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Halloween: Spooky Reads for All Hallow’s Read

A few years back, Neil Gaiman, author of such spooky reads as Coraline, The Sandman and The Graveyard Book, decided that the world had a problem: “There aren’t enough traditions that involve giving books.”

His solution:

“I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.

I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…”
Sounds good. In honor of All Hallow’s Read (, a few Bookworms pick their favorite scary reads. Flashlight not included.
Kadi Hughes (Festival Director/ Marketing and Events Manager) The Road by Cormac McCarthy, because what’s scarier than the end of the world as we know it and roving bands of cannibals…
Anthropomorphic insects for some (my pick): James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl…
Or killer clowns (Heather Wright, BLF 2012 Migrant School Program Manager): It by Stephen King.

Speaking of spooky reads, join us this Sunday for a conversation with Julia Leigh. Leigh is the author if the darkly disturbing novels The Hunter and Disquiet and the writer/director behind Sleeping Beauty (not the Disney version).

Share your scariest reads on our Facebook page: Beijing Bookworm.
Bonus: For two more days, Gaiman is pairing up with to raise money for Booktrust and Donors Choose. Gaiman has made an audio recording of an as-yet-unpublished short story (scary, of course) avaialable free on For every download of the sotry, will make a contribution to the charities. Visit Gaiman’s blog for more info.


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