Monday, 25 March 2013

Once Upon a Time VII


It's finally here!  This the 7th year of Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings' annual spring challenge. Once Upon a Time.....the chance to read all the fairy tales, myths, fantasy books, and folk tales that we collect, to read 'one day'.  One day is here.  I love how he describes it: 
"Over the voice of wind and cold I can still here that voice telling us that it is indeed time to once more “come away”.
It is that voice that beckons us to Middle-earth and Newford, that calls out from the gap in the village of Wall and from the world of London Below. It is the voice that packs so much promise into four little words…
“Once upon a time…”
Perhaps you too have heard that voice whispering on the spring wind, or perhaps Old Man Winter continues to drown out the sound; either way that time has come: Once Upon a Time is here!"


                                                    

I am doing my usual, signing up for everything! I can't resist.  Just pulling books from my shelves, books I've wanted and/or been saving for this challenge, I have too many to read in the next 3 months.  Part of the fun is selecting books, and then seeing what I do get read.  I am doing Quest the Third, which is to
   "Fulfill the requirements for The Journey or Quest the First or 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."
       I am planning to complete the Quest the Second, which 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."

Here are some of the books I think I might read over the next four months:

Fairy Tales
- Some Kind of Fairy Tale - Graham Joyce
- Beauty - Robin McKinley
 - The Uncertain Places - LIsa Goldstein
 - Of Blood and Honey - Stina Leicht
 - Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland - WB Yeats

Fantasy:
- First Rider's Call - Kristen Britain
 - A Midsummer Tempest - Poul Anderson
 - Ship of Magic - Robin Hobb
 - The Bards of Bone Plain - Patricia McKillip
- The Hobbit - J.R.R Tolkien

Myth:
- The Kingdom of Gods - N.K. Jemison
- A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
 - Hide Me Among the Graves - Tim Powers

Folk Tales 
 - Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland - W.B. Yeats
 - Songs of the Earth - Elspeth Cooper
- The Lore of Scotland - Jennifer Westwood and Sophia Kingshill (**added as soon as I wandered over the  folk and fairy tale shelf to see what I forgot.  I bought this last year, this looks like a fascinating compendium of Scottish lore and legends.)

Carl also has a Short story section to the challenge, where he encourages us to seek out short stories: "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 any weekend, or weekends, during the challenge."




Short stories:
 - something from The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (this would be a re-read for me, but I feel her collection calling to me, and until I can get my hands on her fairy tale book, this will be just as good)
 - something from Wizards ed by Martin Greenberg
 - Muse and Reverie - Charles de Lint
 - some ghost stories from various anthologies
- something from the Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow fairy tale anthologies (I always think I will read the whole anthology and get distracted, so it's easier to read a short story or two or three....)

And finally, there is fantasy on film and tv:

 

"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."

Screen:
- The Hobbit ***watched last night, for Earth Hour (and beyond).  Reviewed already here.  Love this movie as much the second time around.  The dragon is still impressive even on my tiny tv screen.  My daughter is so anxious to see more of the dragon!!  We all enjoyed it, even the 8 year old who has difficulty sitting through longer movies.  I think this will become a regular movie viewing for my family.
- I am planning to see a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, during these three months.
 - we have various Narnia movies, Golden Compass, Penelope, Enchanted, possibly some Grimm or Once Upon a Time, The Company of Wolves.........many more too.
 - I also have Game of Thrones from season 1 to finish, then S2 to catch up on.

Just remember:  This is only a partial "these look interesting today" list.  I'm hoping to add a few more, and leave this open for new books to find their way in. I am really excited that this is here.  I really wish I could find a copy of Boneland by Alan Garner over here.  That would fit in beautifully with this challenge.

Short Story Special event:
A special treat: Neil Gaiman has a short story published on the Guardian site this weekend. "Down To a Sunless Sea". Click on the link to go to it.  It's a wonderful sad and creepy short story.  The perfect way to begin Once Upon a Time!

15 comments:

Kerry said...

You're ever so much braver than me!

That's a great list. I've just put up a list for myself and I see we have a bit of overlap.

I've got Bards of Bone Plain on mine as well as Robin Hobb and N. K. Jemisin, but for different books.

I've read Some Kind of Fairy Tale, and I'll be very interested to see what you think of it if you read that one. Also Of Blood and Honey.

You've got some great reading and watching there. Have fun!

Cath said...

It's so exciting isn't it?
I love the sound of 'the gap in the village wall and London below'. Such a perfect description.

We have a couple of the same books we're hoping to read, Ship of Magic and First Rider's Call. It doesn't help my case that, apart from my shelf of books, I also found 4 or 5 waiting on my Kindle. LOL.

The Hobbit isn't out here until the 8th. April. I honestly can't wait as I've not seen it yet. I wish it was out a few days earlier as then I could have watched it with my grand-daughter. *sigh*

Have fun with this, Susan. I know you will...

