Monday, April 15, 2019

Ten Rainy Day Reads

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is "Rainy Day Reads." I'm not the kind of person who typically reads in accordance with the weather or the seasons (nor am I a person who has the time to spend a whole day reading!), but I gather that for those who have the leisure to do so, rainy days lend themselves to dark, Gothic novels with mystery and suspense. Accordingly, here are ten books that you might like to read on a rainy day.

1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
Let's go vampire hunting! From the creepiness of Dracula's castle to the horror of watching your best friend get turned into a vampire, this book will make you glad that you're safe and warm inside your house while you cheer on the characters to kick some vampire butt.

2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
If you're the kind of person who likes to take advantage of being holed up inside to crack open a large classic you've been meaning to read, here's one to try. And if a rainy day makes you want something a little creepy without being an actual horror novel, let me introduce you to Miss Havisham, whose mansion is decaying just like the wedding dress she still wears from when she was left at the altar.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Here's another large classic for a long day of reading, which also has a Gothic feel to it but is (IMO) a much better story than almost anything by Dickens. You get mystery, suspense, romance, and also a kick-ass heroine who won't sacrifice her independence for anyone.

4. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Collins' The Woman in White probably has more of the creepy claustrophobic feeling you might be looking for, but I like this one better so I'm going to recommend it instead. It's a mystery told through the perspective of multiple narrators, so you never quite know who's telling the truth and what's really going on. And it's long enough that it should make that whole rainy day go by before you know it.

5. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
This is yet another classic on the longer side that is both atmospheric and mysterious. This time, instead of being confined to an old mansion, we're in a 14th century Italian abbey with a labyrinthine library. Who is murdering the brothers? Can this new brother who uses logic and science do anything to stop the tide of death?

6. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
If you're looking for something more modern than the classics above, let me recommend this one. It's definitely dark and creepy without veering into what I would consider horror, with the mystery of a young woman's death at its heart. Is something going on that's as sinister as her father's famous horror films, or is the explanation more innocuous? This thick novel will definitely keep you enthralled through a long rainy day.

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Let's go back to a classic with a creepy old mansion again! It's totally normal for your new husband's housekeeper to be obsessed with his dead first wife, right?

8. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This novel has a slightly different feel than the classics above, but I think it makes a good rainy day read for the same kinds of reasons. Our protagonist joins a group of elite scholars and finds himself more and more isolated from other people, and then he's suddenly caught up in having to keep dangerous secrets...

9. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
And back a creepy old mansion again! Or in this case, there are actually two: the house where Margaret goes to interview reclusive writer Vida Winter and the house where Miss Winter grew up, which it now falling apart. There's an interesting juxtaposition of weather in this book, where the memories that take place in bright sunshine are laced through with the presence of evil, while in the midst of the beating rain Margaret meets a true friend.

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
You can't talk about classic Gothic novels without including this one! I haven't read this since I was a teenager, when it spoke to my overly dramatic soul, and the consensus among people I follow seems to be that it has not held up for today's readers, but still! If it's a classic you've been meaning to tackle, a rainy day curled up on the couch would be a great time to read this one.

What books do you recommend for a rainy day?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: A Soldier of the Great WarBird by Bird, and America's Public Schools
Five years ago I was reading: Bring Up the Bodies, A Personal Matter, and War and Peace
Ten years ago I was reading: Cod

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