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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Don’t cry, there’s always a way. Here in November in this house of leaves we’ll pray.. -Poe (the musician, not the dead writer)

Dudes, I was browsing some of my favorite blogs this morning and through Musings of a Bookshop Girl I discovered this super rad, totally awesome reading event:

So, for any of you who know me in real life know how much I adore the autumn season. I love all things chilly days, long nights, creepy stories, baskets full of candy, make believe, witches, ghouls, goblins, ghosts and terrifying reads. So, when I saw this I immediately did a squeal of delight and started making up my to-read list for this stellar event. Even though it’s a balmy 92 here in North Carolina today I have high hopes that we will actually get an Autumn and a Winter this year. I spent all morning yesterday reading farmer’s almanacs and weather blogs to see what the meteorologists are predicting for us. I want cold days and overcast skies and a mood in the air to fit my reading in my chair!

So, what is RIPVII? RIP stands for Readers Imbibing Peril and this is the SEVENTH year that stainlesssteeldroppings has hosted the event and I am totally bummed that I didn’t know about it last year, but better late than never I do suppose. If you’re interested in my Fall Reading Habits from last year, check out this post. And also check out my Top Ten list of favorite Halloween reads. So, I am psyched to be participating in this challenge this year and I am ready to get started. “The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.”

There are two simple goals for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.”

There are several levels of peril that readers can choose to participate in. I have selected three levels that I want to be apart of:


Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.


This one’s obvious: short stories. This will work well for a book of spooky short stories I bought at a used bookstore in college and have yet to read called Nocturnes. I’m also gonna get some Poe (yippie!) in there as well.


This is for those of us that like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows or Midsomer Murders, or your favorite film. As corny as it is, my all time favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus. I watch it every year and I try to be patient and wait for it to come on ABC Family Channels 13 Days of Halloween, but last year I got impatient and I went and bout a copy of the DVD at Target and it takes all the willpower I have to not watch it any other time of year! I also love to watch all the creepy Halloween-themed shows and the movies that come on that time of year. The countdown shows where they talk about the scariest movies, or the most realistic monster movies, etc. are some of my favorites to watch!

So, those are my three perils that I will be partaking in. I am aiming high here folks, and I am shooting for a few more than four books. I’ve got a pretty sizeable list here, and I know that with school and everything going on in my busy life, I will most likely not finish all of these books, but these are the ones I am going to pick from and I will leave the rest for Fall 2013:

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

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Well, that’s just fine, Say it once, say it twice, Take a chance and roll the dice, Ride with the moon in the dead of night, Everybody scream, everbody scream. – Danny Elfman

I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul. –Bram Stoker Dracula

And now, for my top favorite scary/horror/Halloween books:

5. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
I had to read this book for a Victorian Literature class in college. At the time I worked for the on campus department of housing and my job duties were to sit in dorms that were mostly empty and wait for people to ask me questions. Sitting alone at 11:00 at night in a huge, empty, silent and dark towering building can be scary enough on its own. I was a little leery of taking this book with to read while on duty, but I knew I had to for class and I wouldn’t have much time to do so other than while at work. In class we had learned that Shelley had written the book for a contest on who could write the scariest book, and that hers had won. I knew the story of Frankenstein and had for years been very peeved when someone would refer to the creature as Frankenstein when it was really the name of the doctor that had brought the creature to life. Hello! Hadn’t anyone seen Young Frankenstein?! This book honestly did not scare me, but it is such a classic that I couldn’t leave it off of the list. I did enjoy it a lot, I just wasn’t frightened of it. Perhaps if I had lived in the year without a summer I would have been!

4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving
I had to read this one for another class in college. I remember reading it on a Friday night on my couch. My roommates had gone out for the evening (it was a Friday afterall, and only the English Major nerds were inside reading a book) and I was all alone. I remember being utterly terrified that some headless horseman was going to ride through the streets of Greensboro and up the stairs to my walkup apartment and sneak up on me from behind the huge piles of laundry that 3 girls in college can accumulate. It never happened, duh, but I couldn’t sleep until at least one roommate came home, just to be sure, saftey in numbers and all that.

3. I debated a long time which Stephen King book to add, I am a huge fan of his (I am reading one of his books in my profile picture) and have read most of his work. I had to go with my favorite though, which is Salem’s Lot. I love vampires and like I’ve said before, I loved them before they were popular. I have always enjoyed vampire literature (see Dracula below). I have also been somewhat intimidated by the sheer size of some of Mr. King’s works. Salem’s Lot seemed to be just the right size for me. I checked it out from the library, took it home, and devoured it. Luckily, I didn’t read it alone and I read it at a boyfriend’s house. I am not often scared by books, but I remember one scene in this  book shook me to my core and I had to put the book in the freezer for a few minutes until I could turn on all of the lights in the house and make sure that there were no well-dressed vampires in the house.

2. The Exorcist William Peter Blatey
When I was in high school I saw the movie at a slumber party and couldn’t sleep for weeks, convinced that Reagan or Captain Howdy or Satan or whoever was going to sneak into my house and possess me and make me scratch my face up and vomit on priests. I was very scared of the movie. I dare not try to read the book. The book was given to me as a gift and I remember reading the majority of it on my parents front poarch during a summer afternoon thunderstorm. It was my ideal reading experience. The weather was comfortable and rainy and the book was best to be read during a storm! My aunt told me that she read it while staying alone in an old house with no electricity. She is far braver than I ever will be!

