Some Haunting Lit for Halloween Lovers

Looking for a few scary reads this Halloween season? Below are just a few links from the many available lists online. Feel free to comment and add your personal frightening faves.

– Amazon’s Top Ten Scariest Books

Listverse Top 10 Most Disturbing Novels

10 Best Steven King Books for Halloween

listal 25 Best Horror Novels

Flavorwire 10 Utterly Terrifying Books for Your Hallowe’en Reading

Michigan Reads

Paranormal Michigan Book Series

Sprirts and Wine by Susan Newhof – University of Michigan Press

Ghost Writers: Contemporary Michigan Literature – Wayne State University Press

Haunts of Mackinac: Ghost Stories, Legends, & Tragic Tales of Mackinac Island by Todd Clements

– The Michigan Murders by EdwardKeyes

– Murder in the Thumb by Richard W. Carson

– Isadore’s Secret by Mardi Link

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-Post by Megan Shaffer

Author Appearances Abound This Week

There’s much to look forward to this week on the author appearance front.  Tied to Michigan by home, topic, or publisher, here’s a heads-up on a few familiar authors and their fast- approaching local events. There’s a lot of info here so make sure you call and confirm dates and times prior to the event.

On Thursday, March 18, 2010, Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies will present An Evening of Recent Detroit Fiction. This evening event features readings and booksignings from Peter Markus, Susan Messer, and Michael Zadoorian. The event will take place at Marygrove College Alumnae Hall in the Madame Cadillac Building located at 8425 West McNichols in Detroit. Beginning at 7:00pm, this function is free and open to the public.

In addition to two other appearances, Susan Messer will also present Grand River and Joy on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at the JCC of Metro Detroit in West Bloomfield from 12pm-1pm as part of their Lunch and Literature Series Book Club.

On Friday, March 19, 2010, The University of Michigan Press Author Series will proudly present two of their published authors. Debra Spark, author of the novel Good for the Jews, and Susan Messer, author of the Detroit-based work Grand River and Joy will  read from their novels and discuss creating a sense of place in fiction. This event is from 5:00pm-6:30pm and will be held in the Screening Room on the second floor of the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Undergraduate Library which is located at 919 S. University in Ann Arbor.

Also representing The University of Michigan Press this week is Michigan author Mardi Link. Ms. Link will present at the Dearborn Inn as part of The Michigan in Perspective:  Local History Conference. Sponsored by The Historical Society of Michigan, the conference will take place on Saturday, March 20, 2010 and will include a talk and booksigning by Link, the author of Isadore’s Secret and When Evil Came to Good HartFor more specific information call (313) 271-2700.

Night Light’s Reviews

Messer Comes Home With ‘Grand River and Joy’

‘Isadore’s Secret’ Still Thrills

*Support your local bookstores, libraries, and universities. It matters!

-Post by Megan Shaffer

Isadore’s Secret Still Thrills

“Every device imaginable for the darkest gothic novel appears in these pages, and yet this drama was not drawn from the imagination, but from tattered bits of fact confined, for more than a century, to local gossip and legend, and scattered historical records. This story is true, and yet somehow had escaped a thorough retelling until now.”

So accurately states Mardi Link at the beginning of her latest work Isadore’s Secret, the true story of the 1907 disappearance and murder of the young Felician nun, Sr. Janina.  Incredibly, the “…sin, sex, torture, confession, and secrets…” that abound in this novel push like contemporary fiction, making it all the more sensational that the event in question happened more than 100 years ago.

Living in the tiny town of Isadore, Michigan was an isolated affair. Not only was the Leelanau Peninsula geographically remote, but Isadore of the early 1900’s was further obscured by its tight-knit, Polish settlers and their devotion to God and the Catholic church. At the time of this story, anyone outside of Isadore’s proud community was considered undesirable. It was among this insular, Polish speaking populace that “the tragedy” occurred.

Not unlike the handsomely paid bloodhound of the book, Mardi Link also “hunts a cold line” for the truth behind the murder of Sr. Janina. For on a seemingly ordinary day in August of 1907, Sr. Janina went to her room to rest and was never seen again. The massive search that ensued turned up only speculation and rumor, and the quiet town of Isadore was reluctantly thrust into the media spotlight.

With what must have been painstaking research, Link digs into the past and unearths the facts and events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the affable young nun. From stark fields to dark confessionals, the reader is taken on an esoteric journey into the mind-set of small town secrets and the larger, though no less complex, machinations of the church.

Isadore’s Secret is absorbing, and its constant supposition keeps you ruminating on the facts long after you close the book. Though the story is a century old, it continues to be cloaked in mystery up to the present day. Artfully drawn on historic Michigan tableau, it is no wonder that Isadore’s Secret was selected as a 2010 Michigan Notable Book. However, with its mass appeal and intrigue, you don’t have to live in Michigan to appreciate its thrill.

-Review by Megan Shaffer

Of Interest

-Mardi Link is a native Detroiter who currently resides outside of Traverse City. Click   here for more on the author.

-Milan Stitt’s play adaptation of the story:  The Runner Stumbles

-The movie adaptation of The Runner Stumbles

University of Michigan Press

*Please support your local bookstores and our state universities!