Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P. IV Challenge

I have been eagerly anticipating R.I.P. IV (R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge) since last year. R.I.P. III was one of my favorite blogging events last year as a new blogger. I love autumn, I love a good literary scare...Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings has created the perfect reading challenge for me (and lots of others judging by the challenge's popularity). If you're a new blogger or haven't participated in R.I.P. before, definitely check it out. It's a lot of fun. I got so many great book recommendations from the other participants in last year's challenge.

Once again I'm choosing Peril the First, which means I've committed to reading four books during September and October from any of these genres:

Dark Fantasy

And, my possible pool of books looks like this so far:
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Re-read)
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Dracula by Bram Stoker (Re-read)
The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

I most likely won't get all these read this year, let alone during the challenge, but this list gives me a good variety of books to choose from. I'll probably try to squeeze a Wilkie Collins book in there somewhere -- maybe The Moonstone or The Woman in White. Scribbled amongst my reading notes for Drood, which I read earlier this year, is: "Read a Wilkie Collins book for R.I.P. IV!"

(I like to plan ahead.)

With the exception of Dead Before Dark and a Wilkie Collins book, all of the books listed are ones that I already own, so this challenge will hopefully help me decrease my mountain-sized To Be Read Pile. I'm trying to read at least three of my own books before I even think about buying a new book. This strategy has been working quite well so far.

Are you participating in R.I.P IV? If so, what are you planning to read? Any good, creepy recommendations?


  1. Great to have you back this year Ruth. I don't come over here often enough, but every time I do I am struck by how much I love your blog header image. Very cool!

    Your list is great. I'm excited that you like Dracula enough that you are considering a re-read. It is such a favorite of mine and I never tire of experiencing that story.

    I would certainly suggest Thirteeth Tale if you haven't read it. Also Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is getting great buzz. Gaimans Graveyard Book is a perfect one for this time of year as well if you haven't already read it.

    Thanks again for coming along!

  2. My list is posting tonight and I had *18* books on my stacks that work for the challenge and that I haven't read yet! I have a feeling that I am going to be reading more than four. ;)

  3. Carl, thanks! I think about changing my header from time to time, but I love it too much to actually go through with it.

    The Thirteenth Tale is an excellent suggestion. I started reading that earlier this year and had to put it down because of a project I was working on. When I came back to it I realized I needed to start over because the story was no longer fresh in my mind. I haven't done that yet and I really should, because I loved what I read of it.

    I was hoping to save The Graveyard Book for this year's challenge, but ended up reading it a few weeks ago. Amazing that I'd made it that far, really, considering that I bought the book well before it won the Newbery. I LOVED it and hope we'll see more of Bod someday soon.

    Dracula is an all-time favorite of mine. I think Mina is one of the most under-rated female characters ever. I think part of that is her on-screen portrayal -- so many people who have seen the movies but have never read the book don't realize what a strong character she is. The same thing applies to Frankenstein. The difference between the book and movies was so startling to me the first time I'd read it.

    Her Fearful Symmetry is another excellent suggestion. I've got that on my wish list. I enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife and the premise of Symmetry is so intriguing.

    Kristen, I think probably a quarter to one half of my unread books might have worked for this challenge. I have a lot of mysteries squirreled away for rainy days. I'll have even more that I'll want to read by the end of the challenge, I'm sure.

    Veens, that's great! I can't wait to see which books you pick. Did you participate last year?

  4. i read somewhere that the Last Dickens was similiar to the book Drood.. I will be interested reading reviews on that one.

    oh.. go get The Thirteenth Tale back!! It's a super book!

  5. I love Mina as well, which is why I was thrilled to find an image from Jennifer Gordon that, at least for me, reminded me of Mina. She looks ever so slightly vulnerable, but not 'damsel in distress' like, so I think it fits perfectly.

  6. I'm doing this challenge as well!

    Dracula has been on my MUST read list for years, so thanks to this challenge I can finally bite the bullet (really, no pun intended). I am reading the Sookie books too for the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge, I sort of forgot I could add those to my list too. I finished the first and almost done with the second - they are fast and fun, so I would definitely keep that on your list.

    Here is my first post and proposed list.

  7. I would like to sign up for this challenge. it sounds like fun but I'm afraid i wouldn't be able to finish it on time considering scores of others that I signed up for and don't think I'll complete by their deadlines. maybe I'll plan better for next year now that I know that this challenge happens every year at this time.

  8. Deslily, that's exactly why I'm so excited about The Last Dickens. I really enjoyed Drood and was delighted when I was offered to participate in a blog tour for Matthew Pearl.

    I'm going to grab The Thirteenth Tale again and add it to my list. It will probably be the first book I read for this challenge.

    Carl, I love the image you chose for this year's banner. It is very reminiscent of Mina. I took a look at Jennifer's Etsy shop and found a lot of things that I loved. We just moved, and once I get around to putting up artwork, I'm definitely going to be buying a few of her pieces.

    Kathy, thanks so much!

    Gautami Tripathy, good luck with the challenge. You have some great books on your list. I love Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman and have been meaning to read Rebecca for ages. Amazingly I've never read it even though Rebecca is my middle name.

    Tam, I can't wait to read the Sookie Stackhouse books. I've heard so many good things about the books and the TV series. It sounds like something that I'm really going to love.

    You have a great list of books lined up. I'll be curious to see what you think of Frankenstein. I loved it and found it very different from the films.

    Lilly, there is a reading tier for this challenge that only requires one book and you can overlap it with other challenges. I know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by challenges, though. Next year I probably won't participate in as many, but R.I.P. is a keeper.

  9. I've seen an awful lot of people planning to read THE WOMAN IN WHITE. I'm one of them. :)

    Good luck with the challenge!

  10. I just had to swing by your page because my middle name is Ruth, and well, I'm bookish as well:) Love your list-- happy reading!

  11. I'm really excited for this challenge!

  12. I just recently found this challenge and have decided to join at the least "challenging" level :)

    I have yet to read any Poe, so I want to read a few of his more well-known short stories. I also managed to find The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl on the clearance rack at Half Price Books and I thought it might make a nice companion novel.

    Your list of books looks great - and I would also give high praises for The Thirteenth Tale - one of my favorite contemporary fiction novels.

  13. Hello Ruth,

    I'm with Quirk Books. I came across your blog and saw that you will hopefully be reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I'm glad it made your list! I was wondering if you would like to be put on a mailing list to receive future news about the Quirk Classic series. In just a few weeks, we'll be announcing the next title.
    If not, that's okay. We won't bug you again.

    If you have any questions feel free to contact the publicity manager, Melissa Monachello,

    Thank you for reading!


    Jennifer Pacheco

  14. This sounds like such a fun challenge! I dearly wish that I had the time to do it. I will plan better and do it next year. Your list of books sounds fabulous! I can't wait to hear how you like them!