Autumn Reading Events

October is here, the month of things spooky, Gothic, and mysterious. There’s a couple of reading events I’m considering joining (either officially or unofficially):

Victober 2021 – Read 1+ books from the Victorian era, with extra challenges suggested by the hosts. As we all know, a lot of great Victorian literature features the supernatural and bizarre. My personal recommendations (if you have the reading bandwidth) are Dracula (of course!) and The Woman in White. For something short, try some medical-inspired short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle in the collection, Round the Red Lamp: Being Facts and Fancies of Medical Lifefree on Gutenberg!

Club DARE 2.0 – Hosted by the Classics Club, this is a challenge to read at least one book from your CC list that counts as Gothic. I actually have quite a few on my list… if I could find the time, I would go for The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott, the inspiration for one of my favorite tragic operas.

Right now, I’m reading a novella called The Wendigo, by Algernon Blackwood. I enjoyed The Willows back in June, so I thought I’d give Blackwood another read. His writing is painfully dated (e.g. racial language/stereotypes), but the plot itself—a moose hunting trip in the haunted wilderness of Canada—is very enjoyable so far. It was published in 1910, but it’s reminiscent of Doyle or Haggard from a decade or two previous.


  1. One of the difficulties with at least some of the Classics (or books from the ‘classic era’) is the attitude to things like race and gender. Sometimes the views and language can be quite cringe worthy. But the way I like to view it is as a sign of how far we’ve come since those days and how easy it is for our minds to reject such old ideas as unworthy.

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    1. years ago i read a LOT of Blackwood and quite enjoyed some of them… i admit to being scared a couple of times, tho… i’m sure if i look around i’ll find something suitable for the season even if i don’t read it because i’m afraid to, haha…

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  2. I should join these groups, because I love reading spooky ghost stories all the time. Maybe I’ll join and link up some of my reviews since I’ve already read a lot of the prerequisite lit.


  3. Thanks for the event heads-up! I’m struggling at little for a book to read for this scary month. I’ve read Frankenstein and Dracula and was thinking about The Monk but it sounds pretty awful (the content, not the writing). Hmmm …. I’m going to keep looking. I hope you find something really spooky!


    1. Yeah I’ve heard about The Monk… not my cuppa tea either haha.

      I think the freakiest stories I’ve read are “The Greek Interpreter” (Doyle), “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Gilman), and A Pale View of Hills (Ishiguro). All of those absolutely terrified me. Might be a bit too much. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Actually you might enjoy Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsey. My main issue with it was the ending (I really didn’t like it). But in spite of that, I still enjoyed it!

      Another good autumn read is Embers by Sรกndor Mรกrai. It’s not creepy, just atmospheric. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I’m reading the readalong book for the GoodReads Victober group (Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell). Once I catch up with the scheduled readings (there’s one story every few days) I’ll start another book for Victober. I’m thinking of rereading George McDonald’s Lilith, which I read for the first time last year.

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