Thursday, November 4, 2021

New Book: Little Thieves by Margaret Owen, a Goose Girl Inspired Novel


Little Thieves by Margaret Owen (Amazon Affiliate link) is a new release this month. It's more unusual since it is inspired by The Goose Girl, one of those fairy tales beloved by fairy tale aficionados and unknown by almost everyone else because it hasn't gotten the Disney treatment. 

Book description:

A scrappy maid must outsmart both palace nobles and Low Gods in a new YA fantasy by Margaret Owen, author of the Merciful Crow series.

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl...

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love―and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele's dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.
 
The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed. 
 
Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life. 
 
Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Bargain Ebook: My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer for $1.99


My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format. I've owned this in paper for years but I like to get these in digital format, too, when they are priced to duplicate my paper library.

Book description:

The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction.
Neil Gaiman, “Orange”
Aimee Bender, “The Color Master”
Joyce Carol Oates, “Blue-bearded Lover”
Michael Cunningham, “The Wild Swans”
These and more than thirty other stories by Francine Prose, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, Lydia Millet, and many other extraordinary writers make up this thrilling celebration of fairy tales—the ultimate literary costume party. 
Spinning houses and talking birds. Whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins, gathered by visionary editor Kate Bernheimer and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Match Girl” to Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and “Cinderella” to the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico.
Fairy tales are our oldest literary tradition, and yet they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature. This exhilarating collection restores their place in the literary canon.


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Saturday, September 11, 2021

Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes Airing 9/17/2021 on PBS Great Performances

 

Great Performances on PBS will be airing Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes on September 17, 2021. Bourne is well-known for his interpretations of Sleeping Beauty, The Red Shoes, Swan Lake and Cinderella. 

From PBS:

Experience Hans Christian Andersen’s dark fairytale from acclaimed director-choreographer Matthew Bourne with this Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation starring Ashley Shaw, Adam Cooper, Dominic North and Michaela Meazza.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Bargain Ebook The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall, $1.99 TODAY ONLY


The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format. This isn't quite a folklore book but it's certainly an adjacent topic. I bought this last time it was on sale but unfortunately it still sits in my long TBR list as life keeps distracting me from my passions.

Book description:

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s easy to say that humans are “wired” for story, but why?

In this delightful and original book, Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems—just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal. Did you know that the more absorbed you are in a story, the more it changes your behavior? That all children act out the same kinds of stories, whether they grow up in a slum or a suburb? That people who read more fiction are more empathetic?

Of course, our story instinct has a darker side. It makes us vulnerable to conspiracy theories, advertisements, and narratives about ourselves that are more “truthy” than true. National myths can also be terribly dangerous: Hitler’s ambitions were partly fueled by a story.

But as Gottschall shows in this remarkable book, stories can also change the world for the better. Most successful stories are moral—they teach us how to live, whether explicitly or implicitly, and bind us together around common values. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Bargain Ebook: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik for $2.99 TODAY ONLY

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is on sale for $2.99 TODAY ONLY in ebook format. Pretty much everyone has heard of this one if not read it already. So I'll let the description speak for itself below.

Book description:

NEBULA AND HUGO AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF PASTES BEST FANTASY BOOKS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • NPR • Time • Tordotcom • Popsugar • Vox • Vulture  Paste • Bustle • Library Journal

With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. She will face an impossible challenge and, along with two unlikely allies, uncover a secret that threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike.

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Bargain Ebook: The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid for TODAY ONLY



The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid is on sale for $4.99 TODAY ONLY in ebook format. It pulls themes from Jewish folklore for those who find that their catnip.

Book description:

In the vein of Naomi Novik’s New York Times bestseller Spinning Silver and Katherine Arden’s national bestseller The Bear and the Nightingale, this unforgettable debut— inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology—follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered.

But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother.

As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: break your glass slippers (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale) by Amanda Lovelace for $1.99




break your glass slippers (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale) by Amanda Lovelace is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format. This is a book of poetry and the first in a series. The inspiration here is Cinderella, obviously, with other books in the series drawing from other fairy tales. 

Book description:

"more forgetting time.
more midnight dances with yourself
."

amanda lovelace, the bestselling & award-winning author of the “women are some kind of magic” poetry series, presents a new companion series, “you are your own fairy tale” the first installment, break your glass slippers, is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself. in the epic tale of your life, you are the most important character while everyone is but a forgotten footnote. even the prince.

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TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust for $2.99


Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust is on sale TODAY ONLY for $2.99 in ebook format. 

The author's note at the end of the book shares many of the influences for the story, including but not limited to, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Shahneameh (a legendary Persian epic), and much Persian folklore. 

Book description:

Melissa Bashardoust's Girl, Serpent, Thorn is “an alluring feminist fairy tale” (Kirkus) about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse.

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming...human or demon. Princess or monster.


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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Bargain Ebook: Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson for $2.99

 

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson is bargain priced in ebook format for $2.99. It is a science fiction novel with tropes from Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. The description includes a reference to a glass coffin! What fun and the concept of mixing those tales with cryogenic sleep has become a subset of retellings, but still not common. I have a soft spot for science fiction with fairy tale inspirations.

