Wednesday, the 21st of December (solstice day!), and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today’s pick is a short story collection by an author I enjoy very much, and a book that I haven’t got to despite meaning to for a long time, The Birds and Other Stories (1952) by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read five or six novels by du Maurier so far and have enjoyed most, even revisiting a couple for Ali’s Daphne du Maurier reading week the past two years. But it was only the year before last that I managed to pick up a sort story collection by her for the fist time (here), and I found I enjoyed these very much as well. It included a range of stories playing with readers’ minds and emotions, some of them being downright unnerving.

The Birds and Other Stories is a collection of six stories opening with the titular ‘The Birds’, best-known of the lot since it was the subject of the iconic Hitchcock film. I haven’t seen the film yet and all I know about it is that it is a horror classic, so lets see how I fare with it. Other stories include a mountain paradise which promises immortality but at a heavy price, a neglected wife who haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree, a photographer who steps into his subject’s life, a date which involves a walk in a cemetery, and a remedy when a jealous father finds three’s a crowd.

Although it seems from the description that this collection has more haunting stories than I can usually manage, I do like du Maurier’s stories and how she weaves in those twists the reader never sees coming; so in all likelihood I will be picking this one up soon. Perhaps for DDM Reading Week next year.

Have you read this collection or seen the Hitchcock film? How did you like it/them?

A Collectable Barbie inspired by The Birds via Pinterest

Cover image as always from Goodreads as is the book description.

Lisa’s pick this week is The Wild Silence (2020) by Raynor Winn, a memoir of the author and her husband’s time spent in nature in the Cornish hills, which has a healing effect on the author’s husband who is terminally ill.


20 thoughts on “Shelf Control #209: The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier

  1. I’ve read all of du Maurier’s short story collections and I think this one is my favourite. Although the title story is the one everyone has heard of, I liked some of the others in the collection even more. They’re all very atmospheric, but not all of them are scary!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Still to get into du Maurier (though I’ve seen a couple of films based on her stories). Maybe in 2023? Emily has read the Raynor Wynn and its predecessor The Salt Path, and found both very moving. She has the third in the series to go now I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is my favourite du Maurier collection – The Apple Tree is one of my top horror stories of all time. The Birds is very good too, and quite different from the film – as usual Hitchcock made significant changes while keeping the kernel of the story. I think I prefer the film, but then I’m a huge Hitchcock fan!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I always find films scarier than the written word so it’s hard for me to judge objectively, but I think the story is probably just as effective as the film. But the setting is different, and the characters. Hitchcock just really took the basic idea and then made it his own.

        Liked by 1 person

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