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Reading Challenge > 2012 Challenge Suggestions

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
This is a place to suggest suggestions for the reading challenge.


message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) The Classic Fairy Tales would be a great choice for the 'criticisms' - I just read bits of it in a library copy and found it engaging and accessible.


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Any of the annotated editions will count as criticism as well.


message 4: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) | 34 comments If you like your literature slightly off-the-wall, for the fairy tale mystery challenge topic try one of Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crimes series: The Big Over Easy, The Fourth Bear. Unfortunately I read both long ago.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Enchantress from the Stars would be a good option for a Science Fiction Fairy Tale. I read it a while back and found it very enjoyable.


message 6: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 1 comments Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crimes series books are wonderful!


message 7: by Candace (new)

Candace Pettit | 28 comments Ooo, I hadn't heard of the Nursery Crimes series yet. I love the Thursday Next one, though.


message 8: by Candace (new)

Candace Pettit | 28 comments Aha, I read up on this challenge. This sounds fun.

Some books in the Once Upon a Time series might be good for the historical fiction fairy tale. The Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" is a retelling of Mulan, while The Diamond Secret: A Retelling of "Anastasia" revolves around Anastasia Romanov.

Water Song: A Retelling of "The Frog Prince" happens during WWI and Spirited: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" is set during the French and Indian War.

Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series might be another possibility, as they're all set in an alternate Earth around the early 1900s.


message 9: by Candace (new)

Candace Pettit | 28 comments And for a more lighthearted set of fairy tale crime, there is The Sisters Grimm children's book series by Michael Buckley. I've only read the first, but it was laugh-out-loud funny.


message 10: by JamieNichole003 (new)

JamieNichole003 (pandoraspeaks) Candace wrote: "And for a more lighthearted set of fairy tale crime, there is The Sisters Grimm children's book series by Michael Buckley. I've only read the first, but it was laugh-out-loud funny."

I have read the whole series and cant wait for the last and final book, but the series is great and really put a twist to classic fairy tales


message 11: by Tracey (last edited Mar 09, 2012 06:18AM) (new)

Tracey (stewartry) I'm in the midst of Firelight by Kristin Callihan, which while romance-novel-esque is a surprisingly good read, and also surprisingly brings in elements of Beauty and the Beast (along with Hades and Persephone) in an intelligent manner. It's much more fun than I expected.


message 12: by F.T. (new)

F.T. (ftmckinstry) I'm almost done with The Complete Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde. This stuff is gorgeous and sensual, like looking at a Baroque painting. The details are stunning. But it's dark; not too many happy endings here and there's a price for the ones you do get. These stories lead you in like a will 'o the wisp, so beautiful, yet underneath you have this feeling that something isn't right. It isn't! But it adds to the appeal.


message 13: by Nicola (new)

Nicola (nicola1) | 11 comments I really enjoyed Cinderella, And Other Tales From Perrault - it is a children's book but it gives the 'darker' side to the fairy tales.

I also recommend Angela Carter's Bloody Chamber, Ella Enchanted and Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife - books I read years ago but loved so much.


message 14: by Phair (new)

Phair (sphair) | 34 comments I just started Cinder Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer for the science fiction topic. It's a YA about a cyborg Cinderella.


message 15: by JamieNichole003 (new)

JamieNichole003 (pandoraspeaks) I loved the book cinder you can really see the cinderella in it


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Nicola wrote: "I really enjoyed Cinderella, And Other Tales From Perrault - it is a children's book but it gives the 'darker' side to the fairy tales.

I also recommend Angela Carter's Bloody Cha..."


I love Ella Enchanted, it was one of my favorites as a kid.


message 17: by Nicola (new)

Nicola (nicola1) | 11 comments I just bought Fairest by her to read, maybe as part of this challenge :) she has a gorgeous writing style


message 18: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4260 comments Mod
I really appreciate all the suggestions! I have not heard of many of them and look forward to reading them.
How about Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride?
Charles De Lint's Jack of Kinrowan: Jack the Giant-Killer and Drink Down the Moon


message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "I really appreciate all the suggestions! I have not heard of many of them and look forward to reading them.
How about Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride?
Charles De Lint's [book:Jack ..."


