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Always eager to read a haunted house story, I picked up David Mitchell’s new book, “Slade House.” I haven’t begun to read it, yet, but once I do, I’ll review it on this site. I’m always a sucker for haunted house tales, I have to admit. So, I’ll let you know what I think about it, after I’ve read it. I love the look of the hardback, the way they constructed it. The abyssal image of the interior of the house is cleverly arranged by a cutout in the cover, itself. When you open it, that pane reveals a larger map of the house that’s concealed by the yellow cover. I love me some good book design! Hopefully the book itself is as good as its cover!

One of my favorites of the haunted house subgenre was “The House Next Door” by Anne Rivers Siddons. It’s more of an evil house, not necessarily a haunted house per se, but it’s just a marvelously creepy story, told with the sure voice of a Southern writer. Southern writers have a natural efficacy with language that bubbles up from the depths, and that particular book really nails it.

I also picked up the 60th Anniversary copy of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” by Jack Finney. I was sort of bemused to see Dean Koontz had written the foreword for it, but, go figure. Anyway, it’s a modern genre classic and has pervasive themes that have lingered far beyond the 1950s origins of that book. Ironically, I was starting to read it yesterday (October 28) and October 28 is referenced on the first page! That gave me momentary pause! I’ve always found the pod people concept particularly horrifying, have enjoyed both the original movie and (even more) the 1978 remake of it.