Tor.com announced yesterday that they will be participating this year in All Hallow's Read, which is a brand new annual tradition that author Neil Gaiman started in October of 2010.
The original premise is simple - on All Hallow's Eve (or Halloween, whichever term you prefer) or the week before, give someone a scary book.
That's it. Give someone, or multiple someones, a scary book. Give a child a scary book that they would like and can handle (age appropriateness is a good thing!) Give your best friend your favorite Stephen King novel, or pass along a copy of one of Dean Koontz's delightfully terrifying novels to a stranger on the bus! It can be a new book, or a used copy - it really doesn't matter. Just give someone a scary book!
I think this tradition sounds awesome, and I plan to participate. When my nephew was young (4 or maybe 5?) his favorite bedtime story was The Monster at the End of this Book. We read that thing every night for months, until the pages were falling out and the cover was trashed, and still he wanted it every night, and when it finally disintegrated we had to go buy a new copy to satisfy the little guy! I think this will be the perfect opportunity to introduce my great-nephew to the book if I can find it, and hopefully he will love it just as much!
I also have a couple of extra copies of The Stand by Stephen King that I could easily hand off to people. It wasn't the first Stephen King novel I ever read but it scared me the most, and I vividly remember reading it late into the night (ok, early morning) one summer and suddenly realizing I was alone in the house with the sliding glass door wide open and being too terrified to cross the living room to close and lock the door until my roommate came home! (I often wish that I could somehow read it again for the first time to have that feeling again - delightfully and fantastically awesome!)
But if doesn't have to be a "Horror" novel! There are scary books in every genre - Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Children's, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal and/or Romance (anyone remember Phyllis A. Whitney's adult suspense novels?), Thrillers, and Mysteries - just about any genre you can think of!
Anyway, if you'd like to read up a little more on All Hallow's Read here are some links:
Neil Gaiman's Journal - Where he writes about first coming up with the idea.
AllHallowsRead.com - More information about the idea, including book recommendations!
Tor.com - Tor's Blog announcement listing all the ways they plan to participate, with giveaways and more!
Need more? You can also follow and join in the conversations on Twitter by using the #AllHallowsRead hashtag. So join in the fun and help me spread the word! And if you plan to participate, why not leave a comment below letting us all know who you plan to terrify this year, and how! And if you have a good scary book recommendation in an unusual genre, or just want to tell us what your favorite scary book is, leave that in the comments too - I'd love to hear it!!