Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How Scary Is Too Scary?

So October is the month for all things scary. My question is- how scary is too scary? Some people like to go scary this time of year, and other don't- I guess it's part of that seasonal readers thing. Do you read seasonally, and if so what does that mean for fall/ autumn/ Halloween time? I do read somewhat seasonally, and I think it has to do with blogging. Before I blogged I just read whenever, but now I read so much and am so much more aware of new releases and publishing schedules, that I find myself gravitating towards reads of the season. So I'm reading darker stuff, mysteries, that kind of thing in the fall- psychological thrillers are big- and after Halloween I'll probably start looking at some holiday themed stuff in addition to my usual fare. 

When it comes to scary reads I tend to like thrillers, mysteries and SF/F with a darker theme or a paranormal element. I'm new to urban fantasy but vampires, werewolves and various other night creatures are a natural this time of year. I'm not usually into horror or the really dark stuff- with some exceptions. I do like  something spine tingling or mysterious, with creatures stalking through a snowstorm or a gateway opening to another world allowing some cosmic terror through. I'm not really into gory/ slasher stuff. 

So... how about you? Do you like horror or scary stuff this time of year? And if so do you like the psychological variety or the more explicit stuff? I'd love to hear what you think. 

What are some of your favorites?

48 comments:

  1. I'm the same, I never used to read seasonally, but, now that I have a blog, I've started reading seasonally. Just for fall/winter though, I'm not really a summer book type person since those are more contemporary.

    This month I've been reading mostly urban fantasy which is really true of me every month lol, but I do have some non-urban books that I've been holding off on until after Halloween. For Nov/Dec, I don't have any legit Holiday-ish books planned because I haven't found any I'm interested in yet (except for one novella in a series I'm reading that apparently will be holiday themed), but I do have some books have snow on the cover or take place in snowy places, so I'm going to read those lol. But that doesn't really relate to the scary topic of discussion.

    I'm really not into scary though, so I just stick to my paranormal creature stuff :-P

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    1. That's a great point- I'm not sure I read seasonally as much in the summer as I do fall/ winter- although I tend to favor SF/F in the summer. I think it's because as a kid I read that stuff on vacation, so it feels like summer now?

      I realized the other day I've read more UF than I thought, between Mira Grant and some that I haven't reviewed. I do want to hone in on some that I like, maybe tackle a series like Mercy Thompson or something. Holiday reads I think for me are more like seeing a book on the table at B&N and picking it up- I've read a few holiday themed mysteries that way. Lol about snow- if there's snow on the cover it counts. :)

      I'd like to see some holiday themed UF- weird stuff going on at the holidays. And I'm with you, I like paranormal but not horror per se.

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    2. Seriously, there should be more SFF holiday stuff! I'm going to repost a review I posted last December that's YA fantasy holiday themed. I also saw a book being offered for review recently about a Christmas elf and some evil Jack Frost or something, but I didn't request it because the review was due by the end of Oct and it just wasn't enough time for me. I can understand why authors don't write much holiday stuff though. It probably doesn't sell much the rest of the year.

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    3. I would love to see a holiday themed UF. Chaos at christmas lol or something like that. Biting under the mistletoe. Okay I'll stop... :P Imagine all the chaos the fae could cause at holiday time. I'd buy that. Or even a cyberpunk holiday or Christmas on a space station. But yeah I'd love to see more ...

      I'd like to see that review, there's not a lot of holiday theme YA...

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  2. I don’t really read seasonally. I think.. Well I do with Christmas books, but paranormal books, mysteries I tend to read them all year around. But I definitely do think reading a mysterious or spooky book is more ‘fun’ to read when it’s cold and dark outside.

    I do always plan to read more scary books in October. I do have some Stephen King books waiting to be read. But somehow I like ‘scary’ more in movies than in books. I think that is because reading allows me to travel to different places, witness great romance stories, see things and do things I normally wouldn’t.. But I don’t really need to ‘witness’ and experience the scary stuff. LOL!

    Great post! ;)

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    1. I never did either. And I don't read a lot of Christmas books- but I will pick one up if it grabs me. And I agree- the weather (bad weather) can make a spooky read more fun. :)

      Great point- scary in movies you can watch and turn off, but books- yeah it's nice to be able to do what we can't in ral life, why be scared? Good point!

