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Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (Thanks to _inneruniverse

Scary Stories to tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz was one of my favorite books growing up. I read all three books in the series over and over again. They were the perfect mix of creepy and fun, with both prose and poetry. And, the books that really made me interested in monsters and horror stories. I also read a lot of Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. They weren't exactly scary (I didn't know about this book - it's before my time) but they were properly twisted to fit the bill.

(Storytime: Did you have book fairs at your elementary (primary) school growing up? The elementary school I went to had one like twice a year, and it was my favorite few days of the year. Every year I would pick some freakish book to buy with whatever money I had saved up. Often, I hid these books from my mom and step-dad because I knew they wouldn't approve of me reading scary horror stories. Didn't matter that they were only children's books. This was also maybe a year or two after we started going to church - not the crazy church where I went to school - but it was the one that led us to that point. Anyhow, they were super strict about everything - especially in the beginning - so I hid a lot of things from my mom and step-dad. Like, one time, I played the Wicked Witch of the West in a Wizard of Oz play we did at school, and didn't tell them I was in it. I wasn't sure they'd approve of me playing a witch. ANYHOW. During one of the book fairs one year, I bought a joke book (I love cheesy jokebooks) but they were all monster jokes. I'm not sure what my reasoning was, but I showed it to my step-dad when I was reading it one day; I think I wanted to share the jokes with him. He flipped out, they took the book from me, and I was devastated. I'm not sure what happened after that - I think I eventually got the book back though, when they realized how tame it was. But, that's about the time my step-dad starting telling me how morbid I was. It was a theme for a long time with him, telling me how morbid I was.)

Anyhow, despite that, I was kept reading scary stories, I went out of my way to pick up books at the book fairs and the library that weren't normal reading. My friends were reading fantasy, and I started reading Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Lois Duncan and Caroline B. Cooney before moving on to more adult stuff like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice (not that I can finish her books). Horror is still my most favorite genre, although I don't think I read enough of it because the genre has been so diluted with Urban Fantasy. I might love Urban Fantasy too, but I think it's really stretched the definition of horror to include monsters that aren't scary anymore.

Unless you define scary as stalkers that sparkle - because that's pretty creepy - and girls without personalities, because Twilight's got that covered if you do.

All this thinking about my love of horror novels really makes me want to rethink what I'm going to write for originalbigbang. (SIGN UPs are still open!! DO IT!) The Alice story I'm doing for my au_bigbang is scary, but I think I can do more. *ponders*

Comments

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naeko
Mar. 24th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
If you haven't, you need to read Sarah Langan. She's an AMAZING writer and I LOVE her stories. I have her three full-length books and a few of her short stories and I just completely adore her. I cannot find anything even remotely similar to her, though. This is always a problem I find with reading. I find something I love and then can't find anything similar, or anything new that's even halfway decent for months :/
cherith
Mar. 29th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation, I haven't heard of her before. I'll check her out.
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