Halloween is approaching, so I thought the timing might be right for a column on the best horror novels of recent years. One of the scariest books I have ever read was “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King, and he is certainly a master of the genre. However, I wanted to highlight other books by less well-known authors that have come out since the year 2000. I am going to try to avoid books that focus on zombies or vampires because, well, zombies are everywhere! And vampires were everywhere before zombies took over. All of the following books are available at the library.
“Dark Harvest” by Norman Partridge came out in 2006, and reviews stated that bookstores should prominently display this book every Halloween, calling it one of the best novels centered around that day. It is THAT good, apparently! It won the Bram Stoker Award and was named one of the 100 Best Novels of 2006 by Publishers Weekly. Each Halloween, able-bodied teen boys are let loose into the night with crude weapons to chase down the October Boy. He’s a candy-stuffed scarecrow topped with a jack-o’-lantern head, and if he’s not killed before midnight, the town, in some indescribable way, will end. But this year the truth of the October Boy’s annual regenesis is uncovered by young Pete, whose blood-spattered night takes a turn different than any in the ritual’s storied history.
“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman is described as an edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic future world. It is about something terrifying that must not be seen — one glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
“Ararat” by Christopher Golden centers around an earthquake that takes place in Mount Ararat, Turkey. The event reveals a hidden cave housing an ancient ship that some believe is Noah’s Ark. A team enters the cave to investigate and finds something unexpected and hideous awaiting them. Then a blizzard arrives, trapping the team, and an unimaginable horror is released.
Author Catriona Ward won Best Horror Novel at the British Fantasy Awards for “The Girl from Rawblood,” about Iris, the last of her family line. The family has been haunted for generations by a curse. Iris promises her father she will not fall in love but she does, and the consequences of this are terrifying!
So … if you are interested in reading any of these, now is the time! Immerse yourself in a good, creepy and engrossing tale for Halloween. And, as always, don’t forget the library! We are here to help you find these books or any others you may be interested in.
1. “Don’t Let Go” by Harlan Coben
2. “The Midnight Line” by Lee Child
3. “Y is for Yesterday” by Sue Grafton
4. “Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly
5. “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles
6. “Glass Houses” by Louise Penny
7. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
8. “What Happened” by Hillary Rodham Clinton
9. “Origin” by Dan Brown
10. “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham
1. “Baby Driver”
3. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”
4. “The Book of Henry”
5. “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
6. “Despicable Me 3”
7. “War for the Planet of the Apes”
8. “Wonder Woman”
9. “The Big Sick”
10. “Going in Style”
For All Ages
MONDAY — 6:30-9 p.m., Dante Society Italian Film Festival – The Dante Society will be showing Mediterraneo. This film screening is free and open to the public.
TUESDAY — 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Writer’s Workshop – We’ll have snacks, writing prompts, and time for everyone to share their work; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:30 p.m., Treasure Talks: Black and White and Read All Over: Newspaper Publishing in Westerly – Join us in the Auditorium for this illuminating talk by Lido Mochetti; 6-7 p.m., Write Rhode Island – We’re partnering with School One to support students interested in contributing to their creative writing competition! Join us and local author Katie Dieder to learn more; 6-6:45 p.m., Meditation Group – Work on your mindfulness and breathing in the third floor Terrace Room.
WEDNESDAY — 10-11 a.m., 1-to-3-Year-Old Storytime – Bring your little ones to the library and enjoy a fun-filled, interactive storytime; 11-11:45 a.m., Homeschooler’s Book Group (FULL) – The book for this session is Capture the Flag by Kate Messner; 6-7 p.m., AAA Medicare “101” Supplement Information Seminar – Learn about your Medicare options for AAA and Aetna. Register online or by calling 1-855-523-3108; 6-7 p.m., Animation Nation Premier: Build a Better Monster – The Animation Nation Club worked hard all summer on this stop-motion animation film, which we are finally showing! Bring your friends and family for a frighteningly good time; 6-7:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics – Shoreline Robotics will be meeting in our Makerspace biweekly. Meetings are for teens aged 12-17 only.
THURSDAY — 10-11 a.m., 3 to 5 Year-Old Storytime – Join us for an hour full of stories, rhymes and crafting fun; 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Mother’s Group – Spend time with other moms while your little ones socialize and play together; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Teen Anime – Enjoy watching anime, crafting, and snacking on Pocky and Ramen; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome. Chess sets and roll up boards will be provided.
FRIDAY — 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Free Create Friday – Drop by to exercise your creative muscles with our iPads! Draw on sketching apps, make music with Garage Band, or edit and enhance your photos…the possibilities are endless; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Cupcake Wars – Teen Cupcake Wars has finally returned! We have all the decorating supplies you need (and cupcakes), and we’ll be unveiling a special mystery theme!
SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Master Gardener Kiosk and Soil Test – The URI Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your questions, test soil samples, and offer suggestions for improvement; 10-11:30 p.m., Native Gardens of Wilcox Park – Join the Master Gardener’s for a tour of the park, focusing on native plants. The tour group will meet at the fountain; 12-1 p.m., SAT Prep Game Show – Prepare for the test in a way that WON’T make you fall asleep…and, maybe, win a prize! Registrations is required.
Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.