Adults

Top Ten Book Club Books in October

The following is a list of October's top book club picks as reported by Bookmovement.com. Enjoy them with your book group or snuggle up with these titles as the evenings start getting colder.

1. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
3. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
5. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
8. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
9. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
10. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

A Patch of Blue

I love any Sidney Poitier movie, and A Patch of Blue is no exception.

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

Three cheers for this debut novel by East Lansing Library patron Lori Nelson Spielman.

Her heroine, 30-ish Brett Bohlinger, much like Jane Austen’s Emma, is a woman with whom you can empathize as she works her way through bad life decisions to discover her true self. And yet there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Not only will you find yourself greedily turning the pages from start to finish, but you will also end up examining your own heart as well.

We look forward to your next book, Lori.

Ender's Game

Ender’s Game is the first novel in a rich series of books by Orson Scott Card that explores what people are w

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Are you ready to step beyond the staples of the Romance genre?  This book was a real surprise for me.  I didn’t quite know what I’d found.   It is a mixture of Romance and Coming-of-Age story with a very peculiar twist: the hero is the usual brilliant, handsome and wealthy fellow, but he is also a quadriplegic.  Our bumbling young lady gets yanked out

The Woman in Black

A lawyer in early 20th century England is assigned to settle the estate of a long deceased lady but discovers she may not be so dead after all.  Things get nasty when he learns she went insane before her death while trying to reclaim her son, who was adopted against her will by a foster family but died while in their care. Other kids mysteriously start dying.  Minimal violence and creepy suspense,  an excellent traditional English ghost story. Based on the book by Susan Hill and stars Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter series.

Pigeons from Hell by Joe R. Lansdale

If the walls of the Blassenville manor house could talk, they would shudder and whisper of the morbidly lurid history of the family and the unspeakable horrors they inflicted upon each other and their slaves. Griswell and Buckner want to hear the tale, and together go on an investigation to find out more after the strange death (and reanimation) of Griswell’s friend, John Branner. This is the graphic novel adaptation of pulp horror writer Robert E. Howard’s original 1934 short story by the same title. It is sure to please fans of zombies, voodoo, and the southern gothic subgenre.

If you like this check out everything ELPL has by author Joe R. Lansdale.

The Awakening

When a boy is murdered at a boarding school in England, author and supernatural debunker Florence Cathcart is called in to investigate reports of the student’s ghost haunting the school. Florence, still suffering from the pain of losing her fiancé, approaches the haunting with her usual scientific skepticism at first. However, as her investigation progresses, she discovers that perhaps this is one case she may not be able to expose as a hoax.

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This classic vampire novel, written in 1897, started it all. But don't be put off by that date - it's a gripping read. I read Dracula for the first time in high school, and I have never forgotten it. Think of all the movies, plays, tv shows, books, graphic novels, and music that have had their beginnings from this one story...amazing.

The Wolfman

A good dramatization about the ancient myth of the "beast within" and the human-animal link.  A  man returns to his father's estate in England following the death of his brother, believed to be caused by a werewolf. While there he is also attacked by werewolf in a nearby gypsy colony . He survives but also contracts the werewolf virus, which may create problems for his dating life since  his new girlfriend could be put off by his wolfy alter ego.  But there is someone else infected who is much closer and more of a threat than he realizes. A  few shots are  are more gory or gross than necessary and I was especially disgusted by a graphic scene on werewolf-wound surgery---a good time to fast forward the DVD.  Overall, though, it is excellent classic British horror, with big dark mansions and blue foggy moors. Anthony Hopkins is awesome as usual.

The Exorcist

The Exorcist (1973) often surfaces on AMC and other channels that have Halloween-theme movie marathons in October.  It also appears on countless "Scariest Movies of All-Time" lists. Every time I watch it, I wish I would have been around to experience it with others when it was new.  Today's horror movies are constantly trying to top each other in shock/horror value, but for a movie that came out in 1973, I think it still takes a lot to top Linda Blair's super-creepy possessed kid role in The Exorcist
2013 is the 40th anniversary of the 1973 classic The Exorcist.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffennegger

When twins, Julia and Valentina, get the news that their Aunt Elspeth has died and left them her apartment, the girls move to England to take up residence. There they meet the quirky residents that were part of their aunt’s life. As the girls become more entangled in the lives of their new neighbors they also discover their aunt is still hanging around her old apartment – as a ghost.

The Reapers are Angels

The Reapers are the Angels, by Alden Bell, is one of the most beautiful and poetic zombie novels that I have ever read.  And I'd never thought that I would describe a zombie novel as either "beautiful" or "poetic", much less both.  Oh, don't get me wrong, there's violence, nail-biting fight scenes, zombies, monsters, mad scientists, and more.  There's enough gore to meet the standards of even the most devoted zombie horror fan.  There's also a nomadic, kick-ass heroine who is growing up in a world where the walking dead is the new norm, and yet she still retains some measure of innocence.

Alden Bell writes with a style of poetic prose that approaches the excellence of Guy Gavriel Kay.  (And insofar as poetry expressed through prose is concerned, Guy Gavriel Kay is a master.)   At least one of the other reviewers have called the book a Southern Gothic with Zombies, and while I'm not too familiar with the Southern Gothic subgenre, that seems to fit.

All in all, if you are looking for a well-written, innovative zombie novel set in a post-apocolyptic world, this is your read.  It is a book that, with some adjustments, could be made into a movie.  And yet any movie made of this book could not possibly do it justice.

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