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Registered User
(7/12/02 12:13:19 am)
Summer Reads
A topic inspired by Tara's post...

Recently finished "The Greenman" and deLint's "Seven Wild Sisters." CdL never ceases to please and his latest is a delightful romp through both the backwoods and the fairy realm. As for "The Greenman" - I thought about starting a discussion thread, but there are so many contributers on this board! Perhaps I should just say "great job once again!" and "thanks" for more wonderful tales. Midori's story especially touched me...

Also breezed through "The Silent Strength of Stones" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - what a page turner! This author is somewhat new to me. I haven't been able to connect as much with "Past the Size of Dreaming" yet...

Just finished up "Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya. A very nice Latino coming-of-age tale that involves the intersection of various religions and has rich folkloric influences.

On deck: McKinley's "Spindle's End" and Billingsley's "The Folk Keeper."

How about you?

Registered User
(7/12/02 4:50:33 am)
Re: Summer Reads
Recently read AMERICAN GODS while on vacation. Wonderful reading!

Just read an interesting interview last night titled "Disenchanted Kingdon: George Ritzer on the disappearance of authentic American Culture." It talks about the McDonaldization of life, which of course reminded me of how we discuss the Disnification (there's mention of him too) of fairy tales and folklore. I'll probably start a post on it later.

Currently reading THE HOBBIT for the first time (not my first attempt though- I've always had a hard time getting through it, focusing mostly on the riddles) as well as Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories." Also on my plate is M. Pepper's AKKAD (which is amazing so far!).

I've read several stories from board members which I am trying to scan (major scanner problems) so I can email my comments, or I could just say "bravissima!" They were all beautiful renditions!

That's all I can remember for now.

Dandelion dreams,


Edited by: Kerrie at: 7/12/02 5:29:05 am
Unregistered User
(7/12/02 6:30:44 am)
summer reading
Who can resist talking about the books one is reading?

I've been catching up on children's fantasy and indulging my fascination with turn-of-the-century literature by Nordic women.

Children's Fantasy:
If you haven't read Gerald Morris' Arthurian series I highly recommend it. It is hilarious treatment of several stories from the Arthurian canon. Morris is a champion of Sir Gawain, who has always been my favorite knight. His books include:
The Squire’s Tale
The Squire, His Knight & His Lady
The Savage Damsel & the Dwarf
Parsifal’s Page

I have fallen in love with the vivid work of Sheryl Jordan. Someone recommended her book _The Raging Quiet_ to me. I was skeptical, especially when one of the blurbs on the back of the cover compared her to Thomas Hardy. The publishing world is notorious for its hyperbolic blurbs, but this one is no joke. _The Raging Quiet_ compares (favorably) to Hardy and is a great mediaevalish tale to boot. Also by Jordan is _The Secret Sacrament_ , which has more magic in it than _The Raging Quiet_ and deals with the touchy subject of race relations and indigenous people.

L.M. Boston’s _The Children of Green Knowe_ is back in print, along with the rest of the series. They are charming mood pieces with all sorts of bits of British folklore thrown in. It is a predecessor to Susan Cooper's _The Dark is Rising_ series, and has similar elements.

Crown Duel & Court Duel by Sherwood Smith (originally published by Jane Yolen's imprint) has recently been published in a one volume paperback by Sharyn November at Firebird books. It has all the adventure of a great fantasy novel and all the charm of a Regency romance wrapped up into one difficult to put down volume.

Joan Aiken's _The Whispering Mountain_ is also back in print in a paperback from Tor's recent YA imprint, Starscape books. I am a big fan of Joan Aiken and am always happy to see books of hers (many that I have never read) back in print. It features great cover art by Charles Vess who is a regular on the board.

Turn-Of-the-Century Lit by Nordic Women
I am gradually working my way through the work of Isak Dinesen (Danish) who has an incredible range of Gothic tales. I recently read _Anecdotes of Destiny_, which includes one of her best known stories, Babette's Feast. I also highly recommend her _Last Tales_. If you have never read Dinesen before, you are in for a big treat!

And last, but not least, my favorite book thus far this year is _Gosta Berling_ by Selma Lagerlof. Lagerlof is a Swedish writer from the turn-of-the-century and the first woman to win the Noble Prize for Literature. This book is an absolutely amazing blend of fantasy and fiction. There is a great tale about an inventor who recognizes a forest spirit by her tail ("Lady, your train is showing,") and is given the ability to build only one of anything he can imagine. If you read only one book this summer, try _Gosta Berling_.

If you are familiar with Lagerlof & Dinesen and you know of others similar, please let me know!


Laura McCaffrey
Registered User
(7/12/02 3:01:41 pm)
Re: summer reading
Glad to find another Sheryl Jordan fan! I was given _The Raging Quiet_ and let it sit on the shelf a while, but once I picked it up, I devoured it. I'll have to check out her others.

Children's Literature:
Just finished Susan Fletcher's new one, _Walk Across the Sea_. This one isn't fantasy but a lovely work of historical fiction. I highly recommend it.

