The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Opening line:

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.

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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Opening lines:

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock.

Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

ShirleyWe Have Always Lived in the Castle has been on my TBR list since I was in my late teens, back when pterodactyl ruled the not-so-friendly skies. If you’ve not read it, I can only say: do so. It’s not a mystery per-se but it sure feels like one. There’s not much I can say about it which will not spoil it majorly other than the simple cover story: a family is wiped out by poison, leaving only two daughters, and an uncle who managed to survive the poisoning but only just. After saying that, it may sound strange to say it is a delightful book, but it is. Delightful and disturbing and certainly something that will linger in your head for a long, long time. I really like dear little Merricat when she decries the need to leave her home for “the simple need for books and food” — in that order. I can so relate to that. WHALINC was worth the wait. I wish I’d gotten hold of it sooner.