The Stand by Stephen King

Wow! That is really all I have to say. Wow-it's a long book! Wow-it's a great book! Wow-it really makes you question everything! The Stand is one of my books on the 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list, and after reading it, I can definitely see why. While I do not think I will read it again soon, I definitely know I will read it again.

Through a simple flaw in the security system of a military base, a man escapes the base and unknowingly carries a disease known as Code Blue across the United States. Rapidly, Code Blue, also known as Captain Tripps, the superflu, and more, knocks out 99% of the population. It seems that the only people who are spared are those with active dreams (although nothing is confirmed on this theory). After the initial purge of people, the survivors begin to find themselves draw to one of two destinations: to Mother Abigail in Hemingford Home and travel west (and end up in Boulder, CO); or follow Randall Flagg, the Dark Man, to Las Vegas. Everyone that…

IT by Stephen King

Sometime around the year 2001, I watched IT for the first time. My mom had shown me Poltergeist and Carrie, and I loved both of them, and they still rank in my top 25 movies. When I told this to a friends mom, she rented Christine, Pet Semetary, and IT for us to watch. We started with IT. All of these years later, the only thing I remembered was Georgie being pulled into the storm drain by It (which after reading the book, I see the irony in this). Since then, I have been terrified of clowns and avoided storm drains like the plague. My friends and family have used this against me in the past. So I decided it was time to get over my fear of IT. "Fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself." The book has been sitting backwards on my shelf since September, because even the spine of the book caused me fear. When I decided to do this whole Stephen King kick, I knew I would finally have to read it. Just like the last time, I had my mom select one of the folded pieces of p…

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

I am jumping in with both feet into the world of Stephen King. I have read a few of his books already and know I enjoy his work. But now I am ready to take the full plunge. I have six of his books already, so I wrote down the titles, folded them up, and then had my dad pick one (because if IT had been the first selection, I wanted the blame for my nightmares to fall on him). The first pick is Full Dark, No Stars, which is a collection of short stories. It is also a relatively short book compared to some others on the list, so it is probably a good place to start.

In 1930, Wilfred Leland James is writing his confession for what happened in 1922. He and his son, Henry Freeman James, murdered his wife, Arlette Christina Winters James, because he could not bare to think of her selling her fathers land to the Farrington's hog butchery, but she refused to let him cultivate it. So the only solution was to kill her. He turns Henry against her, and then one summer night, they kill her…

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible is a classic. When you think of literature about the Salem Witch Trials, you think of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Written at a point of turmoil in American history about another point of turmoil in American history, it is easy to see why Miller was inspired by the events that transpired in Salem, Massachusetts. Published in 1953, it is still a profound book that shows how easily it is for the human race to speak against another for selfish means.

The Crucible focuses primarily on the Proctors and Abigail Williams. Prior to the events of the witch hunt, John Proctor committed adultery against his wife and had a brief affair with Abigail, who was at that time the Proctors servant girl. Elizabeth Proctor found out and John felt terrible for his actions, and Abigail was sent from the house, and replaced with Mary Warren. Now, Abigail has seen an opportunity to regain John's affection. After a group of girls, Abigail being one of them, was caught dancing in the woods…

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

The Shape of Mercy came most recommended by my book group for books about witch trials. While it was decent, it was also outside my realm of books as it has a heavy Christian influence. It was a quick read, though, and it kept my interest.

Lauren Durough is from a wealthy family and has a lot of expectations thrust upon her. So instead of going to Stanford, like everyone else in her family, she chooses a state school. And although she does not a job, she gets one anyway. Enter Abigail Boyles. Abigail is an elderly woman who is also privileged. She has hired Lauren to transcribe a diary from the seventeenth century that belonged to a distant relative; a relative that was convicted of witchcraft-Mercy Hayworth. The further into the diary Lauren gets, the more enveloped she becomes in Mercy's tale, even though she knows how it ends. Abigail, for as much as she wants the diary transcribed, seems to keep the whole project at arms length and gives away very little about herself. But whe…

A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi

A Break with Charity was the book most recommended when I asked my book club for books on witch trials. Out of the books I have read so far on this subject, it was not my favorite; however, it is also the book that has brought out the most emotion in me.

Susanna English lives in Salem at the start of the the witch trials. While initially wanting to be part of this circle of girls who meet at the parsonage and listen to Tituba's stories and have her read their palms and tea leaves. She wants to fit in with them, and she wants to find out if her brother William, who is a seaman, is okay. While she is not able to become part of the circle, she does meet with Tituba and get some answers, although they are mysterious. But then the girls of the circle begin having fits and naming people as witches. Susanna knows why they are doing it, but says nothing. As more people are named, tried, and sent to prison, Susanna battles with keeping quiet and keeping her family safe, or speaking up and …

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

When I reached out to one of my book groups on books about different witch trials, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was one of the books most recommended. After reading the synopsis, I was drawn in by the low key mystery aspect of the story, but I was not sure how much else about the book I would like. As it turns out, I liked all of it.

It is late April 1991, and Connie Goodwin is a graduate student who is ready to start working on her dissertation. And then she receives a call from her mother saying that the house that belonged to Connie's Granna needs to be cleaned and put on the market. So Connie, who should be spending her summer doing research, is instead in Marble Falls, Massachusetts, where this house has sat vacant for twenty some years. At first, Connie is not thrilled with the idea of this; but, when she discovers a slip of paper tucked into a key that reads "Deliverance Dane," Connie becomes swept up in finding out who this woman is and what became of her…