October is my Favorite month. My birthday is on the 15th, Orange is my favorite color, pumpkins are my favorite vegetable, Autumn is my favorite season, I love the way the leaves change and some of my favorite movies can only be watched during this season.
Needless to say, I have a myriad of traditions I do the whole month. Since I will be traveling for over a year I thought I could list them in several posts so it does not seem I am abandoning them. This post is my October books/ series.
1. Avatar series, Clive Barker (2002-?)
I read this when I was fourteen and loved it almost instantly. The artwork is fantastic, the characters weird and exciting, the land of Abarat became my Wonderland and the story appeals to my German soul with how it mixes dark themes with beautiful ideas. Unfortunately, each book is released every four to six years. Ugh… I am still waiting for book four.
2. The Thief of Always, Clive Barker (1992)
Before there was Coraline there was this frightening coming of age story. The premise is so ingenious to me, where Mr. Hood lures children into a house where each time in the day is a different season. There is innocence and beauty in this story as well. Supposedly, Barker was planning to make it into an animated film but I think when Coraline came out that dream died.
3. The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, Claire Legrand (2012)
I discovered this book this year and absolutely loved it. With its spooky beginning and terrifying villain it made me wonder (since I was a teacher) how we as a society measure normalcy. Bugs have never been so scary nor manners school.
4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairland Series (2011-?)
This series speaks to my pumpkin and autumn loving soul. It is a modern fairytale with a lovely twist. If my dream life could be put into a book it would be these. I love the prose and conversations which take familiar ideas and give them a twist.
5. The Orphan’s Tales Series, Catherynne M. Valente
Gritty and alive with Eastern culture this series surprised me with its insightful style and message. Many of the stories seem eerily familiar but interpreted from a female perspective.
I read the book after I saw the 2009 film and love to devour it before I go to bed. If you did not notice, I love stories where children learn to fight their own demons. In this case, Coraline is more perceptive then she was in the movie and takes each of the trials with courage.
7. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaimen (2008)
This book practically screams Halloween. It takes place in a graveyard and has vampires, werewolves and ghosts. True, they are not the real evil in the story. But, again, the main character must learn and grow even when chased by the murderer Jack.
8. A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness (2011)
Two years ago I read this book on Halloween and found its eerie sadness enchanting. This is truly one of the most powerful books I have ever read and love to reflect on its profound messages every Halloween. Autumn is the time when things go to sleep, when death creeps closer to our door. But death is not always a bad thing. I really hope they do not butcher this story in the upcoming movie. It would be a horrible shame.
8. Boneshaker Series, Kate Milford (2010-?)
This series is utterly unique and feels like an old post-civil war tale similar to stories like The Devil and Daniel Webster. It feeds off American folklore but sings like a steampunk novel, eerie and at times heart stopping. I have often loved the idea of a crossroads being the beginning of something spectacular.