Monday, 6 September 2010

RIP V - a time to get scared

RIP V is finally here! (*Edited to add:  for those who don't know, this is an annual ghost story/scary story book reading challenge hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.) I think that as soon as one is over, I start piling books for the next year's challenge, because I love this challenge so very much.  And it's very simple:  read any gothic, supernatural, mystery, thriller, scary book that you want, between Sept 1 to Oct 31 2010.

Well, I have more than one book on my pile! Frankly, it's kind of scary:  I thought I had 8 books saved for RIP V.  When I went to the bookshelf to see what I could pull that would be interesting, I discovered I had 17 books!!  17!  and I had three out of the library already that qualified.  That's 20.

Fabulous bloggers are already adding to my list:
Then I went to see what some of you are reading for the challenge (because you can never have too many books lined up, you know!) and discovered on Geraniumcat's Bookshelf that my favourite scary writer who writes supernatural mysteries, Phil Rickman, has a new book out!   Well, that just made my day.  I am so excited now. I love, love, love this series.  Merrily Watkins is an Anglican dioscean exorcist, which means she gets called in for anything unworldly that happens in the diocese of Herefordshire.  Spooky?  Guaranteed.  Scary?  Absolutely. Thrilling?  Murder?  Blackmail?  A teenage daughter who flirts with paganism compounds Merrily's life, and allows for a wide breadth of philosophical and religious discussion that is fun and interesting, and adds depth to this series.  Do ghosts exist?  In Ledwardine (the village Merrily lives in),  in Herefordshire, in the Midlands, yes.

In Herefordshire, so close to the Welsh border, Rickman uses local legends and myths, supersititions, as well as what is known in ghost research and studies, to create a believable atmosphere in which the supernatural occurs with frightening regularly in this area.  Sometimes it is explained away, and sometimes, as Merrily learns, there is evil, seen and unseen.  How she hangs on to her faith in the face of the unbelievable, is one of the strengths of this series. So I, my dear readers, who has somehow not seen this book even though it's been out for almost a year in paperback, am rushing to buy it.  That makes 21 on my list!

All right, let's get serious, considering that two, Drood and Under the Dome, are over 600 pages each, I'm not going to read more than 10 books at the very most for this challenge.

So I will be reading 10 books in this pile between now and October 31:

Drood - Dan Simmons
Under the Dome - Stephen King
To Dream of the Dead - Phil Rickman
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist
The Darkest Room - Johan Theorin
My Soul to Take - Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Voodoo Season - Jewell Parker Rhodes
The Uninvited - Tim Wynne Jones
The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Charles Dickens
Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy
Soulless - Gail Carriger
Staying Dead - Laura Anne Gilman
Greywalker - Kat Richardson
Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
The October Country - Ray Bradbury

Horror movie night
Now, I have also managed to fulfill the part of the challenge: "Peril on the Screen" already  part of the challenge, since my sister came over last night and we had horror movie night.

  We watched Ginger Snaps, a Canadian made werewolf movie that is very good and gruesome and funny, and one of my all-time favourite scary movies, the original Nightmare on Elm Street.  It was as scary as I remembered, and I think I scared my sister more with my jumping and screaming!

What are you reading?
So now I am in the mood for 8 weeks of ghosts, nightmares, vampires, mysteries, dread figures in black, and chills.  Are you?  What are your choices for this reading challenge?

Uh-Oh, I forgot about these:
Oh, and I have to add that Geraniumcat also is reading Thursbitch by Alan Garner, which is out of print now.  I'm going to try to find a copy somehow. I'm also looking to pick up these two:   Alexandra Sokoloff's The Unseen (not released in paperback yet, and this looks so very good), and Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger.   I read Alexandra Sokoloff's The Harrowing for RIP 3, review here., which is one of the best horror novels I've read this decade.  (The best one is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - review here, which is a ghost story par excellence).  I've been waiting a while for The Unseen  to come out in paperback, and somehow I've missed the first printing, or it never came out in May as it was supposed to.  The Little Stranger of course, so many of you have already read, and I was waiting for this challenge to pick it  up in softcover.  Time to visit the bookstore! 

So I guess I should add that the list above is by no means written in stone!

There are so very many good, frightening, creepy stories out there; do you have any favourites that you like to read?


Chris said...

OMG! Voodoo Season and Let The Right One In :D :D I'm so excited to see those on your list Susan!!! They're both so so so good. Especially Let the Right One In...I wish more people would read that book.

And I can't believe you've seen Gingersnaps!!! Me and Megan watched that when it first came out on DVD and laughed our asses off. It is a good modern cult classic. We enjoyed it!

Molly said...

I absolutely LOVE this challenge and far more books on the list than I will ever read in two short months.

I dream of the day when I am retired and I can read until my heart's content. Maybe during RIP XX :)

Vasilly said...

Great stack! The Thirteenth Tale is one of my favorite books. Happy reading!

Kathleen said...

I love this challenge because I always get so many great reading ideas. You have given me loads of books to look up and check out! I can't wait to read more as you go through the challenge.

Literary Feline said...

