This week, I’d like to introduce you to some of the best authors I’ve found who analyze or write fairy tales, folk tales, and legends. I’ve mentioned before how much I love this genre; my college classes on fairy tales, legends, and mythology had a great impact upon the way I read and think about stories. Think of this as primer to the genre, albeit a subjective one; I’m certain I’m forgetting some great writers, and I’m sure there are many I haven’t yet discovered.
This week, I’m writing about the top ten books to read to get into a frightful mood for Halloween. I realized, in preparing this list, that I don’t read too many spook-tacular books–which is a real shame! As a result, many of these titles are classics that appeal to a more literary crowd–but all should be tempting to readers with a taste for terror. Next year, I hope to spend October reading more scary books in anticipation of the holiday; I’ll start […]
I am a firm believer that you can–and should–judge a book by its cover. After working for a book publisher and now as a book reviewer, I have come to the realization that the time spent perfecting a book’s title and cover art is usually a pretty good indication of how successful the publisher thinks it will be.
September 2011 Stats Books in progress: 6 Books read: 6 Pages read: 935 Books reviewed: 6 Posts on book reviewing: 12 (includes features like In My Mailbox, Top Ten Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Subscription Saturday, and Sunday Salon; reading challenges; and news) My stats are not nearly as impressive as they were in August, but I’ve been having a great time nonetheless. This month, I began my first graduate writing class, which has been marvelous. (Last week our guest speaker was Paul Dickson!) […]
Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more! This week, bloggers have been encouraged to write about the best books they have read because of another blogger, in honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW).
People have described Neil Gaiman’s American Gods as one of the true new classics of fantasy. I generally scoff at such claims, since it is virtually impossible to tell which works will stand the test of time; many books and movies are widely heralded upon their release, only to be quickly forgotten. But the description is actually quite fitting for American Gods. The book has a patient, almost meandering approach that echoes the slower pace of classical movies like “Citizen Kane” or “The Maltese Falcon.”
This week, I’m highlighting the top ten authors (living or dead) I would love to meet. (The original list was “authors I would DIE to meet,” but that sounded a little extreme to me; I’m a book nerd, but I couldn’t think of a single author that I’d die to meet. Does this mean I need to quit reviewing?)
Note: Sorry this video is so overexposed. But I heard the vampire look is so hot right now. Books! American Gods (And The Graveyard Book and Coraline) by Neil Gaiman Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield Housekeeping Vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby True Notebooks: A Writer’s Year at Juvenile Hall by Mark Salzman The Bridge: A Journey Between Orient and Occident by Geert Mak
This first book in the Edge Chronicles begins with an atmospheric description of the world on the Edge. Twig, the main character, is a young boy who just never seems to fit in with the woodtrolls around him. Ostracized by his “peers,” Twig longs for acceptance.
The heroes of the book are met at the very beginning of humankind (at least, as the Bible claims it to be). Aziraphale is the angel of the East Gate of Eden, and Crawly (later re-named Crowley, because “Crawly” just wasn’t him) is the very serpent who tempted mankind out of paradise. The two of them meet for the first time just after the Lord has issued his judgment upon Adam and Eve and cast them out of the garden.
Coraline envelops you in the mystery and magic of a resourceful and imaginative child’s world. It is an excellent modern-day fairy tale that incorporates countless elements of folklore and fantasy.
Happy Halloween everyone! This month has flown by, but I managed to do a fair amount of reading in between camping trips and pumpkin carving. But in the flurry of weather changes and completed challenges, we can’t forget about the books.
The Graveyard Book was truly a delight to read, and I appreciated Gaiman’s intelligent handling of complex issues without losing sight of his inventive narrative. I would recommend this book to almost anyone for its fully formed characters, excellent prose, and engaging plot.
I’ve signed up for the Halloween Readathon hosted by Young Adult Books Reviewed this weekend… that’s right, I’m ready for some more readathon action! It’ll be a spook-tacular weekend!
After a rainy week like this, all I want to do is curl up on my couch with a cup of tea and a good book. Maybe that’s why I’m so excited about next weekend—I can’t wait for Dewey’s 24-hour fall readathon.