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text 2015-09-04 16:13
Pin Up of the Week! FairyTale Romance
Golden Stair - Jennifer Blackstream
Forever Found (Beyond Neverland Series Book 2) - Nazarea Andrews
Ruby's Slippers - Leanna Ellis
Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson
Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story - Ines Johnson
A Pirate's Dream, Kingdom Book 11 - Marie Hall
Tam Lin (06) - Pamela Dean
Reserved for the Cat - Mercedes Lackey
Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale
When Beauty Tamed the Beast - James Griffin,Eloisa James

Fairytales and Fables from from every culture and every century. Some well known, some little know, some light, some dark but all with human nature and often love at the center.



Check out my Pinterest Board Storytime for some amazing images and Romance Books based on every fairytale and folktale you can imagine! 


Please tell me which Fairytale Romance Novel you love hte most!


Here are some Fairytales sorted by origin with pretty pictures from the Board. 



The Story of Zoulvisia









The Emperor's New Clothes



Esben and the Witch

The Green Knight

The Little Match Girl

The Little Mermaid


The Princess and the Pea

The Snow Queen

The Steadfast Tin Soldier


The Ugly Duckling



Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Jack and Jill 

Jack and the Beanstalk

Peter and Wendy

Robin Hood


The Story of the Three Bears

Tom Thumb



The Forest Bride




Beauty and the Beast




Puss in Boots

Sleeping Beauty

Little Red Riding Hood




The Frog Prince

The Glass Coffin

The Goose Girl

Hansel and Gretel

King Thrushbeard

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King


The Robber Bridegroom


Snow White

The Twelve Dancing Princesses



The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Goat Girl



The Snake Prince




The Adventures of Pinocchio

The Canary Prince


The Three Enchanted Princes






The Fox Sister



Eglė the Queen of Serpents




Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Sinbad the Sailor




The Enchanted Maiden

The False Prince and the True



The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa

The Frog Princess

Peter and the Wolf

Vasilisa the Fair





The Bear

The Daughter Of King Under-Waves

Tam Lin




The Dragon and the Prince



The Silent Princess



The Story of Tam and Cam





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text 2015-08-04 15:48
Top Ten Tuesday: August 4
Briar Rose - Jane Yolen
Tam Lin - Pamela Dean,Terri Windling
Zel - Donna Jo Napoli
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories - Angela Carter
Spinners - Donna Jo Napoli,Richard Tchen
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - Gregory Maguire
The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold - Francesca Lia Block
Snow White And Rose Red - Patricia C. Wrede
Fitcher's Brides (Fairy Tale (Tor)) - Gregory Frost
The Nightingale - Kara Dalkey

(Original Top Ten Tuesday concept from The Broke and the Bookish)


This week's Top Ten Tuesday is Best Fairytale Retellings I Have Read and/or Want to Read.


Reimaginings of fairy tales and classic stories is one of my favorite genres. I've read quite a few, but there are a lot out there still to tackle, so I've split the list between "read" and "want to read." Some of these are compilations rather than single stories (The Bloody Tower, The Rose and the Beast). I probably could have easily made a whole list out of the Donna Jo Napoli books I've read and loved (she seems to specialize in YA fairytale retellings), but I limited it to my absolute favorites to give room to others I have enjoyed.




Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. The Sleeping Beauty story told in the context of the Holocaust.


Tam Lin by Pamela Dean. A very bookish campus novel that reimagines the Scottish folktale of Tam Lin and the Fairy Queen.


Zel by Donna Jo Napoli. Rapunzel in 1500s Switzerland. I recall it as a very beautiful YA love story, though I read it years ago.


The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. A classic feminist reimagining of multiple famous fairy tales, though the title comes from a version of Bluebeard.


Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli. Napoli reimagines the story of Rumpelstiltskin, giving new motivations and greater depth the the characters.


Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. It's been a while since I've read this, but I remember being fascinated by the nuance Maguire gives his characters.


The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. A charming, if very short, collection of multiple retellings.


Want to read:


Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede. Wrede sets her version of the famous tale in Elizabethan England.


Fitcher’s Brides by Gregory Frost. This one recasts Bluebeard as a charismatic preacher in mid-19th century New York. This is probably the one I want to read the most.


The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey. Dalkey recasts the Andersen tale in the court of ancient Japan.


(These three to-read titles are all part of the same Fairy Tales series, as are Briar Rose and Tam Lin, edited and compiled by Terri WIndling, who often worked with Ellen Datlow on their famous anthologies).


BONUS to read: All the Ellen Datlow-edited short story anthologies (Snow White, Rose Red; Black Heart, Ivory Bones; etc). I have several of them, and have dipped in and out, but I really want to read them all eventually.

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text 2014-12-17 22:56
Reading progress update: I've read 403 out of 468 pages.
Tam Lin - Pamela Dean,Terri Windling

I feel a bit stupid. I went online to look up the Tam Lin ballad as reference, as I'm not very familiar with it. 403 pages into the book, and I realize Dean printed the ballad in the back of the book.

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review 2014-11-15 10:08
Intertextuality in SF: "What Makes This Book So Great" by Jo Walton
What Makes This Book So Great - Jo Walton

I've been reading SF for more than 30 years.


