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The Secret Life of the 16th President

Vampires are planning on taking over the United States, and there’s only one man out there who can stop them – Honest Abe. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an alternate history horror novel that explores the secret diaries of President Lincoln.

In June, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hits the big screen. If you don’t want to wait until summer to learn the vampiric history of the United States, check out the book.

By Readers' Advisor on April 28, 2012 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Horror

They Want to Eat You

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark DVD coverThere are nocturnal beasties at Blackwood Manor that savor the crunch of children’s teeth. If only young and lonely Sally had known that the soft whispers calling her to come and play from deep down in the hidden basement were evil…she wouldn’t have let the creatures loose in the house. Co-written by Guillermo del Toro, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a remake of a 1973, made-for-TV horror movie with further inspiration taken from the dark fairy lore of Arthur Machen. What malevolent fiends dwell in the dark at Blackwood Manor? Check out Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark to find out.

By Readers' Advisor on March 15, 2012 Categories: Horror, Movies and TV

John’s Pick: Vampire’s Kiss

John staff picks photoWhen a one-night stands nibbles at Peter’s neck, he convinces himself he’s turning into a vampire. Is he really? Not quite a psychological thriller and not quite a black comedy, Vampire’s Kiss mines queasy laughs from a narrative that could be considered tragic…plus, Nicholas Cage eats a real cockroach.

By Readers' Advisor on March 6, 2012 Categories: Horror, Movies and TV, Picks by John, Staff Picks

A Book for Every Taste

The Devotion of Suspect X book coverWe understand that not everyone is interested in books that win important literary prizes.  Sometimes you just want to find a thrilling new story in your favorite category.  If you can relate, be sure to check out the recent winners and nominees of the The Reading List, which honors the best in genre fiction.  These must-reads are selected by librarians who know which titles not only have the best buzz but also live up to the hype.  See below for the winners and click here for readalikes and the runners-up.

AdrenalineBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
FantasyThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Historical FictionDoc by Mary Doria Russell
HorrorThe Ridge by Michael Koryta
MysteryThe Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
RomanceSilk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
Science FictionLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Women’s FictionThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on February 13, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

Colleen’s Pick: Horns

Colleen staff picks photoJoe Hill, Stephen King’s son, presents a horrifying mystery in Horns. Ig wakes up one morning to find horns protruding from his head that allow him to know a person’s darkest secrets. Ig then uses this ability to track down who brutally raped and murdered his girlfriend the year before.

By MPPL on January 24, 2012 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Horror, Picks by Colleen, Staff Picks

If Father Christmas Were Evil…

Rare Exports DVD coverPietari lives on a reindeer farm with his father in the far, arctic reaches of Finland and someone has slaughtered their entire herd. It could’ve been wolves, whipped into a frenzy by American archaeologists dynamiting the mountain, but it wasn’t. It was Santa and his vicious, naked elves. What the Americans dug out wasn’t a mountain…it was a prison burial mound where the fat, not so jolly man, has been trapped for centuries. Children begin to go missing and it’s up to Pietari and his father to hunt down Santus Clausium and save the world. Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale is a horrific holiday treat for those looking for a darkly humorous, alternate history of Old Saint Nick.

By MPPL on December 8, 2011 Categories: Horror, Movies and TV

"Sleep Well, and Stay Where I Put You"

Graveminder book coverThe burial rites given to the dead in Claysville are a little different.  In this town, the designated “graveminder,” a woman who is both official mourner and cemetery caretaker, administers an elaborate ritual to ensure that the dead stay buried.  It has been this way for generations, but Rebekkah knew nothing of it until she inherited the role and was told she must track down an escaped dead girl who has begun feeding her hunger.  Emma Galvin’s careful and moody reading of Graveminder by Melissa Marr plays with your existing fears and skillfully plants a few new ones.

By MPPL on October 24, 2011 Categories: Audiobooks, Horror, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Guts, Blood and Sociology

The Monster Show book coverGore, girls and gruesome stories have long been a part of horror films, but are scary movies something more than boiling kettles of lust and carnage? In The Monster Show, David Skal poses that horror is a response and coping mechanism to society’s collected concerns. For example, movies about demonic children, like Rosemary’s Baby, made it big during an era when women’s reproductive rights were an overwhelming, national concern. Skal has created a conversational study on (mostly American) horror. If you haven’t had enough horror history after finishing The Monster Show, try the documentary The American Nightmare. It features prominent directors, like George RomeroWes Craven and Tobe Hooper, talking about their films and the cultural climates that inspired them.

By MPPL on October 20, 2011 Categories: Books, Horror, Movies and TV, Nonfiction

Mr. Dark and His Pandemonium Carnival

Something Wicked This Way Comes DVD coverIt is a gusty October day when the lightning rod salesman comes to town, warning of a coming storm.  Soon an autumn carnival arrives, under the leadership of the intimidating Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce).  The sleepy town is ripe for excitement, and Will Halliday and Jim Nightshade investigate by night.  When citizens start disappearing, Will’s father (Jason Robards) realizes that the boys have stumbled into a frightful discovery.  Not your typical Disney fare, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) is the disturbing tale of an eerie carnival and its strange attractions by way of “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment”.  Ray Bradbury originally wrote the screenplay for Gene Kelly and later reworked it as a novel.  Though the studio made significant changes, including the addition of a James Horner score, the creepiness is still intact.

By MPPL on October 17, 2011 Categories: Horror, Movies and TV, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Of Fog and Fear

Ghosts by Gaslight book coverIf changing leaves, creeping mist, and chill-laced evenings put you in the mood to be pricked with fright, we have the book for you.  Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense brings together masters of the sublimely eerie in an atmospheric assortment of Victorian-inspired horror tales.  Even the titles cast their spells:  “Why I Was Hanged” (Gene Wolfe), “The Iron Shroud” (James Morrow), “The Proving of Smollett Standforth (Margo Lanagan), “The Unbearable Proximity of Mr. Dunn’s Balloons” (John Langan), and Peter S. Beagle’s exquisite “Music, When Soft Voices Die”.  Dare to be scared with visitations by strange machines, seductive spirits, and grim obsession.  We won’t blame you for keeping extra candles nearby.

By MPPL on October 10, 2011 Categories: Books, Horror, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense