Friday, November 30, 2012

Lots of Bargain Ebooks

I think we've established that my relaxation time involves lots and lots of reading. So does my work time. Hmmm... Anyway, this time of year offers lots of ebook bargains and I thought I'd share some previously discussed on the blog or by known favorite authors. There's probably at least one here you want--there were several for me...

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle) by Diane Wynne Jones is $1.99. On my ebook wishlist.

Book description:

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett is $2.99. Pratchett!

Book description:

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's . . . Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl—not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger's encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high comedy with deep wisdom in this tale of an unexpected coming-of-age and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating world.

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days) by Susan Ee is $1.66.

Book description:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with Raffe, an injured enemy angel. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr is $1.99.

Book description:

In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father—and every other witch there—fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable.
While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder, comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.


Wildwood by Colin Meloy is $1.99.

Book description:

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.
You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.

And this is where the crows take her brother.

So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.

A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger is $1.99.

Book description:

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is $2.99.

Book description:

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad's ancient powers-one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.

Video: Illness makes woman a 'sleeping beauty'

Illness makes woman a 'sleeping beauty' Issues w/Jane Velez-Mitchell | Added on November 28, 2012 HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell talks to a woman who has a mysterious illness that causes her to sleep up to 18 hours per day.

This sounds slightly different from the Sleeping Beauty disorder that makes girls sleep for days or weeks at a time, but probably related. Fascinating to think how this illness may have been perceived or treated in past centuries.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Now Available: Cinderella Tales From Around the World

Cinderella Tales From Around the World

Yes, things have been a little quiet around here thanks to holiday and work demands. The good news is that my next title, Cinderella Tales From Around the World (Updated! It's on Amazon now.), should be available for purchase on Amazon and other bookstores sometime within the next week. It's been a long, long, long journey to the end of this book, a longer one than I ever anticipated. And since the table of contents for this one is long, too, I am going to simply say no more and share it for the remainder of this post. Here goes:

Table of Contents

Tales marked with * are summaries of tales.

Introduction: Searching for Cinderella by Heidi Anne Heiner
Notes About This Edition

