So, I’ve decided that for this October I would challenge myself.
I have never, ever liked setting restrictions on my reading material. Reading should be for pleasure, right? Why would I want to make rules and obligations that I will chafe against following for a hobby that’s supposed to be fun? However, October is the spookiest month of the year, and I’ve decided (for the first time ever) that I’m going to set a formal TBR for myself. These are books that I already want to read and that I feel are decently spooky (I also have two picks for the tail end of latinx heritage month). I didn’t go crazy and pick a lot, and I’m going to try and not feel mad at myself if I don’t get to them all.
Therefore, without further ado…
One of my hobbies is papercrafting, so I made the above image using a bunch of different materials including — but not limited to — a Smithsonian field guide for butterflies and moths as well as a patterned paper bag that I received (for free!) to hold a pair of earrings I bought at a craft fair last year. You can find this graphic and other bookish images on my Instagram.
But enough self promotion — is it just me, or does everyone get embarrassed and shy when they self-promote? — on to the books!
Juliet Takes a Breath — Gabby Rivera
I have, um, already finished this book. You can read my review here. Suffice to say I made the above graphic (and this post) a little late. This is one of my two picks for Latinx Heritage Month.
The Ballad of Black Tom — Victor LaValle
I am currently reading this book and loving it. Lovecraft is spinning in his grave (as he should) as LaValle retells “The Horror at Red Hook” with a black male protagonist highlighting the horrors of racism in 1920s America — and spotlighting how things haven’t improved much since then. There is a bit of gore towards the end, but if you don’t mind that sort of thing it’s a rollercoaster of a read.
Gods of Jade and Shadow — Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A Mexican girl finds a chest in her grandfather’s room. Upon opening it, she unleashes the Mayan god of death and must accompany him on his journey to reclaiming his throne. This is my second pick for Latinx Heritage Month.
Gideon the Ninth — Tamsyn Muir
A spooky read full of necromancers and lesbians! In space! With swords! Need I say more?
Into the Drowning Deep — Mira Grant
A submarine and its crew go missing in the Mariana Trench. A second submarine is dispatched to recover the first, and what its crew finds in the deepest pit of our planet’s oceans is more terrifying than anything they could ever have imagined. (I’ve also heard some rumors that some of the characters are sapphic, which is a plus).
Dracula — Bram Stoker
A horror classic I don’t need to describe. I’m kind of iffy about this one; on one hand, I think it will be interesting to read this book with all of the cultural foreknowledge of vampires and the Dracula mythos — on the other, I’m afraid it will be boring! But who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised.
The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century — Deborah Blum
This isn’t exactly a spooky read, but I’m eager to read some more nonfiction.
A Dead Djinn in Cairo — P. Djeli Clark
Another book that I have… already finished and reviewed. Whoops.
This is a teeny tiny TBR for the off-chance that I finish reading all of these books before the end of October. (Unlikely, but you never know). Here we have:
Cemetery Boys — Aiden Thomas
This was published very recently and became a New York Times Bestseller. It’s been making waves as an amazing book, and I’m excited to join in the hype and see what all the commotion is about. What I know is this: a latinx trans boy tries to summon his cousin’s ghost to prove himself as a brujo, but winds up with the wrong spirit.
Opium and Absinthe — Lydia Kang
In 1899, Bram Stoker’s Dracula has just been published, and a girl is found dead in New York City with a bloodless body and bite marks on her neck. Tillie Pembroke knows that vampires don’t exist and is determined to find the true killer, but her addiction to laudanum is clouding her judgment.