Two mini-reviews of seasonally-appropriate books:
The Monster Hunter's Handbook is organized like a field guide, and if you're looking for a book that will look great on your coffee table during your Hallowe'en party, this is the one to get. The cover and binding are perfectly executed, it looks exactly like a well-used, ancient reference book. Unfortunately, it's also a great example of old adage "don't judge a book by its cover." Inside, the book is a complete let-down. The design and illustrations don't evoke the same feeling and era as the cover, and the content is lacking in depth and personality. Consider this book if you need a prop, but not if you're seeking a spooky or entertaining read.
In contrast, Monster Spotter's Guide to North America is all about entertainment and fun. It's also a field guide, but is organized so that you can use it as a travel guide. The monsters are cataloged by location, and the book includes interesting illustrations and a U.S. map that shows key monster-sighting locations. You'll discover lots of creatures you've never heard of, such as the Bear Lake Monster in Northeastern Utah, which exemplifies the obvious research that went into the book. But, the tone is light, so you unfortunately you won't find enough specific information to direct deeper exploration. Instead, you'll just have to hit the road and see if you can uncover the truth for yourself.
You can't go completely wrong with either choice, and since they've been simultaneously released, they serve as an interesting contrast in how the same topic can be treated in different ways, and how the total package really impacts the final product.