I'm really looking forward to being a part of this year's challenge as well. You've got a great list of books lined up! Heart-Shaped Box is one I'd really like to get to in the next couple of months. And Let the Right One In.

Good luck with the challenge and have fun!

GeraniumCat said...

My copy of To Dream of the Dead has just arrived, all crisp and new! Mea maxima culpa for tempting you, but I'm really pleased you are going to be reading it too! I read The Darkest Room last year and it was too scary for me, so good luck with that one.

Brilliant to start out by watching Ginger Snaps, must ask my son if he's got it in his extensive film collection (think he has, I remember watching it with him and I don't think it was Lovefilmed). I thought the film of Let the Right One In was wonderful, have you seen it? Mostly though I'm much too much of a coward to watch horror films - I think you are much braver than me :)

Daphne said...

Great list!! I am going to be referring to you for inspiration as my RIP reading gets going!! I hope you like your books; I've read a few of those and liked them all. Especially The Thirteenth Tale and Let The Right One In.

Kailana said...

This is a great list! Yay for Cry Wolf! I love Patricia Briggs. If I was any good at rereading I would reread all of her books this fall since I don't have any new ones to read!

Carl V. said...

Great to have you on board for this year's challenge. I've been wondering about the Ginger Snaps films. I was looking at them in Walmart, of all places, the other night.

Nicole said...

How on earth would you get through so many books in such a short time Susan?? What a coincidence you mentioning Rickman & Hereford after I sent you an email last night mentioning my passing visit of the area. I loved the sound of Phil Rickman's books so popped over to our local library cataglogue & they have only one of his books "The Remains of an Alter". Just typical, now Im going to have to go & hunt the second hand shop after making a semi pledge not to buy more books for a while. I love the "cosy" type murder/spook story. Thanks for that.

Anne Simonot said...

Funnily enough, I just finished reading "The Woman in Black" and as a big fan of ghost stories, I liked it but found the same author's "The Man in the Picture" to be a superior book. Creepy, creepy, creepy. LOVED "The Little Stranger" and I would also - as some of your other readers have - highly recommend "Let the Right One In", or as my Americanized version was called, "Let Me In". I'd like to try out some of the other books you've mentioned too!

Susan said...

Chris: you do know that you are to blame for me wanting to read Voodoo Season?? lol yes, for two years I've been looking for this book, and finally found one -borrowed from the library! I shouldn't be surprised that you saw Gingersnaps, isn't it funny and gruesome? I really like it too. I have to come see your list now.

Molly: I know! my list is growing longer too. I dream of the same day you do, reading every day to my heart's content!

Vasilly: thank you! So many people liked Thirteenth Tale, I hope I do!!

Kathleen: thank you so much! I'll come read your list also. I always find great ones through book bloggers during this challenge too.

Literary Feline: good luck too! I have to still make the rounds to see what everyone is reading, it was the first week back at school so I haven't been able to get on the computer much this week. I'm very curious to see what everyone else is reading too. That's part of the fun of this challenge, as well as reading horror and scary thrills to my heart's content!

Geraniumcat: I still can't find a copy! I'm glad you have yours, and I can hardly wait for your review :-)

I have seen the film of Let the Right One In, and it was very good and very interesting. I enjoyed it, so I'm anxious to see if I like the book which I thought no one but Bride of the Book God (who reviewed this book two years ago) had read and it turns out quite a few bloggers have!! I really want his other one too, Handling The Undead.

Susan said...

Daphne: well, I'm thrilled I inspired you! lol you usually read some interesting books too, so I'll be over shortly to see what's on your list.

Kailana: Thank you! I know, Patricia Briggs is so good, isn't she? I'm hoping I will like this series as much as the Mercy Thompson series, which I really adore.

Carl: Thank you for holding it!! and if you like smart, funny horror films you will love Gingersnaps. It really is worth a few Walmart pennies!

Nicole: i know, I read your email after I wrote my post, and I was going to ask if you had read any of his books! lol so you've answered that question. I am secretly thrilled that I am responsible for making you go to used book stores! lol so many times I've ended up there looking for books too, recommended on these blogs. And no, I can't read all those books in 2 months! I am pledging 10 though :-)

Are you joining in the challenge?

Anne: thanks for the recommendation for the Man in the Picture! I'll look out for that. And certainly many bloggers like you here seem to have read Let The right One In, so I'm anxious to read it now also :-D I'll come see what your list is too :-) thanks for leaving a comment!

DesLily said...

oh my!! you have my two most favorite reads for RIP on your list!!! Drood and Thirteenth Tale!!!! I hope you read them both and enjoy them as much as I did!!! I am tempted to reread Drood sometime this Fall/winter and have reread 13th Tale 3 times since I first read it.
whatever you do read I hope you enjoy them tremendously!!!

Susan said...

DesLily: Did I miss your review of Drood, Pat? I'll come take a look. I can't believe it! I have the hardcover version, so I can only read it at home. I hope I like it as much as I liked his The Terror. I know you loved The Thirteenth Tale, your review was one of the ones that is making my try reading it now! so thanks! you bad blogger, you dear friend.

Amy said...


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