Archive for November, 2011

Recap: November 20th-26th 2011

Just in time for the holidays a fantastic way to find that perfect book for someone. Enter in the name of an author and a “map” will generate of other authors that are similar based on reader taste. Perfect to find similar authors to your faves or the faves of someone near and dear.

Book Drum is offering a new service: “The Book Drum World Map”. You can use it to browse the globe and find books set in countries around the world. There are over 150 books entered already and since it’s crowd sourced you can always submit more. A great way to go international with your reading.

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Beauty and the Beast’s Origins

The Golden Ass was written in the late 2nd century and was the only latin novel to survive in its entirety.

In the course of the story, told in several “books”, many other inset stories were related including, in book four, the story of Cupid and Psyche. This rendering of the story is the oldest recorded telling of this ancient fairy tale and is presented as a retelling so its origins go even farther back. It has been suggested that the tale was changed slightly to suit what was going on in the novel so how the myth originally went no one knows anymore.

In the novel the protagonist was transformed into, well, a golden ass and in this particular book he has been stolen by thieves. The thieves throw the protagonist into a cave along with a young woman they had also kidnapped. The young woman is scared and crying so an old woman, in league with the thieves, tells her the story of Cupid and Psyche.

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Thankfully Reading Weekend

For me it was a rare Thanksgiving this year in that I got to celebrate it with both my family back in Pennsylvania and my in-laws in both Pennsylvania and here in Missouri. Last week we made the 14 hour drive to see my family and stayed there for a week, we got to see my brother-in-law and his rambunctious and fun family on Saturday and celebrated Thanksgiving with my family on Sunday. Then we drove back on Monday to find that I had managed to catch my Dad’s cold, so I have been sick and recovering most of this week. It is a nasty one too, I’m still on cold medicine and still feeling pretty miserable. Yesterday we hosted Thanksgiving in our own home, for the first time in the new house, and invited over the in-laws. We had good food, good company and enjoyed watching a fantastic parade! I even forgot how miserable I felt for a few hours.

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Entwined

[openbook booknumber=”9780062001030″][rating:5/5]

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it’s taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

I was surprised and delighted by how much enjoyment I got out of this book. I love fairy tale stories and re-tellings of all stripes but to find one like this was magical indeed and it was such a joy to read. Entwined is a re-telling of the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses set in a Victorian era kingdom. There is a castle and balls, there are beautiful dresses and magic, and of course there is lots and lots of dancing. Underneath it all there lurks a danger that threatens to destroy everything.

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Recap: November 6th-12th 2011

Interesting news article that talks about the idea of receiving a digital copy with each print copy you buy, continuing to support print sales while more and more people are interested in going digital.

Fascinating article covering two African-American epic/high fantasy writers: N.K. Jemisin and David Anthony Durham.

The fourth production diary for The Hobbit was released this week. In it Peter Jackson talks about what it’s like shooting in 3D, and we get to see some of the set they built for Mirkwood!

Looking forward to this movie, and it turns out everything they were saying about it is true. This is a very dark take on the original fairy tale. I love how fantasy is making such a big come back!

A take on the Penn State scandal by Science Fiction writer John Scalzi. Worth a read for the parallels he draws between this terrible occurence and a science fiction classic “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

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