R.I.P.X Update


R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X

In 11th grade I had a teacher who did a lot for my love of literature and my confidence that I wanted to continue studying it. Among the countless other things he did for me, he showed me that people can have a favorite author. That might seem like a common thing, but from my isolated small town this was a big discovery. This teacher’s favorite author happened to be Edgar Allan Poe.

We spent 2 months on his work in a class that had up until then been broken into genres. My teacher’s license plate was a variation of NEVERMORE and he had an Edgar Allan Poe action figure hung up on the bulletin board at the front of the class. He loved Poe, and through that taught me it was okay to obsess over someone who died hundreds of years ago and did nothing else in their life by write.

Well, thanks to R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X I finally got around to reading those short stories and poems from Poe that I didn’t read in 11th grade.

I am reading from the “Major Tales and Poems” Borders publication (which tells you how long I’ve had this book). What this edition does REALLY well is the order it’s presented the short stories. They flow from one to the other naturally, and tend to share a theme with the one before it. However, the one annoyance I have with it is that Poe tends to quote in French, Italian, or sometimes Latin, yet this edition has not provided a single translation.

Since I’m taking a break before tackling the poems I’ll tell you my top ten favorite short stories from those that I had not previously read (in no particular order);

The Fall of the House of Usher
The Premature Burial
William Wilson
The Gold-Bug
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Mystery of Marie Roget
The Purloined Letter
The Oblong Box
The Oval Portrait

The five that I had previously read are;

The Tell-Tale Heart
The Black Cat *
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Cask of Amontillado
The Masque of the Red Death

*Yes, it has the word cat in the title. IF YOU LIKE CATS DO NOT READ THIS SHORT STORY!!!

The three bolded titles above are of Poe’s detective “C Auguste Dupin”. The first “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is often considered the first fictional detective story. I highly recommend it. I loved it. The second “The Mystery of Marie Roget” is actually based on a real life murder of Mary Roger. The third is very good as well (although I have no fun fact about it).


This weekend I also decided to have a small movie marathon in the tone of RIPX. It was also, not surprisingly, a Johnny Depp marathon. It could have been a Tim Burton marathon, but I got away with 1 of the 3 not being directed by him.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
From Hell (2001)
Sweeney Todd (2007)

I’ve seen all of these before and own the last two so this was more for my lazy Saturday viewing. After reading Edgar Allan Poe for an entire 2 weeks you get pulled into a mood.

I’ve always liked the changes Burton made to the tale of Sleepy Hollow. It didn’t feel as jarring as a lot of differing interpretations can be. I understand Burton’s decision to not stick Depp in a bunch of prosthetics to make his Ichabod canonically “ugly” but to let it show through in his actions and choices. I also kinda love the fact that Christopher Walken, an actor known for his voice never speaks. And I do agree with the crew about the set; it looks like what walking through Burton’s mind must look like.

Sweeney Todd was the first rated R movie I was allowed to see in the theater (with my mom). I was SO excited for this movie and I still love it (even if Anthony Stewart Head’s role got practically cut). It’s really one of those adaptations where you just look at it and go “My god they got the perfect director and the perfect actors and literally what the hell could you change about this.”

From Hell holds a special creepy spot in my heart. I don’t know why I like the story of Jack the Ripper so much, but I do. When we went on the Whitechapel tour on my studyabroad I freaked the professor out by how much I knew about Jack the Ripper. I actually wasn’t aware that the movie was based on a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell until I took a true crime class in which we read it.

On a side note I absolutely love this graphic novel. I don’t 100% agree with the theory it poses (even though it’s really thought out and frickin cool), but it’s wonderfully written and the art is beautiful. And I’m not just saying that because I heard Eddie Campell speak on campus and had him sign the paper I wrote on From Hell and then he drew a wittle Jack the Ripper on it

Look at that little cutie serial killer.
Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Sept 8th


Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

September 8:  Ten Finished Series I Have YET to Finish (topic first done in 2012)

As I watch this my alma mater The Ohio State University is playing VT so let’s see how multitasking during commercials go for writing a TTT Post.

It had to be mentioned in a post about series.

This week is finished series I have yet to finish. This was kinda difficult and I fudged a few to give myself a full list of ten. I tend to finish series if I start them and you’ll find there’s a trend with the ones I have not; they’re series I started in middle school  or high school (except for one).


1.) The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis: I got really into the first movie and thus read The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe. I had intentions of reading the entire series and went on to read The Magician’s Nephew, and that’s when I stopped. Between the first and second movie I lost interest and with it, lost interest in the books. I always meant to go back and read them just to say I had, but I haven’t gotten around to it. I’m still holding onto hope that one day I’ll go back to them.

2.) Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Another series started in middle school thanks to a movie. I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and vaguely remember attempting to start The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, but never got around to really getting into it and I think I eventually just lost interest in it. I might go back to this one eventually, I do own a giant book with all 5 in it.

Literally my favorite Tom Cruise movie ever; made better by the fact Lestat is 6 feet tall in the books.

3.) The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice: And the pattern continues; middle school Alyssa gets momentarily obsessed with a movie and goes on to read the book without having the attention span to read the rest of the novels in the series. I have started buying more Anne Rice novels (vampire ones, not Jesus ones) and I did get about midway through The Vampire Lestat before my interests moved on. I really don’t know why I stopped because I remember liking it a lot. So this one has a good chanced of being finished one day.

