March 2016: Women authors

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March 2016: Women authors

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1sturlington
Fev 21, 2016, 11:59am

I hope it's not too early to post this, but after my last read, I need something to look forward to. In March, we are reading horror written by women. In my opinion, Shirley Jackson is one of the best horror writers ever, so she would be a great choice, especially if you have never read anything by her (hint: We Have Always Lived in the Castle).

Here is a LibraryThing list I started a while back of Recommended Horror and Dark Fiction by Women. Besides Ms. Jackson, some recommended authors from this list include:

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein, naturally
Anne Rice
Angela Carter
Gillian Flynn
Susan Hill
Joyce Carol Oates
Kathe Koja
Caitlin R. Kiernan
Patricia Highsmith
Daphne du Maurier

Or check the list I linked to for more title suggestions. I think there are a lot of great authors to select from for next month. I plan to read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn and possibly also The Bird's Nest by Ms. Jackson, as I am working my way through all her novels. What are you thinking of reading?

2luvamystery65
Editado: Fev 21, 2016, 6:38pm

I have We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Thanks for reminding me about that one. I am going to read White is for Witching and I'll squeeze in The Jackson if I have time. Of course, I'll probably change my mine about three times before March gets here.

ETA: Told you I would change my mind!

I'm going to listen to We Have Always Lived in the Castle and save the Oyeyemi for Diversity month.

3LibraryCin
Fev 21, 2016, 11:42pm

Hmmm, I hadn't thought of her, but I think I have at least one by Du Maurier on my tbr. Other than that, from what's on my tbr, there is a couple of paranormal plus one ghost story:

Bloody Bones / Laurell K. Hamilton
Blood Bound / Patricia Briggs
The Winter People / Jennifer McMahon

Just to see, I might have to check which Du Maurier book I have on the tbr, as well.

4LibraryCin
Fev 21, 2016, 11:50pm

Looks like it's My Cousin Rachel that's on my tbr, so that's another possibility!

5.Monkey.
Fev 22, 2016, 4:44am

Shelley wrote more than just Frankenstein! I'm actually planning on Siddons' House Next Door, with Alcott's Long Fatal Love Chase down for the Gothic month, and Shelley's The Last Man I still have to choose which month to go with. :P

There's also Chelsea Cain, though she'd be a good pick for next month as hers (at least the ones I know of, she may have written others not in the series in the past several years) feature a (female!) serial killer. Lisa Gardner also writes serial killer novels, so is another good choice for either month.

6sturlington
Editado: Fev 22, 2016, 6:48am

>5 .Monkey.: I read The House Next Door years ago and liked it a lot. Really a different book for her, as I wouldn't consider Anne Rivers Siddons a horror author. Lol

7mathgirl40
Fev 22, 2016, 7:10am

I haven't decided what I'll read for March, but I have some Daphne du Maurier and Kelley Armstrong books on my TBR pile, so it'll likely be one of these.

8saraslibrary
Fev 29, 2016, 1:48am

>1 sturlington: It's never too early. :) And thank you for the list you made; that is impressive! Good luck with Geek Love and The Bird's Nest. They both sound interesting.

I haven't decided yet what I'll read, but your list and the suggestions so far are a great help. Thanks, everyone! :)

>2 luvamystery65: LOL @ Told you I would change my mind!

There's nothing wrong with that. You can always still change it again. It's still February after all. ;)

>3 LibraryCin: & >4 LibraryCin: You have some good ones lined up. And I have Bloody Bones in my TBR pile as well. :D I don't know if I'll chose that one for my March read, but I hope to read it before the pages disintegrate.

>5 .Monkey.: Oh, House Next Door is one I've been looking for for awhile now. If you read it, I'd be all ears to what you think of it. :)

I read A Long Fatal Love Chase many, many years ago, but I still remember liking it. It's a super fast read and a very unusual book for Louisa May Alcott.

Oh, yes! Chelsea Cain is excellent! You just gave me a great idea of what to read for our serial killer month. Thank you! :)

9Moomin_Mama
Fev 29, 2016, 8:50am

I'll be reading Out, as I didn't get to read it in February. Not only is it by a woman, but the plot and themes are relevant (as they were in the book I read last year, Grotesque).

If I finish Out, I want to read The Haunting of Hill House.

