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Genre Challenge 2015-17 > Horror/Gothic/Ghost stories - March 2016

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message 1: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
So time to gather round a roaring fire for a ghost story before winter ends. It's horror/gothic/ghost stories for March. Hmmm I will dig around my to read list and see what's lurking.

Anyone doing the round the world challenge and want to hit two challenges with one book?I really recommend Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, a decidedly chilling tale (in more ways than one) set in the arctic.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver


message 2: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Feb 29, 2016 06:06AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
I didn't think I had much to suit this genre on my to read list, but I was wrong! Once again spoilt for choice. I could go for: The Historian, House of Leaves, I Am Legend, The Passage, Misery, The Anatomy of Ghosts, Florence & Giles, Dolly, Dark Echo.

Decisions, decisions.... Now if I could find something either set in a country I haven't visited yet, or a state I need to add, that would help my decision making...

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski I Am Legend by Richard Matheson The Passage (The Passage, #1) by Justin Cronin Misery by Stephen King The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor Florence & Giles by John Harding Dolly by Susan Hill Dark Echo by F.G. Cottam


message 3: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments House of leaves is a really strange and highly demanding book. I've attempted it once, and I intend to attempt it again some day. It's like... nothing else, really! I recommend it with the caveat that you should have a clear head and a clear schedule. It is not a casual read!


message 4: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Leni wrote: "House of leaves is a really strange and highly demanding book. I've attempted it once, and I intend to attempt it again some day. It's like... nothing else, really! I recommend it with the caveat t..."

That's probably why it's stayed on my to read list for years!!!


message 5: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) | 374 comments I have a few books with short ghost stories:
Complete Ghost Stories by Charles Dickens Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories by Rex Collings Ghost Stories of Henry James by Henry James

Or I could read:
The Colony (The Colony, #1) by F.G. Cottam


message 6: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments I just finished The Woman in White. I should have saved it for March. Then again, I've been meaning to read The Castle of Otranto, and I do need a book written in the 1700s for another challenge. Hm. Why am I talking myself into joining yet another challenge? I haven't even started the medieval book for the Time Traveller challenge yet! And then, in April there will be yet another genre, and another era to read books from. lol Then again, Castle Otranto is a short read, so I might as well. I'm also currently reading Lady Audley's Secret, which certainly has some gothic elements.


message 7: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments I forgot to ask, can I jump in mid-challenge? Or do I have to catch up on all the genres you've read already? o_0


message 8: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2733 comments I've got a couple to choose from; The Mist in the Mirror, a ghost story by Susan Hill, The Deep by Nick Cutter, The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux.


message 9: by Mercia (last edited Mar 07, 2016 01:16PM) (new)

Mercia McMahon (merciamcmahon) | 610 comments Gwyl Dewi Sant hapus

I read Beloved for American Classics last month so that's out, but I have a long-term freebie that's awaiting one of the Yorkshire Ridings, Thores-Cross. Other long-term unreads are The Little Stranger, 314, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Breaking Dawn, Linked, Dark Realms, The Crowsmoor Curse, beats per minute, Bad Radio, Affinities, Dark Season: The Complete First Series, Panic, and Endings. The last named two are zombie novels and this month could turn into The Month of the Unread.


message 10: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2016 06:23AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
I enjoyed The Woman in White. The Turn of the Screw is another excellent classic ghost story.


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura I think I'm going to be reading The Woman in White for this month. I've just finished reading House of Leaves and while it is interesting I'm not sure I would recommend it as such. It walks a fine line between parodying a pretentious writing style and actually being pretentious.


message 12: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Leni wrote: "I forgot to ask, can I jump in mid-challenge? Or do I have to catch up on all the genres you've read already? o_0"

Just jump in.


message 13: by Ian, Moderator (last edited Mar 01, 2016 08:21AM) (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
You could read The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters by Sarah Waters or maybe A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan by Stewart O'Nan.

I really like the sound of the latter so will most likely go for that.


message 14: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments All good suggestions so far but how's this for some quick decision making: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter - it looks suitably gothic to me!


message 15: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments I love Angela Carter. I love her take on Red Riding Hood. She also combined several of the stories in that collection into the screenplay for the cult movie "The Company of Wolves". <3 I want to read Angela Carter now... *sigh*


message 16: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2016 06:16AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Good choice, Em ;) The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is one my favourites. I think you'll enjoy it.


message 17: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2016 06:15AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Laura, thanks for your opinion on House of Leaves, I think I may put it back on the pile and read something else this time around....


message 18: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2016 06:24AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Mercia, I really enjoyed The Picture of Dorian Gray. The 1940's (?) film version is surprisingly creepy too...

