Reading Shirley Jackson – October 2019

I am a little late in posting this review of my month of reading Shirley Jackson. I was quite surprised with how much I enjoyed these reads, and they stuck with me for a weeks afterwards.

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to become more familiar with works by different authors by featuring a different author every month (see A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). I thought another great addition to my Fall reads and for October especially would be to read Shirley Jackson for the first time. I think it will be great for the Halloween season.

The-Lottery-and-other-storiesTitle: The Lottery and Other Stories
Author: Shirley Jackson
Genre: Short stories
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Company
Publication Date: 1949
Pages: 302
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: October 5, 2019

Goodreads Description: The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. “Power and haunting,” and “nights of unrest” were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson’s lifetime, unites “The Lottery:” with twenty-four equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate Jackson’s remarkable range–from the hilarious to the truly horrible–and power as a storyteller.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ 

6708624Title: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Author: Shirley Jackson
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication Date: September 21, 1962
Pages: 146
Format Read: Ebook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Amazon
Date finished reading: October 28, 2019

Goodreads Description: My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

HauntingOfHillHouseTitle: The Haunting of Hill House
Author: Shirley Jackson
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: 1959
Pages: 208
Format Read: Ebook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Amazon
Date finished reading: November 3, 2019

Goodreads Description: First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My Review: I had never before read Shirley Jackson. I tend to hide away from any story classified as horror. I am quite a scaredy cat when it comes to horror, but I decided to jump out of my comfort zone for October. I am really glad I did. Shirley Jackson is now one of my favorite authors that I read this year. While I did not as much enjoy her classic short story collection that includes The Lottery, which was quite disturbing, I absolutely loved both We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. While We Have Always Lived in the Castle was a bit slow at times, it kept me guessing. It was a very unique read and unlike anything I had ever read before. My favorite read of Shirley Jackson’s was definitely The Haunting of Hill House. It was really creepy in a great way. I already new the story a bit from the movie The Haunting (1999) with Liam Neeson and the recent Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. However, I can honestly say that the book is better. I still can’t stop thinking about this book. It continues to haunt me. 🙂 I highly recommend reading some Shirley Jackson.

My Overall Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

Movies/Shows I’m Watching – October ’18

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I am a seasonal movie watcher. I will only watch scary movies during the month of October. A couple months ago, I tried to watch Winchester, starring the amazing Helen Mirren, but only made it 30 minutes in before I just got too scared. I have decided to try that movie again now that it is October, along with a few others. I also have a couple of series I will be binging on Hulu and Netflix as well.

Series

  • Castle Rock – based off of Stephen King novels on Hulu
  • The Haunting of Hill House – based off of the Shirley Jackson book and premieres on Netflix this month

Movies

  • Winchester (2018)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • A Quiet Place (2018)
  • Mother! (2017)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Scream (1995)
  • Jaws (1976)

Do you like scary movies? Are you a seasonal scary movie fan like me or do you watch them at any time of the year? What are you favorites?