Redmond Spokesman Column
Jennifer Pedersen, Community Librarian
A group of friends was recently talking about reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales to their young children, amazed at just how violent and disturbing the stories are. As we grow up, time softens our memories of these tales, which were collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s.
The folktales served as a guide to navigating life in a time that was capricious and often cruel. While life is much different now, we still use scary stories to make sense of and, hopefully, control the fears the world can unleash. And what more perfect time to focus on these types of stories than October, the month of ghosts, witches, and Halloween.
Deschutes Public Library is presenting a month of programming titled Know Fright, which will explore topics such as how social anxieties are transformed into horror stories, scary animals of the high desert and, of course, local ghost stories. Check out our events guide or online events calendar for a full list of these frightful offerings.
In the meantime, pick up one of these modern fairy tale/fright stories, if you dare:Your House is On Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye Written by a German, this book is the closest descendant of Grimm’s Fairy Tales that we have. It’s a modern, adult take on the fairy tale and its stories, based around the lives in one small town, are horrifying without being overtly frightening.
Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt An anthology of re-imagined classic tales by young adult authors applies unique spins to old favorites, from Saladin Ahmed's interpretation of Sir Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene to Neil Gaiman's twisted adaptation of Sleeping Beauty.
Horror story by Grady Hendrix I stumbled across this book in our digital downloads collection (yay, MP3 audio books!) and had to check it out. It’s a horror story set in a cavernous Ikea-type store. What’s more frightening than the mass consumption of Scandinavian modular furniture!Robopocalypse by Daniel H WilsonWe all know the robots are going to take over. Wilson explores what that future is going to look like in this fast-paced thriller featuring a powerful artificial intelligence computer gone rogue.The Strain by Guillermo del Toro If it’s not the robots that get us, it’s going to be a virus.
Filmmaker del Toro tackles this topic in his fast-paced thriller about a vampiric virus that infects New York, threatening the city and then the world, as a CDC doctor and a Holocaust survivor fight to save humanity.Heart-Shaped Box by Joe HillI could easily have put a book by Stephen King on this list, but we all know him. What about his son, though…Joe Hill? Hill is quickly becoming known in his own right and if you read this book about a collector of obscure and macabre artifacts who ends up buying the ghost of his late girlfriend’s stepfather over the Internet, you’ll find out why.