When I started this year's 10 to Try reading challenge, I thought Read a Book That’s Been Made into a Movie or TV Show would be one of the easiest categories. After all, books inspire so many movies and TV shows! But I struggled with this one. I started and gave up on a couple of different titles before I finally settled on The Haunting of Hill House. The buzz around Netflix's new adaptation inspired me to give it a try, but the novel has actually been adapted for the big screen a couple of times too - once in 1963 and again in 1999.
I still haven't seen any of the adaptations, but I finished the book last month and loved it. I talk a lot on our podcast The Desk Set about how much I like flawed characters and atmospheric settings, and The Haunting of Hill House has both in spades. Four strangers come to spend a summer at Hill House, led by a professor who is trying to gather scientific proof that the mansion is haunted. The relationships between the house's inhabitants are knotty and complex, and the book is full of uncertainty about what's really happening and what's imagined. There are a couple of really terrifying scenes, but it's the slow isolation and possible descent into madness of one character that makes the book truly scary. It was a perfect October read and it's short and powerful enough that I'll probably revisit it in Octobers to come.
Finishing this category also means I've finally finished this year's 10 to Try challenge! I gave myself a finisher button to celebrate. Don't forget that you have until the end of the year to turn into your bookmark or complete the challenge online and earn a button too! Finishers will also be entered into a grand prize drawing for tickets to the 2019 Literary Lions gala. It's always a fun, author-filled evening and the KCLS Foundation just announced that Jennifer Egan (author of last year's Manhattan Beach and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for the wonderfully imaginative A Visit From the Goon Squad) will be the keynote speaker.