Unlike last month’s theme, October’s theme was much easier to decide on. It isn’t just that it is the month that features a whole day of crazy costumes, haunted houses, frightening movies, and creepy storytelling, it is also that time of the year when the weather (depending on where you live*) takes a decided turn for the worse. So, here at The Book Wars, we have decided not to fight it. This month, we aim to celebrate the creepy, delight in the disgusting, and recommend the crap out of some books!
After Banned Books Week, horror is an interesting genre to delve into. Horror, I feel, is a genre that is most victim to soft censorship. When gifting someone a book, we want to get them “good literature”, and somehow this seems to exclude horror, or romance, and sometimes even fantasy. So, this month The Book Wars team will be out to set the record straight. We will be examining a wide selection of scary books and put forth the suggestion that horror is as literary (or not) as the next genre. This (self-inflicted) challenge goes hand-in-hand with the tradition of All Hallow’s Read.
It is a custom started by Neil Gaiman, who suggests that in the week leading up to Halloween, or on the day itself, you gift someone with a scary book. Obviously, you need to figure out what kinds of books your friends will enjoy, and what level of scary they are okay with. Should you choose to partake in this tradition, you could do the following things to find the appropriate present:
- trawl the web
- harass a librarian
- talk to that cute person behind the counter of your favourite secondhand bookstore
- look at our book reviews for this month
- make some suggestions of your own in the comments
Perhaps this month, more than the last, you will be able to appreciate just how different we are as bloggers, for each of us have varying levels of tolerance for (and academic interest in) the macabre. So do expect a wide variety of articles and reviews on writing that ranges from the enchantingly gothic to the truly gory.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for interviews with some pretty fantastic people: Celine Kiernan, Cat Hellisen, Katie Alender, Megan Miranda, Dave Roman, Gretchen McNeill, and Cat Winters.
Happy October everyone!
*Vancouver is overrun with dementors, I just know it.