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October top ten books

Book reading by fire

A round up of this month's best reads

Surrey Libraries have pulled together a selection of brilliant books for a spooky night in this October.

First up is Ghostly, by Audrey Niffenegger, best-selling author of The Time Traveller's Wife, with her selection of the very creepiest, weirdest, and wittiest ghost stories around. When the nights draw in and the fire burns low, enjoy the eeriness, the dread and the comedy of all things ghostly.

Next is a spine-tingling novel, White is for Witching which presents a young woman, Miranda, with a strange eating disorder that compels her to consume foreign objects. She lives with her twin brother and father in a haunted house across the street from a cemetery full of anonymous corpses. What unfolds is an unorthodox ghost story, whose supernatural elements, as The New York Times writes, make "us glad to suspend disbelief."

The Graveyard Book is a spooktacular read for the kids and follows a boy named Bod who is a perfectly normal boy. Apart from the fact that he lives in a graveyard and is being raised and educated by ghosts. There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that the real dangers lurk. Will Bod survive?

You may be familiar with the next book, The Haunting of Hill House, which has been turned into a major Netflix series. This supernatural horror revolves around an eerie residence, Hill House, and four seekers who come to experience its terrifying powers as they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding.

Practical Magic is up next, a beloved classic novel and the basis of the classic film starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. The book follows sisters Gillian and Sally who both ran away from home to escape their childhood. One marries, the other runs as far from home as she can manage. Years later, however, tragedy will bring the sisters back together. And they'll find that no matter what else may happen, they'll always have each other.

Next, we have a gothic horror tale, The Haunted Hotel. An enjoyable 19th century read following doomed happenings and grisly, secret premonitions. This book follows supernatural sightings, disappearances, madness, and crime, but how are these mysteries connected? Spend the night in Room 14 of Venice's finest hotel, and find out the truth - if you dare...

The Witches of Eastwick is another novel which has been turned into a film. It follows three witches, Jane, Alexandra and Sukie, divorced and dangerous and lamenting the lack of suitable husbands in Eastwick. That is until Darryl Van Horne, a charismatic man arrives in town, luring them to his mansions. Will the three witches be able to overcome his powers and regain control of their lives?

Melmoth the wanderer is an 1820 gothic novel which is dark and sinister and blackly humorous. It follows the story of Melmoth, who has sold his soul to the devil in exchange for immortality and now preys on the helpless in their darkest moments, offering to ease their suffering if they will take his place and release him from his centuries of tortured wanderings. Melmoth the wanderer

The little stranger, now a major motion picture, is a chilling ghost story. It follows Dr Faraday, who was called out to a haunted and crumbling Georgian house, owned by the Ayres family. Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how disturbingly, the family's story is about to become entwined with his.

Last of all is The Night Circus, an amazing fantasy read with a different kind of magic. The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not, and it is only open at night. Behind the scenes, two star-crossed magicians engage in a deadly duel but end up tumbling into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences.