It's time to admit that I didn't fare too well with the Summer Reading Challenge. While I read 21 books--the number on my summer challenge, as well as the number on my year-long reading priority list--only a third were from the official list. I was sidetracked by my Rebecca West project, the Proust project (which raised the total from my year's priority list to five), and several other items that nudged themselves to the head of the line.
So I thought about resisting Carl V.'s Autumn Challenge--why set myself up for failure once again? About five minutes later I realized that I could manage the Readers Imbibing Peril challenge with ease:
Pick out any 5 books that you want to read. . . that you think meet the very open, broad criteria of being scary, eerie, moody, dripping with atmosphere, gothic, unsettling, etc. and vow to read them. You may have even read one recently and want to count it. That’s it!
Granted, I don't read a lot of books that immediately spring to mind when you think about such criteria, but there are some that I'd already hoped to read this fall that will definitely fit:
The People's Act of Love--cannibalism, religious wackoism-inspired castration, a remote Siberian village. Peril aplenty right there and it's what I'm reading next.
Harriet Hume--a mysterious fantasy involving mind-reading.
The Turn of the Screw--ghosts.
And for the fifth, I could count the already finished Island of Doctor Moreau, or Wells' Star Begotten, or possibly even Warlock, which is described as having a "diabolical, ethically neutral world view" that brings Cormac McCarthy to mind. Atmosphere for sure.
This is a challenge I can meet.