10.Monkey.
Fev 29, 2016, 11:45am

>8 saraslibrary: Actually Alcott wrote many thriller short stories (there's various collections of them), but it wasn't realized until a bit later as she published them anonymously/under pseudonyms. :)

11saraslibrary
Fev 29, 2016, 11:19pm

>9 Moomin_Mama: Good choice! :) Looks interesting. And best of luck if you're able to fit two in in March.

>10 .Monkey.: Oh, really? I didn't know that. Or maybe I did, but I've forgotten since then. All I think of when I see her name is Little Women, etc. I'll keep my eyes out for her short stories. Thanks! :)

I think I found a short enough book for March: The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill. I'll probably start it tomorrow, even though it's sitting right here next to my laptop.

12.Monkey.
Mar 1, 2016, 4:42am

Yep, I read a nice big one, I think it was (relatively) recently published (back when I read it around 2012 or so) and supposed to be complete?, at least as far as what they could identify as hers. I believe the title was Louisa Alcott Unmasked: Collected Thrillers but it was a library book read back when I was using GR so I don't have the data in my acct here. They weren't bad. She was no Stephen King ;) but, they were good enough to get published and provide her a bit of income until she managed to get established with the Little Women series of titles. :)

13JuliusC
Mar 2, 2016, 12:12pm

I'm not sure if I'll be able to go through my list this month but I will try to read
Sleep, Pale Sister
The Last Man
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

14saraslibrary
Mar 2, 2016, 10:19pm

>12 .Monkey.: Hey, what do you know, we actually have a copy of Louisa Alcott Unmasked, so I just put a hold on it. Thanks! :) And that's really cool info about it being her earlier stuff, too. I really don't know much about her. And, no, I would hardly compare her to Stephen King. ;)

>13 JuliusC: Those look interesting, especially Sleep, Pale Sister and The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Good luck with all three! :)

15.Monkey.
Mar 3, 2016, 4:20am

If it's the same one I read (which I think it ought to be), it had an intro thing, so you'll get all the proper full details from there when you read it. :))

16saraslibrary
Mar 3, 2016, 11:27pm

>15 .Monkey.: Cool. I'll check when it arrives. It says it's been shipped, so hopefully I'll get it Friday or Saturday.

17JuliusC
Mar 4, 2016, 9:53am

>13 JuliusC:
>14 saraslibrary: Thanks! Going to add Pure to the list. Hopefully I can finish at least 2 on my list as I have other TBR to go through :/

18saraslibrary
Editado: Mar 7, 2016, 12:20am

>15 .Monkey.: Louisa Alcott Unmasked arrived today and wow, what a big book! I probably won't read it this year, but I plan on thumbing through it at work. It is impressive how many stories she wrote.

>17 JuliusC: Oh, yeah, I've heard good things about Pure, and I just love the covers for that series.

Same here with TBRs. :) Good luck! At least March is a couple days longer than Feb.

19.Monkey.
Mar 5, 2016, 6:11am

Just finished House Next Door, that was pretty awesome. Nice slow buildup with the tense anticipation building steadily, and I definitely did not expect the ending!

20luvamystery65
Mar 5, 2016, 1:06pm

I went quickly through We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. She really know how to draw you into a story.

I am now listening to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, narrated by Dan Stevens. This is a reread for me but I've been wanting to listen to it. It's one of those stories that is meant to be read aloud.

21gaylebutz
Mar 6, 2016, 7:50pm

I'm new to the group. I read mysteries of all types but I didn't really think of any of them as being in the horror category. After reading through the discussion and recognizing some of the authors, I think at least a few that I've read would probably qualify as horror.

So, I want to dabble in this area and try We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I'm also interested in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Would that particular book fit this category?

22sturlington
Mar 6, 2016, 8:55pm

>21 gaylebutz: Welcome! I would definitely count Gillian Flynn as horror. Her books are pretty dark.

23saraslibrary
Mar 7, 2016, 12:24am

>19 .Monkey.: & >20 luvamystery65: Congrats, you guys! :) I'm glad you ended up with good ones.

>21 gaylebutz: Welcome! :) Yeah, I think there's some variety to the monthly challenges, so it might appeal to everyone, mystery readers and everyone in-between. Best of luck with We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Gone Girl!