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  3. Halloween is not big in SA, so I can't really say much about it. I did read We've always lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson last year Halloween. Didn't blog yet - but thought it was fun to do a "seasonal read". If I can find a good Christmas story, I will read it over Christmas time. Are there actually any other seasonal reads? Easter? Can't think of any book besides maybe Ben Hur. LOL. Nice post Greg!

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    1. I don't know- I guess seasonally I think of like now, and then the rest of the year I think of as holiday ish. Although like I said above I do tend towards SF/F in summer, but that's just a me thing. I never thought of Easter reads per se- I imagine romance maybe is a hit in spring, but maybe not?

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  4. Ummmm. I don't really read seasonally but maybe as I get more and more immersed into the blogging world it will happen on it's own. I tend to have a very full TBR and at the moment ARC schedule so I'm just trying to tick things off as I go and read in the order of publication (for ARCs).

    That being said I think books can definitely get you into the spirit of things. We don't really Halloween here like it is done in the US, but it's still fun to get in the mood. And the festive season will be great with a few festive reads. There's also something to be said for Summer reads - but then everything coming out for the summer generally is published for the US summer and us Southern Hemispherians are left reading summer reads in winter. ;)

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    1. The more I blogged the more I read seasonally it seems although TBH part of it is that I go in the bookstore and there are holiday reads- display tables so it's easy to see and maybe get something. :)

      Around Christmas time I have enjoyed reading books that have the holiday time as a backdrop- it just feels familiar with everything going on. I don't really seek them out but if I see a good Christmas read I'll get it.

      that's a great point- must seem backwards to you guys!

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  5. I don't like horror AT ALL... Especially movies and stuff. As for reading, I don't read horrors or thrillers but say if a fantasy I'm reading turns out to be a bit scary then I will probably enjoy it. I wish I could enjoy horror's but they're just too scary!

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

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    1. I don't like straight up horror either- I do like psychological thrillers or really suspenseful mysteries, and if fantasy has a scary vibe I can like that too. But yeah I pretty much agree.

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  6. Like you Greg, I read more seasonally not that I'm a blogger. Partially because I'm seeing all the arc's for Christmas books now and that is making me look forward to that. And also because of themed readathons, that makes me want to read in season too. And now that I do, I love it, it's fun to read according to the season.

    I like my scary to be thrillers or cozy mysteries rather than horror. I'm too chicken for too much gore!

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    1. Yes! Ever since I started blogging I'm aware of seasonal releases and that affects what I get.

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  7. I quite like horror/scary at any time of the year. Movies, books, whichever. Just read Bird Box and The Book of Lost Things which were both realy disturbing. I don't necessarily get scared by books, but disturbed, definitely, and I love it!

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    1. I heard Bird Box was really freaky!

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  8. I'm like you. Reading seasonally never even occurred to me before blogging and now while I don't read as seasonally as I'd like it's definitely something I'm much more aware of. I'm more of a psychological suspense fan than a horror fan. I like a good dose of creepiness and some foreboding atmosphere but I don't have any interest in gore of any kind.

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    1. Yes! Exactly- between the holiday display tables at say Barnes & Noble and now blogging, I read more seasonally than I ever would have. And I agree- psychological suspense is where it's at!

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  9. I like scary, but I don't really read horror. I think I'm more visual when it comes to scares. I do love psychological thrillers, though.

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    1. Same here. I'll take a good psych thriller, but straight up horror- not really.

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  10. Creepy is fun to read but not horror and blood and guts. That just gives me nightmares!

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    1. Yeah- I like thrillers/ suspenseful stuff but gore and horror I don't.

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  11. I do like scary/creepy reads, but not those that cause me to put the book down because it "gets" to me and gives me nightmares. I normally don't read seasonally, it usually just happens.

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  12. I read scary at any time of the year, but I find it most effective during the long, dark days of winter, especially January and February, which are dark and tend to be dreary, weather-wise, where I live.

    I prefer psychological horror to gory horror. I simply don't find guts and gore that frightening (disgusting, yes, but not scary). So give me paranormal horrors, especially ghosts (The Woman in Black comes to mind) or perceived ghosts (The Haunting of Hill House and The Turn of the Screw can be interpreted as either), psychological horrors (see above, plus The Wasp Factory and We have Always Lived in the Castle) and edge-of-your-seat thrillers and suspense.

