Oh Poor Horror, Misunderstood: Josh Malerman on Horror’s New Generation

Photo by W A T A R I on Unsplash

Oh, poor horror, misunderstood.

Mother says you’re made up of witches and woods, brutal bloodletting, slashers in hoods. But I know better, having eaten my share, saved some for later, stashed under stairs.

Mixed ‘em and matched ‘em and made new pairs.

Mother doesn’t like you. She says you are trite! I try to convince her night after night. I beseeched her, “Dear Mother, open thy mind. Horror is no longer a word you will find so neatly packaged with stuffing and twine.”

“Leave me, dark child, with a full foamy stein.
And take your common monsters, speckled with teeth
Used so often they put me to sleep.
Take your old bones lying out in the rain
While I read something compelling and sane.”

Oh, poor horror, misunderstood.

I continued with Mother, as well as I could. My argument expanded to include books she deemed good. “Some say Jane Eyre is as much of a fright as Tanith Lee’s Dreams of Dark and Light. And some cite Melville as a man of such tales, for what could be scarier than a giant white whale? But never mind the classics, fuddy mother of mine, horror no longer grows on the vine Here, let me show you one of mine.”

Here I showed Mother Inspection of mine.

She huffed and she hawed until halfway she knew it, she lifted the book and she almost threw it, then brought it back down to the yarn on her knees, and read the second half at her ease.

“But this isn’t horror, rotten child of mine, for it has no vampires or inverted nines.”

“But Mother, you see! The word is elastic, and all us new writers are made of new plastic! We’ll write of such things, but not cause they’re gaudy, we’re interested in both the mind and the body. We thrill but we think, we’re intellectually naughty. We’re interested in both the mind and the body.”

Dear Mother then frowned and dismissed me again. But she hadn’t yet thrown the book in her hand.

“What does your kind know of the ways of the soul? Coming of age? Quality control? Leave me, braindead child, and take with you your trolls.”

Oh poor horror, misunderstood.

I took leave as she ordered but for only so long, and returned with a stack of new songs.
A tower of books, a stack of new songs.

“Horror has changed, Dear Mother it’s true, it’s not the same now as it was for you. The genre is present as the ice in your drink, it’s come up through the pipes and the sink.”

Here Mother looked to the kitchen, to the sink, and I felt I’d made progress, had got her to think.

“The genre has fled from the castles of yore and is no longer steeped in bones and gore–though we love such elements, we love them, it’s true! But did you know the color blue could be as much monster as the thing in the brew? Did you know we see monsters in even baby blue?”

“The way you talk, it’s as if you see scares everywhere.”

“That’s it! That’s right! Even over there!”

I pointed to a corner where nothing was there.

Mother shook her head and pointed, too, a long wrinkled finger and said, “You, oh you. Do you think me so vulgar to believe such a thing? That your genre might be found on a butterfly’s wing?”

“But what better place–do not make a face–for your likeness may match the pattern of lace in the curtains of this room in which we debate, or the pattern indeed of the butterfly’s mate.”

“Oh!” Mother said, shaking her head. “Leave me, gross child, and take your undead. You speak as though you’d marry Dreary and Dread.”

Oh poor horror, misunderstood.

“I’ll leave you, Dear Mother, I’ll go up to my bed. But not without repeating the things that I’ve said. For horror has risen from the graves of yore and can be found now in places never heard of before, or perhaps even the corners of this very room! A brand new monster in this very room!”

She looked to the corner and I felt I’d scored, but I’d need to describe what stood where the walls met the floor.

“Do you see it, Dear Mother? The crown of its head? Why, it’s not even a ghost, it’s not even dead. Nor is it invisible, as you’ve read of before. What stands in this room is More.”

More as a monster?” Mother laughed at me so. “But what sort of horror does More have in store?”

I crossed the room then.

“The livers are living but they still want More.
The lovers are loving but they still want More.
Mothers are presented with examples but they still want More.
Do you see, Dear Mother, we’ve made a monster of More?”

Mother seemed to consider, but did not look resigned.

“I told you,” I said, “the body and the mind.”

She set down my book, took the yarn from her lap, rose to a standing, and clapped a lone clap.

“Bedtime for me, ugly child of mine.” And she made for the staircase of antique pine.

