Monday, October 27, 2014

We Recommend: Favorite Scary Books and Stories

Last year around Halloween we shared our favorite scary movies, and this year we want to share some of the books and story collections that have spooked us and held us in suspense over the years.  Some of them are factual, some are fiction, and others we aren't sure of...

Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier - Part of the 1971 collection of short stories Not After Midnight, Don't Look Now deals with a British couple who've lost their young daughter and go to Venice to try to move on.  It was later made into an excellent film starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, be sure to read this first - du Maurier also wrote Rebecca and The Birds, and is a master of suspense!

A Suspension of Mercy by Patricia Highsmith - Many people know Highsmith for the Ripley books, but she was a prolific writer who wrote a number of thrillers. This story is perfectly creepy, and keeps the reader wondering the whole way through if this murderous story of a young, Bohemian married couple is all in the disturbed husband's head or not. 

 The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi - This is a true story that follows the authors on their quest to discover who the mysterious Monster of Florence really is.  It's a fascinating book about the Italian justice system, Florentine culture, and the many suspects in the case - made all the more terrifying by the fact that the murderer is still at large.

Spook by Mary Roach - Roach examines death and the afterlife through science, trying to discover if the paranormal actually exists.  Sometimes science can explain things away, sometimes it cannot, but in either case this is a fascinating book.

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton - This is a very elegant selection of Wharton's ghost stories, many of them taking place in Edwardian New England. They aren't too outright terrifying, but just the right amount of spooky to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories for Late at Night by Alfred Hitchcock - This collection of short stories curated by Alfred Hitchcock features writers such as Ray Bradbury, John Collier and C.L. Moore. From ghost stories to science fiction, there's a tale for everyone in this book.

Essential Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe - The master of the macabre, Poe's stories capture one of our favorite horror story elements: dread.  From The Raven to The Telltale Heart to The Cask of Amontillado to the Mask of the Red Death, there's much to send a shiver down your spine.

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