Book Description:
Andra wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 1,000 years later than she was supposed to, forcing her to team up with an exiled prince to navigate an unfamiliar planet in this smart, thrilling sci-fi adventure, perfect for fans of Renegades and Aurora Rising.

When Andra wakes up, she's drowning.

Not only that, but she's in a hot, dirty cave, it's the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists--including her family and friends--are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra's a deity. She knows she's nothing special, but she'll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess's glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he's hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne--if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn't actually have the power to save their dying planet, they'll kill her.


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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Amazon's Cinderella

 

 

I'm trying to make it back to regular posting, folks. It's been a really difficult three years personally with a pandemic on top of it. So I'm starting with some low hanging fruit here!

So the trailer for Amazon's Cinderella is available for previewing. As you can see above. Go ahead and watch it. I'll wait for you.

Now that's an adventure, isn't it? I've been reading, watching, and listening to versions of Cinderella for almost five decades now. And this one looks like it will be fun just to watch the many ways they try to bend the tropes in one rendition. Since Pierce Brosnan was my first crush many moons ago, I have to admit I'm willing to show up to watch him, too, for old time's sake. A rewatch of Remington Steele last year during shutdown reminded me I had good taste at 12. It's funny how it feels Disneyesque but more ambitious in its trope bending. After a summer with Schmigadoon, these musicals are beginning to feel like their having yet another resurgence. 

I rather wish they had given this a more creative Cinderella title to make it easier to find in future years.

The official information for the film:

Cinderella is a musically-driven bold new take on the traditional story you grew up with. Our heroine (Camila Cabello) is an ambitious young woman whose dreams are bigger than the world will allow, but with the help of her Fab G (Billy Porter), she is able to persevere and make her dreams come true. 
Written for the screen and directed by Kay Cannon with covers of songs written by some of the top-selling musical artists of all time, Cinderella has an all-star cast that includes Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, with Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan. Producers are James Corden, Leo Pearlman, Jonathan Kadin and Shannon McIntosh, and executive producers are Louise Rosner and Josephine Rose.
Go here to add it to your Amazon Watchlist.

And I have to agree, I don't think there is any magic that can make a glass slipper comfortable!


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Friday, February 26, 2021

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino for $2.99

 

Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino is a Kindle Daily Deal for $2.99 today in ebook format. This is a classic fairy tale collection and a must for fairy tale fans. 

 Book description: 

One of the New York Times’s Ten Best Books of the Year: These traditional stories of Italy, retold by a literary master, are “a treasure” (Los Angeles Times). 

Filled with kings and peasants, saints and ogres—as well as some quite extraordinary plants and animals—these two hundred tales bring to life Italy’s folklore, sometimes with earthy humor, sometimes with noble mystery, and sometimes with the playfulness of sheer nonsense. 

Selected and retold by one of the country’s greatest literary icons, “this collection stands with the finest folktale collections anywhere” (The New York Times Book Review). 

“For readers of any age . . . A masterwork.” —The Wall Street Journal 

“A magic book, and a classic to boot.” —Time

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook for $1.99: Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales by Marie-Louise von Franz

Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales: Revised Edition (C. G. Jung Foundation Books Series Book 1) by Marie-Louise von Franz is a Kindle Daily Deal for $1.99 today. The paperback is $22.00. You don't have to have a Kindle to read this. You can read on the free Kindle apps for your phone, computer or tablet. I just had that question from a family member about another book so I thought I would point it out for anyone not in the know. I don't think this has ever been on sale this cheap in ebook format so this is a deal. You can't find a used copy for this price if you are interested in Jungian fairy tale studies.

Book description:

A renowned psychologist examines fairy tales through a Jungian lens, revealing what they can teach us about the darkest sides of human behavior.
 
Fairy tales seem to be innocent stories, yet they contain profound lessons for those who would dive deep into their waters of meaning. In this book, Marie-Louise von Franz uncovers some of the important lessons concealed in tales from around the world, drawing on the wealth of her knowledge of folklore, her experience as a psychoanalyst and a collaborator with Jung, and her great personal wisdom. Among the many topics discussed in relation to the dark side of life and human psychology, both individual and collective, are:
 
• How different aspects of the "shadow"—all the affects and attitudes that are unconscious to the ego personality—are personified in the giants and monsters, ghosts, and demons, evil kings, and wicked witches of fairy tales
• How problems of the shadow manifest differently in men and women
• What fairy tales say about the kinds of behavior and attitudes that invite evil
• How Jung's technique of Active imagination can be used to overcome overwhelming negative emotions
• How ghost stories and superstitions reflect the psychology of grieving
• What fairy tales advise us about whether to struggle against evil or turn the other cheek

 

Dr. von Franz concludes that every rule of behavior that we can learn from the unconscious through fairy tales and dreams is usually a paradox: sometimes there must be a physical struggle against evil and sometimes a contest of wits, sometimes a display of strength or magic and sometimes a retreat. Above all, she shows the importance of relying on the central, authentic core of our being—the innermost Self, which is beyond the struggle between the opposites of good and evil.

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