Boo! books will creep you out

Steve Bennett of My San Antonio ( reviews Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories, and adds it to his list of creepy books just perfect for the season.

Audrey Niffenegger, author of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Her Fearful Symmetry,” has edited and illustrated a chilling new collection of her favorite haunted stories of all time.

“Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories” (Scribner, $28) features 16 stories ranging across nearly 200 years, including classics such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “gleefully perverse” “The Black Cat,” Kelly Link’s twisted “The Specialist’s Hat” and young Chicago writer Amy Giacalone’s weird and wonderful “Tiny Ghosts.”

What do such stories have in common? Niffenegger explains that it is “their off-kilter matter-of-factness and their vivid evocations of order disrupted, sudden awful knowledge, the human condition as a cosmic joke.”

Other writers in this eclectic collection include Edith WhartonP.G. WodehouseNeil GaimanRudyard KiplingA.S. Byatt, Saki and Ray Bradbury.

“The ghost story,” Niffenegger writes, “transcends time and culture; tales of ghosts and haunted places reverberate through the literatures of ancient Greece and Rome, the Old Testament, the ‘One Thousand and One Nights.’ Ghosts pervade Shakespeare’s plays and John Donne’s poetry. The wrongness of the ghost is the same across cultures: something is seriously out of place.”

Read the rest of his list of books here.