and welcome back to another ‘Keky Recommends’ post. Since we already are in the middle of October, I thought I would share with you five books that could be considered creepy reads and might be able to get us in the Halloween mood. As a disclaimer, I do not read nor like horror books, I have a very fervent imagination, and suffer from bad nightmares, so I try not to feed my mind with too much eerie stuff. That said, these are the books that came to my mind when thinking about creepy reads.
- Marina, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book is so creepy. It is a modern Gothic novel set in Barcelona, and it follows Oscar as he develops a strange friendship with a girl named Marina. Together, they will have to uncover certain mysteries surrounding the city, and let me tell you, this book gives you chills. The setting, the whimsical and eloquent writing, and the evocative language will make you want to hide under your blankets.
- Dracula, Bram Stoker. This is a well-known classic Gothic novel. I read it when I was fifteen, and I really want to read it again, because I enjoyed it so very much. I am sure you know this is the story of Count Dracula, a Vampire. The story is told in journal entries, and you really get into the mind of the narrator. Completely worth the read.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. I have read this very recently, and I quite enjoyed it. It’s a young adult read, so do not expect extremely scary and gory stuff. However, since it deals with mental illness – or at least the outer perception of it – it is creepy and interesting. Also, this text is a mixture of prose narration and vintage pictures, and it is amazing how much your reading experience will be improved by them! You can find my review here.
- The Infernal Devices Trilogy, by Cassandra Clare. I chose this trilogy mainly because of the setting, which is Victorian London (one of my all-time favorite literary and historical periods) and it has to do with demons and monsters. This is a great trilogy which deals with very important themes, it has a nice pace and a lot of actions. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes dramatic, sometimes melancholic, you will enjoy it for sure. You can find my review of the first book here.
- Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte. There cannot be a ‘Keky Recommends’ without me mentioning at least once this beautiful masterpiece. This is one of my favorite books of all time, it is violent, creepy, sad, and the line between good and evil is stretched so thin that sometimes you have a hard seeing it. Set in the Yorkshire moorland in a desolate and misanthropic setting, this is the perfect read if you want to get a Halloween vibe.
These are the books that came to my mind when I thought the word ‘Halloween’. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know down below! What is your costume going to be this year? I am still thinking about it.
Until next time,
and welcome back to another installment of Keky Recommends. I have decided to start this series to share with you some books that have meant something to me in a particular way, and I am happy to know if you have read any of these and what you thought about them. So today I decided to talk about a tricky category of books: Classics. Some of us love them, some of us think they are boring, and some of us have been assigned them at school and just despise them. Being an English major I always read Classics, and they have definitely grown on me since I started high school, so much that now they are one of my favorite fiction category. Classics have a denser style to them, and they take a little more time to get through, but other than being a rewarding read, they are interesting in terms of content and depth of themes. If you are a beginner, here are five Classics you should read to enter the scary realm of older fiction.
- The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Start off with a children’s book, so then if the language is a bit outdated, you will be able to still pick up on it. This novel tells the adventures of orphaned Mary Lennox, who is taken in by an uncle in his big house, and everyone is cold to her. One day, she discovers a secret garden, and while she goes there to play, she develops a relationship with her sick cousin. Definitely a good read to start entering the world of the early 20th century.
- Animal Farm, by George Orwell. This novel is a little masterpiece. It tells the story of the animals that live in a farm and one day they decide to take over the humans and establish their own government. If it does not sound appealing to you, read it anyway. Thought to be a tale for kids, I think that if read by an adult the insight on this little book can take you long ways: it is an implicit guide to how a totalitarian regime can ascend to power. Pure genius.
- Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. This is the classic of Classics and for a good reason. Austen manages to give a good portrait of English society at the end of the 1700s, through irony and wit. An underlying criticism lingers throughout the whole novel, and if you find it hard to get into, listen to the audiobook red by Rosamund Pike. You will have some good laughs.
- Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. One of my all-time favorite Classics, I have read it countless times and I own at least 4 different editions of it. I always recommend this novel because it is very modern in its themes (what is the distinction between good and evil? Is there any distinction at all?), and also because it has some gothic/mystery elements to it. I read it when I was 15 not knowing what it really was, and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I read it in a day and a half. Definitely worth it.
- Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Yes, I know, you will say, why? It’s so boring! Well, it is not. Delete everything you think you know about Frankenstein that has been transmitted to you through pop culture and start with a blank slate. This is a tale of self-identity and perception, of love and loss, and it explores the bioethical question: what is the difference between creature and monster, and what does make someone human? Fairly fast-paced, another amazing read.
This is my 5-books Classics guide for beginners. I hope it was helpful and that it will inspire you to read more classic literature. By reading things that pertain to a distant past, we understand what makes us human, and I think that is a beautiful thing. Please let me know if you have read any of these or if you plan on doing so!
Until next time,
Today I want to start a new series: Keky Recommends. I will post new blogs every so often, and what I will do is, given a topic or theme, I will recommend some books that in a way or another were dear to me.
Today’s topic is emotionally draining books. By emotional I both mean that the book made me cry or that it made me feel more strongly than expected. Some of these books are sad, some are happy, and they are all fairly popular. So here we go.
- Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare. This overall trilogy was really good, but the last half of the third book is very dear to me. I read this book in a little more than a day, and especially the epilogue left me drained. It was a true cathartic experience. How Cassie describes the bond between the three main characters is beautiful and heart-wrenching, but also heart-warming.
- Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. Whether or not you find this book controversial, I thought the bioethical topic it discussed was interesting and realistic. This is a tale of discovery about one-self, and I liked seeing Lou grow. The ending was really emotional but at the same time I ‘understood’.
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. This story is tragic, and there is no excuse nor beating around the bush about it. I read this one almost seven years ago, and I am planning on re-reading it. I read it in one night, and after it I did not read anything for a month, its effect was so powerful.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling. I have read this book nine or ten times and it still makes me really emotional. Especially the last chapters with Dumbledore after the happenings at the Ministry of Magic. I think this book shows Harry’s struggles with his own history and identity, and it is so well done that you truly feel with him.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. I read this one in a particular moment in my life, where I saw everything through a dark lens. The soundtrack and the hope that this book gave me made me feel a little bit of light, re-teaching me how to appreciate the small things.
- Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas. I have a particular attachment with this one. There is a
particular scene that, when I read it, it seemed to me so real that I completely identified with it. What made me emotional was the deep understanding and loathing of one-self that is then turned into acceptance. Beautiful.
- A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas. The last few chapters killed me. I could not read all of this book in one sitting because I was so scared something was going to happen to the characters that I could not bring myself to read on. It made me feel angry, exhilarated and sad all at once.
- Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon. The last few chapters of this one take a big emotional toll on anyone who reads it. Desperation among other things is what I felt the most; but I also understood how strong and strange real love is.
Here are my recommendations for books emotionally draining. Please comment and let me know what other books you have read that made you feel particularly emotional, I am curious to know!
Until next time,