What’s on your reading list?

I’ve got a stack of horror books on my shelf that I want to read this month, but I just know I won’t be able to tear through all of them by Halloween. A couple of them will no doubt get booted to October 2023.

Do you do this? Load up on books for any one occasion, knowing you have more titles than time? Traditionally, there are three times each year that I have specific reading in mind and make little stacks of books accordingly.

Halloween is one of a few times each year when I cast aside the spontaneity that comes with not knowing which book I will tackle next and focus on a pile of spooky or macabre books I just know I will not fully conquer by trick-or-treating hours.

This month’s stack includes “The Last House on Needless Street” by Catriona Ward, “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier, “Hell House” by Richard Matheson, and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. I also have two works of nonfiction in this stack: “Writing in the Dark,” a guide for penning horror stories, and “My Favorite Horror Movies 2: The New Blood,” a collection of essays in which filmmakers and others write about, well, the title kind of gives that away, no?

And then there are audiobooks. I’m currently listening to “Strange Weather” by Joe Hill, with “Hallowe’en Party” by Agatha Christie, on deck.

Currently, I’m about a third of the way through “The Last House on Needless Street,” a thoroughly strange and mysterious story that lured me in with the high-profile rave by Stephen King on the front cover. Uncle Stevie is proof that blurbs sell books. If he says a novel is a “true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end,” as he does on the cover of “Needless Street,” then I am going to read that book.

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