graphic and shocking, and definitely not for the weak-hearted. I know my Goodreads rating of this one is quite low, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book – it was just not particularly to my taste (as I’m squeamish…). However, it most definitely fits this top ten!

3. Dead until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris
Not scary, but all about the paranormal. I love this series, although sadly the last couple of books have been quite a let down – it feels almost as though Charlaine Harris is writing to fulfil the quota of thirteen in the series, rather than because she wants to or has much to say about Sookie (Sookehhh) and co. They are good fun though.

4. The Passage by Justin Cronin
A fantastic vampire dystopian novel that feels more like a character study. A hefty volume, but definitely worth the read! The sequel, The Twelve, is released on 25th October 2012.

5. Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin
If you’re a fan of A Song and Ice and Fire, then get on it and read some of GRRM’s other work – especially this one! A fantastic vampire novel set along the nineteenth century Mississippi river, and based around steamboats. I love the Louisiana accent so I had fun imagining this one in my head…

6. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Not quite as action packed as the film adaptation makes it out to be. But a great read, and very harrowing. And I’m sorry for having so many vampire novels on this list!

7. Carrie by Stephen King
Here we go, a non-vampire novel! If you want to read some of King’s shorter works, this is a good one to start with. A tale of a social outcast with telekinetic powers, who is pushed too far…

8. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Not scary, as much as eerie. The stage production is terrifying, however. A friend of mine borrowed this from me and said she almost felt the need to keep it in the fridge when it got too scary, a la Joey from Friends 😉

9. The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman
This one is on my list because I figure it’s probably not on many others. A good, scary YA novel by the fantastic author Malorie Blackman (who wrote the Noughts & Crosses trilogy. Note to Victoria Foyt: that is how you tackle racism.)

10. Fever (Flu #2) by Wayne Simmons
A good old-fashioned, action-packed zombie breakout novel. I won this from Goodreads, so I have a copy dedicated to me by Wayne himself. If anyone reading is from the Gloucestershire area, Wayne will be at the Cheltenham Waterstones store on 31st October, as part of a Halloween event.
So that’s my Top Ten Tuesday! I will probably participate in TTT every so often, depending on the topic and how much time I have.

What would your top ten books be? Have you read any of the ones on my list?