Saturday, 22 March 2014

Oh dear, I know I shouldn't but... Once Upon a Time VIII


It's spring, there are flowers in the garden and friends are posting their lists for Once Upon a Time VIII run by the indefatigable Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. His dedication in running this and other challenges is hugely impressive, and he always finds the most superbly seductive and beautiful artwork. How can I possibly hold out against the temptation to join in?

Well, you've guessed it, I can't. I'm signing up.

The Once Upon a Time VIII Challenge has a few rules:
Rule #1: Have fun.
Rule #2: HAVE FUN.
Rule #3: Don’t keep the fun to yourself, share it with us, please!
Rule #4: Do not be put off by the word “challenge”.
I'm going to be circumspect and only go for the lowest level, though, The Journey, so I'm not posting a "proper" list. (Isn't the little fox a darling...)

This is really as simple as the name implies. It means you are participating, but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to read at least one book within one of the four categories during March 21st to June 21st period. Just one book. If you choose to read more, fantastic! 


In a new venture -- for me at least -- I'm going to include audiobooks. It took me a long time to even remotely consider that an audiobook counted as a book -- after all, I'd never counted books adapted for the radio, or for film, as books, but I took to audiobooks to combat insomnia a couple of years ago and, unlike radio adaptations, I actively listen, and I don't buy abridged books. So, I guess, they are books!

It so happens that I've just started listening to Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It's a "re-read" -- I like rediscovering books I already know -- and it's being an absolute joy. The witch Anathema Device has just appeared. Oh, I so want to change my name to Anathema Device... no doubt one or two of my acquaintances might think it appropriate.

Last month Audible seduced me with a cheap offer, and I found two books by Charles de Lint, Memory and Dream and Widdershins. I've complained here before that some of de Lint's books are quite hard to get in the UK, so I'm really pleased to have these two.

Finally, I still have last year's Christmas present on my bedside table, and all I really needed was an excuse to get started. Not only is it full of fascinating essays, it's beautifully illustrated, in colour. The frontispiece is a double-page spread of the original cover of The Hobbit.


Magical Tales was produced to go with an exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford last year. I couldn't go to that, but I am going to savour every single word of the book. So it will be my "official" read for The Journey, and the audiobooks will be extras.

So, to everyone taking part in Once Upon a Time VIII, I wish you a very happy three months of reading/listening/watching!

14 comments:

  1. I love this challenge. :) I can't wait to see what everyone reads!

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    1. Me too! It does disastrous things to my TBR lists :-)

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  2. Oh, you should, you should! :) I hope you have fun with your reading and listening. I'm always on the lookout for a good Charles De Lint book to try, so I'll look forward to your thoughts!

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    1. I'm looking forward to them - I read Forests of the Heart for a previous OUaT and absolutely loved it.

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  3. Delighted that you're doing this with us all! I'm definitely going to do a reread of Good Omens. It's about 10 years since I read it and I fancy it might be quite a diiferent reading experience for me now. I've read several Charles de Lint (one set in Mousehole and the main character stayed in a street called Chapel Place, which actually exists, only has a few houses, one of which my uncle and aunt lived in. It was a very surreal reading experience!) To be honest I can't decide whether I like his books or not so I'll be very interested to see how you get on. Best of luck with the challenge.

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    1. I've read that one, Cath! I found it a bit odd too, it felt like a strange amalgam of Cornwall and Canada. His books kind of grow on me, and they have a way of sticking in my memory that made me eventually realise I like him a lot.

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  4. When I saw that artwork for the challenge, I decided to join in too at the lowest level. I've a long list of books that fit - so we'll see how I go. Gosh it's years since I read a Charles De Lint book - I enjoyed several of his ages ago - Greenmantle is the title that I remember, not the content so much though.

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    1. The artwork is to die for, as ever :-)
      I'll look forward to seeing what you choose.

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  5. Love your list, Geranium Cat! I like that you are enjoying audio books so much. I haven't made the move towards them yet. I don't hear books well unless I'm not doing anything else, which defeats the purpose of them for me! lol I like the look of the Magical Tales book from the Bodelian library. That looks interesting. I can tell you that Widdershins is very, very good, as is Memory and Dream. Enjoy the challenge! I'm posting about it in a few minutes :-)

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    1. I have the same thing about not hearing audiobooks, so I can only listen in bed. I tried some years ago, with CDs, but that was no good because I could never find the place where I fell asleep. The crucial difference, the one that really makes it work, is listening to them on my phone - it lists the chapters, and has a slider that lets me rewind precisely, so I can find the last bit I remember each time, and it has a sleep function, so I can set it for 30-minute increments. With a CD I heard the first two chapters endlessly, and hardly ever progressed beyond them!
      Shall come and read your post in a minute :-)

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  6. I got to see the Bodleian exhibition and it was wonderful - I was so tempted by the book at the end. Happy reading!

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    1. I'm green with envy, Ana, I would have loved to go.

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  7. Good for you. I'm tempted, but think I have enough challenges on the go for the time being.

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    1. It's always a temptation to take on too many challenges! I'm trying not to overcommit myself!

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