Shelf Control #133: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Published: 2014
Length: 262 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

How and when I got it:

I picked up a copy a couple of years ago.

Why I want to read it:

Am I the only person who hasn’t read this book yet? It definitely feels that way! My horror aficionado friends have been raving about Bird Box for years, and really, I have no excuse for not having read it already, other than the usual “so many books, so little time” mantra. I read Unbury Carol by this author earlier in the year, and thought it was terrific (check out my review). It’s almost October, the perfect time of year for scaring myself silly via fiction, so maybe I’ll finally give this book a go!

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books to Get in the Halloween Mood

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week, we’re talking about books for getting into the Halloween spirit. With a pinch of ghosts, a dash of terror, and a few other supernatural creatures to add some chills and thrills, here are my top 10:

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1) A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans: What’s Halloween without a little possession?

2) Misery by Stephen King: Really, just about any Stephen King book could fit on this list. I love that Misery manages to be terror-inducing without the slightest shred of the supernatural. Just a crazy woman with an axe…

3) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. Like father, like son… I could just as easily put Horns or Heart-Shaped Box on this list, although NOS4A2 has the scariest evil dude that I’ve encountered lately.

4) Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger: Because sometimes you just need a good ghost story. Bonus points for taking place next to (and in) an awesome cemetery.

5) The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian: Another fabulous ghost story. Absolutely a five-star read.

6) The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan: Blood, guts, gore, and existentialism. Quite the introspective murderous werewolf.

7) Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore: When you prefer your vampires with silliness and laughter. A great San Francisco setting doesn’t hurt a bit.

8) The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe: Smart witches, example #1.

9) A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: Smart witches, example #2. Plus, you know, a sexy vampire — and there are even trick-or-treaters.

10) And finally, The Boys Are Back in Town by Christopher Golden: For those who like a straight-up over-the-top horror fest:

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What books put you in the Halloween mood?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Creepy, Eerie, Scary Book Covers

Happy Halloween! What a perfect week to focus on covers that give us the chills!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Scariest Looking Books Covers. What makes a cover scary? I’m less impressed by actual blood and gore — but give me just the hint of something sinister or creepy, and I’m hooked!

My top ten creepy, eerie, spooky, chilling, scary book covers are:

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1) It by Stephen King: Responsible for a generation or two of people completely traumatized by clowns and storm drains.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

2) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

The Replacement

3) The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

I am Legend and Other Stories

4) I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Poe's Children: The New Horror: An Anthology

5) Poe’s Children: The New Horror by Peter Straub
Doll parts? Always creepy.

Red Spikes

6) Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan

Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Eden Moore, #1)

7) Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine, #2)

8) Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

9) The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
I don’t know what’s in the jar… and I don’t want to know.

Sunshine

10) Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Honorable mention: I wanted to give a special shout-out (or should that be a scream-out?) to some blast from the past creep fests:

Suffer the ChildrenWhere Are The Children?Rosemary's Baby

The OmenThe ExorcistThe Amityville Horror

Happy Halloween! May your reading be extra spooky and creepy this week!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Flashback Friday: Heart-Shaped Box

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight. If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My picks for this week’s Flashback Friday:

Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

(published 2007)

From Goodreads:

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.

I’ve just started reading Joe Hill’s new release, NOS4A2, so when it was time to pick a Flashback Friday book for this week, I couldn’t resist revisiting the author’s first novel, Heart-Shaped Box. What you need to know: A) Joe Hill can write, and B) Joe Hill can write seriously scary stuff. Heart-Shaped Box is a practically perfect horror novel, with a seriously terrifying bad guy and an unbelievably tense build-up to a crackling end.

I generally consider myself unflappable when it comes to what I read: Whatever it is, I’ll still sleep perfectly well at night, thank you very much. Heart-Shaped Box was definitely an exception to that rule for me. Leave the lights on for this one.

So, what’s your favorite blast from the past? Leave a tip for your fellow booklovers!

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join the Flashback Friday fun, write a blog post about a book you love (please mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the Flashback Friday host!) and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!