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Search tags: the-girl-who-circumnavigated-fairyland-in-a-ship-o
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review 2014-10-23 00:00
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Ana Juan,Catherynne M. Valente A Fairytale for Lovers of Fairytales

If I.Q. were a measure of strength of imagination, Catherynne Valente would most certainly be the Albert Einstein of writers. There was more imagination on display in that book than in any other book I've ever come across. I felt like I was reading a Tim Burton movie--colorful whimsy and fluff, along with some real adventure and brushes with death. It took 20 or 30 pages to really get into the rhythm and immerse myself in the experience, but once I did I really had a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to the next books.

Content wise this story is suitable for all ages. However, there are many, many BIG words in there...I haven't used my Kindle's dictionary this much since The Count of Monte Cristo! I would only turn my kids lose on this book if I knew the challenging vocabulary exercise wouldn't discourage them.
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text 2014-09-06 16:34
Reading progress update: I've read 13%.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Ana Juan,Catherynne M. Valente

This is just irritating me. I will move to my to try again shelf

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text 2014-09-03 19:25
#BookADayUK Day Three: Best Home Front novel
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Ana Juan,Catherynne M. Valente
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder - William Anderson,Dan Andreasen

Maybe it's just me, but this feels like a very British category of books. I just don't think Americans do novels from the home front so much. Certainly, that could be a mistaken impression owing to the fact that I tend to avoid war novels. The last honest to Jehovah one I read was probably A Separate Peace, about which I remember nothing. 

 

I guess I'd probably say The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Boat of Her Own Devising is my favorite home front novel, then. Papa's at war, and mama's at work, leaving 12 year old September to fall leftways outside over there. The novel is a nod to mid-War and mid-Century novels like Narnia and (maybe more arguably) Lord of the Rings, cut with some good old Americana like Wizard of Oz. (Narnia would work for this category, but -- and I know this is heresy -- I can take or leave the whole thing.) 

 

My wise-ass second choice would be Little House on the Prairie, in your home front of the Indian Wars category. That requires us to view the Western expansion as something quite different from Pa hugging Half-pint though. Oh, btw, a new memoir from Laura Engalls Wilder is being published soon, this one aimed at adults, and I'm pretty pumped about the whole thing. Check this:

 

The Associated Press reports, "The not-safe-for-children tales include stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey," adding, "Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, herself a well-known author, tried and failed to get an edited version of the autobiography published throughout the early 1930s." It will be published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press.

 

Whe! 

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review 2014-06-02 10:57
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente

I've heard a lot of good things about this book, and it deserves all of them.

 

It's a fairytale about a girl named September, who is whisked off to Fairyland as so many children are, only to find that Fairyland has become a place of tyranny and bureaucracy under the rule of the dastardly Marquess. It's not as bad as Narnia under the White Witch, but it's going that way.

 

This being a fairytale, September must go on a long journey which takes her across, around and under Fairyland in the company of various extraordinary beings (including a Wyvern whose father may have been a library, a boy who can grant wishes and a small glittery key) in order to save it and find herself along the way.

 

Now, the really lovely thing about The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is its timelessness. It could be read, with equal amounts of enjoyment, if different in kind, by a twelve-year-old or a ninety-year-old. It is a fairy story, but that does not mean that it is only for children. There are wry asides, little puns, narratorial addresses that could be aimed at adults or children. (I suspect that if I had been reading this at twelve I would have felt rather smug, since Valente often addresses her audience as if they are older, at least, than September.) It's everything I wanted Stardust to be, in fact.

 

Oh, and the prose is so, so beautiful in the way that fairytales can be. I just want to quote the whole thing - but I'll content myself with this gem:

Autumn in Fairyland is all that, of course. You would never feel cheated by the colors of a Fairyland forest or the morbidity of the Fairyland moon. And the Halloween masks! Oh, how they glitter, how they curl, how their beaks and jaws hook and barb! But to wander through autumn in Fairyland is to look into a murky pool, seeing only a hazy reflection of the Autumn Provinces' eternal fall. And human autumn is but a cast-off photograph of that reflecting pool, half burnt and drifting through the space between us and Fairyland.

Like all good fairytales, it's a story of choice, a story of self-discovery, a sort of coming-of-age story full of clever little details from other tales (I particularly liked the pomegranate popcorn) that yet feels wholly original and wholly imaginative. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making may well be my favourite book of the year so far.

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text 2014-04-23 17:48
Happy World Book Day to all you lovely fellow readers out there!
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Sandman Slim - Richard Kadrey
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin
Black Swan Green - David Mitchell
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Ana Juan,Catherynne M. Valente
Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher - Walter Moers
Iwein Löwenritter - Felicitas Hoppe

And what better way to celebrate this day than by bringing home some new books? Here are mine.

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