This October I put together a little list of books I’d like to read to get me into the spirit of Hallows Eve. Here is my list, plus a few from past years. Any or all of these books make wonderful reading, but fair warning, some are not for the faint of heart.
Here is my mini list of spooky hair raising classics:
by Mary Shelley
This is such a fantastic story, I encourage anyone who has not already read it to do so. The story’s background is also really interesting. It’s impressive enough the Shelley could right a book from the perspective of 2 separate males, but she also started this book on a complete whim. She was given the challenge by a peer to right a ghost story while vacationing, and out of that came this iconic masterpiece.
The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
I have to admit I barely made it through this book, though it is very well written and a wonderful classic. My reason was purely that I am a big chicken and it scared the daylights out of me. I read it aloud, which really added to it’s eeriness.
by Stephen King
I of course had to have Stephen on this list. I could decide which book so I chose purely based on the fact that The Shining was one of my first Stephen King experiences. Now for those really looking for a good scare go with “It” though I personally will never be brave enough.
by Bram Stoker
This is a beautiful story and a classic that I feel is so under appreciated. Dracula represents everything the Victorians feared: the irrational, the pagan, the erotic and the foreign. If you love classic literature and/or gothic novels, I highly recommend you read this book!
The Legend of Sleepy Hallow
by Washington Irving
Washington Irving’s haunting, macabre stories will give wide-eyed readers delightful chills. This is a great story and such an awesome read for this time of year. It is especially great to read on particularly gloomy flog laden evenings.
Halloween is just a few days away…
What spooky book/s will you be curling up with?
Autumn is here! My favorite time of year. In Portland the weather is clear and sunny, the temperature comfortably drifts between a perfect 50-75 degrees, and the rains are held at bay for a few more weeks.
The air is filled with beautiful colors, savory aromas, and
the sound of boots crunching golden leaves.
Is there anything better?
Well yes, lets just add some fall-icious books to the equation shall we!
Here are a few harvest reads and warm drinks to ‘fall’ in love with 😉 :
The Queen of Mystery and acknowledged mistress of suspense brings us this fall worthy mystery.
The bizarre death of a financial tycoon has Miss Marple investigating a very odd case of crime by rhyme.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Cocoa-Nut Mocha
An ordinary mocha gets a little nutty. Mix in 1/2 tsp of nutmeg to cocoa powder/syrup (etc.) and make mocha as usual. Top with whip, crushed hazelnuts, and a drizzle of Nutella.
The Cider House Rules
Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch–saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Cider House Teapuccino
Tea of choice steeped dark in hot cider (in lieu of water.) While waiting for tea, steam, froth, or simmer milk. Combine frothy milk and tea, drizzles with honey and enjoy.
The story of a young boy on a magical adventure. After James Henry Trotter’s parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Harvest Peach Tea
Combine approx. 10 oz peach nectar, 5 oz orange juice, and 1/8 cup brown sugar in a large saucepan. Tie cinnamon and cloves in a small cheesecloth bag. Drop into saucepan. Steep, mug, and love!
An immortal trilogy, containing “Lark Rise, Over To Candleford” and “Candleford Green”, a heartwarming portrayal of country life at the close of the 19th century. This story of three closely related Oxfordshire communities; a hamlet, the nearby village, and a small market town, is based on the author’s experiences during childhood and youth.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Countryside Cocoa
Heat and simmer milk of choice, melt/ mix in cocoa powder and/or dark chocolate, and dark brown sugar to taste. Add mix to a blender and spoon in apprx. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, a dash of pumpkin spice, a drop or two of orange extract. Top with cream and a sprinkle of spice.
In the ancient and mystical land of Muirwood, Lia has known only a life of servitude. Labeled a “wretched,” an outcast unwanted and unworthy of respect, Lia is forbidden to realize her dream to read or write. In the midst of a land torn by a treacherous war between a ruthless king and a rebel army, Lia finds herself on an ominous journey that will push her to wonder if her own hidden magic is enough to set things right.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Fall Sangria
I will defer this one to Mr. Flay, because I saw this recipe,
and it looks amazing!
Tess of the d’Urbervilles
The daughter of a poor and dissipated villager, learns that she may be descended from the ancient family of d’Urbeville. In her search for respectability her fortunes fluctuate wildly, and the story assumes the proportions of a Greek tragedy. It explores Tess’s struggle against the social mores of the rural Victorian world which she inhabits and the hypocrisy of the age.
Rated 4.2 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Spiced Steamer
Steam or simmer rice milk (almond is also nice) over low heat. Mix in agave syrup, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, dash (very small) of cayenne, all to preferred taste. Pour in cup and sprinkle lightly with spices, garnish with cinnamon sticks, and let it warm your soul!
What are some of your falltastic reading go-to’s?
Getting the chance to meet Stephen King on Tuesday was truly a once in a life time chance and I will never forget it. I learned a lot from the experience and though I wish I could, I don’t know if I’ll be able to document it completely. I was so entranced most of the time, that unfortunately recording it was an after thought. However I will to the best of my ability share with you all what stuck with me.
Here is what I learned about Stephen King:
First off it was exceedingly clear to me that Stephen was and is an excellent father. For him to be so busy, famous, and successful, and yet maintain a decent, let alone good relationship with his children is beyond amiable. He has written books with both of his sons, and I believe the ability to work with one’s parents on such an intimate level is evidence that the relationship is well formed.
