Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The RIP, Take Two

I'm not typically a creepy-book reader, as I'm prone to nightmares, but I thoroughly enjoyed curling up with atmospheric novels during last year's RIP (Readers Imbibing Peril) Challenge. Since last year's challenge ended, the special shelf of creepy, atmospheric or frightening books I've been setting aside has become very, very heavy. I'm pretty sure I heard wood groaning in relief as I lifted the books to photograph them. And, then the floor complained, but . . . oh, well. Must make stacks - can't let the toes get used to not having books fall on them.

So . . . It's almost time!! Wahoo! Carl's RIP II starts on the 1st of September!

There's no way I'll get them all read, (you'll say, "No kidding" when you see the photos) but that's all right. Peril the First suits my needs, nicely. The goal is to read four scary books. My stacks are so large that I'll have plenty of leeway. I'm not going to choose four specific books - I'll just attempt to read at least four and any others I manage will be bonus reads.

Stack #1, complete with not-so-sinister black cat with white trim, Miss Spooky:

The House on the Strand - Daphne du Maurier
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder
Ghost Walk - Heather Graham
The Mirror - Marlys Millhiser
Alas, Babylon - Pat Frank
Dark Sister - Graham Joyce
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson

As if that pile isn't enough to choose from, I have a second stack. Poppet and Simone kindly posed with Stack #2:

Haunted Heartland - Beth Scott and Michael Norman
The Husband - Dean Koontz
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
The Harp and the Grey Rose - Charles de Lint
The Poseidon Adventure - Paul Gallico
Our Man in Havana - Graham Greene
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
Haunted Castles of the World - Charles A. Coulombe

Enbiggening the photo is bound to make you feel terrific about the cleanliness of your own home. I had no idea that white door had become so filthy. I'll be scrubbing, after I finish this post. Miss Spooky only allowed me one shot before walking on, but it seems to have worked pretty well.

I have no idea which books I'll end up reading, although I took a sneak peek into Haunted Castles of the World and the image of Anne Boleyn roaming around the White Tower with her head under her arm creeped me out enough that I went back to my regularly scheduled reading.

Speaking of which, I am now three book reviews behind. Again. And, it's an hour till kiddo pick-up time. If necessary, I'll do another quickie triple review post. I've finished:

Blizzard by George Stone
Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, and
Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce

Not sure what I'm going to read next. Decisions, decisions. Castles of the World actually just arrived, a few days ago, from Paperback Swap. Other arrivals:

I Could Never Be So Lucky Again by Gen. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle (war memoir)
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (a library sale purchase)
Visible Spirits by Steve Yarbrough (Southern Lit - library reject)

I think that's it, but I've got several winging their way to me, so I'll be dogging the mailman. I'm totally out of advanced readers. That's kind of a strange feeling.

Off to nibble and scrub. Happy Reading!


  1. Your reading speed astonishes.

    And I got my own poppet today!!!! A little red is on its way to me soon!

  2. Those are quite the stacks!! For what it's worth, I didn't care for Stardust or The Mermaid Chair. But you're allowed to think whatever you like. :)

  3. Goodness gracious!! Nice stacks--and Miss Spooky is precious. Are you already finished with Armchair Traveler? I second what andi says about your reading speed!!

    Have fun with the reading!

  4. Andi,

    I've been a total bum and I'm reading short books. Someday, this trend is going to end!

    Yippee!! Andi got a poppet!!! You'll have such fun. I have to take mine on an explore, soon. They've been cooped up, lately (like everyone else), thanks to the heat. But, it's dropped a bit. I've never been so anxious for temps in the 80s in my life!


    I know; they're ridiculous. But, whatever I don't get to I'll work on next year.

    Stardust and The Mermaid Chair are both books that seem to leave very polarized impressions - I've read raves and nyehs about both. Fortunately, I spent $1 on Stardust and 25 cents on The Mermaid Chair. So, if neither of them take, it's no great loss - I'll just pass them on. :)

  5. I'll be reading The House on the Strand for the challenge too.

  6. Chris,

    Yea! We can compare notes! The House on the Strand is one of the few titles I'd call a "definite". I love du Maurier - Rebecca is one of my all-time favorite books and I also enjoyed Frenchman's Creek and Jamaica Inn, so I'm looking forward to The House on the Strand. :)

  7. Trish,

    I don't know how I managed to miss your message in the middle, there, sorry! Thanks, Miss Spooky is such a little angel. She's chatty but very mild-mannered. Not the smartest cat, though - we constantly have to remind her to look at her bowls before whining about food, when she's hungry. LOL

    I'm not sure about the Armchair Traveler - for some reason I thought it went to December. I'll have to go look.

