Readers Imbibing in Peril (RIP) VI

Last year, I took place in a challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings called Readers Imbibing in Peril (or RIP), which takes place from September 1st through October 31st.

To make things simpler for myself, this is what I wrote last year about the challenge:

According to Carl, this is what the RIP Challenge is all about:

It was a dark and stormy night…”

Or at least I wish it was, rather than a warm, sunshiny day. Despite the weather refusing to cooperate with my gothic mood, the calendar does not lie, ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed that time of year where two short months are dedicated to reveling in all things creepy, eerie, mysterious, gothic, horrifying, suspenseful and strange.

It is time to celebrate things that go bump in the night; that favorite detective that always gets his man, or woman, in the end; that delicious chill of a creak on the stairs, of the rogue waiting in the dark, of the full moon and the flit of bats wings.

Perhaps that was also the beginning of my passion for I what I lump under a broad personal definition of gothic literature: dark nights; decaying, haunted castles; menacing forests; pervasive gloom; ancient prophecies; damsels in distress (or at least at the wrong place in the wrong time); blood-curdling screams…stories with atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife.

It was a desire to celebrate and share that love of the elements of gothic fiction that inspired me to create the first R.I.P. Challengefive years ago.

In essence, the challenge is about reading gothic literature in all it’s forms, but especially in these categories: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, and Supernatural. As I like to get into the spooky spirit of the time surrounding Halloween, I think this will broaden my reading and also give me the chance to read, not watch spooky stories.

Once again, I’ll be signing up for Peril the Second, in which I must read two books from those categories.


And, (again) like last year, here are my own personal recommendations for books to read towards this challenge:

  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (this is longer than most of the Sherlock Holmes stories)
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (obviously)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (again, obviously)
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Austen refers often to The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe in this novel and includes many gothic elements in her own style)
  • the Parasol Protectorate quintet by Gail Carriger–there are only three so far (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless), but they’re not necessarily gothic, just vampire-y/werewolf-y (not like the Twilight books)
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • Phantom of the Opera or The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
  • The Graveyard Book or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (even Coraline and Stardust are a little creepy)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Perfume by Patrick Suskind (maybe?)
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • anything by Edgar Allen Poe

5 thoughts on “Readers Imbibing in Peril (RIP) VI

  1. You have so many great books on your list! I read The Historian and Her Fearful Symmetry for RIP’s past and liked them both. Northanger Abbey is a great choice too!

  2. Kailana says:

    Great list of suggestions! There are many that I have read, while the others I really want to read one of these days…

  3. deslily says:

    great suggestions and I have read Rebecca and have Peculiar Children sitting here ready to read! Lots are reading that one so I am going to enjoy a number of reviews!

  4. This is my first year participating and I’m so excited! I just started reading Rebecca and I love it! I also plan on picking up the Miss Peregrine book because that cover is super creepy. Dracula is one of my favorites, and The Historian? Hands down, one of my favorites on spooky and perfect reads for the fall. I’ve read it twice, and I’m downloading the audio since I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. I love this time of year!

  5. Kate says:

    Your list of recommendations is grand! I’m pleased to say I’ve read a great many of them, and The Haunting of Hill House is one of my favourite books.

    Happy reading!

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