(<em>Ophelia's Going Mad Again</em>, by Jennifer Gordon, altered with permission by Carl V.)

(Ophelia's Going Mad Again, by Jennifer Gordon, altered with permission by Carl V.)

My reading habits follow seasonal trends: in the heat of summer, I want to read lightweight chick lit or popcorn mysteries. I save more serious works for deep winter, when it’s easy to curl up in a warm sweater and read for hours on end. And when the leaves start turning and the days noticeably shorten, I crave the supernatural: vampires, witches, ghosts and werewolves–and all the other creatures of the night. So imagine my delight when I discovered the blog of another seasonally-affected reader, who is hosting his fourth annual Readers Imbibing Peril Challenge. The idea, simply, is to read fiction in the autumnal categories: mystery, horror, supernatural, gothic, thrillers, etc., and to share your reading with other participants–either through commenting at his blog or posting links to entries on your own. This is my favorite kind of competition: the kind where I was gonna do it anyway, so why not join in the fun?

I’m undertaking Peril the First: to read four books in various scary genres by October 31st. I’ll likely add in a smattering of Short Story Peril, as well: ’tis the season for ghost stories, after all! Here’s my pool of books under consideration:

Blood Price, Tanya Huff (already completed)
Blood Trail, Tanya Huff
Sharp Teeth, Toby Barlow (on order at the library, on CountessZ’s recommendation)
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian is on the list through pure wishful thinking; I do want to re-read it soon, but I don’t know about getting it done (along with at least two other novels) by Oct. 31st. It’s not a book I want to rush, even the second time through.

Short story candidates include H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, Shirley Jackson, and Angela Carter. Oh, and probably some Tanith Lee, because it’s been years since I read her, and I recall really enjoying her stories.

So that’s vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and unspeakable ancient horrors covered: other suggestions, anyone? Got a good witch book or story to recommend? Want to play along? We can all get good and creeped out together: after all, the dark is less scary when you have a hand to hold!

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One Response to R.I.P.

  1. CAS says:

    My favourite season stories are:

    I love cute little bound versions of Poe’s “The Casque of Amontillado”

    “The Devil Rides Out” by Dennis Wheatley is class and creep all in under one cover.

    Neil Gaiman’s “Fragile Things” is a new favourtie,

    The book that makes me now want to be along: “Salem’s Lot”- no matter how old I am I get creeped out by it. Frankly I don’t think he has ever topped it for horror. I am sure that this is all about the taboo of reading when I did, but it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    Of course, no Horror run would be complete for me without the classic “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

    I can also recommend a number a freaky Japanese horror novels, as only they can do them.

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