Halloween Books are like Pringles... (Top Ten Tuesday)

Paprika - Available in France!
You know that slogan for Pringles that says, "Once you pop, you can't stop"? Well, I'd like to amend it for Top Ten Tuesday and say "Once you Top, you can't stop" because not only can I not get enough of this super fun meme (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) but I also can't stop at just ten books for today's topic!  The current theme is Top Ten Books To Read During Halloween and with ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and zombies overrunning my recently read list, I really can't pick just ten books to spotlight!

Her Book Self's Monster Mash of Halloween Reads

So we all have those books that we had to read in school, but every once in a while, the really cool lit teacher assigned one that was more spooky thriller than stuffy old book.
1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
This is still my go-to answer when people ask my favorite vampire novel.  There's a reason it's inspired so many spin-offs, retellings, adaptations, and updates. 
2. 3. Macbeth and Hamlet by William Shakespeare
I always love conversations with people that say they don't like fantasy but love William Shakespeare.  Let's see... Witches? Check.  Ghosts? Check.  Few people stop to think about The Bard as a source of spooky tales, but these two are not only my favorites of the tragedies but they also have a lot of the supernatural tied into their stories.
4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
This one will always be tied to memories of Halloween for me and, even though I have Disney to thank/blame for that (did anyone else adore that cartoon?), the original text is a really great story.
5. The Tell-Tale Heart (or just about anything) by Edgar Allan Poe
So I picked Tell-Tale Heart because it was the story that my sister and I used to scare ourselves senseless with but many, many of Poe's tales are excellent Halloween spooky stories!  

For The Younger Audience
Since I don't always talk about books for grade school or middle school readers on this blog, I want to point out a few faves for the kiddos.
6. Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
I haven't read this book in ages but it was an all time favorite one from my youth! And the title - that beautiful portmanteau of Bunny-Dracula - still cracks me up!
7. What Eric Knew by James Howe
So I graduated from the Bunnicula series (Howliday Inn, The Celery Stalks at Midnight, etc.) to the Sebastian Barth mysteries and I think I worked my way through the entire James Howe repertoire at my local library.  These books were a great mix of supernatural and suspense!
8. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I almost didn't include this one because it seems like such an obvious choice for this list, but at the same time, it's a book I really enjoyed and can't bring myself to omit it simply because of its popularity.
9. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I really liked the movie, but I definitely loved the book!
10. Something Upstairs by Avi
This was another book that I count as a favorite from my youth.  This story of a boy who moves into a new house and is haunted by a murdered slave was a great blend of historical and suspenseful fiction and it secured my passion for both genres into adulthood.

More Vampires
For the people that don't like to accept Dracula as my favorite vampire novel, these are the very close runners-up.
11. Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
Yes, that GRRM.  Long before he was Dancing with dragons, Martin composed a story about vampires set during the era of steamboat life and the result is a delicious horror novel with all of the signature character development and plot intricacies that Song of Ice and Fire fans adore.
12. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
I already sang the praises of this one in my Top Ten Book to Movie Translations. :)
13. Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth
Vampire action meets political thriller - the premise is unique and the execution is brilliant.

Previously taking second fiddle to vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters have started to take their own place in pop fiction and here's a pair of books that I loved them in.
14. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
This second novel in the Dresden Files series showcased Butcher's ability to weave multiple plot lines into a cohesive entertaining story and this book dealt with werewolf mythology in ever manner possible.
15. Soulless (and the subsequent books in the Parasol Protectorate Series) by Gail Carriger
I could have included this one under vampires or ghosts as well, but of the supernaturals in Carriger's books, I know I'm not alone in preferring her werewolves most of all.

I feel like I should be able to think of more really great stories about ghosts and I'm sure in blog hopping I'll discover some titles that are eluding me right now, but the one I can mention easily eclipses all others right now.
16. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
I borrowed this book from my mom who must have decided it was okay for me to miss a few nights' sleep. Not only was I addicted to finishing this book, but it's also one that had me waking up and peeking sheepishly around my room at any little sound I heard in the middle of the night.

I should have Mary Shelley's Frankenstein on this list, but as my Top Ten Tuesdays are about books I've read and recommend, I can't put that one on here as it still lingers on my TBR list - with sincerest apologies to the Shelley fans out there.
17. It by Stephen King
I think there might be cause to shun me from the literary community if I wrote this list without a single King book (and no, I won't count #15 despite the relation).  I really need to read more SK, but this one is a worthy entry and is one of few reasons I don't laugh at people that are actually scared of clowns.
18. Still Life With Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Preston and Child's Pendergast series seems to keep popping up in my Top Ten Tuesday lists!  Plenty of works in this series could make there way into this top ten uh... mega list of Halloween reads, but Still Life in particular is another book that managed to scare me quite a bit when I read it.  It also taught me the valuable lesson - if you're going to read a book about a mysterious killer that strikes at victims randomly from corn fields, you may not want to read it on a solo driving trip through central Illinois in the summer. 

