Friday, 28 August 2009


The days are getting cooler, the nights are drawing in and oh, goody! It’s time for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril again, absolutely my favourite challenge of the year. Oh wait, I said that about the Once Upon a Time Challenge – oh what the hell, I just love Carl’s challenges. This year the banners are really lovely, too.

Now - to the reading pool (I love this bit): first of all, I am determined to join in with the Short Stories Peril again, to which end I have just demanded that my son hand over my copy of John Buchan’s Supernatural Tales, which he has had for ages. Years ago I read Buchan’s Witch Wood, and it was deliciously spooky – in fact, I “inherited” the library copy of it, because I left it beside the bed one night, and the puppy chewed it. There are fifteen stories, which I think should see me through!

As usual, I shall be over-ambitious and go for Peril the First, four books of any of the following subgenres: Mystery; Suspense; Thriller; Dark Fantasy; Gothic; Horror; Supernatural. Last year I wanted to read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, as everyone else was doing, but my copy didn’t arrive until after the challenge had finished, since when it’s been on the TBR pile. I thought about starting it during OUT3, but secretly I wanted to save it for the autumn, so this year it’s back on the pile with the definite intention of reading it. I decided, too, that Ian Rankin’s Rebus series counts as dark – some of the television series (with John Hannah as Rebus) is being re-shown at the moment and you would think Edinburgh never actually sees daylight! To celebrate RIP IV I started A Question of Blood last night and read for much longer than I meant to.

So, that’s my first three chosen. I read a review of Agatha Christie’s supernatural stories at BooksPlease, so I’ve added that to the list, and I have The Children’s Book on order with the library – for those who don’t know, it’s about a teller of stories and, from what I can gather, quite dark enough to be included here. The rest of the reading pool will offer some choice for those last-minute changes of mind. As Carl says, it’s more fun with a list to choose from.

Ian Rankin, A Question of Blood
John Buchan, Supernatural Tales (SS)
Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Stephen Hunt, The Rise of the Iron Moon
A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book
Patricia McKillip, The Book of Atrix Wolfe
Agatha Christie, The Hound of Death (SS) – if I can find a copy
Mark Z. Danielowski, House of Leaves

Later additions:
Robert Holdstock, The Mythago Cycle


  1. I've been meaning to read House of Leaves for literary years, but it's one of those books I'm both drawn to and intimidated by. I look forward to all your reviews!

  2. Oh, heavens, I've been feeling daunted by it too! My husband bought it for me in a book sale because it was fat (he always chooses books for me on that basis) and it's been sitting on the shelf for a while. Now I shall *have* to make the effort :)

  3. Okay, okay. I give up! Everyone on my blogroll is doing this challenge and listing all the appealing books they're planning to read. I cannot hold out any longer.

    (Your list of books looks excellent.)

  4. GC, you will love 'The Children's Book'. I thought it was Byatt's best. But do beware of the Rankin. Once you start you will want to go right through the entire series. I'm going to be very interested to read his latest one, which apparently introduces a new detective.

  5. Jenny, go for it - it's fun!

    TT, Byatt's best is a pretty high recommendation. I can't wait. I'm looking forward to the new Rankin, too.

  6. So great to have you again. I'm so glad you enjoy my challenges, it puts a big smile on my face.

    I'm with the rest of you in feeling daunted by House of Leaves. I've had it on the shelf for years! I need to quit being such a chicken about it.

    I don't recall ever hearing about John Buchan, so I really look forward to your review of his short stories.

    I am excited for you reading Graveyard Book for the first time. I hope it lives up to your expectations. I thought it was such an amazing book.

    Thanks again for being a part of RIP IV

  7. I wasn't thinking of joining this challenge this year - quite a lot going on with moving house etc - but your post has made me wonder if I can, because I have The Children's Book waiting to be read and several Rebus books too plus a book of Ghost Stories that I only read a few from last year.I'm sure I have others that would match the criteria too. I think I enjoy the choosing part as much as the reading!

    I hope you enjoy The Hound of Death if you find a copy - mine was from the library.

  8. What a great reading pool! I'm also reading The Graveyard Book which I, too, saved for Autumn.

    You have a lovely blog here and Phaea is beautiful! Now, I'm off to check out a few of those books on your list...

  9. I had absolutely no idea that John Buchan wrote anything supernatural and had not heard of Witch Wood either. Will be investigating in a moment as those sound very interesting. And, coincidentally, I have The Hound of Death on my list to search for in the library tomorrow. And The Graveyard Book is a very special book, imo. Look forward to your reviews.

  10. Carl, I really look forward to The Graveyard Book. Not so sure about House of Leaves, though - I am reassured that you and Nymeth both feel the same way I do.

    Pamela, nice to see you here. I shall look forward to comparing reviews!

    Cath, Buchan is fun - I've just read the first story and it's just a bit Lovecraftian. Haven't foun d The Hound of Daeath yet, but I'll keep trying.

  11. I loved The Children's Book. And perhaps I should read some good old John Buchan as well, as the decent Canadian thing to do. ;)