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Around the Web: Halloween Edition

Welcome readers, to a Halloween themed Around the Web. From some literary history, to thoughts on writing horror, to book recommendations, this round-up will hopefully get you in the mood for a spooky weekend.

How Penny Dreadfuls Got Kids Reading

When you think about the kinds of books you use to teach children to read, you might not immediately think of stories about murderers or gravediggers. But according to Atlas Obscura, such tales—as told in Penny Dreadfuls, pamphlets that cost only a penny and contained serialized installments of stories—were quite popular among Victorian youths and helped boost literacy.

The Power of Body Horror

Grotesque, creepy, gory, disgusting—these can all describe body horror, but even though it can be gross or uncomfortable, body horror can be a powerful storytelling tool. Speculative fiction author Caitlin Starling makes this case over on Crime Reads.

The Malleus Maleficarum

Here’s a little witchy history for you: from the 15th to 17th century, a book called the “Malleus Maleficarum,” or “Hammer of Witches,” was used to identify and punish witches. Reference librarian Melissa Chim discusses the book and its dark history in this article from The Conversation.

A Witchy Book List

And speaking of witches, if you’re looking for a Halloween read, Buzzfeed put together a list of 23 books about witches. There’s mysteries, romances, and more on this list so be sure to check it out.


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