|Gorgeous artwork courtesy of
the super talented Abigail Larson
For someone that doesn’t really like scary things, I have been looking forward to the annual R. I. P. revelry rather more than you might think. Last year, I approached with some trepidation and a degree of scepticism about how easily led I can be when it comes to bookish things online. This year I at least know that I can survive the Readers Imbibing Peril festivities without major emotional scars and feel positively excited about getting my gothic on.
As we have long since established, I do not read truly scary things. As the man trying to browse the horror section of Leeds’ Waterstones peacefully last weekend could now tell you after being subjected to my should I/shouldn’t I considerations over The Shining by Stephen King with Ellie and Hanna, poor chap. I’ll save that “treat” for the R. I. P. X milestone and instead set myself some sensible targets that won’t have me cowering in a corner in desperate need of a hug by 31st October.
As with last year, I’m pitching in with an attempt at PERIL THE FIRST. I’m away on holiday for a couple of weeks in late September/early October so that means some long haul travel time plus some holiday reading time (although not a massive amount because it’s not really a ‘sit and relax’ type of break…). It also means that much of my reading will be done in the company of (many) others in well-lit conditions, which may increase my bravery a smidgen. That plus the fact that I do so love a gothic novel during October makes striving for four books perfectly achievable. Last year I managed five and I was on holiday during a similar time so the odds are good, friends.
I don’t really know quite what I want to read other than that I definitely want to take part in the group read-along of The Haunting of Hill House. I’ve wanted to read it for ages, it’s on my Classics Club list and I have been saving it for this time of year despite originally digging it out of the box it was living in back in APRIL. So that’s a certainty. I also really want to read The Passage by Justin Cronin because I’ve had it for years and I don’t think I’ve ever heard/read a bad word about it. I always avoid it because of how long it is but I think that maybe this year, I’ll use my holiday to tackle something bulky that I normally wouldn’t have the time to get in to.
Otherwise, I have a wicked craving for some Agatha Christie that I’m going to count because murder is dark, even if it isn’t packaged in a particularly sinister way. I haven’t a clue what Agatha Christie book specifically but something. And then to round it up to four, I may go for Wuthering Heights if I feel like I have the time or possibly the delightfully sinister looking The Yard by Alex Grecian that I bought probably about a year ago and is some kind of twist on the Jack the Ripper mystery that sounds kind of wonderful. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I want to dig it out after I’ve finished upsetting myself with Code Name Verity. So there’s a clue for what might crop up first, I suppose.
I don’t tend to read short stories so signing up for THE PERIL OF THE SHORT STORY is where things get optimistic. It’s not that I don’t like them as such, just that I prefer a full length novel. I do, however, have a red-spined beauty of a Vintage anthology of Edgar Allen Poe short stories/poems that I feel like I want to tuck into. If I could at least read one short story that would be progress so I’m just going to do it and stop messing about. I was also sort-of inspired by Ellie’s sign-up post to read The Birds by Daphne du Maurier because I had no idea that she had written the book that the Hitchcock film was based on. Then I remembered that I already dislike birds quite enough without reading a scary story about them so that came off the menu. Edgar Allen Poe it is!