Cinderella Tales

1. Rhodopis: Early Texts Egypt
2. The First Cinderella: A Tale of the Red Pyramid Egypt
3. Rhodopis and Her Little Gilded Sandals Egypt
4. The Magic Jar Egypt
5. Aseneth Jewish Legend
6. Of Aspasia Greece
7. The Three Sisters Greece
8. Aschenputtel* Greece
9. Little Saddleslut Greece
10. Saddleslut Greece
11. The Story of Cinderella Greece
12. Aschenbrödel* Cyprus
13. The Cat Cinderella Italy
14. The Ewe* Italy
15. Fair Date* Italy
16. La Cenorientola Italy
17. Vaccarella Italy
18. La Cenerentola (I) Italy
19. Scindirin-Scindirolu* Italy
20. Cinderella Italy
21. Cendreusette Italy
22. Catarina* Italy
23. La Cenerentola (II)* Italy
24. The Calf with Golden Horns* Italy
25. The Story of Cinderella* Italy
26. La Maestra e la Figliastra* Italy
27. The Cinder-Wench* Italy
28. La Cenerentola (III)* Italy
29. La Bbrutta Cenerelle* Italy
30. Aschenputtel Germany
31. The Three Sisters* Germany
32. Aschenbrödel* Germany
33. Aschengrittel* Germany
34. Eschenfidle* Germany
35. The Story of the King and of Jenne His True Love* Belgium
36. Aschekladdeken* Belgium
37. The Lay of the Ash Tree France
38. Cinderilla; or, The Little Glass Slipper France
39. Finette Cendron France
40. Cendrouse France
41. The Black Cat France
42. The Blue Bull France
43. The Fire-blower* Spain
44. La Cenicienta* Spain
45. The Hearth Cat Portugal
46. The Maiden and the Fish Portugal
47. Horse-Skin Portugal
48. Ashey Pelt Ireland
49. Fair, Brown, and Trembling Ireland
50. Cul-Fin, Cul-Din, Cul-Corrach Ireland
51. The Snow-White Maiden, and the Fair Maid, and the Swarthy Maid, and Frizzle, or Bald Pate Their Mother Scotland
52. Ashpitel Scotland
53. Rashie Coat Scotland
54. The Red Calf Scotland
55. Rashin Coatie (Lang) Scotland
56. Rashin-Coatie (Douglas) Scotland
57. The Black Yow Scotland
58. The Sharp Grey Sheep Scotland
59. Cinderella Wales
60. Rushen Coatie England
61. The Broken Pitcher England
62. The Cinder Maid Europe
63. Stepmother Story Iceland
64. The Story of Mjadveig, The Daughter of Mani (I) Iceland
65. The Story of Mjadveig, The Daughter of Mani (II) Iceland
66. The Story of Mjadveig* Iceland
67. The Tale of How Three Damsels Went To Fetch Fire Iceland
68. The Girl Who Got Meat and Clothes in the Mound* Faroe Islands
69. The Girl Clad in Mouse-Skin Denmark
70. The Green Knight Denmark
71. Lucy Ragged-hood* Denmark
72. The White Dog, or Put-into-Pot* Denmark
73. The Little Glove* Denmark
74. Pot of Ashes* Denmark
75. The Golden Shoe (I)* Denmark
76. The Little Red Calf* Denmark
77. Hazel-brother* Denmark
78. Mette Skin-gown* Denmark
79. The Cock and Hen Who Went to the Judge* Denmark
80. The Little Golden Shoe* Denmark
81. The Golden Shoe (II)* Denmark
82. The Little Gold Shoe* Denmark
83. Askenbasken, Who Became Queen* Denmark
84. Whip-in-the-Ashes (I)* Denmark
85. Whip-in-the-Ashes (II)* Denmark
86. The Golden Shoe (III)* Denmark
87. Greasy Matty* Denmark
88. Tahier-Tahaer* Denmark
89. The Stepdaughter* Denmark
90. The Little Shoe* Denmark
91. Little Mary in the Wooden-gown* Denmark
92. The Two Princesses* Denmark
93. The Little Gold Shoe with 7 Variants Sweden
94. Cinder-brat; or, Little Cinder-slut (Askungen)* Sweden
95. Crow-cloak (Kräkpelsa)* Sweden
96. The Stepdaughter and the Right Daughter* Sweden
97. Cinderella Fragment* Sweden
98. Katie Woodencloak Norway
99. Kari Traestak (I)* Norway
100. Kari Traestak (II)* Norway
101. Kari Traestak (III)* Norway
102. Kari Traestak (IV)* Norway
103. The Lime-tree Queen* Norway
104. Stable-Slut* Norway
105. The Old Man’s Daughter* Norway
106. Manddottera* Norway
107. Aaskepot* Norway
108. The Man’s Daughter* Norway
109. Little Christina (Lita Kjersti)* Norway
110. The Man’s Daughter in the Pig-sty* Norway
111. Kraake Lange* Norway
112. The Three Girls Who Went as Servants to the King’s Palace* Finland
113. The Girls Who Went to the King’s Palace* Finland
114. The Syöjätär (I)* Finland
115. The Syöjätär (II)* Finland
116. The Beggar’s Daughter Housed Free* Finland
117. The Two Young Ladies and Cinderella* Finland
118. The Servants' Places* Finland
119. Poropüka* Finland
120. Tüna, the Swineherd* Finland
121. The Swineherd* Finland
122. Sikeri-Sokeri, Cowskin* Finland
123. The Wonderful Birch Finland & Russia
124. The Marvellous Oak* Finland & Russia
125. The Three Sisters* Finland
126. Tuhka-Triinu Estonia
127. Chernushka Russia
128. Zamarashka* Russia
129. The Baba Yaga Russia
130. Vasilissa the Beautiful Russia
131. The Orphan and the Fairy* Belarus
132. Kopciuszku* Belarus
133. The Golden Slipper Cossack (Ukraine and Russia)
134. A Polish Cinderella* Poland
135. The Story of an Orphan* Poland
136. The Princess with the Pigskin Cloak* Poland
137. The Mysterious Lady of the Fir-Tree* Poland
138. The Oak-Tree and the Sheepskin* Poland
139. The Three Sisters* Czech Republic
140. The Three Princesses Hungary
141. Popelusa* Hungary
142. O Popelusce* Hungary
143. The Widower and His Daughter Hungary
144. The Three Sisters* Austria
145. Aschenbrödel* Austria
146. La Cuzza Tzenere* Croatia
147. The Golden Apple and the Cinder-girl* Croatia
148. Papalluga; or, The Golden Slipper Serbia
149. Pepelyouga Serbia
150. Aschenzuttel* Serbia
151. Cinderella Bulgaria
152. Conkiajgharuna, the Little Rag Girl Georgia
153. The Brother Ram* Armenia
154. The Story of Little Fatima Iran
155. Snowmaiden Palestine (Historical Region)
156. The Tender-hearted Maiden and the Fish Nigeria
157. Fenda Maria and Her Elder Brother Nga Nzua Angola
158. The White Turtle Sri Lanka
159. Bâpkhâdî* India
160. A Salsette Cinderella India
161. Cinderella India
162. The Wicked Stepmother Kashmir
163. Yeh-hsien China
164. Beauty and Pock Face China
165. Pigling and Her Proud Sister Korea
166. Benizara and Kakezara Japan
167. The Story of Tam and Cam Vietnam
168. Kajong and Halœk* Vietnam
169. Maria and the Lukban Tree (I) Philippines
170. Maria and the Lukban Tree (II) Philippines
171. The Story of the Life of Maria . . . In the Kingdom of Hungary Philippines
172. Life of a Merchant, Proceso by Name, and of His Daughter Maria, in the Kingdom of Hungary Philippines
173. Maria and the Golden Slipper Philippines
174. Abadeja Philippines
175. A Macassar Version of Cinderella Indonesia
176. The Bones of Djulung Indonesia
177. Ojibwa Cinderella Ojibwa Tribe, North America
178. The Invisible One Micmac Tribe, North America
179. Little Burnt Face Micmac Tribe, North America
180. Indian Cinderella Micmac Tribe, North America
181. Huron Cinderella Wyandot (Huron) Tribe, North America
182. The Poor Turkey Girl Zuñi Tribe, North America
183. The Turkey Herd Zuñi Tribe, North America
184. Cendrillon Canada
185. Cinderella, from Thorpe’s The Master’s House United States
186. Cinderella Bahamas
187. Cendrillon* Martinique
188. Cinder-Mary (Cuento de Maria Ceniza) Mexico
189. Maria the Cinder-maiden Chile
190. Maria the Ash-Girl Chile