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I saw The Hobbit in January, which immediately made me want to read the book, but I've only just started it!

Thanks for the link to Neil Gaiman's story!

I saw Graham Joyce's book in the library a couple of weeks ago - I expect it's out on loan now - I wish I'd borrowed it. My trouble is I want to read so many books that I have to draw a line somewhere.

Enjoy your reading!

Robin said...

Your lists are terrific, Susan! I'm excited to be a part of this challenge again and look forward to reading all your reviews!

Debi said...

Enjoy every second of it, Susan!!! It is such a very special time of year, isn't it? :D

Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous said...

One day is here...I love that!

Happy to see McKinley on your list! Beauty is my favorite of her novels. So delightful.

And The Hobbit! I'm midway through the book right now, and will probably rewatch the movie before this challenge is over too...

DesLily said...

hi Susan.. well i see many titles I know about but have not read so needless to say your reviews will be patiently waited for! I hope you enjoy each an every one of them

TracyK said...

Wow, what a list. I am much less ambitious. I will look forward to your reviews.

Susan said...

Kerry: Braver because of all I want to read? lol I have to get to it!! I think fool-hardy also fits for me :-)

I'm reading Of Blood and Honey right now, so will post later about it. I'm so curious about Some Kind of Fairy Tale too. We both have good lists! This challenge is so much fun for seeing how much good fantasy there is out there. Have fun too, with it!

Cath: It is exciting. I have such a pile of books too! Now I just need the time.....

Are you enjoying reading the Kindle, now that you've had it for a little while? I still don't have one. What's good and bad about it, that you've found so far? If you don't mind my asking. I'm curious about it, but not sure I need one.

I can't believe you have to wait three extra weeks for The Hobbit! Why on earth is it delayed there? That's ridiculous, isn't it?

We both have some good books on our list! Have fun with it too, Cath :-)

Margaret: That was such a good story by Neil Gaiman. Normally I forget most short stories shortly after reading them, but this one - that final last section is burned into my brain, I think. A very strong short story.

I have managed to not go to the library this winter, part of the Double Dog Dare which is up tomorrow. AT first I really missed the library, though it did make me read my own books, which was good since they are piling up too. I found though that I do use the library and need for those books I want to read, but don't want to buy. So I expect when I go in there next, it will be with a big list! lol I hope you are able to get on a short list for the Joyce book. It looks very interesting.

Robin: Thank you! I'm glad you (and everyone here commenting) are joining in too. I look forward to everyone's reviews of what they are reading :-) so I can make my to-get list even bigger! lol really, this challenge is fun because it's about a genre I really enjoy.

Susan said...

Debi: Thank you! I know you will enjoy the challenge too, we both do so much. I love looking at all the lists too, I've found so many good books this way.

It's a challenge that so many of us enjoy, isn't it? Fantasy and spring, they do seem made for one another. How clever of Carl to come up with this, too!

Cheryl: Thank you! I read Beauty many years ago, so it is due for a re-read, I thought, soon. I love this fairy tale, and I remember loving her version of the story too.

Did you like the movie of The Hobbit more than the book? or vice versa? I love the book, I've read it many times now. Due for a reread this year, while I wait for Desolation of Smaug to come out! lol I enjoy the movie too, more than I thought I would, because The Hobbit is so engraved on my mind. The casting is perfect.

Pat: I will try to review all the ones I read, too! lol I'm not the best at that, though I am trying harder to review more of what I've read. You do such a good job of reviewing almost everything you read.

Don't you find that when you make a list of books you want (from blogs, magazines, etc) that you end up getting the books one way or another, after? I do. Which is good, since my to-get list gets bigger every time I read everyone else's lists for this challenge, yours included!

Susan said...

TracyK: lol! It's more like greedy eyes, I want to read them all right now!

Cath said...

I honestly don't know why they delayed release of The Hobbit in the UK, Susan. What a crazy decision... loads of people would have bought it as an Easter gift or to watch over the Easter as a family. Nuts.

My Kindle. Well I do love it but am not a total convert. Having had it for about a year now I've had time to really think about it and I realise that I still prefer proper books. I find reading on my Kindle to be easy as I can adjust the font to suit me. Thus, I read from it *much* quicker. Free books are also good, and cheap offers too. But still, for some odd reason, I have not gone over to my Kindle completely as I know some have. I suppose I still prefer the physicality of a real book. I also love using the library and browsing bookshops... you can't do either of those if you only read on an ereader. I suppose the thing I really like is that it's an *extra* reading tool. But for me personally it will not replace real books. Not yet anyway.

Susan said...

Cath: Thanks so much for telling me how you are finding the Kindle. It's what I think is how I would end up using it, too. And I can't justify spending that money on it when I might not use it to replace buying books, which for me would be the whole point. Maybe one day I will.

What kind of books are you getting on the e-reader?

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