Fantastical finds

Because I am in the middle of two research papers (which trade off with each other when it comes to falling apart at the seams) and I am already miserably failing at my NYT reading challenge (with two more challenges waiting in the wings…) I have decided to say “to hell with sanity” and am about to join another challenge. However, before you think that I have indeed gone mad, I have to say, this challenge from Carl may be just what the doctor ordered. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit bogged down in my reading, and it’s beginning to feel like work, which is never a good thing. So I’m hoping that this fantasy challenge will bring me back to a genre I used to read (but haven’t for several years; although, as I say this, I realize how many books I have read that would fit within the rather loose confines of this genre). There are several options (or quests), but I think I’m going for 5 books in the general fantasy/mythology/folklore/fairy tale arena. The idea is to read the books within the following timeframe: March 26th (I’m apparently a little slow on the uptake, as usual) to June 21st (Midsummer Night’s Eve). I am not making a “set” list (since I apparently don’t do very well with them, even though I love to make them), but never fear, I will have a list of general books that I might draw from. Just looking for books on this list has reinvigorated me, and I’m really looking forward to this.

Here are my possibilities (so far):

  1. Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke
  2. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  4. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  5. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (and perhaps the rest of the Temeraire series)
  6. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  7. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  8. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
  9. The Scar by China Mieville
  10. Iron Council by China Mieville
  11. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  12. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
  13. Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
  14. Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
  15. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

This is a start, at least, and we’ll see where I go from here. If anybody has any suggestions let me know. Years ago I read quite a few from the Robert Jordan series (and don’t really want to read further), the Memory, Thorn and Sorrow series by Tad Williams (which I loved although I couldn’t get into the Overland books), Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, etc. Now I just have to decide where to start! Apparent Dip has suggested that if I keep on entering these challenges, I’ll have to create a special challenge about taking on too many, but hey, a girl’s got to have some vices!


14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pour of Tor on March 27, 2007 at 11:05 am

    I am so glad there is some overlap between our lists for this challenge! “Perdido Street Station” in particular is one that I have been meaning to read for quite some time.


  2. Posted by Pour of Tor on March 27, 2007 at 11:07 am

    P.S. I think “The Master and Margarita” definitely qualifies, if I remember it correctly!


  3. Posted by Loose Baggy Monster on March 27, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I was hoping the Master and Margarita would qualify and I’m glad to know I wasn’t too far off! However, I’ve decided that since Bulgakov would be a re-read for me (which I chose because I didn’t think I would find enough books to start with–boy, was I wrong!), it can serve as an alternate of sorts. I’m really looking forward to this challenge!


  4. Posted by Stephanie on March 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    I’m right there with you on too many challenges!! If you read any China Mieville, I’ll be looking for the reviews. I have 3 here, and haven’t read any of them!


  5. Posted by Chris on March 27, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I’d highly recommend any of Gaiman’s books on your list. They’re all wonderful. Ladies of Grace Adieu is great as well. Although I recommend reading Gaiman’s Stardust first because Clarke has a story in Ladies set in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. Great picks!


  6. Posted by Carl V. on March 27, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Definitely recommend Gaiman, starting with Stardust is probably a good way to get back into the genre. So glad you are joining in, especially as bringing people to, or back to, this type of reading is one of the goals. Welcome aboard!


  7. Posted by Literary Feline on March 27, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    You have a great selection to choose from! I have only read one you mentioned, Inkheart, which I was disappointed in (the only person in the world to be so, I think). I hope to try my first Gaiman book for this challenge.:-)

    I’m with you in overdoing the challenges! I need intervention!


  8. Posted by Danielle on March 27, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    I decided to make one big list, too. I have been trying to stay away from challenges as I usually fail miserably at them, but I do want to give these genres a try. I am not usually one to read fantasy or fairy tales. It’s good to read outside your comfort zone sometimes!


  9. Posted by Quixotic on March 28, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Fantastic list for the challenge!

    I’m also reading Ladies of Grace Adieu.

    Nice to see lots of Gaiman on your list – he’s my favourite author. Stardust is fabulous.

    Good to see another person listing Game of Thrones too 🙂


  10. Posted by weenie on March 28, 2007 at 5:16 pm


    I have read only two books from your proposed list but I say this:

    YES! to A Game of Thrones

    NO! to The Years Of Rice And Salt

    That’s just my view – good luck!


  11. Posted by Loose Baggy Monster on March 28, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks for all of the comments and suggestions! I’m excited to be joining such a great reading community! I’m looking forward to reading what everyone thinks about their books throughout the challenge…B


  12. Posted by Court on March 29, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    It looks like you’ve got quite a bit of good possibilities. I’d highly recommend Inkheart – it’s quite good, and if you’re feeling like reading has become work, it’s a quick, light read so might be a good break from any heavier reading you’re doing.


  13. Posted by Bellezza on April 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    I bought The Book of Lost Things for my son this Christmas, on Border’s recommendation. I think I’ll have to pick it up myself and joing you! It looks very good. By the way, regarding writing research papers…my heart goes out to you for all the work involved.


  14. Posted by pat on April 19, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    What a fantastic lisst to choose from. I just finish The Book of Lost Things. It was so good I want to read everything he wrote.


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