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Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Horror Books that Scared You

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Scary Books in General

I don’t enjoy being scared or frightened. It produces anxiety. Therefore I don’t read many books that give me such emotions. When I do they tend to be nonfiction. At least I understand that fellow human beings endured and sometimes survived seemingly un-survivable events.

 

Nonfiction

 

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An odd book, by an odd man,  that often left me jumping at the slightest sound from outside after dark! The Tracker by Tom Brown, Jr.

 

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What the doctors, nurses and patients endured during Hurricane Katrina was on par with a hospital in any war zone and then some. “And then some,” you say? Yes. This was not a man-made war zone. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink.

 

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First let me be clear: I have no sympathy for any Nazis. What happened in the death camps cannot be used as a comparison to anything. It was living hell. Regardless of being a German, a Jewish survivor of the death camps, a displaced person trying to get “home” to whatever was left of “home” to be a woman in the immediate aftermath of the war must still be called “horrific.”  None were safe. That was my one-word review of this book–“horrific”. Scared? Terrified? Just reading it made me terrified–all the more so because women and girls endured it all. Rape is and always will be horrific. All the more horrific when it is regarded as a “weapon” in a soldier’s officially sanctioned arsenal. Sadly, this weapon did not cease to be used in 1945.  After the Reich by Giles MacDonogh. I bought Woman in Berlin after reading this, but can’t bring myself to read it yet. It is a more personal account of the time of the rapes.

 

Fiction

 

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Even knowing how little value life holds in some African nations, even having read of the horrors of the Rwandan genocide and of other violence, a few parts of this novel gave me nightmares.  Here’s my short review from my old blog: “Bored middle class Mommy goes to Nigeria–NIGERIA–for a holiday and it changes her life.Her only child needs therapy and a Mommy who can say “no.” Then there’s the whole “in Africa” thing. If he’d said it one more time, I’d have thrown the book away. Instead, I don’t regret finishing it. It tells a very necessary tale–the tale of what it IS like to be a woman on the outside of a very dangerous society and the tale of the illegal immigrant needing–not merely “wanting”–asylum in a safer country. It is also the perfect illustration of a “First World Problem” Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

 

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I read this years ago and it kept me awake nights for a while afterward. Most of the government is dead! But, wait! There’s more! Ebola! And still more! Tom Clancy’s Executive Orders.

 

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