Witchy Reads for a Witchy Autumn

We are approaching one of the most magical times of the year: when the leaves begin to turn, the days get windier, and the spiders come out to leave their shimmery artwork in the gardens for us to admire. Every autumn, it can feel amazing to lean into the spookier side of things and appreciate the coziness and beauty that comes along with the Earth turning towards darkness. For some of us, that means embracing our inner witch! Here are some books from different genres for different age groups about different kinds of witches, all appropriate for you to enjoy this witchy autumn.

Akata Witch by Nnedi OkoraforAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

This a young adult novel about a teenage girl, Sunny Nwazue, who discovers she has special magical powers after moving back to Nigeria from the U.S. with her Nigerian parents. Sunny is both Black and albino, which has led her to feel like a social outcast everywhere she goes, but she finds empowerment as she learns about her powers and uses them to track down a dangerous threat to her community alongside some new friends. Drawing from Nigerian mythology, this is an Afrofuturist witch story that opens a totally exciting world of magical lore to a genre in which non-Eurocentric witch stories are sorely unrepresented. Continue reading “Witchy Reads for a Witchy Autumn”

Scary Stories: All Grown Up Now

As October looms near, I can’t help but to think about making a Spooky Stories display for the library. As a children’s librarian, I am mostly gathering books for young readers. I just put on hold several of my favorites, like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, and the thought occurred to me: what are the grown up versions of these stories?

Not that we can’t enjoy these stories as adults (I know I still do!), but I’ve also read a vast array of horror and scary stories in adulthood. I thought up some interesting pairs. Hopefully you enjoy reading these ‘grown up’ matches to a few childhood favorites.

Pairing Number One:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Fragments of Horror 1, by Junji Itō Continue reading “Scary Stories: All Grown Up Now”

Spooky Stories, Coming to a Bar Near You!

Shadows lengthen, leaves crisp and fall, and a presage of winter’s chill runs down your spine. Its the perfect time to gather for some spooky stories, and we have several opportunities coming up in the weeks ahead, as our Booktoberfest celebration nears its close. First up, two storytimes at the Central Library this coming Monday: Continue reading “Spooky Stories, Coming to a Bar Near You!”

Lovecraft Revisited

Confession: I have never read anything by legendary horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft. And I am unlikely to do so going forward. What I have been doing is reading a bunch of books inspired by Lovecraft. I’m sure that there are references and nuances I’m missing, but I’ve really been enjoying these books on their own merit. So whether you’re a Lovecraft devotee, or if you’ve never heard of him before, here are a few recent Lovecraftian novels to check out.

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff – Chicago, 1954. 22 year old African American veteran Atticus Turner discovers his father is missing and sets out with his Uncle George and childhood friend Letitia to find him. They stumble upon a secret cabal run by the Braithwhite family, who have ritualistic designs on Atticus. And that’s just the first chapter! What follows is are chapters focusing on different members of Atticus’ family and friend circle over the next year as they grapple with Braithwhite’s schemes, cursed dolls, haunted houses, and Jim Crow-era racism. Continue reading “Lovecraft Revisited”

Spooky Stories in Libraries and Bars, all October!

Turn down the lights, get yourself a drink and gather round while we take you on a little trip down a dark and twisted road to the place where your fears like buried. This month we have extra spooky story times for grown ups in store, at the library and coming soon to a pub near you as a part of our celebration of Booktoberfest. Each October, our regular twice-monthly Thrilling Tales: Story Time for Grown Ups (Mondays at 12:05 at the Central Library: lunches welcome) turns to weekly Chilling Tales Spooktoberfest. Here’s what’s in store: Continue reading “Spooky Stories in Libraries and Bars, all October!”