R.I.P Challenge

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX – Yeah, I’m doing RIP again.

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Reading Laura’s post reminded me – It’s RIP time! Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings give us all an excuse to read those horror/mystery/thriller/dark fantasy books that we’ve been meaning to get to. It runs from now until October 31st. My lack of reading time is a concern, so I’m going to aim for Peril the Second, which means I’m going to aim to read two books. If I read more than that, then hooray for me.

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My possible reads (some pictured here, some not):

  • Misery by Stephen King – I was planning to read this in September anyways.
  • Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer – It’s a detective story that takes place on Mars. Win.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Because I STILL have not read this, and hey wouldn’t it be nice to finally make some progress on that Classics Club list? Yes it would be.
  • Bag of Bones by Stephen King – Another King novel I’ve heard great things about and should really finally get to. I believe it was on my pile last year, but I never started it.
  • Locke & Key comics by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • random Joe Hill novellas / short stories I have on my Kindle (are we seeing a pattern here?)
  • The Walking Dead comics by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
  • Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey (part of the Sandman Slim series, I really need to catch up on it)

Well, I’m going to try! We’ll see what I can fit in. This along with some pumpkin lattes should get me in the mood for autumn šŸ™‚ Are you signed up?

Any other creepy books or comics I should try out?

~Sarah

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R.I.P. VIII Wrap-Up

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Happy Halloween peoples!Ā Since it’s the last day of the R.I.P. VIII Challenge, I figured I’d do a quick wrap-up post.

I was aiming for Peril the First (4 books), and I managed to read:

So I managed! Horns wasn’t on my original list, but I’m still counting it since it was a good dark, supernatural story. BelovedĀ scared me in the beginning, and then it becameĀ disturbing and sad. Stiff was interesting – I learned a lot about how we use dead bodies. Miss Peregrine’s was really dark and creepy, especially with the freaky photographs in it.Ā I’m also about 160 pages into The Woman in White, which was on my original list but I haven’t finished yet. I’ve been reading it slowly this month, I’ll probably finish it in November.

Where I failed was in actually socializing for RIP. I totally forgot that there was a review site for people participating, and I generally didn’t blog hop much at all. I feel bad about this… but it seems like I haven’t had as much spare time as I usually do for blogging and reading, so things have just been crazy. I’m barely keeping up with reading the blogs I already follow, much less expanding to new-to-me bloggers. Sorry ya’ll :-/

Anyways, I look forward to doing this again next year, with scarier books, some scary movies, and generally getting into the RIP mix a bit more.

And in the spirit of Halloween, I give you the newest Epic Rap Battle of History – Blackbeard vs. Al Capone (there’s even aĀ reference to Halloween)

I think Al Capone won that one, sadly. I always cheer for the pirates.

~Sarah

Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

Horns! I’m so glad I liked you!

Before I get started, ya’ll should go read Kayleigh’s review, because she’s better at saying things and her review is what led me to seek this book out.

Alright, so Iggy Perrish is a good rich kid and living a relatively happy life, until one day is girlfriend Merrin is brutally murdered and Iggy is the prime suspect. He’s never actually arrested or charged, but it’s one of those “you know he did it” kind of situations. Everyone in his small town assumes that hisĀ parentsĀ pulled strings to get him off the hook.Ā But he really didn’t murder her, and has spent the last year in misery. On the anniversary of Merrin’s death, he gets wasted and does bad things and wakes up – with horns growing out of his head. And all of the sudden, people are telling him thingsĀ – their darkest thoughts and urges come spilling out of their mouths just at the sight of him. He thinks he’s going crazy, until he realizes that the horns and their power are real, and he might be able to use it to find Merrin’s real killer.

You guys, this book. Initially, it was really the shock factor that sucked me in. People just blabbing all of their horrible thoughts to Iggy, all of their most terrible secrets. That shit was crazy. And then the story progresses and you learn more about Iggy and Merrin’s epic romance and the gruesome details about her murder, and you see how tortured Iggy is over losing her. It’s all very tragic, with the tiniest hint of dark comedy to it. As far as supernatural thrillers / dark fantasty novels go, this one was superb. It was hard to put down. I liked that it was a story of revenge, more than redemption, but also a story about blurred lines. Sometimes the devil works in mysterious ways too, and the end result isn’t always terrible. I’m not being a spokesperson for Satan here – I’m an atheist. I just liked that there were so many gray ethical areas.

Also, Joe Hill has a famous author father*, and not to compare the two… but so far I prefer Joe Hill. I’ve read slightly more of his dad’s books, but this one book was more interesting and engaging and just better than those. And I think their work is different enough that you wouldn’t necessarily connect the two unless you knew about it ahead of time, which I did. I’ll continue to read both of them though. I’m REALLY looking forward to reading NOS4A2. I’m finally finding my dark thriller / horror groove, I guess.

