Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Carl's Once Upon a Time V Challenge: Book Madness is Upon Me!

Once again it is that wonderful time of year, it's time for Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings' fabulous book challenge, Once Upon a Time V.  As if reading fantasy, fairy tales folklore, mythology wasn't magical enough, there are the artists that Carl introduces us to also.   Once again it is Anne-Julie Aubry, and her artwork this year is stunning.  I want this picture so much, I fell in love instantly with it:

And, of course, I can't choose just one level to participate in, because I want to be part of all of it.  I am throwing myself into fantasy for the next three months, with some side trips into mysteries for the occasional breather.  

 I am doing the Quest the Third, which includes:
Fulfill the requirements for Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream OR a viewing of one of the many theatrical versions of the play. Love the story, love the films, love the idea of that magical night of the year and so this is my chance to promote the enjoyment of this farcical love story.  
Quest the Second is:
Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology. This proves to be one of the more difficult quests each year merely because of the need to classify each read and determine which books fit into which category. I am not a stickler, fear not, but I am endlessly fascinated watching how folks work to find books for each category.

 I am also doing the Short Story Quest
This quest involves the reading of one or more short stories that fit within at least one of the four genres during the course of the any weekend, or weekends, during the challenge. Ideally you would post about your short story readings on Sundays or Mondays, but this is not strictly necessary.  I do this quest every year, with varying success.  This is part of my goal to read more short stories.

 I'm also doing Quest the Screen. Stories are not just limited to the printed page. Many entertaining, moving, profound or simply fun stories are told in the realm of television and film. To participate in this quest simply let us know about the films and/or television shows that you feel fit into the definitions of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore or mythology that you are enjoying during the challenge. Fantasy on the television or movie screen!  I can easily accomplish this one. I'm not sure what I  will watch yet, but I will be watching more than one fantasy between now and June 22.

I am calling this post Book Madness, because for those of you who know me, Gentle Readers, will remember that during the past three years that I have participated in this challenge, I have had many more books on my list than I could possibly read in three months.  Last night I started with 8......tonight I went through my shelves after seeing what some of you (Cath, Chris and Pat are especially guilty here) are going to read, and this is now what I have in my momentary fit of I-Can-Read-All-Of-These, Yes-I-Can euphoria.  Or as Chris put it happily to me one year, half the fun is in choosing the books!  Since he posted a rather large list of possible books he is contemplating reading this year, I don't feel half so bad at my enormous list. Thanks, Chris!

 Susan's Euphoric Fantasy List:
Dragonhaven - Robin McKinley
The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
Muse and Reverie - Charles de Lint                                                     
Moonheart - Charles de Lint ***myth and folklore!
Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
The Changeling - Terri Windling  ****fairy tale
The Wood Wife - Terri Windling
First Among Sequels - Jasper Fforde
The Manual of Detection - Jedediah Berry
Boneshaker - Cherie Priest
A Madness of Angels - Kate Griffin
The Iron Dragon's Daughter - Michael Swanwick

A Storm of Swords - George RR Martin
The Mabinogion - ****myth
A Matter of Magic - Patricia C. Wrede
Beauty and the Beast - Max Eilenberg ****fairy tale
The Ill-Made Lute - Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Horns and Wrinkles - Joseph Helgerson
The Light Ages - Ian R MacLeod
Magic for Beginners - Kelly Link ***short stories
Kissing the Witch - Emma Donoghue ***Fairy tale/short stories
The English Year - Steve Roud ***folklore
Her Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

A few other books should wander into here too, since I don't have Diana Wynne Jone's most recent one, and many books!  Happy reading, everyone, I hope to read many of these books and discover some new fantasy treasures again this year.  Moonheart, by the way, was the first Charles De Lint book I ever read, and it's always held a very special place in my heart. This is a reread for me, and like with Dreams Underfoot two years ago I am looking forward to revisiting this very dear book.


DesLily said...

wow that's some list Susan! lol I've only read 2 on your list Dragonhaven and The Wood Wife. The Wood Wife is very enjoyable if you like reading about American Indian myths (at least I think it's myths! lol)

I plan to enjoy OUaT !.. I am almost done with the first Pratchett book !

Cath said...

I love being guilty of being a bad influence. Heehee. Brilliant list, Susan. I see we both have The Wood Wife on our lists. I really *must* get to that this year. Oh... I never thought of including Mercy! The trouble is, once I start reading her (I think I'm on book 4) I won't want to stop. ;-) My daughter tells me The Ill Made Mute is amazing, so I really want to get to that too. Lord, so many books and I really want to read them *all*. Best of luck anyway.

Carl V. said...

I love your enthusiasm!

The Wood Wife is an excellent choice. I had the mistaken idea that I had no interest in Native American mythology, but since Terri Windling wrote it, and I really like her, I decided to give it a try. Wow, was I wrong. It was so interesting and engaging.

The Manual of Detection is a great read as well. I need to reread both of those. I really enjoyed Boneshaker too.

Thank you for joining again, it is wonderful to have you.

Carl V. said...

