Saturday 30 August 2014

R.I.P. IX is here! Can you believe it's been 9 years of wonderful ghost and horror novel reading???

Yes, oh yes, it's that time of year again.  I've been making my pile for a week now, wondering when Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings would put his post up.  Readers Imbibing Peril, or RIP, is beginning starting Monday Sept 1.  And.....he's letting us start earlier! 
R.I.P. IX officially runs from September 1st through October 31st. But lets go ahead and break the rules. Lets start today!!!  he writes, and I couldn't agree more.

I am of course going to be doing Peril the First:  Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.

Here is my list of books I am thinking/hoping/planning to read during this challenge reading pleasure time:

Mind over Matter - Laura Kasischke  A new to me author and just published novel, it sounds creepy and good: "Something had followed them home from Russia."  *****Edited to add:  I just realized that it was Chris at Chrisbookarama that brought this to my attention.  Here is her review.
Mayhem - Sarah Pinborough  I have been on the waiting list for 6 months for this book!  Both Cath at Read-Warbler and Bride at Bride of the Book God reviewed this for last year's RIP reading challenge. Yes, it's taken me that long to get the book from our library (it only came out in Jan here, and even longer for our library to get a copy), and it just arrived last week!  I"m so happy!
 -  of course, since both made the comparison to Drood  by Dan Simmons which I have not read yet, it will go on my list again.  I'm not sure why I am resisting this one. I did start it last year.  I loved The Terror, and read the book after Drood that came out last year, The Abominable, with a mostly good review (sans as much terror as I hoped for, though it kicked off a huge mountain climbing reading venture for me in the winter).  So, it's on my list as a maybe.
 Deadline - Mira Grant - excellent zombie series, first one, Feed, reviewed here by me in 2011.
Vanished - Kat Richardson - 4th in the Harper Blaine PI series, in which Harper can see the souls of the dead, and other things.  Paranormal series that I love.
    Greywalker (book 1) reviewed here.
    Poltergeist (book 2) reviewed here
       I know I read Book 3 last year or the year before, but didn't review it. Not sure why, as it was very good, one of the best in the series so far.  I have high hopes for Vanished, where she has to discover what in her past might have led her to be able to be a greywalker when she died for 2 minutes in the first book.
 London Falling - Paul Cornell - London police suddenly develop the Sight and can see the otherworldly creatures haunting London's streets.
Frost Burned - Patricia Briggs  I have read every book in the series since they came out. Clever and fun series featuring shape-changer Mercy Thompson who is a Coyote, and how she handles all the fae, dwarves, werewolves, magic and the modern world is not to be missed. Some of my book reviews for her are linked here Moon-Called, (book 1) is reviewed here, Blood Bound (book) 2 and Iron-Kissed (book 3) are reviewed hereBone Crossed, Book 4, here.
Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch  I thought I had reviewed the first one, Midnight Riot, read a couple of years ago. I can't find the review, so I might not have.  I really liked it, enjoyable and a little dark police constable who sees ghosts, but it's not just ghosts that are involved.  Good mystery set-up.
The Troop - Nick Cutter - horror novel from a Canadian writer, my good friend Sue read it and she really enjoyed it.  She is a horror connoisseur, so if she says it.....
Delia's Shadow - Jaime Lee Moyer - a young woman in early 20th century San Francisco can see ghosts.  After the Great Earthquake in 1906 she flees to Europe until one determined ghost appears.....the ghost of a victim of a serial killer who has not been caught.
The Unquiet House - Alison Littlewood  - This is a new author to me, although she has been putting out novels in England for a little while now.  This is a haunted house novel, with the main character inheriting a house from a distant relation, only she discovers that she might not be alone in the house.  Are there ghostly figures?  or is a distant cousin trying to scare her away from the house?
The Silent Land - Graham Joyce I've read several of his other novels, The Limits of Enchantment reviewed here, Some Kind of Fairy Tale reviewed here.  Joyce is a kind of supernatural writer unlike anyone out there.  His characters are all down-to-earth, plucked from our real world and set into a world where the rules aren't the same. In The Silent Land, the main characters might be dead already. 

And short stories from various collections, including:
Ellen Datlow's Year's Best Horror Volume 1
Don't Look Now and other Stories - Daphne Du Maurier
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream - ed by Hank Davis, lots of good horror sci fi short stories
The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women - ed. by Marie O'Regan
Elizabeth Bowen ghost stories in her Collected Stories collection

Some poetry:
Also, if I can find my Edgar Allen Poe book, some horror poetry.  And other dark poems too by  poets.  I know they are out there. I think I will look into some of the Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow various (and many) collections I have of fairy tales, dark fantasy and horror that I have.  I'll review them as I find them, as part of my poetry reading year (blog post is upcoming very shortly as I finalize how I want to do this).

