4 Creepy Books to Get you Ready for Halloween

Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday. Really, I love all the fall and winter holidays. But Halloween? What’s not to like?! Horror movies, marathon readings of Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps a little Lovecraft.

I compiled a shortlist of my favorite creepy books that are perfect for this time of year. Some of them fall within the umbrella term of “weird fiction.” Others are classic ghost stories that I highly suggest you check out if you haven’t read already. And yeah, they’re all old books – like, really old.

Here’s my list:

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Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’m always reading heavy and serious books like Kafka, the classics, or dystopian science fiction. So I decided recently to read something a little more light-hearted for a change of pace.

The book I picked up was from Rachel’s shelf – The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 debut novel from Helene Wecker. The novel still has some serious themes, but it wasn’t the type of angsty existentialism I usually dig into.

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The Golem (a poem)

A golem without a master is like a key without a lock

the sorcerer created her, this woman made of clay

now she’s gone astray, wandering New York’s streets

without a purpose –

a golem is made to obey + without a command

it scarcely knows where to stand, desires pushing it

to + fro until someone says the magic phrase +

it disintegrates into dust.

(Photo source: Wikipedia)

Note: This poem is inspired by The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 novel by Helene Wecker, which I’m currently reading. One of the main characters in the novel is a golem – a mythic creature in Jewish folklore.

Book Review: Damnificados by JJ Amaworo Wilson

Damnificados is based on the real-life story of the occupation of the “Tower of David” in Caracas, Venezuela, during the country’s housing shortage. The tower is an unfinished skyscraper abandoned in Venezuela’s capital city in 1994 because of another national crisis (this one having to do with banking).

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Book Review: In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck

I’ve always been a big John Steinbeck fan. So I was pretty excited when I picked up In Dubious Battle from my library. It’s not one of Steinbeck’s most famous books, but it’s written with the same energy and zeal of all the other books I love by him. 

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Book Review: Amerika by Franz Kafka

After reading Franz Kafka’s complete short stories last year, I was determined to read the three novels that were published posthumously. I find Kafka to be a tremendously interesting writer and literary figure, and after reading most of his work, the recurrent themes became evident.

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Meditating in the Mountains (a drawing)

Here’s a drawing from my sketchbook from about a year ago. I like how this one turned out! I have a small Buddha statue in my bedroom, which was the model for the drawing. I like how calm and serene the Buddha looks in this drawing, and I also like how the coloring turned out.

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Reborn (a poem)

This birthmark on my back is a mark I carry

from body to body – I die, am reborn

in another time, but my soul remains the same –

forever after the same truth, relentless in pursuit +

snared in masses of mankind + the death-march of progress

toward blood-soaked extinction or utopian dream

(Photo by Majid Rangraz on Unsplash)

Note: This poem was inspired by a theme in the novel, Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. It’s a terrific book and I highly recommend it!

Mrs. Dalloway’s Mind (a poem)

I step inside Mrs. Dalloway’s mind:

it twists, turns – I’m lost in the maze,

as she spills thoughts on the page –

a link to her consciousness;

it’s a stream that overflows,

breaks embankments, floods my psyche

‘till I put the book down,

lest my mind goes manic and

doesn’t come back.

(Photo credit: A portrait photo of Virginia Woolf from Britannica.com).

Note: This poem was inspired by Mrs. Dalloway, the classic novel by Virginia Woolf. I’m reading it now, and I love it, but I’ve had to put it down a couple of times because I felt like it was triggering a manic episode.