It’s the Halloween season, with candy corn in all the stores and Hocus Pocus playing constantly on ABC Family (or whatever they changed the name to) but that doesn’t mean you necessarily want to read a Halloween book. Horror isn’t for all of us, and you can only read Dracula so many times (I maxed out at three). But if you want to read something sort of eerie, a little bit creepy, or slightly strange this month, something with a little substance and no real scares, you might want to pick up one (or all) of these titles.
St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
Karen Russell is one of my absolute favorite authors. This collection of short stories is probably my favorite, with women turning into silk worms, girls struggling with their feral natures, and as much sparky, sparkling prose as you could ever want.
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
Aimee Bender is so weird but also sort of incredibly normal. There’s a lot of magic in the mundane in her fictional world, and I think that’s what makes her work so special.
After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
We all know Haruki Murakami is a genius, but I think his work isn’t always the most accessible. I think one way he really connects with his readers is through the use of magical realism (or whatever you want to call that phenomenon of using magic and fantasy within a realistic story–something all of the books in this list do), which gives the reader a metaphorical way of understanding his stories. Plus, giant toads and little green monsters are amusing.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
You probably heard that Kazuo Ishiguro just won the Nobel Prize for Literature, which I think is awesome. He’s such a fantastic writer, and this is my favorite of his novels (though I admittedly haven’t read them all). Closer to science fiction than fantasy, this book presents the perspective of a very special young woman who was not meant to be special at all. I don’t want to give anything away, though they did make this into a movie a few years ago so you might already know the gist of it. But even if you saw the movie, read the book. It’s so totally worth it.