The Mountains of Instead

Championing fiction as an escape from pandemics, politics and bad TV.

All Hallows Read

As you all know, I am all about the book-sharing love. It's the way forward and I regularly force people to leave my house laden down with books. And no, this is in no way a nefarious plan to unburden my overworked book cases.  Not at all. Nope. No Way. Well, maybe just a little bit.

But I digress... I recently read this blog post by the phenomenal Neil Gaiman in which he proposes a new Halloween Tradition, one for which you gift a friend with a spooky story on the run up to Halloween (or indeed on the day itself). Now, Mr. G is one of my all time favourite authors and has been for nearly fifteen years so I would most probably let him persuade me into just about anything. However, this suggestion ties in nicely with my love of gifting people with books. What could possibly make a better present (many things, I hear several friends, family members and at least one ex-boyfriend reply)??  

Halloween is an excellent time to introduce someone to a new book. There are so many fantastic scary stories out there. From my own personal favourite, The Woman in Black (Susan Hill) to Henry James' The Turn of The Screw to Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven there are a plethora to choose from. Period stuff not your thing?  Then look to Stephen King, Peter Straub or Neil Gaiman, himself for some relatable chills.

In the Young Adult world there is also plenty to choose from.  Zombies your Halloween monster of choice? Look no further than Carrie Grant and Charlie Higson. Werewolves?  We've got 'em in abundance from heart-wrenching Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater) to wolves with possible mob connections in 13 To Life (Shannon Delany). Let's not forget how awesome good ghost stories are - try checking out Rook Hastings, a new master of the craft. I also hear that there are a few vampire stories out there somewhere (who knew??).

So, in doing my part for this new tradition, I gifted two books.  To my friend Beth, a fan of the old-fashioned ghost story, I gifted The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestly (review here) and to my friend Joe, I passed recent modern gem, The Radleys by Matt Haig (review here). They were both pleased if slightly befuddled and allowed me to take their pictures for this post. Trust me, Joe was just as excited as Beth, he just decided to show it on the inside. And yes, when people visit me I make them all sit on the floor.

Halloween is nearly over for this year, but perhaps you have company this evening (which would beg the question of why you are sitting reading this, but pish posh) - nip to your bookshelf, grab your most terrifying title and pass it on. No company?  Then do not lose heart: traditions take time to form and you can pick this one up Halloween 2011.  In preparation, you can read more about All Hallows Read here. In the meantime, pick up a bone-chilling book yourself and huddle down somewhere warm, with not too many shadows.

Happy Halloween - don't have nightmares...


Unknown said…
What a truly awesome thing to do.
Remind me next year ;)
Lauren said…
I love this idea! I wish Halloween hadn't happened yet, so I could still do it. Books are the best present *ever*.
back to top