    Normally, I'm a really poky reader. If I read a lot, it means I need to get off my rear end. It's the heat. It's gotta be the heat. :)

  8. I am INSANELY jealous of all the books you're reading and have on tap to read. My "to be read" pile is taller than the refrigerator, and every now and then, I gaze longingly at it.

    Let me know about The Poseidon Adventure. That one intrigues me because I loved the original movie with Gene Hackman and Pamela Sue "The Original Nancy Drew" Martin.

  9. Cupcake,

    I could probably fill a dozen refrigerators with the books in this house. It's impossible to read fast enough, but I'm doing my darndest! LOL

    Will do on Poseidon. I loved the original, too. In fact, I wasn't willing to corrupt the memory by watching the new version. Some things were just done better in the 70's, in my humble opinion.

  10. Putting in a vote. 'Alas Babylon' is totally worth your time, I promise. And it's not even that scary...just a little.

  11. Hope you're RIP II reading is nightmare free!!

  12. Kookie,

    Sounds like it's right up my alley - thanks for the vote. I like "not even that scary". I can handle a bit, but then those alien invasion and shadow people dreams start to get on my nerves.

  13. You HAVE to read Neverwhere and the deLint book ;) I'll let you choose the others...kidding of course. Neverwhere is one of my favorite Gaiman's though, and I know it's Carl's favorite.

    Is The Lottery a full length book? I've read the short story, but didn't know a full length existed! I've been wanting to read The Husband for awhile too. And I'll probably be shot by people who have read it for saying this, but I hated I, Robot...I just couldn't get into it. But it works for millions of other people so there must be something there ;)

  14. Suzi,

    Thank you! It will be interesting to see if any of my reads trigger a nightmare. I have the most fascinating dreams, sometimes, but they're so vivid that when I do have a nightmare I can end up jittery all day - I relive them all day long. I like the adventurous ones, myself. I've had some great rope-swinging, butt-kicking adventure dreams. ;)


    You're so predictable. I'll do my darndest. I got Neverwhere either during or right after last year's RIP, so it's one that has been waiting quite a while. I'm really hoping to get to it. Of course, I want to read them all, though. We'll see what I end up reading. You just never know. I'm such a moody reader.

    The Lottery is a book of short stories that includes that particular story. I've heard the title story is the best. As to "I, Robot" - I get the impression it's one of those love-it-or-hate-it books. My youngest son enjoyed it, but told me about the many differences between the book and movie. I (ahem) sort of zoned out. But, I'm not expecting the Will Smith version. :)

  15. Great stacks! Nice to see The Poseidon Adventure on the list. I read it years ago and loved it - much better than the movie (or at least the original one), IMO.

    Looking forward to your reviews.

  16. Anonymous12:20 PM

    I love the picture of the poppets with the books. Looks like they are definitely pondering which books to read for the R.I.P. Challenge :)
    Good luck on your challenge!

  17. Ex,

    I'm glad you enjoyed Poseidon! I didn't even realize there was a book until I happened across my copy at Borders' big remaindered-books sale.


    Either the poppets are pondering what to read or they're posing just because they can't find anything better to do. They've been housebound, since the worst of the heat hit, poor things. :)

  18. Anonymous9:18 PM

    I'm going to take on Jonathan Strang. I've started it once but put it down for another book. Is there someplace to sign up for this challenge?

  19. Bill,

    There's a link to Carl's blog in my sidebar - Stainless Steel Droppings. I think I linked up directly to his RIP post, also, within the text of this particular blog entry. I've got to get my mitts on Jonathan Strange, some day. I loved Susanna Clarke's book of short stories. Of course, I'm now drawing a total blank on the name.

  20. Oooh! The Mirror is very good! Kind of a time travel thing. I read it several years ago and have wanted to read it again. I think you'll enjoy it a great deal. Nice list of books, by the way, although I didn't much care for The Mermaid's Chair. Oh, and I agree with Andi. You are quite the fast reader!!

    I need to get a poppet, too! I love the blue, but the red would go with my MiniCooper. Decisions, decisions...

  21. Where are these poppets coming from? I see them all over!

    Two of the books in each of your stacks are on my TBR Mountain. So is Fever. Looking forward to your review of that. I have to read it soon; it's a library book.

    I love Miss Spooky! She looks a bit like my cat.

  22. Wow. That is quite the list to choose from for the RIP challenge. :) So many good books there!

  23. Court,

    It's a lovely little RIP pile. Now, if I could just finish a few . . .


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