Winner of the ALL Hallow’s Read Giveaway

Overbite giveaway prize copyCongratulations to Stephanie on winning the All Hallow’s Read giveaway! Stephanie, who has been contacted by email, will be the proud new owner of the humor/horror anthology Blood Lite II: Overbite, edited by Kevin J. Anderson.

Thank you to everyone who entered! I hope you all have a wonderful and spooky Halloween! And maybe this year, consider giving out some books with your candy in honor of Neil Gaiman’s brilliant tradition.

If you enjoyed this giveaway, be sure to let me know. And tell me what kind of books you’d like to see given away on this site in the future!

World War Z–An Epic Zombie Tale

World War Z coverZombies. In some ways they are my least favorite among the multitude of supernatural creatures—they don’t tend to have terribly interesting personalities, and the new trend of zombie romance is just far more disturbing than the classic vampire love stories. Nonetheless, zombies can be very interesting in what they represent. While vampires embody our complicated yearning for immortality and power, zombies represent our fear of death at a downright primitive level—the finality of death and decay, the simple meaninglessness of it, the shift from human to inhuman, and the loss of the self. Meanwhile the survivors of zombie pandemics fight for meaning, and humanity, and for living one more day. My latest read captures this struggle on an epic global scale: World War Z by Max Brooks. Continue reading World War Z–An Epic Zombie Tale

All Hallow’s Read: Neil Gaiman’s Halloween Tradition (Plus a Giveaway!)

Several years ago, one of gothdom’s most reverend authors decided to start a new Halloween tradition. We love books. We love Halloween. Why not combine them? Thus, Neil Gaiman created All Hallow’s Read. Celebrating All Hallow’s Read is simple—just give someone a scary book either on Halloween or during the week leading up to the holiday. To learn more about the tradition and its origins, check out the All Hallow’s Read website. Not sure what books to give? Lists of suggestions abound, but below are some of my favorite spooky stories to share with family, friends, or strangers of all ages.

Also, in the spirit of this tradition, I’ll be giving away a spooky book myself! Read through to the bottom to find out how you can enter to win the horror/humor collection Blood Lite II: Overbite.

Continue reading All Hallow’s Read: Neil Gaiman’s Halloween Tradition (Plus a Giveaway!)

Literary Influences on The Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before ChristmasHalloween is just around the corner, and you know what that means—time for one of your bi-annual viewings of The Nightmare Before Christmas! Wow, I can’t believe we’ve gotten this far into October, and I haven’t even mentioned Halloween on the site. But The Gothic Library is kind of like Halloweentown—every day is Halloween, here! It was hard to think of how to do something different to commemorate my favorite holiday. But today I’ve decided to explore the literary roots in one of my favorite movies, Tim Burton’s spooky Halloween classic. Some of the allusions are obvious, like the one in the title, but as I began digging, I realized that The Nightmare Before Christmas has a much greater literary wealth than I would have imagined. Read on to learn about the five major literary influences I noticed in Jack Skellington’s story: Continue reading Literary Influences on The Nightmare Before Christmas

Death-tastic Book Signing with Caitlin Doughty

IMG_8274Last week, I got to hear author and revolutionary mortician Caitlin Doughty speak at the Strand as she promoted the paperback release of her New York Times best-selling memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory. My review of Smoke was one of my very first blog posts here on this site back in July, and I’ve been a huge fan of Caitlin for several years. Needless to say, I was delighted to have the opportunity to finally meet her and get my advanced reader’s copy of the book signed. But before she signed any books, Caitlin addressed the modest crowd that was gathered in the Strand’s rare books floor to discuss her work in the death industry and answer any questions we might have about our own mortality. Her talk was both fun and informative, as you might expect from an alternative mortician-cum-Youtube star, and I’ve written up some of the highlights to share with you below: Continue reading Death-tastic Book Signing with Caitlin Doughty

Netherworld Review–A Victorian Demon-Slaying Romp

Netherworld coverI’m finally really getting started on my BEA haul, which I first wrote about back in June. One of the books that I was most excited to read was Netherworld by Bram Stoker Award-winning author, Lisa Morton. This little 282-page novel promised to be one of the quickest reads in my pile and a fun little romp through Victorian demon slaying. Netherworld tells the story of Lady Diana Furnaval, whose world changed forever when she married her beloved William. Her late husband had been the guardian of a portal to another world, and he taught her all about the gruesome and dangerous creatures that sometimes cross over. But then William fell victim to some of those creatures, himself. Now it is Diana’s job to take over the family business, find out what happened to her husband, and try to stop the forces of evil. Continue reading Netherworld Review–A Victorian Demon-Slaying Romp

Banned Books Week: Gothic Edition

Banned Books Week is almost over, but I figured I would join in the celebration of being able to read without censorship. Throughout history, gothic books have often been prime targets for book-banners, given that they tend to feature discussions of violence, death, and all things terrifying, as well as related taboos such as sex and sexual desire. Even today, gothic books—especially those that fall under the modern genre of horror—are among those most likely to be challenged or banned. Below are five great gothic reads that show up on the American Library Association’s lists of banned or challenged books: Continue reading Banned Books Week: Gothic Edition