I've probably read everything worth reading in the field, and I’ve been always intrigued by the two questions:


1 - What makes a SF book a good example of its kind?

2 - Why is SF relished by practiced readers, while others hate it?


Walton's book tries to answer the above-mentioned questions. Walton is clearly a SF devotee (on top of being a SF writer as well, which I've never read in fiction mode by the way).


One crucial factor is that SF is written in a kind of code, which must be learned by apprenticeship. This necessity, of course, intensifies the skeptic's bewilderment at the bother taken by those who learn it in the first place. I learned all of the SF narrative codes when I was very young.


SF reading is like learning a language, ie, the younger we are, the better we'll be prepared to fully appreciate it. If one tries to start reading SF later in life, it's almost always a hit or miss situation. Most of the time, it's a miss. For those readers for which it’s a miss, it usually means they lack proper “tools” to able to fully engage with the text.


In this book, Walton does not try to attempt a deep and rigorous approach to SF criticism (vide her last essay in the book “Literary criticism vs talking about books”; two other essays worth reading are “Why I re-read” and “Do you skim”). What she aims to accomplish is a way to give us a particular take on some very distinct works in the SF field. Most of the time I don't agree with her (eg, her analysis of the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, which Walton elevates to Nirvana status, but that I particularly hate; that's for another occasion; on the other hand, her deep reading is spot on in some cases: eg, “Icehenge” by Kim Stanley Robinson: “He reads Cavafy, but he breathes T. S. Eliot”, making an intertextual comparison between both works).


Speaking for myself, when I embark on a SF text, what I look for is estrangement, ie, the ability to search that ethereal quality of transcendence. It goes without saying that the ability to provoke transcendence is not exclusive to SF. The function of estrangement in SF is not identical with the kinds found in certain other narrative texts (eg, mainstream/mimetic literature). For example, we can value History for its ability to give us estrangement of other ancient times and what they can tell us about the present, ie, History is interesting for its alterity. Unfortunately History, no matter how imaginatively depicted, cannot go beyond its own limits. Only SF can/may enter into the truly other (vide novel "Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand" by Samuel Delany, which Walton also “analyses”, for a wonderful example of this; it's also one of her best essays in the book).


What seemed really strange in this book was the absence of negative reviews/opinions. For someone as well-read as Walton, it’s weird. Only a handful of essays contain mild and en passant “negative” opinions (eg, “The Mars trilogy” by Kim Stanley Robinson, James Tiptree Jr’s biography by Julie Phillips).


Bottom-line 1: I read SF for the meta-reading it allows me. It’s an endless journey…


Bottom-Line 2: After finishing it, I felt like (re-)reading some of the referenced novels (eg, “Tam Lin” by Pamela Dean, which I’ve never read; “Neuromancer” by William Gibson, which I’ve read multiple times, “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson, ditto, “Biting the Sun” by Tanith Lee, “Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand” by Samuel Delany, “China Mountain Zhang” by Maureen F. McHugh, which I’ve read late last year, and in my opinion it’s one of the best (SF or not) novels ever written – vide review here).


SF = Speculative Fiction.


Off-topic: I was thinking of doing a particular post about this, but I won’t bother. Here it goes. I’ve been receiving emails to clarify what I mean by “speculative fiction”; this was first used by Heinlein, and it’s a broader term that comprises everything an author is able to create, ie, where anything can happen. It’s a place beyond reality, a place that could have been, or might have been, if only the rules of the universe were altered. “Speculative fiction” goes beyond the mundane and takes me into a world of might-have-been, science, intertextuality, transcendence, otherness, estrangement, etc. It’s a world where I leave part of myself behind when I return to the universe as I know it. It pushes the limits of the imagination. A good SF story makes me think, and also provides a new insight into human nature or even give me a new outlook on life. It’s a tall order I know, but that’s what I always aim for in a good SF book. Even if after reading this, you still have doubts about what SF is (or isn’t), I’ll give you a clue: It’s not about magic swords, spaceships, robots, dwarfs, leprechauns, pixies, elves, and the like. SF allow us to see the world with new eyes. SF is about you and me.


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text 2014-09-03 00:01
#BookADayUK Day Two: Favorite Book(s) Set in a School
Tam Lin (Mass Market) - Pamela Dean

Certainly Harry Potter is both taking this cake and eating this bacon, but as I've never been a British public school person, Harry & Cos experience never exactly spoke to me. Oh, it's both cozy and terrifying, the boarding school experience, but it's theoretical to me, like California. Tam Lin, by local writer Pamela Dean, much more squarely captured my experience of my first (and only) year in a small liberal arts college here in the Midwest. 


Much of this novel is excruciatingly boring, and I mean that in the very best way: douchy, earnest conversations about Shakespeare; considering the various and myriad horrors of the cafeteria options; theatre; kissing. I was jealous of this book, that it captured something so mundane and so foundational for me as a person. I was so bone-crunchingly serious about my specialness, my ambition. Seeing it laid out with such a tight commonality was...well, I'm not sure I have a word.  

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