Tag: non fiction

Book Review: Diary from the Lunatic Asylum by Mary Pengilly

Diary from the Lunatic Asylum
Author: Mary Pengilly

Published: November 2, 2012
28 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

DECEMBER.—They will not allow me to go home, and I must write these things down for fear I forget. It will help to pass the time away. It is very hard to endure this prison life, and know that my sons think me insane when I am not.

Kim’s Review:

So this isn’t a horror story; it’s not even fiction. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed. However, once I figured out that this was an actual diary, written by a real woman who had been committed to a real asylum, I just went for it. It’s definitely not as good as Nellie Bly’s account, but it was interesting and informative. Mrs. Pengilly managed to write an account from a relatively neutral viewpoint, while still keeping a handle on all the problems. It’s a simple, easy to read report on her stay, the issues in the Aylin’s of her time, and a list of solutions. I looked up Mrs. Pengilly after I finished reading this book, and she went on to spearhead some cool movements to try to improve conditions for female patients.

It’s not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but it’s a good personal story that I enjoyed reading.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

True Ghost Stories: Real Haunted Hospitals and Mental Asylums by Zachery Knowles

True Ghost Stories: Real Haunted Hospitals and Mental Asylums
Author: Zachery Knowles
Published: October 15, 2015
88 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Looking for a Scare? Then Read These 13 Spine-chilling StoriesFor people who believe in the paranormal-ghosts, spirits, and other unexplainable encounters-most will agree that old hospitals and asylums are the most haunted places you can visit. With thirteen chilling chapters, Haunted Hospitals delves into the history of the most infamous asylums, sanitariums and hospitals on Earth, unlocking their dark histories and detailing their paranormal activities.

Take Waverly Hills Sanatorium, home to Mary, the apparition of a little girl who “wasn’t normal.” Left behind after a disease cut her young life short, Mary went from innocent in life to something more horrific in death.

Then there’s Old Changi military hospital, where a history of wartime bloodbaths still stains the old abandoned halls-leaving behind chilling images in the minds of trespassers.

Or what about any of the other haunted hospitals contained within, where apparitions, disembodied voices, and strange occurences are commonplace. With overcrowding and barbaric medical procedures being practiced, these buildings were the torture houses of the 20th century, and the eeriest haunts of the 21st.

Haunted Hospitals unlocks the dark histories of the most chilling abandoned hospitals from around the world. Every chapter describes the eerie and often frightening details of the best ghostly encounters. Are these sightings based on myth or true horrors? Only you can decide.

Ready to scare yourself senseless? Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit buy!

Kim’s Review:

I mean, duh. I saw this and had to read it … I think we’re all aware that I have a type. One crucial thing to understand about this book is that it is not an in depth history. It’s a vague overview; like a tantalizing, small appetizer. I wish I could have a book with a complete history for each of the hospitals listed in this book, because now I want to know! This very tiny book gives a very tiny look into some of the stories from these hospitals. And I mean tiny. It whet my whistle for a ghost story, but it felt like this book was for those who don’t normally read horror, but want to say that they do. It was ok, but not enough for an addict like me!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Book Review: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Published: April 18, 2006
236 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown—from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster—and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. Composed of interviews in monologue form, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucially important work of immense force, unforgettable in its emotional power and honesty.

Kim’s Review:

So far this is my top read of 2021! Chernobyl is a fascinating subject; the secrecy by the Soviets only makes the mystery more intriguing. I’ve told Ivan for years that I’d like to visit Pripyat, and of course Mr. Genius Physician Assistant said no. So I decided to read about it. It certainly helped that I read Fallout right before Voices, so I was already freaked out about radiation.

Alexievitch got into the trenches for this book. She traveled throughout the forbidden zone and talked to as many people as she could. The ones that were the most fascinating were the everyday people who didn’t know anything about radiation or the dangers; all they knew is the life that they lived their whole lives, so they kept right on living like nothing happened. And they lived a long time! And then the most tragic were the people the Soviets just threw at the blaze with little to no protection and no real plan for their survival. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the radiation on the roof of Reactor 3 was so bad that 40 seconds exposed the men to the maximum amount of radiation a person should absorb in their entire life. And then many stayed up for much longer and then went back up again the next day!! And radiation poisoning is a terrifying thing! The Russians are a strong people. They’ve always put their heads down and trudged through and Chernobyl was no different.

Alexievitch captured that in every page. I absolutely recommend this as a great anthology of eye witness accounts. History is what can be proven through documentation and this book shows how history can be documented in so many different ways because it was witnessed by so many different people. I would even suggest using this book as required high school reading! I really love it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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