Sarah Water's The Little Stranger is good too.


message 19: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments I have The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne from the library and also The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley ready to read. if I can manage anything else that will be good as I enjoy horror month.


message 20: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2016 06:13AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
The Loney's on my to read list too. Tempted to join you.


message 21: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments I went and ordered myself Angela Carter's collected short stories, Burning your boats collected short stories by Angela Carter . Not that I have time to read them this month! lol

I should take the opportunity to read Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu as well as Castle Otranto.

And, of course, this challenge is the perfect excuse to re-read some Lovecraft. (What can I say, I like classic horror.) But... I'm already reading three other books and need to start my Time Traveller Challenge book!


message 22: by Mercia (new)

Mercia McMahon (merciamcmahon) | 610 comments Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, #1) by Annie Bellet
Assuming that paranormal counts I've read Annie Bellet's Justice Calling or more accurately let the Google Play app read it out to me. It a freebie designed to get you to buy into the series, but there is not a great deal here in this very short novel. It is about a small town in America with a high level of shifters (wereanimals) and a sorcerer Jade Crow, who is the star of the series. Although I know Annie from online conversations, I'm not tempted to read more in the series.


message 23: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
A Prayer for the Dying A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan was less a traditional horror story more a wonderfully written dark horrific tale set in rural Wisconsin just after the US Civil War. It was a great read and the very unusual second person narrative voice really draws you right into the drama. My favourite read of 2016 so far. Full review below:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show....


message 24: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Liz wrote: "The Loney's on my to read list too. Tempted to join you."

I plan to read it over easter so i can enjoy the shivers.


message 25: by Andrew (last edited Mar 06, 2016 03:38AM) (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne was good, scary twins and a ghostly theme. also gets a new Scottish county.


message 26: by Mercia (last edited Mar 07, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Mercia McMahon (merciamcmahon) | 610 comments Not doing too well with my next two: I abandoned The Black Parade by Kyoko M. because it was a bit too linked into having the big names of the angelic world in a contemporary ghost story with a mouthy MC and so not my scene. Then Infinite Sacrifice (Infinite Series, #1) by L.E. Waters turned out to be a series of historical short stories given a reincarnation topping and tailing, so wasn't going back from the afterlife as I thought, but reflecting on past lives. So I moved that novel to the Medieval challenge instead as 2 of the 4 shorts are medieval.
Still ploughing through Labyrinth (Languedoc, #1) by Kate Mosse , which is good, but taking me time because its on the Kobo which is the kitchen device and so I tend to read other books quicker and of late have been using Scribd and Google Play Books to listen to books in the kitchen -naughty me.


message 27: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments Well, I've read The Castle of Otranto. It was definitely gothic, decidedly a ghost story, and certainly had some scenes of horror. It also wasn't at all scary. In fact, it was like a Vincent Price movie directed by Terry Gilliam and with the plot twists of a telenovela. I was tremendously entertained the hours it took me to read it, but I can't let it stand as my only read for this genre. Onwards to Le Fanu. Or to re-read some Lovecraft.


message 28: by Laura (new)

Laura Probably not going to get round to reading The Woman in White as I've got too much to read at the moment so instead I've read the short graphic novel. A Sickness in the Family. It has some good ideas but it doesn't really explore them as well as it could and the characters aren't developed particularly well. The drawing style was also not really my cup of tea either.


message 29: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
I think I'm going to try The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux


message 30: by Leni (last edited Mar 18, 2016 05:05AM) (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 355 comments I went with Carmilla instead of Uncle Silas. Both because it's shorter, and I have too many long reads going on, and because Vampires! I'm a bit awed that he managed to get away with a lesbian vampire, not just before it was a trope, but before people even really admitted that lesbian sexuality existed. Actually, maybe that's how he got away with it.

Oh, and my daughter had me read Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lightning Ghost! by Cornelia Funke to her. I'm not adding it my read books, but it does fit the challenge. :D


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I went for The Greatcoat - Helen Dunmore, about a young doctor's wife in the early 1950's who gets involved with the ghost of an RAF pilot killed in the war. Not particularly scary which is good because I'm a total wimp. Also got me East Riding of Yorkshire for the UK counties challenge.


message 32: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
I've finally made up my mind and ordered Misery from the library. Handily, it will also give me Colorado for the US challenge :)

Misery by Stephen King


message 33: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 27, 2016 05:48AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Leni wrote: "Oh, and my daughter had me read Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lightning Ghost! to her. I'm not adding it my read books, but it does fit the challenge. :D .."

