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I love this time of year, or the promise of fall anyway. Typical midwest weather--just as it begins to be really lovely outside and bearable we get another wave of heat and humidity. So, windows closed to breezes (unless you want a hot one) and air condition (such that it is in my house) back on for 90F+ temperatures this week and on into the long upcoming weekend. But no complaining today. R.I.P. for me is always the forerunner of my favorite season--Autumn. I already have a bag of pumpkin granola in my cupboard (ahh, the anticipation of opening it and sprinkling it onto my morning cereal and yogurt) waiting for those first crisp cool days. Until that moment arrives I have ghost stories, or other books of autumnal suspense to look forward to.
I've already been thinking about this, but I am doing my very best to show a little restraint. I'm all about restraint these days (and finishing books in a timely manner rather than letting them languish for weeks and months . . . ). I have a larger stack of reading possibilities started than time to read them, but variety and choice is a good thing, right?
This year R.I.P. is being hosted by The Estella Society, though a nod in Carl's direction for his wonderful annual reading even. This is the tenth year for it, and while I have not been so good at tagging my reading appropriately, I have read along each and every year. This year my plan is to read a ghost story or something suspenseful each weekend. I have not yet decided whether to look for new stories or revisit old favorites--maybe a combination of both. My list of potential reads is long, but I will be wholly satisfied if I can read one book in September and then another in October.
Forgive my laziness for not sharing a photo, but you can click on the links to see cover art and more of a description. Of course actual reads may vary, but I will draw my first book from these:
The Devereaux Legacy by Carolyn Hart - "A romance? A ghost story? A mystery? The novel is all three and more, as heroine Leah Devereaux sifts through dark family secrets seeking to find out who she really is!"
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick - "Burdened by debt after her husband's death, Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted. Upon discovering the rumors to be true, the young widow ends up forming a special companionship with the ghost of handsome former sea captain Daniel Gregg." This is probably more fun than chilling, but I like the sound of it.
A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin - "A Kiss Before Dying not only debuted the talent of best-selling novelist Ira Levin to rave reviews and an Edgar Award, it also set a new standard in the art of psychological suspense. It tells the shocking tale of a young man who will stop at nothing—not even murder—to get where he wants to go."
A Jealous Ghost by A.N. Wilson - "A convincing, compelling and icy reworking of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, in which Sallie, an American girl obsessed by the subject of her PhD thesis, quits university to take on the job of temporary nanny in an English country house. Sallie is so manipulated by words, so deluded by her own emotional fantasies that she interferes with James's original narrative and screws it into terrifying reality."
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - "For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin.The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare." Asterisk this one as I really want to read some Bradbury this fall.
Set in Stone by Linda Newbery - "When Samuel Godwin, a young and naive art tutor, accepts a job with the Farrow family at their majestic home, little does he expect to come across a place containing such secrets and lies. His two tutees are as different as can be--younger sister Marianne, full of flightiness and nervous imagination, and Juliana, sensible and controlled. Helped by their governess, Charlotte Agnew, Samuel begins to uncover slowly why Marianne is so emotionally fragile, and in doing so uncovers a web of intrigue. But his discoveries lead to revenge and betrayal--and lives all around are turned upside down." Ah, gothic goodness and this is written in diary format.
The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James - "London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter." I've read all of Simone St. James's books so far and as she has a new one coming out early next year I am hoping to read this one this fall in any case.
So, where to start? They all sound good to me at the moment! Will you be reading along? Which books? And if you have any suggestions for ghost stories/short stories, please feel free to let me know.