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rip challengeIt’s September and that means it is time for Readers Imbibing Peril! Bring on the chills, the comfort cocoa and pumpkin everything! You may recall that horror gives me nightmares — it didn’t when I was a teen, I even watched Amityville Horror while babysitting (the kids were in bed) — so RIP for me is always horror-lite. In the past I have gone in for Victorian gothic but this year I am going to have some fun with twentieth-century psychological dread. My spine is tingling in anticipation!

I have two books currently lined up. The first will be The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I have been meaning to read this for years and years. Finally its time has come. The second book is The Sundial by Shirley Jackson. This one involves a crumbling old mansion, a funeral, a secret garden, ghostly visitation, fear, violence, madness and the apocalypse! Jam-packed goodness by the sound of it. If I zip through those two and nothing comes up to divert me, I will add Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel to the mix. A sociopath, the end of the world and possibly a psychic, what could be better?

Over the years elements in addition to books have been added to RIP and I have generally ignored them. But this year I am adding in some Peril on the Screen because I have just begun watching Stranger Things. I am a few episodes in on season one and something — Joyce thinks it is her son who has gone missing — is trying to push through the wall as though it were an elastic membrane. Totally creepy! It is just this side of nightmare inducing so as long as it doesn’t get any worse I will be fine. And I must say that Winona Ryder as Joyce is utterly amazing. I mean, she is owning the role and it’s intense. I haven’t seen her in anything in ages and I am so glad she is back on the screen. She’s from Minnesota dontcha know!

So there is the RIP plan for September and October. Any spooky seasonal reading or watching happening in your world?

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