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