Strangely enough, we've just had a bedtime story book that fits the genre too: The Children of Green Knowe, is set in a castle haunted by the children that lived there 400 years ago. Lovely book. Just finished it yesterday.

The Children of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #1) by L.M. Boston


message 34: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
Just finished The Phantom of the Opera which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Shouldn't have read about the yellow eyes glowing in the dark just before I went to bed though!


message 35: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 27, 2016 05:46AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Kate, I'm reading The Phantom of the Opera at the moment too and most enjoyable it is. A Victorian guilty pleasure!

I found it lurking in the recesses of my Kindle. Thought I'd read it while I wait for Misery to come from the library (which is taking AGES....).

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux Misery by Stephen King


message 36: by Liz, Moderator (last edited Mar 27, 2016 05:51AM) (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
The Phantom of the Opera was totally ridiculous, but surprisingly readable. Finally starting Misery.... 'I'm your number one fan!'

Misery by Stephen King


message 37: by Kate, Moderator (last edited Mar 27, 2016 07:21AM) (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
Liz wrote: "The Phantom of the Opera was totally ridiculous, but surprisingly readable. Finally starting Misery.... 'I'm your number one fan!' "

Ha ha yes I thought it was a bit silly at times Liz. But as you say it was readable and I thought it was quite humorous in places too. I read Misery last time we had Madness month. I'd never read a Stephen King before. I'd be keen to read more of his if they weren't horror stories!


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Kate, have you tried The Green Mile by King? I've always avoided his books because I'm not a horror fan but I loved this. Not scary at all.
I've got Misery on my shelf waiting to be read but I keep putting it off in case my husband is lying when he says it's not scary :)


message 39: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
No I haven't read that Caroline. Thanks for the recommendation. Your husband is right, Misery isn't scary its just really tense!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Kate (Trojanhorse) wrote: "No I haven't read that Caroline. Thanks for the recommendation. Your husband is right, Misery isn't scary its just really tense!"

Cheers for that. His idea of scary and mine are very different so I'm never sure whether to trust his judgement. I might move it up the TBR a bit.


message 41: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) | 374 comments I also enjoyed The Phantom of the Opera many years ago. I'm currently slow reading Ghost Stories by Henry James.


message 42: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
I borrowed Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me for this challenge and have just read Guide to Doom by Ellis Peters which was very clever and very chilling. I chose that one out of curiosity having read a few Cadfaels by her but I'm not sure I can face any more from the collection! Horror isn't a genre I enjoy! As I've already read The Phantom of the Opera I think I've done enough this month!


message 43: by Andrew (last edited Mar 30, 2016 03:25PM) (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson Finishing the month off with Shirley Jackson, not read her before although heard her creepy short story The lottery on the new Yorker podcast last year so looking forward to a chiller.


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) Just squeaked in before the end of the month with John Harwood's The Asylum. Victorian gothic horror, with insane asylums, mistaken identity, wills, elopements, and all the rest of it. A solid four stars for me (reviewed it here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) - not scary in the blood-and-gore sense, but he manages a subtler feeling of horror as the poor heroine tries to figure out who she is...

Not my sort of thing as a matter of routine, but I'm glad I read it.


message 45: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 265 comments Kate (Trojanhorse) wrote: "I think I'm going to try The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux"

I love this book sooooo much. If you like it check out Leroux's other works, particularly the horror. Scared the bejesus out of me.


message 46: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 265 comments Caroline wrote: "Kate, have you tried The Green Mile by King? I've always avoided his books because I'm not a horror fan but I loved this. Not scary at all.
I've got Misery on my shelf wa..."


Misery has a lot of suspense but I wouldn't say it was scary. Disturbing yes - scary no. Christine gives me the hebeejeebies though.


message 47: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: "We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley JacksonFinishing the month off with Shirley Jackson..."

I enjoyed that one. I'd describe it more as deeply strange rather than truly scary....


message 48: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
Just finished Misery and would definitely recommend it. Gruesome at times and tense. A real page-turner..... and surprisingly funny in places - the pastiche historical romance! Steven King must have had a blast writing those sections.

Misery by Stephen King


message 49: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
T. K. Elliott wrote: "Just squeaked in before the end of the month with John Harwood's The Asylum. Victorian gothic horror, with insane asylums, mistaken identity, wills, elopements, and all the rest of ..."

Sounds fun! I have his book, The Seance, on my to read list.


message 50: by Alison (new)

Alison (alisonvenables) | 49 comments just finished Kindred Spirits: Tower of London Kindred Spirits Tower of London by Jennifer C Wilson by Jennifer C Wilson an unusual ghost story but what a brilliant idea...all the people ever executed in the tower haunting the place and becoming friends with each other.


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