Since Hallowe’en is fast approaching, I thought this might be of interest to you. I found this list that was compiled by a library. They call it 13 Most Terrifying Books of All Time.
Pet Sematary – by Stephen King
The Island of Dr. Moreau – by H.G. Wells
The Cask of Amontillado – by Edgar Allen Poe
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Turn of the Screw – by Henry James
Frankenstein – by Mary Shelley
The Exorcist – by William Peter Blatty
Something Wicked This Way Comes – by Ray Bradbury
Silence of the Lambs – by Thomas Harris
Hell House – by Richard Matheson
Rosemary’s Baby – by Ira Levin
Dracula – by Bram Stoker
House of Leaves – by Mark Z. Danielewski
I will not read: #1 – Pet Sematary; #7 – The Exorcist (saw the movie years ago and that was enough!); #11 – Rosemary’s Baby.
I have read: #2 – Island of Dr. Moreau; #5 – The Turn of the Screw; #12 – Dracula (only in the daytime) – and they weren’t all that scary to me then. Well, except Dracula – which I enjoyed – although it kind of spooked me.
I plan to read: #6 – Frankenstein; #4 – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Since I sometimes can be easily spooked, being a very visual reader (and I don’t like being haunted by the visuals), the others I’m not sure about: #3 – The Cask of Amontillado; #8 – Something Wicked This Way Comes; #9 – Silence of the Lambs; #10 – Hell House; #13 – House of Leaves.
What do you advise? Which ones have you read, and what did you think of them? Which ones would you suggest I avoid?
Stay safe and well. Thanks for reading … and Happy Musings!
Hi Everyone! I hope you are finding books to read from these brief reviews. Here are four more.
Title: Uncommon Danger
Author: Eric Ambler
This is an old book I found – I love old books – and selected for prompt #17 – “A character “on the run”” in the 52BookClub challenge.
A freelance journalist is travelling by train when he meets another man who befriends him. That man asks him to carry an envelope for him, that he says holds his savings, because he is afraid that he will be relieved of it at checkpoints. The journalist thinks it odd but reluctantly agrees. That decision places the journalist in great danger when he finds the man murdered. The story involves government secrets, theft, villains, kidnappings, and much going on. Good mystery story.
Author: Syr Ruus
Published: October 2018
This is the book I chose for the 52bookclub reading challenge prompt #34 “a 5-star read.” I also used this book for the Indigo reading challenge under the prompt “A non-fiction book by a Canadian author.”
I don’t want to say too much and perhaps fail to do this book justice. This is a memoir that is so very interesting, educational, personal. The author (with whom I am privileged to be acquainted) was born in Estonia, her life being deeply affected by WWII. She, with her mother, became displaced persons who lived in three different countries while trying to find a safe place to make their home. As immigrants they found passage to the US on a ship they hoped would not be bombed along the way. (Imagine it!) The story is told through memories from the author’s childhood when she was a little girl full of fears and feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. (Her father was more absent than present in her life.) She tells about her life later in North America and her difficult relationship with her mother during her life in the US and after she immigrated to Canada. It made me wonder and marvel at the lovely woman that little girl became, overcoming so much. She has authored several very interesting books and is an encouragement to other writers.
Author: Beth Andrews
Published: July 2005
I chose this book for the 52BookClub challenge and used it for prompt #43 – “a character with a pet cat.” The cat shows up rather late in the story but it still counts.
This story is based in England when the greatest courtesy was shown ladies by gentlemen, all in great formality and proper etiquette. A man of status challenged his nephew and his friend to accept a wager. He had them go to the elegant home of two young women who lived quiet, private lives, with instructions to woo them, win them, and then jilt them. Their reward would be a large sum of money. There is the suspected matter of “the dragon”, but things do not go quite as planned. Through surprises, resistance, humorous incidents, misunderstandings, the men realize their uncle and friend had placed them in an unexpected position.
Title: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Author: Sloan Wilson
This is a really enjoyable read, which I chose for the 52BookClub challenge prompt #19 – “Book with a deckled edge.” I also used it for the club’s February mini-challenge prompt ”book with a red spine.” (My copy of the book is not the same as shown here, but is a gray hardcover with a red spine.)
A young man and his wife live in a lower class area and want a better home for themselves and their three children. He changes jobs, going to work for a wealthy businessman, with the hope of moving up in salary and importance, and then suffers through the changes it causes in his life. He also is haunted by a relationship he had during the war when he was away from his wife. He and his wife struggle in their marriage and realize they must be honest with themselves and one another in order to make a future together. It seems a bit too cut and dried in my opinion by today’s standards, but it still is a great story.
Any comments on these books? Have you enjoyed any of them?
