Bookish Halloween Costumes

This week’s Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday post is devoted to the best characters to bring to life in costume for Halloween.

I love creating costumes from my own closet and being inspired by characters from books and movies. This list is devoted to the literary characters I’d love to bring to life for Halloween!

1. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones by  George R.R. Martin

Me and my little dragon friend.

Me and my little dragon friend.

Me and my friend Monica. Halloween 2012

Me and my friend Monica. Halloween 2012

This is a costume I’ve actually completed, two years ago. But I still have it in case I want to break it out again in the future. Daenerys is my favorite character in the series (both book and TV) so it was a lot of fun to create a costume around her. I crimped and braided my hair and wore very natural looking makeup. I found the dragon at a local toy store and then attached it to my sleeve. The “egg” is a Nerf football that I spray painted bronze. I had the belt and the shoes, but I did purchase the long blue dress for the occasion; this was before they had specific Daenerys costumes out, so I had to hunt for something that came close. But I think this turned out well and the people who knew who I was were really impressed.

2. Alanna of Trebond from the Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)

This is the cover I grew up with for Pierce’s series and the other covers aren’t as attractive in my opinion. But this would be such an easy costume! Red leggings, yellow, tunic, puffy shirt, a wig, and boots. So simple! I’ve always wanted to do this for a Halloween costume, so maybe next year?

3. A Hogwarts Student from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Image respectfully borrowed from the Harry Potter Wiki

I realize this is probably the most obvious costume choice. But it is also the perfect way to reuse your graduation robes from college. To make it more unique, try coming up with your own character. Give yourself a wizard or witch’s name and talk about your classes or the latest Quidditch match.

4. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

Why go as a simple flapper when you could be Daisy Buchanan? Or better yet get a group together to go as the whole gang: Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Jordan Baker.

5. Ms. Havisham from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Great Expectations

Go to Goodwill, find a wedding dress from the 1980’s (they’re going to be the closest to Victorian with the puffy sleeves and the beading), and carry around a slice of cake all night. Presto! You’re a deranged literary figure. This could be a costume to have a lot of fun with.

6. Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter (Bantam Classics Edition)

The really nice thing about this costume is that it’s warm. If you live somewhere with colder climates during this time of year a long sleeved dress or sweater and skirt combo could be a great idea.

7. Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Along the same lines of number six, being Offred would be warm for a night ought and would offer the same level of societal critique. Costumes six and seven have specific potential for feminist critique given the current issues on voters’ ballots this year.

8. Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)

Whether you’re male or female this would be a great costume, especially because Halloween is such a candy-centric holiday. This would also be easy to go to a thrift shop or a Goodwill to put together. The trickiest part would be the top hat, but after that almost anything goes!

9.  Lucky Rainbow from A Troll Tale: Lucky Rainbow by Jane Jerrard

Did anyone else have this book as a kid? I did and I read it so many times, I’m sure my Mom was sick of it! It’s a darling story about a troll child who gets teased for having multi-colored hair, but helps discover a crystal cave filled with rainbows so the other kids learn to appreciate Rainbow’s beauty. Maybe I’m not selling this well enough, but I loved this book as a kid! This would be such a cool and simple costume! If anyone knew who I was I would befriend them on the spot!

10. Peter Pan from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan

My Mom went as Peter Pan when I was a baby and I went as Tinkerbell. She kept the costume and I went as Pan in high school. It’s a really simple costume: an XL men’s green shirt cut at the collar, sleeves, and hem to look a bit tattered. Add green tights, a pair of boots, and a felt cap to complete the look. I also belted the shirt to add a touch of the feminine to my look, but it really depends on what you’re going for. If I were ever in a jam and needed a last minute costume, this could all be accomplished with a quick trip to Walmart.

So there are my literary inspired costumes. What do you think? But more importantly, who are you going to be for Halloween?

Thanks for popping in!

*All book photos unless otherwise specified were respectfully borrowed from Goodreads*

Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

For this week’s Broke and the Bookish meme, I decided to revive an older topic and do my Top Ten Tuesday on books that get me in the Halloween spirit.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love this time of year and thoroughly enjoy planning costumes. So whether you like to scare yourself silly or are just in it for the candy, hopefully this list will have something for you.

*Links lead to it and pictures come from it: Goodreads*


1. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The original creepy witches. “Double, double toil and trouble/ Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” Plus murder, political intrigue, and insanity. Halloween sounds like a great time to brush up on The Bard.

The Monkey's Paw

2. The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs

An eerie short story about the perils of making wishes that will create the perfect spooky atmosphere for a Halloween party. It was originally published in 1902 but don’t be afraid to break it out and read it to your youngsters if they’re looking for a good scary story.

Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1)

3. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Not that you couldn’t enjoy the Odd Thomas series any time of the year, but considering that originally Halloween is supposed to be when the veil between the spirit world and our world is at its thinnest, now might be a good time to read about a man who sees ghosts and solves crimes.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

4. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M Schulz

If the scary stuff isn’t your style, I suggest reading and/or watching this Peanuts classic. The story of The Great Pumpkin is one of my all time favorite Peanuts moments and always gives me a case of the warm fuzzies.

The Witches

5. The Witches by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is a natural choice for a children’s story with dark twists and turns. The Witches is just the right amount of scary, especially if your household has some young readers.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

6. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Another solid tale of witchcraft. This particular novel flashes back and forth between past and present day to explore the rich history of witches in New England. I got sucked into this book a few years ago and really enjoyed the mood and tone Howe so expertly conveys.

The Night Circus

7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I know I mentioned this in last week’s TTT, but I think this book has a strong sense of atmosphere that can only be enhanced by cool autumn nights and a hot beverage while reading.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)

8. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I finished this book within the last year and was captivated by Zafon’s magical realism. The winding streets of Barcelona and the mysterious, supernatural feel of the book would make for a great Halloween read.

Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #10)

9. Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K. Hamilton

If you’re not reading the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series then you should absolutely start from the beginning (which is the book Guilty Pleasures). But if you’re already involved in the series, might I suggest re-reading Narcissus in Chains. It’s a novel that focuses on the shifting part of Hamilton’s world and it’s as dark and compelling as ever.

Bellman & Black

10. Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

I’m not quite finished with this one yet, but I can say it has been a great October read. Setterfield has a way of telling stories that are not explicitly creepy but evoke elements of the macabre and unusual. Definitely worth the read!

I hope these spooky-themed reads get you in the right state of mind for Halloween.

Thanks for popping in!