“What We’re Reading” is about readers in the community and the books they love, in their own words.
In honor of the most frightful day of the year, we asked three readers: What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
Book: “Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales” by Yoko Ogawa
This collection of 11 disturbing short stories feels like it’s the irreverent child of Haruki Murakami and Angela Carter. The stories creep under your skin and turn you inside out. Ogawa finds the unabashed poetry in true horror. I’m selecting this collection because I consider it one of the best contemporary short story collections ever written – in addition to being a horror standout. This seminal work reflects the beautiful diversity of the genre. Read wide, y’all. It’s a gothic masterpiece.
Book: “Birdsong” by Sebastian Faulks
“Birdsong” is both a love story and a war story weaved together. The love story parts, while ultimately heartbreaking, were not scary. The war parts were an altogether different story. The author’s ability to draw the reader in, coupled with extremely intense depictions of life as a British soldier during World War I, rattled me to my core. I felt like I was right in the trenches experiencing the everyday horrors of combat. Even more scary were the descriptions of mazes of underground mining tunnels that soldiers on both sides built and used as weapons to be blown up unpredictably with horrifying results.
Book: “Jaws” by Peter Benchley
After reading the book and watching the film, and being born and raised in Florida, every time I went into the Gulf, I heard the music from the movie this book is based on.