I came across this book at a beach house while vacationing in OBX. We were caught inside due to the rather turbulent storm (actually watched a fair biI came across this book at a beach house while vacationing in OBX. We were caught inside due to the rather turbulent storm (actually watched a fair bit of pier break off and get carried about by the waves) and having little else to do, read. What better reading during that time than the legends of the very town we were staying in and the surrounding area?
This book is exceptionally charming. The stories that are contained within it are ones that pretty much epitomize the experience of being an Outer Banker, or at least visiting the Outer Banks. You'll find an abundance of pirates, some Indians, colonialists and porpoises. You'll learn about the wisdom of the Outer Bankers and the foolishness of those inlanders that think they can forget tradition. You''ll learn more than I can possibly express in a short review about the perspective and culture of a place that's slowly changing, having to acclimate to a changing world and the values that come along with it.
I love these books so much. They're time capsules into ways of life and being that are otherwise so difficult to convey. I think it says a lot about the Outer Banks that so many of the stories are still as prevalent as they are today - in particular the way that Nag's Head and Jockey's Ridge got their names - that rely upon the romanticized notion of pirates. Just fascinating stuff.
So, if you're looking for a book that will keep your kids up at night, or you want an amusing look back at a very different perspective and way of life, this is a great book to illuminate the people of that region....more
It starts as any good folktale does. We have our protagonist, a strange character that is better remembered for his attributes than his name and history. In this case, we have a dwarf with several strange abilities that emerge as the book goes on. We have the guide, an abnormally tall wolfish man with a secret. We have a quest: to get to the cave in the black mountain and take some of its cursed gold. And the guide has been there before, and he's not all that happy to go back.
The setting is at once familiar, as Neil Gaiman based it on the rolling hills of Skye, but utterly foreign. The mists reveal more than they obscure, as does the fortune teller they meet along the way. As the book goes on it becomes apparent that the ending was already foretold the moment the book began. It's inevitable. But like all characters of myth and legend, they still go on to their end in spite of what they might feel.
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is profusely illustrated. It's half told through text, half through pictures, through comic, creating a strange mixed medium that only enhances the story itself. To hear it read while looking at these images - that must have been a truly magical experience.
For all of my occasional trouble with Neil Gaiman when he is good, he is truly exceptional. This is one of those times....more
Courage and Other Demons, the first book by author Jill Daugherty, was a surprisingly entertaining romp. In spite of falling into many of the common traps of YA novels - old prophecies, reluctant and mildly vapid heroine, it shows a great deal of promise for future installments. Maggie was utterly maddening more often than not, but she realized that she was being such and by the end of the book showed some decent resolve. Simon, the faery love interest, was a terribly charming character whose self-deprecating humor was easy to enjoy. The villains, although little seen, were a fairly frightening bunch. I can imagine reading this at a younger age and being downright frightened by a certain confrontation.
I enjoyed Jill Daugherty's treatment of a more obscure mythology. Her small nods to the old Cycles were handled well, and I enjoyed her new interpretation on the myths. I rather look forward to see how she will handle the rest of the prophecy in upcoming titles, should there be more than one.
The series holds promise, if you bear in mind that this is the first book in it and a first outing as an author. Forgive Maggie her self-conscious maddening behavior and it's a lovely ride. I look forward to seeing her come into her own in the future....more
This volume of Fables wraps up the first story arc with the invasion of the Homelands. We get war stories and spy stories, heroic sacrifices and attemThis volume of Fables wraps up the first story arc with the invasion of the Homelands. We get war stories and spy stories, heroic sacrifices and attempts at redemption. The story is nothing short of epic, and heartrending as we lose some we've certainly come to love... and we get a bit of insight into why the Emperor chose to do wht he did.
Before you even have time to catch your breath "The Dark Ages" begins and ushers in the second Fables arc. Right back from the heels of a massive war more trouble emerges, a foe a good bit more frightening than the Emperor had been. One has to wonder where this is heading, though I will say it really doesn't look good for the Fables about now.
Wonderful writing, and great artwork - though I wasn't crazy about the guest artists this time around. ...more
This has definitely been my favorite addition to the Fables series.
The bulk of this book is focused upon Prince Ambrose (better known as Flycatcher) fThis has definitely been my favorite addition to the Fables series.
The bulk of this book is focused upon Prince Ambrose (better known as Flycatcher) fulfilling the destiny that was alluded to in a previous volume. It was during this book that I felt incredibly grateful for having earlier read 1001 Nights of Snowfall as certain stories from it gave this one a more subtle depth. In particular Frau Totenkinder and Ambrose himself. While the vital bits were examined briefly in this volume, 1001 Nights of Snowfall still offers a bit more and lends credence to small asides.