Donkeyskin Tales

191. The Goat-Girl Greece
192. Allerleirauh* Greece/Albania
193. The Shoes (Les Souliers)* Albania
194. Doralice Italy
195. The She-Bear Italy
196. The Bear Italy
197. La Scindiroeura* Italy
198. Betta Pilusa* Italy
199. Little Hairy (Pilusedda)* Italy
200. Faith and Creed* Italy
201. The Deer* Italy
202. Truvaturedda (Trovatorella)* Italy
203. Fair Maria Wood Italy
204. Maria Wood (I) Italy
205. Maria Wood (II) Italy
206. Maria Wood (III) Italy
207. Marie Wooden Dress Italy
208. Le Pays des Brides* Italy
209. La Candeliera Italy
210. Ugly Gourd (Zuccaccia)* Italy
211. Father and Daughter* Italy
212. The Story of the Hairy Belle* Italy
213. The Story of the Three Dresses* Italy
214. Dame Cork* Italy
215. Lu Zocchele de Legne* Italy
216. The Little Gold Shoe with 7 Variants* Italy
217. Maria Wood (Maria Intaulata)* Italy
218. Maria Wainscotted (Maria Intauradda)* Italy
219. The Wooden Top (Il Trottolin di Legno)* Italy
220. Pellicina* Italy
221. Allerleirauh; or, All-Kinds-of-Fur Germany
222. Allerleirauh; or, The Many-Furred Creature (Lang) Germany
223. Aschenpüster (Cinderblower) Germany
224. Aschengrübel Switzerland
225. Saint Helena France
226. Of a Young Girl Nicknamed Peau d’Asne and How She Was Married With the Help of Small Ants France
227. Donkey-skin France
228. La Peau d’Ane* France
229. Peau d’Ane* France
230. Peau d'Anette France
231. Césarine* France
232. The King of Spain’s Daughter* France
233. The Golden Bull* France
234. The White Goat France
235. Ass’-Skin French Basque
236. The Stepmother and the Stepdaughter French Basque
237. The Ass’s Skin* Spain
238. The Golden Chest* Spain
239. The Princess Who Would Not Marry Her Father Portugal
240. The Princess and the Golden Cow England
241. Tattercoats England
242. The Story of Catskin England
243. The Wandering Young Gentlewoman; or, Catskin England
244. Catskin England
245. The Princess in the Catskins Ireland
246. The King Who Wished Marry To His Daughter Scotland
247. Margery White Coats Scotland
248. The Red Cow* Denmark
249. The Little Red Cow* Denmark
250. Pussel in the Skin-gown* Denmark
251. The Little Shoe* Denmark
252. The Girl with the Crow's-bill Gown* Denmark
253. Crow-mantle* Denmark
254. Tale of a Little Kitchen Wench* Denmark
255. Shaggy-cloak* Sweden
256. The Crowbill-cloak* Sweden
257. Fur-cloak* Sweden
258. The Crow-cloak (Kråk-Pelsen)* Sweden
259. Thousand-cloak (Tusen-Pelsen)* Sweden
260. Pelsarubb* Sweden
261. Crowbill-cloak (Kråknabba-Pelsen)* Sweden
262. Wood-Clatter* Norway
263. The Girl with the Crowskin Cloak* Norway
264. The Three Dresses* Finland
265. The King’s Daughter* Finland
266. The Pig Girl* Finland
267. The Wonder of Wonders (Perenovoe Chudo)* Russia
268. Mary the Smutty-Nosed (Mashka Soplivka)* Russia
269. Pigskin Hood (Svinoi Chekhol) * Russia
270. The Beautiful Princess Lithuania
271. Four Talking Sticks* Lithuania
272. Królewna Kocie Oczy (Princess Cat’s-Eyes)* Poland
273. Brother and Sister* Poland
274. Krolowna Sa Popielucha (The Princess as Cinderella)* Poland
275. O Myszej Skorce (Mouse-Skin)* Poland
276. The Princess with the Gold Star on Her Brow* Czech Republic
277. The Girl with the Louse-Skin Cloak* Ukraine
278. The Emperor’s Daughter in the Pig Stall* Romania
279. Besom-Cast, Brush-Cast, Comb-Cast Austria
280. Hennenpfösl* Austria
281. Cistl im Körbl* Austria
282. The Emperor Who Wanted To Marry His Own Daughter* Croatia
283. Aschenbrödel* Serbia
284. Popeljuha Zavaljuha* Serbia
285. The Devil’s Dresses* Serbia
286. How an Emperor’s Daughter Was Turned into a Lamb* Serbia
287. Wooden Mary (Xylomarie)* Turkey
288. Allerleirauh* Turkey
289. Aurora* Syria
290. Nya-Nya Bulembu; or, The Moss-Green Princess South Africa
291. Baboon-Skins South Africa
292. The Story of Peau d’Âne Mauritius
293. The Scab Girl Sri Lanka
294. The Disguised Princess India
295. The King and the Fairy India
296. The Princess and the Cat India
297. The Wooden Bowl Japan
298. Dona Labismina Brazil
299. Florinda Chile
300. Delgadina Nicaragua

