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  • Writer's pictureEva

October 2020 TBR

October is here! I usually wouldn't be thrilled to say goodbye to the sunshine, and the idea of waking up at 6:30 when it's pitch black outside is certainly daunting. But there is a lot to love about this month. For me, the sadist that I am, I am obsessed with all things spooky. As long as I can spend all of my October in the cinema watching the latest horror releases (not this year, sadly), and under a blanket with a scary book, I can just about forgive that you've taken away any desire to go outside.

I decided I wasn't going to spin my TBR wheel this month, as that would give me too broad of an option when it came to my reads. Instead I'm feeling one vibe, and one vibe only - spooky.

I wrote down all the books I owned that fit the following categories: thriller, horror, true crime. I added these papers to a pumpkin, along with a series of blank papers which would allow me to purchase a spooky read I didn't yet have on my shelves. Let's see how I got on!

Pick 1: blank Freedom to pick anything from my list of unowned books and I went with My Best Friends Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. This book sounds really campy and fun - I wanted to get in a few slasher books as that's what I feel I am truly in the mood for. This book is often described as a mix between The Exorcist and Stranger Things - perfect!

Overview: Best friends Abby and Gretchen start school together. One day, Gretchen begins to act differently. As the bizarre behaviours and coincidences start to pile up Abby realises there is only one explanation: Gretchen has a demon living inside her.

Prediction: 5 stars

Pick 2: blank

Another free reign pick. Seeing as I want to read more by this author, why not go for the shortest one: 1922 by Stephen King. I know a reader who has developed a fear of rats from reading this book. Seems unfortunate as I quite like rats, but I need to know what the fuss is all about.

Overview: Wife, Artlette has inherited land from her father. What follows is a plot made by her husband to kill her with the help of their son. Prediction: 4 stars

Pick 3: blank

At this point, I was having some regrets. Too much money is getting spent...but I decided to go for The Troop by Nick Cutter. I've heard this book is absolutely terrifying and that's exactly what I'm after this month. Overview: A scoutmaster leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip; a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite, Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare.

Prediction: 4.5 stars

Pick 4: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

I am thrilled to not have to make a decision and am equally happy that this book is very short! I watched the movie countless times when I was younger and it still sticks with me as one of the most disturbing movies ever made. The premise is completely mad and I've heard the writing style is equally as eclectic.

Overview: Teen gang leader Alex narrates in fantastically inventive slang that echoes the violent intensity of youth rebelling against society. Dazzling and transgressive, A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil and the meaning of human freedom.

Prediction: 3.5 stars Goodreads

Pick 5: blank

Five picks in and I've bought four books. I've played myself. Ultimately picking Bird Box by Josh Malerman was a financial one. Now that a movie has come out, I know that I will easily be able to find an inexpensive copy. I also enjoyed the Netflix adaptation, but as per usual, everyone says the book is better.

Overview: Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat - blindfolded - with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children's trained ears.

Prediction: 4 stars

Pick 6: The Five by Hallie Rubenhold Less money spent! I was happy to have picked this book, as I gravitate towards non-fiction a lot, and I can't remember going a month without having at least one on my TBR. This book was a big hit last year and other books have distracted me. I'm excited to finally get to it!

Overview: For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

Prediction: 4.5 stars

Pick 7: blank

More free reign for me - and of course I'm tempted by cheap options. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay sounds like the perfect isolated read to pick in October. The title alone screams of a movie I am dying to see.

Overview: A small family are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbours are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road. One afternoon, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. He says, "none of what’s going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As the child sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: "Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world."

Prediction: 4 stars

Pick 8: Long Bright River by Liz Moore

I received Long Bright River in my monthly subscription box from Books With a Conscience in September. I thought it sounded like the perfect choice to go for to branch out into a scarier selection of reads for the month of October, but equally seemed to fit in well with the types of books I usually enjoy - something menacing and disturbing, but also incredibly harrowing. Overview: In a Philadelphia neighbourhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vice of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Prediction: 4.5 stars

Pick 9: blank

Seeing as I picked out one more blank, I thought I should treat myself to the shiny new hardback I haven't been able to stop thinking about since it's release: Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare. I have a crippling fear of clowns. So what is the logical solution you ask? Read horror books and watch horror movies about them to only intensify your fear! I must be a sadist as I love to indulge in my fears when consuming media as this is what will likely spark the largest emotional reaction when reading/watching. Overview: Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

Prediction: 5 stars

Pick 10: Little Eyes by Samantha Shweblin I picked up Little Eyes in an independent bookshop recently. I haven't heard many people talking about it, but one review was enough to sell me on it. It is often described and compared to an episode of Black Mirror, as so much of their horror is a very realistic take on the future advances and uses of technology. I think this book will be very different from my other picks this month, but it will be a welcomed change. Overview: "Kentukis" have gone viral across the globe. They're little mechanical stuffed animals that have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home and a cute squeaking pet following them; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else's life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes.

Prediction: 4 stars

For some reason I've been overly ambitious this month. I'm hoping I will be totally gripped and these will all be reasonably fast paced and keep me engrossed. Ten might be pushing it, but I am hoping to complete it!

1 Comment

Stephanie - Bookfever
Stephanie - Bookfever
Oct 08, 2020

The Five sounds like my kind of read. I hope you'll end up enjoying it!

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