Her opinion, I thought, as hard as the wood.

Oh poor horror, misunderstood.

But as she took the first step, and the step did shriek, she paused without turning to speak: “The way you see it, stairs could be horror. And a person who takes them, an explorer.”

She did turn then, and gave me a wink, nodded her head as if to rethink, then climbed the stairs and called over her shoulder, “Interesting child, you simmer and smolder–do all you new writers think this way? Horror in all things, every day?”

She stopped outside her bedroom up there, perhaps pondering a brand new scare.

“Yes, Dear Mother,” Dear Mother, I swore.

And she whispered, “Not bad,” before closing the door.

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25 Horror Classics You Need to Read

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

In any genre there are always those seminal works that are pure must-reads. They’re the classics, the stories that are either the foundational underpinnings or pitch perfect examples of what the genre has to offer. People have been telling scary stories for as long as they’ve been, in fact, telling stories. There’s just something addictive about a bit of bone-chilling terror. But the sheer breadth of the horror catalog can be a little daunting – particularly when you’re talking the must-reads. Ever the glutton for punishment, I’ve taken a stab at pulling together twenty-five must-read classics, from the 1800s through the 1980s. Let us know your favorite horror reads in the comments!

The cover of the book The Haunting of Hill House (Movie Tie-In)The Haunting of Hill House 
SHIRLEY JACKSON
With The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson crafted one of the most influential haunted house tales of all time. It’s a slow burn masterpiece that relies as much on its deeply drawn characters as its potentially haunted setting to methodically ratchet up the dread and terror.

 

 

The cover of the book Interview with the VampireInterview with the Vampire
ANNE RICE
Anne Rice essentially reinvented the popular mythology of the vampire with her Vampire Chronicles series, and it all began with Interview with the Vampire. Rice’s influence on the vampire genre in the latter twentieth century is difficult to overstate and Interview is still one of her best.

 

 

The cover of the book ItIt
STEPHEN KING
For me personally, this was the most difficult pick. I debated The Shining, The Stand, and ‘Salem’s Lot. However, I just can’t escape the fact that It is just so quintessentially Stephen King. If you only read one Stephen King novel, the sprawling story of a group of kids fighting a timeless evil in the twisted of community Derry, Maine has to be the one.

 

 

The cover of the book DraculaDracula
BRAM STOKER
Dracula is the definitive vampire novel. It quite literally defined many of the tropes and conventions that are now staples of the of the vampire genre. Beyond underpinning an entire subgenre, Dracula is a tale of obsession, loss, and repressed sexuality.

 

 

The cover of the book Something Wicked This Way ComesSomething Wicked This Way Comes
RAY BRADBURY
There are times when it feels like I read Ray Bradbury as much for his absurdly well-written prose and use of metaphor as his forays into all things horrific. Something Wicked This Way Comes is the gold standard – it melds Bradbury’s keen sense of nostalgia, unfettered imagination, and gleeful wordsmithing into one brilliant and unsettling package.

 

 

The cover of the book Frankenstein: The 1818 TextFrankenstein: The 1818 Text
MARY SHELLEY
Although it’s also widely considered one of the first science fiction novels, the macabre horror of Frankenstein is undeniable. Its influence has stretched through two centuries of horror and it remains a foundational piece of the genre.

 

 

The cover of the book BelovedBeloved
TONI MORRISON
Beloved wrecked me the first time I read it. At its base, it is a ghost story – and an incredibly well-told one – but the horrifying secret at its core, and the way Toni Morrison expertly peels away the layers of guilt, desperation, and trauma that define the tale, make this Pulitzer Prize-winner a singular and devastating appearance.

 

 

The cover of the book Gothic TalesGothic Tales
ELIZABETH GASKELL
Any discussion of Gothic horror and its genesis should include Elizabeth Gaskell. The dread-inducing collection of stories in Gothic Tales is a perfect example why. Her works are darkly surreal, blending local legends, fairy tales, and an incisive understanding of mankind’s darker inclinations into a deeply unsettling collection of eerie tales.

 

 

The cover of the book RebeccaRebecca
DAPHNE DU MAURIER; INTRODUCTION BY LUCY HUGHES-HALLETT
Rebecca is a classic study in obsession and sustained suspense. Readers are inexorably carried along with the unnamed narrator’s increasingly intense fascination with the death of her husband’s first wife. What unfolds is intricately woven mystery as unnerving as it is shocking.

