Turning the calendar page to September can only mean one thing when it comes to reading: time for the RIP Challenge! It’s been nine years —nine! — that Carl has been hosting what has surely become a highly anticipated fall event. I know I always look forward to it and actually started thinking about what I would read a few months ago, plenty of time to write and rewrite and rewrite again the list of books. And now here we are and I need to figure out what, exactly, I am going to read. Of course I can always change my mind. For some reason I don’t feel like I have much time to read many books for RIP, not sure why I’m feeling that way, maybe the big pile of books on my reading table has something to do with it. But I will still manage to get in a few, so here’s what I’m thinking of:

  • House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. I’ve been meaning to read this one for years and I think it is finally time I got to it. It is a sort of haunted house story in which the house, much like the TARDIS, is bigger on the inside. Only I don’t think the Doctor will be showing up to sort things out and save the day.
  • She by H. Rider Haggard. A little adventure, a chance at immortality, and a whole lot of Victorian prejudice, what more could a girl want? I actually started reading this at lunch today on my Kindle. Such proper gentlemen about to be terrified by a strong woman and Africa. Horrors!
  • What’s a RIP Challenge without some old fashioned gothic romance? The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve. Published in 1777, Reeve described it as “the literary offspring of The Castle of Otranto.” It is filled with revelations, horrors, betrayals, and a final battle between good and evil. I presume there might also be a beautiful maiden in there somewhere too.
  • If I survive The Old English Baron and find myself prepared to face more terror, I just might give Glenarvon by Lady Caroline Lamb a go. Lamb was Lord Byron’s mistress, one of them anyway, and the title character is reportedly a very unflattering depiction of him. It was Lamb’s first novel and a big success. Ah, revenge is sweet.

If the “classics” get to be too much I might substitute something more recent, but that will be a last minute decision. Stay tuned!