Categories
books and reading

Craven Manor

Once again, this book was recommended by the Books in the Freezer podcast. I’m way behind, but this book was mentioned by a guest on an episode about Indie horror. The premise sounded good, and I like a good haunted house/ghost story, which don’t scare me at all because I don’t believe in ghosts but these are still fun, creepy books to read, especially this time of the year.

From Goodreads:

Some secrets are better left forgotten…

Daniel is desperate for a fresh start. So when a mysterious figure slides a note under his door offering the position of groundskeeper at an ancient estate, he leaps at the chance, even though it seems too good to be true. Alarm bells start ringing when he arrives at Craven Manor. The abandoned mansion’s front door hangs open, and leaves and cobwebs coat the marble foyer. It’s clear no one has lived here in a long time…but he has nowhere else to go.

Against his better judgment, he moves into the groundskeeper’s cottage tucked away behind the old family crypt. But when a candle flickers to life in the abandoned tower window, Daniel realizes he isn’t alone after all. Craven Manor is hiding a terrible secret… One that threatens to bury him with it.

This book was just okay for me, though. I thought the secret was good, the main character was fine, but it just didn’t come together. I felt like 100 pages were missing. I also didn’t understand the main character’s loyalty to anything. If a ghost is haunting me, no matter how sad the ghost is, I’m out. Plain and simple. I don’t need to “help” a ghost. That seemed a bit preposterous. The book is short, and I thought it could have been more developed, overall. The scare factor was minimal, but was sufficiently creepy. To rate as the ladies do on the podcast, this was a room temperature book for sure.

Categories
books and reading

Lovecraft Country

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As much as I love books, most book podcasts are rather dull and very much like listening to NPR. I need something a bit grittier when it comes to book discussion. And a friend turned me on to Books in the Freezer. And granted, these girls are very sweet and aren’t gritty themselves, but the books they discuss definitely are. They recommend some books I’ve already read and loved, so I trust their judgment. They are also really good about letting their listeners know what kind of horror the books contain. I’m not a fan of body horror, so when something includes that, I make a note not to read it. So, when I needed a book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club for the PopSugar Reading Challenge, I knew where to turn.

I’m a couple of years behind on this podcast, so I have no idea what new books they are recommending, but this is one I remember them discussing in an early episode. And with the upcoming HBO series based on the book, I wanted to give it a try. I’ve never read Lovecraft. I’ve been meaning to, but I’ve just never made it a priority. I can’t say that I missed anything in this book because I haven’t read Lovecraft, though.

The book is really a series of interrelated short stories, each featuring one member of two different families who are close friends with each other. The “main character” of each story is usually accompanied by other characters within the families, but that main person is the one affected by whatever crazy thing is happening. Set in the Jim Crow 1950s, the supernatural events of the story are not so subtly tinged with racism. The author does a great job capturing what life was like then for black people in the US.

This book wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it would be more of just one big battle against monsters. And technically it was, but the monsters didn’t turn out to be space aliens or similar. They were simply racist white people, which is much more horrifying.