Ghost Stories

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Note: This may contain some mild spoiler alerts for the books Peony in Love, The Night Strangers, and The Beginner’s Goodbye. I’m trying not to give any, but just in case you intend to read one of those in the near future, you’ve been warned.

I do NOT enjoy horror movies … or really, even suspenseful ones. I think it went down in history when I told my best friend that watching Gone in 60 Seconds made me nervous. I hid my face for the entirety of The Sixth Sense, and I can count on maybe one and a half hands the number of horror movies I’ve ever seen.

I just don’t like being scared.

(I tried to find the picture of me hiding and horrified on the ride DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom … from when I was in college. Apparently it hasn’t been scanned and my parents have saved me that embarrassment thus far. How about this one instead? Why no, I don’t have any shame.)


Anyway, I know I looked at the blurb on Chris Bohjalian’s The Night Strangers before I started reading it. I knew it was about a plane crash and ghosts. But I’ve read several of his books before, and I just didn’t think it would be very scary. I’d read Jodi Picoult’s ghost story, Second Glance, and thought it would be similar.

But it was scary.

It freaked me the heck out.

And strangely, I had just read The Peach Keeper, which deals vaguely with ghosts or spirits, too.

After having nightmares about the book ROOM, followed by nights of going to sleep thinking about drowned ghosts from The Night Strangers, you’d think I would be a little more careful about what I picked out next.

When we got home after our Christmas trip to my in-laws, I made a long list of all the books from my Kindle wishlist that our library had hard copies of. Because it’s senseless to pay for them on Kindle when I can go get them from the library, right? I returned with five or six books from some of my favorite authors. For the most part, I just knew they were books by authors I liked that I hadn’t read yet.

So I read a few. And then I read Peony in Love by Lisa See … where the main character is a ghost for two-thirds of the novel. Really? Another ghost story?

And then I picked up the latest Anne Tyler book. Safe Anne Tyler, one of my favorite authors, so practical. AND THE MAIN CHARACTER WAS SEEING THE GHOST OF HIS LATE WIFE. I never would have expected that from Anne Tyler, even if it is a pretty boring ghost as ghosts go.

This pattern is starting to freak me out a little bit. We live in a 100-year-old building … and as far as I know, no one has died here. But if they have, I don’t want to know. OK?

Yours Truly, Scaredy Pants.

(By the way, you can see all the books I’ve read this year – or in 2012 – with short reviews on Pinterest. Also, will you warn me if there are more ghost stories on my Want to Read It board?)



6 thoughts on “Ghost Stories

  1. I’m not big on ghost stories/horror genre either. I can do psychological suspense/thrillers and those don’t bother me.

    I started reading Peony in Love. It’s not just a ghost story, it’s really bizarre. I skimmed through some of it, and gave up. It was a library book- glad I didn’t buy it!

    I haven’t read the other 2

  2. I do OK with stuff that’s kind of like The Twilight Zone (TV show – twisty but fairly light) but I do NOT do well with paranormal violence or truly creepy.

    Isn’t it strange how you can have three unrelated books and yet they seem to have a common thread? Makes me think the authors meet at a big convention and say something like, “OK , this year: ghosts!” 😉

    • Maybe next year they’ll write about purple unicorns. ;)

      I guess I am just pretty sensitive. I won’t even watch NCIS – I just get disturbed very easily. I guess it’s OK to know that about myself.

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