As we head into December, one thing is becoming clear: Winter is coming. This ever-popular slogan from Game of Thrones plays off of one of humankind’s most primal fears—the dread of these cold, dark months with their long nights and desolate landscapes. Throughout human history, the coming of winter heralded many physical dangers, from getting caught out in freezing temperatures to running out of food. But winter also brings out a less tangible terror, and the cold season has captured the imaginations of a number of horror writers. This week, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite short stories to read curled up in bed while the snow swirls outside:
Last week, I reviewed a modern illustrated edition of the vampire classic, Carmilla. As you can see from my last post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story of a teenage girl who discovers her friendly new houseguest may not be as innocent as she looks. However, if reading books from the 1870s still isn’t your thing, even after it’s been disguised as a modern paranormal romance—or if you’re just a huge fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and love seeing classic texts brought to life in front of the webcam—then I definitely suggest that you check out the Carmilla web series.
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.
It’s never too early to start exploring the beauty that can be found in darkness. Some may find death and other macabre topics inappropriate for children, but I feel that being able to talk openly about these subjects is important. Things like death, darkness, and monsters don’t need to be scary, and in fact can be part of fun, interesting, and thoughtful stories for kids. Now I’m not saying to take your four year old to a slasher film, but you don’t need to shield them from everything but rainbows and unicorns either. I’ve compiled a list of children’s books on the darker side that are appropriate for a variety of ages. Check out my list below and let me know if you have any to add! Continue reading Gothic Children’s Books
Summer is winding down, but you’ve still got time to squeeze in a few more summer reads! The only question is what to choose. If you don’t already have a stack of TBRs piled next to your bed like I do, finding your next book can be a daunting task. But not to worry, that’s what librarians are for! As your virtual Gothic Librarian, I’ve compiled some tips for helping you find your next dark and decadent read: Continue reading Picking Your Next Gothic Read
Love classic Gothic novels, but prefer protagonists with a little more spunk than the defenseless damsels typically featured in these works? Then the books of Leanna Renee Hieber may be just what you’re looking for. In Darker Still, the first in her Magic Most Foul series, Hieber follows the tropes of her Gothic predecessors, writing in an epistolary style and featuring murder, mystery, and the occult set in a romanticized past. The story takes place, however, in a museum in 19th-century New York, rather than in the stereotypical Old World gothic manor.
New to gothic literature? Maybe you’ve always loved horror movies and dark films, and want to see if you can get the same shivery feels from the written word. Or maybe you’ve wandered over from another genre such as romance or fantasy after realizing that you kinda like the dark stuff. Or maybe you’re a baby bat who has found the clothing and the music but doesn’t know where to start with the books. Well, whatever brought you over to the dark side, I’m glad you came. Gothic literature is a magical world filled with so many abandoned castles, moonlit moors, and frightening forests to explore. But if you’ve never read anything in the genre (or loose collection of genres) before, jumping right in can seem a little…well, scary. But not to worry! Your favorite Gothic Librarian has put together the perfect little starter pack of gothic literature to get you into the genre.