Sarah Says: 4 stars

* I’m not going to name his father here, in case you don’t want to know. You could easily google Joe Hill and find out for yourself if you wanna.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Well hello, R.I.P. VIII read number three! Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a GREAT choice, you guys.

Jacob grows up listening to his grandfather’s story of how he grew up on a special island in a home for children, and shares tales of the interesting children that lived there. Jacob dismisses this all as hokum as he grows older, but when a horrible tragedy occurs and shakes up Jacob’s teenage world, he’s set on a journey to find his grandfather’s island and get some answers. His life, and sanity, may depend on it.

What’s really special about this book is the photographs – all really creepy, like the one on the cover. These are photos that the author borrowed from people who apparently collect strange old photos, and he basically built a story around these pictures, and it’s brilliant. It is disturbing, and mysterious, and captivating. Jacob is a generally likable 16-year old kid, and I usually don’t really like teenage characters. There are really interesting, unique secondary characters. The plot is engaging, and the dilemmas pull on your heartstrings just a teeny bit. Tim Burton would do wonderful things if he were to put this into movie form. He’d hardly have to change a thing – the tragic, unsettling features are already there.

I’m having trouble putting a label on this book… paranormal or fantasy, because of the elements involved? YA, because the protagonist is a teenager? But it’s not written like a YA book to me… General fiction, because it doesn’tĀ seem to fit anywhere else?Ā Anyone else have an opinion on this?

There’s going to be a sequel to this (out in January, according to Ransom Riggs’ website), and I’m looking forward to it. I hope it’s just as original as the first, and that there’s plenty of new creepy photographs spread throughout the book. It’s a shame it’s not coming out in the fall, because this was a perfect book for getting into the spooky Halloween spirit. And if you still haven’t read this by the time the next Dewey’s readathonĀ rolls around in April, this was a great readathon pick. Pages just flew by. You might wanna keep that in mind.

Sarah Says: 4 stars

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Stiff, Mary Roach

My first Mary Roach book!

I’ve had this one my shelf for YEARS, and Mary Roach has gotten really uber-popular lately, and I STILL hadn’t read any of her books. When RIP VIIIĀ came up, I hunted around my bookshelves looking for spooky books, and I was happy to realize that I had a book about dead bodies lying around on my shelf! And yay, for working non-fiction into my pile.

So! This is a book about dead bodies – more specifically, cadavers and all their creepy, wonderful uses throughout the years. I immediately liked Mary Roach when I read this in the Introduction chapter:

“Many people will find this book disrespectful. There is nothing amusing about being dead, they will say. Ah, but there is. Being dead is absurd. It’s the silliest situations you’ll ever find yourself in. Your limbs are floppy and uncooperative. Your mouth hangs open. Being dead is unsightly and stinky and embarrassing, and there’s not a damn thing to be done about it.”

Don’t you just instantly love her? The book follows the same semi-whimsical tone, whether she’s talking about heads being used for plastic surgery practice, cadavers being used in crash tests, orĀ bodies being freeze-dried and composted. Overall, I suppose I learned a lot about cadavers and dead bodies. I learned that there are jobs that involve cutting off heads to be used in teaching seminars.Ā I learned that there’s a field that’s just full of cadavers lying in different states of decay, to study for forensics purposes. I learned that there has been research done solely involving cadaver penises. Such weird stuff to think of! And it made me thinkĀ of whether or not I would ever donate my body to science and the answer is… probably not. Not unless I could be certain that I’d be used in some sort of NASA project in which they launch my body into space. That would be really cool. Otherwise… ehh. I agree with RoachĀ – what to do with a body should largely be the decision of the survivors, with them knowing your preferences ahead of time.

Stiff was informative and funny,Ā but I found some of my middle chapters about cannibalism and cadaver ballistics research a little boring (the cannibalism section was a little nauseating though). I like Roach’s style – she’s witty, cavalier, and intelligent. I love that she’s a writer that writes mainly about scientific things she feels like researching, even though she doesn’t have a scientific background. I’m actually now REALLY interested in Roach’s other books – Packing for Mars,Ā and Bonk,Ā in particular. Space and sex are things I think I’ll find infinitely more interesting than dead bodies.

Ā Sarah Says: 3.5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Gonna Read This Fall

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Good morning guys! I am PUMPED for today’s Top Ten Tuesday. As you should know by know, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, and the topic this week is easy-peasy; Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List. So many books I’ve been looking forward to are coming out or just came out recently, AND I’m participating in R.I.P., so this list is a piece of cake for me.

The Ace of Skulls

1. The Ace of Skulls by Chris Wooding – This is easily the book I’ve been looking forward to the most – it’s the fourth, and last, book of the Tales of the Ketty Jay series. It comes out in the UK on September 19th, andĀ I’ll beĀ ordering my copy from The Book Depository as soon as it’s available. And you can bet that as soon as it gets here, I’m dropping everything to read it.

the deaths of tao

2. The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu – This is the sequel to The Lives of Tao, which I read and liked SO MUCH, and I’ll be in Barnes andĀ Noble on October 29th (release day) to buy it. Also, I love the covers to these books. So fun and simple and cool.

