Into the Dark of the Night…

RIP8main400My favorite source for reading experiences is kicking off another seasonal challenge: Stainless Steel Droppings is hosting Readers Imbibing Peril (RIP) celebrating autumn with books on the darker side.  This laid-back reading challenge focuses on mysteries, gothic and horror.  Even squeamish-me is looking forward to the fun!

I must admit, this doesn’t align with my favorite genres with quite the serendipitous perfection of the Sci Fi Experience or the Once Upon a Time Challenge, but I do like a good mystery now and then, and I have a few shadowy novels in mind.  Here’s what I’m thinking about so far:

  • Love, Music, Murder by Elizabeth M. Garner (mystery)
  • The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (mystery)
  • Reread: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente (not very dark, but there’s a creepy autumn scene)
  • Reread: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente (much more shadowy than its predecessor)
  • Shadows by Robin McKinley (dark fantasy…I’m guessing)
  • The Professor by Charlotte Bronte (probably not actually suitable but, um, it’s Bronte, it may turn out to have moors and mists)
  • Possibly something Agatha Christie, not sure what yet (mystery)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (dark classic)

And beyond that…we shall see where the spirit beckons!

Are you joining into the challenge?  What autumnal fare are you looking forward to?

48 thoughts on “Into the Dark of the Night…

  1. Nice list! I’ve been wanting to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland for ages now. I see you’re rereading it, so I’m taking that as a sign that it is a fantastic book 🙂 I’m also participating in RIP this year am in desperate need of reading ideas, so thank you for sharing you proposed reading list 🙂

  2. Brian Joseph

    Hi Cheryl – I have been reading some of your posts and I love your blog. You have a great choice of books. Though I do not read it as much as I once did, I love fantasy and science fiction.

    Your picks for this challenge all look good. I myself do not read a lot of horror but in my case I will give a book or two a go. I look forward to reading about your picks!

  3. Ooh, lots of choices to pick from! I like that we can include mysteries on our lists myself, as sometimes it’s easier for me to get into a mystery than other seasonal reads. Doyle and Christie are always good picks. Happy RIP reading!

  4. Bronte is gothic, that definitely counts! I’ve not read the Fairytale novels, although I own both of them and really want to start them. Perhaps I’ll try to fit them in….
    I’m a new follower of your blog 🙂

  5. I really need to read some Valente. I hear such good things about her works. I see a Robin McKinley book on your list. I am thinking about rereading her book Sunshine. My man recently finished it and was quite satisfied with it.

  6. I like your list. I haven’t read Valente yet but I know I should.
    The only book on your list (with the exception of Aanatha Christie) I’ve read was the Victor Hugo but it wasn’t my thing. I hope you will enjoy it.

  7. mervih

    Excellent choices. I’m looking forward to your reviews of Shadows and I’m a bit jealous that you have it. 🙂 I haven’t read the Hunchback of Notre Dame so I’m also very curious about what you will say about it.

  8. Great choices to mull over there, Cheryl. I end up listening to at least one or two Agatha Christie books on audio every year. My wife and I almost always get to one while on our anniversary trip every May and I try to work at least one in during the fall. They are such enjoyable audio books with outstanding narrators.

    Thanks for joining us and for a celebration of the things that go bump in the night!

  9. Great choice of books! I would like to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame too, but I have so many other books on my list I’m not sure if I’ll have time for it.

  10. I tried to start with Sherlock Holmes from the beginning, so I tried to read he Sign of Four, but I didn’t connect at all with that, so I will try The Adventures of Sherlock instead for this RIP. Very interesting choices, I hope you enjoy your reads!

    1. The Holmes short stories are great! If you want the beginning, start with A Study in Scarlet–it includes how Holmes and Watson met, and the first case Watson worked with Holmes on.

  11. I really must read the second Valente. I bought it when it first came out and still haven’t read it!! Glad to hear it fits this challenge so maybe I can add it to my list.

    1. It’s an excellent one! The first one was my favorite book last year, and the only serious competition was the sequel. As the title suggests, it’s set mostly below Fairyland, so it’s all a bit more dark and wild and shadowy than the first one. Definitely good for RIP!

  12. You’ve got some excellent choices here. I love Conan Doyle and Catherynne Valente. Really looking forward to checking out everyone’s review. I love this challenge but it is more my kind of reading. I like all the grimdark, urban fantasy, paranormal chiller type books so I’m totally in my element!
    Lynn 😀

  13. the girl who fell beneath fairyland simply sounds like a great book and you can never go wrong with Doyle and Bronte! Do you plan on watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well if you read the classic? The old black & white versions have so much shadow and nuance – truly creepy/eerie to go along with the R.I.P.

    1. Valente is wonderful–definitely read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland first. They’re both amazing.
      I’ve somehow never seen any Hunchback movie (except Disney’s, which I really quite love) so after the book I might have to go find some of the classics!

  14. It seems several people have Sherlock Holmes books on their lists, why have I never thought of that? Perhaps I will make one my fourth as yet to be decided book. Hmm…

  15. I am the opposite, I am most comfortable with mystery although horror is not to my taste. The Sci Fi Experience and the Once Upon a Time Challenges are much more challenging for me. I look forward to your reviews.

  16. samantha1020

    Anything by Agatha Christie is good but my favorite (and it is quite spooky) is And Then There Were None. It looks like you’ve got lots of good reading ahead of you. Enjoy!

  17. I just started Elizabeth M. Garner’s book. I don’t think it’s a dark mystery. I believe it’s called a “cozy mystery.” That’s the kind I prefer, nothing too scary. I’d rather read a “whodunit” type mystery that’s like a puzzle than something that’s graphic and violent.

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