Friday, March 21, 2008

Once Upon a Time II

Whilst I didn't participate in last year's Once Upon a Time Challenge, I am definitely going to be this year. The details are all up here.

The Journey

This is really as simple as the name implies and is to Once Upon a Time as the experience was to The Sci~Fi Experience. It means you are participating but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. All reading is a journey, perhaps none more so than reading fantastical fiction. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to at least read one book within the four categories during March 21st to June 20th period. Just one book. It has always been of utmost importance to me that the challenges that I host be all about experiencing enjoyable literature and sharing it with others. I want you to participate. Hence, The Journey.

Quest the First

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Quest the Second

Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology. This proved to be one of the more difficult quests last year merely because of the need to classify each read and determine which books fit into which category. I am not a stickler, fear not, but I was fascinated watching how folks worked to find books for each category.

Quest the Third

Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First or Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Love the story, love the films, love the idea of that magical night of the year and so this is my chance to promote the reading of this farcical love story.

I am not 100 percent sure of which quest it is that I am going to undertake. These are the fantasy books that I currently have out from the library, divided into the relevant categories (I hope I have them in the correct categories anyway).

So basically what I am saying is that I have enough books to fit into Quest the First, but if I am going to do Quest the Second then I will need some book recs for Folklore. Any suggestions? Edited to add In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente. Happy to read other suggestions still though.

The again I do own a copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I'll decide later if I can fit it in or not.


Belladonna by Anne Bishop (review here)
Onion Girl by Charles de Lint (review here)
Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix (review here)


Lions Honey by David Grossman (review here)

Fairy Tale

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (review here)


In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (review here)


  1. I think this is going to be an interesting challenge with so many participants. I like your choice and will be interested to hear about The Onion Girl as I've just started reading De Lint's Newford series. I read Stardust too and liked it, but I prefer Gaiman's short stories I think. Happy reading!

  2. Marg, I'm interested in knowing what effect you think these challenges are having on your reading. Are you reading more widely, more books, or what?

  3. Kerrie, I tend to fit the books I already have to the challenges rather than add books to my reading pile to fit the challenges if you know what I mean.

    There are definitely some challenges that I join that will be easy for me to meet (like the Historical fiction one for example) but what it does do is take me to new blogs, increasing my blogging community etc)

    Others are harder - for example with this one, I don't really consider myself a fantasy reader, although I am gradually reading more and more and more. When I did the Sci-fi one earlier this year, I only read one book, but that was way outside my normal genres.

    So, it is a combination of things for me really! Mostly about community though.

  4. Whatever the reason I'm thrilled that you are joining in! Love the books on your list. And love your blog header! Welcome.

  5. Thanks for hosting it again Carl.

  6. Glad you are joining in! Happy to see some of my book recs made your list. I will be interested to see what you think of Valente. I think I might read her other book for this challenge, but I am not making any sort of definite list. Just going to see where the reading takes me!

  7. I'm reading The Onion Girl too. And I'm so curious about that series by Garth Nix! I hope you enjoy the books you picked :)

  8. I am looking forward to finally having time to read Belladonna (probably not this year sadly). I recently read The Onion Girl and loved it and hope to read Lion's Honey for this challenge. I must read Stardust at some point too, it's the only adult novel I have yet to read by Gaiman.

  9. I looked very closely at Lion's Honey while searching out my "myth" book. I wasn't sure what to make of it from the description on Amazon. Thanks for the review though - I was thinking about reading the Atwood offering to the Myths canon.