Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

R. I. P. IX: Wrap-up

Gorgeous artwork courtesy of
the super talented Abigail Larson
You might wonder why I’m wrapping up at all given that it’s already 9th November and I’m over a week late at checking in my spooky adventures but we spent the weekend in London being tourists (Houses of Parliament tour and all) so I’m shattered, in a post-roast chicken dinner stupor and surprisingly excited about getting back to reading NOS4R2 but want to post something before it’s Monday and I’m back in the grips of work. I know, great reasons for a post.
SO I signed up for PERIL THE FIRST, aiming to read four books that fit the creepy bill over the two months.  I read…*checks review notebook* …FIVE!  Wow.  I was actually all prepared to write a grovelling apology and now I don’t have to.  What a pleasant surprise! Although it says a lot about how worryingly little I can remember about what I read in September…
This year, these were the books giving me the chills:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson:  My favourite of my R.I.P. reads! This book is amazing.  It’s subtle and is one of those clever books that uses your own imagination against you.  Its a pretty simple ‘group travels to supposedly haunted house to investigate, panic ensues’ tale but it’s just wonderfully written and I thought the ending was perfect.  Read it.  (Confession: I read this as part of the read-along but finished it so early that by the time it came to posting, I didn’t have time to join in the discussion…)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks:  I feel like I’ve grumbled about this book enough.  I didn’t really gel with it and I enjoyed parts of it but was decidedly luke warm about the whole experience.  For much more positivity, head in Blonde Ellie’s direction.  You’ll only find World War Z dissatisfaction here.  
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie:  My love of Agatha Christie knows no bounds.  This wasn’t my favourite Christie (which remains And Then There Were None) but I really enjoyed it.  Somehow I’d made it 28 years without having the ending spoiled so I could read it without a clue who did it.  My timing was good because about a fortnight after I’d read it, I stumbled across a MASSIVE SPOILER in this Guardian article about locked-room mysteries (most of which are now on my wishlist).
Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey: Another one that I feel like I’ve grumbled about enough.  It was super dark and had some scenes that were so gory that I had to skip them.  It’s interesting and I like some of the ideas about civilisation and what it can become when modern privileges and values start to crumble and about power but it was a bit abstract and sinister for me if I’m being completely honest.
Cruel Summer by James Dawson:  I inhaled this book and it was marvellous! It was a complete trip down Point Horror Memory Lane for me and was the most fun.  Blonde Ellie bought it for me for my birthday, proving once again that she has impeccable gift giving instincts.  
Nailed it!  Makes up for the fact that I also signed up for PERIL OF THE SHORT STORY and read exactly none, I suppose.  I moved my Edgar Allen Poe collection to the top of my classics box and then forgot all about it.  I don’t know why I can never summon the will to get into that collection but I just can’t.  Maybe next year!
As always, I loved starting autumn with some appropriately gloomy reading!  I may not have loved all of the books that I read but I loved most of them and that’ll do me.  Did you all have a super RIP?!  Tell me about the terrors you faced down!