Forgot to add that I love seeing these long lists. I have that same euphoria every year for this challenge myself and think that I can read a ton. In the end I generally enjoy my choices, which is the real reward.

Kailana said...

That's a great list, Susan! I hope you get a fair amount of reading done in the next three months!

Susan said...

Deslily: Thank you! I do like Native American myths very much, and everyone on the blogs really likes this book. So fingers crossed....

Happy reading to both of us for OUaT!!!

Cath: For Mercy, I'm so glad I'm at her latest one in paperback since I have a hard time reading just one too! You reminded me of the Ill-Made Mute, so there's a book to you! bad influence indeed! lol I think that's some of what makes blogging so fun, is that we share so many books and thoughts on here and inspire each other to read what we would otherwise put off for another day.

I agree, so many books to read, and so many I want to read NOW. :-)

Carl: Thank you! You know it's really you we all have to thank, for dreaming up this challenge, and then keeping on hosting it every year. It's wonderful to pull down all the books I buy through the year, and immerse myself in fantasy for a few weeks of the year, with my fellow readers. So really, thank you, Carl!

I'm hoping I like the Wood Wife as much as so many bloggers do. I think you read The Manual of Detection last year, didn't you? I'm sure it was you who put it on my list :-) I have big hopes for Boneshaker, too :-)

It's easy to be enthusiastic about this challenge! lol and wanting to read everything...... :-)

Kailana: Thank you. Are you going to post your potential list also? I did like the one about the past books you read during this challenge, that was fun and I'm going to do one later this week. I hope we all have the reading time we hope for!

Carl V. said...

I read Manual a couple of years ago and posted about it but didn't do a review, much to my shame and chagrin. Of course that is just a good excuse to read it a second time and then review it! Chelle from Tempting Persephone, I believe, did a review on it not long after I saw it at the bookstore and that sold me on picking it up.

I hope you enjoy The Wood Wife too. Of course the thing we all know about books is sometimes we don't love what others love, so please don't feel bad if it doesn't click with you. Same with Boneshaker, Manual, etc.

Chrisbookarama said...

That is a pretty big list! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

You've certainly got quite a bit on your plate reading wise but these are really fun challenges. And those illustrations are breathtaking!

Kailana said...

Oh, I look forward to a post on what you have read thanks to the challenge. I had fun revisiting mine. And, yes, as you know I did break down and post a scary-large reading pool. :)

Susan said...

Carl: I am discovering to my chagrin that there are quite a few books I've read and loved that I didn't review, starting with The Name of the Wind, which you know from my comment there! I always hope I will enjoy what others do, but there have also been plenty that I don't - Possession, Midnight's Children, which others have loved and which I've tried and I just don't enjoy. So fingers crossed that I will enjoy most of my books for this challenge! That's the fun part, always, the discovery :-)

Chrisbookarama: thank you! I know. And I'm about to add to it.....fantasy books are so irresistible, you know..... lol

Stephanie: I've learned to mostly pick challenges that are either books in genres I like to read, or that I am challenging myself to read more of. This is one challenge I always read more than required, for pleasure only! lol If you go to Anne-Julie's site, there are so many gorgeous illustrations.

Kailana: I know, I liked your list too! Mine is coming shortly for what I've read, probably tomorrow when it's Friday night and I can relax.

Chris said...

OMG Have you not read The Wood Wife yet??? You are in for SUCH a treat, Susan!!! I love that book so damn much :D I love your whole list actually..especially all of that de Lint :) And yes indeed...can't have a challenge without a HUGE pool of possibilities :D Have fun Susan!! I'll have fun watching you read away :)

Nymeth said...

I'm hoping to read Kissing the Witch too! And I read His Majesty's Dragon recently and it was excellent :)

Susan said...

Chris: I know! I tried The Wood Wife two years ago away in England, and it was the wrong time to try. I'm hoping this time around will be better, since I ordinarily love Native American myths.

LOL to you and I having such huge lists! I've already found three or five more to add to it. I'm looking forward to what you read, too!

Nymeth: You read her Room earlier this year, didn't you? And since having read Angela Carter's fairy tales, I want to read these from Kissing the Witch and see what she's done with them. That will be fun and interesting, I think. I'm curious what you will think too of Kissing the Witch :-)

I'll come read your review of His Majesty's Dragon - I might already have seen you post, which put it back into my mind to read asap :-) because that's what your reviews usually do! lol I'll come see if you have a list up for this challenge.

Eva said...

I love that you did such a long list, and I can't wait to see your posts as you read the books! :D

You've reminded me that I really need to give Terri Windling a go.

Susan said...

Eva: Thanks! It's fun to look at my pile of books here for this challenge, here by the computer, too. Very sad to realize a month already has gone by and I've opened one book for the challenge, though!

GeraniumCat said...

Over-ambitious lists are absolutely the best! I hadn't realised that it was this time already (been suffering from tunnel vision for the last few weeks) and I'm going to spend the rest of this evening compiling my own list. Happy reading!

Susan said...

Geraniumcat: Thank you for supporting me in my enthusiasm! lol It's the end of April now and I've read two out of the pile, which is a start. I have to come see what's on your list now.