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Halloween is going to look a little (um, okay, a lot) different this year. But there’s one tradition that still social distancing friendly, and looks great in a mask: reading scary novels during the entire month of October. Over the years, horror has become somewhat of a Quirk Books specialty. And we’re thrilled to fill your calendar with fright after delicious fright from now until Halloween!

 

Two weeks before Halloween

The two weeks leading up to Halloween are usually reserved for perfecting that costume idea or, if you’re taking the DIY approach, sewing and hot glue gunning with a vengeance. Between ransacking your closet and coming up with the perfect 2020 pun, be sure to read The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman. Not only does it have costumes on the brain with '70s horror movie plot line, there’s also an equally spooky audiobook version for those late nights at the sewing machine – or those long drives through town looking for the perfect piece to complete the look.

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One week before Halloween

The week before Halloween is sure to be spent scrambling to find a grocery store with a fully stocked candy aisle, so be sure to wind down with a The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, a horror book that is nowhere near as sweet as the title suggests. And the major upside of a trick or treater-less year is that you get to keep all that candy for yourself, savored between pages of this delightfully terrifying book. 

Buy the book:

Amazon | Books A MillionBarnes & Noble | Bookshop

 

 

The night before Halloween

We all miss hanging out with our very best friends. But we can still have spooky club over Zoom! Schedule a read along of My Best Friend’s Exorcism for the night before Halloween, asking everyone to choose their favorite passage to read aloud – the scarier the better! And don’t forget to leave room for a spooky season activity, like a game of Truth or Dare where everyone has to go around the Zoom room and answer what they would do if their BFF was possessed. Bonus points for a round of remote Ouija board or a tarot card reading.

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Amazon | Books A MillionBarnes & Noble | Bookshop

 

 

As a spooky new Halloween tradition

Since you won’t be sitting around waiting for trick or treaters this year, make a new Halloween tradition by plotting How to Survive a Horror Movie with the expertise of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author and IT producer Seth Grahame-Smith. Because what’s Halloween without a little existential dread – and a plan to escape it.

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The day after Halloween

After all that horror, you’re going to need a way to come down and level out. Which is why we’re recommending Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson as a November 1st palate cleanser. Reading about women like Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Violet Paget, Helen Oyeyemi, and more will not only give you a deeper appreciation for the spooky season you just experienced, they’ll also give you a million ideas for how to celebrate next year.

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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.