Ah, Halloween. A time for scary costumes, apple treats, tons of candy and, if Neil Gaiman has anything to say about it, giving your friends scary books.
Last year in a blog post, Gaiman made a startling simple suggestion "I propose that, on Hallowe'en or during the week of Hallowe'en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they'll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they'll enjoy."
The idea came to be known as "All Hallow's Read" and is something Gaiman is really championing all over the place: on the official website, on his Twitter and even in this informative video where he also talks about the curious existence of zombie teeth:
(PS: Mr. Gaiman, if you ever miraculously read this, I am calling dibs on the short story title "The Curious Existence of Zombie Teeth.")
Want to give a book this year, but need some inspiration? Well, Gaiman suggests contacting a librarian for help, which I second (but I really have a soft spot for libraries). But I also wanted to throw out a few suggestions for Hallows giving (and maybe for you to read if you're unfamiliar).
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - It's hard to explain this book, so here's the BASIC summary: a family moves into a house that's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Doesn't sound too scary, does it? But the way the story is told and the way MZD uses words turns this into a chilling novel that may have you checking your own walls to make sure they're not growing.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - If you're not wary of traveling carnivals BEFORE you read this book, you probably will be afterwards. Two boys sneak into a carnival at night and don't exactly like what they find.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman - Read this book, then hug your family.
ANYTHING by Edgar Allan Poe - I'm personally a fan of "The Masque of the Red Death" (and by "fan" I mean "I slept with my lights on after reading it the first time") but any of Poe's stories about terror and suspense are perfect Halloween reading.
Do you have a favorite scary book you like to break out at this time of year? Share it with us! And consider sharing it in real life for All Hallow's Read!