Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Really Should be Packing...Not Reading

The title of this post says it all.  I leave for school on Saturday and I have yet to pack a single thing.  What am I doing instead you may ask?  Reading.  Yep, I am wasting away my last moments at home in a completely different world.  The worst part about this though?  I am reading through my pile of books for school.

I posted a little while ago about how excited I was to dig into the books for my two English classes and I have definitely dug in a little early.  That pile of books has been calling my name for weeks now but I have put it off saying that I would be reading them in a couple of weeks.  One particular book has been calling to me like a siren from its perch on the pile.  Last night I caved.

Picture by saffronskiesandwanderingminds
If you cannot read the title the book that has captured my attention is Hauntings and Other Fantastic Tales by Vernon Lee and edited by Catherine Maxwell and Patricia Pullham.  The title itself is captivating and had my attention the moment I saw it on my booklist.  I do not usually like contemporary horror but I do love old ghost stories and I must say that the first story in this book made my heart race.

The author sets the stories up with an incredibly well written introduction.  I even think I have found a new favorite classic author.  I usually do not read introductions but her writing style captured me from the first word.  There is an incredibly good mix of humor and suspense to keep you captivated.  I will definitely be finishing this book before the beginning of the semester.

The different stories have their own spin as well.  Many of the stories are told in the point of view of one character either in letters or in past tense.  There are many characters but each has their own diction and voice which makes every story new and different.  The part that I have found interesting is the ability to understand the character's background via the allusions they use.

I would definitely recommend these stories to anyone who wants a little bit of a thinking book and love classic writing.  I loved most of the books I read this summer, but I think my brain was ready for something more in depth.  Hauntings definitely allowed for me to get out of the summer slump of relaxation and back into an academic mindset.  I would highly suggest starting your reading list early. Not only will it help you keep up during the semester but it is a great way to preview the material before you begin classes.


  1. I've never heard of this one, but it definitely sounds intriguing after reading this post. Like you, I remember digging into my books for courses in university. The biggest beast of them all: The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. I ploughed through that sucker, giving myself little incentives along the way (it was quite the slog). And then after the first day of that class, I ended up dropping it and taking something else. O_o I'm glad I actually read it though, especially given the fact that it influenced so many other authors who came after it. :)

    1. I think it is almost better reading them without a deadline. There is so much less urgency if you read a book on your own without a due date.