Tuesday, August 31, 2010

R.I.P. Challenge V

One of my favorite reading times of the year is upon us -- the start of Karl's Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Challenge!  This is the fifth year of the challenge but only my second year participating.  I believe it was originally an October challenge but was expanded to include September (to the delight of many!).  Last year, I went far above and beyond the four books I signed up for.  I'm sure I will surpass it again this year so I'm going to make my own Infinite Peril category!  I've decided this year to read almost entirely from my own stacks.  I've sorted my TBR shelves and have come up with many, many choices!  Here are pictures of the almost two shelves that I have dedicated to the challenge.

1. The Gates by John Connolly (YA, supernatural, horror)*
2. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (YA, ghosts)*
3. The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes (short stories, ghosts)
4. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear (series, murder, detective)
5. Affinity by Sarah Waters (ghosts, supernatural)
6. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (ghosts, supernatural)*
7. Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel by Boris Akunin (series, murder, detective)
8. The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories (short stories, ghosts)
9. The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones (youth, magic, adventure)
10. The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones (youth, ghosts)*
11. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (short stories, ghosts)
12. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (youth, adventure, pirates)
13. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Green (mystery, murder)
14. Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories by M.R. James (short stories, ghosts)
15. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (murder)
16. The Monk by Matthew Lewis (murder)
17. The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd (horror, supernatural)*
18. The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits (short stories, mystery)

19. The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (violence, adventure)
20. Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach (non-fiction, death)*
21. Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (series, mystery, murder)
22. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (non-fiction, murder, history)
23. In the Woods by Tana French (series, mystery, murder, detective)*
24. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (short stories, horror)
25. The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez (mystery, murder)
26. The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde (graphic novel, murder, supernatural)*
27. A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd (series, mystery)
28. The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler (non-fiction, monsters)
28. The Domino Men by Jonathan Barnes (supernatural, mystery)*

29. The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll (ghosts)
30. The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber (mystery, murder, adventure)
31. Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (ghosts, supernatural)
32. Icelander by Dustin Long (mystery, murder)
33. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne (mystery, murder)*
34. Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas (series, murder, detective)
35. An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson (series, murder)
36. The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs (horror, supernatural)
37. The Blackstone Key by Rose Melikan (mystery)
38. Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney (non-fiction, science)
39. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (mystery)
40. Fer-de-Lance and The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout (series, mystery, murder)
41. Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler (series, mystery, detectives)
42. Bone: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith (youth, graphic novel, ghosts)
43. The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt (adventure)
45. The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt (mystery)

Wow.  I certainly buy books of a certain mood, don't I?  Last year I got through eighteen books in two months.  We'll see how I do this year.  I think my unofficial goal will be twenty.  It will be nice to make a decent-sized dent in my TBR stacks.  If you want to see other reviews as they go up or link to your own reviews, the site is here.

Oh, and there's also a film component this year, Peril on the Screen.  Don't worry!  I have plenty of those as well (almost 50 DVDs that should qualify!).  I'll kick it off this week with Dorian Gray (which I finally got on Netflix) and go from there.

Are there any of these books that you can recommend or that you would like to see me read?  I've put stars by the ten I think I'm most likely to read and then the rest will be decided as I go along.

Hoping the leaves start changing soon to set the mood,

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Finn had been flung on his face and chained to the stone slabs of the transitway."

I've been following Lenore's Dystopian August (which is awesome, by the way!) and decided to participate at the last minute.  I scored an ARC of Sapphique by Catherine Fisher (due for release at the end of December) and it happens to be the sequel to a YA dystopian novel.  The first book is Incarceron and I borrowed it to read during our vacation.

First, let me admit that I've always thought that dystopians weren't my thing.  It's not that I don't think that they're good books but I tend to think of them as bleak and depressing.  However, Lenore's focus on the genre has helped me pick out the ones that are the right fit for my reading tastes.  In her last dystopian feature month, it was Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey.  And now, after choosing Incarceron, I think that my niche is the fantasy dystopia.  It's not as bleak if it's not your own world that has gone to seed!

Almost two hundred years ago, the people of this society took all of their criminal and antisocial members and put them together in an enclosed prison that has an artificial intelligence.  The prison was meant to direct the inmates into reformation and the creation of a utopia.  Not surprisingly, something went wrong and the prison turned into a hell of warring tribes and limited resources, all managed by a dissatisfied AI.  Finn is the member of one of these tribes but isn't quite like the other inmates.  He has no memory before three years ago and thinks he may have come from the outside world.  Claudia is in the outside world and is about to be married off to someone she detests.  Her father is the warden of Incarceron and she believes that unlocking its secrets will free her to live a different life.

This was a very compelling story.  I still found it a bit depressing but the world was also fascinating and I can't wait to learn more about it in Sapphique.  There are pretty intense issues of loyalty, trust and survival ethics in this book and I can only imagine that they will get more hairy in the next part of the story.  Lenore told me that it goes in more of a high fantasy direction which I wouldn't have seen coming so I'm intrigued!

Returning to my happy place,

Support our site and buy Incarceron on Amazon or find it at your local library.  We borrowed our copy from the library.