24.Monkey.
Mar 7, 2016, 12:58pm

Yeah we're pretty laid back here, as long as you're attempting, in some way shape or form, to participate with the focus of the thread, it's all good! :)

25Moomin_Mama
Mar 7, 2016, 5:17pm

>21 gaylebutz: Welcome to the group :)

26LibraryCin
Mar 9, 2016, 10:45pm

My Cousin Rachel / Daphne du Maurier
3.5 stars

Philip was raised by his bachelor cousin Ambrose. Philip is now 24 and plans to remain a bachelor himself. When Ambrose heads to Italy for a trip, Philip is surprised to learn that Ambrose has fallen in love and will get married while there. Philip never sees Ambrose again, as only a few months later, Ambrose dies unexpectedly. When Ambrose's new wife, Rachel, shows up in England, Philip is surprisingly drawn to her.

It was not fast-paced. The story was fine, once I got “into” it and figured out who was who and how they were related. There wasn't as much mystery to it as I was expecting. I have to admit I kept waiting for something to happen, but really... not much did. As I write my review, I'm surprised I'm rating it “good” and not “ok”, but unless I'm undecided on how I'll rate it as I read, I tend to stick with my thoughts while I was reading, so 3.5 stars (good), it is!

27gaylebutz
Mar 14, 2016, 3:24pm

I just finished We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and here's my review:

Mary Katherine and Constance are two young adult sisters living in a big old house with their elderly uncle, who is unwell. Mary Katherine is concerned about being safe and being afraid of strangers or the others. Constance is afraid of going out of the house. When cousin Charles comes to visit, tensions run high.

The strange behavior and conversations that the sisters have and their fears kept me interested and curious about what was going on, was it real or in their mind. The ending was a bit of a disappointment as there wasn't much explanation about why they were the way they were.

I guess this isn't really my kind of book because I do want more information about their problems and situation. I did like that there wasn't any graphic violence. I'm glad I read it to see what a classic horror story is like.

28saraslibrary
Mar 21, 2016, 3:12am

>26 LibraryCin: I'm glad it was "good." ;) And I'm loving some of the newer covers of My Cousin Rachel. Congrats on finishing your March read!

>27 gaylebutz: Great review; and I'm glad it fit your reading taste. :) That's one I've heard a lot of good things about but have never read.

This wasn't my March pick (The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill is; I'm still working on it), but I finished The Grownup by Gillian Flynn today; the audiobook version of it, just to make it more convenient for me. (I listened to it at work.) This is my first Gillian Flynn book (well, novella), and I just loved it. The beginning actually made me laugh re: the main character admitting she got carpal tunnel from giving thousands of handjobs as a sex worker. Immature, gross, I know, but I actually liked the story, even though I had coworkers who said they didn't. Anyway, even though it's tagged "suspense" and "thriller," I figured it was psychologically dark enough to merit a horror read. Recommended.

29ccookie
Editado: Mar 24, 2016, 1:13pm

For this month's challenge I read Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. Enjoyed it very much; beautiful writing; the mists on the moors ...

I read this when I was sick in bed with a cold and even though I kept falling asleep because I was sick I picked it up again as soon as I woke up. I would have finished it in a lot less time if I had not been ill. Even so, reading a book like this usually would take me longer than 3 days.

Written in 1936 it is considered a more modern horror story with gothic horror tendencies and, of course, some romance.

Having barely made it through the classic gothic romance,The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, which was probably my worst reading experience EVER, I was a little worried about Jamaica Inn. When I heard gothic horror / gothic romance I was not sure what to expect. Udolpho was so tedious. I abandoned it several times as I couldn't stand another minute of reading pages and pages about nothing and more nothing.

But I was pleasantly surprised with Jamaica Inn. What a difference reading du Maurier’s descriptive passages about the Moors of Cornwall. I loved it! I could not get enough of it. The writing was not exactly scary but, rather, suspenseful. The twist in the story I picked up on before we got to it, but that didn’t change my appreciation for the story. But you know, the story was secondary, it was the beautiful writing that got me in this one.

I will definitely read more by this author. I have 5 others on my bookshelves.

4.0 Stars

30sturlington
Mar 23, 2016, 12:49pm

>29 ccookie: Sounds really good!

31LibraryCin
Mar 23, 2016, 10:06pm

>29 ccookie: I liked Jamaica Inn!

32saraslibrary
Mar 24, 2016, 2:23am

>29 ccookie: I hope you're feeling better. :) And I'm glad you found the right book to read. Best of luck finishing the other 5 you have.

33ccookie
Mar 24, 2016, 1:14pm

>32 saraslibrary: thanks! All better>

34gaylebutz
Mar 24, 2016, 3:49pm

I finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Here's my review:

Nick and Amy start off with a great relationship. But after marriage, they slowly discover each other's flaws and things start going downhill. Amy eventually starts fearing for her life, according to her diary, and then she goes missing.

