Every year I look forward to this months in advance--maybe about the time summer hits I am already thinking longingly of fall. And while we still have a while to wait for fall, September is here and so is R.I.P. IX. My list of books is ready to go and I am ready to begin reading! I would have to go back through my archives, but I think I have participated every year Carl has organized R.I.P. I only lately began tagging my posts. I plan on trying for Peril the First by reading four books as well as my short story Sundays will now be given over to ghost stories, or stories of suspense and thrills.
I've got a much larger pile of books than I know I can manage to read, but they are more for choice than for any real ambition to think I'll get through all of them. I suspect I may well add to the pile as the weeks go by. This year I'd like to make at least one of my books be a classic and they are closer to science fiction than pure horror or traditional ghost stories, but I have a few of the latter as well. In no particular order:
Before the Poison by Peter Robinson - This is not one of his Inspector Banks novels, but a standalone story. "Thrilling . . . A superb Gothic-tinged psychological thriller."
Set in Stone by Linda Newbery - This is classified as a YA novel, but I think it has lots of appeal for older readers, too. "A heady, mesmerizing Victorian tale of intrigue, family and art . . . "
This House is Haunted by John Boyne - "A lesson in storytelling . . . Boyne deliberately works within a tradition, and yet takes us on a highly original, entertaining journey that, like all great ghost stories, saves its most unexpected twist for the very end."
Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson - "Chilling and suspenseful, Hangsaman is loosely based on the real-life disappearance of a Bennington College sophomore in 1946."
When the Sleeper Awakes by H.G. Wells - "In The Sleeper Awakes, an insomniac falls into a sleep-like trance for more than two hundred years, and awakes in a society in which the oppressed masses cling desperately to one dream—that the sleeper will awake and lead them all to freedom."
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells - "The first modern tale of alien invasion, The War of the Worlds remains one of the most influential of all science-fiction works."
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham - "Wyndham chillingly anticipates bio-warfare and mass destruction, fifty years before their realization, in this prescient account of Cold War paranoia."
Her by Harriet Lane- ". . . tautly written psychological thriller... there is forensic social observation here. Her London is recognisably real. Both Emma and Nina feel like women you might pass on a leafy Islington street. She has a sharp eye for telling detail... Then the endgame, when it comes, is shattering."
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As for short stories, I am still working out what to read. New stories or revisiting old favorites? I do have a few collections to begin with:
OxCrimes edited by Ian Rankin - This is a collection of 27 stories by popular, contemporary authors like Louise Welsh, Ann Cleeves, Fred Vargas, Stella Duffy and Yrsa Sigurdardottir to name a few.
High Lonesome: New and Selected Stories 1966-2006 by Joyce Carol Oates - Not sure how or if this one will work as the stories may not quite fit the genre, but then JCO is almost always on the edgy side.
Come Along with Me: Classic Short Stories and an Unfinished Novel by Shirley Jackson - Again, not sure this collection will work as it contains not just stories of horror but the pieces "reveals the full spectrum of her genius".
As always this is just a starting point. I think Peter Robinson and John Boyne will be coming with me on vacation, however. Now if the weather will just cooperate. I'm ready for a few literal chills (just the sort a light sweater will solve) to go along with the figurative ones.