All count, and the Robber Bride could be considered a mystery.


message 20: by Nicola (new)

Nicola (nicola1) | 11 comments I started Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer this morning - I bought Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl for the challenge but was drawn in by the good reviews of Cinder and - I admit - the gorgeous front cover!


message 21: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4260 comments Mod
I just read a great book that I’d like to recommend to everyone! The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
While it is not a fairy tale re-telling directly, it definitely has fairy tale elements, in particular of Rapunzel. Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is spends her life taking care of her demanding and unloving mother. She is shut up in her upstairs room in a house where no visitors are allowed. She is secretly in love with the mail man who she watches. Like Rapunzel, she gets unexpected vistors coming in through her window who then transform her life. The Sugar Queen is one of those novels where I got so immersed in the story, fell so in love with the characters that I was sad that it was over and could not bring myself to read the last chapter right away. I loved Addison Allen’s first novel, Garden Spells and was worried this one would not be as good, but I loved it just as much! And wow what a surprise ending!


message 22: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor (emfarrell) Ash by Malinda Lo is an interesting new take on the Cinderella fairy tale. It's my entry for the reading challenge...


message 23: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
I loved Ash. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. I found it a little choppy in the start, but it actually is a rather brave retelling of Cinderella.


message 24: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor (emfarrell) The Porcelain Dove by Delia Sherman might be a good choice for historical fairy tale. The setting is 18th century France. The book has good reviews and won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 1994. I read it back when it was published, and enjoyed it.


message 25: by [deleted user] (last edited May 27, 2012 12:27AM) (new)

I just read Night Dancer. Do you think it can count for number ten:(A collection of fairy tales from one of the following (1) Native Americans (2) First People (3) Aborgines (4) Inuit)? Night Dancer is only one story from the Native American Southwest, but I'm having trouble finding anything matching that description at my local library. If not, does anyone have a suggestion for that category?


message 26: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Night Dancer counts Beth. There is no standard for book length on the challenge. Our group is pretty varied in terms of age (and we have some librians here) so its fine (as are picture and children books).

How do you like Night Dancer? It looks interesting. You might want to check out the photo section of the group. There is a group of pictures from the National Musuerm of American Indian (US) in Washington that show Native American myths.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked it quite a bit. There is a page at the end of the book that gives a little more info about the legend, since the book itself is for kids.

And thanks. I will check out the photos. :)


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Does anyone have any suggestions for a retelling of an Asian fairy tale?


message 29: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Not so much Asian, but Andersen's Nightengale set in Japan. The Nightingale. Dalkey's work is usally set in Asia. There is also Genpei which is a retelling of Japanese legend.


message 30: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4260 comments Mod
I would love to re-read an original translation of 1001 nights. Not just the well known stories like Alladin and the Lamp or Ali Baba, but the complete collection. I read them years ago and many are really fantastic


message 31: by Melanti (last edited Jul 06, 2012 10:47AM) (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
For Asian tales:
Orson Scott Card's Enchantment (Russian varient of Sleeping Beauty)
Kij Johnson's The Fox Woman (Japaneese folktale, Kitsune)
Lackey's Firebird, which has both Grimms and Russian varients.

I'm not sure if these are actual retellings or just influenced by:
Patricia McKillip's In The Forests of Serre (Baba Yaga, Firebird)
Dubravka Ugrešić's Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
Catherynne Valente's Deathless


Note: The struck out titles are European re-tellings.


message 32: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Kij Johnson also has a follow up to The Fox Woman.Fudoki


message 33: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 09, 2012 04:05PM) (new)

Thanks for the suggestions, they look quite good.
Do you think The Rumpelstiltskin Problem could count for 7. A critical work about fairy tales? It looks like it is 6 different takes on Rumpelstiltskin because the author felt there were holes in the original story.


message 34: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Sure.


message 35: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor (emfarrell) It's been some time since I read this, but Marina Warner's From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers is an excellent critical look at fairy tales.


message 36: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
For those of you looking for YA or children's work that are non-fiction about fairy tales, check out Jane Yolen.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I might read The Interpretation of Fairy Tales. It looks pretty interesting.


message 38: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
It was. It's a good choice Beth.


message 39: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) For a future collection, I'd like to suggest Robin McKinley's The Door in the Hedge.
The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley
McKinley is known for her adaptations of fairy tales, and this is, as I recall it, an absolutely gorgeous collection.


message 40: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 11, 2012 10:04PM) (new)

Tracey wrote: "For a future collection, I'd like to suggest Robin McKinley's The Door in the Hedge.
The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley
McKinley is known for her adaptations of fairy tales, and this is, as I recall..."


