October is my favorite month of the year. The air gets cooler, the leaves change color, and scary books and movies are front and center. They are certainly front and center here at the library along with plenty of spooky decorations.
Are you trying to decide what to read or watch for Halloween? I have suggestions. For me, you can’t beat Stephen King. “The Shining” is a great movie, but if you’ve never read the source material do yourself a favor and pick it up. “Salem’s Lot” and “Bag of Bones” also are fantastic, and I could list at least a dozen more.
Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” and “The Haunting of Hill House” have some of the best opening lines I’ve ever read. If you prefer literature to popular fiction, I think you’ll like these.
If you’re looking for a classic scary movie, John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is the original slasher and one of the best. It was my first real horror movie experience, and it has remained near and dear to my heart. While “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” are great, I will always prefer “Halloween.” You can find some of my favorite modern classics like “The Ring,” “The Blair Witch Project,” and “Trick ’r Treat” on our shelves as well.
Maybe you’re looking for something new. We’ve got options for you. Stephen King has a new book out called “The Institute” and his son Joe Hill has a new book out called “Full Throttle,” a short story collection. Short stories aren’t for everyone, but Joe has the same knack for it as his dad.
If it’s new movies you’re looking for, check out Jordan Peele’s latest, “Us.” We’ve also got “Midsommar,” “Suspiria,” and “Ma,” a fun and scary movie starring the fabulous Octavia Spencer.
The real Halloween treat this year is our upcoming program, Morbid Curiosities: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe presented by storyteller Darrin Crow. The master of Gothic horror comes from beyond the veil to talk with audiences about his life and share his best stories and poetry, including “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and my personal favorite, “The Masque of the Red Death.” Join us at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23. We will provide refreshments courtesy of the Friends of the Library.
Speaking of the Friends of the Library, Oct. 20-26 is National Friends of the Library Week. Our Friends group does an amazing job of fundraising and is always purchasing things that fall outside our normal budget — most recently, a portable CD player that connects to any Bluetooth-capable device. You can check it out at the front desk.
From now until the end of the month, you can bid on the Friends’ fall fundraiser, the Take a Crate, Make it Great silent auction. We have about 30 handmade crates filled with a variety of seasonal and other items. There’s even an Edgar Allan Poe-themed crate filled by yours truly. Thank you so much to all those who donated.
Last but not least, stop by and see us at Trunk or Treat on Nov. 1 at the Maquoketa Area Family YMCA. Have a safe and spooky Halloween!
Monthly Stats for September
Visits to the library: 3514
Physical items checked out: 3431
Audio/eBooks downloaded via Bridges: 508
Items added to the collection: 266