October Wrap-Up

October turned out to be a very good writing month. I also took a trip to Arizona during the last week. It was the first trip in ages, a driving trip, which I always enjoy. The landscape of the desert is so different from that of the beach, but the dryer air and clearer skies were a very nice change. I heard coyotes and saw a javalina, I toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, found “my” bagel place and had a wonderful visit with my sister. Now, I am waiting for the colder temperatures to come to make the rest of the year complete.

Having my mom here has been a lot of fun. She is also a big reader and has already plucked from my shelves Venetia, The Egg and I, a biography of the California poet Robinson Jeffers and several contemporary novels. She belongs to a book club so there is lots of quiet reading time in this house.

Although I posted more this month, I did not finish a lot of books and I am way behind on my Goodreads challenge. But goals are only directional signals, not actions written in stone. Right? Oh well…

What I Read and Posted

A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Stitch in Time, Penelope Lively
Classic Club Spin #28 The Spin gods chose number 12, which means I will be reading The Matriarch (1924), by G.B. Stern. This book has been on my shelf for a very long time, but I know nothing about it or the author!

Two on a Tower, Thomas Hardy
Martha by the Day, Julie Mathilde Lippmann

As November begins I’ve decided to join in on Nonfiction November and in keeping with trying to read as much from my shelves as possible this year, instead of buying more books, I created this short list to choose from:

1. A Summer of Hummingbirds. The intersecting lives of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Martin Johnson Heade. I love reading about authors who knew each other.

2. Something From the Oven. About food and dinner culture in the 1950s and how gadgets changed the way we eat. And the 50s were so interesting for kitchen gadgets.

3. To College Girls. A guide from a dad as his daughter went off to college, published in 1911. Historical etiquette and morality books are fun to read. What were the expectations of behavior for young women at that time?

4. The Natural History of Selborne. Published in the late 1700s, I can’t wait to see what people thought of the natural world and do we have anything in common in our time?

5. The Grape Cure, first published in 1928, this is the food fad book of the time that would “cure” any disease with grapes. Lots of grapes. Hmmm.

I am hoping to read Hermnan Hesse’s, Siddhartha for Novellas in November and that’s the only title I have, so far.

My Thomas Hardy year has gone very well with two more to go. This month we’re reading The Well-Beloved. And I hope for some spontaneous reads, including one from my Classics Club list.

Yes, I did buy a book on my trip 🙂

More from Taliesin West

This year has passed very quickly for me and I can hardly believe 2022 is fast approaching. I hope this has been a good year for you and that travels, day trips and better times are ahead for us all.

R.I.P.XIII-Lucky Thirteen for this Scary October

RIPXIII

 

Readers Imbibing Peril or R.I.P. is a gathering of readers taking advantage of the encroaching darkness* of autumn to read books of mystery, horror, Gothic, suspense, the dark fantasies, thrillers and so on. It starts in September, though I usually join in October. Any reading format is game as are films, tv, web series. Don’t think of this as a challenge, but as a community of appreciators of the Dark…cue scary music. For more details you can go here. It’s not too late to join.

I made my list, read my first book and will start posting next week.

 

IMG_5292.JPG

 

The Historical Fiction
Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin

The Classic
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James

The Short Stories
Poe, HP Lovecraft

The Films
The Turn of the Screw, Fall of the House of Usher

I never used to read these kinds of books….just too scary. And I certainly never thought I would read an HP Lovecraft, the master of “Oh. My. God!” But after getting “horror baptized” with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward for a reading challenge a couple of years ago, I was stunned by how drawn I was to the story and realized good story telling is good story telling….as long as I am in a room with lots of lights….And now I am back for more!

In choosing the right reading challenges for me I have grown as a reader through the books I have chosen as well as discovering new ones from reading the posts of others.

Happy Scary October!

__________________

*I just realized this is a northern hemisphere concept. What must it be like to celebrate Halloween in the Spring with the light getting longer?!

R.I.P. XII Challenge-Late, but Enthused!

rip2017

 

This challenge always trips me up a bit, because it just doesn’t feel like Fall in September around here and I forget R.I.P. starts September 1st. Though a late arrival, I am not less excited to get into reading for ‘scary October.’

This is the 12th year of the R.I.P. Challenge and I love its simplicity: from September 1st through October 31st read books and/or watch movies that scare you! More specifically, choose from these genres–

Mystery
Suspense
Thriller
Dark Fantasy
Gothic
Horror

Organized loosely (because they are optional), you can choose different ‘perils’ (categories?) to help you feel part of the Challenge.

Andi at Estella’s Revenge and Heather at My Capricious Life host this, where you can get more information and link your blog-post reviews.

I plan to participate in multiple perils as I will be reading and seeing books, novellas, short stories and films, oh my….
Books, Novellas and Short Stories
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula, Loren D. Estleman
“Carmilla” and “Green Tea,” short stories by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
“The Call of Cthulhu” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” short stories, H.P. Lovecraft
The Italian, Ann Radcliffe

Films
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
The Mothman Prophecies