Autumn, Halloween books as plentiful as fall leaves

By Sandy Allman

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Being a native Hoosier, I can fully appreciate the changes from season to season, but autumn is by far my favorite. I love the bright red, yellow and orange colors of the leaves, the way they crunch underfoot, and the warm days followed by cool nights. I enjoy getting out my crock pot and preparing soups, baking pumpkin bread and decorating my house. But the thing I love best about autumn is celebrating Halloween.

Every year, as soon as Labor Day has passed, I start digging through my Halloween decorations. When I need a bit of inspiration, I turn to library resources for new ideas. For decorating, I usually pick up a magazine, such as Martha Stewart Living or Southern Living. Both have crafts and decorating ideas that even I can manage with my limited domestic skills. Your library has these and many other magazines to choose from, in print as well as digital format through RB Digital (formerly Zinio). The library also has plenty of books on seasonal decorating. Want to take your pumpkin carving to a new level? Try “Realistic Pumpkin Carving: 24 Scary, Spooky, and Spine-chilling Designs,” by Lundy Cupp. This book and other titles on decor can be found in the 745 Dewey range.

I also rely upon the library for new cookbooks, such as “Taste of Home Skinny Slow Cooker,” by Catherine Cassidy. For easy baking recipes, try “How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking,” by Mark Bittman. Both of these books feature simple recipes with lots of color pictures, and are found in the 641 Dewey range.

If you prefer eBooks, we have cookbooks available through Overdrive. My favorites are “101 Autumn Recipes” by Gooseberry Patch and “Fix-it and Forget-it Slow Cooker Magic” by Phyllis Good. You are probably starting to notice a trend with me and simple recipes. Let’s face it, I’m no Julia Child, and my time in the kitchen is limited.

I love to read scary books to get in the Halloween mood. This year I am reading two new books by my favorite author, the Master of Horror, Stephen King.

“Gwendy’s Button Box” is a novella that revisits King’s favorite fictional town, Castle Rock, Maine, and its creepy inhabitants. “Sleeping Beauties,” co-written with Stephen’s son Owen King, is set in a small Appalachian town in the near future wherein all the women mysteriously succumb to a sleeping disease. Also on my reading list is “The Fireman,” by Stephen’s other son, who writes under the pen name Joe Hill. Both Owen and Joe have inherited their father’s talent for captivating their audience with grisly tales. These titles are available at your library in both print and electronic formats.

If you are looking for some family-friendly fun, the library has re-vamped (pun intended) its annual Halloween parade. This year, the “Fall-O-Ween Fest” will feature activities such as games, pumpkin painting, campfire stories, making a mask, a scavenger hunt, face painting and dancing on the Conversation Plinth. The Bookmobile will be parked out front for a craft, and there will be a bounce house outside, weather permitting. This all-ages program takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30. Costumes are optional. Find out more about library events at

No matter how you like to celebrate autumn, Bartholomew County Public Library is the place to go.

Sandy Allman is a reference librarian at Bartholomew County Public Library. She can be reached at