Cap o’ Rushes and Love Like Salt Tales
(ATU 510B and 923)

301. La Sendraroeula Italy
302. Like Good Salt Italy
303. The Value of Salt Italy
304. Water and Salt with 3 Variants Italy
305. Blear-Eye (Occhi-Marci)* Italy
306. The Story of the Candlestick (La Fola del Candlir)* Italy
307. The Screw of Salt (Lu Scartozze de Sale)* Italy
308. The Goose-Girl at the Well Germany
309. So Lieb Wie Salz* Germany
310. Salt and Bread (Salt og Brod)* Sweden
311. Slut-Sweeps-the-Oven* Belgium
312. Little Dirty-Skin* Belgium
313. As Much As Salt* Belgium
314. Salt Belgium
315. The Dirty Shepherdess (La Pouilleuse) France
316. The Turkey Girl* France
317. Marie la Fille du Roi* France
318. Johnny of the Bark* Spain
319. Salt and Water* Portugal
320. King Leir and Cordeilla England
321. King Lear (Lamb) England
322. King Lear (Nesbit) England
323. Cap o’ Rushes: The Suffolk “King Lear” England
324. Cap o’ Rushes England
325. Sugar and Salt England
326. The King and His Daughters Pakistan
327. The Princess Who Loved Her Father Like Salt (I) India
328. The Princess Who Loved Her Father Like Salt (II) India

One Eyes, Two Eyes, Three Eyes Tales (ATU 511)

329. One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes Germany
330. La Petite Annette* France
331. The Golden Pear-Tree* France
332. The Golden Bells* France
333. The Sheep’s Daughter* Scotland
334. Mette Wooden-hood* Denmark
335. Little Havroshechka* Russia
336. Burenushka* Russia
337. The Girl Who Had a Witch for a Stepmother* Czech Republic
338. The Story of How Fatima Killed Her Mother and What Came of It Iran
339. Lal Badshah, The Red King; or, The Two Little Princesses India
340. One-Eye, Two-Eyes and Three-Eyes United States

More Cinderellas

341. Marietta and the Witch, Her Stepmother Greece
342. Klein-Else Austria
343. Sodewa Bai India
344. The Tale of Princess Phulande India
345. The Talking Eggs United States


Bibliography of Primary Sources
Bibliography of Secondary Sources

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Bargains: Dorothy L. Sayers

Raptures of joy! All of the ebook editions of Dorothy Sayers are down to $2.99 each today only, too. No, no fairy tales, but just one of the best mystery series. With some romance, too, if you read the Harriet Vane ones. These have been ranging from $11.99 to $9.99 each. And will return to such tomorrow.

Ebook Monday!

Oh, oodles of love for Cyber Monday today. I am on my way out the door to a meeting, but do check out the mounds of ebooks marked down today only on Amazon. The fantasy section includes Terri Windling, Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer, Jonathan Carroll, Alan Dean Foster, Barbara Hambly, and Octavia Butler. Just to name a few. Most are $1.99. Many are from my wish list. Yay! When I get back later, I'll highlight more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today Only Bargain Ebook: Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde

Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde is $1.99 in ebook format on Amazon, today only. Vande Velde is a pro with fairy tales and this book draws from many fairy tale tropes.

Book description:

The same day that the villagers of Thornstowe finally hunt down a witch with a reputation for stealing children, a 12-year-old appears in the woods with no memory of her past. Is there a connection between Isabelle, the girl who doesn’t know who she is, and the girl the witch stole six years earlier? One of the few things Isabelle remembers is a chant that keeps running through her head:

Old as dirt,
dirty as dirt.
Ugly as sin,
mean as sin.

Don’t let the old witch catch you!

