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.

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A Grief Observed – Thoughts

C. S. Lewis married his one and only wife, Joy Gresham, when he was 57 years old. Shortly afterwards, Joy was diagnosed with cancer—just four years later, she passed away. A Grief Observed is a collection of Lewis’s notes from the time of his mourning.

As another reviewer mentioned on Goodreads, you don’t pick up this book for fun but out of some personal need. Both death and loss arrived in my life suddenly this past spring, and I knew I should pick it up this year. I read it through last night and came away feeling… well, not comforted exactly but at least understood, in part.

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