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broodings from the burrow

March 20, 2016

once upon a time reading challenge x
posted by soe 1:35 am

Once upon a Time Reading Challenge XEvery spring, Carl hosts a reading event, Once Upon a Time.

This year marks the tenth year of the challenge, and I’m excited to participate once again. I’m even eager to review the books, which I’ve been remiss about the last couple years. I’ve found Quest the First is the best fit for me, so I’ll be reading five books that fit into the fantasy, fairy tale, folklore, or mythology genres.

While I reserve the right to change my mind about my choices or to add a secondary quest (which offer the options to read A Midsummer’s Night Dream or short stories, play games, or watch tv or movies within these genres), right now, these are the books I’m considering reading (you saw some of these the other day):


  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: A Harry Potteresque school with a cast of characters that includes a chosen one, ghosts, and an evil nemesis, who may also be a vampire.
  • Court of Fives by Kate Elliott: Apparently, it’s Little Women meets courtly fantasy. It got good buzz in my Twitter timeline when it came out. I’ve had it out from the library and it either needs to get read soon or go back to them.
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Another book I’ve had out from the library for ages. Sarah & I caught part of the author’s talk at last fall’s National Book Festival. I’m not sure if it’s my style (one of the main characters is a soldier), but I ought to at least read a few chapters to find out and return it if it’s not.
  • Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan: A Newbery Honor book from this past year that features a magical harmonica. Do we really need to know any more?
  • The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: A lot of people have classified this one as horror (Jenn? What do you think? Is it overly intense?), so it might be an early exiter for me, but it features a library and a Zeus-like character
  • Unnatural Creatures edited by Neil Gaiman: Short stories about magical creatures.

I’m noticing several of the books I’ve selected sound awfully intense, which hasn’t been my speed recently. Only time will tell whether I jettison all of the stressful reads in favor of some of the gentler fantasy I have on my shelves and my online queue (and in that list from the other day).

Have you read anything recently you’d recommend that falls into these categories?

Category: books. There is/are 7 Comments.

Oh, I enjoyed both Echo and An Ember in the Ashes. I hope you enjoy!

Comment by Becky 03.20.16 @ 11:14 am

Oh! I should sign up!!

Hmm, Library of Mount Char is…weird. I think probably more myth-y than horror-y. It’s got some alarming scenes, but I think you should be ok – there aren’t that many and they’re not overly horrific.

Comment by Jenn 03.22.16 @ 8:28 am

Hope you enjoy all of these. The short stories edited by Gaiman sounds interesting.

Comment by TracyK 03.22.16 @ 1:44 pm

I like how you can change your mind 🙂 I do like having a to read list but also love wiggle room.

Comment by karen 03.23.16 @ 6:59 am

@Becky: Thank you!

@Jenn: Thanks! I’ll give it a shot, then.

@TracyK: Thanks, I’m looking forward to it!

@karen: I never join any reading challenge where I can’t change my mind. Not being able to pretty much guarantees I won’t finish it.

Comment by soe 03.25.16 @ 1:49 am

Ooo… there are some great choices here! A few of these are on my wish list.

Taking a flexible approach to the challenge is a sensible move. Good luck with it!

Comment by Elizabeth @ Earl Grey Editing 04.03.16 @ 5:04 am

@Elizabeth: Thanks! I’m looking forward to them.

Comment by soe 04.15.16 @ 1:21 am