Tag: Frankenstein

See What Everyone Is Talking About With Our Top 5 Nonfiction Picks!

Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high-quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks center around the theme of current best-sellers, showcasing what nonfiction books are the biggest hits with audiences! Pick these up to see what everyone is talking about!


5. The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman


An immigrant woman stands in a neon backdrop in an Art Deco style

Image Via Amazon

The Good Immigrant is an anthology of stories reflecting on the current state of immigrants and their relationship to America. The United States is consumed by hostile rhetoric over who is welcome across its borders and it seems that everyone’s rights are under attack. In this anthology, numerous writers offer stories about their cultural heritage and their complicated stories in the midst of this crisis. From analyzing cultural appropriation, to a detailing one author’s journey from Nigeria to America, and another author reconnecting with their Korean roots, these stories are emotional, tear jerking, but mandatory for anyone to read in this age.


4. The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’meara


A woman sits over a desk drawing as a scaly reptilian arm looms over her

Image via Amazon

The Lady From the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara examines the forgotten history of one of Hollywood’s best talents, a woman who was discriminated against and lost to history despite creating one of the most iconic monsters of all time. This is the story of Milicent Patrick, who was one of Disney’s first female animators and created The Creature From the Black Lagoon, a monster that became a staple of Universal’s library of nasties next to Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. O’Meara sheds light on the history of Milicent Patrick, uncovering her early beginnings to her career in Hollywood, giving the woman the legacy she’s deserved for years.


3. The Sakura obsession by Naoko Abe


A Japanese man stands with an older gentleman next to a Japanese cherry blossom

Image via Amazon

The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe tells the true story of how an English eccentric saved Japan’s cherry blossoms from extinction. Collingwood Ingram visited Japan numerous times in the early 1900s, but by 1926 he was horrified to find the flowers were in sharp decline. Determined not to lose them, Ingram’s story chronicles how he used specimens he had taken to England and ferried them back to Japan, reintroducing them to the land and allowing them to flourish. A history of both cherry blossoms and a crazy English man with one hell of an obsession, this work is for any flower or history lover out there.


2. Surviving the Forest by Adiva Geffen


An old photograph of a woman looms over a dark forest

Image Via Amazon

Surviving the Forest  tells the true tale of a Jewish holocaust survivor from WWII, known as Shurka, who lived a quiet, lovely existence in Poland. But then, World War II broke out and the Germans invaded Shurka’s hometown. She was taken to a Jewish ghetto, where the Nazis were taking Jews to concentration camps, never to be seen again. Managing to escape the camp with her family, Shurka ends up in the dark forest wilderness of Poland. This is her story of survival, avoiding not only German patrols but the world around her, from wild animals, to natural hazards, to starvation. This is a remarkable work that isn’t easy to read but showcases one woman’s tenacity for survival in the darkest of circumstances.


1. Furious Hours by Casey Cep


A forest is lit by light

Image via Amazon

Furious Hours by Casey Cep uncovers the mystery surrounding beloved writer Harper Lee and the events that led to her beginning to write a true crime book in the vein of her childhood friend Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. A reverend named Willie Maxwell was acquitted for the murder of a family of five before being shot dead himself. Harper Lee in later years was trying to write another book and chose the reverend as the central character of a nonfiction book about the murders. The case is told in three sections, the first part about Maxwell, the second about his lawyer that helped him avoid justice, and the third about Harper Lee herself trying to write about his case. This book not only offers research into a murder mystery but paints an evocative portrait of Lee herself, chronicling her life, her success, and her slow decline as she struggled with fame. This is a wonderfully researched work, full of brilliant detail that doesn’t leave a stone unturned.



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Color photo of Frankenstein's monster looking upwards

5 Differences Between ‘Frankenstein’ and the Film Adaptations

Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley is hailed as the first real science-fiction novel. Following Dr. Victor Frankenstein, it chronicles Frankenstein’s journey to create life and his clash with his creation after he succeeds. Touching on themes of ambition, lost of innocence, revenge, humanity, responsibility and creattion,  Frankenstein is a dense but very worthwhile classic of its genre. However, it unfortunately has been largely displaced in the popular consciousness by its film adaptations. To celebrate its publication anniversary, here are five facts about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its many differences to work that adapted its spooky tale.


