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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scary Reads

Two books I read last year are my favorite scary reads.

One disclaimer, I do not care for gore, blood and guts.

None of that is contained much in these two novels.

Been there done that at the hospital as a nurse in real life.

I have witnessed the aftermath of stabbings and it is not pretty.


Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box ,his debut horror novel form 2007, is a gripping ghost story.

A  ghost for sale on the internet is the premise of this novel. It arrives contained in a suit in a box.

An aging rocker, Jude who is flawed but likeable, buys the ghost and mayhem and terror ensues with the revengeful ghost.

Joe Hill weaves a tale of redemption and horror that is fast paced and difficult to put down.

This spine-tingler is my favorite ghost story ever. You will not be disappointed in Heart Shaped Box.


Then there is Vlad the Impaler in Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historion.

I read this while we were sleeping on an air mattress at the yellow house last year and I was convinced Vlad was alive and coming down the hall to get me!

 The Historian  is 720 pages and has three story lines in three different time frames that intersect.

Kostova spent ten years in the Eastern bloc doing research for this novel.

It has wonderful historical scope and is beautifully written.

Historians, who learn the truth about Dracula, began to vanish but I do not want to give away the complex plot.

It is enough to say that for a few nights in 2009 Vlad the Impaler was very much alive again to Olive.

Kostova achieved a perfect thriller in The Historian and I was glad I was not a historian!

Just thought I would share some not so quick reads to disturb your sleep.

What is your favorite scary book?

grace surrounds us



  1. I will have to check these out. Thanks for the post. Hope you have a wonderful week.

  2. Hands down...The Shining. There were times I was afraid to even turn the page.
    I love a good scary story (must be a hold over from my camp fire days)! I'll be sure and check these two out.

  3. both books sound like they should be of interest. can't recall any book that scares me. take care. rose

  4. Everything is real to me when I read, and frankly, my dear Olive, I don't wanna get scared right now!! When I was a child my parents frequently told me "you have a big imagination". They were right. >:-0

    Be sure and let me know when you do the post on "Happy Reads"...I'll be all over that! :D

  5. Hi Olive! Good book reviews. I have read The Historian and enjoyed it and got a little scared too! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

  6. I have goose bumps, please don't read those scary things when you're by your lonesome. You've lived the scariest book yourself. Why don't you write one, Miss Olive? I know you have stories to tell...

  7. I enjoy a good read! Can't think of any really scary books I've read but 'The Heart Shaped Box' sounds like a good one for my next book!

  8. Olive, thanks for two really great recommendations. I have to agree with the above commenter. I was into Stephen King in high school and The Shining and Salem's Lot were two that scared me silly. Couldn't look out the windows at night. For non-fiction scary, Helter Skelter. Couldn't finish it. Truth is scarier than fiction.

  9. Your own Edgar Allen Poe wrote a few good 'uns, Olive.

  10. Ruth Rendell's The Bridesmaid. Scared the **** out of me.

    The novel's protagonist is Philip Wardman, a relatively normal young man (unusually so for traditional Rendell protagonists), whose only particularly strong feeling is that he hates violence. Philip lives at home with his mother and sister, and his feminine ideal is exemplified by a beautiful statue of Flora, a nymph, in their garden. One day Philip's sister marries, and Philip meets eccentric Senta Pelham, one of her bridesmaids who looks alarmingly like the statue of Flora. The two begin a passionate affair, but Philip's world comes crashing down around him when Senta sets a test: she begs Philip that, to prove their love, they must each kill someone.

    Don't need the dead and ghosts to scare me Olive...the living do it well enough!

  11. Hi Olive... those sound great! I just love scary books and ghost stories, especially this month! One of my favorites is "I Never Believed in Ghosts Until..."... true life ghost stories! I am doing a post on my ghost books soon... thanks for sharing yours!... xoxo Julie Marie

  12. I'm totally into the original Dracula and Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

  13. The Historian has been
    on my list....It's the 720
    pages that has kept me
    from borrowing it! I will
    check out the other....
    'Tis the season for some
    spooky reading....!
    xx Suzanne

  14. I'm going to have to get the Heart Shaped Box. I love a good ghost story. And that he bought it off the internet sounds fascinating. My favorite scary book is Misery by Stephen King.

  15. Hi Olive -- Sorry, no chocolates!
    But thanks for the book recommendations. I am not a blood and guts fan either, but I love a good ghost or supernatural or psychological story -- some of them have kept me up all night too!

    We had a couple of "incidents" here at That Old House the first year we live here -- some sightings. So our Pastor did a House Blessing ... no more things that go bump in the night. At least, no more supernatural things!

    For 2 years in the 1930s, our house was a funeral parlor. Research can be spooky, too!

  16. I don't want to talk about it.
    I am such a scaredy cat!
    any of Patricia Cornwell's early books.
    Is it Cornwall or Cornwell?

    White Spray Paint


I adore your comments. They are like finding unexpected chocolates. olive