I just started _Benno's Bear_ by N.F. Zucker. It isn't fantasy but has a fantastical edge to it. I've just started, so I can't quite put my finger on what makes it seem like more is happening than everyday events. I think it's the bear, who is the only friend, really the only one who gives love, to a boy in Eastern Europe whose father is training him to be a pickpocket.

Adult Literature:
Am savoring Byatt's _The Djinn in the Nightengale's Eye_.

Two unstarted things are on my bedside table, though I'm having trouble deciding which to read: Dicken's _The Old Curiousity Shop_, Sigird Undset's _Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Wreath_. I'm actually spending more time reading David Sedaris's _Me Talk Pretty One Day_ to indulge my twisted sense of humor.

Laura Mc

Registered User
(7/12/02 5:43:57 pm)
Re: summer reading
I just finished Neil Gaiman's Coraline and am halfway through The Love Artist by Jane Allison, which is a fictionalized account of Ovid's affair with a woman who influenced his writing of Medea. Morris by Himself: Designs and Writings (William Morris) is my current favorite.


Registered User
(7/12/02 7:43:40 pm)

Re: Summer Reads
Thanks, Kerrie! I'm actually currently re-writing "Akkad," so it'll be even better! (Scholastic thought it was a little too confusing in first draft.)

I've finally gotten around to starting on Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy (still on the first book, but very good!) That'll probably push me through the rest of the summer.

Also, on a more scholarly bent, I'm reading "The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers." It's been helping me flesh out my re-write.

Got a stack of other things I intend to get to: Gaiman's Coraline for one, and some contemporary stuff. . .

~M. Pepper

Unregistered User
(7/13/02 3:03:25 am)
My reading
I just finished the Anita Shreve "The First Time We Met" which might be of interest to mythos folk as a tangential book. And A Northern Light" by Jennifer Donnelly, a first YA novel, which only gets three stars, not five from me. And rereading a lot of Emily Dickinson poetry for a new project of my own about her.

On deck is Gaiman's "Coraline" for the journey home tomorrow from Minneapolis.

And since I am about to go Scotland by way of Paris, I need to think about some good reading material. May take a St Germaine vampire novel, great for planerides, and the latest Alice Hoffman.


Edited by: Heidi Anne Heiner at: 7/13/02 8:27:17 am
Registered User
(7/13/02 5:35:40 am)
Re: My reading
Ooh, Alice Hoffman. I've got _Aquamarine_ on my bedside table.

Just finished Lisa Goldstein's _Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon_, which was excellent, as was Ross King's _Ex Libris_ (not magical, but absolutely fascinating for anyone who adores books). In keeping with the Renaissance theme, I have Sarah Hoyt's _Ill-Met by Moonlight_ and Susan Cooper's _King of Shadows_ on deck (Shakespeare! _Midsummer Night's Dream_!).

Also, I've finished Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart trilogy, which is a wonderful series of Victorian mysteries.

Heidi Anne Heiner
(7/13/02 8:41:00 am)
Re: My reading
(Jane, I edited your post to correct the typo on Anita Shreve's name.)

On my stack at the moment:

Water Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson

The Green Man from many on this board (read a few stories so far and keep reading in small doses to make it last longer)

Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn (not impressed so far the way I was with her Archangel trilogy, seems she gave us her best first)

The China Garden by Liz Berry

Never After by Rebecca Lickiss

Just finished:

Crown Duel and Court Duel by Sherwood Smith--high stars, will order it for the library to push at my young adult readers especially

And for totally summery fluffy science fiction with some fun I just finished S. L. Viehl's Stardoc series. Has some flaws, IMHO, but the ride is too much fun for me to care--I need something to balance all of the higher reading I am doing. And if you are a careful reader, the allusions to inside jokes as the series continues makes up for the imperfections.

Also reading A TON of fairy tale collections as I update SurLaLune.

Where do I get the time to do this reading? And why can't I have more?


Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(7/13/02 11:45:51 am)
Summer reads... a definetly "guilty pleasure" read I've just gobbled my way through Diana Gabaldon's Scottish historical-time travel-adventure-romance series which began with OUTLANDER and continued with A DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, and DRUMS OF AUGUST. On other fronts, I bogged down on WICKED. Just couldn't care much about any of the characters. And I've several Alice Hoffman books (PRACTICAL MAGIC was just wonderful, far beyond the rather trivial movie that was made of it) as well as some Byatt sitting beside the bed waiting to be read. I hear there will be a movie version of Byatt's POSSESSION released later this summer I really can't imagine how they could translate that book onto the screen... AT other times I'm reading varoius folk and fairy tales and graphic novels for enjoyment.


Unregistered User
(7/13/02 12:32:26 pm)
Sigrid Undset

I also have Kristin Lavransdatter on my to read pile. I've been saving it for a rainy day. It seems like such a major commitment!

Has anyone heard anything about Joan Aiken's upcoming Snow White?


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