Book List Archive

Reading Music Station List

For the longest time I was convinced that I could not read while listening to music. The words in the lyrics would get in the way of the words in the book. I would either find myself drifting from my reading into the world the singer was rhyming about or find myself getting frustrated and blocking out the music to get lost in the world the writer was weaving on the page. I couldn’t find a happy medium and so often read in silence.

That changed about a year ago now when my husband happened to have Pandora playing on his computer and it hit on a run of three totally instrumental songs. The music, without words, flowed in the background and actually added to the story in a really great way. I immediately grabbed those songs and used them to seed a station of my own. The rest is history. I now have several instrumental music stations set up for different moods and different genres and I thought I would share some of my favorites in lieu of a book list this week.

Please feel free to thumbs up and down and make it your own. You won’t hurt my feelings!

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Forests in Folklore Book List

Probably one of the first things most people envision when they think of fairy tales, myths or even ancient legends is a deep, dark forest. Depending on the culture you might think of other dense pockets of nature too, whether a cave containing treasure, an oasis harboring the fountain of youth, a valley within which lies Shangri-la, or a jungle where intrepid heroes go in but never come out. Sometimes the nature is in a smaller package, it’s a single flower containing the power of the gods, a mythic tree of life or wisdom, an herb capable of granting eternal life, or a single apple promising forbidden knowledge.

Nature is a huge part of the mythic narrative no matter what part of the world you are in. Nature is a strange and mysterious mistress and stories from all over the world show her elements as magical, mythical and even legendary. What follows is a short book list that showcases books talking about the forests of the world in this context in one way or another. These books show nature’s mythical as well as very real abilities and the stories and legends that have sprung up surrounding the natural elements of our world.

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East of the Sun, West of the Moon Book List

East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a fantastic Norwegian fairy tale. For those unfamiliar with the story, it and Beauty and the Beast are both inspired by the myth of Cupid and Psyche and so share many similar elements. A girl is whisked away to a castle with invisible servants. Her husband is a monster in some way or form and she must save him by making him human again through many trials.

What follows is a book list of stories spun off of stories, much like the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a fairy tale spun off from a myth. The first book is the text of the original fairy tale, beautifully illustrated. The next three are re-tellings of the fairy tale, either to expand on the original or to give it a more modern spin. The last book mentions this fairy tale among others in a book a troubled man’s mother wrote and it becomes pivotal to the plot in a story about the power of fairy tales.

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A Little Red Riding Hood Book List

If there is one thing I love to learn more about in my free time it’s fairy tales. To look deeper into these stories that have been told over and over for generations and see the ways they have changed and morphed and twisted to suit each century’s narrative is fascinating to me. And there is no more interesting fairy tale to me than that of Little Red Riding Hood.

The messages about danger in the woods of the world, the constantly shifting symbol of the wolf, and the coming of age of a young girl and what that meant in each century and each society is a very interesting subject to me.

What follows is a short book list of recommended reading for a deeper look at this particular fairy tale along with a few selections that step back and look at fairy tales as a whole, their hidden meanings, and their mysterious pasts.

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2009 Year End Wrap-Up

In 2009 I picked up this book blog after a semi-hiatus and really started working with it as part of my 101 Goals in 1001 Days. I wanted to read and review all of the unread books in my collection, totaling about 300 books at the time. Then I discovered the book blogging community in October and participated, unofficially, in my first read-a-thon to try and get caught up on my back log of reviews. After that things just started to take off for me.

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