Victor Frankenstein stands contemplating the sea in the cover to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Image Via Goodreads

1. The Framing Device

The original novel uses a framing device to tell its story. Captain Walton, a sailor in the arctic, picks up Victor Frankenstein on the ice and brings him aboard his ship. There, Frankenstein tells the tale of how he got here, turning the entire book into one long flashback. The Creature confronts Captain Walton at the end, vowing it will destroy itself via funeral pyre. However, Captain Walton is a character who is very rarely adapted, the framing device being almost entirely omitted from films based on or inspired by the book.


Fritz, played by Dwight Fyre, threatens the Monster, played by Boris Karloff with a burning torch
Image Via Telegraph

2. There was no Igor

Dr. Frankenstein’s hunchbacked assistant, Igor, is purely a creation of popular culture. In the original novel, Frankenstein worked entirely alone, creating the monster in a hidden room at his college. He kept the experiment entirely secret and had no outside help at all. The character of an assistant first appeared in 1931’s Frankenstein film in the form of Fritz, before being codified, ironically enough, by Mel Brook’s spoof film Son of Frankenstein.


Frankenstein confronts his creation in a 1934 illustration from the novel
Image Via Goodreads

3. The Monster Speaks

The Monster is a very different character from the mute, lumbering brute that was made famous in the Universal Horror films. Although he begins as a borderline feral creature after his ‘birth’, the Monster slowly learns language and reasoning over the course of the novel. He becomes extremely intelligent and articulate, often spending pages contemplating his unnatural existence. He even learns how to make clothes and uses weapons to defend himself as he survives in the wilderness. Compared to his film counterpart, he’s a wholly different beast.


Victor Frankenstein and Fritz standing over the Monster on the slab, preparing to give it life
Image Via BBC

4. The Creation is Offscreen

Doubtlessly one of the most famous in cinema is the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. Everything about it is iconic, from the slab the monster rests upon to the flashing laboratory equipment to the bolt of lightning that brings him to life to Frankenstein proclaiming “Its alive, its alive!” But the sequence in question actually isn’t in the original novel! Yes, the creation of the Monster in the book is entirely offscreen and left to the reader’s imagination. Oddly, this makes it more compelling to the imagination…how did Frankenstein do it? We’ll never know but it certainly makes good food for thought.


Victor Frankenstein leans over the inert form of the monster in his lab
Image Via Collider

5. Frankenstein Dies

In the novel, Victor Frankenstein pays for his hubris. After trekking the Monster to the Arctic, he collapses on the ice and is rescued by Captain Walton. But it is too late for him and after telling the Captain his story, he expires. Subsequent adaptations have spared Frankenstein his untimely demise, doubtlessly to keep a relatively happy ending.

What are your favorite moments from the book that didn’t make it to the screen?


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Mary Shelley

10 Quotes from the Distinguished Mary Shelley

I have to say, one of my fondest memories of college was when my professor (Professor English and yes that was his name) assigned us to read Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein. The dark and beautiful work has stood the test of time and become one of the most famous works of literature the world has seen. It simply came from a competition amongst peers as to who could write the best horror story. Shelley even published it anonymously; it wasn’t until the second edition that everyone discovered it was her.


This woman broke boundaries and her success ran even with her husband’s, which, at that time, was surprising. Today is her 221st birthday, but this author should have a special place in our memory no matter what day it is. Here are ten quotes by the distinguished Mary Shelley.


1. “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”



2. “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”



3. “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”



4. “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”



5. “I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”



6. “How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.”



7. “The beginning is always today.”



8. “The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”



9. “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”



10. “The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own.”




Image Via GIPHY




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f scott fitzgerald and jacobim mugato

13 Creepy Books to Celebrate Friday the 13th

Today marks Friday the 13th, so if you see a black cat approaching you, slowly walk the other way. Friday the 13th has long been associated with a string of bad luck, superstitions, and eerie occurrences. For seemingly forever this day has struck fear in people around the world, as its history in Norse Mythology and Christianity has perpetuated an associated between the number 13 and some seriously bad vibes.


For those of you who wish to stay indoors today in order to avoid walking under ladders and such, why not take a moment to dive into a wonderfully terrifying book. In celebration of Friday the 13th, here are 13 books all about superstitions, eerie occurrences, bad luck, paralyzing fear, and all hell breaking loose!