 

 

The cover of the book The Best of Richard MathesonThe Best of Richard Matheson
RICHARD MATHESON
Richard Matheson is arguably best known for I Am Legend, his seminal post-apocalyptic pseudo-vampire novel, but he’s also one of the finest short fiction writers of latter twentieth century. Matheson’s occasionally pulpy and always terrifying short stories influenced virtually every major horror writer to follow in his considerable wake, including the likes of Stephen King and Peter Straub. They also had a major impact on Victor LaValle, who both edited and wrote an introduction for this collection. LaValle is no slouch in the horror department himself and well worth a look.

 

 

The cover of the book The OtherThe Other
THOMAS TRYON
It was arguably the success of novels like The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Other that ushered in the paperback horror boom of the late 70’s and early 80’s. With The Other Tryon’s takes a deep dive into humanity’s darker side. Set against a bucolic farming community, the story eschews the supernatural in favor of more mundane, if no less horrifying, scares.

 

 

The cover of the book The ExorcistThe Exorcist
WILLIAM PETER BLATTY
If you only know William Peter Blatty’s terrifying masterpiece by way of its classic adaptation, pick up a copy of the novel that inspired it. Blatty manages to imbue an eerie sense of plausibility into the story that makes it all the more unsettling.

 

 

 

The cover of the book Rosemary's BabyRosemary’s Baby
IRA LEVIN
Rosemary’s Baby effortlessly weaves its suspense through the oft-mundane everyday lives of the young couple at its center. There’s an inkling from the beginning that something is not quite right, but the reader’s realization, paced alongside Rosemary’s own, is what lifts Ira Levin’s masterpiece to a different level.

 

 

The cover of the book The Woman in BlackThe Woman in Black
SUSAN HILL
The Woman in Black feels like a throwback to a much earlier period. It’s a bit shocking to realize this Victorian chiller was published in 1983. That’s a very good thing. The Woman in Black is a pitch perfect ghost story – one that takes its time and lets the fear slowly creep in and envelope the reader.

 

 

The cover of the book The House Next DoorThe House Next Door
ANNE RIVERS SIDDONS
The House Next Door is an oddly overlooked slice of horror that deserves a spot alongside the haunted house heavyweights (The Haunting of Hill House, The Shining, Hell House). Best known for novels like Peachtree Road that center around the sagas of wealthy southern families, Anne Rivers Siddons nonetheless quietly crafted a brilliantly creepy haunted house tale that has stood the test of time.

 

 

The cover of the book PhantomsPhantoms
DEAN KOONTZ
Dean Koontz has leaned a bit more into sci-fi and pure thrillers for most of his prodigious career, but on the occasion that he embraces full-on horror it’s invariably worth a look, and Phantoms is one of his best. It builds on classic urban legend with more than a small debt to Lovecraft, and is precisely the sort of page-turner that made Koontz a perennial bestseller.

 

 

The cover of the book The Damnation GameThe Damnation Game
CLIVE BARKER
The Damnation Game proved without a doubt that Barker could sustain his particular brand of unrelenting terror over the course of an entire novel. Following Books of Blood, The Damnation Game delves into the darkest recesses of Barker’s imagination for a particularly depraved tale tinged with cannibalism, incest, and all manner of macabre.

 

 

The cover of the book The Bloody ChamberThe Bloody Chamber
ANGELA CARTER
The Bloody Chamber is, at base, a series of fairy tale retellings. What lifts the whole package and sets it apart is Carter’s understanding of the dark undertones of virtually every fairy tale ever conceived. She pulls those darker elements to the forefront, deftly inverting every classic trope.

 

 

The cover of the book The Bad SeedThe Bad Seed
WILLIAM MARCH
The idea of a seemingly innocent child committing heinous acts has become a fairly common trope in horror, but when The Bad Seed was published in 1954, it proved a tremendous shock for its readers. March’s matter-of-fact prose style lends an air of both authority and plausibility to this story of a mother slowly realizing the true evil of her young, murderous daughter.