1. Dracula Bram Stoker.
Ah, Dracula, “the original horror classic.” Isn’t it, though! I read this book in the same class that I read Frankestein. I am so grateful to Dr. Vann who assigned these books to us. Though I have always loved vampire literature (even before it was popular) I had never even picked up a copy of Dracula before and I just don’t know why. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I read part of it on another Friday night. The guy I was dating at the time was over watching tv and I was only vaguly aware that he was even there. Later that night I was terrified and I remember looking up into a mirror in the hallway and seeing his reflection and just screaming my lungs out, having forgotten that he was there and convinced that it was the opposite way around- vampires could ONLY be seen by their reflections in mirrors. Needless to say, this book became a daytime only read! And if you only read one book from this list, please let it be this one!

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Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart? -The Lovin’ Spoonful

Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can. -Alice Hoffman Practical Magic

So here it is again, almost another month has gone by and no updates from me. We still do not have Internet here, but I am hoping to change that tomorrow as I got a brand new computer at Best Buy yesterday. When I went to college I got a laptop and then when I started grad school my dad bought me a new laptop. That second laptop was on it’s last leg so Saturday G and I went to look at computers at Best Buy. I was all set on getting a new laptop, but after talking to the guy that worked there and looking at the desktops, I decided to go for a touch screen all-in-one desktop! So far, I love it. Now, if I could just get some Internet!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my next post and what I wanted to write about. I’m still reading a lot of the Battle of the Books books and so far I loved Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson is one of my favorite YA authors and sometime soon I hope to do a post just on YA lit. Perhaps after I have finished my BOB reading list. I am in the midst of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. Last week at school my co-coach told me that she got the questions for this book from another teacher which made me so happy. I am loving the story but I kept getting caught up in having to stop to write questions. I am happy to get to just read the book and enjoy the flow of the story.

My favorite season is upon us. I love Autumn. I love apples and pumpkins and leaves crunching under my feet and cooler air and sweaters and jackets and warm comfort food. To me Autumn is a time to curl up on the couch under a blanket on a grey day and read while enjoying a warm cup of apple cider. I started thinking about some of my favorite Fall comfort reads and I was having trouble coming up with books. I easily called to mind some authors whose books I must have read for the first time in the Fall or they just have such strong Fall themes that I can actually feel the chill in them.

My first Autumn Author is one of my all around favorite authors Alice Hoffman. Everything about Hoffman screams autumn. I started off my list with her book Practical Magic. Thinking about Practical Magic (which is definitely in my top ten books of all time) led me on a tangent about witchcraft and Halloween and I decided that next month I would write a post regarding my favorite Halloween-y books. Practical Magic isn’t very Halloween-y. It’s about family and traditions with magic sprinkled in. I rented the video when it first came out and I hated it. I didn’t watch it again until years later when there was a re-run on ABC Family. I got so into it and forgot why I ever hated it so. (Perhaps it was the fact that a 8 year old just can’t understand everything that occurs in the film). After that second viewing I rushed out to grab the novel. At that time I was very interested in reading all of Jodi Picoult’s books and I had been reading a lot of comparisons to Hoffman so I knew that this was perfect timing. I read the book in about 1 day and I adored it. It differs quite a bit from the movie, but they both have such an Autumn feel to them that I love them both independent of one another and I make a point to watch the movie and read the book (if I have time) each Autumn.

Another great Hoffman Autumn book is a collection of short stories that all revolve around one house in Massachusetts called Blackbird House. Honestly is there anything more Autumn and more magical than a blackbird!? I’m not normally a huge fan of straight short stories, but this book reads in a novel way since all the stories have that common element and you get glimpses of what became of the other characters in past stories. This book reads like a secret society and it is a great Autumn read. Honestly, any Hoffman books work well in this category, but these two books are just may favorite.

My second AA is Sarah Addison Allen. A native of the great state of North Carolina (and she sets all of her books here too!) Allen is a surprising pick for me. The first book I read of hers was Garden Spells and I honestly read it because it was cheap on the Nook and it was my first Nook purchase and I was desperate to read something on my brand new Nook. This book is also filled with magic but instead of the beautiful Autumn setting, we get it set in the middle of a hot summer. Magic always calls to mind Autumn for me. I think because I find the season such a magical time for myself I always crave books with magic in them. The most autumn-y Allen book that I can think of is really The Sugar Queen (which I will honestly tell you I have not read yet). This book takes place during the middle of winter instead of Autumn, but I know I can count on that magic to be there. At this current moment I have Allen’s newest book The Peach Keeper checked out from the library and I am anxious to start it.

Side note: Along with The Peach Keeper I also checked out The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag the second in the Flavia de Luce mystery series by Alan Bradley and I can not rave enough about these books. The fourth book in the series I Am Half-Sick of Shadows is due to come out in November and I jus can’t wait. I will need to read the third one in that time, but that should not be a problem at all. This winter look for a post on the Flavia series!

I elected to read Flavia first because I wanted to start Peach Keeper when the days are a little cooler, the air a little crisper, the leaves a little crunchier. This fall I am aiming to read only “magical” books. Books with witches and families and magic and spells. Of course in October I will also read about goblins and ghouls and all those scary things that I wait all year to read about.

So my last Autumn Author is actually an autumn book and it was one that I did not care for. A Discovery of Witches had such potential for a great Autumn read. So much so that I cheated and read it in the summer. I tried to convince myself that was why I detested the book so, but no, it was just not a book for me. I won’t continue on my rant about this book, you can find that here, in my previous post. However though, it is a magical family book and you may love it. I hope you do!

I am always looking for magical Autumn books so please send me any recommendations that you have! Happy Autumn and Happy Reading!

 

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