October is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s a time when the temperature finally begins to drop, hockey season officially starts, and the leaves turn beautiful colors…at least in theory. (Today’s forecast was decidedly more consistent with summer than fall.) And of course, there’s also pumpkin-flavored/scented stuff everywhere…
I don’t know if this happens in other countries, but around this time of year, Americans become obsessed with all things pumpkin. Local grocery stores are currently selling pumpkin-flavored versions of everything from English muffins to ice cream. Honestly, it’s a bit out of control, and some of the things that get a pumpkin spice makeover are completely ridiculous. There are even Pumpkin Pie M&Ms (which you can find here)! I will confess to enjoying more than my share of pumpkin bread during this time of year, but I’ll eat that whenever I can get it. (We take pumpkin bread very seriously in my family.)
Personally, I think the obsession is due, in no small part, to the Starbucks Corporation’s introduction of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I don’t really understand all of the fuss concerning this latte, but for the most part I’m happy to hitch a ride on the pumpkin spice wagon while it lasts. And at least I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
But as I mentioned in a previous post, October is also the month in which I get to celebrate one of my three favorite holidays…Halloween. I typically read whatever I want, whenever I want, but it seems to me that October is the ideal time to read books from the horror genre.
I’ve always been a bit of a scaredy-cat, so a lot of people are surprised to learn that I actually enjoy the horror genre. The truth is that I’m just very selective about the books (and movies) that I choose.
Today I started to re-read some of my favorite short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe has been a favorite author of mine for a long time. I remember reading his work for the first time in seventh grade, when my teacher gave us copies of The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum.
Reading these stories in class certainly wasn’t my first encounter with the horror genre, but it was the one that changed my mind about it. Poe has always struck me as a very intelligent writer because he makes his readers think. His stories are “creepy” rather than “freaky,” and I think that’s why they are so effective. It’s a quality I’m always on the look out for when I try a new book (or movie) from this genre.
If you haven’t done a whole lot of reading in this genre, Poe is actually a pretty good author to begin with. While I haven’t read everything he wrote during his lifetime, I’ve enjoyed the stories I have read. Some of my favorites include: The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, and the poem The Raven.