The same person with whom I had the discussion about the book diary gave me a nice big box of short books, in hopes they might help me reach my goal. It's now officially "too close to call" -- on one hand, after today, I'm off work the rest of the year, but on the other, I'll be in Colorado for most of that time, visiting family. It's going down to the wire!
One of those books was...
#45 -- "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James
Years ago, when I was a horror nut, I tried to read this one. At the time, I was much less into subtlety than I was into sheer terror, and couldn't get into it.
Now -- I enjoyed it, if that's the right term to use for something that fills you with nervousness from start to finish. I was reading it last night and unable to put it down -- while also dreading each page. The horror is only briefly front-and-center, and its source is left very ambiguous. "Turn of the Screw" is open to a number of interpretations, and I kinda wish that one of my college lit classes had this in it. It would benefit from discussion.
I remember, from those teenage years, hearing that Peter Straub's "Ghost Story" (a favorite of mine) drew heavily from this, and oh yeah, it sure did. Kind of fun to see the inspiration for an old favorite.