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  13. I'm a bit of a wimp with an overactive imagination so if I watch something scary then I probably will have to sleep with the lights on for a few days. Vampires and werewolves not really, but anything with ghosts, ghouls, creepy paranormal murders.

    Funnily enough, books are less scary - I think because I can imagine the scenarios in the way I want, so I can make them less scary if needed. Only a few books have genuinely scared me.

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  14. I used to love really scary stuff. Now though, I have become a bit of a wimp! I have always been kind of a seasonal reader, I don't like to read about summer in the middle of winter, and vice versa. I do read urban fantasy year round but I don't necessarily associate those with monster-type books. As for scary, I will still read them. I cut my teeth on Stephen King so that will always be part of me. He is the master. However, for the most part these days I stick with lighter scary stuff, thrillers, mysteries, when I want something kind of creepy. I am not a fan of ghost/possession stories, those scare me way too much. Like Rinn, I have an overactive imagination and would never sleep if I read or watched those type of things. And I have backed away from gory stuff, as it has gotten more and more realistic with special effects technology improvements. I don't know about you, but I had to watch TWD with my eyes covered! It was more like a radio show for me. :(

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    1. I like a good scare but it's more like a good thriller, with a paranormal element , or even urban fantasy with a creepy side, but I don't like horror or the really graphic stuff. I'm good with mysteries and thrillers.

      I did not watch the premiere of TWD. I sae some elements of the episode on Youtube but I'm avoiding it- I know who they offed and that it was super graphic, which irritates me because believe it or not some parents let their kids see that stuff. I've heard in the schools that kids have seen TWD. Unbelievable to me, and I think it's irresponsible. they can get the point across without showing THAT. Sorry for the rant. :)

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  15. Personally, I don't do horror at all, on account of me being a scaredy-cat. I do like spooky though and during Halloween time, I tend to like reading about magic, witches and/or paranormal/supernatural...but that's not really different from my usual reading habits. I can watch horror stuff if it's mild horror like the show Supernatural and stuff like that - which is perfect this time of year by the way.

    I don't really do Christmas books though because there aren't a lot in the fantasy/ UF genre. I do enjoy things like Narnia during Christmas and Harry Potter - but then again - I like Potter during Halloween too (and any time in between LOL)!

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    1. Yeah I don't like graphic or way out there horror. And I'm with you, I like a good scare in October or a spine tingling read, but to me less is definitely more.

      I think there's room for fantasy and holiday/ seasonal type stuff, like the examples you show. I'd like to see more of it, whether it's just showing holiday festivities or even structuring a story around it. Could be a lot of fun!!

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  16. I'm down for scary reads year round and nothing is too scary! :D However, this time of year I do try to make time for more horror reads and some thriller/mysteries as well. Of course I've been in the mood for thriller/mystery since the summer. I guess I'm not much of a seasonal reader, but due to when new things get released I guess I can be sometimes.

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    1. I love scary reads in October! I wish we had a more time for more scary reads! Definitely seasonal for me. I'm liking psychological thrillers a lot these days... And I will maybe buy a Christmas type read here and there, but I might have done that anyway even if I hadn't started blogging?

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  17. i been enjoying ghost stories lately and I am not a horror fan. One thing I won't read a lot of is anything gruesome cause I hate blood.

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  18. You've probably heard me mention that I'm a complete chicken when it comes to scary books. But now that I think about it, I handle gore and guts better than I do pshychological stuff - in fantasy, especially, you often get battle scenes with blood everywhere, and unless the author is REALLY trying to rub it in (hello, Martin and Abercrombie), I can handle it just fine.

    Psychological thrillers or horror, however, GET to me, like they stick with me after I've finished a book (or a movie), and that's not something I find pleasant.

    I like paranormal romances and urban fantasy - but none of that is usually SCARY. I don't think I've read a horror novel in at least a decade. :)

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    1. I like a good psychological thriller or mystery, but nothnig to out there or weird. I like a good mild scare I guess! I'm not a fan of horror either. I don't mind a touch of it for seasoning but I don't want just general unrelenting dread. And I'm really liking urban fantasy or at least the concept- I'm still finding the series that I really like.

