The Halloween Tree

Author: Ray Bradbury Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1972 I read it: October 2017 The ghost. The mummy. The grim reaper. The witch. The beggar. The gargoyle. The apeman. The skeleton. Eight classic costumes for eight boys on a single Halloween night. And little do they know how each costume reaches back through centuries to original…

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children (#1) Published: 2011 I read it: October 2017 This book rests heavily on its presentation, which is not necessarily a strike against it. When you remove the slipcase, the front of the hardcover has the signature “Alma LeFay Peregrine,” as if you’re…

The Haunting of Hill House

Author: Shirley Jackson Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1959 I read it: October 2017 “Let us go and open doors,” says Theodora, the livelier of the two women invited to stay at Hill House. The other is Eleanor, the lonely protagonist, and they are joined by two men, Luke (who will inherit the property) and Dr.…

It

Author: Stephen King Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1986 I read it: February 2011 There used to be a bookshelf that took up an entire wall in my childhood home. It was built into a recess, and made up of dark brown wood. The edges were carpeted—the same rough, tight-knit blue carpeting with specks of green…

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

Author: Edith Wharton Editor: David Stuart Davies Type: Fiction, short stories (anthology) Published: 1904-1937 (original stories); 2009 (this collection) I read it: September 2017 In the story “Kerfol,” which happens to be about a pack of ghost dogs, one character remarks that “you know every Breton house has its ghost-story.” This certainly seems to be…

The New Weird

Editors: Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, short stories (anthology) Published: 2008 I read it: September 2017 When I first read Jeff VanderMeer, I was also reading H.P. Lovecraft for the first time. Because of that, and because of my limited exposure to authors in this vein, I over-attributed much of VanderMeer’s craft to…

Unnatural Creatures

Editor: Neil Gaiman Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 2013 I read it: August 2017 Neil Gaiman is all over the place. He releases a constant stream of his own books while at the same time having shows or movies made of his books and writing piles and piles of blurbs to go on the backs of…