drop of water on lightbulb with foggy trees in background

The water is again rising at an alarming rate in Houston, in Texas, in Louisiana, Mississippi, etc. And on a Halloween Saturday at that. Unfortunately, there’s no candy to be found in my house–trust me, I’ve searched–but there are always books and (as long as the electricity stays on) coffee. If you, like me, are planning to turn off the lights, stay in tonight, and maybe read a spooky story, I have a few suggestions:


Ghost Summer: Stories – Just a tip: don’t download this to your e-reader late at night and immediately start reading it. It’s not conducive to sleep and the stories will suck you into Tananarive Due’s fictional Gracetown where ghosts and monsters may be part of everyday life, but shouldn’t be mistaken for harmless.


Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances – This is Neil Gaiman doing what he does best: telling creepy stories with an edge of dark humor. Highly recommend on audio, which is also read by Gaiman.


The Strange Library – This slim novella from Haruki Murakami takes a library, traditionally the reader’s refuge, and turns a fun house mirror on it, creating a world where a boy must try use his ability to absorb knowledge from books to literally keep his head.


The Little Stranger – If you’re looking to sink in for a longer read, this novel by Sarah Waters is an excellent choice. “There are a few dark-and-stormy and fog-enveloped nights, used to great effect and without apology. The overall impression is like watching a stain spread across your floor, as you pad about in the half-light looking for the leak, only to realise with dawning horror that it’s not water but blood seeping through your socks. Immersing and immensely fun read” is how Tina aptly described it.


The Hallowed Ones – Need a “guilty pleasure” read? Who knew there was a slew of Amish vampire books? Apparently it is a thing and I’ll admit that I’m reading this one. Don’t think that you’re going to find pretty, sparkly vampires here; these are the monster variety.


However you celebrate, here’s wishing you a Happy Halloween. Above the waterline.