Thursday, July 21, 2011

Books and Bloggers

(Sorry about no post since last week...but I did spend some time on Tuesday updating my blog look and finally creating an "about me" page. Curious who I am? Curious about my blogger moniker? Click the "about me" tab to find out!)

I was going to write this post sooner, but I took a nap before rehearsal instead and lost my "free time for writing" window. Oops…*shrugs* oh well. I know I promised you book reviews this post, but first I want to share a few things with you.

First, earlier this week I finally received my ARC of Michelle Davidson Argyle’s “Monarch”. *squee* Here’s a picture of me shortly after I opened the package:

Michelle is doing a blog tour to promote her new book (coming out in September) and I signed up! So definitely stay tuned for my review and post about her suspense spy thriller in September. And until then, go check out her blog and see why I think she’s awesome. 

And speaking of awesome, another blogger I follow (Laura Diamond) is holding a great contest to celebrate for follower numbers. She reached her 500 twitter followers (in fact, she surpassed it) and is super close to reaching 300 blog followers. She’s offering writing critiques and free books! Yay for both! Check out her blog as well!

Now onto the book reviews…or “my personal opinions and book recommendations” as I like to say. I’m going to focus on two books today, though I have three more books that I have finished. (I’ll review those books in another post so I don’t overwhelm anyone with the plethora of reviews.) I chose these two books because they have the most in common with each other: both are a collection of short stories, both have a “fairy tales” theme, both are juvenile fiction, and both are books I’ve had since I was younger but never read until recently.

“Instead of Three Wishes: Magical Short Stories” by Megan Whalen Turner: All the short stories in this book were written by the same author, but each story has its own voice and a different feel about it. Some of the tales have more in common with others though. There are no “classic” fairy tales or myths among the seven stories in the book, but they do have fantastical “fairy tale” feels and themes. They range from stories about modern day events mixed with fantasy elements to a futuristic ghost story to moral tales of facing our nightmares to clever schemes of mistaken identities. While all the stories had clever twists and interesting characters, my favorite stories were “The Baker King” and the book’s title story “instead of Three Wishes.” The first starts out as a classic tale about a kingdom with a missing heir and danger fast approaching, but a clever royal advisor as plans to “save” the kingdom and find a temporary “heir”. Of course, trouble always ensues when mistaken identities and marauding bandits are involved. The latter story deals with a young girl who has, in her eyes, the misfortune of helping a pesky elf prince who is determined to fulfill her deepest wishes. But when golden carriages, elegant palaces, and handsome princes fail to win over the girl and her mother, what’s an elf prince to do? He turns to his wise elven queen mother, that’s what! I recommend this book to lovers of magical short stories who aren’t necessarily looking for typical fantasy/ fairy tales or any youngster (or young-at-heart) who wants a simple story to warm their heart or inspire their imagination.

“A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling: Unlike the above book, this collection of short stories contains thirteen tales written by various authors and has much more in common with the classical fairy tales you probably grew up hearing. But it still won over my heart and imagination like the above book, and held its own unique twists and takes on the classics. Majority of the stories in this book were retelling or reinventing of tradition fairy tales, much like the title suggests. The expectation I’d say was “Instructions” by Neil Gaiman, which was a poem about how to embark on a magical journey but it incorporated various symbols and traditions of various myths and magical tales. (It was also one of my favorites!) The authors in this book take interesting looks at familiar characters like a book-loving Cinderella in “Cinder Elephant” by Jane Yolen, an urban Hansel and Gretel in “Hansel’s Eyes” by Garth Nix, and a glimpse of what happened to the seven dwarves after the prince kissed Snow White in “The Seven Stage a Comeback” by Gregory Maguire (which was another favorite of mine). I recommend this book for any fairy tale lover who wants a new look at their favorite stories or any reader who wants a sampling of some great authors and their clever works.

Have I intrigued you to check out these books? *wink* Stay tune for more reviews and writings from this quirky blogger!



  1. Squee! Thanks again for the picture! I hope you enjoy the book. Great reviews, too. :)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Michelle!

  3. I have a friend who just signed a deal with Michelle's publisher! I'm so excited to see books by smaller publishers getting so much attention. :)