Thursday, August 31, 2006

Autumn Reading Challenge


I just signed up for Carl V.'s 2006 RIP Autumn Reading Challenge and can't wait to get started. With Halloween only two months away, I've got some great spooky reading material lined up. The idea is to read five gothic, scary, or thriller type books during the months of September and October. There's a cool prize involved too. Here are my picks:

1. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
4. The Haunted Looking Glass edited by Edward Gorey
5. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

And I am also throwing in Sarah Dunant's Trangressions for good measure. I'll be reading that for a book club I belong to and I think it qualifies as a thriller.

This got me thinking more about mysteries I loved as a kid. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan (and still am) and loved Trixie Belden. I've recently begun collecting the old Nancy Drew books again and will move on to the Trixie Belden collection when I am done. If you were or still are a Nancy Drew fan, you'll want to check out The Nancy Drew Sleuth Unofficial Website. You'll find everything you ever wanted to know about the character, her creators, and the fictional town of River Heights. Check out the president's collection (extremely impressive) and past conference highlights (yes, there are annual conferences, though I have yet to attend one).

For more Nancy Drew tidbits and laughs, you'll also want to check out Chelsea Cain's parody Confessions of a Teenage Sleuth and Melanie Rehak's Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her.

Trixie Belden paraphernalia seems to be a little more elusive, although I did find a cute little mystery bookshop in Camden, Maine on a recent vacation that is selling the whole Trixie Belden paperback collection. May have to buy the owner out of those books :) Speaking of Camden, Maine, if you ever get a chance to visit, make sure to check out their gorgeous library and natural ampitheater (check out the photo gallery), overlooking the picturesque town and harbor. Pure heaven. Oh and did I mention that in addition to the amazing library and mystery bookshop, there are three other bookshops in town as well?

15 comments:

Carl V. said...

Great choices!!! My copy of The Haunted Looking Glass is on its way to me now and I can hardly wait! So glad you are joining in!

I picked up my first Nancy Drew earlier this summer. I had never read and of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys and decided to give it a try. It was very fun and quaint (and I mean that as a compliment). I would definitely like to read more of them. I loved looking at all the covers on my uncle's bookshelf growing up but I was too into his sci fi collection to read these. It was definitely my loss. I have much more broad reading tastes now.

LK said...

Awesome! I love reading spooky, gothic, horror stuff at Halloween time. Someone recently mentioned The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories by Edward Gorey. I also have The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories, which I heartily recommend. Check out my upcoming Halloween meme, coming to a blog near you!

I Buy Books said...

Thanks for the post from Carl V.'s blog. I vaguely remember passing by it recently, but didn't pay as much attention as I should have. I'm now deciding which five books for my list. I've read Gaskell, but not her Gothic Tales, so that will definitely go on my list.

Although I dabbled in Nancy Drew, my favorite was Cherry Ames. I don't know why -- I never had a desire to become a nurse. But the stories were fun and they always ended happily!

booklogged said...

Isn't this going to be a fun challenge. Looking forward to your reviews, not just of the 5 challenge books, but also Transgression.

I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries much to my mother, the English major's, consternation.

Kailana said...

I am going to use The Historian as one of my books too. Mainly because I am reading it right now. :)

And did you post on my librarything because there was someone on there that said they were a big Nancy Drew fan and were collecting them all. Or is that just a coincidence?

litlove said...

Great choices! I liked The Historian very much indeed, and will be interested to see what you think of the others!

Kirsten said...

carl v.- I know what you mean, I like quaint :) I find that if I have a bad day, pulling a Nancy Drew off the shelf and reading through it lets me forget about being an adult for a while :) Am looking forward to what you think of The Haunted Looking Glass. I haven't ordered my copy yet.

lk- Looking forward to your upcoming Halloween meme!

i buy books- Cherry Ames is mentioned often in the parody Confessions of a Teenage Sleuth. You'll have a good laugh reading about the rivalry between her and Nancy Drew :)

booklogged- Love your blog, will be adding it to my list of favorites. We seem to have similar reading tastes, so I look forward to reading through your reviews. My father is a retired English teacher and I can remember him groaning at a few of my book choices. Although mostly he was just happy that I was reading so much :)

kailana- That sounds vaguely familiar, before I started my blog I remember posting that comment somewhere. I think it was me :)

litlove- Glad to hear you liked the Historian, I haven't heard many negative reviews yet which is a good sign!

Kailana said...

lol, small world then!

Colleen Gleason said...

I loved Nancy Drew too...but there is a difference in the feel of some of the books because they are, of course, written by different people (I'm speaking of the original 56 here).

I absolutely love the old, original versions with the beautiful white spines and gorgeous color covers. I've become addicted to eBay, where I pay too much for those collectibles.

I'm also putting The Moonstone on my RIP list, and have Rebecca there too.

As for The Historian, I haven't really seen any "official" reviews that were less than stellar, but I've heard a lot of "unofficial" reviews--from people in the biz and readers alike--that weren't so hot. I do have the book myself and am debating about whether to put it on my RIP list.

I've never heard of the Confessions of a Teenage Sleuth...sounds like something I'd love! Thanks for the rec.

Colleen Gleason said...

Oh, forgot to mention, if you're collecting the Nancy Drew books, you might want to invest in the Farah's Guide, which lists each format and what it generally goes for on the market. Such fun!

Kirsten said...

Colleen- I've actually been going back and forth about picking up a copy of the Farah's Guide. I went to an excellent exhibit at the Boston Public Library for the 75th anniversary of the Nancy Drew character and first discovered the Farah Guide there. It was then that I got it in my head that I should start collecting the books.

After I saw your post, I went on to Amazon.com to read up on Rebecca. I did not realize that "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. . ." was from this book. Think I'll have to add this to my TBR pile.

Thanks for the Nancy Drew collecting tips. I look forward to reading your upcoming novel :)

Colleen Gleason said...

Thanks Kirsten!

Beware if you buy the Farah's...you might get addicted. LOL. I actually got my hands on The Clue of the Velvet Mask with the original cover and endpapers, for a great price from a used bookseller who didn't realize it. Heh heh heh.

Of course, that about covers my list of smoking deals on ND books. The rest I paid fair market value for.

Kirsten said...

Colleen - I am very jealous of that copy of The Clue of the Velvet Mask! Sounds like a great deal you got :)

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