I was able to hear from Owen King, and hearing him talk about his childhood was moving. Sure he grew up with wealth and privilege, but that has never (in and of itself) determined how a child would be raised. Owen however talked of a father that aside from his time working, was present and involved in his children’s lives. A father who participated in the local community and even taught little league. To watch Stephen well up when his son praised the time they spent together on this book project, was again, insight into the heart of the relationship. More than anything else, learning how invested and loving Stephen King was as a father (though, as with anyone, he had his flaws) impressed me the most.
Stephen showed an amazing sense of humor; he was constantly making little jokes and even making fun of himself. He certainly loves life, and yet he sees the value in not taking it too seriously, this is a beautiful balance.
On the flip side, he also showed a vulnerability and deep side, that I had not expected. You can tell that he loves to connect; whether with family, or fans, or with Molly aka the Thing of Evil. He finds curious, strange, and equally remarkable ways of doing this. One of the greatest stories I heard was about how he would have his Children dictate books on tape. Audio books were the big new thing and he loved it, but you couldn’t find very much variety back then. So this was a great way to not only expose his children to literature, but also get to listen to books, what a phenomenal combination and what a gift! It all started because Owen was 8 and wanted to start earning money. He asked his dad if he could mow the lawn to earn some, but Stephen said “No, I’ve got a better idea.”
Stephen has clearly influenced his children in an extremely valuable way. They produce writing and have an abundant knowledge of literature, and of course a love for books. These characteristics are priceless. He was greatly influenced by his mother as well. The moment he knew he wanted to be a writer was when his mother was reading aloud The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and when Stevenson was very descriptively describing the crunching of bones, King knew in a flash “that’s what I want to do!” Referring to writing of course…
His mother was clearly someone that the apple did not fall far from. She read to them all matter of mystery etc. she loved a good thrill. King described the first time he was ever really truly scared: His mother would wait until they were asleep to listen to a late night radio station, I believe called Mystery Theater.
The children were not allowed to listen, because it was too scary. Stephen of course would wait till is brother was asleep, crawl out of bed, and then listen to the station through the crack at the bottom of his door. Such tenacity towards a blooming passion! I wish I could accurately describe for you the way I got to hear his recollection of this particular show, but it was a wonder to hear.
I believe from the way he talked, that his mother was also someone that contributed to his understanding and respect for women. When Stephen talked about this new books “Sleeping Beauties” you could tell he has an admiration for women, that is an uncommon thing to find in many men. I believe being raised by an intelligent and loving single mother was something that greatly impacted his views. He has also been married to his wife for 45 years now, and he talks of her with love and respect, it was lovely. His son Owen follows in his father’s foot steps with this quality.
The fact that these two men could take on the humbling and daunting task of writing a book about the ramifications and chaos, of a world without women, is brave and insightful.
Getting to know the wit, depth, and humor of the Master Stephen King, in such an intimate way, was extraordinary. His dialogue was so untainted and real; no frills, no bs, he was just genuine. And it revealed only that however genius and successful he may be, ultimately he is completely ordinary, human, and sane. Sure he had his daughter dictate The Bundy Murders and she didn’t sleep for a month, and sure the family sat around on holiday watching Christine…
He’s Stephen King for goodness sake, there’s got to be a little weirdness allowed! Simply put, he is a man who has lived with passion and character, is refreshingly down to earth and funny, who just happens to write brilliantly, and loves the hell out of books.
Fun Facts: Fun little tidbits I learned
#1: He also mentioned Bambi being the very first time he was ever afraid. “Man is in the forest” he said, “scared the hell out of me.” I live in the N.W. and this summer I sadly witnessed the horror that really is, man in the forest, so I heard him say that line with new awareness and deeper meaning.
#2 is Stephen Kings favorite book: The Lord of The Flies, The Catcher in The Rye being a close second.
#3 When asked what his favorite work was, of his own, he struggled to answer for awhile. He said it was like picking a favorite child. However he eventually did mentioned On Writing and one other that my brain misplaced, but then he finally settled quite resolutely on The Dead Zone.
Know any fun tidbits about Stephen King? Feel free to share 🙂
Tonight I have the amazing privilege of meeting Stephen King. He is touring with his son Owen King for their new collaborative novel Sleeping Beauties. This is such an exciting opportunity, and I am counting the minutes!
So this boasts the question, what do I ask Stephen King?
Stephen Edwin King born September 21, 1947
He is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 54 novels, including 7 under the pen name Richard Bachman, and 6 non-fiction books. He has written nearly 200 short stories, most of which have been collected in book collections. Many of his stories are set in his home state of Maine.
His novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was the basis for the film The Shawshank Redemption (widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.)
So In my contemplation of this pivotal event, I decided I wanted to bring it to all of you. I want to discover from a myriad of perspectives, if you had the chance, what would you ask ?
A 700-page tome that is part plague thriller and part fable. It’s the story of a sleeping sickness (nicknamed “Aurora” after Disney’s drowsy princess) that overtakes all the women and girls of the world, leaving the men of the planet to sort things out on their own. Guess how that works out.
I cannot express how excited I am to get my hands on this book!
I have been in agony waiting to read it, because I wanted to hold out until I had the special copy I will receive tonight (okay I am a bit sentimental.) This book is going to have it all, suspense, fantasy, character, and even hints of fairytale. It would almost seem too good to be true, if it wasn’t produced from the genius intensity of King!
Have you read it, what were your thoughts? No spoilers!