Answering Autumn’s Call

No one could be more hopeful toward autumn than I. Last week, the temperatures in Illinois were upward of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In my un-air-conditioned classroom, at the top corner of the second floor, we were well over 100. District decided that all the upper floor classrooms should come down to the lower floor, so third through fifth grade were put in the windowless gym where no one could see, or hear, the film Rio which was shown against one of the brick walls. On Friday, school was closed for the students, and I sat at my desk with three fans directed only on me trying to read my Nook in between grading what papers I had.
So, autumn.

With autumn comes the RIP VI challenge. Wonderful opportunity to read gothic romance, mystery, suspense, and even horror. I’ve already read Strangers, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’m beginning Stephen King’s Under The Dome curious if this will be one of the few books of his I’ll be able to finish. Every time I start The Stand, and there have been many occasions, I have to lay it down in terror. He’s great at writing of the grotesque, but what alarms me the most is when he brings in evil. Not good at reading that, letting that enter my spirit. So, we’ll see what he does with The Dome.
Also, Bookssnob is hosting a read-along of Persuasion beginning the 18th of September. Her announcement post spoke eloquently of the connections between her life and this novel; it moved me sufficiently enough to join in her read along. It’s been a few years since I last read Persuasion. Too long, perhaps, for such a noble classic.
Surely you know about  Discovering Daphne in October? Savidge Reads and Novel Insights are hosting a few read-alongs of Daphne DuMaurier’s books, which they announced earlier this summer, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting October ever since. The House on The Strand is scheduled for October 16; Don’t Look Now and Other Stories is planned for October 23; and Rebecca will be read for October 30. (Is there a better autumnal read than Rebecca? I think not.)
So eager for cooler weather. So eager to share great challenges and read-alongs with you.

30 thoughts on “Answering Autumn’s Call

  1. Thanks for writing about these read-alongs, Bellezza! I want to read a Daphne du Maurier book myself, and I will think of participating in this read-along. The RIP challenge and the 'Persuasion' read-along sound wonderful! Happy Reading 🙂


  2. We're back in the 90's here this weekend, and I'm hoping it's summer's last hurrah and will soon relinquish itself to the cooler days of autumn. Your first week of school sounds miserable, so I'm hoping things cool off before you and the children return next week.

    It's been a long time since I've read Persuasion, but it's one of my favorite Austen's. I might be persuaded to join the read-along 🙂


  3. I'm definitely ready for cooler weather also although I will miss the longer days and hate getting home from work after dark. I'll be curious to hear what you think about Under the Dome. I've heard good things about it.


  4. Anonymous

    I just finished Don't Look Now and Other Stories. Her short stories are wonderful, and I didn't realize how many movies have been made from her books. I look forward to reading your thoughts next month, when hopefully the weather will be cooler.. Susan E


  5. So, autumn 🙂 Ah, my family is in Indiana and I just got off the phone with them. I'm really so sorry for this heat!

    Under the Dome was an amazing read, but you're exactly right about Stephen King's ability to write the evil. There's a good amount in this one, and to make matters worse it's the human kind. Still a pretty amazing book, though.

    Happy reading to you! I hope it cools off for you soon!


  6. It's about 95 F in the north of Australia at the moment – in spring! Fortunately they'll get their monsoon season soon. Down here I'm waiting to be able to feel my toes again!
    I like the idea of the Persuasion read along and the Discovering Daphne – will get me to hurry up with reading these.


  7. I so feel your pain about the hot classroom! This past week was our first week of inservice; I'm now on the third floor and get direct sun for about three hours in the morning. It was pretty cold in the building on Tuesday, and because so many first-floor people complained, they turned the air off. It will not be turned back on. I was dying when it was just me in my room, so I imagine it will be quite toasty once another 30 bodies are added. I'm definitely investing in some fans over the weekend!


  8. Your blog looks so fantastic — all bright and shiny for the new school year! I am looking forward to your reviews. My first RIP book for this year was based on a recommendation from you, in fact, The Victorian Chaise-Longue. Happy Fall!


  9. I'll be joining in on the R.I.P. as well (seems like every one is!), and I'm tempted by Persuasion, but I'm afraid of going aboard and over-committing this fall. Oh, but reading her post really tempts me!

