Thursday, September 1, 2011

Imbibing Peril Yet Again! (RIP Challenge VI)

'Tis the season again, my old chums, for me to take you on a journey through books that feature the ghostly, the macabre, the perilous and the downright spooky -- the sixth year of Carl's wonderful RIP Challenge! This year, I am making this a true challenge for myself. I have chosen only classics and non-fiction from my own shelves to make my list. These are books that I pass over regularly because they take longer to read. I'm tired of them leering at me (what can I say -- they're true RIP candidates) each time I go to choose my next book. So, over the next two months, I will attempt to read as many of these fiends as possible so that they can be moved from my bedside TBR shelves down to the near-infinite stacks of the already read.

This year's possibles:

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum

The Monk by Matthew Lewis
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green
The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (my first read this season)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Classic Short Stories
The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories, edited by Michael Cox
The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales, edited by Chris Baldick
The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime, edited by Michael Sims
The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, edited by Michael Sims

As you can see, I need to make use of some of the dollars I've given to Penguin and Oxford! Of course, I might want to sneak in another book or two (or ten) that aren't such weighty reads and, as always, I have plenty to choose from. These were just the closest ones to hand that I could bring together for a picture.

And, finally, Carl recently posted about a couple of group reads for the season that I'm also planning on participating in --Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things short story collection through Sept and Oct (which will be a re-read for me) and The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson in October.

So that signs me up for Peril the First (or as I usually call it, the Infinite Peril, since I always read more than four books), Peril of the Short Story and Peril of the Group Read. I'm sure I'll also do a bit of watching for Peril on the Screen but I'm not sure how much I will write about. I'll decide that as I go along!

Are you going to join the RIP Challenge VI this year? I'm sure that there's at least a few of you that I've tempted into it over the years!

Breaking out in goose flesh,


  1. please oh please read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. this is such an amazing book and it doesn't get the credit it deserves sometimes!

    i don't generally like non-fictiony stuff (true lit fic lover at heart) but this was so gripping and creepy, you can't help but love it.


  2. The Devil in the White City is fantastic. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is very good as well. Enjoy RIP!

  3. I am hoping to read The Monk, too!

  4. I like how you've sorted your books into classics and non-fiction. The Monsters looks good - I'll have to see if I can track down a copy.

  5. I've read The Devil in the White City and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher - as true crime novels go, they're both good, though Larson's book does describe a truly terrifying psychopath.

  6. I've got to stop reading everyones lists! My wish list keep growing..and this is before any reviews!!

  7. The Monk!!!!! I hope you get to that one. :D

  8. Diane - I always do. :) I think I'm going to feel extra accomplished this year too!

    Selena - I promise to get to it! Maybe it will be my second read after The Mysteries of Udolpho.

    Lola - I've heard nothing but good things about both of those which is why I'm forcing myself to finally get to them this year!

    Kailana - Awesome! I've had it on my wishlist forever and owned a copy for a couple of years now. I need to get to it!

    Trish - I liked the Hooblers' other book about art (The Crimes of Paris) so I'm sure I will like this one too. They write in a very easy to read way.

    Tracy - I'm excited to finally get to them. They're two of my definites for this season.

    Deslily - I bet! I haven't even started looking at other posts yet. As you can see, I have too many RIP books to get through already!

    Amanda - I will make sure to. It's always referenced in Gothic fiction so I feel the loss that I haven't read it yet (same with Udolpho that I'm finally reading now!).

  9. I'm not joining this year because I know my blogging has been spotty all year. But I'm excited to see everyone else's posts. I hope you read the Agatha Christie Notebooks, that looks really interesting.

  10. You got me last year … I've got to sign up for this year too.

  11. What a great pile of books! I have been thinking of how few classics (and NF) books I've read this year, but I ended up choosing all contemporary novels. I loved The Mysteries of Udolpho though be prepared for lots of fainting spells! :) One year I read the Hoobler book along with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. You're in for some treats!

  12. GREAT list! I have the Monsters in my pile too. And your classics are fantastic, especially Wilkie. I had forgotten it, but I have the Oxford Book of Gothic Tales too, I'm going to try to fit a few in. They are so short, it shouldn't be hard! Have fun!

  13. I really should read the mystery of Edwin Drood since I loved the book Drood so much..great list! I had to use my live journal account because I have come across a few that leave comments in this manor and when I use Google (which is what I really am.. it tells me I am not allowed to leave comments on "this" blog)

  14. Guess who is signing up this year?!?!? Finally!!!!

    BTW, LOVED Devil in the White City! I think you will love it too! Larson has an amazing way of writing, completely engaging you in history! Can't wait to hear what you think!

  15. Jenny - I've been spotty this year too but I'm hoping that this is something that helps me get back on track! I hope to get to the Agatha Christie book too.

    Jenners - Yay!

    Danielle - I'm about 60 pages in and there have already been multiple faintings. ;) And I hope to get to the Hoobler book because their other book was so engaging.

    Heather - Sounds like you have some great reading ahead of you too!

    Deslily - I couldn't remember which comment format had problems. I've switched back to the pop-out window! And I didn't think I ever wanted to read The Mystery of Edwin Drood because it's not finished but I've changed my mind recently.

    Tif - Hooray! This challenge is perfect for you! And I know that you're the biggest Erik Larsen fan ever. I promise to read that one this year!

  16. Oh, you have so many good titles to choose from! I loved Dracula, the original, when I read it for an earlier RIP years ago. In fact, I so clearly remember most of what I've read for this challenge, as it's a genre I don't normally pick up. I loved Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, too. But, some of the titles which intrigue me most from your list are The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Treasure Island. Can you believe I've never read the later? My son loves that novel! And he doesn't read nearly as voraciously as I do. ;)

  17. Yeah!! I can't wait to hear what you think of Larson's Devil!!!

  18. I just signed up. I decided I couldn't resist for another year. Your list is so long and wonderful!

  19. Bellezza - I can't remember if I read Treasure Island as a kid. I seem to remember there being a copy in the house which means I probably did read it. But, I also saw the movie version so it might just be that I watched it and remember that. I guess I'll find out when I'm it it!

    Tif - I think it will be my next read!

    Iris - Wonderful! I think this challenge could definitely be labeled irresistible.