Halloween may be long behind us, but these terrifying books (and one podcast) will give you some frightening fun this week. Keep a light on as you read about shark attacks, psychopaths, and classic horror.
On Your Kindle
Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916, by Michael Capuzzo
I gave myself nightmares reading Michael Capuzzo’s chilling Close to Shore. The nonfiction work explores a series of infamous 1916 shark attacks along the Jersey shore. Capuzzo recreates the atmosphere of the early Jazz Age and the new popularity of beach vacations in a period when it was widely believed that sharks were too timid to attack humans; these chapters are interspersed with sections on the development of the great white shark, believed to be the culprit in 1916.
On Your Smartphone
“Top 5 Horror Books that Will Freak You Out,” by Tabitha Sin, ThoughtCatalog
Tabitha Sin’s Halloween-inspired list makes me want to revisit Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, since I’ve long been creeped out—in the best way—by Edgar Allen Poe and Shirley Jackson. Once you’ve read The Cask of Amontillado or The Lottery, you can’t ever go back.
On a Podcast
“Strange Answers to the Psychopath Test,” by Jon Ronson, TED
British journalist Ronson is the author of The Psychopath Test, an examination of the medical diagnosis that reportedly impacts one in 100 individuals. In this TED talk, he discusses his early research into psychopathy, including a visit with an inmate in the UK who maintains that he faked his way into an asylum by pretending to be mad.
Winter at Death’s Hotel, by Kenneth Cameron
This work of historical fiction craftily blends Sherlock Holmes with Jack the Ripper. When the famous author Arthur Conan Doyle and his young second wife Louisa arrive in the United States for a book tour, Louisa finds herself drawn into a dark murder case, despite her husband’s disapproval. Set in Gilded Age New York, Winter at Death’s Hotel captures both the Victorian luxury and dark poverty of the period.