What Makes the Perfect October Read?

There’s just something about October, isn’t there?

Even before our odd 2010s obsession with pumpkin spice and leggings, October had always been my favorite month. There’s just something in the air, this crispness, that isn’t there at any other time of year. Also, Halloween remains my favorite holiday, even (maybe) more than Christmas. I love costumes and dressing up, and there’s something so magical about the excitement on a child’s face when they get the perfect costume.

October is just the best.

The last few years I’ve been in the mood for a certain kind of book in October. It’s not necessarily a genre, though I know lots of people read mysteries, thriller, or horror in October. It’s more of a … feel. A mood. I don’t know if I can adequately explain it, but I’m sure going to try!

A little creepy or off

I don’t like scary books at ALL, but in October I love to read something where things are just a little edgy. There’s a tension, a creep-factor, missing from the average book. Enough to give you goosebumps, but not enough to keep you up at night. In October I eat that up.

Moody and atmospheric

Not necessarily fall vibes, though there’s certainly nothing wrong with that! But at this time of year I like a book where the weather or location is a bit dreary. It adds to the overall effect of off-ness that makes these books so spine-tingly.

Unreliable narrators

In this case the traditional definition of a narrator who lies to the reader is perfect, but not necessarily what I mean. I am also good with a narrator that can’t be trusted because they have no idea what is going on, or their own emotions have affected their ability to be impartial. It adds to the element of mystery or spookiness in these books.

(Optional) A little paranormal action

While I definitely am not talking about Harry Potter here, I do like a book that’s got some magic or maybe some magical realism at this time of year. Bonus points for a believable monster that isn’t too monster-y.

My Recommendations for October:

  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
  • The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascerenhas
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik

2 thoughts on “What Makes the Perfect October Read?

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