 

 

The cover of the book Geek LoveGeek Love
KATHERINE DUNN
Odds are you’ve never read a novel quite a like Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love. Geek Love, centering around a family of circus “freaks,” is bizarre, mesmerizing, and perverse. It’s a shocking lamentation on the human condition, of torment and trauma. Ultimately, it turns a sort of fun house mirror on societal ideals, presenting a delirious and disturbing vision in return.

 

 

The cover of the book The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost StoriesThe Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories
HENRY JAMES
Henry James seminal ghost tale is one of those foundational texts for the horror genre. There are still very few authors who have done the traditional ghost story better. James keeps the scares and narrative subtle, but no less dread-inducing. The fact that even after the final page it’s not precisely clear what’s happening — that very uncertainty is the genius of “The Turn of the Screw.”

 

 

The cover of the book American PsychoAmerican Psycho
BRET EASTON ELLIS
American Psycho is a gleefully over-the-top slasher flick in prose form that also happens to be an absurdly biting, post-modern cultural dissection. It’s dark, for sure. There’s cannibalism, necrophilia, all manner of torture. But it’s also a wholly unreliable descent into pure madness – but also maybe not. This one is as thought-provoking as it is unsettling.

 

 

The cover of the book Summer of NightSummer of Night
DAN SIMMONS
There’s a lot of great horror scattered across Dan Simmons’ eclectic bibliography. Summer of Night is one of my favorites. Falling on a spectrum somewhere between Bradbury and King, it is a tale of small towns and ancient evils, but there’s an eerie sort of quality that taints the nostalgic hue in a way that separates it from those clear influences.

 

 

The cover of the book The ElementalsThe Elementals
MICHAEL MCDOWELL
Best known for scripting the likes of “Beetlejuice” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” McDowell’s brilliantly terrifying novels are once again making their way onto the radar of horror fans. The Elementals is arguably his best work – a southern Gothic-tinged haunt that is claustrophobic and disturbing.

 

 

The cover of the book The Silence of the LambsThe Silence of the Lambs
THOMAS HARRIS
While it’s on the list of novels overshadowed by their adaptations, there really is just something about experiencing Hannibal Lecter in print that even the brilliance of Anthony Hopkins can’t quite match. And while Thomas Harris may have overextended with perhaps too many sequels, Silence of the Lambs is an unrelenting and bone-chilling descent into the darker – and very plausible – recesses of humanity.

5 Prequels, Sequels, and Sidequels to Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Count Dracula is one of popular culture’s greatest and best-known monsters: an instantly recognizable bogeyman with the undoubtable power to terrify, yet somehow still liked enough to shill breakfast cereal and candy bars on television. Of course, our hunger for Dracula goes far beyond sugary treats. Hardly a year goes by without a new take on Bram Stoker’s immortal novel, many of them expanding the original story in new and inventive ways. Here’s five of our favorites.

The cover of the book DraculDracul
DACRE STOKER AND JD BARKER
Dracula is one of the most popular horror novels of all time, but what if it’s a true story? In this prequel to the novel, young Bram Stoker’s childhood encounter with a sinister housekeeper sets the stage for an adult confrontation with the living dead — and a future as a horror legend. Co-author Dacre Stoker is Bram’s great grand-nephew, so this is going to be as close as you get to a fully authorized spin-off.

 

The cover of the book Covenant with the VampireCovenant with the Vampire
JEANNE KALOGRIDIS
Fifty years before the publication of Dracula, a young man named Arkady arrives at Castle Dracula with the intention of managing his beloved great-uncle Vlad’s estate. Arkady soon discovers his Uncle Vlad is not as harmless as he seems. He is a monster, thirsting for the blood of new victims, and Arkady, as his servant, is expected to provide them. Arkady is determined to stop Vlad, if not for the people of his land, then for the sake of his own family.

 

The cover of the book RenfieldRenfield
BARBARA HAMBLY
Renfield’s brush with Dracula shattered his sanity and ultimately prompted his commitment to an asylum. What really happened in Transylvania? These and other questions are answered in Barbara Hambly’s account of the short, tortured life of Renfield, a man condemned to be a puppet of evil.

