The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House is more eerie than scary. Jackson’s writing is so tight and so descriptive in ways that make you think about ordinary things, like houses, differently. The plot itself is not outstanding, maybe because it’s almost become a template of haunted house stories. Three people, Eleanor, …

Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Told by an unknown narrator, the story is focused on a “secret” of a woman named Lady Audley and the ultimate revelation of what that secret is. While you may think relatively soon into the book that you know Lady Audley’s Secret, that the author has told us, you’d be …

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Walter Hartright, is walking down the street, his mind absorbed with his own problems, when suddenly a woman, dressed in white appears. She is clearly scared, and he walks with her toward London, eventually putting her in a cab and seeing her off. Shortly thereafter he is informed by two …

The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne

It’s a shame Milne only wrote one mystery. The Red House Mystery is clever and funny and charming. From the dedication: Our amateur sleuth is Antony Gillingham. He stops at The Red House to visit his friend, Bill Beverly, but as he gets there he finds a frantic man banging …

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

I’ve read three of Verne’s books now, the three biggies, Around the World in 80 Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and I just finished Journey to the Center of the Earth. As far as I can tell, here’s what they all have in common, aside from the “journey” …

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Orlando is a beautiful novel. The writing is smooth and descriptive. Orlando, man or woman, is charming and intelligent and introspective. He/she cares about literature and nature, love and (sometimes) people. It’s rather plotless. Time passes, fashions change, but not much really happens. And the things that do, like Orlando …