    Good luck with the King. I've never read any of his works–mostly because I've never gotten around to it, I suppose, so I don't know how I would respond to his brand of creepy. Rebecca on the other hand I really should read. I've seen a movie version (BBC, I think?) but have never read it, and I'm sure it would be a perfect fall read.


  10. Funny that you're reading Persuasion. I've been trying to watch the movie all last week. I have it taped, but the quality is terrible. Our local video stores don't have it, so I ordered it on Netflix. I'm ashamed to say that I've never read it. I'm join the readalong so I can change that!


  11. I am ecstatic for the fall weather to roll in. Living in Florida for the past 5 years, I didn't get a chance to usher that time of the year in as I usually did when living in Maryland. Now, living in Virginia Beach, I will get to experience the change in the tree colors, cooler weather – perfect for my first year jumping into the fray for Carl's Challenge! I actually just started reading Rebecca because I was eagerly anticipating reading it this fall, and put it off all year…now, I cannot put it down! I've read Don't Look Now and other stories and loved it, but might do for a re-read this year. Ah, autumn. Such an exciting time of the year!


  12. I'm with you on RIP – love that challenge! I might participate in the Persuasion one – I've never read it and its been on my shelf for years. Hmmm. Perhaps its time to give Persuasion a read and see what all the fuss is about.


  13. I certainly know how you feel about autumn. Temps have been notoriously high here in TX all the way up to 113 and other craziness. Today is a welcome break with temps this morning in the 60s and highs in the 80s today. HEAVEN! I could do (and have done) a little happy dance for the weather.

    I also know what you mean about letting evil enter your spirit. I have a hard time with movies and books that deal with those topics. I feel tainted reading them somehow. I'm much more comfortable with British gothic type tales.


  14. We're in many of the same Read-alongs! I love the RIP challenge and Daphne du Maurier is a favorite. I re-read Rebecca earlier in the year and I can't wait to dig into Jamaica Inn!


  15. I'm looking forward to autumn as well. It's been hot and humid here also, and although I enjoy the season of summer I am ready for the fall. There is something about curling up with a book in the evening as the days become shorter and cooler. 🙂


  16. Hmmm…wonder if there is any way possible I could squeeze in Rebecca. Probably just wishful thinking. I've been wanting to re-read it. Its been over 20 years.

    Nice of the school system to make you come in and do work in the hot building rather than letting you stay home where it is cool. Very nice.

    The temps turned autumn-like here on Sunday and I've been reveling in it, reading up a storm.

    In case you are interested, a couple of fellow R.I.P. participants are hosting a Under the Dome read along. The details are in my Chilling Choices post that went up today.


  17. Oh, Carl, I wish I would have known that earlier. I'm about 3/4 of the way through Under The Dome now, and I'll probably finish it by the weekend. There's a lot to say about it, though, and I'm looking forward to the ending to see how King puts it all together. I have a few words I'd like to share about him in any case, and I'll be sure to check out the read-along posts to participate in any of the discussion. Thanks for letting me know.

    By the way, you really have to read Rebecca. Really. Seriously. I can't think of a better macabre book; I've read it three times, the latests this August, and it never ceases to thrill me. Perhaps you should cast away whatever you're reading in favor of it? 🙂 Perhaps I should have sent you Rebecca instead of the others…


  18. I have a copy of Rebecca. I read it a little over two decades ago, not long after Mary and I got married. Passed it on to her afterwards and she loved it too. Might just be the first book that we passed back and forth after we were married.

    Ah, how romantic. 🙂

    You should still visit the hosts and sign up for the event for Under the Dome just so you'll be notified of their posts and that way you can join in the conversation. I'm sure they'd love it and you would have a good time discussing it as well.


  19. I'm glad to know you've already read it, Carl. It's just a book I'll never forget, and besides the ending, I think I love the way du Maurier sets up the atmosphere the most.

    I hope you like Strangers. It's very atmospheric as well, and I'm still thinking about it.

    I'll be sure to look into Under The Dome posts. That book is a beast, but so far I've been able to get to page 630 without too much terror; just the idea of being encased in an apparently permanent 'cage' is rather frightening, though. One wonders if the dome is symbolic of something else (sin?). We'll see…


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