Welcome to My Horrorific Life: a tweenage love affair with Goosebumps
But now for a little personal background. I love heavy-metal music, scary movies, and anything else that is dark and a little twisted. Probably three or four years after reading my first Goosebumps book, I bought my first Metallica CD, much to my mother’s chagrin. Shortly thereafter, I picked up my first Stephen King and Dean Koontz books. My musical and literary tastes have since expanded, but the macabre, dark, and heavy will always be where everything started.
It is quite possible that the first Goosebumps book, Welcome to Dead House, was the first book I ever read. I’m not one of those people that can remember being a baby or falling asleep in their crib. In fact I have very few memories prior to the age of six or seven and even that is pushing it. But I vividly remember the parts of my life in which the “Goosebumps” series was a part of. Taking trips to the book store with my mom, or my dad asking me why I’m reading a book called Eat S#!* and Die, and me giggling that it’s actually called Say Cheese and Die.
I’m sure if I were to read a Goosebumps book now, it would be the literary equivalent of watching a Scooby-Doo cartoon (it’s invariably a disgruntled employee terrorizing the main characters), but that’s not the point. The point is the lasting impression that books can have on the minds of the young. Bands like; Metallica, Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, and Megadeth. Movies like; House of a Thousand Corpses, Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Authors like; Stephen King, Jonathan Maberry, Robert McCammon, and Richard Matheson. My love for all things dark and twisted can easily be traced back to an 8 year-old boy opening a Goosebumps book for the first time, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. (Karen’s editors note: Chris is a very nice guy to work with. And to the best of my knowledge, he has never in fact killed anyone. In fact, he is more normal than he likes to think. And Goosebumps is still amazingly popular – my Tweens ask for them all the time.)
The last two books that Chris read were Rotters by Daniel Kraus and Quarantine by Lex Thomas. He liked Rotters and declared it one of the most disturbing books he has ever read (in this case disturbing is a good thing). Technically, he is reading Quarantine now; he loves it and says it was definitely written for guys, which is great. Today 5 of Chris’s favorite horror books include:
Swan Song by Robert McCammon
It tells the story of a young girl in a post apocalyptic who will be the savior of the human race. It is very much like Stephen King’s The Stand, but a little bit more intense.
One Second After by William Forstchen
A scary, realistic, gut wrenching look at what happens when the world changes forever and we no longer have the easy access to food, water and government that we once had.
The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
The book that went on to become the original Hellraiser movie. Need I say more.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Zombies. (Chris reviewed Flesh and Bone, the most recent book in the Rot & Ruin series recently. Read it.)
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Chris works with Karen at night at the library, and this year now works at a school library during the day. I didn’t really know he could go out into the sunlight. We make him blog with us here to give us a guy’s perspective and in exchange, we agree to keep his secrets for him. You can read his bio at the Meet TLT page.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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