Readers Imbibing Peril is a reading challenge for those who like to read creeptastic books. It’s been going strong for 14 years now, hence the hashtag #RIPXIV. RIP, get it?
Do you like spooky, creepy, dark tales? I do, and ’tis the season!
As long-time readers of this blog know, I love to make lists of books to read but don’t often follow-through on reading them. I’m fine with this. I’ve come to learn that others are compulsive book-list makers. Feeling less alone is a good thing.
RIP runs from September 1 through October 31st. I tend to start my gothic or horror themed reading in October, but this year the air already feels and smells autumny and there are some trees in the neighborhood already changing their leaves. I’ll also be doing the Book Cougars’ readalong of Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires in October which will take up some RIP reading time.
Therefore, I’ve already started my RIP reading. First up was a short story by by Lisa Unger called “The Sleep Tight Motel.” It’s from the Amazon Originals Dark Corners Series. I don’t remember downloading it to my Kindle, but when I started looking for something short to read the other night, there it was.
This is a story about a woman on the run from an abusive boyfriend, from the law, and from choices she’s made. Exhausted, she pulls over to get a room at a motel and . . . . Well, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out the rest.
I’ve also started reading The House of the Seven Gables (1851) by Nathaniel Hawthorne using the Serial Reader app. I don’t like to read long form writing on my phone, but I thought this might be a good way to actually follow-through on reading this creepy classic. Serial Reader breaks down stories into 20 minute or less segments and sends you one per day. You can actually read ahead, if you like, but the intention is to read a little bit each day. Below is a screen shot.
The House of the Seven Gables is also on my Classics Club List. I thought this was a re-read for me, but three chapters in and nothing is ringing a bell, other than the major themes for which this classics is known. Who knows. In the past I read Hawthorne’s first novel, Fanshawe and when I went to record it in my book journal I discovered I had already read it a few years prior. Apparently I enjoyed it both times. In my defense, I’m more of a fan of Hawthorne’s short stories than I am of his novels.
I’m also planning to read The Witchcraft of Salem Village (1956) by Shirley Jackson with illustrations by Lili Rethi. This is a kids book. I’m curious to see how Jackson wrote about this subject matter with children as her intended audience.
The first chapter is titled, “The Long Life of the Devil,” and here’s the opening paragraph:
It is difficult to understand the seeming madness which swept Salem Village in 1692 without first considering the many factors which had been building for long centuries before. Since the establishment of the Christian church, a surprising amount of study and scholarship had been devoted to learning about its enemies. For nearly seventeen centuries before Salem Village was born, learned men had been endeavoring to control witchcraft.
It’s off to a great start. I love that witchcraft is presented as something “real” and not prefaced as myth or superstition. It’s something so powerful that men have been unable to control for 1,700 years. I want to keep reading this now, but it will have to wait its turn. The copy I have is a first edition, fourth printing from the library with library binding and it smells awful (that rotting glue smell). I might have to sit next to a fan while reading it. Talk about reading and peril.
P.S. When I first posted this I forgot to add that I’ll be signing up at the “Peril The First” level, which means I plan to read four books that fit the broad parameters of this challenge. Learn more and sign up here.