scary books

R.I.P. VIII Wrap-Up

RIP8main200

Happy Halloween peoples! 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. Beloved scared me in the beginning, and then it became 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. 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 a reference to Halloween)

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

~Sarah

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Top Ten Tuesday: Scary Book Covers

the broke and the bookish

 

It’s Tuesday! And it’s almost Halloween! Which means it’s time for the Halloween-themed topic for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). This is my FOURTH YEAR participating in this Top Ten Tuesday topic. That is insane. Do you know how hard it is to avoid repeats?

Luckily, the topic this year is a little different – Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers. But unfortunately, I’m not going to have anywhere near 10 books for this list. Also, I am seriously short on time right now. So let’s get to the few I do have.

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Thank you, Mr. Riggs, for coming out with a novel full of super bizarre and unsettling pictures just like the one on the cover.

Night of the Living Dummy

2. Night of the Living Dummies by R.L. Stine – You guys know I have a huge fear of small creatures/people, right? Killer dolls, dummies, gnomes, midgets, children, etc. I have a feeling that stems from reading these creepy ass books as a child. Cover still gives me the shivers.

 

scary stories books

3. Scary Stories books by Alvin Schwartz – Dude, screw these books. Way too scary. And illustrator Stephen Gammell did way too good of a job with the creepy drawings.

 

AND THAT’S IT. I know, I suck. I’m positive there have been times when I’ve seen creepy or scary covers in bookstores and walked away… but I can’t remember any. Well then. What’s on your lists? Show me (tell me?) some scary covers!

 

~Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: In Which I’m a Wuss About Big Long Books

the broke and the bookish

Alright you guys, I’m typing this Monday night and I’m a leeeeeetle sleepy, so this may not be 100% coherent. If you’re reading this, it’s Tuesday! And that means Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the folks over at The Broke and The Bookish, and it means there’s a topic for us to discuss. This week it’s Top Ten Most Intimidating Books. As you’re about to see, apparently big long classics are the books that I find a bit intimidating.

 

 

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Big Scary Books. And Gabby rubbing her face all over them on the side there.

1. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – This is one of the shorter books on my list, but it’s so old and it’s SUCH a major classic about racism and slavery and I somehow haven’t gotten to it yet. And now whenever I’m about to start it, it’s like I’ve built it up so much in my head that I’m a little afraid to start it because what it I don’t like it? That would suck.

2. Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo – Do you even see how giant this goddamn book is?

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – For some reason I feel like Leo Tolstoy is this scary classic Russian author that I am going to have the hardest time understanding. I just really started reading classics like 5 years ago, and you’d think that by now I wouldn’t be such a wuss about it, but I’m still worried that a big long classic will be too complex or boring for me to stick with reading.

4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Okay just the size of this one punks me a bit, but I am SO going to read this, hopefully this year. I mean I watched the newest movie/musical so at least now I know the basics.

5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – Once again, it’s huuuuuuuuuuuge and it’s such a major classics and I’ll be a little bummed if I end up hating it, because SO many people love the beejezus out of it.

6. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – I actually read 1/4 of this, but then started to get a little bored with it and haven’t gone back to it. And that was over a year ago, so when I do eventually start it again I’m going to have to start alllllll over. Dammit.

7. The Quantum World by Kenneth Ford – Okay this book isn’t big, but I’m more intimidated by it because it’s about quantum physics. Which is stupid because I’ve read a lot on the topic now, but this one seems a bit more technical and there’s even homework-ish questions at the end of each chapter, which is awesome, but what if I suddenly don’t understand any of it? Why am I worried that this book would be too smart for me? I’m kind of waiting until I can devote a lot of time to reading it through and taking notes and answering the questions, and I’ll have to contact the author or the college he worked at to get the answer key at some point, cause I’m going to want to know if I’m learning shit correctly.

8. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Remember what I said about Tolstoy above? Well here he is again. Seriously, this is the first book I think of when I think of big scary books, I don’t know why. It’s like my book-Everest.

