Once Upon a Time VIII

It’s Spring apparently.

Here in Northern California, it’s been Spring-like for quite a while now. Sometimes even summer-ish, with people in T-shirts, shorts and slippers (sorry if you’re reading this while huddled under a thick winter jacket and three layers of socks). But some of the trees in my neighborhood are in that lovely stage where there are some hesitant showings of first leaves. Other trees have already hurriedly shown off their flowers with a flourish and petals are everywhere. And it’s fava bean season again! I can’t wait to get to the farmers’ market on Sunday (it’s conveniently located at the local mall’s parking lot, just 5 minutes away, and the kettle corn always tempts).

(Although today as I post this – having written this yesterday when the sun was shining – it is raining and gloomy)

Vegetation aside, spring is time for Carl’s Once Upon a Time challenge (here’s the Review Site). And I’ll be embarking on….

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

Perhaps the most fun bit about a reading challenge is making the list. And so here is mine. Too long as always. But lots of fun went into its making!


Plenty of new-to-me authors here – Pamela Dean, Malinda Lo, Joan D Vinge, Steven Brust, Lucy Wood, Gail Carson Levine, Dubravka Ugresic

The Huntress – Malinda Lo
Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary – Pamela Dean
Kissing the witch – Emma Donoghue
My mother she killed me, my father he ate me: forty new fairy tales – edited by Kate Bernheimer
The snow queen – Joan D Vinge
The sun, the moon and the stars – Steven Brust
Tam Lin – Pamela Dean
Winter Rose – Patricia A McKillip
Mr Fox – Helen Oyeyemi
Diving Belles – Lucy Wood
Cart and Cwidder – Diana Wynne Jones
The fairy godmother – Mercedes Lackey
Ella enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
Boy, Snow, Bird – Helen Oyeyemi
Baba Yaga laid an egg – Dubravka Ugresic


Are you joining this challenge? Have you read any of these books? Which would you recommend? I know everyone’s reading Boy, Snow, Bird so I’m second in the hold queue at the library where its status is still ‘on order’.


  1. But long lists are such fun to choose from! 🙂 I’m hoping to read Diana Wynne Jones for this challenge too…and I LOVE Ella Enchanted, so I hope you get to explore that one too!


    1. Heh, here’s a silly question but what does a buddy read entail? I’ve never done one before!

      I don’t exactly have my hands on Baba Yaga yet though. It would require an inter-library loan!


  2. I’m joining the challenge as well.
    Your list looks intriguing. I haven’t read any of the books but heard of some of them, like Baba Yaga, Ella Enchanted and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. I am especially curious about this last one because I saw Neil Gaiman’s name on the cover (and I love Gaiman’s short stories, and by the way, have you read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, it’s fantastic), Aimee Bender (I’ve read her novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, it was ok) and Joyce Carol Oates whose short story collection, Give Me Your Heart is excellent. So I may have to look for this book at the bookstore this weekend. According to the reviews on goodreads, people seem to either love it or hate it, so I’ll have to see for myself if I like it or not.
    Looking forward to the reviews. Enjoy!


      1. I bought “My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me” yesterday, and read the first story in it – Baba Yaga and the Pelican Child – it’s great, I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy the rest of the stories.Thanks for posting about it! 🙂


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