Danielle's post on Carl's R.I.P. Challenge made me aware of this yearly event running from 1 September through 31 October, when participants read one, two, or four books fitting into the following categories:
Usually these challenges don't appeal to me because all too soon it starts to feel like homework, but reading one book of your choice must be doable for anyone and as I had planned on reading a few scary novels this autumn anyway, I decided to join and do Peril #2: read two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories.
Scouring my shelves I was surprised to find at least 25 books that fitted into these categories. Here is my shortlist of 9 titles:
Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle — a recent addition to my library
Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue — also bought recently
Albert Sánchez Piñol: Nachtlicht (La pell freda/Cold Skin)
A.A. Merritt: Burn, Witch, Burn! — pulp, but a R.I.P.ing yarn nevertheless. I tore through this twice when I was a teen (in the Dutch translation, with the less sensationalist title De poppen van Madame Mandilip), and probably will again. Public domain.
W.F. Hermans: De donkere kamer van Damokles (The Darkroom of Damocles) — this is also a reread. The English translation that appeared recently is very good and I urge everyone to read it, because this brilliant Dutch classic deserves a wider audience.
Poppy Z. Brite: His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood and other stories
A.M. Homes: The End of Alice
Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White
Shirley Jackson: The Lottery — a (very) short story, also public domain.
I hope to be able to read four of these, but as I had already planned on reading some other books in September, I will be happy with two.
Oh yes, and I intend to watch The Woman in Black (based on the novel by Susan Hill), and A Bucket of Blood. Finally!