Off/Kilter: Reads for the Day of the Dead

November 1, 2022 by Tan Light

All Lit Up's own Tan Light has compiled an Off/Kilter reading list for those celebrating The Day of the Dead, or for folks who just don't believe the occasion to read scary books ends on October 31.

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Read on for our Off/Kilter Day of the Dead book picks:

 

What the Dog Knows by Sylvia McNicoll (Dundurn Press)

The cover of What the Dog Knows. An illustration of a dog's head with a playful flopped ear peeks over the side of the cover.

 

Part ghost story, part Groundhog Day. What the Dog Knows is the charming tale of Naomi and her late dog, Diesel, who are stuck reliving the day that Naomi drowns. Can Diesel save his best friend?

 

 

The Loneliness of the Time Traveller by Erika Rummel (Inanna Publications)

A 60s-era building graces the cover of The Loneliness of the Time Traveller, evoking the space-age.

 

The Loneliness of the Time Traveller is a time-slip novel of ghostly possession, set in contemporary Los Angeles and eighteenth-century London. A pull from the spirit and the mind, providing a healthy serving of social criticism.

 

 

Earthbound by Blonk (Pow Pow Press)

The cover of Earthbound by Blonk. An illustration of a zombie in a suit stands among regular people, going on about their lives.

 

Join Phil, who wakes up in the middle of a cemetery, only to discover he's been dead for a few months. At first Phil comedically makes sense of his predicament, but then the reality of being dead for a few months takes a dark turn when he’s confronted by what has happened. Earthbound is a graphic story of friendship, trust, and infidelity.

 

 

Still Me by Jeffrey John Eyamie (Turnstone Press)

The cover of Still Me. A photograph of a golf ball, very zoomed in. The light illuminating the ball and surrounding grass is golden.

 

Still Me is a mix of magic realism and sport, joining James as his best fairway moments flash before his eyes, and he finds himself in a game where the stakes couldn’t be higher.

 

 

The Ghost of Suzuko by Vincent Brault (Baraka Books)

The cover of The Ghost of Suzuko. The title stands out in bold type against a background image of a busy, urban roadway seen from above.

 

A Montrealer in mourning returns to Tokyo, only to be swept up in a new entanglement. The Ghost of Suzuko touches on past and present love, as well as what it means to miss home.

 

 

The Death of Annie the Water Witcher by Lightning by Audrey J. Whitson (NeWest Press; paperback, epub)

The cover of the Death of Annie the Water Witcher by Lightning. A swath of a lightning bolt runs across this cover, which is otherwise adorned with pink roses, like old wallpaper.

 

When Annie Gallagher is struck by lightning while divining water for a well, stories of the town's past slowly pour forth as everyone gathers for her funeral. Audrey J. Whitson has written a novel of hard choices and magical necessity told through the voices of the townspeople and Annie herself.

 

 

The Dead Kid Detective Agency Series by Evan Munday (ECW Press)

The cover of the Dead Kid Detective Agency. An illustration of a teenage girl with a goth-style haircut and clothing peers out from a curio; the colours used are dark blues and purples, evoking a spooky theme.

 

October and her crew of ghostly investigators solve a series of mysteries in Sticksville. When the Sticksville Central High School’s beloved French teacher dies it is up to the The Dead Kid Agency to uncover the case, taking them on a whirlwind of adventure.

 

An Old Man's Winter Night by Tom Dawe (Running the Goat)

The cover of An Old Man's Winter Night. An illustration of a doll and lantern in the windowsill, looking out over a quiet street.

 

These are chilling tales – perfect for reading aloud by the fireside on a cold winter’s night. Collected stories from Newfoundland and Labrador throughout the years, you’re sure to find something to send a shiver down your spine.

 

The Ghost Story for Christmas series, illustrated by Seth (Biblioasis)

The collected Ghost Stories for Christmas series from Biblioasis.

 

If you're trying to bridge the gap between Halloween and Christmas, check out the beautiful little volumes in the "A Ghost Story for Christmas" series from Biblioasis.

 

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