The first half of the book developed the relationship between Nick and Amy showing generally likable people if somewhat immature or inconsiderate at times.The second half had a lot of surprises and interesting things that happened. I didn't like the ending but I did think it fit what the story was about. Overall, I thought it was good, not great.

Based on the ending, I can see why this was considered horror because it was in the end.

>28 saraslibrary: You said that in the beginning The Grownup mad you laugh. I also found in some parts of Gone Girl I was chuckling, although most of it was suspenseful. I have some mixed feelings about Gillian Flynn, kind of like your co-workers, but I would probably try another one of hers sometime.

35sturlington
Editado: Mar 24, 2016, 4:29pm

>34 gaylebutz: I liked both Sharp Objects and Dark Places better than Gone Girl.

36gaylebutz
Mar 27, 2016, 8:06pm

>35 sturlington: Thanks for the recommendations. I'll take a look at those for a future read.

37sturlington
Editado: Mar 30, 2016, 8:07am

I finished two reads for this month's theme.

The Unseen by Alexandra Sokoloff was okay. Not exactly scary, it took too long to get to the haunted house and steered too close to romance for my tastes. Primarily interesting to me because it's set near where I live in Durham NC.

The Cipher by Kathe Koja was a lot better written, very dark and very weird, although I felt it really should have been shorter.

38LibraryCin
Abr 1, 2016, 11:54pm

Bloody Bones / Laurell K. Hamilton
4 stars

Vampire hunter and raiser of zombies, Anita Blake, has been called on to raise hundreds of bodies from a cemetery where the bones have all been mixed together. She's not sure if she'll be able to do it, but she'll try. In the meantime, a few teenagers have been murdered and it appears to have been something supernatural. Anita wants to try to help with the investigation.

I really enjoy these audios. They include some sound effects at certain points and it really works for me. I also really liked this particular story, but I just don't get the appeal of Jean-Claude. I really don't!

39LibraryCin
Abr 2, 2016, 2:17pm

Does anyone know who was going to be doing the thread for April? I don't see one up yet. Thanks!

40sturlington
Abr 2, 2016, 2:59pm

It's Monkey according to the planning thread.

41.Monkey.
Abr 2, 2016, 3:09pm

That'd be me, just being slow. ;)

42LibraryCin
Abr 2, 2016, 9:40pm

>40 sturlington: and >41 .Monkey.: Thanks, ladies!

43saraslibrary
Abr 3, 2016, 1:08am

>33 ccookie: Good! I'm glad. :)

>34 gaylebutz: That's good to know about Gone Girl. :) I definitely want to try more of her books. And, of course, when I find the time, watch the movies too.

>37 sturlington: I agree with that about Kathe Koja's work: very weird and could be shorter.

>38 LibraryCin: Sounds effects? Nice. :) I don't listen to audiobooks very often, but that sounds like fun.

>41 .Monkey.: No worries. :) I'm kind of being slow, too.

44LibraryCin
Abr 3, 2016, 1:06pm

>43 saraslibrary: I think some people don't like the sound effects, but I do, and I'm going to try to read the rest of the series (well, until it falls over into erotica, anyway) via audio.

45.Monkey.
Abr 3, 2016, 2:44pm

*checks* That one was #5? Oh, well, you probably won't have too many more to go, heh. I think Blue Moon was where it started crossing over, lol.

46mathgirl40
Abr 3, 2016, 4:18pm

>29 ccookie: I have a copy of Jamaica Inn on my shelf, which I'd read decades ago. Glad to hear you liked it. I might do a reread when we have our Gothic month.

I finished Stolen by Kelley Armstrong, the second in her Women of the Otherworld series. The story seemed similar to her YA Darkest Powers series, featuring a vast array of supernatural beings: werewolves, witches, vampires, demons and more. It was good fun, and coincidentally, Kelley Armstrong is writer-in-residence at one of our local libraries for the next few months.

47LibraryCin
Abr 3, 2016, 9:25pm

>45 .Monkey.: thanks for the warning!

48saraslibrary
Abr 5, 2016, 2:28am

>46 mathgirl40: I'm glad you liked Stolen. :) It's been about 10 years since I read that one, but I remember liking that series. I'll have to look for her Darkest Powers series. Sounds fun! And that's awesome Kelly Armstrong is in your neck of the woods. :)