That one looks really good. It is now on my tbr pile. Thanks:)


message 41: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Enjoy! I loved it.


message 42: by Jalilah (last edited Jun 12, 2012 12:10PM) (new)

Jalilah | 4260 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: "For a future collection, I'd like to suggest Robin McKinley's The Door in the Hedge.
The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley
McKinley is known for her adaptations of fairy tales, and this is, as I recall..."



Is that not a re-telling of 12 Dancing Princesses?
That is a tale I can't get enough of!
If so, I looked for this book at the library but they did not have it. It is older and not easy to find!


message 43: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
There's 4 stories in the collection. The last is the 12 Dancing Princesses, I believe. I loved this book as well.


message 44: by Beth (new)

Beth (bethgray) | 1 comments Beth wrote: "Does anyone have any suggestions for a retelling of an Asian fairy tale?"

Kij Johnson's The Fox Woman and Fudoki are about Asian folklore. I don't know Asian fairy tales very well though, so not sure if they are what you are looking for.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Do Russian tales count as Asian(Since not all of it is in Asia)? If so I am looking at Firebird (Fairy Tales, #1) by Mercedes Lackey or Rusalka (Russian Stories, #1) by C.J. Cherryh for the Asian influenced book. They were both recommended to me by my librarian.


message 46: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1385 comments Mod
Hmmm. I'm not sure about that. What do you all think?


message 47: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Huh. Well... Obviously, I had thought so since I'm the one who suggested it. I never really thought of Russia being part of Europe, but I guess it is. Just goes to show how big that country is and how terrible I am at geography.

Despite me thinking of them as Russian/Asian, the firebird, Baba Yaga, and Koschi the Deathless are all Slavic in origin, and that area is half Europe, half Asia. So, I really don't know. They're great characters and tales. I'd hate to see them completely disallowed.

Maybe we could separate them by specific setting as well? But I don't recall The Firebird going into any detail on where it was set, other than a generic Russian feel to it, so that doesn't help any.

If we didn't count the Slavic tales at all, that eliminates most of what I recommended. We're left with 1001 Arabian Nights, Kij Johnson's The Fox Woman & Fudoki, maybe some of Kara Dalkey's work, depending on how you wanted to define it.

I have found one more - this time a Chinese folktale ("olive tree"?) - Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

That's still not a lot of choices for novel length retellings.


message 48: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Boo - even if we narrow it down by specific setting, Enchantment is set in the Carpathian mountains, Baba Yaga Laid an Egg is set in Bulgaria/Croatia, and Deathless at least starts out in St. Petersburg/Leningrad though I don't know where the rest of it is set. All those places are Europe, not Asia. I need to go back to grade school geography class, apparently.


message 49: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4260 comments Mod
I would consider Russia to be European and Soviet Union to be Eurasian.
I know that “white” Russians or these from Russia proper, consider themselves to be European and not Asian. That being said, it is highly probable that a lot of Russian folklore are Asian influenced.

I am certain there are many, many folklore tales from Asia; India and the Indian Subcontinent, Thailand Burma China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and more. I am just not familiar with them.

Many of the tales of 1001 night or “Arabian Nights” are originally from Persia and the Indian subcontinent. As I mentioned before, there are so many stories! The original unedited version that I used to own,( and foolishly gave away because I was moving), was 10 standard novel sized books! I only read about 4 of them all the way through.


message 50: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4260 comments Mod
When I think about it, my son is into Manga (Bleach and Naruto)and a lot of the stories have their roots in Japanese mythology


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