The Atlantic Monthly hosts a Twitter-centered book club called 1Book140 and decided they wanted to read something skeeery for October. They put it to a poll and HEART-SHAPED BOX won out, an occurrence I would generally describe as pretty cool. There was a splash of controversy; after I mentioned that HEART-SHAPED BOX was in the running, over on Twitter, the folks who follow me swamped the polls.
Some have questioned the fairness of that. My feelings are mixed. On the one hand I’m awfully, awfully happy to have won (and, ah, I was actually ahead in the voting before I opened my dumb mouth on Twitter). On the other hand, it isn’t really fair to, say, Shirley Jackson, who is ten times the writer I am or ever will be, but who is not on Twitter, owing to death. This has led to a really fabulous suggestion: reading both HEART-SHAPED BOX and THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE this October. Sounds good to me… as far as I’m concerned, HILL HOUSE is almost required reading for anyone who wants to know about the American ghost story.
Also on Twitter you’ll find the Geek Girls Book Club, which was kind enough to pick HORNS as this October’s book selection. Wanna join in? Get a Twitter account and say hello to Nikki Sticks, who keeps the GGBC train rolling. My big thanks to them for choosin’ my book. They have company: the io9 book club also picked HORNS as their October reading. Much ‘preciated guys.
This is probably a good time to mention a notion started by Neil Gaiman last year, one which I very much support. This Halloween, why not give your loved ones sumpin’ spooky to read? Halloween is my favorite holiday, mostly because it is a celebration of frightening and unnatural stories. Give yer kids, yer grandkids, your parents, your lover, your friends something that will freak them out: give them a book loaded with disturbing ideas. It doesn’t have to be one of mine. Here are a few good suggestions to get you started: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, Jason Zinoman’s SHOCK VALUE, Joey Comeau’s ONE BLOODY THING AFTER ANOTHER, or, ah, Shirley Jackson’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. You can find out much more about the All Hallow’s Read tradition here.
Happy haunted reading, all you.