September 14, 2009

What's Your Fall Reading List Look Like?

Well, summer is just about gone. Only a couple of weeks left, really, and they're the least summery of the bunch. So, it's time to look to fall. The kids are back in school, the grounds are reaping a morning frost (for us northerners, anyway), and I can't believe I'm seeing ads for Christmas shopping--it's September!

Everyone, during summer, shares their reading lists. But, does anyone do that in autumn? If so, it's met with far less fanfare. I thought I'd share mine, though.

This fall, I'm going to try and concentrate on some of the essential novels in dark literature. If you're going to read, read the best. There are so many iconic books I have yet to read, and some I've been putting off in inexcusable fashion. Well, the season for turning leaves and final harvests is as good a time as any.

The Books of Blood by Clive Barker - He's one of my favorite horror authors, thanks to reads like The Great & Secret Show and The Inhuman Condition. Yet, I've never read one of his most notorious works. Four volumes of some truly gruesome tales that will enthrall me to no end, I'm sure. I'm especially curious to see how good The Midnight Meat Train really is.

Psycho by Robert Bloch - I wonder if this book would be as well received had it not been for Alfred Hitchcock's brilliant adaptation. At any rate, it's received enough praise and stood the test of time. I need to read this to see how visceral the Bates Motel is through the written word.

October Country by Ray Bradbury - I'm hoping to sit down with this gem during the Halloween weekend. Bradbury is responsible for one of my all-time favorite novels, and a few of my favorite short stories. I can't help but think I'm in for yet another treat when I open the pages of this short story collection.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris - It's about time for me to get started on the Hannibal Lecter trilogy--or is it a quartette with that Hannibal Rising?--so off I go to read the first book. It's pretty hard not to picture Anthony Hopkins when thinking of Hannibal, so I'm curious to see how that distorts my reaction to the novels.

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum - I've heard people call this Ketchum's best novel, so why has it taken me this long to get around to reading it? It's been sitting on my bookshelf for nearly a year now. My sister read this a while back and didn't care for it at all, I guess. Something to do with the depravity and utterly depressing setting. Yikes. She's not much of a horror fan, though, so I take her opinion with a grain of salt--we're much more in tune when it comes to comedies, anyway.

The Shining by Stephen King - I found a copy at a used-bookstore last month. I figure I'm more likely to read this classic if it's staring me each day, berating me for having not read it yet. I liked the television mini-series that aired in the '90s, and loved the Kubrick film from the '80s. I hear the mini-series was more "loyal" to the novel, but it's hard to rank it higher than the movie. Jack Nicholson is much more fun to watch on screen than the guy from Wings.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy - I saw a teaser trailer for the movie based on this book a couple of months ago. I'm sold. So, before I ever see the film, I need to read the book. A lot of people have already and seem to like it a lot. It's not a book some would regard as a classic novel, but I have a feeling it could grow into one. I'll know for sure after I've read it.

The Ideal, Genuine Man by Don Robertson - I chose this one for the reading list because I'm a fan of Stephen King, and Stephen King is a fan of Don Robertson. His is a name I had never heard of until late last year when a shop owner recommended him to me after seeing me grab two Stephen King titles from the shelves. The story of a serial killer may not be unique territory, but I'm optimistic that this one will stand out.

Well, that's my reading list for this fall. I suspect I'll get even more reading done this fall with fewer and fewer television shows worth watching at night. Flash Forward looks promising, and I hope it impresses better than Defying Gravity, which has been a real disappointment. Not much else I see coming back in the fall worth tuning into besides Supernatural, Fringe and--fingers crossed--Heroes.

So, what do you have on your reading list for the fall? Anything special? Anything you'd recommend to a boor like me?


  1. Funnily enough, I'm currently re-reading The Books of Blood. I've been nearly twenty years since I read them last, but they've held up amazingly well so far (I'm currently in Book 2).

    The Girl Next Door is undoubtedly Ketchum's best work. Brutal and unflinching, yet so well written that you can't put it down even though you'll almost assuredly want to at various points in the narrative.

  2. I have heard that about "Girl Next Door." My sister watched the movie a year or two ago and she hated it because of the dark and disturbing subject matter. I'm holding off from the movie until I've had a chance to read the book. The same goes for "Midnight Meat Train."

  3. I have Scared Scars, the seqeuel to Kathleen Duey's Skin Hunger, waiting for me, as soon as I find the time to reread the first one, which I bet you would like.

  4. Skin Hunger, eh? I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I'm sure someone has blogged about it somewhere.

  5. Two big recs for The Road and The Shining. Both do great things with the characters' isolation. Also, they're just good reading. :)

  6. Oh how deliciously dark! I want to read The Shining this fall. I've never read it so I added it to my RIP IV list. Fancy a readalong? If you know approximately when you might read it. I'm hoping to read mine sometime between now and end of October.

    I have to check out the rest of the books. Some look really good.

  7. @nomadshan - The hype over The Road keeps building and the book now has a pulse on my bookshelf, waiting to be read.

    @Bella - I'm looking to read October Country on Halloween weekend, but the week leading into it I would be more than happy to place The Shining on deck.

  8. That sounds perfect! The Shining in October. I think I have another person that wants to readalong as well :)

    I'm pretty excited since I've heard that it is one of Stephen King's best books.