RIP: Readers Imbibing Peril

Carl V. has an interesting challenge/contest up on his site for September.

It is almost September and as summer turns to autumn I get in the mood to read old favorites like Dracula and other gothic tales. I have a number of these stories that I have not read in addition to others that I would like to reread….Starting this weekend through Oct 31st I am going to begin a quest to get through a number of gothic, scary, moody, atmospheric stories. Post an entry on your blog indicating that you are taking on the Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Autumn Challenge (or post here if you are blogless) and pick out any 5 books that you want to read that you think meet the very open, broad criteria of being scary, eerie, moody, dripping with atmosphere, gothic, unsettling, etc. and vow to read them.

The prize? That most excellent edition of Dracula I mentioned yesterday! And, since I love a challenge, I’ve been looking for reads like this lately, AND I love prizes(!), I’m going to try for it! So along with my person goal to read more classics, I’ll be reading more spine-tinglers as well. My goal is 5 books like Carl. I’m tempted to count Rebecca since I read it this month, but I’m going to try to play fair. 🙂

My list of possibilities:

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins since I was planning on reading it anyway.  I even glanced at it this morning!  I have The Haunted Looking Glass by Edward Gorey on hold at the library, so I’ll count it as well.  I love Poe, so I’d like to reread The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe to get a good case of the shivers.  I have never read any Stevenson, so The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyd by Robert Louis Stevenson should be a good place to start.  A Study in Scarlett by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle because I have only ever read The Hound of the Baskervilles and I want to start at the beginning with the good detective.  The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is one of my favorite Broadway plays, yet I have never read the book!  So I’ll add it.  I loved Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley when I read it in college and it definitely fits the bill.  I’ll also add Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. I’m assuming, since Rebecca was so gothic-ish that Jamaica Inn will be as well.  And lastly, The Mummy: or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice. For some reason I loved this book when I read it as a teenager, I want to see if it holds up.  I’ll also include An Unpardonable Crime by Andrew Taylor, one of my currect reads, since I won’t finish it this month and, it’s main character being one Edgar Allan Poe should make it eligible for inclusion. 

Incidentally, have you seen The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels? I want it and the Annotated short stories as well.  A quick search of Amazon brought up several new annotated books coming out soon.  One I covet greatly is the Annotated Pride and Prejudice.  SO want that.  

Good thing I have a doctor’s appointment today because I am really itching to go book shopping now!  It’s my first OB appointment and I am so nervous.  Good thoughts people, need those good thoughts!!


Forgive me, but I was bored to tears with my old layout.  I’m not exactly thrilled with this one, but it’ll do for now.  Look for that pen to disappear soon, as soon as I figure out what to put there.

I was thisclose to going to B&N today.  I want to take advantage of their classics sale!!  Reason prevailed however, and I went and walked on the treadmill instead.  But wait until pay day!!  There are several books I want to get and this would be the perfect time to get them! 

You see, I picked up that mammoth 1001 Books to Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall  from the library to peruse.  It is a fantastic book, very well put together with great pictures and, even better, great books.  I’m rather tempted to get it for myself.  It has brought to my attention many, many books I had never heard of and added quite a few books to my want list.  And I’m only halfway through it!!

The most interesting section to me, so far, is the 1700-1800s.  There were several authors there I had never heard of or barely heard of that promptly went on my list.  One such author, Fanny Burney, sounds really good.  I particurally want to read her Evenlina and Camilla.  And even though I have heard of George Eliot and own a couple of her books, I had no idea Adam Bede sounded so good.  It’s on my must read to read soon list. 

Continuing in my adventure reading, I want to pick up another Dumas soon.  I read The Count of Monte Cristo around the same time I read The Three Musketeers for the first time and I think I’d really like to read it again. But, I also have never read Daniel Defoe and would like to try Robinson CrusoeCarl V. posted a fantastic looking edition of The Essential Dracula on his blog and I’m determined to get my hands on it as well.  It’s another I haven’t read.  To make matters worse, my non-reader husband has.  So of course I HAVE to read it as well! 

So I’m trying my best to stay away from B&N, B&, and Bookcloseouts, which has a bunch of the Modern Library books for cheap(!) until payday.  It’s so hard.

There's a dragon in my belly!

I started The Three Musketeers this past Friday night.  I gulped down over 200 pages during the whole weekend.  I can barely put it down, even to do important stuff like cook, clean and talk to people!  I love the intrigue going on.  I seem to have forgotten a LOT of the plot, because I don’t seem to remember much of anything that is going on but it has been over 10 years since I first read it.  It’s great fun.