Anyway, this story follows the best of the Arthurian legends. The hero's journey is heartwarming, tragic, and ultimately the most moving that Fables has offered so far. I teared up at the end, I worried along with everyone gathered in front of the Magic Mirror as old villains plotted. Ambrose has certainly won his spot among the best, if not the very best, of this comic's heroes....more
1001 Nights of Snowfall would work as an introduction to the series, or as an addition in the midst ofWhat a fantastic addition to the Fables series.
1001 Nights of Snowfall would work as an introduction to the series, or as an addition in the midst of the action to bring greater depth to he already rich characters that make up the Fables tapestry. Structured akin to the 1001 Arabian Nights myth that gave it its name, this is a collection of stories about the Fables before the Adversary took over... and what came after, how their lives have been.
1001 Nights of Snowfall is brilliant, subtle, and as comforting a collection of bedtime stories as anything from Brother's Grimm.
Plus there's a Reynard the Fox story in there and a Porcupine story. What more could you ask for?...more
New characters are introduced, and the plot advances in a number of surprising ways. Fables manages toAnother wonderful volume in the Fables series.
New characters are introduced, and the plot advances in a number of surprising ways. Fables manages to introduce crucial plot points in something as mundane as a Christmas story, and to interrupt the action at just the right point with a short aside that will come into play later in the series... Excellent.
The artwork is brilliant, with the exception of a single story that I felt was a bit too cartoony for my taste. Never did it feel like the stories dragged, however, and that's the best thing to be said for any graphic novel....more
Brilliant continuation of a truly wonderful series.
This gorgeous hardcover edition contains a decent amount of added material in the back. The scriptBrilliant continuation of a truly wonderful series.
This gorgeous hardcover edition contains a decent amount of added material in the back. The script for the main story, artwork, alternative covers.. it's beautiful and I love it.
In addition to continuing the main thrust of the Fables series plot this volume contains two additional tales. One is from the perspective of a Wooden Soldier, which adds an interesting depth to the enemy that hasn't been previously seen. The other is another Cinderella adventure, which is always entertaining as I'm a bit of a sucker for a good caper. What more could you need?
The artwork is stunning, the writing sharp and effective. Every page just pushes the reader onward deeper into the rich and vibrant worlds that Bill Willingham has created. Who could ask for more?...more
This second reading was significantly easier than the first, if only because I knew what to expect and to brace myself for the tedious list of How CulThis second reading was significantly easier than the first, if only because I knew what to expect and to brace myself for the tedious list of How Culhwch Won Olwen. The bits of Taliesin included in this copy that weren't included in the Sioned Davies translation were also a distinct treat, though Davies included in hers some other material that Patrick K. Ford omitted. To each their own with this strange tradition.
For a first time reader I would recommend Davies, as she provides a more thorough grounding within the Welsh tradition. Her footnotes fill in the blanks that allow subsequent translations to better describe why what was being said was said and a more thorough analysis of the stories. Honestly, I'm excited to read more translations of it, now that I've two under my belt and can actually form preferences in regards to them. I'm a bit curious as to the bowdlerized one as well, though I'm uncertain when I'll try and if it will ultimately be disappointing... Though I understand it is a better reflection of the Victorian Romantic sensibility than it is of the prehistoric Welsh and Arthurian Tradition. ...more
This story was more pleasing to me than the book it technically precedes was. That having been said, Sasha hits the nail on the head when she says thiThis story was more pleasing to me than the book it technically precedes was. That having been said, Sasha hits the nail on the head when she says this story isn't for children. The themes are continuing to get darker and more adult, which altogether is much more pleasurable than the feigned kid-friendliness that permeated in small degrees the first book.
This story was good. A quick read. A rather sad read after you know what's going to happen.
I've previously read A Prickly Affair by Hugh Warwick, as well as a handful of articles on the animals by him. While A Prickly Affair focused primarily upon the habits of the European Hedgehog and the need for conservation, Hedgehog focuses far more upon the cultural significance of the animal. The book is organized into sections detailing the hedgehog in literature, in film, in music, in mythology, etc. In short, hedgehogs have been insinuated themselves into our lives in more ways that one might expect!
