reading challenge, Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

Here’s the thing.

I was an English major. As such, there were times that I was taking multiple English courses with the addition of General Education classes. Often times this would require reading from multiple courses being due at the same time on top of various other requirements. One person can only do so much reading, and my ability to BS-symbolism meaning, narrative choices, and character drive is far superior to my ability to answer questions about western civ and baroque era muscians, and even more so than my ability to begin to understand anything that happened in any of my science course lectures.

So, what ultimately ended up happening was I would start a reading assignment with good intentions, run out of time (I am a self professed slow reader) and focus on the studies I knew I had no chance of understanding without reading the entire assignment. I specifically remember a semester in my final year where I had 2 classes with a younger friend who was constantly frustrated by my ability to not do the entire reading assignment, but still end up impressing the professor enough to get my participation credit and a little admiration. It was a gift (with the help of various spark notes like sites).

However, the downside to this was that there were a few reading assignments that I had genuinely looked forward that I didn’t end up reading in their entirety. What’s even worse, is that I might have fudged my Goodreads list and claimed that I read them. Hey, in my defense I figured having read a good 70% of the book with at least a weeks worth of in class discussion and possibly a writing assignment was good enough to count as a read. I have now decided that it doesn’t, and that I should go back and truly read the books I claimed I have.

So, this summer, May through September, I’m issuing a challenge to myself to really get through some of the books I have claimed to have read. College was a while ago, and I don’t remember all the books I breezed through. Fortunately, I have kept enough to make it through the summer. I’m looking forward to no longer feeling like a liar and seeing what I missed out on. Feel free to pick up the idea for yourself!

I’ve already started on Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” that, according to the post-it note bookmark I found in the book, I only got to page 94 in before relying on spark notes and the internet. This book was for a True Crime class I took 4th year that I didn’t appreciate enough when I took it.

Below you’ll find a list of the other books I’ll be reading:

1.) “In Cold Blood” By Truman Capote (4th year True Crime class)
2.) “I Am Legend” By Richard Matheson (4th year Horror Classics class)
3.) “The Shining” By Stephen King (4th year Horror Classics class)
4.) “Frankenstein” By Mary Shelley (4th year Horror Classics class)
5.) “Let the Right One In” By John Ajvide Lingqvist (4th year Horror Classics class)
6.) “Dracula” By Bram Stoker (4th year Horror Classics class)
7.) “The Turn of the Screw” By Henry James (4h year Horror Classics class)
8.) “Henery V” By William Shakespeare (2nd year Study Abroad course)
9.) “Measure for Measure” By William Shakespeare (3rd year Shakespeare class)
10.) “The Odyssey” By Homer (2nd year Mythology class)
11.) “Jane Eyre” By Charlotte Bronte (Senior year of high school English class)

By this list it looks like I just skipped the 4th year Horror Classics class, but I did read the majority of each novel. Also, I can’t really remember in depth my course syllabus for my earlier years, and I sold back the majority of the books anyway. If I can somehow dig up my old reading lists, I’ll look into reading those, as well.

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.