T5W: Scary non-horror books


Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads. This month all the topics are Halloween themed and this week’s theme is Non-horror books that scared you. There’s a lot of non-fiction books on my list this time. I guess truth isn’t just stranger than fiction. It’s also a lot scarier.

332895715. Traveling With Ghosts by Shannon Leone Fowler

Shannon Leone Fowler’s fiancé Sean was killed by a box jellyfish in Thailand. The scenes in which she describes what happened are more spine chilling than Jaws, but the scariest part is how badly the situation was handled by authorities, who not only tried to label Sean’s death a drunk-drowning, but also failed to warn tourists against swimming, resulting in another death on the same beach the very next day.



193244504. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Krakauer’s first-hand account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which killed 8 people, is equal parts terrifying and devastating. It really reminds you that humanity is no match for the forces of nature.





135471803. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

This memoir about the authors own experience suffering from an autoimmune disease in which her body attacked her brain is truly terrifying reading. Losing control of one’s mind is something I think all people fear and one of the scariest things I can imagine.




70535 (1)2. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C Clarke’s masterpiece is one of the best novels I’ve ever read, it’s also one of the scariest. Not only is the vastness of space terrifying in itself, but imagine being alone on a spaceship with an AI that wants to kill you…





218536361. All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Romy Grey was raped by the sheriff’s son. As terrifying as that is what’s truly chilling about this novel isn’t the rape itself, but it’s aftermath. Romy is bullied, slut-shamed and branded a liar for her accusations, which unfortunately is the reality for a lot of rape survivors in real life as well.




What’s the scariest non-horror book you’ve ever read?

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