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  19. I do like to read more scary/thriller/mystery reads during the fall, but I'll read these at any point during the year. I really like the psychological reads the most though because they make me think and I like a good suspense/mystery read! Some favorites would be Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Horns by Joe Hill (this one is more paranormal but it's such a good read for this time of the year), etc.

    -Lauren

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    1. I am really liking psych thrillers as well, and a good twisty mystery. I've been wanting to try Gillian Flynn because her stuff seems pretty dark!

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  20. I love paranormal and will read it any time of year, lol. I stay away from horror for the most part, though, because I'm way too much of a chicken for it. I like trying to read something holiday/winter-themed toward the end of the year if I have time; now, if we had The Winds of Winter already, I'd totally be reading that to close out 2016! :D

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    1. I like urban fantasy (even though I'm new to it) and a creepy read here and there, but I'm not a big horror fan. And I also like something festive at the end of the year, if I could only find fantasy with more holiday elements. I agree- IF we had Winds of Winter we'd be in good shape. I'm slowly losing hope that it's coming soon ...

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  21. I think I kind of use Halloween as an excuse to read books outside my "usual" picks, you know? Like, I might not have picked up scary-ish books, but I am glad I have a chance to. I am not scared very easily when it comes to books. I have been kind of creeped out, but that's about it. I definitely prefer a psychological scary to a straight up gore/crime situation, though. Psychological stuff tends to freak me out wayyy more, but it also is harder to do, I think, which is why I tend to be hit or miss with them. I don't have very many recommendations, sadly. I loved The Accident Season, but it isn't scary as much as eerie? But still a perfect Halloween book! OH and Blood and Salt, but the same thing. I am reading The Dead House right now, so, fingers crossed!

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  22. I don't usually read seasonally but I make an exception on October. Since I don't watch/read a lot of horror stuff, it,seems like a good opportunity to do so ~

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  23. I think this describes me perfectly, actually. I don't really read true horror books---the scariest I go is paranormal, and darker SF/Fantasy. But none of that is typically truly scary. And I'm perfectly happy with that arrangement.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  24. I think I've always read a bit seasonally...especially Winter...but it has certainly increased with blogging...although now I feel like I am reading a season ahead as seasonal books seem to release a few months before the season :-/

    I'm a finicky reader when it comes to this season...so much so that it is hard to explain. I love psychological thriller/suspense and also darker apocalyptic type reads. The only horror I really seem to enjoy is some King/Koontz/Hill but then they are so much more than that. Definitely no gory slasher type stuff for me.

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  25. Definitely not a seasonal reader. UF is one of my usual reads throughout the year. Horror, it really depends, violence just because without adding to the story does nothing for me. Still enjoy a good classic Stephen King book once in awhile though.

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  26. I am absolutely terrible with scary things! I don't do horror movies, horror books or pretty much anything horror related (except The Walking Dead!) because I am such a scaredy cat! It sucks though because at this time of year I'd really love to join in with all the spooky halloween reading that seems to go on across the blogosphere :(
    I did read a thriller recently though which was pretty psychological scary, so I'm going to count that! (and thanks again for the thriller recommendations on my last post!) :)

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  27. I had never done any holiday themed reading before last year. Last winter I did the Ho-Ho-Ho read-a-thon and realized thatI don't like Christmas themed books. Ha ha! I have done a bit of Haloween themed reading this year, but even though I have tried, I have not come across anything scary. I have enjoyed the Halloween reading and am already planning next year's books. :)

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  28. I've read a couple of good novels for Samhain - Hex and The Plague Charmer although I wouldn't call them scary ... I do love it when I experience a physical reaction - heart beating faster, body tense but then need to alternate with a lighter read!

    Interesting question. Thanks for linking #TalkoftheTown

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  29. The only stuff that really scares me is true crime or fiction that is about person on person crime that I could actually imagine happening - like someone breaking into my house. PNR stuff doesn't bother me and I usually like that or something dark that is a bit fantastical. Great post!

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  30. I feel like scary is definitely something subjective and how much to too scray really depends from person to person. i don't mind books with a bit of a creepy feel, but i don't like to be too scared when reading. So I usually stick to sci-fi, paranormal/ urban fantasy and cozy mysteries. Although I might pick up something scarier if I know the author. But I usually don't like too much gore or gruesome details when reading. Greta post!

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