I hope you will join in RIP, if you haven't done this before. And if you have, you know what great fun it is, to read scary and spooky stories, and share them with eachother.  Almost like sitting up late at night scaring one another......

Happy spooky reading, everyone!

 Thank you so much to Carl for doing this, once more.  This is a wonderful reading experience, one of my favourite challenges that I look forward to every year.  Ever since I discovered it in the third year, autumn reading has never been so fun.  6 years of fabulous ghost stories and horror novels read and discovered from all the wonderful readers who join in.

Thursday 21 August 2014

The strangest thing happened when I read this book.....

I have been reading so many good mysteries, which I will be doing short reviews for over the coming few weeks.  One of my favourite new series I have to thank Cath at Read-Warbler for.  Her review of Julia Spencer-Fleming's 3rd book, Out of the Deep I Cry, the Reverend Clare Fergusson series, got me finally to read the first book, In The Bleak Midwinter, in July, which I had had on my shelf for years.  And a funny thing happened when I read that book. Not only was I hooked on the series - especially the two main characters, Reverend Clare and Sheriff Russ Van Alstyne, but the reverend herself.  Something happened within me, and I realized that I wanted to be like Clare.  It was quite a shock to me when I realized I was jealous of a book character! 

Then I had to consider what this meant.  Did I want to be a minister?  A reverend?  And I came to the conclusion that if my life had been very different, yes, I would.  But, my life went in a very different route when I was very young, and looking at Reverend Clare Fergusson, I came to see that I wanted more spirituality in my life. Not just spirituality, which is vague and not directed towards anything.  I wanted to know my personal belief figure better (for lack of a better generic way to put it!).  For a very long time, most of my life, I have known there was a spiritual part to life that I am attracted to, and interested in.  A way of contemplating the universe, if you will.  I've only ever lingered at the edge, until this summer, when this fictional character woke up in me the recognition of what I want to do for myself.  At the same time, I picked up St Teresa de Avila's The Interior Castle because I had heard about it somewhere as a way to understand the longing we have to behold the sacred.  I am not about to go all religious, don't worry!  That was part of the path I turned from so very long ago.  What I am interested in, is answering the call, that longing.  I don't know where it will lead to yet, just that being more silent is part of it.  So I have to thank Cath and the Reverend Clare very much!  Besides all this, it really is a well-written mystery series, and I have been reading them as fast as I can get them.  I have just finished Out of the Deep I Cry last week.  It's a bit annoying on how the two main characters always keep ending up in deadly fixes together, though this is part of their attraction to each other that they are figuring out.  I will do a review on each of the books later.  I am fascinated to see what Clare does next, and how she has the patience to tend to everyone who comes to her door is a marvel to see.  Sadly it is after 1 a.m. and I have to get to bed!

So in lieu of a book review because it's so very late at night, here is what is on my table beside my computer right now, so you can know what I'm reading since I started realizing what I wanted more of in my life:

Collected Poems - Jane Kenyon (been reading all summer)
London - Edward Rutherford (just started)
The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss (about 3/4 read)
Answering the Contemplative Call - Carl McColman (almost finished)
The Old Ways - Robert MacFarlane
A Book of Silence - Sara Maitland (begun again after last summer when I started it , didn't get far)
The Myth of the Goddess - Anne Baring and Jules Cashland
The Interior Castle - St Teresa de Avila (slowly reading)
Trust Your Vibes - Sonia Choquette (half-way done)
The Poetry of Robert Frost (just begun)

I have a half-formed plan of reading a poem a day for  a year, and posting about the poem (or at least the title!) here.  I like the idea, it's deciding on the day to start! I'll let you know when I do.

So, I am back.  I did not plan on being away this long. I did not know I was even going to take a break from blogging.  As some of you know, last summer I decided to learn how to be more quiet in my life, to make time for some silence each day.  I now know that I was hearing that call.  I still feel the need, and yet funnily enough because of it, I value my friendships and family that much more.  I do want to keep blogging.  I am figuring out how I want to blog while I explore my spiritual requirements, and learning how to say again what I want to say about books.  I have been popping in to see many of your blogs over the past few months, and leaving comments once in a while.  I have wanted to know what you were reading!  I came here many times, wondering if I could post, though it turned out I couldn't, even though I have been reading many superb mysteries and other books this spring and summer.  That is the way of the soul, it sometimes needs something different.  I'm just glad I can write here again, at last.