This book is notable for showing a change in heart in Hugh Warwick as well. Previously the author viewed African Pygmy Hedgehogs in the pet trade in a derisive manner, and this book definitely softened that harsh edge. It wasn't an apology, per se, but rather a clarification of his perspective on the manner that was easy to understand. As African Pygmy Hedgehogs get more and more popular as pets (and more and more domesticated) the European Hedgehogs get pushed aside. The lessening of focus on the European Hedgehog has lead to a lessening in their conservation efforts, which is problematic in places where they're soon to be extinct in urban areas - such as England, Denmark, and Norway. Understand also that urban areas are where hedgehogs tend to thrive and you'll see why this is worrisome, and why The Disappearing Hedgehog is an apt name for one of their conservation efforts.
While the future is still rather shaky for the European Hedgehog, this book is a wonderful testimony to the charm that they have and the love that they elicit from people. They're a truly wonderful species, and this book highlights that beautifully. ...more
I was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing waysI was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing ways of life attached to it. The hoodoo tradition is one that is misinterpreted about as often as it is referred to in popular culture - fortunately, Will O'the Wisp did a rather good job of showcasing both the traditions themselves and how people tend to view them nowadays.
The artwork for this book was highly reminiscent of the style used in Locke and Key, which is one that I'm especially fond of. There's a fluidity to the landscapes, the swamps, the fire, that is both beautiful and eerie. The bugs and the bones as well are beautifully rendered, and I would say that the book is worth looking at for the artwork alone.
While I'd like to rate the book more than three stars, I'm not entirely certain I could. While the book lends itself to reading for the hoodoo traditions and the artwork, and the story was a traditional tale of vengeance from beyond the grave and uneasy isolation, I felt that overall it was missing something. There was constantly more to the story that I wanted to uncover, but couldn't. I would say that this is the fault of the medium itself and the age of the audience it's intended for, but I've read a great deal of graphic novels and know the medium to be virtually unlimited in the scope it could cover storywise and the YA genre itself is fast accepting more and more titles that delve into what previously may be considered questionable content.
My disappointment with the depth of the story being told could easily be remedied by telling more stories of Aurora's time with Silver in Ossuary Isle, and is offset slightly by the attention paid to the spells of Nonnie, the begrudging respect paid to the hoodoo traditions by Silver, and the beauty of the artwork in the piece itself. It's certainly a title that I know friends of mine would enjoy, and by no means was it a bad read at all. I enjoyed it, and I'm certain a great many others will as well.
Couldn't be happier that traditional Louisiana hoodoo culture is getting treated to some good storytelling for a new generation!...more
World of the Wolf by Candace Savage is an interesting exploration of the wolf's history and relationship with humans. It openly admits how little we uWorld of the Wolf by Candace Savage is an interesting exploration of the wolf's history and relationship with humans. It openly admits how little we understand the species, and goes on to explain just why we haven't put more time into examining it. The troubles of wolves and men are explored, and a great many wonderful photographs are scattered throughout it.
This is more of a coffee table book than it is one to pick up and read. The photographs in it are huge, detailed, and absolutely stunning. The writing is short, but well researched and well-done. The topics are never delved into too deeply, but what is said is meaningful and memorable.
This is a good book, and very enjoyable collection of pictures. For better information, the bibliography is extensive and includes Of Wolves and Man which is one of my favorite books on the topic....more
I first read this book in seventh grade, and although I enjoyed it I can't claim I really understood it. It was a gorgeous readSuch a beautiful book.
I first read this book in seventh grade, and although I enjoyed it I can't claim I really understood it. It was a gorgeous read then, and is a gorgeous one now. The story is a beautiful myth, an exploration of Buddhism and Hinduism that was written before either one was thoroughly understood by the West.
The introduction and the analysis offered at the beginning of the book both enhance the reading of the actual story, and reading Joseph Campbell I can even further understand the text itself. I think this is the sort of book that the more one reads it, the later in life one reads it, the more thoroughly it can be understood and appreciated.
I can't recommend this book enough, but I do know why everyone might not enjoy it....more
You know, I really enjoy Roald Dahl. In fact, I'm slowly going through just about everything he's written. Unfortunately, when you decide to read everYou know, I really enjoy Roald Dahl. In fact, I'm slowly going through just about everything he's written. Unfortunately, when you decide to read everything someone has written you come up against a few unfortunate reads. For me, this was one of them. During the World Wars a great number of books were written for children about aspects of military life. This was how The Gremlins was born.
Gremlins are tiny creatures that go through planes (and most mechanical objects) and totally mess them up. You probably have a few messing with your WiFi on occasion. Why do they do this? Their forests were destroyed during the Industrial Revolution and they want revenge. Why else? Maybe for fun, or maybe not. In this story Roald Dahl decides to create a little school for them so they can repair planes rather than destroy them. Which... I guess makes sense? Now the pilots won't have anyone to blame but themselves when things go wrong though. Didn't think that one through, did you?