 

The cover of the book Dracula in LoveDracula in Love
KAREN ESSEX
Dracula portrayed Mina Murray Harker as a woman in need of rescue. In fact, Mina was a woman in love. Seduced by Dracula, she fell deeply under his spell. This is Mina’s side of the story, as revealed in her own journal. Prepare to have your impression of Mina forever changed in this intimate account of supernatural passion.

 

 

The cover of the book Dracula in LondonDracula in London
VARIOUS
Dracula arrived in London plans to conquer the city, only to have his ambitions thwarted by Van Helsing and his fellow vampire hunters. What could he have gotten up to before his eventual expulsion? In this anthology, an all-star list of authors imagines the Count’s encounters with many of the city’s most notable residents: Nikola Tesla, Prince Edward, and many others.

So you want to be a witch?

If you needed to be convinced that all things witchy are on the rise, just check out the recent uptick in books on magic rituals, alternative spirituality, astrology and tarot. Read on to learn more about the mystical practices that are quickly becoming basic cultural touchstones. And hey, what better time to read about all things mystical than the days leading up to Halloween—or as these authors would call it, Samhain?

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession by Mya Spalter

If you’re looking for a hysterical and down-to-earth guide to the wide world of witchery, then look no further. Spalter, a young New York-based practitioner, gives a basic rundown on just about everything you’ve always been curious about in the Wiccan and Neo-Pagan traditions—from the purpose of home altars to the most magical days of the calendar year and how to set your intentions. Enchantments is a fun place to start in your spiritual journey, and each chapter ends with a list of suggested reading to help you make your way further down your path.
Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft by Gabriela Herstik

“Being a witch means living in this world consciously, powerfully and unapologetically,” Herstik writes in her candid “Bitchin’ Witchin’ Basics” introduction. Filled with feminist fire, Herstik lays out her entry into the craft and then expands from there with entertaining chapters on fashion, earth and moon magick. If you’re looking for a stylish, Vogue-loving witch to guide you through the basic tenants, then don’t miss this book, which Herstik describes as “the glossy September issue of the spiritual world, serving as a how-to for every woman looking to learn about what witchcraft is and how she can incorporate magick into her everyday life.”
Everyday Magic: Rituals, Spells & Potions to Live Your Best Life by Semra Haksever

This slim and accessible volume is not only clearly written, but it also happens to be a graphic-design lover’s dream. A former fashion stylist, Haksever’s beautiful little book is the perfect place to find introductory spells to banish anxiety, remove negativity from your home, get over your ex, give you a boost of luck and more. If you want to jump in quickly, and with both feet, then Everyday Magic should go to the top of your TBR list. Illustrator Nes Vuckovic’s clean black linework on special teal-colored pages makes this a swoon-worthy gift prospect as well.
Everyday Tarot: Unlock Your Inner Wisdom and Manifest Your Future by Brigit Esselmont

Esselmont, the founder of the popular site Biddy Tarot, shows you how to finally put that tarot deck that you’ve had sitting around since college to good use. With minimalist illustrations from Eleanor Grosch, this guide is great for those who are into interactive reads as Esselmort directs readers to deeply reflect on different aspects of their lives—main life goals, career prospects, relationships and more—and pair different tarot card readings with journaling activities. Even if you’re skeptical about the mystical properties of tarot decks, the basic questions of self-improvement that are explored and Esselmont’s daily intention-setting advice seem solid.

 

Blotto Botany by Spencre L.R. McGowan

For all varieties of healing tonics that are guaranteed to go down smooth, look to noted herbalist McGowan’s gorgeous guide that would be the perfect addition to any bar cart. The necessary ingredients—like crystallized ginger and chamomile—are easily found in an upscale grocer’s, and it would be easy to imagine spotting any number of these soothing cordials on the menu at a chic cocktail bar. Included in the back half of this little recipe book is a glossary of terms for those new to the herbal scene, links and suggestions for places to procure ingredients, notes on foraging and more. Who knew magic could taste this good?

 

Star Power: A Simple Guide to Astrology for the Modern Mystic  by Vanessa Montgomery

Are you tired of being confused when your friends are bemoaning Mercury being in retrograde? Do you want to know how to construct your own astrological birth chart? Finally ready to learn the difference between a rising sign and a ruling sign? Check out popular astrologer Montgomery’s small yet mighty guide to the cosmos and learn all the lingo. You can also find out your most compatible love matches based on your sign, your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace, how to track planetary shifts and much more.

