Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Classic Scary and Supernatural Books

So, Top Ten Tuesday is an absolutely awesome weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week we're highlighting our top ten favorite "older" books, or fantastic books which are sometimes lost in the stacks of shiny new releases.  Since Halloween is coming up, and in honor of my Myriad of Monsters mini-event, I decided to feature my top ten favorite horror and/or supernatural books.  Some of these are old classics; others have just received less attention in recent years:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Kind of a post-modern Gothic novel-- a short book which is nevertheless thick with atmospheric suspense, mystery, and terror.  And the ending... well, the ending is the best ending to a haunted house story ever.

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Old school paranormal romance, and a great paranormal romance at best.  The book is quite different from the better-known movie... I like the book much better, but the books are always better, aren't they?

Dracula by Bram Stoker
I first read the horror classic Dracula at a very young age (10?  11?) and for some reason liked it even though I hardly understood most of the gruesome happenings.  I've reread it four or five times since, and really enjoy the language and the suspense-- the Count is a vampire to which most modern literary vampires pale in contrast, in my opinion.

Thinner by Stephen King
One of the lesser-known Stephen King books... it possesses its own unique brand of horror, as well as a Gypsy Curse.  Can't go wrong there.

Tokyo: Pet Shop of Horrors by Matsuri Akino
An older manga series which I really enjoy-- these are short stories about a magical, mysterious pet shop whose animal wares always seem to be perfect fits for their buyers...until the seemingly innocent pets turn out to be mythological creatures or otherwise supernatural beings.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
This is a really great YA short story collection-- quite a few of the tales are creepy, but all of them are hilarious.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Really classic American Gothic.  These are a million movie adaptations today (my favorite is the one with Johnny Depp-- differs from the book, but sooo good), but you can't beat the original creepy tale.

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
This one was recently re-released after having been out of print for a while-- yay!  Kind of a messy Victorian/steampunk-esque retelling of the end of Dracula, with side-appearances by Jack the Ripper.  Read my review.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
An older vampire book written in a more literary style than most vamp books today.  It's recently been re-released with a YA-esque cover-- I like this one best, because it's the one I have and kinda creepy.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Hardly horror at all, but definitely supernatural... wonderfully apocalyptic, which I realize is an oxymoron.  The combined writing powers of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett resulted in this gloriously hilarious book a couple decades ago.

I'd love to know what you think of these classic/ slightly obscure books, and be sure to leave the links to your Top Ten in the comments section-- I always visit back and love to check out all the lists.


Tanya Patrice said...

Yay - glad to see another horror themed list! I've only read Thinner from the books that you mentioned - and I haven't read any Shirley Jackson books which is something I hope to fix real soon.

Tanya Patrice

Coffee Monster said...

Interesting picks. I haven't read any of these, partly because I'm not a big thriller/horror fan and partly because I have such a long TBR pile there's no end or order to it. :)

Quixotic Magpie said...

Oooo you have a lot of good books on here!! I love Thinner and The Haunting of Hill House. I have never read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but I am sure I would love it. My brothr and I used to watch the Disney cartoon every year; now I watch the Johnny Depp version. ;)

And I have not read Sunshine, but it looks really creepy- I will have to read it!

Have a great week!

Allison said...

Your list is fantastic! I'm so in the mood for some of these for Halloween reads. I've heard intriguing things about Thinner in the past, I definitely want to read that soon.

Kat said...

@Tanya Patrice-- I still haven't read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which I've heard is so good! But definitely recommend the Haunting of Hill House, yes. :)

@Quixotic Magpie-- I LOVE the Johnny Depp version of the movie-- it strays really far from the book (like he isn't a detective in the book, but a schoolteacher), but has great imagery and is a really good movie.

@Allison-- Thinner is a good one-- I don't think they ever adapted it into a movie or mini-series? unlike most Stephen King books.

Alison Can Read said...

I loved Sunshine. I wish there'd been a sequel.

Aylee said...

Ah, excellent, I was just thinking I would like to find something spooky to read to get me in the Halloween mood (that is, if I can find time to fit it into my review schedule...), so this is a most excellent list. Some of these, I've been meaning to read for a long time, and others are new to me.

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