R.I.P. Challenge VII

R.I.P. Recap

I did not complete the R.I.P. Challenge this year. It’s absolutely my favorite challenge of the year, but I only managed to read one book that could be considered part of the challenge, and it wasn’t even one of the books I planned to count. By the way, I did make a soap inspired by Attica Locke’s The Cutting Season. I call it Vanilla Sugar Cane. Its ingredients are olive oil, water, coconut oil, palm oil, sodium hydroxide, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, and castor oil, along with a vanilla sugar fragrance that is an exact duplicate of Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar fragrance—one of my favorites. I can’t wait until this soap is ready.

I did not manage to finish Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m giving up on it because it just didn’t do anything for me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me because it has all the elements I usually like in books: a creepy carnival visiting a small town in the fall; lots of imagery; a story that can be read on multiple levels. I think ultimately, I don’t care much for the characters. I have seen the movie (many years ago), and I liked it, so I can’t explain why the book is just not appealing to me. I find it is not difficult to put down, and I keep looking at it, thinking I should pick it up. At this point, I’ve maxed out my library renewals, and I just don’t have a desire to try to finish it. I feel like I’m giving the book the old, “It’s not you, it’s me,” speech. But I really feel like it is me. People love this book. I did make a soap inspired by Mr. Crosetti’s cotton candy. It was pink and cotton-candy scented. However, as the soap cured, it turned a deeper shade closer to purple. My feeling is it now looks like appropriately dark and twisted cotton candy, and Mr. Dark would approve. I will probably just gift it to the kids in my family for Christmas.

I enjoyed the challenge I set for myself of thinking of an appropriate soap inspired by the books I read for this challenge. I am not sure I’d want to do it for every challenge or every book, but it was fun, and just like the books, I was really pleased with how the Vanilla Sugar Cane Soap came out from the very start, and as it cures, it is shaping up into a very nice soap, just like the book. On the other hand, I was initially pleased with the Cotton Candy Soap, and over time, I found my enthusiasm cooled as the soap changed a funny color, which mirrors my feelings for the book on which I based it.

This year is shaping up to be a bad reading year for me all the way around. I am already feeling a pull to re-read [amazon asin=0143105434&text=Wuthering Heights]. I recognize the signs: I start Googling things related to the book and looking for film versions on Netflix. And I don’t have time. I have other books I’ve committed to read. That book is a damned siren.

So how did you do with the challenge this year? How’s your reading year shaping up as we slide into the final two months?

R.I.P. Challenge VII

R.I.P. Challenge VII: It’s That Time of Year Again

R.I.P. Challenge VIIOoooh! Time for my most favorite reading challenge, the R.I.P. Reading Challenge. No other reading challenge so perfectly matches the time of year to reading selections, in my opinion. I have not been reading as much as I usually do this year. A big move, a new job. Lots of reasons. I really want to participate in this challenge, but I am not going to commit myself to a set number of books, especially because I will be taking a Harvard course pretty soon, and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have. But technically, I’m shooting for Peril the First.

I am thinking about these choices:

I also really want to read [amazon asin=0380977273&text=Something Wicked This Way Comes] by Ray Bradbury, which strikes me as both the quintessential fall book and most perfect book for this challenge ever. I’ve already read both of the group reads for the challenge, and while I really wouldn’t mind reading [amazon asin=0060530944&text=The Graveyard Book] book again, I want to read books I haven’t read yet this time. Both of the group reads are excellent and perfect for this challenge.

To make it more interesting, I’m going to create a soap recipe for each book that reminds me of some aspect or other of the book, and if the recipes turn out well, I’ll give away a bar of each, here on this blog. So stay tuned, and encourage me to read, because otherwise no soap.

I will try to read these five books, but I’m not sure if I will get to all of them. Here’s hoping! I need to get cracking, but I need to read [amazon asin=006218850X&text=The Orchardist] first as I have a deadline very soon. More on that book later. Wish me luck!