I completely missed the Anne Rivers Siddons mentions a couple of threads back. Not surprising, since I wasn't even aware of her existence until I bought Bag in Bones in paperback, saw her rave review and then came across her name just about everywhere I looked: in Danse Macabre (which, for those of you who haven't read it, is a very thorough and enthusiastic non-fictional book on the horror genre in literature and cinema from the 1950's to the early 80's), in my Amazon recommendations and - apparently, without paying attention - on the FORT. Isn't it funny how things work that way? Anyway, I definitely want to read something else by Siddons since I really enjoyed her writing style and characterization. I understand that The House Next Door is a huge leap from her usual stuff, genre-wise, but I still think I'd enjoy reading something else by her. Since I trust and admire Rattus' taste in books (mainly because we tend to like the same things - let's face it, isn't that how most of us define that fleeting, intensely subjective thing we like to call "good taste"? ), I'm thinking I'll start with Fox's Earth. Why is it that you hated the rest of what you've read by her? Oh, and kattatude: since you're a big Siddons fan, which novel do you reckon I should pick up next? Admittedly, I have a soft spot for anything vaguely supernatural, so my liking The House Next Door so much might have something to do with that. Not entirely, though; I really loved that distinctly Southern feel of her characters and thoroughly enjoyed getting acquainted with their lifestyles. Is there another Siddons novel that, while not exploring similar themes, at least deals with glamorous suburbia and distinctly Southern environments?
Seeing that I like to read just about everything available within the same genre back to back, I now want to exhaust the "Haunted House" subgenre of horror. I already got Ghost Story by Peter Straub and, of course, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson all lined up on my nightstand. Any other great contemporary(ish) haunted house horror novels out there I should look into while I'm at it? Classics are of course welcome as well, although I think I have most of them - M.R. James, Edith Wharton, Henry James' The Turn of the Shrew and so on - covered. Like I wrote in another thread, I'm thinking about writing my thesis about the horror genre, so I really want to read up on as much as possible over the summer. Any tips are more than welcome.
While I'm working up the guts to dive into Ghost Story, which is supposed to be one of the scariest books ever written, I am enjoying a piece of easy, breezy, fun British chick lit that I picked up on my trip to the U.K.: Be Careful What You Wish For by Alexandra Potter. Not sure if it's available in the U.S. though, but if you're a fan of well-written, snazzy, and 100% enjoyable mind candy that doesn't insult your intelligence, this is what you're looking for. Ideal for lazy summer days on the beach.
John, isn't 'Salem's Lot awesome? It will always have a special place in my heart since it was the very first Stephen King novel I picked up at a much-too-tender age, but regardless of the amount of nostalgia that might be involved, it's just a great ol' scary story. Love it. You may be interested in another early SK short story from the Night Shift collection that also, albeit a bit more vaguely, deals with 'Salem's Lot. The story I'm thinking about is called "One For the Road" and reads like a sort of post-script to the events that took place in 'Salem's Lot.
Note to self: Re-read Night Shift a.s.a.p. Any other fans of that particular short story collection here? To me, it remains just about the strongest short story collection he's compiled, along with Skeleton Crew.
ETA: Oh, and kattatude? Let me know how you like Digging to America. Anne Tyler is one of my favourite contemporary American novelists, and I bought Digging to America, hardcover and all, during my U.K. stint last week. Can't wait to read it. Right now, though, I'm all about paperbacks since I've been traveling quite a lot recently and like to travel light. Anne Tyler will just have to wait for a week or two.