Summer Reading for Goths

What are you taking along on your next summer vacation? Whether you're gothing it up at Burning Man, surviving Wasteland Weekend, attending a goth music festival, going on a goth cruise, headed for Hawaii or traveling with your family, you'll want some diverting reading material for your journey.

Frankenstein's Monster: A purported "sequel" to Mary Shelley's classic tale. Narrated by a surprisingly articulate and sensitive "monster," the story picks up where Frankenstein left off. Explorer Robert Walton decides to avenge creator Victor Frankenstein, and pursues the monster throughout Europe. Not quite a page-turner, but also not taxing on one's vacation-weary brain.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
: My best friend sent me this book and nagged me to read it. I'm so glad she did. Illustrated darkly, with vintage photography, it's a tale of a boy exploring an abandoned home for dangerous children. A bit spooky and unsettling, you'll most likely thoroughly enjoy your time spent with this eerie book.

Titus Awakes, by Mervyn Peake. This book was created from four composition notebooks found in an attic by Mervyn Peake's granddaughter. Peake had almost finished the fourth Gormenghast novel when he tragically died from Parkinson's disease. His wife, Maeve Gilmore, had written down the outline of the last chapters in those composition books.

The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists. This isn't a page-turner, but is great for picking up a short story at bedtime, while waiting for your plane to take off, or a quick read on your porch. Authors include Garth Nix, Michael Moorcock, Holly Black, Alan Moore and Caitlyn R. Kiernan. Not the darkest material ever, and the fonts and cover style make this look like a steampunk book but it isn't. Still, I never can resist a good collection of intriguing short stories.

Hit List is by Laurell K. Hamilton, the 20th book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. If you haven't read the series, I wouldn't recommend diving in right here at book #20. My friends who have read the series all along were particularly excited about this recently published addition.

The Map of Time: I picked this up and put it back three or four times on my last few bookstore trips. Finally I broke down and purchased it. Not steampunk, this is set in Victorian London. H.G. Wells is asked to investigate a reported incidence of time travel. His wife has been set up in a plot to murder the authors of Dracula, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds. A nice fluffy summery read that's still a bit meaty, yet not too challenging for a beach read.

Prefer to read non-fiction? I recommend Shock Value: Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror. If you're interested in horror movies, you'll enjoy learning how counterculture directors such as Wes Craven, Roman Polanski, John Carpenter, and Brian De Palma broke out of the golden age of horror and created their own style. Movies mentioned in depth include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Rosemary's Baby and of course The Night of the Living Dead. Read the New York Times' review here.

Happy reading!