Although Halloween is over, the days are getting colder and darker (sometimes it even rains!)… it’s as wintry as California will get. Perfect weather for curling up with a warm drink and a good, spooky book to chill you to the bone. So we asked our teachers what their favorite scary work of literature was, or what creeped them out the most, and these are their responses… happy reading!
Mr. Manjoine: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”
“Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.”
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
Note: The Road was also adapted as a post-apocalyptic survival film by the same name!
Ms. Manning: Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm
“When any pretty maiden came within that space she was changed into a bird, and the fairy put her into a cage, and hung her up in a chamber in the castle. There were seven hundred of these cages hanging in the castle, and all with beautiful birds in them.”
We know fairy tales as the stories of a beautiful princess, a charming prince, and their happily-ever-after… but let’s just say that Disney did quite a lot of clean up…
Mr. Slivka: The Body Artist by Don DeLillo
In The Body Artist, DeLillo tells the hallucinatory tale of performance artist Lauren Hartke in the days following the suicide of her husband, filmmaker Rey Robles.
Finishing out their lease of a rented house on the coast, living in a self-imposed exile, Lauren discovers a mysterious man in the bedroom upstairs who is able to repeat — verbatim — entire conversations she had with her husband before his death but does not seem to know his own name or where he happens to come from.
“A metaphysical ghost story about a woman alone…intimate, spare, exquisite.” – Adam Begley, The New York Times Book Review
Ms. Green: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Get Out meets The Stepford Wives in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.
A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
Ms. Miller: “The Wind” by Lauren Groff
“Much later, she would tell me the story of this day at those times when it seemed as if her limbs were too heavy to move and she stood staring into the refrigerator for long spells… then I would sit quietly beside her, and she would tell the story the same way every time, as if ripping out something that had worked its roots deep inside her.”
You can find it here in The New Yorker (TW: domestic violence)