By Hilli, Assistant Editor, October 16, 2018, first appearing on BookPage.com – The Book Case Blog

13 Terrifyingly True Tales

Goodreads Horror Week 2018

Even nonfiction can hold the stuff of nightmares. Whether it’s natural disasters, outbreaks of plague, or serial killers hidden in plain sight, there’s no question that reality has its dark moments. Fortunately, there is a silver lining.

This roundup of highly rated true stories shows that there are just as many real-life heroes as there are real-life monsters. Which of these books will you be adding to your to-read list? Share your favorites with us in the comments.

The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown

This story follows the journey of Sarah Graves, a young bride who joined the pioneers of the ill-fated Donner Party as they did the unspeakable to survive.

 

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
When an incurable and deadly virus suddenly appeared in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., all that stood in its way was a secret SWAT team of soldiers and scientists.

 

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
What drove Charles Manson and his followers to carry out the Tate-LaBianca slayings? Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi gives an inside look at one of the most infamous investigations of the 1960s.

 

Death’s Acre by William M. Bass and Jon Jefferson
Master scientist Dr. Bill Bass takes readers behind locked doors of “The Body Farm”—a forensic lab unlike any other—to revisit his most chilling cases, including the Lindbergh kidnapping.

 

Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich
This Nobel Prize-winning novel captures the tragic personal accounts of the victims of Chernobyl—the 1986 nuclear disaster that contaminated as much as three-quarters of Europe.

 

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
True-crime writer Ann Rule spent months hunting down a brutal mass murderer, only to realize that he was her close friend and colleague, Ted Bundy, all along.

 

Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin
For years, large chemical companies have been using Toms River as their personal dumping ground, causing unfathomable harm and culminating in a decades-long battle for reparations.

 

The Road Out of Hell by Anthony Flacco and Jerry Clark
Forced by his uncle to take part in the Wineville killing spree, a young boy named Sanford Clark testified against his murderous relative to bring justice to their victims’ families.

 

The Complete History of Jack the Ripper by Philip Sugden
This thoroughly researched and richly comprehensive account pieces together the history and legend behind London’s most notorious East End killer.

 

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The 1996 Mount Everest disaster claimed five lives and left countless others in disarray, including journalist/mountaineer Jon Krakauer, who stood on the summit as the storm bore down.

 

The Woman with a Worm in Her Head by Pamela Nagami
Dr. Pamela Nagami reveals the sobering facts of some of the world’s most horrific diseases, and how it feels to make medical decisions that can mean the difference between life and death.

 

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
This acclaimed 1966 classic recounts the gruesome murders of the Clutter family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of their killers.

 

Under a Flaming Sky by Daniel James Brown
In 1894, more than 400 people in Hinckley, Minnesota, perished in the wake of a forest fire so devastating, it created hurricane-strength winds and virtually no means of escape.

By Marie, October 01, 2018, first appearing on Goodreads Blog

22 Easy Book Character Costumes for Halloween

Whether you’re getting ready for Halloween or attending a literary-themed event, we’ve got you covered with some easy book character costumes. Not to worry if your skills don’t include movie-quality makeup and sewing — you can assemble most of these costumes from things you already have at home. Take a look at our suggestions and find a book character costume you love below!

Pennywise from IT by Stephen King

Pennywise from IT

Madeline from Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Madeline costume

Mrs. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole

Mrs. Frizzle

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet

Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Arthur Dent

A handmaid from A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Handmaid

The cat from Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

Cat in the Hat

Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss

Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hester Prynne

Dorothy, the Wizard, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Wizard of Oz

Harry Potter, Hermione, and Hedwig from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, Hermione and Hedwig

Winnie the Pooh from Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

Winnie the Pooh

Mary Poppins and Bert from Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Mary Poppins and Bert

Nancy Drew from the Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew

The Old Man and the Sea from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Old Man and the Sea

War and Peace from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace

Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Daisy and Jay Gatsby

Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat from Curious George by H. A. Rey and Margaret Rey

Curious George

Amelia Bedelia from Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Amelia Bedelia

Tyler Durden and Marla Singer from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club

Rainbow Fish from Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Rainbow Fish

Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Frodo Baggins

Kristina Wright, A