Topical Tips: Scary

My word, it’s been a looooong time since I did a Topical Tips.  And Halloween’s been covered before, but since Neil Gaiman suggested the birth of a new book-giving tradition a couple of days ago, and I’m definitely all for giving books at whatever time of year, I thought it would be a good idea to give you some tips on scary books to give on Halloween, as per his idea:

  1. The Haunting of James Hastings by Christopher Ransom.  Highly recommended by Andree, one of our most esteemed You Reviewers, as “a fantastic horror story.  Absolutely brilliant.”  No higher praise is possible.
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  A fight to the death, on national television.  This is juvenile fiction?  Oh yes, and very good and full of nail-biting suspense, too.  Scare your teen by telling them it’s our new cabinet’s latest plan in school funding cuts.
  3. The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland.  I’m not one for horror, but as this was shelved under regular Fiction, I thought I’d be safe.  And it’s not all-out horror, but it is very, very tense, and very dark, and very atmospheric, and one of the best and most frightening books I’ve read this year.
  4. Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.  Who says only fiction can be scary when the real world still has so many instances of excluding people based on their beliefs, or the color of their skin, or because they say yes when you say no?
  5. Fangoria magazine.  For all fans of horror movies, splatter effects, gorenography, and very bloody-looking prosthetics.