SPOOKY SUNDAY: Horror Stories by E Nesbit

This week Spooky Sunday looks at Horror Stories by E Nesbit, an author best known for her children’s classics such as The Railway Children and Five Children and It. This is also the first short story collection I’ve tackled for Spooky Sunday and it’s interesting to see how this more concise medium tackles the task of creating a sense of creepiness. But can an author best known for enchanting children craft a truly spooky story? Let’s find out!

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring

This week Spooky Sunday tackles a real life ghost story in Neil Spring’s fictionalisation of the investigation into Borley Rectory: The Ghost Hunters. Set over the first half of the twentieth century the novel follows Sarah Grey and her employer, paranormal researcher Harry Price as they investigate the place known as ‘the most haunted house in England’. Does this novel live up to the spooky reputation of its real life inspiration? Let’s find out.

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SPOOKY SUNDAY: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday but seeing as we get five whole Spooky Sundays this October I think we can  deal with one Spooky Tuesday. To kick off this year I read one of the pillars of the genre, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Telling the story of an ancient Transylvanian vampire who tries to make it in the big city and the group of meddling kids determined to stop him Dracula is one of the best known horror stories out there. But is the original anything like our pop cultural perceptions and does a novel that spooked readers over hundred years ago still hold some scares in the modern day? Let’s find out!

SPOILER WARNING: Very vague and minor spoilers

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CHRISTIE CORNER: EVIL UNDER THE SUN

As an avid Agatha Christie fan (as evidenced from my twelve thousand recommendations in our Roger Ackroyd post) I am slowly collecting all of her bibliography and even more slowly making my way through. In this series I’ll hopefully cover the many high and occasional lows of Christie’s career while also reducing that massive section if my TBR made up by her works.

To start off with we tackle Evil Under the Sun a beach themed murder mystery packed with everything you could ever want. Love triangles! Witchcraft! Drug dealers! Are any of these actually relevant to the main crime? Find out below!

SPOILER WARNING: Very mild spoilers (no revealing whodunnit)

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Review: WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

By Michelle Nathan

 

Hi friends! This month I am reviewing WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, a tale of romance, comedy and some carefully orchestrated destiny centring around two young, first generation Indian-Americans whose parents have plotted an arranged set up between the two. But, in the vein of all classic rom-coms, only one of them knows about the arrangement, while the other is initially completely oblivious. Miscommunication, hijinks and all of the cutesy rom-com tropes in the world are afoot in this charming story about young love, chasing your dreams and following your heart. Hope you enjoy!

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Mini Reviews: January 2017

by Kate

I read twelve books in January, which is a personal best, with an average rating of 4.5 stars – so it was an extremely good reading month for me. Below are mini reviews for each book (excluding book club picks and ones with longer reviews to come).

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Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories by Washington Irving

This is a collection of short stories, each of which is supposedly based on an element of Dutch-American folklore. My least favourite story was actually the title one, I felt it was quite anecdotal and a little bit misogynist – we’re supposed to feel sorry for Rip because his wife is always mad at him, but if he could be bothered to help around the house she wouldn’t be! I enjoyed ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ the most as this was the story that felt most true to the folkloric nature of the stories, whilst also providing a ‘rational’ explanation. The folklore aspect was definitely my favourite part as I haven’t read many American legends before.

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Review: The Essex Serpent

I’m a sucker for a book award. I don’t always agree with the verdict, but slap a ‘Winner’ sticker on any novel and it will rocket to the top of my reading list. Call it curiosity, call it elitism, call it argumentative, call it whatever; if a book has been called ‘the best’, I want to find out why.

Hence my reading for this month: Waterstones’ Book of the Year 2016, Sarah Perry’s second novel The Essex Serpent.

Spoilers under the cut!

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