Okay, the Summer Reading Challenge was one thing, but what has possessed me to consider joining the Autumn Readers Imbibing Peril challenge? I am not quite sure. Partly it is because this challenge — 5 gothic novels between now and October 31 — involves a genre I don’t usually read, so it seems like a real challenge. Partly of course it is the excellent Gorey button.
But I actually have a bunch of things I intend to read in the next couple of months. The new Dawkins book, of course. My Book Club books. Whatever Booksfree sends me. Hungry Planet. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The Bujold books Lostarts recommended to me. The Cather that Dingus6 recommended to me. Wide Sargasso Sea — kind of gothic, that, actually.
That’s not too many. I should be able to fit in some gothic stuff. I can read Frankenstein early (it is the KTC book for November), and count Wide Sargasso Sea. I haven’t read more than a couple of things in this genre per year since I was a teenager. Then, of course, I read the classics: Poe, Stevenson, Wilde, Eyre — those guys. I also read the Had-I-But-Known books, the oneheys in which the heroine inevitably goes, in her nightie, down to the smuggler’s cave, Bluebeard’s locked room, the idiotic rendezvous in the darkened boathouse. DuMaurier, Holt, and Seton are the authors I remember in that group. I might re-read some of those in front of the fire, when it gets to that point in the year. Phillipa Gregory does some of that, too, though hers move past deliciously creepy to downright depraved.
Fellow readers, can you recommend a couple of others for me?
Yesterday was a quiet afternoon at work. I had gotten the entire store looking decent, including the math area, which tends to be challenging. So in between customers I read Gary Paulsen’s new young adult book, The Legend of Bass Reeves. Very good, and it is about a historical figure we don’t often hear about, a slave who became a marshal on the frontier. If you have kids, or even if you don’t, you might check your library for this one.
Then, along about 4:00, everyone decided to come in and shop. They had been massing in the parking lot, I guess, waiting. There were numerous children, many of them screaming. There was a woman who wanted me to get her 3 yds of each color of bulletin board paper, one who wanted help arranging a schedule for her special-needs child, one who needed to do calendar work with three year olds. There was a woman who had come quite a distance to pick up her order, which wasn’t in yet, and she would not leave. I kept darting off to help the others, and then coming back to her and saying, “What can I do for you? What would be helpful?” The Mennonite school had all been in the day before, and one of them returned for more paper.
Once it quieted down, I spent a little time wondering about their outfits. They have outifts, of the “I see by your outift that you are a Mennonite” variety. It is clear, when these ladies all arrive in a group, that they are all using the same dress pattern.
I understand the caps, and I understand the modest dresses with two layers of cloth covering the torso, but what is there about sneakers and ankle socks that seems more holy than other shoes? I can’t recall any biblical injunctions about that.
Enough idle persiflage. I have an unusually long list of errands to run today, and I am determined to have a PSD (Personal Sewing Day, as Susinok puts it) afterward, so I must get my skates on. Enjoy your weekend!
4 thoughts on “RIP Autumn Reading Challenge”
If I could make a recommendation…I don’t know if you’ve read any of H.P. Lovecraft’s work…. I stumbled onto Lovecraft about a year ago, and I read At the Mountains of Madness. It was a pretty fair read, but I’m really looking forward to reading The Call of Cthulu. I think one of the more popular anthologies of his work is The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre. I’m not sure if Lovecraft would meet the requirement of a “gothic read” but I thought it might since so many people have compared Lovecraft and Poe…..
RYC: I will only post my political stuff every once in awhile on the other blog. I go through phases where I get really political for several days and everything gets under my skin until I have to let it out by madly typing on my computer! All that is to say that you can subscribe to both blogs, cuz I probably won’t be posting on both blogs every day! 🙂
I can recommend something for you. Try looking up E.F. Benson’s horror stories – they count as gothics!! (And they’re not cute and funny like the Lucia books, either. They’re weird and unsettling.) He also had some straight up gothic novels, but I’ve got to admit – haven’t read ’em. (Although, being the voracious reader you are – you’ve probably beaten me to the punch!)
so, where is this reading challenge? is it on xanga? i’m intrigued although i too don’t usually read gothic stuff. i hope you don’t mind questions from random strangers.
I’ve enjoyed Victoria Holt’s gothic romance novels. I think the first one I read is The Shivering Sands or something similar. My brother actually owned it–he had to read it for a college course LOL (I think it was an English lit class on gothic literative). Most of her books are about a young woman in poor circumstances (often due to death of relatives) who takes a job as a nanny or governess. They are a bit formulaic (what romance isn’t?) but I thoroughly enjoyed them and they did keep me on the edge of wondering what was up! (And the romance part, IIRC, is pretty tame. Which I appreciate.) –AnnMarie
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