Book Blurbs · Book Club Pick

Book Blurbs: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Turn of the Screw

Book Blurbs is a monthly peek into our book club meetings, where we share our random thoughts or opinions on the book we selected for the month. Some months most of us have read the book, others no one made it all the way through. But either way, we’ll give you a quick review, some first impressions, a reason we couldn’t finish, or any general bookish thoughts about our current read.


Book Club Sunday planed a Book Club Movie Night for our monthly meeting in November. With dark, gloomy, rainy days in the forecast, we couldn’t wait to spend the month curled up with Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. Even more than that, we couldn’t wait to curl up on the couch with the rest of our book club, eat loads of pizza, drink steaming mugs of hot chocolate, and spend the evening with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci while we watched the movie version of Sleepy Hollow.

The Turn of the Screw tells the harrowing tale of a governess who comes to take care of two children in a spooky old estate. Evil and horror lurk around every corner…dun dun dun.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a jaunty romp through the picturesque town of Sleepy Hollow as told through the lens of Ichabod Crane’s arrival as the new schoolmaster in town. And there may or may not be a headless phantom who rides through town on horseback killing the townspeople.

Read on to see what Book Club Sunday members thought of our November reads!

The Turn of the Screw:

I read about half of The Turn of the Screw and couldn’t really tell what was going on. There were a lot of words and occasionally one of them was something like “horror” but I just couldn’t get into it.

~Sarah, read half the book

I mostly didn’t read The Turn of the Screw because a fellow book clubber and I were sharing a copy from the library and she was reading it first and never finished. From glimpsing the cover out of the corner of my eye for three weeks, I have no idea what it’s about, and I routinely accidentally call it The Taming of the Shrew or The Turn of the Key instead of its actual title.

~Emily, didn’t read the book

I started reading the Turn of the Screw and then began listening to the audio as I had some long drives through foggy areas and it seemed appropriate. I haven’t finished it yet, but I quite enjoy the creepy vibe and the feeling of listening to someone tell their ghost story.

~Andrea, still reading the book

The Turn of the Screw turned out to be especially creepy and unsettling (apparent through the wordy passages which surprised me!)… Not sure what was most creepy – the young children (are they possessed?), a secluded estate (of course), ghosts (are they real?), and a governess (who probably needs to seek psychiatric care after this job). The illustrated edition made it even better. Overall I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated!

~Danielle, read the whole book

My copies of these books were from the same publisher. The font was approximately size 48, with triple spaced lines. There were at most 1.5 sentences per page. And still I couldn’t finish them. Though the covers were excellent for instagramming.

~Molly, in possession of both books

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

I’ve always liked the Sleepy Hollow story – movie versions of it are my favorites to watch at Halloween time. The description of Ichabod’s appearance is one of my favorite character descriptions ever and even though the Headless Horseman doesn’t show up until the very end, I still love the old-fashioned spooky vibe of the story.

~Sarah, read the whole book

I found Sleepy Hollow to be disappointingly lacking in Headless Horsemen and overly full of descriptions of food and the pretty girl in town. But I’m glad I read this spooky Halloween classic, and it was fun to have a Book Club movie night to watch the Johnny Depp movie version. Though Johnny Depp looks nothing like how Ichabod Crane is described – the Disney cartoon is a much more faithful adaptation.

~Emily, read the whole book

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – I thought for sure I could recite this classic tale but no! The whole story read like an article about Ichabod Crane’s “sleepy” (ha) life, career, appetite, and lady crush. And I’m still not certain there was even a headless horseman! It’s a worthwhile read but not very spooky unlike its movie adaptations.

~Danielle, read the whole book
The remaining members of Book Club were too full of pizza and Ranch dressing to form coherent thoughts about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But no one fell asleep during movie night, so we’ll give it two thumbs up all the way around.

Wishing every day were Book Club Sunday!


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