October 2020 Staff Picks

Local History Librarian Michael has crafted an October reading list that will satisfy an itch for stories that range from spooky to downright terrifying. Join Michael on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live for Anytime Online Book Club. He'll be discussing fiction books that are as scary as H-E-Double Hockey Sticks!

Dark Harvest
by Norman Partridge
The year is 1963. In a small Midwestern town, a savage ritual is played out where the town’s youths are given crude weapons and told to hunt and kill The October Boy. Our protagonist is Pete, who not only must confront the truth about his town’s horrific ritual, but his own abusive father. Partridge keeps a breakneck pace and surrounds the reader with the sounds, smells and atmosphere of the fall season... only, you know... darker.
(Note from librarian Michael: Please ignore the first edition's terrible cover art1)

by Chuck Palahniuk
Only for readers with strong stomachs. Be warned: there is some stuff in this collection that once read, cannot be unread. 
In Palaniuk’s world, people are more terrifying than any werewolf or vampire. A group of artists gather for what they believe is a workshop retreat only to soon find themselves locked in an old theater and their mysterious host dead. As each person slowly succumbs to madness and murder, they share their individual stories, each more horrifying than the next.  

Universal Harvester
by John Darnielle
This is definitely not a “horror” story or even a “scary” story in the traditional sense, but Darnielle pulls off some plot twists that sent shivers down my spine and had be audibly saying, “Oh wow! That’s creepy!” In the late 1990s, in the town of Nevada, IA, Jeremy is working a dead-end job at a video store (the kind with VHS cassettes! No DVD yet!) when he discovers someone is splicing in strange bits of black and white footage into the videos. As Jeremy tracks down the origins of the footage, he uncovers a surreal mystery; it does not end where you think it will. 

Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood monsters and the lost legacy of Milicent Patrick
by Mallory O’Meara
Monster movie aficionados know the names of men like Lon Chaney (Phantom of the Opera) and Jack Peirce (Frankenstein), who created the icon monsters of the 1930s and 1940s, but few know the name Milicent Patrick, who designed the iconic Gill Man from The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Why? Because she was a woman. It’s a fascinating story of a trailblazing woman whose name deserves to be alongside the other greats of the Hollywood make-up/effects industry.  

Eiji Tsuburaya : master of monsters : defending the earth with Ultraman, Godzilla, and friends in the golden age of Japanese science fiction film
by August Ragone
This is the behind the scenes look at the effects master who created the iconic rubber monsters like Godzilla and Ultraman.

Teen Services Librarian Maggie's October YA reading list is certain to cause a few shivers down your spine. Proceed with caution spooksters!
Join Maggie every Wed. at 5 p.m. on Facebook Live for Shelf Selected - Maggie browses the shelves for you and offers reading suggestions.

by Erin Bowman
After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. When they arrive, they find an abandoned site littered with rotten food, discarded weapons, and dead bodies. As they try to figure out what happened, they can tell something isn’t right, and that’s when things take a deadly turn. This creepy sci-fi horror is full of suspense and ends on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to checkout its sequel Immunity right away. 

The Bone Houses
by Emily Lloyd-Jones
During the day, seventeen-year-old Ryn cares for her younger siblings and works as a gravedigger in her family’s graveyard. At night, she slays the corpses that rise, called the “bone houses,” said to be the result of an old fae curse. When a boy named Ellis arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity, so the two journey into the forest in hopes of breaking the curse. Though not your traditional gory zombie story, this one is woven with fairy tales and Welsh folklore to create a story that is equally magical and haunting. 

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Kiersten White
Young Elizabeth Lavenza has next to nothing and is starving. Victor Frankenstein has all the luxuries in life except a friend. When the Frankenstein family brings Elizabeth into their home to teach and befriend Victor, she knows the key to her survival is learning how to manage Victor’s temper. As time goes on, smart Elizabeth becomes a manipulative young woman living in a world full of darkness. This chilling re-telling of Mary Shelley’s classic will give you the creeps! 

Picture Books
Miss Cathy offers a seasonable assortment of stories for young learners. Join Miss Cathy on the library's Facebook page for weekly storytimes.
More October recommendations are here.
Call 236-5208 to request a personalized Book Bundle.

The Pumpkin Patch Parable
by Liz Curtis Higgs
A farmer plants a pumpkin seed, the pumpkin seed produces a most amazing pumpkin. The farmer turns that simple pumpkin into a light that brings so much joy to those who see it. This is one of my favorite fall stories!

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
*Read along with Lionheart's Elizabeth Dulin on YouTube.

by Linda Williams
Once upon a time there was an old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one night while walking in the woods, she heard . . . “clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap”!  And what do you think it was? This is the perfect Halloween read-aloud.

Snowmen at Halloween
by Caralyn M. Buehner
Snowmen in October?! After an early snowfall, a few kids build snowmen before going trick-or-treating. And when the kids go off to bed, the snowman have their own fun, Halloween party! When the kids check on their snowmen the next morning, the snowmen are gone . . . but they’ve left a very special message behind.

Chapter Books
(Ages 9 - 12)
Children's Librarian Marie suggests thrilling chapter books that are perfect for middle-grade readers.

Wayside School: Beneath the Cloud of Doom 
by Louis Sachar
Can you believe it? A fourth installment of this widely popular and hilarious series is now out!  This wack-a-doodle school has 30 floors (but no floor 19) of single classrooms all stacked up on top of the other. The characters are as absurd as ever in this installment. An ominous cloud of doom hangs over the school as teachers prepare students for “The Ultimate Test.”  
Overdrive (ebook or audio book)

by Brenna Thummler
In this graphic novel, a 13 year-old runs the family’s laundromat after her mom dies. She meets a ghost one night who unintentionally begins to sabotage the already shaky business. See how this supernatural tale unfolds as their two worlds collide. Great book for Tweens. 

The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road 
by Max Braillier
Just out, this is the sixth in the popular Last Kids on Earth series. Jack, Quint, June and Dirk live in a video game-style, post-apocalyptic world where they regularly battle monsters, zombies and now the villainous Thrull and his skeleton army who have begun constructing the Tower--a portal with the power to bring Rezzoch the Ancient, Destructor of Worlds, to our dimension. Fast-paced thrills, humor and loaded with black and white illustrations, readers may end up gobbling up the whole series. 
Other books in the series on Overdrive