04 September 2006

Something scary this way comes....

When Danielle mentioned Carl's RIP Challenge a few days ago, I should have known that eventually I would succumb to the lure of this challenge and decide to participate.

But what to read? Horror is not a genre I'm at all familiar with. I've never read Dracula or Frankenstein, although both sit on my bookshelves. As for a writer more recent than Shelley or Stoker, well, I read one book by Stephen King -- in 1982! I'm not sure that I could even think of another current horror writer besides King. Is there anyone else? From the shelves at the bookstore, it doesn't look like King has much regular competition!

So, after reading several of the lists posted, and spending time browsing at Half-Price Books (I didn't know they were having a sale! Yipee!), I've come up with the following list. In my usual not completely 100% committed sort of way, it isn't 5 books; it's 3 books, a collection of short stories, and a listing of potential candidates for the last selection.

1. Dracula, Bram Stoker
2. Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
3. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories, Washington Irving
5. TBD

From the collection of Irving stories, I'm going to read the title story, Rip Van Winkle, and The Spectre Bridegroom: A Traveler's Tale. (Isn't that a neat title?) I may add one or two more sketches from this collection if I have time.

I've been wanting to read something by James, so The Turn of the Screw will serve a dual purpose. I read this in college but remember absolutely nothing about this work. I do remember the professor though -- that may be a separate post! I used to think she was a prototype for one of the characters in the movie mentioned below -- the one with green skin! I recently mentioned that I wanted to read The Aspern Papers. Since it is in the same book, it took about 2 seconds for that book travel from the shelf to my cart. I'll read that after the RIP challenge.

I have a couple of ideas for my last choice. Straying a bit from the gothic ghost story, I'm considering Gregory Maguire's Wicked. It is about a witch and the Wizard of Oz might still scare me if I'd watch it again.

Or, more in the sci-fi category, Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, may be my 5th selection. According to the blurb this novel is about a sane woman committed to an insane asylum and is about "...the timeless struggle between beauty and terror, between good and evil...." It seems like it is a dystopia, but that's scary to me. Maybe with a little bending of the rules, it could fit Carl's guidelines.

Or, I could read The Island of Dr Moreau which I realized today was on one of my bookshelves. I had too many other committments to begin this in time for the discussions at The Slaves of Golconda.

And, since I still want to read two works from my Summer Reading Challenge List (which was very agressive, times 2), maybe my idea to read Beowulf as well as Gardner's Grendl might be interesting choices since they are about monsters. After hearing my son's teacher talk about Gilgamesh, I want to read that also. I wish they'd finish with it so I can reclaim it after it has been relegated to the back seat of my son's car!

Speaking of the Summer Reading Challenge, I knew that I would extend this a few days through the Labor Day Weekend. It's been a read-a-thon at Chez Camille this weekend; I've managed to finish at least two books I started earlier in the summer. My SRC goal was 25 books. Yikes! I read 12. That was a big accomplishment for me; I had only read 15 books between Jan & the end of May. The SRC was fun. I think the Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Autumn Challenge will be fun too, especially since I'll be reading works different from my usual choices. I know that there is some commonality with others participating, so it will be fun to compare thoughts on these readings.


Carl V. said...

Welcome aboard Cam! Very good book choices, especially if this isn't a genre you are too familiar with. I think you'll enjoy them.

Many people have chosen Turn of the Screw which means that is another book I have to add to my 'to read' pile.

The Spectre Bridegroom: A Traveler's Tale is indeed a fantastic story title!

Dorothy W. said...

Well, I'll be joining you for Dracula. I love Frankenstein, and I'm guessing you'll like it too -- and I love Gilgamesh -- definitely check it out if you're tempted to!

Daniell said...

I thought of reading some Irving tales, too. I have always wanted to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It is amazing how many books you can fit into this category when you really think about it.

Cam said...

Danielle, I agree. I thought of a few more I could probably add. Plus, I realized after posting that I had also bought on this same trip The House of the Seven Gables. An old house, unsolved murders, ghosts, seances and death: does this fit the category? Sure does! That I forgot I had bought the book suggest that I bought too much? Yep!