9. The Arabian Nights – I want to read this awesome collection of stories, but it’s sooooo big and short stories aren’t always my jam even when they have a common thread. I’ll get to it eventually…

10. The Illiad & The Odyssey – I would be proud of myself if I was ever able to read these epic Greek poems in their entirety, but daaaaaaaammmnnn. They’re SO long and SO wordy…

 

 

So there we have it! For stupid reasons that make no sense, the books that punk me the most are big giant old books. What are you intimidated (but determined to maybe eventually) read?

 

~Sarah

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Set the Halloween Mood

Good morning peeps! So, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post (hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish)… partly because I felt like I was repeating my responses too much, and partly just from laziness. But I took at the prompt for this week and it turns out I’ve read enough decent books for this topic in the yast year, so here we are! The topic is Top Ten Books to Get In the Halloween Spirit.

Also, in case you’re interested, here are the links to my Halloween picks for the last two years: 2011 and 2010.

Nightside, Simon R Green

1. Nightside series by Simon R. Green – I’m 3 books into this series right now, and it’s so, so awesome. The series revolves around P.I. John Taylor, and the world he comes from – the Nightside, where it’s always 3 am and anything can happen. This series is such a fun mix of paranormal, mystery, fantasy, action, and gore. And they’re only about 230 pages each, so they’re quick reads too! (Also, that first book in the picture is a volume of the first 3 books – the first book is Something From the Nightside.)

Mira Grant

2. Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant – The best zombie series I’ve read. There’s zombie horror, government plots, intrigue, twists – it’s so, so good. I’m thinking I may have to re-read these next year.

3. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – If you’re looking for something a bit more nerdy, this was a really fun book. I enjoyed the science behind it a lot, but the action and suspense was INTENSE. What’s scarier than being chased by dinosaurs??

4. Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey – I thoroughly enjoy the bad-assness of James Stark, and he’s at his best when he’s killing something. There’s magic, voodoo, demons, trips to Hell, lots of drinking and swear words – enjoy!

Deborah Harkness

5. All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness – I flew through these books, and I can’t wait for the third! It’s a really unique twist on the world of witches, demons, and vampires and all wrapped up in history and big plots and awesomeness. I was really hesitant to read these because of the hype, but it’s well-deserved.

Libba Bray The Diviners

6. The Diviners by Libba Bray – Alright, I’m reading this now. But so far it’s good and just the first chapter totally sets the tone of spooky-ness.

7. Coraline by Neil Gaiman – I just finished this as part of a readalong, and it was SO PERFECT for Halloween – especially when reading it in the middle of the night when it’s all quiet and dark out. There’s a brave little girl, a bizarre alternate world, and an awesome black cat.

Heather Blake

8. Wishcraft series by Heather Blake – This is a cute new cozy mystery series, and they’re perfect if you’re looking for a little murder and intrigue, but with a big heaping side of magical and sweet. Darcy Merriweather is a witch – specifically, she’s a Wishcrafter; able to grant wishes as long as it’s within the rules. But learning her new set of powers is a little tougher as she’s also trying to solve surprising murders that crop up in the magical little town.

to hell and back, matthew hughes

9. To Hell and Back series by Matthew Hughes – This is a wonderfully unique series in which socially-inept Chesney gets to play a crime-fighting superhero, along with his demonic sidekick Xaphan. The Damned Busters is the first book, and I definitely recommend it. The third book comes out in the winter – I can’t wait!

Oscar Wilde

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – If you’re more into classics, this should be perfect for you – a beautiful, vain young man is able to stay picture-perfect, while a portrait ages and shows the cost of his sins and depravity.

So, yay! Can’t believe I was actually able to come up with 10! I have read a whole lot of good fantasy/sci-fi this year, so that helps.

What do you recommend for Halloween reads?

~Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Read This Fall

Good morning guys! Soooo, it’s Tuesday, and that means Top Ten Tuesday by The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Books on Your Fall TBR List. Wellll, I already listed the books I want to read in September in the Monthly TBR meme, but here’s the books I’m kind of hoping I’ll get around to later this fall sometime.

