16 books to read this Halloween

Lifestyle | 25 Oct |

This Halloween season, explore eerie, spine-chilling books written by Arizona State University faculty on everything from gothic true crime and dystopian fiction to vampires, Frankenstein’s monster and ghosts.

Richard Newhauser, English professor in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and author of several books on the seven deadly sins, said topics of this nature can help us examine and understand humanity from a new, unlikely perspective.

“One of the things that I find so interesting about medieval ghost stories is that those who come to visit humans often bring a lesson with them, something they wish to teach humanity,” Newhauser said. “It’s often the case with longer stories, about people who visit hell and return to tell their tales to an audience they think requires some moral improvement. This is not to say that the lessons are without discomfort. Just the opposite: Pain is part of the message.”

Discover something to read this fall, with this selection of 16 books curated by The College and the Department of English:

• “The Cenci,” gothic true crime by Percy Bysshe Shelley, edited by Cajsa Baldini.

• “Freak Show,” poems by Valerie Bandura.

• “A Tree or a Person or a Wall,” fantasy and horror stories, by Matt Bell.

• “In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods,” a book-length fairy tale, by Matt Bell.

• “Scrapper,” dystopian literary sci-fi, by Matt Bell.

• “Stephenie Meyer: In the Twilight,” a biography of the author of the popular vampire novels, by James Blasingame and ASU alumnae Kathleen Deakin and Laura A. Walsh.

• “Monster Theory: Reading Culture,” essays on monsters and monstrosity, edited by Jeffrey Cohen.

• “Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, And The Middle Ages,” a psychoanalytic look at the representation of monsters, giants and masculinity in medieval texts, by Jeffrey Cohen.

• “Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus,” the famous gothic horror novel by Mary Shelley, edited by Paul Cook.

• “Dark Futures,” dystopian sci-fi, edited by Ed Finn and G. Pascal Zachary.

• “Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds,” another edition of the classic horror story, edited by David H. Guston, Ed Finn and Jason Scott Robert.

• “Women and the Material Culture of Death,” on women’s mourning objects and practices, edited by Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin.

• Several volumes about the seven deadly sins, written or edited by Newhauser: “Sin in Medieval and Early Modern Culture,” “The Seven Deadly Sins,” “Sin: Essays on the Moral Tradition in the Western Middle Ages” and “The Early History of Greed.”

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