Favorite Fairy Tale Retellings I’ve Read

This post is a part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme on The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog for other lists!

Cinder, Scarlett, and Cress by Stephanie Meyer. I started reading Cinder and the other books in this series last year, and I was immediately super impressed that Meyer follows the basic story of the fairy tales, while making it her own thing entirely. In particular she blew my mind with Cress, her retelling of Rapunzel, when she seamlessly integrated some elements that I had forgotten occurred in the fairy tale.

Dearskin by Robin McKinley. I first read this book, a retelling of Donkeyskin, in high school from my school library. Honestly, I think that book was in there by mistake, since a big part of the story involves incest and rape, but I’m so glad it was there. It’s an excellent, emotional book, and I’ve read it a couple of times since.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. This is an anthology of fairy tale retellings.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. It’s Snow White, but figuring out which character is the princess, and which one is the evil stepmother, is part of the fun in this one.

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka. Obviously this has to be on here.

There’s five for me! There are probably others that I’m forgetting, or others that I forgot/didn’t know were fairy tales to begin with.

What fairy tale retellings do you love? Let me know, and go to Broke and Bookish to add your list!

What I’m Reading: Fantasy, Manga, & Some Silly Bears

I forgot to write this up yesterday; the day got away from me. But let’s go on, shall we?

I finished reading The Blue Sword, and while it got more exciting towards the end, the last couple of chapters dragged on and on. Very frustrating, and depressing since I’ve completely loved the other two Robin McKinley books I’ve read. I have started The Hero and the Crown, and you can tell that she figured some things out about pacing and world-building when she started up this novel.

Like I mentioned in my Borders post, I read The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko, and oh boy is that manga fun. There are one or two things I was a little unhappy with, but it’s so overall enjoyable that that didn’t matter too much. I’ve also written a review for the manga on Real Otaku Gamer, so check that out to see some more specific opinions on it.

I’ve read a few other review copies that I’ll get written up and posted on Suite 101 soon, but the one I had the most fun with was a picture book by Emile Bravo, Beauty and the Squat Bears. It’s a very cute, very funny story, and I’m torn between giving this copy to one of my young cousins as a present, or keeping it for myself for forever. I’m leaning towards the latter.

I picked up a second edition hardcover of The Last Unicorn from the used bookstore, and I hope to crack into that this week. I also have a few more review manga that I’m excited to read, like the next volume of Cross Game.

What have you all read this week? And what’s on your to-read list?

What I’m Reading: Swords and Thrones

Didn’t have the time to post this last week. I’m going to try to regularly put this up on Monday, seems like I’ll be a lot more consistent with that than Saturday.

I started going through Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, another book that suggest for my MFA. This book specifically shows you how you can learn to write by reading other people’s work. Prose gives examples from other authors and helps us see how they might have constructed sentences and paragraphs, and figure out what choices they may have made with things like word choice. I’ve only gotten a few chapters in, but it’s very interesting.

I’ve also read the two volumes of Spice and Wolf I bought from the dying Borders near me. Again, I really enjoy this manga series. If I get the chance I want to take a look at the anime and light novels, too.

This is also for the MFA, but I’ve begun Robin McKinley’s YA fantasy, The Blue Sword. I’ve decided I want to look at this, and maybe the prequel story The Hero and the Crown to see what she does right or wrong when it comes to world building. So far, I think The Blue Sword pushes too much information on you right off the bat, and it makes chapter one a bit boring. It gets more interesting after that, though.

I haven’t started it yet, but I want to get to rereading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, since he’s FINALLY releasing the fifth novel in his fantasy series, A Dance with Dragons, in July. I love those books, so I am very, very excited that I’ll get to see what happens next.

What have you been reading? And what’s on your to-read list?