Think children are the only ones inspired by the spooky season? Not a chance. Here Sarah Isbister, with the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, offers a few chilling titles for the older set, including both new titles and a few classics.
• The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters – Waters, a master of psychological suspense, has written a chill-inducing novel about the Ayres family, their once-grand estate, and how they’re haunted by the past.
• Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier – Poor, plain and alone, a young woman marries a rich widower, but in his great English country house she feels she can’t live up to his dazzling first wife, Rebecca, whose sinister presence haunts their home and marriage.
• The Mountain Story, by Lori Lansens – This is a suspenseful and psychologically rich story of adventure, sacrifice and survival in the unforgiving wilderness of a legendary mountain.
• The White Lioness, by Henning Mankell – Sadly, the prolific and ground-breaking mystery writer Henning Mankell passed away this month. Third (and my personal favourite) in the Kurt Wallander series, this title is a riveting tale of international intrigue.
• Dracula, by Bram Stoker – The story of the notorious vampire Count Dracula, lord of the undead, who rises from his coffin at night to suck the blood of the living, is a complex, eerie and fascinating story that many know, but few today have actually read.
• The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – This is a fantastic, tense and unpredictable thriller about murder, marriage and strangers becoming connected through complicated circumstances.
• World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks – Brooks (son of Mel Brooks and author of The Zombie Survival Guide) has taken it upon himself to document the “first-hand” experiences and testimonies of those lucky to survive 10 years after the fictitious zombie war.
• Tomes of Terror: haunted bookstores and libraries, by Mark Leslie – Of course I had to include this celebration and eerie look at the siren call of literature and the unexplained and fascinating stories associated with bookish locations around the world. If you have ever felt an indescribable presence hanging about a quiet bookshop or library, then you’ll enjoy these fascinating and haunting tales.
• Spirits of the West: eerie encounters from the Prairies to the Pacific, by Robert C. Belyk – This is the latest book in a series of western ghost story collections, about ghosts, both friendly and fearful, who haunt museums, hotels, pubs, houses and many other locations throughout western Canada. These true stories will persuade the reader to turn on one more light during the long, dark night.
• All You Frightfully Fun Halloween Handbook, by Carole Nicksin – Low-cost, big-bang ideas to ensure everyone has a hauntingly good time.
Sarah Isbister is the Children & Family Literacy Librarian at the Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library