The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, by David Jaher
If you enjoyed our series on the occult, especially our discussion of mediums and Houdini’s work debunking them, this one is for you. In the 1920s, Scientific American offered a prize for a medium whose talents could withstand scientific investigation, and Houdini was one of the investigators. The most famous medium to perform for the committee was Mina Crandon, a.k.a. “Margery,” a.k.a. “The Witch of Lime Street.” The book focuses on her and her husband’s struggle against Houdini’s disbelief, but readers also get a detailed rundown of the major players of the time and the movement, including Arthur Conan Doyle and Oliver Lodge.
The Scarlet Plague, by Jack London
This is a classic that we discussed in our first apocalypse episode. Influenced by Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” London imagines a plague raging through the world in the early twenty-first century. Suddenly, people start turning red, having seizures, and dissolving into dust. It’s worth reading for the picture he presents of the world in 2013 from his 1915 vantage point. And it’s narrated by an English professor.
It, by Stephen King
Children terrorized by a creepy clown in Derry, Maine. Need I say more? Probably not. But with the release of the new trailer, this classic deserves a revisit. It's Stephen King as his best...and proof that childhood fears can linger in the nightmares of adults. Worth a mention, too, is the upcoming release of Sleeping Beauties, which Stephen King wrote with his son Owen King. Set for a September release, this one should go on your to-read list.
We're also looking forward to the upcoming release by Andy Davidson. In The Valley of the Sun releases this summer. Pre-order it now, so you can tell your friends you knew about it before everyone else did.