Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Once Upon a Time V Wrap-Up Post
I'm so happy to have finally joined in on the Once Upon a Time Challenge this year! It was nice to explore myth and magic this spring, especially since the sun decided not to ever come out in Seattle and so I've had to escape through reading.
I started in April with a re-read of Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones for Tif's Tales to Tomes reading group. I was just as heartbroken by the heavy topics this time through but fell in love with the book all over again. (mythology)
I then read the middle-grade new release Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis. This was a fun tale of magic but I thought it relied too much on copying its magical and Regency influences rather than forging its own path. (magic)
I then went with the amusing and charming The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. The sequel is already in the works and I can't wait to find out what happens next for young Jennifer Strange! (magic)
Next was The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens which I couldn't get enough of. It was the perfect blend of adventure and mystery. (magic)
Then I read Clockwork Angel, the first in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. This was also for Tales to Tomes and it was kind of awesome. (magic)
My last "youth" read for the challenge was The Witch's Boy by Michael Gruber. This one took fairy tales in a fascinating direction and also took me by surprise with how good it turned out to be. (fairy tales)
Next, I picked up a very adult read -- American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This was an amazing and intense book that won't be for everyone. (mythology)
Finally, I found time for another Diana Wynne Jones re-read -- House of Many Ways. Though this is billed as a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, it can definitely be read as a stand-alone book. It's one of her most perfect stories and I adore it. (magic)
And, because it was part of the quest I signed up for (5 books and a play), I finished this journey with a joint reading and watching of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I prefer Shakespeare when it is spoken aloud and, as I didn't have much time to myself to recite it, I simply read along with a bizarre version of the play from 1968, starring Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Diana Rigg and others. The acting was quite good but the makeup, costumes and special effects were rather bad and it was somewhat startling to see Judi Dench's breasts on nearly-full display. I think I prefer when this play is performed in a more whimsical and sweet manner rather than the dark and hate-filled way it was done in this version.
And that is the summary of my challenge overachievement! I can't wait to participate again next year.
With a little magic,