In other news, I feel like crap.  LOL I feel pregnant!  Icky tired, nauseous (I almost threw up in public Saturday, yuck!) but happy nonetheless.  I have a great story.

Ellie has been trying to see the baby.  We’ll talk about it and she’ll try to pull up my shirt and down my pants saying she wants to see “her little sister baby.”  I tell her 1) you can’t see it yet honey, it’s not ready yet and 2) it could be a “little brother baby” to which she says she wants a little sister.  She’s done this several times. But Saturday night, she stood up on the bed and said, pointing at her little tummy “Ellie has a dragon in her belly!” and grinned the biggest smile ever!  It was SO funny.  I just laughted and agreed with her.  Too cute!

10 years and a challenge!

Egads y’all. I got my invitation to my 10th year High School reunion this week. I am NOT that old. Damnit. 

Honestly though, I’m actually pretty excited about it. I can’t wait to see who has left themselves go, who looks exactly the same, who succeeded, who didn’t. No really, I’m excited to catch up with old friends, see how their families are growing, how they’ve changed, what they are doing now, etc, etc. I will be about 12 weeks or so pregnant by then (it’s in October), so that should be interesting as well. People won’t be able to say how fat I’ve become, because I’ll have an excuse! Ha! How lucky am I?!?

In other news, my friend Lesley at Lesley’s Book Nook has decided to challenge herself to read several classics that have been floundering on her bookshelf for quite some time. I have several (and I mean several!) classics also floundering on MY bookshelves, many of which I bought after I discovered I loved Jane Austen and wanted to try more of her and other writers, so after much careful deliberations I have decided to join Lesley in her challenge. I don’t think I will set quite as many to read as she did, as most of the ones I want to read are quite big, but I think I will try to read 5 before the end of the year. My picks are:

Emma by Jane Austen

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

A Study in Scarlett by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

and possible extra credits Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and The Moodstone by Wilkie Collins

There are many I would like to get to as well (Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Northanger Abbey, Middlemarch, the rest of War and Peace!) and may yet, but I’m trying to be realistic. I don’t read classics that fast, nor do I want to, and I also want to read other books that come my way by library, ARC, or just impulse. But I think those 5-7 books will fit nicely. I think I’ll start The Three Musketeers this weekend.

Booking Through Thursday

I’m a meme girl today 🙂

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Have you ever wanted to travel to a place described in a book? Always.  Every book I read.  But in a way, I do, because I become so lost in books that you could call my name 20 times and I’d never hear you.  I always feel like I’m really there, especially when the descriptions are so tangible that you can see where you are, smell the smells, hear the sounds, etc, etc.  But yes, there have been times when I literally wanted to GO where the book was set; especially Ireland by Frank Delaney. 
  2. Have you ever ACTUALLY travelled to a place because of the way it was described in a book? No, but if I ever get to Ireland, it will be because of Frank Delaney.  And, incidentally, Barcelona, thanks to The Shadow of the Wind.
  3. And if so, did it live up to the expectations, feelings, emotions you expected from the book? Did you feel like Anne was going to come romping around the corner of Green Gables? Was it as if Jo was upstairs at Orchard House, scribbling on a story? Or was it just a museum, or just a city street? Like Abbey Road without the Beatles? Can’t answer this, obviously, but I’m sure they would measure up. 

A really hard book meme!

Stolen from the ever entertaining Amanda! 

1. First book to leave a lasting impression? Wow, this is hard. There are so many books that have left an impression on me and it’s difficult to remember which one was first. I’m going to go waaaay back though and say Curious George. I say that because I made my grandmother read it to me so many times that I eventually memorized it and could “read” it to myself when I was only 3. It was also the book that I “read” that the words first POPPED out at me and made me go, hey, I know that work! So really, it was the first book I ever read.

2. Which author would you most like to be? This is equally hard. There are so many I would like to be, but I think I’ll pick JK Rowling because I want to know how it all ends already!!!!!

3. Name the book that has most made you want to visit a place? There are so many! Gabaldon’s Outlander made me want to go to Scotland. The Historian made me want to visit all those European countries they traversed through. The Shadow of the Wind made me want to visit Barcelona. And Frank Delaney’s Ireland made me want to go there as well. 4. Which contemporary author will still be read in 100 years? I have a hunch JK Rowling may be. Also the greats; Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, John Irving. And I’d say Stephen King as well.5. Which book would you recommend to a teenager reluctant to try ‘literature’? As a teenager I read a wide variety of books. I went through a classics phase. I read all that stuff required in school. But I also adored Christopher Pike and the (shhhhh!) Sweet Valley High books. To someone reluctant to try actual LITERATURE, I would recommend Dumas for adventure, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for suspence and Jane Austen for romantic comedy.