Fangirl

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – If you haven’t read Rainbow Rowell yet, why the hell not??? Attachments and Eleanor & Park were fantastic, and I already bought my copy of her newest and plan to read it this week. Probably in about a day. And then you’ll see me here, fangirling about Fangirl. Ha.

Crux

4. Crux by Ramez Naam – This is the sequel to Nexus, which was a really cool kind of sci-fi techno thriller, and it came out at the end of August and I seriously need to read it soon. Frankly, it’s a shame that I haven’t yet.

Parasite Mira Grant

5. Parasite by Mira Grant – I am SO EFFING EXCITED that Mira Grant is writing another series. Her Newsflesh trilogy was so so so awesome, and Parasite comes out on October 29th, and man that’s going to be such a good book-buying day for me!

Kill City Blues

6. Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey – This is the fifth Sandman Slim book, and it came out in July and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet! These books are so fun, gory, and bad-ass, and I can’t wait to see where Stark’s story goes next.

Kinslayer

7. Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff – Remember how I read Stormdancer and totallyĀ enjoyed the Japanese steampunk thing and the great main characters? Welllll the sequel, Kinslayer, actually comes out TODAY. Yesssss.

the song of the quarkbeast

8. The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde – This just came out (in the U.S., I believe it’s beenĀ out in the UK for a while now) on September 3rd, and how have I not bought it yet? I looooooved Jasper Fforde’s books, and this is the second book in hisĀ DragonslayerĀ series.

the woman in white wilkie collins

9. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – This is on my RIP VIII pile, and I’m SUPER excited to finally read it. Wilkieeeee.

Beloved

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison – This is probably the only book on my RIP VIII list that I’m actually afraid to read. I started it years and years ago, and it started to kind of scare the bejeezus out of me, and I stopped. But this fall, I shall conquer it! I hope.

BAM!Ā Easiest TTT list ever. I have some seriously good reading ahead of me. What’s on your TBR lists for this autumn? New releases, good fall reads, what?

~Sarah

Giving in to the peer pressure & signing up for R.I.P. VIII

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R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VIII is an annual challenge kind-of thingy that happens in the fall – it’s hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings, and literally EVERYBODY and their mothers have signed up for it. At least it seems that way. I mean I’ve kind of seen bloggers participating in past years, but this week I’m pretty sure sign-up posts have gone up for about 75% of the blogs that I follow. And everyone’s so excited about it, which got me all excited about it, which led to this.

The point of R.I.P. is to read horror, mystery, thriller, paranormal, spooky, gothic, and other various darker genres of books between September 1st and October 31st. It’s a way to get in the mood for autumn! Which I’m kind of digging right now – tall boots, sweaters, cider, and spooky books all sound pretty nice right now. There are different levels (“perils”) that you can sign up for, and of course I’m going for Peril the First (read 4 books) because go big or go home, right? Right.

So here’s my stack.

Readers Imbibing Peril VIII

 

  • Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett – I’ve been meaning to try this cozy mystery series for ages. The author is local to my area, and this copy is signed! Need to read.
  • Bag of Bones by Stephen King – Because I hear that this is a good King novel? And I’m trying to dip my toe into the King waters this year, I suppose.
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – No lie, I started this book about 5 or 6 years ago and stopped because it was freaking me out. Like put-it-in-the-freezer kind of freaking me out. Time to put on my big girl panties and try again.
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – WILKIE! And I missed the epic readalong for this 1.5 years ago because my grandma passed away, and I think that’s kind of why I haven’t tried reading it since. But it seems like a perfect fall read, so I’m gonna do it!
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of HumanĀ CadaversĀ by Mary Roach – This is actually non-fiction, but I’ve been wanting to try out Roach for a long time, and it’s about DEAD BODIES. So that should totally count.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I just bought this at the library for $2, and it seems appropriately dark and creepy.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-SmithĀ – I STILL haven’t read this or seen the movie. If I do both, then I’d technically be participating in “Peril on the Screen” as well, so yay there.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – The hype for this one had better be worth it. I actually have no idea if it’s dark or creepy, but I saw it on some other R.I.P. lists, so I’m adding it.

Is it wise to add MORE reading to my already overflowing stacks for the upcoming months? Probably not, but I’m doing it anyways! And I’m psyched to start, just as soon as I finish Empire Falls, which admittedly is KILLING me right now.

Ummm so I don’t know how this works exactly – I’m going to aim to read some of these books, and if I do I’ll tag them with “R.I.P. VIII”. I’ll maybe do a wrap-up post in the beginning of November? How do you guys usually keep track of this sort of thing? Is there a Twitter hashtag or anything that we use? Tell me stuff, I’m new at this.

So, does reading some spooky stuff to get in the spirit of autumn sound cool to you? Of course it does! Join in the peer pressure. Do it.

~Sarah