By Brittany Schaaf, St. Charles City-County Library
October is my favorite time of year. The crisp fall breezes, the cozy cardigans, the spooky Halloween decorations, reading outside without sweating. It’s a time to borrow the Library’s DVD copies of Halloween Town and Hocus Pocus, heat mugs of apple cider (or pumpkin spice lattes), and slice up a caramel apple or two. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to cozy up with one or two of these book recommendations for October.
Creepy – Want to jump into the scary bits of October and Halloween? Here are my top two picks! I will forever be recommending House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland. This lush, fast-paced, dark fantasy tells the story of three sisters who mysteriously disappeared when they were children, only to return a month later with no memories of where they went or what happened.
More of a fan of haunted houses? See The September House by Carissa Orlando. Four years after moving into a haunted Victorian house, Margaret knows how to avoid the dangerous ghosts. But her husband can’t take it anymore and leaves when the paranormal activity escalates excessively. Now their estranged daughter—who’s never been to the house —is coming to visit, and Margaret doesn’t know how to explain (much less keep her child safe from) the specters’ violent antics.
Kooky – Not a fan of horror? No worries! Try one of these lighthearted fall romances instead.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna. This warm and uplifting novel tells the story of an isolated witch, Mika Moon, who has an opportunity to be herself, find new love, and embrace a quirky new family when she is hired to teach three young witches how to control their magic.
My colleague, Taylor, at the Kisker Road Branch, recommended Better Hate Than Never by Chloe Liese. Neighbors Kate and Christopher grew up together, and over the years, snarky comments and shenanigans ensue until Kate flees home. When she returns years later, the animosity between the two hasn’t waned. Readers will find watching Kate and Christopher fall in love to be magical.
Mysterious – Looking for a good thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat? What about a cozy mystery with all the baking puns? Check out these books.
A young Black girl goes missing in the woods outside her white Rust Belt town. But she's not the first...and she may not be the last in Jackal by Erin E Adams. This book is incredibly atmospheric and intricately plotted, with perfect twists and turns along the way. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and small-town horror. Soul of a Killer is the second book in Abby Collette’s Books and Biscuits series. Fraternal twins Keaton and Koby are trying to run their combined soul food café and bookstore, but they find themselves searching for a cold-hearted killer in this mouthwatering café cozy mystery.
Spooky – Have little monsters and witches at home? Pick up these children’s books to enjoy as a family.
Fans of David McKee’s Elmer fans will love The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt. Riel Nason weaves the tale of a little ghost nicknamed Scrappy who struggles to accept his differences.
How to Make Friends With a Ghost by Rebecca Green is a sweet how-to guidebook on ways to form lasting friendships with ghosts. Readers will love this picture book with minimally colored illustrations and silly jokes.
Discover more books to add to your To Be Read stack with Your Next Read, available on our website, stchlibrary.org. Explore genre book carousels, author of the week picks, our NextReads newsletter, and Novelist. Try it out today because there is nothing scarier than the un-READ!
Celebrate this Halloween season with fall crafting sessions, book discussion groups, and other classes at the Library with these upcoming events:
Crafting Connections – Sip & Stitch* Monday, October 16: 1 to 3 p.m. Boone’s Trail Branch – adults and teens. Bring your work in progress and join other yarn artists as we sip, stitch, and discuss our projects.
Canasta – Game On!* Tuesdays, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: 1 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26: 1 to 3:30 p.m. Boone’s Trail Branch – adults. Need to get out of the house? Learn to play Hand & Foot Canasta!
Coffee and Conversation – Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Augusta Branch – adults. Enjoy coffee, a sweet treat, and conversations with community members.
Crafting Connections – Yarn Arts Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26: 2 to 4 p.m. Augusta Branch – adults and teens. Other yarn enthusiasts will keep you company while you work on your knit, crochet, or embroidery project.
Grow Your Reader: Story Time – Tuesday, October 10: 3 to 3:30 p.m. Augusta Branch – children. Grow Your Reader with stories, songs, and activities that enhance early literacy skills.
“Read to a Dog” – Tail Waggers - Love on a Leash* – Thursday, October 12: 5 to 6 p.m. Boone's Trail Branch – children. Kids can practice reading aloud to an attentive, adorable dog.
Book Discussion – Dead Wake by Erik Larson* Monday, October 16: 2 to 3 p.m. Augusta Branch – adults. Join us to discuss the 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania, discuss the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.
Book Discussion – Countdown 1945 by Chris Wallace* – Thursday, October 19: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Boone's Trail Branch – adults. Join us to discuss a “behind-the-scenes account of the 116 days leading up to the Americans attack on Hiroshima.”
Fairy Tale Story Time with Snow White* – Thursday, October 19: 5 to 6 p.m. Augusta Branch – children and families. Princess Snow White will present a fairy tale story full of songs, games, and magical fun, and take a royal photo with her! Patrons are welcome to dress for the occasion.
Star Party* – Thursday, October 26: 7 to 9 p.m. Boone’s Trail Branch – all ages. Bring the whole family and join the experts from the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri to be part of this telescope viewing session.
*Register at stchlibrary.org/join-class-or-event or call Boone’s Trail at 636-398-6200 or Augusta at 636-228-4855 for more class information. The Boone’s Trail and Augusta branches are open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All St. Charles City-County Library branches will be closed for Columbus Day on Monday, October 9.