Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween Freebie – My Favorite Books That Feature Ghosts
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!
This week’s TTT topic is a Halloween freebie. Since I already shared some entertaining witchy reads for your TBR a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be fun today to share some of my favorite books that feature ghosts. Now keep in mind that I’m a huge chicken so most of my selections feature ghosts that aren’t scary at all and that in some cases are actually funny or even just charming and delightful. I did include a few reads that are actually spooky and a little scary, but nothing that I would truly classify as horror.
10 of My Favorite Books That Feature Ghosts
1. CITY OF GHOSTS by Victoria Schwab (middle grade fantasy) – Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
2. A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN by Susan Meissner – Post WWII historical fiction that features a dual timeline and a haunted ocean liner that used to transport war brides across the Atlantic.
3. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman – Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead. There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.
4. HOME BEFORE DARK by Riley Sager – In this thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?
5. THE KINDRED SPIRITS SUPPER CLUB by Amy E. Reichert – For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells–the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World–means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.
Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance–she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?
6. THE RAVEN CYCLE by Maggie Stiefvater – A YA paranormal fantasy series about a group of boys at a private school where one of the main characters turns out to be a ghost. It’s a “spellbinding series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.”
7. SHADOWLAND by Meg Cabot – Suze is a mediator — a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations. But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind … and Suze happens to be in the way.
8. THE SUN DOWN MOTEL by Simone St. James – (paranormal thriller) – The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…
Haunted motel anyone?
9. UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by T.J. Klune – When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.
10. THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING by Fannie Flagg – Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways. Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.
With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.
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I loved The Whole Town’s Talking! It was such an interesting twist on the small-town story that you expect from Fannie Flagg!
The only other book I’ve read with a ghost is A Wee Murder in My Shop by Fran Stewart; it’s a cozy mystery series featuring a ghost from the Scottish Highlands.
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
I had a lot of fun with the Fannie Flagg book. It deserves more love than it has gotten.
Oh, I agree, the best ghost stories are the funny ones — and i am so adding these to my TBR!
I love funny ghosts. The ghosts in Under the Whispering Door gave me so many laugh out loud moments.
I haven’t read any of these, but the Meg Cabot book sounds fun! And pretty different from what she normally writes.
Yes, definitely different from everything else of hers I’ve read.
The Sun Down Motel has been on my radar for quite a while now. It’s a genre I rarely reach for so there’s no telling when I’ll get to it, but I’m still intrigued.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Vampires, Shifters, and Witches… Oh My!
It’s a good one, so creepy and intense.
I really should read The Graveyard Book sometime!
Lydia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Picture Books
It’s one of my favorites from Gaiman.
The Sun Down Motel is one I’ve been REALLY wanting to try.
Greg recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #273
It’s such a good one. Creeped me out but I loved every page of it.
Great list! I’m such a big fan of ghostly stories. I’m dying to read The Sun Down Motel and A Bridge Across the Ocean in particular 😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…16 Upcoming Horror Books to Read in 2022
A Bridge Across the Ocean was really interesting. I picked it up without really knowing what it was about and was pleasantly surprised that it had a ghostly presence.
The only one I’ve read here is Under the Whispering Door and I loved it 😍 Probably the only ghost story that I can say I love! I do have The Graveyard Book and The Raven Boys on my TBR though and I’m definitely excited to give them a try. Great list!
Dini @ dinipandareads recently posted…#TopTenTuesday: Spooky Books That Piqued My Curiosity
Under the Whispering Door was so good!
I forgot about the Mediator series but I loved reading that when it came out! Great use of this weeks freebie! 🙂
Missy recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie – Spooky Books
I adore Raven Boys, it’s an old, old favorite of mine. But what’s this I see? Fannie Flagg’s book has a ghostly visitor too? Must check that out! Happy Halloween, and thanks for some great recs. 🙂
Lex @ Lexlingua recently posted…Ten Recs for Halloween
The Raven Boys series is so good!
Under The Whispering Door! Who knew at the beginning of that book that Wallace Price would turn out to become on of my favorite ghosts? As well as Nelson and Apollo of course 🙂
Right? My love for Wallace was the biggest surprise of the whole book for me, lol.
I was really surprised by how much I ended up loving The Sun Down Motel – I need to read more from that author.
Lauren @ Always Me recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Horror TV Shows 2021
I do too. I think that’s the only book I’ve read from her so far and I thought it was amazing!
The Graveyard Book is a fantastic read, especially the audiobook.
My TTT https://readwithstefani.com/top-ten-halloween-recommendations/
I’ll have to re-read it with the audiobook at some point. It’s such a great book.
Love your list! Home Before Dark and The Sun Down Motel are two of my favorites. 🙂
Lark recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday…
Thanks! Same here. 🙂
The Whole Town’s Talking looks great!
My list— https://fiftytwo.blog/2021/10/26/ttt-book-covers-that-were-scarier-than-the-book/
Lori Piper recently posted…TTT: Book Covers That Were Scarier Than The Book
It’s a unique one. Reminds me a little of Our Town with the setting being in a cemetery.
Great list! The Graveyard Book is my favourite Neil Gaiman book. I can’t wait to read Under the Whispering Door!
Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | Celebrating Ace Week!
Under the Whispering Door is so good! One of my favorites of the year so far.
Supper Club was so wonderful! I adored that book. It doesn’t get enough love.
Sam@WLABB recently posted…One Old, One New: The Susin Nielsen Edition
I agree. I was surprised when I went back to GR to pull the link to see how underrated it is so far.
I’m with you—I like a good ghost story as long as it’s not TOO scary. I’ve read (and loved) four of these. Several of the others are on my TBR list. Great minds think alike 🙂
Susan (Bloggin’ ’bout Books) recently posted…Chinese Perspective on Titanic Disaster Makes New YA Novel Unique, Intriguing
I just saw your list and was nodding my head all the way down it because those are all definitely my kind of spooky reads. 🙂
I absolutely adore The Raven Cycle series, and City of Ghosts has been on my TBR for a long while. I also really want to read Under the Whispering Door, but figure that I should probably get around to The House on the Cerulean Sea (which I’ve owned for about a year and keep meaning to read) beforehand. I don’t read a ton of books involving ghosts because I can’t do horror/posession/etc.
Of Pens and Swords recently posted…Six Bookish Halloween Costumes I’ve Had, and Four I want to Do
Both of those TJ Klune books are favorites of mine. I only read stories that have ghosts if they aren’t too scary. Horror is definitely not my thing.
Home Before Dark and The Graveyard Book are both on my TBR!
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!
I hope you enjoy them both. 🙂
I loved City of Ghosts! A few of the other books on your list are on my TBR. I can’t resist a ghost story.
Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Monster Book Recommendations
Me neither. I’m not much on scary books overall, but there’s just something about ghost stories that always draws me in.
I am a huge chicken too and The Sundown Motel (that I adored) was one of the spookiests with Mexican Gothic and The Devil Makes Three!
Sophie recently posted…Three Mini Reviews: These Hollow Vows, City of Thorns and Reborn Yesterday
Yay, glad you enjoyed The Sun Down Motel too. 🙂