October Reading List

By Kayla Thompson, Adult Services, Cape Girardeau Public Library

Monsters, mysteries and the mad science behind them! Halloween is my favorite time of the year, but instead of giving you a list of mind-chilling horror, here are some of my favorite chilling nonfiction titles about monsters and the atrocities that exist within our own world.


Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, by Kathryn Harkup

Mary Shelley is an original science fiction and horror writer! She drew inspiration from the world around her and her own traumatizing experiences. Body snatching and grave robbing were huge in the making of modern medicine, and this book explores all aspects of the beginnings of Frankenstein’s monster.


Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin, by Megan Rosenbloom

For this one, you may not want to be sitting down to eat anytime soon. If the first book sounded interesting or up your alley, then this title might be, too. Many weird and mind-boggling things occurred during the time before modern medicine, including the weird fascination of binding books with human skin.


Vampirology: The Science Behind Horror’s Most Famous Fiend, by Kathryn Harkup

You can’t talk about monsters without at least mentioning one of the OG monsters that created a cult-like rippling sensation. Where would we be without Dracula? Edward would have died of the Spanish flu, and Sookie Stackhouse probably would have lived a normal life as a bar waitress in the South!


The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara

One of the first female Disney animators, it’s no surprise Milicent Patrick was also the only female to have contributed a classic horror movie monster. So, why don’t we know more about this highly artistic and talented woman? The real horror might have less to do with her monster and more to do with her tragic exit from the Hollywood scene.