Because no holiday (or whatever is its we’re calling Halloween these days) is complete without a listicle, here are five creepy books. As chosen by me and in no particular order.
1. “Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley
As the story goes, Shelley wrote this book at 19 years old, as part of a horror-story competition with a bunch of other 19th century authors. Looks like she was the big winner because, close to 200 years later the story — or some form of it — continues to be enjoyed. If you think you know Frankenstein and haven’t read Shelley’s version, make it a priority.
2. “Bedbugs,” Ben H. Winters
As introduction, Winters may be best known as the guy behind “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” and “Android Karenina.” Don’t let that trick you. Here, he created a story of New York paranoia that rivals “Rosemary’s Baby.”
“And the skies did open, and coconuts did fall in a deluge on the people of the city, and there was much rejoicing, but then someone got hit rather badly on the head, and the people shook their fists at God, and they vowed never again to eat Mounds bars.”
– from one of those books that never quite made it into the Bible
Hey, I figure since this post is about how people from Fresno aren’t very literate, it doesn’t matter if I just toss a bunch of nonsensical words up there to kick things off, right?
So prepare your eyebrows for the disparaging national survey of the week. This one declares Fresno “the 7th least literate city” in the United States. The web site 24/7 Wall Street reports that Central Connecticut State University considered several categories before awarding the honors, including weekday newspaper circulation per 100 (we’re actually not bad in that regard, with 21.04 readers per 100, the 43rd highest), percentage of adults with college degree (we have 19.1%, 7th lowest), retail bookstores per 10,000 (we’re down there at 0.74, 15th least) and median income ($40,533, 20th lowest.)