OTTAWA -- If the pandemic has left you looking for distraction, and with more time to read, CTV Ottawa's “Book Guy”, Sean Wilson has some spooky suggestions for this Halloween weekend.

Wilson is also the Artistic Director of The Ottawa International Writers Festival and he has some good news about readers supporting local bookstores.

"It’s a scary time for lots of reasons but one encouraging trend, at least locally, is that more and more of us have been doing our book shopping locally. The pandemic continues to take a toll on our mental and physical health, but we are at least, being reminded in so many ways that we are one community and that we are, all of us, only safe if everyone is safe," says Wilson.

"We may not be able to do much trick or treating but you can head to one of Ottawa’s independent bookstores to pick up a great treat that won’t rot your teeth," says Wilson.

“Perfect Books, Books and Beechwood and Octopus Books are all more than happy to sell you some scary reads for All Hallow’s Eve!”

It is a spooky time of year so here are a few great reads for the season.

Supernatural Horror:

  • The Residence by Andrew Pyper
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

Murder Mysteries

  • A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin 
  • Dark August by Katie Tallo  

Dystopian Futures

  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  • The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey
  • Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

Thrills for young readers

  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
  • Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

If you are already scared of the dark, Supernatural stories without the fear:

  • Crow Winter by Karen McBride
  • Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Ottawa has always been known as a city of readers.  Wilson says interest in the live online events with authors, through The Ottawa International Writers Festival website, has doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.