Once Upon A Time… A reading (non) challenge

I found the first reading challenge I wish to join. The year long challenges do not tempt me so much, mainly because I don’t even remember them but this sounds like a perfect challenge. 

It’s hosted by Carl of StainlessDropping

To quote from his blog: Friday, March 21st begins the eighth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge. This is a reading and viewing event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues through June 21st and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing whims.

You can read all the instructions here.

I have selected to participate in Quest the Third, which means I’ll be topping Quest the Second with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My target is to read one book in each genre and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I haven’t read a lot of any of these genres except Fantasy probably. But then, whatever I’ve read has been appealing. I am not sure what I am going to read for them. I don’t have much idea about what I’ll read except for mythology. I’m already at the end of a Hindu Myth book called Immortals of Meluha and its sequel, Secret of Nagas, is next in line. So, mythology is pretty much covered. 

For fantasy, folklore, and fairy tale I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out. And if you have any idea, do suggest me some books in these genres. Also join in the fun if you want. You can join in with only one book reading as well. 




12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lynn E. O'Connacht
    Mar 22, 2014 @ 13:33:14

    I always find the folklore category the most difficult to find books for, even though it’s probably the category that interests me the most.

    I’d be happy to try and recommend some books for the other categories too, though I’m sure you’ll find plenty of recommendations as OuaT goes on. It’s always made my wishlist explode with shiny new books to put on there. Is there anything you generally look for in your reading or actively try to avoid? (Mostly are there things you don’t want to read about that I should be aware of or does anything go?)


    • parichitasingh
      Mar 22, 2014 @ 13:41:15

      Anything goes, except horror. Fantasy and mythology I can manage, but fairy-tales(except paranormal fey romances) and folklore are a bit new. I have read books based on them, but nothing particular to them.


      • Lynn E. O'Connacht
        Mar 22, 2014 @ 14:53:29

        I’m not a fan of horror either. ^_^

        Hmm… I still know only fairly little about the nonfiction aspect of fairytales, but Maria Tatar’s and Jack Zipes’s books are pretty well-known there. (I have Tatar’s The Hard facts of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but I haven’t read it yet. I have, however, read Zipes’ When Dreams Came True and found that very interesting.) For fairytales… It depends a bit on whether you’re looking for originals or retellings. For originals the go-to volumes are, of course, the ones that cover Grimm and Andersen, but you could also look at Oscar Wilde’s literary fairytales, collected in The Happy Prince and Other Stories.

        SurLaLune is generally a good source of information; I’ve linked you to the book index for more suggestions on anthologies that might be of interest to you. I’d recommend David Thomson’s The People of the Sea especially, though I don’t know if it’s listed there. It’s a mixture of a travelogue of Scotland and a collection of selkie folklore. Canongate in general is good for retellings, actually. ^_^ Angela Carter’s retellings of fairytale have been incredibly influential, but I think those sometimes fall under ‘horror’.

        Um… Most of that isn’t particularly specific and a bit scattered, I guess. Sorry. ^_^; More specifically… Juliet Marillier uses retellings quite often in her works. Daughter of the Forest and Wildwood Dancing are probably the most well-known of her retellings. They tackle The Six Swans and The Twelve Dancing Princesses respectively. I’ve enjoyed both, but I find it more effective to space her works out myself.

        Catherynne Valente’s Deathless is a retelling of Russian folklore (or a fairy tale, I forget). It’s also not… quite as dense as some of her other work can be.

        A very little known Welsh work is Iron and Gold by Hilda Vaughan. I… really need to reread it at some point. It was a beautiful look at the power of both stories and relationships, though in different ways. The book isn’t so much about stories, but the effect it had on me did make me think about that.

        I hope you’ll be able to find something interesting from what I’ve said! I’ve tried to make it a bit of a mix between the (slightly) more obscure titles I know and the more well-known ones.

  2. Delia
    Mar 22, 2014 @ 19:40:35

    I would recommend pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman, especially his short stories.
    “Smoke and Mirrors” is one of his short story collections based on fairy tales. Also “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is a really magical, heart-warming novel (short, too). “Neverwhere” is another good one.
    Mermaid, by Carolyn Turgeon
    Weaveworld, by Clive Barker
    The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
    Phantastes: A Faerie Romance, by George MacDonald
    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (this one is a chunkster).
    I’ve read and reviewed them all on my blog, if you want to have a look, you’re more than welcome.

    Personally I haven’t tried to put books into fixed categories for this challenge – anything with magic, fairy tale, fantasy and the like is fine.


    • parichitasingh
      Mar 22, 2014 @ 21:44:53

      I’m going to camp in your blog for sometime. Thanks for all those amazing suggestions.


    • Deb Atwood
      Mar 23, 2014 @ 01:27:38

      Parachita, I agree with Delia about Neil Gaiman. Stardust feels fairytale-esque to me as does Neverwhere. Neverwhere could also fit the folklore category with mentions of Atlantis. (I think that’s folklore.) I loved The Robber Bride for fairytale as well.


  3. lynnsbooks
    Mar 22, 2014 @ 19:42:41

    Part of the fun of this is definitely how you fit a book to a theme. Fantasy obviously no problem! But myth and folklore I always get a bit twisted around because they cross over. I suppose you could separate myth into things like greeky myth – muses, Pandora, the fury’s or things like unicorns. I tend to think of folklore as being stories that are passed down between the generations such as Robin Hood – I like to be sneaky and include vampires because I kind of think they’re stories that have been passed down! (Probably a bit of a cheat!)
    Anyway, enjoy the challenge.
    Lynn 😀


    • parichitasingh
      Mar 22, 2014 @ 21:48:15

      Vampires are folklore?! LOL. I have read enough about vampires. I think I’ve a book pending for Black Dagger Brotherhood somewhere, but that couldn’t be said to be handed down over generations. I wonder what future generations will think of Twilight? A folklore? 😀

      For me folklore and fairytales are mix-up. They are practically the same! But I am determined I’ll find the line of difference between two of them as I progress through the challenge.


      • lynnsbooks
        Mar 22, 2014 @ 21:51:55

        Well, maybe not twilight – thinking more old school Dracula/Romanian folklore – and using that context I think it’s okay to slip the odd vampire story in! That’s my excuse anyway.
        Lynn 🙂

  4. cherylmahoney
    Mar 23, 2014 @ 03:42:46

    I also enjoy the three-month length of this “challenge”–it’s much easier to focus for just that length of time instead of a whole year! I think people are much more active around the challenge too, for the same reason. 🙂


  5. olduvai
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 22:25:12

    I feel the same way about year-long challenges! I get enthusiastic at the start of the year, and then forget all about them by mid-year….! Happy reading!


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