4.) The Lord Of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: I TRIED! I TRIED SO HARD! I’ve actually read The Hobbit twice so I’m kinda proud of that one. The Fellowship Of the Ring, I do no lie, probably took me about 4 years cause I got to the Tom Bombadil chapters and just could not wrap my 8th grade mind around why this was enjoyable. I do believe when I last left off I was in the first quarter of The Two Towers and it’s basically a war novel and cannot sit myself down to finish it where I left off like 8 years ago.

I am most sorry to the late Sir Christopher Lee who has unknowingly been guilt tripping me about this since I first heard him talk about rereading the entire trilogy every year on the actor’s commentary of the extended edition of Fellowship of the Ring.

5.) The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire: “whaaaaaaat? Alyssa you talk about these books all the time.” I KNOW DON’T REMIND ME! Okay, so here’s my excuse. I read the first book my freshman year of high school, that was the same year the second book came out. The third book came out my sophomore year and already my excitement was waning. Mainly cause it wasn’t that heavily of a promoted book series (outside of the connection to the musical) and I wasn’t that into looking up book info on the internet. The final book in the series came out my freshman year of college and between that time I had attempted another one of Maguire’s books and the magic had kinda faded. Add in that the third book follows a different story line than the 1, 2, and 4th books; I feel like I need to restart the series before I try and tackle the 4th again but I fully intend to finish that 4th book.

Side note: OSU just got scored on I will not be held responsible for my annoyed tone from here on out.

The following two series are not exactly finished but they could be if they wanted to be.

6.) The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon: I should like this book/series but there was just too much romance and not enough other stuff to keep my interest. As I have warned many of people who have attempted it, midway through you will hit the “…and then they had sex” phase and want to bash your head with the giant book. That entire section of the book ruined it and the series for me. The only thing giving the series an ounce of hope of me reading it is the fact my mother is obsessed with it, has every book on her kindle, which I now have access to through Amazon Household. Additionally, I know this series isn’t finished yet, but according to my mom it could have been and there was a time where Gabaldon thought to have it finished where it is but has since decided to keep writing (*cough*money*cough*)(nah I don’t blame her, I’d do the same.)

7.) The Maze Runner series by James Dashner: I read the first book with the intention of seeing the movie and continuing the series. I got through the first one, never saw the movie, and have yet to pick up the second book. I think I’m “Post apocalyptic-experimented on teenagers”‘d out. I can’t take anymore. I’ve heard Dashner might be writing another prequel novel but for now I’ll count them finished.

The following books are not so much series as their authors chose just to write about this world multiple times.

8.) The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz series by L. Frank Baum: Did you know there’s 14 of these things?  And those are the ones just by Baum. I sure wasn’t up for that kind of commitment when I read the first one. Besides, I was pretty satisfied with the first, not entirely itching to know more. Considering they’re not as well known as the first also makes me okay with having just read the first.


9.) Peter Pan by JM Barrie: Barrie wrote 3 works about Peter Pan. The original Peter Pan play, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (an origin story), and “Peter and Wendy” a novel sequel to the original that uses themes from Barrie’s sequel play “An After Thought”. This is another where I’m satisfied with the original story, so I don’t feel as thought I’m missing much having not read the sequels.

And with OSU being scored on again and my inability to think of a 10th series that I have not finished and is also finished I think we can call this post done.

What series have you not been able to finished? Any of these that I should “get on it” to finish?
reading challenge, RIPChallenge



Hosted by The Estella Society

I’ve decided to take part in this year’s R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril mainly cause I find the genres to be literary crack. Poe was one of the first poets I found I actually liked, let alone love. My mom made a stop on our summer road trip to Salem Mass. cause I might have gone through a serious Crucible phase of life. My favorite week of my study abroad was our “Mysteries of London” week where I became best friends with the guest professor while also freaking him out on my knowledge of Jack the Ripper during our tour of White Chapel. And during my last year at college I was taking a “Classic Horror Monster” Literature/Film class the same semester I was taking a “true crime”  literature class.

From the challenge’s page:

“Without further ado, pick your poison, won’t you? September 1st is here, and we’re ready to begin!

Dark Fantasy.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others. “

The challenge will run from Sept. 1 – October 31st. I probably wont get officially started until the weekend but here’s my challenge pile.



I’ve read a lot of Poe’s short stories and poems, but I plan to read through those in the collected works volume I have of his work. Same goes for my Sherlock Holmes collected works.

I read Dracula and Frankenstein for my “Classic Horror Monster” class but like the majority of English Majors who are taking multiple lit classes during their senior year; I heavy duty skimmed em.

“Vampire Stories” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a book I vaguely remember reading a few of the stories from but never finished. (But seriously, who knew Conan Doyle wrote vampire stories.)

“Daughters Of The Witching Hill” by Mary Sharratt is a novel I picked up way back when Borders was going out of business. The novel was inspired by the 1612 Pendle witch trials.


JSMN-cover1library-mt-char-jacketI also intend to buy these two novels by the end of the challenge. I’ve been wanting to have them anyways, this is just good timing for it. They’re “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”, a novel set in England during the Napoleonic Wars where Magic once was practiced and existed in England. And “The Library At Mount Char” a recent release set around murders and a cult-ish like group.