Horrifying Halloween Hits: UoN Book Club Recommends Their Spookiest Reads

By Gemma Ferguson. Published October 18, 2020.

Spooky season is approaching, which means it’s time to scare yourself silly! And our resident bookworms at the UoN Book Club are helping us do just that. But first, a bit about this awesome club.


Who are the UoN Book Club?

There’s a chance you may not have heard of UoN Book Club yet, and that’s because they’re very new (2020 marks their second year in action!) – but this group might be just what you’re looking for! I had the chance to speak with President, Amy Farrugia, on what exactly this club is all about.

Amy said the club meets twice a month; once for the book club meeting, and once to grab brunch together and socialise. The UoN Book Club prides itself on being a ‘no pressure’ club, so if you can’t make every meeting or read every book, it’s not a big deal. Amy believes this attitude takes the stress out of being a member – clubs can be a bit of a commitment, but she says everyone in the club is very understanding when life (and uni!) gets in the way.

“I’m a law student, so last year there were a few books I didn’t have time to read because I was just so deep in my studies. We’ve all got a heavy study load, so this club should be a relaxing escape rather than another stress,” Amy said.


A club fit for 21st century living

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Man, I haven’t picked up a book in a long time!” – not to worry. Amy explained that another perk of the UoN Book Club is the welcoming attitude, no matter your skill level or preferred reading medium.

“We aren’t purist – Audible and other forms of audio books are definitely allowed! We make sure each month’s book is available in Audible, on Kindle, and at the Newcastle City Library in some format. This way, our selections are as accessible as possible,” Amy said.

With COVID-19 shaking up how the club gathers, face-to-face meetings are currently paused. But they haven’t given up! The UoN Book Club has continued to meet over Zoom, and uses WhatsApp to chat. Amy welcomes the change, saying that even though things are different, they’re just as fun (and even easier for some people who couldn’t originally travel to campus for meetings).

And joining the club is just as simple. You can let the committee know you want to join by DMing the University of Newy Book Club Facebook page, or by sending an email to universityofnewcastlebookclub@gmail.com. And yep, the club is totally free!

The club’s top picks for Halloween

And now onto the UoN Book Club’s top reads for Halloween. No spooky reading list would be complete without a little Stephen King. And perhaps his most famous novel certainly made the cut:

·       The Shining – Stephen King

However, King’s work extends beyond this scaring-Joey-Tribbiani-so-much-he-needed-to-put-the-book-in-a-freezer classic. Other suggestions from the club included:

·       Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

·       The Stand – Stephen King

·       Pet Sematary – Stephen King

But Stephen King isn’t the only author with an ability to conjure up a few goosebumps. The famous Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, also made the list. Barnes & Noble went as far to say her book is a “triumph of terror”, claiming it was the scariest read of the year:

·       The Twisted Ones – T. Kingfisher

But if you don’t have time for a full-length novel, the club suggests this 54-pager by Nikolai Gogol. Also known as ‘The Viy’, this story has inspired a plethora of film adaptations (so you know it’s good!):

·       Viy – Nikolai Gogol

And of course, some oldies (but goodies!), including a little R. L. Stine for nostalgia:

·       The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

·       Ring – Koji Suzuki

·       The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight – R. L. Stine

·       The Night of the Living Dummy – R. L. Stine

Thanks to the UoN Book Club for offering up their recommended reads for Halloween, and a special thanks to President Amy for helping organize this piece. Have you read any of these before? Why not send the club a message, join up, and discuss your own top picks?

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