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Horror for Halloween


Horror and horror movies are booming, and just in time for Halloween.
Like other genres, horror doesn’t get much notice from book reviewers, but there really are some good horror writers out there. I wrote about Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box last Halloween. Since then, the son of Stephen King has published Horns, which starts out with the debauched main character waking up with devil horns sprouting from his head. The New York Times review said, about Horns, that Hill “is able to combine intrigue, editorializing, impassioned romance and even fiery theological debate in one well-told story.”
If you prefer a dash of science fiction instead of theological debate in your horror reading, try the vampire trilogy in progress by Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy) and Chuck Hogan (author of Prince of Thieves, that The Town, the recent movie about Charlestown is based on.) The trilogy starts with The Strain, in which Manhattan is ravaged by a virulent strain of vampirism while CDC tries to play down the danger, and is continued in The Fall, which came out last month. There is a lot of cinematic action in The Fall, with a corresponding decline in character development among the small band of those left fighting the vampires, but we’ll see what happens in the third book, The Night Eternal, due out next year.
For many more suggestions for horror reading this month, check out RA for All: Horror, a new blog dedicated to advising readers about horror.
Check the Old Colony Library Network for availability of Horns.
Check the Old Colony Library Network for availability of The Fall.

Deciding What to Read Next


A regular reader of bloodcurdling suspense novels (serial killers preferred) visited the library last week and told me worriedly that she was wondering how to unload a copy of Eat, Pray, Love (preferably without reading it first). A well-meaning family member had given to her, assuring her she would love it. Instead, she knew without even opening it that it wasn’t her cup of tea.
For librarians doing reader’s advisory (hardly brain surgery, I know, but risky in its own way) this is a common job hazard: being so wrong with a book suggestion before you’ve had a chance to get to know the person’s reading tastes that the library patron avoids you ever after. Also, it’s hard to keep up with all the possibilities to suggest to a reader; every day I hear of a novel or collection of short stories that I should have been aware of before.
So today, I’m sharing the blogs recommended to reader’s advisors everywhere, professional and otherwise, by the pros writing for Reference & User Services Quarterly. I was directed to this link from one of my favorite librarian book blogs, RA for All. And if you need a laugh today, watch this video from Ron Charles, the Washington Post‘s fiction critic, about reader reviews, which I found through another favorite blog, Algonquin Books Blog. (If you’re not familiar with Chatroulette, the fast and anonymous way to chat with people online, check out this New Yorker article by Julia Ioffe first.)
P.S. For anyone who read Eat Pray Love, the memoir by novelist Elizabeth Gilbert about her trip through Italy, India, and Indonesia, and is looking for a similar book, try Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks (for whirlwind world travel and self-knowledge), Seeking Enlightenment Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr (a mystery novelist’s spiritual quest), or Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (for more Italy and romance).

Brockton’s Big Read


This month, the Brockton Public Library System and the Greater Brockton Society for Poetry and the Arts, join the Fuller Craft Museum to launch Brockton’s Big Read, focusing on the slyly provocative poetry of Emily Dickinson. There’s a full schedule of events running through December 1st for adults, teens, and families.
The kick-off event — Express Yourself! Poetry for Teens — is at the Brockton Main Library on Saturday, October 16. The afternoon begins with a choice of 45-minute workshops for teens (adults also welcome): Classic Poetry, Poetry as Song Lyrics, Performance Poetry, and “Eku”: Poems You Can Tweet. Sign-up starts at 12:30 p.m.; workshops start promptly at 1:00. Workshop participants will be encouraged to stay and read during the open reading part of the program, starting at 2:15 p.m. Poet and Mobius magazine editor Juanita Torrence-Thompson moderates the open reading session. Later, she will share her own poetry and favorites from Emily Dickinson, 3:30–4:30 p.m. The day’s events are organized and sponsored by the Greater Brockton Society for Poetry and the Arts, who present a monthly poetry series at the Main Library.
In 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts partnered with the Poetry Foundation to create American Literary Landmarks, a pilot program of The Big Read that celebrated American poets and the historic sites associated with their lives and works. In 2009, poets Emily Dickinson, Robinson Jeffers, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were officially added to The Big Read library.
Get a quick overview of Emily Dickinson’s life and poetry by listening to a 22-minute radio show on the NEA’s Big Read site.
Check the Old Colony Library Network catalog for books about Emily Dickinson.

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