Rambling about books

Boo! 👻

Is it cliche to be writing about scary book in October? You know, what with Halloween and whatnots? Probably it is indeed cliche, but will it stop me from actually writing one? Definitely not.

I had my fair share of scary books, from one that is mildly scary to ones that actually became the fruit of my nightmare.

But, are all scary books always ghost related? Not according to me. Anything that cause me to put the book down is definitely a scary book. So, without further ado and in no particular order, let us all pee in our pants over these scary books that I’ve read.

A/N: I can’t promise you this will be spoiler free, so read at your own risk (but I’ll try my best not to spoil everything) and the level of scariness is measured by the number of the screaming emoji with one being the least and five being the most.

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Rambling about books

Break down and cry.

 

One of the hardest question I would have to answer when it comes to book is, “what makes a good book?”

To me, a good book is one that can bring me to tears, or at least close enough to it. Why? I’m dead inside. It’s hard for me to express my emotion, other than anger, mind you.

To read a book that could move me to tears deserves more than a standing ovation from me. For reasons I don’t quite understand, I want to compile a list of books that have brought me down to a puddle of mess by the time I finished reading it. In no particular order, let’s all break down and cry over these books.

In no particular order

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Rambling about books

Book review: The House Between Tides, by Sarah Maine

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death.

Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing.

What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community—and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body. Goodreads.

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Rambling about books

Book review: The Last American Vampire, by Seth Grahame-Smith

In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln’s shocking death. It will be an expansive journey that will first send him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash. Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia’s October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination. Goodreads.

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Rambling about books

Book review: A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. Goodreads

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Rambling about books

Book review: The Tsar of Love and Techno, by Anthony Marra

This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a captivating work from one of our greatest new talents. Goodreads

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