It’s Friday, which means it’s time to talk about books. You might be wondering to yourself why I’m acting like this is a normal weekly occurrence when oftentimes the day of the week is sporadic and I didn’t even talk about what books I’ve been reading last week, and while those are both valid points, I’m going to try doing better going forward about making Friday the official book review day every week, to give a recommendation or two to get the weekend started off right for everyone whose idea of a perfect day off work involves being sitting in a big comfortable chair with a good book. As for why I didn’t do it last week, I was wanting to wait until I finished the current book I was reading, which ended up taking a lot longer than I’d intended, but more on that later. With Halloween being at the end of this month, for the entirety of October I’m going to be reading books that are spooky, scary, creepy, or Halloween themed, so today.
To get the Halloween season kicked off the right way, I read “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” by Matthew Sullivan, his debut novel. Not knowing much about the book, except that it was one of the bestsellers on Amazon’s new novel list at the time that I was browsing early last month, I took a chance, intrigued by the title, and the short description about a late night death in a bookstore, and it really paid off. The book starts with a suicide of a bookstore regular, found by one of the employees, one of a few people in the world that he trusted and would talk to. From there the book follows that employee, Lydia, on a journey to find out what pushed her friend over the edge. Guided by clues left behind by the deceased, Lydia learns all about his life, and discovers a lot about hers as well as she is forced to face some of the haunting demons from her past. A quick read with perfectly placed twists that will leave you frantically turning the pages to find out what happens next, “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” was thrilling, suspenseful, and at times very eerie, making it the perfect way to kick off October. This is definitely near the top of my list in terms of favorite books that came out this year and would recommend it for anyone looking for a thrill ride that might leave you gasping audibly in disbelief, which happened to me at least one time over the course of this exciting journey.
The second book I read, “The Halloween Tree” by Ray Bradbury, was more of a traditionally themed Halloween book, and in fact is actually set on the thirty-first of October. It’s a fun spirited fall tale that follows eight boys and a skeleton on a journey to find their friend who they can never seem to catch up to, and also to discover the history of Halloween. While I did enjoy reading it, I found myself a little bit lost and confused during certain parts, but I feel that was mainly my fault. It’s a fairly short book, and I think would be best read in one to two days so it flows cohesively all the way through, but my mistake was getting distracted too often and letting it stretch out for more than a week, breaking up the pace of the story too often so the only thing that stayed with me from day to day were fragmented parts of the story rather than keeping up with the big picture. Even though I messed it up this time and didn’t enjoy it to the fullest extent, I would still recommend checking it out if you want a fast paced, fun book to get you in the mood for Halloween, but I would definitely suggest trying to read it in one to two days, which is easily doable lest you get distracted like me.
Whether you read either of these books or you choose to read something else altogether, the important thing is that you read, even if only for a few minutes. Open your imagination up to all of the exciting worlds out there, and I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed.