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August 25, 2009

rip4I was planning on writing a review today. But then Carl went and announced R.I.P. IV yesterday, and I’ve been putting together my book pool ever since! :)

I love reading scary books, especially in the fall, and this is definitely one of my very favourite challenges. As Carl put it

I find that kind of melodramatic fear to be a delicious intoxication, one that makes this time of year an especially enjoying time to be a reader. There is enough bad fear in the world: fear of losing one’s job, fear of the state of the world, fear of failure…the list is endless. It is time to reject that fear, embrace hope, and while doing so embrace the fun kind of fear–the kind that had us sitting around camp fires as children, listening to adults tell us ghost stories. The kind that made you want to stay up past your bed time to peek at the late night scary movie on television.

Isn’t that simply lovely? So I might have gone a little overboard with my pool (which I’ve divided according to the genres Carl laid out), but who cares?!

Obviously, I’m doing Peril the First, which requires me to read at least four of the books between September 1st and Halloween. I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll end up reading much more than that. :D


  • Haunted Ground by Erin Hart: when the body of a young woman is found in a peat bog, an Irish archaeologist and American pathologist join forces to solve the mystery. And it deals with both the present and historical mysteries, which will be different from my usual mystery fare. The plot of this mystery really appealed to me.


  • Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones: narrated by three fifth graders during the 1979 Atlanta child murders. Almost two dozen children were kidnapped and killed. I chose this, because I knew nothing about the murders before stumbling across this title.
  • By Blood Possessed by Elena Santangelo: Pat moves into a large Virginia estate, hoping to become the heir. But soon she’s caught up with ghosts, voodoo, and death threats. Pretty much, I love the South, and I love creepy old estates.
  • Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark: After the deaths of her two children and break up of her first marriage, Nancy has made a new life, and family for herself. But when she looks for her new children in the backyard, she finds only a red mitten. I’ve never read a Mary Higgins Clark book, but just reading the back of this one gives me the creeps!

Dark Fantasy

  • The Dreaming, Vol. One by Queenie Chan: Australian twins make it into a prestigious boarding school. But they start having nightmares, hearing weird rumours, even the teachers are behaving strangely. This is manga, which I’ve never read before, but it just sounds fascinating! And the cover is definitely creepy.
  • Matters of the Blood by Maria Lima: a vampire novel set in Texas Hill Country. As a Texan who loves Hill Country, I had to put this on the list!


  • The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman: a debut novelist at an artists’ retreat in a Victorian mansion gets more than she bargained for! Story alternates between present and past. I really enjoyed Goodman’s first novel, The Lake of Dead Languages, so I had to put this on the list.
  • Grange House by Sarah Blake: set at a fashionable hotel on the cost of Maine in 1896, this is a tale of gothic secrets and ghostly encounters. I’m really in the mood for Victorian lit, whether real or historical, so on to the list this went. :)
  • The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins: about a haunted hotel in Venice. What is it with British authors and Venice?! lol
  • Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest: a Tenneessee orphan begins seeing ghosts, which prompts her to explore her heritage. I love Southern books, and this one has been on my radar since Chris reviewed it forever ago.


  • Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes: the sequel to Voodoo Season, about voodoo in contemporary New Orleans. I really enjoyed the first one, so of course I want to read the sequel!
  • Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alexander: Lexi’s younger sister begins to seem possessed after their family moves into a Victorian home. I enjoy reading YA novels on occassion, and this one has a great cover.
  • A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans: George goes to a psychiatrist because he’s terrified to be in the same room as his newborn. The rest of the book is about his past, and determining if George is crazy or possessed. The cover and title have me totally creeped out!


  • Joplin’s Ghost by Tananarive Due: a young girl becomes haunted by a famous ragtime compposer. This one sounds really interesting, and Due has lots of books that sound right up my alley.
  • Baby of the Family by Tina McElroy Ansa: the youngest child in a middle class 1950s family can see ghosts. I love ghost stories, especially ones that aren’t supposed to be creepy.
  • Fledgling by Octavia Butler: a sci-fi take on vampires. I really enjoyed Kindred when I read it, and I saw this one in the bookstore the other day. It sounded so good from the back blurb!
  • The Ghost In Love by Jonathan Carroll: Ben Gould was supposed to die, but a glitch in the computer system left his body alive. Now he, his dog, and his ‘guide ghost’ have a series of adventures. Nancy Pearl recommended this one, and it sounds like a fun little romp.
  • From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury: a novel based around various immortal creatures; the vampires and their kin have a reunion and tell stories. I read Something Wicked This Way Comes during RIP II and loved it. It’s about time I get back to Bradbury!
  • Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girardi: a New Orleans history grad student moves to NYC, but finds himself in a haunted apartment. Story alternates between present and past. Y’all should know by now that New Orleans is my cryptonite in a book blurb! And I like books that have multiple storylines in different ages.
  • I’m Looking Through You byJennifer Finney Boylan: the only non-fic on my list this year, it’s a memoir by a transgendered woman about growing up in a haunted house. I think it’s obvious why I put it on the list! :)
26 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2009 3:02 pm

    Great list! I love reading scary books in the fall too!

  2. August 25, 2009 3:16 pm

    Good luck to you!

  3. August 25, 2009 3:16 pm

    Sigh, I want Fledgling too. And The Dreaming (though from what I’ve heard you won’t be able to stop at 1!) And all the other books I can’t get :( Why is it that books I don’t own always sound so much more appealing than the ones I do?

  4. August 25, 2009 3:19 pm

    How cool are you, dividing things up by genre. Masterfully done! I am so glad that you are joining in. And hey, there is no reason not to have a large pool in my opinion, just means that much more to choose from based on mood.

    Soon the weather will turn even cooler than it is now in the mornings and evenings and the reading will get even more deliciously creepy! Yay!!!

  5. August 25, 2009 3:19 pm

    I’ve never even heard of The Haunted Hotel. That’s going on my list asap! And that memoir you have on there – how fascinating!

  6. August 25, 2009 3:21 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic list! I’m going to read a Wilkie Collins, too. I’ve never read Mary Higgins Clark (I always get her mixed up with another female suspense writer) but this sounds good. I also am intrigued by I’m Looking Through You… I might have to add that one to my list!! I can’t wait to start.

  7. August 25, 2009 3:37 pm

    It looks like you have a great list. I look forward to reading your reviews :) The Haunted Hotel looks interesting. I’ve never read Wilkie Collins, but I keep meaning to if that makes sense :)

  8. August 25, 2009 4:17 pm

    You always pull together the most enticing lists!

  9. August 25, 2009 4:18 pm

    I love your pool. So many books, and so nicely organized. :) Mine’s just a big list of every little thing I could think of.

  10. August 25, 2009 4:26 pm

    wow that’s some list!! I’d say you have plenty of choices !! have you read any wilke collins before??

  11. August 25, 2009 4:51 pm

    Great list, Eva! I’ve been looking forward to this challenge all year.

  12. August 25, 2009 5:07 pm

    Any list that includes Wilkie is a great one! I have that Haunted Ground by Erin Hart too, I forgot all about it! So many of these sound good…yet more books to add to the want list. Good luck!

  13. August 25, 2009 5:07 pm

    What a great list! I read most of the Mary Higgins Clark books back in middle school and Where Are the Children definitely IS creepy! I’m thinking I’ll be joining this one too… although I need another challenge like I need a hole in my head at this point, oh well!

  14. August 25, 2009 6:18 pm

    A stupendous list indeed!

    Like Heather I read MHC when I was much younger and enjoyed them a lot :)

    Oh and thanks for mentioning the RIP post on your tweets :)

  15. August 25, 2009 6:33 pm

    Whoa, you’ve a great list there!! ;-)

  16. August 25, 2009 6:58 pm

    Rhapsody, you’re join R.I.P, right?

    Bermuda, thanks!

    Nymeth, I hope my library has the other volumes! Sorry to be tempting you. :p

    Carl, thank you! I wish we had more definite seasons up in the mountains, but it’s been dark and stormy this week, which is awesome.

    Amanda, I want to read all of Collins eventually!

    Daphne, I get her mixed up too, lol.

    Becky, thank you! And it does make sense re: you and Collins. I feel that way about lots of authors. :)

    Care, aww: thanks!

    Memory, I’m very into categories, lol. THey make me happy!

    Deslily, I have-I’ve read The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and No Name. And I have another of his from the library right now-Deadly Secret! He’s one of my faves. :)

    Terri, me too!!

    Heather, I’m totally with you!

    Heather, I’m glad you found it creepy. And you should totally join! You can just read one. :)

    Lightheaded, thanks!

    Melody, thank you!

  17. August 25, 2009 8:10 pm

    What a great list! Loads of these sound great and I love haunted house stories. I may have to break my no-new-library-books-in-this-house rule for some of these…

  18. August 25, 2009 11:52 pm

    Wow…I love your list. I have to make do with what I have in my TBR. I hope you enjoy Bad Girls Don’t Die.

  19. August 26, 2009 5:52 am

    I’ve read quite a few of Carol Goodman’s books but I don;t think I have read that one. For some reason my library appears to have stopped buying her books which is a bit disappointing!

    Interesting list!

  20. August 26, 2009 5:55 am

    I am more into Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Noir!

    You got a great list here!

    Here is my RIP IV read list

  21. August 26, 2009 6:04 am

    I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on The Good and Happy Child. I have the book on my shelf but haven’t read it yet.

  22. August 26, 2009 8:10 am

    Finally I’ve read a book that’s on your list! I read The Ghost in Love Earlier this year and quite enjoyed it. It wasn’t at all what I was thinking it would be, but I had a lot of fun with it, and I think I want to read more Carroll one of these days. You can check out my review here:

  23. August 26, 2009 1:48 pm

    Ooh you’ve got a lot of books I want to read in your pool! I am definitely joining the challenge but just haven’t gotten around to putting together a list – soon, though :)

    Have fun!

  24. August 26, 2009 2:30 pm

    Great list Eva, this is such a great reading challenge :D Carl is such a star for hosting it!

  25. August 27, 2009 7:34 am

    Thanks for some great suggestions for R.I.P. – my favorite challenge!


  1. Readers Imbibing Peril V « A Striped Armchair

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