This book just... bored me. The illustrations weren't enough to keep me engaged, I was constantly confused by who didn't believe in them and who did. I don't understand why they decided to work with creatures that nearly murdered them for fun. It was just a bit of a mess for me. Oh well. I think Disney even got a film out of this nonsense.
No nostalgia here, and no Snoopy to keep me engaged. Alas....more
Dogsbody was first laid before me by my first librarian in elementary school. She offered me the book, what with the cAh, well, we meet again my love.
Dogsbody was first laid before me by my first librarian in elementary school. She offered me the book, what with the chilling rendition of the cold dog on the cover. Fur as white as snow, ears as red as blood, in mid leap towards the front of the cover. I devoured the book more quickly than anything, and left with a part of me stolen by the story. I could relate to Leo, to Sirius, to whatever you choose to call him. I had my rages, had my temper. Rereading it all these years later, yes, I've had my ill-chosen love. I felt I understood him, and understood the love that Kathleen had for him and the emptiness she felt towards the end.
Rereading it now, I understand the subplot of the Irish Troubles, the prejudice that I missed completely when I first read it innumerable times. I understood the mythology of the Hunt, and better the desire to chase and destroy and mourn and love that was all wrapped up within it. I understood the difference between the wild and the tame, the intelligence and the cruelty. There is so much in this book that just... it's almost like we were given only a brief snapshot of what could have continued on for ages. The world built was beautiful, cruel, confused and haunting. We were given so much in this book to explore, and so much was just viewed through inadequate eyes.
I think I'll always love this book, and I know it will always have stolen a large part of who I am. It's my favorite for a reason, and I spent years trying to find it for a bigger reason still. This book is an under-appreciated classic, and one I'll always hurriedly recommend to anyone who asks me. ...more
This used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing differenThis used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing different time periods... Rereading it, some of the twists were rather obvious and a bit insulting. The repetition of the rune got trying. Realizing when it was written, what was happening... well, it gave the book a context that made its message rather clear. It would have been interesting to see what kids thought of it at the time it was released with the very real threat of nuclear annihilation looming.
Good to see some Welsh mythology creeping in, as it doesn't tend to get looked at nearly often enough. The witch hunt was a bit annoying, but so it goes....more
It's odd reading this book years after I first did. I remember reading this book on my own, and I remember this book being read to me. I remember watcIt's odd reading this book years after I first did. I remember reading this book on my own, and I remember this book being read to me. I remember watching the movie and crying, and dreaming of red hound dogs of my own. I remember lending it to a friend and my dismay when I realized she'd never read it. It's a book with many, many mixed feelings.
All in all, the book retains a special place in my heart due to such memories and nostalgia. It remains important to me because the overall message of it is important, however dated at times it may seem. It's important to earn things, to work for things - things mean more when we do them ourselves, and it's important to learn a certain amount of self-reliance. Yeah, it's old fashioned, but old fashioned sometimes can be important.
Do I think it's important to ask for help when you can't do it on your own? Yeah, of course. But sometimes tough lessons are important to learn.
Got to give this book a ton of stars. Oh, my childhood.
I grew up near the Potomac and spent a ton of time in the places described by these stories. IGot to give this book a ton of stars. Oh, my childhood.
I grew up near the Potomac and spent a ton of time in the places described by these stories. I bought the book itself in one of the houses described in the stories... They're fun, they're short, and there are a lot of them. It's irrelevant to me whether the stories are true or not, they fascinated me as a child either way.
Can't wait to give this book to my nephew and continue the cycle of late nights spent poring over ghost stories and wondering what's out there. :)...more
The content of this book was marvelous. It collected a series of Australian aboriginal folktales, transcribed from oral accounts. The low rating largeThe content of this book was marvelous. It collected a series of Australian aboriginal folktales, transcribed from oral accounts. The low rating largely comes from my lack of background in that field and the difficulty I had with the language therein. A lot of native language was used, and although the words were defined in the glossary in the back, it was a trying experience constantly flipping through to attempt to garner a better understanding of the content.
The turning point that pulled two more stars out for my rating was close to the end. It was too steam punk for me. Trying too hard and creating these awkward moments when I asked myself whether or not I was going to have to read the word "widdershins" yet again. Whether or not the color orange (how quirky) would be drawn upon. Whether or not another mention of the wyvern's limited alphabetical knowledge would hinder them. It was near the end, with more explanation of Mallow and tragedy taking place that it actually hit me in the right way.
I don't know if I'll ever finish this series, but the ending did make it a possibility that the beginning and middle didn't. I know I'm meant to be the proper audience for this book. It just didn't do it. ...more