Mar 19, 2008

It's That Time of the Year Again!

Carl's Once Upon A Time II is here! The goal of this challenge is, like last year, to read fantasy, folklore, fairy tales and mythology books during Spring. There are several Quests and a Journey to choose from, so click here for details.

I am doing Quest the Second and reading books that fit all four categories. Now, if I were a sensible person I would be using many of the books that I already have listed for other challenges. If. But I can't resist the temptation of picking more books of my favourite kind to read. So the only condition I made myself follow was to make sure I picked mostly books that I already own (I say mostly because I couldn't resist adding a few that I don't). Narrowing the list down was hard, but I decided to go with a total of 12 books, 3 per category. That means 4 books a month, which should be doable while still leaving me room to work on my other challenges.

Here is my list:

  • The Knight by Gene Wolfe
  • The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
  • Voice of Our Shadow by Jonathan Carroll
  • The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin
  • A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong
  • Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block
  • Rusalka by C.J. Cherryh
  • Chernevog by C.J. Cherryh
  • The Girl Who Married a Lion and Other African Folk Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
Fairy Tales:
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Deerskin by Robin McKinley
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer
There! I can't wait to start reading and to see everyone else's lists. On a side note, Once Upon a Time II also means that my blog's one year anniversary is coming up, and I'm going to follow the tradition of celebrating with a book giveaway. I think I will be giving away a few obscure favourites of mine - books you don't hear all that much about, but that really deserve to be more widely known. I'll post more details in the next few days.


  1. The Knight! Lord do I love that book!!! Of course if you read it you'll have to read The Wizard soon after to get the rest of the story.

    Glad you're on board!

  2. Ha! I knew it. Charles de Lint!

    How could I forget Rusalka, Chernevog and Yvgenie! I mooched them last year and I forgot to add them to my list!

    *hurries to add them in*

    Okie. Done.

    Hmm... you know what? I think I should read Karen Armstrong too. But I'll leave that as a "bonus"

    This is going to be fun. I can feel it in my bones. :)

  3. Oh man. I can see already just how long my wish list is going to be growing. Yeah, like that's really a bad thing, huh? ;)

    I'm on the last chapter of The Goose Girl right now. All I can say is that if you enjoy half as much as I did, you'll be happy you had it on your list!

    Oh, I can't wait for Friday!

  4. What a fabulous list! I haven't read any of them and I can't wait to read your reviews, especially Deerskin. I've read her other fairytale retellings.

  5. Let the Games Begin! lol..

    I love this challenge!! Most of all love reading all of the reviews to books I wind up adding to my dang wish list!!! lol..

  6. The Goose Girl is going to go on my list for the challenge too! I've heard such good things about it! And happy "almost" anniversary!

  7. The Knight! I loved that book. As Carl said, you'll want to read the Wizard soon... they are really two halves of one story, rather than a story and its sequel.

    I'm looking forward to reading your review!

  8. Great list, Nymeth! I hurried right over to see what you had listed because I've liked every book I've read that you recommended! I'm reading a Charles de Lint for the Challenge, and I've ordered Karen Armstrong's book (along with two other books from the Canongate series) from the library, but didn't put it/them on my list yet.

  9. Yay for more Charles de Lint, I think you will really enjoy it. I want to read The Helmet of Horror and A Brief History of Myth at some point as well so it will be good to read your reviews. I am reading The Goose Girl soon for a different challenge but I will porbably overlap it.

  10. Oh man...I wrote this long comment and it disappeared! I hate that :p But it basically said that you have an awesome list and that I agree with Debi that I'll have an awfully long TBR list after this! I haven't heard of most of these books, but they sound cool. I was going to add the Onion Girl to my list too, but I thought one de Lint was enough. I might read it anyway though. The C.J. Cherryh books sound cool just by their titles...can't wait to hear what they're about!

  11. Carl: I will definitely have to get The Wizard. I got The Knight alone because I found it for £1 at a discount could I resist? But The Wizard is on my wishlist, and it will most likely be an extra for this challenge. Thanks for hosting it again :D I think you can tell how thrilled about it we all are.

    Dark Orpheus: I didn't add Yvgenie because I don't own a copy yet, but it's on my Bookmooch wishlist, and once I'm done with the first two I will have to get my hands on it. This will be fun for sure!

    Debi: I can't wait for Friday either! I will be starting The Goose Girl right then.

    Nicola: I've only read Beauty, and I loved it. I am really looking forward to Deerskin!

    Deslily: Let the games begin indeed :D And I know what you wishlist is going to suffer, but oh well :P

    Stephanie: Thanks! I've heard great things about it too!

    Chris: You and Carl are making me want to order The Wizard right this instant :P

    Robin: I'm very glad you have enjoyed my recommendations :) I hope you enjoy the Canongate books! I have enjoyed all of them so far...what a great series.

    Rhinoa: I think I will definitely enjoy The Onion Girl. I have a bunch of other fantasy books listed for my other challenges too, and I'll probably count them as extras for this one.