6. Name your best recent literary discovery. Jane Austen. I can’t believe I never read her before this year, but I’m so glad I discovered her!

7. Which author’s fictional world would you most like to live in? Howarts!

8. Name your favorite poet? I’m not much of a poetry reader, but out of all that stuff I had to read in high school and college I most liked John Donne, J. Alfred Prufrock, and Langston Hughes. Oh, and I’ve always rather liked If by Rudyard Kipling.

9. What’s the best non-fiction title you’ve read this year? Have I read any nonfiction this year? Let me check…oh, not much. Need to remedy that. All the nonfiction I’ve read has been graphic novels and Maus I and II were excellent. Can NOT recommend them highly enough.

10. Which author do you think is much better than his/her’s reputation? I often hear that JK Rowling is a rip-off. While this may be true, I think she deserves more credit for writing something original and so entertaining that it got millions of children to read and actually ENJOY the experience. And she deserves more credit for writing something that adults love as well, creating something they can read with and discuss with their children.

Forgive me

for being so quiet.  I don’t even have a good excuse; I’m perfectly fine.  Well, I’m the extremely tired most women get when they are newly pregnant, but other than that, I’m perfectly fine.  I can even brush my teeth without loosing everything down in my belly! 

I just haven’t had much to say.  I’m so overjoyed/overwhelmed by this that I can’t think of much to talk about except the baby.  You have no idea how much a shock this was.  Yes, we were trying, but we had been trying for a year.  I had given up.  I honestly thought something was – wrong – down there and was, honestly, not expecting this.  Tis thrown me for a loop, it has.  I’m just so…happy. 

And so far, the curse of the first pregnancy has not reared it’s ugly head.  I gulped down over half of The Observations by Jane Harris this weekend to finish it Sunday.  And I also gulped down the latest Fables graphic novel over the weekend as well (SO good).  I’ve now started An Unpardonable Crime by Andrew Taylor, also known as The American Boy.  I saw his name mentioned at Bookgirl’s wonderful site and looked him up.  This is a little bit out of my norm; I don’t usually read the mysteries/thrillers genre, but this looked really good, so I thought I’d try it.  I’ve been looking for something lately, to read, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what that is.  Something gothic, mysterious, romantic…sort of like The Historian, which I read last year and LOVED.  Rebecca came close.  Hopefully this will too.

I do plan on reviewing Snakes on a plane, but hopefully for Estella (if I can get my butt in gear).  Hopefully look for it there!

What a shock.

Thank you everybody, for the congratulations.  If you have been around my blog long enough, you know that it has taken me a pretty long time to get this way.  I actually thought I would be going to the doctor this month to find out what was wrong, but there I was Tuesday, getting a pregnancy test, and finding out that yes indeedy, I’m pregnant!  You could have knocked me over with a feather Tuesday morning when I took my first test.  I kinda thought I was…well, I knew something was up…and I cried when I saw those 2 pink lines!  I’m just SO happy.  I’m not feeling very bad yet either and I hope it continues.   Just tired.  Tired and crampy, not like Aunt Flo crampy, normal crampy.  And my appetite is weird.  Haven’t thrown up yet though!  And of course, you can’t keep me out of the bathroom.

We did tell Ellie.  At first, I know she didn’t understand, and I’m not totally sure she does yet.  She’s not 3 yet though and I think right now it will have to be something she can see (like a big belly on me or even the actual BABY) for her to understand that she’s going to have a little baby around the house.  When we told her, she though we were going to take my sister-in-law’s son.  Then she was all “Ellie’s the baby, EllieBaby!” and of course we agreed with that!  But the concept of Mommy and Daddy having 2 babies now was lost on her.  We’ll keep working with her though.  She is going to be a fantastic big sister.  She already loves babies and helping her Mommy, so it should be good. 

Now I just hope it doesn’t affect my reading like it did last time.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I could not read a book to save my skin. I think I went from reading almost 80 books the previous year to like 35 that year.  It was horrible.  All I did was crochet because it was so easy to concentrate on. 

Still reading The Observations by Jane Harris.  Once I got pass the dialect, I really started whipping through it.  Of course, this was before I found out I was pregnant.  (Could it be, a mental thing??)   Really enjoying it though.