Sarah Jio, Blackberry Winter

1. Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio – This comes out September 25th, and since I loved Sarah Jio’s last novel The Bungalow, I’m really looking forward to this one.

2. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket – Can you believe that I have never read these books? Me neither. I really want to though.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

3. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – I’m SO excited that another Cemetary of Forgotten Books book is out, but I really want to re-read The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game first, so it might be a while before I get to it.

4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce – This is a different take of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, and I think this would be a perfect Halloween-time read.

5. The Diviners by Libba Bray – Comes out in about 2 weeks and I’m so excited to read it! LOVED Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.

6. Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington – I started reading this book a few years ago and had to stop because it actually made me feel sick while reading it. I’d really like to try it again and finish it.

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – It’s kind of ridiculous how many classic horrors I haven’t read. Maybe this will be the year I can knock one off my list?

8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – Re-read! But I haven’t read it since I was in 3rd or 4th grade. And I really want to go on to read the other books in the series.

9. The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander – I enjoyed The Kitchen Boy by this author so much that I immediately went on Paperbackswap and ordered his other books about the Romanovs, so I’d really like to finally read another one.

10. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – The only Austen novel I haven’t read. I think I’ve been putting it off because I’ll be sad to have no more “new-to-me” Austen books to read, but I think the time has come.

 

What books are you looking forward to this fall?

~Sarah

Top Ten Tuesday: Scary Books (in honor of Halloween!)

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Alrighty then. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is your top ten scary / creepy / horror -ish books.

 
This is going to be hard, because I don’t like to be scared, and I’m not a big horror / thriller / mystery reader. Hmmmm…
 

1. Beloved by Toni Morrison – OK, in all honesty I never finished this book. I got maybe 50 pages in, and I stopped because it actually was scaring me. That creepy ghost thing….. ugh. I’ll try to finish it someday. I swear.

 

2. The Goosebumps and Fear Street series by R.L. Stine – I actually read a TON of these when I was younger, and thinking back on some of them still gives me the creeps! Night of the Living Dummy is still terrifying to me.

 

3. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice – Not exactly scary, but it’s about vampires, so you know… it counts. And Claudia’s tiny vampire self was creepy.

 

4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – I actually just read this recently, and was disappointed in the lack of evil-ish behavior from Mr. Hyde. But it gets good points for being shocking for it’s time, and for creating an appropriately gloomy setting.

 

5. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist – Again, creepy child vamp. But this one did a better job at being more suspenseful, and that old pedophile guy was enough to make anyone turn around and run in fright.

 

6. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore – The first in his vampire trilogy, this actually isn’t scary at all (I’m running out of ideas…) but it’s about vampires (oooooo spooky) and I love these books. Jody is one kick-ass vamp, and she perfectly explains why being a vampire is so great.

 

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – OK, this isn’t even close to a horror genre book. It’s dystopian. But this one out of a whole slew of dystopian novels scares me the most. If you’re a woman and you’ve read it, you probably understand why. It’s a terrifying society, and seems all too possible.

 

8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I love this book dearly, but I love it because Heathcliff rocks. But if all of the women in this book were real people, that would be a truly scary thing. Because they were idiots. I seriously wonder what Emily had against women to portray them so terribly…

 

9. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – A novel that kind of mocks Gothic spooky novels? Genius. This one doesn’t really get “creepy” until almost half way through it, but it’s fun, and you can sense Catherine’s fright and excitement. Dark castles, mysterious chests, weird father figures… it’s the perfect Halloween setting!

 

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – Bella and Edward’s crazy, obsessive, dependent, I-need-you-or-I’d-rather-die type relationship is enough to make any self-respecting woman shiver in fear.

 

Some year I’ll get around to reading more of the classic scary books… Frankenstein, The Woman in White, Dracula, etc. Just not this year.

 

~Sarah