1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


This classic novel about scientist Victor Frankenstein creating a monster from man is all about the fear of what man is, and who man can become. The novel features many instances of bad luck, from the protagonist himself whose creation backfires tremendously, to a monster whose desire to be seen leads to further rejection, to the innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Considering Frakenstein’s monster itself is a classic characterization of Halloween, Frankenstein is the epitome of the associations of Friday the 13th.


2. The Shining by Stephen King


Given that Stephen King himself suffers from Triskaidekahobia, the fear of the number 13, The Shining is an obvious choice for this list. Telling the tale of writer Jack Torrance whose hotel stay goes awry, The Shining is all about psychological fear and doubt, supernatural possession, and eerie encounters.



3. Helter Skelter: The True Story of The Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

Charles Manson is one of the most familiar serial killers in history. This cult leader led some of the most shocking and gruesome murders in America, but it’s not just the blood spilled that makes this cult leader frightening. Manson and his cult were known to invade the homes of victims and rearrange furniture in order to make the home owners feel violated and fearful. Helter Skelter dives into the eerie and evil tactics of the Manson clan.



4. The Turn of The Screw by Henry James

A staple of the gothic genre, The Turn of The Screw explores the human subconscious and our reactions and justifications to the eerie and unexplainable events that occur around us. When a governess notices eerie and supernatural occurrences around her, her struggle to protect the children she cares for pushes her towards madness. The novella asks us whether she is mad or if supernatural beings really do exist.


5. Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie is simultaneously a familiar yet, in my opinion, underrated work of Stephen King. Carrie deals with the clash of the supernatural versus realty, and the impact of superstitions on our sanity and fate.


6. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

A popular horror novel, The Amityville Horror explores the psychological fear of the Lutz family who endures horrifying paranormal occurrences while living in a possessed home. For any reader who has heard a weird sound or two coming from the basement or attic of their house, The Amityville Horror is sure to make their skin crawl. 


7. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes is so haunting that it has been said to have been a source of inspiration for horror films and books, including those written by Stephen King. The novel features a blend of fantasy and horror elements, and tells the story of two young teens whose encounter with a traveling carnival leads to psychological torture and doubt.


8. It by Stephen King

If you haven’t read It then you’ve most likely have heard about it as the terrifying tale has petrified so many children that it has gained notoriety amongst generations.  King’s iconic horror novel tells the tale of a group of young friends who become psychologically terrorized by a shape-shifting monster. The monster feeds off of the individualized fears and hidden demons of each child, prompting widespread fear and, even worse, fear of fear. 


9. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 

Gilman’s short story is about a young mother who descends into madness shortly after giving birth. As the ill woman is isolated in an old nursery, she soon comes to a realization that the yellow wallpaper covering the room conceals behind it a woman. The story explores sanity, and the psychological effects of oppression and isolation.


10. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

If you’ve read (or seen) Rosemary’s baby, then it may have made you hesitant to have children and it definitely made you wary of your neighbors. After moving in to an eerie apartment building in which some questionable neighbors live in, a young couple decides to have a baby. However as the pregnancy progresses, the couple realizes that their next door neighbors are members of a satanic cult who intend on harming their child. This chilling story about satanism, supernaturalism, and fear erupts in a devastating ending that’ll shock you.


11. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

This debut novel explores the experiences of a young family who move in to a new home and are bewildered to discover that their house is bigger on the inside than it appears outwardly. Their bizarre experience becomes all the more eerie when their children suddenly take on the voices of supernatural, and terrifying, creatures. This disturbing explores supernaturalism and psychological fear yet it dressed up with a sense of realism that is bound to make you uncomfortable and wary.


12. The Changeling by Victor Lavalle

The Changeling offers a blend of a Brothers Grimm style fairy tale mixed with a parents worse nightmare. A young man haunted by unsettling dreams as a child finds his childhood fears return when his wife descends into a dark state after giving birth to their child. After she commits a horrifyingly violent act, she disappears, leaving her husband behind to find a way out of his traumatized and fearful state to find her. The story explores recurrent fears, the link between psychological fear and violence, and the impact of secrets.


13. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

This creepy novella explores superstition and the doubts of the human psyche after a young Native American teenager, alone one night, sees a figure resembling his deceased father step through a doorway. When he follows the figure, he encounters hidden depths of his home and begins to blur the boundaries between what is real and what isn’t. This psychologically torturing novella can easily make readers begin to question their own definitions of what is there and what is not.



Have you finished any of these reads? Let us know your thoughts on them!



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