The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories sticks to a formula that’s pretty hard to get wrong. They take a theme and collect a bunch of stories from classic authors to compose an anthology.
Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy was one of my favourite sets of books when I was growing up. I especially loved books that presented stories and the folklore they were based on.
my local independent bookstore called to inform me that my copy of the British Library’s (Tales of the Weird Collection) Chill Tidings had arrived. That made a Christmas in July post impossible to resist.
It takes a very good writer to write the ordinary and make it seem exactly that: ordinary. Alice Munro is just such a writer. Her stories aren’t fantastical; instead, they are stories of people that could be your neighbour or one of your parents’ friends. This is a review of The Love of A Good Woman.
As much as I rarely buy newly published books, I make exceptions for curations of ghost stories and new printings of old, often forgotten work. This is a special Halloween review of Weird Women and Haunted Houses.
It might seem strange, and I’m sure it’s not a preference that many people share, but sometimes when I feel my worst — very anxious, very depressed, very not well — and can’t sleep, scary stories are what I turn to. There’s something about ghosts, goblins, vampires, and spooky houses in settings a hundred and fifty years old that draws me out of the racing thoughts my brain gets stuck in. This is a review of Horror Stories.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the term ‘Grand Guignol’ as it is used as a description for a modern film or novel. It was actually a theatre in Paris. This is a review of Maurice Level’s Thirty Hours with a Corpse.
Why do I like ghost stories? I like them because I like to hear stories. I like to suspend my disbelief for that instant why I wonder if they could happen. I like them because I like to read stories about a version of reality that is just a bit off-kilter and unexplained. This is a review of Lafcadio Hearn’s Japanese Ghost Stories.
This week’s Halloween in August pick is from a classic horror writer. It’s a collection of five stories all of them sharing a tone of unease, some with themes of the supernatural, others more about a mystery. This is a review of Daphne du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now.
I found this copy in the antiquarian section of a used bookstore in a nearby city and it was a surprise. I’d never heard of the story before, but I couldn’t resist the beautifully bound book, with gold lettering, and a generous amount of very lush colour plates. This is a review of Rudyard Kipling’s They.