February 2017: Shirley Jackson / Psychological

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February 2017: Shirley Jackson / Psychological

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1sturlington
Fev 10, 2017, 4:11pm

Please say this group is not quite defunct!

I just finished The Bird's Nest by Shirley Jackson. This is the fifth of her novels that I have read. It is a psychological thriller about a woman with multiple personalities, written well before that became a cliche. Quite weird and disorienting. It reminded me most of Hangsaman, not instantly likable, but a book that gets under your skin.

2mathgirl40
Fev 10, 2017, 6:25pm

>1 sturlington: I'm still popping in once in a while!

I finished The Lottery and Other Stories. Jackson's writing is definitely disturbing and creepy. The stories are not scary in the usual horror sense and they deal with very ordinary people and situations, but you get the sense there's ugliness hiding under the surface.

3LibraryCin
Fev 12, 2017, 1:36am

Hi! Glad you started a thread!

I will not be reading a book by Jackson, but one to fit the theme:
Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston

4luvamystery65
Fev 12, 2017, 3:17pm

I'm in it too! I haven't read my Jackson yet, but I will post. I'll read some of her short stories.

5sturlington
Fev 16, 2017, 10:12am

I also read two Patricia Highsmith novels, The Two Faces of January and Deep Water, that would qualify for this theme, although I didn't like them as much as The Talented Mr. Ripley.

6mathgirl40
Fev 17, 2017, 10:24pm

I finished a book that fits the psychological thriller theme, The Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet. This book is on this year's Tournament of Books shortlist and is about a woman who hears voices in her head and who, along with her daughter, is trying to flee her husband whom she believes is trying to murder her.

7LibraryCin
Fev 23, 2017, 10:36pm

Don't base reading this book on the tags! It is tagged with archeology, and I was aiming for it to fill an archaeology challenge, but it really doesn't fit. I also thought (based on it being tagged as such), it would fit "psychological suspense". Suspense - sure. Psychological - not so much. But no time to try to find something else. This was what was supposed to fit this month's theme, though I really didn't think it did.

Still Life With Crows / Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
4 stars

In this 4th book of the series, FBI Special Agent Pendergast shows up (while on his vacation!) to a small corn-farming community in Kansas to help solve a recent murder. He hires a high school girl, who is often in trouble herself and who just wants to get out of town as soon as she’s done high school, to be his assistant and chauffeur. The local sheriff is surprised that Pendergast thinks the killer is local… in this small town of fewer than 400 people, where everyone knows everyone! Unfortunately, the killings don’t stop at one…

I thought this was really good. I liked the change of location for this book. It was very creepy at times, in amidst all that corn!

8luvamystery65
Editado: Fev 24, 2017, 12:00pm



This collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson was perfectly creepy. There wasn't an element of horror in these, with the exception of The Lottery. These were more the creepiness of everyday encounters of racism, isolationism, social anxiety etc... Jackson had a way to make everything suspenseful in the most subtle way. I really would like to read more of her short works.

The stories are "The Lottery", "Flower Garden", "Come Dance with Me in Ireland", "Men with Their Big Shoes", "Trial by Combat", "Pillar of Salt", "Like Mother Used to Make", and "Colloquy".