Hello everyone! I decided that I would post the short reviews I wrote for some of the books I’ve read for the reading challenges I’m participating in this year. Perhaps it will encourage you to read a few of the books. I’ll do a few per post.
Title:The Alice Network
Author: Kate Quinn
Published: June 6, 2017
What a great story! The reader is taken back and forth in time as a young woman searches for her cousin who was lost in the war. She meets a woman who was scarred, not just physically, but by what she suffered in the war, and their lives become intertwined. We learn about that woman’s life and difficult experiences as she did her part for the war. Very interesting and dramatic story.
In the 52BookClub 2021 challenge, this book fits prompt #3 – “a dual timeline.”
Title: The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Published: February 6, 2018
This novel is fully captivating. A family of three, one being a Vietnam War veteran who has severe PTSD, move from place to place. Finally, after losing another job, he moves his wife and daughter to Alaska and a rugged life “off the grid.” His violent outbursts come back, though, affected by the few hours of light during Alaska winter, and his family lives in fear again. Things get very complicated and the reader gets pulled into their lives quite easily. There is much to learn about life there as the story unfurls. This is a very good story with twists and drama that keep one reading, or listening on audio. Well worth it.
In the 52BookClub 2021 challenge, this book fits prompt #21 – “book by Kristin Hannah.”
Title: Pier 21: a History
Author: Steven Schwinghamer
Published: March 31, 2020
For anyone interested in the history of Nova Scotia, Canada, specifically Pier 21, immigration, movement of troops in the World Wars – this is the book to read. Very interesting information about the history of Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, including personal testimonies of immigrants’ experiences.
In the 52BookClub 2021 challenge, this book fits prompt #8 -“a book in the 900’s Dewey Decimal System.”
Title: Puff, the Magic Dragon
Published: August 1, 2007
I chose this for the 52BookClub 2021 challenge under prompt #30 – “watch out for dragons!”
It’s hard to write this without spoilers … so SPOILER ALERT!
This is a sweet and sad story of a boy and his dragon, Puff. They play together for years, until the boy grows up and the dragon is left alone again. The ending is great, though, when the next generation meets Puff. I read the book that includes a CD with four songs on it, the first being the well known song – Puff the Magic Dragon – which can be followed along in the book. Fabulous illustrations.
Admittedly, I don’t venture far into books about race – and I don’t mean that in a bad way (I’m sorry … I don’t know how to phrase things to be sure it’s non-offensive) – but usually I don’t read a book because of who its author is or isn’t. Lately I have become more aware, you might say, and have read a few that, for me, are very educational and well worth reading. The following list of 35 books are some of many that are recommended reads in connection to Juneteenth and on issues of race.
Four Hundred Souls – by Ibram X. Kendri
On Juneteenth – by Annette Gordon-Reed
Barracoon: the story of the last “Black Cargo” – by Zora Neale Hurston
Frederick Douglass: prophet of freedom – by David W. Blight
Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow – by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance – by Hanif Abdurraqir
How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America – by Kiera Laymon
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – by Austin Channing Brown
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All – by Martha S. Jones
A Black Woman’s History of the United States – by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross
His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope – by Jon Meacham
Wandering in Strange Lands: a Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots – by Morgan Jerkins
Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own – by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Overground Railroad: the Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America – by Candace Taylor
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism – by Robin DiAngelo
The Souls of Black Folk – by W.E.B. Du Bois
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America – by Kahlil Gibran Muhammad
The Origins of Others – by Toni Morrison
White Rage: the Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide – by Carol Anderson
Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco – by Savannah Sange
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right – by Arli Hochschild
City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (1771-1965) – by Kelly Lytle Hernandez
Race, Reform, and Rebellion: the Second Reconstruction and Beyond in Black America, 1945-2006 – by Manning Marable
Racism: a Short History – by George M. Frederickson
When Police Kill – by Franklin E. Zimring
Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment – by Angela Davis
The Hate U Give – by Angie Thomas
How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History Slavery Across America – by Clint Smith
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together – by Heather McGhee
From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century – by William A. Darity Jr. & A. Kirsten Mullen
Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West – by Cheryl Foggo
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power – by Danielle L. McGuire
Kindred – by Octavia E. Butler
Hidden Figures:The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race – by Margot Lee Shetterly
Roots: the Saga of an American Family – by Alex Haley
The titles in bold type are the few on this list I have read so far. Which have you read? Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? If so, please mention them in the comments.Thank you!
Thanks for readings, and … Blessings on your day! 🙂
I have a question for you to start this off … Do you practice Tsundoku? Had you ever heard of it?
Tsundoku – pronounced sun doe coo – is a Japanese expression meaning “leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other unread books.” The word literally means reading pile. Someone by the name of Sanders said, “the Tsundoku scale can range from just one unread book to a serious hoard.”