Could Isabelle have been stolen by the old witch of the woods, or has she lost her memory as the result of an accident? And what about the baby the witch stole right before the villagers attacked? Did either the witch or the baby survive the fire the villagers set?

"Isabelle heard no sound beyond the faintest shivering of leaves in a gentle breeze. No sound of pursuit. But surely something was wrong, or she would know who and where she was. So she resumed running. But it wasn’t as effortless as before. Her worry weighed her down as she tried to list the things she knew—and found the list of things she didn't know longer by far."

Bargain Ebooks: Bluebeard by Vonnegut Today Only

Bluebeard (Kurt Vonnegut Series) by Kurt Vonnegut and 13 other of his books are priced at $1.99 today only on Amazon. Yes, it draws inspiration from the fairy tale.

Book description:

Bluebeard, published in 1987, is Vonnegut's meditation on art, artists, surrealism, and disaster. Meet Rabo Karabekian, a moderately successful surrealist painter, who we meet late in life and see struggling (like all of Vonnegut's key characters), with the dregs of unresolved pain and the consequences of brutality. Loosely based on the legend of Bluebeard (best realized in Bela Bartok's one-act opera), the novel follows Karabekian through the last events in his life that is heavy with women, painting, artistic ambition, artistic fraudulence, and as of yet unknown consequence.

Vonnegut's intention here is not so much satirical (although the contemporary art scene would be easy enough to deconstruct), nor is it documentary (although Karabekian does carry elements of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko). Instead, Vonnegut is using art for the same purpose he used science fiction cliches in Slaughterhouse-Five; as a filter through which he can illuminate the savagery, cruelty, and the essentially comic misdirection of human existence.

Readers will recognize familiar Vonnegut character types and archetypes as they drift in and out through the background; meanwhile, Karabekian, betrayed and betrayer, sinks through a bottomless haze of recollection. Like most of Vonnegut's late works, this is both science fiction and cruel contemporary realism at once, using science fiction as metaphor for human damage as well as failure to perceive. Readers will find that Vonnegut's protagonists can never really clarify for us whether they are ultimately unwitting victims or simple barbarians, leaving it up to the reader to determine in which genre this book really fits, if any at all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guillermo del Toro and Fairy Tales

From Guillermo del Toro explains the biggest mistake people make in telling stories for children by Charlie Jane Anders:

Is there a limit to how dark a movie for kids can get? And do you think animated films are getting closer to classic children's books, and less like cartoons?

One of the master of children's fiction is one of the guys who acknowledged fully the darkness of the world — that is, Roald Dahl. He did really brutal passages in The BFG. There's really very, very creepy and violent [stuff] in The Witches. And so on, and so forth. He really scared a lot of [kids] from that side. He is the reason why... when the line is crossed, and then it doesn't function as a children's story any more — it can become an adult fairytale. It can become a fairytale that adults can enjoy. And I think there are some of those, particularly in the Eastern cultures. Like 1001 Nights — a lot of those stories are very harrowing. And people forget that a lot of the tales that the Grimm Brothers collected, they were actually meant to be told to adults. People think, "Oh, they were children's stories" — [but] not in the beginning. They were meant to be told to adults, to entertain them. But yes, to answer your question: It can get too dark.
There's much more at the article, of course. And I have to say I am anxiously awaiting del Toro's Beauty and the Beast. Which doesn't start shooting until next summer. Darn it. Because so much can happen to stop it. Like fairy tale weariness which I never suffer from but the public might...

2013 Fairy Tale Calendars

Here are some 2013 Fairy Tale themed wall calendars. The Arthur Rackham has been standard for a few years now, so I hope it continues. 

Grimm - 2013 and Grimm - 2013 by Benedikt TASCHEN who published a great book late last year, The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Art Deco Fairytales 16-Month Wall Calendar 2013 (Size 12" X 12") This one calls itself Art Deco but in reality it is fairy tale illustrations by the great Kay Nielsen. Love it.