I suppose I have a hard time taking the undead too seriously when my two favorite zombie books are ones that really made me laugh.
19. Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen
I won't rehash everything I said in my review but this book was a delightful surprise in bringing levity and laughter to the topic of a zombie apocalypse.
20. Hungry For You by A.M. Harte
And not only does this mash up of zombie love stories finish off my overly long list, but I'm also hosting an eBook giveaway of it along with my interview of author A.M. Harte tomorrow!  Check out my review from yesterday and stop by tomorrow to enter to win a copy!

I can't believe I did a double-duty Top Ten and actually hit twenty with this list, but I suppose the Pringles analogy should have served as a warning for those that didn't want a lengthy list!
Any books you think I missed?  Should I have included a category for witches too?  Which choices do you agree or disagree with? What Halloween book should I most definitely add to my TBR? (And if you don't like Halloween books, what are your thoughts on Paprika Pringles? I have a coworker from France that loves them, I was skeptical until I tried them and actually thought they were delicious!)
Thanks again to the fab bloggers at The Broke and The Bookish for always making this such a great meme to participate in and a special welcome to any readers visiting Her Book Self for the first time.  Again, be sure to stop by tomorrow for the Hungry For You giveaway!

13 Response to "Halloween Books are like Pringles... (Top Ten Tuesday)"

  1. Red says:
    October 25, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    I loved Bunnicula when I was little! And I've heard good things about Married with Zombies. I really need to check that one out.

  2. Sam (Tiny Library) says:
    October 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Wow, great list, I've actually bookmarked this so I can return to it when I have my wishlist handy!

  3. Beth D. says:
    October 25, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    What a great list! You have so much awesomeness on it!

    Beth ^_^

  4. Enbrethiliel says:
    October 25, 2011 at 1:57 PM


    You remind me that I really need to get back to Dracula. (I had it scheduled for February and all . . .) And then there's Stephen King. Last year, I told myself I'd read one King novel a year, but I've yet to get to It. =(

    (I have to say, though, that I was never too crazy about Something Upstairs. Hoping this isn't too spoilery for those who haven't read it yet, the number of bullets in the gun seemed like such a huge plothole to me. But that was a long time ago. Perhaps I should read it again and let the creepiness work on me properly?)

  5. lisa :) says:
    October 25, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Red - Married With Zombies was definitely a treat!

    Sam - Let me know which ones you end up reading!

    Beth - Thanks so much!

    Enbrethiliel - It's been quite a while since I've read Something Upstairs so I don't really remember specific details of it. I read it around 6th grade and at the time it was one of my favorite ghost stories and is also the book that really got me hooked on historical fiction. Granted, now I'm a bit afraid to risk rereading it since it may be much less awesome than I recall.

  6. Anonymous Says:
    October 25, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Pennywise gave me so many nightmares when I was a kid. I've run away from clowns ever since! I keep meaning to read Heart-Shaped Box - And this time of year's the perfect time to do it, too!

  7. Kate says:
    October 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    This is such a great list! I loved the Bunnicula series as a kid, and my sister and I are trading off the Soulless series as they come out. Also I've never heard of the George RR Martin book, but I'm definitely off to see if my library has it now, what a great concept!

    Thanks and happy reading!

  8. Ellen aka Ellie says:
    October 25, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I have a funny story about #10. Perhaps I should write it down...

  9. Anonymous Says:
    October 26, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Those are some great choices. I can't believe I didn't include Poe on my list!

  10. Loni says:
    October 26, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    If you like Interview with a Vampire, then you should read Rice's The Witching Hour.

  11. Shannon (Giraffe Days) says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Impressive list, Lisa! Sorry, I'm behind in checking out people's lists - lots of baby interruptions!

    I've seen Heart-Shaped Box on several lists now but you're the first to be so enthusiastic for it. I think horror books that make you that unnerved are outside my comfort zone - I tend to avoid them. I'm curious about Sleepy Hollow though; I really liked the movie.

    I've heard of Bunnicula, though I thought it was a recent book!

    I like Pringles, but they make me over-indulge and then feel sick so I try to avoid them!

  12. lisa :) says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Stephanie - I don't want to overhype Heart-Shaped Box, I know part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is because I knew next to nothing about it when it was lent to me. But let me know what you think, if you pick it up!

    Kate - A lot of readers dislike Fevre Dream because it is a bit gruesome in parts, but it does show that even early on in his career Martin was all about character-driven stories and blurring the lines between good and bad guys.

    Ellen - Now you gotta share...

    carolsnotebook - I keep thinking of others by him that I should have chosen instead (Fall of the House of Usher; Cask of Amontillado...) but I went with TTH because my sister and I had an audio cassette of that one with the creepiest narrator in the world!!!

    Loni - Thanks! I'll add it to my TBR!

    Shannon - The Johnny Depp version of Sleepy Hollow is quite different from the original (though I like that movie too). And Bunnicula definitely goes waay back, but I have seen it marketed recently with a new cover so I'm glad to see that kids today are still enjoying that series!

  13. Christin says:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Great list! I haven't read most of these, so it looks like I have some books to add to my to-read list.

    New follower :)

    My Top Ten List

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