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Horror! in time for Halloween

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Jamie Swenson
October 26, 2011

My friend Grant McNall asked me to do a blog on scary/supernatural/creepy books … so here it is.

I love the horror genre - and I’m currently writing a supernatural novel (or three) - and I read tons of ghost/supernatural stuff … love it. When I was a teenager Nightmare on Elm Street was a favorite movie. My friend, Yim, and I would huddle together in her mom’s living room and peek out from between our fingers at Freddy’s horrific doings. Man, how I love/hated those movies. And how I hated walking home (by myself) through the backyards at midnight after watching those movies. Never moved so fast in my life … (except one time at the fair when a crazed cow escaped … but that’s a different blog).

So Grant loves horror novels and movies* and over the years he’s suggested some pretty good books to me … so I trust his judgment (at least where horror novels are concerned!). Grant recommends the author Dan Simmons. “He has more Easter Eggs than the Easter Bunny. Read his book Summer of Night.

To which I replied - Easter Eggs???

Yup. New term for me. Grant tells me that an Easter egg is something hidden in one book that connects it to other works by that author (or maybe a nod to another book or movie?). Easter egg is so much more interesting than the term literary reference … so cool … Mr. Simmons is like the Easter Bunny. Got it. Image Here’s what Library Journal had to say about Summer of Night:

A monstrous, timeless entity is devouring children. Adults either refuse to understand what is happening, or are themselves agents for the monster. A group of young boys, in uneasy partnership with an outcast girl, realize they must kill the creature before it devours them all. Simmons (The Fall of Hyperion, LJ 3/15/90), winner of several prestigious awards for science fiction and horror (most recently a Hugo Award for Hyperion , Doubleday, 1989) ranks with the best the genre has to offer. In outline, this novel resembles Stephen King's * It* ( LJ 8/86). The children are well drawn and affecting in their bravery. This book should be in most horror fiction collections. BOMC alternate.-- Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.

Hedberg owns one copy of this book in the Adult Collection.

Sort of reminds me of the movie Super 8, which, for the record, I enjoyed.

The term Easter egg made me think about a great children’s book that I recently read: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. For those readers familiar with classic fairy tales and children’s literature -- this book is brilliant. Ursu references so many classic stories while her story unfolds … I thought of the references as a trail of breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout the text for the careful reader to gather up … Grant would be busy collecting Easter eggs and filling his baskets … to each his/her own! Image Here’s what KirKus Reviews said about Breadcrumbs:

Like a fairy-tale heroine, Hazel traverses the woods without a breadcrumb trail to save a boy who may not want to be saved in this multi-layered, artfully crafted, transforming testament to the power of friendship. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) ) Hedberg owns one copy in the Children’s Collection.

So what are you reading? Anything scary for Halloween? Any Easter eggs or breadcrumbs to share with us?

Happy Reading.

P.S. Grant and I were also having a lively (if nerdy) discussion of the comic book hero adaption Hellboy movies. Have you seen these? Are they great or really terrible? Seems there was debate between us … so if you’ve seen the movies … please add your two cents here.

  • Grant does not love horror movies ... that was my mistake! Sorry, Grant!!


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