standing Westerly Library

Halloween is just over a month away, so now is the time to select a spooky novel to hunker down with and get into the Halloween spirit. I don’t specialize in the horror genre, but occasionally it is a lot of fun to curl up under a blanket and get caught up in a scary story. There are lots of great lists out there on the Internet for book-lovers. Here’s a tip for you — if you love thrillers or historical fiction or biographies, and aren’t sure what to read next, simple searches on the Internet for terms such as “best new thrillers” or “best historical fiction of the year” can help you figure out what your next book is going to be. My search for the best horror fiction of 2019 has led me to some very intriguing new books I can’t wait to get my hands on!

First up for a creepy tale is “The Hunger” by Alma Katsu. This book is a fictionalized account of the Donner Party, the group of pioneers heading west that were trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains over the winter and forced to resort to cannibalism to survive. The author reimagines their ordeal and makes it even more terrifying, adding in some supernatural twists. Horror master Stephen King himself says this book is deeply disturbing and shouldn’t be read after dark!

“Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage is described as one of the most original books in the horror genre, which is a strong statement considering how creative many horror books can be. This book made many of the lists of best horror books of 2018 and has been optioned for a movie. Mom Suzette’s daughter Hanna is waging a campaign of terror with Suzette as her target. Suzette’s husband, however, sees no evidence of what his wife reports and is ready to defend his daughter, who is violently opposed to sharing her father with anyone. I have just requested this book and am looking forward to it — it is on so many lists for Best Summer Books, Must-Reads, etc., so it should be good!

The last book I will recommend is “Elevation” by Stephen King. This one didn’t appear on most official lists of best horror books, however, it blew all of the others away when the readers voted! Readers elected this book the best horror novel of 2018 by a huge margin. It is an “eerie tale of a small town with big troubles,” but it doesn’t sound too scary. However, its excellent reviews and huge number of votes for best horror book have prompted me to add it to my “to read” list.

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.

Top requested books

1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

2. “Summer of ‘69” by Elin Hilderbrand

3. “A Better Man” by Louise Penny

4. “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert

5. “One Good Deed” by David Baldacci

6. “The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware

7. “The Nickel boys” by Colson Whitehead

8. “19th Christmas” by James Patterson

9. “Blue Moon” by Lee Child

10. “The New Girl” by Daniel Silva

Top requested movies

1. “Game of Thrones, season 8”

2. “Avengers. Endgame”

3. “Rocketman”

4. “John Wick. Chapter 3. Parabellum.”

5. “Aladdin”

6. “Toy Story 4”

7. “Outlander, Season 4”

8. “Yesterday”

9. “The Hustle”

10. “X-Men. Dark Phoenix.”

This week

MONDAY — 10-11 a.m., Homeschoolers Book Group (ages 7-10) – a parent/child group, detailed instructions are on our website; 10-11:30 a.m., Movie and Q & A with Westerly’s Plastic Reduction Committee – this month’s movie is Straws; 2-2:30 p.m., 2 O’clock Tales! – all ages are welcome for this storytime with read-alouds, songs, and games; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Craft: Equinox Jars – come make jars to celebrate the autumnal equinox! 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners; 7-8 p.m., International Day of Peace Vigil in Wilcox Park – a gathering of community members for readings, music, and prayers for peace.

TUESDAY — 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Voter Sign-Up for National Voter Registration Day! We will help get you registered to vote at the library; 10-10:45 a.m., Family storytime for all ages; 5:30-6:30 p.m., Climate Roundtable – all are welcome to discuss their thoughts on climate change. Led by Teens Against Pollution; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group! – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club; 6-7:45 p.m., Sewing Social – amateur or experienced sewers are welcome! 6-6:45 p.m., Meditation Group – all ages and experience levels welcome! 6-7:30 p.m., Renaissance Toastmasters – meets twice a month to share stories and get comfortable speaking in front of an audience;

WEDNESDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 1-3; 1-3 p.m., Senior Technology Social – meet fellow seniors and talk about your technology problems. Bring your questions, concerns, and gadgets—we are here to help and have a little fun too! 4-7:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics; 5:30-6:30 p.m., Movie and Q & A with Westerly’s Plastics Reduction Team – this month’s movie is Straws; 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners.

THURSDAY — 10-10:45 a.m., Storytime for ages 3-5; 10 a.m.-12 p.m., RI DEM training on the Spotted Lanternfly – an invasive plant hopper accidentally introduced to the US in 2014, this is a fast-moving and destructive plant pest. This training will show you how to identify it and what to do if you find one; 3-6 p.m., Family Game Night – different board games for families to come and enjoy. Games are for ages 7 and up but all are welcome! 3:30-4:30 p.m., Teen S.A.G.A. meeting -- a discussion and support group for teens 12-18 about LGBTQ+ stories and issues in books, movies, TV shows, and more; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required; 5:30-7:45 p.m., Adult Game Night – Bring your own games or play some of the library’s—we have both contemporary and classic games; 6-7:30 p.m., Dementia Family Caregiver Support Group -- A trained former caregiver will be facilitating all group sessions. The groups will be a safe space to discuss the unique challenges of caregiving.

FRIDAY — 2:30-4:30 p.m., Teen Poetry: Erasure Poems and Reading; 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., URI Master Gardener Kiosk – Get research-based answers to all of your gardening questions! 10-11:30 a.m., Native Gardens of Wilcox Park Tour – Learn about the value of native trees and shrubs as URI Master Gardeners lead you on one loop of the park, leaving from the Esplanade; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Make & Take Crafts for children! 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Return of Camera Obscura – weather permitting (must be sunny), find us in Wilcox Park.

Nina Wright is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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