    Chris: Argh, I hate it when that happens too! Blogger sometimes does that :/ The Cherryh books are based on Russian folklore... what more could I ask for! Sadly the series is out of print, but used copies are easy to find on the amazon marketplace.

  12. What a great list!! I really enjoyed the Goose Girl as well as the two that followed it. I'll be interested in reading your reviews :)

  13. Great list, Nymeth! I've never participated in this challenge before, it sounds very tempting!!! I'm still thinking about it... ;P

    And of course I can't wait to read your reviews on these books. :)

  14. yay!! I can't wait to join:) great news!

  15. Hello Nymeth! I saw your comment about my list over on Carl's blog and Thanks! I'm hoping I can make it through all the books I've listed but I picked a few huge ones so we'll see.

    I like your list above as well. I also own a copy of The Onion Girl that I almost added to my list. I've heard so many good things about DeLint from numerous bloggers and I'm determined to read one of his books this year. I can't wait to read your review of that one.

    I hope you enjoy The Knight as well. I liked it a lot. I'm about a third of the way through The Wizard right now and I think it's even better than The Knight.

    I'm also curious to hear what you think of the Johnathan Carroll book. I read one of his books a year or so ago " Bones of the Moon " and really enjoyed it. I also have a copy of his Land of Laughs in by TBR pile. Maybe for the next RIP challenge. :)

  16. I'm so excited! I haven't put together my list yet and am leaving to go out of town tonight, but I can't wait to go shopping for books. :) I think I've even been able to recruit my 11 yo brother and possibly my sister and mom.

  17. Look forward to your review of The Onion Girl as I definitely plan to read that one sometime. (Love Jilly Coppercorn.) Also Deerskin as I have that on my tbr pile. Nice list!

  18. very cool choices. i'm interested to read your review of the de lint and very much looking forward to seeing what you make of the gene wolfe book!

    hooray for once upon a time II!! :)

  19. Corinne: I'll have to look into getting the rest of the series. I can't wait to start reading!

    Melody: I hope you do join! It will be fun for sure.

    Valentina, can't wait to see your list!

    Jeff: I am so looking forward to reading The Knight (and The Wizard). It sounds like a truly unforgettable story. I read my first DeLint this year (Waifs and Strays, a collection of short stories) after countless recommendations by bloggers, and I enjoyed it a lot :) The Jonathan Carroll book will be my second - I read White Apples some years ago, and found it deeply unsettling in the best possible way.

    Trish: I'm looking forward to seeing your list! And how cool that you are recruiting your family :)

    Cath: I keep hearing great things about Jilly Coppercorn...I can't wait to "meet" her!

    JP: Hooray indeed! Can't wait to see your picks!

  20. I too considered putting Karen Armstrong's book on my list, but I think I may have forgotten that I don't actually own a copy of it (either that or I forgot to enter it in to LibraryThing when I bought it, and now I have no idea where it is!). I look forward to hearing what you think about it.

  21. Great choices! I am particularly interested in what you think of Gene Wolfe's The Knight and Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl. Hope you enjoy your books!

  22. I haven't read a single book on your list! I do want to read Deer Skin, though. My thesis director uses it in her classes quite often.

  23. pour of tor: Not being sure whether or not I own a book has been happening to me more and more. I think it's a sure sign that you're a book-a-holic :P

    Orchidus: I started The Goose Girl this morning and so far it's excellent!

    Andi: American Born Chinese and Deerskin? Your thesis director sounds AWESOME.

  24. Good luck with Quest II! I'm only doing the first one and hopefully I can finish it this year :)
    I don't read much in this genre so I am not familiar with any of the books on your list. Can't wait to hear about them as you review them. I am curious especially about the Carroll book. I read one of his several years ago and liked it but felt a bit lost. I think I should read him again. Anyway have fun!

  25. Oh, thanks! You reminded me of a couple books that I had discovered last year that I wanted to read this year... Not that I really need anymore books, but that's beside the point!

    Good luck on the challenge!

  26. My husband loves CJ Cherryh and I haven't read the McCall Smith book so I'm interested to see what you think. I put a McKinley book on my list as well. I read my first book by her last year (Rose Daughter) and loved it. I can't wait to read all of your reviews! I hope you love The Goose Girl as much as I did.

  27. Great list! I've heard so many good things about 'The Goose Girl'. I'm looking forward to reading it. And looking forward to all your reviews and probably adding to my wishlist. :)

  28. Sadly, I know of none of your choices but Goose Girl...however, I will read your reviews with relish! You always show me literature I'd never have found on my own.

  29. Iliana: I read White Apples by Carroll and it was very...surreal, but while I didn't always made sense of things, I enjoyed the ride. It kind of gave me the same feeling that reading Murakami does.

    Kailana: Thanks! And I know what you mean :P

    Tricia: I finished The Goose Girl this weekend and I absolutely loved it. I'll post my thoughts on it soon. A few months ago I read Beauty by McKinley, which was excellent. I can't wait to read more of her work.

    Tanabata: The good things that are said about The Goose Girl are totally justified!

    Bellezza: I only hope my other choices turn out to be as good as The Goose Girl!


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