Now can you say you practice it? 🙂 I definitely can! First, let me make it clear here that I am not a hoarder of books, I am a collector of books. There is a difference … right?
I have come to the conclusion that buying books and reading them are actually two entirely different hobbies. – Unknown
My reading pile consists of not only hard copies, (in the low hundreds) but it extends to e-books, and also audio books. So, yes, I have hundreds of unread books! Should I be ashamed of that? Well, maybe, but I prefer to embrace the fact that I have found books I am looking forward to reading, albeit many of those will be in the far-off future simply because of the quantity of them. Anyway … isn’t tsundoku a pretty word? 🙂
That is why I am happy to be participating in reading challenges — because I have so many of my own books to read that I can fill almost all of the prompts with them. I do still borrow the occasional novel from the library, because I have lists in my library account of the hundreds of books low thousands of books I want to read. I just can’t help myself!
As usual, on my “Books I’ve read in [whatever year]” page here on my blog, I keep track of the books I’ve read each year. There you can see I continue to read many picture books. It’s a record I keep for myself and for anyone who might be interested.
Now it’s your turn to share.
Do you practice tsundoku? Or, do you have lists of books you hope to borrow or buy to read? Are you participating in any reading challenges?
Thanks for reading, and blessings on your day! Let’s keep in touch.
Hello Everyone! I hope somebody is still out there.
How are you doing? What’s up in your life and how are you staying sane, happy, and busy? It’s certainly been a challenging year (plus) with COVID and isolation and everything that comes with that – and it continues. I hope you’re all keeping safe and well.
I am still involved in caring for a family member, ten complete years now back and forth weekly. During that time, life has brought many changes, sorrows, and stresses, but blessings as well. We have a new grandbaby boy, as of October, and he is a blessing no one believed would happen. His mum and dad are so in love with this little guy, born a year and a half after they were married. At least once a week I babysit him so his mom can work at the office instead of trying to do it all from home.
Do you have any surprises and blessings to tell about?
Just to update you a little …
As I shared with you in a much earlier post, I have moved from writing into painting – which is on hold for the second time because of the pandemic. And as you likely know, I am a book lover so I’ve gone deeper into reading reading reading. At the beginning of the year I took on reading challenges so that I can work my way through the large number of yet unread books I have purchased over the years – mostly discounted and at book sales. I am compulsively lovingly adding to my accumulation, hoping to eventually set up my own personal library in one of the former bedrooms in our house.
In this post I am going to tell you about the reading challenges and perhaps I can share about my painting in a later post.
On Goodreads I accepted an invitation to join the 52BookClub – the challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks, by following prompts for each week. They don’t have to be done in order, so I chose not to read them in order of prompts which are listed at the beginning.
From Indigo I accepted the challenge of reading 21 books in this year, also following prompts. A few of them line up with 52BookClub prompts, so I can use one book for both.
On Goodreads I also accepted the challenge to read Agatha Christie books with no set deadline. I have a few of hers that I haven’t read yet, and got a few more at a book sale a few weeks ago. I’ve yet to start that one.
Our local library issues a summer reading challenge too, which I tried last year and will likely do again. I’m continually keeping my library ladies busy.
I almost forgot … Goodreads challenges readers to set a personal goal, and mine has been high the past few years, but this year I lowered it. 700 is my goal, which includes all genres and mostly picture books – whatever I can read. Although I am not writing picture books now I am still reading them and sharing them. Always learning.
Because I’m slowly trying to figure out how to maneuver the changes made to WordPress, I haven’t been able to update my homepage much, but I plan to do that. I’ll show there the books I’ve read for the challenges – once I figure it out!
Perhaps you will find that you’ve read some of the titles I have selected for prompts, or maybe you will be encouraged to read some on my list. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading and travelling to different places through books.
I’m currently reading How NOT to Die by Michael Greger. (such a good book!) And I’m reading The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner, having loved the movie starring Will Smith.
What are you reading these days?
Thanks for reading this post, and … Blessings on your day! Let’s be in touch – social distancing, of course.
FILL YOUR PAPER WITH THE BREATHINGS OF YOUR HEART. ~William Wordsworth
On my "Writers' Quotes, Helps & Workshops" page: Sue Harrison's 2013-2015 Workshop: "Writing The Third Dimension." You'll also find the Picture eBook Mastery Course to learn how to write picture e-books.
BE AWESOME! BE A BOOK NUT! - Dr. Seuss
Books I’ve Read for 2021 52BookClub challenge:
Books I’ve read for 2021 Indigo reading challenge
I am currently reading:
How Not to Die
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
"The odd thing about people who had many books was how they always wanted more." - Patricia A. McKillip