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Staff Recommendations – October 2005

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For October, in honor of the spookiest month of the year, we offer ten selections with elements of horror, the unexplained, and the supernatural.

These recommendations posted in October 2005

midnightinthegardenMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by John Berendt (364.152 Ber)

What can I say…It has to be read to be believed!

( publishers page for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil )

Recommended by Rayma S.
Bennett Martin Public Library

whogoesthereWho Goes There?
by John W. Campbell

The title story of this collection is a chilling exploration of identity, and was the inspiration for two movies — The Thing From Another World (1951) and John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). This is considered one of the all-time great classic science fiction and horror stories!

( official John W. Campbell page at Wikipedia )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

dangerousvisionsDangerous Visions
edited by Harlan Ellison (808.83 Ell)

This ground-breaking collection of cutting-edge science fiction stories from 1967 still retains a lot of its power, even over 30 years later!

( Ellison Webderland — Harlan Ellison’s official web site )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson

Dr. John Montague invited three others to stay with him at Hill House to study the “causes and effects of psychic disturbances in a house commonly known as haunted.” They were going to live in Hill House all summer to see what happens. They stayed a little over a week… The grandfather of haunted house stories that set the standard for all others. Don’t read this alone.


Recommended by Charlotte M.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Rated by — Marilyn M.
Customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library

dragonsandunicornsDragons and Unicorns: A Natural History
by Paul and Karin Johnsgard (398.245 Joh)

A charming, whimsical attempt to provide a biological explanation for the origin and demise of two popular mythological creatures. The father and daughter Johnsgards both resided in Lincoln at the time of the book’s original publication.

Also available in a 10th anniversary edition.

( Nebraska Author Paul Johnsgard profile here on BookGuide ) | ( Paul Johnsgard entry on the Nebraska Authors website )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

salemslot‘Salem’s Lot
by Stephen King

Even after all these years, I still consider this to be one of King’s best works. ‘Salem’s Lot is one of the creepiest, most atmospheric “vampire novels” I’ve ever read. An eerie crossover between feelings of small-town close-knitted community, and sheer gothic horror. This superbly frightening novel has been adapted into two tv miniseries. Salem’s Lot (1979) starred David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia and Lew Ayres, and featured vampire Barlow as a terrifying Nosferatu-like figure. The more recent version, Salem’s Lot (2004) starred Rob Lowe, Andre Braugher, Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer. Both mini-series took liberties with the content of the book, but if you want to take a chance on one of them…try the original. It’s closer in tone to this claustrophobic novel, and features true scares that hold up well. Just make sure you get the full 180+ minute version, not the watered-down 120 minute version. (2022 Update: A new feature film version of this story has been filmed for release this year!)

( Salem’s Lot page on the Official Stephen King Web site )

 See more titles like this on our Fangs a Lot! booklist


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

creepshowStephen King’s Creepshow
by Stephen King (791.437 qCreYk)

Speaking of Stephen King, if you’re looking for a good scare but with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek, try this graphic-novel adaptation of the 1982 movie Creepshow. Illustrated by the famed comics illustrator Bernie Wrightson, this is a silly, disturbing little gem for horror connoisseurs…bringing to mind the classic EC horror comics of the 1950s and 1960s. I can’t really recommend the whole film, but this graphic novel makes for a quick gruesome read!

( Creepshow page on the Official Stephen King Web site )


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

thehistorianThe Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian is part mystery, part historical fiction and part travelogue with touches of romance, suspense and horror. The book is steeped in historical and anthropological detail. Unusual for a vampire novel, is the almost complete lack of gore. In a nutshell description, it has been likened to “Dracula meets the DaVinci Code”. The story is a conspiracy tale in that involves a plot by Dracula to seed the libraries and archives of the world with hints of his existence. What is that plot? Well, that’s the heart of the story. The story is inspired by the mystery surrounding where Vlad Tepes was buried as well as Kostova’s rememberances she had as a child traveling through Europe with her father. At each city, her father would tell her a Dracula story. When she was putting the novel together she thought it would make a good structure for the novel. During her college days, she traveled in rural Bulgaria, Bosnia and Russia. She learned the Bulgarian language and culture, which gave her insight into life behind the Iron Curtain. Kostova believes the fascination with the Dracula legend stems from our desire to understand if there is life after death and what the nature of that life is. While the story is based upon Bram Stoker’s literary legacy, the author also intends the novel to be a metaphor for the evils of contemporary conflicts. The Historian is her first novel and she currently has no plans for a sequel. However, she has not ruled out the possibility of one.

( The Historian entry on Wikipedia )

See more books like this on our Fangs a Lot! booklist

Recommended by Corey G.
Bennett Martin Public Library


Rated by — Anonymous
Visitor to the BookGuide site

formatCDmusic2unimyshorrorscoresUniversal’s Classic Scores of Mystery and Horror
by (various) (Compact Disc 782.14 Sal)

This CD contains a nice compilation of many of the classic musical themes behind a lot of well-known (and lesser-known) Universal monster movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Although obviously rerecorded, this is still a reasonable way in which to appreciate the dramatic scores that supported dozens of popular horror films from days gone by.


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

horrorof20thHorror of the 20th Century
by Robert Weinberg (809.386 qWei)

Part of a series of large, over-sized volumes covering the history of genre books, films, television and other types of popular culture, Horror of the 20th Century is a highly recommendable addition to the library’s collection. This heavily illustrated coffee table book divides the Horror genre up into easily digestible subsets, with appropriate timelines provided. Though not all-inclusive — I’m still baffled at some of the exclusions — this is still a great volume for horror fans wanting to relive some of the highlights of the horror field from the last 100 years!


Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

last updated November 2023
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